Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Sweet Leads To Another

Before I begin, I should let you know that there are no recipes in this post. There will be pictures and descriptions of lovely treats and a lot of talk about why I make 'em but if you are looking for recipes... read no further.  Not that I don't want to share - just not what this one is about.

I love to bake.  I love to make cookies, cupcakes, candy, etc. I don't go in for all the fancy schmancy details that make for the beautiful pastries you see on the Food Network.  I lack the patience and fine motor skills for that.  When I try it, I usually end up with a barely passable, but still exceedingly delicious version of what the pros deliver.

However, that doesn't keep me from making all manner of sweets.  I'm not one for false modesty and they are usually pretty fantastic. I am also the first to criticize if they are not.  But usually, if I'm making a cupcake, I want it to be epic. For example, my latest endeavor was a cookie dough cupcake that had a chocolate chip cookie base, chocolate ganache filling, buttery chocolate chip cake, a thin layer of ganache icing and a PILE of cookie dough frosting made with Biscoff spread. Yeah.  There was a LOT going on there and it was all good!

I have found, particularly this time of year, my treat making gets out of control. It's a bit because it's winter time.  It's a bit because of the holidays. It's a bit because we do a lot of entertaining  It's a bit because I have a crazy sweet tooth but it's a lot because one thing leads to another.

For example. We had a party in early December for which I made shots of Cherry Mousse in Chocolate Cups. To make cherry mousse I needed confectioners sugar and unflavored gelatin among other things.  Weeks passed, holiday baking/candy making ensued and a lot of cookies, fudge and other assorted tasties were churned out. Festive containers filled the kitchen. There was nothing else I needed to do in preparation for the holidays. NOTHING!

Well, except, I had that pesky unflavored gelatin and confectioner's sugar in the house just sitting in the cabinet doing nothing. Seemed an awful waste. Those ingredients were calling my name.
"JT!  We are confectioner's sugar and gelatin!  Alone, we are two simple ingredients but TOGETHER, we can be so much more! A little of this and a little of that and you've got MARSHMALLOWS!  C'mon!  Give us a try! You KNOW you've always wanted to make marshmallows. You'd could have us in the pan in no time!"
And then there were Marshmallows.  And they were awesome!

Side bar:  If you want to amaze and astound your family and friends, make marshmallows. As long as you know how to read a candy thermometer, they are a cinch.  A sticky messy cinch but a cinch nonetheless and I had dozens of people say "I didn't know you could MAKE marshmallows!" and "These are just like marshmallows but BETTER."

A week or so later, I was poking around on the evil time-sucker known as Pinterest and I was reminded that I had wanted to try 3 ingredient Nutella cookies. Again, the holidays had yet to happen.  There was no shortage of goodies in the house. There was NOTHING I needed to do. But again, those three ingredients were in the cupboard whispering to me.
"So simple.  Nutella, flour and egg.  A quick whizz in the mixer and 8 short minutes in the oven.  Couldn't be easier!"
A half hour later, there were Nutella cookies. They were super easy too. (No pic of the Nutella cookies at this point because this was not their final destiny.. read on for the rest of their story.)

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not good with the fine details of cookies and cakes that are supposed to make them look extra pretty. I prefer adjectives like "rustic" and "hand-crafted". But I decided to try my hand at these cutie-pie peanut butter reindeer cookies.

They tasted great but the assembly sucked. I had to work so quickly while they were hot and the antlers didn't stay on for sh*t.  Also, I underestimated how many chocolate covered pretzels I needed and ended up making "Max" (from the Grinch) cookies.  I'm often asked why I don't do this professionally.  This is one of the reasons why. I don't do well planning this type of stuff out and nobody would be pleased to pay for my improvisations.

Max (The Grinch) Cookies.  The result of my poor ingredient estimations.
If you are familiar with the expression "You eat with your eyes." you may be able to guess that these weren't the most popular item on the dessert table. By the time Christmas rolled around most of these guys had one or less antlers and little smudges of chocolate all over them.  They looked like they'd been rolled down a muddy hill.  I had a lot of delicious but mutilated peanut butter reindeer left after Christmas so I heard the call of ingredients again.
"Here we are in the cupboard.  Just a handy dandy bag of peanut butter chips.  Just melt us up, rip off their eyes, nose and whatever antlers remain and drop those little deer in a scalding hot pool of delicious peanut butter coating!"
Reading this over, I am growing concerned for my mental well-being. Apparently, food talks to me and tells me to hurt innocent cookies.
A normal person would've just thrown out the leftover reindeer-fail. Christmas was over. I didn't need to make more cookies.  But I am far from normal.  Half hour later, I had these.

