Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Always Look At The Positive

A Few Things

Remember how I had a list of celebrities I don’t like? Here’s an update.
  • I don’t hate Bobby Flay. I think he’s kind of a tool. Years ago, I had a friend of a girlfriend that worked at Mesa Grill and said Bobby was mean, so I’ve always had that impression. But you have to be kind if a dick it build an empire, and he seems like he tries really hard, does good work and basically deserves the success he’s had.
  • Brad Pitt. Said he lost something since he got with Angelina. Not so sure anymore, meaning not so sure there was much there! He was on Bill Mahr this week and seems to be doing a lot of good in the world. Seems to genuinely love his kids, his wife, his job, and doesn’t let it all go to his. He’s funny too. He sits there with an almost-smug smile and cracks jokes that actually made me laugh. He does look a little deer-in-the-headlights but twinged with a confidence that says, “so what if I’m not a genius? I’m Brad Fucking Pitt. I don’t have to be.” Gotta respect that. Still thought he sucked in Benjamin Button.
  • Anthony Bourdain. Cocky douche. I’m pretty much not going to like anyone who acts like an ass when a judge on a cooking show.

Happiness = all laundry cleaned, folded, and put away. Ahhh...

I hearby give up on white-meat chicken. I cannot take the dryness, the blandness, it’s tendency to overcook and dry out too quickly. I need to lather in sugary sauce to make it palatable, which kind of defeats the purpose of why I’m eating it in the first place. Sorry, arteries, but you’re welcome salivary glands.

Check this out. It’s an online spreadsheet with every Phish show ever played and a link to download almost all of them. So awesome. Those guys lived the life, always touring, always getting bigger crowds, always writing better music. Fucking love that band.

I totally see how the Yankees are evil. They snatch up all the good players with their never-ending funds. The stadium is always full, their merchandise is sold everywhere, they have their own television network, and they are “America’s baseball team.” If I were an Oriole fan, I’d fucking hate them too. But the Yanks are a world unto their own. The Yankees played the Oakland A’s last night. The field still had the football lines on it. The upper deck was completely empty. But the A’s played really well despite the loss. It’s tough when one team has such a financial advantage. Thank God I married into the Yankees. It’s soo much easier.

Back to work...

What She Really Wants

Harley works evenings, so I get to watch the kids 2-3 evenings alone. It can be great, it can be tough. Monday night, Lilah was very tired and cranky. She was promised ice cream, so I gave her a cone of danilla, her favorites, with rainbow sprinkles that was had to search for before coming home.

She was eating very nicely when her cone broke. She said she needed a new cone, though the ice cream was all gone. I said no. WWIII ensued. “I don’t want you! I want Mommy! Noooo!!” She wanted to take the verboten 7pm nap and ran into her bed room and onto her bed.

Put Jack down with Baby Einstein and rushed in to keep her up. She was crying, tears all her face, snot streaming down her face, with ice cream still stuck in her hair. Things were not looking good, and I was getting upset.

So what do I do? I ask her how her day was. She stop crying, looks at me and says, “good.” What else did you do today? She gave me a 7 minute answer. I don’t remember what she said, but she said it with such enthusiasm, so cute! She was instantly in a better mood.

After that, I brought Jack into the bedroom and we all played nicely for the rest of the night. Guess all she needed was special attention. (Now, you all should know what comes next.) JUST LIKE MOMMY!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some Sports Stuff

1. Michael Vick should be allowed to play in the NFL, if a team wants him.

Yes, he was convicted of organized dog fighting, a despicable and disgusting crime. He has been vilified in the media, humiliated across the country, and will never be respected like he once was. It will haunt him for the rest of his life. But he served his time and paid his debt to society, as determined by our legal system. He should be allowed to play.

The question is who wants him. What team would take a convicted and disgraced felon? The answer is any losing team that wants a talented quarterback to help him win. I think he’ll go to Detroit or Kansas City.

2. Hank Basket got hurt today.

Yes, Kendra’s hank. Not good for the Eagles or E!. I don't even know who else we have. But I'm still in baseball mode right now. Speaking of which...

3. I don’t understand why people get angry at the Yankees’ for having the highest payroll in MLB.

Yes, it’s massive, but it’s sustainable for them. It’s a build on years and years of success. I don’t know much about the team, but there’s something strange (to me) with complaining about a winning team’s ability to pay for star players. Sour grapes, anyone?

