Animal Rescue Groups on Instagram:


Last night, I was at the Cheesecake Factory, screaming at my iPhone because the images on Instagram were TOO DAMN CUTE. Because of the Kardashians, I’m following a big cat rescue in Mexico called Black Jaguar White Tiger. I’m beyond obsessed with the daily pictures of baby lions and tigers rolling around on the floor and nibbling the fingers of their handlers. It is just so adorable, and makes me weepy because that’s all I want out of life. I’ve long dreamed of opening a retirement home for elderly cats. Wouldn’t that be the best? Maybe not for everybody, but for me. I haven’t decided if I’m having my retirement center for elderly felines in Paris, Nice, or Luxor, yet. Luxor would be cheapest, and there are tons of cats there just waiting for good veterinary care. Then I’d have to start a center for elderly camels, too. Well, that’s decided me. I freaking adore camels. Anyway, these big cats on Instagram are beautiful, and I want to hold them all and squeal for hours. That’s what I do when I’m going to bed most nights. And then I discovered a rescue center for wounded bats and that about killed me. Bats are like my number three favorite animals, straight behind felines and camels. But this Instagram account shows big, adorable bats wrapped up in scarves and hats, and they nibble on fresh fruit, and it is just ridiculous. It kills me. I need to follow more. I hope there isn’t a camel rescue society. I’d die.

Receiving Personal Correspondence:


On Friday, I received a Christmas note from a friend I haven’t heard from in months, and I just can’t get over how nice it was to find in my inbox. I’m guilty of it, too, but it’s strange how nobody sends real letters or notes anymore. There is just something remarkably special about receiving a handwritten note or even a nice email. How different it is from the endless parade of spam and junk and offers to become an African prince! If only I could be an African prince…I’ve always thought that I would become a remarkable member of a royal family. I’d be like Evita, but you know, not dead. Probably blonde, though. I think I’d be a great blonde African prince. Let me know if you are an African prince looking for love…if you’re any kind of royalty, even a minor member of the aristocracy…hit me up. So, it was just glorious to see something that was personal in my email. It was thoughtful and kind and it absolutely made my weekend. And it got me to thinking, I should probably send out little letters or notes to my friends and family. I’m an old person now with like a car and an education and a thrilling saga to share in the summer. I should probably tell that to people…but don’t y’all read my blog? Still, it’s nicer when it’s a personal message with a stamp and a nice signature. I’ll do this next year for sure.

Boursin Cheese:


Though I have seen Boursin in the cheese cooler a million times, I never considered buying it. I didn’t even know what it was, although I’m sure I assumed I did. My palate was forever changed over Thanksgiving Break when I had some at my aunt’s house. It was smooth and intensely flavored and tasted so good spread on a piece of toast. Even better topped with sautéed mushrooms. So, I had to buy my own little wheel of the stuff, and I have made a promise to myself that I will never let myself be out of it. Yesterday I made an omelet with caramelized onions and a generous spread of Boursin, and I lost my mind. It was too good. And then I made a breakfast bowl, heaped high with hash browns, a couple fried eggs, and topped with a dollop of Boursin, and I lost my mind again! It was incredible. I am madly in love. This is no good, though, as I made a resolution to myself to eat slightly less cheese. Oh well, as if that was ever going to happen. Cheese is one of the best things that has ever happened in the history of our species. I don’t think there’s even been a cheese I didn’t like. I even enjoyed that sour stuff they served me in Cairo. I assume it was a goat cheese, but I’ve never been sure. So, go out to the shop, dear reader, buy Boursin and anything else that trips your trigger. Go to an actual cheese store if you have one. I do, but it is forty-five minutes from here, and I don’t want to spend all of my income on burrata…wait, yes I do.

Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Eve Live:


I have decided that New Year is my least favorite holiday of the year, replacing Thanksgiving with my disdain. I don’t care for all those resolutions and people deciding that this year is going to be their best year ever. Why doesn’t anybody realize that they aren’t going to change because the calendar does? So I was in a bit of a funk, which I blamed entirely on the fact that I didn’t watch New Year’s Eve Live on CNN. I forgot to record it, which was entirely my own fault, and it wasn’t on the CNN app for my Apple TV, which was endlessly annoying, but blissfully I found it chopped into bits on YouTube with low quality resolution. It worked well enough, though, and I remembered why I’ve been watching this annual comedy fest since the very first year. It gets better each time; Kathy and Anderson fill me with absolute joy. The combination of her unrestrained comedy and his anxiety is perfection. Kathy teases Anderson all night long and it’s such a treat to experience. It’s even better because you can tell they have such a genuine friendship. And it’s wonderful to hear about their peculiar lives, Anderson modeling as a child, Kathy in imminent danger of assassination from Twitter, casual references to selling out Carnegie Hall, and reports of exciting destinations around the world. Every year I want to be their best friend, and this year is absolutely no different. Do put on CNN in twelve months, dear reader. If you never have, you will not regret it. It’s so much better than any other coverage of the Times Square ball drop.


Paranormal Egypt:

This is going to be a stream of consciousness post, since I took these notes while watching the show, and I can’t possibly put my thoughts into order on this incredible failure of reality television… How in hell did they get permission to film in the mummy room of the Cairo Museum with an important member of the museum staff? And why on earth is Zahi Hawass, a man I am trying so hard to like, in every episode? Why did he, a man who wrote at length about his loathing of the paranormal and calling people who believe alternative theories about pyramid construction “pyramidiots,” consent to chat with David Acorah and Tessa Dunlop? She’s terrible! She walks through Medinet Habu, a gorgeous temple on the west back of Luxor, in the middle of the night screaming about how scared she is. And she claims to be a historian! There’s nothing scary about that temple. I spent a happy afternoon within its walls laughing with my Egyptologist friend Yazmin about Amun-Min. And how dare Derek have a “possession” in the tomb of Ramses III, then disrespect the man in charge of the Valley of the Kings. I was appalled. I was disgusted. I couldn’t turn away, it was a train wreck. And am I really supposed to believe that Derek has absolutely zero knowledge of King Tut? Everybody knows the basics about him. I’m biased, as a lifelong student of Egyptology, but this is ridiculous. How did this show even happen? The French & Saunders parody of this medium is literally spot on. Look it up. Why am I still watching? Rawia, another knowledgeable historian, is stunned and holds back from kicking them out of Ay’s tomb. Now she looks terrified because they are so close to the wall paintings not because Derek is being possessed by Tutankhamen. Every single think that Derek reveals are facts and theories that are easily accessed by anybody with less than a passing interest in ancient Egypt. I’m so angry. I will give the producers a bit more credit for the episode on the Sphinx. It’s long been held that there are secret chambers and tunnels beneath this monument, but Derek did point out some facts that aren’t as well-known or easily found. So good job there. But still! It’s been a few days since I finished watching this travesty, but it’s always on my mind. I don’t know if I will ever recover from the assault my intelligence suffered at the hands of Paranormal Egypt.

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