Saturday, July 31, 2010

In Baseball News...

As updated through Twitter over the course of the last couple of days in ascending order (oldest post first, newest post last).

Sportsgirlpa Nice job #Madson. I trust you more than #Lidge!!!!! YAY Phillies!!!!! :-) #phillies WOO!!!

PhllyPhnPhrvr Can someone please explain to me how Oswalt is better than Happ? #phillies #AmaroAtItAgain  

RT @bullpen_talk Roy #Oswalt #trade will be last big move of 2010 #phillies #astros #happ #tradedeadline #mlb

It's a conspiracy- first #CliffLee now #JAHapp. #Boo @philadelphiaphillies... #Astros acquire #Happ via web from Cherry Hill, NJ 

May the career of #J.A.Happ as a #PhiladelphiaPhillies pitcher rest in peace! I'll miss u #Happ! :(

Swift5648 Remember 08' when the Phils were 79-0 when leading after the 7th. I miss that. #Phillies  

RT @PhilliesDoll The #Phillies are 2.5 behind the Braves in the NL East, 1.5 behind the Giants for the wild card lead, and 10 games over .500. Wooo!

Give up Lidge not my Happy guy Happ! :( U almost make me hate u! RT @Phillies Bodley: Oswalt deal is redemption 4 Phils

RT @CSNPhilly Roy Oswalt's debut. Have a question for Ricky Bottalico on Pregame Live? Post your take here, and tune in at...

RT @CSNPhilly As far as Jayson Werth's future with the Phillies is concerned, the writing might be on the wall...

half-heartedly watchin @Phillies-Not the same w/o #Happ! :( Hope hes pitchin well 4 #Astros tonight! Haha #Oswalt said WTF after bad pitch.

PhllyPhnPhrvr Ibanez's hitting streak seems to correspond to the #Phillies' winning streak. Anyone got the team's record when Ibanez gets a hit?
PhllyPhnPhrvr Anyone remember what Lee's first pitch as a Philly was? Didn't think so. #phillies #dontworryaboutit 

PhllyPhnPhrvr I think he's gonna need more than one. RT @jasonstrohm: Someone get Roy a beer. #phillies

@PhilaPhillies game is over!Pure #torture!Not just b/c no #Happ,but #Oswalt sucked!Lose 8-1 vs @Nationals.Was this trade really a good idea?

#Oswalt boo @Phillies lose 8-1Commenter/old Phillie #RickyBottalico said"Must b hard 2 come in2 new club¬ no any1"Must b y #Happ is good (Search "J.A. Happ")

RT @Phillies Oswalt struggles in Phillies debut

RT @MLB #Happ exits after stellar debut against Brewers. Making his first start w/ Astros, Happ gave up just 2 hits in 6 scoreless innings.

RT @philliesbuzztap Phillies Nation >> Winning Streak Stops at Eight

RT @Phillies Oswalt's addition continues Phils' tradition

RT @IDTS! RT @Phillies RT @visitphilly Dear Phillies fans: Dbl the Roys,dbl the joys. With Love, Philadelphia XOXO 

been watchin @PhilaPhillies game again tonight.They're keepin themselves in it..2-3 in favor of @Nationals.Bot of 6: Nats up 2 bat @mlb #mlb

#RaulIbanez just hit a long homer! 2 runs score...tie ball game. #Werth's aboard. @mlb @phillies @philaphillies @philliesbuzztap @realscores

@phillies game's getting interesting. #Chooch (#CarlosRuiz) has RBI single. @Phillies lead 5-4 bot 9. #Lidge's pitching #FingersCrossed @mlb 

cjpete87 Come on #lidge! Quit giving us all a heart attack!

bertestlow We're not in 2008 anymore Toto. #lidge #philliesnation

amstacks my stomach is in knots right now... #phillies #lidge #ohshit

cjpete87 Way to blow the game #lidge! #phillies

ugh #BooLidge #LidgeBlewIt #GameOver @philaphillies lose @nationals after 3run homer #Lidge=BS #MLB @Phillies #TradeLidge #DisappointedAgain 

cjpete87 I'm really sick of #lidge he's a joke! Can the idiot! #phillies JShpil26 I miss this #Lidge: #phillies #timeforanewcloser?

mgratk Time for the #Phillies to get rid of #Lidge -- If I were R Amaro, I'd replace him with a teenage girl just to make a point. Really.

notkerouac How great is it that the day after #Lidge convinced #Oswalt to come to Philadelphia, he is going to get fired. #irony

scrappled On the bright side, #Lidge has new entrance music: #phillies

GTown_Dave #Lidge is dead weight. It's time the #Phillies accepted it, ate the money & used someone -- anyone -- else. He singlehandedly KILLS his team.