Besides, a team of stars doesn’t always win. Their massive payroll didn’t help them win any games earlier this season. What good did us do then? Baseball is a business. You don’t complain about the guys who can spend the money. You prove that money doesn’t matter. Hasn’t anyone seen Major League?

Maybe some one can give me some insight on this matter. Perhaps a certain Blue Jays fan might have some feelings on this subject...

Monday, August 10, 2009

How To Get Fired From Facebook

Never forget who's reading your posts!

By the way, I love my job and everybody I work with.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Keep Walking

If you have 6 minutes, watch this new ad for Johnnie Walker:

It tells the story of the brand (and the pack) in a very engaging way, and will make you want to go to Scotland and drink a lot.

I don't usually promote ads, especially not long ones, but this one is awesome. And I've been to those Scottish hills (or at least been near them), and they are even cooler in person.

Here's an interview with the director. It looks effortless but it took 40 takes, and this was done at 8pm on the last day of the shoot.

I didn't realize what an amazing actor Robert Carlyle is. The whole thing is dependent on him keeping you engaged. A cool question & answer:

What was the most challenging element of the job?
By 5pm on day one we hadn't managed to do one complete take. We therefore had nothing. We soon worked out that the reason for this was the huge bank of TV's which we'd placed 2 meters in the wrong position. Robert was having to slow down his walking and speed up his talking in a way that was artificial and was throwing him. There was nothing we could do but rebuild the TV's which meant wrapping and staring again the next day having achieved nothing on the first day. The following morning there were a lot of anxious faces and murmurings of "fixing it in post". Then Robert turned up and did the very first take of the day in one. As I said - the man's a genius.

What Gets Me Through The Night

Magazines at Reception

I visit the design office of a global personal care products company. I expect to see the typical boring magazines. BrandWeek. AdWeek. Business Week. Blah Blah Weekly.

Instead, I see these:
  • Instinct (let's be loud - let's be proud)
  • Mountain Bike

Sure, this might be what I'd expect under my brother's mattress, but not at a major company! Of course, there offices were in Chelsea...

Guys on a Truck

On my way to work, I saw a big truck with saw horses to be used for crowd control. There were two guys standing on the truck to keep them there. They weren't strapped in, and even if they were, would they be able to stop all those pieces of heavy wood from falling without getting crushed in the process?

What are they thinking! They should tie them down properly before they get on the road. They probably shouldn't be on the open back of a truck either. Some one should call the cops!

Oh wait...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Unsung Hero of the Day

John Cazale, Fredo from the Godfather movies.

He appeared in only five feature films in his career, and all of them were nominated for Best Picture.

He was friends with Al Pacino since they were teenagers. Al Pacino, referred to Cazale as his "acting partner", the guy he could've acted with his entire life.

He won lots of Off-Broadway Obie Awards before making it into movies. Pacino invited him to audition for the role of Fredo. Unlike most of the casting of the film, he easily won his the part in thanks to a good audition and little competition for the role.

Francis Ford Coppola was impressed with his performance and wrote a much bigger and central role for the sequel, in which shares the screen for a classic scene in American cinema.

Friend Al Pacino requested him to audition for the role of Sal in Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Director Sidney Lumet was unsure, with Cazale not being anything like the real-life counterpart (the real Sal was eighteen, while Cazale was in his late thirties). Cazale immediately won over the part with the audition.

His final film, The Deer Hunter (1978), was filmed while he was ill with bone cancer. He became engaged to his co-star, Meryl Streep, whom he met when they both appeared in the New York Public Theater's 1976 production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

The studio was unaware of his condition, but the director knew. Cazale was weak and needed to film his scenes first. When the studio discovered he was suffering from bone cancer, they wanted him removed from the film. His co-star and fiancé, Meryl Streep, threatened to quit if he was fired. He died shortly after filming was completed.

Google Maps Finds the Highlander

Click here. Give it a momment to bring up the street view.

It looks just like any random street in any random town.

But Google chose to get a street view on this particular street, on this particular day at this particular time, as a legendary battle ensued.

They even blurred out their faces!!

There can be only one.

Fatty Boombalatty, Part. 2

In keeping with today's theme, here's another gem:

This guy takes cheap, easy fast food and shows ways to transform it into a gourmet-looking meal. Crazy stuff. My boss's friend did this, and the guy's in talks about a book and maybe a TV show. I'd watch it!

