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.