You know how there’s that one friend we know will sleep through a troll invasion? For us, that’d always been you. The survivor.
You’ve survived growing up with Fred and George. You’ve lived through heartbreaks and failures and humiliation and still managed to laugh. You’ve puked slugs and battled arachnophobia yet never shied away from a fight for your friends. You’ve worn your heart on the frayed sleeves of your uncle’s hand-me-down robe even when you had the emotional range of a teaspoon.
When we first met you on that train 20 years ago, grease stain on your nose and chocolate frogs in your overstuffed mouth, we knew you weren’t the chosen or the brightest one.
At best you were the bumbling awkward teenager. At worst a doppelganger of that cheesy English singer some Muggles claim to worship. Ed Sheeran or something. But then you taught us, it isn’t what’s inside you that matters, it’s what you choose to believe in.
You taught us that even when our books are second hand and our wands are tapped, we can open our homes and hearts to our friends. You taught us that bravery is a virtue all of us posses, that facing our fear is sometimes the only way through it, be it giant spiders or the occasional basilisks. You taught us we can unlearn our prejudices, accept as allies those we once hated, be it house elves or werewolves.
I’m sure you still let Hermione teach you how to swish and flick, with a proud grin on your face. I’m sure you visit your parents every weekend, sometimes Charlie drops by and gives you a meaningful wink. I’m sure you’re doing just fine.
And I’m sure; the clock with your face on one hand has since been at home. Safe, drunk on butter beer and a little in love.
It’s weird how we remember people at times. In bits and pieces. As if remembering them in entirety would mean accepting it’s been two decades since we’ve last seen each other. Some days I wonder how elated you’d be to visit this new world.
We have hair conditioners which smell like strawberries and beer now, and weaving flowers into your beard is considered a fashion trend. Often, I imagine you making a cross country trip on your motorbike, breeze ruffling your hair and those goggles making your eyes look humongous. You’d stop at every village on the way, let little girls weave your beard into bouquets while you told stories about that time you won a giant octopus with commitment issues from a stranger at a heavy metal concert.
We have it all, and yet we crave someone like you in our lives. Someone who can keep our secrets safe even if they have to go to prison for that, who can give people pigtails when they’re mean to his friends. Someone we can always approach for answers or giant hugs. Someone who remembers birthdays without Facebook reminders and always, always brings the cake with extra icing and atrociously spelled names scribbled on it.
While you were gone, we’ve somehow become stoic souls afraid to shed tears or go that extra mile to make someone we love, smile. Maybe we need to unlearn our burdens. Become people who can cry with abandon and care for their family even if others find nothing but flaws in them and want nothing more from life than a cabbage patch and lazy afternoons with their drooling dogs.
Maybe what we really want, is someone with the worst knock knock joke and the biggest of hearts.
3. Dear Luna,
You seem to have taken a lot with you when you left. For example, I don’t see any Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack around any more.
Coincidence? I think not.
You’ve apparently taken away our ability to be inspired by the mundane as well. Look at us now, crowding art exhibitions and breaking our backs attending every poetry event but still complaining about our lack of imagination in the end. We don’t lose our shoes anymore or read magazines upside down. In fact, we barely read.
And most importantly, we don’t believe. Not in magic or mistletoes infested with nargles that might just take a bite off our noses or that even after someone dies, they still exist in memories of their loved ones and behind the veil at the ministry of magic.
You’ve taken away our ability to stand out from the crowd, whether it was because of the quirkiest fashion sense topped with a butter beer cork necklace or the belief that everyone deserves kindness and sympathy. Even if it was a common but free house elf who died saving his friend, you made sure your eulogy guided his soul to the afterlife for free elves.
Whether it’s your quidditch commentary or your aura of pure serenity, we miss you in every aspect of our lives. And we keep hoping, someday we’ll run into you again, only you’ll be the woman with dreamy eyes selling aluminium foil hats at the crossing beyond eighth avenue (guaranteed to give you better dreams, you’d say between giggles).
And we’ll be the ones desperately wishing we could believe in the impossible again, and borrow the Quibbler from you every weekend.
