Monday, January 30, 2006

Celebrity Schmuck Of The Month

You need to check out proof that Brad Pitt adopts a hairstyle to match whatever woman he is dating at the time. What a hammer.

UPDATE: Thanks Tubby for pointing out the bad link. Here is the right one.

Woe Is Mookie

We tried to give Mookie a gift this weekend - the gift of freedom. Little Mookie loves to run around our yard, but we usually have to keep a leash on her because she likes to run into the neighbor's yard and sniff around their barbecue. We also felt that she wasn't getting enough time outside, with the chance to run around and exercise. So this Saturday we spent most of the day installing an underground fence.

It was relatively easy to install, and I had it finished Sunday afternoon. Then it was time to start the training.

Basically, the training is that you allow the dog to wander towards the boundary, marked by white flags, until she gets a "correction" (i.e static shock), at which time you pull her back into the yard, praise her, give her a treat and then wiggle the flag to show her it was because she crossed the boundary that she got zapped. They say the system is safe for any dog over 8 pounds (Mookie is about 28 lbs.), but we tested the collar on ourselves and it is not pleasant!

I think we traumatized our dog! So far, she's been "corrected" (i.e. zapped) three times. She definitely does not like the zapping, but I don't think she is making the connection between getting shocked and the boundary. She is very cautious outside right now, because I think she is afraid this could happen at any time while outside. Usually I have to drag her back inside after a little while outside, but this morning she wanted to go back in as quick as possible!

Hopefully she will learn quickly, and learn that outside is still fun, as long as she stays within the boundary. I feel so guilty!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Real Ringer

This week I got a new cell phone, the Samsung a950. In addition to all the things a phone is supposed to do, it has a 1.3 megapixel camera and an mp3 player included. Pretty cool, huh?

The only problem with the 1.3 megapixel capability is that you can't send a picture that large over the airwaves. I took a picture at the camera's highest limits, but now the picture is just stuck in the phone, only viewable through the phone's 1 inch LCD display! I can't even transer the picture to my computer via a cable, like a regular digital camera. To transfer a picture, I need to buy a special $99 Trans Flash memory card and separately, a card reader to connect to a computer (I don't know how much that reader is). Okay, well that doesn't really bother me. I already have a decent digital camera, and at low settings, the phone's camera is useful for assigning pics to a person's phone number, or sending quick snapshots to friends.

The mp3 player would be okay, if I didn't already have an iPod, or was willing to shell out $2.50 per song.

What I DO like about the phone, besides that it looks cool, is the ability to record custom ringtones with the built-in microphone or through e-mail. Because of that feature, I finally have the ringtone I have always wanted, ever since I got my first cell phone - The original 1962 version of "Meet The Mets", the Mets' theme song. Heh, heh...

Speaking of the Mets, I started a new blog today, about what it's like to be a transplanted Mets fan. The url is Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Save CBGB's!

Wow. I just read that legendary Manhattan club CBGB's has announced it will close indefinitely on Halloween 2006. I don't know when this news broke, but I just read it on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

I had looked up CBGB because for some reason I was thinking of the place and I couldn't remember what the letters on the sign outside the club stood for. The letters on the awning are:


As it turns out, according to Wikipedia:

The full name is CBGB & OMFUG which stands for "Country, Bluegrass, and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers".

"And gormandizers is a voracious eater of, in this case, music." - Hilly Kristal, proprietor of CBGB.

CBGB's is most famous for being the place where The Ramones became famous. Since then, virtually every band who ever made it (as well as countless other bands who never made it), played at CBGB at one time in their careers. When I was in college my friends and I used to see shows there all the time. The first time I went there, I thought it was an absolute dive. I couldn't understand what the big deal was. I knew some big names had played there in the past, including Tom Petty, and that in some ways it was the birthplace of American punk rock, but when I looked around, all I could see was that the place was a wreck! Obviously I was not cool enough to appreciate what "punk rock" was all about. Heh, heh.

Anyway, regardless of what the place looks like, CBGB is a little piece of history of American music, and it will be a damn shame when it closes. The owners are working to find another location in Manhattan, or God forbid, Las Vegas. In the meantime, head down to CBGB while you still can. And you may want to ignore what the place looks like, but don't. Embrace it. Eventually I came to realize that true rock and roll isn't all polished and neat and shiny. It's all about the energy, and I've never been in a club with more energy than CBGB.