Boston Krème Brûlée & Fruit Tart (Fancy Dunkin’ Donuts)
Boston Krème Brûlée & Fruit Tart (Fancy Dunkin’ Donuts) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food Ingredients:  8 Boston Kreme donuts 3 Strawberry-Filled donuts 1 Vanilla Kreme donut 1 bottle of water 1 cappuccino packets of sugar organic mint leaves (for garnish and a touch of irony)   Using a bread knife, cut open each of the dozen donuts to expose its filling.  Scoop out all of the custard filling from the Boston Kreme donuts into a fancy ramekin. Then, even off the top and let it chill in the refrigerator for a while.Time to make the fruit tart… Place some donut halves into a food processor and add about two capfuls of the bottled water for every two full donuts.  Blend it all down until it becomes a doughy paste.  Mold the dough into a mini tart/quiche pan, then bake in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes at 425° F.  After it cools down to room temperature, scoop out all the strawberry filling from the Strawberry-Filled donuts onto the tart crust.  Top it off with a dollop of vanilla cream from the Vanilla Kreme donut.Once the ramekin of custard is chilled, sprinkle a layer of sugar on top.  Then, using a kitchen torch — man, they are awesome — carmelize the sugar until it becomes a brown shell.  Garnish it with the organic mint leaves, and voilà!  With the fancy fruit tart and the cappuccino served in a fancy cup, now America runs on crème brûlée! Ouais!

All made from Dunkin Donuts. The creme brulee is made from the Boston Creme filling.The tart shell is made the donut shells in the food processor, and the tart filling is from strawberry donuts.

Wendy’s Napoleon (Fancy Baconator Combo)
Wendy’s Napoleon (Fancy Baconator Combo) by Adrian Fiorino of Ingredients:  1 Wendy’s Baconator 1 large fries 1 small Coke 1 botte of water 2 little cups (or packets) of ketchup  12 sugar packets  Disassemble the burger. The cheese may not separate from the meat, but that’s okay. Place the bun in a food processor with 2 tbsp of water and pulse until it resembles couscous. Set aside. Do the same with the fries until it becomes a paste.Chop the burgers (cheese and all) into pieces with a knife. Place in a food processor and pulse until they look like pate.To create the Napoleon, cut the french fry container so the top is level. Pack alternating layers of the minced meat, the mashed potato paste, and the bun-turned-“couscous” into the container until it is full. Invert over a plate and wiggle until it is loose.For the spun sugar garnish, empty twelve packets of sugar into a heavy-bottom saucepan with 1/4 cup of water over medium heat. While stirring, cook mixture until it is a deep brown color (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to sit 1 min. Over foil, gently flick the sugar back and forth to create a strand-like design.To make the sauce, put 1/2 cup of Coke and the ketchup into a pan over medium heat. Reduce for five minutes.Next, crisp up the bacon in a pan for two minutes over medium heat before chopping it into little pieces.To assemble, gently separate sugar garnish from foil and stick it in the top of the Napoleon. Pour sauce around the Napoleon and then form 4 little piles of bacon around the edges of the plate.Pour some of the remaining Coke in a wine glass, and there it is: a Fancy Baconator Combo that you might think is waaaay better than the original!
Take a Wedny's Baconator. Put the meat into a food processor and make a paste. Do the same with the bun and the fries. Cut off the bottom of the fry cup (it's circular) and use it as a mold to create alternating layers of meat and fries/buns. Reduce the Coke by boiling it to make the sauce. Cut the bacon into tiny bits and use as garnish.

Here are some other ones. I won't explain how to make them because I'm lazy.

Dao Mi Noh Chow Mein (Fancy Domino’s Pizza)
Dao Mi Noh Chow Mein (Fancy Domino’s Pizza) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food with his brother Mark Ingredients (for vegetarian option):  1 large Domino’s American Legends Pacific Veggie Pizza (default order customized with light cheese, green peppers added, and no provolone, parmesan, or feta cheeses) 1 two-liter bottle of Diet Coke  This Fancy Fast Food dish requires “hoisin sauce” derived from the dark syrup of Diet Coke, so first pour 1 1/2 cups of it into a wok. Place on medium heat and let the water evaporate as you prepare the other items.Pick off all the vegetable toppings from the pizza pie. While you don’t have to separate all of them by type, make sure you separate out the spinach, as it will be used for the garnish. Next, using a pizza slicer, slice thin strips of crust to make the “noodles.” Gather them all and rinse in a colander. Place them in a pile onto a white plate.When the Diet Coke is evaporated down to about 2-3 tbsp. of “hoisin sauce,” add the green peppers, red peppers, olives, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes to the wok. Sautée and stir fry all the ingredients until they’re all mixed together, then spoon them over the noodles.  Garnish with spinach and serve with chopsticks and Diet Coke in a stemless wine glass.  And there you have it, Dao Mi Noh Chow Mein in thirty minutes or more!

