Friday Links: Cold Weather and Blue Skin Edition

sheryll princess

The spelling of my first name is pretty unique. I’ve never in my 41 years ever come across anybody else who spelled it the same way. It was actually really annoying when I was a kid and could never find anything personalized at those end-of-the-aisle displays at the truck stop.

But a coworker was at a birthday party in New York last weekend, and she saw a yacht with the same unusual spelling (she supplied the picture above). Sure enough: they have a whole website where you can rent a Sheryll Princess party boat! Having a personalized yacht is way better than some janky ol’ keychain with your name on it.

While I go and scheme on ways to repo my yacht (do you think I can just show them my license and make the case that the boat is indeed registered to my [first] name?), check out these links.

  • As a child of the 1980s, this is beyond awesome. Rufus Starlight. “We Are Brothers.” There just aren’t enough synthesizers and silver unitards at weddings these days. You really need to hang in there till the 4:55 minute mark.
  • Speaking of music videos, one of my Facebook friends dug up this ode (?) to Stonehenge from our favorite Norwegian variety show brothers. I love how they rhyme “so high” with “technolog—iiii” Also, the 1.50 minute mark? What the what?? Oh wait….Stonehenge rising. OK, I get it.
  • Dang. I only know fat, slutty, tatooed, single mom, Halle Berry look-a-likes. Guess I won’t get that finder’s fee from Sleepless in Austin, a wedding photographer/musician looking for a girlfriend. Good luck with that, jerk.
  • Greatest headline ever: Why do people want to eat babies? Also: I must be missing those reward censors they talk about. To me, babies smell like old milk (and sometimes poop), so, no, I do not have impulses to do anything with babies, let alone bite them.
  • This, quite predictably, cracked me up for the entire week, particularly the food bowl emergency. But I’ve also had a cat supervise me while I’m on my hands and knees in my work clothes retrieving cat toys from under sofas. We even have a stretched out wire hanger that we keep on hand for that task. The things we do…..
  • This news is over a month old, but I’m still angry about it. And fearful. Better figure out this whole layering business real fast. Because this winter is going to be cold, wet and white, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
  • And yes, I still believe in the forecasting accuracy of Farmer’s Almanac. It’s far more reliable than listening to the forecasts from these two dueling weathermen. They got into a parking lot brawl over whether or not it was going to rain last weekend. OR DID THEY??
  • One more thing to freak out about: There are people out there with blue skin. Blue. Skin. Not just one person. More than one. Multiple people.  And not makeup. Like, real blue skin. It gives me the heebies even  thinking about it. I just know I would not stop staring.
None of these guys are who I’m talking about. But man, there are a lot of blue people out there.
abc blue man
I’m talking about this guy. Yikes. Scary. And sad.



Also: When Did We Start Naming Our Winter Storms?

Despite the ominous-looking, but not at all ominous-sounding Winter Storm Nemo, and the accompanying weather-related hysteria that swept most of the Eastern Seaboard, my personal chauffeur XFE and I went to New York this past weekend for our Global Entry interviews.


Well, XFE went for the Global Entry interview. I went with a secret wish in my heart to accidentally stumble into one of the New York Fashion Week shows, or at least see a ridiculously dressed fashion blogger or two (Mission: Perhaps Accomplished? I’ll explain further down).

Global Entry, for those of you who don’t know, is kinda like the self-checkout lane at the grocery store for Americans returning from travel overseas. You get to skip the line at customs, go up to this high-tech kiosk and self-check yourself on through. Also, you don’t have to fill out that customs form on the plane. It’s all done at the kiosk.

I’m telling you, teleporting must be right around the corner.


Anyway, we applied online for Global Access about a month ago and got approved within days. The next step is to go to an airport to get interviewed by the lovely Homeland Security folks. However, the next interviews at Dulles Airport weren’t until May. So, we looked at our options and decided to drive up to Newark, and spend a night in New York before driving home.