I’ll let you in on a secret. All these Slytherin pickup lines that have become the rage nowadays, they were written for you.
I mean, sure, it must be really hard being a sulking and often sassy teenager, especially with the fairer sex swooning every time you even opened your mouth. We get your conundrum mate, we do.
But trust me, we’ve all been jealous of you at some point. Some of us still are. You’ve outshone the boy who lived on so many occasions even when he was clearly the protagonist of the story. And you’ve done so with your undeniable charm and confidence, although those locks of platinum blonde hair never hurt your appeal, just saying.
Of course, for the longest time people just saw the rough and unlikable side of you (not unlovable though, if you know what I mean). They were quick to stereotype you as the bad guy, what with the drawl and everything. Plus you were totally Harry’s second biggest enemy in Hogwarts, the biggest being his constant whining and complaining. But you outgrew that mould pretty fast, and boy did you take us all by surprise when you did.
When you bared your tortured soul to us, showed us having parents who are stuck on the wrong side of the deal with Voldemort is way worse than it sounds, we just wanted to put our arms around you and whisper words of comfort till you stopped trembling. In that moment when you were tasked with killing Dumbledore yet couldn’t bring yourself to it, we knew even the darkest hearts bear some goodness within them.
We might be guilty of cheering Hermione when she punched you across your face, but come on, you deserved it for being such a douche to her. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna stop with the swooning or writing steamy fanfics about you, anytime soon.
Just for the record, mate.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/18/a-letter-to-the-four-most-unique-and-overlooked-characters-from-the-harry-potter-fandom/
Looking for an excuse to buy new shoes? Turns out, wearing high heels can actually save you money… on your bar tab, that is.
My Place Café & Bar, a new venue located on the first floor of the Hilton Osaka hotel in Japan, is offering female customers a discount on their food and drink orders based on the height of their high heels, Sora News 24 reports.
To qualify for the promotion, heels must be at least five centimeters (two inches) tall. But the higher the heel, the greater the discount on the bars select dining options, craft beer, organic wine and cocktails.
Discounts start at 10 percent off your order, with each additional two centimeters of heel height receiving a better deal.
Heels from seven to nine centimeters get 15 percent off, nine to 11 centimeters 20 percent, 11 to 13 centimeters 25 percent and 13 to 15 centimeters 30 percent. Anyone wearing heels above 15 centimeters (almost 6 inches!) will 40 percent off their bill.
My Place is running its High Heels Ladies Night Discount on Thursday nights starting June 15 and it lasts from 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
My Place isnt the only bar offering unusual promotions to attract customers.
Mong Bar in Ko Lanta, Thailand, offers visitors free shots if theyre willing to partake in an extreme version of the famous knife game. The popularity of this deal proves people will go to just about any length to save money on alcohol.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/18/japanese-bar-offering-discounts-based-on-high-heel-height/
When I was 17, my dad left my mom for the flight attendant on his corporate jet.
The only part worse than my own heartbreak was watching my beautiful mom hurt so deeply.
I worried she would never heal or open herself up to love again.
Now, four years later, shes been in one serious relationship and casually dated several men.
Watching your 50-something-year-old mom date is an experience unlike anything else.
Here are ninedifferent roles you’ll fill to express your complicated emotions:
1. Nosy Best Friend
When you first hear that your mom met someone potentially exciting, you want to know everything about this guy.
Howd you meet? Why is he single?
How fit is he? Is heskinny runner typeor stocky lifter type?
Your relationship evolves from mother-daughter to friend-friend.
Getting all the dirty detailshelps distract you from your own dating drought.
2. Fashion Guru
When it comes time for your mom to go out to dinner with her new man, youll know just what color top she should wear, how low the neckline should be and what shoes to choose.
Its a good thing she has you, or shed be going out on the town looking like a “What Not To Wear”contestant waiting for an intervention.
3. Texting Wizard
Not only are you her personal stylist, but youre also her modern technology coach.
They didnt have cell phones when your mom was last in the dating game back in college, so shes not sure how this texting thing works.
You help her decode the number of exclamation points he uses, and you keep her from replying with paragraphs or overzealousemojis.
