Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why are you stabbing me? I just freed you!

Ed gives us events to look forward to in July (yes, I know July's pretty much over).

I Like Waking Up to the Smell of Bacon. Sue Me.

This might be the greatest thing ever. It's too bad Michael Scott didn't have this, he could have avoided the painful and crippling burning of his foot. Although, that would have prevented the brilliance that is "The Injury" from ever occurring, so, I think it was worth it.

All that aside, I'm totally ordering one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ed Helms Post of the Day

So, I seem to have injured my upper back, shoulder, and neck during my yoga class on Monday. Do you think Ed could take a break from filming "The Office" in L.A., fly to N.J., and give me a neck massage?

Honestly, who injures one's upper back during yoga? Seriously, I can't even turn my head to the left. It feels as if all the muscles on the left side of my body are having a competition to see which one can spasm the most.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TNFNS - WTF, Food Network?

So, apparently, Aaron won this season of TNFNS, but, you didn't even need to watch the finale to find out. What is wrong with Food Network? Did they leak the winner to try and create more drama and controversy? If so, um, not a good call, PR people. Did they leak the winner by accident? If so, I hope some tech peeps got fired for that. Also, why, why, why, is Aaron holding a half-peeled apple in his promo shot?

What sort of culinary preparation requires a half-peeled apple? And how did they prevent it from turning brown immediately after peeling? Clearly, the only explanation is that Food Network has some kind of magical, almost witch-like powers. They cast spells on apples so they don't turn brown when shooting inexplicable promo photos and perform other types of sorcery to keep me watching the crap they put on the air. I give up.

On a delightful side note, here's a programming reminder:
Jason Sudeikis will be on Late Night with Conan O'Brien tonight.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Friday List of Random Things

A random list of things I like that are made with ginger:

1. Trader Joe's chocolate covered candied ginger

Oooohhhh, delicious morsels of candied ginger, enrobed in bittersweet, dark, dark, chocolate. And, yet, sadly, I'm the only one who likes them, with the exception of BW (who is clearly made of awesome). They aren't the sweetest of the Trader Joes tasty treats, but I think they're the best.

2. Ginger People "Original Ginger Chews" Candy - this was an impulse buy at Trader Joes one day and boy are they F-ing good.

They are small, chewy candies, flavored with ginger. They're all natural,made only of sugar, maltose, ginger, potato starch, and vegetable oil, and have a great, spicy ginger flavor. Sometimes they're kind of annoying, like when I chew on them and they get stuck in my teeth for hours...but, that just makes for a special ginger-y treat when you finally get that last piece out of your molar three hours later. Ginger People also make other flavors of candy, all mixed with ginger, but, unfortunately Trader Joes doesn't sell them. I'm especially intrigued to try the coffee flavor, as eating them apparently gives the sensation of drinking a hot cup of coffee, due to the intense coffee flavor and the mild heat of the ginger. Are you listening, Trader Joes? I'll buy a case if you start stocking your stores with them.

3. Crystallized Ginger at Whole Foods - who doesn't love the giant bins of random stuff at Whole Foods? Granola (ginger snap granola, anyone?), grains (quinoa!), dried fruit, and GINGER! Spicy, fabulous, sweet, tastes like burning, candied ginger. I like to eat a few pieces after dinner, as a kind of digestive. I would avoid eating the crystallized ginger if you're having some wine after dinner, though. That wasn't my best idea ever...

4. Trader Joes' Ginger, Almond, Cashew Granola - I love granola. I seriously could (and do) eat it everyday. On yogurt (Fage - more on that in another post). Plain. With milk. The Trader Joes graola is particularly good for a boxed granola, too. It's sweet, the almonds give it a nice crunch, and the ginger (oh, the ginger) provides a nice textural contrast to the almonds, cashews, and granola clusters. Try it with some good Greek yogurt and fresh won't be sorry.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday's TV - Delightful

Well, it's that time again...Thursday shows to watch, and, shockingly, there are a bunch of them!

My Boys - TBS at 9:30 pm. Tonight's episode is entitled "Opportunity Knocks," and apparently there's finally some fallout from Andy acting like a DB. Also, P.J. dates Bobby's brother...interesting. I don't know about this show. it was really good and cute and funny last year, this year, yeah...not so much. I think it's been getting better slowly over the past two episodes, hopefully tonight that trend will continue. You can watch a preview of the episode here.

Burn Notice - USA Network at 10 pm. Hells yeah! The third episode of the season is tonight, and this show, unlike some others, started off awesome and continues to be made of awesome. Tonight's episode is called "Trust Me" and in it Michael uses himself as bait for a con artist. I hope he's shirtless bait. Or at least wearing a wife beater at some point. Seriously, how can you not think this is awesome:

and, now imagine it without the shirt and jacket...I'll wait. Yeah, that was worth it, right? (Sorry any non-gay men-folk who may be reading right now).