Yes.  These were very delicious.
My husband is the first person to yell at me for making him fat.  He can walk away from the candies but has no will-power for cookies or cupcakes. They are usually in the house for a day or two before he says "Get these the hell out of here!". Then I bring them to work to the delight/chagrin of my co-workers.  Alas, at this time we were on holiday break so these babies weren't going anywhere.  My husband ate them and said, "Those peanut butter cookies are awesome. You should coat the Nutella cookies in Nutella coating."
"What?!?!   Is that a challenge!??!  Are you insulting the existing cookies?!?! How dare you, sir!  I'll show you!"
Ta-da!  Nutella Dipped Cookies!
Nutella Dipped Cookies
As if that weren't enough, I found myself with some leftover coating.  I certainly couldn't let that go to waste.  Could I?

I glanced at the counter that was still laden with Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge, Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods, Oreo Bark, Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Crackle Cookies, Pistachio Brittle, Hand-Cut Marshmallows, Peanut Butter Coated Cookies and now, Nutella Dipped Cookies.  I believe the counter may have been buckling under the weight, much like the floor beneath my families' feet will be if we keep eating like this. Yes, I glanced at that abundance, then glanced at the garbage pail that I could so easily scrape the leftover coating into... and proceeded to make Nutella Fudge.

Nutella Fudge
This madness has to end. Seriously!  Is there a 12-step program for this? Over-bakers Anonymous?

Anyone who visits us or gets a visit from us in the next two weeks is going to be going to get a care package. January 1st and resolutions are looming. So, if this post made you hungry, and before the diet starts, invite me over!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The East Coast Hurricane

Legend has it this drink recipe was born during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when a NY based blogger found herself housebound, with husband and two bored, crazy kids but without the ingredients for a proper Hurricane.

Fortunately, the bar is always stocked and the only things she was missing were the appropriate juices.

To make an East Coast Hurricane:

1 oz vodka
1/4 oz grenadine syrup
1 oz gin
1 oz Puerto Rican rum
1 oz pineapple rum
1 oz amaretto almond liqueur
1 oz orange curaçao
1 fresh squeezed tangerine

Pour over ice and enjoy ONE SERVING slowly because this will kick your ass and you do have to go back to work eventually!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 26, 2012


I can't believe I've made it this far into my career as a mommy without blogging about Toys-R-Us or "Hell-R-Us" as I dubbed it many moons ago.

It's not all that bad.  At least I don't think so.  A toy store can't be inherently evil, can it? If it hasn't been done already somebody could make a boatload of a cash with that horror movie plot.  I expect residuals.

Anyway, I really have never been able to put my finger on why I hate going there.  Maybe it's because, as a toy store, and the stuff my dreams were made of when I was a kid, it should be a uniquely magical experience every time I step through the front doors.  It should smell like cotton candy.  The floors should shine like glitter and I should hear angels singing on high. I guess, on some level, I resent that it's not anything like that. Maybe it's because it's just not as fun as it should be. Maybe it's because I'm ultimately selfish and I'm when I am there, I'm not shopping for myself.

But honestly, I don't think it's any of those things.

I think it's that I pride myself on being an efficient and effective shopper and Hell-R-Us is just a huge TIME SUCK.  I walk in there with a purpose and either walk out 3 hours later empty-handed or having spent $3,000 when I was planning to buy batteries.  Somehow I lose time and not in the good "I had waaaay too much fun last night" way.

I also think it's that the service isn't great. It's not exactly bad, just not great. There are many little things that simply don't add up to spectacular customer service. I went in earlier today to return a gift with a gift receipt. The young lady behind the counter told me to go find the replacement and come back. To make a long story short, the gift reciept wasn't for that item and the item wasn't even purchased there.  Not her fault.  Either it was totally my fault for mixing up receipts or the person who gave us the gift gave us the wrong receipt  but either way, she could've saved me endless wandering and searching if she'd simply checked the item when I walked in the door. 

