Monthly Archives: March 2012

Highly Debatable

Yes this is a long one – in case you want to skip to what my point is.

To go past everything, and be part of the peanut gallery.

Otherwise, get comfy!

When the internet was given to Earthlings by alien beings (well assuming they did give it to us, not my other theory that like a bunch of jerks we just swiped it from the computer systems on the Roswell/Area 51 craft, much like in the way the folks at Cyberdyne were stumped on how to create Terminators until *spoiler alert for the one person who never saw it* one got squished  in a nearby factory) sometimes I wonder if they did it to help boost our technological advancements in a non-direct way, (like when someone anonymously leaves you Odor-Eaters on your desk, so as to spare your feelings when you obviously got some major feet stanks goin’ on)  so that we could build spaceships and come by their house once in a while because they were tired of having to visit us all the time, considering how long it took and the price of whatever they use as fuel (solar cells/batteries would not be effective as they would not be able to focus/charge on our sun until about Mars at least). It is understandable, you very likely have family/friends like that. Or feet stanks.

Anyway…what if they did it to be jerks, allowing us (if my other theory is true) to have access to their technology by staging an accident/crash at Roswell, and totally obvious passwords to their user accounts (knowing that we would swipe anything valuable from it)? Rather than to advance us, it was to ruin us, so that we would completely ignore the idea of space travel for more important things, like downloading pr0n, creating games where various breeds of birds commit suicide for the greater good of destroying pigs, stealing music from each other, and arguing about politics.

Ok so I have done some of those. One which I avoid as much as possible is *Insert subtle segue into main topic* argue about politics. Notice I didn’t say debate, discuss, palaver, consider, have civilized dialogue on, enlighten, humbly express oneself, empathize or contribute accurate information about. My politics, as with many other parts of my life, are based on my life experiences, and if you are looking to change my life experience, I would rather you pass along harems of swimsuit models. Or the winning lottery numbers. Or the winning lottery numbers hidden somewhere on the harem of swimsuit models.

There are topics that I consider to be important – points of view that emerge  when you break down and take away outside news, stimuli and worldy interference. These  are the things that mean the most to us. I have found that these ‘traditional’, way-we-were-raised, everyday ideas and beliefs best define who we are, and are much more entertaining, enlightening and definitive, with the added bonus that when revealed, create a deep and usually hilarious divisiveness among us, even in their bitterness. We’d defend our beliefs on these issues to the death!(well no we wouldn’t, but it’s nice to think it for a moment).

Here are some examples that help get me through each day and strengthen my resolve/character:

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox. Probably the most bitter rivalry in all of professional sports. Personally I am proud to be part of this rivalry, and even happier that I support the better half that is the Yanks. It’s helped my posture to not endlessly hang my head in shame. Until 2003 I had a wonderful legacy to pass along to my children. Eh I still do, as the Red Sux’ feats will always be outnumbered by their defeats. Some of my fondest memories were the late 80’s/early 90’s when the Yanks and Sux were bottom dwellers in the American League East, and maybe 25,000 would show up to the Stadium to hash it out with one another about who might be bad, “but at least we beat YOUR asses!” I will admit though that having been to a game last year, both Yankee and Sux fans were being incorrigible assholes. Like I said, it was more fun when they were both bad.

Please note that the Yankees/Mets rivalry is mainly fizzled out; they play in interleague, they had the 2000 World Series. All loathing and bad wishes must be dedicated to keeping the Sox out of  the playoffs; even if the Yanks don’t win it all, as long as Boston flounders, all is well. On the chance the Sox play the Mets, you root for the Mets. If the Sox play a team full of arch-villainous, nun-slapping, candy- from-children-stealing, terrorist litterbugs, guess who you root for. Right answer!

New York Giants vs. New England Patriots. Though I am a Jets fan/sympathizer, the rivalry technically goes to them, since it is a divisional thing. Also they have sparred in recent years in the playoffs, with the Jets wonderfully knocking the Patriettes out back in ‘10-‘11. The Patties routinely have the last laugh though, as beating the Jets contributes to their overall record. However, now that the ‘Gints have beaten them twice in the Super Bowl, a deep hate is brewing. It truly is a wonderful thing that BOTH teams in one city can have a rivalry with a specific opponent.


