Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Top Ten "Top Lists" of 2008

It's the end of the year, time for every website, blog, newspaper, magazine, whatever to list the top _____ of 2008. Lucky for you guys, I've assembled all the best top lists here, so, you stop shopping.

10. Pop Candy's top 100 people of 2008. I included this list because two of my favorite people, Ed Helms and Tina Fey, made it on the list. One of them was even number 1. I'll let you wait in suspense as to which one it was, though.

9. The Serious Eats list of all the times they mentioned bacon on their site. Not technically a "top list" but, anything with bacon can't be bad. It's also a good way to get started on your New Years resolution - to eat more bacon.

8. AOL News' Top Ten Space Stories of 2008 - random, I know, but check out number 10, then you'll understand. Also, I'm a science nerd.

7. The Watcher's list of the top 10 TV shows of 2008. Clearly I agree with "30 Rock" and "Chuck" and wish more people would watch them so they don't go the same way as the brilliant "Pushing Daisies." I haven't seen "Mad Men" yet, but I'm planning on getting season 1 on DVD as soon as possible (read" after I save up some money after the Christmas present spending debacle) and powering through it as quickly as my DVD player will allow

6. The top 15 stink faces made by famous people during 2008, also from BWE. I think that picture of John McCain and Barack Obama is comedy gold, so just having that picture on any list = high marks from me. But, that Hugh Jackman face is a close, close second.

5. TV Squad's Ten New Shows to Look Forward to in 2009. Because, let's face it. All the new fall shows sucked. I started watching a few of them, then just gave the F up. Even returning shows were kind of lacking (I'm looking at you, "The Office" and "How I Met Your Mother"). So, I'm hoping some of these shows starting up in early 2009 will be made of awesome. I'm excited for "Dollhouse" and "Castle" (Nathan Fillion - yes, please!) and I have high hopes for Amy Poehler and her new show (hopefully Rashida Jones won't be the show killer she almost invariably turns out to be).

4. Televisionary's top TV picks of 2008. I almost 100% agree with this list and practically anything Jace says about TV. "Top Chef" is the best reality show, "The Office" was absolutely the biggest letdown of the year, and the cancellation of "Pushing Daisies" was awful. Plus, his picks for the best comedies are spot on, IASiP, "30 Rock," and "Chuck?" Perfect. I highly recommend his blog for everyday, take-a-break-from-work reading, too.

3. The top ten posts on A Hamburger Today. I just discovered this blog in the past few months, even though I've been reading Serious Eats forever. It's where I discovered the debacle that was the grilled cheese burger, among other heart-attack-inducing and delicious items. I will say that you should click on the Paula Deen and the 12-year old McDonalds burger posts at your own risk.

2. Best Week Ever's 10 Funniest Sports Franchises of 2008. This is an awesome list - so funny, yet so true...and I'm a Yankees fan. I do think the Mets should have been higher on the list, though, I mean, come ON. Losing out on the playoffs two years in a row, on the last game of the season? You can't make that up.

Tomorrow - the number 1 list of things that happened in 2008...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ZOMG! ED! WTF?! Brooke Shields?

(Some of you may remember a similar post last year. If you want to relive that debacle, or if you haven't heard of my degeneracy, go here.)

OK, so we went to NYC last night to catch the (apparently) annual The Lonesome Trio show at Parkside Lounge. We got there around 8:30 and headed to the back for the show - All Night Cookin' was supposed to start at 8:30, but no one was playing and there were tons of empty seats (score for us). A quick scan of the room yielded Ed Helms and Ian Riggs sitting across the room from us, drinking and chatting with friends and family (score two for us). I totally geeked out, just like last year. So pathetic. Believe me, I'm completely aware of it.

All Night Cookin' started playing around 9, they had a good set, the crowd was into it, but, clearly I was waiting for Ed. Unfortunately, he didn't stay in the room while ANC was playing, so I couldn't leer awkwardly at him from afar, in the style of last year, although that's probably why he wasn't in the room, right? He took one look at me and was like, peace out, crazy staring ho is here.

After ANC was done playing, Ed, Ian, and Jacob started setting up and I took the obligatory Ed ass shot:

Look at how cute he is in the jacket...sigh. Here's another one:

So, they started playing pretty much right away, and they were AWESOME! You can really tell they're all friends and have been playing together for years, they have great on stage chemistry...even when they messed up, they just kept going, laughing the whole time. I will say, too, that Ed seemed particularly giddy throughout the whole set. He was joking with the audience and telling stories...perhaps he has a new girlfriend and that's what's making him so happy? Perhaps this girlfriend's name is Iko? Gosh, I wish. Anyway, Ed told an story about how he went for a walk in Central Park, all the while thinking, "New York is so beautiful," then a random guy spit across the sidewalk toward him (Ed "saw the arc"). Nice. He also pointed out the awesomeness that was the holiday decorations in the back room - wrapping paper on the walls and the racial harmony of black and white Santa Claus's spaced across the walls:


I took a ton of pictures throughout the show, unfortunately, I had some trouble getting legitimate pictures, as it was dark in there, and I have no idea how to use my camera in low-light situations. Here are a bunch of the best ones, though.

Ed looking on in amazement as the two other banjo players play EACH OTHER'S banjos:

Ed rocking the banjo:

Group shot at the end of the night:

The Lonesome Trio (Ian singing):

More Lonesome Trio:

And, the best shot of the night, just because he looks so adorable when he smiles:

And, here are two videos I took, the first is Ed singing "All Gone to Hell" and the second is a song, that I don't know the name of, but it's awesome because Ed plays the mandolin. I apologize in advance that you can here me fangirling about Ed and the mandolin before the song starts and then rambling about Ed playing the sitar in "Moroccan Christmas." I'm lame, I know.

So, we stayed until the end. After The Lonesome Trio played, they all took a break, then reconvened to play together. That break was my chance to talk to Ed and take (another - yes I know I'm a stalker) picture with him, but I missed my chance, sadly. I did actually go out to the bar during the break to get a drink and I did see him, but I was a) too afraid to actually speak to him, as I knew I would probably blurt out something ridiculously lame and b) too afraid to interrupt his conversation with, wait for it, Brooke Shields and husband (yeah, I know, WTF?!!? right? How are they even friends? Why was she at the Parkside Lounge?) because, let me tell you, Brooke Shields, even wearing no makeup, hair under a newsboy cap, wearing a baggy sweatshirt, is still incredibly, intimidatingly beautiful. There was no way in F this bridge-and-tunnel Jersey girl was going anywhere near her when she was talking to Ed. There would clearly be no comparison. It's like putting a piece of fish, beautifully prepared by Eric Ripert, next to a Fish sandwich from Long John Silvers.

So, I hung my head and scurried back to the stage-area and sat back down. The two bands started playing together (still no Ed), but they were really good. Finally, one of them was like, "where's Ed?" At which point I should have been like, "Oh, he's outside, let me go get him" (and by "get him" I mean, clearly, make out with him, then bring him on stage). Instead, someone else grabbed him and they all played a few more songs together.

People in the audience and members of both bands slowly left as the evening wore on, until just a few people were left. Including me and Ed. So, that was my second chance, but I blew that too (that's what she said), by not having the balls to actually go up to him to tell him he did an awesome job and ask for a picture. Honestly, I just felt badly because he was clearly talking to his friends and family...I didn't want to be that stupid girl that interrupts conversations with old friends and close family members to say, "ZOMG!!! ED HELMS!!! You'resodreamyOMG!" So, we just left, happy having seen Ed and gotten an incredibly enjoyable evening of music to boot. I kind of wish I had been able to talk to him, just for a second, but, like I said before, I would have undoubtedly acted like a jackass, then berated myself for like weeks afterward, so it's best to squee from afar and not be embarrassed.

Thus ended the evening of great music and awkward leering. A good time was had by all, I can't wait for December 29th next year, for another show.

Monday, December 29, 2008

ZOMG! Lonesome Trio!

The Lonesome Trio is playing tonight, at the Parkside Lounge in NYC, and guess who's going? Hopefully a full and awesome report to come!

Top Chef Season 5 - Episode 6: The Twelve Days of Christmas

So, I finally got around to watching the episode, I know, I know. But it was Christmas, and I was away, and it was Christmas...

