Monday, May 31, 2010

From the Halls of Montezuma

Andre's Top Twenty WWII Films: You'll notice there's no reference to John Wayne or Ronald Reagan. And really, it's mainly because I've never actually seen any of their WWII films. That said, there are a couple on this list that I've never seen, but I feel should probably be included none-the-less.

20) Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944): A much better depiction of the bombing of Tokyo than Pearl Harbor could ever dream to be. Best porno spoof title: Thirty Seconds Inside Tokyo (in this scenario, Tokyo is an Asian woman... not a city).
19) The Dirty Dozen (1967): One of the 1st films I thought of, but really a bit over-rated. It's the 1st appearance of Borgnine, Sunderland, & Bronson on this list. Best porno spoof title: The Dirty Bakers Dozen (a fun little gang-bang film).
18) Schindler's List (1993): I haven't seen this since it was in the theaters. I saw it @ the Penn in Plymouth after we got home from the Hash Bash. Best porno spoof title: Schindler's Lisp (yeah... it's got an all male cast).
17) Saving Private Ryan (1998): I've actually never seen this. I suppose I should. Best porno spoof title: Fisting Private Ryan (some people prefer Saving Ryan's Privates, but a fisting reference is always better than no fisting reference).
16) Stalag 17 (1953): A great film that was then spoofed by Hogan's heroes. Best porno Spoof title: Stalag 69 (I know... too obvious).
15) Tora, Tora, Tora (1970): A great multi-ethnic, mutli-language film. BSPT: Whora, Whora, Whora (yeah, I guess that'll work).
14) Bridge on the River Kwai (1957): neither my fav david Lean, nor my fav Alec Guinness, but it's the only WWII movie they made that I can think of, & it's good... it's just no Lawrence of Arabia. BPST: Bridge over the River Quim (This was a tough one... if you've got better titles, feel free to post 'em).
13) Objective, Burma! (1945): The only Errol Flynn to make the list. It's a fun B movie. I watch it every time it's on. BPST: Errol Flynn's Erotic Jungle Adventure (my first thought was Objective, Booty, but went w/ the more classy, conceptual option).
12) Inglorius Bastards (2009): Time will tell w/ this one... it may climb the list & enter the top 10 some day. BPST: Inglorious Ass-Tards (it's about chicks who are stoopid for anal... I apologize for the offensive title, but if that's really the thing about this post that offends you, you need to re-prioritize your offense-o-meter).
11)Inglorius Bastards (1978): Anothere movie w/ the same title... it's much more fun, plus there's Fred Williamson! BPST: Glory-Hole Bastards (coming up w/ a 2nd one wasn't easy).
10) The Longest Day (1962): Epic about Normandy. It's pretty sweet! BPST: The Longest Gay (??? does that even make sense?)
9) Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (1989): It's no raiders, but it's pretty fantastic. BPST: Indy does ─░skenderun (it's on the Pilgrim trail from the Eastern Empire).
8) Merrill's Marauders (1962): Basically the same movie as Objective, Burma but w/ a more unknown cast & w/ more ridiculousness. BPST: Marion's Marauders (another gang-bang flick, but this one w/ some Happy Days references).
7) From Here to Eternity (1953): This is the 2nd film on the list to feature Ernest Borgnine. We watched it again last night... it's got some interesting sexual tension... especially between Montgomery Cliff & Burt Lancaster. BPST: From Here to Eternity: The Director's Cut (it's got all the hot Cliff on Lancaster stuff that was originally left on the cutting room floor).
6) The Great Escape (1963): Rarely does my love for POW movies dove-tail into my love for James Garner... sweet! Plus, it's the 2nd appearance of Charles Bronson. BPST: The Great Ass-scape (I phoned that one in).
5) To Be or Not to Be (1942): Before Hogan's Heroes, Jack Benny was making the Nazis look freaking hilarious. The Mel Brooks remake is good, but see the original. BPST: To Pee or Not to Pee (a little golden shower fun).
4) Kelly's Heroes (1970): The other movie w/ Sunderland... as a stoned hippie tank commander who helps Eastwood & company get behind Nazi lines & rob a bank. It's like Three Kings w/ a lot of pot. BPST: Kelly's Herpes (he gets behind Nazi lines, goes to a brothel, & the rest is history).
3) Victory (1981): I've said so much about this one over the years, that it really needs no more discussion. BPST: Deep Inside Micheal Caine (It's better than it sounds).
2) Raiders of the Lost Arc (1981): Pure Awesome. What more is there to say? BPST: Nazi Monkeys (a little fetish fun... unlike the original, no monkeys die in this one... they probably wish they did though).
1) Casablanca (1942): Clearly my favorite. It's in my top 5 movies of all time so it's obviously numero uno here. I saw it for the 1st time @ the Michigan Theater about 12 years ago. It kind of pisses me off that I'd gone 233 years w/o seeing. I've made up for lost time by watching it a few times a year since then. They're playing it for free over Labor Day weekend this year, & you can bet your ass I'll be seeing it again. BPST: Ass-a-Blanca (an little inter-racial number where white chicks get pounded by people of color.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reubens in Washtenaw

