LORD OF THE ROAD
Starring: Viggo Mortensen
Plot: With his kingdom now a desolate wasteland and most of his subjects dead, the King of Gondor embarks on a harrowing journey across the post-apocalyptic countryside in search of life, accompanied by his young son.
Movie Highlight: When unwitting cannibals try to abduct the pair, the King shows off his amazing sword-fighting skills, leaving a long trail of blood in his wake.
- – - – - – - -
LOST IN GROUNDHOG DAY
Starring: Bill Murray
Plot: A miserable, aging actor finds himself in a time loop where he keeps living the same joyous day in Pennsylvania, experiencing life through the eyes of his new friend… a young, doe-eyed woman who’s looking for more than her husband can give.
Movie Highlight: Phil Harris finds out how he can free himself from the time loop, and in a twist ending, decides whether to go back to his regular life.
- – - – - – - -
A COOK, HIS LOVER, THE COP AND HER PRIME SUSPECT
Starring: Helen Mirren
Plot: An up-and-coming detective helps a famous cook and his sous-chef/lover when their restaurant is threatened by a loud-mouthed crime boss.
Movie Highlight: In a surreal scene filled with stunning color and graphic nudity, Detective Georgina Tennison finds the perfect way to put her criminal behind bars.
More beers, please. You’re still ugly.
Mary’s little lamb served over rice.
Slipped on banana peel. Called MythBusters.
Internet date. “She” was a “he.”
Ten years later, still writing novel.
Called boss a douche. Deleted post.
Restless legs bounce sometimes. Medication available.
Hiking in the woods. Ticks rejoice.
Dream girl finds snake and apple.
Alligators, pythons, poisonous bugs. Hello, Florida.
He left angry. She died alone.
Internet created. Taken over by cats.
Construction elevator failed. Yellow hat useless.
Bicycle jersey couldn’t stop speeding car.
Unholstered bear repellent. Sprayed it backwards.
Finds wife dead. No alibi. Convicted.
His last breath smelled like peanuts.
New religion: cult. Old religion: truth.
“The handcuffs are necessary,” she whispered.
I kissed her goodbye. She reloaded.
“Oh, and I know the answer to one plus one,” he added.
“Sure, I can process your application, although I’m still learning the correct University procedure,” he admitted.
“I think about cleaning it all the time,” he said anally.
“Ah, Capt’n, I’d be glad to bring ‘ya aboard,” he beamed.
“Please, please, please, don’t call me a bum,” he begged.
“Smoke that and you’ll have no brain cells left,” he said bluntly.
“Then one day I learned how to apply makeup,” he blushed.
“No. Move the microphone like this!” he boomed.
“Take my season tickets away and you’ll be sorry,” he said bravely.
“I’m so full I think I’m going to explode!” he burst.
“And the reason I’m going to run back there, throw you out of my way and process the credit card myself is because retail clerks are idiots,” he charged.
“My golf game is improving, too,” he chipped in.
“I can see through my skin,” he said clearly.
“I will not take charge of this boat. Kiss my ass,” he commanded.
“With the government in shambles, this country is ours,” he cooed.
“I’m perfectly capable of remodeling the kitchen,” he countered.
“I just put it on my toothbrush, but now it’s gone,” he said, crestfallen.
“This could be my last breath,” he croaked.
“What the hell is that chicken doing in the road?” he asked crossly.
“What do you mean I can’t come to the vampire convention if I’m wearing my emblem?” he asked crossly.
“Real men don’t do that!” he cried.
“I ran the whole marathon behind a bus,” he said, exhausted.
“What do you mean you can’t put the pin back in a grenade?” he exploded.
“I always feel like I have a pear-shaped body,” the model said figuratively.
“And I’m always the last one done eating,” he finished.
“It looks like an engorged penis,” he said frankly.
“Sir, I… well… I… uh… thought I could catch it,” he fumbled.
“Those damn pumps always leak gas on my clothes,” he fumed.
“My ventilator is broken,” he gasped.
“You don’t want to know what I use this shovel for,” he said gravely.
“We might have to write children’s fables,” he told his brother grimly.
“Airport security just loves my pacemaker,” he said half-heartedly.
“This family will go camping next week,” he said intently.
“I held off for as long as I could,” he said limply.
“I don’t feel like shopping here without it,” he said listlessly.
“Can you guess what my name is?” she asked merrily. ”Mary,” he responded curtly. ”And you couldn’t even remember that my name was William,” he said, hurt. “Folks, I can’t believe you’re arguing,” he said, appalled.
