Thursday, July 5, 2012

Philadelphia Milka (milk-chocolate cream cheese)

I come to the game a bit late. The product has been on the market for a while. It's Philadelphia cream cheese with Milka milk chocolate.  At first glance, it sounds either wonderful or kind of gross. My take was "kind of gross."

The package is pretty small. I think a container might get a normal family through one breakfast. At nearly 3 euros a package, it's pricey.
It looks more like Nutella than cream cheese. I like the fluffy, crumbly texture of cream cheese, and wondered how that wold work with chocolate. It doesn't: it's a real cream thing, not very cheesey. 

Tried it on Swedish toast. I do love Monoprix's packaging. 

OK, ready (I really need to fix my glasses... a cracked lens and a damaged temple just doesn't do it).

The first bite.


It's good! Too sweet, and the aftertaste is not that good, but while it's in your mouth it's quite tasty. I don't think I'll try it again though. I prefer butter and jam. It would be worth comparing nutritional info with Nutella (which is much cheaper). 
Not everyone agrees that this is a good thing. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The covenant of the rainbow

Genesis, Chapter 9:

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I do set my baow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. 17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

19 And God said unto Noah, These are the colos of the fabulous, and you shall love them because they bring great joy and will enrich the earth.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

François Hollande will have a nice view at cabinet meetings....

For the political change a new administration represents, of course, but also because there are some hotties among the new ministers.

Let's start with the top dog, prime minister Jean Marc Ayrault. He's no jeune premier, but he's a very nice-looking man.

While I dislike the political positions of minister of the interior Manuel Valls, he is perhaps the hottest of the hotties.
Education minister Vincent Peillon used to be my favorite. He's looking a bit older than his 51 years now, but he'll do.

Arnaud Montebourg, whose ministry I can't really figure out, has been a long-time fave.

Benoît Hamon, minister for social economy, has the loveliest eyes... can't see them well in this pic.

I had never heard of Pascal Canfin, minister for development, but he's got the dreamy young professor look down just right.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a young woman whose other thinks LW needs plastic surgery. "My father doesn't get involved in family issues". Huh? I think that means that he has been bullied into submission by this hag. Don't let her do it to you. Find someplace else to go! Hang on until you're no longer dependent on them.
Prudie agrees.

Video is from a woman whose best BF in the world has a cuckold fetish. It creeps her out. "Is this common among men?" This is beyond being GGG. So you and he need to find out if it's a dealbreaker.
Prudie agrees.

Letter 2 is from a woman whose husband's parents divorced two years ago due to his mother's infidelit. He's taken it very hard, but is now again on good terms with his mother. LW has no respect for her. How can she let go of the grudge?
I say that if there's anyone in the family who can hate this woman with minimum damage, it's LW.
Prudie says to think of MIL as the future grandmother of LW's kids. OK.

Letter 3 is from a woman who has a wonderful 7yo stepson. The kid's mom is very competitive about presents for the child; Her husband goes over the top, and they can't do the same for the children she has with him.
Ignore the ex. Prudie says ignore the ex. We all say, ignore the ex, and convince your husband to do so too.

Letter 4 is a follow up from the woman who thought her MIL was poisoning her. Turns out she was, the husband knew, and took his mother's side. She has DTMFAed the guy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Letter 1 is from a woman whose niece just admitted she has made an adult film. LW is unhappy knowing this and wants to share.
So it's all about you. This is a great "burden". I call it a confidence, and if you find it hard to deal with, tough. But it sounds like your niece has a more general problem than the porn (although if she's doing bareback, she might have a very big problem one of these days... was this a one-off or a regular thing?). The blackmail threats (that's what they are) need to be dealt with. This is unacceptable.
Prudie agrees that LW is nuts to be angry about the "burden", and gives some good advice for helping the girl, rather than worrying about how hard it is to bear this knowledge alone. Beurk.

Video letter is a mother whose teen son is a speedo-wearing swimmer. One of the mothers in the club makes all sorts of comments about the teen boys' bodies, and to attack anyone who criticizes her behavior. Gross.
Prudie says to get other parents to go with her to take the matter to the coach and to report her to her daughter's school (because this behavior is a warning sign for bad behavior with the perv's own child). I say: vitriol right in her eyes.
(That said, the post 1980s freak about guys wearing swimsuits is very strange... IMO it's all about internalized, or externalized, homophobia... girls can be barely clothed, but god forbid a guy should be seen having a dick.)