Anyway, the predictions:
1. Martha DID show up, but only for the QF, unfortunately. I figured she'd at least want to guest judge some real food for the EC. She basically showed up to plug her book and left, right? At least she was nice to the chefs about their food, with the exception of my boy Gene...WTF is up with him lately? Point to me.
2. Jeff did make good looking food (and was good-looking himself) and did get very little screen time. Point to me.
3. Fabio did TRY to charm Martha with his accent, but didn't hit on Padma, I'll give myself 1/2 point.
4. Stefan didn't really have much screen time, but I'll assume he acted like a cock-monkey, 1/2 point to me.
5. Jamie didn't punch Stefan in the face (that we saw). Did he look like he was sporting a black eye at any point? No points.
6. God! When will Ariane go home? At least she cooked the meat properly and then won the stupid QF. I guess I was exactly wrong, so I should give myself bonus points for predicting the exact opposite of what happened, but I won't. No points.
7. None of this happened, thank God. But I did kind of get a little jealousy from Leah when the ladies were all up in Hosea's food at the benefit, so maybe that's 1/2 point.
8. This was way off. Radhika got lots of screen time, thanks to the broken fridge and Gene got lots of screen time for all the wrong reasons. I'll give myself 1/4 point for predicting that Radhika would make interesting food, though. That duck sounded awesome!
9. Melissa was uninteresting and should have gone home. 1 point.
10. Carla did shriek about Martha, but more about the fantastic gospel choir, so 1/2 point.

As for the other predictions:
I was way off about the QF theme, although I think it was a good one - one pot meal. I think it's completely bootleg that the chefs could use one pot and keep dumping stuff out of it, saving it, then cleaning the pot and reusing it, though. Wouldn't putting each part of the meal in a separate bowl and then combining everything back together create just as many dishes as using multiple pots? I think they should have just made the chefs use one pot, total, no cleaning. Much more interesting that way.

No one made dessert and no one said "throw me under the bus" so no points there. Tom did get to eat with everyone else (yay!) so 1 point, and I think Padma did wear only holiday-themed colors ( I don't remember what she wore in the QF), so I'll give myself the benefit of the doubt with 1 more point.

Total: 7 1/4 points. Not too bad. If I had actually read the title of the episode, I may have actually been able to predict the theme of the EC, but, alas, I'm not that bright.

Final thoughts - I love, love, loved how all the chefs banded together to help Radhika and Hosea, and that the two of them ended up with the best dishes. Fantastic. This is why I like this show - chefs know that at the end of the day, you have to help each other out or nothing gets done and everyone goes home. I'm positive that extra work, helping Radhika and Hosea, is why the rest of the food suffered, though. I imagine they all must have been so tired to begin with, then having to make all new food for the two of them just sent everyone over the edge. I would have liked to see what they would have come up with had the fridge not broken on them overnight.

I don't think there's a new episode this week, due to New Years, right? So I'll be back the following Wed. with a recap of the delicious goings on. In the meantime, I would like it to be known that I'm actually going to see The Lonesome Trio tonight (ED!!!!!), so hopefully, I'll be back with some good pictures and maybe video from the show. I hope everyone had a great holiday season!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Top Chef Season 5 - Episode 6: In Which I Blog About The Episode Before It Happens

So, I'm heading up to MA to visit my mom for the next few days, meaning I will not get the chance to update my blog, or (sniff, sad face) watch ANY TV. Yes. That's right. She has no TV and have no slingbox, so I'm pretty much incommunicado with my favorite vice until Sunday evening. So, in lieu of writing about the episode, I'll just post my predictions and thoughts about what will probably happen during tomorrow's Christmas episode. Then, when I come back on Sunday, I get the chance to see how much ESP(N) I have.

Full disclosure: my current "Top Chef" fantasy team consists of Stefan, Fabio, and Jeff, thus, my precognitive abilities may favor them.

1. Martha Stewart will show up as the guest judge (I know, but you need to give me one, come on...NO TV FOR 5 DAYS!!)
And now for each of the chefs:
2. Jeff will do nothing of consequence, other then make delicious food that looks pretty, he will seem kind of douche-y throughout the entire episode, and get no screen time.
3. Fabio will charm Martha with his accent. He will also hit on Padma.
4. Stefan will act like a cock-monkey.
5. Jamie will punch Stefan in the face after he tries to drunkenly paw at her, then proceed to act exactly like Stefan - cocky and mean.
6. Ariane will finally go home after failing to cook a slab of meat properly. She also will probably interview that she loves Martha Stewart.
7. Hosea and Leah will finally hook up (during that stupid 20 second segment they always air right before the elimination) and Stefan will douchily watch.
8. Radhika and Gene will get no screen time, yet both make interesting, inspired, and delicious-sounding food.
9. Melissa will be uninteresting, wear a stupid, green, trucker hat, and go home if Ariane doesn't.
10. Carla will shriek and yell when she sees Martha and then make some wacky-ass comments about her.

Predictions about the Quickfire: definitely holiday-themed, probably involving alcohol. Maybe some other product placement - they already did Swanson broth, what else can they use that's marginally holiday-related? Stovetop stuffing? Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup? Elimination challenge - a team challenge, serve a holiday meal to...someone related to Martha? Her crew? Someone famous who allegedly likes "Top Chef?" (I'm looking at you, Foo Fighters).

Other random predictions:
1. Someone will make dessert.
2. Someone will use the phrase "throw me under the bus."
3. Tom will actually get to eat with the other judges during the episode, not alone, hunkered down over a prep counter in the restaurant kitchen.
4. Padma will wear only holiday-themed colors.

OK, I think I've made enough predictions - one of them has to come true, right? I can't wait to come back on Sunday night and see what happened on the show. Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ed Helms Post of the Day (also Bradley Cooper)

Popcandy named Ed one of the top 100 people of 2008!! Although I think 80 is a little low on the list...I'd make him like 10. Who am I kidding? He's clearly 1.

Here are a few pictures from Ed's new movie, "The Hangover." Images and a brief description of the movie here.

Some initial thoughts? I'm glad you asked. Since I love stupidly funny movies (read: "Anchorman," "Wedding Crashers," "The 40 Year-old Virgin") of which I'm assuming this is, I will definitely go see this. I'll probably drag a bunch of you with me, since it comes out in June, near my birthday. Why will I see it? I'm assuming Ed Helms is as funny as he is adorable in it (I want to just give him a hug and tend to his wounds in that second picture), also Bradley Cooper is hot, even with that ridiculous hair he's sporting, as first stated here. I imagine there will be a bunch of stupid, bathroom-like humor, probably some gratuitous nudity, and possibly a shirtless Ed (more likely, but no less needed, Bradley Cooper). It's really win-win(-win). Well, win-win-win for me, not so much for those of you who have to listen to me squeal with delight throughout the movie.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Which I Say WTF?!?! Many Times: Top Chef - Episode 5

OK, did anyone have any doubt in their mind as to who was going home? As soon as Danny was all like, "She'll be a hot bride" about Gail and started making and adding those inexplicable mushrooms to the salad, I knew it was over for him. He seemed like he was a nice, funny guy, but was WAY too cocky this episode for my taste (and apparently, the judges) and I still cannot believe he's 25. Seriously? Chef work has made him look 40.

In the opening segment, I found it hysterical that Ariane was sweeping the house. First, they don't have someone come in and clean for them? Second, it was awesome that the mom was taking care of everyone. Also, Stefan hitting on Jamie was great. Does he not know what lesbian means?

Anyway, onto the Quickfire Challenege. I like the palate challenges. Ever since they started having them, I think they've been interesting and actually showcase a talent many great chefs have. That said, I think this version sucked. I didn't understand that they had to outbid each other for the first round, and I don't think Danny did, either. Once I did get it, I just kind of thought it was stupid. Why couldn't they each just write down as many ingredients as they could identify, then eliminate the one who got the least (or the most wrong). They way it was set up, you could move on without even doing anything. Dumb. Even more dumb, Hosea winning by correctly identifying vegetable oil. However, it did bring us the highlight of the evening, Stefan saying, "I don't give a f*** about these people." Both awesome and not, as it made me lose points on my fantasy team.