A Million Little Opinions

This month America went nuts over the revelation that some of the events in James Frey's memoir A Million Little Pieces were either exaggerated or completely made up. I didn't read the book after Oprah picked it for her Book Of The Month club, but my wife did. My wife loved the book and the message it conveyed. She was amazed when she saw James Frey appear on Oprah, amazed that a man who seemed so nice could have committed so the heinous acts described in the book.

So then The Smoking Gun comes out with these accusations, and James Frey appears on Larry King to defend himself. Oprah even calls into the show, defending Frey, and says this is all "much ado about nothing," because the message in the book is the message in the book, and people connected to the book, and whether or not things were exaggerated is irrelevant.

As I said, I didn't read the book, so I can't say if it would matter to me to find out events described in the book did not exactly happen as written.

I did, however, read a memoir by Dave Eggers titled A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius. This book was suggested to me by based on earlier purchases, and was given to me as a gift by a co-worker this past Christmas. I read about the critical acclaim for the book and that it was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. I had become somewhat of a fan of Eggers through his website, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, so I was excited to read his bestseller.

I was disappointed by AHWOSG. The first half was quite compelling, but the narrative completely fell apart for me midway through, as the story of a young man attempting to raise his orphaned younger brother was interrupted by other, extraneous, stories, especially of the launch of Might Magazine and Eggers' attempts to become a castmember of The Real World.

I recently read that James Frey was also disappointed by Eggers book:

"A book that I thought was mediocre was being hailed as the best book written by the best writer of my generation. F**k that. And f**k him and f**k anybody who says that. I don't give a f**k what they think about me. I'm going to try to write the best book of my generation and I'm going to try to be the best writer."

And this was before all the criticism levied at Frey. Before Pieces even came out! Now, looking back, it's quite ironic that AHWOSG was the target of Frey's attack. Like Pieces, Eggers' book was also a memoir, but there were events in the book that also were clearly embellished, exaggerated, and convoluted. As a reader, there was no doubt that Eggers had drifted into fiction territory. Even more of a difference however, is that Eggers wrote extremely explicit disclaimers to these passages in the book's foreword. At the time, these drawn out disclaimers seemed odd to me, as some sort of literary device, or an attempt to add humor to the story of what had been a traumatic part of his life.

Now though, as Frey defends his work as a memoir that was not meant to be taken as an autobiographical exact account of events, he must be haunted by his attacks on AHWOSG, a memoir whose author went to great lengths to precisely explain where he had drawn lines between fiction and non-fiction.

In summation, I somewhat agree with Frey's assessment of AHWOSG, but I think he should regret making it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Everyone's Favorite Long Islanders

Like many other 17 year old male Long Islanders at the time, I had a minor obsession with "The Long Island Lolita," Amy Fisher back in the early 1990's. Well, Amy went away for awhile, then resurfaced a few years back when she got out of prison. She landed a job as a columnist for the The Island Ear, and appeared on Oprah Winfrey last year to talk about the whole ordeal (and to promote her autobiography). Meanwhile, Joey and Mary Jo divorced, with Joey he moving out to Hollywood to try and pursue an acting career. So far, not much has happened there.

Well, I guess the trio feels they haven't received enough publicity, because they've gotten together to plan a TV reunion!

"It's been nearly 15 years, so it's time to just put it behind us," Fisher, now 31, told the New York Post.

Why is it that some people think the best way to "put something behind them," is to appear on national television to talk about it?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Myth Busters

If you ever get an e-mail forwarded to you with a story of a missing kid, or a scandalous statement by a politician, or a call to boycott a store because of a particular policy, it's a good idea to try and find out if the information is true before continuing the e-mail chain. The easiest way to do this is to go to Google and type in the word "snopes" and a key phrase from the e-mail, like the name of the missing kid or the damning phrase uttered by the famous person. Most likely your search will bring you to, a site dedicated to the topic of urban legends. They are really good at investigating the veracity of stories that are circulating.

Here's one example:


Claim: Designer Tommy Hilfiger shocked the world when he appeared on a television talk show and said, "If I knew that blacks and Asians were going to wear my clothes, I would have never designed them."

