20 things middle-aged moms love

1. Diane Lane

diane-lane

2. Cruises

cruise ships

3. Vests

Mom's Vest

4. Margarine

Fabio Margarine

5. Getting highlights

highlights

6. The Olive Garden

olivegarden

7. The local news

Local news team

8. A Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor

9. Shiraz

shiraz

10. Rod Stewart

Rod-Stewart

11. Elastic waist jeans

elastic jeans

12. Law & Order

law-and-order

13. Books

alongcameaspider

14. Tea

Tea

15. Sunglass straps

sunglass strap

16. Trader Joe’s

trader-joes

17. Ellen

Ellen show J Hud

18. Cost Plus World Market

worldmarket

19. PBS

Nova Science Now

20. The “O Brother Where Art Thou” Soundtrack

O Brother Where Art Thou Sdtrk

Finally! A Ramona movie!

Ramona_and_Beezus_Poster

Like practically every other woman in the country under 40, I grew up reading Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books. Well finally, Hollywood has stopped ignoring this mostly-untapped cultural resource. That’s right, a Ramona movie is in the works! It’s called Ramona and Beezus, the Beezus being Ramona’s sister Beatrice. It is set to come out on March 19th, 2010, so we’ve got a while to wait, but in the meantime we can pore over the casting and nitpick!

Now, the girl playing Ramona is some unknown girl named Joey King. No big surprise there. Then we have the extended family, and this is where it gets weird. Since when do people think it’s okay to cast early 20-somethings as parents? In the role of Ramona’s mother, we have Bridget Moynahan (Natasha in Sex and the City), and as her father…what the hell, John Corbett (Aidan in Sex and the City)?! Weird! See, Carrie dated Aidan at the same time Mr. Big was dating Natasha, so it’s weird to see these two interacting. This isn’t the first time these two have confused me by being co-cast…they were also in Serendipity together. Weird.

Anyway, then there’s Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) and Josh Duhamel (uhh…drawing a blank here…let’s just call him Hunk Actor), cast as Ramona’s Aunt and Uncle. Meh.

And finally, the worst part of all…Selena Gomez in the role of Beezus. This better not be a musical! Seriously, though, in this first chapter of the Ramona saga (originally titled Beezus and Ramona), Ramona is only a side character, and the novel is from Beezus’ point of view. It’s not until the following book, Ramona the Pest, that Ramona becomes the main character proper. So that means this could easily turn into a Disney crapathon that’s all about Selena. Let’s just hope the filmmakers stay true to the novels’ tone and don’t go all Camp Rock on it.

Another celebrity lookalike

So I was catching up on Mad Men (highly recommended) and I could not figure out for the life of me which actress played the character Lois, the nervous switchboard operator who was promoted to secretary and then demoted again. At first I thought it was Anna Friel from the wonderful TV show Pushing Daisies.

anna friel

But it didn’t look that much like her, so then I considered that it might be Alyssa Milano, also known as the rascally daughter on Who’s the Boss? and some kind of witch on Charmed.

alyssa milano

Finally I just looked it up, and it turned out to be none other than Crista Flanagan, MadTV cast member and all-around funny girl!

crista-flanagan

Doesn’t she look oddly like a combination between the previous two women? Maybe it’s just me.

Recipe: Easy Five Minute Chipotle Sauce

I made this sauce tonight and served it over steak, and it was awesome. The best part about it is that you don’t need a pot or a pan, just a blender and a dream. A little goes a long way. Enjoy!

1 small (7 oz) can of chipotle peppers
½ cup of Recaito (sauce base)
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Put all of the ingredients except the olive oil into a blender and set to “blend” or “puree” for 1-2 minutes. Then add the olive oil and blend for another minute. Check for flavor and add more salt or pepper as needed. Serve cold or microwave for 30-45 seconds.

This sauce is great as a topper for steak, chicken, pork, and seafood (especially shrimp), or cold as a dipping sauce. Mix with mayonnaise to make an easy southwest sauce for sandwiches and other cold dishes.

The new horror flick “Orphan” sounds just like “The Good Son”

Orphan

I know I’ve been writing a lot of “___ is a ripoff of ___” articles, but sometimes it’s warranted. Take, for example, the new cheesy-looking horror movie Orphan, which is about a creepy kid going to live with a family and then terrorizing them and others, because they’re evvviiiiillll. Doesn’t this sound like something you’ve seen before? Well, since you’ve already read the title of this post (probably), you know I think it sounds exactly like The Good Son (trailer here).

That fine Macauley Culkin B-movie classic also involved car-related action sequences, the whole “Bad Seed” two-dimensionality of the main character, and a frantic mother whose feelings of protectiveness and maternal instincts towards the adopted child vanish as soon as there’s something wrong with him. It brings up some rather unsettling thoughts, such as, are parents more likely to reject and turn away from a child when they’re not their natural born spawn? AI: Artificial Intelligence tackled some of these same issues, but much more eloquently.

Additionally, I don’t like the fact that this new remake seems to be telling us to beware of adoption. As if orphans don’t have it bad enough, now this movie makes them seem demonic.

I just remember this sad talk show appearance by a family with half adopted and half natural children, and before the adopted kids were even like 5 years old, the parents were already diagnosing them with all these disorders and problems, like “we think John is mildly autistic and Eric has ADD with some hyperactivity,” and blah blah, but oddly they seemed to think their natural-born children were just fine. It was like they were looking for problems with the adoptive kids. Maybe I’m wrong and the kids actually did have problems, but I just didn’t like the parents’ whole attitude of suspicion surrounding kids that didn’t share their DNA.

