Archive for the ‘Daily Life’ Category

If you’ve been following either CNBC or “The Daily Show” — or basically if you’ve turned on your TV at all this week — then you know that Jim Cramer is in a sort of televised brawl with Jon Stewart. It all began with this “Daily Show” clip.

Cramer, in contrast to his sometimes tough and angry “Mad Money” persona, is actually quite a sensitive man, and he didn’t appreciate the criticism. A weeklong back-and-forth has ensued. It’s all pretty ridiculous (and entertaining), and I honestly don’t know how seriously Cramer is taking it. I have to imagine that he understands that by putting himself out there the way he does, he leaves himself open to criticism. And I have to assume that Jon Stewart gives him the benefit of the doubt, because no one, not even the financial experts, knew quite what the market was capable of before the market punched us all in the face with it.

It all comes to a head tonight with Cramer’s appearance on “The Daily Show,” and along with the rest of America, I will be watching.

What I take issue with is this. Gawker has chosen to bring Erin Burnett into this mess and lump her together with all of the other CNBC pundits when she quite clearly is in a class of her own. For example, today on “Morning Joe,” Erin was caught off-guard having a breakfast of Cheetos. It is the latest in a long list of adorable and charming things Erin has been filmed doing and saying.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

She handled herself capably on the Bill Maher show. She does her job in defending Cramer, and she does it as adorably as she does everything else. There is nothing loathsome about it. And Gawker failed to mention that on Monday’s “Stop Trading!” segment (the wrapup of which I write every day for work), Erin put up a good fight against Mr. Cramer, proving she is far from the network pawn Gawker would make her out to be.

Gawker also recently deigned to mock Ms. Burnett for this gem, a perfect example of why she deserves recognition as business news television’s Cutest Little Button. I have yet to verify her claim that the chocolate chip cookie was invented during the Great Depression, but just watch the way she throws back her head when Matt Lauer pokes some harmless fun at her!

And honestly, where would the world be without the chocolate chip cookie? You tell me! I know where I wouldn’t have been last week at this time: in my kitchen making chocolate chip cookies! And I know what wouldn’t be in my freezer right now: two batches of frozen leftover chocolate-chip-cookie dough!

Also, for the record, I have spent a full day in front of CNBC every weekday for the better part of two and a half years, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not that bad. And it’s not just because Erin Burnett’s so impossibly adorable.


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I just made the trek to a gourmet market to procure nine lemons and a big bottle of grade B maple syrup. You’d think that not eating for a few days would save me money, but that syrup is pricey!  This bottle put me back about $27.

For those of you intrested in jumping on the Master Cleanse bandwagon, the magic recipe is:

During the Day

  • 10 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
  • 10 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • mixed with as much water as you need


  • 2 tablespoons syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • less water (chug it!)
  • 1 cup senna laxative tea

The true Cleanse also involves a daily salt-water flush, which I tried last time I did this thing, but it made me feel so ill, and I really don’t see the benefits of flushing my system in such a drastic way when I’m already not eating and drinking laxative tea (which is delicious and has a relatively mild effect several hours later).

As with my previous Cleanse, Day 2 is pretty easy.  I’m not registering hunger as hunger but rather a dull tingling sort of feeling.  As a result, I’m drinking much less of my syrup and lemon juice than I did yesterday.  Cravings are mild, as demonstrated by my easy resistance to the otherwise oh-so-tempting fettucine with pesto cream sauce in the buffet at the market.

Tomorrow, if it’s anything like my first Cleanse, will be very difficult.  Our plan is to have soup tomorrow night, but we might decide to extend this for another day if we feel up to the challenge.  Chris is on soup duty since I have to tutor tomorrow night, and as mild as my cravings might be, I’m looking very forward to coming home tomorrow to the scent of pureed cauliflower and red pepper bubbling on the stove!

Also, in a side note, last night’s “Bachelor” finale was terribly anticlimactic.  History repeats itself, I guess, and Jason turns out to be as big of a douche to Melissa as DeAnna was to him.  Though I hesitate to place too much blame on him, since I finally wised up last night to the fact that Melissa was way too young and way too Dallas Cheerleady to be The One.

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Day 1.

So Day 1 of the cleanse is coming to a close.  I’ve done OK.  I’ve had some hunger pangs, but I know from experience that I don’t have to pay attention to them.  I drank my dinner and am about to have my special tea.

Things I have craved today include:

  • pizza
  • ants on a log
  • pasta with butter and cheese
  • the red-pepper gnocchi with goat cheese cream sauce that I had for dinner on Saturday
  • Big Mac (Chris’s suggestion)
  • soup!

The final item is a good craving, because that is the first thing I will eat when I come off this stupid thing.  Last time we made an amazing cauliflower-red-pepper soup.  We might have to repeat that one!  I remember that the Saltines we had with it tasted better than anything I’d ever eaten before.  You forget about foods like Saltines when you’re eating whatever you want.  Sometimes the simplest foods taste the best!

We’re shooting for two more days, with a celebratory post-bowling soup on Wednesday.  We can do it!