Elimination Challenge - cook for Gail's bridal shower. I think this was a tough challenge, because the chefs had to cook for people that know a lot about food, know what they like and don't like, and would be hyper-critical of anything the chefs put out for them to eat. That said, I feel like the chefs are always complaining about having to cook for people with uneducated or retarded palates, or whatever, so they really had the chance to try out some very complex and refined dishes. I think it would have been better if they had gotten to choose a course (appetizer, salad, fish, meat), rather than theme each dish after "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Plus, the way the courses went out didn't make any sense. The tomato course was alright as a starter, but after that, the system kind of broke down, right? I mean who wants to eat sea bass after eating a chunk of lamb with Indian spices? Maybe that was the chefs' fault for not talking with one another about the logical progression of the courses, but it seemed a little odd to me.

Random musings on the EC:

- Of course, Ariane, no one who ISN'T married could possibly know the "something old, something new..." phrase.
- Stefan's been married twice. To the same woman. And is now divorced. Again.
- I was almost too amused by Danny lifting weights while Stefan and Eugene sat around and smoked right in front of him. It would only have been better if Danny had been smoking WHILE lifting.

Borrowed: Indian (Radhika, Jamie, Ariane) - lamb
New: Surf and Turf Sushi Roll (Eugene, Danny, Carla) Tom says it's crazy (spectacular or horrible), rice gets overcooked, Eugene adds chili
Blue Melissa, Fabio, Leaf, Sea Bass "ocean" Tom says it's boring
Old: Tomatoes (Stephan, Hosea, Jeff) trio - tureen, carpaccio, gazpacho

At the shower the next day:
Why did Padma feel the need to say "beee-YOU-tiful women." Then Fabio had to copy her later and say it again! WTF? It was awesome that Tom had to lurk and leer about in the because he wasn't allowed to eat with the women at the shower. I felt so bad for him every time the camera showed him, all alone, shoveling food into his face in the kitchen. Although, I think I would have preferred to not eat with 40 women, so maybe he got the better end of the deal, getting to eat alone.

Team Old: Tomato trio. This was a nice first course and it all looked really good, too. The tomato sorbet sounded delicious and I love all heirloom tomatoes, so I imagine the terrine and gazpacho were both awesome, too. Despite Stefan's lack of team-playing, I think they did a good job, although it was probably helped by Hosea having immunity and not being a third voice, arguing about what to serve.

Team New: Ugh. WTF was up with Danny and those mushrooms? I would have cut him if he tried to mangle a dish I had made like that...Carla is a much stronger woman than I am to hold back and not freak the F out. I loved Hosea talking smack about their ridiculous plate, mostly because I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw what they were making. It looked like some kind of plate you'd get at Denny's or your local diner, if they served make-your-own-sushi. Even worse, Danny had to go and say "splooge" in reference to their food. To which I responded, "gross." Then he followed it up with a reference to the bridal shower attendees "taking their clothes off." To which I responded, "more gross."

Team Borrowed: Some lamb with Indian spices, carrot puree, and wilted chard. Um, yum? I'll take two, please. I'm kind of mad everything ended up OK for them, even though Ariane proved, once again, that she has no place in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen. But, I'm glad for Jamie and Radhika that it turned out OK. Actually, I guess I'm mostly glad for Ariane, I think Jamie would have cut her if the lamb wasn't done on time. The best part of their entire segment was Tom angrily leering at them while they were standing around waiting for the lamb to finish cooking.

Team Blue: I agree that it seemed a little blah, especially after the lamb, but I think that goes back to stupid course placement and themes. It was extremely smart of them to send Fabio up to talk to the ladies, though. I would eat almost anything Fabio served to me if he called me "beeee-YOU-tiful" first. For serious. Bitch is hot.

Judge's Table:
Not really a surprise - Old and Borrowed win. Ha! Best part - Stefan's face when the judges told Jeff that his sorbet was the best part of the dish. Worst part - Ariane winning for basically roasting some lamb. WTF? At least Jeff's sorbet was difficult, and don't get me started on the tomato terrine. What about the delightful carrot puree? I'm not saying roasting 8 racks of lamb to perfection is easy, but I think a lot of dishes were more creative and involved, not to mention that some of those chefs did a lot more work than Ariane.

Also not a surprise, New and Blue lose. Eugene and Carla both kind of bailed on their defense of the dish, while Danny stuck with it. And that was his death knell. Note to the chefs: if Tom is basically trying to get you to say you think a dish could have been better, say it. SAY IT!! I kind of felt badly for Fabio when they started smack-talking his fish, but it was good that he kept his mouth shut (for the most part, not until I had lost more points on my fantasy team, though).

In the end, it was Danny, for having a craptacular plate and palate, and for defending an indefensible dish. And probably for calling Gail a hot bride, too, who am I kidding? WTF? Hopefully, next week, Eugene will pull out a win and Fabio will continue to be hot. And Stefan will leave Jamie alone. And Melissa will get rid of that stupid green trucker hat. WTF?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Real Ed Helms Post of the Day


He's so talented - he plays the sitar!!! Instrument tally: 5

Guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, sitar.

Like Minivans and Candles: The Ed Helms Post of the Day

You may remember this post. Or not, that's fair - it was a while ago. But, I wanted to remind you, since the day has finally come: the web series in which Jason Sudeikis and Ed Helms are both a part of premiered today at The WB. While they don't actually share any scenes, and, really don't have such big parts, the series is pretty funny and definitely worth a watch. I watched all ten episodes today (at work, don't tell), basically in succession, and it helped me pass the time nicely, you know, instead of running some ANCOVAs in SAS.

The series is called Children's Hospital, and it's a spoof on all the medical dramas on TV. Think Scrubs, but MUCH more NSFW (and more hilarious). Rob Corddry created the series and wrote all the scripts, but also stars as a doctor who tries to heal with the power of laughter (comedy gold, right? I know). The always funny Megan Mullally also stars as the chief surgeon and one of my favorites from the fantastic Veronica Mars (RIP), Ken Marino also stars. I won't give too much away (the episodes are only like 4 minutes long, you can power-through them during your lunch break) but sufficed to say there's a lot of making out, doctors making out with each other, doctors making out with patients (who may or may not be 6 years-old), doctors performing vasectomies on said 6 year-olds, creepy clowns, and Ed Helms' tongue. Hot.

Also, the fact that Ed is in the series gives me an excuse to post this awesome picture again:

Happy Monday! Enjoy Children's Hospital!

P.S. If you watch the preview for the series, you may recognize a familiar, and quite attractive, voice.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: "Today Show: Rocco DiSpirito"

I should really subtitle this post, "Today Show: Rocco DiSpirito or the overuse of 'little.'" Seriously. What was that about? Every chef, in describing their Quickfire and Elimination Challenge dish, used the word little excessively. "I just put a little balsamic drizzle on it." I made a little toast with a little egg and a little tomato." "I just did a little..." and "I just took a little..." "And I just took out my little knife and cut you." (OK, that last one I made up). Seriously, listen for it next week, soon it's all you'll hear and have to stop watching "top Chef" before your anger forces you to throw your mug of licorice tea at your flat screen.

Anyway, the Quickfire challenge was alright, I like the idea of having each chef make and Amuse Bouche, although I kind of wish it was one that reflected their culinary point of view, rather than breakfast. I don't think any restaurant serves breakfast amuses (?). It seemed like a kind of random meal to have them prepare. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe it was because the winners of the EC were going to The Today Show in the morning, morning = breakfast...I don't know, maybe that's a stretch. Regardless, Leah's was by far my favorite, both in looks and in my imagination of how delicious it would taste (it was my favorite dish of the episode). Jamie's looked good, too, but I agree with Leah, the challenge was to make one bite, not make a mini breakfast. I think trying to eat a fried egg, with your hands, in two bites, might be the most disgusting thing ever, I'm sorry to all of you who feel she was being bitchy and nitpicky. I think she was right and I'm glad Leah won for both making something delicious and following the rules of the challenge.

Also, why do they insist on bringing Rocco back every season? That bitch gets more and more annoying each time I see him. He's so arrogant. And kind of a douchebag. I believe heprobably is a very talented chef, he should have just stuck to the kitchen and not put himself out there for ridicule...I wish Anthony Bourdain and Rocco would judge the same challenege, then just argue between each other, culminating in Tony kicking the crap out of Rocco, followed by them both sitting in the stew room, passing a bottle of wine between them.

