Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How often do you find the right person?

Dubious Brown recently posted the trailer for the Irish film Once as well as his opinion of the fantastic film and soundtrack. I would like to echo those sentiments and express my own as well.

I loved this movie. It sucked me right in from the start and I can't stop thinking about it. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me feel. That is all I ask for in a movie. Make me feel something meaningful. Mission accomplished. I think I might go watch it again tonight. That is how much I loved it.

When the movie ended and the credits began to roll, not a single person in the theater stood up to leave. Everyone remained in their seats until the music stopped and the lights of the theater came on. The music of the film was mesmerizing. I bought the soundtrack on iTunes today.

Once is a musical but not in the traditional musical/show tunes sense. It is more like multiple music videos with a story built around them. I know. This sounds a little odd. But the story is fantastic and the characters are so full of depth and emotion so this format totally works and does not feel disjointed at all. The story is essentially about guy and girl who meet and bond over music. Guy has an ex-girlfriend in London who he is struggling to forgive. Girl has a husband from whom she is separated. Guy and girl are perfect for each other and make amazing music together. The scene in the music store where they play together for the first time was magical. The scene where girl writes the lyrics to the music of one of guy's songs is perfect. I don't want to ruin the ending because it was so perfect so I won't say anymore about the story. I loved it and I will leave it at that.

I really can't stop thinking about this movie. It has me so excited. I have talked about it with everybody I have come in contact with today. I had a meeting with a couple of IT nerds from our national office in Cleveland and I think they think I am crazy. They couldn't understand why I was so excited about a movie. Well, it is because it spoke to me on so many different levels. Rarely does a movie do that for me. That is why I am so excited.

So yeah, watch Once if you can. It is amazing. Watch it in the theater if you can because it looks great on a big screen and is so much more powerful with good sound. If you can't see it in a theater, you can borrow it from me when it comes out on DVD because I will definitely own it. I will be pushing it like I push Lost. I want everybody to enjoy it as much as I did.

I know the trailer was already posted by Dubious Brown but here it is again:

PS I am infatuated with girl. She is so cute and adorable. Plus she makes me laugh.

PSS Check out the band The Frames. It is Glen Hansard's (guy) band and their music is great.

PSSS If you click on the Once link above or here, you can hear the song "Falling Slowly." It gives me chills every time I hear it. And it was even better with the visuals of the movie. So, so good.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chicken and Waffes

Some things in life were just meant for each other. Diet Coke and lime. Andy Funk and Mike Warner. Cake and ice cream. Digital cameras and blags. Guacamole and anything. Auditing and Red Bull. Sharks and eagles. Future Kate and HDTV. Young love and mix tapes.

One of my favorite combinations of all time is definitely fried chicken and waffles. I am not sure how this mix was created but I do know that I am deeply indebted to Mr. Roscoe. Thank you Mr. Roscoe. You are a gentleman and a culinary genius.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Season Finales ***Spoiler Alert***

Over the last couple of weeks, 90%ish of my favorite shows aired their season finale. I though I would provide a quick summary of my take on these finales.

The Office - I loved it as usual. This show does not disappoint. I was dying when Dwight temporarily took over as Regional Manager and painted his office black for the intimidation factor. I'll be honest though, I was a little bugged when Jim chose Pam over Karen. I know that it was inevitable and needed to happen to keep Jim on the show but it still bothered me a little for some reason. I can't quite put my finger on why.

Scrubs - This finale kind of bugged me as well. I LOVED the episode from two weeks prior and felt that the finale kind of cheapened that episode. Once again, I realize that JD and Elliot are required to have drama to appease the "fans" and will probably end up together Rachel and Ross style but I don't like that idea. Since when is Friends the ideal archetype for a comedy with a little drama mixed in? I really like Keith and think that him and Elliot are great together. I also really like the idea of Elliot and JD not ending up together. It is not so cliche and carries more emotional weight. Perfect example is the episode from 2 weeks prior.

24 - Finally. I thought this season would never end. What a train wreck. I don't even know what else to say. The finale taking place on an off-shore oil rig was pretty cool visually I guess. But the writing and acting were TERRIBLE. I still remember the season where Jack has a heroin addiction and the finale ended with him breaking down alone in his truck. That was a hundred times more meaningful than the way this season ended. Did he jump? I don't know? But I do know he is still under contract for a couple of more seasons so my guess is no. I really hope they turn it around next season.

