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Happy Birthday, Willy Wonka!

Instructions for Commenting


1) Make up a name--don't use your real name.
2) Click the "Post a Comment" link at the bottom of the blog post and then type your comment in the "Leave your comment" textbox.
3) If you have a Google or Blogger account, then click the "Google/Blogger" button in the "Choose and identity" section.
4) Otherwise, click the "Name/URL" button, and then put in your fake name in the "Name" textbox. You can leave the URL blank.
5) Or, you can chose Anonymous. In that case, put your fake name in your comment.
3) Make sure to put your fake name in your comment somewhere. Repeat commentors will be entered on Nonny's Hall of Fame!
4) Use the same fake name each time so we all know who's saying what.

Monday, March 31, 2008

INVITATION: Cake with Ghetto FOBulous
by Cl. Panic (guest blogger)

For those of you who know where my office is located in "real life,"
you're invited to join Mr. FOBulous for cake at 2:00 pm. Today.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

TWoNNCotY Competition Questions XII

Click here for explanation of competition.
Click here for rules and helpful resources.

For other TWoNNCotY Competition Questions, see the scoreboard at the upper left hand corner of the blog.

Questions and Answers
Question 63: What was Nonny Nu reading when she ate a wonton and BBQ pork soup noodle lunch?
Answer: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (credit: Airport Stalker)
Points: 6

Question 64: What part did Mr. Nonny Nu offer Stillman in a fight between Bob and Bill?
Answer: Writhing and wriggling "for the winner," her hands tied loosely between two poles. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 4

Question 65: What two things did Sushi say the Nu kitties would not know how to do?
Answer: Speak English and tell time. (credit: Stillman)
Points: 3

Question 66: Who does not have access to Maggi sauce at their local grocery store?
Answer: Man from U.N.C.L.E. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 5

Question 67: What company uses forced bear labor?
Answer: The Beach Bear & Co. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 5

Question 68: The sexual assault of what animal was witnessed by Nonny Nu and Stillman?
Answer: Butterfly. (credit: Stillman)
Points: 6

...there's more to this story--click me!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My New Ear Buds

Contrary to popular belief, I actually have rather small ears even though I am a rabbit (see?). At least the hole part of my ears are small. Consequently, I have always had problems finding comfortable ear buds. Combine this with my previous stinginess toward investing more than $5 in ear buds, and the situation was rather bleak. I mean, these are the ear phones, not the CD player or the iPod, so it seemed so wasteful to get the expensive ones. And, yes, by "expensive," I am referring to the ones that cost more than $5. (Sorry, sometimes, I still apply 1980 refugee pricing standards.)

But, last weekend, I took the plunge and spent $20 on a pair of Philips ear buds. This purchase was spurred by the dual beheading of my old ear buds by either Skillet or Kash (or both). I don't know what it is, but these two kitties just love to chew on wires. Not a day goes by that we don't have to shoo them off of a wire or cable of some sort. I threw away the beheaded ear buds so I can't show you an actual picture of them, but here is a dramatic reenactment using an ear bud body double (mine were the exact same brand and model).

So, I brought my ear buds home and didn't really think of them for a couple days. Then, I plugged them into my laptop and ran a few videos. OMG, they were so awesome! Worth every single penny. The ear buds' size was the best thing about them. They were small and had rubbery and cushy cushions that felt so comfortable in my little ears. Plus, the noise reduction on them were pretty good (they were great at drowning out Mr. Nonny Nu's nightly falsetto lullabies that he sings to Bobby Peru).

Next, I took them jogging and they were awesome again. They were so comfortable, and since they are the type that have a short left cable and a long right cable so that it goes behind your neck, they weren't flopping around in front of me and getting caught on my arms.

Wow, so this is how the other half lives, huh? I never thought I'd ever spend $20 on ear buds. But, it was really money well spent. I love them! Next un-refugee-like purchase? A privacy filter for the laptop.* Yowza. I don't even recognize myself anymore...

