Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rebukes and Spooks; Volts and Votes

So, it looks like we’re not going to Chelsea’s wedding after all. More about that tomorrow. As you may imagine, this is a bit of a sore point.

The good news last week was – other than the tantrum Lady M threw when she found out about the wedding slight – it was a fairly quiet week around here. MO exhibited uncommonly good sense and did not venture out without me.

Everyone was busy anyway, getting Malia  ready for camp and Lady M and little Sasha packed for their ‘girlfriends’ trip to Spain. Spain! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? El Bulli! Ferran Adrià’s temple of molecular gastronomy: you know - where food is spun out of thin air and light, nothing is what it appears to be, and as much attention is paid to the vessel the food is placed in as the food itself. Sounds like comfort food in Oz.

  El-Bulli-raspberry courseEl Bulli raspberry course, minimal and yet somehow still unsatisfying 

 

 

 

 

El Bulli’s famous white foam on black base: meant to excite your palate and want more: much, much more

ElBulli__Foam_v1_509_-_Version_3 

 ElBulli__pine nut and cocoa plums

El Bulli chocolate and pinenut “plums”

 El Bulli “mussels”ElBulli__Seafood_v1_489_-_Version_2

 

ElBulli__Flowers_v1_491_-_Version_2

El Bulli pond scum soup, gilded with water lilies

 

 

 

 ElBulli__Olives_v1_466_-_Version_2

El Bulli “olives” spheres of ephemeral olive flavoring. Will not work well in martinis.

 

 

 

“Molecular” used in conjunction with dinner doesn’t as a rule interest Lady M, as it seems to designate “tiny things.” But we’ve been told not to worry; that while each course is lacking in bulk, the tasting menu compensates with quantity: between 40 and 50 courses! Of course, each ‘course’ is only one bite. We could still have a problem: the last time MO restrained herself to just 50 bites at a meal was when she was recovering from a bout of food poisoning – which was quite suspicious and is still under investigation.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be going to Spain just in time to enjoy El Bulli because the restaurant will be closing for good after this season. Apparently even at $500 per head (excluding the Stoli) the restaurant has been losing over half a million Euros per year. That sounds like economics we can believe it. Maybe if Lady M really likes it, she can get Big Guy to give them a bailout. Of course if we do, they’ll have to produce an alternate low-fat, vegan menu each night, to support our No Child’s Fat Behind program. 

elbulliblobsEl Bulli’s peas: regular and “spun” into a sphere of good intentions

Kind of like at GM. Big Guy was in Motown yesterday, doing high-fives and taking victory laps in celebration of GM turning out such a wonderful little sardine can car, the Chevy Chevrolet Volt, with the $50 billion bailout Big Guy gave them.

voltwDriving the GM Bailout: Behind the wheel of GM’s Green lemon

Oh, and they also created or saved 55,000 jobs with that money! Wow! Aren’t Obamanomics awesome!? Everyone is just as excited as can be, even the hard-to-impress NYT:

For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks ... but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

In short, the Volt appears to be exactly the kind of green-at-all-costs car that some opponents of the bailout feared the government might order G.M. to build.

body  Check out that body!

Meanwhile, back on the home front: because Sasha has seemed so sad lately, probably because she has to go to Spain instead of going to sleepover camp with Malia,  Big Guy and Lady M took her to the International Spy Museum last night. When they got back they both looked really spooked. I have no idea what they have in that museum, but apparently it’s really unsettling.  Or maybe it’s because of the book little Sasha selected from the museum store: The Dead Drop. I’ll admit, the synopsis is a little unsettling.

spys like us Spies like me

But it’s just a book. It’s nowhere near as unsettling as the real thing:

bo-the world is not enough copy

Next week we’ll all be back in our comfort zone, doing what we do best: Big Guy will be campaigning around the country, Lady M will be staying at 5-star resorts, and I’ll be refracting reality, making sure that nothing, indeed, is as it seems.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back Soon

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for your comforting words,thoughts and prayers. And for keeping an excellent thread going in my absence. MOTUS will be back in full tomorrow morning.

In the meantime: Good News! Long time MOTUS commenter, Labwriter has finally got her blog, Touched With Fire back on line after being down for a month! Today she features comments on the Won’s View appearance. You should go see.

You will also enjoy her previous post, “Fixed”  which has a clip of  k.d. lang channeling Gertrude Stein - although I think I detect a bit of Wayne Newton. And if you watch closely, at 4:21 I think you’ll see where Lady M learned her signature gait.

It’s a beautiful song (although no one can do it better than the song’s poet, Leonard Cohen) and k.d. has a beautiful voice, I’d say it’s better to just listen than to watch. Kind of how I feel about Lady M some days.

See you all back here tomorrow. Thanks again to all.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Open Link Thursday

Open link for Thursday, July 29. Please keep the rest of the MOL’s updated on the comings and goings of the Royals while we are gone…

sunset-lighthouse-jim-coeSun sets behind the beacon of hope                    photo: Jim Coe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open Link Wednesday

Open link for Tuesday, July 28. Please keep the rest of the MOL’s updated on the comings and goings of the Royals while we are gone…

bobhopeiconHope we can believe in

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Open Link Tuesday

Open link for Tuesday, July 28. Please keep the rest of the MOL’s updated on the comings and goings of the Royals while we are gone…

bob-hope2We all need a little more Hope

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Shrinking Circle of Life

One week a wedding, one week a funeral. The circle of life closes in.

circle-of-life Circle of Life by Vitor Bosshard via The Fractal Forest

Sadly, I must report that Team Motus, (which is really just Raj and me) has experienced a death in the family and will be taking a break for the remainder of the week while we tend to family rather than the tomfoolery of the Royal Wons. We will be back by Saturday.