Everyone is always eager to help me when I'm in there, which is wonderful. However, none of the employees seems to know much more about the store or any of the products therein than I do.  This is what happened today:

  • Eager Employee: "Hello, miss can I help you?"
  • Me: "Yes, please.  I'm looking for Thunder Tumblers."
  • Eager Employee: "Oh, sure! I've actually never heard of them but I'd be happy to wander the aisles aimlessly with you and search.  Also, I've never used a computer so I couldn't possibly check to see if we have now or ever carried such a product."  (I am paraphrasing but you get the gist.)
That's pretty much how all of my interactions with Hell-R-Us employees seem to go.  Here is one from last year.
  • Me: "Can you help me?  I'm looking for Lite Sprites."
  • Eager Employee: "Oh, do you mean Light Bright?"
  • Me: "No.  I used to have a Light Bright when I was a kid.  Not Light Bright.  Lite Sprites.  They are light up fairy dolls."
  • Eager Employee: "Yeah.  No.  I've never heard of them.  I don't think we carry them."
  • Me: "You do.  I checked the website.  I just can't find them in the store."
  • Eager Employee: "Ok, hang on." (picks up the phone to call someone)
    "Hi.  I have a customer here looking for Lite Sprites... no, not Light Bright... Lite Sprites... uh-huh... ok." (hangs up)
    "She says they are by the bikes."
  • Me: "I don't think that is right.  They aren't a bike accessory."
  • Eager Employee:  "Yeah, I know, weird.  Let's go look by the bikes."
I won't bore you with the details but this went on like this for what felt like about 11 hours.  I don't remember if I bought any Lite Sprites, or Light Brights, or Bike Lights for that matter. I think I blacked out again.

So, we can agree that although the effort is there, the customer service is missing something.  (Yes. By reading I assume that you are in agreement and don't care to know otherwise.) I can't put my finger on what is missing. Is it knowledge? Is it forethought? Is it training?  What ever it is, something needs tweaking for sure. I certainly don't think I'd be any better at it.  It's tough to be an expert when there are LITERALLY a gazillion products to know. Which brings me to the next thing that makes the whole Hell-R-Us experience less-than magical for me.

It's the store layout.  There are, in fact, a gazillion products in there.  Don't argue. I counted. When I go there, I never know where to find anything.  If I'm looking for a toy from the movie "Cars," is it in the Disney section, the section with Cars or with the Fisher Price toys because that's who makes it? What if (shudder) it is an OUTDOOR Cars toy? Then where, I ask you, WHERE? One finds themselves zig-zagging all over the store. I'm usually on my lunch hour, therefore pressed-for-time, hungry and wearing heels. This makes me cranky. I could ask someone where to find said toy, but, as I've already illustrated, the employees would be eagerly wandering all over the place with me.  I don't need that kind of help.  I can wander aimlessly all by myself.  I'm quite good at it.

Plus it's hot as balls in there for no apparent reason.  Keeping the toys warm, I guess.

So, why go there?  Sometimes it's because there's a better price but, for me, that is rarely the reason. I'd rather pay a bit more online and save myself the aggravation.  Half the time the "sale" at Hell-R-Us is never what I expect it to be and I end up spending more anyway.

Sometimes going there is unavoidable.  My kids receive Gift Cards from people. Or gifts that need to be exchanged.  Stupid Geoffrey the Giraffe sends them a $3 Gift Card for their birthday. I tell my kids I'll pay them twice that as long as I don't have to go there and try to find a toy for $3 or less.  I hate that giraffe.  Spelling Geoffrey with a "G" is a douchey thing to do anyway - and if your name is Geoffrey with a "G, I'm sorry.  Not sorry I wrote it but sorry your parents suck.

Finally, sometimes, Hell-R-Us is simply the only game in town.  Amazon has an amazing selection and super-fast shipping but sometimes they don't have that very specific accessory or action figure for your child's collection and when it comes to my kids, I will endure Hell or Hell-R-Us, as the case may be, to see them smile.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why I Don't Miss The City

I moved out of the city about 10 years ago. I don't miss it. I might if I lived really in the sticks but I live in a fairly high-culture, epicuriously diverse area. Occasionally I think of something that's better in the city and then I have occasion to visit and I am reminded why I don't miss it.

1.) Traffic. Everything might be closer together but it takes 5 minutes to move 5 feet. Not always but when it happens, it's excruciating!

2.) Idiot drivers. I've never seen so many inept, aggressive morons in one place.

3. ) Crowds. Where there are lots of cars there are lots of people. Nuff said.

