Friday, November 30, 2007

Gino's East

Continuing with the culinary theme, today's post will pertain to true gourmet heaven as opposed to the satirical brand of yesterday's post.

Courtesy of Mr. C.W. Hardie, whose blog I would now normally link to if he wasn't so behind the times and actually had a blog, I received the finest gift a "food snob" such as my self could ever wish for. Not one, but two fresh pizzas from the world famous Gino's East of Chicago. I knew that delivery was scheduled for yesterday and after receiving confirmation via the interwob that delivery had in fact occurred around 9:30 AM, the rest of the day was spent in eager anticipation of the joy to come.

So I arrived home and was greeted by The Box on my living room floor. I immediately tore it open, disposed of the remainders of the block of dry ice and packing materials, and quickly scanned the baking instructions. 30 agonizing minutes later I took this picture:

Followed by this "artistic" shot:

While the pizza was slowly baking, I was reminded of the last time I was able to enjoy the delicacies of Gino's East. It was many moons ago, and I was in Chicago with the aforementioned Mr. Hardie. Ludacris was at the apex of his career. 2 Fast 2 Furious had taken the nation by storm. We walk in to Gino's and who should greet us? The great Luda himself? Sadly, no. Just a person who was doing everything in his power to imitate the hip hop star from the moooove bitch, get outta the way voice to the sideburns. We gave the mock Luda our name and proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes enjoying the show. I must confess, I was definitely picking up what he was laying down. But I digress.

Ten minutes after the brief stroll down memory lane I had the finished product with the tantalizing aroma of cheese, sausage, tomato sauce, and corn meal crust begging to be enjoyed with an ice cold Diet Coke. And you know me, I am anything but selfish so I had to satisfy the pizza's needs even if that required much sacrifice on my part (insert unselfish scorpion joke at the expense of Mr Lybbert here). Which it most definitely did.

In summary, the pizza was divine. Everything I had dreamed of. And more. Although it was a struggle for me to finish off my two slices, it was well worth the effort. Luckily for me, the joy spilled over to lunch today. However, today's joy was slightly tempered by what may turn out to be an annoying piece of misfortune.

After reheating the remaining slice of heaven and procuring an ice cold Diet Coke, I set up a nice shot to complete today's blog. I turn on my camera and for some reason it won't focus and it makes this odd grinding noise. As such, there are no pictures to commemorate the Best. Leftovers. Ever. Hopefully my camera will fix itself.

Finally, today's soundtrack from while I was enjoying today's lunch was provided by the inimitable MSTRKRFT. Click here to download the song of the day - Street Justice from the album The Looks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gourmet Heaven?

When I am in the mood for a nice tasty donut with a side of Mexican chicken, I visit this mecca of culinary goodness. And yes, you read the sign correctly, the owners of this fine dining establishment are true visionaries as evidenced by their decision to incorporate Chinese food into the already robust menu.

Visit here for additional coverage of this groundbreaking culinary experience.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Martini Shot

A couple of weeks ago I was on my way home for work and was listening to KCRW and by a fortuitous if not quite magical astrological alignment I was able to catch that weeks installment of Martini Shot.

Martini Shot is a brief little vignette produced by Rob Long who you may recognize from his work on the TV show Cheers or his work with the National Review. Martini Shot offers an entertaining "behind the scenes" glimpse into the world of Hollywood as seen through the filter of Rob Long's experiences. The episodes from the last couple of weeks have been exceptionally interesting and entertaining because of Mr. Long's insights on the WGA strike.

After hearing the show for the first time I subscribed to the podcast and listened to the archived shows and was not disappointed. The pieces are funny, poignant, and insightful. Additionally, I find Mr. Long's voice to be quite soothing. If you have not caught an episode than I recommend you take 3-4 minutes out of your day and listen to this weeks broadcast. I believe it is titled Three-Bean Salad. Sounds fascinating. I know. But give it a chance. You won't be disappointed.

Click here for streaming episodes and a link to subscribe to the podcast.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From an Old Velvet Chair

Yesterday while blog hopping I came across a short story written by a friend of a friend who supposedly is named Ben Treasure. I think it might be a pseudonym because it has a real Buck Naked feel to it. Regardless of the origins of his interesting name, Mr. Treasure has a real talent for writing.

The short story is titled From an Old Velvet Chair and is a story of breaking up and how the protagonist deals with the associated emotions and thought processes. The story really worked for me because it was able to invoke an emotional response. That is my measure of success for a work of art - did it make me feel something. If it makes me laugh, or cry, or reminisce than I consider it to be a success. I just want to feel something.

