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Profile for Jennifer A. Cummings > Reviews


Jennifer A. Cumm...'s Profile

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Jennifer A. Cummings RSS Feed (San Francisco, CA)

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KRUPS F23070 Egg Cooker with Water Level Indicator, 7-Eggs capacity, White
KRUPS F23070 Egg Cooker with Water Level Indicator, 7-Eggs capacity, White
Price: $29.85
26 used & new from $26.86

2.0 out of 5 stars you'll love it" several times, April 15, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So I heard "it sounds silly, but trust me, you'll love it" several times.
Well, it's silly.
Boiling eggs in a pot is just as simple as using the egg cooker. And the quality is exactly the same. In fact, regular boiled eggs seem better on average, as every once in a while an egg prepared in the egg cooker will squirt a little egg white up through the hole you're supposed to poke in the top of the egg and then end up with a weird consistency overall.
Disclaimer: I generally make hard boiled eggs that i keep in the fridge and eat cold. This thing may work better for "soft boiled eggs" or whatever. I can also see it being useful for a dorm situation if you really love eggs and can't really do pot and pan cooking. Hopefully that will be where my egg cooker ends up after I leave it at Goodwill.

CafePress - Korean Yin Yang - Wall Clock
CafePress - Korean Yin Yang - Wall Clock
Offered by CafePress
Price: $24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Cute enough but basically just a cheap clock (which I ..., July 12, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Cute enough but basically just a cheap clock (which I bought as a gift to my Korean martial arts studio). It's still working about 3 months after purchase. Oftentimes the clock is difficult to read because the hands are black and difficult to differentiate from the black line dividing the yin and yang on the clock.

L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher Facial Cream
L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher Facial Cream
Offered by esoterique
Price: $9.99
25 used & new from $3.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh.., July 12, 2015
Meh. It doesn't "vanish" pores but does mattify skin and blur pores decently for an hour or so. I haven't noticed any long term change in my pore size (over 1 month use), but frankly I've tried multiple products for that, and NONE of them do ANYTHING to change actual pore size.
The consistency of the product is weird; tends to come out in 2 phases, a watery/alcoholy liquid comes out first, followed by a more solid/gel-like tinted material. Shaking vigorously doesn't blend the 2 components. Not necessarily a bad thing, but don't get this if you think that will gross you out.

The Hunger Games Movie Prop Replica Sack Nylon #12
The Hunger Games Movie Prop Replica Sack Nylon #12
Offered by Offworld Marketing
Price: $19.98
2 used & new from $14.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this one, July 16, 2013
This district 12 bag costs $39.
Do yourself a favor: get a district "1" or "2" bag replica (at $12 to $20.. still overpriced but not absurdly so), and add a "2" or a "1" with duct tape.

And remember, this is a toy, not a bag. It's great for a costume you're planning to wear a few times at most. It is NOT durable.

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
by Jeffrey Toobin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.72
525 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for non-experts, February 9, 2009
I'm an educated person but in no way a political wonk. I have no idea why I picked up this book, but I'm so glad I did. It held me as well as any novel and I feel like it gave me a pretty good beginner's hold on the judicial process and legal logic. I also found myself fascinated with the personalities of many of the justices (particularly one who seems to be among Toobin's favorites, the quirky but rigorous David Souter).

Of note, Toobin seems to have a bit of a leftward bias and a major theme of this book is the "conservatization" of the Court that took place during the Bush II years. I'm generally moderate-to-left in my political views, so I didn't mind Toobin's perspective. Keep this in mind, however, if you're looking for a politically unbiased account of the Supreme Court (though I doubt that such an account exists!)

Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays
Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays
by David Foster Wallace
Edition: Hardcover
54 used & new from $12.95

105 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Dining for the Mind, July 21, 2006
I was introduced to DFW by the classic essay "A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again," but stupidly lost track of him until picking up "Lobster" on a whim a few weeks ago.

Let me say this first: even though DFW is a freak for the correct use of language, I love him because he can break all the pesky little rules we've all learned about clear writing (eg, no fifty-cent words, limit footnotes, limit adverbs, two simple sentences are better than one complex sentence, etc), and write vividly, clearly, engagingly, etc (see, he's already liberated my long-caged drive to adverbize.) Perhaps even better, he writes so that it feels we are in his head, and doesn't patronize his reader by tidying up messy internal disputes, which is damn refreshing.

Many of the essays are are similarly conceived (it somehow all seems to do with marketing to the least common denominator, and the way this marketing glosses over so much that is complex and difficult and important to think about, and the author's simulataneous fascination with and and revulsion regarding said marketing, in an "I'm revolted but I can't look away... and in fact am I actually that revolted?.... Gosh, should I be more revolted? Am I actually falling for this?" kind of way).