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report - 11:00 and 11:30 pm on Comedy Central. Well, I'm not going to lie. I'm still pretty upset that I missed Ed Helms' triumphant return to TDS to talk about his boner and Obama (O-Boner) and pretty much anytime I've watched the show this week, I've been disappointed by the lack of Ed. Sometimes watching Ed's old correspondent pieces on helps me through my pain, sometimes it just makes it worse...but a girl can dream, can't she? Maybe he'll show up tonight? If I wish hard enough, will it happen (TWSS)? Irregardless, I know Stephen will do his best to fill the empty void in my heart, with his adorable giggling and ridiculous antics. Check out the break down after he says "lamb cartilage." Delicious.

Seriously, he's been laughing all week, hasn't he? He's the cutest. Anyway, tonight, TCR's guest is Garrett Reisman, the astronaut who you may remember from this fantastic interview Stephen did with him back in May (see video below), so you know Stephen will be uber-excited and giddy.

Also, I'll be watching some TiVoed shows, if I have the time, which I should, as there's no Yankees baseball on to interrupt my usual TV watching schedule. These shows include the episode of Law and Order: CI, in which Stephen Colbert guest starred, which I recorded on Tuesday night and Monday's episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, in which he travels to Saudi Arabia to travel with the person who won the fan contest. I'm very interested to see Saudi Arabia through the eyes of someone who lives there, as opposed to what we get on TV from the news (or other sources), so I'm hoping they did it justice. I'm sure they did. Tony wouldn't slack off...well...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ed Helms Post of the Day: Who Died and Made You the Nut Police?

So, I realize I post a lot of clips of Ed from "The Daily Show," and you probably don't watch most (any) of them, but you REALLY need to watch this. Comedy Central Insider posted this as #5 in their Countdown of the "25 Sexiest Daily Show Moments." After watching it, I'm sure you'll agree with me - it clearly needed to be # 1. Ed Helms, a speedo, the Jersey Shore, and a few cartwheels...that's all I'll say. Also, "huge package."

Monday, July 21, 2008

ZOMG!!! ED!!!!

Urgent Alert!!!

Ed Helms was just on "The Daily Show!" Talking about his boner and Obama! I can't believe I missed him by one F-ing day!!! Why did I have to get tickets for Thursday and not Monday. :( :( :(

I'm so sad.

Edited to Add: Here's the video. I'm still horribly depressed.

Edited to add (again): I forgot to write, I TOTALLY called it here! I knew Ed would show up! Just on the wrong day...

Jason Sudeikis Post of the Day: One Breadstick and a Free Jug of Wine

Gosh, I haven't done one of these in a while (TWSS).

From the NY Post:

Jason Sudeikis first won us over as one half of the “A-Holes” (brilliantly paired with Kristen Wiig) on Saturday Night Live. Now, Jason, 32, is turning up everywhere from 30 Rock (his wife, Kay, is a writer for the show) to a role as a smarmy music exec in The Rocker, out Aug. 20. The Fairfax, Va.–born actor, who now calls the West Village home, has only lived in Manhattan for five years, but he’s learned a lot in that short time. For instance: Jason won’t eat street meat, but he will get curbside massages. “The guys who grab you may look sketchy, but the massages are really awesome.” Good to know.

1 If you could have a dish named after you at any NYC restaurant, what would it be? The Sudeikis Dish would be served at the Times Square Olive Garden. Instead of unlimited salad and breadsticks for $5.99,you’d get one breadstick, a very, very small salad for $29.99 and a free jug of wine. You’d order it to impress people.

2 If you had six dollars in your pocket, what would you buy in a bodega? Gum and Electronic Gaming Monthly. Yeah, nerd alert! Then as I walked out, I’d very gladly say to the guy behind the counter, “Keep the change, my good man.”

3 What New Yorker would you love to meet? Mike Nichols, a founding father of [Chicago’s] Second City theater company. He’s also an amazing director. And his wife, Diane [Sawyer], is easy on the eyes, so if I could listen to him while looking at her, I’d say that’s a fun night.

4 Who’s the most famous New Yorker you have programmed into your cell phone? The Statue of Liberty. I met her at Bungalow 8. When she takes that toga off, heavens to Betsy! But I think she has implants—don’t tell anyone I told you. OK, seriously? Probably Tina Fey.

5 What’s one really overrated New York attraction? Times Square. Thank God the Naked Cowboy is there to keep it classy.


ETA: looking over this post now (8:30 pm), that may be the gayest picture of Jason Sudeikis EVER. Sorry, Jason. It's from your Myspace Fan Page...go yell at them.

The Next Food Network Star - Episode Number...who am I kidding? I don't care. (Subtitle: I've Lost All Respect for Food Network)

You know, I kind of stopped watching "The Next Food Network Star" on Food Network, mostly because I have been enamored with Sunday Night Baseball - both with the actual games and trying to determine if Jon Miller's wardrobe stylist really, really hates him or Jon Miller is trying to win a bet with someone who thinks he will NOT wear a yellow shirt, with white collar, and a tie that gets more and more ridiculous every week. Seriously, this shirt:

Plus this color:

With variations on this tie:

Do NOT make for pleasurable viewing for me, or anyone else, for that matter. Add to that his inane commentary and Joe Morgan's arrogant ramblings about what a great player he was, and it was clearly time for me to bail out on Sunday Night Baseball and return to the network I enjoy snarking about the most - Food Network.