Well, I’ll probably still watch Orphan when I’m bored one day. But that’s purely because cheesy horror movies are awesome.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a Kurt Vonnegut copycat

Since Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors and The Sirens of Titan is one of my favorite books of his, I have to say something about this new movie The Time Traveler’s Wife. When I saw the TV ad for the film, it said it was based on a book, so I figured it was based on Sirens of Titan, but after doing a bit of research I found out it is based, in fact, on an “original” novel by one Audrey Niffenegger.

The nerve! It’s clearly the same exact plot, although Vonnegut’s version is interesting and well-written literature, and this newfangled book is a cheap sci-fi romance. As this Amazon review so eloquently stated, “Read “The Sirens of Titan” (written much much earlier) by Kurt Vonnegut and you will be amazed at the similarities between the “chrono-synclastic infundibulum” and Niffenegger’s “Chrono Dispalcement” — not only in the concept, but in how it is used.”

Well I won’t be seeing this Vonnegut Light romance poopola. Besides the fact that I don’t approve of the ripoff, Rachel McAdams needs to stop playing roles that aren’t of teenaged mean girls. Everything else she’s made has been more or less terrible. “Mean Girls 2” please?

One of the Zula Patrol cartoon aliens talks like SNL’s Brian Fellow

Multo

I had never seen this Zula Patrol show until I was flipping through channels during Mike and Juliet today. It’s a 3D children’s cartoon show starring a bunch of aliens who float around learning about science and stuff, and I suppose it would be good for kids to watch, although I found it kinda dull.

But before I switched away, I noticed that the three-eyed goofy know-it-all character, whose name is Multo, talks an awful lot like Brian Fellow from Saturday Night Live. Here’s a picture (and a clip) to refresh your memory.

Brian Fellows

That misinformed nature show host, as hilariously portrayed by Tracy Morgan, was always a pretty funny character, and he had a very distinctive way of talking. This Multo also happened to be discussing fish and other animals when I was watching, so that made it all the more appropriate. He actually sounds more like a bizarre mixture of Ed Wynn, Frank Nelson, and Woody Allen, but that’s beside the point.

See for yourself…you can check out one of the episodes here! The intro to this one is also pretty funny.

The Chuck E. Cheese characters are obvious McDonald’s ripoffs

munchs make believe band chuck e cheese

I filed this under celebrities because when I was a kid, the Chuck E. Cheese’s characters were celebrities, dammit! They and their fantastic musical ensemble, Munch’s Make Believe Band, were the hottest thing to hit the kid circuit since Howdy Doody. But I always had a lingering sense that I’d seen those characters somewhere before. But where? Oh, that’s right, it was the other place I spent a lot of time when I was a kid, McDonald’s.

mcdonalds characters

In fact, looking at their cartoon pictures side by side, it’s pretty ridiculous.

jasper henny and mr munch

There’s the sexy female bird (Birdie the Early Bird/Helen Henny), the big purple dude (Grimace/Mr. Munch), the creepy lead character (a scary clown in one case, a giant rat in the other…P.S. a rat does not make a good food mascot), and, well, I guess that’s where the similarities end. As for the other characters, Chuck E. Cheese’s was smart enough not to have a character who’s a bloodthirsty criminal like the Hamburgler. And this is not to say that McDonald’s didn’t have their share of interesting characters. Mayor McCheese was badass, but those Fry Kids freaked me out. Chuck E. Cheese’s instead opted for characters like the delightful dog Jasper T. Jowls and my personal favorite, Pasqually Pieplate the Italian chef.

Pasqually

Okay, so Pasqually was a bit of a stereotype, but he follows in a long line of beloved chef characters like the one in Lady and the Tramp and the Simpsons guy.

And while looking up this story, I discovered that the lion-Elvis character The King was re-outfitted in the 80s to become a Thriller-suit-wearing, Michael Jackson-inspired mountain lion, Michael Katson. What I wouldn’t give for a picture of that!

Nowadays I hear (from Wikipedia) that the show has changed and it now has more of a late night talk show format. Apparently, now only Chuck is onstage and he talks to the other characters via a fake live TV satellite hookup. So basically it’s turned into Space Ghost. What of the Make Believe Band? And the wacky background musicians, like the moose and whatever? Wasn’t there an octopus at some point? And what of Mitzi Mozzarella, whaaat?? That scary female Chuck was too much for me. She was creepy as hell, with her rouge and cheerleader outfit. I guess that was during the Alvin and the Chipmunks days, when every character had to have their opposite sex counterpart. I couldn’t find a good picture of Mitzi, but this should give you a good idea of the creepiness level.

chuck_e_cheese

Damn, now I’m hungry for cheap pizza and have a strong urge to play skee-ball.

Update: My bad! Despite her overwhelming resemblance to Chuck E. Cheese, Mitzi Mozzarella was actually a character at Showbiz Pizza Place, and was a part of the gorilla-led mechanical band The Rock-afire Explosion. I had forgotten all about that place until I visited this very handy website.

The 10 Most Popular L&L Articles in June 2009

Please allow us to present the top ten articles on our website from the past month. Or don’t, it doesn’t make much of a difference to us.

1. Laura’s 5 Favorite (and Least Favorite) Celebrity Couples

2. Laura Gets a Haircut

3. Haircut Update: Exiting ‘Natalie Portman,’ Entering ‘Jean Seberg’

4. The 10 Sexiest Men on TV

5. The 2007 Celebrity Superlatives: The Best, Worst, and Freakiest

6. L Word fans–is Niki supposed to be Lindsay Lohan?

7. The Sexiest Men in Their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s

8. In Honor of Mr. Blackwell, a Worst Dressed List

9. The 5 Best Shows on TV Right Now (12/07/07)

10. What’s the big deal about Eva Mendes’ banned Calvin Klein ad?