Heroes- I really like this show. I love super powers and I love the idea of heroes. The finale for Heroes was kind of anti-climactic though. The final confrontation with Sylar was pretty lame. Did Hiro freeze time to be able to stab Sylar or did Sylar let him charge from 20 feet away and not do anything? It didn't look like time was frozen. Lame. I also think that having Sylar crawl away like a cockroach to return next season was extremely lame even if he was a really good character. I did think the set-up for next season with Hiro in ancient Japan in the middle of Kensei taking on an army during an eclipse was pretty cool. I will keep watching.

Lost- I save the best for last. Lost has been the best show on TV for the last 3 years. Nothing even comes close. The finale last night once again proves this point. It completely blew my mind. I had heard that the finale would completely change the direction of the show and I was not disappointed. The reveal that the flashback that was the backbone of the show was actually a flash forward was A-Mazing. And future Kate is ridiculously good looking. I could get lost in her eyes for days. I loved that Hurley and Charlie ended up being the heroes even though I think Charlie did not need to sacrifice himself the way that he did. And what about Mikhail, is that guy immortal or what. He is like a little cockroach. I wonder where he gets his super powers from? Who is on the boat? How will next season play out? Will it start with them off the island? And give us flashbacks of how they got off? Or will it start with them on the island and give us flash forwards? So much can be done with the show. The possibilities are endless.

Where the heck did Walt come from? It was kind of funny seeing what real life puberty had done to him. It kind of puts the producers in a bind from a continuity perspective. I forgive them though. Jack is still my favorite character by far. I know a lot of people don't like him and his story but I do. Maybe because I feel the biggest emotional bond with him. What is up with the temple that the Others are trekking to? I think that it was Ben's funeral that future Jack went too. Did future Kate end up marrying Sawyer? Is that who will get mad if she is gone for too long? And finally, is Christian Sheppard not dead? Why did Jack tell the Head of Surgery to go get his father and bring him down for comparison? Was Jack just wacked out on Oxy or is he really not dead?

I know that last paragraph did not make that much sense. I just kind of wrote what ever popped into my head at the moment. No structure. My mind is still spinning 10 hours later, that is how good Lost is. If you haven't been hooked yet, go out and rent or by season 1 right now. It is so worth it. The pilot episode is arguably the greatest episode of any show in TV history. Last weeks "Greatest Hits" episode was phenomenal as well. A close second in my book. There is Lost and then there is every other TV show. For me, nothing else compares.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I found this blog today where people mail the authors postcards and the postcards are in turn posted to the interweb. The gag is that each postcard has a secret written on it. It turns out that some of these "PostSecrets" are really really funny and some of them are actually quite touching.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the Sunday edition:

There were some other ones that I found to be quite moving but I will let you explore the site on your own and decide which ones you like best. Enjoy.

PS It looks like there is a book of PostSecrets available to purchase. I think I might get it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Heart Queen

I have been a Queen fan ever since I was a little silhouette of a man. In fact, Queen's Greatest Hits was the first CD I ever owned. Additionally, the version of Under Pressure featuring David Bowie is one of my all time favorites. So yes, I am a Queen fan.

Today while reading the latest piece by Bill Simmons (aka The Sports Douche) I stumbled upon this YouTube clip from a Freddy Mercury tribute featuring Elton John and Axl Rose. It is fantastic. I actually got chills when Axl comes roaring onto the stage and the crown erupts. The energy in the pit looks legen - wait for it - dary.

PS Say what you will about The Sports Douche but he really knows his NBA. His analysis of the Robert Horry / Steve Nash drama was fantastic. He may really bug me sometimes but I will always read his NBA analysis.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Help Me Choose a Car

I have been sitting in training for the last couple of days and it has completely drained the creative energy from me. I have been trying to think of something funny to write about like the XX (Dos Equis) beer commercials with "The Most Interesting Man in the World" or embellishing the story surrounding the uneventful changing of the flat tire while on my way to the office yesterday. I am drawing a blank though.

So I thought I would use today's post to help me make the decision of which car I should buy. I need to replace my current Saab because I am getting to the point where I might as well be driving a Maserati due to the maintenance costs and the impact on my "monthly payment". I refer to this general rule of thumb as "Dan's Law" in tribute to its dubious creator.

What I am looking for is suggestions for what I should get. The only criteria I have is that I want something small and impractical with an automatic transmission. I deal with traffic way too much for me to have a standard transmission. I also want something small so that I can easily find parking. By impractical I mean that I don't want a Civic, Camry, etc. Oh and one more thing. I don't want an American made car. I don't believe in "American Muscle."

So feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. Bonus points will be awarded for solid support for why I should choose a specific car.

