Posted by Guest

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Folks, today is the big day. The first Primal Kitchen Restaurant franchise opened its doors this morning and served up the first Grok-style breakfasts to happy customers. I’m thrilled for Tara and Tom Olson, our South Bend, Indiana, franchise owners and grateful for all their amazing work to get things off the ground. 

Friday is Success Story day, and I couldn’t think of a more perfect story to share than Tara’s. Enjoy, everyone! 

Back in 2008, I started doing CrossFit and based on their philosophy of how one should eat, it lead me to the internet to find all I could on the subject. One of the blogs I came across was Mark’s Daily Apple. I subscribed to it and have been reading it ever since! I purchased The Primal Blueprint when that was released in 2009 and everything just made such perfect sense. It was the first time I had been able to put the pieces together that the foods we eat have a direct impact on our health. And more importantly, the foods that I thought were healthy were far from it.

Before I found the Primal Blueprint my diet consisted of mainly low fat/no fat foods and lots of processed carbohydrates. It was also low in calories and I was always stumped as to why I remained hungry throughout the day and why stubborn weight would not come off. I have always been a fairly athletic person and have always enjoyed working out. Perhaps this is why I had quite the impressive collection of every home workout DVD you could imagine!

At this time in my life we had a young daughter and I wanted our family to be healthy so I filled our fridge with all the “food” items that were marketed as healthful, and I worked out 5 days a week. I cooked at least 4 nights a week at this time but we also ate out 1-2 days per week. There was nothing that resembled a healthy restaurant at this time so we would end up at the standard sit down chain restaurants and eat portions that could have fed a family of 5.

Finding the Primal Blueprint was a turning point in my health because it is based on eating nutrient dense foods and avoiding processed foods. When I made this shift it allowed my body to work properly! My energy throughout the day increased, my skin cleared up, (I seriously cannot remember the last time I had the slightest hint of acne on my face) my sleep improved and to top it off I watched my body composition shift. I now tell people that is a nice side effect of eating real food! It was at this time that I committed to changing not just my eating habits but my husband and daughters as well. That meant cleaning out the pantry and fridge and slowly but surely replacing the bad with the good. It was tough on them and took time but we have been a Paleo/Primal household for the last 8 years and all three of us are far healthier because of it.

Another benefit that came from this is that it forced me to cook all of our meals. We really made an effort to not eat out as we couldn’t control what was going into our meals. Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Cookbook was one of the first cookbooks I owned and I have made the Bacon Broccoli Salad and the Peach Clafouti more times than I can count. I also have the Reader Created Cookbook he offered on the blog a few years back. It is printed out in color and in a 3-ring binder and I have made so many of the dishes from there. His 2nd cookbook Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals is also in my repertoire!

Having these resources for recipes in the beginning of our journey was a game changer. My husband Tom and I often talk about where we might be if we had never made this change. What health problems we might have? What medications would we be on? How would our daughter’s health be? We simply cannot fathom going back to the place we started and are forever thankful we took the leap and trusted the science.

Slide15We saw a social media post in July of 2015 regarding the opportunity to own a Primal Kitchen Restaurant Franchise, and immediately we were intrigued. We had already benefitted so much from a Primal lifestyle ourselves and the thought of being able to share that with others through a restaurant led us to investigate further. We were invited to attend one of the Open House events that served to highlight the franchise, and unfortunately I could not go with Tom but when he came home he simply looked at me and said “We have to do this.” So we jumped right in and haven’t looked back.

The most exciting thing to us about this venture is that we get to be a part of this real food movement. Consumers are starting to demand better quality food and I think that is demonstrated by the choices we are seeing in the grocery stores. However, I don’t see that coming through in a lot of the restaurants out there. To be able to offer the “on the go” consumer a full menu of nutrient dense food choices is by far the most important thing to us.

Edited_South Bend (1)Some of my favorites include the short rib hash, the duck fat biscuit with egg salad, the chicken curry coconut soup, and the bison filet with fig reduction. I have also tasted all three of our dessert items and let me just say you can never go wrong with chocolate cake in a mug!

The support we have received from Primal Kitchen Restaurants and the franchise company have been wonderful. Neither Tom nor I have backgrounds in the restaurant industry so it was imperative to us that we have a good team there that could walk us through all of the challenges we knew we would face. They have done a phenomenal job. The support that we have received from not only our friends and family but the community as a whole has been amazing. We have received incredibly positive feedback from so many people about this concept coming to our area.

We hope to have folks from all over come visit us. Since we will be the first location open in the country we anticipate people coming from near and far to check us out. (Spread the word to your friends and family. Maybe they are traveling through our area and need a great place to eat!) It is our goal to create a healthy culture and community within the restaurant. From our employees to our patrons we want everyone to benefit from eating whole, nutrient dense foods.