Letter 2 is from a late-20s guy who's been dating a girl who has "revealed" she is a 100% virgin in every way. He's scared to deal with being her first BF, her first kiss, her first everything. He's afraid that if he breaks her in, she'll be looking for new experiences.
Well, this sounds like a high school thing. Are you in this dating thing to marry someone? If so, you just might (just) have some concern. But if you're just dating, what's the big deal? As Dan Savage says, almost no one ends up with their first partner, and every partner is the wrong one until you find the right one. So, duh, give the girl a break and enjoy this. And work to be a good instructor. And don't make her go pick up some scumbag at a bar just to get laid.
Prudie agrees, and cites Julia Child as her reference. Huh?
Letter 3 is from a person who never thanked a friend for a lovely invitation. It's now eight years later and she is so ashamed she has ignored the friend ever since. She is miserable and ashamed.
I say: write a letter and say all that. You've already written it. What's the worst that could happen? That should would reject you? That's no different from the current situation anyway.
Prudie says that you owe her an explanation for your silence, even if it's a stupid one. So just send this column.

Letter 4 is from a guy whose wife has an obsessive crush on a celebrity. He's sick of her going on about him.
I say you tell her you've got a crush too, on the curvy lifeguard at the pool. Make sure you get photos and put them up on your bedroom wall.
Prudie says to tell her to shut up a bit about her crush.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a wimp whose new wife is off comforting her BFF rather than enjoying her honeymoon. BFF’s long-distance, maybe-married, “boyfriend” died the day after the wedding. New wife has a habit of sleeping with BFF rather than husband.
I say: “Guys: don’t marry a crazy person.” When she returns, maybe she should find another woman in your bed. Your new BFF, with whom you spend nights chastely talking about boys and the prom.
And just how is it that you don’t know the status of the late BF, or when your wife might be coming back to her nuptial bed????
What does Prudence say? Kind of the same thing. But Prudence says: “It’s not unreasonable that Brenda postponed her honeymoon because of Sadie’s loss.” I think it’s pretty unreasonable, and certainly very unreasonable to do so without any discussion with HER H U S B A N D.

Video letter is from a woman whose parents came to help with her first child. They caused all sorts of mess, offered none of the promised help, and made out that he’s the best dad in the world. Her in-laws are gems, and she wants to have them help out with her next child.
Prudence says to get pregnant and set out rules for her parents. I say, yeah. Your house, your child, your rules.

Letter 2 is from a girl who was told by a superior to fetch lunch for a client meeting. She hung around, and finally had her own lunch, during which the superior came to fetch her because the meeting folk were ready to eat, at which point LW blew her off. Superior fetched the lunch herself. Superior now wants LW fired. Boss is refusing, but tells LW to suck it up. LW writes: “As the new young staffer is it my job to just suck it up? Or did I merely set boundaries with a disrespectful colleague who sorely needs them?”.
Boy. I’d’ve fired you. She’s not a “disrespectful colleague”, she’s a superior. (For the actual problem, why didn’t they have lunch delivered? Or set a time for lunch? But that’s another story…) You will be out on your keester very soon, I won’t be crying, and “in this economy” (ugh), you won’t be hard to replace.
Prudie agrees. (I kind of wonder if LW isn’t the superior in fact…)

Letter 3 is from a woman married to the best husband in the world, except he only has one leg. He gets annoyed when strangers come up and ask what happened to him. More often, strangers ask LW. She wants a witty reply.
I will call on Miss Manners, and say that you don’t need a witty reply. You need to raise your eyebrows, aghast, and say “I beg your pardon?!” as if you cannot believe they would ask such a question. Which is better treatment than they deserve. My cutting remark might be something like: “Why do you want to know about his leg? Can you get him a new one?”.
Prudie pretty much agrees.