At this point, I'm thinking that my favorite is the title essay, which is among the shortest in the collection but definitely the most visceral and, at many points, just plain sad. I have a neuroscience background, and can vouch for the moral and biological complexity of the question over whether animals without cerebral cortices "experience" pain. Warning: yes, the essay's description of a lobster's behavior during the boiling process dissuaded me from eating lobster ever again.

Other standouts: "Up, Simba," about the author's travels with a press contingent during John McCain's 2000 "Straight Talk Express" ride for the Republican presidential nomination. This is one that, again, just ends up damn sad, showing just how meaningless political campaigns are. [Side note to those who have read this essay -- DFW's account of McCain's well-documented POW years is fantastic, but raised a questions I'd never thought of before, and apparently DFW didn't either -- Could young McCain have "refused" to be released from the POW camp based on his adherence to a code? I mean, if the VietCong had wanted to release him for publicity reasons, they could have just knocked him upside the head, dumped him in a jeep, and driven him to wherever they wanted to leave him. The very fact that I'm thinking this probably means that I am one of the young American cynics DFW both chastizes and sympathizes with in the course of the essay.] Also outstanding are "Big Red Son" and "Host," the latter of which is made fascinating by the use of sidenotes, with sidenotes on sidenotes, and I think in one case a sidenote on a sidenote on a sidenote. (I like the sidenotes; there will be dissenters I'm sure)

Do it -- this is filet mignon -- I mean lobster -- I mean uh a high-quality vegetarian feast for the mind.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2012 2:21 AM PST

Scarlet's Walk
Scarlet's Walk
Offered by mirmedia_movies_and_music
Price: $4.00
166 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully subversive, I think, October 8, 2004
This review is from: Scarlet's Walk (Audio CD)
I should state outright that I am a longtime Tori fan, and am therefore biased. However, even among her overall monumental body of work, Scarlet's Walk stands out. This could very well be my favorite Tori album.

Tori ia maturing as an artist, and although this album musically echoes earlier, "simpler" CD's (Under the Pink, Little Earthquakes), something has gotten richer and deeper here. Scarlet's Walk is clearly an outgrowth of the original, fragile bud -- the precocious girl infuriated by the status quo (recall God and Precious Things from early CDs). But that precocious girl has bloomed into a wise, wise woman.

Take "Carbon," for instance. Like most of the songs on the album, the picture painted is abstract enough that there are many possible correct perceptions. My take on it is that it's a song about death -- about looking death in the eye, accepting it (or "her," as its presented in the song), as an inevitable eventuality ("Carbon maid (made?) only wants to be unmade"), and embracing that acceptance to ensure a best-lived life.("Keep your eyes on her..") Possibly even carrying around suicidal thoughts as a reminder of the inevitable. Memento mori. But this is so much more than "live each day as though it were your last." This is about coming square with rot and decay. This is ugly-honest, yet somehow reassuring.

And then there's the title song of the album, "Scarlet's Walk", which some of the reviewers here have stated is patriotic. Well, keep listening. Deep inside that song there is a quietly frustrated Cherokee who understands that this is a great nation, but who is deeply aware of what has been lost to achieve it. And who, consequently, feels entrapped by "the land of the free" (""What do you plan to do with all your freedom?" the new sheriff said, quite proud of his badge...") [Sadly, I can almost hear that line being said to the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan.]

I won't try to analyze any of the other 16 songs. But I just have to mention some of the killer lyrics you don't find anywhere else but Tori albums. "Wednesday" (a "lightweight" song, but one of my very favorites) includes:

"No one's at the door...

you suggest a ghost, perhaps a phantom --

I agree with this, in part.

Something is with us

I can't put my finger on..."

Although this is essentially a "simple" song about sexual tension(I think) I've never heard anyone put it quite like that.

Also memorable is "Virginia"'s "Soulwise to clockwise, to soul trading" as an expression of the march of progress.

Not every song can be my favorite; I often skip over "Mrs Jesus" and a couple other tracks. But I wholeheartedly recommend the album to all comers. Longterm Toriphiles will welcome a musical return to the "roots" of Tori (ie, less techno, more piano), and newcomers will find this album just as accessible as "Little Earthquakes," though written from a less personal, more universal point of view. All will find an album that is beautiful on the first listen, and enthralling to the point of near-enlightenment on the fiftieth.

