Christmas Blender

Christmas Blender

Andy Cohen talks Top Chef, favorite things, and Dolly Parton.

I have a lot - and nothing - on my brain this morning as I punch away on my blackberry, so today is really going to be a Taco Bell combo platter of it all.

NEW CHEF! Hey guess what, there is a new episode of Top Chef tonight and it is a fun one. For everyone freezing their tails off right about now (me included), tonight's trip to the beach might be a welcome distraction. The chefs tackle my favorite meal of the day and (as discussed to death!) Padma sports a bikini top.

MORE FAVORITE THINGS... I hope it's not too late to add the new Roz Chast book to my list of favorite things that would make great Christmas gifts. I just asked my sis to get me that, and I can't imagine anyone else would be displeased with the dry wit and amazing illustrations that make Chast's cartoons endlessly entertaining. Add the Dreamgirls cd as a stocking stuffer for anybody.

And Dolly Parton has a new boxed set featuring her entire acoustic releases (1999-2002) in one collection. This stuff is great for anybody, I promise. Dolly spans generations - you could give this to an open-minded 17 year old or a groovy 60 year old. And it is a gentle reminder of why Dolly rocks and Chestica Suckson doesn't.

CAB INSANITY.... NYC is always insane at this time of year - too many people, too much traffic, and way too much Christmas Spirit lead to normal daily routines turning into overemotional train wrecks. As if the experience of riding a cab were not upsetting enough, the Taxi and Limo Commission has jammed a lump of coal up all our keisters in the form of a taxi fare hike that they snuck past us just as the Christmas tree was lit. Is it ironic or infuriating that as I type this in the back of a cab, the driver is sitting in traffic COUNTING HIS MONEY!? I kid you not, that's the scene; I am hearing the wifft wifft wifft sound of bills stacked together, and they ain't mine.

I have taken a cab to work pretty much every day since 9/11 - very expensive but I got too freaked out by the morning subways and it is just something I decided to do for myself. I take the subway home as I will be more alert and ready to fight a terrorist in the PM than the AM. Oh and I look better in the PM so if there's gonna be a corpse, let me look good. I digress. The cabs are more expensive than ever; with traffic it has cost 15 bucks to get to work the last couple days, so it looks like I will be back on the subways roundtripping it by week's end. Bruce is demanding better service and making people accountable for their tip. I am going to do the same. Be warned, this is WAR.

DON'T TYPE AND DRIVE: Taxi prices aside, I am glad I don't live in a car culture where I'd be causing pileups on interstates because of blogging on my blackberry while driving. That's apparently what happened in Seattle yesterday when a man fiddling with his Bberry caused a pileup on I-5. I don't think he was blogging, but he was a-fiddlin'.

According to the Seattle Times, operating a handheld communications device like a cell or Bberry is number 5 on a new list of reasons people get in accidents. The paper says the top 4 are: "distractions outside the vehicle; unknown driver distraction; miscellaneous distractions inside the vehicle; and interacting with 'passengers, animals or objects in the vehicle.' Last on the list, at No. 12, is 'driver grooming.'" I am really actually surprised that this is not higher.

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