Blah Blah Blog by Jessica Harper by Jessica
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Archive for October, 2011


Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Siri and the Telephone

The new iPhone4S, with its voice control software (called Siri) is about to become my (and millions of other people’s) best friend.

People who are getting to know Siri tell me that her female, slightly robotic voice responds to your every command. She’s like an assistant you don’t have to pay minimum wage. When I get around to buying this phone, I think it’s gonna be a game changer.

For starters, if somebody sends you a text, you can ask Siri to read it to you. Then you dictate a response and Siri will send it back. No more standing around for an hour trying to get your oafish thumbs to deliver a coherent message.

You want to know what the weather’s like today? Ask your phone goddess. Siri will tell you, and no snarky reply like, “Really? Too much of a lazy ass to step outside and see for yourself?”

I’m told you can also ask her for directions (although if you are male you are unlikely to use this feature) and she can tell you where the nearest Starbuck’s is and whether or not it’s your sister’s birthday and what hotel you should stay at in San Francisco and all kinds of stuff.As long as she doesn’t get too familiar—I don’t’ need her opinion on, say, whether I look fat in these pants—I know I’m going to love her.

What I’m really hoping, when I get my hands on the iPhone4S, is that, in addition to all her other tricks, she is capable of being a sous chef. I volunteered to make an apple crumble for my book group–I know, what was i thinking?–and and I’d love it if she’d peel those damn apples.

I’m guessing I might have to wait till the next generation of iPhone for a Siri who can perform that and other services. Who knows what she’ll be doing for us when the iPhone5 rolls out of the factory? Massage? Pshycotherapy? Grocery shopping? I can’t wait.

I wonder if she’ll be able to provide me with Ryan Gosling’s cell phone number.


Why I Am Not Running For President

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Republicans demanded explanations from Chris Christie and Sarah Palin. I’ve had a few inquiries myself, and here is my response.

Why I’m not running for president:

1. I could never have Presidential hair with that D.C. humidity.
2. I’d have to wear jewelry like Hillary’s and a pants suit whose jacket would NOT provide adequate butt cover.
3. On those Air Force One flights, I could not knock back a chardonnay ad watch Xmen: First Class.
4. I’m pretty sure security would insist I wear a disguise when accepting a pizza delivery.
5. My closet is so full of skeletons, it’s like a Halloween party in there.
6. I’m a Democrat.
7. My house would have to be white.
8. Whenever I had a VPL, millions of people would chat about it on the Huffington Post Style page.
9. I’m guessing martinis would be frowned upon.
10. What, in these shoes?


Snoop Dogg And The 85-Pound Rutabaga

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I do not have a green thumb. On my watch, plants usually perish rather than prosper. But I am newly motivated to hone my gardening skills, after hearing about Snoop Dogg and the 85-pound rutabaga.

The story takes us to Cardiff, where a Welsh farmer, Ian Neale, grew the largest rutabaga in histoy. The gnaraly looking vegetable (also known as a swede) weighed in at 38.92 kilos. Typically, achievements like Neale’s are noticed only by a handful of gardener geeks. But this vegetable caught the attention of Snoop Dogg.

Turns out Snoop grows things too. If you check out this video of him reaching out to Neale, , you’ll see his impressive crop in the background. (I’m not sure what it is, but it looks a lot like something my stoner cousin grows in his backyard in Berkeley.) While Snoop’s plants look plenty robust, he apparently seeks to grow them to “Jack And The Beanstalk” proportions. When he got wind of Neale’s uber-swede, he invited the farmer to come to his show in Cardiff, and then backstage to swap growing tips.

Neale declined at first, but then accepted, and got the VIP treatment after the show. He had a ten minute audience and a smoke with Snoop—no tobacco was involved—and told him to use a product called Root Grow.

While Neale says he “would not pay” to see Snoop Dogg in concert again, he’d happily accept a free ticket (and, presumably, another sample of Snoop’s crop).

I guess it’s too late in the season to attempt to grow a zucchini the size of a dachshund or a tomato as big as my head, but I’m posting the picture you see here (taken some years ago) in hopes that Snoop will mistake me for a gardener extraordinaire and invite me backstage too. (Between you and me, I may or may not have grown the pumpkin, but I did raise the kids, sans Root Grow.)

P.S. Here’s a recipe for rutabagas. By my estimation, Ian Neale’s could feed abut 190 people.