Here is the link to From an Old Velvet Chair.

Also, when I was reading the story it reminded me of this song. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Writers, Plumbers, and Me

Luckily for me, I am yet to feel the direct impact of the WGA strike at work. However, the strike is always there just on the edge of my peripheral vision and every once in a while it pops into full view. Yesterday was one of those occasions.

I was in a meeting with an old school studio executive and when I say old school, he really is old school. Like I hopped into a time machine back to when Disney was producing the animated Peter Pan old school. Definitely one of the most interesting meetings I have ever attended. But I digress. So we were in the meeting and working through the agenda and deciding whether or not to entertain offers to option one of our titles for a remake when the conversation took a quick pit-stop (one of many by the way) so that the exec could express his frustration with the strike:

"I gladly pay the plumber each time he fixes my toilet. But I sure as hell don't pay him every time I flush my toilet."

A humorous comparison for sure but not without merit and underlying wisdom. It will be interesting to see how the strike is finally resolved. Especially when so many egos are involved on both sides of the picket line.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quiet.... A Whale is in Trouble

I re-watched last week's episode of 30 Rock last night and was reminded of how smart and funny the writing is. I was also reminded of what a douche Al Gore is. I am all for protecting the environment. I like Earth aka Mother Gaea. However, we don't need to be condescending and hypocritical when doing so. Emphasis on hypocritical.

The Tuesday Morning Quarterback, a favorite over at On Life and Lybberty, provided a scathing criticism of Al Gore and his carbon credit fueled Nobel Prize in his weekly article for I know what you are thinking, what can a sports journalist have to say about Al Gore and the environment that could be meaningful? Well the TMQ also writes for The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, and The Atlantic Monthly. I seem to remember him writing a few articles for some science journal as well but I am too lazy to do the research. Therefore, he is more than just a sports journalist and often has very good insights regarding statistics, space, the environment, sports, and Hollywood that he likes to mix in with his hyperbole and and sports coverage. Here is what he had to say regarding Al Gore and his Nobel Prize:

Those Hollywood Searchlights Around Gore's Home Sure Eat Power: Gore wasn't the first quack to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and history suggests he will not be the last. Gore spent eight years in the White House, and in that time took no meaningful action regarding greenhouse gases. The Clinton-Gore administration did not raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks or propose domestic carbon trading. Though Clinton and Gore made a great show of praising the Kyoto Protocol, they refused even to submit the treaty to the Senate for consideration, let alone push for ratification. During his 2000 run for the presidency, Gore said little about climate change or binding global-warming reforms. In the White House and during his presidential campaign, Gore advocated no consequential action regarding greenhouse gases; then, there was a political cost attached. Once Gore was out of power and global-warming proposals no longer carried a political cost -- indeed, could be used for self-promotion -- suddenly Gore discovered his intense desire to demand that other leaders do what he had not! It is a triumph of postmodernism that Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for no specific accomplishment other than making a movie of self-praise. Gore caused no peace nor led any reconciliation of belligerent parties nor performed any service to the dispossessed, the achievements the Peace Prize was created to honor. All Gore did was promote himself from Hollywood, and for this, he gets a Nobel. Very postmodern.

An annoying complication of Gore's Nobel is that few realize the award was given jointly to him and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization well worthy of distinction. The IPCC is a group of scientists who have spent two decades studying climate change in obscurity, and in many cases without pay. The IPCC's efforts have been selfless, motivated only by concern for society. Had the Nobel Peace Prize gone solely to the IPCC, it would have been a great day.

An astonishing measure of how out-of-touch the Norwegian Nobel Committee seems is that it gave a prize to Gore for hectoring others about energy consumption in the same year it was revealed that Gore, at his home, uses 20 times the national power average. Gore's extraordinary power waste equates to about 377,000 pounds of greenhouse gases annually, or about 20 Hummer Years worth of global warming pollution. (A Hummer Year, TMQ's metric of environmental hypocrisy, is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year of driving a Hummer.) When his utility bill made the news -- though apparently not in Oslo -- Gore responded by saying he buys carbon offsets. That takes you back to the offset problem: All offsets do is prevent greenhouse gas accumulation from increasing. If you really believe there will be a global calamity unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 80 percent, as Gore told the Live Earth crowd, you would buy offsets and cut your own energy use. Instead, Gore flies around in fossil-fuel-intensive jet aircraft telling others: Do as I say, not as I do!

