Context!

Oh, hello! It’s been forever since I’ve been here, sorry. But after reading this New York Times article about how food is filmed for commercials, I HAD to write something. Nothing gets my creative juices flowing like hilarious, food-based copy. This is a really fun read if you like TV, commercials, food, or the magic derived from any of the above.

But there is just too much in this article that is too good to ignore. So here are my favorite lines from the article which are funny to begin with, but are elevated to amazing when taken out of context.

“This casserole shot, for instance, is an elaborate tango of artifice, technology and timing.”

“Moments before each take, Mr. Somoroff yells, ‘Ooze!'”

“…a special-effects rigger who holds his own hypodermic of sauce and is having a hard time synching with a hand model.”

“The goal was to see moist white meat when it bounced.”

“… showing in gorgeous slow motion the hole left by the fruit…”

“Pizza pasta, it turns out, is just what it sounds like.”

“…this doughnut was tumbling through the air and through a curtain of sugar…”

“He reached under a table and brought out a pair of matching, foot-and-a-half-long black catapults, powered by air cylinders, which he’d originally built for a Long John Silver’s commercial in which shrimp collided.”

“There’s a hole here. Move that piece of meat.”

“Mary Divett, a food stylist with a British accent, tweezes slices of pepperoni”

and of course, my very favorite line of all, and my future band name:

 

“hot cheese in motion”

 

Grilled Chicken, That Temperamental Star [NY Times]

What’s new with me? What’s new with YOU?

It’s been busy over in these parts, I apologize not only for neglecting this site, but for also leaving a password protected post up as my most recent post for so long and having all three of my readers wonder what that could mean. Well, I’ll tell you, I created that post as an “audition” piece for a new job at VH1.com and I’m happy to say that I got it! (If you’re curious, it’s a recap for the current VH1 show Love & Hip Hop and no, you can’t read it. I’m a private person. But also, I’m not sure I can put it out there for public consumption.) So I’m leaving my old job which I know I barely ever talked about (Did you know I had the same job for like 6 years? Probably not!) for a new job that I will probably also never mention that much, because blogs about jobs are boring and I know you’d all prefer to read the other thrilling content I’m known for. Like puns about farts.

I also contributed to a site called Ten Things I’ve Learned and my post about ten things I learned as a contestant on Chain Reaction, the TV game show about words and chains and reacting to them, is currently up. It’s probably old news for those of you who voraciously read all my previous posts about Chain Reaction, but if you’re new to this site and/or me, this is a good primer about my experiences with game show fame and fortune.

Protected: Liz – Test

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Here’s Why I Love Massachusetts

Because this is a fair representation of what is sold in the Dollar Store.

And just because I’m feeling nostalgic, here’s a sketch I wrote with Glennis that also shows my love for our fair commonwealth back in 2004 after the Red Sox won the World Series.

How To Pretend You’re Very Rich, Or “I Got A Massage During A Snowstorm”

I love a good massage. Is there anyone who doesn’t? I guess I can think of one person, a friend from high school who really didn’t like to be touched which is just a whole ‘notha story, but a massage is one of those things that is the weirdest concept for luxury I can really imagine. You pay someone to knead your muscles like dough, sometimes kneading in places that are almost private, for a whole lot of money. And yet it’s legal. Tonight I got a massage. This is my story.

A few things to know in advance. If you’ve followed this blog like, ever, you’ll know I love discounts, bargains and coupons, so 2010 was the year of my discovering Groupon, Gilt, Jetsetter, etc. Any online subscription that promises to get me luxurious things at half the price, I am signed up. So last week I saw a deal on Gilt City, which I dare you to subscribe to without getting “We Built This City”  stuck in your head every single time you log on, for a massage at the Setai Spa. I’m familiar with the Setai because it is directly across from where I babysit. Again, for followers of the blog, you’re aware that I am over 30 and still babysit. A girl has to pay for her half-off luxuries somehow. I had never been to the Setai, but I knew it would be luxurious and Bliss-like, without all the harsh lighting and blue packaging of Bliss. I was very right. It was Asian Bliss with dark wood, fruit water and free tampons. Heaven.

The last thing to know is that I got engaged recently and am in the throes of wedding planning. Which means that if you stick a tire pressure gauge in me right now, there’s roughly forty pounds of wedding-related stress residing in my neck. So I decided to treat myself to a massage, but that’s not to say I didn’t ask Beloved Soon-To-Be-Legal Companion if he wanted to join. He declined, citing things like “saving money” and “my deserving it” which is code for “there’s a Penguins game on that night.” His loss, because there is no better time to get a massage than the day of a snow emergency. I was the only, and I mean ONLY person in the spa tonight. I felt so rich you can’t even believe it.

The massage itself was 60 minutes of squeezing out every wedding-related thought in my head, plus the residual stresses brought on by Black Swan that I still haven’t had time to deal with emotionally. But after that! Ohhh, that’s where the real fun was.

