Monday, June 30, 2008

Bond, James Bond is back

This is for Schro.

Enjoy the trailer for the new James Bond movie!

:) LJS

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bolt

Go ahead and enjoy WALL-E this weekend. Apparently it's the second coming of Jesus.

(Although: anyone who sees WALL-E who has not seen E.T. is dead to me.)

Anyway, enjoy the little guy, but if you can't get to the theater this weekend, enjoy getting excited about the next Disney animated movie: BOLT. The hamster looks the coolest.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

P.O.D. - Saturday Comix Style

[Click for bigger view!]



I know some couples who started like this.....




This is so Tracy Lynn it's scary!

Science Jokes

Rubber Ball Specs

A mathmatician, a physicist, and an engineer were all given a red rubber ball and told to find the volume.

The mathmatician carefully measured the diameter and evaluated a triple integral.

The physicist filled a beaker with water, put the ball in the water, and measured the total displacement.

The engineer looked up the model and serial numbers in his red-rubber-ball table.





Chemist Speak

A chemist walks into a pharmacy and asks the pharmacist, "Do you have any acetylsalicylic acid?"

"You mean aspirin?" asked the pharmacist.

"That's it, I can never remember that word."





Physics vs. Math

A physics professor has been doing an experiment, and has worked out an emphirical equation that seems to explain his data. He asks the math professor to look at it.

A week later, the math professor says the equation is invalid. By then, the physics professor has used his equation to predict the results of further experiments, and he is getting excellent results, so he asks the math professor to look again.

Another week goes by, and they meet once more. The math professor tells the physics professor the equation does work, "But only in the trivial case where the numbers are real and positive."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Something cool to get your summer started

Banana Maple Ice Cream with Sugared Walnuts
Recipe by Dragon

I’ve been obsessed with making homemade ice cream ever since I got my ice cream maker for Christmas. Girls and their toys! I’ve been working on this flavour combination for a couple of weeks now and I think it’s the perfect banana ice cream. Be sure to let it soften slightly before serving it.

Makes: 1 1/2 quarts

5 bananas (ripe and frozen)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 cup sugared walnuts (see recipe below)

Directions:
1. Allow frozen bananas to thaw for 45 minutes before processing them.

2. Peel the bananas and cut into pieces. Combine bananas with lemon juice and place in a food processor. Process the banana mixture for about 30 seconds.

3. Add maple syrup, corn syrup, maple extract and vanilla extract. Process again for
another 30 seconds.

4. While the processor is running, add the cream slowly. Process until smooth.

5. Pour the banana mixture into a clean bowl and cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap.

6. Chill mixture in the refrigerator overnight.

7. Transfer the banana mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.

8. Fold in sugared walnuts into the ice cream.

9. Place ice cream in an airtight container and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours before serving.


Sugared Walnuts
Recipe by Dragon

Make: 1 cup

1 cups walnut halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Pinch of salt

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, water, maple syrup and salt, bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Cook until the sugar starts to get golden. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

3. Add walnuts and stir gently until the nuts are well coated and the mixture loses its gloss.

4. Turn out onto a greased baking sheet. Let it cool slightly and separate the pieces.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

LOL Pundit? Oh Noes!

From the brilliant genius of I Can Has Cheezburger, we present to you...Pundit Kitchen

Political

P.O.D. - amphibian style

The Mighty Sea-Cow


The Destruction of Sennacherib

I find the verbal cadence of this poem amazing, and when I ran into it again the other day I felt I had to share. Try reading it aloud, almost like a sing-song rap, and see if it doesn't give you chills.


The Destruction of Sennacherib
by George Gordon, Lord Byron.


The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nabokov

I do my best to write fiction. I really do. I know I haven't written a great short story in awhile, but I'm always trying. However, this morning I saw how far I have to go.

Originally printed in the New Yorker 60 years ago, Vladamir Nabokov's "Symbols and Signs" is so good it will take your breath away.

The story is simple (only 2200 words), and easy to follow, yet there is so much going on underneath the surface. It is about a Russian immigrant couple going to visit their insane child in an institution. I shook as I listened to it. It's that good.

The New Yorker did a podcast, with Mary Gaitskill reading, and then discussing the story with a moderator. You can listen to the story here. (The entire podcast is about 30 minutes, but only the first 17 minutes are the story. The discussion is illuminating too, though.)

If you simply refuse to listen, there is also a text version here.