4.) Lines. I know I am stating the obvious because clearly if there are crowds there are lines but I hate waiting for sh*t. Every line is 10 times longer than it should be. Which brings me to...

5.) Customer Service. Everyone is grouchy -- says the grouchy chick blogging about stuff she hates. It is true though. Where I live, service people are almost always anxious to help and happy to do so.

6.) Nasty-A** Public Restrooms. Now, it's not like any public restroom is a pleasure but pile on the people and the issue is compounded. There is no amount of orange cleaner to mask the smell of dirty diaper.

7.) Stepping in F**king Gum! After stepping in gum today, I realized I haven't stepped in gum in 10 years! It sucks! Not quite as bad as stepping in urine, dog sh*t or vomit but it's unnecessary and gross.

8.) Stinky People. Someone ripped a fart while we were eating. Nasty human being.

9.) Huge Mall Parking Lots. If I were at home, I'd be shopping already.

I am fully aware that I sound like an old lady shaking my cane and telling the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn but I don't care. Life is to short to deal with bullsh*t like this and I don't miss any of it. I'll take my 20 minute drive to the uncrowded mall with the short lines, smiling sales people and slightly less disgusting restrooms any day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tips for the Best Results When You Step on the Scale

The optimal time to weigh yourself is the first thing in the morning. Why? Well, every ounce (or fraction of an ounce) counts.  Follow my tips for the best possible results.  The little things add up.

Step on the scale:

  • After using the bathroom
    • You will be minus sh*t weight
  • After taking a shower
    • You will be minus dead skin weight
  • After shaving your legs, armpits, etc.
    • Minus stubble weight
  • BUT Before washing your hair
    • Otherwise you will add water weight, although washing your hair removes a bit of dirt and oil weight.  I guess you could wash AND blow dry your hair first, if you are feeling really ambitious about weight loss.
  • Before eating breakfast
    • You will be minus the muffin, Starbucks latte weight
  • Before getting dressed 
    • You will be minus the maxi-dress weight
  • After brushing your teeth 
    • So you can be minus the plaque build-up weight
  • After blowing your nose
    • Minus booger weight, obviously
  • Before moisturizing
    • Otherwise you'll add moisture weight
  • Before putting on your makeup
    • Don't want to add mascara and lipstick weight
  • After clipping your nails
    • Minus nail clipping weight
  • Breathe out
    • I know they SAY air doesn't weigh anything but what do they know!
If you are truly dedicated to loosing the excess weight, you can try the following:
  • Get a hair cut, or better yet, shave your head
  • Take off your nail and toe nail polish
  • Pluck your eyebrows
  • Pluck your nose hairs
  • Spit out as much saliva as possible
  • Clean your ears
  • Cry a lot (Ever think about how much water weight are we carrying around in tears?!?!?)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Casting Call: Choosing the Right Christian Grey

Spoiler Alert: Clearly, I am going to make references to the Fifty Shades series, so if you haven't read it, (a) what are you waiting for (b) don't read on... or do. I don't really care.  I'm not going to reveal anything very telling. I just figure that if I don't warn people, I'll get a nasty-gram from someone saying "Oh no! I didn't know they had sex in an elevator! You ruined it!" All the spoilers on in bold so when you get up to those parts, close your eyes or something.

Going from best-selling book to blockbuster film is difficult. Everyone is a critic. Hell, I'm about to launch into a sh*t-ton of criticism and they haven't even finished the screen-play yet!

Fans of a book, whenever a book is converted to screenplay, are notoriously as easy to displease as Christian when Ana doesn't want to keep the car he bought her (Chapter 15, Fifty Shades of Grey). That said, the movie people can get off on the right foot by not casting like idiots. I'm not in the film industry but I'm guessing they pick the guy or gal they think will have the biggest box-office draw to all people, whether they have read the book or not. Give Americans some credit. Sure, we are typically morons who don't really deserve much credit at all, but we don't all run to see a movie just because Tom Cruise is in it.