After news of Gore's personal energy consumption broke, Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told The Associated Press the utility bill was justified because "Al and Tipper both work out of their home." This raises the question -- what kind of work are they doing? Perhaps reanimating Frankenstein; in Frankenstein movies, there is always a lot of electricity crackling wastefully about. Here are other possible reasons the Gores' home requires so much energy:

• Gore is building a time machine to return to Palm Beach, Fla., in October 2000.

• The former vice president is doing everything he personally can to cause global warming, so he can claim is predictions came true.

• Gore is growing marijuana in his basement. [Note from the corporate legal department: This is strictly a joke, ESPN is not accusing Al Gore of growing marijuana. We stand by our allegation that he is a sinister kingpin of international rare-bird smuggling.]

• Members of Gore's species require high power levels to maintain human form.

• Al and Tipper don't just leave the lights on when they make out, they leave the lights on all over the house.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Celebrity aka Tahitian Noni or NuSkin

Rip Tam aka Rip Torn
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Lord Tennyson
Tony Danza
Michael Dukakis
Annette Benning
Michael Dudikoff
Judith Light
Chuck Yeager
Ego the Living Planet
Mog - Half Man Half Dog
And many more...

Impersonations were abundant. Glasses fogged up. Tears were shed. Faces turned red. Sides ached from laughter. Good times were had by all. Best. Game Night. Ever.

PS Celebrity is a simple memory type game that involves everybody in the group writing down a name of a "famous" person and putting the name into a bowl. One person reads all the names in the bowl once and then everybody takes turns guessing who wrote down each name. If somebody guesses correctly then the people join together into a team. Each time a guess is correct the team grows. The game is over once one person has completed their MLM juggernaut and assimilated all members of the group.

PSS I have a great picture of Michael Dudikoff but Blogger is malfunctioning and won't let me upload it. I'll try again later.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Blaqk Friday

I was planning on saving this post until the day after Thanksgiving in honor of the great American tradition that is rampant consumerism at its finest. However, I realized that I would not have access to my music and a computer that day and I am not in the mood to figure out the auto-post from the future mode that I have heard rumors about. Also, if Wal-mart - the scourge of simpler, happier times filled with Saturdays spent trekking around the town to procure life's necessities from 15 locations while the children die of boredom and heat stroke in the back of the family truckster - can change Black Friday into Black November, then why can't I.

So without further ado, I present you with my song of the day courtesy of MediaFire: Semiotic Love by Blaqk Audio

Blaqk Audio is a great little side project put together by Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI fame. They released their first album in August of this year and I have been hooked ever since I got a hold of a pre-release leaked copy courtesy of the magical interwob. I love the electronica beats coupled with Davey's distinct vocal styling. Semiotic Love shuffled up on my commute to work today and it really set the tone for the rest of the day which has been upbeat and poppy yet not too over the top thanks to the underlying darkwave tone. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kanye vs Brand New

Continuing with the mash-up theme, I thought I would share another one of my favorites. It is not new and cutting edge but that is OK because I am not a hipster music snob. Click here to download the mash-up of Kanye's Jesus Walks with Brand New. Haunting is the best adjective I can come up with to describe this mix. It is what Kanye would sound like if he were emo instead of a back-pack rapper.

I also wanted to plug the sweet little website I used to share the file. It is called MediaFire and the interface is super easy to use and free. It is great. If you ever need to host a file then this is the site you should use. PC Magazine even voted it one of its top 100 undiscovered websites so you know it must be good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Every Car You Chase

I've always been a sucker for a good mash-up. Today I found a sweet new website with lots of great mash-ups that will take me the next couple of days to fully explore. The best mash-up so far is a catchy little combo of Snow Patrol and The Police. You can't go wrong with either and when combined they are not unlike a brisk fall golden hour when the fog is rolling in but isn't dense enough to block out the sun. Click here to download. Just scroll down to the Snow Patrol vs Police section and enjoy.

A Day in the Desert

On Saturday I was able to help out my good friend Mr. Boxpilot break in his sweet little HD camera with a bad-to-the-bone cinema adapter lens. The highlight of the day was when I got to hold the boom mic for my first time. It even had a furry rabbit thing on it to help block out the noise from the wind. I felt like such a hipster shooting a short film in the desert on my day off from work. Below are a few photos from the day. More can be found here, here, and here.