I know you're busy, people, but if you care about powerful literature in a simple story, you owe it to yourselves to make some time today for Nobokov.

Get Fuzzy on Vampires


(click for larger view)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In Memoriam




One year ago today, a little boy was lost. My thoughts are with you today, Dawg.

'Tis the season!

It's Candy Ramadan over at my blog, people. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll vomit Skittles.



love,
Sea Hag

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barack Obama meets Chuck Norris

Christopher Beam wrote this on Slate.com this morning. I was going to just post a link, but I think we all know that most of you are too obnoxious to click on links, so here is the article. I even left in their ads, so they cannot possibly get mad at me.

The Barack Obama presidential campaign introduced a new site last week, FightTheSmears.com, that it hopes will debunk persistent myths about the senator: that he's a Muslim, that he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. As we have argued before, restating the myths often reinforces them, no matter how persuasively they've been refuted.

Rather than restate untruths about Obama, the campaign would do better to start some rumors of its own. Here's a template e-mail the Obama campaign might consider disseminating.

From: [Redacted]
To: [Redacted]
Subject: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA?

There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.

Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.


<title>lmb_iau_50stLinksAbbGNPBd15s_Avg829_TP_0508_300x250</title><A TARGET="_new" HREF="http://ad.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh=v8/36e4/3/0/%2a/e%3B204067836%3B1-0%3B0%3B27550406%3B4307-300/250%3B26872060/26889917/1%3B%3B%7Eokv%3D%3Bdir%3Darts%3Bdir%3Dlowconcept%3Bdir%3Dmidarticleflex%3Bad%3Dfb%3Bad%3Dbb%3Bsz%3D446x33%2C300x250%3Bajax%3Dn%3Btile%3D4%3Bheavy%3Dn%3BpageId%3Dslate-id-2193798%3B%7Eaopt%3D0/ff/2700a7/ff%3B%7Efdr%3D204076355%3B0-0%3B0%3B24506007%3B4307-300/250%3B26875428/26893285/1%3B%3B%7Eokv%3D%3Bdir%3Darts%3Bdir%3Dlowconcept%3Bdir%3Dmidarticleflex%3Bad%3Dfb%3Bad%3Dbb%3Bsz%3D446x33%2C300x250%3Bajax%3Dn%3Btile%3D4%3Bheavy%3Dn%3BpageId%3Dslate-id-2193798%3B%7Eaopt%3D6/1/ff/1%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp://www.lowermybills.com/autoinsurance?sourceid=27550406-204067836-26889917"><IMG SRC="http://m1.2mdn.net/1420759/lmb_iau_50stLinksAbbGNPBd15s_Avg829_TP_0508_300x250.gif" BORDER=0></A>

Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL." Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.

A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.

Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.

Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.

Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.

There's only one artist on Barack Obama's iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.

Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.

Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.

Barack Obama's new airplane includes a conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH.

Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.

Barack Obama buys AMERICAN STUFF. He owns a FORD, a BASEBALL TEAM, and a COMPUTER HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM AMERICAN PARTS. He travels mostly by FORKLIFT.

Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.

Nike's innovative Tiger Woods commercials

For a long time, I thought Nike's commercial of Tiger doing tricks with his golf ball was the best. It was understated, fun and amazing.


Then, two years ago, Tiger won the British Open, the first tournament without his dad. Besides putting out a tribute commercial, Nike had this incredibly simple yet touching commercial of a young Tiger winning the British. There was something so pure and innocent about it, and I thought, "That cannot be topped."



However, debuting Sunday afternoon, on Father's Day, Tiger's first Father's Day as a father, was the video below. A Nike spokesperson explained that they wanted to tell a bit of a story, to help explain to people how Tiger got to be the way he is.

With what we knew Sunday, this year's U.S. Open was one of the best ever. With what we now know was going on, Tiger's performance and victory is the best yet.

And it makes this commercial all the more poignant and marmalade.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sartre's Coffee

Three people will get this joke, but those three people will laugh their heads off


The French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre was sitting in a cafe when a waitress approached him: "Can I get you something to drink, Monsieur Sartre?"

Sartre replied, "Yes, I'd like a cup of coffee with sugar, but no cream".

Nodding agreement, the waitress walked off to fill the order and Sartre returned to working. A few minutes later, however, the waitress returned and said, "I'm sorry, Monsieur Sartre, we are all out of cream -- how about with no milk?"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Daily Lynx - Big Batch Day



A big batch of links to get your week started.