Letter 4 is from a woman who threw me off by saying that she likes to sit alone and people watch. I think she meant “people-watch”. Anyhow, she does that when she’s traveling for business. Guys chat her up, which she doesn’t mind, but she’s married and has no intention of sleeping with them. Despite her making clear she’s married, when she finally formally turns down the suitors, they get angry.
I say: woman alone at bar is asking to be picked up. That’s a pretty fair assumption. And just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re not looking. So if you insist on presenting yourself in a context when women sitting alone are in fact often looking for a guy, make your intentions very clear from the beginning. “Why hello. If you’d like to chat, that’s great, but if you’re looking for some feminine company for later on, please don’t waste your time.”
Prudie is not on my side. She says to leave the bar and eat dinner alone, with a book.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a young person applying for colleges who has just learned she isn't "really" Hispanic. If she un-hispanicizes herself, she'll lose this great scholarship she's gonna get.But she doesn't want to live a lie.
Prudie says she's plenty Hispanic, if only by her surname, so she qualifies. And who gives up free money?
I say you can declare whatever you like. In fact, everyone should declare whatever they like and break this stupid system where a poor Anglo loses out to a rich "Hispanic". Racism existed and exists, and it's fair to look at ethnicity. But with regard to financial benefits, I say: look at economic status.

Video letter is from a recent widow who has recently had to put down the male of their two dogs. The remaining female is mourning and letting herself die. She wants to spend all her time with the dog.
I say, this is understandable. You can't get another husband, but you can get your dog another companion.

Letter 2 is from a woman who was semi-molested by a tutor when she was young. She never told anyone, but has recently heard of recent actions from this creep. Should she tell? Answer: yes. Duh.Your concern over the police or prosecuters being able to make a case is their problem, not yours. If you don't tell, you are complicit in his further molestations.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose good friend has just told her that he wants to marry her, rather than his fiancée. Should she tell the fiancée? Keep her mouth shut and not attend the wedding?
Prudie says to keep her mouth shut: he was just suffering from the jitters.
I say, based on my recommendation to women not to marry jerks, creeps and abusers, that she should tell the fiancée. He's made his intentions your business, and you should let a sister know what she's getting in for.

Letter 4 is from a guy who writes: "I have a wonderful girlfriend of almost a year." This is literally robbing the cradle. Unless of course you meant that you've been seeing her for almost a year. In which case, your "problem", her wearing a Wonderbra, becomes more plausible. But it doesn't become more of a problem. Prudie says to keep his mouth shut. I say: she is aware that she is not fooling you, since you see her braless all the time. So maybe she's wearing a Wonderbra for reasons other than catching a guy? Maybe she likes the way she looks in it? The way her clothes fit?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a woman married to the most wonderful man in the world. Except of course he’s got a fatal flaw. In this case, he doesn’t enjoy their wonderful children. He hates their messiness and their habit of interrupting conversations. LW’s mom thinks he parents as he was parented, and he turned out great, so LW should STFU. She’ll be leaving them alone with him and he’s telling everyone willing to listen that he’s gonna turn the kids around and get them to shape up (or ship out?).

I say you need to think about which is worse for these kids: leaving them with this warped bully or divorcing (but even that won’t stop him from tormenting them). Still, you need to put your foot down and get family counseling.

I like Prudie’s response: “Your husband turned out great except for the glaring fault that he’s a dismissive, inflexible, punitive father.” She also says to get help.

Video letter is from a tattooed lady who wants to know how to deal with the threats posed by her tattoos, which she currently hides at work. Prudie agrees that given the number of young people with tattoos, the inked will win in the end. She can keep hiding hers, and if anyone discovers her secret, tell them to STFU. I guess… but this very question makes me think that it is fair to judge the tattooed on the basis of poor judgment. I hate them.

Letter 2 is from a woman who “was passed over for a promised promotion in favor of a supremely annoying, fresh-out-of-college Manic Pixie Dream Girl who doesn't know the first thing about the job”. She has proof that girl is sleeping with the boss. Oh, and her father is on the board of the company (isn’t that enough for her to have gotten the job without sleeping with the boss?). She wants to blackmail boss for a raise, blackmail the slut to resign, or do something else suggested by Prudie.
My take is that you are one crazy woman. And just how does this raise make or break your baby birthing? Two people with jobs can have one child: it’s done all the time. Prudie agrees with the birthing question and the rest. My advice: either plan A or plan B, and see how easy it is to raise a child when you’re in prison for extortion. 

Letter 3 is from a upper-middle-aged married man who’s got the hots for a younger woman. He gets tongue tied around her and would like to get over his fear, noting that he is not going to try to get in her pants even though she is the “most attractive woman he’s ever met.”
Prudie and I agree that he needs to get real and keep his piehole shut.

