A place for anything and everything that comes to mind.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Feast On This

It's always been my goal to keep this blog upbeat, light, and positive. But even I have to vent sometimes. Please don't mind me, and don't think I'll make a regular thing of this. I don't want to become one of those evil-Sandra-Lee-like-haters, but tell me: Who's excited for Nigella to come to Food Network?

Nigella Lawson is the British version of Sandra Lee. Very skinny, low-cut tops (not in this pic, but at least she has on orange and blue), busty bust (look out Aunt Sandy--someone's gonna give you a run for your money on the beach), and bulging eyes so excited about the last dish she just prepared. I don't know if she loves the drinky, like Aunt Sandy, but I do know she has her own personal quirk: her uptight, posh accent. She has also coined herself "the domestic goddess." Ugh.

Oh, I know some of the peeps out there will be thrilled with her. "She's so Britishy and cute!" some will say. I have seen clips of her shows while in Scotland, and I've looked through a couple of her cookbooks. She always seems so stuck up and full of herself (oops, that was repetitive, wasn't it?). All's I want to know is where is my Jamie Oliver??? He still does shows in the UK. Why didn't FN air his four-part series on school lunches and how to make them healthier? It was groundbreaking important food information our country needed to hear. Why do they only show him at 3 am every other Friday?

So many people are going to hate on me after this post, but like I said, this griping won't be a habit. You'll also probably think me a hypocrite for loving Brit chef, Oliver, and hating Brit Sandra Lee, Lawson. To appease you, I'll tell you the time of her new show: Nigella Feasts will air at 1pm/noon central starting Sunday, October 1. Maybe I'll try her out, try to get over this dislike of her, but I can't promise you anything.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Denny Crane Wins Again

Well, I was going to sit down and watch the second episode of "Smith" (see last Wednesday's post as to why this viewing was in jeopardy) but after checking in on "The Denny Crane Show" (ie, "Boston Legal"), I decided to stick with the Shat. It once again delivered Shatriffic giggles galore in the first four minutes alone, and James Spader now has someone to challenge him for speedy banterist, in newcomer Craig Bierko. I think he talks even quicker and slicker, in addition to spewing forth even more covert insults per second than our beloved Spader.

My brother finds the show pedantic, boring, juvenile...Actually, I don't know why he doesn't like it; he just doesn't. He's lame. I'm looking forward to this new season, and I might try to wrestle the first season away from Blockbuster for some weekend viewings. (Yeah, I'm sure I'll have to beat down quite a few Trekkies for rental privileges.) The episode ended with Spader's promise that "these are juicy days at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt." Oh, I hope he's right. And I can't wait to see that devil midget cut Denny down to size (yes, every pun was intended).

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rediscovered Country

I have a confession to make: Up until a month ago, I didn't read everyday. I'm an English teacher, and yet I found it difficult to "find time" to read everyday. I felt like a hypocrite; an ugly, pathetic excuse for a teacher of Literature. Ah, how my cunning plan has done more for me than I ever dreamed!

What was that cunning plan, you may ask? I made a deal with my Honors Reading Class that they had to read 30 minutes a day, I had to read 30 minutes a day, and if I didn't they got a night off. Why didn't I think of this before? I'm so excited about my daily reading! I'm such a dork, and I wanted to share with you my rediscovered country of daily reading!

Well, I'll keep confessing, since I started. Um, yeah, I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm reading it now, and I now realize why Bruce Willis and Demi Moore named one of their daughters after Mockingbird's pint-size heroine, Scout. (I still don't know where they got Rumer, though.) I'm in love with the Finch family, and I want to be just like Atticus when I grow up. I'm half-way through the book, and I still can't believe I've never read it before. It's so glorious. Harper Lee's style is so simple and bold at the same time. Where was I in high school? Where was my head during my independent reading in college? I don't know, but I'm making up for lost time.

I also recently read Lord of the Flies, but I wasn't so impressed. I just didn't "get it." Maybe I'll re-read All the King's Men next, but the movie looks, well, completely underwhelming. Have you read that!?! Ohmygosh, I've only read it once (when I was 17), but I still haven't forgotten it. (Thank you, Susan Weber!) That book had some of the most detailed descriptions of the deep south ever. I found myself completely immobilized by the idea of oppressive Louisiana heat as I read it. It was absolutely spellbinding. Go read it...NOW!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Thank You

Y'all are too nice, cause you've read my Clarkie blog. I'm just so glad you've read it and appreciated it. It helped me remember my awesome uncle without grief, and I hope it helped some of you do the same. I have received some flak from other uncles for calling Clark my favorite uncle. Let me revise my statement for you: He was my favorite uncle who was 55. Better? ;)

Today was the memorial service, and we had a time crying and remembering and loving him. It was a great service. Kendra and company put
together a beautiful slide show set to Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic." It was a touching day.