So, I watched "The Next Food Network Star" for the first time in a few weeks. And, then I remembered why I stopped. Because it sucks. It's the poor man's "Top Chef," if the poor man is also blind and has no concept of flavor or cooking techniques. Who are the people that get chosen to be on this show? And, more importantly, who are the producers who think this show is a good idea? Let's do a quick recap of the previous three seasons. Season 1 - Gay couple (Dan and Steve!!!!!) wins, they're adorable, cook well, and have a great point of view (easy, inexpensive entertaining). They get 6 episodes and are never heard from again. Season 2 - Guy Fieri wins, acts like a DB, gets his own show, gets another show (Diners, Drive-ins, and DBs), gets to help choose the winners on all subsequent seasons of TNFNS, becomes dangerously obese and kind of greasy looking, due to excessive diner food consumption, and starts a trend among 40-something lard-asses by wearing his Oakley sunglasses on the back of his big, meaty head. Season 3 - Amy Finely wins, has a good show with actual, you know, REAL cooking, gets six episodes and is never heard from again.

Thus, onto Season 4. Apparently, since we, the viewers, didn't vote the way FN wanted us to, we've been denied the ability to determine the winner of TNFNS this time around, which, I fear, means we're probably in for another Fieri. The challenges last night did little to alleviate this fear. First, the remaining three contestants had to film promos that FN wrote for them (so, now, FN is just giving them culinary POVs?). Lisa's promo was ridiculously difficult (being strung up on wires and hoisted 40 feet in the air) and kind of sexist (doing all of this while wearing a skintight, black cat suit), Aaron did alright (after B. Flay told him to pretend he was walking down the street in Camden, NJ), and Adam was fine, although all he had to do was walk around on stage and hold hands with some showgirls, hardly anything worthy of determining his "star quality." Result - Aaron won and Lisa looked like she lacked the ability to form a complete sentence. You can see the promos and recap here.

The cooking challenge was to set up an upscale buffet for "Vegas" (yeah, I know, WTF?). They each got $1000 and 6 hours, plus a sous chef in the form of previously-voted-off contestants. Again, blatantly ripping off "Top Chef." I won't bore you with the details of the food, sufficed to say, Lisa's was fancy, Adam's was smoky, and Aaron's wasn't as good as it should have been. All in all, none of the contestants made food that was, in any way, innovative, original, or really all that interesting. Any food worthy of a TV show? Certainly not. Any food worthy of a food show on FN? Sadly, probably yes. In the end, Tuschman, Susie, and B. Flay decided to keep them all and bring them all back to NYC for the final. Not a surprise, since they ran an F-ing promo (400 times) before the show aired, showing Tusch saying, "we've never done this before."

Bottom line, in my opinion. FN wants Aaron to win, or he would have gone home. He clearly should have gone home. One good promo doesn't make up for horrible food. Although, I guess no one really needs to know how to cook delicious food to be on FN - Sandra Lee, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, anyone? FN just needs a host with a "personality" to instruct the viewers about basic techniques, while reading directly from a tele-prompter. Actually, I guess the winner doesn't even need to cook at all. Most of the shows on FN now involve some over-the-top moron wandering around the country, shoveling food into his/her gaping maw, while saying, "local, home-cooked food is the best." This is clearly the direction the network is taking, based on the caliber of the cooking talent currently airing everyday. Of the three people left, I think Adam is the one most likely to win, based on what FN is looking for. If it were up to actual cooking ability, I think Aaron would win. If it were up to actual knowledge about food, I think Lisa would win. As of now, I won't watch a show involving any one of them. And, I'm not going to watch the finale, I don't get to vote and the outcome has already been determined. I'll just wait for the aftermath and read about the debacle on TWoP the next morning. Besides, I HAVE to see if Jon Miller will wear the yellow shirt again.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Daily Show Taping and Too Much Meat

VIP! VIP! VIP! Was our chant as we walked the streets of Manhattan, way the F over to the West Side to the studio where they film "The Daily Show." Since we had gone to the show before and been rejected, the show was nice enough to offer VIP tickets for all members of the party for a subsequent show...unfortunately, due to ticket demand and the fact that the show didn't film for the past two weeks, we were unable to get tickets until July 17. Henceforth known as the hottest day ever to be wandering around NYC (HDEtbWAN). Ever.

Luckily, since we were VIP! VIP! VIPs! We got to wait in a special line (in the shade) and got brought inside the building, into the holding cell, much earlier than the rest of the people waiting for the show. I think we got in line around 4:00pm and were let in probably 15 minutes after that - mostly because they wanted to get everyone inside, due to the fact that it was the HDEtbWAN and they didn't want people getting heat stroke while waiting outside. No rejections for us!

