Zombies + Werewolves = A Halloweenish Chat with El & Lo

28 10 2009
zombie stones

I am 99.99% certain this picture has not been doctored...

Lauren: FACT:
I am officially sick of The Who.
Elizabeth: Should I record that?
11/15/08, 3:37pm EST – The Who are done.
Also – everything by The Who?
Or just the CSI songs and Pinball Wizard?
Lauren: No, EVERY song they play on the radio. Including, but not limited to the CSI songs.
Elizabeth: Okay – so, I just went the The Who’s website
and – the header says “News from Pete Townshend, Roger Daltry, John Entwhistle and Keith Moon.”
Lauren: OMG
Elizabeth: I don’t think I want to receive any news from John Entwhistle or Keith Moon, seeing as they are DEAD
Elizabeth: That would be AMAZING
Lauren: But the Rolling Stones already have that market cornered.
Elizabeth: ba-dum-ching!

[And because it is Lo’s bday and almost Halloween, here’s the best song ever about supernatural Jewish rites of passage.]

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Lo Does Booze: Strongbow Cider

27 10 2009

Deeeeeelightful. Though not, unfortunately, Dee Lite-ful.

OH MAN. I always have mixed feelings about getting older because on the one hand, I’m a grown up, and that’s rad because I can have cake for dinner. But with great power comes great responsibility. This notion makes me uncomfortable sometimes. So I threw that notion out the friggin’ window on Saturday night, as a few friends and I celebrated my 28th year on this planet (a few days early) at a local watering hole that is reallllllllly fond of the Beatles. I don’t mind the Beatles, but there’s only so many times I can hear Hey Jude without wanting to pull my hair out. Luckily, my significant other informed me that our friend Phil would be bartending that evening in the upstairs part of the bar, which is like your friend’s awesome bonus room, except way bigger and with multiple pool tables. And Phil has awesome taste in music soooo…yay me! (I’m talking Christmas in Hollis here, and he even let his wife put on some Lady Gaga just for us!)

As it had been awhile since I’d had the pleasure of going out with friends, I was torn as to what I wanted. Phil generously offered Jim Beam, but seeing as that delightful concoction of bourbon and Coke gets me either hungover or pregnant, I decided to stick with beer. BUT OH SO MANY BEERS. This is a British pub, or, as close as you can get to one in the Capital of the Confederacy, so the options are all pretty decent. Maybe I’d go easy with some Yuengling. “Wait, no, that’s bullshit,” thought I to myself – it WAS my birthday celebration after all. “Mayhaps a yummy Harp!” I’m Irish, seems easy enough. But I wasn’t feeeeeeeeeeling the Harp. Boddington’s? Overrated.  So Phil suggested a cider I’d never heard of since I never leave the house – Strongbow. Um, yeah. It was fucking delicious. You know how Woodchuck is good, but after 1 or 2 you feel like you’ve been drinking carbonated apple juice because it’s SO SWEET? Yeah, this is the opposite of that. It was the perfect amount of sweet, almost like a beer, but with just enough apple-y flavor to call it a cider. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something a leeeetle different. Plus, as Holly, Phil’s lovely wife, suggested you can mix it with Harp for a Snakebite and that shit will get you duh-runk. All in all it was a really fun night, even though I did still have a killer hangover the next day (I blame that on the Orange Crush I do not remember taking). And without further ado, here are some photos documenting the fun!


Egon and me, being all waste-y like. According to her, that's my "RuPaul" face. I was not offended.


Scoots is a real Ladies Man. He needs to preserve his reputation.


Okay. Less be rull surrius ferra minnit...


As Joe Pesci said in My Cousin Vinny: THAT'S THE CASE CRACKER, RIGHT THERE!


Fonzie thumb!!


Last call...HOO BOY.

Nobody Move by Denis Johnson

26 10 2009

nobodymoveI really hope whoever bought the movie rights to this book gets Steven Soderbergh to direct, because reading Nobody Move felt like watching Out of Sight or Ocean’s Eleven, and I mean that in the best possible way.  I’ve read other books that felt more like reading a screenplay or script than reading a book (Hannibal by Thomas Harris being the worst offender) and absolutely hated it.  Instead of being able to slide into the story, I was constantly made aware of the fact that it was a story.  But Denis Johnson avoided all of that and instead did something amazing – he wrote a book that felt like a great heist movie and I loved it.

Jimmy Luntz is a loser with a past due gambling debt.  Gambol comes to collect for his boss, Juarez, and takes Jimmy on a little car trip.  In a panic, Luntz shoots Gambol in the leg and takes off with his Caddy and wallet.  He runs into the beautiful Anita, who would be out of his league if it weren’t for the fact that she’s just been framed by her husband and boss for embezzling 2.3 million dollars.  They take off together, trying to stay alive and avenge Anita at the same time.  The action jumps between the four main characters like the beginning of a Guy Ritchie movie, without the confusing accents.

I had a lot of fun trying to cast this movie while I was reading it.  I could see Casey Afflek as Luntz, and maybe James Gandolfini as Gambol – which seems a bit predictable but is totally how I pictured that character.  Denis Johnson just did such a great job describing everything, I could see the Caddy and the various buildings and landmarks – it really was like I was watching a movie – A WORD MOVIE.  And the plot was great, too.  Everything ended up fitting together nicely and there weren’t so many twists and turns that it became tedious (like Ocean’s Twelve – I still don’t understand the ending of that one.  Julia Roberts was pretending to be Julia Roberts but she didn’t need to because the egg was just a hologram??  I DON’T GET IT.)  From beginning to end, the story held my attention and it made sense the whole way through.  Which, after a lot of the books I’ve read recently, was really refreshing.

Let Me Eat (Birthday) Cake! (That Didn’t Come From a Store.)