MLB Video: Ryan Zimmerman walk-off homer off Brad Lidge that flew all the way to top of Trending Topics: #nats #phillies

Phillies_Live ( Lidge loses lead in ninth-inning defeat to Nats: 

Philladelphia Inquirer) Phils lose to Nationals in ninth: 

PHILLIESpeeps The Do-Over: Phillies at Nationals Game Thread, J 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Enjoy a Spoiled Plot Book

If you're avoiding reading a book because everyone's already talked about it, and the plot has been blogged to bits, you might want to think again. Reading a book where you already know the plot can still be a personally enjoyable experience if you can accept that the plot spoiler isn't the be all and end all of the book. This article will provide you with a number of ways to work around a spoiled plot so that you can still enjoy the actual read on your own terms.

1) Understand what a spoiler is and why it occurs. In terms of a book, a spoiler is something that reveals critical elements of the plot, and often includes the ending. It will usually be parts of a book that would otherwise be surprising for the reader.[1] Reasons for a spoiler might include:
  • Reviewing the book and critiquing it.
  • Excitement of a reader who wants to share his or her appreciation of or annoyance with the book with others.
  • Naïveté of a reader who doesn't believe it will spoil another person's reading of the book, or doesn't realize that you haven't yet read the book.
  • A spoilsport who wants to ruin someone else's experience of the book; perhaps someone showing off or just being mean-spirited.
2) Start reading. Part of the problem may well be that you simply won't start the book because a voice in your head keeps insisting that it's not worth the effort. Stop listening to that voice, start reading, and let your reaction to the first chapter or so be the real test of whether or not you want to continue reading. Chances are, if the book is good, you will be compelled to keep reading even though you know the plot or a key element.

3) Expect to enjoy the book. Since it's clearly already popular and well talked about, there will be a lot to enjoy throughout the book, and it's important to keep in mind that books can still be enjoyed even if you know how it ends or know the "big twist". You already know what happened, but you can still probably read to figure out why and how it happened. And no matter how much you have already heard, it won't ever be possible to truly grasp the manner in which the book is written and how it comes across in tone and narrative until you are personally reading it.
  • There will be plenty of parts of the book that you won't yet know. Spoilers are about the most popular, surprising parts of the book. They aren't the whole book and indeed, there may be parts that resonate a great deal more with you than the spoiled parts. But you won't know until you've read it for yourself!
  • Expect the funny parts to be original. Spoilers often don't convey the funnier parts of a book well because these are not the surprising twists in the book. And it's actually very hard to convey the precise humor out of a book in a review or by recounting – you kind of have to "be there" to "get it"!

4) Be skeptical about the spoilers that you think you already know. Try not to overthink what you've already been told or your expected reading experience. You might have heard or read a lot of opinions about the plot but that doesn't mean they are either right or representative of what will be your own experience. In fact, you can have a lot of fun reading and thinking about other people's takes on the plot. You might find yourself scoffing, "Whoa! Joe was so wrong about that interpretation of what character X does in this scene! What a load of rot! What really happens is X, Y, and Z!". Consider these points:

  • It's possible the person retelling the story doesn't understand the narrative elements or misunderstands the psychological underpinnings and misconstrues what really is going on.
  • Narrative devices are not always clearly conveyed by spoilers. For example, you might know about the ending precisely because the author begins at the end and then unfolds the plot as to how the story reaches that ending (a reverse chronology). Or, it might be a case that the story begins in the middle (in media res) and the flashbacks leading up to that point are poorly conveyed by the spoiler. And the spoilers may not have revealed the delightful red herrings strewn throughout the book. There are many narrative devices that won't be fully appreciable until you delve into the book yourself, in spite of spoilers.
  • Savor surprises. There still might be something not major in the plot that surprises you, that hasn't been discussed or reviewed.
  • Focus on the subjective elements that are in the realm of the reader's interpretation, not that of the reviewer. For this, you would do well to look for such narrative devices as MacGuffins (a prime motivation for a reader that is never adequately explained to the reader), flashbacks and flash-forwards, prophecies, foreshadowings, etc. All of these elements are for your own exploration for a deeper understanding, to be interpreted through your own experience of life and feelings for the characters. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you differ in opinion about the rationales and outcomes of the book that other people have presumed to be a certain way.
  • Don't anticipate the spoiled element coming up, or try to predict when it will happen; maybe the spoiler wasn't even true? Then you will be twice as surprised!
  • Relish the fact you know the ending but not the how, a common narrative device in plays such as those by Shakespeare, or movies that begin with the end. You know the ending but you're a lot less certain of how the characters and story get to that ending.

5) Keep in mind that movie plots and book plots frequently diverge and vary in depth. If you have seen a movie version of a book before reading the book, there is even less reason to fret about a spoiled plot. Movies simply do not have the luxury of being able to go into the same level of depth as a book. So, while you may have the general gist from a movie, there are likely to be a lot of surprises and revelations for you when reading the book. Some of the things that might happen include:
  • A deeper understanding of what has motivated characters - perhaps you have wondered why a movie character has been so one-dimensional; the book read might prove otherwise.
  • A different ending from what you expected (movies often change endings for Hollywood preferences).
  • Additional characters, scenes, action, etc., that the movie didn't have room for. Of especial interest are those characters that get the chop in the movie but are of added interest in the book. 
6) Be someone who loves spoilers. There are people who thrive on spoilers as a way to inform them before they start reading, as a form of incentive![2] Knowing what the ending is and how the plot unfurls can sometimes be a way of avoiding unpleasant surprises, or be a form of motivating your reading. There are various websites devoted to spoilers, which provide a discussion point for people who like spoilers, which can be a reason of itself to enjoy spoilers as you get to argue the finer points or even veracity of spoilers with others online.

7) Avoid times when you might be confronted by spoilers. There are some occasions when you're more likely to be exposed to spoilers than normal:
  • Book club meet ups – always expect at least one person to have already read the book and to be ready to spill the beans.[3] 
  • Book reviews – whether or not a book review will reveal the plot will depend on the purpose for which it is being written. If it is for promoting the book's sales and readership, it is unlikely to give away the plot and ending; if, however, it is for the purpose of critiquing the book (often the case in blogs), it may well reveal the ending and major plot elements. You will need to judge according to the context of the review before reading further. Many reviewers will use the phrase "spoiler alert" if they are about to reveal major elements of the plot or ending. You have been warned!
  • Websites – reader reviews, forums, blog posts.
  • You see someone with a copy of the book and they're talking about just having finished it – let them know quickly that you don't want to know the ending! 
8) Don't go looking for spoilers online.[4] While there are many opportunities to find out what a book's contents are, if you have the slightest peek at spoiler sites or reviews, you only have yourself to blame!

9) Remember that no "spoiler" can ruin a truly great book. Many avid readers will confess that they have read a number of books over and over, and enjoyed them more with each subsequent reading. Books are stories, and sometimes you need time to ruminate or meditate on the story, the way it was told, how it ties in to other stories.
  • Think "Titanic" - the movie was based on an event almost a century prior to when the movie was made. Everyone knew how it had to end, and yet it was one of the most popular movies of all time. No spoiler will ever make reading a great story pointless.
  • Another recent example: An episode of Doctor Who featured Vincent Van Gogh. Everyone knows who Van Gogh was, and most know that he took his own life at a young age. Yet the story was widely considered one of the best of this series ever, because it wasn't about Van Gogh's death. It was about his life, and it tied into a previous episode in which a regular character leaves the earthly plane; it was about seeing beauty and feeling inadequate despite having tremendous talent, and also about the importance in each of our lives of leaving a legacy and being remembered after we die. A great story is a great story, whether you know what happens in the end or not.