*I hope that this item will filter the light away from Mr. Nonny Nu while I watch my DVDs in bed. We'll see.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Easter Linner
by Cl. Panic, philanderer of phyllo

I figure Easter has to pretty much be the rabbit's favorite holiday. I know NN planned an online Thanksgiving get together... why not Easter? Most of the United States celebrates the rabbit for one day every year. (China, in contrast, makes the rabbit wait 11 years before once again celebrating all things leporidae lagomorpha.)

The Panic family came into town to celebrate Easter, which gave me a chance to entertain family with a little bit of spring cuisine.

The menu:
  • Goat cheese souffles in phyllo cups, atop a fresh frisée and radish salad (recipe)
  • Honeybaked ham
  • Prosciutto wrapped fresh asparagus
  • Fresh herb and English pea risotto†
  • Homemade Carrot cake with ginger-orange butter-cream frosting
My FAA and I began our prep work ahead of schedule (we even tested out a recipe or two). Of course, there were also eggs to be boiled (note the spiffy egg timer -- makes the perfect hard, soft or medium boiled egg every time, regardless of the number of eggs or the roll of the boil) for decorating. She also handled the table, and did a great job:
We were cautioned against making the carrot cake because "it's too much work." Well, if Willy Wonka's gunna figure out macarons, I can handle carrot cake. Especially with my secret weapon, which made short work of a few pounds of carrots, grating and chopping them into perfect little bits in no time at all. The pecans were pulverized in about four seconds. Food processors officially kick ass.

The salad worked out quite well, though it was a bit more work than one might usually devote to a salad. This was my first time working with phyllo, carefully buttering them together and gently prodding them into cupcake pans to make the cups, then filling them with the goat cheese mixture before silently baking them and tiptoeing around the kitchen.

I think that the phyllo coups would be equally good filled with berries and mascarpone ... if that doesn't get my FAA to post a comment, I don't know what will.

All in all, though I think that the carrot cake was the winner.* And making it was a hell of a lot of fun. I brought some of the leftovers into the offices of Nu, Nu & Nu, LLP. Nonny Nu ended up eating the leftover frosting out of a Tupperware container -- with a spoon.

I think I'm going to make another one this weekend -- if Nonny Nu can behave herself.

* My little sis deserves a shout-out for the recipe!
† FAA pointed out this omission in the initial post

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, March 28, 2008

TWoNNCotY Competition Questions XI

Click here for explanation of competition.
Click here for rules and helpful resources.

For other TWoNNCotY Competition Questions, see the scoreboard at the upper left hand corner of the blog.

Questions and Answers
Question 57: What is depicted on Nonny Nu’s tan canvas over the shoulder bag?
Answer: The Rollings Stones Cover (the tongues.) (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 5

Question 58: What was the name of 3-fish's doggie?
Answer: Koko. (credit: Freelance Midget)
Points: 3

Question 59: What is Mr. Nonny Nu’s email address?
Answer: (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 3

Question 60: Besides the green monkey pillow, what other monkey is featured in Nonny Nu’s office?
Answer: Ceramic monkey head. (credit: Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
Points: 1

Question 61: What store creeps Nonny Nu out?
Answer: Cry's Electronics. (credit: Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
Points: 6

Question 62: Mr. Nonny Nu made chicken parmesan in lieu of what for lunch?
Answer: Magic Kitchen Turkey Dinner. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 5

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Amber Alert: Snakeye

Folks, a child has been reported missing. He has blond hair and blue eyes, stands approximately 8'6", and weighs approximately 900 lbs. He was last seen this morning at 8am sleeping in his own bed surrounded by cats. He is a latch-key kid, and normally reports to school on his own in the mornings for die-rolling activities but has not shown up today at all. No one has heard from him. He responds to various names, including "Snakeye," "Bobby Peru," and "Mr. Man." If you see him, do not approach him as he is leery of strangers and may attack anyone who shows even a hint of aggression toward rabbits.