And I LOVED Fabio calling him out about not being Italian, but at least he was complimentary of Rocco's food - I guess you don't want to talk smack about someone who'll be deciding if you go home. Fabio's kind of growing on me, though, I'm so glad the editors have stopped focusing on Stefan and Fabio being douchey about Europe and are now focusing on Fabio's awesome sense of humor and his actual ability to cook. That said what's up with Stefan? And Eugene? I think they had a combined 10 seconds on camera last night...

The Elimination Challenge was stupid. I'm sorry, I said it. They did the challenge better on Next Food Network Star, and that's not really saying much. I mean, come on. Let's throw a bunch of chefs with no TV background in front of a camera with no training and no helpful pointers, then just rip them apart for being uncomfortable or pissy-looking. You know, I get that it's important for chefs nowadays to be comfortable in front of the camera, but that's something you get with time and practice, not with a two and a half minute demo, one time. Remember what Emeril and Bobby looked like during the early days of Food Network? yeah, not pretty. I don't remember, but I bet Tommy C. wasn't that great during the first few episodes of Top Chef Season 1, either, and he didn't even have to cook anything. If there had been some training or if they all had to demo the same dish, at least there could have been a more fair comparison among the contestants. It's like they couldn't think of a challenge, then Kathy Lee Gifford called them up, begging to do a segment on Top Chef and the producers were like, "Well, we don't have anything better to do..." Whatever. It's done, and Alex got to go back home to his fiance to write his vows.

For the winners of the EC: I think Jeff was hilarious the entire time - he was so pissy, it was awesome. I don't remember exactly what he said, but his interview about having to serve Middle Eastern food to a bunch of ladies with average palates at 5 am was hysterical! I was actually choking on my aforementioned licorice tea. Fabio, too, was adorable ("I'm fresh out of the boat"), I'm glad he was one of the top three - it seemed like he was a little bit nervous about talking about his food on camera, so it's good to see him come through. As for Ariane, I don't know. She clearly has no shot at winning and I don't know what to say after that. I think her salad sounded good, and it was presumably seasonal when the episode was filmed in August or so, but I kind of agree with those who said she too the easy way out. I mean, I probably would have done the same thing, if I only had two and a half minutes, but I'm not trying to say I'm one of the best chefs in the U.S. Hilarious sidebar: When Alex was talking smack about Ariane winning with her salad after the EC and she interviewed that she felt "some people" thought she took the easy way out, was anyone else thinking, "Great powers of observation, Ariane, since Alex just said EXACTLY that, right in front of you two seconds ago."

On the EC losers: Alex deserved to go home, and, let's face it, we all knew he was going home as soon as he said he missed his family 30 seconds into the show, right? Why would you choose to do a dessert? A dessert that clearly takes more than 1 hour to prep, at that? When he interviewed that anyone who does a dessert gets a "free pass" I was like, see you later jackass, hope your fiance isn't pissed you threw yourself under the bus!" Jamie was clearly too good to go home and it would be horrible to send her home based on her pissy attitude for 5 minutes after she knew she F-ed up. Who wouldn't be pissed off? The judges are lucky I wasn't there...I would have cut a bitch! Melissa - eh. I don't really have any impression of her at all, but it was clear Alex didn't care to fight for himself as much as she did, so I guess she deserves to stay. She'll probably go home next week, anyway. I was mostly concerned about why all three of them appeared to be preparing for a flood. Seriously, why do you need your pant to be that short?

Next Week: Gail pimps out her wedding shower for TV. Awesome. If I were one of her guests I'd be so pissed. Showers are annoying enough as it is, can you imagine having to attend one that's being filmed for your friends' TV show?

Random rant: Again with the random cut-in before the elimination. What the F? What's up with the porno music playing across the entire 20-second spot? Why do we need to see Hosea and Leah starting a relationship or friends-with-benefits situation? I don't care. I just want to see the food.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday Tirade - Mother-effing Burger King

(Found through TV and Serious Eats)
There are no words. Just watch the insensitivity and complete ignorance below:

Actually, there are words. Some of them are here. More of them are here and here.

Look, I'm not going to write anything that wasn't written in those articles, or say anything more intelligent than the people who will certainly talk about this tomorrow, but I just have to say that this is a horrible ad campaign. Like really awful. The "Whopper Virgins" Burger King is forcing to eat these burgers, are actually suffering from malnutrition, hunger, and extreme poverty, among other things most Americans have little concept of. How is it ethical to bring these people our diabetes-inducing, fat-laden food, just so they can have a bite, to see which disgusting, waste of food and Calories "tastes" better? And all just to promote their stupid burger as tasting better than McDonalds - not to bring awareness to the issues facing the people featured in the commercials. It makes me sad that this is the only impression of American food (and probably America, in general) these people will probably ever have. It makes me more sad that this stupid campaign will actually get Burger King lots of attention and probably make degenerate people with no brains' actually WANT to eat there more.

If Burger King really wanted to bring attention to themselves and people who need help, wouldn't it serve the cause better to donate a portion of their profits for the month to a program to help relieve hunger in these regions? Or actually show the plight of the people in Thailand or Romania, rather than use the most remote regions of these countries as a way to find people that haven't been poisoned by crap food yet? Quite frankly, both Burger King's and McDonalds' burgers suck. It's not even a victory for Burger King (clearly their burgers win, or they wouldn't have bothered to show the commercials in the first place) because they win the title of having the best burger of two that suck and exploit a bunch of people in the process. It's pathetic, insensitive, and, in no way, helps the resolve or improve the situation of world hunger and poverty.

And it has cost Burger King my business. The one Jr. Whopper I would have bought in the next ten years. I'll add that $1.50 to the donations I plan to make this holiday season.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Some Fun Stuff for Monday - A Lot About Andy

Here are a few interesting things I came across this past weekend and I thought I'd share with all of you...

An interesting interview with Tina Fey and her husband in Vanity Fair. I'm not sure I like how much the article emphasizes Tina's hotness, rather than her intelligence and general awesomeness, but I'll take it.

Another 30 Rock related article in The New Yorker, unfortunately Nancy Franklin doesn't really seem to get the show, or how great it is.

I was playing this all weekend. I suck. Like really badly. I can only get through the levels by copying the awesome things other people build, but it's still a tremendous amount of fun. And a great waste of time in the workplace.

Also, in a mini-things-I-bought-that-I-love post, I received this:

over the weekend. Brilliant! Who doesn't love Andrew Bernards' cheery face leering at them while drinking coffee? I can't think of a single person...more are available here.

And, finally, for all you A.C. lovers out there (like me), who haven't seen this yet:

Um, yes, please. Too bad that goofy guy is in the video, too.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Back, Bitches!

OK, so I've been gone for a bit. I know. I'm sorry. I realize you're all upset with me and thinking I hate you, but I don't. The problem is that I've been running a study at work for the past few weeks that involved my cooking lunch and dinner for a group of people, basically ensuring I would be in the lab from 8 am - at least 8 pm everyday. With no breaks and no time to blog. Plus, all the shopping and prep on the days I wasn't cooking food kind of interfered with my ability to even take care of myself that well, let alone take care of all of you with my fabulous words. It's going to happen again, but not until, let's say February, next year, so I'm back and all-in until then. Also, my computer broke, so I was without a blogging device for a week or so.

What's to come? Well, "Top Chef's" back, so that's clearly going to be good times. "30 Rock" is continuing it's run as the greatest show on TV. "The Office" is kind of sucking, which gives me lots of cannon fodder and I'm sure I'll go do something interesting during the months of December and January. If I don't, I'll just "Tuesday Tirade" everyday and write about all the things I buy for myself that I love (checkbook wallet) and hate (my f*&^%%%%!@!$% Dell XPS M1330). And, I'm sure there will be some fantastic celebrity gossip to discuss ad nauseum. I think it will be a good couple of months.

