Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the master of comedy himself, Stephen King?

I just read this article yesterday in my favorite magazine, Entertainment Weekly. It is my favorite due to my obsession with all things TV, movie and even book related. EW tells me what to watch each week, which movies are buzz worthy and who books are full of teenage vampire drama.

They just reformatted their magazine and the new format kicks ass. It even moved Stephen Kings column from the very last page to the near front of the magazine. Great job, Stephen. Great job.

Normally his articles are full of 6th degree of Star Wars talk or waxing poetic on the most recent book or movie releases.

But this week he became one of my favorite comedy writers. Comedy, that's right. I have also learned quite a bit from him in the past. Not crap, things that are actually usable in the real world.
Such as, I never expected Diet Coke (Diet Pepsi in his case) to have such profound effects on the human body and it was exciting to find out where movie theatre butter for popcorn comes from!
Read the article below and see our friend Stephen in a new light...sure it looks long, but trust me it is WELL worth the time.

Stephen King's Guide to Movie Snacks

For a magazine that prides itself on the many aspects of the movie business it covers, EW hasn't had much to say over the years concerning the important subject of snacks. Oh, an occasional piece about how much they cost, but few words on their culinary wonderfulness. This needs correcting, because, while some people eat snacks while they are at the movies, there are some who go to the movies so they can eat snacks. That would be me. So let me impart a few lessons years of snacking have taught me.
First, support your theater. Buy at the snack bar and damn the expense. You could probably sneak your own food in, but if you're caught, you'll be thrown out. As for bringing healthier snacks from home: Did you really hire a babysitter and drive six miles so you could snark cucumber slices half-drowned in buttermilk ranch out of a slimy plastic bag? Is that what you call living it up?
If you want to get healthy, there are places for that: They're called ''health clubs.'' And I find there's something giddy about tossing down $4.50 for a box of Gummi Bears or a bag of chocolate raisins. It makes me feel like a high roller, especially when the matinee ticket itself only costs 50 cents more.
I always start my order with the ritual drink — Diet Pepsi if possible, Coke Zero as a fallback, Diet Coke the court of last resort. A big diet cola sops up the calories and cholesterol contained in movie snack food just like a big old sponge soaks up water. This is a proven fact. One expert (me) believes a medium diet cola drink can lower your cholesterol by 20 points and absorb as much as one thousand empty calories. And if you say that's total crap, I would just point out I don't call it a ritual drink for nothing. Sometimes I add a strawberry smoothie with lots of whipped cream, but I'm always sure to take enough sips of my ritual drink to absolve me of those calories, too.

With my calorie-absorbent drink in hand, I can then safely order a large popcorn with extra butter. Of course it isn't really butter, it's some sort of mystery substance squeezed from the sweat glands of small animals, but I have developed such a taste for it over my years of filmgoing that the real stuff tastes wrong, somehow.
If the counter guy puts on the glandular butter substitute himself, I watch carefully to make sure he greases the middle of the bag as well as the top layer. If it's self-serve (at the beginning I didn't like this option, but now I do), I proceed to hammer on that red button until I have what I call a ''heavy bag.'' You know you have a heavy bag when the bottom starts to sag and ooze large drops of a yellow puslike substance before you even get into the theater. And don't forget the salt. Popcorn salt is a little strong for my taste (and it looks like powdered urine); I prefer plain table salt. Half a shaker is about right.
With a ''heavy bag,'' caution is a must. Don't put it on your lap; when the movie's over and the lights come up, people will think you wet your pants. Courtesy is also a must. Don't put it on the seat beside you, or the next person is going to sit on a seat that oozes. Not cool, bro.
My candy of choice is Junior Mints. And while I don't bring bootleg food into the movies, I do bring bootleg toothpicks. Then, as I relax in my seat, I take a toothpick and poke five or six Junior Mints onto it. It ends the dreaded Chocolate Hand, and it's also kind of fun to eat candy off a stick. I call them Mint-Kebabs.
And although it's a matter of personal choice, I myself don't eat movie meat (go on, snicker, I can take it). My motto is ''Never buy a hot dog that's been waiting in a foil Baggie under a heat lamp.'' For all you know, that stray dog could have been there since Revenge of the Sith. Nachos are good, but only if you get the reserve swimming pool of cheese sauce, because one is never enough.
Now that I think of it, the same could be said of snacks. But remember: Start with the ritual drink. After that, you're on your own.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vegas: Where the overnight low is hotter than hell