I relished the tiny macarons and champagne that my own personal attendant brought to me in the lounge. And I felt like Francis in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure when I was the only person in a pool-sized hot tub. And I was totally naked in there! That was actually encouraged. I would never voluntarily and confidently walk around anywhere naked, except for Jones Beach but that’s another story that I don’t even have time for right now, but seeing as the only other person in the spa was the attendant and she could care less, I went for it. I mean, of course I had like 4 towels at the ready justincase someone walked in and joined me and I had to make a hasty exit while covering all my major parts. OF COURSE I did. I’m still me. As I sat in the giant essential-oil-infused hot tub (nay, “Aqua Grotto”) trying to relax, of COURSE the only thing I could think of was how to gracefully, nakedly ascend the steps to get out should anyone else come in.  But apparently when the Mayor declares a snow emergency, no one else in the city is much in the mood for relaxation, so I was in the clear. (I should note that the spa has a ladies-only side and a men-only side, so for all I know, there was a pool party going on over on the boys’ side.)

After the Aqua Grotto, I figured I’d head over to the dry sauna because why the hell not. Who else would be using it? After walking in, poking a room temperature hibachi filled with rocks with an empty ladle meant to pour water over it and not knowing how to turn anything on, I exited. Defeated. Because if there’s anything more embarrassing than being naked in front of others, it’s not knowing how to turn on the dry sauna. If I was actually rich, I’d be ashamed.

Now, even when I’m getting a heavily discounted spa treatment, my mind is constantly racing for ways to take advantage of what I’m getting. Are there free samples of things lying around? Can I take a shower there using the fancy spa products? Can I have that bottled water? So don’t think I just enjoyed my naked treatments and then went home like a normal, decent human being. After I got dressed (and yes, there was a shower, but I opted out), I took the lite absorbency tampon that was rightfully mine from the lady-business bowl in the bathroom and headed to the real treasure: the food table. In addition to the macarons, there were these sesame-crusted salty caramels that I hoarded like a chipmunk preparing for winter before my massage. I looked left. I looked right. And when I was convinced I was alone, I pocketed three of them, plus a macaron. And then I took an apple. Come on, who doesn’t take an apple from the spa? Like you’re really going to eat the apple there?

As I made my way out, I realized my apple was crushing the macaron. I raced to the train like a criminal making her getaway,  rearranged the stolen food in my bag, furiously tried to brush the macaron crumbs out of my cute purse and onto the subway platform, and waited for the jam-packed train to come and start my stress cycle all over again. Just like a real rich person would do.

Supplies Party! (That’s so racist)

I’m really, oddly attached to my office supplies at work. At my last job where I was the receptionist, I created a rubber band ball I was so attached to that when I left, I contemplated taking it with me. It was like a pet, really. I nurtured it from teeny, tiny single rubber band to softball sized organism capable of existing on its own without my help. I also take my pens seriously. I could easily buy (nay, steal) a box of 12 pens and keep them for a good two to three years because I’m the one in the office who, upon letting someone use my pen to sign something and then watching them creep away, has the gall to say “Sorry, but that was my pen.” Waste not, want not. Be a jerk? Why not! But come on, how do you forget whose pen you’re using? Seriously.

I learned the hard way  that I am actually co-dependent with my At-A-Glance desk calendar. It covers the surface of my desk and I get a new one every year, thrilled to flip it over each month to reveal a fresh, clean surface on which I can practice my signature, write phone messages, and turn the horizontally lined pages into zig-zag, color-blocked, semi-filled-in checkerboard designs. (You didn’t think I actually keep my schedule on it, did you?) I cleaned out my apartment last month and found dozens of pads of paper that I’d been hoarding and even though I am a hard-copy list-maker who loves writing my grocery lists out, creating to-do lists with things like “Laundry, Clean Bathroom, Return Library Books, Decorate Christmas Tree” that are so easily remembered that they don’t actually need a list but that’s how bad my need  to check things off is, I still had an abundance of paper. So I took it all with me to work, convinced it was the green thing to do, the thing that would cut back on my Post-it use and…my…At-A-Glance.

It’s now four business days into January and I couldn’t hack it. I’m sure all this paper will get doodled on eventually, but I actually tried to turn an old piece of paper I tore from a recipe swap notebook into a makeshift At-A-Glance because I got too antsy without one and that was a miserable failure. I reasoned that the At-A-Glances were just sitting in our storage room, having already been ordered and if I didn’t go pick one up and use it, someone else would and the environment would still become a river of  polar bears floating away on their tiny, only-one-polar-bear-will-fit icebergs. So now I have a pristine At-A-Glance desk calendar right next to my shoddy, homemade, no-ruler-required-I’ll-just-wing-it crappy calendar. Which one do YOU prefer?

Yes, yes it does say “From the kitchen of” in the top right corner, thanks for noticing! And yes, it’s not even a week into the new year and I already have a vacation day planned on the 14th. What?

Oh, sweet, beautiful, untouched At-A-Glance. So pure in your unadulterated state, without any lunch spilled on you yet, nary a note to myself noting “screen this number, this guy is creepy! 212-XXX-9178” or, you know, a “From the kitchen of” section. Pretty soon, the edges will start to curl, I’ll drop a meatball on it, and I’ll start tearing corners off to wrap old gum in, but for now, she’s a beaut, ain’t she?

Just Like Honey


The American Honey Institute’s fake cross-stitched honey cookbook has so much going for it. In addition to it’s colorful cover, each new chapter shares a new cross-stitchy design and a delightful no-em. That’s my term for a poem that just shouldn’t exist. Like, say:

“With butter, egg and good honey

Your cake will moist and flaky be”

Sure.

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