1. First, a SHAMELESS PLUG. There are seven international holidays this week, brought to you by your good friends at International Day. They are:

Monday - International Be Nice to French People Day

Tuesday - International String Theory Day

Wednesday - International This Day in History Day

Thursday - International Call in Sick Day (may be celebrated all week)

Friday - International Jealously is Cool Day (I just celebrated this five minutes ago, getting a jump start)

Saturday - International I Don't Care Day

Sunday - International Food Court Day

Drop by and check them out.



2. Forbes Magazine's annual Celebrity 100 List is out. Not quite sure how they did their amalgamation, but you can isolate by Overall, Money, TV, Web and press. The top two are gimmies; after that it's a bit odd.



3. MuchBetterThanThis.com. There is simply no way to describe it.



4. For you nut jobs (walnut paneled nut jobs) who treat HGTV as a religion, How to Install Invisible Shelves. Seems like more trouble than it's worth, but I'm guessing several panties just moisturized. (I say panties because any guy who is into HGTV is basically a girl, so the metaphor fits.)



5. Not remotely dirty, just totally fucking mango: What every man wants in bed. Some day, friends, this will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.





6. I love watches like I love to smack a sweet ass, but I cannot imagine ever wearing one of these Cool Watches that take a P.h.d. to read. They are cool, though.



7. I'm sure you have been following the R. Kelly Trial, and know by now that he was found not guilty of Child Pornography. Slate.com writer Josh Levin has a wrap up column after watching the the entire trial, including links to previous dispatches. Some of the Defences R. Kelly's legal team will have you in hysterics. (Well, it would if it wasn't so serious.) Then again, maybe they have a point. Just because the video looked like R. Kelly doesn't mean it was him. That shit is easy to fake. Scroll back up and look at the picture at the top. I don't mean to scare you but, THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY R. KELLY!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Men and Women in Film

Dudes (and Dudesses),

These videos are almost unbelievable. I mean, I guess I know the technology of morphing exists, but it creates some hybrid pictures that absolutely pierced me.

Basically we see who's who of the History of American Film (with a couple of exceptions) morphed into each other. I'm not describing it very well. Watch yourself; you'lll see.

As you are not a student of film as I am, I don't expect you to get the names at the beginning, but you still should recognize many of the faces. Long about 1970 or so you should be able to name everyone.

This is simply incredible.


WOMEN IN FILM





MEN IN FILM

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jail, mounting disappointment or just plain fun?

It's not even daybreak, and some(girl) is making an appearance in the news....


My Goddess Its 4 am this time

First, Hyperion called, saying things were picking up, and then Dragon called saying some nonsense about Pirates or Ninjas. I do not know if you have realized that I have not talked to Dragon since I had to bail her out of jail for throwing bleach on Bobby Flay, screaming about fraud.

Does this diary realize I had to tell George Clooney and Eddie Vedder to go away? They called for me to produce a Barack Obama campaign song, featuring Eddie, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and an old tape of Kurt Cobain somehow singing Betterman. And shit, I had to say know. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if Hyperion did not save me from a shark off the coast of San Diego. Damned loyalty!

Barack Obama Quote Generator

Generate a Barack Obama Quote!




"I think it's time we had a national conversation about Despair. We need to get past all the Gossipers and recognize that we are our own best hope for overcoming Nazis. We need Cheeseburgers, not Rapists. Cheeseburgers are our Tolerance. And we need to have change in Despair."





I created this on the Barack Obama Quote Generator. Try it and tell me what you came up with. (There are three versions. Try them all and see which is best.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Head Hurts

Its 2 am, I am feeling the pain of a little bit too much Jack Daniels and not enough Aquafina. Dammit if my phone doesnt ring and its Hyperion, Hyperion who I have not talked to in 10 years and who my wife does not even know the voice of.

Lets just say that hearing him yelling about some other band that he had discovered left me with two emotions. There is the surge of excitement, because music is my secret life and an escape would be good. But goodness, the last time Hype had a band, it was a group of punk rocking midget ninjas who could sing one song. Why do I not want to wake up in the morning?

P.O.D. - Sparky Duck Style

Complain about my phone calls, huh?




Monday, June 09, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins Dinner

SEVEN DEADLY SINS
A Delightfully Devilish Downward Spiral to the Dark side of Damnation

In other words: a Dragon Dinner Party



Prologue: Inspiration


The idea, like all inspirational genius, was simple. I was watching an episode of Top Chef, where each contestant had to create a dish inspired by one of the 7 deadly sins. Great idea, right? Except the contestants’ dishes were less than inspiring. I doubt you could get a month in purgatory for what they came up with; let alone eternal hellfire. I can do better, I thought. And not just one dish. Why not do all seven?

