Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top 5 Snacks

I’m at work at the time I'm writing this and usually, I don’t snack a whole lot at work. I try to alternate between water and coffee to keep something in my mouth and maybe eat a piece of fruit or a few licorice twists (which I’ve just recently fallen in love with) if I have it and am getting hungry. It’s odd to say but in general, I’m not much of a snacker for an overwieght person. You know me, bucking stereotypes left and right.

There is a clarification to be made. I should say that I’m not much of an active snacker. I don’t normally go out of my way to get a snack or have a snack. However, if I’m at a person’s house and snacks are out, I tend to snack alot. If I’m having a party and I put out snacks, I tend to hover around them. Good thing I don’t have a lot of parties.

The place I do the most snacking is on trips. On the train or bus home to Detroit, I’m almost non-stop eating. I’ll buy some chips or candy or something, try to stick a piece of fruit in there, and then also buy some sort of entree for the beginning of the ride. It probably comes from having nothing else to do except watch movies and eat. Again, lucky I don’t travel alot.

Now that I’ve made those disclaimers, I’m currently snacking. I had a feeling today was going to be an “I’ll need a snack” kind of day. I went with one of my absolute favorites , the number one on my …

Top 5 Snacks

1. Sesame Sticks

I’m not all together sure what these guys are, but man are they delicious. I’m looking at the ingredients on the little bag I got at Walgreens and apparently it’s simply wheat flour, sesame seeds, and salt. Simple, saltly, crunchy, and delicious. I’ve had them in different flavors like roasted pepper and honey roasted and I enjoy both, but nothing can top the original.

2. Popcorn

I love popcorn. I love movie theatre popcorn to a point where if I’ve made plans to go see a movie, I get just as excited about having popcorn. If those plans are later cancelled, that craving for popcorn will stick with me until slated. However, I also love cheddar popcorn. I had some amazing popcorn at a Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago from a place called Mother Butter’s. Later on, when going o a Tigers v. White Sox game, I took Kristen to their store front to sample their wares. Standout flavors for me included Bananas Foster and (one of the ones I bought) East Meets West White Cheddar, which was White Cheddar Popcorn seasoned with Indian Curry spices. There’s rarely, if ever, a time I don’t want popcorn.

3. Tortilla Chips and Hummus

I owe my beautiful bride to be for this one. I’ve liked hummus ever since I was first convinced to try it. I’ve always been a picky eater, but a few years ago, I decided to at least try some new stuff and hummus was on that list. Being close minded thought, I thought pita chips was the only thing that could possibly go with hummus. It was only a month or so ago that my lady suggested good tortillia chips as a vessel for hummus. Apparently, this is how she always eats it. My mind was blown some poor snack was blasted off of the top 5 snacks list.

4. Graham Crackers with milk

I’ve got to have the milk. It’s a requirement. I like to take the graham crackers, dunk it have way in the milk, count to 15 (so that it gets really soggy) and then eat it. I’ve tried eating them dry and it’s just not the same. Have you guys figured out how particular I can be yet?

5. Better Made Cheese Puffs

There’s a weird thing that happens to the Better Made Cheese Puff which I can’t explain. Most of the puffs are dry, like your average puffed cheese snack. Tasty and wonderful, but nothing that blows your mind. But what’s strange is the bottom of the bag. This is going to sound gross, but I promise it’s not. The bottom third of the bag is extra cheesy. As you get further down, the cheese puffs are almost damp. In my head, I get grossed out thinking that it’s just grease. But whenever I get my hands on Better Made Cheese Puffs (Better Made is a brand local to Detroit and their cheese puff is not produced at such a high volume as they used to. In fact, you have to get the giant bag, cause they don’t make a smaller snack size, from what I can tell when I’m home. Correct me if I’m wrong Detroiters), I’m always looking forward to the bottom third of the bag.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Top 5 Muppet Moments

YOU GUYS! We're getting a new Muppet movie. I know a lot of people who have complained about it. "Oh it's so meta. Oh Jason Segel. Blah blah blah." To all those people, I say this. "SHUT YOUR FACE! WE'RE GETTING A NEW MUPPET MOVIE AND YOU SHOULD JUST GET ON YOUR KNEES AND THANK ALL KNOWN AND UNKNOWN GODS THAT IT'S HAPPENING".

As many of you many may know, I'm a pretty big Muppets fan. I have been ever since I could remember. It is with that, that I share with you my.....

Top 5 Muppet Moments

1. Elton John Sings Bennny and the Jets

When I was a little kid, at the age where you still have trouble pronouncing certain word but you have the confidence to use them anyway, I would sing along with this performance "She's got electric boots, a mohair suit you know I read it in a mazagareeeeeeeeen oh ho"

2. Sheilds and Yarnell's Robot Breakfast

Yes mime is awful to watch on a boardwalk or a street corner. But this piece performed by Shields and Yarnell is amazing. It still makes me laugh.