Price: $15.97
134 used & new from $0.01

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very mixed bag..., May 9, 2004
This review is from: Revelling/Reckoning (Audio CD)
This album contains everything that I love about Ani diFranco. And everything that infuriates me about her.
Let's start with the bad news: the unadulteralted rinky-dink left-wing whining is in full force here. "Your Next Bold Move" is SO full of potential, but it alternates thoughtful writing with drivel about the plague of Reagan and Bush or the left wing being broken or... god, I don't know, just a lot of political ranting that diFranco doesn't even try to dress up as art. And much later comes "Subdivision," which starts out "White people are so afraid of Black people that..." Gee, thanks. Tell me something I don't know...
But then -- bam! Interspersed with this self-indulgent political nonsense are some of the greatest lyrics my ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing. "Garden of Simple" and "School Night" just blow me away; she must have sold her soul to come up with those metaphors. The "back" button on my car's CD player is now worn out because I repeat these two songs so frequently. And then there are so many other great images scattered throughout the rest of the album ("her Picasso face twisted..." is a favorite).
Ani, how could you sing a line like "you are a party and I am a school night," such a sweet, simple and PERFECT metaphor, and then give me drivel like white people are so cared of black people that white people have to live in subdivisions? AAARGH.
But still: you have to respect this woman. If I had nuts, I'd give my left one to be half the writer she is.
SO: GET THIS CD. Then master your own version, and treasure it forever. The really good stuff here should fit easily on one CD. And, oh, that one CD should have "School Night" and "Garden of Simple" twice each.

Boys for Pele
Boys for Pele
Offered by CAC Media
Price: $4.99
425 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just saw Pele and..., May 9, 2004
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
I have owned "Boys for Pele" since 1996. I have always loved (most of) it, but I'd kinda stopped listening to it as the years went by. I saw it on my shelf a few days ago and threw it in the CD player -- oddly enough, just a few weeks after returning from the Big Island of Hawai'i, where I'd had the opportunity to take a long hike in Volcanoes National Park -- i.e., on Pele.
Let me tell you: when Pele gets mad, she does not play coy. She spits lava, she sets the forest afire, she makes the oceans boil.
Aha! And so we have Boys for Pele, which is a musical genius's way of saying: "F--- YOU! F--- YOU! AND F--- YOU AGAIN!" But of course Tori's too insightful to just have a temper tantrum (a la Professional Widow). She embraces her anger (Father Lucifer), she knows that her anger is in some ways just an escape from pain (Beauty Queen, Horses), she justifies her anger (Marianne), etc. ...
BUT ANYWAY: I have rediscovered this album, and I highly recommend it. I have to say that I don't even particularly relate to the fury in "Blood Roses" and "Professional Widow," but the rhythms/percussion are just wonderful and really not like anything I've ever heard elsewhere. Same goes for "Springtime of his Voodoo " and "Caught a Lite Sneeze" (which I do relate to).
"Father Lucifer" is pretty much worth the price of admission -- it's almost a kind of theme song for those of us who have embraced our inner devils.
Many of the tracks on this album make great use of harpsichord and/or brass instruments, which seems relatively rare these days and is a nice treat. Funny, I'd never thought of a harpsichord as a particularly angry-sounding instrument until this album came along!
Be warned -- if you are a recent convert to the Church of Tori, a first run through Boys for Pele may leave you saying "what the heck --?" This isn't happy-joy-joy tap your feet stuff. Give it a few more run-throughs. I promise it will grow on you (and in you and through you...)

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
by Atul Gawande
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.00
148 used & new from $0.01

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fourth Year med student says: READ THIS BOOK!, January 5, 2003
"Complications" is a compendium of essays by surgeon Atul Gawande, with their overriding theme being the fallibility of medical science / the medical system.
This is a great book, first and foremost because it is an engrossing read. This is a work of nonfiction, but each essay has a plot that will keep the reader transfixed.
This book is also a careful and honest examination of many of the important issues with which modern medicine struggles. As a physician-in-training, I can empathize with "Education of a Knife," in which Gawande grapples with the fact that medical procedures are skills which require real-time practice... meaning that in order to have well-trained doctors, not-yet trained doctors have to practice risky procedures on real-life patients (one of whom might be you someday).
My favorite essay is one near the end in which Gawande reviews the case of a woman who had a slight possibility of having the dreaded necrotizing fasciitis (that's "flesh-eating bacteria" to you non-medheads). Had the decisions in her case been based on strict empirical medicine or decision analysis, rather than a vague clinical hunch, her outcome may have been much different. The essay ties together the themes of the book perfectly, underscoring the fact that that the "human factor," the cause of errors in so many cases, still cannot be discarded because our empirical methods and other diagnostic tools are still so primitive.
Although Gawande focuses more on questions than on answers, I think that this may well be a milestone book in medicine. Merely exploring the fallibility of medicine in such an honest, careful way is extremely valuable in that it teaches great humility -- something many doctors could use a little more of. Moreover, discussion of the limits of medicine is what will ultimately improve it. (Note that it is the recognition of the inevitability of human error that has led the field of anesthesia to develop failsafe systems which have so dramatically improved anesthesia safety over the past few decades.)
Awesome work -- thought provoking and actually fun to read. I can't believe that a surgical resident (with KIDS!!!) found the time to produce such great writing -- when does this guy sleep?
Medical schools should consider making some of these essays required reading.

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