Another note; everyone hates the Dallas Cowgirls. Which is good. (Except the cheerleaders; make some noise when they shake their…pompoms. Some things are bigger than the game).

Also, for some reason a lot of people hate Ohio State. Which is fine by me. My ire towards them is related to my cousin’s ex-husband , who was an Ohio State fan, but even more so, a total schmuck. 

Star Wars vs Star Trek. Well I like both of them, and both have become definitive examples of science fiction, especially on the movie/tv medium, but I have to go with Star Wars by a long shot. I can go on about The Millennium Falcon vs. the Enterprise in a space battle. Probably for a longer time than it would take for the Falcon to take on any version of the Enterprise. That’s right, I went there.  If the Original and Next Generation versions teamed up, Han and Chewie might break a sweat.  

Keep in mind that even though this is a general us vs. them rivalry, there is even more internal debating. For the Trek, it’s always a question of who is the better Enterprise captain. I admit that I was a Kirk traditionalist, but after watching the Next Generation series on Netflix all the way through (don’t worry, I didn’t do it over a weekend. More like 2 weekends. I kid, I kid), I gotta go with Picard. Is there a Scotty vs. LaForge engineer debate, who would win in a Romulan / Klingon war or Uhura vs Troi hotness comparison?

With Star Wars, it will inevitably lead to “Who was the greatest Jedi?” I personally go with Obi-Wan Kenobi, since, as a Padawan he defeated Darth Maul, and later killed General Grievous, and essentially destroyed Anakin/Vader. He did inexplicably lose to Count Dooku, twice in fact, and sacrificed himself to Vader but overall a very active and good record. Other arguments include issues that relate to the original trilogy vs. prequels, and of course Expanded Universe, which includes hundreds of books, graphic novels, storylines, characters and ‘continuation’ of those stories. But I am not that bad. Ok yes I am. I will hold back though 😉

Outside link: Check out Last Hero Standing for more video game/scifi/comic/general geek matchups.

Ok well, let’s bring this to a level ‘normal’ people can relate to:  

Peanut butter. That’s right, good ol’ PB.


The food that launched a thousand ships.

But, what’s the rivalry you ask? (probably regretting  that you ask, even as the words pass through your mind).

Well, ask yourself the following: What kind of PB do you like? Smooth, crunchy or super crunchy?

Jif, Skippy, or some other brand?

Where do you store it after opening, in the fridge or cupboard?

I eat Jif. Smooth. I keep it in the cupboard. Like it’s supposed to be! “But that’s not right!”  I hope you are saying. (Hell, at this point I hope you are still reading!) At least one PB attribute I listed disagrees with what you have been raised to believe. And you will defend your PB, and your honor, to the death. (again, not really…but maybe)

Sorry but you are wrong! Ohhh I really got you fumed now huh! We were doing so well here, what with you not caring if Uruha’s microskirts are better than Troi’s bodysuits. But this is what I am trying to say. It’s the small things. The things you were raised to accept as true. One of my best friends likes Skippy, Super Crunchy, and stored in the fridge. I suggested (as in taunting her)that she just smear it on her bread with razor blades if she wanted to shred every slice she had. (Yes we are still friends).

Ok well maybe you have a Peanut allergy and still I have not struck a nerve. Well, I got one for you:

Which way should the toilet paper hang, over or under?

I’m under, all the way. You pull down to unroll, then yank up to break it off. Simple. The roll does the work of helping you cut off a perfect piece for your bizness. Over is incorrect. If I am at your house and it is the other way, I might change it! You’re welcome.

Well here is where I turn it to you! Audience participation is always fun.

What are some rivalries or seemingly insignificant disagreements that you would/have ended friendships or affiliations on (and justifiably so!)?

*Credit to RichFullLife for inspiring this idea of deep debates on obscure questions!

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Filed under Debates, General Nerdliness, Politics, Rants

Guack-a-Mole!