This whole plan got a bit iffy with Nemo on the warpath. We went back and forth and fretted about whether we should drive into a storm. I’m sorry, a BLIZZARD. Watching the Weather Channel on Friday night did not help our decision making. I was pretty firmly in the “no way” category, while XFE was in the much more reasonable “we’ll decide on the morning of” category.

Sure enough, Saturday morning we learned that New York had not been hit as hard as expected. So we loaded up the car with snow boots, and a makeshift-emergency-living-in-your-car-kit and hit the road.

Oh, what’s in a makeshift-emergency-living-in-your-car-kit, you ask?

  • One fleece blanket for staying warm
  • Car charger for cell phone (for tweeting, obv.)
  • Several varieties of Kind bars (so we don’t have to resort to cannibalism)
  • Several bottles of water (sparkling, naturally)
  • Bottle of wine (Celebratory; as in ‘rescuers are on their way,’ or last hurrah, as in ‘they’re not on the way.’)

I think there were other, more practical items in there, like shovels or flares or something, but XFE packed the kit, so I’m not sure. My contribution was several recent celebrity magazines. Because gossip doesn’t care if you’re stranded.

Nevertheless, we never drank the wine, nor had occasion to break into our kit because the roads were totally clear. And totally empty. We saw maybe two dozen other cars the whole 3.5 hour trip, an unheard of situation. (We did see, however, lots of electricity repair trucks, snow plows, and for some reason, cement trucks.)

We arrived at practically empty Newark a full two hours before our appointment time. It was so weird and creepy to be walking around what is probably one of the busiest airports on a Saturday morning, and see only a few other living souls.

After watching a short video and answering a few questions, we were done and on our way to New York. We went to the Breslin at the Ace Hotel for lunch and that’s where I saw the maybe fashion blogger. In the middle of our lamb burgers, this blonde Asian girl in a swirling oxblood cape and matching fascinator came sweeping in and joined a table of Asian guys next to us. She’s exactly what I imagine an Asian fashion blogger would look like.

Not pictured: Blonde Asian girl in cape and fascinator.
Not pictured: Blonde Asian girl in cape and fascinator.

We had a similarly interesting lunch experience on our way back to DC on Sunday. One of us really, really wanted to get on the road and made the mistake of thinking that we’d just get food somewhere on the road. (Not me, by the way. I’m all about eating first. Pretty much before any activity, really).

Thus, we ended up at a Ruby Tuesdays somewhere in southern New Jersey. The service was a bit lackluster, and we spent at least 15 minutes in a practically empty restaurant reading a table tent promoting their seafood fondue. The tent promised that if our server did not offer us the option of ordering the fondue while taking our drink orders, we would receive a fondue for free. Alas, when our distracted waitress finally arrived to take our orders, she did suggest fondue as well. (We passed. I’m not fond of seafood in my warm cheese. Blech)

free app

But it wasn’t just the lackadaisical service and odd-tasting lime-chili sauce (I had the chicken tacos, XFE the quesadilla. Both came with chili-lime sauce) that made this lunch stop so entertaining. No, it was the brilliant conversation that was being had at the next table over.

The waiter—let’s call him Jim—was training a would-be server, and he apparently recognized the patrons sitting at his table. After introducing his trainee, Jim launched into a loud and friendly chastisement of how he had not seen these elderly patrons in quite some time. He was laying it on pretty thick.

That’s when we heard the elderly gentlemen explain that his wife had been very sick for a while.

After an awkward pause, Jim began to backtrack and apologize for teasing them.

Another awkward pause, and Jim changed the subject with a cheery, “OK then, so what are we thinking about as far as drinks?”

Pretty sure the training manual doesn’t cover this scenario. I also don’t think I heard Jim offer the couple the seafood fondue.

orange crush

Do Not Get in a Hot Tub With a Weatherman Carrying Dog Collars

Some crime stories are just so mysterious and bizarre, I cannot let them pass without comment.

Take this story for example (Major, major props to the New York Post, by the way). In it, our hero, a rosy-cheeked young weatherman in nice, rural Arkansas is awoken after a fun, all-American Labor Day weekend in a hot tub with a dead naked man next to him.