If you have any information on this missing child, please call (800) 867-5309.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shamelisted: Wait Staff Who Don't Know Their Own Menu

Don't get me wrong. I like waiters and waitresses in general. I used to be one myself at IHOP's. Yes, complete with the light blue and white striped dress (the one with the puffy short sleeves) with dark blue apron and white nurse shoes (they don't wear that anymore, though). It's great when you get a competent waitress (okay, I'm just going to use "waitress" in the rest of this entry to refer to both waiters and waitresses), but when you get one that isn't competent, it's kind of a drag.

The worst is when the waitress doesn't even know her own menu. Last night, I went to Carrows to pick up some dinner. I called ahead to place my order. Chinese chicken salad for me with a bowl of cream of broccoli soup, and a Mile High chicken teriyaki sammich for Mr. Nonny Nu with fries and ranch-style beans. The waitress on the line says that there are no ranch-style beans on the menu. Okay, now I didn't see the menu, but Mr. Nonny Nu told me that the ranch-style beans were a side item, and I didn't think he was hallucinating (we're out of shrooms at the Nu residence). So, I asked her to look in the sides section of the chapter on sammiches, and she hems and haws and, after about a full minute, reports back that she doesn't see any ranch-style beans on the sides menu.

Hm. Okay. So, I tell her to nix the beans, and just give me the fries on their own (with the sammich). She says okay. Two minutes later, I arrive at Carrows. I go to the counter and tell the waitress (I recognized her voice) that I'm here for the to go order and ask nicely to see the menu. She hands me the menu and I turn to the sammiches chapter. As I told her on the phone, the ranch-style beans were on the sides section of the sammiches chapter of the menu. So, I naively point to it and exclaim, "Oh, there it is! May I have some ranch-style beans with my sammich, please?" Here's what ensues...

nn: Oh, there it is! *points at clearly printed text of "Ranch-Style Beans" in sammich chapter* May I have an order of Ranch-Style Beans in addition to the fries for the Mile High Teriyaki Chicken sammich I just ordered?

"waitress" (I'm using quotes here because a real waitress would have known what is on the menu and would have known how to cause the kitchen to produce the item for the customer's consumption): Oh! Of course. I thought I saw it before but I couldn't find it just now. I'll just add it to your order.

...One minute elapses as she gazes into the computer screen...

"waitress": Um, oh, I can't give you the beans unless you order another sammich.

nn: Oh, well, can't I just order it as a side on its own?

"waitress": *giggles* Oh, no! See? The beans are part of the "Build Your Own Mile High Lunch." The lunch is a half sammich plus a side--that's when you can order the beans. Oh, and you have to order either the Grilled Cheese, Tuna Salad, Turkey, or Roast Beef sammich for that. So, no, you can't have the Teriyaki Chicken sammich and beans.

nn: Oh, but what if a customer comes in and just wants a bowl of beans? How would that customer get just beans?

"waitress": I don't think we could serve it to him because it's not on the menu.

Long, agonizing story short, the manager finally wandered by and overheard the conversation and ordered me a stinking side of beans.

What can be more basic for a food server than to know what's on the menu? It's in English. Read it while you're standing there waiting for the bus. I'm not asking you to excel. I'm just asking you to be competent. More and more, it seems like people come out of a dining experience feeling lucky for having a competent waitress. That should be the norm. We should only feel lucky when we get an exceptional waitress, but nowadays, exceptional simply means competent.

...there's more to this story--click me!

TWoNNCotY Competition Questions X

Click here for explanation of competition.
Click here for rules and helpful resources.

For other TWoNNCotY Competition Questions, see the scoreboard at the upper left hand corner of the blog.

Questions and Answers
Question 53: What does MonkeyPig suggest hikers do if they don’t get out of the way of cyclists?
Answer: Be prepared to EAT DIRT! (credit. Cl. Panic)
Points: 2

Question 54: Where does Man from U.N.C.L.E. get his breaking sports news? (Be specific.)
Answer: Dry-Erase Board in NN's office is the first stop for the breaking sports news. (credit: Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
Points: 6

Question 55: Where did this come from?

