The Portion Paradox and the Half Cookie

by Finn

A recent study looked into the effects of portion size and consumption of all vs part of those portions.   Of particular interest to totebaggers, they specifically investigated consumption of entire cookies vs. partial cookies.   The article suggests it may be preferable to eat smaller cookies than to eat half of cookies that are twice as large.


Do you eat, or serve your kids, half cookies?    When you go out to eat do you bring home doggie bags?  What strategies do you have to avoid overeating, whether eating out or at home?

74 thoughts on “The Portion Paradox and the Half Cookie

  1. So the appropriate target would seem to be the portion size, not whether you take home the leftovers or not, right? I can’t imagine you’d feel sufficiently virtuous to eat less/exercise more later if you just left half the dinner on your plate to be tossed instead of taking it home.

    Leftovers are key for me. I grew up in the “don’t waste food” world, so going out to restaurants is a killer, because the food is both delicious and huge. The only way I could train myself to limit my intake was by telling myself I’ll take home leftovers to enjoy later; otherwise, I’d just stuff myself silly because it’s a crime to waste such deliciousness.

    I would agree, though, that it is likely more useful just to order an appetizer or two vs. a whole entree. That’s what I frequently do, both because the entrees are usually huge and because the appetizers are often far more interesting. But nice to think of it as a longer-term self-management tool, too.

  2. I have looked at portion size since I was an overweight teen. Now, it’s just part of the routine. At a restaurant, if the main entree is too large, I’ll split it with my DD or I go for an appetizer/small plates. I try to order what we can eat and avoid doggie bags.
    The sides that come with the meal are my nemises. I try to substitute vegetables for fries or if there are too many sides I will ask the server to limit what they bring out. Dessert is shared or one scoop of ice cream is enough for me.
    I don’t limit my kids to half a cookie but ask them to think about what they are eating and pay attention to portion size. At this point, it’s more about coaching them to make sensible decisions when they are on their own.

  3. Maybe it’s partially my age, but ALL entrees are too large. I don’t usually mind taking home leftovers (except when traveling), but sometimes I’ll get an appetizer for a more reasonable portion. I do like sweets that come in small portions because usually that’s enough for my sweet tooth and it’s a nudge to eat a smaller portion. And I usually serve myself chips or similar snacks in a small individual portion to avoid over indulging. My H, OTOH, often takes a big bag of chips and just eats directly from the bag.

  4. With my own child, I’ve noticed if I buy a bag of chips or crackers, she will eat several servings them. If I buy those packages of individually wrapped chips/crackers she will just eat one serving and not eat more. Now if I buy a big bag of whatever, I will divvy them out in little tupperware boxes.

    We don’t go out to eat very often, so I don’t worry about portion sizes there. I just eat what sounds good. If it’s a big meal, I’ll eat lighter the next day. I don’t bother bringing anything home. If I leave anything on the plate, it’s usually the side dishes.

  5. It’s partly an age thing, IMO, but also portion sizes seem to have increased,. Entrees are way too large at every single restaurant around here. Two local “small plates” venues were forced to change their menu because customers complained that the portions were too small for the price. There is a definite bias toward quantity over quality, so now I often skip the entrees altogether and go for the first course instead. Cannot remember the last time we took leftovers home, unless one of the boys was visiting and had requested it. When we make cookies at home, we often use the smallest ice cream scoop to parcel out the dough — it’s much easier to eat one small cookie than half a regular one.

  6. @Scarlett: I suspect the change you are noticing also has to do with your change in location. ;-) IME the midwest generally expects much “healthier”* portion sizes than the coast.

    *Meaning the opposite of how the article used that term.

  7. There are not many things I am super cheap about, but eating out is one of them. It kills my sould to pay $14 for a small pour of wine and $25 for an entree I could have made at home. We almost never eat out for the sake of convenience – those desperate nights we just do eggs or cereal. We will eat out for things that are genuinely hard to make at home, which in my book is usually more complex seafood. We probably eat out 2x/month, at the most. When we do I almost always order the appetizer for portion size.

  8. LfB, I think the feeling of virtuousness is just based on the amount that you don’t eat, whether you take it home or leave it to be tossed is irrelevant. People are interpreting how much they ate based on the amount remaining. So if there is more remaining they think they ate less, regardless of how big the starting portion size was.

  9. It’s a long way of saying that people are judging how much they ate by how much they have leftover regardless of how much they actually ate.