Thanks to Tara Olson for sharing her and her family’s Primal journey today. Want to support Tara and Tom? You can follow the South Bend restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest. 

Also, be sure to check out the Primal Kitchen Restaurants website as well as follow the PKR Facebook page and Instagram for updates on ALL 7 of our upcoming franchise openings. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 10.40.21 AM



The post “We Have to Do This!” (Meet Our First Primal Kitchen Restaurant Franchise Owners) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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([personal profile] the_rck Jul. 21st, 2017 12:31 pm)
Scott's response on giving away the crock pot was "Hallelujah!!" We just have to figure out an easy way to transport it. Our cleaning lady is thinking that she'll bring a sturdy bag and take one piece a week. I think the base the lid are light enough to go together, but the stoneware inserts are really, really heavy.

I ended up not writing yesterday. The afternoon and early evening got devoured by insurance related stuff. There's a receipt I can't find that I'm about 60% sure I submitted for a claim, but I can't find any indication on the Aetna statements that they ever got it. I also haven't managed to find it in any of the places I keep those receipts.

Then, while we were eating dinner, our power went out for about an hour and a half. Scott and I decided to go out in search of some sort of dessert, but the first place we tried had too long a wait for seating. The second had already closed for the evening. We went to Plum Market for the half price baked goods and then ended up at Wendy's for frosties. After we had paid, they handed them to us with straws, telling us that they were out of spoons and that, if we really wanted, they could give us forks instead of straws.

Cordelia's pediatrician told me that I will have to talk to the sports medicine people about guidelines for what she can safely do in gym class. I really hope they don't need to see her in order to do that because there's pretty much zero chance that they could see her for that before October, not the way non-emergency appointments go at the U.
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([personal profile] the_rck Jul. 21st, 2017 12:30 pm)
I'm looking for suggestions for story idea generators that might appeal to Cordelia. She says she wants to write but has no ideas. Anything I suggest is, naturally, too parentally tainted to be interesting, so I thought maybe some of those generators that slap ridiculous ideas together might help.

I don't play with them much, so I have no idea what's out there or how to find them.
Hearts of Darkness Andrea Speed
Gay - Fantasy
Publisher: DSP Publications (November 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634775481
ISBN-13: 978-1634775489
Amazon: Hearts of Darkness Andrea Speed

Kaede Hiyashi is sick and tired of living in the shadow of his father, supervillain Doctor Terror. Brilliant but crazy, Doctor Terror sends his son to Corwyn, California, for reasons Kaede can't imagine. Sent to accompany and protect him is Ash, a genetically modified supersoldier raised and trained by an infamous death cult.

Corwyn is lousy with superheroes, led by the obnoxious Dark Justice. Kaede finds himself dancing around Dark Justice as he digs into his father's mysterious business and teaches his socially awkward--but physically lethal--bodyguard to acclimate to "normal" life. Can these two wacky supervillains figure out what Doctor Terror wants them to do, solve the riddle of the villain known as Black Hand, and keep Dark Justice from raining on their bloody parade? The course of love--and world domination--never did run smooth.
Review: 71019 The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Collectable Minifigures (2)

The first part of our 71019 The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Collectable Minifigures review concerned the heroes but today we turn our attention to the villains as well as the citizens of NINJAGO City. These include some of the most anticipated characters along with many new parts so I hope that the range will continue to impress.

You can read the first section of our review here or continue reading below for part two...

Continue reading »

© 2017 Republication prohibited without prior permission.

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([personal profile] tyger Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:21 am)
I am very tired and going to bed now. Yes.

Sorry for such a shitty entry but I know if I stop making daily entries I'll go months without updates and I'm TRYING to keep some sort of life-record so I can remember shit in the future, so yeah.

Nothing much today, domestic stuff and fic, mainly. Now is naptiem, yup.
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([personal profile] elainegrey Jul. 21st, 2017 12:05 pm)
So, i just read about the current state of Mueller's investigation of All The Smoke Around The Trump Campaign to calm myself down.

We have logs from our various web applications at work.
In one data center the logging analysis software has been upgraded.
I now need to log in with my 14 character, must have different case, numbers, and punctuation password, that i cannot repeat for 20-some generations, and that i must change every few months.

And the log in form is http, not https -- that is, all the text is clear and readable on the internal network.

I wrote the person responsible with a request that they switch to https as soon as possible. The response, it's too much work.

I desperately want to sniff his password and use it to log into his email account and forward the email exchange to the head of security.