Answer: Jet Blue. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 5

Question 56: What do the Nu sisters call Freelance Midget in Chinese?
Answer: Ting Ting. (credit: Ting Ting)
Points: 2

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

TWoNNCotY Competition Questions IX

Click here for explanation of competition.
Click here for rules and helpful resources.

For other TWoNNCotY Competition Questions, see the scoreboard at the upper left hand corner of the blog.

Questions and Answers
Question 50: The cooking of what food cracked one of the Nu sisters' range?
Answer: Bun Rieu. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 4

Question 51: What was Freelance Midget's favorite band in 2004?
Answer: OK Go. (credit: Freelance Midget)
Points: 1

Question 52: What movie got a zero stars rating on TWoNN?
Answer: Havoc. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 2

Thank you to those who are participating but who have not commented. You know who you are.
*hops off*

...there's more to this story--click me!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kitty Korner (3/24--Kitties' First Easter)

By now, TWoNN citizens should have received their Easter greeting e-card. The Nus had a wonderful, fun-filled Easter! The Nu kitties were especially content.

Skillet just lazed around all day. Look at her, almost slipping off of the windowsill! I had to go in for a closer look. Look at that face!! She must have heard me creeping up on her, so she woke up and stretched, but then went right back to sleep.

Kash, on the other hand, has been feeling under the weather lately, and just perched on Mr. Nonny Nu's shoulder all day. Give Mr. Nonny an eye patch and wooden leg, and Kash some feathers, and we'll be all set for Halloween.

...there's more to this story--click me!

TWoNNCotY Competition Questions VIII

Click here for explanation of competition.
Click here for rules and helpful resources.

For other TWoNNCotY Competition Questions, see the scoreboard at the upper left hand corner of the blog.

Questions and Answers
Question 47: How did Nonny Nu pay for her stay at Mr. Nonny Nu’s establishments?
Answer: By Rick-rolling Mr. Nonny Nu. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 1

Question 48: What colors was the ceramic dish that was originally used to feed the Backyard Petting Zoo?
Answer: Light blue with black. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 5

Question 49: Which conductor was Kash recently photographed with?
Answer: Leonard Bernstein. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 4

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The French may be on to something...
by Cl. Panic (blogger d'invité)

I've never been a huge macaroon fan. My Favorite Adult Associate, who cannot resist baked goods or coconut just loves them (she also likes Macaroon 5; they have some pretty catchy songs).

The other day, though, Willy Wonka carried around a little box for the first half of the day. He actually carried it to his own birthday lunch, and then carried it back to the office. As it turns out, he happened to be carrying around of a box of French Macarons (that's right, ONE O!) that he'd ordered from some high-falutin' bakery that knows how things are supposed to be done in the kitchen -- the French Way.

In the words of my favorite puppet, holy crap! These things were good! Now, they looked like little multi-colored sliders (see photo with NN's thumb's up), but tasted something like clouds scooped from heaver. Dessert heaven.

The French apparently know much, much more about how a Macaron is supposed to be made. I don't know when or where we Americans bastardized it, but our version does not do it justice. Sure this isn't the first time the French were right, but man did we really get it wrong!

So, Mr. Wonka has dedicated himself to making these things the right way. Apparently he not the first to become obsessed with such things. But I fully endorse his efforts and volunteer myself as a test subject to his baking ...

...there's more to this story--click me!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter, Party People!

(Artwork courtesy of Coach Nelson.)

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sammich Chirality

I know that this blog entry is going to pull on the heartstrings of many, but most people are going to be too embarrassed to admit that they have the same problem. The problem? Sammich chirality.

