* I've been trying for a while to get a screen grab of the commercial for new One a Day Teen Advantage Complete Multivitamins for Boys and Girls, but am going to have to explain it without one. Have you seen it? I never pay attention to the beginning of the ad, but toward the end there's suddenly a split-screen of a teenage boy holding a big sign that says "HEALTHY MUSCLES" and a teenage girl holding a sign that says "HEALTHY SKIN." Makes yer mouth drop. Suddenly it's like the last fifty years didn't happen.
When you go to the product's website, the vitamins' description says that "products contain key ingredients to help address the top health concerns of moms and teens." Which at first pass "explained" it a little--okay, this is nakedly commercial; it's not about what they think kids need, it's just about what kids want and marketing to that--but then that just seems worse (top health concerns of moms?). The whole thing is gnarly. There's just no way around the perception from all of this that it doesn't matter if girls are strong, but they should have good skin. Also, that our concerns for boys and girls as young adults are TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Which is different from having different physiologies and vitamin needs, to note the obvious, yes, but that sure isn't what that commercial's saying.
* My vote for the evillest Sopranos character? Richie Aprile! Cor...so sawful. Genius. I want to hiss when I see him.
* Nerdful stat-polishing: The second to last chapter of The Worshipful Lucia by E.F. Benson, in which Georgie and Lucia get married, is just brilliant. Takes your breath away, even if you (say) have read it 9,000 times. "I am not comparing myself to Charlotte [Bronte]--don't think that--but I have got a touch of her exquisite delicacy in shunning publicity."
* Okay. This is a major hobby horse of mine, and I don't assume it interests others, but I can't stop being obsessed with cooking show patter. Still. Especially as it seems our standards for what is blah-blah-ed at us declines and the patter becomes more and more like what you might say if you had a dream in which you suddenly had to cook onscreen for half an hour and you're just making stuff up.
Biggest offender: Giada de Laurentiis. Not the world's worst cook, even, but during the, say, four minutes that she melts butter with lemon to baste onto lobster tails we get this:
"I'm going to get my lemons, three lemons, and we're going to zest three lemons because we're really going to infuse the lemon in the butter . . . we have got lots and lots of lemon zest here . . . we pour the butter on top of the lemon zest . . . and the heat from the butter brings out the flavor in the lemon zest and makes it nice and lemony . . . I pour some of the warm lemon butter over the top . . . brush lemon butter right inside . . . it's going to have that lemony butter kind flavor to it." Okey-doke. Lemon. Butter. Got it.