Spicy Chicken Sushi (Fancy Popeyes Chicken)
Spicy Chicken Sushi (Fancy Popeyes Chicken) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food Ingredients:  1 two-piece Popeyes Bonafide spicy fried chicken dinner (breast and wing), with a biscuit, a side of cole slaw, and a large Coke (no ice) 1 Loaded Chicken Wrap 1 large order of red beans and rice packets of Popeyes Louisiana hot sauce wasabi paste (for garnish)  This Fancy Fast Food dish requires the dark syrup from Coca-Cola, so first pour the Coke into a non-stick saucepan. Place on medium heat and let the water evaporate as you prepare the other items. Unwrap the Loaded Chicken Wrap and remove the chicken tender. As best as you can, separate the rice from the red beans remaining in the wrap and place the two items into two separate bowls. Add to these bowls the rice from the red beans from the large side order as well.  Rinse the rice in a colander and pick out the remaining red beans. Dry the rice in a paper towel and let it air out for a while. Rinse the tortilla wrap, and then cut off its rounded edges to make a rectangle. Next, cut the tip off the chicken tender (about 2”), then skin and bone the rest, along with the chicken breast and wing. Using the biggest masses of white meat from the chicken tender and chicken breast, cut out four little slabs of chicken. Then take all the remaining chicken and chop it finely. Add the chopped chicken into the bowl of red beans; add hot sauce from the packets to your liking. Mix it all into a consistent paste. Once the Coke has been evaporated to a thick syrup, place the wrap into the saucepan to dye it a darker brown. When enough of the syrup has infused with the wrap, place it face down on a bamboo sushi roller.  Then add a layer of rice on top of that, followed by a strip of the chicken/bean mix in the center of the wrap.  Roll the wrap into the shape of a maki roll, cut off the ends, and then cut the roll into six equal parts - you have just cut “mocki” rolls!  A lot of the syrup coloring may have rubbed off during this process, so re-apply the coloring to each piece with a pastry brush. Cut the edges off the buttermilk biscuit, then cut in half to make to rectangular pieces. Slice those two pieces laterally to make four rectangular pieces of about equal size. Place the four pieces of chicken on each of the four biscuit pieces. Drain and rinse the cole slaw in a colander. Now assemble the presentation! Place the six cut “mocki” rolls on the platter. In one of them insert the tip of the chicken tender, like Japanese chefs do with the end of a shrimp tempura or spider roll. Accentuate the center of each roll piece with a bean and more hot sauce. Place the four chicken and biscuit “sushi” pieces onto the platter, then drizzle and glaze them with more of the Coke syrup. Garnish with a pile of cole slaw and a dab of wasabi paste, then serve it with chopsticks. Love that sushi from Popeyes!

Tacobellini (Fancy Burrito Supreme)

Tacobellini (Fancy Burrito Supreme) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food Ingredients:  2 Taco Bell Burrito Supremes (beef) 1 beef soft taco 1 large Sierra Mist packets of mild, hot or Fire sauce (to your liking) parsley (for garnish)  Think outside the tortilla. Carefully unwrap the Burrito Supremes and soft taco, and extract their stuffings in a bowl.  Carefully rinse off each of the tortillas, and then briefly steam them in a steamer to soften and moisten them. Then lay each tortilla on a cutting board and cut circles in it using a small circular cookie cutter, or simply an empty tin can measuring around 2 1/2” in diameter. Take the filling and put a small amount in each small tortilla circle, then fold it in half and pinch it into a tortellini shape.  The moisture should keep it sticky enough to stay put.  Pile the tortellinis on a plate. Next, cut open and pour the contents of the sauce packets in a measuring cup, then generously drizzle the sauce over the tortellini. Garnish with parsley and serve with Sierra Mist in a wine glass.