Well, naked that is, except for a dog collar. Because that’s of course, what you wear in a hot tub.

"Nope, nothing weird here. Just a few dudes in a hot tub. Enjoying Labor Day."

The lead on the NYPost story is pretty funny, in only the way that a weird and unexplained death of a young person can be:

“An Arkansas weatherman didn’t predict he would wake up in a hot tub with a naked dead man, but that’s exactly what police say happened.”

See what they did there? Predict? Like the weather. I think it would have been better if they had said “An Arkansas weatherman didn’t forecast he would wake up…” But that’s just me.

“The mystery began Monday night, when KARK 4 News meteorologist Brett Cummins arrived at the home of John Barbour around 11 p.m., the report stated. The 33-year-old weatherman brought Williams, 24, with him. Barbour said he did not know the doomed man.”

“They then began to drink and use illegal narcotics,” an investigator said Barbour told him. “Mr. Barbour stated he was not sure of the drugs that they were using but that they were snorting them.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the clock. First, the weatherman’s name is Brett Cummins? OK, moving on. I don’t like this Barbour dude one bit. He seems a bit sketch to me. He just lets people come to his house, use unknown drugs right in front of him for a couple of HOURS,  and use his hot tub for who knows what, and he doesn’t even bat an eye. Sus. Pect.

“About two hours later, Cummins and Williams went into the Jacuzzi to have a drink, and Barbour later joined them, police said. Shortly afterwards, Barbour said he left the two and went into the living room, where he fell asleep on the couch.”

Uh-huh. Sure he did. That dog don’t hunt. I’m not buying it, Barbour. Not buying it at all.

“Barbour told police he awoke about 8 a.m. Tuesday and could hear Cummins snoring in the hot tub, the report said. He proceeded to gather glasses in the bathroom and wake up Cummins before realizing Williams was dead.”

Yikes. That all sounds very dangerous. Glasses near the hot tub? Someone could get seriously hurt. Oh wait.

“Dexter’s head was lying behind Brett’s left shoulder,” Barbour told police, according to the report. “After Brett awoke they discovered that Dexter was not conscious and his face was a different color.”

Eeeeewwwww! A different color? Like, dead color? And the weatherman was cradling a dead head in the nook of his neck all night?? In a tub full of water??

“The meteorologist was horrified, the report indicated.”

I’ll say! I don’t need a qualifying, “the report indicated,” to tell me that. That’s just a fact that doesn’t really need to be substantiated, NYPost.

“Brett screamed and became ill and left the bathroom and vomited on the carpet in the living room,” Barbour told police, according to the report. The weatherman then left the house, but insisted he would return. “Cummins did return to the residence and gave a statement to investigators,” according to the report. No details of what he said have been released.

OK, first, rude! I bet that Barbour dude was pissed when the weatherman vommed all over his carpet and then took off like that. No wonder Barbour is totally throwing him under the bus for this whole dead guy thing. He’s probably annoyed that he was left to clean up this mess and deal with the cops.

“When police arrived they observed Williams….with a chain around his neck,’ according to the report. “The chain was silver in color and consistent with what I believed to be a dog collar.”

As opposed to what other types of collars, pray tell? And when and under what circumstances did this whole dog collar thing enter the picture, I wonder?

“An autopsy is underway to determine what killed Williams, but so far no charges have been filed in his death.”

KARK 4 News stated online Tuesday that “Brett will not be on the air as he is mourning the loss of his friend.”

Wow. Just wow. That is one crazy night. Definitely makes my weekend look very tame indeed.

"Anybody seen my dog collar?"

And according to this story, weathermen get in trouble for weird stuff a lot – like filing false police reports, lewd behavior in public, drunk driving, stalking and harassing! Yep, weathermen are a creepy lot. That’s not just something they made up for the movies. 

"Loud noises!"

Wonder what makes them snap? Is it because they’re in front of a green screen all day, imagining where states are supposed to be?