Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For today’s lesson in technology, we will focus on internet meme’s.

Other than being a super fun word to say, Wikipedia’s definition of an internet meme is “a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet, much like an esoteric inside joke.”

So in easier terms – it’s those YouTube sensations or things your aunt eventually forwards to you.

Recently, there has been a number of popular meme’s. Maybe if I point out a few, it will help you understand the term…

· “Imma Let You Finish…” Made popular by Kayne West’s famous Taylor Swift interruption, there is a blog dedicated to spoofs on this unforgettable incident. At this link,, you will see a Kayne West “interrupt” celebrities, movies, television shows and even cartoons. Readers can submit their own illustrations.

· Dance, Dance: For the last three years or so, choreographed wedding dances have been invading the crazy world wide web. However, this summer one video in particular took off. I won’t pain you to feature it here or link to it, but you know which video I’m talking about. Wedding dances hit an all-time low with this lame Pittsburgh-sports themed dance:

· Rick Roll: I’m not really sure who created this, but a Rick Roll is basically when you punk someone into thinking they are seeing something cool, but really it’s a link to the Rick Astley’s video for ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.” For example, I send you a link that says “OMG, I’m featured on the cover of the Chicago Tribune,” but you click on it to find a link to the “Never Gonna Give You Up” video. You’ve been Rick Rolled. The New York Yankees have Rick Rolled their fans, a Rick Roll spoof was featured on a float at last year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Rick Astley actually made an appearance on the float) and YouTube Rick Rolled people on April Fool’s Day.

· FAIL: One of my favorite meme’s is the Fail Blog. Basically people post pictures of people, things or animals that “fail.” Recent examples include bad store names, bad parents and bad headlines (“government sues itself”).

And for good ‘ole times, remember “Dancing Baby” from 1996? Yeah, that video that was passed around by anyone who had the internet or email…well that baby is considered one of the first ever memes. The baby even made an appearance on Ally McBeal.

(Sources; mental floss,,, Baby picture from
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Liquid Diet - Drinkable Dessert

Thursday, September 24, 2009

For the first Thirsty Thursday of fall, today's drink is the Pumpkin Pie Cocktail.

Created by Chef Kenneth Mclure of numerous bars in New York, this drink was featured in New York Mag way back in 2005.

This recipe is fairly easy to make, but the pumpkin schnapps may be a little tricky to find. I did a little research and there is a variety brewed by Hiram Walker that you should be able to find at a big liquor store.

PUMPKIN PIE COCKTAIL (by: Chef Kenneth McClure)

- 2 parts Absolut Vanila vodka

- 1 part pumpkin schnapps

- Splash of cream (or substitute a splash of orange juice)

- Nutmeg

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with nutmeg and cherry.

(sources: NY Mag, photo:
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Ice, Ice, Bowl

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

During last week's post on punch, I mentioned that that ice bowls are easy to make. While I’ve never made one myself (yet), the directions look pretty simple. However, I would suggest putting these on display outside, so they don’t melt in your house.

Make your own Ice Bowl (from the queen of all things Martha Stewart)

What You’ll Need:
· 2 glass or stainless steel bowls (one should fit inside the other)
· Garnish of choice (edible flowers, herbs, orange, lemon or lime slices, etc)
· Water
Directions:· Add the garnishes to the large bowl
· Place the small bowl inside the larger bowl
· Pour water between the bowls to ½ from the top
· Add more garnishes to the top
· Freeze overnight
· Let stand at room temperature on a dish or towel until the bowls separate easily (10-20 minutes)
· Lift the top bowl
· Flip over the bottom bowl to remove your ice bowl
· Freeze a little more if needed
· If your food should be dry, put a glass bowl inside your awesome ice bowl
· Place a dish towel or tray underneath to catch drips

(Photo & directions from Martha Stewart)
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Mamma Said Knock You Out

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last week, I received my first PR pitch. Okay, it really wasn't a pitch, but PR pro and reader Beth suggested that I post this punch recipe that she recently made for a shower. She said people couldn't stop raving about it.

So Beth, this Thirsty Thursday is dedicated to you and your punch.