On the way home we stopped at McDonald's, and I got a Big Mac. My first one in three years. After my great-grandmother died, I went to McD's with Clark, Carla, Kendra, and my mom. I didn't want to eat, cause I was so sad. Clark told me to eat a Big Mac anyway; it would make me feel better. After that first bite I realized how hungry I was and gobbled it up. To this day I always want a Big Mac after funerals. That must be some sort of Pavlovian thing.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Uncle Clar, the Big O.C., Uncle Snork, Clahkie

Top 10 Reasons Clarkie’s the Coolest

  1. He was the most compassionate, welcoming person EVER.
  2. 2 words: Vietnam Vet.
  3. No one can sling breakfast burritos better than Clark. Oh, and they tasted deeeee-lectable, too.
  4. He never got the chance, but he could’ve totally hung with Eddie Vedder.
  5. He was ready to paint bedrooms however you wanted ‘em, even if that meant purple, teal, and Joe’s name in huge NKOTB block letters.
  6. Need an Elvis Crown Electric shirt? Clar was your man…and it was FREE.
  7. He rocked his ‘stache almost as hard as Tom Selleck (hey, is it a coincidence Magnum was a Vietnam vet, too?).
  8. He owned a frickin’ RV.
  9. He was so awesomely cool that he needed over 20 nicknames (some of which are in my title).
  10. Um, helloooo, best uncle ever. That should be enough.
(P.S. I know I've forgotten something, so give me more to add.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Else is New?

#1: How's Tumberfoot's new album you ask? Um, glorious. Just go out and buy it. Pay particular attention to track 8, "Darn* Girl." It's my favorite so far!

*No swearing on this blog, so you can figure out what the real word is if you think really hard.

#2: Did you see "Smith" last night? This is CBS' new thief show starring Ray Liotta. Oh, I love me some Ray. Ever since "Goodfellas" he's been one of my favorites. I knew I would have to deal with Virginia Madsen, who's not overtly offensive, but just covertly offensive (as in you don't really know why she is, but she is). Here's the great surprise, though: Mr. Jonny Lee Miller.

Yup, my favorite Hacker and the one heroin addled character from "Trainspotting" who wasn't emaciated enough to look like one. So, what's this show got going for it? Liotter and Miller. What's against it? The ever dwindling creativity and thought put into new shows bursting with all-star casts. (I mean, did you see "The Unit" last season? You think Dennis Haysbert AND the T-1000? Awesome! Wrong; it was pretty boring, pretty fast.) The first episode was okay. I kept going through it off the sheer rush from seeing Jonny Lee. The action does need a little help next week if they want to keep me bitin'. One thing I do have to say: For professional thieves, these buddies really screwed up their job last night! They ended up killing a rent-a-cop and almost getting caught. I suppose even the boys from "Heat" had some troubles, too.

We're Back

Rough times had fallen on BingBongBoom, but we're up and running once again. Let's face it: there aren't many of you readers out there anyway, but for you faitful few, we're back.

So much has happened...not to dwell, but my beloved uncle, Clarkie, passed away, leading to our short vacation. Look for a post just for him soon. I think he might have thought it funny to be the subject of a blog post. I miss ya, Clarkie.

What about that R-Squared??? It's all my boy, Jacob, can talk about at Food Network Addict. I got to see the last half of her third episode today. And, well, loud is an understatement. We all knew she was a hyper hypo, but Lord almighty! She's like me in my
classroom: totally cranked up on caffeine/sugar/probably crack/definitely EVOO. One of THE most awkward things I've ever seen took place on today's episode when she "crashed" the "CSI:NY" set. While she was talking to Gary Sinise, she kept staring at the camera, while he kept staring at her, barely getting out an audible nervous giggle. It was insanely bad. (Doesn't he look so excited?)

Right now she has three main websites running (heck, maybe more, for who can keep track?). Check out the first one for her magazine, which I still love. Check out the second one for her talk show related items, which I'm still not sure about. And, the third one, well, you can buy RayRay knives and microwaves there. Yum-O!
And for all of Food Network Addict's reviews, which are oh so pleasurable and comical to read, check this one out:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Baby Big Eyes

Seriously one of the most gorgeous babies I've ever seen. That's what happens when your parents are two of the most beautiful people God's created...or L. Ron in this case?

