SLS 696

Is Oprah going to run in 2020? Should she?

The politics of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Italian food is amazing, of course. I love this place on Bleeker Street.

Adjuncts turn to sex work.

Holly Madison describes the boring, gross work of having sex with Hef.

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52 thoughts on “SLS 696

      1. Melinda and Bill seem well matched and happy, as near as one can tell from the television. Melania, not so much.

    1. About the Playboy mansion–as Holly Madison describes it, the women were kept broke and financially trapped by Hefner until they shot a reality show and needed more outside activities for viewer interest.

  1. I can’t imagine why Oprah would want to run for President (or be President). And Tom Price resigned. I’m thinking that soon there will be no qualified people available for any of the more wonky positions in the administration. Trump is (not surprisingly) turning out to be a personal bully — Sessions, Kelly, Price, . . . public dressing down in terms no one with any power would stand for.

    1. bj said:

      “I can’t imagine why Oprah would want to run for President (or be President)”

      I think she would hate the debate format. She’s used to getting to ask the questions.

      Regarding Holly Madison, what I got from it was that the Playboy lifestyle was freedom for me, but not for thee (hence the 9PM curfew and being kept on a tight financial leash). A lot of 16 year old girls with protective parents have more freedom than what Holly Madison described.

    2. I’m thinking that soon there will be no qualified people available for any of the more wonky positions in the administration.

      What about the guy who shot up the pizzeria because he listened to Alex Jones and /r/The_Donald? Hateful, violent, highly vulnerable to fake news, and able to travel hundreds of miles without defrauding the government. That’s pretty much all the boxes checked.

  2. I didn’t click on your Hefner link (I resisted, though I was briefly annoyed at you for posting it :-). But, I did click on the Italian restaurant on Bleeker street and now I’m annoyed that I can’t eat there. Off to eat some lunch.

    1. You really should read the Hefner piece. There really isn’t a lot about sex, but there’s a lot about what a controlling environment it was.

  3. Read the Thomas article and realize why it never caught my children’s eye. At that age, they were watching Recess. Classic episodes include the rescue of Spinelli from the Ashley clique, with everyone, including the boys joining, the protection of the new kid, Gus, so that he can get one good school picture, and the episode in which TJ realizes that a box is only punishment if you let it be (and I could go on, without google-searching). I love that show and am sad that it’s not available, as far as I can tell, except in bootleg you tube videos.

    A google search uncovers this analysis: http://blacknerdproblems.com/disneys-recess-was-the-best-social-philosophy-cartoon-of-all-time/ (which is good except for the seizure inducing gifs). I’m waiting for the New Yorker analysis.

  4. Megan McArdle says:

    “You may notice that few accounts of vacations in Reykjavik or Dublin begin with “The food was amazing.””

    True!

    1. Oh good lord, do not get me started on European food. Belgium has had the best food so far: waffles, beer, Flemish stew and chocolate for dessert. I don’t even like the frites in Belgium, though I did like the sauces for the frites. I’ve started mixing together sriracha and mayo for a sauce for fries at home.

      1. B.I. said,

        “My Italian in-laws compares everything I cook for them to German food. It’s not meant as a compliment.”

        Wow, what a demotivater.

        Have you seen “Mostly Martha”? It’s about a German chef who lightens up (in a variety of ways–including culinary) due to her romance with the new Italian chef.

      2. Let’s just say I’m never preparing apple pie for them again!

        Though, at least I’m not vegan. My husband’s cousin married a vegan woman, and committed the mortal sin of serving vegan food at the wedding reception. It’s been over 6 years and it’s still a topic of conversation. They also blame her for “turning him” vegan, not having kids, and most likely for earthquakes, plagues, etc.

        I haven’t seen Mostly Martha, but I will check it out. As a kid one of my favorite movies was Babette’s Feast.

      3. B.I. said:

        “Let’s just say I’m never preparing apple pie for them again!”

        Oh dear.

        That reminds me of the time sis made a typical 90s cake for some Germans (possibly in-laws). The Germans wanted to know if that was all, if she was really done making it. They couldn’t believe that a cake could be just cake and plain icing.

        I suppose pumpkin pie would probably also cause dismay?

        “Though, at least I’m not vegan. My husband’s cousin married a vegan woman, and committed the mortal sin of serving vegan food at the wedding reception. It’s been over 6 years and it’s still a topic of conversation. They also blame her for “turning him” vegan, not having kids, and most likely for earthquakes, plagues, etc.”

        !!!!

      1. Do you want to share any favorite traditional Icelandic or Irish recipes with us?

        Amazon has all of 22 entries for “Iceland cookbook.”

      2. for a mere $47 on Amazon “… Sample such delicacies as “Iceland Moss Soup,” “Grilled Rosemary-Flavored Char,” “Braised Wild Goose with Fruit Stuffing,” and “Bilberry Ice Cream.” Home chefs will welcome the helpful chapters on Festive Food Traditions and Icelandic Ingredients. Includes an index in English and in Icelandic…”

      3. dave s. quoted:

        “… Sample such delicacies as “Iceland Moss Soup,” “Grilled Rosemary-Flavored Char,” “Braised Wild Goose with Fruit Stuffing,” and “Bilberry Ice Cream.”

        I almost thought you were joking about the moss soup.

        What next–peat soup?

        Related:

        Years ago, my American roommate in St. Petersburg had the sudden realization (after many terrible Russian cafeteria and restaurant meals) that when her Eastern European friends in the US had complained about the lack of flavor in American food, what they actually meant was that it wasn’t greasy and fatty enough for them. Fat = flavor.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salo_(food)

      4. AmyP, you have enriched my life with “The expression “chocolate-coated salo” (Сало в шоколаді, salo v shokoladi), originating in an ethnic joke about Ukrainians, has become cliché among Eastern Slavs, referring to an eclectic mix of tastes or desires, such as bacon ice cream.” Thank you.

