The data is in: Hat tip to my mom.
- The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
- The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
- The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
- The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
- The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
- CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like—speaking English is apparently what kills you.
Here’s me in 35 years: Hat tip to my mom.
The daily rant: Yesterday evening Terri and I are walking along one of the trails that skirt the wadi. As Terri trots past two women, one of them jumps and yells to her kids, “Look out! Watch out! A dog!” She is clearly terrified of this small, mild-mannered mutt, who is minding her own business and exhibiting every sign of being a happy, well-adjusted dog. Not only that, but this woman is teaching her kids to be frightened of (and abusive towards) dogs. Talk about being a shitty role model. As Terri passes the kids, she slows down and dips her head, showing that she is ready to be patted. Instead, the kids scream at her and try to kick her. We get past them and take a different route back, stopping to sit on a bench and have a talk. I have to explain to the poor dear that she shouldn’t take it personally when dysfunctional morons react that way. Grrrr!
Reality blues: You see the clueless on American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, and pretty much every other reality-TV talent competition. The Israeli version, Kohav Nolad (a star is born), is no exception. The clueless, musically-challenged, and tone-deaf all come out of the wood-works. This poor guy is so badly mangling a Shlomo Artzi song that the panel of judges (including Margolit Tsanani, Tzvika Hadar, Tzvika Pik, and the Diva herself—Dana International) lose it.
I’m sure you’ve heard: IKEA has announced its intention to take over GM and sell cars. (Some assembly required.)
Oh, crap. Hat tip to Central LS.
The jury’s in: This year had yet another major change in Eurovision rules, with televoting contributing only 50% of the vote, and a panel of professional judges (five from each country) making up the other 50%. If you look at only the professional vote, we came in way higher (9th place instead of 16th), which I guess means that we were almost at the bottom for the call-in vote. Overall outcome was the same, though. I still can’t wait to see the full break-down of country-by-country votes, statistics, etc. (You think baseball or cricket fans are nuts about stats, you should look at the trivia Eurovision loonies can quote.)
Summer’s here and the bugs are back: I am driven inside by the mosquitoes and no-see-ums. I start looking for a non-chemical solution and stumble across this piece of horrible English from an American company (they’re in Oregon, fer cryin’ out loud!):
Holy crap. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—most Americans can’t write their way out of a wet paper bag. This blows. It wouldn’t be nice for me to mention the company name, would it?
(Perhaps the pervasiveness of TV is what is causing all this bloody illiteracy!)
Helluva trip: It was a doozy, alright. But at least there were no troubles with security, baggage going lost, late or canceled flights, etc. But coming back, as I board the Atlanta-to-Tel Aviv flight, I discover that my seat (booked ages ago) is the last row on the plane, against a bulkhead (so you can’t lean back) and next to the smelly bathroom. I want to throttle my travel agent. So I ask one of the flight attendants if there is any chance to move me. “It is a full flight,” she says doubtfully, but she takes my boarding pass and heads off to see what she can do. Five minutes later she is back with a new seat assignment for me. I am ever so grateful, but as I walk back up the plane, I discover with shock that my new seat is in Business Elite. Unbelievable. They have a glass of champagne in my hand and a down pillow behind my head before I can even comprehend what has happened. Turns out that a Silver Medallion status actually means something! Best upgrade I’ve ever had (and particularly valuable on a 12-hour flight).
I get home to a happy and healthy doggy, and starkly arid landscape. It was still green when I left. Each year, I am shocked anew at how quickly we go from spring to summer. It seems to be in the blink of an eye.
Norway blows the rest of Europe away: It is one of the biggest Eurovision upsets ever (see full results) and the bookmakers didn’t see this one coming. I was right with a few things (Turkey in the top five and Germany near the bottom, for example), but boy, did I miss it with some. I had pegged Spain and Finland as top contenders, and they came in at the very bottom. Laugh-your-tush-off Moldova came in at 10, while we slogged through at 16 (grossly unfair). Since the voting rules changed this year and a panel of “experts” had a 50% say in the vote, I am very curious to see the actual vote breakdown and to see if the panel and the public were in sync.
The Grand Final is starting: Stuck over here in the Old Country, where no one knows what Eurovision is, I’m missing the sublime pleasure of watching the finals and alternately jeering and cheering as each country tries to out-trash the others. By all reports, Moscow is putting on the tackiest, glitziest show in years (though the scoreboard is really boring compared to past years). Sadly, most of the more outrageous entries were weeked out in the two semi-final rounds, though there is still enough vocal shmaltz to float a battleship. My predictions: Germany in the bottom five, Turkey, Spain, Greece, and Finland, and Norway in the top ten.
Israel moves into the finals: In the first semi-finals, we score a spot. As I predicted, powerhouse Turkey, fronted by Hadise, dominates the show and the news coverage. Sadly, the deranged Czech Republic does not advance. No surprise that the much-touted Waldo’s People (Findland) and the utrl-Euro-trash Balkan Girls (Romania) advance.
Pugs rule: Hundreds of pugs in one spot. It could only be a Seattle Pug Gala. They mill around, their plump, stubby little bodies wriggling in delight. Tongues lolling, eyes bulging, curly tails wagging…
His royal highness…
Pretty in pink (and pearls)…