Monday, August 31, 2009

Blast from the Past: That Super Scary Fiddler Movie We Watched in Elementary School

I actually got the chills while I was watching this video clip. This was shown to us for fun on Fridays at Talbott Springs Elementary, which a the time seemed like cruel and unusual punishment.

This is based on a folk tale from East Texas. In this video, a demon fiddler steals a little boy and the mother, Hannah, must try and save him. I don't remember much of what happened on this show since I was hiding behind the lunch cart and only peeked out periodically. I do remember the end. Some dog attacks the fiddler and rips out his fucking eye!

On the educational web site where this is featured, there is a grade level for this video. They have it down as 7 to Adult. We were in the second or third grade when we saw this. It was scary as shit.

In my adult life, friends from elementary school revealed to me that they were also terrified of this video. Thank God. I thought I was the only one.

I can't believe I found this. Tell me that fiddler isn't super-creepy!

UPDATE: This movie apparently won a lot of film festival awards when it made the rounds in 1982. That's great but it doesn't give me back my carefree childhood. I still don't trust people that play violins. I can't imagine I'll be getting much sleep tonight.

Blatant Video Theft Corner: This Kid Loves Bacon

This is one of them thar video clips that's blowing up on Al Gore's Internet, so I figured I would drop it in for you losers.

I like this clip for many reasons. The little boy is funny because he thinks he's a grown up. He's talking like he thinks adults talk, but the fact remains that he is losing his shit because his new "mom" is throwing away his bacon. I like when he packs his suitcase and leaves. It's just adorable.

I believe it is worth mentioning that this is the second clip from Wife Swap where I have seen a tubby boy from the Deep South pack his things and leave because his swapped mom took away his junk food.

Now I won't bore you with facts about obesity in America or excerpts from Michael Pollan's wonderful studies about the food we eat, The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I won't do it because its boring and I would come across as completely full of shit (which might be the case anyway). I think this clip speaks for itself.

I'm not even going to decry the young man for his actions because I LOVE bacon and I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing in his place.

Now to address the elephant in the room. Who the hell throws away bacon? That's just fucked up. Its so crispy and tasty. I remember one time in my life where I stopped eating pork products. It happened right after Babe came out on video. He was just such a cute pig that I couldn't bring myself to eat him. Then I realized that I wouldn't be eating the Babe, just some dumb pig from some farm. After this epiphany everything went back to normal.

In conclusion, bacon is the cat's meow and this kid is a modern-day Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine. He should be applauded for sticking to his guns.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Pet Peeves: "For All Intensive Purposes..."

This was the first image to come up on a Google image search of "for all intensive purposes." I guess the phrase made the dude who posted it sooooooo mad he had to snap a pencil!

I was reminded of this pet peeve the other day while watching the local news at 5 o'clock. I can't remember the particular story, it wasn't all that interesting. What stuck with me was the contributing TV personality's use of the phrase "For all intensive purposes."

Maybe I'm overreacting but this one pisses me off so much. Like a really lot. But don't worry. I'm not going to snap any pencils in two. Your pencils are safe. I guess because I studied writing and communications for many, many moons I'm particularly sensitive to this. That phrase is 100% incorrect. The correct phrase is "For all intents and purposes."

When you say "intensive purposes" you are referring to purposes you may have that are particularly intense, which makes no fucking sense at all.

I think what made me so mad when I heard this was that it was coming from a trained journalist. This is someone who has studied the English language and the various ways to use it to convey information. He should know better.

If you have used the incorrect phrase in the past, don't worry. Just fix that shit now and never use it again. Its the only way you can be assured of escaping the grammar police, of which I am now the Commissioner. If you use it in front of me I might yell at you or laugh at you because I am an elitist prick with a useless liberal arts degree.

That is all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Prince's Man Crushes: Jon Hamm

So I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before I started into this kind of stuff. I get man-crushes the same as any other dude who is secure in his sexuality and my latest has got me swooning like a girl at a New Kids concert.

I'm referring of course to Jon Hamm, better known as Don Draper of AMC's hit drama Mad Men.

I mean, look how dreamy this guy is.

Plus he is totally cool on the show. He works as the Creative Director for the Sterling Cooper advertising firm and basically drinks whiskey all day and then pulls an amazing ad campaign out of his ass at the last minute. Plus he gets copious amounts of ass.

In any event, Mad Men rules and you should all watch it. I have the DVDs if you want to borrow them. As an added incentive to watch the show, you get to see the very lovely Christina Hendricks swish her hips around for an hour.

And if you can't quite tell from the picture, she has a huge rack too. She is perfectly worthy of a lady-crush for men or women. As an aside, I could not work in an office with this woman. I would never get any work done as I would be too busy cleaning up the stuff I knocked over with my boner.