Status: False
Rumors that Tommy Hilfiger made a racist remark exploded onto the Internet in the fall of 1996 after a news article purporting to be from a Philippines tabloid began making the online rounds. One version had him saying, "If I knew that blacks and Asians were going to wear my clothes, I would have never designed them." More colorful renditions had him making his shocking revelation on national TV and Oprah Winfrey then throwing him off her show. (Oddly enough, the same story has been told about Liz Claiborne since 1991, that Oprah threw her off the show after Liz claimed she didn't design for Black women as "their hips are too big." That didn't happen either.

A 1997 newspaper article debunking this tale noted:

In one cybermyth, Hilfiger supposedly told style reporter Elsa Klensch of CNN that he didn't think Asians looked good in his clothes. Then, as the story morphed, he told Winfrey the same thing about Blacks, at which point she threw him off the set.

Yet representatives of both shows deny Hilfiger ever appeared as a guest.

A 1999 article also carried denials from officials of the shows on which the incident is rumored to have taken place:

"Tommy Hilfiger has never appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show," said Audrey Pass, a spokeswoman for Winfrey. "Hilfiger's never appeared on CNN Style with Elsa Klensch," said Kathy Park of CNN.

Oprah herself did what she could to quell this slander. On Monday, 11 January 1999, she opened her show by adamantly denouncing the rumor, emphatically stating the following:

So I want to just set the record straight once and for all. The rumor claims that clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger came on this show and made racist remarks, and that I then kicked him out. I just want to say that is not true because it just never happened. Tommy Hilfiger has never appeared on this show. READ MY LIPS, TOMMY HILFIGER HAS NEVER APPEARED ON THIS SHOW. And all of [the] people who claim that they saw it, they heard it — it never happened. I've never even met Tommy Hilfiger.

Here's another one.

Claim: Diamond Pet Brands dog food has caused canine deaths.

Status: True.
Origins: A voluntary recall involving a number of Diamond Pet Foods products is in effect in 24 states (Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia). The recall has been issued because dogs in 22 states have died as a result of ingesting this brand's product that had been contaminated with Aflatoxin.

Okay, one more...

Claim: Cell phone users must register their numbers with the national "Do Not Call" directory to prevent their cell phone numbers from being released to telemarketers.

Status: False.

Greetings To All of My Friends and Family

In just 4 days from today all U. S. cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketing companies and you will begin to receive sales calls. You will be charged for these calls! Even if you do not answer, the telemarketer will end up in your voice mail and you will be charged for all of the minutes the incoming (usually recorded) message takes to complete. You will then also be charged when you call your voice mail to retrieve your messages.

To prevent this, call 888-382-1222 from your cell phone. This is the national DO NOT CALL list; it takes only a minute to register your cell phone number and it blocks most telemarketers calls for five years.

In case you have friends other than me, pass this on to them.

Origins: Despite dire warnings about the imminent release of cell phone numbers to telemarketers that continue to be circulated via e-mail year after year, no such thing is about to occur, nor do cell phone users have to register their cell phone numbers with the national Do Not Call registry before a soon-to-pass deadline to head off an onslaught of telemarketing calls. The panic-inducing e-mails (which circulate especially widely every January, since many versions of the warning list the end of that month as a cut-off date for registering cell phone numbers with the national Do Not Call registry) have grown out of a misunderstanding about the proposed creation of a wireless directory assistance service.

Here's the truth:

A national directory will be compiled, but numbers will be included on an opt-in basis. If a cell phone subscriber does nothing, the number will not be listed. When the directory is ready, it will be available only as part of the existing 411 directory service, accessed by calling in and asking for a specific number. It will not be published in a book or on the Internet. And it will not be sold to telemarketers.

Cell phone subscribers can list their numbers on the do-not-call registry if they choose, but there is no deadline to get on the list, as the e-mail messages now circulating suggest

Some versions of the exhortation to cell phone users to add their names to the Do Not Call Registry erroneously state there is a specific deadline for getting listed. Says Lois Greisman, the Federal Trade Commission official who oversees the anti-telemarketing registry: "There is no deadline; there never has been a deadline to register."

Adding one's cell phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry won't have any adverse effect, but customers should be aware of exactly what that action will and will not accomplish.

Updates: Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular Corp. have always declined to participate in the proposed cell phone directory, and initial partners Sprint Corp. and Alltel Corp. have since pulled away from the project due to concerns about bad publicity and possible new government regulations. So, as of January 2005, even if the cell phone directory database were compiled as planned, at least 45% of U.S. cell phone numbers wouldn't be included.