And thus the Seven Deadly Sins Dinner was born.



Planning it out: WWTDC (What Would the Devil Cook?)

The first thing I had to do is figure out what these sins even were. This required a tip to Wikipedia. The seven deadly sins are: Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth and Wrath.

My overriding goal was to match the right Sin with the right Dish, slotted in the right Course. I also did not want to make the “obvious” choices. You might expect Lust to come first, and perhaps Sloth last (as my guests could become slow and lethargic after a full meal), but I felt it would add an element of suspense if my dinner guests were never sure what was coming next.

I wanted to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, and I didn’t want overly complicated dishes. I wanted my guests to feel they had been to a special occasion, but not leave feeling overly full and exhausted. I chose dishes that could be served in small portions, which would allow people to take more if they so desired.

My guests for this dinner were part of a loose “foodie” club we had going, meeting at each other’s houses from time to time. They were Kathy, Tim, Greg, Marg and Lynn. In particular, Kathy was a big help ahead of time, as a sounding board for different ideas, and helping me perfect my recipes. I spent about a month trying to decide what I wanted to serve, how each “sin” could be highlighted, and then another month “testing” various recipes and getting ready for the big night.



The Big Night – Showtime!

The night of my dinner, I had everything ready to go. I had the food preparation under control, as I was able to make a lot of it ahead of time. I set the table simply and added lots of candlelight to set the mood. Speaking of setting the mood, I went with the soft and soulful music of Norah Jones and Amos Lee on the stereo. . Kathy and Tim arrived early to help me cook and they also brought the wines for each course. Kathy surprised me with printed menus to add to each place setting. At the end of the night my guests would be able to take home a souvenir of our sinful evening.

My guests arrived excited, and a little nervous, as any sinners should be! I took their coats and had them gather around my living room, explaining how the dinner would run, by courses.

“There is one small addition,” I told them with a wicked grin, “something I may have forgotten to mention. For each course, for each sin, you must each make a confession. And, at the end of the night, I’ll decide if you receive absolution for your sins.”

The meal was ready to begin!

Click on each sin or photo below to view the recipes, why I chose
the dish for
the sin and some of my guests' sinful confessions.

Seven Deadly Sins Menu


WRATH
Apéritif – Spicy Sangria


GREED

Amuse Bouche – Herb & Cheese Savory Cookies with Balsamic Syrup



ENVY

Third course – Seafood Salad with Tomato, Avocado and Mango


PRIDE

Main course – Crown Roast of Lamb with Shallots, Mustard and Mint
Golden Saffron Rice
Minted Spring Vegetables



SLOTH

Fifth course – Aged Cheeses, Bread & Spiced Olive Oil



LUST

Sixth course – Luscious Chocolate Fondue with Sensual Fruits & Nuts



GLUTTONY

Seventh course – Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & Raspberry Coulis
Coffee/Tea



ABSOLUTION

Aprés Dinner - Brandy and Forgiveness


With Love,
Dragon

Friday, June 06, 2008

2000th Post - Monkey Barn 3.0



The dawn of Monkey Barn was a solo affair, Hyperion's first actual website, called Hyperion Thinks too much. A Meet-Cute between Hypey and Interweb, I poured out all my odd thoughts too incomplete, inane or dangerous for The Hyperion Institute or The Hyperion Chronicles. (Or any of the other 47 websites I eventually came to run.)

After a few months of masturbatory verbal narcissism, I decided what the joint needed was other like-minded lunatics. Thus, Monkey Barn 2.0. (If you're curious; the name "Monkey Barn" came from back when I wrote Potpourri columns. I would end each one with the phrase, "That's life in the Monkey Barn.")



In this new guise did Monkey Barn thrive. The newbies ran around like monkeys in a....well, you get the idea. After a time we added Group Projects (Monkey Barn 2.5), a way for all of us in the Barn to come together with our own spin on some artistic venture. We did Art Shows, Collaborative Storytelling, Poetry, and even some avant garde interpretive dance for homeless Ivy Leaguers.

Yes, Monkey Barn was in a true Golden Age.



Like all days of Yore, eventually the Golden Age became the Gilded Age. Through a series of Non-Hilarious events Hyperion became unable to rein herd on the woolly monkeys, and they grew first defiant, then stagnant without his leadership.