Over the last 6 months, I've become a bit less vegetarian than I had been for years. In October of 1993, I stopped eating meat & then in the fall of 1997 I went vegan for a couple years. After that, when Stephanie was pregnant, I started to eat cheese & ice cream again since it was around the house more. Then about 10 years ago, we took a trip to FLA where we enjoyed some fish. At that point, we became occasional fish eaters (a few times a year). Lately, I've been enjoying the more carnivorous side of life again. I'm aware it's not the most environmentally sound dietary change I've ever made, & I can think of a few animals who had other plans than t be digested by me, but I certainly haven't gone overboard w/ this. The one thing I have been enjoying again, though, is a Reuben Sandwich. I'm loving me some Corned Beef. Here is a run-down of the Top 5 Reubens in the area.5) Conor O'Neill's
I was a bit surprised that an Irish pub didn't make it a little higher on the list. The slices of corned beef could have been thinner, but the bread was good.

4) Sidetrack
I had this one quite a while ago; I haven't had another 1 since. I think when going to Sidetrack, I'll have to stick to the Tempe version.

3) Cafe Luwak
I just had this 1 an hour ago. The corned beef was great, but the bread was a bit think & dry. I liked the added touch of the grainy mustard though.

2) Aubree's
I tried this 1 a few Weeks ago when we went there for Aiden's b-day. It's fantastic. They use a great marbled rye & load it down w/ thinly sliced corned beef.

1)The Village Kitchen
The don't have a web-site so a restaurant review page will have to suffice. I tried their Reuben for the 1st time a few months ago when I was out to lunch w/ Laura. It's perfect. The bread is grilled to a delicious buttery crispness. The corned beef is thinly slices & heaping. The Swiss cheese & kraut are great. I was kind of shocked that this place topped the list, but it's a really fantastic sandwich. (I also had their corned beef hash a couple months ago. It's equally good.) They're located right by Plum Market, & if you're over on that side of on, give 'em a go!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost: The final episode final thoughts in a final post

The review by Davie Bianculli on Fresh Air deserves a 2nd (or 1st) look. Check it out because it really puts the final episode in perspective. After the show, Matthew Fox, among many other cast members, was on Jimmy Kimmel. He claimed years ago that he always knew how the show would end, but it turns out he meant the final seen of his death w/ his eye closing in the bamboo field just as it opened there when the show started 6 seasons ago. I highly doubt he actually knew that the flash-sideways timeline was actually more like some Limbo/Purgatory/holding facility. When the show started, people thought maybe the island was just that sort of place, but the producers repeatedly denied that angle. As it turns out, they pulled the wool over our eyes. The island was the real world & the real world was the spiritual holding facility. Harold Perrineau was also on Kimmel. He seemed to clear up the "why wasn't Michael in the church @ the end" question pretty well. He was never redeemed & is then doomed to wander the island forever whispering things to people. The whispers were explained in all of 4 seconds a few weeks ago when Michael talked to Hurley in the jungle. If that didn't bother people, then the ending should certainly not raise any eyebrows.

Over all, I have many problems w/ the entire final season, but I certainly can't put all the anger on the 1 episode. It reminds me of Star Trek V in that they needed to explain more than they had to for & did their best to squeeze it all in. If you'll recall, Star Trek V features an awkward alliance between Kirk & a Klingon general. They clearly wanted to get to the Klingon treaty that eventually leads to Worf being on the Enterprise, but rushed it too much. The final episode of Lost is by no means bad like Star Trek V, but the rushed explanations are the same.