There should be absolutely no red hearts used until at least date number five.
Cmon, mom. Get with it.
3. Jealous SO
Youre genuinely happy that your mom is hitting it off with her new guy, but you start to become jealous of how much time shes spending with him.
Share your real significant other with a guy who takes her out for “Star Wars” and craft beer? Hell to the no.
You feel more single than ever now that your mom is taken.
4. One-Woman Jury
When you finally meet your moms new man, youll examine him with your harshest eye.
Sure, hes good-looking and does a pretty funny Donald Trump impression, but youre skeptical that hes good enough for your incredible mom.
He eats pizza with a fork and knife?
He doesnt like The Beatles?
How can you say those arent deal breakers?This guy should be behind bars!
5. Mama Grizzly
Youre not just judgmental; youre also protective.
After seeing what your dad did to your mom, you dont want anything like that happening again.
Your hairs prick at the slightest red flags, like an angry tone in his voice or a time he should have apologized and didnt.
If you get the feeling he isnt treating her right, youre not afraid to showyour teeth and claws.
6. Ice Cream Scooper
If your moms new relationship goes south, youre there to scoop out ice cream and cry together over “The Notebook.”
And if it goes well, youre there to scoop ice cream and swoon together over “The Notebook.”
Either way, youre the one with the Ben & Jerrys and the Ryan Gosling film.
7. Dad Disser
At some point or another, you wont be able to help comparing your moms new guy to your dad.
You know that your dad left and pulled a total assh*le move, but you still remember all the good times your family had together, like hiking the Grand Canyon and decorating Christmas cookies.
For f*cks sake, why couldnt yourdad have just stayed?
If he would have justappreciated how amazing, gorgeous and intelligent she was, your mom wouldnt be in this sh*tty dating pool again.
Why did he have to run off with the fake blonde skank who never graduated from college?
F*ck him, and f*ck the skank, too.
So, your mom’s new guy turned out not to be the right guy?
Youre there to pick her up, remind her how incredible and stunning she truly is and tell her how anyone would be luckyto have her in his life.
Youll help her get her mojo back, and you’ll remind her how much more to life there is than men.
Who runs the world?Girls!
9. Proud Daughter
Of all the roles youll take on, the most important is still that of a daughter.
Your mom is a real-life example of a strong, independent woman who will not compromise her beliefs or settle for someone who treats her with less respect than she deserves.
This gives you the confidence in yourself to hold out for someone who recognizes you for the amazing human that you are.
She deserves the best, and so do you.
Watching your grown mom date is crazy for sure, but if youre okay wearing a lot of hats, the experience can be a fun one.
If she marries again, youll be there as her maid of honor.
And if not, youll be partners in crime and help each other navigate the modern dating world.
So, dont freak out if your mom mentions a new guy.
Be happy that shes moving forward.
Its time you do the same.
Your bond is strong enough that no man can threaten it.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/17/9-roles-you-fill-while-watching-your-single-mom-date-again/
The big moment, The One Where You Ask Her to Marry You episode of your life story, is getting closer.
Youre dying to propose, but in all your eagerness, youve forgotten something vital to your SOshappiness: What kind of ring does she want?
A family heirloom may be a beautiful tradition, but does it truly fit her? Or does she want a ringshe can call her own?
If she wants a new ring picked out just for her, what kind of style does she want? She it be big and flashy, or classic and demure? And how much money does she expect you to spend on it?
Despite your fear shell reject your proposal if you dont get the ring just right, you dont have to buy a diamond the size of Jupiter to convince her to say yes.
Give both of yourselves more credit, and find the perfect engagement ringfor your future fiance by remembering these three things:
Some women want to keep it simple.
When you get down on one knee, you ideally want your question to result in a kiss that screams YES! The ring you get plays a part in that decision (albeit its most likely a small part).
Many engagement rings aretoo decorative for certain tastes. The stone may be too big or have too much embellishment. You dont want her ring to be too uncomfortable to wear. (She is going to be wearing it for awhile, after all.)
So, take a look at thekinds of rings she wears in her everyday life. Choose something that will stand out, but will still fit with her personality.