Instead, my manager is going after the offender.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
([personal profile] jimhines Jul. 21st, 2017 12:22 pm)

Friday still hasn’t seen the new Spider-Man movie 🙁

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Come to the Oaks: The Story of Ben and Tobias Bryan T. Clark
Gay - Historical
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Cornbread Publishing; 1 edition (March 6, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997056231
ISBN-13: 978-0997056235
Amazon: Come to the Oaks: The Story of Ben and Tobias Bryan T. Clark

In 1845, as America is drowning in its own racial conflict, in a time when forbidden love has to remain a secret, can two young men find love when one has everything to lose, and the other has nothing? For Tobias, a young African man, life has ended before it began. Snatched abruptly from his homeland and enslaved into the Antebellum South, grand homes and majestic oak trees meant little to him. Now he is considered the property of other men, but his spirit would not be broken. The awkward Benjamin Nathanael Lee lives a privileged life. His father owns the largest tobacco plantation south of the Mason Dixon line. Ben wants little to do with the harsh realities of running a plantation—that is, until he meets Tobias, the one person that changes everything for him. Wealth, greed, and power brought them together. The same now threatens to separate them forever. The two men are on the verge of losing the one thing that matters: their love for one another. Against the odds, they steal off and embark on a journey to find freedom: the freedom to love one another and to live a life without the chains of slavery. Come to the Oaks is the tale of a forbidden romance—a love forged by two young men as they journey through a land that is tearing itself apart.
([syndicated profile] brickset_amazon_feed Jul. 21st, 2017 04:37 pm)
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([personal profile] sunnymodffa posting in [community profile] fail_fandomanon Jul. 21st, 2017 05:49 pm)

New Rule updates:
-All US Politics must stick to one thread.
-For a wide variety of reasons, no deliberate variant fonts, no emoji in thread titles. You can use them in the comment, but not in the title.

All the [community profile] fail_fandomanon Rules and Information (and Ban Requests): The short version: no embeds, don't out people's real names, don't be that much of an asshole, body fluids are off topic, Mods reserve the right to freeze, screen, and delete the fuck out of stuff. FFA discussion covers a wide variety of topics and has a very flexible view of 'fandom' that includes politics, current events, and cooking techniques. FFA is a Choose NOT to Warn experience. Meme away.

Other posts and resources relevant to your interests:

NB: Meme rules do not require spoiler cuts/white-text/etc. Though, if you want to use spoiler cuts, a wonderful nonnie found a way to add them to DW. Just use the code below.
<div tabindex="-1"><b>spoiler title</b><div>Some spoilery content.</div></div>
See here for a detailed explanation and caveats.

If you would like to be banned to avoid anonfailing please leave a comment at the rules post here:

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Dememe flatview emulator is at (same login as the regular Dememe info above).
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([personal profile] purplecat Jul. 21st, 2017 04:26 pm)
I wasn't really sure what to expect from The Myth Makers going into it. I have a fairly low tolerance threshold for so-so comedy and, while it has a good reputation, it is also Doctor Who attempting comedy in the 1960s and I had not been overly impressed by The Romans.

Actually it is surprisingly good )

I would genuinely love to see what The Myth Makers actually looked like. Doctor Who so rarely whole-heartedly tries to do comedy and this has some great dialogue and comic moments. I would have liked to see the actors faces as the lines were delivered. Watching telesnap reconstructions of old Doctor Who is definitely a fans-only past time, but if you feel up to the effort then I would say that The Myth Makers is more rewarding than many.
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

from Tumblr
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.
a photo of an unborn elephant in the womb - cover for a list of unborn animals still in the womb

Producer Peter Chinn used a combination of dimensional ultrasound scans, tiny cameras and computer graphics to create these truly mesmerizing images. But lets face it… They are still a bit creepy. 

He did this project for a National Geographic documentary that aired several years ago. Now mind that they are not actual photographs, this is digital images in what the unborn baby relatively accurately looks like.

Submitted by:

Tagged: pictures , unborn , newborn , animals
At first I was frustrated that the initial excitement about the new Doctor is so long before we'll see anything more of her. Still got my beloved Capaldi at Christmas, and then a year off...

But an internet friend has written a Thirteenth Doctor story, and he says "I wanted to write the Doctor as I wanted her to be rather than predict the one we'll see on TV." And I realized that I'm glad we have a year am a half to write her as we want her to be before all my reservations about the writing and directing of the TV show have to kick in. I know good writers, and no doubt there are many more, who I don't have to have such reservations about.

And now I'm glad of all that time.

