Friday, May 29, 2009

Survey #7: Most Delicious Foods on the Planet

It's time for another wonderful weekend, and I am happier than Madonna on Flag Day (that's a dirty joke, for all my innocent peeps out there). I'm also really hungry, and hoping the little woman has something for me to shove down my pie hole.

Speaking of pie (you see my masterful segue there?), it's time for another survey. What sets you to slobbering more than anything else? What could you eat almost every day and not tire of? Here are some of my faves, in no particular order. First, pie. It matters not what kind, although key lime, chocolate satin, pumpkin, and blueberry lemon cream are near the top. Also, Indian food. Again, it almost doesn't matter what the dish is. I could live in India and be vegetarian. Vegetables got no business being that delicious. And New York steak, as served at Texas Roadhouse, with mashed potatoes, rolls topped with cinnamon butter, a flavored iced lemonade, and of course the peanuts you get to crack open and throw on the floor when you walk in.

Here is the one and only rule: I ask only that you be specific. Don't tell me you like pizza. Hell, who doesn't? I want details of when and where and why it's so good. Oh, and also, because she is incapable of appreciating great cuisine, Gina isn't allowed to play. If she answers, just ignore her. My last couple of surveys haven't gotten much of a response, so I hope for better participation on this one. Invite your friends. And a good weekend to you all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Start of the Workweek Tribute to Buffalo Bill

Since Tuesday is Monday this week, here is this week's kickoff to the workweek. This song and video was created by indie rock band The Greenskeepers in 2004, but I wasn't aware of it at all until a few months ago (once again thanks to my friend J). It pays homage to the truly memorable Buffalo Bill, the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs. I am just sick enough to find it amusing, and I hope you do too. Have a great week of work!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Special Memorial Day Blog

I really wanted to include a small appreciation for the thousands of forgotten and unknown soldiers who have willingly sacrificed all for freedom.  Some of you may know this song by 3 Doors Down and seen the video, which played in movie theaters a while ago.  It is a pretty impressive piece of work, directed by Antoine Fuqua of Training Day.  There's not much I can really add, other than to lament the fact that Memorial Day seems to have lost much of its intended purpose (as opposed to Labor Day, which really is supposed to be all about sitting around loafing).  I myself will be grilling and celebrating in normal American fashion, but I hope that we will all take a few minutes to remember the fallen, and offer our silent thanks. Have a great holiday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Cause For Lip Balm

Tomorrow is the birthday of my one and only see-stor, Gina (pronounced Hee-na), so I thought we'd go through some of her favorite things. First off, decrepit old bony rock stars with ginormous lips and skintight pants. Who wouldn't want a piece of that action? And with her addiction to Chapstick, Gina can more than hold her own with the Mick, Steven Tyler, or anyone else who wants to suck face (although it will probably hasten her usage of the balm to every two minutes instead of her usual five). Anyone who wants to see Gina look like a total junkie, hide her chapstick. You might as well be waterboarding her.

Next, the luminous Barbra Streisand. Gina's idol. Before she goes to bed every night, she prays to a graven image of Babs, and always asks herself "What would Barbra do?" I don't know why she loves her so much, but she started the Utah/Idaho chapter of Cawfee Tawk. And she has developed some of her stubbornness too. From the time she was a tweener, no matter how badly she gets beaten, she always has to throw the last punch. Actually, sometimes it's more of a limp-wristed slap that just lands on the wrong part of the shoulder or neck that stings enough to force you to go back to give a few more Charlie Horses, Indian Burns, or Texas Chili Bowls.

A couple of banana slugs, who appear to be mating or something. They're kinda gross, slimy little critters, but from Gina's reaction to bananas (the fruit), you would think that they were slugs, or maggots, or worse.

Come to think of it, Gina acts like that with a lot of foods. The above picture (weedrats, as featured on Shrek, I presume) represents Gina's default reaction to anything she thinks she doesn't like. Sometimes, she changes her mind, like with grilled pineapple, then she struts around like she invented the stuff. But mostly, she is too weak-minded to accept the deliciousness of donuts, coconut, shrimp, coconut shrimp, any kind of seafood (even halibut, which may very well be what God eats), and dozens of other delicacies. And then she goes and tries stuff like haggis. I know it's possible to consciously change your palate, because I acquired a taste for a number of previously unliked food during my mission, and just last year, decided I really wanted to like pickles, and was able to accomplish that with some superior mindpower.

