Friday, January 27, 2012

The Googlebet II

I did this once before, back in 2008, when the world was a different place*. But I think it's time to revisit, so here you are, for the second time: The most commonly searched words as predicted by Google's autofill function for each letter of the alphabet.**

A is for Amazon
B is for Best Buy
C is for Craigslist
D is for Dictionary
E is for ESPN
F is for Facebook
G is for Google***
H is for Hotmail****
I is for Illinois lottery*****
J is for Jewel Osco******
K is for Kohls
L is for LinkedIn
M is for Mapquest
N is for Netflix
O is for Old Navy
P is for Pandora
Q is for Quotes
R is for Redbox
S is for Southwest
T is for Target
U is for United Airlines
V is for Victoria (sic) Secret
W is for Walmart
X is for X Factor
Y is for YouTube
Z is for Zillow

So, what does the vast database that Google is maintaining on you tell them that you would like to see when you search the letters of the alphabet?

*Not really.
**Unchanged terms are marked in a tasteful mauve.
***Wait, what?
****Wait, what?
*****I should point out that my work computer believes it is in North Chicago, which I'm starting to suspect is influencing these results
******See above.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Experiment: Soup

Who doesn't occasionally look at the assembled goods in their kitchen and pantry and think, "What the heck, I'll make soup"? Sane people, probably. But they're missing out. 1. Assemble the ingredients

Two half-empty bottles flat beer, 1/2 package salt pork, 1/2 bundle dinosaur kale, 1 shallot (purchased), container of lentils, 2 cartons expired chicken stock (1 opened, partly used), salt, pepper*

2. Brown the salt pork
Should have cut it smaller.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zero Points For Originality

Guess who's got a new letterpress app and a team in the playoffs?

Update: Dammit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

You Paid What?: The Most Expensive T-Shirts on the Internet*

Whenever anyone wants to make fun of designer-pricing excesses, they always go for the easy target of super-expensive t-shirts. So I thought, hey, why should everyone else be having all the fun?

Just Cavalli t-shirt, $175
Not only is it insanely expensive for what it is, it's also-- bonus!-- stunningly hideous. And it's on sale!

Earth t-shirt, $425
The only possible reason you could have for purchasing this is that you don't understand decimal points.

Fendi t-shirt, $790
Cute! And so perfect for those days when you don't want to get all dressed up, but still need to spend at least a grand on your outfit.

Givenchy t-shirt, $785
Recently, I was asked why I didn't feature more men's clothes here, and I was forced to admit that there seemed to be fewer stupid clothes for men available, to much smugness. Well, I take it back.

*That I could find with about twenty minutes of looking.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Celebrity Cook-Off: Don't Call It A Recap

Yes, I am watching this show. No, it is not good. It's so not good, in fact, that it's kind of great. It's like a post-bankruptcy Nicolas Cage movie-- reeking of make-a-buck desperation and gleeful disregard for the taste level or intelligence of the audience. (Anyone who has seen Ghost Rider knows exactly what I'm talking about.*) The producer manipulation is beyond blatant, with the eliminations having essentially nothing to do with performance in the challenges and, with a couple of exceptions, there is no pretense that any of the contestants on this cooking show know anything about food. (For example, in a salad-making challenge, the instructions explicitly included "You must make your own dressing." One of the contestants, who may have never been to a restaurant for people who actually eat, panicked because she didn't know if the judges preferred their dressing on the side.)

These all sound like criticisms, and they are, but the truth is that after spending so much time getting frustrated with "good" reality shows that succumb to false drama and manipulation, it's kind of refreshing to just hop on the treadmill and spend an hour watching borderline-celebrities** pretend to care about their charities while angling for their own Food Network shows. You can't even feel bad for the hosts, since it's not like Rachel Ray or Guy Fieri had any culinary cred to begin with.