The story is very good. It's called "Be Afraid" and you can read it here.
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
([personal profile] seekingferret Jul. 21st, 2017 09:58 am)
Yet the gods do not give lightly of the powers they have made
And with Challenger and seven, once again the price is paid
Though a nation watched her falling, yet a world could only cry
As they passed from us to glory, riding fire in the sky

I skippped out of the Dreamwidth meetup at Loncon for a half hour, making apologies to [personal profile] liv and [personal profile] starlady and others, to see Jordin Kare's filk concert. It left me weeping in sadness in places, and laughing in delight in others. I bought a CD from him afterward and thanked him for his music.

For the engineer sighed as he studied those plans
And he read the demented designer's demands
Then he called in his techs and he said to his crew
This guy seems to think that there's jobs we can't do
And parts we can't build so let's give him a thrill
We'll build his machine and then send him the bill

I'm sad to hear Dr. Kare passed away the other day. His music and his science inspired me constantly.
([syndicated profile] book_view_cafe_feed Jul. 21st, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Marie Brennan

(This post is part of my Patreon-supported New Worlds series.)

Content note: by dint of the subject matter, this post is going to contain a number of offensive words.

Like last week’s essay on insults, there are a lot of foul words in this post. But I find it interesting that, at least in the modern United States, many of us would consider them far less offensive than some of the slurs from last week — because the words traditionally considered “profanity” have spread through mainstream discourse, losing much of their power to shock along the way, while pejorative terms for groups marked by ethnic, religious, sexual, or gender difference have become increasingly unacceptable in polite conversation.

And you know what? I’m okay with that.

I’m still going to put the rest of this behind a cut tag, though, because people’s mileage on four-letter words varies.

Here again there are patterns in what’s considered to be profane (in the “offensive” rather than “not sacred” sense). In English, the two main sources of vulgar language are religion, and matters of the body.

On the religious side, we have “hell” and “damn.” Profanity is also sometimes referred to as curse words, and that sense is very clear here; if you damn someone to hell, you are literally attempting to curse them. Some people also consider “Jesus Christ” and “God” to be off-limits, because of the prohibition against taking the Lord’s name in vain. That mentality has been fading over time, though, and most of our other religious swearing has become so obsolete as to sound quaint: “Zounds!” is a shortening of “God’s wounds,” i.e. the wounds suffered by Christ, but few people can take that seriously these days. Ditto “gadzooks,” which used to be “God’s hooks,” the nails used in the crucifixion, and “’sblood,” “God’s blood.” The very British-sounding intensifier “bloody” may have a connection to that last one; how offensive it is today depends on who you ask.

Blood leads us to the body and our other source of swearing, mostly via excrement and sex. A lot of the charge around obscene words come from the violation of taboos: you aren’t supposed to talk about bodily waste, so “shit” and “piss” and “ass/arse” are shocking. (And if you don’t want to be shocking, you retreat to euphemisms like “water” or much more academic terminology like “feces” and “urine” — which, because of how English developed, are Latinate instead of earthy Anglo-Saxon.) You also aren’t supposed to talk about sex, so “fuck” is similarly charged. “Sodding,” another word associated with British English more than American, is shortened from “sodomize,” which puts it alongside “bugger” in the categorization of our curses.

But this varies from language to language. Last week I mentioned the Japanese chikushou or “beast,” which is used as an expletive much like we might say “shit!” or “damn!” when something goes wrong. In English you might say something is beastly, but it isn’t quite the same thing. Dennis Tedlock’s book of Zuni narrative poetry, Finding the Center, leaves the archaic words tísshomahhá and hanáhha untranslated, saying “they have no meanings other than the emotions they are supposed to express,” explicitly contrasting them with the religious and bodily references of English interjections. I’d love to get examples from other languages, especially from outside the sphere of long-term Christian influence — are there clusters of swear words that arise from different conceptual sources?

Speculative fiction has a long history of trying to come up with invented substitutes for standard English profanity. Some of these are obvious swaps, often done to get around TV restrictions on language: Farscape’s “frell” or Battlestar Galactica’s “frak” are pretty transparent. I have to admit I find “frell” unconvincing, simply because it sounds so pretty. In English most of our swearing comes from Germanic roots, which gives it a certain sound; “frell” is too light and liquid to pass. “Frak,” on the other hand, has that hard stop at the end, which makes it sound more like profanity to me. C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy subs in “vulk,” which is more than just a random set of phonemes: the planet the series takes place on is extremely seismically active, so that earthquakes and volcanic activity are a constant threat. Since the planet was settled by colonists from Earth, it makes sense that the volcano/vulcanology root would give rise to “vulking” as a curse word.