Here's a shot of the sign above the door to go into the studio:

Once we got through the metal detectors and security personnel who questioned us at length about the dangerous contents of our bags (pepper spray, knives, sharp implements?), we got to hang out in the holding cell. And see this delightful poster, hanging from the wall:

Is it Ed's bicycle? Maybe he parked it there one day, after his ride to the studio from Brooklyn and they left it, kind of as a bootleg reminder of the greatest Daily Show correspondent ever (behind Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, to be fair). Anyway, I was way too excited about seeing a poster of Ed, and even more excited when the security people moved the ropes that were keeping me away from Ed, so I could get right up next to him! Sidebar: There will be no pictures of me with Ed or anyone else, for that matter, because, since it was the HDEtbWAN we were all quite shiny. I don't think any pictures of us even came out...the reflection of the flash off of all of our shiny, pasty-white skin was more than my camera could adjust for.

We were let into the actual studio early, as the people in charge of making sure the audience members don't pass out from heat exhaustion had to get the other people inside, as well. Unfortunately, you're not allowed to take pictures inside the studio, so I don't have any. I figured it wasn't worth being thrown out onto the streets on the HDEtbWAN without even having seen the show. Once everyone was inside, the warm-up comedian guy came out to chat with us. And I do mean chat. He basically talked to random members of the audience, then either insulted them or told them way too much information about himself. He was pretty funny, though, and we learned the word "pre-tarded" from another audience member, as a result of his ramblings, which kind of made the comedian worthwhile.

Next, Jon came out to answer a few pre-show questions! He is quite small, I'm not going to lie, but very, very adorable and, of course, hysterically funny and SMART! Here are some of the questions he got asked and his responses:
Best books he's read recently - he mentioned Fareed Zakaria's recent book, "The Post-American World" as a good one, but he said he can't really read any books, other than ones for the show, because they have so many authors as guests, and he always has to read thinking, "what interesting questions can I ask this asshole?" Ha!

On the weirdest thing anyone's ever asked him - if he reads fan fiction about himself. To which he responded that he didn't know what that was, and, once it was explained to him, he was like, WTF is wrong with you people?

Boxers, briefs, or neither? - He then amended his answer to the previous question with THIS one being the strangest one he's received. Then said, "you'd be amazed how often that comes up." He then answered the question by saying he's actually duct taped in - no underwear. Ha, again!

On having the teleprompter actually say, "Welcome to 'The Daily Show!' My name is Jon Stewart" - he said it's a superstition, kind of, since they started the first show with those two phrases, they've begun every show the same way. It is kind of funny, though, that he needs to be reminded of his own name. I wonder if anyone has ever put someone else's name up there, and if Jon has read it? If you saw the show on Thursday night, that's why he stopped right after saying, "My name is..." which we in the audience, clearly, thought was hysterical.

The show taping actually went by pretty quickly, the Lou Dobbs-o-meter and the McCain-NAACP debacle were awesome:

Although, during the first break, we could see Jon get really angry about the people who play the clips cutting off the important words, "Martin Luther" before one of the clips, since it didn't really make any sense, just hearing the word "King." He did look pretty upset about it, but I didn't think you could tell during the actual airing - and they clearly edited the show so it would make sense, so, really, no big deal, Jon - you're awesome! The "Cougars" piece was OK, I loved how uncomfortable Jon got when that lady was petting him and the end where Kristen said she thought Jon was 70 and slept in a beef dehydrator was really funny. The Maggie Gyllenhaal interview was good (on Jon's end), but I wasn't such a fan of hers. maybe she was just really tired from all the promotion for "Batman," but she came across as, how shall I put this, not so bright? I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt here, I can't imagine it's that much fun to do nothing but talk about one movie for months on end. She is incredibly skinny, too, which I don't think you can see on in a "I may be able to snap her in half like a twig, even though I can't even lift a 5-lb weight" kind of way. Jon talking about watching Batman with his son made the interview, though.

Once the show was done, Jon thanked us all for coming and sent us back out into the HDEtbWAN - which had turned into the evening at this point. Our next stop was Daisy May's, a BBQ place just down 11th Ave.

The Menu:

The Accolades:

I got the pulled pork sandwich, with delcious scoop of coleslaw on top, a side of creamed spinach and a sweet tea:

I like how they have to put a sticker on top that says "pork." My favorite kind of sticker EVER.
Here's the sandwich unwrapped:

Yes, that's some coleslaw trying to escape from the inside of the sandwich.
Creamed Spinach:

Sweet Tea:

Pulled Pork platter with cornbread and sweet potatoes (I didn't eat this, too, don't worry):

OK, seriously guys, this was SOOOOOOO good. I should not have gotten the creamed spinach, though, as I didn't have enough room in my stomach for that AND my delicious sandwich. In retrospect, I should have just gotten the pulled pork platter and skipped the delicious, carb-y bread, as that clearly took up too much space. The sweet tea was really good (very sweet) and had the added visual bonus of being served in a giant Mason jar. I highly recommend hitting up Daisy May's when you're in Manhattan. Seriously. You know what? Just go there now. It's Saturday afternoon, what else are you doing today? I'd go back right now, if I wasn't still full from excessive meat consumption.

After Daisy May's we decided to head back to Valhalla, which you may remember as the place we all got drunken when we were rejected from "The Daily Show" the first time.