Letter 4 is from a guy who recently reconnected with a formerly close friend. Via Facebook he can observe that his friend is a red nuker while he is a blue exile to socialist Europe. He feels restricted in what he can discuss.
Prudie tells him to get over himself. I agree, but have had to unfriend or hide the posts of a couple of people, including an old college friend who it appears has become somewhat of a star in extremist circles.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Top Chef 2012 semifinals

The biggest challenge for the producers of French Top Chef is to fill an entire evening of programming. Unlike the 45 minutes of US Top Chef, the French version has almost 3 hours to fill each week. Standard operating procedure is to begin with a quickfire, at the end of which one person earns immunity. Depending on whether they need that person to round out the teams in the remaining challenges, the immunity winner may or may not participate. 

The main section of the show requires the cheftestants to be divided into two groups, each of which will compete in a different challenge, first one group then the other. In each challenge, one or more chefs may (or may not) qualify for the next episode, while the others have to face off in a last-chance challenge back in the studio kitchen. This challenge is usually quite straightforward, like "make an egg dish". This last-chance challenge is judged via a blind tasting of all the chef judges.

This week was the last episode before the finals, with four cheftestants fighting for three spots in the finale next week.

As a semifinal, this episode did not follow the SOP. Instead there was a series of challenges, each judged by two sets of judges: the four regular judges one one hand and a guest judge or judges on the other. In order to qualify for the finals, a cheftestant had to be the first choice of each set of judges.

The first challenge was to prepare a Meilleur Ouvrier de France challenge, a rack of veal stuffed with a duxelles and a bread coating served with braised stuffed lettuce and pommes soufflées. The challenge was set by a top chef who happens to appear on the network's version of Kitchen Nightmares. The guy is himself an MOF and a real tough guy. At the end of the challenge, the two judging panels disagreed, meaning no one qualified and everyone moved on to the next challenge.

The second challenge  took place at the very posh resort restaurant of last year’s winner. The cheftestants had to invent a dish based on the guest chef’s signature dish, a rather fussy red mullet thing. The "twist" is that each of the regular chef judges will be giving the cheftestants a test on identifying stuff (varieties of apples, regional specialties, etc.). The tests are tough, with most allowing for only one wrong answer. For each test failed, the cheftestant loses 15 minutes off the 90 minutes alloted for the main challenge. One cheftestant failed all four tests, leaving him with only 30 minutes. Dumb. 

Once again, the two judging panels disagreed, so no-one was qualified for the finals and everyone moved on to the third challenge. 

At this point the viewer is wondering just what the point of these challenges is, since they produce only losers and no winners. And if you were confused by the pointlessness of the first two challenges, the third one will drive you absolutely nuts. It's a total joke. The cheftestants are put on a yacht rented by a couple of perfectly dreadful millionaires These clients express dismay that the fake buffets they’ve planned for their imaginary guests are just oo boring. There are four buffets: campagnard, seafood, cheese, and desserts. The four cheftestants rotate from one buffet to the next to produce a new canapé using only the existing buffets as their raw ingredients. They have no heat, no utensils except for the spoons and butter knives already on the buffet, leqding to a mango being peeled with a pie server. The result will be a dish from each cheftestant with four different canape/amuse bouche things on each.

So recycle existing dishes with no utensils and no heat. This is a challenge suitable for the very first episode of the show, when the cheftestants meet for the first time over a drink and are told that their surprise first challenge will be to use the saltines at the bar to whip up a fantastic dish.

In any case, as you may guess, none of the cheftestants qualify for the finals, meaning that 2 hours and 12 minutes of the show have not advanced the contest a single step. And so the entire episode is decided by the last chance-challenge (make something with duck) that lasts 26 minutes... 

Tout ça pour ça....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

AU: Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a young widower whose grief is at a low enough level for him to contemplate a future. His stepdaughter, only 5 years younger than him, has the hots for him. He's disgusted and excited. Prudie says to keep being disgusted. She says to make clear nothing will ever happen.
I'm not so sure nothing will ever happen.

Video letter is from a woman with a violent and horrible ex. He's improved a bit since he has a new GF. She feels guilty about him having a new victim and wants to warn her.
Prudie says that anything bad she may say about him will only confirm his stories about her. She says to worry about her future when he again turns the full brunt of his hate on her, see a lawyer, get a restraining order, etc.
I agree.