So, there you go. Lets end the misinformation together!

Check out these investigations of e-mails you may have gotten recently:

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Top V TV Shows

Here are my 5 favorite shows on TV:

1. 24 (FOX)
2. Lost (ABC)
3. The Office (NBC)
4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force (TOON)
5. Family Guy (FOX)

Sorry, CBS, I did really like "Everybody Loves Raymond," I'm just not a 'CSI' kind of guy.

Nine Tonight

Don't bother rearranging your schedule to watch tonight's 8PM broadcast of Lost. That episode is actually a rerun of last week's 9PM episode. Instead, wait, have a late dinner, and tune in at 9PM tonight, when the new episode airs.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dating Drew Barrymore

Oh! I almost forgot the other movie we rented this weekend... There is a documentary out called "My Date With Drew," which chronicles the adventures of Brian Herzlinger as he attempts to meet, and secure a date, with his longtime crush, Drew Barrymore. On it's own, the movie is just "okay," I give it a B-," but we found it really funny for some personal reasons.

Firstly, way back in the day, my friend Tubby and I once made a movie called "I Won't Back Down," which was a goofy comedy chronicling my (fictional) attempts to meet Tom Petty and get him to perform a song I wrote for him. A song called "Devil Dogs."

Okay, now the other reason that "Drew" was so enjoyable was the fact that Brian H. appears to be the long-lost, separated-at-birth, twin brother of my good friend Scott. Not only do they look alike, but the mannerisms, expression, and personality are dead-on as well. Even if you don't know my friend Scott, perhaps you will still be amazed by the physical resemblence:

24 is back!

I was a little unsure about this season of '24,' my favorite show on television. The reason is that this season Jack Bauer is a man who is supposed to be dead, so I was afraid the show would go in a weird, Michael Knight-type direction. But I was not disappointed in the least by last night's two-hour premiere. Even if you missed it, now is the time to get on board by watching tonight's two-hour "part two" of the premiere.I've said this before, but '24' is essentially "Die Hard: The TV Series. If you enjoyed those films, you will love this show.

The show is supposed to take place in a real-time format, but if you try to analyze all the times where characters must be using teleporters to get from one place to another for it to actually be "real-time" you'll make yourself crazy and distract yourself from the action and drama.

Last night Jack's daughter Kim was mentioned but not seen, so I can only hope this season marks the return of Elisha Cuthbert.

More movies

The Dukes Of Hazzard: At the suggestion of my good buddy Tubby, I rented The Dukes Of Hazzard last week. I thought Willie Nelson was funny in his role as Uncle Jesse, and Burt Reynolds was a fine choice for a slimmer, more evil, Boss Hogg. I was also very happy to see Flash, even if Roscoe P. Coltrane was meaner than I remember him to be. Johnny Knoxville was surprisingly good in this movie as Luke Duke. I never would have guessed he could act! Sean Willams Scott did an acceptable job as Bo. As for Jessica Simpson, well, I don't think she had two dozen lines in the entire movie so I can't rip apart her acting apart too badly. Essentially she was just there to walk around in sexy outfits, which she did very well. Of course, my favorite part of the movie was this exchange of dialogue:

Boss Hogg: Do you really think you can fix this thing (The General Lee)?

Cooter: Well, I'm fixing to fix her.

Hogg: You couldn't fix an election if your brother was the governor!

I also was happy to see a guy wearing a Full Moon Fever T-shirt throw a hot dog at a guy wearing an armadillo hat. That was pretty damn funny. Especially because I'm pretty sure I once have had a hot dog thrown at me while I was wearing a Tom Petty shirt.

The Dukes of Hazzard makes for a good rental if you don't want to think too much.
Grade: B

Munich: On the completely other end of the spectrum, the latest film from Steven Spielberg takes a look at the aftermath of the massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. I thought the movie was a bit long, and though I haven't read any other reviews to corroborate my theory, but to me the movie seemed to be a statement about the aftermath of 9/11. This is in line with something my wife said she was once told by a professor: A historical movie often says just as much about the time period in which it was made as it does about the film's subject.
Grade: B

(By the way, It feels a bit weird to give identical ratings to a brainless comedy and a movie that could be considered Oscar-worthy, but I need to judge films within their own category. Catch my drift?)