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t subject the world to one more use of “Holy Guacamole!” for a recipe post. So yes a play on the Whack-a-Mole games that are in amusement parks. You will have more success with this recipe though, guaranteed!

You’re welcome!

So I lucked out last week when avocados were not only on sale, but perfectly ripe! Chances are that you do have a guac recipe, but what’s one more right? Plus I might do something different. Keep in mind you do not need to use all the ingredients here; I’ve take out and added as they are available (besides the avocados which are slightly important). Even a batch as simple as avocados, cilantro and garlic will suffice. I used to omit the onions, but now I rinse them under cold water to get most of the pungent juice out.

Anyway here is what you will need. (All images are clickable for full size)

  • 2 avocados – ripe (dark brown and soft/yielding when you lightly press the bottom.
  • plum tomato, seeded
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Handful of cilantro, rinsed and stemmed 
  •  1/2 inch wedge of a medium red/white onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lime
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt/pepper
  • Big mixing bowl
  • big spoon or potato masher

In some particular order:

Cut avocados in half and scoop out the  big ol’ seed.

You’ll know that the avocados are perfect by the texture and more importantly the buttery flavor of the flesh. 

 Next, clean out the seeds/pulp of the tomato and rough cut.

Cleaning them out keeps it from being too mushy, turning brown faster, and rought cut is ok since they will get mashed up soon anyway.

Dice the onion. Onion doesn’t mash as much so cut according to
your preference on onion piece size.

It always looks like too much onion to me, so I add some, and then taste at the end, adding more if I need it. Better safe than sorry.

Chop the cilantro. The best way is to kind of pull it into a tight bunch and cut it that way. You don’t need to get all of the stems off, mainly the stalks. This way you get the flavor of the leaves without the bitterness or texture of the stalk.

Next, slice and seed the jalapeno.

The heat in a jalapeno is in the seeds, the flesh has some heat, but  agood crunch and is one of the good flavors that defines Mexican cooking. So I seed it (stripping the rib as well), and dice it into very small pieces.

You’re in the home stretch!

Squeeze the lime.

Like the onion, I start conservatively and do not use the entire amount. Half of a lime usually suffices. You do not need a lemon/lime squeezer, but they are definitely fun gadgets that get every drop of juice out – works great with cocktails too!

Shake a little salt, pepper and pepper flakes (last one is optional).

Ok you are ready to go…oh wait I forgot the garlic!! Smash the garlic with a heavy knife and rough cut, then add.

Lookit those vibrant colors, reminding you of a Mexican flag.  NOW you are ready to guack a mole!

Always a good way to relieve some stress. Keep mashing and turning until all ingredients are incorporated.

And you’re done!

Transfer to a smaller container. I took the picture before packing it up, since it looks like a galaxy. Which is fitting because this Guac is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Ok yes bad joke.

The final, most importantest step ever:

Clean up after yo’self! No one likes a messy person! Plus if you eliminate all visible evidence that you made guacamole, people won’t start comin’ round with chips in hand, looking to dip in your stash!

Perfect as a topping for tacos, burritos, nachos, with tortilla chips, either store bought, or soft corn tortillas cut into six/eight pieces and deep fried until golden. After drying and while draining, splash a little salt and lime juice on them.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Recipes

Movie reviews – Be Independent

What’s the difference between a B movie and an Indie film? Both have lower budgets, are released through smaller movie companies, and if they are lucky will make a film festival before heading straight to DVD, or Netflix instant. Sometimes, it’s the intention of the director to make something campy, other times, a big movie company might create a smaller label to give some funding to a movie idea that they bought into wither sullying their illustrious reputations for only releasing the highest standards and ideas on reasonable budgets and modest fanfare.

Whatever the case, from the days of my teenager-ness when I purposefully hunted down the worst movies I could find (la la la) to this recent resurgence of interest into lower-budget/tier movies (blockbusters like Transformers and GI Joe have left me disillusioned), I’ve been making the most of my Netflix Instant subscription.