Here is what not to do when someone spoils your book's plot!

  1. Book with spoiled plot
  1. Wisegeek, What is a spoiler?,
  2. Wisegeek, What is a spoiler?,
  3. The Etiquette of Giving Away the Ending,
  4. Maria Puente, Want to avoid spoilers? Don't look for them,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

OMG Forever 21- a post by Jordan Sullivan

When I was a teenager, AOL had just launched, I still used a pay phone, bitch couldn’t be said on TV, and I had to communicate properly in full sentences to those around me. LOLs, jks, thx, and ATC (all that crap) didn’t exist yet. More importantly, teen pregnancy was for the most part unthinkable. Nowadays, it’s pretty thinkable and possibly acceptable. We got movies of kids getting knocked up, TV shows like 16 and Pregnant and now a maternity line called Love 21 launched by Forever 21. Lions, tigers, and babies, oh my!
You may or may not see it as a big deal, but when their customers are primarily girls under the age of 21, it raises an eyebrow. Especially since 3 of the 5 states where the clothing line launched, Texas, Arizona, and California, have high teen pregnancy rates. Alaska and Utah were among the others in the mix and as far as I know, Sarah Palin has no comment yet. Now it could just be a coincidence, or could it?

You can’t help but call into question their marketing strategy. On one end, it’s absolutely absurd if they are targeting teenage pregnancy, but on the other end, I don’t blame Forever 21 either. Let’s face it, there is a market for it as we’ve seen many young girls with bellies not stuffed with pillows, bowling balls or balloons. And dressing them up in Betty Sue outfits from Motherhood Maternity isn’t going to make them look like an adult. They still need to look cool when they get rushed to the delivery room and post their pictures on Facebook. I have to think, if I was 16 and pregnant, I would still want to have fashionable clothing options hip enough for my age group.

Either way, lines are being crossed. For over 20 years Forever 21 attracted teenage girls. There wasn’t a gradual shift to women in their mid-twenties or thirties. So do you think the company has a targeted marketing strategy towards teenage pregnancy or do you think they are aiming to break out of the niche under 21 market to appeal more so to women and offer a trendy, inexpensive line for mothers-to-be?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Food giveaway from Fab Find Foodie

Alouette Cheese Fun in the Sun Gourmet Summer Picnic Giveaway

7/12/2010 01:20:00 PM Posted by Fab Find Foodie

The distinctive flavors of Alouette Cheese are the result of our rich culinary heritage. From our humble origins in France, we’re proud that connoisseurs and consumers alike have made us America’s #1 Brand of Premium Spreadable Cheese.

We are a serious picnic-loving family.  As a matter of fact, my two girls love them so much that they insist of having one indoors at least once a week!  There's just something so relaxing about tossing a blanket on the ground underneath a tree and kicking back to enjoy the sounds of nature and a delicious snack.  It's something I've always loved to do, and now I've passed that love on to my daughters. 

To me, the ultimate picnic consists of a bottle of Merlot, an array of cheeses, some crackers or bread and fresh fruit.  It's super light and holds well outdoors.  Alouette Cheese has an extraordinary selection of gourmet cheeses and spreadable cheese products that make a delicious addition to any picnic!  I've been enjoying their cheeses for years, so you can imagine how excited I am to share some very exciting news with you!  To help your family have some serious fun in the sun, Alouette Cheese wants to provide one of you with everything you need to enjoy a gourmet picnic!!!  (Many picnics at that!!)

Deluxe Picnic Basket

The Deluxe Picnic Basket for Four (Valued at $100)
  • Picnic Pack for 4, blue with black zippers and blue binding.
  • Constructed with 600 denier nylon
  • A large 48-can cooler with eat sealed, leak resistant liner has heavy duty trolley wheels and telescopic handles.
  • A removable storage compartment
  • Includes a place settings for four: plates, silverware settings, glasses, and cloth napkins.
  • A cheese cutting board with a cheese knife
  • A wine key
  • Two utility compartments and adjustable shoulder straps.
  • Five Alouette Cheese coupons good for any variety of cheese including Baby Brie, Spreadable and Crumbles (Valued at an additional $35)

A variety of Alouette Cheeses

I was beyond fortunate to receive this amazing deluxe summer picnic basket!!  I have to start by saying, my husband and I are the breed of people that love to eat gourmet/artisan cheese with crackers for dinner, so this was such a treat!