In the meantime, by way of an apology, I give you this adorable picture of Stephen Colbert and Ed Helms (again):

How I wish to be the delicious filling in that sandwich...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: Episodes 2 and 3

So, I just got around to watching Episode 3 today, you know, with Thanksgiving and partying and, I figured I'd join the two episodes together into one, delicious post. Speaking of delicious:

Episode 2:
OK, I'm not going to lie, I really hate that Donatella girl. Like a lot. I don't know why. Every time I see her face on "Iron Chef: America" this huge wave of irrational anger rises up inside me. I mean, I respect her. I like her restaurants. I think it's awesome that she's so young, yet so successful. Maybe I'm pissy because I want to be her? Maybe I think her face is stupid-looking? I don't know...whatever, it's not really important, other than to explain my anger at the Quickfire. Why is Donatella there judging hot dogs? Does she have the perfect palate for judging hot dogs? Is she a hot dog expert? DOes she have some secret knowledge of hot dogs everyone in the world was previously unaware of? I don't really think so.

Also, the Quickfire confused me. If the challenge was to make a hot dog that was better than the hot dog lady's, why did (almost) everyone make their OWN hot dogs? The hot dog lady doesn't make her own. Shouldn't the challenge been more clear, like, use this hot dog we provided and make it good? And, didn't Fabio, with his chorizo hot dog, really just grind up some chorizo and then reform it back into a, you know, CHORIZO? Stupid Quickfire aside, I wanted to eat Radhika's lamb kebab thingy. SO delicious looking. She clearly deserved the win.

Elimination Challenge - cooking at Craft? Awse. I can't believe Tom C. let them take over his restaurant like that. It must have been like a Monday morning or something. Or, Bravo paid him an ass-load of money. The second awse? Having the not-chosen for "Top Chef", New York City chefs come to judge them. Ha! Brilliance! I think that was probably the pissiest group of people they could have chosen EVER to come and judge the food. That includes when they brought the future Season 3 contestants on to judge the food of the Season 2 chefs and Hung bitched everyone out.

As far as the food went, I'm with Tom, not so great. Not that I could do any better, but I'm not a chef competing on "Top Chef." I thought Jamie's soup was brilliant in its simplicity and delicious looking. And Fabio's carpaccio? Oh mother of God, I want to just roll around in it. It looked so good. What's not to like? Beef. Arugula. Lemon. Parmesan. Probably the best food combination ever. I want to make a raft out of the carpaccio and paddle around on a sea of Jamie's soup.

As for the losers, yeah, I don't really know what to say. Ariane clearly has no business being there (and I say that still, after having watched the most recent episode), but Jill deserved to go home. Ostrich egg? Really? That might be the most ridiculous idea ever. I know you want to do something to stand out, but why choose an ingredient that you've never used before? This is not the time to experiment - this is the time to pull out a tried and true recipe you've bee refining over the past year, specifically for the show. If they give you an opportunity to basically cook whatever you want, you absolutely do not use it to make something retard-O. Plus, her defense of the dish was one of the most pathetic things I've ever heard on TV. I know chefs aren't generally that well-spoken, but come on. At least answer the question they asked without rambling on unintelligibly, as if you just smoked a fat one in the stew room with Hosea.

Moving on to Episode 3:

The Quickfire was good, until Padma yelled at them to make soup. I thought the idea of reinventing a recipe from the cookbook was actually good, even if it was also a blatant attempt to plug the "Top Chef" cookbook, just in time for the start of holiday shopping season. When she came in all dramatically, as if the kitchen was burning down, I kind of wanted to punch her in the face. That said, Grant Achatz is made of awesome(one of my life goal's is to eat at Alinea), so, because he was there, I got over it quickly. And, the chefs did pretty good jobs, too. Or, maybe I just think they did because the producers chose not to show Grant chewing out the bottom three? The top 3 all had really nice looking and inventive dishes, but I'm glad Leah won. Jamie seemed a little cocky about her soup (wouldn't chick pea soup taste kind of like thin hummus?) and the ham and egg soup didn't seem refined enough for the challenge (although I'm sure it was delicious, what's not to like?). Leah's was the nicest looking of the three and (in my opinion) the most soup-like. If that's even a thing.

For the Elimination Challenge, I think it's awesome that they made the poor Foo Fighters celebrate Thanksgiving in, let's say July, just for the show. I wonder if they really watch "Top Chef" or if they were the only band in the area. Also, what's up with them driving to Rochester? That's a long-ass trip from NYC, and even longer when driving them all back after a concert. Did they really all go back to NYC for the elimination that night, after the show? Or did they film it the next day and pretend like it was the same night? The real question is why am I trying to apply logic to "Top Chef?"

I did like the Thanksgiving challenge, but I kind of wish they had given them a real kitchen in which to cook. Imagine the awesome stuff they could have turned out if they had been given more than one burner? Although, I'm still sticking with my initial love of Eugene. He built a smoker and grill? Brilliant! I can't remember which Foo Fighter said he MacGyver-ed that pork loin, but that was great...and the pork loin looked tasty, too. I actually kind of felt bad for Team Cougar, they didn't really do that badly. Aside from their dessert, I really thought they pulled it off well. I'll even give my most-hate Ariane her props, cooking turkey breast perfectly in a toaster oven? She clearly has some skills. They just all looked so depressed when they were cleaning up, with the music from the concert in the background. As for Team Sexy Pants (stupid name aside), they did really well, too. I think the vegan stuffing was a great idea and the cobbler looked great (go Hosea, you're my boy!).

Elimination-wise, Richard deserved to go home. You should never make a dish that needs last-minute preparation when doing a buffet. You need food that can sit and still be good, even I know that. I'm really glad they let Jeff stay, he clearly took too much on, but he was a great leader, especially evidenced by the fact that the team stood up for him, and each other, during Judge's Table and that says a lot. Normally there's a lot of what we refer to as "under the bus throwing" when a team loses, particularly when they have a crappy leader. I will miss Richard and his adorable crush on Tom, though. He was adorable when he said he got nervous when Tom came into the room with the Foo Fighter, then the camera panned to Tom in slow-mo, walking into the room. Pure awesome.

Overall, I'm really liking this season. I think just about everyone deserves to be there and they all seem to genuinely like each other and, probably more importantly, respect each other. I hope this trend continues throughout the season, I'm totally over everyone yelling at each other in the stew room and trying to save their ass at Judge's Table by belittling the other contestants. Just cook your food and deal with it if you go home. You already got much farther than a bunch of other very talented chefs - feel lucky.

That said, WTF is up with Padma's voiceovers? I feel like they're all shoe-horned in there, and really shoe-horned in quite poorly. It's like an episode of Semi-Homemade every Wednesday night. Also, why do they shove in a little 30-second clip of footage in between Judge's Table and the knifing? Last week it was the clip of Hosea and Leah semi-making out, this week Jamie and Danny fighting. Is this a new trend to keep us from tuning out before the elimination? Do people really change the channel before seeing who get eliminated? Is it a way to wedge more commercials into the hour? I mean, the whole show if already a commercial for Glad, Toyota Sequoias, and Swanson broth, do we really need even more ads?

OK, rant over. I think I'll actually be able to watch the shows and post shortly thereafter from now on. I know you're all excited. I know I can't wait...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Top Chef Season 5 - Episode 1

I kind of hate the first, lets say 8, episodes of any new season of "Top Chef." You don't get any sense of the chefs, their cooking style, their personalities - you only get whatever little bits the editors deem fit to show you. And, you can't even take it at face value, because they're trying to tell you a story, picking a villain and a hero (sometimes more than one) at random.

Which is why I'm going to suspend judgment on the chefs for the time being. Although, I will say two things:

1. Recent culinary school graduates have NO business being on "Top Chef." Those two that got kicked off on Wednesday were clearly there as cannon fodder and, really, should never have been there in the first place. I can't believe there weren't any more talented chefs than those two, who came to audition for the show.

2. Don't ever bring on a contestant, only to kick them off within the first 2 hours of the show. We're all wasting fuel in America as it is, do we really need to fly someone from Florida for a two hour stop in NYC, only to fly her ass back again? What a waste of all that Glad-sponsorship money.

That said, it's quite clear that these chefs are GOOD. All of the food looked good, maybe not what I would choose to cook given access to the same ingredients (probably because I'm not that creative), but I'd definitely eat it. My early favorites are probably Eugene (the dishwasher guy, that's his name, right?) and the big, gay guy who hearts Tommy C. I'll ship them for the whole season, even if I know it's never meant to be. Another plus - no one seems to have that cocky, ridiculous Ilan/Marcel/Hung-thing going on. I feel like they're all professionals who should be able to take the judges constructive criticism. I hope. Also, no faux hawks, which is always a good thing.

