Oh the joy Twitter can bring!

I was just super stoked to check my email and find that somehow, somewhere, during the night Thaao Phenglis followed me (ME!) on Twitter.

This is the man who played Tony and Andre (often in the same scene) on Days of Our Lives. I loved his elegance, his mystery, and his perfect combination of good and evil. The sexy accent was an added plus.

When Tony and estranged brother John Black made up underneath a sinking ship it changed my life. No longer did I fight with my little sister over things so dumb as who’s turn it was to do the dishes. If Tony and John Black can be on good terms, so can me and my sister!

Who enters a room on a horse! Tony does! And Thaao too, obviously.

That’s a fact. Continue Reading

Philip Kiriakis' Face Transplant

My Internet is abuzz today with the news of ABC canceling both All My Children and One Life to Live to make room for some health & food shows staring B celebrities from reality shows*.

I used to watch One Life to Live with my middle school best friend Becky, but it was never dear to me. Though I am saddened by the shrinking of our daytime soap opera family, I am ultimately just glad it wasn’t Days Of Our Lives that was canceled.  Days, recently renewed by NBC for another two years, has narrowly escaped the guillotine of our media revolution. Woot woot!

Where would we, as a society, be without the convoluted and often hilarious storylines soap operas bring to our lives?  Take, for instance, Philip Kiariakis’ face transpant. Continue Reading

Behind the Brand: Koala Care

One of my favorite pastimes is noticing brands and imagining the boardroom scene that led up to it.  In my mind it’s always a lot like the meetings in MadMen…the advertising guys and gals pitching ideas back and forth before presenting them to moody or otherwise delicate clients.

The branding of Koala Care–those shelves you find in bathrooms for changing babies–strikes me as half brilliant and half preposterous.  The alliteration is fantastic, and it makes an adorable if not necessarily accurate logo: Continue Reading

Alice Horton's Famous Donuts

On Saturday evening, my great friends Nick, Kat, Zach and I tried our hand at making Alice Horton’s Famous Donuts. Will was there too.

The batter whipped together in no time, and I was super careful to follow the instructions to a t. Not privy to the secrets of donut-making, I was careful to avoid any obvious mistakes (such as not sifting the flour).

My best friend g. bakes by throwing all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. I was glad she wasn’t there to watch as I obsessively measured and sifted and remeasured and, well, I didn’t sift again. Continue Reading

The Days of Our Lives Drinking Game

I’ve had Days of Our Lives on the brain all morning, partly because I posted Alice Horton’s Famous Donut recipe yesterday, and partly because I couldn’t sleep last night and finally resorted to letting the Days storyline do the trick.

That’s one of the nice things about soap operas; you don’t worry about missing an episode, or falling asleep in the middle. And it moves slowly enough that it will actually put you to sleep.

I’m having some of my fellow die-hard Days of Our Lives fans over tomorrow night, and we are going to try our hand at making Alice’s famous donuts. Continue Reading

Donuts, Days and a Dream

The other day I asked you all for some feedback to help me entertain you. That is my goal, after all, so please provide feedback if you haven’t already!

One of my readers asked for donuts (doughnuts???). I’m not one to disappoint, but the nature of the web does keep me from really, and truly, handing you all a donut.

I had a dream sometime ago that I started a vegan-donut-selling business. This is strange because I am staunchly not vegan and I don’t eat too many donuts. Talking about donuts sure makes me want a donut, though. Even a vegan one. They’re actually really good–you don’t miss the animal fat at all. Subrosa, the coffee shop a block away, has vegan donuts. Maybe I should have a donut for lunch. Continue Reading

televisions, browsers and changing technology

I haven’t upgraded my television. It works fine and my environmental nature winces whenever I consider trading up for a modern, wide-screen version.

Ever since the digital switch I’ve noticed that my shows are cropped badly. The Daily Show is obviously not framed correctly–I regularly miss meaningful gestures of John Stewart’s left hand. We straight up miss jokes on American Dad and the Family Guy because they occur in that region of the show that only wide-screened TVs include.

The other day, I noticed that we were even missing out on part of Jeopardy. In some shots, two out of three of the contestants were practically cut in half! Continue Reading

Don prefers brunettes

I’m glad Betty left Don.  Though if this post were about Betty, I would discuss how her very nature (read: attitude towards her kids) will keep her from being happy and loved. Already in the first episode of Season 4 we see Henry Francis slowly realizing how awful she is. I vaguely remember a dream from last night where Betty and I share a glass of wine and she shares with me her revelation: her kids are terrified of her and she hasn’t been a good mother. Perhaps I think too much about Madmen.  But that’s neither here nor there.