While we are on the subject of Tom Cruise and piss-poor casting choices, any fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series will tell you that Cruise as Reacher is just plain laughable. Read the physical description of the Reacher character, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Reacher is 6' 5" tall (1.96m) with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds (100–115 kg). He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He has very little body fat, and his muscular physique is completely natural (he reveals in Persuader, he has never been an exercise enthusiast.) He is exceptionally strong but is not a good runner.[2] Reacher's strength is combined with his savant intellect and military training, analyzing his environment and opponents at extremely high processing speeds. He mentally plans his fights using physics in a scientific calculating method, much like Sherlock Holmes. He knows how to break a man's neck with one hand (Bad Luck and Trouble) and kill a villain with a single punch to the head (Running Blind and 61 Hours) or chest (Worth Dying For). In a fight against a 7 foot, 400 lb steroid-using thug (Persuader), Reacher was able to lift his opponent into the air and drop him on his head.

Now, I'm certain that Cruise can pull off the ex-military moves but everything else is beyond a stretch. Years ago, way before a movie was on the table, when my husband and I starred reading the series we were hard-pressed to come up with a good choice for a lead. After a while we came up with Dwayne Johnson. More recently we switched to Chris Helmsworth. But TOM CRUISE? C'mon! The trailer dropped the other day and I was hoping I'd be proved wrong. Check it out. At the end of the trailer, when he's taking on like 6 dudes, an impressive scene in the book, I wasn't sure I'd I wanted to laugh or cry. I'll probably see it anyway, at least on DVD or cable. If I'm anticipating a train wreck, maybe it won't be so bad.

But, I digress. I'm here to talk about the casting of the mercurial, über-hot, insanely rich, damaged and (did I say über-hot?), Christian Grey of the popular Fifty Shades series. To be honest, I don't have a strong opinion about who should be cast but I do have some things to look for, so all you big movie muckety-mucks that I'm sure make up about .005% of my readers, PAY ATTENTION!

Please, don't think of Grey as the Edward Cullen of the BDSM set.  Please, don't dismiss the average Fifty Shades reader as a bored, sexual pent-up housewife looking for a soft-core porn read. Sure there are some of those in every love-story fan base but most of us, I hope, got more than horny out of the series. There's a storyline there and the main characters are complex, so sincerely I hope they don't f*ck-it up like Christian did when he busted out the ruler (Chapter 11, Fifty Shades Darker).

So, who to play Christian? He's late-twenties and insanely good-looking so the pool of actors fitting that bill is vast. I'm hearing a lot of buzz about Ryan Gosling as a good choice for Christian. Sure he's hotter than Christian and Ana in an elevator (Chapter 11, Fifty Shades Darker) but is that enough?

The actor needs to capture the many shades of this character, without appearing schizophrenic. Hell, it's not called Fifty Shades for nothing. He can be cold one minute and tender the next. He is extremely good looking, successful and confident, yet lacks self-assurance in emotional matters. Finding the right fit is is going to be harder than Anastasia's limit with regards to genital clamps (Chapter 15, Fifty Shades of Grey).

We've established that Ryan Gosling is hot. Hang on? Did we? Let's double-check...

...yup, still very hot. But is he Christian?

I find that a lot of comparison can be drawn between the Christian Grey character and that of Dexter Morgan (from Dexter, Showtime), without all the murderey bits.

Both are the products of a traumatic early childhood. Both were adopted into a better life. Both feel they are devoid of emotion are caught off-guard and dubious when they feel something real. Both can be confident yet unsure. Both can be cold and calculated but tender in other moments. Both are typically calm and in control but are prone to rage-driven actions. Both have mommy-issues.

Michael C. Hall pulls that range of emotion off quite effortlessly in Dexter but he's not Christian.  He's too old.  He's not the right-kind of good looking and he wouldn't look like a billionaire even in the fanciest suit.  Plus, you'd always be expecting him to don a rubber apron and welder's mask whenever someone pissed him off.

The part can't be cast on looks alone but I'm as hard-pressed as Ana trussed up in Christian's childhood bedroom (Chapter 7, Fifty Shades Darker) to come up with a good physical match.  I think it's the unruly copper hair that's throwing me off.  I can't think of a single actor that fits that description.

However, copper hair aside, anyone who's watched True Blood from the beginning should be able to easily see Alexander Skarsgard in the role of Christian Grey.  Not only is he plenty hot and very Christian-like in appearance,  (See the picture on the right.  If that's not a Christian pose, I don't know what is!) but the Eric Northman character has been equally mercurially as the seasons have progressed.   There's the cold and seemingly heartless Eric of Season 1. The fiercely loyal Eric of Season 2. The emotionally shaken Eric of Season 3 and the truly child-like and needy Eric of Season 4. Plus, he clearly has no problem taking his clothes off.  I think I've seen him naked more often than my husband. The more I think about it, the more I think the fit might be as perfect as the powder-blue bra bought for Ana by Christian's security detail (Chapter 8, Fifty Shades of Grey).

