Venice, Flooded; Espresso Still Flows

Following rain and high tide, Venice, Italy, has received the worst flooding, or acqua alta (high water) in many years, reaching up to almost 5 feet on Sunday. But the people are still out there, swimming, kayaking and trekking around Piazza San Marco. Apparently, two-thirds of Venice was left under water.

The Piazza San Marco, though flooded, still serves as a meeting place. (Credit: AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)

Things That I May or May Not Do on Thanksgiving

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m currently in the midst of menu planning with members of my family who are all located around the country, and this year  we’re gathering in Palm Beach. It’s the first time we’re all celebrating together, and everyone will be contributing in some way to the meal. I am responsible for desserts, since I have a lot of experience eating them and stuff, so I’m trying to figure out what to do. Here are some things I am considering doing:

Things I will definitely do

  • Spend several hours in advance of Thanksgiving on Food52 browsing and thinking of things that I may or may not make, but that all look really good
  • Buy a lot of cocktail mixers, mix them, and then drink cocktails
  • Change it up every few hours with prosecco
  • Be responsible for dessert
  • Eat more than I am accustomed to
  • Feel guilty about eating more than I am accustomed to
  • Run in a Turkey Trot 5k (see above)
  • Track that run on Runkeeper
  • Run some more
  • Go to the beach (I’m going to Florida, people)

Things I might do 

Things I won’t do 

“Can’t be hateful, gotta be grateful!”

“Oh, oh, oh, it’s Thanksgiving Day. We, we, we, we’re gonna have a good time. Oh, oh, oh, it’s Thanksgiving. We, we, we are gonna have a good time with the turkey, mashed potatoes. We, we, we are gonna have a good time.”

Such is chorus of 13-year-old Nicole Westbrook’s seasonal hit “It’s Thanksgiving!” The song is a production of Patrice Wilson, the man behind ARK Music—and more memorably, perhaps, the Internet pop phenom Rebecca Black, whose song “Friday” reminded everyone in the world what day it was. And Wilson’s tween songstresses seem to be really good at telling people what day it is.

Like, for instance, with Westbrook’s new song, the video for which begins with Westbrook crossing out the days of the calendar leading up to Turkey day. (In her video, Thanksgiving is on Thursday, November 28, which makes that a 2013 calendar).

In terms of lyrical structure, the songs are basically the same. Oh, oh, oh, it’s Thanksgiving Day is basically the 2012 equivalent of Black’s Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah. 

So, in case you were wondering, Westbrook is so the new Rebecca Black.

Plus, she sort of tries to rap during part of the song when she’s passing out dinner to her Thanksgiving table full of 12-year-olds, talking about how grateful she is. Because isn’t the point of the holiday hanging out with your friends while the actor from Friday dances around a bunch of teenagers dressed as a turkey?

In short, yes. Gotta be grateful.

Open Letter to That Green Pistachio Pastry Thing I Ate in Paris

Dear Green-Hued Pistacho-Flavored Pastry Thing,

I think about you all the time.

Ok. I’ll be honest. To be fair, it’s not all the time. But it’s a fair amount of the time. At least 10% of my food-thinking time.

Mostly, it is in the morning, when I’m trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast. I consider the granola, the yogurt, the fruit. And then I think of you.

Do you remember that day we spent together in Paris?

I dream of happening upon you in a glass case in the Marais bakery where you live, to pick you up and take you to the park. And then, to enjoy your sweetness with a coffee, and then maybe go back for more.

Oh, it would be so sweet.

But, usually, if I don’t go running in the morning, I’ll just have a banana. I try not to think of you in these cases.

And yet I can’t seem to forget you; you with your green-glazed top, and rich pistachio filling. Ooh la la. 

Can you maybe try to get the patisserie owner to open up a store in Brooklyn? Or, maybe you guys can just do international shipping? I can order a bunch!

Avec amour,

Jana

Civil Rights Victory in Minnesota

Earlier this morning, Minnesota’s vote on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage reached a joyous conclusion for supporters of marriage equality. Richard Carlbom, campaign manager of Minnesotans United for All Families, and several staff and volunteers were about to call it a night when they got the news: For the first time in American history, an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment was defeated. Upstart caught wind that there was live footage of the news; watch the historic moment here.

Daily LOL

But if Springsteen or some other leftist America-hater comes on my Sirius/XM channel and I can get to the dial fast enough, I will switch it.

Libertarian (and former Ron Paul aide) Eric Dondero talks to New York about his refusal to listen to “leftie” music. But what happens, Eric, if you can’t get to the dial fast enough? Do you just listen to the song anyway? Would you start shouting “Obama sucks“? Would you boycott Sirius/XM? Would you buy a new car with a regular old CD player incapable of instantaneously playing The Boss? What would you do? Read more about his boycott of all things Democrat in his post-election blog post.