But we're not here to talk about the ladies today. In addition to Mad Men, Jon Hamm was featured in a guest stint on 30 Rock and in The Day the Earth Stood Still with Johnny Utah. He was also very funny on Saturday Night Live.

I expect great things from this guy in the future. I can't imagine the small screen will contain him for much longer. So get in on the ground floor before he becomes a super-huge movie star, then you can say you loved him when.

PS (STRICTLY FOR MY GEEKS) I think he would be the perfect choice for the Hal Jordan Green Lantern.

Blatant Video Theft Corner: What the Fuck?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blatant Video Theft Corner: Wheel Barrow Racing

I don't think much needs to be said about this one. I'm just really impressed with the level of commitment these two had for winning a pep rally race. You need to practice shit like that. I wonder how many man-hours they sunk into that? Sadly, I bet it didn't get them anywhere with the ladies. I'm sure all the guys were impressed.

The swan dive at the end is a nice touch too.

My Lovely Man-Date Lunch

This is something I had been meaning to get to for quite some time, but no one ever said I was a go-getter. This is but the first in a planned series of posts that will attempt to undercut and outdo the lovely ladies of Black Coffee and a Donut.

Sometimes the weight of the world tends to get to you and as a man you have few outlets for this stress. One of the things my friend Brian and I like to do when we feel like its all just too much is head down to the trendy Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. and treat ourselves to a lovely day of shopping and dining.

On this particular day not too long ago we made our way to the Georgetown Waterfront, a place Brian assures me is a super-lame meat market come sunset, when all of the boring people with no personalities dress up and try to get laid. Brian said there was a guy with a boat that had docked and his pick-up line to the ladies was "Come check out my boat!" Awesome.

But I digress. During the day the waterfront is a lovely place for two strapping young men to settle in for a delicious and eco-conscious lunch. Our love for fine dining and our glorious Mother Earth led us to Agraria Farmers & Fishers, a nice little place that specializes in serving foods from local and sustainable agriculture and fisheries yada yada yada. You all know the story.

The restaurant also allowed us a chance to people watch from the patio which is always a good time. We had to set the tone for the man-date very quickly and ordered beers and a plate of onion rings. Nothing says "We are definitely not dating" better than beer and fried foods.

The onion rings were served with a very good mustard-seed ketchup, which brought a very nice tang to the appetizer. I could have stood to have a little more on the plate.

For Brian's entree, he went with the old standby, Crispy Duck Breast. My man loves duck because he is Asian (he was born in Wisconsin though) and is always ordering that on our man-dates.

Each dish came with the restaurant's signature rice-a-roni side as well as a vegetable medley.

For my entree, I got the Ahi Tuna, which was prepared with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

I was also accidentally given the special cilantro butter which accompanies the fish "Cowboy Style" and was glad for the mistake. The butter is mixed with the aforementioned cilantro as well as sun-dried tomatoes. As it melts, it adds a very nice flavor to the fish.

After lunch we had planned to go to the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop up the street but were lured in by the desert menu.

Brian selected the sorbet sampler, which featured green apple, blood orange and some other kind of sorbet that I can't remember (B?).

I got the mixed berry cobbler. It featured blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and some peaches thrown in for good measure with a nice crumb crust and vanilla ice cream.

Also available for desert was a nice Key Lime Pie, which I talked myself out of getting because I always get that for dessert. This may have been stupid on my part since I freaking love Key Lime Pie. That's why I always get it. Rest assured I will try it next time I go down to this place. There are a lot of items on the menu that we wanted to try, so we will definitely be heading back there.

As for the rest of the man-date, we did some fun shopping (I bought another jacket and Patagonia ON SALE, as well as a sweet Hawaiian print hat like Mark Harmon from Summer School and an awesome driving cap for Brian that makes him look like a DJ) and even went to the Scoop Shop anyway to see if they carried the hard-to-find sorbets.

All in all, it was a glorious day and I look forward to heading back, which will probably be sooner than later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Pet Peeves: Watches Without Bandkeepers

This one really drives me nuts and there isn't much of a good reason for it. I'm referring to the little things on watches that you slide over the excess band to keep it from flapping around.

It makes me crazy when I see someone without it engaged on their watch. I understand that sometimes it can't be helped. Occasionally these things will break. But to me that is no excuse. I've been wearing the same watch for over five years and when my keeper ripped I promptly ordered a new band online. The watch was still good. In the interim, I used one of my sister's hair bands to hold it in place.

For some odd reason, I was afraid my watch would somehow come loose and fall off without the keeper in place. I still have nightmares about it.

Now for the visual aids:

Correct use of a watchband keeper.

Incorrect use! Gross! (Please note that I simply moved my keeper along the watchband until it was out of the shot. I do not and will not ever own a watch that has no keeper on it. Unless the watch has a metal bracelet to it. Those are different.)