  10. ITA with Lark on paying $40 for “meh” food and and wine. We spent most of our lives having to be frugal and that attitude dies hard, at least when it comes to restaurants.

  11. We rarely take leftovers home and I tend to leave the doggie bag on the table when we leave. If I do remember to grab it I find that they taste terrible when reheated. We tend to frequent restaurants that don’t give huge portions either. What I find odd is how many times I’m asked if “I want to box” my plate, which may just have a few bites of a burger left and a fries. I assume the staff doesn’t want to be burned by a customer who really will take cold soggy fries home, but it seems so strange that is the expected norm.

  12. We are generally pretty good at identifying how much food to order and rarely take leftovers home. There are enough of us that we can figure out how many appetizers and entrees are needed. Usually, the number of appetizers plus the number of entrees equal the number of people, but sometimes more appetizers than entrees. And there is sharing involved, so generally there aren’t duplicate entrees.

    The exception is a local restaurant that has really good food that is nice to have the next day. At that place, everyone orders an entree and we usually have an appetizer, and there is some competition for the leftovers for the next day’s lunch.

  13. I am curious, for everyone else, what are the restaurants that are “meh”? I will pay to go out to eat all types of Asian food, south Asian food, Ethiopian, and pizza (mostly take-out for pizza unless it is the special thin crust charcoal fire place, which is a ‘fancy’ night out with the kids), and our favorite ‘bistro’ place in our old town. I hate going out to “American” or “Italian” food because it feels like stuff I could easily make (and I could make better).

  14. Meh restaurant….Applebees/Chilis/mid level American or Italian etc…..those are good for fuel, if we are out of town and too tired to look for a a better place. I am a pretty good cook, but I can’t make prime rib like a restaurant can. My skill level with Moroccan, Indian or Chinese is virtually nonexistent and there are good options nearby. Indian is really good for leftovers, but the place we go to is also really good in house and there aren’t many leftovers.

    The local steakhouse/restaurant is also a social place, so in addition to food, there is a chance to say hello to people, which is always nice. We don’t go there often, just every couple months or so.

    It sometimes not much more difficult to throw something together that is as good as a restaurant meal. A couple Dungeness crabs, sourdough bread, and salad and a decent bottle of wine is less than half the price of feeding the family at a meh restaurant and much tastier and more relaxing.

  15. What I find odd is how many times I’m asked if “I want to box” my plate, which may just have a few bites of a burger left and a fries.

    If you think this is odd, then you’ll find it odd how many people do take home the leftover bites of burger and a few fries.

  16. My mantra over the last few years has become “I can do mediocre food at home for a fraction of the price”, so I only like to eat out for things I can’t do. We eat out for Thai and Chinese, but I don’t like to eat out for steak or chicken. DH and I almost always split a meal, and occasionally have leftovers anyway. I don’t share a meal if I know I want the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Eating out too much really distorts my sense of what a normal, appropriate portion is.

  17. @L: For us, it’s mostly quality vs. type. E.g., I will be happy if I never have to eat at Applebee’s ever again, but I love Bob Evans for breakfast; I don’t care much for generic Italian-American (same “I can do it better” thought), but I love places that specialize in a particular region that gives me something different than what I know.

    If I did have to over-generalize, I frequently pass on general, non-regional Americana, because I can make most of that easily and just as well. My favorites are definitely “food I don’t know how to make or that takes way too much effort.” I mean, I make an awesome pulled pork with a NC vinegar sauce, but I don’t always want to take a full Sunday to do so when I can walk down the block for a pretty darn good substitute. OTOH, my takeout from our local Indian place has dropped significantly since I learned how to make vindaloo.

  18. The half a cookie theory really does not exist in my house. It’s usually the whole (big) bag of M&Ms, Milanos. I will bring home a doggy bag and usually enjoy the food when reheated.

    Even for some mid-brow, production food, we’ll go out. Specifically Cheesecake Factory, where I actually never get cheesecake (or any other dessert). There are lots of things on their menu I like e.g. spicy cashew chicken which I am perfectly happy to let them prepare for me and I really do get 2 meals out of one order.

    But the places Cassandra mentions we don’t go to. What we would order from them we can make better. When we can’t / don’t want to go to the effort of making the dish, we’ll go out just us. That rule does not apply when going out with others as a social event.

    Food best left to professionals that we really like to eat, IMO: pizza, Greek, Asian, lobster bisque (although DS2 and I have made it twice and it was reallyreally good…just an all day effort).