Maybe she shouldve been born when art nouveau was at its height, and her desired ring fits into that era. A simple band inscribed with a thoughtful message, symbol or your intertwining initials may be perfectfor her.
The ring should speak specifically to your bond, so buy one that you feel personifies your relationship.
Shes a unique gem.
Diamonds may not be your girls best friend, and the talk about the rarity of diamonds is due to an old marketing campaign.
In 1947, copy writer Francis Gerety coined A diamond is forever for a beer ad and jumpstarted the diamond craze, which has now become a time-honored tradition.
If she prefers a diamond, give her a diamond. Theres nothing wrong with that.
If you want to break tradition, give her a gemstone that has unique meaning, expresses what she means to you and/orsymbolizes your union.
Intertwine your birthstones on a ring. Venus, the goddess of love, was born from the foam of the sea. So, your choice may be a pearl for her.
The Garnet is a stone representing emotional strength. Has she weathered many storms and inspired you? Choose a unique gemstone that speaks to herstrength.
Theres a rarity to her.
Theres something about the way she laughs, moves and brightens up a room. She has a way of transforming the atmosphere around her.
You could say that about any woman, really, but what makes your fianceso rare and unique isnt a clich. Youve felt it. You know.
When considering an engagement ring, many people default to gold without realizing theres a more affordable and rare metal out there: platinum.
Platinumis 30 times more rare than gold. It ages better, too, developing a rich patina finish from a natural white.
You can even make it an heirloom, thanks to its lasting quality. This metal can be passed down for generations to your sons or daughters, as the dense metal is resistant to scratch and corrosion.
Honor heruniqueness and individuality by choosing a band thats as strong and everlasting as she is.
Every man should ask what kind of ring his girlfriend wants before he pops the question.
Hold your horses before you propose, and hold her hand, instead. Take a sneak peek at the kinds of rings she wears. Ask her what her dream ring would be (if you dare). Its OK to feel nervous.
You dont have to spend a boatload of money on a big diamond to impress her, unless thats what she wants.
Choose an engagement ring that honors the unique and beautiful gem she is, and your lifes journey as a couple will start with the mostamazing proposal you could ever imagine.
Subscribe to Elite Daily’s official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don’t want to miss.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/16/why-all-men-should-ask-what-kind-of-engagement-ring-his-gf-wants/
Everyone thinks about booze when it comes time to plan a New Year’s Eve party — which is important, we don’t deny that — but don’t forget about the food. An end-of-the-year bash doesn’t require intensive recipes nor big meals, but a few solid apps and hors d’oeuvres will make sure that your guests are able to ring in the new year with good cheer (and a happy belly).
Crostinis are always a good choice. One can never go wrong with anything bacon wrapped. Throw in something featuring melted cheese and you’ve got yourself a solid line up. We have those kinds of recipes for you right here. Happy New Year, folks!
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/15/the-16-new-years-eve-party-hors-doeuvres-you-want-and-need/
A cat that went missing four years ago has turned up 13 miles away from his owner’s home.
The tabby, named Roman, disappeared in April 2012, and despite appeals in newspapers and on social media, was never found.
His owners, the Thompson family, gave up hope of ever seeing him again, and went on to move house.
They were surprised to get a call from Birmingham’s PDSA Hospital saying they had him in their care, four years on.
Owner Rachel Thompson said: “I was in complete shock when they told me. I told them ‘it can’t be him, he’s dead’.
“We raced to PDSA and sure enough it was him.”
Roman went missing from his owners’ home in Kings Heath, and was last spotted in a nearby pub beer garden where he was a regular visitor.
Hit by car
After he failed to turn up again, Rachel and her husband Liam feared the worst and they moved to another house in the same area.
Senior vet Rebecca Thorne, from the hospital in Aston, said Roman was brought in by a man who had befriended him over the past few months.
“The gentleman brought Roman in to us as a neighbour had seen him get hit by a car,” she said. “We carried out x-rays which showed he had no major injuries but kept him in overnight to monitor him.
“After scanning his microchip and checking his details we discovered he was missing.
“Thanks to the information we were then able to get in touch with his owner.”