I will post an open thread daily (consider this today’s), in case you have breaking news, pictures, videos and snark you wish to share.  I know our MOL’s, MODS and FOM’s are an independent, clever and creative lot so I trust you to take care of yourselves while we’re gone.

There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

                                                    Elton John, The Circle of Life

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Write Like...Everybody!

It was so hot and humid yesterday that neither Lady M nor I ventured out.

big butt The humidity makes MO cranky and it’s been known to distort my image refractions ( exhibit A, left), which may partially explain Lady M’s crankiness.

So I spent the afternoon cruising my favorite web sites and I ran across this at Instapundit: “HOW TO BE A BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH.”

It couldn’t have come at a better time, because I’ve been thinking – ever since that Dr. Laura Ingra-ham mix up - about how I could become a world famous author of a best book of the month.

Plus, I’ve always wanted an “Instalanche” and I figure linking to one of Glen’s posts can’t hurt my chances.

Anyway, the link takes you to a totally cool, absolutely free, online tool called “I Write Like” for analyzing your writing style. You just put some of your writing into the box, hit the “Analyze” button and it tells you which world famous author you write like! I decided to give it a try – you should too.

So I took one of last week’s posts “A Broadway Celebration of the O’s” and it said I write like:

"Margaret Atwood"

I’m not sure what to make of that since she writes some pretty creepy stuff like “The Handmaids Tale.” I think she’s a feminist. And not in a good way.

FireShot capture #128 - 'Margaret Atwood' - margaretatwood_ca  FireShot capture #127 - 'Margaret Atwood' - margaretatwood_ca_photos_php

Maggie & Maggie with Pop: from her Blog

Then I ran my post: “Guns and Poses” through and it said I write like:

"Kurt Vonnegut"

Kurt wrote some creepy stuff too. I think he was crazy. Also not in an altogether good way.

kurt-vonnegut 11128361-11128364-slarge

Kurt looks like he was fun!

Next, I tried my post: “More Body Scanners In: The G-Block.” You remember that one, don’t you? It was the fun one where we all practiced droppin’ all of our ending “G’s.”  Anyway, that post said I write like:

“Michelle Obama”

I’m really not comfortable with the way this is shaping up.

2009-02-10-vogue_michelle_obama2 Fashion Forward Writing in Vogue: March 2009

I decided to stop, as I was starting to scare myself. So far I’ve got ‘creepy, crazy, angry feminist fashion-icon.’ That’s not exactly what I’m going for.

Butt, the afternoon was still young, and curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to analyze the writings of some of my Team mates.

First I ran a few selections from Toes book: “The Plan: Big Ideas for Transforming America” through the author-ator. It said Toes writes like:

"Karl Marx,"

except slightly more radical.

THUGRahmImage10 karl_marx

Then I analyzed Axe-Man’s book: “The Impossibility of Dreams”, it said he writes like:

"Timothy Leary,"

except not quite as lucidly.

2d775bb1-ec20-489a-92f8-e2e5b11bc78b timothy-leary

This is starting to be a lot of fun!

So next I analyzed some of Gibbsy’s talking points memos and it was a tie! He writes like:

"Mohammed "Baghdad Bob" Saeed al-Sahaf"

Robert%20Gibbs%20portrait-thumb-340x240 minister

AND,

"Joseph Goebbels"

robert_gibbs goebbels1

Since I was on a roll, I decided to analyze Lady M’s Princeton thesis (it’s apparently the only thing she has ever written). The results indicated MO writes like:

“www.bestdissertation.com”

michelle-obama-princetonLady M’s Princeton graduation photo: pre-World-Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™

I read the whole thesis, and I think I’d have asked for a refund, although she did graduate. It does make you wonder just a bit about the cost of an Ivy League education.

Butt the biggest surprise came when I analyzed passages from Big Guy’s 3 books (that’s right, he has three books to his credit: 2 of them autobiographies!): “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream,” and “Change We Can Believe In:  Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise.” Whew! Those titles alone are a mouthful! No wonder he needs TOTUS.

1-Obama “Dreams from My Father” or from somewhere

After a long analysis, the results came back and said definitively that Big Guy writes like:

"William Ayers"

032408ayerswilliam william_ayers_241

That one really surprised me, because Bill Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood. I didn’t think Big Guy even knew him well enough to recognize him on the street let alone learn his writing style.

I should have stopped there, but I was having so much fun I decided to try one more: a short chapter from the novel I’m working on: totally fictional, not based upon any person living or dead and – hopefully -  a future best book of the month:

His first lunch with her was at the Big White House. Her maid took him to the garden in the back. He sat at a long wooden table with his back to the main house. She came out a few minutes later and sat across from him. They did not speak.

Her gardeners brought baskets of fruit from the garden and bottles of warm red wine. They piled the fruit in the center of the table and placed a bottle of wine next to each of them. She moved closer to the pile of fruit.

They filled their bellies, then he leaned back under the hot sun and drifted off to sleep, remembering Spain in summer and that night in Chicago. When he awoke, she and the food were gone.

It said I write like -YIKES! …

"Stephen King"

Stephen-King-2max-thumb Stephen%20King%20-%20The%20Dark%20Half

OMG, OMG, OMG! Maybe this really is just a nightmare!

Oh well, maybe I’ll get an Instalanche.