Ana should be easier to choose.  She's an interesting girl but no where near as complex as her counterpart. I'm no casting director.  I don't really know who to cast in either role.  I just urge the big-wigs in charge, you know, the ones who are NOT reading my blog, to go for more than just a pretty face.  If not, this movie might suck more than Ana in the bathtub (Chapter 9, Fifty Shades of Grey). 

Note:  If you did't read the books, you know you want to now!  I should get a cut of all the copies that are going to be sold now!   

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why Facebook's Impending Data Policy Change Doesn't Bother Me Much

You are going to hear a lot of buzz about Facebook's new Data use policy. I tried to find an article that didn't have such a negative slant but I couldn't so here's the one I read.

Also, here's what I have to say about it.

  1. When you are using a free service like Facebook your data is being mined to more effectively market to you. Period. This is what they do. It's how they exist. When they say "your data" it is your demographic data such as your age, likes, dislikes, gender, etc. It is not your social security number, mothers maiden name, credit card number or annual income, unless, of course, you are dumb enough to put that on Facebook.

  2. "Your friends' activities can implicate your personal information." I'd like to hear more about this one from Facebook but, I suspect, the purpose for this is to learn more about you via the social activity of those you associate with.

  3. Some will claim that it is unconstitutional for Facebook to disallow you from using a pseudonym. "Facebook's ban on multiple accounts and using a pseudonym may violate First Amendment protections in the U.S."

    First of all, I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to say that the constitution protects your right to falsify your identity. Secondly, those people should realize that this rule serves a dual purpose. Sure, Facebook wants to know who you really are but it also is intended to weed out those with mal intent such as predators, spammers, identity thieves, etc. So if you are up in arms about this one, think twice. Many of the valid reasons to have a second or hidden identity have become obsolete with Facebook improvements over the years, such as pages for your business and the ability to separate personal and business associates.

  4. Facebook also requires that you keep your information up-to-date.  The same "dual purpose" mentioned above applies to this requirement.  Besides, if I move to the west coast, I know longer want Facebook to show me events in NYC, do I?

  5. In some sections the policy has been changed to "users and non-users who interact with Facebook". This doesn't come as a surprise to me. Many business have public facing pages that people can visit. Their "interaction" is limited as they can't like or comment so Facebook is likely tracking what it can grab from their browsing experience such as location data, browser choice, path, etc. As a business owner, this is data I want and isn't harmful to the "non-Facebook" user.

  6. There are now sections that apply to app developers, including:
  • "You will delete all data you receive from us concerning a user if the user asks you to do so, and will provide a mechanism for users to make such a request."
  • "You will not sell user data."
  • "We can require you to delete user data if you use it in a way that we determine is inconsistent with users' expectations."
  • "You will make it easy for users to remove or disconnect from your application."

Some will say "That damn Facebook is oppressing these developers when they don't even abide by all those rules!". Well, personally, I welcome this change. Facebook knows what it's doing with our data but they get shit on every time a rouge app developer does something it shouldn't. So, Facebook is setting some ground rules. Bravo.

The long and the short of it is that if you don't want your activity tracked, get off the Internet. Whether its Facebook or Google or whatever, your social activity is being monitored. If this is a concern for you, instead of complaining, be your own filter by limiting what you post and your activity. If you connect Facebook to Pintrest, don't be shocked when Facebook posts and ad for circus school and recommends you like "Fire Eaters Unite" because it knows you have a Pintrest board about circus arts.

The social graph is a relatively public place so behave accordingly. Would you strip down in the town square and then be offended that the mayor knows you have a tattoo of a pirate on your ass? No.

Personally, I don't mind that much. A few years ago I posted that I didn't like how Facebook was profiling me and I found its ads about "moms go back to school" and "the flat belly diet" to be a bit stereotypical. Recently I've seen that change and those ads and page suggestions are relevant and even helpful.

I know that some will call me naive and that I should strap on my tin foil hat and prepare for the rule of big brother. I don't care. Many of these are the same people who react to rumors that Facebook will start charging. I've got news for you. You already pay for Facebook. You pay with your demographic information. Each person needs to decide for themselves if the price is right.