Phils Sweep Mets

The Phillies took the Mets down four games in a row! Pat Burrel with two home runs? As someone I work with said today, the tease is on.


Phils Sweep Mets

You have to like Kevin Kernan’s article in the NY Daily News a few days ago. (found via 700 Level)

August 26, 2007 — MEMO to Jimmy Rollins: The best team won.

Yes, it’s still the dog days of August and the Mets have to travel to beautiful Philadelphia tomorrow, but the NL East race is over. Though the Yankees are fighting for their playoff souls, the Mets are merrily on their way to another October.

This really wasn’t much of a race.


NFL as Star Wars

18to88 has a great NFL preview where they map each team to it’s appropriate NFL character. The Eagles get Mace Windu, which isn’t too bad, but they slam Green Bay as Yoda (Green and 800 years old) and Cleveland as the Jawas (small, brown, and always trading for junk). Chicago was my favorite, but you’ll have to read it for yourself. (via the 700 Level)


I had a professor in college that tried to map everyone he knew into characters from Mystery Men. He must have had some bizarre fascination with it. I was the Shoveler by the way.

TV Shows Broken By Time

As society moves on, some of our beloved television shows can’t move with it. Culture and technology conspire to break sitcom plots every day. Is there any way to fix them? Here are a few examples:

My Two Dads
My Two Dads
Premise: A woman dies leaving her daughter in the dark about who her real father is. The girl and her two possible, and very different, dads end up living together.
Why it’s broken in 2007: Two words: Paternity test. This show would be over in one episode.
How to fix it: Make the two dads identical twins. Make that conjoined identical twins.

Bosom Buddies
Bosom Buddies
Premise: Two guys want to take advantage of the cheap rent in an all female apartment building, so they dress in drag.
Why it’s broken in 2007: Henry and Kip would sue for reverse discrimination and get the apartment.
How to fix it: Instead of women, the tenants are predominately cross dressing men. Kip and Henry still want the cheap apartment, but always have to be careful if the new hot girl in the building is really a dude.

Three’s Company
Three?s Company
Premise: Two women need a third roommate to cover the rent and find one in Jack Tripper, but their righteous landlord won’t approve of the living arrangement so Jack pretends to be gay.
Why it’s broken in 2007: To be fair, this premise was shaky already and the gay angle went away once Don Knotts became the new landlord, but it’s hard to imagine a landlord refusing to rent to a non-married couple in the 21st century.
How to fix it: Jack is an illegal immigrant…. from another planet!

Can you think of any others?

Top Ten Poor Man’s Versions

Cracked has a great top ten list: The Top Ten Poor Man’s Versions. What other top list includes Go-Bots, Dentyne, and the LA Clippers?

#8: The Poor Man’s Vacation Destination

The Jersey Shore has actual sand and a real ocean, just like every other vacation destination. But, its sand and ocean just happen to be?unlike other “good” destinations?littered with syringes and Red Bull cans. At normal beaches, if you wait long enough, you may catch a glimpse of a dolphin, majestically leaping out of the ocean. In New Jersey, you are guaranteed to see no less than two fights, enough Gotti-wannabe?s to stage an all-guido remake of 300, and an assortment of less-than-stellar sandcastles that are really more cigarette butt than sand.

Wolf Parade @ The TLA (aka the Fillmore)

Last night I barely made it out to see Wolf Parade at the TLA, which was my first time being there since they changed it to the “Fillmore at the TLA.” It looks pretty much the same except they added some curtains, chandeliers, and fixed up the floor.

Opening up was Montreal’s Plants and Animals. They were great as long as you didn’t listen to their lyrics or look at the singer’s mustache. The guitar player’s hair looked like muppet hair where it’s big, but lighter than it should be. As he bobbed his head around the hair seemed to fall slower than normal. You know what I’m talking about. Their sound rocked. Each song was paced and arranged in a way that felt natural, but at the same time surprising. I have no idea if their recorded material is good, but I suspect they’re better live. The one song from their Myspace site certainly was.

