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    This is why the rest of the world hates the US of A:

    Because cooking a hot dog from scratch is just way too much work. What's next? A machine that shovels it into your mouth and turns the channel to WWE? Jesus Christ!



    My friends! I need your help. We are having a holiday cocktail party in a couple of weeks and people need a place to set their drinks and a surface to dance upon when things get crazy later. I need a coffee table.

    Here's my problem. I have this behemoth sectional with the chaise that leaves a tiny area for a table. Can you read my dimensions there? 26" on the short side, then 52" then 50" on the far right side. Every circle or square table I've seen is 32" and that's just too tight for the space.
    I could do some cubes, but that seems just kind of bleh. Any of you out there with The Eye, do you have any suggestions? I'm fresh out of ideas.

    Incidentally, viewing this room in a photo gives me a fresh perspective, like this room is looking a little void of personality. I think that zebra pillows might be just the thing. Or maybe I could splurge on some woven John Robshaw or one of these Jonathan Adler black and whites? Ooooooooooh. And the console behind the couch could use a big light green ferny type of plant. And put something on the wall by the stairs, for God's sake. Also, that stain on the floor--never noticed it before I took this picture. Scary.

    Muchas gracias.


    The Devil Wears Tight Shirts

    About four years ago, I received one of Rachael Ray's 30 minute meal cookbooks for Christmas. I admit that I was excited about it; I had seen her whip up an entire meal in 30 minutes with my own eyes. I could do it too! The first menu that I tried--1 1/2 hours, and it wasn't that tasty. I thought that maybe I had picked the one dud in the book. But no, I tried another recipe and.... 1 1/2 hours. That's when I decided that Rachael Ray was a fraud. A charlatan. Not only that, but her shirts were way too tight

    and she clearly has adult ADHD. I thought that Rachael Ray would eventually go away.

    Did this woman make a deal with the devil? I was at the grocery store tonight and saw her at every fucking turn. Two huge book displays, her magazine at every checkstand, her face in other magazines pushing Dunkin Donuts and Ritz, her voice on the loudspeaker advertising something that I successfully blocked out.... Even thinking about her talk show makes me want to take a valium. When I saw on the tabloid covers several months ago that she was getting a divorce, I couldn't help myself, I was delighted. I feel ashamed about this last part, but only a little bit. Her omnipresence is inexplicable to me (with the exception of the devil dealing business; that would explain everything).

    Rather than have this post be all about anger and evil, I'm going to tell you about the tv chef that I do love, the one who is beautiful and perfect and calm:

    It's true. I used to hate Giada De Laurentiis because she was beautiful and perfect and because her show is akin to soft porn. But then I made her sweet potato fries with basil salt and garlic mayo and they were delish. Same with her fra diavolo and lemon spaghetti. When I made her panzanella for Easter last year, it made me a freaking superstar within my extended family. It still rankles me when she pronounces "mozzarella" and other Italian words with the big Italian accent, and it still makes me uncomfortable when I am with my children and the sexy music plays while she is swirling olive oil in a pan. But man, her food is good and she is the real deal, unlike another tv cook (not a chef in my book) who shall remain nameless, but please refer to the first paragraph for a hint.

    Buon appetito this holiday season!

    Thank you to Forever Chic, who led me to The Rachael Ray Sucks Community. I have been laughing (out loud even) at some of the comments, and I will post some of the better ones for you here. By the way, my new favorite way to insult someone is to call him or her "Mrs. Asshat."

    From rachael idiot:

    Ok, chowder and soup is now "choup"??? OMG she is such a freaking asshole.

    From actress48:

    People like her will end up with nothing. She is so undeserving of everything she has. But I believe in Karma and it will come back to bite her on the ass.
    Maybe Emeril will go BAM on her skanky ass.

    And finally from nytetyger, on which "Raytard-ism" he hates the most:

    when she pauses at the end of a stupid statement (as in, "Now that hotdog and cheez whiz casserole is for ME!") and points with her thumbs towards herself (like a posessed monkey imitating 'the fonz') and emphasizes "me" as if we'd not know whom exactly she was referring to with that word.

    that, and 'delish,' which was used in my family long before the jerk was on tv, but which now cannot be used for fear of someone thinking you like mrs asshat.



