Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Quack.

Last night I was clicking around the A&E website hoping to order a set of "Duck Dynasty" Limited Edition Valentine's Day cards:



I was also fortunate to find a rare set of "Duck Dynasty" Martin Luther King, Jr. Day cards:



My joy was short lived, however when I found several disturbing products listed on the A&E site: 






Now I am not a biblical scholar like Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan who recently gave a GQ interview pontificating about his beliefs. But I do know that the Bible condemns homosexuality with the same fervour it also condemns (amongst other things) letting your hair become unkempt, eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof, eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it, getting a tattoo, touching the skin of a pig (no football for the Duck Dynasty boys), consuming shellfish, AND

 "wear[ing] a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together."

That Phil and his family are profiting by selling poly-cotton clothing AND acrylic yarn and wool  beanie-beards, makes me wonder if perhaps they aren't as clever or as moral as they'd have us all believe?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Aiding and abetting?

Seeing as this is Wednesday, and I haven't done a Warp Speed Wednesday post since October, I was planning on posting one today. It was suppose to feature assorted Christmas-themed Star Trek pictures, gifs and video clips. I'd also intended to feature the video of Benedict Cumberbatch (aka CumberKhan from Star Trek Into Darkness) reading lyrics from an R. Kelly song on Jimmy Kimmel.

But then last night I started reading about R. Kelly and all the humour from that skit has vanished. Vanished like lawsuits brought against R. Kelly for having sex (and debased sex, at that) with under aged girls.

If you're not aware of this story -- and previously I was only vaguely aware of it -- I'd recommend reading the following:

Read the "Stomach-Churning" Sexual Assault Accusations Against R. Kelly in Full at the Village Voice

What We Absolutely Must Talk About When We Talk About R. Kelly on Jezebel.

A Time Line of R. Kelly's life. I thought the part where he falsified documents in order to marry a 15 year old would be the low part. But no -- it gets so much worse.

Last week someone in R. Kelly's camp thought it would be a good idea to have an open Q-&-A on twitter. It didn't go as planned. 

And finally a moving personal essay by Ashley C. Ford called "A Story For R. Kelly’s Defenders: Little black girls are taught when and how to be silent before anyone ever tells us we have the right to say no" on Buzzfeed.

• • • • • • • • • • • • 

Having read all those articles, the lyrics of "Genius" -- from R Kelly's new album Black Panties -- don't seem quite so funny when delivered by Cumberbatch. Like Lainey, I hope that the clip will factor into a larger discussion about "What is our responsibility to this issue, what can we do to better this situation?"




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hot flash!

Since falling ill on Sunday with the flu (despite having taken the precaution of having a seasonal flu jab1) I have averaged two naps a day. During one of these my husband and eldest boy made sugar cookies:



This is all the more impressive because Mr Wrath and the boys are also under the weather. But they only have bad head colds with sinus headaches. Or else they have the same thing as me, but I am particularly wimpy.

I'm stalling right now. 

I'm tired, but not looking forward to heading to bed. I "slept" for a feverish 8 hours last night. I woke every two hours from dreams of being covered in festive foil wrapping paper, and being placed in a hot oven to roast like a baked potato. A festive baked potato. 

I knew in advance that it was going to be a restless night, so when the (newly minted) 10 year old asked if he could sleep in the living room next to the tree, I agreed as long as I could move into his bed.  It sounded like a great compromise. However he usually sleeps with the black cat, Osiris.  Osiris is a creature of habit. Upon finding me in the wrong bed, he hissed in my face and noisily stalked around the room. At some point he must have given up, because I awoke from one of the baked potato dreams to find him sitting on my chest, like a hot pat of butter. With a bad temper. 

• • • • • • • • 

1 -- For the record, I have not changed my opinion about the importance of getting a flu shot.   It's been at least 8 years since I had the seasonal flu (though I did contract the swine flu in 2009, prior to the vaccines being issued and it was a piece of cake in comparison).  This experience  has shown me that the flu is not something to be taken lightly. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Glamour gets it (mostly) right.