On the religious end of things, sometimes I think you can’t throw a rock at epic fantasy without hitting an oath built on the structure of “[god]’s [noun]” — where the noun is usually either a body part or an iconic object. As the examples above show, that’s not unrealistic, but it does get predictable and tedious after a while. The Wheel of Time associates good with lightness and evil with darkness, which has problematic connotations I’ll get into in a later post, but it also gives rise to some setting-specific forms of swearing: light = fire, so while “Light!” is a socially acceptable interjection, “burn me” and “ashes” are considered much more vulgar. In a world where floods are a frequent problem, maybe water-based terminology would become a source of oaths. Decay has mild usage in English, via “rot,” but you could build more on that principle; ditto the closely-related issue of disease.

But in the end, the challenge here isn’t to come up with a new swear word; it’s to convince the reader of the weight that word carries. In Mary Gentle’s Book of Ash series, she has her present-day historian translate medieval profanity into modern idiom, because he knows the originals just won’t have the right impact on his readers. To really convey the sense of transgression, you need everything around it in the story to reflect that. If your pov character doesn’t normally use such language, have them flinch from it. If the speaker is normally much better-mannered, acknowledge how much of a breach this is. Think of whatever you consider to be a truly offensive word, think of how you would write about that word coming up in your own daily life — and then make it that real in the story, too.

The Patreon logo and the text "This post is brought to you by my imaginative backers at Patreon. To join their ranks, click here!"


Posted by Jen

I was perusing the Cake Wrecks Facebook page the other day (where every follower gets a free invisible puppy!!) when I came across a rather unusual request:

Ahh, so you want to pop open the hood and take a gander inside the wrecks, is that it, Jennifer?

Well, I'm glad you asked.







Hey, Jennifer, you ever wonder how cupcake cakes (ptooie!) keep their icing from falling through all those big gaps?



We just saw last week how a gender reveal cake failed to actually reveal anything - other than plain yellow cake - but here's the opposite problem:

The cake was blue inside with pink icing.



Now I'm going to show you my absolute favorite cake cake wreck of all time, Jennifer, and which I've been hanging onto for just this moment.

First, though, let me explain what (we think) happened:

A bakery was unable to sell a Halloween cake in time, but they didn't want to throw it away or reduce the price. So instead, they simply flipped the entire cake over, icing side down, and re-decorated the other side to make it into a generic birthday design.

CW reader Shannon had no idea of the skullduggery at work until she cut the cake, and found this:

That's a whoooole lotta icing, right there.

(And think how fresh!!)


And finally, I know I posted the video of this over on FB a week or two back, but here's a quick .gif reminder of the importance of proper wedding cake support:


(Watch the original video here to see them both continue to laugh hysterically, which is just adorable. Cutest couple ever!)


Welp, I hope that satisfies some of your blood lust for caketastrophe, Jennifer!

And hey, for the rest of you, the request line... IS OPEN.


Thanks to Cherie O., Leann S., Jaunna, Fribby, Sarah, & Shannon G. for reminding me of those times bakeries accidentally left scissors, a paring knife, and other various cutlery in their cakes - because that was a HOOT. (And also because "TRAUMATIC BIEBER" *still* makes me snort-laugh.)


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

oracne: turtle (Default)
([personal profile] oracne Jul. 21st, 2017 08:37 am)
We are having a run of very hot, very high-humidity days like Philly does gets, but usually they don't last more than a few days. It's been a bit more than that this summer. Do Not Want.

I want autumn and wearing layers and pulling out things made of wool.

Speaking of wool, I am wearing new sneakers made of wool today, for which I paid full price and I don't care because my poor arthritic foot bones are loving them so very much. The tops are soft! The insides are soft! There appears to be adequate support! They are from Allbirds and I never want to take them off. For the most part, they are not too hot, though I haven't tried them standing in the high humidity all day yet.

I am tempted to buy a pair of the loungers as well, for dayjob wear. (I snuck the sneakers in today because it's Friday and also hardly anyone is here.)

Driving Lessons: Sophomore Year by Annameekee Hesik

Abbey Brooks has recovered from her end-of-freshman-year heartbreak and has vowed that this year, her sophomore year at Gila High, will be different in every way. Her to-do list: get her driver’s license, come out to her mom, get (and keep) a girlfriend, and survive another year of basketball. As always, though, nothing goes according to plan. Who will be there for her as her plans start to unravel? Who will bring her back to life after another round of heartache and betrayal? These remain a mystery–even to Abbey.

But one thing is for sure, she’s not confused about who she is. And that is going to make all the difference this time.

This is the second book in the series. Check out my interview with Annameekee on the release of Book #1, "The You Know Who Girls."

And add your review of "Driving Lessons: Sophomore Year" in comments!
In the next pair of episodes, as Mei Changsu begins his campaign to take down the corrupt court, we start getting to know a couple of very interesting women, both challenging.