Wolf Parade’s first album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, was definitely my favorite record of last year. Call me retarded, but I didn’t know until last night there were two singers. I always thought their songs sounded like two bands were playing them, but the singers voices were similar enough…

Not from last night’s show, but still good:

They opened with one of my favorites, It’s a Curse. The set contained mostly new songs from their up coming album. None of them really stood out for me, but they were decent enough. Overall the sound was great and the band was really tight, despite drinking Jager straight from the bottle on stage. The two singers got into a contest to see who could unbutton their shirt the farthest, and I think it was a tie. The crowd was packed and totally into the band. I definitely know I’m getting old when I see a guy crowd surfing while holding an umbrella and all I can think is that someone’s eye is about to be gouged.

This guy was also at the show.

Wolf Parade – Modern World

Lynchian Empire Strikes Back: An INLAND EMPIRE Review

I knew David Lynch’s next movie was going to be called INLAND EMPIRE, but I didn’t know much about it other than that Laura Dern and Justin Theroux were in it. After seeing the film I still don’t know much more than that. INLAND EMPIRE’s theater release was extremely limited and it finally came out on DVD this week.

Laura Dern

Laura Dern plays Nicki, an actress who thinks she’s about to get the role of a lifetime. She ends up with several lifetimes as reality becomes blurred and she (and you) won’t be sure of what is real or what is fake. This is standard stuff for most of Lynch’s films, but if you thought Mulholland Dr. was difficult to follow consider yourself warned. INLAND EMPIRE is a brutal two hours and fifty two minutes of beautfiul, disturbing, mind altering film (or whatever you want to call it, since Lynch shot the whole thing digitally).

Watching a movie like this is difficult, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Laura Dern making it. Her performance is incredible and many times throughout I thought it may be possible that the entire movie was made for her. Not as in INLAND EMPIRE was a present to her, but that most of it will only make sense if you are her. It’s one of about a billion theories you could have about the film.

I loved this quote from the movie’s Wikipedia article:

In an NPR “Weekend Edition” interview, Laura Dern recounted a conversation she had with one of the movie’s new producers. He asked if Lynch was joking when he requested a one-legged woman, a monkey and a lumberjack by 3:15. “Yeah, you’re on a David Lynch movie, dude,” Dern replied. “Sit back and enjoy the ride.” Dern reported that by 4 p.m. they were shooting with the requested individuals.

My verdict: It’s incredible, but only for serious Lynch fans.

Laura Dern and David Lynch

Baby Back Rib Recipe

You can count me among the fans of baby back ribs, but they’re a little intimidating to make. Here’s why:

  1. Long marinating times
  2. Long cooking times
  3. Tricky heat settings
  4. Removing that damn membrane from the bottom

My first attempt at making ribs was about two years ago and I spent all day working on them, only to have them burn to a crisp in 10 minutes. I was so distraught I ended up eating at Red Hot and Blue. It took me a while, but I made my second attempt this weekend and it was a huge success.

Baby Back Ribs

Here is my recipe:


1 package of baby back ribs
1 container of apple juice
Stubs BBQ seasoning
Sylvia’s herb seasoning
Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce


Remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs. This is the most annoying part of the process, but it’s not that difficult and don’t worry about getting every last bit off. A lot of crazy websites say to use a screwdriver to get under it and pull it off, but I just used a knife and wiggled it between the membrane and the bone.

Marinate the ribs in the apple juice for about two hours and flip them over half way through if they’re not fully submerged.

Set up your grill for indirect cooking, which is almost like baking. You heat up the side of the grill you aren’t going to use. Some gas grills are set up with burners on the left and right and some are front to back. Mine has three heat zones (front, middle, and back) and usually I turn the front off, set the middle to low, and the back to medium when cooking on indirect heat.

Take the ribs out of the apple juice and pat dry with paper towels. Apply the Stubs BBQ rub generously to both sides, but the bottom is really just for show. Sprinkle some of the Sylvia’s seasoning on both sides as well. Make sure the meaty top side looks evenly covered by the BBQ rub. DO NOT put on the BBQ sauce yet, because it will burn.

