You know, some weeks, I begin to doubt whether Friday will ever get here. Thank you for your patience with me this week, as I flew solo without my intrepid writing buddy. I think we can all agree that Jessica is never allowed to take another vacation, ever. Deal? Good! Now, I invite you to sit back and procrastinate away the rest of your Friday with these links (and my sincere hope that I’m not accidentally repeating anything Jessica already posted).
– Ever wondered who lives in those immaculate and overdecorated rooms you see in catalogs, with those brightly smiling children who are impossibly excited about owning a monogrammed towel? Wonder no more: The Catalog Living site imagines the occupants as a couple named Gary and Elaine, and scripts short captions about their lives.
– On the plus side for Jessica Simpson, photos of her in her latest disastrous outfit were not in our subscriptions, so we couldn’t feature them. On the minus side, EVERYONE ELSE did. Oh, honey. The Easter Egg Hunt was in March. Twenty-three years ago. [Us Magazine]
– HuffPo put together a slideshow of funny construction gaffes, which are going to serve as my inspiration for building a house, because who doesn’t want two sets of stairs that collide? [Huffington Post]
– This dramatic reading of a poorly spelled, grammatically disastrous breakup letter is priceless. Seriously, don’t click the link unless you are free to listen to the audio — it really gets going somewhere in the middle, at which point I started doing that ugly-guffaw thing where my nose crinkled up but my eyes wouldn’t close and I was gasping a bit, and animal sounds came out my nostrils. But it was worth it. If this has been kicking around a while and I’m just way behind the times, blame… I don’t know. Spencer Pratt. [You Make Me Touch Your Hands For Stupid Reasons]
– This will make you weep in a different way. This blog post begins as one mother’s reflection on a recent study suggesting that having kids does not make people notably happier than not having them, and then turns into an absolutely bracing, raw, emotional read about how she’s coped with her child’s agonizing setbacks. Grab your Kleenex. [JenniferLawler.com]
– Bill Murray claims that he thought Garfield was a Coen Brothers movie — yes, those Coen Brothers — and he didn’t realize his mistake until he sat in the booth to record audio. Of course, as Vulture’s Lane Brown pointed out, that doesn’t explain Garfield 2, but it does make Bill Murray a cracking good interview. [GQ.com via Vulture]
– Newsweek created this vivid short video on the changing face of beauty, which — in the style of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” — morphs through different famous faces of the ages, ending with… well. I’ll let that be a surprise, but my reaction was to recoil, if that’s any kind of hint. However, minorities are barely featured at all — like, where is Halle Berry, or J.Lo? — and that’s disappointing, as is the lackluster series in which this video is included: a piece on beauty and its importance in the world and workplace that manages to add nothing to the argument except fresh statistics, and basically concludes we should all just use our looks to get ahead and be done with it. Wait, so does that mean I can get Botox as a tax write-off? Thanks, Newsweek! [Newsweek]
– Speaking of beauty, I would like to meet the beholder whose eye finds it in Britney’s rat’s nest of hair-extension nubbins, and then suggest that person hightail it to LensCrafters. This begged for a Letter of Truth, I know, but that’s Jessica’s purview — if I had attempted to replicate her glory in her absence, I would have a) come up short, and b) started a riot. [Radar Online]
– Donald Glover — Troy from Community – wants you to know he also raps, writes, and pretty much wants to take over your universe. [Los Angeles Times]
– Now that we’re in the throes of Big Brother A Bajillion and its two nascent and ridiculous showmances, have you ever wondered about the state of its laid-for-TV lovers of yore? Wonder no more. [San Francisco Examiner]
– The Washington Post put together a stunning — in scope and in aesthetics — package called Top Secret America, with articles and maps and video spotlighting what it calls “the … alternative geography of the United States, one defined by the concentration of top-secret government organizations and the companies that do work for them,” and which tries to determine whether the byzantine web of intelligence officers and agencies is bloated beyond efficacy. [WashingtonPost.com]
– And then there’s Charlie Wittmack, the likable maniac who just began the World Triathlon: eleven months, ten-thousand miles, and thirteen countries, beginning by swimming the Thames and the English channel (he is on mile 134 right now), then continuing with a nine-thousand-mile bike trek through Europe and Asia, and concluding with a 950-mile run and scaling of Mount Everest. I bookmarked the blog, which has everything from posts by Charlie to video dispatches to outtakes reels, but I also like to check the GPS tracker.
– Finally, in far less noble pursuits, remember Richard Heene, the Balloon Boy’s father? Well, I missed this at the time, but apparently Anderson Cooper played a clip of the theme song Heene wanted to use for his proposed science show, Richard Heene: Psyience Detective. (And no, you’re not hallucinating that spelling.) The song will burrow into the recesses of your brain and stay there. Since I heard it, I’ve been authoring all kinds of songs to its tune — “Intern Clooney, Hugging Detective,” for instance, is a future hit. Have fun getting this out of your head all weekend… [CNN via YouTube]