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/14/missing-kings-heath-cat-turns-up-after-four-years-bbc-news/
Giant oak wine barrels sit above the bar of the Cittie of Yorke in Holborn – which is more reminiscent of a great hall in a Tudor mansion than than a traditional pub.
The jury is out as to whether or not the massive casks were ever used as genuine storage vessels – or simply part of the inn’s Tudor makeover in the 1920s.
The Cittie of Yorke features in a new book, Great Pubs of London, written by George Dailey and featuring photographs taken by his daughter Charlie.
The book examines the histories of 22 pubs. Take a look at some of them here.
The Nags Head
On a quiet street in the heart of one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, the Nags Head’s first customers would have been staff from the mansions on neighbouring streets.
“The likelihood is that, because of its location, most of the early landlords were connected with horses, carriages and stabling,” writes Dailey.
The pub’s main bar – with its 150-year-old Chelsea pottery beer engine pump handles – is unusually low, with short stools in front.
This is because floor of the bar servery is positioned midway between the main bar and the lower back bar to the rear, which was once possibly a stables or courtyard.
The Nags Head is also filled with dozens of toys, penny arcade machines, posters and photos – and the current landlord’s collection of military memorabilia.
The Blackfriar – built in 1875 – stands on the site of London’s Dominican friary in the parish of Ludgate.
The Dominicans were known as “the blackfriars” because of the black cloaks they used to wear.
In the early 20th Century the pub’s interior was remodelled by the sculptor Henry Poole, who created a vision straight out of medieval England.
There is a sumptuous mosaic ceiling, with marble columns and copper clay friezes.
And black-cloaked friars can be spotted just about everywhere – all appearing to enjoy sins of overindulgence.
The French House
The interior of the French House looks more like a Parisian backstreet bar, than a traditional London pub – and it remains a favourite of artists, writers, actors and photographers,
George Dailey describes the inside as “a little tired, faintly bohemian – but with unmistakeable Gallic charm”.
For most of the 20th Century the pub’s official name was The York Minster.
Its metamorphosis into “The French” started in 1914, when its German owner sold the business to a Belgian – but “The French sounds more romantic”, says Dailey.
The Prospect of Whitby
The inn on this site was first built in 1520 – on the north bank of the Thames to the east of the City.
It would have been a timber structure surrounded by gardens and marshland. It was rebuilt in the 18th Century.
Regular visitors included the writers Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys and Samuel Johnson – and the venue was known for its bare-knuckle and cock fights.
It’s thought the pub’s strange name derives from the fact that a collier – a ship carrying coal – from Whitby in North Yorkshire used to moor regularly beside the pub.
Initially it was just called The Prospect.
The George Inn
For people heading to London from the south, Borough High Street in Southwark was a terminus.
The walled City of London was only a bridge away, but it was closed at night.
Latecomers were forced to take rooms at one of the local inns – including The George.
The George became a home for political debate and gossip – and Shakespeare’s plays were often performed in its courtyard.
According to Dailey: “There is no pub in London that can boast of having a completely untouched 18th Century interior – but The George comes very close.”
The current building, which backs on to the shore of the Thames, dates from 1720 – built on the site of a previous pub, which burned down in 1710.
In 1865, Charles Dickens is thought to have written about The Grapes – or The Bunch of Grapes, as it was then known.
He describes “a tavern of dropsical appearance… long settled down into a state of hale infirmity. It had outlasted many a sprucer public house, indeed the whole house impended over the water but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver, who has paused so long on the brink, that he will never go in at all.”
The Ship Tavern
Although rebuilt in the 1920s, there has probably been a pub on the site of The Ship since the mid-16th Century – and in its early incarnation it was known as a haven for persecuted Catholics.
The pub is now just behind a busy underground station, but initially it would have overlooked a rough area of pasture land – Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
This narrow pub on the Thames is one of the best places to watch the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – if you can find a space to stand.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the Dove was actually a licensed pub as early as 1730 – when the green fields and orchards of 18th Century Hammersmith offered tranquillity away from the City of London, which was then only a two-hour coach ride away.