    TO: Most subjects on TLC's What Not to Wear, you know who
    you are


    RE: Your hair

    CC: Clinton Kelly and Stacy London

    Please, please let Nick Arrojo cut your hair. Don't outwardly fret about it, don't cry about it, and don't refuse it. I am speaking in particular to the 35 year old nanny with the hair down to the butt, but really this is for all who freak out about Nick cutting your hair. Let's be honest here. You were selected to be on this show out of thousands, which means you have some atrociously bad taste. This includes your hair; there's nowhere but up for you, darling. Do not ruin the makeover by not doing the hair. It's like wearing dirty Crocs with a cocktail dress. I know that Nick's hair is currently looking a bit long, greasy and unkempt (he looked so much better when he had the buzz cut), but please trust him. He is not out to sabotage you; that would make him look bad too. Don't you get it?

    Maybe it would make you feel better to know that hair grows back. Yes, it does. And you can change the color at home if you don't like it. I swear it's true! You can even buy some of the Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves hair extensions if you really don't like your new look. Please just give Nick a shot. He rarely misses. If I were you, I'd be more worried about Carmindy and her apparent willingness to pimp any product out there.




    We are the fourth owners of our 9 year old house (I know, is it built over an Indian burial ground or something?). There are many things that I love about this house. It has a dignified Georgian-esque exterior, a great floorplan and big ol' kitchen. And perhaps most importantly, it does not have that niche in the living room that predetermines where the tv is going to be. I know it's not cool to love a newish house with no character, but after living for years in a very old house, I am all in favor of some sparkly newness and something called water pressure. But our house did have 3 previous owners; owners who thought that lots of bright yellow accent walls and vine stenciling and navy floral Waverly window treatments were what my house deserved.* But that's not all. The time has come for them to be called out for the visual damage they did to my dear house:

    1. Ceiling fans. There are 7 ceiling fans in my house. Seven! To give you some perspective, the bathrooms and the dining rooms are the only ones without. They are all some variation on country or traditional decor, all u-g-l-y you ain't got no alibi. They cramp my style big-time. Here is the master bedroom:

    Yes, I do have a duvet cover but it had just been washed and it's such a bitch to put on. I do perhaps need more pillows. I'll get on that. Anyhow, you get the basic idea.

    And we pan out....

    BLECHHHHHHHHH! God, do I hate that ceiling fan with its fake milk glass shades and its brass rod and base and its overhead lighting. Hate it. Someday I will host a Cinco de Mayo party and it will be my pinata. This rooms needs a chandelier. And a little bit of color, but I really can't get past the ceiling fan. Side note: those are my red espadrilles that my 2 year old drags out pretty much every day. Does she not know that espadrilles are summer shoes? You will also note a photo collage hanging on the wall. Not a big fan of these, but I am trying to live with it.

    Want more? This is the guest bedroom (also note that anorexic curtain rod generously left to us):

    Had enough?

    The office. One light bulb is burnt out and not changing it is my way of disrespecting the fan. Overhead lighting sucks, does it not? Moving on....

    2. Movie-star bathroom lighting in the guest bath and master bath (pictured).

    Another light bulb in need of replacement, another way of shaming the light fixture.

    3. Vertical blinds on the sliding glass doors. There is no photographic record of these, thank God. Although they are now ripped down, they stayed up for a while because I didn't want our neighbors or potential killers to get a full view. Then I just decided screw it, I would rather live in a fishbowl and perhaps be murdered than be subjected to the awfulness of having to look at them every day. Is there any window treatment more offending to the eye? That question is not rhetorical and the answer is "no." I wish the sliding glass doors were French doors, but this is something I can live with.

    4. Wall-to-wall carpet in the dining room. Who does this? I'll tell you who does this: the same person who put wall-to-wall in the master bath. I am not being modest when I tell you that I have mad carpet cleaning skillz.

    That's it. Just had to stand up for my house and let the world know that these things are not acceptable. But it is mainly the ceiling fans that get my goat.** Somebody spent a lot of cash on those things, especially when you factor in installation. And it will cost me a lot of money to have them all taken down and replaced. Depressing. All right then. Off to change some light bulbs because really, the only person it's hurting is me.

    *Not that I don't make mistakes, because I do. Just look at my freaking garage! But please check me into a mental hospital if I ever install any of the items mentioned above.

    **Do you also have one or more ugly ceiling fans? Email me with a photo. I will post it and we shall commiserate.