Letter 2 a woman who was bullied until she left home and moved far away. Many former bullies have repented and asked forgiveness, which she has given, even though it is painful to relive those memories. This behavior has increased with an upcoming class reunion. How can she say she has forgiven them but wants to forget this part of her life?
I say: You don't owe them anything. Ignore them.
Prudie agrees.

Letter 3 is from a young college grad who's got a good job in a small firm. The VP "jokes" about her drinking (huh?) and wants her to participate in a prank on the big boss.
Prudie says to tell him to STFU. I agree.

Letter 4 is this mess:

I’m in my late 20s and getting married shortly to a man with whom I have an incredible relationship. Many of our friends are getting married, too, and I recently found out that at a bachelor party last year there were strippers, when all of the wives and girlfriends had been told there were not. Apparently the men were sworn to secrecy by the groom. There was also a stripper at my future husband's bachelor party, when I had made clear that I was not comfortable with that. I am incredibly upset because my fiance has never been dishonest before. There is one couple in our group of friends who are the perpetrators of all this nastiness. The other wives and I think it's weird that a wife finds strippers for her husband's friends. Other than this, they are nice people. I feel betrayed and disrespected. How can I possibly get over these feelings before my wedding? How can I deal with my guy ever going to a bachelor party again? And how do I stand to see this couple socially?

Wow. Get over yourself you big prude. Why do the men lie? Because you're a bitch. And guess what: he watches porn, too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

AU: Advice Unillustrated

Letter 1 is from a parent with a lazy unmotivated undriven son. Son is alive and living out of his parents' home (after they kicked him out). Do they have to reconcile themselves to the fact that he will never be a success?
Answer: Yes.
Prudie makes suggestions on rebuilding a positive relationship. I'm OK with that.

Video letter is from a woman who had a sexual fling with a coworker who rejected her after their one-night-stand. He ended up telling her that she was too ugly for him to have a relationship with. After pouting a while, she forgave him. He now wants her to go into business with him. She thinks she's over him and it could be a good idea.
Prudie says that if she's truly over him, she should consider it, if it's a good business proposition.
My advice: I really don't know why your romantic history has anything to do with it. But since you seem to think it does, don't do the deal.

Letter 2 is from a woman who just had an interview for an MBA with a sexist pig interviewer. Should she tattle? Prudie says yes. I say: I need to see just how hot you are before answering. Pictures please! (OK, Prudie is right.)

Letter 3's daughter is the result of a rape by a family member when LW was age 14. Her husband has been in the picture since her child was 2 and treats the child like his own. His family loves the child too, but often asks about the girl's father. LW couldn't bear the trauma then, and she doesn't want to relive it now. Husband says to tell otherwise they'll keep asking.
I say, tell them, and tell the police. You are no longer a 14yo girl, you are a grown woman with a supportive husband. You need to protect your daughter and others from the rapist. (But what's with the in-laws? They must know that she became pregnant at age 14, which usually means something not quite normal happened.)

Letter 4 is from a guy whose wife wanted to decorate their bedroom in pink. He got angry, and she's pouting. Just like a girl! He wants her to be happy about their new house again.
Prudie says to apologize but to force her to admit that pink is for girls and blue is for boys.
I say: If the color pink is enough to emasculate you, you must be starting at a very low level.

Monday, March 19, 2012

AI: Advice Illustrated

So I started this last week, but BF closed the window (for a good cause) and I lost my post (what happened to autosave???). Here's a quick second shot:

Letter 1 is from a woman who is convinced her husband is gay.  She's cool staying married cuz she's not into sex and he is quite a catch (other than the gay thing, of course). But her entourage is pushing her to "set him free". Should she? I say: if he wants to be "free" he knows where to find the door. But why don't you actually, I dunno, talk to him about this rather important matter? And make sure that he is engaging in safer sex practices with you and any partners he might have. Prudie worries that he will end up wanting to be "free" in a few years, when LW will be old, shriveled up and unmarriable.

Video letter is from a creepy neighbor guy who feels up the LW and makes lewd comments. She can't avoid him, so how to deal with him? Answer: mace.

Letter 2 is from a parent whose white 10yo child plays on an otherwise all-black team. Teammates are cool calling each other "niggas", and are cool with son doing so too. But this freaks out LW. I say: have the talk, of course, but as long as he's using this term only with his teammates, I find it rather charming and a step in making a horrible word less hurtful.

Letter 3 is from a girl whose father wants her to be an engineer. She doesn't. My take: don't.