Fatty Boombalatty

I had McDonald's for lunch. A 10-nugget meal. Opted for the more healthy Dr. Pepper instead of a milkshake. Now I'm sleepy. But that's nothing compared to these, all found on

Corn Corn

Corn on the Cob on a stick, covered in corn dog batter and deep fried.
Corn Corn  Corn on the Cob on a stick, covered in corn dog batter and deep fried. (Submitted by Arwest)

Corn Dog Pigs In A Blanket

Fried corn dogs wrapped in American cheese and biscuit dough.Corn Dog Pigs In A Blanket Fried corn dogs wrapped in American cheese and biscuit dough. (Submitted by Laura Flowers)

The Rubix Cubewich
The Rubix Cubewich (via insanewiches)

The Hurler Burger

A burger topped with Easy Cheese in a jelly donut.
The Hurler Burger A burger topped with Easy Cheese in a jelly donut. (Submitted by Bob Phillips via trouttowers)

The Uruguayan Chivito

A roast beef sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese, basil garlic mayo, hard boiled egg, pickles, red peppers, green olives, onions, ham, and bacon on a white bread bun.
The Uruguayan Chivito A roast beef sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese, basil garlic mayo, hard boiled egg, pickles, red peppers, green olives, onions, ham, and bacon on a white bread bun. (Submitted by Phillip Penix-Tadsen)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Daily Quiz

Is this a picture of:

A) the face of the monster from Little Shop of Horrors
B) the head of a giant sandworm from Dune
C) a football
D) stitching from a leather sofa
E) Andrew, get back to work!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Not So Manic Monday

I watched Beowulf this weekend. Yeah, that Beowulf, that has Angelina Jolie and looks like a cross between animation and real actors. It was amazing. AMAZING. I loved it. Watched it twice just to see the monster again. I didn’t know the story but now want to read the original poem. I highly, highly recommend it. It’s directed by Robert Zemeckis, the same guy who did Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, and a bunch of other classics. AMAZING!! Good story told really well. It’s on Showtime, DVR it.

I also watched The Hulk with Ed Norton. Did it in 30 minutes on fast forward. Did not need to waste that much time.

We had a family stay-night on Friday, since it was raining. Lilah helped me finish a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Cinnamon Buns flavor). After that, she and I had a sugar rush and wrestled on my bed. We then took an hour-long shower/bath. Here's my little princess:

I’ve been bonding with Jack pretty hardcore. He just looks at me and smiles. How could anyone resist? He loves kisses, gets a huge smile when you put your face anywhere near his. I can’t help but smooch. Does that make me gay? (The answer is no. Not until he’s older, maybe 6 or 7. Then it’s creepy)

Update on my iPod games:
- I shot the moon in Hearts.
- I beat all boards on iBomber.
- I got over 2,000 on Rope & Fly.
- I got 66 on Flight Control.
- I beat Minesweeper on expert.
- I choose not to play Flood on Expert, cause it sucks.

Any other game suggestions? All the ones listed above have become tiresome, though still addictive.

I love having a job where I can take the time to write a blog post, that the world so desperately needs. I’m also wearing jeans and sneakers. I came in shorts (the subway is hot!) and would have kept the shorts on, but my muscular calves were getting the ladies too excited. Completely understandable.

On the subway this morning was the first time I got excited for my upcoming class. It’ll (hopefully) be my last Fall semester at NYU, and my final official class to earn my Master’s. In the Spring, I’ll write my thesis which should get me out of taking a class. I will miss it, but a class and thesis is no joke. Will be a long year. After this, my higher education days are done for a looong time. I’m going to get a house, start a band, and convince Harley that 2 kids is the perfect amount so I have more time for the band and yard work.

Boxing is officially boring compared to Ultimate Fighting. Baseball is much, much more exciting in person than on TV. Went to a game with Harley and her friend Rich from Louisville, KY. Had the best seats and the best time. Got seriously drunk on the best tasting Heineken ever.

It was so hot I had to buy a baseball cap. Now I suddenly love this Yankees cap and wear it whenever I can on the weekend. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, gets really hot, makes me look like I’m 12, and every other dad on the Upper East Side is wearing the same exact hat. But I love it. Go Yanks.


Lilah is peeing on the potty. Like a champ! She woke up last night to go pee instead of going in her pull ups. HUGE!! If only poops met the same fate.

You don’t know this, but there is an epidemic sweeping the nation’s toddlers: Wonder Pets Cupcakes. There’s a commercial on Noggin, and it’s all Lilah can talk about, she and many other toddlers. But it’s not just buying these things, you have to make them. It’s work! We told her no Wonder Pets cupcakes until you go poopy on the potty. We’re all still waiting.