Party Punch (Recipe from

3 (3 ounce) packages fruit flavored gelatin mix
4 cups white sugar
13 cups boiling water
2 (46 fluid ounce) cans pineapple juice
1 (16 ounce) bottle lemon juice concentrate
2 (2 liter) bottles ginger ale, chilled

In a large bowl, combine gelatin and sugar. Stir in boiling water until mixture is dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice and lemon juice concentrate. Divide into 2 containers, and freeze until solid.
To serve, place gelatin mixture in punch bowl, and chop into pieces. Pour in ginger ale.

Additional comments from today's contributor, Beth:

"I used three cups of sugar and added cut up strawberries and raspberries. mmmmm. would be better with vodka but it was for a baby shower at work so that didn't fly."

The picture to the right is a decorative ice bowl from Innovative Ice. I'll tell you how to make one of those later!

(Sources: Beth,, Photo: innovative ice)
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Oh Yes It's Ladies Night...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

*** Attention Male Readers: Stop reading now. Come back tomorrow. ***

Tonight I had the chance to finally make it though all of the massive September magazines that I either subscribe to or have purchased. As any slave to fashion knows, this is the month when magazines produce ginormous issues filled with fall/winter fashion. So today, I decided to recap what I’m seeing.

Color Me Happy: Neon pink is everywhere! While this is a color that’s hard to pull off because it drowns out some people’s face, I’ve the pink show up as a skirt paired with a black top and black tights. I just love the burst of color in a typical boring brown and black time of year. Here’s Taylor Momsen from “Gossip Girl” pulling off the look to the left (I don’t recommend going this ‘goth’).

She’s Got Leggings: According to Rachel Zoe in September’s Glamour, leggings are still okay – just make sure that you top “covers your bum.” I agree. Especially when it comes to what you are wearing to work. To echo that, the Bloomingdales fall fashion mailer says that leggings and second skin pants are “Absolutely, fundamentally key layers to be worn with every single fall look from slinky tops to clingy dresses, blazers, minis, over-the-knee boots and beyond.”

Bling Bling: The 80-year-old grandma in me LOVES that sequins are still in! From full on dresses to tanks to skirts, keep wearing those looks that were hot last winter. You know, I have a sequin skirt from 2001 that I held on to and wore to a party last winter. These pieces may be a little pricey because of the hand-crafted sewing, but seriously – they are a great investment. Oh and when you wear sequins, I recommend keeping the accessories minimal.

Leather Ladies: Yep. Leather is in. Mel – you should have asked Brian for some leather apparel for your anniversary (3 years is leather!). From bomber jackets, to leggings to over-the-knee boots, leather is hot for fall.

Blazer of Glory: A strong-shouldered blazer is a key piece to have in your fall wardrobe. Let me just say that blazers are lifesavers during this in between weather – especially when you are going out and don’t want to lug a big coat.

Bling Bling Part 2: I love this trend. Accessorize a plain t-shirt with an over-the-top bib necklace. The reason this is one of my faves is because you can pair a necklace with a basic t from Old Navy and ta-da – it looks so much more expensive! Also pair with an LBD to dress it up! To the left is a plethora of bib necklaces featured on Who What Wear daily (a great newsletter!).

Gosh, this post excites me so much. I wish I could go back-to-school shopping!

(Sources: Glamour Mag, Bloomingdales “Hot” mailer, Harpers Bazaar, Photos:,Who What Wear )
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Beef: It's What's For Tailgating

Monday, September 07, 2009

If you've been to a Bonkowski tailgate, then chances are you've sampled some of my mom's famous Italian Beef.

Yeah, yeah, my Chicago readers are rolling their eyes thinking "nothing compares to a Chicago Italian Beef..." but this recipe is good. So good in fact that it was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (thanks to Mrs. Tracy!). Here's the link:

I think the record goes to Steve for eating three or four of these in the course of one tailgate. I'm sure he passed out during that duration as well.

Sue Bonkowski's Italian Beef
3-4 lbs top sirloin round roast
1 jar peperoncini (remove stems) including juice
1 can beer (mom uses Coors Light)

Bake about 5 hours in a crockpot

The round roast can be kind of expensive, so stock up on it when its on sale and freeze it. Oh and you can make the beef and then freeze it for awhile. This recipe may sound a little intimidating, but I was able to make it for the awesome 2009 Super Bowl!
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