    Now that I’ve learned to use my grill as a smoker even going to bbq places is very rare for us.

    Agree with Lark, especially on the expense of wine by the glass. I know I’m not the only on who feels a 4-5oz glass is a rip off at $12+ (this is for common wine, not bottles from the ‘reserve’ selection)

  19. Agreed on the mediocre restaurants, I wouldn’t go there either. Where we go with the kids is usually a step down from that, i.e. Moe’s or Shake Shack or similar, or-gasp-Wendy’s if we’re hurrying between activities, and the ‘special occasion’ place is usually sushi. DH and I will go to the same sushi place or the ‘fancy’ bistro, etc. I also usually don’t order wine when out – if a fancy place I’ll get a cocktail or 2.

  20. Once a week we drop the kids off at the religion class and DH and I walk over to a little bar/restaurant. I used to get a glass of wine, but the cheapest glass was $11. I now get beer, at $6 for a top quality local brew. They make all their profits on wine! Occasionally we’ll order fries, because you can’t make good fries at home.

    We go out for burgers a lot. A burger at a restaurant is a totally different experience than a burger on the home grill. If we want sushi or chinese we’ll pick up sushi from the local grocery store or chinese from PeiWei. That’s the level of sophistication that our children request.

  21. On the topic of portion control. The locals here are famous for never wanting to take the last of anything. I believe it must be a Scandinavian trait of not wanting to be selfish and therefor leave a a little something for the next person. What they do is cut the piece down in half, then another half, and on and on. A few weeks ago there was a small cake at work. At one point there was one piece left. A came back later and that last piece was now half a piece. At the end of the day the piece left was the size of a postage stamp. And there is remained, until the next morning when I tossed it in the trash.

  22. “A burger at a restaurant is a totally different experience than a burger on the home grill”

    Can you explain? My take is exactly the opposite — DH makes far better burgers (with higher quality beef) than is available anywhere around here. Would love to know what I am missing.

  23. We hardly ever eat out or get takeout as a family, both because of cost and because I find restaurant food to be so heavy. For me, the biggest factor in being able to maintain my weight is staying away from restaurants. We give our kids a decent allowance, and they often use some of it to buy school lunch or to go out to eat with friends on the weekend, so they eat out quite a bit more than I do.

    As I’ve aged, another key for maintaining my weight is just to stop eating when I’m not hungry any more. A few years ago I gained some weight because I was eating the portion sizes I had always eaten just out of habit. When I started paying attention, I started to realize that I was becoming full before the portion was done, so I cut back on the portions commensurately, and my weight has stabilized (knock on wood).

  24. I haven’t seen $12 glasses of wine around here, and I would balk at paying that much per glass unless it was a very special wine, but martinis with different ingredients have gotten that high. And you know what? If it’s a tasty one, take my money. I had a cocktail recently with muddled lime & basil, white cranberry juice and vodka. It made me swoon. I had a lavender lemonade this summer that put me on a mission to replicate it at home, it was fun trying to get it right.

  25. Our kids have Indian food at home – this is because of the grandparents living with us. So, we will go to the local burger place to get burgers. We sometimes make burgers at home but not as frequently. DH likes middle eastern food do we’ll get that for take out and also get sushi. We rarely eat pizza and pasta because of DS. We usually go out to eat seafood.

  26. I never thought I could leave a restaurant feeling like I had not eaten enough, but I can. There is a fancy seafood place that serves a small piece of fish in a gigantic white plate with a dip in the middle for the broth. The fish is prepared Asian style and the tastes like fish soup. Totally underwhelming. I was literally fishing in the broth for another piece of fish.

  27. “A burger at a restaurant is a totally different experience than a burger on the home grill”

    Can you explain? My take is exactly the opposite — DH makes far better burgers (with higher quality beef) than is available anywhere around here. Would love to know what I am missing.

    I think it’s what you are going for in your burger. IMO, I make a very good burger, but I can’t do the toppings like a good burger place can. And some places get really good buns that I don’t know where to find. At home, it’s usually just a basic cheeseburger with bbq sauce, and I eat it without a bun, to save the calories. But going out to Red Robin or a place like that and getting a burger loaded with bacon and grilled onions and whatever else on a ciabatta roll or pretzel bun or whatever is a totally different experience, even if the patty itself isn’t as good as mine.