And MC is walks into another emotional gutting.
Read more... )
miss_s_b: (Mood: Mad as a flibble)
([personal profile] miss_s_b Jul. 21st, 2017 02:15 pm)
Second course of antibiotics seems to have done the trick, so it appears the infection she had was a resistant strain, or at least resistant to the most common doggie antibiotic.

Now we have to sort out her teeth...

Daughter has been really excellent recently, alternately cajoling me into doing self care ("come on mummy, lets go to the gym, it's good for both of us" "Lets take the doggies for a walk, clear our heads") and baking cakes for me to eat. She's getting REALLY good at baking.

Pretty much everything else is still stressful or infuriating or depressing, but I'm not dead. And tomorrow we go to That London for a couple of days to see the wimmins krikkit world cup final, so hopefully running away for a bit will help.

Posted by Fred Clark

“The scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward” (I Timothy 5:18). So tip 20 percent. At least. Divide by five and round up. If you also plan to: A) say grace aloud before the meal; B) ask your server if he/she is “saved;” and/or C) leave a gospel tract on the table when you leave, then make that 40 percent.
([syndicated profile] brickset_news_feed Jul. 21st, 2017 11:50 am)
LEGO Boost available now

LEGO Boost, the computerised LEGO system for kids too young for Mindstorms, is released on August 1st and can now be pre-ordered from
(USA | Canada | UK | Germany | France).

If you can't wait that long it's already available on for a 5% discount, at £142.99.

We have one on order and will review it as soon as we can.

© 2017 Republication prohibited without prior permission.

People looking for extremist Islamist propaganda will be shown clips denouncing terrorism instead.
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
([personal profile] liv Jul. 21st, 2017 01:24 pm)
Here we go, the middle of the list hits A song that you would love played at your wedding.

As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. wedding reminiscences plus video )

I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.

It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.

I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As [personal profile] elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual hey we're just doing this as long as we both like it relationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.

I think it was [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions our wedding day but primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you

I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?
elisi: (Bill curious)
([personal profile] elisi Jul. 21st, 2017 01:22 pm)
A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the one and only [profile] kerkevik2014.

May you have a lovely lovely day and may the Goddess bless you. <3
sabotabby: (lolmarx)
([personal profile] sabotabby Jul. 21st, 2017 01:58 pm)
We're in Odessa, about a 10 min walk from the !!!!!!!! Potemkin Steps.

Expect incoming photos for every day I'm here.

Srsly, I didn't even like Battleship Potemkin but I don't think a movie needs to be enjoyable to be arguably the most important movie ever made, with which we would not have our current cinematic vocabulary. I mean. I teach film. So naturally the first thing I had to do (well, after we had lunch and coffee because we were up at 4 am to catch the flight from Lviv) was brave the 30°C weather to bring you the following:

Don't mind me, I'll be over here geeking out hard/memorizing the angles in the scene so that I can do horrible imitations of them amongst all the tourists.
esteliel: (Default)
([personal profile] esteliel Jul. 21st, 2017 11:21 am)
So umm, because I have never heard of moderation I actually went back to the National to see the first part of Angels in America again, live in the audience as they broadcast it (which was a fun experience with all these giant cameras around us, fortunately I sat in the second row so no audience reaction shots, phew). :D I have a ticket to see the second part at the NT as well when they film it next week, but damn it, I'll never see this play done so well again in my lifetime, and also I very much prefer paying £15 for a seat here to $100 on Broadway.

I came back home completely starved and barely managed to post the next chapter of my slavefic, which I finished editing before I left for the theatre. I also wrote a few paragraphs of chapter 51, so all in all a very good day. I'm still happy about the 50 chapters milestone, even if I still have no idea how many more it'll take - there aren't that many plot points left, but quite some emotional development, so hopefully I'll get to finish this year...

Read more... )
Day 17 (LJ|DW): [personal profile] sylvanwitch, [personal profile] navaan, [personal profile] miss_morland , [personal profile] shopfront , [personal profile] tinx_r, [personal profile] iberiandoctor, [ profile] trobadora, [personal profile] auroracloud and me (8 out of 10)
Day 18 (LJ|DW): [personal profile] sylvanwitch, [personal profile] navaan, [personal profile] miss_morland , [personal profile] shopfront , [personal profile] iberiandoctor, [ profile] trobadora, [personal profile] auroracloud and me (7 out of 10)
Day 19 (LJ|DW): [personal profile] sylvanwitch, [personal profile] navaan, [ profile] trobadora, [personal profile] auroracloud and me (5 out of 10)

Let me know if I missed you or you wrote something, but haven't checked-in yet! Likewise, feel free to join in at any time!
oursin: Illustration from medieval manuscript of the female physician Trotula of Salerno holding up a urine flask (trotula)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 21st, 2017 11:29 am)

Re the current hoohah about Boots the chemist charging well over the odds for the morning after pill, I was going to comment - when posting the link on various bits of social media, to go 'and Edwin Brooks must be spinning in his grave!'

