Gravity, Dr. Ryan Stone, and Aningaaq

Last night we watched Gravity. It was an excellent movie and I’m glad I saw it.  One question I had after the movie was exactly what the role of Dr. Ryan Stone was on the mission, so I googled Gravity to read the wikipedia page.  In my quick reading, I did not find the answer, but I found something even better. 

Jonás Cuarón, co-writer of the screenplay for Gravity, produced a 7 minute short of the other side of the encounter between Dr. Stone and Aningaaq, the Inuit fisherman with whom Dr. Stone makes contact through radio frequencies.

The scene in the film Gravity was touching, but seeing the other side of things, complete with the reason for the barking dog and the baby’s cries, is just one of the most poignant things I have seen on film lately.  I highly recommend taking 7 minutes to watch this — you will not regret it.  


The One Fight To Have Before Your Wedding

Tonight at dinner, my husband asked me if I had read the Washington Post opinion piece entitled The One Fight To Have Before Your Wedding.  I told him I hadn’t and asked what fight it was and if we had had it.  His response was “oh yeah.” Based on that, I figured that I had to google the article and see what he was talking about.  As it turns out, this was not a fight that he and I had had, but rather one that I had with societal norms at every turn throughout our wedding planning.

The article is about the outdated and obnoxious tradition of removing a woman’s first name when formally addressing invitations and using the title Mrs. instead of the sometimes preferred title of Ms.  For example, Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Doe becomes Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.  The concept of a woman completely losing her identity through this outdated tradition infuriates me, and, as my husband not so fondly remembers many years later, this was a sore subject throughout our wedding planning.  (To be clear, he completely supported me and the modern principles of equality; it was just much of the rest of society that didn’t get it.)

During our wedding planning, I asked my close women friends how they preferred to be addressed and addressed their invitations accordingly.  A couple did prefer the Mr. and Mrs. John Doe approach, but the vast majority either wanted no title (John and Jane Doe) or Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Doe.  Very few of my friends, regardless of whether they wanted their first name dropped or not, wanted the title of Mrs.  If I wasn’t sure of someone’s preferences, I addressed the envelopes as Jane and John Doe.  Even though I was planning a formal wedding, I was happy to break traditional etiquette in the name of equality.

I will save for another day my struggle with my post-wedding name and my disdain for the title Mrs.  For now, I will just say that I am glad that Catherine Rampell wrote about this, though I am not surprised by all of the ugly comments that follow her article.   (And congratulations to Ms. Rampell on her upcoming nuptials!)

Fried avocado

I enjoy the series The Great American Food Truck Race on the Food Network. The season just started and one of the trucks, the Beach Cruiser, makes fried avocados.  I love avocados, as you might remember from my other recent post about avocados.  They are so tasty that it never occurred to me to do anything with them but eat them raw or mash them up and make some easy guacamole.   But after that show I googled fried avocados, and came across this post.  I am now intrigued and think I’ll try it this weekend.  

As an aside, one of the challenges on the last episode was for each food truck to make up a jingle.  One of the other food truck purveyors said that Beach Cruiser’s jingle was a failure. Well, I can say that three days later I still have the jingle in my head, and I’m apparently not the only one.  Check out this little girl singing the jingle! Fish tacos, fried avos! Fish tacos, fried avos! Fish tacos, fried avos!


The lobsicle

When I first heard that yet another lobster roll place was coming to the area I was less than enthused.  Having lived in Maine, I love all things lobster, especially lobster rolls. But I was concerned that lobster rolls would become the new cupcake, hamburger, or yogurt shop.

But then I learned that Lobster Me, which will open soon in Westfield Montgomery Mall, will serve lobsicles.  A lobster tail on a stick. That sounds awesome and I really look forward to having one (or two or three).  (And I’m also excited to eat the lobsicle in the new dining terrace at the mall — I was there a couple of weeks ago when it was partially unveiled and it looks awesome!)

By the way, the reason this is on this blog is that the other day I was scrolling my Facebook page and saw a reference to the word lobsicle in a Washingtonian post, but it was no longer on my feed by the time I went back to read it.  So, I googled lobsicle and Washingtonian and was rewarded with this great news!