“If I can’t remember the name of that famous painting, I’ll fail art,” he moaned to Lisa.
“I just don’t understand why those humidifiers work so well,” he said mystified.
“I really have no idea what will happen with the U.S. deficit next year,” he said nonplussed.
“Get me a burger and fries, right now,” he ordered.
“After 15 children, you’ll find my ass attractive no matter what size it is,” she said overbearingly.
“A broken pencil is like a man with no fingers,” he said pointlessly.
“I’m going to find out what happens when you kiss a raw lemon,” he puckered.
“I’ve dialed this number before,” he recalled.
“Then there’s that song that was playing when we met, I can’t remember the name now, but it was really cool and we were dancing and it was by Led Zeppelin, do you remember, I’m going to have to find out,” he rambled on.
“I remember when she and I would sit by the lake and stare into the water, just like we are today,” he reflected.
“In regards to question #4, I’m going to change my mind again,” he remarked.
“This is the new moss to replace the old moss. This is the new moss,” he repeated.
“Uh, no… I don’t know the first thing about beastiality,” he said sheepishly.
“One minute I’m working on the lighting, the next minute I’m in the hospital,” he said shocked.
“I…am…not…stupid,” he said slowly.
“I like the nougat,” he snickered.
“I’m not going crazy,” he snapped.
“I am a flawless hairstylist,” he snipped.
“None of us are capable of kicking this habit,” he snorted.
“I do nothing that could possibly embarrass you,” he spat.
“Fifty,” he stated.
“I…Am…Always…Calm,” he stressed.
“I love squeezing these things,” he uttered.
“I would look great with no skin,” he said vainly.
“I know it’s 40 degrees outside, but if you keep farting you better believe I’ll open a window,” he vented.
“Not only am I great on the firing range, I’m good at archery, good at badminton and great at tennis,” he vollied.
“If we come back without blubber, we’re finished,” he wailed.
“This horse refuses to stop,” he said woefully.
Here are a few movies where a shocking amount of the dialog is shouted. If there’s a list like this already out there, I couldn’t find it.
WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S
This 80′s comedy is the first movie I ever saw where the yelling burned me out. I vividly remember watching in horrified awe as Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman yelled almost every single one of their lines as they tried to work through their far-fetched dilemma. If I could stomach watching this again, I’d check the volume level of the other characters. But nothing besides a pile of cash could motivate me.
I was only a quarter of the way through this beloved animated movie when I felt the urge to flee. I realize it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child, but how much high-octave verbal gesticulating must we endure? Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, along comes the infamous Pixar sidekick, this time played by an over-exuberant Ellen DeGeneres. Please Dory, stop yelling and screaming and swimming around like you just found the aquatic version of cocaine.
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO
I firmly believe that every single, solitary line uttered by the Fanning sisters was yelled or screamed. I wasn’t really surprised, knowing this is a dubbed version of a Japanese animated film. Before I sat down for this one, I spent hours listening to high-pitched squeals from other movies of this genre, but at least I was able to duck into other rooms to do things like cover my years, cry or vomit. When it came to this film, I really wanted to see it all the way through out of respect for its reputation. I was quite intrigued by the whole thing, despite the lack of any real ending. Very original, but very shrill.
YELLING vs. SCREAMING
Yelling is more associated with words. They’re uttered in a sharp, loud and clear tone. Screaming is more high-pitched than yelling, and is normally associated with extreme emotion or pain. Screams are shorter and more intense. Yelling can last a long time, especially if you’re Al Pacino (NSFW).
MOVIES WITH YELLING THAT ALSO CONTAIN NORMAL DIALOG
A Few Good Men
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Here’s something you never see on the Internet: A crappy loaf of bread. This is the kind you might be making when you start. Flat, pale, undercooked.
Why would you do this to yourself? There are professional bakers around every corner that will sell you a loaf of yeast bread that isn’t wrapped in a crust of failure.