Brooks was the MP who put through the sometimes overlooked but significant 1966 Family Planning Act: as discussed in that post I did some while back on 'why birth control is free under the NHS'.

However, I discovered from googling that - as far as one can tell from The Usual Sources - Brooks is still alive, but moved to Australia. I am profoundly shocked that the Wikipedia entry, under his political achievements, doesn't include that act. We wonder if, in the long history of reproductive rights, it got overshadowed by the more controversial 1967 Abortion Act, or, by the final incorporation of contraception into the NHS in 1974. If I had time on my hands (which at this moment I don't) I would go and try and edit that entry.

*I think this is a quotation from someone? but I can't find a source.

odessie: (Default)
([personal profile] odessie Jul. 21st, 2017 10:19 am)
Hello!  Thank you, lovely person making a vid for me!

This is a placeholder letter because I'm currently on a canal boat in the wilds of...actually, I don't even know exactly where we are, the Midlands possibly, or the North-West of England...?  We were in Staffordshire a day or two ago but don't know if we still are...

Anyway, I've got extremely limited internet access at the mo but have managed to hop briefly on some wi-fi to do a quick sign-up and post this, but a proper letter will have to wait until I get back, sorry!  I should be able to post it on Sunday 20 July, Monday at the latest.

In the meantime, if you've got an idea you're excited about, please go ahead and start making it and don't worry at all about my requests or tastes etc!  I don't have really specific ideas I'm dying to request anyway.  If however you're the kind of person who prefers a bit more to go on or needs some inspiration, I'll try to get up a letter with some more details as soon as I can.

For the interested, my requests are:

Call the Midwife (TV)
Holes (2003)
Jane Eyre (2011)
Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Vera (TV)
lost_spook: (Default)
([personal profile] lost_spook Jul. 21st, 2017 09:46 am)
... to [personal profile] grondfic and [personal profile] kerkevik_2014! I hope you both have an excellent day!
torachan: arale from dr slump with a huge grin on her face (arale)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 21st, 2017 01:39 am)
1. My mom called me this afternoon and said her husband was having problems with his computer, could I come over and fix it and she'd give me money off the rent if I did. Well, that's always good incentive, but especially considering we just had $1500 in car repairs, I rushed right over. :p And it was an easy fix, so I probably spent more time driving over there in lunchtime traffic than actually spent at his computer.

2. I finally got the last of the twelve memories in Zelda, and now there's another final memory to get. I played for quite a while today but I don't even know what all I did. Mostly wander around central Hyrule and kill Guardians in hopes of getting some damn ancient cores, but I killed like ten or more and only one dropped a core. I need three more cores to upgrade the last piece of my guardian armor! I also randomly found the Tingle tights even though I wasn't even looking for them. Oh, and I played some of the Trial of the Sword, but I died and then decided to do something else for a while.

3. Jasper is getting so big! He's almost nine months and he's pretty much as big as Chloe now, maybe even a little bigger.

([syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed Jul. 21st, 2017 08:00 am)

Posted by Carrie S

Their Finest is a British movie that had limited release in the USA. If, like me, you missed it in theaters, you can see it now on iTunes. This movie is slow and matter-of-fact but it snuck up on me and had me bawling my eyes out by the end. It’s billed as a romantic comedy, but due to a plot development near the end and a significant amount of tragedy it’s better described as a drama. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but here’s one I know none of you will mind:

There are two dogs in the movie, and they both end up fine. One of them ends up adopted by a strict but fond Helen McCory. We should all be so lucky.

Their Finest is a movie about a woman who makes a movie. Catrin, played by Gemma Arterton, gets a job helping to write a propaganda film (The Nancy Starling) in London during the Blitz. She’s supposed to provide the women’s touch on a film that, by order of the government, is to broadcast a sense of “authenticity and optimism.” Her co-worker, Buckley, is cynical and sexist but also very good at making a coherent story out of almost anything.

Buckley is played by Sam Claflin. Sam is one of the prettiest men ever to live, and as an actor he has perfected the art of wordlessly broadcasting intense and unrequited longing. It’s a relief that he spends the movie under an unfortunate, though period appropriate, mustache, as otherwise I would have spent the entire movie staring at him in a trance. He’s sardonic and bitter and funny and horrible and has fantastic chemistry with Gemma Atherton.

