Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm constantly amazed

at how hard it is for so many people to say, "I was wrong." Many of us would have enough spare time to take up a new hobby if accepting personal responsibility wasn't so hard for most folks. The energy that businesses expend dancing around errors and the sources of the responsibility for them could power a small country's economy. Relationships would be healthier, or at least move faster to wherever they're going, if accepting blame wasn't more difficult for most people than beating Michael Jordan in a slam-dunk contest while wearing concrete boots. We certainly could help ourselves and the U.S. economy if we could learn to say or write those three words when appropriate, then move on.

End of mini rant.

And, for those who will inevitably ask, no one recent event led to this entry; it comes from a build-up over time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sarah sent it to me

and once I played it, I knew I needed to share it with you.

He is, after all, The Boss.

Speaking of Sarah, if you're not reading her short pieces over at A Year In Prose, you're missing out on some lovely writing. Yeah, I'm her dad, so I'm biased, but I'm also right.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The first comic book I ever ordered by mail

and for which I paid more than the cover price was X-Men #2. It's probably no surprise, therefore, that I am way past excited at the prospect of seeing this movie.

Oh, hell, yeah.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You lookin' at me?

Earlier today, for business reasons I had to wear to an off-site engagement the suit I purchased recently. I then returned to the office so the folks there could see that I could in fact dress like a banker if need be. To be more accurate, I can dress like one of those movie bad-guy Swiss bankers who's keeping stolen Nazi money and about to have his burly henchmen kill you.

Don't believe me?

See for yourself.

If Travis Bickel gained a bunch of weight and put on a suit for his crazy shouting-at-himself-in-the-mirror scenes, you know he'd look just like that.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I don't know why

but this song from Monsters of Folk has been running around in my head for a little while now. Go figure.

Of course, that song led my mind to this completely different and yet related tune.

What can I say? It's not always a reasonable brain.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yes, we went there

In a recent post, I mentioned the corntastic porndog. Last night, we held our usual Super Bowl commercials party, in which we fast-forward through the game but watch the commercials. In preparation for it, Jennie and I decided we had to step up to the challenge and make our own corntastic porndogs.

So we did.

The recipe was a bit light on details, but we decided that didn't matter; we were after the spirit of the corntastic porndog, not any particular implementation of it.

We began, of course, by warming up ten hot dogs, frying a pound of bacon, and wrapping the dogs in the bacon. Rather than going with the recipe's single piece of bacon per dog, however, we turned up the amp and wrapped two pieces of bacon around each tube steak. We didn't have toothpicks, but no such simple deficiency was going to derail this gourmet train, so we cut thin wooden skewers into irregular pseudo-picks. They were big and ugly, but they worked.

As you can see from these two photos, the result was two plates of bacon-and-dog goodness. Never mind the pieces of wood protruding everywhere at odd angles; we were confident those would somehow turn from merely weird to oddly endearing.

In parallel, we prepared cornmeal batter. Rather than keep the diced peppers (we went for mild jalapenos) separate, however, we mixed them right into the batter. We were nothing if not efficient!

I'm still not sure if the resulting batter looks good or like something the cat left, but appearance alone was not going to deter us! It was time for the dredging!

Watch the little meaty beasty enter the batter bath.

It looks even better emerging from its soak.

Oh, yeah, that's appetizing.

A few minutes in the fryer, though, and you get this lovely snack.

Admit it: you want one.

Not convinced? Stare upon the pan of all ten and fill the food lust flood your heart!

Sure, they look more like biowaste than food, but that proved to be no problem for the brave eaters at the party; we consumed them all.

In case you're wondering, they tasted pretty good.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Mechanic

If you like watching Jason Statham alternately kicking ass and skulking about, making the most of his three expressions (pissed off, smirking, and the rare laughing), and if you bring to each Statham film the requisite dump-truck-sized load of suspension of disbelief, then you will enjoy this movie. I did. It wasn't up to the best of the Statham films, which for my money would be the first Transporter, but it was fun.

I do have to warn you that Ben Foster, who plays his protege, is a walking heap of annoying suck. With each passing moment that he was on the screen, I found myself wishing ever more fervently that Statham would kill him.

As you can tell, The Mechanic is not a good movie, but it is a decent bad movie. If you enter it with the right expectations, you can have a very good time watching it.

The movie does beg a comparison with the original, of course, and to do that, I have to discuss their endings. If you don't want a spoiler, stop reading now.

This film is, as you'd expect, far slicker and more loaded with special effects than the original. Statham is far, far more athletic and well-built than Bronson. Foster is grimier and more annoying than Jan Michael Vincent. All of that is pretty much what you'd expect. What I found interesting was how the modern cult of celebrity and desire for sequels affected this newer version.

The original is a morality play in which all the players are bad, and all suffer. In the end, they all die, even Bronson, the hero. Given that we're discussing hit men, that seems morally appropriate.

In the new one, all the players are bad, and all suffer--but Statham survives. Sure, he's been duped into killing both his friend and his protege's father, and he also kills his protege, but at the last second we learn (as if we hadn't already figured it out) that he rolled to safety. Of course he did. How else could there be a sequel? Perhaps more importantly, we as a culture seem to have made peace with very bad people as protagonists for whom we will cheer. We don't mind Statham surviving as long as he looks good and continues to kill only bad folks. I don't have a problem with that per se; in fact, my own Jon & Lobo series features a very bad man and an even more dangerous machine sidekick.

In this case, though, I preferred the original film's ending.


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