But Zim, There’s No Way It Can Be That Difficult
I recently saw an Internet video of a woman giggling into a camera, saying she could not believe anyone could fail at baking bread because it’s SO EASY. After watching for three minutes, I figured out why she was spewing lies: she was selling a bread book. If you’ve never made bread before, please understand that flour is evil. It’s not like other foodstuffs, like onions, which you can carelessly cut into randomly sized chunks, soften with heat in some olive oil and trick everyone into believing you’re the master of your kitchen. Flour is Satan disguised as a white, powdery angel. It’s fickle, and every supporting ingredient that touches it loses its ability to work the way it should. Homemade bread is like a resume of your inadequacies. The loaf is too dense, there’s barely a crust, the bottom is burned, there’s too much salt. You’ll work so hard on your hideous loaves that your mind will play tricks on you. You’ll take any subpar loaf and give it away so other people will respect you and marvel at your culinary wizardry. Your brain will make you feel happy about your generosity, but everyone will pity you and whisper about how worthless you are. Never give your loaves away unless you first do your own taste comparison with comparable store-bought loaves.
But… but… I Still Want to Make My Own Bread
If you just want to smell yeasty bread baking in your kitchen, buy a bread machine. The learning curve is low and the prep time is minimal. But if you go this route, you should retain some humility and avoid telling anyone you make bread at home. Using a bread machine is like heating up a frozen dinner, or slicing through a tube of store-bought cookie dough and tossing the discs in the oven. Yes, you heated something, but you MADE nothing. If your urge for creation goes beyond a magnificent odor, avoid the machines. Many of them create a loaf that’s oddly shaped and unwieldy for sandwiches. Plus, many models have a mixing/kneading paddle that leaves a hole in the bottom of your loaf. So shop carefully or follow your dreams and get your hands dirty. But don’t think you’ll be able to make one batch of hand-made bread and walk away. You’ll be hooked, which means you’ll be entering into a bread-baking commitment.
The Most Important Suggestion for the Day You Begin
Take the day off. Before you disregard that suggestion, remember that you’ve never made bread before, and I have. I’ve made lots of it. Ten minutes into your first attempt, you’ll wonder what the hell you got yourself into. Every visible surface of your kitchen will eventually be covered in flour, and practically every utensil and containment vessel will have glue-like dough hardening on it. Want to know how bad it will get? Take the bag out of your vacuum cleaner and dump the nasty contents onto your kitchen counter. Now take your open palms and repeatedly smack all that dust and hair and lint for five minutes. Look around the kitchen. That’s what the flour will do. Next, wipe up some of the vacuum filter mess and mix it with glue, then smear the mixture onto some pots. That’s what the dough will do. Please don’t think you’ll come home after a full day at work, stroll into the kitchen and leisurely craft perfect loaves of bread your first time around. If you believe that, you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.
The Second Most Important Suggestion
Avoid information overload. There’s way too much information on the Internet, in books and at cooking stores. Trying to make too much sense of bread baking before you start playing with flour is worthless, and will only frustrate you because of the contradictions you’ll find. White flour, wheat flour, bread flour, sea salt, iodized salt, tap water, filtered water, specialty bread pans, pizza stones, gluten, eggs, seasonings, rest times, rising times, knead times, and on and on and on. You’ll end up so frustrated you’ll never start a batch, ending up like a boxer who loses a fight because he got psyched out by his opponent before the match. Thankfully, despite all these idiotic bread options, there are constants that will save your sanity. Basic bread is nothing more than flour, water, yeast and salt. You let it rise and bake it. The trick is to learn JUST enough so you can get through that first day of torture with at least one decent loaf to show for it.
There is only one process for making bread at home: your process. Where you store your flour, how you prep your ingredients, how you create the dough, where you let the dough rise, where you let the loaves cool and how you clean up. Please don’t get suckered into too many fancy bread tricks before you get good at the basics of the dough and the process that makes you comfortable in your kitchen. Don’t bother with the oatmeal flakes on the top of your loaves. Ignore the olive oil and rosemary-infused dough. Avoid specialty yeasts. You’ll have enough distractions learning how to move around your kitchen. If you don’t know the bread basics and ruin a specialty loaf, you won’t know if it was the fancy trick that caused the problem. Familiarize yourself with one basic recipe, and by the time you’re comfortable with it, you’ll also be faster at your process in the kitchen. You can always branch out later.
–Never enter into a do-it-yourself kitchen venture assuming you’ll save money in the long run. Homemade bread, beer, pasta… you’ll end up spending more money and burning a lot more time because you’ll want to improve.
–Find a decent recipe with minimal ingredients and use that until you make the perfect loaf. If you succeed your first time around, congratulations.