Anyway, teasing aside, Gina is a really really great little sister. She loves and spoils my boys, her little nephews, and she's taking us out to Texas Roadhouse the next time we're in Idaho Falls, with no regard of the bill. Here's hoping that this is the year that she finds the man of her dreams, someone masculine enough to tame her wild side, and virile enough to sire a dozen stubborn, picky, Chapstick-wearing, Streisand-worshiping babies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Brutal Violence Guaranteed to Brighten Your Monday

Okay, it's back to sick and twisted for me. I am adding a new weekly feature to my blog that I hope will get everybody's week off to a good start by providing some good laughs. I was inspired by Eskimo Bob's Rock and Roll Friday, truly one of the great blog features anywhere on the Web. Now all I need is a good name for it, like the Monday Yuks, only not retarded. Please leave suggestions in your comments and win a prize.

This week is a compilation of some truly awesome movie deaths. Respectively, they are taken from Shark Attack 3, Enter the Ninja, Undefeatable, Big Trouble in Little China, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, and the immortal Troll 2, (filmed in Morgan, Utah). Troll 2 is regarded as one of the great horrible films of all time, even inspiring a recently released feature-length documentary a full 20 years after the movie was made, called Best Worst Movie. Anytime you have a movie set in a town called Nilbog (goblin spelled backwards), involving vegetarian goblins who turn people into plants before eating them, you've got a winner. I've never seen it, but aim to change that soon. It's now in my Netflix queue. I think I know what we're doing for our next date night, Amybug.

On a side note, my personal favorite is the clip from Enter the Ninja. As Cracked magazine describes it, the ninja assault "not only kills the man, but appears to make him lose faith in even trying to survive. After a moment's shock at the realization he's been stabbed in the heart with a ninja star, he just stares wistfully, shrugs, and then kicks it". Classic. Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Survey #6: Dumbest Inventions Ever

I am going to be brief today. (Shut up, Eskimo Bob). By now, everyone has probably seen the Snuggie infomercials, and it's been roundly mocked by everyone right on up to Jay Leno and Jon Stewart. Probably the best parody I've seen is this one. But I wouldn't be surprised if the geniuses behind the Snuggie get the last laugh, all the way to the bank. We Americans are an enterprising bunch, and there is no shortage of heavily retarded products that have succeeded spectacularly. The Pet Rock made Gary Dahl a millionaire in a period of about six months in 1975 (which just seems to fit in perfectly with the overall stupidity of the decade). But let's not lie to ourselves that our generation is superior. I'll take Ron Burgundy's rugged manhood and perfectly groomed moustache over Adam Lambert's sexually ambiguous poo-face any day. And more importantly, people are throwing their money away at a record pace. And I want in on some of that action. At some point, I may just interrupt my business that is designed to help people, and give the masses the useless crap they want. What are your nominations for the dumbest inventions ever? Go.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The little woman and I went to Lagoon Saturday, and towards the end of our day, I started feeling a sore throat and cold coming on. The past few days I have lost much of my voice and been feeling frustrated about being kept from working to my full capability, so I am about to do something unusual: I am gonna get cute and cuddly on yer ass! For those of you who have a certain image of me as a brilliant, ruggedly handsome man with a sometimes cynical, prickly personality, read no further. The picture above is my new favoritest picture ever. It is a baby hedgehog. It might be about the cutest damn thing I've ever seen.

It got me thinking a bit. Many of you know that I really love little kids, and usually they tend to like me. I especially love my own two numbskulls, but I've always had this dream of making a difference for kids who are poor, or don't have a daddy, and inviting them into our home, taking them to games and other activities with my boys, and helping to mold them into happy, contributing, successful, and reasonably likable people. Which is a real challenge, because once they grow out of the cute phase and develop a mean streak, much of society just kind of writes them off and gives up on them. Ultimately, we all make our own choices, but part of loving our neighbor is to remember that inside everyone you meet, there's a kid who needs love and understanding. So here's to catching them young, and remembering how we all start out, and what we can become. Enjoy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A boy's best friend is his mother...