Usually I can stretch out People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive list into two or three posts. Not this year. It was full of men with questionable tattoos and off-putting public personas.  The only men on who got my pulse racing and made me dream of Love Sandwiches were Chris Pine and Idris Elba. Allow me to refresh your memory:




The list also made me question my ability to lust after random men (who I really would not chose over my own patient, loving, funny, handsome husband).  Or, maybe -- I thought to myself -- I need to stop watching shows produced in the 1980s and start watching more contemporary entertainment? That way I would know more "celebrities." So I have. I'm now watching "The Thick of It" and "Arrow." Both are very good, though the former is lacking in hot men. It also does not star Alan Thicke. I mention this because my husband keeps asking if "the pride of Elliot Lake" will make an appearance. He will not. Thank heavens. "The Thick of It" is British and I am very biased toward British television. I am a not-so-secret Anglophile.

Which is part of the reason I discovered Glamour's 100 Hottest Men in the World list. Damn, the ladies of the UK have great taste in men. Please note, that I have made the editorial choice to use photos of Glamour's sexy men wearing sweaters, thereby increasing their sexiness ten-fold.

1. Henry Cavill
I haven't seen his Superman movie! Which is crazy because I LOVE Superman. And Mr Cavill ain't bad either.


2. Robert Pattinson
No. He's covered in Twilight vampire sparkles and tainted by association with that banal girl he dated.

3. Liam Hemsworth
I am that rarest of women who prefers Liam to Chris. Not even his association with Miley Cyrus could dissuade me from thinking him very cute. Nay. HOT. He is hot.

4. Tom Hiddleston
I haven't seen Thor. We started to watch it once, but the opening scene was unintelligible on our tv and computer screen (is there some setting I need to change on my LCD tv or monitor so I can watch night scenes in movies? Usually they're just black on black) and the kids asked to turn it off after 10 confusing minutes. I did enjoy him in The Avengers, even though I think that was just an okay movie.    I spent the whole time saying "So the Black Widow's superpower is to act like a naive sex kitten until men confess their secrets to her? What the hell? What a waste."


5. Benedict Cumberbatch
Yes. Yes! A thousand times, YES! I may have just screamed that into a pillow.

6. Harry Styles
HAHAHAHA. Look at his hair:


This is NOT sexy, people.

7. Chris Hemsworth
Please refer to comments I made for entries 3 & 4.


Chris was in the Star Trek reboot, ergo I'm obliged to fancy him! By the way, did you know there is a third Hemsworth? Luke:


Before dismissing him out of hand, you might want to read "Chin up, Peeta: Ain't Nothin' Wrong with a Short Man."

8. Idris Elba
HELLO! Sweater and a beard! Way to woo the Canadian ladies, Mr Elba.



9. Jamie Campbell Bower
Another Twilight actor. This one doesn't look like the brightest bulb. I'll leave him to the younger ladies.


10. Justin Bieber
I blame the chavs for the inclusion of this fool:


Technically, Justin Bieber isn't wearing a sweater. It's a sweatshirt, but this photo is so delightful I will break from my theme so it can be included.

Obviously I won't be able to comment on all 100 men on the list. So I'll just showcase the highlights from the remaining 90.

11. Charlie Hunnam
He improves immeasurably if he uses his original (English) accent and isn't dress like a biker and I don't have to look at any ugly tattoos.


16. Michael Fassbender
I approve of the sweater and his accent. This beard-moustache combo is not my favourite look, but I know a lot of my peers (30- and 40-something, tech savvy moms from North America) admire the cut of his jib.

The jeans are, sadly, not tight enough to reveal the state of his jib.

19. Matt Smith
Is he sexy? Not to me. I do find him charming, which I guess is one small fez away from hotness.



20. Robert Downey Jr.
I really enjoyed him 20 years ago in Chaplin, but now I think he's one pretty face in a cadre of action stars whose movies confuse me. "Who is that guy? Is he the guy from before with the thing and the punching? He's not? How did they get here? A second ago they were on the ground and now they're on the bridge? How did that happen?" I can be heard to say during any number of his movies.


22. Hugh Jackman
It's alarming that he's 12 positions behind Bieber. Women of England, you are doing this wrong!


32. Ryan Gosling
Canadian men (ie, Gosling) instinctively know that sweaters are the key to a woman's heart. Well that, and mastering the j-stroke. It's a canoe thing. Get your mind out of the gutters, foreigners.


42. David Gandy
Usually I don't like Gandy. His hyper-masculinity and menacing glare scares me. But him in a sweater is much less over-powering.


Why doesn't he ever smile? Does he have bad teeth?