I'm really intrigued to see what kind of crazy-ass challenges they'll make the chefs go through this season. And, you know New York is going to be an awesome setting for the show. They're all so lucky to get the opportunity to cook for the best chefs in the world on this show. Even the chefs who don't win will have the chance to greatly improve their game and learn from the best. It should be a good season...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OK, this is pathetic, I know

I want too write about the "Top Chef" premiere tomorrow, but I don't even know is I'll be able to stay awake to watch the whole thing. I'm running a study at work that's kicking my ass and making it impossible for me to do anything when I get home aside from sit on my couch and inhale some food, take a shower, and go directly to bed. I'm going to try to watch it - I'm so excited about it!

Regardless, I'll post my witty and brilliant thoughts about the episode when I can. I imagine we'll have a great group of people to snark on - how many faux hawks will we have this semester? What will the new, "throw me under the bus" be? Will they bring Marcel and Ilan back to judge a Quickfire together? Will they have a girly, slap-fight instead of tasting the foods? What season 4 chefs will come back for the challenges? I hope Stephanie and Richard, but most likely they'll bring back Spike and Lisa - there's more drama that way. Maybe they'll have a hot chef night and bring back Sam and Ryan...huzzah for eye-candy for Iko.

So, watch the premiere tonight! I'll probably be in bed with the TV on, totally passed out. But at least I have something fun to watch on my TiVo on Friday after yoga! Wow, my Friday nights' kind of sound like Liz Lemon's...

Just a Quick One (TWSS): Jason Sudeikis Post of the Day

ZOMG!! So Cute!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

For those of you who ALSO love Ed Helms - the Ed Helms post of the day

It’s one of my greatest traits is my lack of dignity. But I think it actually goes back a little further than the Daily Show. Before that I trained and worked at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, and I did stand up for years in New York...It’s like fear is such a huge part of it. It’s just a matter of like - of embracing the fear and sort of being drawn to it in a way. And there’s nothing more exhilarating than sort of like throwing your fear at - just throwing it out there. Then the Daily Show, I think, was - it’s funny that you say it - that you used the word fearless because I was terrified every single segment on that show. It was very nerve-wracking. That’s sort of what I was talking about before, like it’s just very taxing. But yeah, I just - I think there’s a certain - I just - I also love to break out in song in real life.

The rest is here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Are the Vote - And So Can You!

God, I'm glad this election is finally over - I'm so ready for a new president.

I know I don't have to tell you guys to vote - I know everyone who reads this is incredibly intelligent, witty, and aware of what's important. Vote for who you want, far be it from me to tell anyone what to do. As long as you've formed your own opinion and found a candidate that best reflects your views, he or she deserves, and is lucky to have, your vote. And, if you can't figure out who to vote for, may I suggest the duo in the video above?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Best. Day. Ever.

Reminder!!! "30 Rock" returns tonight - DON'T forget!! I haven't watched the first episode online...I'm holding out for the HD broadcast on my TV, but I've heard good things about the season premiere. It has to be better than "The Office" so far this season, right? I mean, come on. The only redeeming quality of that show is the Michael-Holly relationship and we all know that's over soon, since Amy Ryan's just a guest star. Jim and Pam are boring and annoying, they clearly won't break up, so what's with all the tension? Angela's being a ho (and also completely out of character), there's not enough Ed Helms, Kelly Kapoor, or Kevin, and Dwight being depressed makes me upset. Whatever. At least I have Liz, Jack, and Kenneth back in my life starting tonight at 9:30. Oh, and Dr. Spaceman, everyone's favorite fake doctor. We all know Tina Fey won't give us pedestrian, overdone story lines involving couples getting together, creating needless tension, breaking up, and getting back together. She'll give us some crazy story involving an anteater, Dr. Spaceman's long-lost mother, a Soy Joy bar, and Jack working at Baskin' Robbins to get back at Devon Banks. Pure brilliance.

Perhaps a recap to come tomorrow? We'll see how work goes. Also on the horizon - a trip to see (read: stalk) Ian Riggs as part of Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra. Oh, yeah, and that's tomorrow, bitches!!! I know you're jealous!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Wrath: HFCS Commercials (Subtitle: Do They Think We're Stupid?)

I know I'm a little late to the party on this one, but let's break it down, shall we?

It's made from corn - this is actually true! It is made from corn! But it's processed through a bunch of scientific methods, which I will not bore you with, but, sufficed to say it uses lots of energy and creates lots of waste. Also, just because something is MADE from corn, doesn't mean it's good for you, right? I mean, look at cornbread - it's delicious, but not exactly healthy. Creamed corn? Polenta (made with butter and Parmesan cheese, of course)? Not so much. Why is the fact that it's made from corn a selling point, exactly?

Regardless, growing the corn in the first place isn't that great, anyway. I mean, the government basically pays farmers to grow corn to make ethanol, HFCS, and cow feed, instead of encouraging them to grow a variety of crops to encourage and ensure a healthy population with a highly varied diet of fruits and vegetables. Then, the farmers are forced to pesticide and fertilize the crap out of the corn crop to ensure they produce enough to make a good amount of money, which I don't need to tell you completely destroys the soil, the ecosystem, and pretty much the entire environment. All so we can make Twinkies, ice pops, and fruit drink - all stuff no one should ever eat, anyway.

It's fine in moderation - OK, also true, but isn't everything fine in moderation? I mean, if I do crack once or twice in my life, will that adversely affect me? Probably not. If I eat a delicious roasted chicken, slathered in gravy with mashed potatoes once a month, will I die of a heart attack? Most likely, no. But, my point here is that it's almost impossible to eat processed food and have HFCS in moderation. It's in EVERYTHING. Look at the loaf of bread on your counter or in the fridge. What about your cereal in the morning? Your soup at lunch? Your frozen Lean Cuisine dinner? Your salad dressing? The list goes on and on. Sure, having one Ho-ho is fine, but add that to your breakfast of Lucky Charms, the sandwich and soup you had for lunch, the soda you had driving home, etc., and you're pretty much screwed. It's become so ubiquitous in the American diet that we don't even notice it.

If we all want to stop getting diabetes, heart disease, and getting fat, we need to really look at the ingredients of the foods we eat. Better yet, eat foods that have no "ingredients" by buying some chicken, vegetables, and rice and making dinner yourself. It saves you money, keeps you healthy, and gives you delicious leftovers to bring to work the next day - making your co-workers jealous. Plus, it makes me rant less, which keeps my blood pressure down, which results in happier Iko and happier people around her.

So, to sum up: WTF!!? HFCS ads? Don't pretend we're stupid. And don't make me cut you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

To Whet Your Appetite for the Tuesday Tirade

Why was I cut off by a man driving a red Miata on my way to work this morning? With the top down? While wearing an ear-warmer-thingy? It's early morning in October in NJ - put up the stupid top on your car and stop acting like a douchebag. No one wants to see you in your car that badly.

Also, to the douche-hat in front of me in line at Chipotle - take out your F-ing bluetooth earpiece if it will interfere with you paying for your food in a timely fashion and remove your sunglasses from the BACK (yes, BACK) of your shirt. You look like an idiot.

Friday, October 24, 2008

We Saw America in the Cajun Way - And So Can You!

Yes, I went to go see a "Colbert Report" taping. Again. Don't hate me because I'm awesome.

I reserved tickets a few months ago for Thursday, October 23rd, then, on Wednesday I received an email saying I needed to be at the studio by 4:45 as the show was taping early. So, on Thursday, DC, NC, BMG, and I all piled into my car, drove to JC, hopped on the PATH, got on the E train and got off at 50th Street to head over to the studio by 3:45pm. Oh boy, am I glad we did. You'll find out why in a few minutes.

When we got to the studio, there was only one line, apparently no one had taken it upon themselves to segregate into two lines, one for those who had reserved tickets and ones who were on the stand by line. So, naturally, we got into the big line and waited for one of the interns to come out and direct us. Around 4:15 someone came out and told all the ticket holders to make a new line. And this is where things got messy. We were clearly near the front of the line, but a bunch of bitches in back of us tried to cut in front of us when the new line formed. Naturally, I was having none of it, and yelled, "I'll cut you bitch" and shoved the group of them out of the way. That's clearly a lie...but I did elbow one girl out of the way and take my rightful place in line.

