Movies in Bed: Friendzone

Post by Josh Zinn.

Lately, when I’m not flying to exotic ports of call in an attempt to heal the world in the memory of Michael Jackson, I’ve taken to relaxing by watching simple shows of fun and frivolity. One of my favorite programs of recent has been a little show on MTV called “Friendzone”. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Now, dear readers, I can already hear your cries of protests and, yes, I understand the ennui you must be feeling. Believe me, until I too fell into the “Friendzone” I figured MTV was nothing more than a haven for hooligans, hipsters, and hussies. And you know what? It is. But, as a famous writer whose name may or may not slightly rhyme with the phrase “flannél feel” once said, “In the depths of despair, two hearts shine among the garbage heap.” Beautiful, and in the case of “Friendzone,” oh so true.

What “Friendzone” is is a show about bravery. It’s about shedding a cloak of despair, a corset of depression, and a vice of restrained emotion. Inside all of us, according to “Friendzone,” is a hopeless romantic longing to make a soul’s connection with those we hold closest to us. Yes, that’s right my love-struck lads and lasses, “Friendzone” is a show about hitting on your best friend.

Imagine, if you will, it’s another warm summer night in your small Nebraska town. As you try on the sheer top you recently purchased at Torrid and imbibe in a second cocktail of Mt. Dew and vodka, your gorgeous hunk of a friend Cody knocks on your door. Now, because you guys have been friends since middle school and because he is always there when you have to pick up a Saturday night shift at Sonic and need a last-minute babysitter, you’ve asked him over under the ruse that you’re going on a date tonight and need some friendly advice – Only, the trick here is that the date’s with him!

“Friendzone,” you see, is about taking that next step with the friend that’s been with you through everything. When you think about it, it’s really quite obvious. After all, why wouldn’t you want to lock lips with the person who held your hand when you got Tweetie Bird tattooed on your hip; was there to hold your hair back when you did one too many Jell-O shots in the parking lot of the dollar store; and who defended your honor by throwing his chili cheese fries on your ex-husband’s new girlfriend when she threatened to gouge your left eye out with her heels? “Friendzone’s” mission is to let us know that love is oftentimes staring us right in the face, but sometimes we need a nudge, a camera crew, and a signed release waiver in order for Cupid’s arrow to be let loose from its quiver of anticipation.

Of course, there are times when the “Friendzone” fails to unite two lovers. Sometimes, it seems, a friend is just a friend, even if they do like to rub your feet, always bring you Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, and spend more time at your place than the apartment they rent out in their Grandma’s basement. In cases like these, however, “Friendzone” makes it clear that we should applaud the bravery and tenacity of those for whom not even the risk of losing their Wednesday night nacho nibbling buddy can keep them away from the siren’s call of amour.

Straight, gay, white, black – to “Friendzone” it matters not. All that matters is that you take a chance on romance and risk having your colossal failure and uncomfortable heartbreak filmed for the whole world to see. If that isn’t a compelling reason to follow through with one’s desires, then maybe this world is a colder place than I thought.

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Things We Like: Spring 2013 Design Trends

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

With spring fast upon us, there is lots of work to be done. March is a fun-filled month full of things to do for everyone: organizers who have long anticipated spring cleaning; gardeners anxious to get their summer planting underway; families looking forward to time with loved ones during Easter; and interior designers who are ready to shed the dark, heavy fabrics of winter for something more bright and refreshing.

To help get your home in the spring of things, we’ve put together a list of some of the hot interior design trends for Spring 2013.

Nature’s Nurture

Spring 2013 interior design is heavily influenced by nature. Whether it’s in the form of earth-tone colors or the use of organic building materials, more and more designers are drawing inspiration from organic design elements. Materials like rough-cut hardwood floors, slate countertops, and weathered concrete building elements are examples of this natural, contemporary design trend. You can also incorporate natural/living décor, such as wall hanging plants, to bring a more natural feel to your space.

Pastel Pleasure

To contrast with your natural design elements, colors from the pastel palette provide the perfect pop. Check out Pantone’s 2013 fashion color trends to get a feel for the types of colors that are in season this spring. If you need help visualizing how to put the perfect color pallet together, Pantone has also compiled several complete color palettes so you can get a sense of how these colors work together.

Here’s a hint for next season: pay attention to the Neiman Marcus Spring Catalog, as many of the colors featured on their clothing are trendy in the interior design world as well.


Creative Lighting

Light fixtures have been prominent in interior design for the past few years, and that trend is expected to continue. Using contemporary light fixtures, or light fixtures that otherwise contrast with the rest of your room’s design, is a great way to spice up a room without having to redo everything. A lot of popular light fixtures today use the old-timey Edison bulbs, which add a cool retro feel and a warm glow to your space.

Quick Tip To Freshen Up Your Bedroom This Spring

If you don’t have the budget to redo your entire bedroom this spring, don’t worry. There are a number of ways you can dramatically change the look of your room without spending much time or money. An easy way to update your bedroom this spring is to buy a new comforter, or comforter cover.