This little post is probably painting me in a very negative light. But really its important for you to know. I'm very weird. I always have been. If you don't know this yet its because I hide it so well.

Beneath this ultra-cool exterior is an odd, anal-retentive geek who like his watch securely fastened and his comics bagged and boarded. That probably isn't all that surprising really.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ain't It Always the Way?

So today I got this totally boss new phone and NO ONE AT ALL felt the need to call me or text me. All day long I was waiting to try this bastard out but nothing. Thanks a bunch, gang!

Its the Samsung Alias 2, which is a huge deal for me since I don't really give a shit about phones. Its the equivalent of anyone else in the world getting an iPhone that transforms into an Autobot with rockets and lasers that will be your best friend.

As you can see its a flip phone that you can flip the other way to reveal a full QWERTY keypad. The best part is, the buttons have magic powers! One way its a normal phone keypad. Then when you flip it the other way, the buttons change! Its fucking sweet.

It got so bad today that I had to ask my mother to call me so I could see how it worked. I knew she wouldn't judge me. The few people I did speak with did not seem at all concerned that I had a cool new phone. So that means no one is allowed to play with it and you can't come to my birthday party, which admittedly is a few months away.

It was pretty sweet though. My buddy Smooth B almost fell into the Harbor while pissing into it and I drank a $23 glass of scotch. Then we bought up all the pretzel dogs at the stand in the middle of Fell's Point. Everybody behind us was piiiiiiiiissed. But I guess none of that matters since none of you are invited anymore. You better hope I forget between now and then.

I probably will.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blatant Video Theft Corner: Full House Alternate Intro

Now make no mistake. I love Full House. I grew up watching this as a part of the can't miss Friday night line-up on ABC, better known as TGIF.

We also had such favorites as Perfect Strangers, Mr. Belevedere, Just the 10 of Us and later on Family Matters with everyone's favorite wacky neighbor, Steve Urkell, and then Family Matters with its incredibly inappropriate double entendres.

But that is neither here nor there. This little clip made me giggle and I imagine you guys might like it too.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Man Who Made All of This Possible

Today I pay tribute to the man who contributed genetic material so that I could issue forth into the world. I'm referring of course to Robert the First, King of Dundalk. I'll save the tales of how my father wooed the fair Deborah of Pembrooke with his guitar and beautiful falsetto voice for another time.

Below are some shots of His Majesty's time in the premier Top 40 band in Baltimore. I am of course referring to the incomparable GAZZE!

If you are Jewish (or friends with some Jewish people) and are from Maryland, then chances are he played at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah that you attended. If not, then you had some lame-ass friends.

I can't imagine any of you happened to see them at any of their EPIC Heritage Fair performances. Sadly that is your loss. Until I can figure out how to steal video from Facebook (or I just ask to have the videos e-mailed to me), you'll have to make due with these photos.

Dad is on the far left of the photo. He's the one who doesn't look cool enough to be in the band. I think this is the tuxedo he wore to the hospital on the night my little sister was born.

Again Dad is on the left. I think this was considered casual wear in the late '70s. He had to draw the moustache on because he doesn't grow his very thick. Its kind of molestery. My godfather is the man on the far right with the eye patch.

Here we see one of the band's classy photo shoots. Its promotional materials like this that got Jewish parents to hire them and helped pay for my braces and our trips to Disney World. In this photo, Dad (on the far right sans glasses) is wearing more make-up than usual.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Pet Peeves: Walking with People You Don't Know

So this is one that really pisses me off. I get totally bent out of shape when it happens because it is so damn awkward.

What I'm referring to is when you are walking towards something (probably a door) when someone else takes a similar path to the same place and you end up walking shoulder to shoulder with someone.

You might not always be close, but it is clearly obvious that you are going to the same place and you are walking about even with one another. What the hell do you do? Its infuriating to me.

The reason I'm so passionate about this is because it happened to me the other day. I was walking from my car into REI when a woman from a car parked closer to the store started to leave her car and make her way to the door. She was moving slow enough that we were on a total intercept course. I saw the whole thing play out in my head and I knew it would be weird and terrible like usual, and then the tiny little pit of annoyance began to grow in my stomach.

But here is where my genius becomes apparent. I muttered "Oh man, my wallet!" loud enough to be heard, made a frustrated turn back towards my car and then went an opened the door. I totally had my wallet so I just stuck my head in the car and pretended to be looking for something. Then I grabbed a piece of gum and after checking that no one else was walking towards the store proceeded inside and made my purchases.

The funny thing is, if the person is a little in front or a little in back of you then its not that bad. In that instance you usually have the polite small talk when you hold the door or the door is held for you. Its just that one-in-a-million shot when they are traveling on a parallel course that unnerves me.

Is it just me? Am I weirder than I thought? Has this even happened to any of you guys before?