I chose a cider:

while my companions chose some fancy beers:

This one, we made look like a jack-o-lantern:

The only issue here, was that we were all so full from the food, that drinking beer and cider made us all a little ill. I could barely take a sip of my second cider, while the other people with me fared only slightly better. Thus, we didn't stay at Valhalla too long, just enough to watch some of the Mets game and make fun of some DBs sitting near us. DC, however, had an epiphany of great brilliance while we were sitting there - next time we go to a taping we're totally getting take-out from Daisy May's and bringing it TO Valhalla to eat while drinking. Strong work, DC, strong work! Your brilliance is unparalleled.

And thus ended our trip to see "The Daily Show" as VIP! VIP! VIPs! on the HDEtbWAN. We all went home, immediately showered, and then ceremoniously burned the clothes we had worn into Manhattan.

Because Our Drunk Asses Can't Stop Singing This...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Programming Reminder

Tonight! USA Network! 9 pm - "Monk" Series Premiere. 10 pm - "Psych" Series Premiere. Also, watch the repeat of "The Daily Show" from last night pretty much showing all day on Comedy Central. Post about our field trip to come soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Today is the day...we are actually going to be able to SEE "The Daily Show." We have received VIP tickets due to the unceremonious denial last time. No rejections for us today! Followed by a delicious BBQ dinner at Daisy May's and drinks at Valhalla, or perhaps another, undisclosed location.

Hopefully I'll be able to get some goo pictures before and after the show, maybe we'll see Aasif Mandvi or Rob Riggle wandering around the area by the studio? Maybe Ed Helms will randomly show up to do a quick correspondent segment, you know, just for old times sake. So, watch the show tonight at 11, you may even see me running at Ed/Jon, getting tackled by security, and being dragged off the set!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Tirade - Rachael Ray

Dear Rachael,
Stop referring to your microwave "the mike." I am a grown woman, who inexplicably watches your show, even though I can come up with 30-minute meals on my own. I don't want to hear any cutesy expressions or Ray-tarted abbreviations. It doesn't make your show any more fun, it clearly doesn't make you speak any less, and it indicates to me that you think I'm an idiot. Of course, I may actually be an idiot, as I continue to watch both "30-Minute Meal" episodes, every weekday, at 6 and 6:30, despite the rage that rises up within me during that hour.

Your reluctant and inexplicably faithful viewer,

P.S. Stop smoking. Seriously. You sound like someone's great-grandmother who smoked for 70 years, lives in Boca, and yells Girl Scouts to get off her lawn from her lanai. Otherwise known as my future. Minus the smoking. And the great-grandchildren. And the living in Boca. Basically, I'll just yell at children to get off my lawn.

P.P.S. Stop telling that *&^^%% story about you burning the #$@@*** bread. One of your 15 off-camera assistants will make sure it doesn't.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What Iko's Watching Tonight

You know what? Even being a random night in the middle of the dearth of TV known as "summer," there's some good stuff on tonight. So, what am I watching? Read on to find out...

1. Home Run Derby - yeah, OK, I know...not very interesting to you non-baseball fans, but I'm going to watch it, so sorry. I'm excited to watch Dan Uggla and Josh Hamilton smash balls over the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium. I'm excited to watch it BE at Yankee Stadium, in it's last season as the home of the Yankees, because, let's face it, we're probably not going to see any non-regular season baseball there, based on tear the Rays are on (well, maybe not the last few games, but I think they'll get pretty far this season). Even if you don't like baseball, maybe turn the derby on at the end, just to see who wins...come on, you know you want to...

2. "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" - He's in Colombia tonight, which should be pretty interesting. I basically know Colombia as a place where there are lots of drugs and guns (maybe I've watched too many drug trafficking-related movies), so I'm interested to see the food and country beyond that. Also, last week's season premiere episode in Laos was amazing, so I'm currently having high hopes for this season of the show. Tony was wonderful in Laos, I had completely forgotten how eloquent and truly thoughtful he can be when he's not being the snarky, jackass we've all grown to know and love. Which is not to say the snark isn't welcome and sometimes even warranted, but the episode just didn't lend itself to that kind of commentary. He was actually mostly silent, an outside observer, just trying to give us in the U.S. a picture of a country that had been destroyed by war (and still is), yet full of people who have respect for their traditions and are completely untouched by Western society, even if that is certain to change in the near future. The country of Laos is absolutely gorgeous, how badly did you want to stay in that inn Tony's guide owned, to wake up in the morning and have a breakfast of ant egg omelet outside, next to a fire, surrounded by mist? Beautiful. If you haven't seen the episode, I highly recommend it.

3. "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" - finally! After the longest two week break EVER, our boys are back! I'm especially excited this week, as I am going to see "The Daily Show" taping on Thursday evening as a VIP, VIP, VIP, due to my unceremonious rejection last time I tried to see the show.

So much has happened during their break, I don't know how they'll cover it all - come on, Jesse Jackson? That's a whole show for each of them in and of itself! I'm hoping for a rant about FISA from Jon and some kind of "Threatdown" from Stephen about the Treasury Dept. I just wish they'd post this week's guest on TDS website, so I know who I can look forward to seeing on Thursday. Sidebar: does anyone know of a good restaurant in the Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen area? I have a few ideas, but could really use some suggestions.