I have just returned from Las Vegas for a 24 hour visit for work.
For work?
Oh yeah, for work. Thats one of the downfalls and perks...I get to travel to events put on by UT alums.

In telling people that I was headed to Sin City the most popular things people can say about Las Vegas are...

'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'
'Vegas, baby!'

Here's what I have to say about Vegas...
'Take your dry heat and shove it, Vegas style'

Whenever a mid-Westerner visits the dry, hot, deserty areas of the country they immediately consider the heat factor of said visit. We generally prepare to sweat a lot of go through at least 3 outfits a day in order to keep up the appearance that we dont sweat like pigs.
At least the women do.

Mid-Westerners are used to hot and humid summers, no doubt. Mid 80 degree days are the gold standard for many of us as 'typical summer'. We consider it a heat wave if it is over 90 degrees...and depending on the humidity, it could mean an inside day for many of us.

Those in the desert states love to pitch their weather to us in the fashion of 'But its a dry heat!'.
Dry heat my ass.
I will agree to a point. They do not have the humidity that we do. Nowhere near it.

But this so called dry heat made all of my undergarments delightfully moist for the entire evening. Have you ever worn a moist bra and underwear for 4ish hours?
Well, either way make a note of this: Don't do it. Uncomfortable isnt really the word for it.

This dry heat was so uncomfortable that it made sitting uncomfortable, it made standing uncomfortable and it even made concentrating difficult.

So to Vegas and the surrounding deserty areas....Take your dry heat and shove it, because 112 is 112 no matter the humidity.

My favorite part of the evening was when the game was over at 10:30pm and many alums commented on how much cooler it was. When I glanced at the temperature I noticed they were right!
It had dropped from 112 to...................99.
Wow. They sure proved me wrong.

On their behalf it did get down to about 95 for the overnight low.
Ill bet they needed a jacket to stave off the cold. Poor Vegas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Viva Las Vegas and Snooty Artists

The rest of this week and through the weekend is a bear for me so I will not be around much.

Las Vegas for work Thursday and Friday...
Art on the Mall Saturday and Sunday...

But I will return on Monday inbetween naps.

In the meantime here is a certain amount of hilarity to entertain:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

close your eyes and you won't see the mess

When you are a child you rarely look into your future.
There are the exceptions of

'I can't wait to be a policeman when I grow up'
'I can't wait until I am 16 so I can drive'
'I can't wait until I am 21 so I can drink'

There are some people who choose not to wait until they are 16 to drive...but then those people typically have to wait an additional year to get their license because they borrowed their parents car to do something utterly important that couldn't wait.

There are some people who choose not to wait until they are 21 to drink...they are called humans. We ALL drink before we are 21 and if you didn't, then you must be of the religion where drinking is prohibited or else live in a region of the world that doesn't have alcohol. Either way, there are a lot of DUI's and underage drinking issues...

Besides these visions of the future children rarely look forward and wish to never again have a summer off of work, they never wish to have their boss yell at them because they messed up the O'Neal case, to never again have the money for anything they want and they never wished to have exactly 1.3 hours a day of 'free time'.
Little do they know that this free time is typically spent cooking, doing dishes, taking out the trash, cutting the grass or hell, even eating. Free time as an adult is a complete luxury and the weekends don't even guarantee it anymore.

The weekends are no longer 2 full days of carelessness. They are now two full days of the shit that you couldn't get done during the week.

