Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Superman Returns."

The soon-to-be Badger's wife claims that I was more excited about the arrival of a new Superman movie than our wedding. Clearly that's not true, but I was certainly extremely excited. I took great pains to avoid reading critics' comments beforehand, and I'm glad I did. Yesterday, at 8 p.m., I experienced one of the most satisfying movie experiences of my entire life. The movie was perfect.

I'll spare you any plot commentary since I doubt you've seen it yet, but for 2.5 hours the director and cast created a world where you can really imagine Superman existing in your life. You feel a sense of joy and pride that he's returned home after having been gone for 5 years, and more importantly (and more difficult to pull off), the relationships among all the characters flow well and are believable (as believable as can be for a man from another planet, at least).

I encourage you to see the movie without bias, then go check out some of the reviews. I just read Roger Ebert's, and although I will always respect his tremendous writing abilities, he continues to lose points with me for his "I've been a movie critic for a bazillion years so I'm jaded as hell" attitude and casual declaration of non-obvious plot points that should be left to the viewer's surprise.

Bottom line - if you enjoyed the first two Superman movies (which are near the top of my list), you will love this one.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Tonight I made dinner.

I decided to make Greek food. Here is the run-down of what I made; first, let me warn you that I almost never follow recipes. Everything below is an approximation, and I typically just add ingredients to taste.


Many of you may have referred to this in the past as “that white sauce on my gyro.” It’s fairly ubiquitous for Greek food in general, though. Here’s how I made it:

1 overflowing cup of plain yogurt
¾ of a cucumber, skinned then chopped
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of pre-chopped garlic cloves (surprise, surprise – I got sick of chopping them manually)
7 or 8 shakes of onion salt
A drizzle of olive oil

Mix the above together well. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors mesh.

Greek Salad

Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Feta cheese
Whatever greens you like
Salt/pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix together oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. I think the golden ratio is somewhere along the lines of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, but I typically do half and half. The half vinegar, in this case, is about 25% fresh squeezed lemon juice and 75% balsamic vinegar. Add a drizzle of honey (the secret ingredient) plus salt and pepper. Blend well, toss in the fridge for a few minutes to let the flavors settle. Afterward, obtain whatever greens you want and mix with feta by hand so that everything is blended well. (Side-note: Greek people reading this are e-smiting me for not using olives)


These are Greek meatballs, similar in shape to the meatballs you’re used to, but the flavor is more exotic.

Ground Beef/Pork
Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
Garlic (I returned to manual chopping since the flavor is so much more intense)
1 Onion

You can use all pork, all beef, or whatever other ground meat you want, but I like the flavor of ground round mixed with breakfast sausage (Owens, regular). Tonight I used 1 lb. beef and 0.5 lb sausage. Add the egg, about ¼ cup bread crumbs, at least a tablespoon of freshly chopped mint (I had to use dried tonight, which simulates the effect but doesn’t quite hit it), tons of garlic, and a finely chopped onion (whatever type you like). Mix well by hand and form into balls slightly smaller than a racquetball (there’s a shout-out to Costa, my friend who provides inspiration for Greek feasts, and who I can totally conquer at racquetball). In a large pan at medium heat, place the balls into a layer of olive oil that’s not thick, but which completely covers the pan.

Now, the important part: EAT!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cranberry Juice.

For those of you who don't drink cranberry juice on a regular basis, I highly recommend it. It's bitter, yet sweet, and has a robust red color that resembles watered-down blood. If you need further excuses to drink it, it's effective in fighting off urinary tract infections; if that's not enough (you ruffian), you can tell all your friends that you're a vampire-in-training, and you'll bite their neck if they keep making fun of your juice.

If you aren't just dying for a cold glass of crazy cranberries at this point, you obviously have no soul (i.e. it was stolen by the bad-ass vampire that took you out of commission for not liking cranberry juice).

*slurp slurp*

Monday, June 19, 2006

I'm Such a Hypocrite.

I just gained a little more respect for Angelina Jolie. (I'm a hypocrite, by the way, because I can't stand the national obsession with celebrity, but sometimes I can't resist.) I opened a video on which was a small excerpt of Jolie's interview with Anderson Cooper. He asked her if it's true she spends 1/3 of her income on charity, and she says "yes, but my income is pretty stupid," i.e. actually acknowledging that the amount of money she pulls in is ludicrous. Additionally, bravo for donating so much of that money to good causes, as opposed to doing what Tom Cruise does, and donating it to L. Ron Hubbard's family tree.

"Hot," "Cold."