4. Who am I kidding? I'll probably watch the TiVoed Ed Helms interview from Friday a few (10) times, too. How can you not? He's adorable. After a few (10) re-watches this weekend, I've come to the conclusion that my favorite part is right after he busts out the Tom Brokaw impression while singing "Candle in the Wind," because it's actually Ed singing, just for a few seconds, then he goes back to the Elton John impression. His voice is amazing, especially at that exact moment. Besides, how can you NOT love the giant, pink, feathered cape? The only way the song would have been better (and I use the term "better" very loosely, as, clearly, it was amazing), is if Ed had ended the song with an Andrew Bernard-style, "Nailed it!"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

ZOMG! Ed on Conan!

Gah! So, so cute!

So the musical instrument tally is growing:



Piano? Clearly, check.

What other hidden musical talents does Ed have? BTW, the Tom Brokaw impression WITHIN the Elton John impression was hilarious. Also, Ed's voice is amazing, and, shockingly, not made any less so when he's dressed in pink feathers. I love him.

Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper Together in a Movie - The Ultimate Combination of Hot

The movie's called "Hangover."

And now, a little Saturday morning hotness.

Have a good weekend!


I am absolutely in love with Ed Helms even more, after watching him on Conan. Tom Brokaw and Elton John impressions? I'm done. Interview to be posted when I can get it from NBC...

And...I'm SO mad I didn't go to NYC and ride around on the subway all day looking for Ed, the homeless guy, and the punk.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Friday List of Random Things

Clearly, I'm pretty bad at keeping up with my once weekly posts, as shown by the lack of "Tuesday Tirade's" and "Ed Helms Posts of the Day." However, to lighten the mood for the weekend, I will attempt to post some random lists of things on Fridays, to be known henceforth as the "The Friday List of Random Things." To start (and, let's face it, probably end) this once weekly segment, I will list ten random facts about myself.

1. Type of car I drive - 2002 Honda Civic EX, 4-door, manual transmission:

2. Type of car I wish I drove - oh, God, so many. I actually used to be much more into cars than I am now, but I've always loved the Shelby Cobra, the older one, not the current crappy one...say a 1967, so I'm going to go with that.

Wow, how do you not want to drive that car? Seriously? It's beautiful. Look at those lines...

3. My biggest pet peeve is people in cars who don't yield to me when I'm in the crosswalk.

4. My second biggest pet peeve is people NOT in the crosswalk who don't yield to me in my car.

5. My favorite thing to eat is a fresh baguette topped with sliced, heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

6. One food I absolutely will not eat are kidneys. They're disgusting to look at, are a pain in the ass to clean and cook, and taste like urine.

7. Something I wish I was better at - photography. When I'm done with school, I will definitely take some photography classes.

8. When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up.

9. Now, I want to work for Craft Services for "The Office" when I grow up.

10. I want to work for Craft Services so I can win Ed Helms over with my fabulous cooking and witty banter as I serve him Mac & Cheese and bat my eyelashes.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ZOMG! Ed is Adorable on "Today"

I seriously want to punch Kathy Lee and that other ho in the face, though.

Don't Forget!

Jeffrey Donovan wants you to watch "Burn Notice" tonight at 10 pm on USA. And, he wants you to watch Ed on Conan at 12:35 am...

Haha! Ed at the "Meet Dave" premiere

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 10 Might Be the Best Day for TV Ever

I was going to post a programming reminder tomorrow, but I wanted to give all you lovell folks an extra day to set your TiVos. Here we go...

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Ed Helms - On "Today" during the 10-11am hour
"The Office" webisodes begin at
"My Boys" - episode at 9:30 pm on TBS
"Burn Notice" season premiere on USA at 10 pm
Ed Helms - on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" at 12:35 pm on NBC

As If We Need a Reason to Explain Hello Kitty's Awesome-ness

Why do some brands, like the Lacoste crocodile or Hello Kitty, take off so amazingly?
The answer to a brand's success is different every time. One thing many gurus ignore is how culture and business change—there is no such thing as a five-point plan for making a brand take off.

Consider Hello Kitty, which is an example I use in the book at some length. Some three decades ago, this mouthless, cute cat symbol was created by Sanrio. It turned into a megaseller, and while there are a number of theories as to why, the essence of my own theory is that there is no single answer. Hello Kitty benefited from "projectability," meaning that different consumers projected different ideas on this blank canvas. For some, it was little-girl cute, for others it was kitschy, for others it was nostalgic. And because Hello Kitty has no "official story," everyone is, in effect, right.

Now, Sanrio has created upwards of 400 other characters, and believe me, they would love to replicate the success of Hello Kitty. They have never come close. The reason is that there is no secret sauce that makes a brand/logo/symbol meaningful—it comes from consumers.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

As If We All Need Another Reason to Heart Steve Carell


Steve Carell's Red-Carpet Rescue of Anne Hathaway

Originally posted 07/08/2008 10:40AM

Personal questions were strictly forbidden at the Italian premiere of Get Smart on Monday – but that didn't stop one reporter from asking the movie's star, Anne Hathaway, "Was the separation from your ex-boyfriend painful?"

