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When you host “princess cakes,” you can’t be the devil

There’s a very foul-mouthed, scruffy-voiced bald man who has been one of Gordon Ramsey’s sous chefs on “Hell’s Kitchen” for several seasons. It’s not uncommon to see him running at one of the chef contestants with a plate of bad risotto or (even worse) massacred lamb. Clearly, this bald man was affecting his reputation as one of those scary, tremble-inducing, perfectionist chefs that produces great food and plows everyone down in producing it.

I recently discovered that this man was the host of one of the episodes of Food Network Challenge. The challenge theme? Disney princess cakes.

Now, I realize the gig of Food Network Challenge host is probably pretty lucrative. And aside from having to watch people take seven hours to create a cake, it can’t be all that difficult. But doesn’t it seem that hosting Disney princess cakes challenges while also terrorizing chefs on “Hell’s Kitchen” is a bit, well, silly?

I hope he combines his talents and instructs “Hell’s Kitchen” to create princess cakes sometime soon …

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August 17, 2009 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

Bravo: Read what happens

I watched “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” last night on Bravo, and was at first confused then annoyed that the network provided subtitles for conversations between African-Americans … when there was nothing wrong with the audio.

Does anyone else find this slightly offensive? Conversations between southern caucasian women certainly weren’t subtitled, so why does Bravo feel the need to do so between southern African-Americans? Can the nuances of dialect and turn of phrase be any harder to understand than the snotty girl shrieking of the cast of “NYC Prep?”

I wonder if anyone else has noticed…

August 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

In DC, things are trickier

Moving from Washington, DC to Wisconsin for a year has made it glaringly apparent that when living in the district, things are simply more difficult.

Take hiring a moving truck (an option I have nixed).  The moving company wanted to charge me an extra $1500 simply because DC’s residential streets were “too narrow” for a moving truck.

Take renting a moving “pod” (an option I also nixed). My apartment complex only has three parking spots, all of which are by a dumpster, and none of which are available. Because the company needs three street parking spots to dump a pod, the district presented me with oodles of red tape (including a multi-spot parking permit application, fees and over two-week processing period) to set aside three spaces to put a pod for three days.

Take returning cable/modem equipment to my cable provider. Like many DC residents, I don’t have a car and rely solely on public transportation. Because taking a cab to drop off the equipment would likely cost over $25, I get to lug a cable box, modem, power cords and more on the subway on a 90-degree plus temperature day.

I don’t mean to complain too much. After all, these are the drawbacks to living in a larger, older city. But things are certainly, well, trickier, without wide streets, a car and a driveway.

August 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

On lobbying and transparency

It’s a dreary, rainy morning here in Washington, D.C., a perfect excuse to curl up and read two interesting articles on lobbying and transparency.

First, from the Columbia Journalism Review, an article on how ProPublica is picking up the slack when it comes to putting ethics information on the internet:

“In the past, we could have used them for a story and then set them aside,” says ProPublica’s Amanda Michel, the former director of The Huffington Post’s OffTheBus project who now manages ProPublica’s distributed reporting efforts. “We put out these documents, first and foremost, as a part of our mission, to make these documents available for the press and the public.”

“You know that these documents will be helpful to someone, but we don’t know who would need it or when,” says Pierce. “At ProPublica, we’ve got sort of a weird hybrid between doing our own reporting and trying to be a reporting resource for other people.”

Second, an insightful piece from Newsweek that distinguishes between good lobbying and bad lobbying – and describes how new rules fail to note the difference:

As a matter of law, however, it is probably impossible to distinguish between them. Both are exercising the same First Amendment right to petition the government. Both have a legal obligation to register as lobbyists. The rule that bars the one Obama doesn’t want prevents him from hiring the one he does want. In addition to denying the president the service of any number of desirable nominees, the new rules are undermining the disclosure laws they’re intended to reinforce, since all kinds of lobbyists are now desperate to avoid registering. The exceptions Obama has made to this bad policy only make the unfairness worse.

April 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment


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