Rubber (2010)

The cover says it all, I think. Well yes a tire. It’s about an old, abandoned tire that somehow becomes sentient (I hesitate to say ‘alive’), and out of all the abilities (besides being sentient) that it gains, it gets the power of ‘blowing stuff up at will’ (there is a technical term for this, which I suspect is telekinesis, but does that necessarily mean blowing things up or just being able to manipulate them?).  Anyway, in order to put some dialogue and a backstory into this, since the general idea is not that deep (ya think?) there is a twist! The movie itself is being shown as a movie, or at least a live action cinematic display (perhaps also known as a PLAY?!) to an audience who are provided with binoculars, by a nameless host/organizer. The random crowd of people is/are instructed when the day’s ‘showing’ begins and ends, and sleep out in the desert at night. They are not fed or given any other amenities, and the organizer begins, or rather continues, acting strangely. But enough about them, that is, without spoilers. Back to the tire.

As the tire goes on increasingly violent adventures, it has flashbacks of what it had recently done, as well as having once been on a car roaring down a similar highway. The movie needs on an ominous note, that is, if you took this movie seriously which you could. To a degree.  Camera angles/visuals are good; the film itself has a feel as if it were a final project for an upper level film course. Taken from my notes as I watched it, I waxed philosophical: “There might be a time when you wake up one day and find yourself somewhere completely out of the ordinary. What you do in that opportunity is pick yourself up, dust off, and move. Always keep moving. Go around, go over, go forward. Or just blow stuffs up.” Eat your heart out Socrates. 

Final Grade: B. Some critics would say it ran a little too long, but there was an attempt at character development. Yes for the tire, but also the side stories, weak as they were. Plus it’s a B movie.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

A group of college kids, the guys pseudo-jocks, the girls pseudo sex-kittens, head for hormone-raging adventures in the mountains. On their way down a lonely backwoods country road, they ride alongside some rednecks in a truck, who give them menacing evil looks that can only mean one thing – Killer Rednecks! Eeek!

However, the plot twist come immediately, as everyone winds up at a nearby gas station, the college kids already expecting mass murder by the Killer Rednecks (Eeek). What we hear from the rednecks though, is that they are just shy easy goin’ fellers headed up to a cabin they bought.

What, what?

That’s right, those Killer Rednecks (eek?) are just simple guys with simple needs. To spend weekends/vacations at their lakeside cabin while fishin’. That’s all! In fact Dale has a bit of a crush on one of the sex kittens, and well his attempts at conversation are as painful as the ones you may remember trying. Well, YOU try telling anything to the knowitall college kids that will dissuade them from thinking you are about to hacksaw their limbs without spillin a beer. Even after one of the sex kittens is injured and put in peril, the rednecks’ rescue is misconstrued as kidnapping, and the knowitall college kids hatch some plans that, well, start to backfire on them…with deadly results.

Will the rednecks get their peace and quiet? Will the knowitall college kids figure out they are wrong and stop gittin’ themselves killed? Will there be yet another twist in the plot?

Though a modestly budgeted movie, the acting is superb! The location, plot(s) and idea are executed (yes pun intended) in their parody of traditional horror, with an original twist. There is some over the top gore, including typical items like a wood chipper (yes that is typical these days) which ‘add to the humor’ if horror parody suits you. Very little (in the distance) nudity, much less than any Friday the 13th, but you may or mayn’t miss the lack of T&A. I laughed, I groaned, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Final Grade: A I didn’t expect much, but I got tons more enjoyment that I would have guessed. This movie was high quality and seemed more ‘indie’ than B genre goes  – definitely not in the ‘so bad it’s good’ justification that I will give a lot of times.  Acting was great, script excellent. Go for it.

Dead Snow (2009)

A German Zombie film! Subtitled of course. A group of horny German  med schoolers go on break (well not spring break since they are traveling in 10 feet of snow to a cabin that some distant relative/friend owned and loaned to them for their fun and frisky frolics. Crazy Eurpoeans do everything backwards. I guess their spring break schedule is metric also). Anyway, what the cabin owner (whoever that was) left out of the cabin details was a terrible secret! That secret is revealed, along with angry Nazi zombies who at the same time, rise from the earth…well the snow, and wreak havoc. Will the med schoolers get away/defeat the zombies who do not represent modern German politics? Will the zombies feast on med school brains? Will you have accurately chosen the person/people who will survive this menace?