Catrin and Buckley typing side by side
Smart is Sexy!

Gemma plays Catrin, our heroine, and she is simply perfect. Whether she’s standing perfectly still or walking and talking very quickly across a set, she simultaneously broadcasts vulnerability and steeliness. In keeping with all opposites-attract type romances, Catrin and Buckley constantly look like they can’t decide whether to strangle one another or just start ripping off each other’s clothes in the middle of the office.

Back to the plot: Catrin meets middle-aged twin sisters, Rose and Lily, who took part in the evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk. They stole their drunken father’s boat, but never made it to Dunkirk because the engine gave out. They got a tow home from a bigger ship and took some of the soldiers from that (overcrowded) ship. One had a dog in his kit bag, and another, who was French, tried to kiss Lily.

Catrin brings this story, minus a few details, to the movie people, who are thrilled. “It has authenticity, optimism, AND A DOG!” one of them crows. Soon she and Buckley are writing non-stop as the Rose and Lily of The Nancy Starling become pretty young women, their abusive drunk father becomes a funny drunk uncle, a fictional love triangle forms around the fictional Rose, and the dog has a stirring action scene.

There’s just so much to unpack in this movie, which is quiet and slow (at about two hours, it felt like more) and restrained in the most British way but which tackles sexism, the war, grief, friendship between women, the creative process, the art and business of making movies, and some very nice hats. Helen McCrory does what she always does, namely takes a small role and simply walks away with the movie entirely. Bill Nighy promises Catrin that “Between you and I, we’ll have them weeping in the aisles” and then delivers on that promise. The whole cast has a chemistry which manages to progress from mass antagonism to a sense of comfortable familiarity. The actors who play actors combine certain narcissism with real warmth. When Bill Nighy sings a song with the line, “Will ye go lassie, go/and we’ll all go together,” to the cast, they feel like a real family, truly at ease with one another, and truly comforted during dangerous times by each other’s company.

Throughout is presence of war. Although this film is very funny in a deadpan way, I was surprised to see how many people have described it as a romantic comedy. It doesn’t have a romantic comedy ending, and anything funny transpires against a terrifying background. At one point Catrin has to literally step over corpses to get to her flat. “I’ll be alright after a cup of tea,” she tells her husband, only to be informed that the water main is out, a development that even the stoic Catrin cannot tolerate with equanimity. The making of The Nancy Starling is serious business that might affect the course of the war, and the war takes such a toll that at one point they fear that they’ve run out of enough people to finish it.

Towards the end of the movie, something happens that could make the viewer feel cheated. I felt shocked and sad, but not cheated, and here’s why:

  • The movie takes the time to follow through the ramifications of the event.
  • An arc has, for all intents and purposes, been resolved.
  • The movie has been hinting all along that all kinds of unforeseen events can and do happen, whether they be the result of bombs, guns, or, in one character’s case, being hit by a tram while on leave. Death is sudden and arbitrary. This is a theme all throughout the movie so when it causes a sudden tonal and plot twist, it feel both shocking and inevitable.

This movie was marketed as a romantic comedy, and up to a point it has the structure of one – very attractive people, the unappreciative husband, the witty banter, the chemistry, opposites attracting, etc. However, one of the running themes of the movie is that the movie within the movie keeps having different agendas and themes tacked on to it. The Nancy Starling is an action movie and a war movie, it’s a love story, it has comedy and tragedy, it’s meant to inspire America to join the war, and it’s meant to motivate the British to keep fighting. That’s not even a complete list of all the jobs that the poor Nancy Starling is expected to do. Through the writing of this film, Catrin is insistent that the film is, at its core, the story of Lily and Rose.

The Rose and Lily of the movie within the movie, piloting the boat
The fictional version of Rose and Lily

Similarly, Their Finest is marketed as a romantic comedy, but at its core it’s not the story of one couple or another. It’s consistently Catrin’s story. This means that while many characters undergo significant arcs, Catrin’s arc is the only one that matters and…

it requires her being alone for a while. Buckley dies so that from a character arc perspective we can see Catrin face being alone and independent instead of bouncing from one relationship to a volatile man to another. Basically he’s fridged for feminism.

The movie is also an ode to the women who kept Britain running during the war. They are paid less than men, they are resented and feared by men, and yet they are expected to manage the impossible. When Catrin finally goes to a screening of The Nancy Starling, she sits by an older woman who weeps copiously through the movie and explains that she’s seen it five times. “It’s our picture isn’t it?” she says, patting Catrin on the hand, “They’re our girls.”

I cried like a baby.

Their Finest is available for streaming/purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google:Play, & iTunes.



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