There is a concept in science (Chemistry, in particular) called "chirality." Chirality is the existence of two molecules that are non-superimposable mirror images of each other. [What the gall-darned trash is she screamin' 'bout now? *places banjo on lap* *sucks on a straw* --Mr. Nonny Nu] The classic illustration that is used in Chemistry classrooms all over the world is the hand illustration. We can see chirality in our hands. They are mirror images of each other, but you cannot superimpose one upon the other. See here?

Okay, now, also in science (Chemistry, in particular) is something known as sandwich chirals. Now, I only got through basic college organic chemistry so I have no clue what the hell that is. You're on your own on that one.

But, mark this day as the day that Nonny Nu coined the term "sammich chirality," a variation of which is "sando chirality." *winks at Coach Nelson*

Alright. Sammich chirality--what is it? Believe it or not, this is a harder concept to explain than molecular chirality!! It applies to sammiches that are roll-based as opposed to slice-based. When you have a slice-based sammich, it doesn't matter how you eat it because it's open on all sides. You can spin that thing around, but when you bring it to your mouth, something is going to be dropping out of the bottom of that sammich. Okay, you get the idea. That's the problem with slice-based sammiches. Now, roll-based sammiches are a different matter. The nice thing about them is that they are closed on one side, thus limiting the leakage of the good parts of the sammich--the filling. Admittedly, you can't stuff as much into a roll-based sammich as you can a slice-based sammich, but there is really no substitute for that secure feeling you get with a roll-based sammich. Sometimes, though, people get greedy or lazy and they slice a roll all the way through, thus turning it into a slice and producing a slice-based sammich from a perfectly good roll. Those people are never welcome in my home.

Okay, so what have we learned about sammich chirality so far? Only that it applies to roll-based and not slice-based sammiches. We are now ready to actually view sammich chirality in all its splendor:

All I have done is taken a photo of a Lee's #5 sammich (above left) and made a mirror but non-superimposable image of it (above right). This, folks, is sammich chirality. Just like our hands, roll-based sammiches are chiral.

But, why should we care? Well, just like people, roll-based sammiches have an evil twin. You see, depending on your sammich eating habits, you are going to favor either the righty sammich (at right) or the lefty sammich (at left). Keep in mind that, with roll-based sammiches, you are supposed to position the closed side of the sammich downward. If you are right handed, you are more likely to tilt your head to the left, put your left hand under the sammich and steady the sammich with your right hand. If you are left handed, you are more likely to tilt your head to the right, put your right hand under the sammich and steady the sammich with your left hand. Try it right now! See?

So, when a right handed person (like me) encounters a lefty sammich, that just spells trouble. Now, the person has to tilt their head to the right, put their right hand under the sammich, and steady the sammich with their left hand, which is completely the opposite of what that right handed person is naturally inclined to do! Of course, they could turn their lefty sammich into a righty by flipping it so that the bottom of the roll faces the sky or start munching on the non-cut end of it, but who is willing to do that? Not me.

My sammich chirality problem is compounded by the fact that I grew up sitting to the television's stage right.* So, I was literally raised to eat with my head tilted to my left. Now, every time I get a lefty sammich, it almost kills all the joy of the sammich. I wish that there was an option to order lefty or righty sammiches, like there are options to order something with or without pickles. You wouldn't have to waste the rolls. After you sliced the roll in half, you'd just split them open on opposite edges like so to get two righty sammiches out of a single roll:

* Note that MonkeyPig chose to block herself into the corner so that she wouldn't have to get up to refill people's rice bowls. This is her regular practice. Even to this day, she will block herself in at restaurants and people's homes so that she doesn't have to get up in the middle of a meal to help out.

...there's more to this story--click me!

TWoNNCotY Competition Questions VII

Click here for explanation of competition.
Click here for rules and helpful resources.

For other TWoNNCotY Competition Questions, see the scoreboard at the upper left hand corner of the blog.