With all the hallmarks of a village inn, The Flask is very close to Highgate Cemetery – the burial place of Karl Marx.
It also claims to have two ghosts – a Spanish barmaid who took her life when the landlord rejected her amorous advances, and a hapless man dressed as a cavalier who crosses the main bar and disappears into a wall.
The poets Byron, Shelley, Keats and Coleridge were regular drinkers here. Coleridge believed the clean air on the hill at Highgate was beneficial in his attempts to cure himself of opium addiction.
The Lamb and Flag
When the building now known as The Lamb and Flag was built, in the mid-17th Century, Covent Garden was a relatively new urban area – a smart and desirable address.
But a century later, the gentry had moved away and the area had become a red-light district. Records from 1772 show that The Lamb and Flag – or Coopers Arms as it was known then – was trading successfully, but the clientele was drawn from the lower levels of society.
A century later, and the venue was a popular location for unlicensed bare-knuckle fights.
All images copyright Charlie Dailey.
Great Pubs of London by George Dailey is published by Prestel.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/14/tales-from-the-bar-a-tour-of-londons-great-pubs-bbc-news/
Charlotte Rae is best known for playing beloved housemother Edna Garrett on the 1980s hit sitcom The Facts of Life, but things were no laughing matter off-screen before her years on set.
The 90-year-old actress recently unveiled a memoir, The Facts of My Life, and she got candid about her battle with alcoholism.
Alcohol became my drug of choice so I could get sleep at night, Rae told Fox News. It was difficult. I was doing Sesame Street [1971-1972] as Molly the Mail Lady and I had to get to sleep so I could get up for the kids and do the TV show Monday-Friday.”
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Courtesy of Charlotte Rae (Charlotte Rae appeared as Molly the Mail Lady on “Sesame Street.”)
Rae was drinking alcohol long before that though. When she was enrolled as a student at Northwestern University in Illinois, she and fellow classmates would go to Chicago to find alcohol because their area was “dry.”
We would get a shot of whiskey and chase it with beer, she said. That was the thing to do.
After Rae graduated, she met her husband, composer John Strauss, in the Adirondack Mountains in New York where he was an industry musician and she an entertainer at a summer resort.
He would say, Why dont we get a bottle instead of sitting by the bar? Its cheaper! Well go up to your room and drink, she recalled. And then I became very, very used to drinking. We were real drinking buddies.
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Courtesy of Charlotte Rae (Charlotte Rae’s battle with alcoholism started early in her life.)
When Rae gave birth to her eldest son, Andy, doctors informed her that he was autistic and mentally disabled. That further led her to a downward spiral. It wasnt until a friend advised her to attend Alcoholics Anonymous that she ultimately decided to seek help in her 40s.
After the wrap party for Sesame Street,’ I went over to a meeting, she said. I was expecting to see a bunch of bums with red noses and burlap flying around. No I saw a lot of well dressed, beautiful people. At the end of the meeting, we all held hands and said the Lords prayer. And I wept. That was the beginning of my sobriety. Im now 42 years sober.
Raes troubles wouldnt end there. Strauss ultimately got help for his own addiction after doctors told him his liver was five times the normal size.
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Courtesy of Charlotte Rae (Charlotte Rae stills stays in touch with the “Facts of Life” cast.)
While he was getting help, he made a shocking revelation.
He confessed to his sponsor [at AA] that he had homosexual experiences and thought he was bisexual, said Rae. The sponsor said, You have to tell your wife. So he did. When he told me, I thought I was going to faint. I couldnt believe it. We were very, very close I drove to my friends house and she said, God is opening the gate. Its good for you to know. It was tough, but I never, never said anything about John to my children. Never. We continued to be friends. It was very painful, but because of my support system and my admiration for him, I survived and went on.
The marriage ended in divorce and Rae would eventually meet Strausss new partner.
He called me and said, What do you think of Lionel [Friedman]? I said, Well, I think hes a very nice, fine Jewish boy! said Rae.
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Courtesy of Charlotte Rae (Charlotte Rae still loves meeting fans of “The Facts of Life.”)