Monkey Barn was still a Monolith, but more akin to the Roman Empire, circa A.D. 450. (Some of you just winced. For the rest of you, it was akin to where E.R. is now. Still drawing a fairly sizable audience on Thursdays--though fuggedabout repeats--but no longer the buzz of Friday morning.)



This is why, secretly, a few months ago, I got the Monkeys together in a secret barn. "Monkeys," I said dramatically, "something has to change. We can't just go on as we are."

The session lasted long into the night. Goldschlager may have been involved. Finally we realized that what we wanted to do, what we NEEDED to do, was follow our hearts. We started making preparations, which we are now ready to announce.

My friends, Monkey Barn is going boldly where so many talentless hacks dreaming of bathrooms big enough to play baseball in have gone before.

That's right:


MONKEY BARN IS STARTING A BAND!

Close, but no cigar. Maybe you didn't hear me:




MONKEY BARN IS STARTING A BAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1118!!!!!!!!!


We have been practicing for months now, and are just about ready to launch our world tour, which you will of course just kill yourselves to see. It is THE ticket of the summer, people. Start getting excited. Start spreading the news, because




MONKEY BARN IS STARTING A BAND!

{details to come}

Swinging in Plain Sight


Swingtown (Thursdays on CBS)

I have this amazing (if useless) superpower: to watch a show for mere seconds and be able to tell you the network like that. One would think Swingtown, a show set in the ‘70s about those freewheeling scarf-wearing couples, would be on FOX, or possibly CW. However, it is very apparent very quickly that Swingtown is a CBS venture, which is a very strange thing. Or maybe not.

My theory (and I know you’re dying to hear it) is that is CBS is not really marketing polyamory to the under-25 crowd. For reasons no one can grasp, the network, which has been #1 most of this decade, just does not go after young viewers. No, I suspect they are going straight at people who were teens or so in the ‘70s; they’d be in their 40s or so now. (Math rules!)

Anyone could have figured that out, but here’s where my noggin comes in: despite what you may have heard, the “Swinging ‘70s” were never really that swinging. Sure, there were key parties, but they were few and far between. Call it “Suburban Legend.” But people talked like every Tom with a hairy dick was out there and loving it. They did this for the same reason people in your high school all claimed to be “doing it,” even though most were not: people lie about their sex lives because they think it makes them look cool.

If I am right (and I am), what CBS is selling with Swingtown is not XXX Drama (though they will drool if Conservatives give the show free pub in their anger), but rather, nostalgia for an era that did not actually exist. This strange configuration is what we call in semiotics a simulacrum. Groovy.

The proof is in the pudding, as by far the most important details are the music and the costumes. After all, you cannot sell nostalgia if it doesn’t look right, and sound right. (After the episode we are immediately told where to go listen to all the awesome music, and download it too; giving Time Life a run for their late night money.)

Hey; I’m no hater. The soundtrack is cool, and the costumes and décor look great too. It’s just that it feels like the entire show was designed around the mis en place rather than, oh, I don’t know; decent characters and a believable story. There wasn’t a single person on screen who caused me a moment’s empathy, and the plot points would make a cliché blush. That last point won’t be a problem. Heck: CBS has always built their empire on giving audiences the familiar. But Swingtown is the one thing A SHOW ABOUT ORGIES should never be: achingly boring.

Disagree with Hyperion? Check out the pilot episode yourself at CBS.com



IN PLAIN SIGHT (Mondays on USA)

The gigantic success of SATC notwithstanding, women do not go to the movies as men do. Men go to their favorite films in force, and they go back. And back. And back. This is why, more than all other factors put together, the big movies, and usually the good ones, are made with men in mind. However, when it comes to TV, it is just the opposite. Chicks rule. Not only are they loyal to their shows; powerfully loyal, but they don’t flip around nearly as much on the commercials!

It is no wonder, then, that recently we have seen a spate of Power-Chick shows. TNT showed the way: a woman in law enforcement; pushing 40, mess of a social life, but absolutely kick-ass at her job, and not afraid to be sexy. We should all be so lucky.

Again: I’m not hating. A 39 year-old woman who knows what she is doing is about the sexiest thing on the planet. Enter Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, a hard working utterly dedicated sexy ballsy take-no-prisoners US Marshal whose job is to protect witnesses. As in witness protection.