Letter 4 is from a guy (I'm guessing) who has a colleague who rubs one out in the company terlet. Should he tattle? I say: What are you doing in there that allows you the luxury of enjoying a full withdrawal from the spank bank? (That said, it's gross. Guy has issues.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

AI: Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from a woman whose MIL is hateful but careful to keep her vicious attacks out of sight. Hubbie doesn’t believe her. LW is convinced MIL is poisoning her (she poops after dining at MIL’s). Prudie says get proof by trading plates with hubbie. I say: if my partner called me a liar, I would DTMFA.

Letter 2 is from a woman who has a perfect BF except he says “super” all the time. STFU.

Letter 3 is from a woman from a troubled home who sexually abused her younger brother. He’s forgiven her but she can’t forgive herself or tell her husband or her therapist. Prudie sqys to tell her therapist.

Letter 4 is from someone who referred to the fact that a white couple’s child is adopted, in front of the child. Now the couple is irate. Prudie says the couple is crazy, but to apologize profusely. I say that whether it’s obvious or not that the child is adopted, LW has no business or reason to talk about it, let alone in front of the child. In any case, LW has no idea what, and more important, how, the parents have talked about the adoption.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

AI: Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from a woman whose fiancé thinks she stinks. She has good hygience. Should she call off the wedding?
First step (it's hard): find a person you trust to tell you if you stink. You don't smell yourself. Maybe you stink.Maybe you have a medical problem (there's  possible person you trust). Maybe he's ultra sensitive (there are super smellers... but apparently you're the only one, so I doubt this is the case). Maybe he's just a dick. What does the Pruditron say?
She says to see a doctor, and points out that he must like her if he's put up with the stench for so long.

Video is from a  late-middle-aged woman whose older husband flirts with the young waitress. He's making a fool of himself. Duh. Service people flirt. It's good for the atmosphere and tips. And a bit of fun for him. Prudie thinks she's over reacting, bizarre, and a little nuts. Prudie suggests professional help.

Letter 2 is hard to summarize, but is quite interesting. He it is in extenso (image has nothing to do with it, but I ran across it while searching and it begs to be published):
My wife's younger sister recently got a job with a housecleaning company that pays decent wages and offers benefits. This is the first stable job she's had in almost two years due to a severe substance abuse problem. While she was in trouble, we took in her young son, who was in a bad situation. We love him dearly and practically consider him our child, and our daughter considers him a brother. My nephew now spends one to two days a week with his mother. Because of concerns about her relapsing, unbeknownst to her we closely monitor her social networking sites—she’s never shy about broadcasting her activities. She recently started a blog on which she has been posting derogatory comments about her clients and photos of their homes. Now she is adding personal information, such as their addresses and alarm codes. My wife is sure that if we tell her to quit the blog, she'll just shut us out. If we contact her employer anonymously, she’ll probably be fired and potentially slip back into drugs and alcohol. What do we do?

My advice? Time to think about the kid. She is clean (maybe... but this is kind of nuts), she is behaving totally irresponsibly, if not illegally, and will lose her job. I would seek custody of the kid, if that's possible, and let her ruin her life if she wants. How crazy is it to start a blog just to bitch about (and endanger) her clients? What does Prudentia say?
Emily says the SIL sounds like O'Brien on DA. I guess both are kind of nuts, with the soap thing, but I don't really see the connection. SIL's more like Thomas, if anyone. Anyway, Prudence agrees to see a lawyer about gaining custody.

Letter 3 is from a mom who is living in a sitcom or something. She knows that some kids (but not who exactly) had sex while staying overnight in her house. Whom should she blab to? Her husband? Her child who invited the sluts? Their theater director? The HS principal? The mayor? The NY Post? Ban Ki-Moon?
I say: Shut up about it. Kids have sex. Surprise! These used protection at least. It was uncool for them to frolic like that, but given the circumstances (see the letter), hardly unexpected. What does the Lesser Sage say?
Prudie says to keep this in the family circle and to use it as an opening to talk about safer sex with their son. Sounds good.

Letter 4 is from a person who has been helping a friend apply for grad school. But friend is hopeless and will never get in, and if he does, will fail. Among other problems, he can't write. LW is tired of working on this hopeless project. How to get out of it?
Prudie says to tell him the truth, and suggest he has a learning disability (because he seems bright but can't write). I have no objection.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from a jealous husband. Prudie tells him not to be jealous. He's really pathetic.