Typical plot with a few twists. Blood and gore are well done with CGI, not high budget but effective. Some violent demises, like one zombie pulling apart someone’s head, are a little ‘unbelievable’ (yes I still adhere to physics and logic with zombie horror), and the ‘guts stuck on the tree branch and unraveling for a while before the person figures it out’ gag seems a little Wile E Coyote for me. During one part, after a fight with Nazombies (I am not going to copyright that name, or take credit for inventing it, even though the term was NOT used during the movie), one of the med school students is bitten, and laments that he will be turned into one of them. His friend, in pure dark humor, reasons with him “Are you sure they’d want you? You’re half-Jewish.” Ehhh a little tacky. Maybe they laughed in the German theaters, or maybe it created more awkwardness. Either way, the guy didn’t buy it and chainsawed his arm off. A side note would be that the chainsawing was the SECOND Evil Dead reference that I caught in this movie. Kudos to them for that. Another ‘flaw’ in logic would be that they are covered in zombie blood, but are fine – which contradicts the saliva/bite theory. Yes I will get all Spock on the logics. There is a brief sex scene (pretty much non-nude) in the outhouse; I mean really they are in the snow so who would strip down? There are ‘formal’ terms for sex acts in the bathroom; knowing these will not enrich our lives, so I will skip that. For med school students, they sure didn’t figure out the reason for the Nazombie invasion, when it was pretty obvious. Maybe if they had put up a dry erase board and went all House MD with theories (or a round of Win/Lose or Draw), they would have spared themselves…a little. The ending was not so bad; a very Ah-ha!/Oh No! moment.

Final Grade: B/B+. With all its good and bad, it seemed more like a movie that Europeans made in the American grain of horror movies (in which case they should have had gratuitous nudity). When done the other way around there is usually more success.  

Suck (2009)

A band, ironically called the Winners (yes they planned it), are anything but. Barely paying gigs in small clubs, they can’t get enough attention to make money cut a demo or get labels to come to a show. Throw in some ‘former relationship drama’ between Joey the lead singer, and Jennifer the bassist, and well things ain’t going their way. Which reminds me, even having a hot girl in their band isn’t working for them, which is kind of unbelievable (works in real life all the time).  

So how can things get worse? Well after heading out with a mysterious stranger (is there any other kind), Jennifer shows up late, not looking or feeling too well. Stranger still, at their next gigs, The Winners are garnering more attention. Well, Jennifer is anyway. One particular person is showing up, following them around – not a label rep, but a vampire hunter.  Yeap, Jennifer is now one of the undead, and as band members start suspecting one thing and another, they have to decide whether the risk of bodies piling up, or they themselves becoming a bloody Big Gulp, is worth the growing fame.

Music is good, they actually perform some songs. Joey (Rob Stefaniuk) is also the writer, director and soundtracker of Suck, so it’s not like they had everyone stand around pretending to pluck strings, which put this above some SNL or Super Bowl performances that are out there.

Special effect, camerawork and acting are all above par, as most of the actors have a good handful of past credits.

There are some great cameos, including Malcolm McDowell as the vampire hunter, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Moby and Alice Cooper, each as burnouts or wretches of the entertainment industry in one way or the other (they likely just acted like people they have encountered at some point). Each is a surprise pop-up and actually hold their own.

There are several memorable quotable moments:

–“Nobody likes a judge.” “Nobody likes a vampire either!”
–“Did he just say we’re going to be famous?” “Yeah.” “Whoa. I gotta call my mom.”
–Van Helsing:“I’m afraid of the dark.” Bouncer: “Cool. I’m afraid of confined spaces and water fountains.”
–“How am I supposed to look at myself in their mirror?” “You can’t, you’re a vampire.” “Yeah you’re just going to have to suck it up.”

Final Grade: A-. Suck doesn’t suck. Acting as I said, is good, plot is not really original, cameos are great, all in all a good watch.

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Filed under 50 Movies in 2012, Movies, Reviews