Monday, January 26, 2009


This weekend I went to Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, and Revolutionary Road.

Michael Sheen might have been better in Underworld than he was in Frost/Nixon. As for the rest of the film, it was just as satifying as its predecessors, relying heavily on the mythology established in the first two to bolster its gravity.

The Wrestler was good. It is my second favorite Aronofsky film to Pi. Rourke and Tomei do an excellent job in their roles, and the "cinema verite" feel that I got worked very nicely with the subject matter. I can't speak to the redemption of Rourke, because the first movies I saw him in were Sin City and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. I might have even enjoyed him more in Sin City.

Frank Langella's performance is what makes Frost/Nixon work. Without it the movie plays a bit droll and procedural. That being said, the movie works very well, and Langella is worth the price of admission.

My favorite of the four was Revolutionary Road. Sam Mendes is great with great material. He's kinda worked with this subject matter before in American Beauty, but his experience and growth from his debut are evident. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are both very good, with Winslet deserving her the nominations and awards that she's received so far.

I don't know if it is a trend, or I'm just more observant, but there seem to be a bunch of re-pairings of actors. Blanchett and Pitt in the CC of BB after being together before in Babel, Leo and Kate in Revolutionary Road after being together in Titanic, and coming up is Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in Duplicity after being in Closer.

Have any of my readers seen Milk with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, and Emile Hirsch? Penn keeps on winning best actor, and I'm starting to think I should see it. I can't say politcal bio-pics are my general fare, but I don't want to miss out.



At January 26, 2009 1:41 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Yeah, not a huge bio-pic fan myself, but it's always interesting to see how well the actors portray their characters. For instance, I didn't think Walk The Line was all that great as a movie, but I thought that Joaquin Phoenix was really great as Johnny Cash.


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Friday, January 23, 2009


I was watching the latest Kanye West video from his album 808s and Heartbreaks and I noticed on the wall a Warhol of a Campbell's soup can of Pepper Pot. At first I thought it might be some Kanye creation that expresses the plight of the Black American, but sure enough, I saw it on my grocer's shelf shortly after. So I got a can and was quite happy with it. With the beef tripe, it is sort of a peppery menudo.

Wanting to make a peanut butter fudge with some Reese's chips I got on sale, I got the Marshmallow Fluff brand marshmallow fluff and used their "Never Fail Fudge" recipe on the jar. It would have worked great too, if I hadn't forgotten to include the marshmallow fluff. So I quickly made a batch of normal chocolate fudge, and it was really good, much better than the Fantasy Fudge of generic marshmallow fluff company.

Oh, and last night I made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. I used Muenster cheese. It is a comfort food meal I've always enjoyed.



At January 23, 2009 12:55 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I think that everyone's food-blogging is designed to make me hungry while at work.

Also, grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of my all-time favorite meals. Especially if the soup has a lot of black pepper.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


That is the answer to the previous post's cliffhanger. The oak branch on the dime symbolizes victory.

I was looking up the word fritter, to reduce or squander little by little, and came across frith. While it can be a woody place, or an alteration of firth, an inlet of water, the definition I gravitated to was peace, security, protection.

I really like the moral ambiguity of greys and pinks.

Last week my grocery store had like 6 varieties of pear on sale. So after trying Forelle, D'Anjou, Red D'Anjou, Comice, and Bosc pears, I have decided that my favorite was Comice.

Running dangerously low on Irish whiskey, for my Irish coffee (what can be better than alcohol, coffee, sugar, and cream?) on Sunday morning, I grabbed a bottle of Jameson. This allowed me to compare it to the other (I know they aren't the only two anymore, but really why bother with any others) Irish whiskey I already had, Bushmills. I first got Bushmills last year sometime, because it was cheaper and had been the first distillery to receive a license from England back in 1608. My main use for it has been Irish coffees. But comparing it on the rocks with the Jameson helped me to realize it is pretty solid all alone, and I prefer it to Jameson (actually Scottish distillers who moved to Ireland).

My favorite commercial right now is for Skittles. I love how the Skittles bag is appropriately reflected, and the tailor is in all three mirrors. I think from concept to execution the whole thing is brilliant.

My favorite Shepard Fairey picture is this.

Going through my "name" dictionary (the one that has lots of entries for first names), I came across Mary, from Miriam--to rebel. I like that Jesus was born of rebellion. Then I was looking up Maroon (name for group of people from escaped slaves in the Caribbean) and came across marid -- a powerful and evil djinni in Arab and Indian lore. It also comes from Aramaic -- to rebel.