Along w/ the connections to Star Trek V there was also some Star Trek II things. namely, Jack putting the plug back into the yellow well thing. It was exactly like Spock putting the mains on-line. The good of the many.... The funeral thing was a lot like Finnegan's Wake... from what I've been able to make out of Finnegan's Wake. It was also like the funeral scene in Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. It's a recent graphic by Neil Gaiman in which Batman dies & all of the main characters (good & bad) speak @ his funeral & claim responsibility for his death. (Alfred's story is pretty good, btw.) Ben's redemption @ the end reminded me a lot of Celie's husband Albert's in The Color Purple. He's just suddenly a semi-decent guy. It's odd, but it strangely works.

What we did learn amounts to this:
* Ben turns out alright which is what I was hoping for all along
* Richard starts aging again & leaves the island w/ Kate, Clair, Sawyer, & Frank... I wonder what he'll do next. Here's a little something for the comment section: in what fields could Richard succeed?
* Widmore & Ben were basically on the same side all along.
* Clair will be alright which suggests the temple-folk didn't really know what they were talking about which is what I assumed all along. That Degen dude pissed me off.
* Anna Lucia wasn't in the church which means she apparently never found her redemption even though she helped the fugitives (Kate, Sayid, & Desmond) escape.
* Being crossed off the cave list wasn't very important. It was just a line of chalk through a name (wee might have gotten that last week, but it was a funny revelation none the less).

What we didn't learn:
* What the fuck was the yellow glowing stuff? And is it similar to the stuff in Marcellus Wallace's briefcase?
* What's up w/ Walt?
* why was Desmond weird w/ electro-magnetism? Did the hatch explosion make him special like Bruce Banner w/ the gamma rays or was he already special and therefore able to survive the hatch explosion?
* How did Mikhail lose his eye? (I didn't really expect to get this info anyway)
* Daniel's time in A2? other than the 5 minutes it took him to decide that blowing up the bomb was a good idea, what was he doing?
* Did the 2 hot chicks in the Looking Glass ever get it on?
* If Ben & Widmore were basically on the same side all along, was Season 4 ridiculous? If their main job was protecting the island & ensuring the Man in Black didn't leave, then why was their struggle important one way or the other? As long as it's getting done, why does it matter who is doing it?

With all of these unanswered issues, a follow-up movie is almost certain. Who will sign on though, & more importantly, what will it be called?
* Lost: The Motion Picture
* Lost: The Man in Black Strikes Back
* Lost: Fire Walk w/ Ben
* Lost: Jack Wants to Believe
* Lost: Jack & Juliet & Kate & Sawyer
* Lost: Big & Carrie Go to the South Pacific (I like this one because Kim Catrall could merge her characters from Sex & the City & Star Trek VI & maybe be some ancient Egyptian mannequin again too)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost: The Final Episode

After my 2nd match this evening, I need to race home having imbibed very little beer in order to catch the recap before the last episode. I'm excited but also a bit saddened by the end of the show. This season hasn't been quite as good as seasons 4 & 5 which are clearly my favorites, but it's been fun. The answers to the questions have occasionally left me w/ more questions though... like when will the spin-off movie come out to answer yet more questions & what the fuck are they thinking w/ the lack of more pseudo-scientific explanations? There have been a lot of answers though so I looked back @ the list of question I posted a year ago & realized that only a few haven't been addressed. Walt, Libby, & Helen probably won't get covered tonight, but we might get some interesting info about Faraday. It probably won't be in regards to A2, but it should be good none-the-less.

Enjoy the series finale & check back here tomorrow for a more thorough wrap-up... adios & namaste.

Solstice Peltier: Bad Ass

About 20 minutes into their match yesterday, Solstice bonked her nose on the back of some other kid's head & needed to come off for a minute. It seemed pretty innocent, & when she was feeling better she went back in. Apparently, it wasn't as innocent as I thought. She claims the kid left his foot out a little late each time she was going for the ball, which ended up tripping her (or kicking her) repeatedly. W/ about 5 minutes to go, the other team went ahead w/ a penalty kick (after our defender stopped a goal w/ his hand... technically, it was after the PK because out goalie saved it but the shooter put in the rebound). As they were walking back to the center circle, the kid who'd been going @ it w/ Solstice said something in a taunting manner, & she'd had enough. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye & thought it was an accident, but she clobbered him. W/ a look of murder on her face that I only heard about after the fact, she ran into him & pushed him down into the mud. I thought she'd stumbled on the uneven ground & just fell against him, until it was explained to me more completely. Ironically, this happened right after our brawl in the Green Team match last week. I guess this goes to show how bad-sports-person-ship can spread. We had a big talk about not retaliating, but they way she did it was just like I used to do it (or like Gordie Howe), a little after the initial problem & when the ref's back was turned. As freaked out as I was about the whole thing, ass while I obviously did the correct parent thing (a long talk about why we shouldn't do that), inside I was beaming.
I assume it was from these shady characters that my little princess got her vengeful streak.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Soccer Post You Might Actually Want to Read Involving a Ref and a Brawl