  28. The wine was $15 a glass when I met my former bank colleagues last week. Rooftop bar near Tunes Square so you’re paying for location.

    We eat out a lot, but we stopped ordering stuff that we can make at home for a lot less money. Grilled chicken on salad is one example of over priced food at the diner. I love to get a BLT at the diner because I don’t generally make bacon at home.

    We don’t eat large portions and we tend to bring food home. We will generally the leftovers so it makes sense to take the extra food home. The Dow is down 600 so we have to save $!!!

  29. Why are burgers better at a restaurant you ask? The Jucy Lucy for one. The other reason is that often the meat is a mixture. Not just ground beef, but maybe some sirloin, or lamb, or pork mixed in. And cooked on flattop is a nice change. The Barnes & Noble has an amazing burger and I haven’t figured out what is making the meat so amazing, but it is.

  30. I’m with Scarlett – no one beats our homemade burgers. I never order one in a restaurant. I actually feel the same way about steak. DH does them so perfectly in my mind that ordering one out is always a disappointment.

    We do go out for sushi, and we go out for good seafood. Other than that, there’s nothing local that we can’t make at home. But we don’t live in or near a big city.

  31. Recently I’ve actually made the effort to frequent our neighborhood restaurants more. I want them to stay in business. Many of them have bars, and I have a fantasy of becoming one of the regulars “where everyone knows my name”. Just yesterday we went to a fabulous Italian restaurant about a mile from our home, and a group of crusty old-timers at the bar looked like they were having a good time. The Irish pub closest to my house is what I might consider meh, but it’s good for a beer and a burger. It has a nice bar. I’m still waiting for the Mexican place to open up a block away that will feature taco Tuesdays and other specials. The Indian place near me is great, but unfortunately they have an all you can eat lunch that means I don’t get my money’s worth. No leftovers!

    I always cut my hamburger in half because I know a whole burger is too much food, especially because fries are usually served as a side. Then I take half the meal home for leftovers and it tastes fine heated up the next day as far as I’m concerned.

    I can’t remember who first mentioned the half a cookie. I know MooshiMooshi brought us the concept of a dessert tomato.

  32. We don’t eat either burgers or steak at home (DH is off red meat) so only eat those out, but Shake Shack is definitely better-tasting than what I would make (brioche buttered bun, other stuff in the meat, etc.). As a child, I thought that burgers were gross because they were cooked within an inch of their lives and there were no condiments adding any moisture. I was probably 14 before I had a burger that was cooked to medium!

  33. Mooshi is watching a Star is Born. We went to see the same movie earlier today and I thought it was a great movie. We didn’t buy popcorn because I find it too hard to stop eating the popcorn!!!

  34. “We didn’t buy popcorn because I find it too hard to stop eating the popcorn!!!”

    DH loves popcorn at movies. The rest of the family is like “noooooooo!”

  35. We go out to eat because I don’t want to cook or we want a change. We order out or go out perhaps twice a week. I usually get leftovers, unless DH is really hungry.

    My favorite type of restaurant is Thai. Love me some Pad Thai!

  36. July — I think it was L who once mentioned that she had baked a bunch of cookies and then gave each of her kids a half a cookie apiece.

  37. I hate popcorn at the movies because of the noise. Honestly, whose idea was it to serve noisy, crunchy food at a venue where people are trying to concentrate on listening to something??? Admittedly, I am very sensitive to sounds. OK, and old and curmudgeonly, too.

  38. A while ago DH and I were sitting down to watch “Manchester by the Sea” together at home. Which is a really intense, emotional movie. And he was eating a big bowl of corn chips! I finally had to ask him to stop because the crunching was totally ruining the movie for me.

  39. We eat out at local (not national chain) everyday restaurants once a week. Late lunch hour, so the portion sizes are just about right for old people’s dinner. All of the places have calorie counts. I find that my go to in an unfamiliar restaurant is their variant on steak wedge salad, often with a cup of soup to start. My home prepped steaks (Costco prime) and burgers (secret spice mixed in) are “better”, but eating out is to give me a break from cooking or for convenience when out all day.

    I am sufficiently portion conscious and virtuous at home, but I do bring home certain kinds of leftovers. What has reduced my restaurant eating recently is the ubiquity of cilantro, including micro-cilantro, in non ethnic restaurant fare. They don’t even list it as an ingredient most of the time. I don’t want to pay for a mouthful of soap.