Questions and Answers
Question 43: What brand of beverage does Mr. Nonny Nu’s friend recommend?
Answer: The Macallan (credit: Stillman)
Points: 4

Question 44: Who almost crashed with a government owned vehicle?
Answer: Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s little brother. (credit: Stillman)
Points: 5

Question 45: According to Nonny Nu, When should one distrust Maggi Sauce?
Answer: When it comes in a jar. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 2

Question 46: What does MonkeyPig put in her coffee?
Answer: Bo jai yuen. (credit: Cl. Panic)
Points: 6

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Look What I Can Do!!

(Bonus TWoNNCotY points go to the person who can identify the character I'm thinking of who says that^^.)

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Did I ever tell you that my favorite magazine is GQ? That, and MAD Magazine. The best part of MAD is the little cartoons they have in the margins. Those are the best, but so often overlooked. Also, I like the the folding back page where it looks like one thing flat, but something else when folded as instructed. It's called the MAD fold-in, and has been in every MAD issue ever since 1964. Okay, anywho, I let these two subscriptions lapse but, today, I made things right.

But, GQ is my favorite magazine. I just love to read about all the little details that go into a man's wardrobe, and the funky things they think about. For example, in the March 2008 issue (the one with Eric Bana on the cover), there is an article about how married men pretend to be single. Can you believe that?! Good read. And, no, I don't read GQ to keep tabs on my bear. I just think men are cool--I LOVE THEM! I don't know why, but I so much rather read about men's fashion than women's. Also, they tell me a lot of neat things from a man's point of view. (Check out their London '007: A Man's Guide to the Coolest City on the Planet--not points of interest that a woman would find on her own, right? I would love to visit all of these places!)

Okay, but I have a bit of a beef with GQ's readers. The February 2008 issue featured Josh Brolin on the cover smoking a cigarette. In the March 2008 issue that I'm reading now, a few readers wrote in about how appalled and disturbed they were to find GQ trying to make smoking look cool. (I'll post the letters later.) Okay, seriously, folks, is this really that a big a deal? We have all these "truth" anti-smoking commercials and entire cities that are now smoke-free zones. But, we can't even photograph a person smoking and put them on a magazine without being criticized anymore?

Look, I don't smoke. I tried it once and didn't understand what was supposed to be good tasting about cigarettes. But, you know what? Smoking does look cool on some people. I mean, check out Brolin smoking (on the cover as well as on a couch). Are you really going to sit there and tell me those cool pictures do not belong in GQ??? Drinking and speeding kill (jointly and separately), but I don't see people complaining about those things.

Also, what about those guys in the 50s and 60s? I think they looked cool:

Of course, the girls were no slouches either:

It seems to me that smoking does come across as being cool if done correctly. So, here I am reading GQ, a magazine that is all about cool, and I see reader letters complaining about the use of smoking as a cool device. What gives? Smoking looks cool, people! I think the editors handled it correctly. They looked through their archives and found only two other issues that featured a man smoking on the cover of GQ. All they said in reply was that they were aware of and acknowledged smoking's detrimental effects to health. Geez, Louise, people. I might take up smoking just to protest all this aggression against smokers.

[edit] Marlene Dietrich needs her own section, but not just because she was such a cool smoker. She also visited troops back in WWII. Here is an account of what she did, followed by more cool smoking photos:

Oh how I learned to love the medical staff and the Red Cross people. It took over a month but I recovered. My outfit was somewhere on the outskirts or Rome, thousands of Americans were storming the Normandy beaches, and I was well on the way to recovery, thanks to the marvelous support and medical attention of the300th General Hospital in Naples, Italy. I was among three thousand patients crowded into the 1000 bed facility. I had recovered to the point that I was mobile. Everyone was expected to pitch and help. I opted to help the Red Cross. Under the direction of Miss Mary Breen Ratterman from Alabama, the 300th General Red Cross detachment was a life saving miracle in action. Ms Ratterman was one of God's special angels and she loved her soldiers. She assigned to escort a USO troop that was arriving to entertain the troops. Bright and early, about 7:30 a.m. one morning I stood at the main entrance and welcomed the troop. To my delight the headline was the one and only Marlene Dietrich! She arrived in a rush, she returned daily for an entire week, she remained and left in a rush. It was her style.