Video is from a woman who works in an office next to a belcher. Prudie says to get all those indisposed by the belcher to gang up and go see the boss. I don't believe this: she can hear a belch from another office (with a wall, not a partition, between them), and hear it over the sound of music? And dozens of others who one would expect don't share a wall with him also are so disturbed? FAKE.

Letter 2 is from a woman who was mildly abusive to her son, and is now disappointed that he isn't as loving as she would like. You damaged your child and your relationship, and apologizing now, however sincerely, just can't make him love you the way you think he should. I'd say you need to work on being a great grandmother, even if that means taking some long car trips to spend more time with his family.

Letter 3 is from someone who works for a large company she'll soon be leaving. Before she leaves she has to write an evaluation of a less-than-stellar assistant on a short-term contract, one that would allow him to stay on after. He's struggling to make ends meet as he supports his siblings. Should she lie and help him keep his job? She doesn't care at all about the company. I say: You may have just been a terrible boss. Companies don't care much about the feelings of their employees so I wouldn't worry too much about hurting the firm. If he's really hopeless, he'll be fired soon enough with or without your letter.

Letter 4 is cacapoopoo. LW works at home and is incommodée par her cleaning lady who shits a big smelly poo before leaving, every single time. Should she tell her to hold it? Prudie says: Are you crazy? I agree. Install a portapotty in the backyard and tell her it's the servants' loo.

Monday, February 20, 2012

French educational TV claims you can identify a person's personality by looking at their hair under a microscope

France has a lame version of Mythbusters called "On n'est pas que des cobayes" (We're not just guinea pigs), broadcast on educational public TV network France 5.

You can watch it (in French) for a few more days here:

Hélène Clauderer, an "expert" from a company called the Centre Clauderer, is brought in with her microscope to tell us which of the three hosts has the strongest hair. She also explains that you can tell the personality of people by the structure of their hair.

She's asked: "Is is true that with a person's hair you can tell their characteristics?"
She answers: "Yes, but first I have to show how the microscope works."

She examines the hair of the first host and says: "We see you have an excellent diet. We can also see that you're very emotional. You speak your mind, and quickly."
The host asks: "How can you see that?"
Reply: "In the structure of the hair. That's it."

About the next host: "Vincent has a hair that would be great for pulling a car. You are very determined. When you decide to do something, you really do it."

The last host is healthy but "is very stressed".


OMG n'importe quoi ! Quand France 5 fait l'apologie de la pseudoscience dans une émission scientifique

Lors de l'émission du 17 février de la pâle copie de Mythbusters proposée par France 5 (On n'est pas que des cobayes), la question du jour c'est "Peut-on tirer une voiture avec des cheveux?". 
(attention : l'émission sera disponsible encore quelques jours seulement)
Hélène Clauderer, "experte" du centre Clauderer, utilise un microscope pour nous dire lequel des trois animateurs auraient les cheveux les plus résistants. En passant elle explique que l'on peut comprendre la personnalité des personnes à travers leurs cheveux. (!?!)

On lui demande : "C'est vrai qu'avec le cheveu, vous pouvez avoir les vraies caractéristiques d'une personne ?"
Elle répond : "Oui, mais d'abord il faut que je vous montre comment ça [le microscope] marche."

En visionnant les cheveux de l'animatrice, elle dit : "On voit que vous avez une excellente hygiène alimentaire. On voit aussi que vous êtes très émotive. Elle dit ce qu'elle a envie de dire, et elle le dit très vite."
L'animatrice demande : "Comment vous pouvez voir ça ?"
Réponse : "Dans la structure du cheveu. Voilà."

A l'animateur suivant : "Vincent a un cheveu qui marchera très très bien à la traction. Vous être très déterminé. Quand vous décidez que vous voulez faire quelque chose, vous le faîtes vraiment."

Du dernier : "David est sain, mais un très grand stressé."

Promouvoir une pseudoscience tellement ridicule (et sans rapport avec la question posée, mais présentée comme un acquis) sur une émission de vulgarisation de la science est inacceptable. Et sur une chaîne publique, prétendue éducative, c'est un scandale. Honte à cette émission, à cette chaîne, et à France Télévisions !

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from an adult guy who is in love with and living with his fraternal brother. Tell the family or keep hiding the truth? Prudie recommends a middle ground. I have nothing better.