PS Humor is encouraged as well.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Burger Update II

On Saturday I crossed another burger joint off my list. I finally got around to trying The Counter. I'll be honest. I wasn't that big of a fan. It was just like being at Fudruckers except there was cool graffiti art on the walls and annoying music playing too loud. Their gag is that you can build your own burger with things like craisins, this weird mix of shredded lettuce, pineapple, buttermilk ranch dressing, etc. Didn't do it for me. There were too many options. Plus the sweet potato fries were not very good. If I was with a group of friends and they wanted to go get a burger I would rather go to Fatburger because it is half the price and tastes better. But if they insisted on The Counter, I would not throw a fit. I would still go with them and be OK with it.

In keeping with the theme of updated rankings. The burger rankings are as follows:

There is Father's Office and then there is everybody else. I probably won't waste much time with everybody else. Father's Office is just too good.

Friday, May 11, 2007

More Meat for Mike

I spent last weekend in Alabama counting DVDs. Prior to leaving, I was not looking forward to trip in the least. Then I found out that there was a Ruth's Chris Steak House in the Embassy Suites that I was staying at. This new information made the prospects of spending a weekend in the dirty south a little more bearable because Ruth's Chris was one of the steak houses I still needed to cross off my list.

It turns out that Ruth's Chris was nothing special. Definitely not the highlight of the trip as anticipated. The highlight was actually balancing on a forklift platform 50 feet in the air trying to count DVDs while the little Mexican lady who was driving me around began to share the sordid details of her life story with me after the plant foreman told her that I spoke Spanish. I almost fell off the platform when she started complaining about how she just found out that she was pregnant again and would now have to stop smoking, drinking, and cocaine. Funny how she nonchalantly slipped cocaine in there.

But back to the topic at hand. Ruth's Chris was just average in my opinion. I had the fillet and it was nothing to get excited about. The potatoes au gratin were not good, and the chocolate sin cake was actually gross. I think they should change the name to chocolate sin pudding because the only resemblance to cake was the shape. After thinking about it a little more I am begining to wonder if my experience may have been tainted by the fact that it was in Alabama. I wonder if the Ruth's Chris in LA would be any better? My preliminary assessment is probably not that much better.

So here are my updated rankings on the steak houses I have visited. Essentially it is Mastro's and then there is everybody else. Not even close.

1. Mastro's - Heaven on Earth. I don't think anything will ever compare. I am trying to keep an open mind though. It will be tough to beat the bone-in fillet or the bone-in rib eye combined with the succulent stuffed mushrooms.
2. Boa - Mainly due to the Ocean Avenue location.
3. Morton's - Ranked above Ruth's Chris because of the delicious happy hour burgers.
4. Ruth's Chris - Will get the job done if you are stranded in the dirty dirty and are looking for a decent steak.
5. Nick and Stef's - Their specialty of dry aging the beef was not my cup of tea.
6. Daily Grill - The best thing about the Daily Grill is the walking distance between the Brokeback Mansion and one of their many locations. Plus I have never had to wait for a table.
7. The Palm - I don't really know what to say about the Palm. The drawings on the wall were cute I guess. The steak was gross.
8. The Hitching Post II - Made famous by the film Sideways, not by their BBQ grill style steak.

Still on my list of places to try is the new Cut steak house that recently opened. Preliminary reports indicate that Mastro's is still better but that the ambiance is really great.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sunny Belliston - MFA Exhibit

Sunny Belliston, one of my favorite artists, is hosting her MFA Thesis Exhibition next week at the Hopkins Hall Gallery at the Ohio State University. The exhibit will be on display from May 14th to the 18th with an opening reception on the 14th from 5 -7. Here are the exact details:


May 14 - 18

Opening Reception: Mon. May 14, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Hopkins Hall Gallery

128 n. Oval Mall

The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210

Gallery Hours: MWF 9-5; T&TH 9-7

If you are in Ohio, stop by and check out her work. I love it. If you are not in Ohio, visit her website and check out her work. I love it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

TV personalities have feelings too

Many moons ago I posted about comedies developing characters with depth and how that ultimately makes the shows more enjoyable which in turn generates strong ratings. Last weeks episode of Scrubs provided another example of this technique. Viewers have come to know and love JD and Elliot and are able to vicariously experience the ups and downs of life with them due to viewing them as more then ridiculous caricatures.

This guy I know may or may not have teared up when watching this scene. I don't want to name names though because that might damage his carefully crafted "skate or die mother effer" persona.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Spider-Man 3 Review

Spider-Man 3. I fell asleep while watching. Really. I fell asleep. I'm not sure if I need to write more. I know it grossed $151M domestically over the weekend. I know it looked really good and the Sand-Man effects were awesome. I know that I loved the first two movies. None of that matters because I really did not like this movie. After thinking about it for a few days, I think I disliked it as much as I disliked X3.