...and on this Mother's Day weekend, I want to send love and happiness to all mothers everywhere. Growing up I always felt comfortable talking to my mom about anything, which I think says a lot for her. I knew I could bug her any time, even if she was asleep. And it's largely through her influence that I didn't turn out to be a total heathen, and reached adulthood without any Norman Bates-sized issues (well, I'll let you people be the judges of that...). Even better, she is the ideal grandma, and loves to spoil not only the kids, but us as well, by letting us off the leash for date nights and occasional weekends. And of course I can't forget to give loves to the mother of my children. We have a couple of rascally, extremely active boys, including a child with disabilities that at times only a mother could love, and Amy seems so natural at being a mom that I think there is hope for Jackson, Seth, and any future offspring to overcome the asinine nature of their father (whoever he is). Anyhoo, I love both of you and hope you have a happy Mother's Day, and I promise to make you nachos not only Sunday, but any time you want them. And same to all mothers of naughty boys and emotional girls everywhere.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I don't mean to say I told you so, but...

Actually, that's a lie. I am going to say I told you so, and I'm going to be completely smug about it. I started hearing reports yesterday that the Swine Apocalypse of '09 is pretty much history. But then today, I heard a report of another case in Utah. A 71-year-old man returned home to Utah from a trip in Mexico with a quote-unquote, "mild" case. That makes, like, two in the state. I am just on pins and needles waiting for the third. I'm wondering how long new cases will be reported. It's like they're a little sad to see their non-story go, and hesitant to admit what a bunch of lemmings they are. If we get another case in June or July that causes some mild to moderate discomfort, I am comforted that they'll be right on it. PROMISE ME, FOX! PROMISE ME, MSNBC! It is just such a letdown that after all the buildup, there is no looting and pestilence. Can't we even get a little fire and brimstone? The moon turning to blood? Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria?

At any rate, don't let your guard down. Within a matter of months, maybe weeks, there is sure to be the next worst thing. Hell, it could be tomorrow. I am thinking sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. Or at least some ill-tempered mutated sea bass.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Survey #5: Hidden Movie Gems

The weekend has come and gone, and as expected, X-Men Origins: Wolverine hauled in a buttload of money. And not without merit; I thought it was a pretty solid movie. But with the summer movie season now upon us, I thought I would turn our attention to some of the underappreciated films out there. Ones that got away. Diamonds in the rough. The somewhat more low-key movies that come in under the radar unseen by mass audiences. They don't necessarily have to be indies; they could be older movies that have been forgotten, or really great documentaries. Whatever. I don't really care. I just ask that you think before you throw it out there: I don't need you to tell me that Lord of the Rings is really good. I know it's good, and so does the rest of the world. Here are a few of my favorites...

My list has to start with Murderball, quite possibly the most inspiring movie I've ever seen. It is a documentary released in 2005 about quadriplegics who play wheelchair rugby. These guys are not just in it for a friendly game, and it shows these guys as real athletes and real people who don't want your pity, nor special treatment. Disclaimer: don't pick it up for Family Home Evening if you are sensitive to tough language or detailed descriptions given by one competitor when asked about a quadriplegic's sex life. Four stars.

Lars and the Real Girl is a great little movie with a pervy-sounding premise, but miraculously very little raunchy material. It is about a painfully shy guy named Lars in a small Canadian town who develops a relationship with a blow-up doll he orders online, and the lengths the townspeople go to help him with what he's going through. It is one of the most unlikely sweet and touching movies you'll see, which is an accomplishment since it could easily have been a sex farce in the vein of American Pie. Four stars.

Without a Clue takes the interesting proposition that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by Dr. Watson to mask the fact that Watson (played by Ben Kingsley) is the real genius. He hires an actor to "play" Holmes (Michael Caine), who is a bumbling moron. Watching the two Oscar winners engage in slapstick, and especially watching Caine portray such an alcoholic buffoon, is a ton of fun. Three stars.

An Unfinished Life stars Morgan Freeman and Robert Redford and has no business being on this list, but was released with such a lack of fanfare when Miramax Studios changed ownership in 2005 that it was virtually buried. Which is a real shame, because even Jennifer Lopez turns in a solid performance. It centers on a Wyoming rancher (Redford) whose estranged daughter-in-law and granddaughter arrive unexpectedly and ask to stay with him and his friend and neighbor (Freeman) who has become disabled after being mauled by a bear. The story is somewhat familiar, but the scenery is breathtaking, and it makes you feel like a million bucks.

The 'Burbs is a horror-comedy featuring Tom Hanks in typical good-guy mode in a white-bread neighborhood who reluctantly attempts to solve a mystery of a missing neighbor when a mysterious family, the Klopeks, move in next door. This one has developed quite a cult following on home theater and may be better known than the others, but was a flop when it was released in 1988. Funny stuff, especially if you're a little twisted, like me.

There are many others I could mention, but I will leave it there for now, and ask for some recommendations from you, my devoted followers. For now, sweet dreams...