3. Menomena

Is there really anything much to say about this? It's a classic. It holds a special place in my heart too because when I was in college 3 of my friends staged it for our Theatre School Talent Show. They went all out with the costumes and nailed it down move for move. It was almost scarily accurate.

4. The Christmas Toy

This movie is so great and without it, I wonder if we'd have one of the most beloved Disney/Pixar franchises known to man. The plot is about Rugby the Tiger, who is currently Jamie's favorite toy, being intimidated by Meteora, the cool new toy from space that doesn't realize she's a toy. Sound familiar?

5. The Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody

Watch this all the way to the end. The button on the whole thing is just priceless. The first time I saw it, I got shivers of excitement. I love Animal doing the Mama part. I love Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. I love Beaker! Every character is used perfectly.

Oh, and for those of you who are curious, here's the full trailer for the Muppets new movie. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Top 5 Quick and Easy Meals

Save your jokes. It's pretty clear that I love food. I love to cook, I love to eat, and I even enjoying reading about food. Often times, when Kristen and I get home from work, especially if we've gone to the gym, we're too tired to cook a full meal. But I'm a simple guy when it comes to food (for the most part), and I enjoy the quick and easy. With that I present to you (without pictures this time)....

Top 5 Quick and Easy Meals

1. Macaroni and Cheese

I'm talking about the stuff from boxes. Favorite brands are Kroger Shells and Cheddar and Target Spirals. The Kroger Shells need no jazzing, but it's fair to say that the mac and cheese with the powdered cheese could use a little kick. I often cut up some real cheese into tiny pieces and mix it in to thicken up the sauce. I also like to add Siracha, for some spice. That's my favorite way to go. I'll also often add crackers or chips for a little crunch.

2. Nachos

I have to again give credit to my buddy Dan. For the longest time, when I made nachos, it was a disaster that I would suffer through. The enemy in this battle was the microwave. I never dreamed that I could put some foil down on cookie sheet, spread out some chips, top them in cheese and some salsa or siracha, and bake them. The result: gooey cheese and crispy chips rather than crispy cheese and soggy chips that result from the microwave.

3. Sausage Biscuits

You may remember my love of McDonald's Sausage Biscuits. The only rival is to make them at home. Spicy sausage, hot biscuits, grape jelly, and some butter. A nice cold glass of milk, and I'm in heaven. This leads me to my other choice.

4. Pancakes

Also quick and easy. Pancake mix, some cinnamon, vanilla, and some chocolate chips and we're off and running. Nothing better on a freezing cold night than a steaming hot stack of hotcakes.

5. Grilled Cheese and Soup

I'm eating this right now. Hence the inspiration for this post. The soup I like is not the most well know. It's cheddar cheese soup. It's not some weird thing, it's made by Campbells. It's just a condensed cheese sauce that you whisk with some milk and eat. It's yummy.

If you haven't noticed a running theme, I really like cheese. What's your favorite quick and easy dinner?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Top 5 Aaron Sorkin Characters

I've been working on this post for a few days now. It's not exactly mind blowing or anything, I just keep getting distracted. I'm still pushing to write once a day, but I think I'm going to not put so much pressure on myself.

I love Aaron Sorkin. I love everything he's ever written (granted, I've never seen Malice or the American President). The other night, Kristen and I began watching Season 4 of the West Wing. After two episodes, she went to asleep and I watched an episode of Sports Night before falling asleep. I have two episodes of Sports Night left which I'm watching right now while I eat breakfast. When I'm done with these I'll start watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for the second time. If you don't get the drift, I love the quick wit and the quirky fast talking characters of Aaron Sorkin. In honor of that love, I'm taking on a difficult task. Therefore, I present to you my....

Top 5 Aaron Sorkin Characters

1. Jeremy Gordon

He's neurotic, his head is filled with useless stats, he's compassionate, he's brilliant, and he's funny. I love Jeremy so much. The actor, Josh Malina, has appeared in every Aaron Sorkin project except Charlie Wilson's War, Studio 60, and The Social Network. There's a lot of crossover in the Aaron Sorkin world.

2. Sam Seaborn

I love Sam for a lot of the same reasons I love Jeremy. The thing I love about Sam that isn't as prevalent in Jeremy is his sense of right and wrong. Jeremy has a really great heart and all, but Sam fights and fights really hard for the things he feels strongly about. He fights to the point of obsession over trying to make the penny no longer legal tender. How can you not love that?

3. C.J. Cregg

C.J. is a perfect representation of the way Sorkin writes women. They are rarely, if ever, not in positions of power. Even the women who play secretaries or assistants are ball busters and I love it. C.J. is the White House Press Secretary and I love the way she switches from smart and witty to tough as nails to soft and sensitive all within one scene. Plus, I love Allison Janney. She's never let me down in a performance yet. Even in the smallest of roles, she dominates while on screen.