Here's a sampling of the ref's calls in the Verde FC Match Yesterday:
1) Assistant Ref threatened to throw my goalie out of the game for marking the line w/ his foot... it's against the letter of the laws of the game, but it was clear they'd be sticklers for the little things because they couldn't handle the important stuff.
2)My defender has his arm pushed into the ball in the Penalty Box. Ref gives a PK. Before the kick is taken, he then proceeds to admit that he screwed up but didn't change his call.
3) My striker was taken down by the last defender. The ref called the foul but refused to give the red card. So much for the letter of the law.
4) Ref blows the whistle for a pass-back to the keeper. As Eric & I go forward for a quick kick he changes his mind & says "just play." W/ our defense up for the kick, they caught us out & were on a break. It lead to a goal about a minute later.
5) After the match when I was attempting to discuss these issues / the refs, I was quickly told to "shut the fuck up" & "fuck off."

Afterwards, Eric, Cal, Dan, & I headed to another field to play a second match, this time w/ The Green Team. We were a few minutes late & the game had already started. For some reason, we were playing a team of 18 year olds. After some scrappy play, one kid attempted to slide-tackle Jim. He missed the ball, & took out Jim's legs. Jim called the foul & all Hell broke loose. I turned around & he was all up in Jim's face. Jim tried to explain that sliding isn't allowed in that league. "Says where?" asks the kid. First of all, we have 3 English teachers on the team, he's gonna have to come a little more grammatically correct than that. Suddenly, people were all tangled up... we're trying to hold people back while they're trying to fight. People are rolling round & some punches were even thrown (by them... not us... Green Team speaks w/ non-violent resistance; when we raise our fists, it's not in violencec but in solidarity & union w/ the opressed peoples of the world). I've heard of the old days in the league when there used to be fights all the time, but I'd never experienced one 1st hand until yesterday. It was quite a scene.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tiny Plastic Bags

After class today, I ran into Kroger's to get eggs for the kids practice tonight. (We're going to play catch w/ them in an attempt to understand the art & science of trapping the ball because it's still bonking off their shins & going 10 feet away.) I didn't plan on getting much but then it occurred to me that I wasn't going to get another chance to grocery shop for a while so I ended up getting a bunch of stuff... like a week & a half's worth of groceries. For my regular shopping I usually go to Hiller's & I grab extra stuff when I'm @ Plum, but I absolutely hate Kroger's. They're huge w/o a great selection (other than the act that they're the only grocery store around that sells Scotch).Anyway, I end up @ the check-out w/ a cart full of shit, shit I would prefer to bag myself, but they're always so pushy that I let them do it. Of course, I told the kid, "get as much into each bag as you can... I don't want to have to carry useless bags." I know I should have brought my own bags, but I wasn't prepared for shopping after class, & @ Hiller's & Plum I prefer the paper bags because we use them for recycling. Kroger's, however, has no paper bags, just the tiny plastic ones.A 2nd bagger shows up, & the kids told her about my wishes. She seemed to understand, but as I was leaving, I realized there were a couple empty bags mixed in w/ the somewhat full ones. Empty fucking bags! Talk about being asleep @ the fucking wheel. Of course, I then noticed that some things... dish soap, bread, a can of fucking tomato paste... were all given their own bags... tomato paste. I could have slipped it in my breast pocket for Christ's sake. The bottle of Scotch wass placed in a paper wine bag & then placed in a tiny plastic bag all to itself. I'm not kidding. Before I left, I rebagged the stuff & ended up w/ 7... count them... 7 extra bags. I know they're using the tiny plastic ones in an attempt to save money, but then they're wasting so many, it can't be cost effective. The ones I got will get used for garbage bags over time (we haven't bought garbage bags in ages... I hate the idea of buying something w/ the sole intention of throwing it out. I feel the same way about toilet paper, but I have yet to find a good replacement. I've been thinking that after a nice deuce, I may just start jumping in the shower. I'll have to quantify the water usage as opposed to the paper usage & determine the +/- on the overall footprint 1st though. I'll you keep all posted on that one, but in the mean time, I'll be wading knee deep through tiny plastic bags.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Summer of Spacey Post #2