I have seen a lot of movies lately, but the cool thing is that I haven't paid full price for any movie since King Kong. The reason is that at the theatre I live near they are very generous when it comes to matinees. We saw Munich on Saturday at 4:50PM and only paid the matinee price of $5.50. Any movie before 5:00, any day of the week, is a matinee. We literally paid more for the snacks at the concession stand! Also, gift cards for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video are beautiful things.

That's all for now. But we also rented Million Dollar Baby, so look for a review later this week!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Camaro Pics

Check out pics of the new Camaro from the North American International Auto Show:

Click here for slideshow

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

24 starts Sunday!

Did you know that '24' star Elisha Cuthbert has a blog? About hockey???

Watch the two hour premiere of '24' this Sunday night, and then the next two hours on Monday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Recent Movies

Blogging has been light this month because I simply haven't been inspired by anything enough to post a note about it. More to come, though! In the meantime, here are some short takes on some movies and DVDs I've recently watched:

Fever Pitch: This movie was excellent. I laughed throughout the movie, and I must admit I cried at the end (not when guy got girl - when the Red Sox won!). I think it would be best appreciated by a die-hard baseball fan, like myself, or the significant other of a die-hard baseball fan, like my wife. Drew Barrymore is rather lousy in this movie, but it didn't hurt the film overall.
Grade: A-

Cinderella Man:
Much better than I expected. This is much more than a boxing movie, even though it happens to be a very good boxing movie. But it is also a look at what life was like in New York during the depression. I would give it an "A" except Renee Zelwegger got on my nerves quite a bit.
Grade A-

Must Love Dogs:
In all fairness, I can only give a review for the first 20 minutes of this movie. It was so painful that I had to turn it off. Unlike Mses. Barrymore and Zelwegger, I really like Diane Lane and I don't dislike John Cusack, but the dialog in this movie is so atrocious that even Oscar winners couldn't deliver them with conviction. If anyone was able to sit through this train wreck and would like to give me their take, please post a comment.
Grade: F / Incomplete

Broken Flowers:
You may not have heard of this film, which I assume went direct to DVD, but I picked it up on a whim at the video store. This is a low-budget, independent film, and stars Bill Murray. I liked this movie a lot, though it may not be for everyone. It's oddly paced, and doesn't have a typical Hollywood-ending, but all in all it is a nice break from the usual fare.
Grade: B+

Rumor Has It: The concept for this film makes for a funny premise. It's sort of a sequel to The Graduate. The film is amusing enough, but for a movie that pays homage to such a great film, I was really annoyed at some very sloppy editing. Several times during the film, when there was a conversation between two actors, it was extremely obvious that when the character who had her back to you was talking, the vocal track was from a different take. The facial movements did not line up at all, and there were audio cues to tip you off as well. This may seem like nitpicking, but I found it very distracting, and one of the people who was with me noticed it as well. It made a mediocre film even worse. Kevin Costner sucked too, as usual.
Grade: C

Fun With Dick and Jane: The trailers looked like Dick and Jane would be a lot of fun, but unfortunately this movie was seriously lacking in the areas of both "fun" and "funny." Jim Carrey tries really hard to carry this very flat film, but to no avail. Ultimately, it may have been that the movie's theme (people losing their jobs and pensions due to corporate bankrupty caused by executive fraud) is just too serious a topic to get enough laughter.
Grade: C-

Thursday, January 05, 2006


It's been a while since I was able to stay awake late enough to watch Late Show, but I found this excerpt from the transcript of Bill O'Reilly's appearance amusing:


O'REILLY: I had a nice winter solstice, yes.


O'REILLY: You can't say Christmas.

LETTERMAN: You can't say Christmas? Why is that?

O'REILLY: Because it's politically incorrect. And we did a lot of reporting on this. And that was a big thing that we were doing leading up to the -- while you were in St. Bart's, we were leading up to the Christmas holiday by saying, "Hey, how come we can't say Christmas?

LETTERMAN: I wasn't aware that you couldn't say "Christmas." When did this happen?

O'REILLY: Sears-Kmart started it. They said, "No more Christmas. It's all Happy Holidays or Winter Solstice. I actually got a card from a friend of mine that said, "Have a blessed winter." I live in New York. You know what you can do with your blessed winter, you know what I'm talking about it? Are you with me, Dave?