4. Natalie Hurley

Natalie was one of the first television character crushes that I developed in the years after hitting puberty. I loved her wit, her charm, and just the fact that she was a strong women, while still maintaining a vulnerability that made her human. Plus, I loved the way she always had a sucker while running the nightly broadcasts of Sports Night. It was one of those things I tried to make a trademark of mine for a while. I would buy suckers in mass quantities and try to never be seen without one. I think it lasted about 12 hours.

5. Judge Robert Bebe

There's a two part episode, widely regarded as the best in Studio 60's short run, in which John Goodman plays a small town judge named Robert Bebe. It's a brilliant performance by a brilliant actor. John Goodman can make anything good, even Roseanne and I love him.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top 5 Fast Food Items

It's a rare treat when Kristen and I are able to have lunch together. Generally, we try to stick to a pretty tight budget (she generally succeeds, I generally fail), so we're primarily brown baggers. Once in a while we'll meet up though and yesterday was one of those days. We decided to go elegant and went to McDonald's.

I love McDonald's. There's no better breakfast. I figured I would present to you my....


1. McDonald's Sausage Biscuit

These bad boys are without rival. They are buttery, soft, flaky, and the sausage is spicy and perfectly greasy. They are a major calorie bomb so I have to avoid them most times, but when I get the hankering, it just can't be ignored.

2. Taco Bell Nachos Belgrande

You're reading this blog, so chances are you know me. You know I don't like those red and green things on top of this thing. But man, take those bad boys off, get rid of the beans and put some extra cheese on there and I am in heaven. Growing up in East Detroit, there was 4 Taco Bells within a mile radius of my house. In Chicago, I don't have a convenient Taco Bell anywhere. I have to make a special trip and boy is it special.

3. El Charro Cheese Crisp

People who grew up with me have been to El Charro. Many would not call it a fast food place since you can sit down and have someone bring your food to you and you get chips and salsa. But you order at a counter and there's a drive thru, so that's a fast food place to me. The Cheese Crisp is splendid. A fried flour tortillia, covered with a cheese that is sort of cheddar but not quite. It's amazing.

4. Quizno's Steak and Cheese

I'm a grown ass man. I deserve a hot sandwich and for that reason, I won't eat at Jimmy Johns. Subway is sub-par at best. Therefore, when you want a sandwhich and you don't have your local deli as an option, you gotta spend the extra cash and go for Quiznos. You won't be sorry.

5. McDonald's Chicken McNuggets

McDonald's gets two. The chicken McNugget, with it's fake chicken, is splendid. Just splendid. Now they've released new sauces including a spicy buffalo. It was delicious. I heard a quote yesterday on a podcast that really hits home. "McDonald's just tastes like childhood." Truer words were never spoken.

I know I know, I missed a few days. Sorry. I just forgot. I'll get back on track. Anyway, what's your favorite fast food.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Top 5 Comic Book Movies

I thought I'd do a quick and easy one tonight, just to keep up. I saw X-men: First Class with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jerry. I really, really enjoyed it. I don't know if I quite agree with the review I read calling it the best comic book movie since The Dark Knight, but it was pretty great. No fancy pictures tonight because I'm tired, so this'll be a boring, straightforward list.

Top 5 Comic Book Movies

1. The Dark Knight
2. X-Men (the first)
3. Spiderman
4. Batman (the Burton one)
5. Watchmen

Sorry guys, this was a boring post. I'll do better tomorrow.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Top 5 Non Athletic Things I Love About Baseball

Kristen surprised me with tickets to the Tigers v. White Sox game last night. We always try to catch the Tigers whenever they are in town, just to get a little taste of being home.

I've loved baseball for awhile now. It's the only sport I really have any interest in and my interest goes as far as if I can score cheap tickets, I'll go to a game and if there's nothing on tv, I'll watch a game if one of the two teams I like are playing. I play in a fantasy league that I haven't looked at in 3 weeks, ensuring I'm in last place. Let me confirm that...nope, I was wrong. 6th place out of 10!

Anyhow, I was thinking about the things I love about baseball and it turns out that a lot of them nothing to do with the actual sport. So I present to you....

Top 5 Non Athletic Things I Love About Baseball

1. Keeping Score

Growing up, I was diagnosed with a pretty cut and dry case of ADD. I've always had trouble sitting and doing just one thing. It's rare for me to sit and watch TV without playing poker or City of Heroes on my laptop at the same time. I realized at about 22 that buying a scorecard and trying to keep a really accurate score was a great way for me to "keep my head in the game" so to speak and I've done it ever since.