My concerns regarding the story that I expressed here turned out to be true. Harry, Sand-Man, and Eddie Brock - Venom individually were very compelling stories but turned out to be woefully undeveloped. I would have loved to watch an entire movie about any one of these three characters but not all three at once.

I liked the redemption theme of the movie but I really didn't like the writing surrounding the idea. The dialogue surrounding one character's pivotal moment was absolutely terrible. I also hated how Peter and Mary Jane are to the point in their relationship where marriage is what they both want, yet they don't talk to each other. And don't even get me started on the whole "I'm going to replicate the famous upside down kiss in front of the woman I supposedly love enough to marry with some lame girl who is giving me the key to the city." I could go on about other stupid little things like a seemingly endless supply of masks that come out of nowhere to replace torn and/or lost masks but I don't want to be super negative.

So Spider-Man 3 pretty much sucked in my opinion. It had a lot of potential but ended up being a train wreck due to too many villains and a lack of overall vision regarding the story from the writing and directing point of view. I give it 2.4 out of 5 pieces of popcorn. You may want to watch it for yourself though because you might like it. Me, not so much.


I liked this rendition of Spider-Man better than the one I saw this weekend.

Once again, this is merely my own opinion. You might like Spider-Man 3. It is OK. We can still be friends.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Burger Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted on my love for burgers and listed a few of my favorites as well as a few burgers I wanted to try. Last Friday, due to a very traumatic visit to the dentist after a 7 year hiatus, I felt the need to boost my spirits. As such (that is auditor speak by the way), I decided sample the famous burger from Father's Office.

As I mentioned in the prior burger post, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding this burger. One of the guiding principles in my life was best stated by Public Enemy when they said "don't believe the hype." 2Pac eloquently echoed this sentiment when he said "don't believe everything you read. Alazay and weed." I try to not buy into the hype, positive or negative, on anything because I like to be able to form my own opinions. But I have a news flash for you Walter Cronkite. The Father's Office burger hype is well deserved. It was A-MAZING. I don't even know where to begin when describing it. The kobe beef was fantastic. I loved the arugula and blue cheese. And the roll that replaces the traditional bun was a very nice touch. It was the perfect burger. And as an added bonus, I had the best sweet potato fries of my life.

I could go on for days about the greatness of this burger combo. And I have. I am sure my co-workers are sick of hearing about it because I have brought it up every day for the last week. I tend to do that when I get excited about something. Mmmmm Father's Office burger. How I love you. In fact, after writing this, I think I will pick up another one on my way home from work tonight. I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Saturday Night at The Mint

This last Saturday my friend Andrew Skanchy rocked out at this bar called The Mint. It was a pretty sweet little venue with an cool little stage, somewhat low ceiling, and a pleasantly intimate vibe without feeling trapped. All in all it was a great place to listen to some live music.

After Andrew and his band wrapped up their solid set, I was mingling about with a couple friends preparing to venture over to Roscoe's when the next band, Skyler Stonestreet, began to play. I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. I loved the piano and the Skyler's voice sounded fantastic. They sounded so good that I even purchased her CD. After leaving The Mint I began to wonder if maybe I was just booty blinded by the cuteness of Skyler Stonestreet and the sparkling of the stud in her nose but after listening to her CD I have decided that I really like her music. You should totally check her out. You can listen to a few of her songs here. My favorite song is "Suddenly."

So Saturday night was just one more reason why I love LA. I love LA because I can go watch a friend perform and totally stumble upon another great band that I probably never would have heard of otherwise. 2Pac definitely knew what he was talking about when he said that LA is the place to be.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

It's What the Plants Crave

Multi-vitamins. Who needs them? Not this guy. Give me a Diet Coke Plus instead. It goes down smooth and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Plus the packaging is pretty awesome. I feel so cool when I drink Diet Coke Plus. Plus I am being healthy at the same time (Did you notice that I wrote Plus back to back? I bet that is how they came up with the name. Genius). Everybody wins. I may even stop drinking water now because it is not fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Thank you Coca Cola for looking out for my health and improving upon an already fantastic product. I salute you.

PS I tried to find a picture of the new can to post but Google failed me. Plus (there's that magic word again) I wasn't on top of my blog game on Sunday when I celebrated the release with a couple friends in the church parking lot and didn't take any pictures. Lesson learned.


Image provided courtesy of Andy Funk. One love.