The actress's former flame, Raffaello Follieri, remains in prison, awaiting trial on a dozen counts of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering. And while Hathaway, 25, has continued with her publicity tour, she has steadfastly refused to discuss the split.

After the reporter lobbed the question, Hathaway remained silent and attempted a faint smile.

But, as if on cue, her costar Steve Carell valiantly stepped in to declare: "In my role of agent [for] Miss Hathaway, I would like to say that she does not answer questions relating to this subject.

Jeffrey Donovan Will Shoot Your Ass

Then stare at your body through the hole he put in your window.

Watch "Burn Notice" Thursday at 10 pm on USA.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Programming Reminder

I would have let you all know this earlier, but I just found out now. New season of "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" starts tonight! 10 pm on Travel Channel!

Tonight: Laos

Brett Gardner

OK, here it is. The replacement for Bernie Williams as a current favorite Yankee. Brett Gardner. No seriously. Bernie is still my favorite Yankee ever...but, he's not on the team anymore (sad face), so I need someone else to stalk and obsess over...

He was the hero of last night's game, but even before that, I like his speed, his awesomely long at-bats, and his general youthfulness and confidence. I will now be fashioning a Brett Gardner T-shirt out of an old Gary Sheffield one.

Plus, how can you NOT love this awesomely bad 80's-style baseball card?

It's absolutely brilliant in an incredibly bad way. I love it. Anyone know where I can pick one up? The Bernie Williams card in my wallet is getting lonely...

A Little Something for the Ladies...

"Burn Notice" season 2 premieres on Thursday at 10 pm, so I will post one picture of Jeffrey Donovan each day this week, in honor of its return. Seriously watch the show. How could you not:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Stage Left and My Birthday

So, as I mentioned before, it was my birthday last week. To honor my birth, I invited a few friends to come to a restaurant in New Brunswick with me - a restaurant I had been wanting to go to for a while actually, Stage Left. I had heard really good things about it from everyone who had eaten there and a few people I knew in cooking school had actually gone to work there once they finished. Being that it's on the pricey side, I figured it would be a good birthday-dinner celebration location, although I clearly have no issue with dropping some hard-earned monies on dinner, provided it's good, for no legitimate occasion at all. In addition, I figured it was a good place to bring a few people who are maybe not so, how shall we say it nicely, quick to try new foods? Stage Left has a whole section of the menu that's a la carte, where you can choose a meat (that's what she said) and your sides, so I thought this would go over well with the more selective eaters.

Thus, donning our fanciest* clothing, BW, PW, NC, DC, MC, CC, BMG, and I ventured to dinner on a Friday night. We were seated right away (I had made a reservation using Open Table about a month beforehand) at a giant round table in the back corner - were they trying to tell us something? We ordered two bottles of wine (7 of us were drinking) and the sommelier very nicely brought us 14 glasses so we could all try both wines, also without making any comment about us all being lushes! The restaurant wasn't too busy, so we were able to order relatively quickly, I guess it was fair, based on the size of our party and the amount of time it took us (well, really only me) to decide what we wanted to eat.

Some of decided to order some starters, here they are:

Grilled Foie Gras (yes, I know some people may get pissy at me about it, I certainly won't fault you your opinion, you can do what you want - that said, it was delicious). It came with some kind of delicious French Toast-like thing:

Scallops - this was my appetizer and it was sooooooo good. The scallops came with a balsamic vinegar reduction and Jersey peaches. Wow. Delicious. The peaches were a little tart, with the sweet scallops and the even sweeter balsamic reduction (which I'm honestly not a big fan of), all the flavors worked very nicely together. I will definitely make this for Ed when he comes over for dinner in the near future!

Beet Salad - I only tried a piece of beet from this, but it was nowhere NEAR as good as the beet salad at Fork. I'm sorry, it just wasn't. Nothing will ever be.

(Crunchy) Market Salad - PW will only eat salad if it involves lots of crunchy things. Which this salad had in abundance. It allegedly had a nice, light dressing, too, I was too engrossed in my scallops to taste it. According to the menu, it was a Banyuls Vinaigrette

(And, yes, BW and I did comment on how ridiculous the size of the various plates were. I mean, I had two scallops on a giant plate, while the Foie Gras was wedged onto the smallest plate ever. This was, as you will soon see, a continuing theme throughout the evening).

I think it took a little bit of time to get our mains after we were finished with out starters, I'm not really sure, though. We were all merrily drinking and talking, so, really, it didn't matter how long. Well, maybe it mattered to the people who didn't order something to start, but, no one complained. Here are some of the main courses (again with the inexplicably giant plates):

Coffee Coriander crusted Wild Boar with sweet potato puree, fava beans, and some kind of mushroom that I can't remember. This was my dinner and it was awesome. I loved how the wild boar (the meat had a delicious, smoky, RICH flavor) came with the giant bone sticking out and I loved the coffee crust. I didn't really taste the coriander, but I was OK with that, the coffee crust was good enough for me. I think the dish was a little rich to be on a summer food menu, but it was cold enough in the restaurant to pretend it was colder outside, plus, clearly I ordered it, so I shouldn't really say anything at all.