Here's the list of Spacey's cinematic stuff in reverse chronological order:

1. Father of Invention (2010)
2. Casino Jack (2010)
3. The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) *
4. Shrink (2009)*
5. Moon (2009)*
6. Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)
7. Recount (2008)*
8. 21 (2008)
9. Machine Child (2007)
10. Fred Claus (2007)
11. Superman Returns (2006)*
12. Edison (2005)
13. Beyond the Sea (2004)*
14. The Life of David Gale (2003)*
15. The United States of Leland (2003)
16. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) *
17. The Tower of Babble (2002)
18. The Shipping News (2001)*
19. K-PAX (2001)*
20. Shackelton's Antarctic Adventure (2001)*
21. Pay It Forward (2000)
22. Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)*
23. The Big Kahuna (1999)*
24. American Beauty (1999) **
25. A Bug's Life (1998)*
26. Hurlyburly (1998)
27. The Negotiator (1998)
28. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)*
29. L.A. Confidential (1997) *
30. A Time to Kill (1996)*
31. Se7en (1995)*
32. Outbreak (1995)*
33. The Usual Suspects (1995) *
34. Swimming with Sharks (1994) *
35. Doomsday Gun (1994)
36. The Ref (1994)*
37. Iron Will (1994)
38. Consenting Adults (1992)*
39. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)*
40. Henry & June (1990) *
41. A Show of Force (1990)***
42. Dad (1989)
43. See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) *
44. Working Girl (1988)
45. Rocket Gibraltar (1988)
46. Long Day's Journey Into Night (1987)
47. Heartburn (1986)

* Films we've watched so far this summer
** Films I've seen before but will watch again this summer
*** Film we're watching right now

We've got Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil from the library & four or five others scheduled to record. We didn't have Netflix last year for Arnold which made the hunt part of the fun (just like in Predator). Getting the movies will be easier this year; I hope that doesn't take away from the fantasticness of the process. We're about half way through Swimming w/ Sharks right now. It's a really dated mid-90s thing about a Hollywood lackey getting revenge on his mean boss. A bit 1 dimensional, but a fun black comedy. I don't expect many surprises by the end though.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Big Move! (Complete w/ 3 exclamation points)

I finally got all moved in to my new office. It's kind of weird in that I'd been in the previous one since the fall of 2001, but the new, temporary home is really nice. It's roomy w/ more shelf space & it even has a shower! It's technically a dorm room w/ a bathroom connecting it to the one next door (where Tony is). Now I get to live out all my Revenge of the Nerds/Real Genius fantasies. It even has windows that actually open!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Goats... & Kevin Spacey

When I was in elementary school, there was a kid who would bring goat milk in his thermos for lunch everyday. He swore by it, but I was always absolutely appalled. I envisioned him milking the goat straight into the thermos (in hide sight, I kind of doubt that's what was actually happening). He did live on a farm though, so who knows. When I was the dairy buyer @ The Food Hole, I spent about 1/2 of my tenure as a vegan so it never occurred to me to try the goat milk, & then once I started eating dairy again, it just never occurred to me to try it.I have, on the other hand, always enjoyed goat cheese, so a couple months ago, @ Plum Market, I decided to give goat milk a go... & it's awesome! I can't believe I went 35 freakin' years w/o having tried it. I'm lovin' it. In that same vein, I then decided to pick up some goat milk butter... & it's also awesome! I can't get enough if it on toast w/ black currant jam. I've also taken to cooking eggs in it... or anything else that needs to be sauteed, like the morel mushrooms we've been getting from the yard. In fact, I think I'm going to have a piece a toast in just a few minutes while I'm getting ready for my 1st day of the new semester this morning.In other goat news, we watched The Men Who Stare @ Goats a couple weeks ago & it's really good. I'm always up for a George Clooney film, or a Ewan McGregor film, or a Jeff Bridges film, so the fact that they're all in it was cool. The fact that there was really a military group trying to do this shit is ridiculous. Of course, Kevin Spacey was great in it too. We then rewatched L.A. Confidential this week & have since decided that Kevin Spacey will be the actor of the the summer. His filmography is rather lengthy, but over the course of the next few months we'll give it a go. The idea of sitting through Superman Returns again is a bit off-putting though.

Saturday, May 1, 2010