23 10 2009
I would not scoff if presented with this cake. So long as it didn't come from a store. I'm easygoing.

I would not scoff if presented with this cake. So long as it didn't come from a store. I'm easygoing.

As I mentioned a little while ago, my birthday is in the fall. October 28, to be precise. I’ve always loved my birthday because it’s so close to Halloween, which is the raddest holiday out of the year (take that, Purim!). And also because, HELLO, it’s a birthday. Who doesn’t like birthdays? You get stuff and there’s CAKE! DELCIOUS CAKE. OF YOUR CHOOSING!! Now, I’m getting up there in my years (but will still be 30 later than El!), so it’s not like I get that much stuff anymore (though any relatives reading this are still more than welcome to send literal boatloads of cash. You have my address.), but I DO still get the cake of my choosing. Maybe you think I’d be picky about my cake, require some high-falutin’ Italian meringue buttercream concoction involving rosettes. Maybe you’re a dummy, or we haven’t met, because while I am picky about what I consume on my birthday, I don’t give a flying fuck about rosettes. Also, if it comes from a store, I probably won’t like it. Store-bought cakes are awful. Like, Brooke Hogan’s music career awful. If they are at a party, I will not eat them. That’s right, I’m THAT guy. (Gal.)

Mmmmmmm....real ice cream cake. Happy birthday to me, indeed!

Mmmmmmm....real ice cream cake. Happy birthday to me, indeed!

HOWEVER. I do make a notable exception for the most delicious thing in the world: a Carvel ice cream cake. Note that it MUST BE Carvel. Other ice cream cakes will not do. Why? Because I am a pain in the ass. KIDDING! (not really) It’s actually because other companies seem to think that freezing a sheet cake and plopping some ice cream on top qualifies as an ice cream cake. These people are assholes. Carvel knows that ice cream cake is not actually cake at all, but rather cookie crumbles , then a layer of chocolate ice cream, more cookie crumbles, a layer of vanilla, and whatever crack-like frosting they put on the top. And don’t forget the highly personal “Happy Birthday!” message inscribed atop the heavenly confection, in gel icing that tastes like no other in the woooooooooooorld. [drool] Oh, and also you can get a genuine Carvel Fudgie the Whale cake, which is pretty much the best thing ever, unless you are pregnant and hormonal and when you try to consume Fudgie the Whale it just reminds you that you’re only in your 6th month of pregnancy and you’ve gained 35 pounds already and NOW YOU ARE FUDGIE THE WHALE. HAHAHAHA FATTY.

Not something for pregnant ladies with issues....

Not something for pregnant ladies with issues....


So. In conclusion, I am an easy person to please. So long as the cake comes from the freezer section of Kroger in a pink box labeled “Carvel.” Otherwise, consider yourself Soupy Sales-ed. BY ME. It’s MY birthday, after all.

I think I speak for most of us when I say, "RIP Soupy Sales. I thought you died 20 years ago. You had me fooled."

I think I speak for most of us when I say, "RIP Soupy Sales. I thought you died 20 years ago. You had me fooled."

It’s the Great Pumpkin, El and Lo!

6 10 2009
Since I found this, I'm pretty sure I can die happy now.

Since I found this, I'm pretty sure I can die happy now.

Ah, fall. The best time of year. Why? Uh-DOI – it’s my birfday season, jerks! And the weather gets nice and cold and BRIGHTLY COLORED OPAQUE TIGHTS and booooooooots! Huzzah! But also it’s pumpkin season. Pumpkin, in case you were not aware, rules. It pretty much makes everything better. Cancer? CURED. Broken heart? FIXED. Money problems? Well, perhaps I exaggerate. Ahem. I love to bake with the stuff. Cookies, quick breads, pie, brownies, everything delicious you could possibly imagine. And before you’re all like, “WTF, brownies??” let me reassure you that pumpkin and chocolate go together like Statler and Waldorf. The flavors mesh and pumpkin makes everything moist and nummy. So for your baking pleasure, here are a few tried and true pumpkin recipes that I love with all of my cold, black heart. These are perfect for fall and your family will be super-impressed if you show up with one of these for dessert instead of just showing up to Thanksgiving dinner empty-handed like you do every year, you NE’ER-DO-WELL!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Pancakes (I don’t even like pancakes, but these are the shit)

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Bars (addicting – I made them a billion times last year)

And here is the recipe for pumpkin bread, which I made for Kona last year, and I thought she would kiss me. She didn’t. But the bread is deeeeeeeelish.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread (adapted from ATK) (I up the spice and do not fuck around with nuts or cranberries, but I DO add chocolate) (You’re welcome.)

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves (for a kick)
  • 1 15 oz. can PUMPKIN PUREE (not pumpkin pie mix, otherwise you will FUCK EVERYTHING UP)
  • 1 cup sugar (you could even do 1/2 brown and 1/2 white if you’re feeling saucy)
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (mini or regular – it’s your day!)
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Grease an 8.5″ or 9″ loaf pan.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients (including spices, but sans chocolate chips) together in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients. (I use a mixer cuz I am mad lazy.)
  4. Fold pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and stir until JUST COMBINED. Like banana bread, if you overmix this batter, your life will be ruined forever. Not even lying. Stir in the chocolate chips. Lick the spatula and get a little giddy.
  5. Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes, depending on not only your oven, but the size of the loaf pan you used. SIZE MATTERS.
  6. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then you’re supposed to let it cool on the rack for an hour, but I always cut a slice off and eat it because I love it more than life itself.

I have several new pumpkin recipes that I would like to try ASAP. I just have to quit being a dummy and remember to buy pumpkin when I’m at the grocery store. So, expect a bunch of cliches from me in the forseeable future! YOU ARE WELCOME.