I'm not bothering to recap the episode, because really, why? (If you're interested, the eliminated contestant was the current Miss USA, who claims to "love desserts" despite looking like she is composed of pipe cleaners and low-fat tape.) Instead, I would just like to make a few observations, like Lou Diamond Phillips is apparently living in an alternate dimension where he is a major movie star (while acknowledging that no one recognizes him from any film made in the last twenty years). Or that Coolio still wears his signature spiky dreads, but now only so that they stick out through his hat, leading me to suspect that the hair might have more attachment to the hats than his actual scalp, if you know what I mean.

Can I recommend it? Well, no, not in good conscience to most people. So I'll just point out that free episodes are available for streaming here, and let you do with that information what you will.

*Can you believe they're making a sequel? I'm so excited.
**Defined by Cameron as "People who are more famous than I am."

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Ugly Clothes for Rich People, Holiday Sales II

The holidays are over, but the supply of expensive ugliness on sale is endless. If you are a stupid rich person who is not quite as stupid and/or rich as your compatriots, this is the season for you.

Comme des Garcons jacket?, $777.59
Perfect for achieving that effortless look of someone who put on one sleeve of her jacket, then tore the other one off and tying the rest into a kind of matted backpack-knot.

Elisanero oxfords, $199.19
For the woman who believes you are never truly dressed without at least one item of clothing that makes you look like a cartoon hobo.

Maison Martin Margiela top, $266.39
"I'm molting! Molting!"

Stella McCartney cashmere jogging pants, $502.19
 There is nothing I can say here that will be funnier than the description, so I'll just repeat it: Five-hundred-dollar cashmere jogging pants.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Ugly Clothes for Rich People, Part Post-Holiday Sales

Times are tough all over, and even wealthy idiots are feeling the need to cut back on their hideous-clothing budgets. So let's see what they'll be saving on, in order to have more money to spend on fur-lined beer cozies for their caveman-themed Superbowl parties.*

*Note: I was just going to do one of these, but I found so much material just in the first store I was looking that I think I may stretch this out over the whole week. Unless I forget.

KORS Michael Kors boot, $416
In theory, I am in sympathy with rejecting the idea that a woman must shave every bit of hair off her body to be socially acceptable. In practice, I think there might be better ways of making this point during the winter.

Dior ankle boot, $1050
You know what I want my feet to look like? Hooves. Giant, beige hooves. With buckles.

Giambattista Valli dress, $2397
"Excuse me, ma'am, I think your skirt is blebbing."

Roberto Cavalli caftan, $1326
Who knew that those guys who sell carpets out of the back of a truck at rural intersections were actually on the cutting edge of fashion?

Nicholas Kirkwood bootie, $1031
Get yourself a couple of pairs of googly eyes, and pretend you're walking around with your feet stuck into Grimace's head!

Prada tote, $4185
You can not call yourself a true fashionista unless you have spent upwards of four grand on an item that no one will believe you didn't just pick up at a church rummage sale.

Alexander McQueen jacket, $1604
You know what they say about a man with huge, awkwardly-placed pockets: That he has giant hands and very tiny arms.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Cheese

You know what's better than going out on New Year's Eve? Staying home and eating cheese:

Top row: Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel, Blue Stilton
Bottom row: Hirtenkase, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, Cave Aged Gruyere
Not pictured: Brillat-Savarin

With the brand new set of cheese knives you got for Christmas:

I'm still not totally sure what the big one is for.

And do you know what's even better than staying home and eating cheese with your new cheese knives, and also quite filling? Staying home and eating graavlax and caviar on blinis* made by Cameron:

It's bad form to sneak too many bites of caviar when someone else is busy cooking. Or so I've heard.

And don't forget the creme fraiche:

It's white sauce!**

Of course, now one may be left of the problem of a great deal of leftover cheese (see above).***

This is what I would call a "manageable problem."

*Modified recipe, because the yeast part seemed like too much work. Basically, pancakes with buckwheat flour, and delicious.
**No, I don't get it either.
***Except for the Brillat-Savarin (not pictured).