Strauss died in 2011 at the age of 90 from Parkinsons disease. Rae said the two remained friends and that he was sober for a long, long time before his passing.
These days, Rae stays busy. Not only is she still acting, but she also stays in touch with her Facts of Life family. Rae told Fox News that actresses Lisa Whelchel (Blair), Kim Fields (Tootie), Mindy Cohn (Natalie) and Nancy McKeon (Jo) all have children and are happily enjoying their private lives as adults with growing families. And when Fields participated on Dancing with the Stars in 2016, Rae was right in the studio cheering her own.
Rae isnt surprise that Facts of Life continues to be adored by fans.
The show touched on issues that could bring parents and children together, she explained. And people enjoyed it. When I did a book signing at Barnes and Noble, I noticed there were a lot of people who stood in line and they told me that I meant so much to them They were very attached to Mrs. Garrett. And they all wanted a hug from me! And I gave it to them. All of them.”
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/14/facts-of-life-star-charlotte-rae-alcohol-became-my-drug-of-choice/
Everything about the season is worth loving, except eggnog. Eggnog is gross
People think its cool to hate Christmas its like hating Taylor Swift or fake meat. Hating Christmas means you are pure and above it all, that cliched lowbrow enthusiasm. Hating Christmas is the rockism of winter.
The griping starts every fall, whenever the merchandise begins to appear in stores. Its so superior, so predictable and so boring. I cant believe its the holidays again! Ugh, Christmas. I refuse to participate in this overhyped, bourgeois manifestation of all that is wrong with society.
For bonus cool points, especially on Twitter, you can add a cynical flourish by also mocking the war on Christmas. (Im OK with that, actually. I dont believe in the war on Christmas thats just a load of political and religious crap.)
And joy? Joy is not part of a properly detached aesthetic.
But joy is why I do believe in Christmas. I believe in decorations, and sparkles, and cookies, and snowmen, and department store window displays, and tinsel, and presents, and caroling, and gingerbread houses, and fruitcake, and crying when I see British pop stars sing Do They Know Its Christmas even though I know its problematic.
I believe in David Bowie showing up to Bing Crosbys house to sing. I believe in Its a Charlie Brown Christmas, I believe in Miracle on 34th Street and of course I dream of a White Christmas. I believe in the Nutcracker, which is an entire ballet about candy, my friends. I believe in the spirits coming to visit Scrooge and his transformation. I believe in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and its live camel.
I believe in it all, except eggnog. Eggnog is gross. Oh and Santacon: no one can defend Santacon. Ill give you Santacon, Christmas-haters.
I throw epic Christmas parties at my house for my friends of all denominations. At the last one, I had three Christmas trees, four themed windows, several nutcrackers and every foil streamer I could find on eBay. There was a punch bowl with a block of ice in the shape of a wreath. There was a giant fake fireplace, a smaller fake fire and a television playing a fire on a loop. There was fake snow on the windows. There was stollen, and gingerbread, and presents, and snowflakes and 36 hours of Christmas music on the stereo. I had on a dress made of paper that matched my paper tablecloth.
There is no room for cynicism at my house.
Christmas is also the time of special episodes on my favorite shows. On the second season of Girlfriends, they did a twist on the O Henry story, The Gift of the Magi that got across the perils of deceit as deftly as the classic did. On Popular they retold A Christmas Carol with Nicole, the shows villain, as Scrooge. The Six Million Dollar Man also went with A Christmas Carol; the guy who represented Scrooge was called Budge, which is hilarious, truly. On Supernatural, Sam and Dean had to defeat a bloodthirsty Mr and Mrs Santa but they still gave each other presents in the end an episode that is obviously loosely based on Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.
You guys, scholars make a big deal about how myths are retold over and over in different cultures, and it happens right here every year, right before our very eyes.
Ive even borne witness to a Christmas miracle. One year, my friends Josh and Jens and I had just returned to Brooklyn after a movie. We wanted a drink, but there we stood, alone in the snow, thirstily looking up and down the main drag of our neighborhood. Everything was closed. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
But what to our wondering eyes should appear? Suddenly Rosemarys Greenpoint Tavern lit up with Christmas cheer! We were the first customers in, and it felt like family. Family with beer.