No, today I want to talk about how Don prefers brunettes.

Let’s take a look at his lovers:

Bohemian Chick


Not that Don really had feelings for this woman back in Season 1 when she was in the picture.  She was nothing more than a hobby–something to occupy his time and an escape from the pressures of home and work.

Wealthy Jewish Storeowner


Rachel Menken was a departure point for Don.  In Rachel he found an intellectual equal–someone he could confide in and trust.  The first point in his life–I’d wager–that he discovered that he could love and be loved.  The despair he felt when she discovered his desperation (due in part to his lot in life, and in a large part due to his inability to love and accept his wife and family) was profoundly real.

Comedian’s Wife

A redhead.

Following his disastrous affair with Rachel Menken, Don went back to flirting around with the women he met.  The Comedian’s Wife was just that: a woman he met who wanted him and who he could stomach sleeping with.

LA Floozy

Barely blond?  Brunette?

Regardless of hair color, Don found Joy’s free-wheeling sexuality disgusting the way Don was (and is) disgusted by Betty and her, well, Betty-ness.  His sordid experience with her drove him back to the original Mrs. Don Draper, in attempt to make peace with his past and himself.

School Teacher


Here Don found something. Found someone.  Remember when he left her in the car the night Betty confronted him about his past?  Remember when they spoke the next morning and she asked him if he was alright?  And he said, “Only you would ask me that.”  Only her.  I’m surprised and disappointed not to meet her again in the first episode of Season 4.

Instead we find Don flirting around again, and with a blond–bound and determined not to learn from his love patterns of the first three seasons as we have and destined to repeat his mistakes all over again.

Infatuation is not love, Don.  Infatuation is not love.  And infatuation seems to be what you find in blonds.  That’s why you never loved Betty.  The infatuation wore off, and you were left with a level of commitment and pressure that made you uncomfortable and unreliable.

The Santa Rosa Cocktail!

To celebrate the weekend and the return of Madmen this Sunday, I would like to share my boyfriend Will’s most recent cocktail creation: The Santa Rosa.

The back story:

We watched Madmen as a marathon last winter, having only discovered it when my mother introduced me to it on a family trip.  For a month, we did nothing else but watch Madmen.  We were intrigued by Don’s usual drink: the Old Fashioned, and also by Betty Draper’s Gimlet and the martinis that the Fat Cats on the show have during their decadent three-martini lunches.  Also, the casseroles, but we quickly discovered that casseroles contain a lot of cheese and let that phase go by without too much hubbub.  The cocktail obsession, however, stuck with us, and Will started rapidly acquiring the sundry liquors, elixers and various bitters needed to try anything and everything, with an emphasis on the cocktails from the days of yore.

Will quickly tired of other people’s recipes and started to experiment in mixology, sometimes with disastrous results.  The Santa Rosa is his first cocktail creation that’s ready for prime time (though he also has come up with his own interesting twists on some of the classics!).

Shake or stir the following and serve on ice in an old-fashioned glass.  The garnish of a sprig of cilantro adds a wonderful complexity and tingles your taste buds.

  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/8 oz Benedictine
  • 1/8 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/8 oz grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters if you have the large bottle, 2 dashes if dealing with the small bottle

The 1/8 oz is pretty hard to measure–most recipes would just call it “one dash” to avoid stressing you out. Don’t sweat it if your measure is a little off.

How Will created it:

The Santa Rosa began as a way to get rid of some quickly aging but still good grapefruit.  Bourbon was a natural choice for the liquor pairing because they both have such strong favors.  He considered adding simple syrup to sweeten it (grapefruit is very sour), but dismissed this option as obvious and boring.

Instead he added a little Benedictine–a very strong, complex liqueur. The drink tasted better, but still a little sour and astringent.  Will added Angostura bitters, comme il faut (because that’s what you do). He added grenadine, and the drink was no longer sour, and had a lovely red color.  But still there lingered the astringent bourbon finish!

He thought long and hard about what would make it smoother, and decided that sweet vermouth would be good for that.  He added a little bit, and liked the result… a lot!

Note:  In a pinch, Drambuie could be substituted for Benedictine.  They cost about the same (about $30 a bottle), but Benedictine is hard to find.
Also note:  Many of these ingredients–in fact all of these ingredients, will be consumed at a very slow pace.  You may balk at the initial investment, but we find we get a lot of joy in sharing our varied cocktail menu with guests (and our taste buds!) and you may too.