–Buy crappy metal loaf pans. 9″x5″. They’re cheap and feel almost too thin. Treat them kindly and they’ll last a while. Don’t get suckered into buying double-insulated loaf pans, and energetically avoid ceramic or silicone pans. They’re horrible. The only bread pans I have kept are ones that are so cheap, they don’t even have a manufacturer’s name stamped on them. I got them at a restaurant supply company. If you see non-stick bread pans with a thick, black coating that reminds you of your non-stick cookware, avoid those too. Metal pans with a thin, light gray non-stick coating are OK if you really believe you need them, but you don’t.
–Don’t make free-form loaves at first. You have to know what dough feels like for a bread pan.
–Don’t use eggs at first. They’ll mess with the rise and won’t let you get a good understanding of how yeast works.
–Avoid recipes that force you to wait 8-12 hours for the dough to rise. You want a quicker payoff than that, especially when you start.
–Use “active dry” yeast at first. Your dough will have to rise twice, but if you really want to learn the basics, you’ll need to get good at the double-rise process. You can try “rapid rise”/”instant” yeasts later.
–Avoid whole wheat flour at first. It has a lower gluten ratio. Use all-purpose flour or bread flour and stick with the same one until you get good at working with it.
–Flour is impossible to measure correctly with cups. Buy a scale. 3 1/2 cups of unsifted flour is about a pound, and that yields about 1 loaf of sandwich bread.
–Buy an oven thermometer and a cheap probe thermometer. Don’t forget the scale.
–Never buy a cheap mixer. But unless you have money to burn, avoid buying a nice mixer right away. Borrow one. Or make the dough buy hand… suffering now will make you appreciate your mixer later.
I suggest a white sandwich bread to start. It’s only six ingredients and is a little softer than a french bread using the four minimum ingredients. The 6-ingredient dough is a lot silkier and a pleasure to knead once you get it right. After much studying of classic-recipe bread ratios, I realized that most white sandwich breads fall close to the following measurements. This is the only bread I make, and I never need to refer to the recipe because of the similar numbers. The easy numbers led me to dub this “Nirvana Bread.” The last time I made this bread, I tasted a little salty, although the 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt in this recipe is still lower than traditional recipes for this volume of flour.
WHITE SANDWICH BREAD
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast, or use one envelope
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, with more for greasing bowls and pans
2 1/2 cups water
7 cups unsifted flour (about 2 pounds)
I’m not a fan of collecting cookbooks, especially in this age of internet awesomeness. That said, I think you need to buy Baking with Julia if you want to be a home bread baker. Julia Child compiled a masterpiece with this publication, and if I were to type out directions for baking the above bread recipe, I would just be copying her directions verbatim. The recipe is “White Loaves” on page 81 of the hardcover version, under the “Daily Loaves” section. You can also search on the internet for baking directions. OK, if I get enough requests, I’ll type something for mixing, kneading and rising. Until then, I’ll say this: any directions you find should require you to bake your bread with an oven temperature of around 375 degrees, and your finished bread should have an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Baking time will be around 40 minutes for 9″x5″ loaves.
Our nightly walks take us past a vet hospital. They have a few resident cats there, including one we dubbed “Orange Kitty.” Here’s what happened when we led our dog to the window.
I’m obviously a little late to the party, but I ran into a website the other day that’s essentially a crowd-sourcing option for inventors. Quirky.com helps people bring their ideas to the marketplace.
I liked the way they plugged their products on Twitter, so I thought I’d write some of my own lines. As a mental exercise, I picked the first products I saw and wrote copy for those, even if I didn’t like every one. Why? Because if I was employed there, that’s what I’d have to do, right? I posted the full links here, although they’d have to be shortened to make the plugs fit on a single Twitter post.
Improve your broom with a dustpan that grooms. The Broom Groomer sinks its teeth into the dirtiest of bristles.
Uncork with flare, pour and share, get a stare, block the air. Verseur puts full wine service in the palm of your hand.
Cooking can be a mess. Make prep time a breeze with the hidden drawers of the bamboo Mocubo cutting board.
It’s citrus mist with a twist: Get juice straight from the fruit with Stem.
No more separation anxiety. Egg whites and yolks are a breeze to separate with Pluck. Amazing to see in action.
Cut the cord clutter. Manage your desk space with improved Cordies.
Here’s a laundry basket that collapses to the size of a folded bath towel. Unhampered is a true space saver.
A wine rack for your fridge? Forget it! Vine Bottle Anchors will straighten things out.
Stack these cups high and they’ll still dry. Totem stackables are so beautifully durable, you’ll drink out of nothing else.