If you don’t own Killers’ Hot Fuss yet, you’re really missing out. The album just gets better with each listen. It is accessible via the simplicity of pop music, but has more complex undertones through the lyrics and gloomy 80’s synth effects. It’s damn near perfect, other than the last song, which is completely worthless. When I listen to Hot Fuss, I pretend like the last song doesn’t exist and stop the CD right after “Midnight Show.” That’s your avenue to perfection.

Even though I feel like I’ve posted these lyrics before, I really like them, so no apologies if I’m being redundant. Of course, you can take the lyrics literally – pondering the innocence of youth, you reflect on your life, and saddened by how things are now, you try to put on a happy face, longing for the days of old. I have fond memories of “back in the day,” but am much more interested in the connotation of the façade implied by the phrase; the concept “smile like you mean it” endlessly fascinates me and conjures up buckets o’ memories – like when 8-year-old-you was made to sport a clip-on tie and pose for a picture, or when you got pulled over for the first time and gave the officer a big smile – “how are you today officer, what seems to be the problem?”

Of course, my recollections are not only personal, but extend to all sorts of observations I make almost daily – watching people interact at bars, watching anything related to politics, TV, Film – it goes on and on, and of course, the following quote from “American Psycho” always comes to mind (this coming from the movie; I’m not sure if it’s phrased exactly this way in the book):

“There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, hut there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.”

So, without further ado…

Killers – Smile like You Mean It

Save some face, you know you've only got one
Change your ways while you're young
Boy, one day you'll be a man
Oh girl, he'll help you understand

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

Looking back at sunsets on the Eastside
We lost track of the time
Dreams aren't what they used to be
Some things slide by so carelessly

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

And someone is calling my name
From the back of the restaurant
And someone is playing a game
In the house that I grew up in
And someone will drive her around
Down the same streets that I did
Down the same streets that I did

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Monday, June 12, 2006


Sunday, June 11, 2006


Spending 4 hours today thus far staring at an assignment and having absolutely NO idea how to do it =

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I've received a lot of commentary on the sketches, so to remain balanced I must at least attempt to assert some real artistic prowess. Below is a painting, but more like a sketch which was made with paint, which I made in short order many years ago and features the classic stick figures. Although I think it's simplistic and took basically zero skill to create, I like it conceptually, and am routinely told by viewers that it's their favorite painting of mine.

REALLY belated post.

This is something Cuervo gave me last Christmas, which of course, resides on me and Monika's fridge.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We Get It.

Dear Rolling Stone –

It’s time to get a new beef. You’re a rock n’ roll magazine, but you also publish political stories which are typically interesting and thought-provoking.

But seriously, the Bush-bashing is getting old. Excruciatingly old. I’m not sure there has been an issue over the past year that hasn’t complained in some capacity about our president, the culmination of which was a cover story last month questioning Bush’s status as the worst president EVER, ironically written by a reputable “historian” although Bush’s presidency isn’t even history yet.

I thought for sure that would be the end of it, but sure enough, my newest RS which arrived a couple days ago features another headline at the top questioning whether Bush stole the election in 2004. Ohio, was it? Thousands of votes missing! Written by a Kennedy, no less!

Guess what? Even if Bush indeed stole every single vote in the 2004 election, I sure as hell wouldn’t believe the argument from RS, because you’ve bitched and complained yourself into irrelevance.

These Days.

Not a Fan.

Ah, pop radio...the picture speaks for itself. (Rest assured, of course, I didn't have these stations queued up; a friend sent me this screenshot.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tonight's "Lost"

What, you say? A re-run? For you, perhaps. I actually just saw it (well, the last 20 minutes of it) for the first time. I didn't become addicted to Lost until episode 3 of season 2. I didn't even know the first episode of season 2 was on tonight, hence catching the end of it. And I have to say, what I saw only further reinforces my addiction to the show. What I saw tonight just as well could have run after the season finale, because it flowed seamlessly with what I saw in the finale. Desmond's desperation to get the hell out of the hatch...Michael's desperation to find Walt at any cost. What a great freaking show!

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm So *Not* Honored.

Today, has a nifty slideshow of “athletes” (really just famous people) receiving their college degrees. Among them, however, are a slew of captions such as these:

“New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick shows a rare smile after receiving an honorary doctorate degree at Nickerson Stadium during Boston University's commencement activities in 2004.”

Honorary degree? 1) What’s the point, 2) something tells me I’m not going to be getting an honorary degree any time soon, which begs the question, why does someone deserve an honorary degree for being famous, no less a fucking “doctorate”?!

As of today, I declare myself the recipient of an “Honorary Doctorate Degree in Awesomeness.”

You may now refer to me as Dr. Awesome.