First order of business was a show, presented to the patients who were able to gather in the huge cafeteria/dining hall. Marlene sang, did magic tricks and told raunchy jokes. She was clad in a translucent, shimmering blue gown, slit to reveal those million dollar legs; speaking of nice legs, I was and remain a "leg man.". Before she turned the show over to her supporting musicians and entertainers, she hiked up her dress and paraded across the stage. Then she started tossing autographed blue garters to the audience. There was pandemonium, bedlam. Wheel chairs collided; crutches and canes became weapons as the men fought to capture a prize. The authorities had to stop the show to keep from adding to the casualty list. Marlene then began a relentless, seven day, dawn to dusk tour of the entire hospital. She visited every room except the quarantine ward. She sang, she joked, she gave autographs, she flirted; she ran from bed to bed and room to room. I struggled to keep up with her. She never stopped. She lived on cigarettes, coffee and martinis worked 16-hour days every day, and was a hell of a trooper.

At one time she met up with Rita Hayworth's kid brother. He was wounded and distraught because he couldn't get a message home to tell his family that he was recovering. La Dietrich marched into the hospital commander's office, commandeered a phone and put through a call from Naples to Hollywood. She was able to link mother and son, transoceanic.

She was middle aged, she was a mother, in fact she was a grandmother, but unlike any grandmother that I had ever met. She was kind, caring and fun to be with. She autographed a picture for me and even signed a cartoon-like drawing that my girlfriend then, later my wife of many years, had sent me. Unfortunately the cartoon disappeared from the letter I sent to Jane. I always suspected some dishonest censor. I even tried to trace it but to no avail.

Finally the week was up and Marlene and company moved on. It was a tearful good bye. Few entertainers matched the Blue Angel with her husky voice, her glamour, and her genuine dedication to the troops. When she finally left I had to go back to bed for two days to recover from the pace of trying to keep up with her.

You can be certain that I became and remain an avid fan, loyal to memory of Marlene Dietrich-the lady who laughed at Hitler, refused his command appearance order and poured body and soul into the WW II effort.

[edit] Here are the letters to the editor of GQ:
My girlfriend and I look forward to receiving GQ in the mail every month--and then we fight over who gets to read it first. We always enjoy GQ's mixture of fashion-related, funny, and serious material. But the appearance of a cigarette on the cover with Josh Brolin was distasteful. I don't know aboutyou, but I see cigarettes in the hands of slobs wearing double-breasted suits or bib ties, not in the hands of GQ men. If you want to smoke, go ahead. Just don't try to make it into a statement of how chic or edgy your magazine is.
Leslie Schumacher
St. Paul, Minnesota

As the editor-in-chief of the number one men's magazine in the world, don't you think it is your responsibility to monitor the cover images you show? By printing "Josh Brolin: Return of the Tough Guy" next to the subject holding a cigarette, you are basically claiming that to be tough you need to smoke. You have a responsibility to your readers and advertisers, and this has crossed the line. I hope next time you review your covers, you think harder about the effect a picture has, especially on readers who are influenced by such images.
Ori Zemer
San Diego, California
Here is the response from Jim Nelson, GQ's editor-in-chief:
The cover shot of Josh Brolin is not an endorsement of smoking. We recognize, and have seen in our lives, the severe health risks and addictive nature of smoking, and we think that Mr. Brolin should get hypnotized, but we also acknowledge that, no matter what the science demonstrates, some people will continue to smoke. We aren't trying to make it cool. We continue to believe that the future will be largely smokeless, and we know that's a good thing.
Also included in the March 2008 issue of GQ is this awesome picture of Leonard Bernstein sporting cuffs and...drumroll please...a lit cigarette! Who knew Bernstein was cute?

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