Anyway, it totally bothers me and is now immortalized on my blog.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blatant Video Theft Corner: Tracy Morgan Outtakes

When it rains it pours, huh? I was going to save this for another time, but I figured I would forget and this video really breaks my shit up.

I love Tracy Morgan. I think he has a mental disorder, but he is funny as shit. I still have not seen Totally Awesome but I might rectify that situation in the very near future.

I think I've sent this around before, but watch it again. Its fantastic to watch the man riffing.

I think my favorite line is "Have you ever broke a Puerto Rican dude's arm for sweat pants money?"

Blatant Video Theft Corner: Intervention Intervention

I figure in this new feature I will post videos that I have seen on other blogs. I don't care if its derivative. This shit is good.

In this selection, I present something featuring Fred Armisen, one of the more underrated guys on Saturday Night Live. I think he's funny as hell, but it might be because his comedy is a little bit odd and takes some getting used to. I like that kind of crap.

Anywho, this video is fun because I think we may have all been there. I could talk for hours about Intervention. In fact, I have before with baby sis.


PS Who else knew he was engaged to Peggy from Mad Men? Also, is that really his sister?

We've Lost One of the Greats

As many of you probably know, John Hughes died today of a heart attack. He really was one of the best comedy directors of out time and was responsible for a ton of great films.

He's best known for stuff like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Weird Science, but he was also the writer of a ton of other hits like Mr. Mom, The Great Outdoors, National Lampoon's Vacation series, the Home Alone movies, Career Opportunities (which featured and young and nubile Jennifer Connelly riding a supermarket novelty ride) and the immensely underrated Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which he also directed.

Basically, this guy created a majority of the great films of my youth. He will be missed.

I think everyone should pop in their favorite Hughes film tonight (you know you own at least one) and pay homage to a man who brought us so much pleasure. If you're not into that, then at the very least enjoy one of my favorite scenes from this '80s classic.

PS How dreamy was Jake Ryan?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Y'all Remember this Shit?

Just Got Back from Macca's Concert...

... and it was off the hook! I'm not one to really gush about many things, but I will gush about this concert. It has taken over the top spot as the greatest live show I have ever seen. The previous #1 was the last Paul McCartney show I saw.

The man is a machine. He played for nearly three hours and never once took a drink of water that we could see. He can also still wail for a 67 year old man. I think its the vegetarian lifestyle. He played all of the favorites including Beatles classics like "Blackbird," "Get Back," "Eleanor Rigby," and more as well as Wings hits like "Jet," "Let Me Roll It," "Band on the Run" and tons more.

He closed the show out with an awesome version of "Live and Let Die" complete with a shitload of fireworks and then went into "Hey Jude." Sir Paul didn't stop there and did two encores ending the whole shebang with the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise/The End" medley, which is really the only way he should ever end a show.

I was even singing along at times, which I always swore I'd never do. I guess I got caught up in this stuff. I was listening to The Beatles when I was in diapers so its near and dear to my heart.

Another highlight of the show was having my dad guess which songs Paul was going to do before he did them. He nailed some really good ones. When Paul went to the piano at one point he blurted out "Lady Madonna," which I thought came out of left field, but was on the money.

All in all, we had an amazing time. If you have the means, check this man out while he is still touring. He is a master showman, as well as a bit of a ham, which is really very endearing.

If you don't have the means, you should try and nab yourself a rich daddy like my sister and I did. He was happy to shell out $250 a seat just to have someone to go with. Truth be told, I would have dropped the money myself if he hadn't insisted. Paul McCartney is on the short list of men I would stand in line to meet. The other member of this exclusive club is Bill Murray.

Also, if I didn't know better, I would say that I watched the show right behind Internet porn sensation Wifey!

But never fear faithful readers! This is pornography we're talking about and I do know better! It definitely wasn't her. My version didn't have the bust and the dude she was with was not the "husband" I've seen her do on the Internet. It could have been her stuck-up sister though.

In summation: Sir Paul = awesome, Lady at concert not = Wifey the porn queen.


Here is the set list courtesy of some dude at the Sun.

1. Drive My Car

2. Jet

3. Only Mama Knows

4. Flaming Pie

5. Got to Get You Into My Life
6. Let Me Roll It

7. Foxy Lady (instrumental jam)

8. Highway
9. The Long and Winding Road

10. My Love
11. Blackbird

12. Here Today

13. Dance Tonight

14. Calico Skies

15. Michelle

16. Mrs. Vandebilt

17. Eleanor Rigby

18. Sing the Changes

19. Band On the Run

20. Back in the U.S.S.R.

21. I'm Down

22. Something

23. I've Got a Feeling
24. Paperback Writer

25. A Day in the Life

26. Let It Be

27. Live And Let Die

28. Hey Jude

1st Encore
Day Tripper 

Lady Madonna

I Saw Her Standing There

2nd Encore

Helter Skelter

Get Back

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)

The End