Suri's big baby eyes and cute little mouth are awesome. But the best part of her is on top: her shock of dark brown/black hair. Her hair's already perfectly grown in and coiffed. I just hope this child doesn't grow up in an ultra-cushioned, weirdo environment, as we've all been led to believe she will. I'm also naive enough to still hope this relationship of Cruise and Holmes is legit; it needs to be for the flak that is already falling on this baby's beautiful head.

Sorry it's taken so long to post this evidence of the Cruise baby. For more photos from the Leibovitz photo shoot click here (there are lots of comments on how the baby looks Asian and far too perfect at that website, insinuating she's a lab baby). For the CBS News article, try here (thank you, Katie Couric, for bringing this picture to the masses on Wednesday, Sept. 6).

Saturday, September 09, 2006


It's called Jungle Speed. It's the world's best game ever...period. Your goal is to get rid of all your cards. In order to do this, you must match cards with other players and race for a totem pole. What the heck? Totem pole? Match cards? You mean like Memory? Not exactly.

Violence will ensue. Laughter will then follow the violent flailing and racing for the pole. You may even start some tribal chants and songs to go along with your playing (or is our group the only one geeky enough for that?). You may even have to stitch up a few fingers and egos before the night is through. It sounds stupid, but give it a shot. Find someone with it, or just gamble and buy it yourself.

This is a great group game that's simple to learn and easy to transport from house to house. Start Jungle Speed potluck nights with your friends, and have the rip roarin-est best times ever. You'll only be disappointed if you're lame.

How Could She?

Whilst watching "Pretty in Pink" tonight, I'm again struck by how extemely stupid Andie is for choosing a guy named after a major appliance over a guy named after water fowl.

My vote is for Duckie everytime.

Duckie's devoted to Andie, mimes and dances Otis for Andie (in one of the best scenes in '80's film history that still makes me swoon), and yet he's okay choosing Kristy Swanson in the end? I much prefer the original ending, found on "Pretty in Pink: Everything's Duckie Edition," instead. But, on the other hand, I always imagine Duckie becoming this famous record producer of his own indie label, Andie and Blane getting in a wicked divorce (that went on for a very long time thanks to no prenup), and Duckie denying her when she crawls back. Don't furrow your brow that way: she would have deserved it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

I'm Imploring You... go to this website NOW!!!

I'll give you one reason why to go: WILLIAMfrickin'ZABKA.

You can vote for your favorite class president here, choosing from Zabka, Bill Haverchuk, Biff Tannen, Jerri Blank, and even STEVE HOLT. There are glorious campaign videos for each candidate, and you'll be rolling in the aisles, your chair, your sheets, or wherever it is you read this stuff. A lot of the candidates have been eliminated (including Billy Zabka, by Donnie Darko! *sigh*), but you can still watch their awesomely priceless campaign clips.

You won't be sorry!!!

It's Hip to be Square

Lots of music and '80's icons this week. YIPPEE!!!

I was toolin' around in the car the other day, boppin' to my CD of Huey Lewis and the News' greatest hits, and I thought to myself, "Where IS the love!?" You don't hear much about Huey Lewis and the News anymore. You don't see any True Hollywood Stories or Behind the Musics on them. I guess this is good, because it means they aren't controversial enough and haven't done many stupid things.

This band was my first concert. My mommy took me to see them at the Assembly Hall when I was six. We sat behind the stage, and I was so bummed, because the only thing I got to see was, well, Huey's bum. I had a huge crush on him, and I wanted to see his face. He came round to the back only three times. I remember enjoying the show, though. One of the best days ever was when my aunts, Barb and Becky, bought me a Huey Lewis and the News poster when I was sick. My dad tried to stick it to the wall of my room with that yellowy, sticky Elmer's glue, but it always fell down. I have many mementos from my youth still, but I miss that one greatly.

Anyway, rock out to the horns, snap your fingers to the beat, and relive the '80's with one of its best pop bands. Their sound was infused with horns and soul; that sound rocked my youth and still touches me today. I never get sick of their catchy hooks and Huey's ruggedly sweet voice. Check out their Greatest Hits (make sure to get this one, NOT "Time Flies," because this one doesn't have "Hip to be Square," "Jacob's Ladder," or "Back in Time"). I just wish they would release their videos on DVD. I loved "If This is It," with their heads stuck in the sand and the Jaws bit at the end!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jawdan the Tawrus

Cause VH-1's "Surreal Life" wasn't bad enough...