Lincoln has been fortunate enough to have temps in the upper 40s and lower 50s the past few days (don't worry our projected high for the next few days is in the 20s), and I had some boxes of shirts at work sitting on the dock in the sun. It has been a while since I've worked with something that was warmed by the sun, and it is nice. Plus it helps me to remember how powerful and hot the sun's energy is.

Some more names that have caught my fancy: Linus, Olyphant (not Oliphant)

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At January 22, 2009 2:16 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

what's your source on that symbolism?

what about this?


At January 22, 2009 4:08 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I love Bosc pears. They're perfect in salads because they're a bit more sturdy. Be sure to eat them when the top, around the stem, starts to look wrinkly.

I love pears, greens, and some kind of cheese...bleu cheese is great in that salad.

At January 22, 2009 6:24 PM, Blogger Daniel said...


Weak, I know, I was initially intending to go to the US mint site, but flaked out once I got to Google. I like strength and independence better, but isn't the combination of the two victory?

At January 22, 2009 6:26 PM, Blogger Daniel said...


I did like the taste of the Bosc, but it had some ripeness issues in the center that lowered it in the rankings, while the Comice was juicy and more round like an apple. Excellent out of hand, but you're right pear and bleu cheese are excellent together. Can you get any Maytag Blue down in the Bayou?

At January 23, 2009 4:25 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

actually i figured the victory made some sort of sense -- in a roundabout way. victory which comes about by way of strength leads to independence which is maintained by strength.

so i think strength wins here.

buffy loves asian pears. they're too sweet for me. never had comice. i like danjou. don't care for bartlett.


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"If You've Got the Money, Honey . . .

I've got the dime.

I really like the power of oak in culinary applications. The transformation that takes place when a spirit, be it beer or bourbon or scotch, spends some time in an oak barrel is magical. For proscuitto ham, you feed the pig acorns and whey. I also think that truffles grow at the roots of oak trees (the French black truffle grows only with oak, other varieties of truffle grow with oak and other trees.). And while I'm not in a position to fully appreciate it, the uses of the wood are reason enough to value this tree, not to mention any aesthetic enrichment you get from seeing a sprawling oak in a field.

So you can imagine my delight at discovering an oak branch on the back of a dime resting on my bathroom floor. My next question was what the plant/branch was on the left of the torch. Apparently it is an olive branch. So the torch stands for Liberty, the olive branch for Peace, and the oak branch stands for . . .

I'll take some guesses and post the answer later.

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At January 20, 2009 3:07 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

i would suppose it's strength.

or america's tradition of fine furniture.

At January 21, 2009 8:47 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Or maybe an oblique reference to bourbon.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Weapon of Choice

I was watching The Fuse 20 (Fuse is a music video channel) last night with the theme of celebrity cameos. Number one was Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim's video for Weapon of Choice. I'd heard the words before but it hadn't sunk in until last night that there is a reference to Frank Herbert's Dune. The repeated line is something like: "Don't walk in rhythm and you won't attract the worm."

So if you haven't figured it out yet, I spend a lot of time watching tv. I did also make some more chocolate chip/morsel oatmeal cookies last night, but that wasn't my main deal.

(voice of Jerry Seinfeld impersonator) What is the deal with chocolate morsels? Does some global nutritional industrial complex own the rights to the phrase chocolate chip that Nestle calls their chocolate bits morsels?

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At January 16, 2009 7:10 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I love that video. I'd never listened to the words at all, but I think it's fabulous that it references Dune.


At January 19, 2009 12:48 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I looked at my notes, and the actual phrase was "Walk without rhythm and you won't attract the worm."

It is a really nice video.


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Thursday, January 15, 2009

One More Colbert Gem

People are adjusting to the economic downturn. Now his daughter "instead of asking for a pony, is willing to settle for just a bottle of glue."


At January 15, 2009 7:42 PM, Blogger Ellen said...



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So last weekend I went to four movies.

I went to Synecdoche, NY and Slumdog Millionaire at The Ross and Gran Torino and The Reader at The Grand.

I enjoyed them all. The one that I would like to see again, because there is so much fodder for mulling and repeat viewing is Synecdoche, NY. Charlie Kaufman has a very rich script that is well performed by everyone from Philip Seymour Hoffman to Dianne Wiest.

Slumdog Millionaire is a very accessible feelgood film that is easy to pull for, though all the award attention might be taking the gloss off the Cinderella slipper.