And her social life is a mess and she pushes people away because she’s been hurt, which is why she’s so tough, and she breaks all the rules but she has a good heart and….you get the picture. Sounds a lot like either of the TNT shows, huh?

It does, and that’s a problem. There is plenty of room for shows about tough chicks in law enforcement with messed up personal lives, but at some point it’s going to become a cliché. I have hopes, though.

A bigger problem might be the set-up. McCormack (at least in the pilot) does plenty of first-person voice-over narration, usually a bad sign. It doesn’t really fit with the show. Also (and this is completely my issue), but I cannot stand her partner, played by Fred Weller. For some reason the dude has been on my nerves since THE SHAPE OF THINGS. And, he sounds EXACTLY like Randall from CLERKS. It’s unnerving. But his character is cool, so I’m willing to give Fred some space. The other side characters (especially Mary’s crazy mother, played by Lesley Ann-Warren), seem promising.

I’m being fairly lenient here to a show that really didn’t give me much, but that’s probably because in some ways IN PLAIN SIGHT is sort of porn for me. Not in the traditional sense (although, if USA wants to have Mary McCormack get more nakeder, I’m behind her, I mean behind USA), but more the idea of Witness Protection. The very thought that I could pack up my life and disappear somewhere, even New Mexico (where the show is shot, in a refreshing non LA/NY change) is pretty cool to me. Yeah, it would suck to never see anyone I love again, but still…..

CROSS PROMOTIONAL THINGY: DO YOU EVER FANTASIZE ABOUT DISAPPEARING FROM YOUR LIFE FOREVER? GIVE YOUR ANSWER OVER ON PUT TO THE QUESTION.

IN PLAIN SIGHT could quickly become predictable and boring. I was excited about last summer’s SAVING GRACE with Holly Hunter, but never managed to watch an episode beyond the pilot. But I really like Mary McCormack. There was even some side-boobage in the first episode, and I would like to think USA would have the good sense to follow up on that. Or maybe I just like to dream about another life, one where no one knows I suck.

See if Hyperion’s right. Watch the pilot for IN PLAIN SIGHT either at hulu.com or on USA’s website.

Hyperion
June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Somebody's Balls are about to Drop



This is (if I counted correctly) the 1999th post in Monkey Barn history. Tomorrow, the 2000th post, will unveil Monkey Barn 3.0; or Monkey Barn the Next Generation. (And no; it will not include anything about Picard.)

I was trying to think about what to do for this 1999th post, and I thought about doing a Top Ten posts from 1001-1999, but that proved too difficult, and I could just see hurt feelings, etc.

I would point you to the very special 1000th post, which Lady Jane Scarlett organized without my knowledge. And our Archives are over on the right, which you are more than encouraged to take look through.

And, since I don't really have anything else, I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you the International Holidays from this week.

June 1 was International Be Ferris Bueller Day

June 2 was International Banana in the Tailpipe Day

June 3 was International Styrofoam Day

June 4 was International Disconnect Day

June 5 WHICH IS TODAY is International Chuck Norris Day. This one never gets old.

Tomorrow is June 6, International "Wars were better in My Day" Day

Saturday is June 7, International "The Count" from Sesame Street Day

And Sunday, which is also my sister's birthday, is International Hug a Sister Day

You can find out about the proper dress, decorations and celebratory activities for these days by visiting International Day, where every day is a Holiday.


And get ready for tomorrow, which is going to blow you the fuck away.

Devil's Food Cheesecake

Devil's Food Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Alan Rosen and Beth Allen

I made this cake as a reward for my team members for completing a big project. I told them I'd make whatever cake they wanted. Leave it to them to find a cake that took me 3 days to complete and weighed about 10 pounds. Bastards. :)

It was a bit of work but it was a pretty good cake. I'm working on my own version of this delightful cake. It will be coming soon.

In the meantime, enjoy.




For the cheesecake layer:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

For the devil's food cake (3 layers):
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 extra-large eggs, separated
4 oz bittersweet, melted and cooled
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

For the dark fudge frosting:
6 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2 tbsp dark corn syrup
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

For the Assembly:
1 oz white chocolate
1 cup Dulce De Leche or caramel sauce (I used this one)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Get Recipe Directions from Dragon's Kitchen.

Click photo for a closer look inside. Yum.


xo,
Dragon

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

P.O.D. - Politics Style

With the political landscape changing quickly, I realized I better get on my giddyup and use the pix I had. Since we will be going in a new direction soon, I'm posting all the political pictures I have left today. Some are already out of date, but still funny.