  40. We love good burgers, too. That’s one of those things that DH makes so well that we’ll do them for get togethers with friends. He’ll make small burgers (slider size) and lots of different toppings like sauteed mushrooms and thick cut bacon and we’ll put out a tray of different cheeses so that each person can choose their cheese. It’s a fair amount of prep work, but when other people bring the appetizers and sides it’s not overwhelming and makes for a fun dinner.

    Another dish we make better than a restaurant is paella. We bought a big paella pan a few years back, because if you’re going to go through the trouble to make it, you may as well make a lot. It makes for fantastic leftovers. We actually did paella Friday eve, 20 people total set to arrive, and it poured outside. We had to set up a pop up and cook under it. For those of you with young kids, there is something to look forward to as your kids get older – if you schedule a paella night and the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can tell the teenagers to set up the pop up in the rain and get the charcoal grill going while you socialize with your guests and complain about your rotten teenagers!

  41. Honestly, whose idea was it to serve noisy, crunchy food at a venue where people are trying to concentrate on listening to something???

    Whoever figured out that they can charge $5 for something that costs them about 10 cents.

  42. NoB, ding ding! :) That stopped a long time ago, probably when they were old enough to reach the counters themselves.

    I also hate noise – yesterday I took the kids to a regional theatre show and I had to hold my ears in the ladies’ room because the dryers were too loud.

  43. “I don’t want to pay for a mouthful of soap.”

    Meme, one of my colleagues has this taste issue with cilantro as well. I was very surprised to hear of it.
    When we go out to a workplace lunch we have to choose a place where there is no chance of there being cilantro in the food, so ethnic restaurants are out.

  44. Portion sizes *used* to be simply too large. I wish for those days, because at least I knew what to expect. Now, portion sizes make no sense at all. I am sick and tired of going to restaurants and looking at a menu with categories like Bites, or Small Plates, or Family Style, or Shareable, or Medium Plates, or Sized For Three (yep, I was at an April Bloom place last year where everything was too small, or else sized for three. WTF?). I hate having to negotiate with my companions as to how many shareables, and how many Bites, and how many Small Plates, and should we spring for a Medium Plate? I hate having to do endless discussions with waiters as to the appropriate number of “for the table” plates vs “snack” plates vs “lite plates” to order. And as a slow eater, a very slow eater, I hate being forced to gobble just so I don’t leave the dinner hungry because my companions ate everything before I got to it. And darn it, if I feel like eating spicy shrimp at this restaurant, I just want my own spicy shrimp, I don’t want to have to split your friggin chorizo or tofu or taco.
    So please, I want to go back to the world of appetizer and too big entree. At least I could make sense of it. And while I am at it, I am also not waiting in your hour long line because your restaurant is too stuck up to take reservations.

    So there! The whole cookie for me, and no, I am not sharing.

  45. Someone just outed me as having gone to see Star is Born. It was pretty entertaining. It was a compromise choice – two of us wanted to see The Hate U Give, but DD did not want to see it. I never saw the earlier versions of the movie so I have no basis for comparison. Lady Gaga basically played herself and sang, and Bradley Cooper was appropriately wasted. He reminded me of Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart

  46. We do restaurants mainly when travelling or for birthdays. I also go to restaurants with girlfriends – then it is more of a social thing. I have the same feeling that I hate spending money on stuff I can make at home. So usually we go to uber ethnic places, or else pubgrub places where the atmosphere is the thing. I also find a certain sameness to the non-ethnic places – everybody does bacon, and squash, and kale, and burratta dumped all over the place, and those godawful flatbreads.
    However, we do get takeout once a week. We often go to the one Chinese place in Westchester that actually serves Sichuanese food that tastes right (they also have a great Taiwanese menu), or get pizza. We purposefully order big, because my kids love leftovers. Last week, my oldest was home to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We went for Indian, and had leftovers. The next morning, I came downstairs to see my oldest contently breakfasting on vindaloo. He told me that one of the things he missed the most, being stuck with dorm food, was leftovers for breakfast.

  47. DS just saw The Hate U Give with his 8th grade class. He said it was good – as was the book.

    We get takeout or delivery every 1 – 2 weeks because it’s Friday night, we don’t want to cook, and we’re tired of the food we have on hand. We have a number of good, reasonably priced options nearby. I like going out to eat as well – mostly because I do most of the cooking and I get very tired of cooking. And there are a lot of good restaurants here.