'Damn, couldn't make it to the grocery store this week...Ill just go this weekend'

'Didn't make it over to visit Aunt Milly...Ill just go this weekend'

'I have to paint the house...Ill just do it this weekend'

'Dinner with the parents...weekend'

But at this point your weekends are so jam packed with the stuff you couldn't fit into your week that your weekends are stressful and don't offer any free time at all. It takes a lot as an adult to set aside a day, a half day...hell, even a few hours to free time.

We are so pressured into thinking that the neighbors will call the lawn and garden police on us if the grass grows another 1/8 inch...better cut it right now.

What if someone glanced in my kitchen windows and noticed that I didn't vacuum this week? Dreadful, better do it right now.

I am under the impression that waiting another day wont kill anyone. Well, at least I hope it wont kill anyone. I have never heard of long grass or dirty carpet being the death of another person but there is a first time for everything I guess. And this may just be the procrastinator in me but at least I found some free time.

Who cares that there is a clump of cat hair on the carpet, the grass is up to my knees and the sheets should have been changed a week ago. I found time to watch a few dvr's or spend those precious few hours after work with the ones I love. And that's what really matters in life.

Monday, July 21, 2008

make it your damn self but please tip me

Saturday was the day to visit the Ann Arbor art fair...I have not been to Ann Arbor in years so it was great to walk around one of my favorite college towns.
What is the best thing to do at a large public event such as this?
The obvious answer would be to purchase artsy fartsy type things.

But the REAL answer is to stare at the freaks and geeks as they parade themselves around in public.

It was a day full of funnel cakes, frozen lemonade and walking. Lots and lots of walking.
Oh and we also had Mongolian BBQ for dinner (I thought it was Grill...but I now correct myself, it is BBQ).

Have you ever been?


Then you know that this place is RIDICULOUSLY overpriced.
I mean RI-DIC-U-LOUS-LY overpriced.
The meal consisted of:
- 2 servings of 'make it yourself because we dont really wait on you even though you still have to tip the waitress' stir fry ($12.99 each) this included meat, I believe the vegetarian option was maybe $10.99
- 3 draught beers ($6.00 ish each)
- 1 fruity margarita ($5.00 ish)
- 1 bottle domestic beer ($4.00)
- 1 crazy big dessert that didnt taste all that wonderful as the picture depicted it to be ($5.00)
plus tip and this meal cost $70.00.
For Stir Fry. For meat and veggies. Pitiful.
It was actually very good stir fry. And now that I think of it, I have myself to thank for that one. I chose wonderful veggies and meat to cook and I made a great sauce mixture of lemon, mongolian ginger and spicy something or another with some fresh rosemary sprinkled in. It was great...just not $12.99 for one bowl great.

Seriously people. For $70.00 I could have held a Hyacinth Bucket style Candlelight Supper for all of my friends in style...or at least gone out to dinner somewhere I have been DYING to go...Trotters Tavern. For the best steak on the planet. Naturally.

I am not a huge 'I want to make all my food myself in a restaurant, then pay them for it' person. If I wanted that I woudl simply eat at home. Either was a new eating experience and I have now learned how to make my stir fry from a buffet line.
Another item checked off my 'must do before 30' list.
Well, honestly I dont have a list...nor do I think I can even pretend that I would put this on there. But to each their own...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Joke Day

I was told this *gem* of a joke a few months back and every time I think of it I still chuckle.
I am not promising perfection, but it is a head scratcher.

Oh, I better preface this joke with a disclaimer...I was told this joke by a 5 year old. If I didnt tell you that I think that you'd have me committed, or at least barred from telling anymore jokes. At least it is kid friendly.

What has spots and likes to do the laundry?

can you think of anything??

My Aunt Cindy with chicken pox?

A Cheetah.

yes, my readers. A cheetah. This is the beauty that this wonderful 5 year old mind concocted that day.
The bitch of it is that I busted up laughing when he told me. I completely lost it. He was so worked up to tell the joke and it caught me off guard.
Seriously, I mean, who knew that cheetah's like to do laundry?
I never would have guessed a cheetah in a million guesses.

Whats your, amazingly hilarious joke?