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Tomorrow Chris and I start another abbreviated round of the Master Cleanse.  We did four days in early January, and Chris had done it a couple of times before that for a week to 10 days.  We might just do two this time, depending on what our week looks like as we get into it.

Pretty much, it’s a fast.  You eat nothing but lemon juice mixed with maple syrup and cayenne pepper.  I know it sounds crazy, and I used to think that myself.  But it’s a good reminder of what our bodies don’t need.  We can say no to that extra cookie, or the larger helping, or the snack we aren’t really hungry for.  And we can say no to other unnecessary or unhealthy things in our lives, too!

That said, last time, my will power lasted for about a day after the cleanse was over, and then I pretty quickly returned to my old habits.  I’m going to try to do better this time.  I’ll spare you the glory details, but be warned that I might talk about food in my next few blog posts.  Last time I did this, I spent all of my free time looking up recipes online and dreaming about how good food was going to taste when I got to eat it again.

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Chris surprised me this weekend by accepting my invitation to take him shopping!  I think he just got tired of my asking him, but still.  This was a big step.

We spent the whole day in Manhattan, first at Filene’s and DSW, then at lunch with Nate, then at H&M and Banana Republic, then back to Filene’s.

The tally:


  • 3 pairs jeans
  • 1 polo shirt
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 2 pairs shoes
  • 1 jacket


  • 3 T-shirts
  • 2 blouses
  • 1 sweater

I was impressed both with Chris’s stamina and willingness to try on new things and my moderation.  I haven’t been shopping in two months, and for me to come home with only six things (all great bargains) is pretty unprecedented.  It’s amazing how addictive not spending money is!

I can’t wait for next weekend, when I get to show Chris’s mom how well I’ve dressed him.

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Chris and I just made it through the latest episode of “The L Word,” which over the last two or thee seasons has spiraled downward to become probably the Worst TV Show Ever.

Here’s a list of recent things that have contributed to the show’s being just terrible:

  1. In a word, Jenny. I liked her in Season 1, maybe even in Season 2 (and Mia Kirshner is hot!), but she has become increasingly annoying and evil, and this season her character’s just totally unbelievable. She’s still super hot, though.
  2. Pam Grier. Was she ever able to act? If so, she’s making it very clear in “The L Word” that she no longer can. Inexplicably, the writers keep inserting her unnecessarily into scenes. Everything out of her mouth is awkward, and now that we’ve done away with the plot points of her alcoholism, her relationship with the super young babysitter, and her relationship with Kelly Lynch (who I’m pretty sure had a penis?), her character is totally useless.
  3. Shane being with Jenny at all. That just would never happen. But if it did happen, and if Shane actually stayed with Jenny — even after Jenny did crazy things like turn Shane’s bedroom into an office after they’d been together for, like, a day — then Shane would not hook up with Nikki Stevens in the dark room that Jenny just gave her (which was a totally inappropriate gift, as all gifts from Jenny are). Shane’s not a bad person! She can control her sexual urges! She’s done it before, and Nikki Stevens is not irresistible enough to explain why Shane would suddenly lose control of them now. Though Nikki Stevens is pretty irresistible.
  4. The hook of this season is that it began with Jenny’s death, and now we’re backtracking to figure out which of her “friends” killed her. In every episode, a new character becomes a victim of Jenny’s evil ways and promptly says, “I’m going to kill Jenny!” Actually, that’s so bad it’s actually good. I have a strange respect for the writers for being able to even attempt something so stupid. Also, obviously Jenny killed herself. I mean, I would kill myself if I were Jenny!

Oh, I have to stop here. If you watch the show, you’ve had enough of this stuff without my repeating it to you. If you don’t watch, the show is boring enough as a television program; I don’t need to blogacize it.

Why do Chris and I keep watching? I’m not really sure. It probably has something to do with all the hot girls.

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Arthur is right now sprawled out on top of a pile of clean laundry I have yet to put away, in part because I’m lazy and in part because it is Arthur’s favorite place to sleep when I’m working in bed.  (When I’m in the living room, he’s abandoned his cat condo for an old cardboard box top, which cost zero cents.  The condo cost $30!)

He’s entirely on his back right now, with his front paws stretched out to the side.  The cat is clearly comfortable here.

Meanwhile, I cannot get his diet right.  He’s had diarrhea, probably because I immediately put him on a diet of mostly dry food, which is what my mom fed our cats, but it turns out he was eating mostly wet food in his previous home.  I moved him back to wet food, and the diarrhea went away for a day, but now I’m mixing dry food back into the wet, and the diarrhea came back tonight.  I grew up with cats, but I never knew their stomachs were so delicate!  I need to get him in better shape before I go away next weekend, though my amazing brother has offered to take care of him while I’m gone, so I really won’t have to worry.

It is nice to have someone to worry about, though.

Oh, Arthur.  I didn’t realize how lonely I was in this big apartment all by myself until you came along!  I can’t wait until I fall asleep and you decide it’s time to relentlessy dig your claws into my neck and arms and suck on my duvet cover (the Internet tells me you were weaned too early).

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