Gran Torino is not a complicated tale, but it is very well told. Eastwood is excellent in his role as Walt Kowalski.

The Reader was good, probably not great. While Slumdog Millionaire was very accessible, The Reader, probably not so much. It has been said that it isn't about the Holocaust as much as it is how we live with our decisions and actions from the past. That is a tougher sell and isn't any easier with our German characters. Of note for me was Bruno Ganz in a smaller role as the Law Professor for Michael Berg. I really enjoyed him as the grandfather in Vitus, and he is very good here too. In other casting concerns, Ralph Fiennes said that Nicole Kidman was the initial Hanna Schmitz, but had to stop because she was pregnant. I'm very happy that Winslet got the role instead, and she deserved her best supporting actress Golden Globe.

Tuesday night, Stephen Colbert was lamenting the recent push in England to kill the American gray squirrel to preserve their native red squirrel. He said that they should be like Americans. "We don't kill our squirrels from the outside; we kill them from the inside by teaching them how to ski." (cut to footage of water skiing squirrel)



At January 15, 2009 3:10 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

did you ever get a chance to see the black squirrels in battle creek. the place is run over with them.

cooler than kellogg's

At January 15, 2009 6:07 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Yes, I believe I have seen a black squirrel in Battle Creek. They are probably like the black grasshoppers in the Nick Adams story, turning black to match the burned sanitarium.

At January 17, 2009 11:15 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

if the stories they told us were true (and i tend to doubt they were) the black squirrels were brought over from england by one of the kellogg brothers.

but i don't know what to think of half the stuff my teachers told me.

wikipedia says

Black squirrels are abundant in Battle Creek, Michigan and according to legend were first introduced there by Will Keith Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company in an effort to destroy the local population of red squirrels.

i might see gran torino this weekend.


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stewart Copeland is a Tool

She had a body as hard as 9th grade Algebra.

I had always thought the meaning of "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." was that you could damage your own home. Then while driving and thinking ill of my fellow commuters, I realized it could also mean to not throw stones because you are particularly susceptible if your enemy retaliates in a similar fashion. So which is it? or is it both?

It seems like there are a bunch of Australian actors in American television right now. Rose Byrne in Damages, Anna Torv in Fringe, and Simon Baker in The Mentalist to name those that come to mind. I don't mind this, and they are generally attractive and talented, which doesn't hurt. What bothers me is that every time I see them on a late night talk show, namely Late Night with David Letterman, he insists on them performing an American accent. This usually gets an applause from the audience. My question is whether there are regional accents in Australia. Does a sheila from Sydney sound different from a bloke from Brisbane?

About ten days ago, the comic strip Pearls to Swine had a character named Frank Lloyd Rat.

Some names I like: Pendragon, Mondragon, Moncrieff, Ignatieff, Shaughnessy, Sigourney, Orson, Gascoyne.

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At January 14, 2009 3:42 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

You know who else is a tool? That bald little toad who says, "Oh, really Dave?" and "Gee, that's funny, Dave" and "You're the funniest person on TV, Dave" on Letterman. I hate that guy.

At January 14, 2009 5:00 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

The first line made me snort!

As far as glass houses, your original interpretation had never occurred to me, though it makes sense.

At January 14, 2009 9:26 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Paraphrasing from the Colbert Report:

I'm glad it's the year of the ox because I'm tired of eating RAT!

Which made me snort.


At January 15, 2009 11:57 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

But Leah, don't you appreciate the bald toad's work in the Honeydrippers and musically, he is pretty decent.

Ceri, the first line is an adaptation of a baseball play by play guy talking about a batter.

Ellen, my next post will share another great line I caught from Colbert Tuesday night.

At January 18, 2009 12:01 AM, Blogger Wishydig said...

the little bald guy is a genius.

listen to this for a brief discussion of some dialects.

you can listen to several recordings here.

the variation of australian dialects isn't as obvious to me. but there certainly is more than one.

a little hint: if the vowel in "bed" "bet" "head" sounding close to *your* vowel in "bid" "bit" "hid" — towards, but not quite "bead" "beat" "heed" — you're likely to be hearing a new zealand accent.

so "heaven" would sound close to "hivven" almost "heevn"

At January 19, 2009 12:51 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thanks to Flight of the Conchords, which I just picked up HBO, so that I can watch their new season which premiered last night, I actually have a decent grasp of the Kiwi accent.


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