Alouette Baby Brie

Let me tell you about the Deluxe Picnic Basket first.  Without a doubt, excellent quality.  (It arrived in a Pottery Barn box!!!)  The cooler will hold a ton of beverages, plus whatever foods you want to bring along!  The place settings are in a detachable case that is located on the front of the basket.  I was so impressed with how sturdy all of the plates and silverware were!!  Even the napkins were made of soft material!  My favorite part, the pull-up handle and heavy duty wheels!  You'll appreciate this feature every time that cooler is full and you know you have to trek it across the park!  Just pop up the handle and go!

Now onto the divine Alouette Cheese.  As I said earlier, I've been a fan of their cheeses for years!  I love how diverse the spreadable cheese products are.  You can slather some on something as simple as a celery stick, or add them to your pasta dish for a burst of creamy, fresh flavors!  And the Brie?  My's sensational.  It's been a favorite on many picnics (and dinners!!) over the years, and will continue to be for many more!

A place setting, cheese board and knife, wine glass and opener...and of course, some Alouette Cheese!

I will leave you with a little glimpse of a recipe available on the Alouette Cheese website:

Savory Garlic Bruschetta

Alouette Garlic Bruschetta Recipe


  • 1 pkg. (6.5 oz.) Alouette Garlic & Herbs, or Alouette Savory Vegetable, or Alouette Peppercorn Parmesan Spreadable Cheese
  • 12 slices of French bread (¼ inch thick)
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh, chopped parsley or basil

  • Preheat oven to 400º F.
  • Spread 1 tbsp. of Alouette Spreadable Cheese on each slice of bread.
  • Top each slice with 1½ tbsp. of chopped tomatoes and 1 tsp. of Parmesan cheese.
  • Place bruschetta on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley or basil and serve as an appetizer.
Spinach Artichoke Bruschetta: follow above recipe using one 6.5 oz. package of Alouette Spinach Artichoke Spreadable Cheese, and substituting tomatoes with 1¼ cups diced red bell peppers.

Fab Find Foodie Approved

Website. FacebookTwitter
Alouette Cheese Wine & Cheese Pairing.  Fun Slow Down & Savour Idea's.
You can find Alouette in the dairy or deli cheese sections of your grocery store.

One lucky winner will receive the same amazing Deluxe Summer Picnic Basket & Alouette Cheese that I reviewed!  (Valued at $135!!) 

Mandatory Entry:  Visit Alouette Cheese and tell me which recipe you think sounds the tastiest, or the one you'll make if you win!!

Extra Entries:
(One extra entry each)
-"Like" Alouette Cheese on Facebook.
-Follow Alouette Cheese on Twitter.
-Sign Up for Alouette Cheese Emails. (On the top right of the page,  a green box says Email Sign-Up)
-Follow FFF publicly on Google Friend.
-Follow FFF on NetworkedBlogs.
-Subscribe to FFF via email.
-Follow FFF on Twitter.
-"Like" FFF on Facebook.
-Tweet this giveaway. (Once Daily) Feel free to copy/paste:
RT Enter to WIN a Deluxe Summer Picnic Basket & Alouette Cheese-Valued at $135! @FabFindFoodie @Alouettecheese
-Blog about this giveaway
-Grab my button
-Add me to your Blogroll

Each entry must be left in a separate comment. Please leave your email in at least one entry, unless your profile is set to public. View a full list of rules here(Remember, if you are not following my blog publicly, I will not be able to view your email address in your profile.)

This Giveaway Ends on Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 11:00 pm CST.  Open to U.S. Residents only.  All entries stamped after the cut-off time will be deleted.  Winner will be contacted by email, then has 48 hours to respond.


Disclosure: I received the mentioned prize for reviewing purposes. No monetary compensation was received or offered. All opinions expressed are my honest thoughts on this product.

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