      5. Actually, friends who went to Iceland recently (’16 or ’17, I forget just when) did come back raving about the restaurants that they went to. Not exactly hidden, just very, very low key. Small places, especially outside of the capital, with lots of attention to quality.

      6. So were they. And we found some of it when we met up in Helsinki this summer. (Was there for Worldcon rather than restauranting, but did enjoy a reasonably haute Russian dinner, and then a very interesting lunch across the water in Tallinn. Estonian for “cuisine” is “kook,” which amuses me entirely too much. Moderne eesti kook, indeed.)

  5. Well, it looks like moss and ants are ingredients used at Noma, “World’s best restaurant:” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4610372/.

    It’s part of the Viking heritage food movement, being situated in Denmark.

    It seems Noma closed, then reopened, and there is a daughter restaurant, 108, part of the “New Nordic” cuisine. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/108-copenhagen-restaurant-review-copenhagens-best-restaurants/

    Sure, I’d try moss soup. After all, it’s a plant, like all fruits and vegetables.

  6. For whatever it’s worth, I had good food, if not fancy food, in Iceland back in the ’90s, even before the country became a popular long-weekend destination. The lamb, free-range and fed on wildflowers and other wild-growing herbs and plants, was delicious, and I had terrific fish that was well-prepared and noticeably fresh. As much as the Icelanders enjoy turning visitors’ stomachs by enticing them to sample sheep brains, horse meat, and rotten shark, I’d never put them at the top of a list of bad food destinations. (I do have a deserving candidate for the top slot on that list, but someone is bound to take offense…)

    1. Jeff S.,

      “As much as the Icelanders enjoy turning visitors’ stomachs by enticing them to sample sheep brains, horse meat, and rotten shark, I’d never put them at the top of a list of bad food destinations. (I do have a deserving candidate for the top slot on that list, but someone is bound to take offense…)”

      U.S.?
      Canada?
      Sweden?
      Finland?
      Scotland?
      Poland?
      Ukraine?
      Russia?

      1. Okay, I’ll say it—the worst food I’ve had while traveling the world was in the Philippines. All the meat tasted like the fish meal the animals had eaten, and it was as tough and as chewy as an old leather belt. I don’t want to judge them harshly, because they have far bigger concerns there than amusing a foreign visitor’s palate. The countryside is beautiful, and the country itself is culturally and historically fascinating. It’s just…not a world leader in the culinary arts.

      2. I have to agree with AmyP on this one. There is a difference between, “can you get a great meal in the place?” and “can you buy the equivalent of a 7-11 pre-packaged sandwich and have it taste amazing?” My experience in Italy and to a lesser extent France is the answer to the latter question is yes, other parts of Europe not so much.

        I’ve never been to the UK, Spain, or Eastern Europe, but my experience the food in the Czech Republic was not amazing. It generally wasn’t awful, but it was heavy and everything had the same spice profile and tasted like something you’d eat in a Midwestern church basement.

      3. For some of us, a Midwestern church basement is rather exotic. Does it feature jello? Because no one else in my family likes jello. We’ve tried, but despite enthusiasm on their part for buying the boxes in the store, there’s no enthusiasm for eating the food product.

        On the German vs. Italian divide, I think it depends on whether you prefer pasta or meat. Tagliatelle vs. Schlachtplatte.

      4. B.I. said:

        “I’ve never been to the UK, Spain, or Eastern Europe, but my experience the food in the Czech Republic was not amazing. It generally wasn’t awful, but it was heavy and everything had the same spice profile and tasted like something you’d eat in a Midwestern church basement.”

        My husband had the exact same disappointing experience in Prague. It wasn’t terrible, but it was heavy.

        By the way, Megan McArdle has an amusing post and thread on American influence on French food here:

        https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-09/the-french-are-spinning-american-food

        I have to give Russians credit for use of dill. Dill is great!

      5. “On the German vs. Italian divide, I think it depends on whether you prefer pasta or meat. Tagliatelle vs. Schlachtplatte.”

        That explains a lot, as I like neither.

  7. Off topic: Wendy have you seen the New York Times and Robert Gottlieb’s execrable excuse for a review of romance literature? It’s ‘harmless’ – why not let women have their fluffy little dreams.

    I hope he gets blue balls.

    1. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but saw the headline and pulled the Book Review out of the recycling bin. It’s still sitting on my desk. Maybe I should put it back in the recycling bin.

    2. Romancelandia is on it. Olivia Waite’s response cracked me up: http://www.seattlereviewofbooks.com/notes/2017/09/27/robert-gottlieb-is-obviously-smitten

      “But hark, what sound perfumes the languid evening air? It is the siren call of sequelbait, and Robert Gottlieb is helpess to resist: “I’m absolutely certain that lawyer Connie is going to end up with Jonathan of the Bolognese.” Folks, he’s totally going to read the next book in this series.”

      1. “The Bond fantasy: a handsome, powerful, wealthy man with cutting-edge tech somehow succeeds at world-saving espionage while seducing a string of beautiful women. The romance fantasy: an ordinary woman can find a man who thinks she’s beautiful, and who offers her earnest support and reliable orgasms. Our reviewer believes these two hopes are equally fanciful and unlikely in real life.”

        !!!

  8. In Russia in the mid-90s, “high calorie” was actually a term of praise for food.

    They were just coming out of some very hungry times, though.

    1. Oh yeah. He’s gross and has been for years. I think I remember rumors about him and … Gwyneth Paltrow? I forget now; it’s been 20 years since Shakespeare in Love.

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