  48. “We almost never eat out for the sake of convenience – those desperate nights we just do eggs or cereal.”

    IMO, people who say they eat out at sitdown restaurants aren’t being honest with themselves. Fast food or takeout for convenience, OK, but not at sitdown restaurants.

  49. “Lady Gaga basically played herself and sang…”

    Which IMO sounds, by itself, like a pretty good reason to see the movie.

  50. Locally, a lot of plate lunch places (local-style fast food typically featuring rice, entrée(s), and some sort of salad) have regular plates and mini plates. Regular plates are typically cost about 20- 25% more for maybe 40-60% more food (including double the rice). When I was much younger, I’d eat the regular plate myself, then when the kids were very young, the regular plate was enough for me and the kids, then later, it was enough for me and one kid, and now, DW and I have found the regular plate to be a good size to share.

  51. ““A burger at a restaurant is a totally different experience than a burger on the home grill”
    Can you explain?”

    For us, a burger on the home grill is pretty much vaporware, i.e., it doesn’t happen.

    Having a full complement of available condiments is also not something we’d have at home either.

  52. “Occasionally we’ll order fries, because you can’t make good fries at home.”

    DD and DW have figured out how to make some pretty good fries at home. DW bought an oil-less cooker, and she and DD found a brand of lightly breaded frozen fries that turn out at least as well, IMO, as the fries at many restaurants and fast food places.

  53. “We get takeout or delivery every 1 – 2 weeks because it’s Friday night, we don’t want to cook, and we’re tired of the food we have on hand.”

    We used to do this a lot when the kids were younger. We ate a lot more pizza back then than we do now.

    There was also a sushi place we really liked that we’d go to if we could get there early enough to be seated right away, which allowed us to get in and out pretty quickly.

  54. Lady Gaga is a far better singer than most of the pop divas out there. She is also far better of a singer than the person she is always accused of channeling – Madonna. My big problem with her is that,like Amy Winehouse who could also really sing, is that her material is such crap. I think there is also something autobiographical in the movie – the part where where she was doing the really soulless crap that got her the Grammy.

  55. “My big problem with her is that,like Amy Winehouse who could also really sing, is that her material is such crap.”

    ITA that Amy Winehouse could really sing.

    I’ve really enjoyed listening to both of them covering other peoples’ songs, which is/was one way to address your problem with them. For a while Gaga was doing a lot of jazz singing, e.g. her compilations with Tony Bennett, covering standards, and she’s really good at that, and I’m hoping she’ll do more of that.

  56. We’ll (I’ll) grill burgers at home ~1x/mo; that’s DW’s hankering frequency and, unless we’ve made a point of going out with one or more of our kids to Red Robin or a couple of local burger places, she won’t order one out. Me? I could eat burgers 2-3x/wk; at home, RR-type places, fast food…I love them all.

    I don’t get Finn’s condiment comment. We have all the condiments anyone could possibly want. But I guess in his case since homemade/grilled burgers are vaporware there is no need to invest in the variety of condiments needed.

    We also eat pizza a lot less frequently now that it’s just the two of us. It has to be a planned thing.

    I am glad we raised people who like leftovers. DW mostly, but I did help too, made & baked 2 – 13x9x3″ pans of lasagna on Sunday, then last night after it’d had time to set up for a day we cut 1 of then into 8 (1lb) “servings” (boys/men, YMMV) of them in individual plastic leftover containers and froze them for the guys to take home with them post Thanksgiving. The other one we made into dinners for 2 that’ll be eaten over the next couple of months.

  57. I rarely go to the cinema because DH needs closed captions, so movies with meaningful dialogue are out. . But we felt like a movie date so we saw A Star is Born. It was as described above and a nice date. When DD2 was visiting 10 days ago, I went with her to see Bohemian Rhapsody. As a story it was the worst sort of biopic, but the impersonations by the actors of the band members were uncanny, I am a huge Mr Robot geek and Rami Malek was very good, and the wigs, costumes and music were great. And we split the fancy popcorn one side cheddar, one side caramel. With a “free” watery soda. Xmas time is pretty dull for us who dont celebrate, so I may go back in December.

  58. Finn, yes I liked the stuff she did with Tony Bennett. She also has a song that gets played on the pop hits radio station that DD likes, which stands out to me – mostly because it is fun and she sounds like she is having a good time singing it. I don’t know what the song is. Most of the time, the pop hits station is like a sea of lugubrious sameness, so when something fun with a beat comes along, I notice it.