Thanks to my in-the-know Hollwood buddy, Catherine, I now have the responsibility of spreading the bad, sad news about my once favorite New Kid, Jordan Knight. Catherine has informed me that Jordan will be launching his newest CD of love songs on none other than QVC. Read the entire (short) article here.

I don't know what to say, people. We knew they were down, but that doesn't mean they have to be out. Jordan: you were once a sexy teen idol, even dubbed one of People's 50 Most Beautiful. Be happy with your former teen idol status and go buy some of your brother's, Jon, Boston property. He decided to take it easy, overcome his crippling fear of public places, and now sells real estate. Go, retire, let us remember you fondly bustin' a New Kid move, not whoring your goods on QVC to "middle aged housewives."

Oh, and if you miss his mega launch on QVC tomorrow, you can buy that CD of love songs on September 12. But, seriously, folks, I might actually tune in to that train wreck tomorrow night. I wonder when it's on???

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gods in My Country

My column on some of the entertainment guys I admire most continues today with my #1 entertainment hero, Michael J. Fox. I decided to talk about him on Labor Day, because he is still one of the hardest working people in the industry despite his battle with Parkinson's Disease.

"Family Ties" was one of my favorite shows growing up. Probably the best episode is "A, My Name is Alex," in which Alex P. Keaton must deal with the death of one of his best childhood friends, Greg (played by Brian McNamara). The episode aired in 1987, when I was 8: it made me bawl, and it won MJF an Emmy. By this time, we knew MJF was comically gifted; his timing was impeccable. We also knew he was able to rake in the box office bucks with flicks like "Teen Wolf" and the best movie of all time, "Back to the Future." But with "A, My Name is Alex," he showed his dramatic side, and if he was able to make an 8 year old cry, he deserved that Emmy. His performance in that episode was absolutely superb.

After "Ties" and "BTTF" trilogy ended, he kept up his work with small, quaint films like "Doc Hollywood," before moving back to the tube with "Spin City." This was another favorite sitcom of mine, and he once again showed his prowess for physical comedy. His timing was on, once again, and some of the best guest spots were the people he had previously worked with, like Meredith Baxter and Christopher Lloyd. The show also had an unbelievably wonderful supporting cast, like big Bear Bostwick, Alan "Cameron" Ruck, and Michael Boatman. When he quit the show in order to devote himself to full-time Parkinson's research, it was never the same (again proving my point that Charlie Sheen is not funny). However, he has popped up in some wonderful guest spots, like "Scrubs" as an OCD doctor. I felt so close to him when he took on the role of a doctor with major OCD, for mine is slowly starting to take over.

So, what is it about MJF? He has an everyman quality that is undeniable and that makes you think he would be positively awesome to hang out with. Maybe that's because of his humble Canadian origins. He always seems incredibly surprised by the honors he receives, and well, uh, he's just the coolest! Don't question me: his work is evidence enough for his god status in my country.

MJF Top 5:
1. Back to the Future Trilogy (don't even make me explain why)
2. Lucky Man (one of the best autobiographies ever written ever)
3. Family Ties (not available on DVD!?!?! WHY THE HECK NOT!?!?!)
4. Teen Wolf (oh, this movie rocks! and it proves that even someone who is 5'5" can be a star high school basketball player)
5. Spin City (a new MJF character for young folks like me: he wanted lots of sex! EGADS! he's human!)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

MTV Steps It Up

If you thought "Varsity Blues" was good, well you haven't seen MTV's "Two-a-Days: Hoover High" yet. This is the best MTV show since the first season of the "Real World."

"Two-a-Days" follows the 2005 football season of Hoover, Alabama's Hoover High Bucs. If you thought the tension was high in the best bad movie ever, "Varsity Blues," then you ain't seen nuthin' yet. High school football was fun: I loved going to the games, leading my friends in the stands in cheers, and painting my face with a big maroon C. But in Alabama, high school football is an obsessive religious cult. I can't possibly fathom why these young boys put their still-growing bodies through all the daily pain, and I really don't have a clue as to why they want to go through the daily mental abuse from coaches, parents, and classmates.

It's just so entertaining to watch this show! The 'Bama accents are thicker and creamier than Giada's newest batch of Nutella gellato. The parents want their kids to get scholarships, not to get a college education but to play more football. Alex, the one MTV has decided is their star, has the best Trump comb-over ever, and he isn't even bald. Alex also dates one of the varsity cheerleaders, Kristin: oh those two with their on again/off again high school love!

The show's absolutely spectacular. It's on Wednesdays after "Laguna Beach" at 9:30 (IL time), making this my brother's favorite hour on TV (until "Lost" comes back). Please check it out and oggle at this underbelly of American culture. If you don't have cable just go out and rent/buy "Varsity Blues," VDB's finest performance.