One of my favorite things about the season is this joke:
If you can grasp the joyful absurdity (Damon Lindelhof could) of that, then surely you can find a little fun in Christmas. Im not asking you to believe in Christ. But believe in the spirit of the season, if nothing else. Be merry.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/14/forgive-me-trendy-holiday-cynics-christmas-brings-me-great-joy-mikki-halpin/
I was the restaurant critic. I could have carried on writing about crudits and borscht. But taking money from a shill for Trump implicated me in his hate
For the last three years, Ive been the restaurant critic for the New York Observer, a weekly paper in the upper minor leagues of metropolitan newspapers. Generally speaking, being a critic is a good deal and being a restaurant critic is even better. You get paid to eat, eat well (usually) and then write about it. Whats not to love?
Last week, after the paper endorsed Donald Trump for president of the United States in a bizarro editorial, I resigned. Its not quite falling on my sword, more like leaning gently on a butter knife. I had long known, of course, that the paper teetered toward Trumpism. It is owned, after all, by Trumps prospective son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the boyish real estate scion betrothed to the Donalds daughter, Ivanka Trump.
But the editor, Ken Kurson, had assured its readers and writers that the paper would remain neutral. I decided as editor that there wasnt a great way for the Observer to cover him, he wrote in July. The appearance of conflict was unavoidable.
And then, last week, the veil came off. It had, in truth, been slipping. Earlier this month, a story broke that the editor had helped Trump with his speech to Aipac. Even before, the Observer had run a bizarre takedown of a Trump political nemesis, the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. There was even some business wherein the paper ran Putin propaganda. Putin is, according to Trump, his BFF.
But I wrote about crudits and deconstructed borscht. So I kept my head in my plate and tried to ignore the ugly politics around me. In my own indirect way, I tried to push back. Shortly after Trump delivered a toxic attack on Mexicans calling them rapists and murderers, I parroted his syntax for a favorable review of two tremendous Mexican restaurants, Cosme and Rosies. When Mexico sends its people I wrote, Theyre sending people that have lots of poblanos and theyre bringing those poblanos with them. Theyre bringing tclayudo. Theyre bringing tlacuyo, their arepas. And some, I assume, are good people, too.
Subtle, it wasnt. And for a while I contented myself as working for gradual change from within the system. I tried to convince myself that if I lauded love and light in my writing it could somehow redeem the dark toxicity of the papers ownership. Perhaps that I served the reader or shone the spotlight on chefs could absolve me. But in the end, there became less and less room to manoeuvre. But whats the difference between a court jester and a genuine voice of dissent? One the court keeps; the other has too much integrity to keep the court entertained.
Such is, perhaps, the hidden blessing of extremity: it forces one to make hard choices. I could and did wriggle my way out of many morally tight spots and I know myself well enough to understand Im an ethical octopus. Give me even the smallest aperture and Ill squeeze out of it. Trump foreclosed that out. Taking money from and making money for a shill for Trump, Destroyer of Worlds, implicated me no matter how many self-justifying asanas I assumed.
Had it been Kasich, meh. I like restaurants more than I dislike him. Had it been Cruz, a man with remarkably sensual eyelashes and terrible, terrible policy, I could have eked out a few more reviews until the general election came. (Both Cruz and Trump are projected to lose in head-to-head match-ups no matter who the Democratic challenger is.)
Trump, however, is sui generis. His danger lies not just in his policies which, hitherto, had been rather moderate but in his demagogic summoning of our worst angels. His rallies are like seances from a much darker time and an even darker future. So it is besides the point entirely that he will certainly become a scary blip come November. To stand with Trump is to stand with hate; what I ate, and what I thought about it, is small beer compared with that.
If there is one positive lesson to be found in this election cycle, with all its rhetoric and all its hyperventilation, it is this: there can always be compromise and there always should be. Thats how our system works best. But to compromise oneself, whether by delivering paid speeches or hateful pandering or even reviewing restaurants, is unforgivable.
from All Of Beer http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/13/when-the-new-york-observer-endorsed-donald-trump-i-had-to-resign/