Since the bed comforter is such a large piece of fabric that is prominently displayed in your bedroom, you’ll really get a lot of bang for your buck visually. Bonus points if you can find a new comforter that’s reversible! Lightweight comforters will also help keep you cooler in bed during the warm summer months, making this a very practical update.

Are you planning any interior design projects this spring? Let us know how your project is going in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed: Bacon and Eggs

Post by Alison Hein.

Albert Einstein once said, “Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.” Take bacon and eggs, for example. If you’ve ever eaten undercrisped bacon and overcooked eggs you’ll know what I mean.

My husband, Kevin, makes the best bacon and eggs I’ve ever eaten. Turns out he once worked as a short order cook. So I asked him to make breakfast for me and watched carefully as he chopped, fried, and flipped. Here are the culinary secrets I uncovered:

-Timing is everything.
-Cook the bacon low and slow.
-Don’t crowd the eggs.

On the evening prior, Kevin baked a Russet potato tossed with olive oil and sea salt. In the morning, he got his hash browns going, then started slow-cooking the applewood bacon. Kevin made sure to turn the thick slices several times, keeping them nicely coated with bacon fat as they edged toward a crisped brown. Finally, he cracked the eggs right on the rim of the oversized cast iron frying pan, quickly, then dropped them in one at a time leaving plenty of space between them. After frying the eggs for a minute or two, he gave them a final flip, then cooked them a few seconds longer to over-easy perfection.

I helped him out by making some toast, and by savoring the absolute best kind of breakfast in bed imaginable – one made to order with love and care.

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1 Russet potato, baked
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
4 to 6 slices bacon
4 eggs

Preparation:

For the hash browns, lightly spray a medium-sized heavy frying pan with cooking spray and place on stove over medium heat. Coarsely chop baked potato, skin on, and place in pan. Add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally and adding additional oil as necessary, until potatoes are golden and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. When done, turn heat to very low and keep warm.

Start the bacon right after the potatoes are seasoned. Spray a very large heavy frying pan with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add bacon and cook steadily over medium heat, turning each slice several times, until bacon is browned and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Monitor heat as necessary to keep bacon cooking evenly. Let bacon drain on paper towels, and keep warm until eggs are cooked.

To make eggs, carefully remove excess bacon fat from frying pan, and place back over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan one at a time, making sure to leave enough space between the eggs so the whites don’t run together. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook each egg until white is solid, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip egg and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer eggs to plates and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

 

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Bedroom Design: Dancing With the Daffodils

Post by Stephanie Noble.

For my English class during my semester abroad in London, we had to memorize two poems to recite to the class. The first I learned was “Home Thoughts from Abroad,” by Robert Browning. The second was “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth. Today my son found my pocket version of Wordsworth’s poems in my purse. It is just the right size for his toddler hands, so he has been carrying it around with him all day. Seeing it triggered the verses of the poem to play in my mind:

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Even though six inches of snow fell this weekend, Spring is just around the corner. I know because I saw the daffodils in the grocery store floral department. Even though they won’t push through the ground in our area for another month, knowing that the cheerful yellow trumpets will be arriving soon is enough to get me through the rest of March. Knowing that soon, the windows can be opened to let the winter mustiness out and be replaced with a feeling of rebirth.

Apparently, I am not the only one who appreciates yellow this time of year. Benjamin Moore has chosen Lemon Sorbet as its color of 2013. While the pastel yellow isn’t as strong as the daffodils hue, it is a subtle warming shade.

Lemon Sorbet: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/lemonsorbet

If pastel yellow doesn’t inspire you, here are a couple bedroom designs that showcase a bolder shade of yellow.


Bold primary yellow from HGTV: http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/must-see-spring-color-trends/pictures/index.html

Blue and Yellow combination from Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/rooms/bedroom/color-scheme/yellow-bedrooms/#page=9

As the snow comes down as I type this while sitting on the couch, Wordsworth’s final stanza is brought to life:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mode,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

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Bedtime Stories: Ender’s Game

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

One of the benefits of reading a science fiction novel, especially one which twenty-five years old, is that it is bound to come as a smallish paperback which means it is easy to hold in one hand while I read on my side in my bed. I have had several books eagerly awaiting my attention on my bedside table, but the others are all large hardcover books with huge pages; it’s simply too much of a pain to need both hands and to be propped up to read in bed!

This is probably the main reason I picked up Ender’s Game. A friend had once inexplicably given me Ender’s Shadow which is apparently the FIFTH book in the series, despite the fact I had never read the previous four. I brought it with me to Beijing on a trip, again, most probably because it was a smallish paperback and therefore quite portable. To be honest, I don’t remember anything about that book other than its length and its size.

I have heard lots about Ender’s Game; tons of people absolutely adore it. I’m not sure I would go that far. It was a good story and seeing these child soldiers in training, learning how to battle in zero gravity is interesting. And watching the mind of the genius boy Andrew “Ender” Wiggin as he figures out situations is fun to watch unfold. But there’s just so much cruelty, so much that is just cold calculation on Ender’s part…it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Until finally, towards the end, the kids stop being total jerks. Hooray! All told, it is a good and captivating story and Card is an engaging author. But I’m not rushing out to get the second in the series.

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