P.S. Because MTV has stupid Macromedia Flash Player for all of their pictures, I couldn't download any for this post. Please visit the website I have linked above to check out Alex' Trump-do. It's totally worth the time.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

This Just In...

...Felddog beat Haimster in a race for highest ranked Corey on VH-1's "100 Greatest Kid Stars."

Well, actually this wasn't "just in," but it was for me. VH-1's "100 Greatest Kid Stars" originally aired in 2005, but I saw it for the first time last night (how's that for a Friday evening?). I was impressed to see the two Coreys so high up in the rankings: Haim was at #26, while Feldman was at a very impressive #8 (Top 10, baby!).

I love the Coreys; always have. I loved their solo work, and when they first showed up together in "Lost Boys," the on-screen chemistry was undeniable. I was crushed when their addictions started to get the better of them. It was just such a predictable thing to happen to '80's teen idols, and I didn't want them to fall prey to this typical ending. It's encouraging to see Feldman still straight and sober (even though he hasn't had any work in a loooong time), but Haim needs a lot of help. The clips of him on the VH-1 special showed that he had gained even more weight since the filming of the extras on the "Lost Boys" special edition DVD. Anyone can gain a little weight, but he looked horribly bloated and unhealthy.

Maybe they were just meant to thrive in the '80's, like so many others. I just hope they look back at their films as fondly as I still do. Their movies were a staple of my youth, and much to the chagrin of Martin, they are still a staple of my early adulthood.

Haimster & Felddog Top 5:

1. The Goonies (if you haven't seen this, you're dead to me)
2. Dream a Little Dream (Haim has the best lines in this one, and Feldman's Michael Jackson dance is so eerily accurate that you start to wonder, "Just how much time did they spend together?")
3. Lost Boys (Coreys+Kiefer+Big Ed Herrmann=Box Office Gold)
4. License to Drive (thinking about this movie during my driving test is the reason I didn't get my license the first time around)
5. Lucas (keep your eyes peeled for Piven during the slow clap at the end)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Quote of the Day

"You have not lived 'til you've listened to the high speed police chase you're in on the radio in the car you're driving."

I'll trust you on that one, Dan.

Have You Visited This Website?

Way of the Master is where you need to go. This guy on the left, Mike Seaver, oh, um, Kirk Cameron, will teach you about life after death. Laugh if you want, but this is a man on a mission, and I can respect that. It's an important mission, even though it's made people freaked out by this one-time teen hearthrob (I know I still have the Scholastic paperback Kirk Cameron: Dream Guy from 3rd grade in my library).

Time to Move On?

As I mentioned twice before, I thought I'd watch the VMA's last night. Well, I was reading a really good book, so I passed. I did, however, set the old VCR (yes, I said VCR) to record the big shoow. I caught the last ten minutes of the pre-show as an added bonus, and I saw two dear, old friends.

Kurt & John. John & Kurt. Kurt Loder has been with MTV since 1988, leaving Rolling Stone to take part in this cutting edge TV/music forum. John Norris has graced the MTV news scene since 1990 (I believe; I can't find a definitive year for that, but I know Jacob can help me). It's comforting for me, and all mine I'm sure, to always tune in to the VMA's, Movie Awards, or an MTV News Special (Katrina last year, for instance), and see my good buddies. But, I'm sure when kids I teach tune in to the VMA's and see these old white guys, they be thinkin', "Who? What? Where's Sway?"

Do I love them? Yes. Should they still be on the MTV? Not sure. I guess I just don't understand why this channel, forever obsessively aimed at the youth market and striving to define youth culture, would keep these two stand-by's standing by. The format of the channel has gone down the drain, as far as I'm concerned (what? videos? that'sa crazy talk!), so maybe that's why they keep them around: for an ounce of validity. On the other hand, I have no idea why they would want to stick around.

When I caught Loder last night he looked so glazed over and pained listening to the overly enthusiastic SuChin Pak that he was ready to pummel her with his cushioned mic. It was actually one of the most awkward things I've ever seen, for you could virtually see the thought bubble popping up from his head, "Die stupid preppy, die." His fake laugh was also rather priceless. Norris, on the other hand, is always a great sport. He'll go where MTV sends him, he'll interview who they want him to, and he'll do it with a smile on his face. Although he has always seemed more upbeat and enthusiastic than Loder, I have to wonder if he's ready to move on. Perhaps both men just want to stick with the station that butters their bread. But I must ask: Is it time for them to move on? You decide.