I have already spoken to the video letter. STFU. You're the proprietor and are not supposed to be tipped at all, so stop bitching about the non-tipper who regularly brings in a crowd of tippers.

Letter 2 is from a dumpy woman recently hired by a firm that has been accused of discrimination because the men-only managers only hire babes as underlings. Clients note she's not a babe. Prudie tells her to get over it, and in any case, to not show that she's hurt or offended. I agree.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose mother has given her new dog the name of LW's daughter (what's with "Lilly" with two Ls?). She asks: “Should I just let it go?” Yes. Prudie says to ask her to change the dog's name. Prudie's response about Adult Children of Dog Lovers reminded me of this David Sedaris story:

Letter 4 is from a woman with the most wonderful BF in the world. He's a Felix Unger and she is just a bit on the Oscar Madison side of Felix Unger. She is anxious every time he comes home lest a throw pillow be a few degrees askew. Prudie says: “Here’s a way for the place to look untouched when your boyfriend returns. After you see him off, get your suitcase, pack your things, and move out. If you aren’t ready to do that, before he comes home, forget the checklists and just live your life. When he returns, if he rages, threatens, or gives you the silent treatment, accept that his good qualities do not outweigh that he’s a bully who will make your life a misery. Imagine his reaction to the chaos a child might cause.” I can only agree.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Advice Illustrated

The crepes were great. First time making galettes, also great. Thanks to BF for being such a great host!

Today's a vagina Day special! What? That's not what V-Day stands for?

Letter 1 is from a woman who is finally making the father of her children an honest man. The problem is that while they look fantastic on their own, when ever they are in close proximity, they turn ugly. Or something equally stupid. She refused to have photos at their engagement party, and now is refusing to have them at the wedding. The ugly groom's future MIL is upset.
I say: get over yourself and get those pictures.
Prudie goes Star Trek on us and talks about Klingons and Romulans breeding. We do know that Vulcans and Humans can breed (Sarek + Amanda, Trip + T'mpax...), as well as Humans and Klingons (B'elanna Torres, that feisty engineer on Voyager). But I don't recall Klingons and Romulans getting it on.

I can't play the video letter here. It doesn't show up. A Chrome thing. So I'm gonna make something up. "Dear Prudence, It's almost Valentine's Day, and I just know my BF of three months is going to give me flowers. The thing is, I'm horribly allergic to roses, and I'm just sure he's going to get me roses. Those are the classic romantic flowers, right? So what do I do? If I tell him no roses, it will sound presumptious. If I tell him no flowers, it's even worse. But if I come within three feet of the things, I curl up and die. Signed, Roses Are Guns" "Dear Rosie the Epipenner: Accept the flowers, and if they're roses, die."

Letter 2 is from a woman so old she can feel her ovaries cracking. She's about to marry some guy she's known for less time than a mid-series replacement sitcom. Everyone she knows thinks she's moving too fast, needs to make the morning last now, etc.
Prudie should disqualify herself, as she discloses that she married after knowing her husband for four years (but as we also know, he was a marriage-tested commodity, being a widower and all). Prudie writes: "I love reading the New York Times wedding announcements, and it’s not unusual for people to recount that after the first date they knew they had found the one.” Can you spot the logical fallacy? Is there a New York Times divorce announcement page where people splitting up also recount that after their first day they thought they had found the one? In any case, she recommends waiting at least a year before getting engaged.
As for me, it sounds like a hostage/abuse situation, especially if this relationship is breaking up her existing relationships (“former best friend”????). Given my warning bells going off, I'm saying: dump him.

Letter 3 is from a victim of Farhad Manjoo, who followed his advice to check his “other messages” on Facebook, where he found a message from the wife of his fiancée's colleague, claiming that fiancée had an affair with colleague. LW is not too worried about the affair (before his time), but is concerned that the wife will be making trouble for fiancée. Should he tell her?
Prudie says: “If your fiancee did not have an affair with her co-worker, she should know that his paranoid wife thinks she did. If she did have the affair, she should know that his vindictive wife is out there spreading word of it.” I agree.

Letter 4 is from a person whose new GF has just started working again in a job that pays much less well than her previous position. Can LW help her out financially?
My answer: No! You can make sure that you relieve her of financial responsibility for all the extras (dinner, movies, vacation...). Prudie agrees.