Duck - a few people got the duck, it had some duck breast and also confit. Both were awesome, perfectly cooked, not inexplicably salty, and very, very tasty.

Steak - this was one of the "from PW's burning grill" items, a flat-iron steak with the "Apple Jack Spiked Cinnamon Apple" sauce and some asparagus. It looked good. I didn't try it, though.

Fish (halibut, maybe?) with some sides...I'm sorry. The only thing I tried was the pea and mint puree (green smear on the plate), which I thought would be really good, but instead had an overpoweringly smoky flavor.

Salmon - again from the wood-burning grill, with a delicious side, pictured next...

Creamed Spinach - oh yum. I love creamed spinach. Like more than a person should love a food, and this was really, really good. So creamy and spinach-y. Oh, I want you now, creamed spinach...I want your delicious green goodness.

Now, after dinner, we were pretty full, I'm not going to lie. But, it was my birthday, MOFOs, we HAD to get dessert...right?

Giant Coffee - some people only ordered coffee, and what a coffee it was. A nice 16 fluid ounce mug of the addictive brown liquid. I think the mug was the size on DC's head.

Chocolate-thing with Milk - clearly this was BMG's dessert. That ho loves his chocolate desserts with milk, what can I say? It looked really good, I didn't have any, you'll see why in a second.

Ice Cream and Sorbet - again, why did they cram seven different sorbets and ice creams in little ramekins onto such a small plate (look at that last's practically falling off the edge, there)? They could have used one of the giant square ones they had been putting food on all night. The only one of these I tried was the lemon sorbet, which was deliciously, mouth-puckeringly tart. Perhaps a tad too un-sweet for most, but not for me...

NC and I decided to order the cheese plate for dessert, which, on the dessert menu, give you the choice of for one, or to add a person at a reduced cost. We figured, after our experience with wimpy cheese-tastings at other New Brunswick restaurants, we would get the tasting for, yeah, big mistake:

I will say, though, that it was a great!!!! selection of cheese, varied and all good. The cheese-sommelier (what are they actually called?) was quite knowledgeable about the cheeses, as well, although, I was pretty much done after the wine, so I didn't' really pay attention to what he was saying. Unfortunately, I couldn't even finish half of the cheese (thanks to BW, it looked like I made a dent in it by the end of the night), because of this:

The chef was also nice enough to send out a delcious birthday treat for me, despite the fact that I had also ordered the cheese. I guess the attentive waiters and waitresses had overheard me loudly shouting in a drunken stupor that it was my birthday and had informed the chef. Very nice of them. And, the brûlée was delcious...exactly what crème brûlée should be - creamy, vanilla, sugary crusty-topped custard goodness.

Birthday Crème Brûlée

Overall, I loved the meal. I could have done without the weird too-small plates and the fact that all the food came out to us with assorted sauces smeared all over the plates. Honestly, if I were the chef, I'd be pissed the servers apparently did some type of calisthenics while holding the freshly sauced plates, to encourage the beautiful arty craftsmanship that is the sauce to spill haphazardly across the plate. But that's just me as the chef. Me as the patron? Didn't bother me too much. The food was too tasty. I would definitely go back and highly recommend it to anyone who has the time and money to head out for a nice dinner on a Friday or Saturday night. It's not for everyday, and may actually be better in the colder months, based on the meat and root vegetable-centric menu, but I'm not sorry I went. No, you know what, it was definitely better than that. I really enjoyed it. I think it's in the top ten meals I've had out ever. Until I get to travel to Napa Valley to eat at The French Laundry. And to New York to eat at Peasant. And to a number of other restaurants I have yet to visit and can't remember right now.

Now, after this, we should have gone home, we had closed down the restaurant and dropped a fair amount of cash (and thanks to all of my incredible dining companions, again, for buying me my birthday dinner...I appreciate it so, so much...I was so happy you all could come celebrate with me!), but, we decided to grab a glass of wine at Daryl Wind Bar before heading home. As I found out at 5 am the next morning, that was the fateful mistake. But, enough about that...moving on.

The next day, I had a few people over to play Wii, eat salted meats, and become a party to my general merriment and debauchery. Unfortunately the mood was dampened by my computer malfunctioning, blue screen-ing, then not working. FFFFF you, Dell. F.

Broken Computer (yes, this is the same one I just wrote about)

But, as you know, two of the best ways to cheer me up? TablesKaping and MEAT!
The SKape:

The key items of a traditional sKape are clearly visible, a lemon and a really poor, artist's rendering of Rachael Ray. I think we actually added a few bottle of llllllliquor to the sKape by the end of the evening. As we all know, Aunt Sandy wouldn't have it any other way. Also pictured, my phone, Buzz Lightyear, a Hello Kitty doll (referenced here), and a Hello Kitty coloring/activity book.** Yes, the book is mine, not a small child's. Leave me alone.


This is pretty much self-explanatory. Prosciutto, salammi, sopressata...

And that was my birthday. Filled with wine, meats, desserts, and most importantly, cheeses. Well, maybe I should say instead, my awesome friends.

*By fancy, I mean not the usual scrubby clothes I wear to the lab.
**Which reminds me, I need to buy some crayons