  59. Complete sidetrack, but I thought this was an interesting offer.

    The Kaiser Foundation that is funding it was also the impetus behind and primary sponsor of the new Gathering Place.

    The city has a low cost of living, but Oklahoma seriously underfunds schools. I will be interested to see if it works.

  60. I read in the WSJ this morning, that the market for new condos in Long Island City has exploded.

  61. That park looks really nice. As for the incentive, I could see this working for twentysomethings that want a change from a big city like Dallas, or looking for a bigger city then say, Bentonville. The reduced rent and free utilities for three months is a nice bonus.

  62. Is advertising that you’ll pay people $10k to move there really sending the right message? I see the articles and I think, “Wow, it really must suck.” And you need to bring your own job?

  63. I can see your point, but what’s a better message?

    BTW, Oklahoma is really good at economic development. They have an investment fund for start up companies and are aggressive at recruiting gifted students to OU.

  64. what will keep people there once their year is up? This reminds me of those programs that forgive medical school debt for doctors who will go practice in Eastern KY.

  65. Lady Gaga is awesome. Mooshi, is the issue that you don’t like ‘pop’ in general? I liked the music in A Star Is Born although the story was super depressing, save the last song which was too treacly for me. Also want to see Bohemian Rhapsody for the same reason – Meme, like you I am a big fan of Mr. Robot. :)

  66. Based on relatives who live there and on my visits to Tulsa, it could be described as a hidden gem. It seems to have a healthy music/arts scene and trendy dining. Combine that with a relatively low cost of living I could see people sticking around. It’s not easy to fly in and out of, however.

  67. I think the expectation is that the quality of life will keep people there. It’s not a city that’s on anyone’s radar, so they’re trying to put it on the radar. I do know people who were transferred there (one with IBM) who decided to change employers and stay there once it came time to be transferred again. Of course, I know more who left and have no intention of going back. But the cost of living is low, commute times are low, and if you have a family with two working parents, your life is more manageable there than in some places. It’s certainly not for everyone, which is probably why they have the interview process.

  68. I think it’s a good idea. Not sure that they are trying to really lure New Yorkers to Tulsa, but I could see them luring people from places around the middle third of the country. There are a couple of people from my HS class that moved to Tulsa, actually.

    God knows that Columbus has been advertising like crazy to try to get people to move there from Chicago. I don’t know if it is working, but I see the ads EVERYWHERE.

    We eat out most Fridays as a celebration at the end of the week. Our rotation of places is a great Chinese place, a Thai place, a place with one of those 900 degree coal fire pizza ovens, Italian small plates (DS’s favorite), British pies and fish/chips, and Portillo’s (fast food). I don’t make french fries or indoor burgers at home, and I hate Italian beef sandwiches (DH loves them) so the fast food is a nice treat. The only place in that line up that I feel “I could make this better and cheaper at home” is the Italian small plates place. But DS loves it, and I neither have to cook nor clean when we go there, so who cares. All of those allow for good portion planning, for the most part. (sometimes at the small plates we order one too many things)

    While I always use leftovers from my own cooking, I hate taking random bits of restaurant food home. I’ll only take them if I’m eating with my parents or IL’s, and I know that they will insist. But then the doggy bag goes in the trash when no one is looking.

  69. It depends on what you mean by “pop”. That is a big category. I tend to like bouncy fun pop – for example, Bruno Mars, or from the mists of time, Cyndi Lauper, or the B-52s. I love that song “Its Raining Men”. I just heard an oldie by Stevie Wonder this morning while sitting in a doctors waiting room, which made the waiting room so much better. Is Stevie Wonder considered to be pop? I also really like BTS.

    But a lot of the pop music I hear today, and keep in mind, it is mainly on radio stations that my daughter likes, is not fun. No one sounds like they are having fun. A lot of it sounds vaguely pompous and very lugubrious, in the same way that superhero moves tend to be pompous and lugubrious. Examples – Taylor Swift, Pink,Kelly Clarkson, Adele, and a lot whose names I forget. There are also the energyless male singers – Charlie Puth and Drake – they sound like they are falling asleep. For a while I thought Ed Sheeran was OK – he has one of those warm, heartfelt voices – but after the 3000th time hearing that Perfect duet with Beyonce in the space of a month, I decided I couldn’t abide him any more.
    So when I heard Lady Gaga on that station, it felt fun and fresh.

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