Around 4:45 one of the interns started signing us in and I asked if we were going in early for the taping, to which he responded he had no idea (good job recruiting degenerate interns, Stephen). So we waited a little bit more, then the security guard came out to warn us that we couldn't bring any weapons into the studio. he asked if anyone had any knives or guns, to which I replied, "Oh, I have guns," and pointed at my biceps (this is also a lie). We were slowly let into the studio around 5:00, and I mean SLOWLY - the lady security guard was thoroughly checking everyone's bags, which I am clearly a fan of, as I'm anti being blown-up at a Colbert taping, but it was kind of annoying because we were all so excited about seeing Stephen!

When it was time to head into the studio, we shoved our way up to the front (numbers 10 - 13, bitches!) and we got to sit right in the front row!! All the way to the right-hand side of the studio, right by where he does the interviews. The warm-up guy came out pretty much immediately. He was awesome and funny, just like last time, then Stephen came out! He was running around getting us all pumped and ran across the stage, right in front of the audience. Then, he ran from the left to the right, giving everyone high fives, but, sadly, peeled off just before he got to me, I was so sad (but not for long) that I didn't get to actually touch Stephen (no, I'm not psycho). He had so much energy and was so happy-looking, the last time we went to see a taping was the week right after he had come back from Philadelphia and, while he was still awesome, you could tell he was exhausted. His energy on Thursday was infectious, though, the crowd was going crazy, as was I.

He answered questions from the audience:
-His favorite breakfast food is crab cakes with poached eggs.
-He said "hi" to his new neighbors, who apparently just moved in across the street from him and came to see the show (sidebar: how awesome would it be to live across the street from Stephen Colbert??)
-Someone asked him what his favorite song to sing while driving was, and, while I can't remember the song, I do remember that he belted out a few lines and did an adorable dance across the stage, following that with a delightful, "as you can see, it's very dangerous to drive in the car with me!"
-But, by far the best question (and by "best" I mean worst, because this person clearly can't read properly) was someone asking him if he was aware that Al Qaeda had endorsed him for president. Apparently, the person had seen it on the CNN news ticker earlier that day. He responded with shock and chagrin (as anyone would) and immediately instructed one of the staff to check it out. Then he went over to his desk to get ready for the show. At one point while he was over there he lowered the music and (chuckling) proclaimed that he probably gets Secret Service protection now (ha!).

Right before the show, he started shooting Wriststrong bracelets into crowd and NC caught one! I was so jealous, yet happy for him! Then, Stephen busted out one of those plastic pumpkins that kids use for trick-or-treating and started whipping candy into the crowd, which is when I caught a mini Hershey bar! ZOMG! I will save it forever!

Once the show started it was all kind of a blur - it goes by so quickly. The best part of the first segment was Stephen imitating Sarah Palin and Todd making out using their pictures from People:

After this was taped and before the interview, the person he sent out to check on the Al Qaeda endorsement came back with the actual story. The news ticker statement was viewer mail, someone had written in to say that Al Qaeda would prefer Obama to be president, then said that he (the viewer) wanted Stephen Colbert to be president. Seriously, though, if you were going to go to a "Colbert Report" taping and tell Stephen Al Qaeda loved him, wouldn't you make sure your facts were correct? I hope that person felt like a jackass for the rest of the day.

He taped the interview next, I guess because Jonathan Alter had to leave early. Alter's book sounded quite interesting and I enjoyed the interview. The best part, however, got cut from the airing: When Alter was talking about how Obama is like FDR, Stephen countered with John McCain having been though a lot of things already, so perhaps he would be better for the country, as he has more experience dealing with some of the situations we find ourselves in currently. Then, Stephen said Obama needed time to mature, to become seasoned, "like a blackened piece of red snapper" (or some other fish). Then, like 5 seconds later, he realized what he said and completely broke character and started laughing, turning to the producer all like, "oh, we have to cut that! I meant it in the Cajun way...the CAJUN WAY!!!" Too funny. Also, it reminded me of James Carville on "30 Rock" - CAJUN STYLE!!!

After Alter left, we got through the "Difference Makers" segment, which I thought was hysterical. I love the environment and H1s, so I feel their pain...but, when that one guys said A-rab, Stephen (and the rest of us) totally lost it. Awesome:

Once the show was done, Stephen cranked the music and frolicked around some more. Then, (BEST NIGHT EVER) he shook hands with everyone sitting in the front row!! Including me!! ZOMG!!! He shook my hand! He was so happy, smiling so his eyes got all crinkled at the sides when he looked at me! I then grabbed the back of his head and made out with him (my third and final lie of this post). Mostly I grinned back at him and tried to think of something to say - which ended up being nothing. He even tried to get NC to do a little dance with him, but NC instead stared awkwardly at him, much in the style of me staring awkwardly at Ed Helms when I met him in NYC. So sad. Although, to be fair, I don't think I would have been able to dance, either...I would have shrieked at him and tried to run away. Stephen then thanked everyone and headed backstage.

We left the studio and headed down the street to Daisy May's (yes, again) for some delicious BBQ and beer. We then tried to go to Valhalla for a beer afterward, but after a few sips, we all realized we were too full of meat (TWSS) and headed back to JC. We got back home just in time to catch the Report on TV at 11:30 and chuckle at everything again.

And, for the next journey? Another trip to NYC to stalk Ian Riggs!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

All the Plumbers in the House Pull Your Pants Up

In case anyone missed this brilliant piece of television history:

Amy Poehler is made of win.

Also, Jason Sudeikis looks shockingly good with a goatee and mullet (?). What's that about? I love that he was able to bust out his awesome dance moves again. "The Fighting Irish," anyone? Don't remember? You can watch it here:

Also, a shout-out to my first Office boyfriend, John Krasinski, who has a birthday's picture for those of you who still love him more than Ed Helms (although I don't know how that's possible).

Friday, October 17, 2008

ZOMG!! Best Web Series Ever!

Ed Helms and Jason Sudeikis together in a WB web series? Who has a new favorite show??!!?!

ETA: Also, Stephen Colbert is narrating?!!? SOLD!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why I Should Never Be Away From A Computer

OK, it's no secret, I'm kind of a ho for TV, food, food blogs, and Ed Helms. But, maybe more secret (and perhaps it should stay that way) is my extreme love of celebrity gossip blogs. Seriously, guys, it's a problem. I'm at work and the first thing I do after coming back from a quick trip to the bathroom, to the mail room, lunch, whatever, is check Just Jared for the latest from the ridiculous world of people who think they're important because they're on TV or in a movie. Yes, I'm not so dense that I don't realize I'm encouraging the degeneracy...I know every time I go to Popsugar, D-Listed, CelebSlam, I'm just throwing another dead tree into the forest fire, but I can't help it.

So, yesterday, I took the day off from celebrity gossip, not entirely of my own volition, however. First, I had to prep for a massive lab class, for which I am the TA, then teach said lab, then clean up after said lab, then go to an interview for an internship which I will absolutely not get, then back home to hang out with the thoroughly awesome, PW. I didn't look at a gossip blog all day - I didn't even open my laptop until 9:30 at night, and that was only because I was getting so pissy about the debate I needed something else to think about.

And what do I come across? Sweet fancy Moses, I picked the wrong day to ignore the gossip, didn't I? A-Rod broke up Madonna and Guy Ritchie because of the intense "spiritual, emotional, and romantic bond?" And Guy could get $250 million but doesn't want it?!?! And, David Duchovny and Tea Leoni are separated? And not for the reason you think?!?!!! Because she had an affair with Billy-F-ing-Bob Thorton!????!! WTF?

And, worse still, David Beckham is inexplicably shilling fish sticks with Omega-3s added to them:

W.T.F.?!!!????? Also, why do those kids behind him look less-than-thrilled? Shouldn't they heart him? Or, are they American and think soccer is a stupid game? Maybe if Tom Brady hobbled his ass out there the kids would look happier. Or, at least they could kick him in the knee for me, since he ruined my fantasy team's chance of winning the league this year.