46. Chris Pine
Adorable! Even if he is a modelizer.


Chris does have a fairly strong fan base (his fans are called Pine Nuts) in the UK. If you have a few minutes to kill and want to be charmed, I recommend this clip from the Graham Norton show with The 'Batch and Chris and their respective fandoms:



52. Tinie Tempah
I had never heard of this man. But when I reached his page on the list I thought "Now there's a guy who know how to wear a suit." He's a rapper, and I managed to listen to the entirety of one of his songs without wanting to hit the mute button. That's pretty much the biggest compliment I can give any rapper.

Not only does he look great in a suit, but he's cool enough to borrow a sweater from Bill Cosby's wardrobe:

Sidenote: the Glamour list includes many UK pop singers. Most of them are unknown to me because I don't really care for mainstream music and in general don't find musicians very attractive. A good narrative features heavily in my perception of "hotness."

55. Bradley Cooper
Really? Again with this guy?
Fine:

63. Andrew Garfield
I can't get past the goofy surname or the big forehead. Is it possible he's actually a cartoon character? Is he weirdly fond of lasagna? Is his frenemy named Nermal?

72. Joe Manganiello
Shameful confession: I think he's hot. He's not my usual type, but he's rockin' this sweater:


76. Colin Farrell
My Irish DNA can't be reasoned with. Ditto for my Irish lady bits. I lurve him.


79. Martin Freeman
Sometimes on pinterest I see comments from women who think John Watson (on Sherlock) is sexy. I don't get that. If anything, he would be even more horrible of a boyfriend than Sherlock. Also I heard a rumour that he actually has Hobbit feet. In real life!



Okay, I just made that up. But in all honesty I can't get past him being a porn star in "Love Actually."

80. Gerard Butler
He's a dirty dog, but you can't say he takes himself too seriously:



83. Stephen Amell
HE IS CANADIAN! And he's very charming/scary in Arrow.


88. Daniel Craig
This sweater says "Now, I'm going to light a fire in the fireplace and in your pants." Or else it says, "I'm gonna fuck up anyone who touches my fireplace poker without permission."


91. Andy Murray
This token jock is worthy of mention because he isn't tattooed. Sorry, David Beckham (#21), your tattoos are -- by there very nature -- ugly.



93. Adam Levine
The fuck you say? This guy? AGAIN? No! I will not have his face and his tattoos sully my blog.

97. David Tennant
Did you watch the Day of the Doctor? Wasn't it great? Know what it was missing? Donna Noble. I need more Donna Noble! I miss her and Tennant's Doctor Who. He is definitely a hottie.



99. Zachary Quinto
YOUNG SPOCK!

100. George Clooney
He's a play-ah, to be sure. But still charming and he's the oldest man on the list.



In conclusion, I just want to thank the editors and contributors of Glamour magazine for helping heal the wounds left behind by the awfulness that was People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive (2013) edition. If you are interested in further commentary regarding that list, please visit the following:
Beck wrote "The Corrected People Magazine Hot Guy List. " Can we talk about Stanley Tucci? Isn't he lovely? And The Rock? With a side order of Allan Hawco!
"It’s the most wonderful time of the year" part 1 and Part 2 came from Hannah. 
Nicole's chimed in with "In my day, the Sexiest Man Alive only had one tattoo, a forearm anchor."


Monday, December 2, 2013

Sometimes math makes my brain weep.

We are all familiar with the adage "don't speak ill of the dead." The erudite amongst you might be interested to know it comes from the Latin terms "De mortuis nihil nisi bonum"(“Of the dead, nothing unless good”) and "De mortuis nil nisi bene [dicendum]" (“Of the dead, nothing [spoken] unless good”). The phrase has been in usage since the 4th century CE. The erudite amongst you will be disgusted that I'm citing wikipedia as the source of this information.

Nonetheless...

There is an unspoken belief (at least in my head) that "don't speak ill of the dead" can be fully and unapologetically suspended when it is revealed that the dead person in question is mourned by a girlfriend who he [allegedly] started dating when he was 33 and she was 16I am referring to Paul Walker (an actor of whom I knew nothing until his death on Saturday) and his girlfriend of seven years. She's 23. They've been together since she was 16.  That's statutory rape. I'm not okay with it (nor should I be) and I'm really offended that people and websites are again glossing over a celebrity's [alleged] criminal, immoral actions. 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

To end on a high note, if you're keen to peruse a really funny pinboard I recommend "I Was Born in 1971." It includes photos of artifacts familiar to anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s. Like this one: 



I loved those belts.