2. The Food

I love me some nachos. If I'm at a restaurant, I want some meat and real shredded cheese on those bad boys, but at the ballpark, I scoff at anything more than that fake cheese that comes from a bag, molten hot with just a hint of peppers. What could be better with an ice cold beer and some organ music?

3. Bloopers

When I was a kid, I had like 7 VHS tapes of Baseball's funniest bloopers. My favorite part was always when Mel Allen would narrate and say "How about that?!"

4. Baseball Movies

Major League 1+2, Rookie of the Year, Field of Dreams, 8 Men Out, the list just goes on and on.

5. The wind

This is a bit romanticized, but I love the feeling of the breeze, blowing the smell of grass and popcorn into my nostrils while cooling me off in the bleachers. It just feels like baseball to me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top 5 Movies Set in Chicago

Well, it only took two days for me to fall behind and miss a post. I had no idea what to write about and got home from a play (Performing Tonight: Liza Minelli's Daughter at the Neofuturists. Written and performed by the amazing Mary Fons. You got two more chances before it closes, go see it!) So, tonight (actually, this morning. That's right, it's June 3rd at 7:28 and I'm just pre-dating this for my own ego), I go to the rainy day list.

This blog has seen a pretty great response so far from friends and I always ask them to suggest some lists. This one was suggested by my friend Dan Meisinger. He's one of the funniest and most talented people I know. You can follow him on Twitter (@myzinger)

So here goes....

Top 5 Movies Set In Chicago

1. High Fidelity

You're not reading this blog without this movie, plain and simple.

2. The Untouchables

This is the greatest mafia movie since the Godfather. The first thing Kristen and I did, the first time we came to Chicago on our own, was go to Union Station and look at the stairs where the big final shootout happened in the Grand Hall. Sharp eyed Chicago improviors will notice their savior, Del Close, as "The Alderman" in the above trailer. He has the "titular line".

3. The Dark Knight

Sorry, there's no clips available for this one (they are all blocked from embedding.) Anyhow, if you haven't seen it, your head's in your ass.

Now, before you go nuts and say "THAT MOVIE'S NOT SET IN CHICAGO! I'LL NEVER READ THIS BLOG AGAIN!!!!", I know. But it was shot here and DC Comics authorities have always stated that Metropolis is modeled after New York City and Gotham City is modeled after Chicago.

4. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

It's a classic. Without this flick, there's no Saved By The Bell and where would be without that. Plus, Alan Ruck is a genius!

5. Uncle Buck

This scene is one of the best pieces of cinematic comedy that has ever existed. Lord what a film.

Looking at Wikipedia, I'm reminded of other movies that were set here in the Windy City. There may have to be a second list at some point.

Let's here your favorites and as always, suggest some lists. You never know, you might one day save this blog.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Top 5 Cereals That Are No Longer Made

This morning I was eating my usual morning breakfast, which consists of a bowl of cereal and either a pop tart, an english muffin, or toast. The cereal I was suffering through was Marshmallow Pebbles, an off-shoot of Fruit/Cocoa Pebbles. It was not a good choice, but I figured that my love of the other members of the Pebbles family hadn't failed me yet. Until now that is. These bad boys are gross. I'm not one for wasting food though so I'm begrudgingly finishing the box.

I don't want to start this blog out complaining. Anyone who knows me knows thereill be plenty of complaining. Today I'd like to reminisce. To look fondly back. Join me on a journey to childhood as I present to you....


1. Rice Krispie Treats Cereal

Who doesn't love a Rice Krispie Treat? By that logic, who wouldn't love a Rice Krispie treat, broken up into a bowl, and covered in milk.

2. Hidden Treasures

Ahh the 90's. Those were times of innovation. Times when someone came up with the idea of filling a corn based cereal with different fillings and making each bite a surprise. I long for those days, for a myriad of reasons, but that's a post for another day.

3. Berry Berry Kix

I can't confirm that this isn't still in production but I haven't seen it in years. I've always enjoyed Kix, which is surprising considering their "mother approved" stamp doesn't exactly fit my specific tastes. Berry Berry Kix was a great way to get around the boredom that can set in when eating regular Kix.

4. Batman Cereal

Ever since I was 4 I've loved super heroes. It explains my current love of comic books. There's never been a question, ever since I was 4, that my favorite was Batman. He always has been and he always will be. I even loved his cereal. I loved it to the point that my comic book store when I was in high school and college had a box, still sealed, selling for like 20 bucks. Every Wednesday on new book day, I would contemplate buying it, not as a collectible, but because I really wanted a bowl. Does cereal go bad?

5. Sprinkle Spangles

Yes, I've always liked Sprinkle Spangles. I'll be honest though, they wouldn't be on this list if it wasn't for the hilarious fact that the cartoon genie in the commercial admits that he likes to pee on people for sexual pleasure. How did no one catch that?