Monday, October 13, 2008

OK, Seriously...This is Next

Yes, TWO burgers, THREE grilled cheeses (one with bacon) and BACON on top. I may have to wait for my arteries to clear from the original first, though.

From AHT.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Evolution of the Grilled Cheese Burger

First - the idea was placed in my head by this article.

Second - I had to find some people who would eat it with know, the kind of people who don't care about their hearts and arteries. DC and BMG were all about it.

The beef:
From Grilled Cheese Burger

Now, I used 80/20 beef, for that extra-delicious beef fat = juiciness plus fulfilling grease, but I only bought 1 lb, so the burgers were about 1/3 lb each. I think in the future, I'd make them like 1/2 lb and try to flatten them out a little more, so they take up more space on the grilled cheese. Plus, it would make it easier to shove the sandwich into my tiny mouth. That's what she said.

Here are the burgers and half-completed grilled cheese cooking in copious amounts of fat.
From Grilled Cheese Burger

I had to keep three of the grilled cheese in the oven while I made the other three sandwiches, which, unfortunately blackened them a little more than I wanted. I think I need to invest in one of those giant griddle pans, or maybe install a Benihana-style Teppanyaki grill in my apartment, so I can cook six sandwiches at once.

Here are the completed sandwiches:
From Grilled Cheese Burger

Look at Hello Kitty leering at the sandwiches...

A close up:
From Grilled Cheese Burger

Sides of sweet potato fries and pickles.

Here's a fry I lost on the floor:
From Grilled Cheese Burger

Please ignore the ugly, 70s-style linoleum floor in my apartment. Clearly, not my choice.

The aftermath:
From Grilled Cheese Burger

From Grilled Cheese Burger

Yeah, we put up a good fight...even changed into pajamas, for maximum stomach expansion room, but DC and I couldn't finish. BMG, however, was the hero of the day and powered-through that bitch. I think I need to not eat lunch the next time I make these for dinner. Yeah, that's right, there will definitely be a next time. Maybe I'll make them in mini-burger form...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

30 Rock Update

I have the DVD. I've only watched the first three episodes, but I have some thoughts:

1. Jack had a collection of cookie jars. He gave them to Kenneth.
2. Tigers turn into Chinese dudes at night.
3. Me want food.
4. Dr. Spaceman is awesome.

I am trying to get through the commentaries, but currently I'm watching the best Ed Helms-as-Tom Brokaw impersonator ever, Tom Brokaw, moderate the debate.

Best Day Ever? Or GREATEST Day Ever?

Just a quick note to inform you that "30 Rock" Season 2 comes out on DVD today. I will be heading to Best Buy to purchase it during lunch. Then, I will promptly spend the rest of my afternoon at work watching the commentaries.

"I'll move to Cleveland when you get that IKEA. NEVER!!!!!!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Most Delicious Foodstuff Ever

Yes. That is absolutely a hamburger, topped with a slice of tomato and sandwiched between two melty, grilled cheese sandwiches.

From A Hamburger Today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"The Office" Season 4 Carb-load Watching Party

So, a while ago, I had an "Office" season 4 watching party. I wanted to blog about it sooner, but I'm kind of lazy. Nevertheless, here's the post.

It's kind of a tradition. Ever since season 2 of "The Office" came out on DVD, I've invited people over to my apartment and we've powered through the entire season in a weekend, before the next season premieres. For season 2 we did it in over a Friday night (powered by copious amounts of sake - the theme was Asian Tet) and a very hungover Saturday afternoon. Season 3 was much the same (different theme, I believe it was Mexican fiesta, so it probably involved a lot of tequila), so, when it came time for season 4, I figured it was time to have a theme that actually marginally revolved around "The Office." Carb-loading seemed like a good plan...right? It goes with "Fun Run." Michael vomiting up Fettucini Alfredo? Comedy gold. Luckily, carb-loading goes quite well with an Italian theme, which is what we settled on.

Here's the sKape:

The ubiquitous citrus, lemons and limes! I was fancy at the farmer's market. Also, some assorted Office-related paraphernalia, a talking pen, Hello Kitty (because she's a part of any good sKape), some pasta (got to have the carbs in the carb-loading TablesKape), and, of course, some delicious Malbec. Which I probably drank entirely by myself.

The food
Turkey Meatballs:

Eggplant (EdPlant) Parmesan:

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with garlic:

Garlic Bread, which I didn't take a picture of, so here's one of the SALT-CURED MEATS!!

Also, for dessert, delicious cupcakes, provided by the always delightful BW and some fruit with fresh mint and lime juice, courtesy of everyone's favorite, KN. Also of note, the cupcakes arrived in the Cupcake Courier, as blogged about by Jenna Fischer in her Myspace blog.

We began watching at exactly 8:15 pm on Friday night. And powered through all the way to "Dinner Party," although we lost a few souls along the way. At some point we watched the blooper reel, too, I don't really remember, due to the combo of wine and the fact that this happened a few weeks ago. Anyway, by the time "Dinner Party" started, BW and I were the only two people still awake (shout out, BW!!). But, the two of us watched that whole episode, then two of the commentaries. Can you guess which ones? Obviously the two that Ed is on, come on people...don't you know me at all, yet?

Here's the aftermath of the TablesKape, which is, for the most part, indicative of the entire evening:

The next morning, we woke up, made a pot of coffee, and PW, BW, and I got through the last five episodes. Then, we hit up the nearby diner for some much needed grease to soak up the wine still wandering around our bodies from the carb-loading extravaganza.

What is it about eggs, bacon, and hash browns that makes you feel SOOOO much better after two consecutive, ridiculous nights of drinking? I guess I should mention that I spent the night before the party (yes, that would be a Thursday, and yes, I had to go to work) excessively drinking martinis and wine with the illustrious MAN-DEAN!!!! You may remember him from our trip to DC. Clearly, while it was awesome to see (and drink with) Man-Dean, it was perhaps a bit of a mistake to drink excessively on Thursday night, head home to make turkey meatballs while Man-Dean, DC, and BMG drink more, then drink more, pass out, wake up, go to work, then come home to make EdPlant Parm. and drink more. Perhaps for the season 5 watching party, I will space my copious amounts of drinking across a few days.

On a separate, yet related note, let's say a few words about the premiere of "The Office" last week. I mean it's been a week, it's a perfect time to talk about it, right? I'm extremely excited for this season. Like, really a lot. I'm not going to lie. I think most of last season sucked. To the point that "30 Rock" replaced "The Office" as my favorite show, and rightfully so, I believe. Regardless, I think the premiere did a lot to alleviate the issues I had with last season. It seems like all the characters have a story line, rather than only focusing on Jim and Pam (ugh, I am so over them....seriously, let them get married and be happy and just end it) and Michael and Jan. The Dwight/Angela/Andy triangle is awesome, even if it is just a rehashing of Jim/Pam/Roy, whatever, DAA are infinitely more entertaining - there's just so much potential there.

Other characters: I love that Phyllis actually has something to do in blackmailing Angela. I can't wait until she tells everyone in the office. Angela will have to start wearing "whorish" green everyday. Kelly was beyond amazing in the premiere. I'm so excited to see Ryan act all douche-y and try to get her back, only to have Darryl lay the smack on him. Actually, Kelly will probably do it herself, and look fabulous while doing it! Size 2, baby! And, I actually liked Stanley (shocking) and his quest to lose weight. I was so happy for him at the end.

The only concern I have after watching the premiere is the Michael/Jan/Holly situation. I absolutely adore Holly. But, I know Amy Ryan only filmed 5 episodes and there are no plans to bring her back, which is upsetting on many levels. One, it means Jan gets her clutches back into Michael (crazy bitch). Two, it means that Holly probably does something ridiculous to get fired, laid-off, whatever, which will make me like her less and therefore be even more upsetting, to see her fall from grace. Three, it means they're really pushing the Michael-Jan pairing. Which I hate. I don't think Jan deserves Michael. Seriously, she's horrible to him all the time - just because someone lets you walk all over them, doesn't mean you should. Michael should be with someone just as dorky as him. I mean, come on, the rap the two of them did was amazing (picture that in Kelly's voice). We need more of THAT on the show - less of Jan.