Now that the grill is hot, put the ribs on the cooler side and cook for at least 1.5 – 1.75 hours. Check it often to make sure it isn’t burning and that your hot side is hot enough. I like to flip it twice and that way it’s mostly cooked from the bottom up.

About 20 minutes before your time is up, apply the BBQ sauce with a basting brush to both sides. The final internal temperature should be at least 140 degrees. Enjoy!

Credit: Almost everything I’ve learned about grilling is from the amazing book, How To Grill by Steven Raichlen. My rib recipe is based on one from the book.

Ben Garvey’s 101 Greatest Movies of All Time (Full List)

Here’s the rest of my list of the 100 Greatest Movies of all time.? Note:? This list is now out of date!? Click here for the latest list.

Rank Title Year
101 L.A. Confidential -1997
100 Clerks -1994
99 Magnolia -1999
98 The Last Picture Show -1971
97 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -1998
96 Happy Endings -2005
95 The Royal Tenenbaums -2001
94 Monty Python and the Holy Grail -1975
93 Psycho -1960
92 Sideways -2004
91 Network -1976
90 Close Encounters of the Third Kind -1977
89 Little Miss Sunshine -2006
88 Heathers -1989
87 Terminator 2 -1991
86 Jackie Brown -1997
85 Full Metal Jacket -1987
84 Run Lola Run -1998
83 The Silence of the Lambs -1991
82 Napoleon Dynamite -2004
81 Tommy Boy -1995
80 Young Frankenstein -1974
79 The Shining -1980
78 Office Space -1999
77 Pi: Faith in Chaos -1998
76 Being John Malkovich -1999
75 Taxi Driver -1976
74 Life Is Beautiful -1997
73 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off -1986
72 The Usual Suspects -1995
71 This Is Spinal Tap -1984
70 Ray -2004
69 Requiem for a Dream -2000
68 The Pianist -2002
67 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me -1992
66 Amelie -2001
65 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest -1975
64 Bowling for Columbine -2002
63 Monty Python’s Life of Brian -1979
62 Monster’s Ball -2001
61 The Deer Hunter -1978
60 Swingers -1996
59 Reservoir Dogs -1992
58 Sexy Beast -2001
57 The Piano -1993
56 Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure -1985
55 The Matrix -1999
54 Batman -1989
53 The Virgin Suicides -1999
52 Donnie Darko -2001
51 Raiders of the Lost Ark -1981
50 Schindler’s List -1993
49 Kids -1995
48 Memento -2000
47 American Movie -1999
46 The Graduate -1967
45 Forrest Gump -1994
44 Throne of Blood -1957
43 Saving Private Ryan -1998
42 Ran -1985
41 Fargo -1996
40 Kill Bill: Vol. 2 -2004
39 Blade Runner -1982
38 2001: A Space Odyssey -1968
37 Swimming Pool -2003
36 Ghost World -2001
35 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -2000
34 Rear Window -1954
33 A Clockwork Orange -1971
32 Capote -2005
31 Braveheart -1995
30 Mystic River -2003
29 Fight Club -1999
28 Rushmore -1998
27 Monster -2003
26 Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi -1983
25 The Goonies -1985
24 Pulp Finction -1994
23 The Shawshank Redemption -1994
22 Groundhog Day -1993
21 Caddyshack -1980
20 Blue Velvet -1986
19 About Schmidt -2002
18 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -2004
17 Lost Highway -1997
16 American Beauty -1999
15 Lost in Translation -2003
14 The Third Man -1949
13 E.T. -2002
12 The Godfather -1972
11 GoodFellas -1990
10 Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope -1977
9 Star Wars: Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back -1980
8 House of Sand and Fog -2003
7 Eraserhead -1977
6 Vertigo -1958
5 Chinatown -1974
4 Citizen Kane -1941
3 City of God -2002
2 Mulholland Drive -2001
1 Dr. Strangelove -1964