Dreaming of Dimples

A couple of years ago I was planning a sip and see for dear friends who had adopted a beautiful baby boy.  It was the first sip and see I had ever hosted so I was looking for ideas.  I came across this blog post, which was full of exciting ideas and included a heart-string tugging description of the reason she was hosting a sip and see for her friend. Her beautiful writing led me to read more of her blog, and through my reading I was touched by her positive outlook during a difficult struggle with infertility.  Last night for some reason her blog popped into my head.  I searched and was able to find her blog immediately.  I was thrilled to see this post from last week reporting that this blogger is now pregnant.  

This is something that I love about the internet.  I will never meet this woman in real life, and even if I passed her on the street I would not know who she is.  And unless the blogger happens to read this she won’t know that I — a random person on the internet — have been rooting for her this whole time.  But the internet can connect us in a way that is so profound.  I am very happy for this blogger and wish her a happy and uneventful pregnancy and a lifetime of joy with her baby.

Oh noble sheep…

I have a full-fledged addiction to 30 Rock. I love the show. I watch it most nights to fall asleep.  Netflix probably thinks there is an error with its tracking because how could one person watch this show so much?

My husband and I regularly joke about the song “Oh Noble Sheep” that Jenna sings when she is up for the spokesperson position with the Wool Council.  We were discussing the fact that I hadn’t seen that episode lately (and by definition, he hadn’t either since he sees me watching 30 Rock every night on my phone when I am going to bed) and couldn’t remember which episode that storyline takes place in.

The answer is the season finale of Season 5, “Respawn.

And in case you haven’t seen the clip of Oh noble sheep, check it out here for your viewing pleasure.

Who manufactures Kirkland brand infant formula?

I realize that I have had several baby-related posts lately, but becoming a new mother will do that.  Much of my googling these days revolves around baby questions, but I won’t bore you with all of those.  But today comes a special What I Googled Last Night investigation… Who manufactures Kirkland brand infant formula?  The answer appears to be Abbott Nutrition, which is also the manufacturer of Similac.  For more details, read on!

Like many new moms, despite my initial plans, I have had to supplement with formula for my baby’s nutritional needs.  We have been using Similac for Supplementation, which in itself raises some questions, but last week during a family trip to Costco (our entertainment these days is different than it was five months ago), I was shocked to see that the Costco/Kirkland brand infant formula was a fraction of the price of Similac. 

Following that discovery, my husband and I each did research about formula and learned that the FDA regulates minimums and maximums of all of the essential ingredients, so there is no need to buy the brand name formulas.

Still, we, like any parents, wanted to make sure that we were not harming our baby by not using the more expensive formulas.  My husband made an off-hand comment that he bet that Kirkland Formula was manufactured by the same maker as Similac, and that comment prompted me to do some research to figure out who makes Kirkland formula.

Most of my googling ends up with easy, quick results.  Not so with this. I started with the hypothesis that one of the big manufacturers makes Kirkland Infant Formula and that it would be hard to confirm that because the big companies would have an incentive not to publicize that information since they charge so much more for the brand names.  For example, sells 34 oz of Similac Advance for $46.19.  By contrast, in its stores, Costco sells 40 oz. of its formula for $17!

So, I figured I would have some digging to do and I did.  I found many references in online bulletin boards and blogs that Kirkland formula is manufactured by Abbott Nutrition, which also manufactures Similac, but no definitive proof.  So I dug a bit further and here is what I found: 

  • In March, 2014, the FDA issued a press release that Abbott Nutrition was working with its criminal investigations office to recover stolen formula.  The two types of formula stolen were Similac and Kirkland Brand.  The formula was stolen en route from Casa Grande, Arizona, which is one of the production facilities for Abbott brands of formula.
  • A USDA report from its Economic Research Service notes the following: “In the spring of 2001, Abbott Labs, the parent company of Ross, began producing a private label infant formula for sale in Costco stores.”

Based on my research, I am reasonably confident that Abbott Nutrition does manufacture Kirkland Brand Infant Formula.  As long as our baby adjusts well to it, we will be saving some money in the coming months!