LETTERMAN: I wasn't aware that this had happened.

O'REILLY: You weren't aware of the big, giant controversy over Christmas?

LETTERMAN: Well, I ignore stuff like that. It doesn't really affect me. I go ahead and do what I want to do. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah.

O'REILLY: Here's why it matters.


O'REILLY: You with me on this?


O'REILLY: OK. Ridgewood Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The song "Silent Night"? "Silent Night," you know? Knocked out the words and told the little kids to sing, "Cold in the night, no one in sight. Winter winds whine and bite. How I wish I was happy and warm, safe with my family out of the storm." They replaced the words to "Silent Night" with that.

Now, with all due respect, I even think the baby Jesus would say, "Give me a break." You know? You want another one?

LETTERMAN: No, but what -- I don't -- but what does this prove? It proves that community of...

O'REILLY: It proves there are pinheads at the Ridgewell Elementary School in Wisconsin. That's what it proves. Here's another one. You want another one, or are you bored with this?

LETTERMAN: I kind of think we should -- I mean, but isn't this the kind of thing where, like, once or twice every 20 years, somebody gets outraged and says, "Oh my God, we've got to put diapers on horses."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Worst Christmas Gift Ever!

I always resented the popularity of Sesame Street's Elmo. As a kid, my fave character was Grover, and I was annoyed that his glory was cast aside when the Sesame Streeters colored him orange and had him neutered to create the high-strung Elmo character. After reading this article, I'm convinced that the little bastard is evil!

Family members said 16-month-old Miranda Boll's new book, "Potty Time With Elmo," was supposed to teach an interactive lesson using voice commands.

However, when the book's buttons are pressed, it reportedly says something it is not supposed to -- "who wants to die?"

Nice, Elmo. Real Nice. You don't hear Super Grover making those kinds of comments!

Mike V and Annie's Beer, Cheese, and Potato Soup

Made this last night. Mmmmmm...

Annie and Mike V's Beer, Cheese, and Potato Soup
(serves 8)

5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small onion, diced
12 oz. bottle of Amstel Light (or beer of choice)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 can of corn
2 lbs. Velveeta, cubed
salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Put the potatoes and 1 cup cold water in a microwaveable bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Vent the plastic wrap with a fork or knife. Microwave on high for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

2. In a large pot, saute the garlic and onions in olive oil on medium/high heat.

3. Add potatoes and the water they steamed in.

4. Add beer, chicken broth, and just enough water to cover potatoes (about two cups)

5. Add flour, corn starch, celery, salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Stir regularly to prevent potatoes from sticking to the bottom and burning.

6. Once liquid has begun to thicken, add milk and corn. Cook at medium heat for about two or three more minutes.

7. Reduce heat to low, and add Velveeta cheese. Stir continuously to prevent cheese from burning in bottom of pot. I like to add more black pepper at this point.

8. Be patient and wait for more thickening! We are looking for a nice, thick chowder here. Once the soup is really nice and thick you are ready to serve.

Best served with warm biscuits.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Top V Films of 2005

Here are the 5 best movies I saw in 2005. I didn't see a TON of movies last year, but of the ones I did see, these are the ones I liked best:

1. Hotel Rwanda
2. Batman Begins
3. March Of The Penguins
4. Wedding Crashers
5. Sin City

Honorable Mentions:

The 40 Year Old Virgin
The Family Stone

War Of The Worlds
(Because of how much of a jerk Tom Cruise is, I really did not want to see this film, but the special effects were the best I've ever seen, and I just have to admit Mr. Cruise is a really good actor.)

Other Movie I Must Mention:

Fever Pitch
- I have not actually seen this movie - I avoided it because I thought known Mets fan Jimmy Fallon was a traitor for celebrating on the field when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, but then I found out that was part of the filming of this movie (in the script of which the Red Sox lose and agonizing defeat but the movie had to be altered due to actual events) and everyone who knows me says I should go see this because I'll love it. I plan on renting it soon!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Top V Books of 2005

Happy New Year!

Here are the 5 best books I read in 2005:

1. Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
2. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
3. Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner
4. The Bad Guys Won! by Jeff Pearlman
5. America The Book by Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show

Honorable Mentions:
Cradle To Cradle by McDonough and Braungart
Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
Superstud by Paul Feig
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown