Monday, November 30, 2009

Andouille and Potato Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


In a large pot, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and herbs. Add the potatoes and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Add chopped parsley and season the soup with salt and pepper

I cut this recipe in half since I was only making it for my husband and me. I also added some heavy cream and corn at the end. The sausage gives it a ton of flavor and it was really good. My husband said I could "add it to the rotation", translated means "two thumbs up". I don't usually use Emeril's recipes as he uses a lot of ingredients, but this one was very simple. Here is the link in case you would like it:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

When Did Strawberry Shortcake Become A Slut?

When Did Strawberry Shortcake Become A Slut?

I just got my Target sale paper for the week and I was totally freaked out by the new look of Strawberry Shortcake. I grew up with these dolls. I watched the cartoons. This was my life, and fuck it all, they are messing with it terribly.

In the eighties Strawberry Shortcake looked like this:

She was cute, and she smelled tasty!

The doll looks like this now:

Yikes! What happened to the little country girl looking doll? She almost looks like one of those Bratz dolls and she's wearing a micro mini! For crying out loud that's just ridiculous. I'm not saying she's not a cute doll..but I'm saying she's more for little kids and Strawberry is dressed like a teenager.

I don't have children, but seriously why do all the dolls have to look so damn slutty? I'm not a prude by any means but I think there is a time and a place for everything. People have bitched about Barbie for years, but my stand on Barbie is that she is a FASHION doll, but dolls that are supposed to be little kids should look like little kids and not like the little kids that some unfulfilled mom tramps up to be in a beauty pageant.

Can we just let kids be kids and play with toys that look a little less street corner-ish? Its bad enough that clothes for little girls make them look older than they should be, but that's another rant all together.

Yup...another part of my childhood, destroyed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Life Without Monk

Life Without Monk

For the better part of the last 8 years, I've been a fan of the tv series Monk. Next week will see the end of the series and I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with not being able to settle down to Monk on Friday nights.

It just doesn't feel right.

I'm not ready to let Adrian Monk out of my life. Eight years is not long enough. Other shows that weren't nearly as good have longer runs, you know like Friends. OMG I freaking HATED that show and every character on it. Law & Order has been on 20 years, which for me is twenty years too long.

Yet Monk calls it quits after only 8.

I hope the writers do the characters justice. I hope that they don't pull an Uncle Rusty and destroy the integrity of the show in the last episode. I mean if there was a Sex In The City movie and all those Mr. Bean films, why not a Monk movie some years down the line?

A girl can dream right?

Either way, I want to take the time to really thank USA Network and Tony Shalhoub and all the wonderful cast that made up the show, for all the laughs and fun over the last 8 years. What a fabulous show! I will miss it more than anyone can imagine!

Farewell Monk!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Very Naughty Read

A Very Naughty Read

Everyone knows that I am a huge sucker for romance novels. I can usually devour one a day when I have the time. I tend to go for more paranormal stories or historicals, but I have a friend that likes what I humorously dub, Girl Porn. You know those books that sometimes seem like they have more sex then plot?

Well through her, I started to read Harlequin's Blaze line. This books are just a step away from being true erotica, but oddly they have some really interesting stories.

Sure there is nothing "real life" about them, but they are very entertaining if you like that kind of thing.

But I digress. It was through my dear friend Jennifer that I discovered Stephanie Bond. Stephanie's books are some of the best girl porn and non-girl porn I've read. She has a mystery series a bit similar to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, but her Blaze books for Harlequin rock my world.

Her most recent one is called Seduction By The Book. Its actually 4 novellas that tie in together. All the women belong to The Red Tote Book Club which meets monthly to discuss some of the best erotic fiction.

The group leader suggests that they choose the novel that spoke to them most, and then set out to seduce the man of their dreams literally "by the book."

The results are very steamy, to say the least. The books chosen by the ladies in The Red Tote Club were Lady Chatterley, Venus In Furs, Fanny Hill, and The Slave. Some interesting reading there. I was almost surprised that Anais Nin wasn't chosen as some of her heroine's were quite forceful in getting the men they desired.

Stephanie weaves four stories that make you want to read more and more. Its a good thing that this book is going to have a e-novella and a full length Blaze followups coming up in January and February.

Stephanie Bond knows how to write books that will heat you up but not push the envelope too far to put off some readers. I look forward to many cold showers after her next few books!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Surly Girl Saloon in Columbus, OH

The Surly Girl Saloon in Columbus, OH

A few weeks ago I went to Columbus for a Ben Folds show. Originally my group of friends were going to eat at the Sausage Haus, a kitschy German restaurant featured on the show Man Vs Food. The wait time was 35 minutes, and we had an hour before the show, so my friend Chase suggested the Surly Girl Saloon. Noting my hesitation, he described it as "diner food with a bunch of craft beers and kitschy cowgirl stuff on the walls." Sold instantly.

The Surly Girl Saloon serves traditional diner food with a spicy kick. I had the Cajun meatloaf sandwich, and it was amazing. Meatloaf is easy to mess up, but they got it the right consistency (not crispy, but not gooey like undercooked breakfast sausage), and the spices gave it an extra push over the edge to Awesomeville. They have designer cupcakes for desert, red velvet and the Cupcake du Jour (that day it was mandarin orange). Best of all, they have 24 beers on tap, including microbrews, organic brews, and beers specifically made in Ohio or by women. My choice was Tommy Knocker's Maple Nut Brown Ale, very tasty with hints of maple syrup and chocolate.

The only downside is that the food took awhile, so we had to get it to go and eat it in the car on the way to the show. We were afraid we were going to be late, but ironically enough, Mr. Folds himself was eating dinner at the same time a few blocks away at the similarly hip Betty's according to his Twitter.

Surly Girl is good stuff. I'd like to try it again when I'm not so rushed. It also seems like a rad place for a punk show, so maybe that will be the incentive to give it another shot.

Surly Girl Saloon on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 23, 2009

Movie review: Hot Rod (2007)

Movie review: Hot Rod (2007)

I'm a big fan of the Lonely Island dudes and the SNL Digital Shorts, so I was eager to see my brother-in-law's absolute favorite movie Hot Rod. Never heard of it? Very likely, as it was released summer of 2007 with little promotion and got downright shredded by the critics. Sprinkle in the popularity boom of Andy Samberg, and you've got the perfect recipe for a cult classic. To be honest, I can see some of the critics' points, but while it's not the perfect cult classic comedy, they're a little harsh.

Andy Samberg plays Rod, a loveably off-kilter manchild who aspired to become a stuntman like his deceased dad. He shows off his stunts with a crew of like-minded neighborhood dudes with little success. He's content with this life until he learns his step-dad is dying and plots to raise $50,000 through stunt shows to buy him a new heart so he can survive... not so much out of love, but out of a desire to "kick his ass to win his respect" before he dies.

While the comedy in the movie isn't 100% Lonely Island, you can definitely tell that Andy had a hand in writing the script, from the shot of a Yo Yo Ma library poster to the lengthy "Cool beans" scene. The humor is a little bit all over the place, which is one of the movie's main flaws. This definitely seems like a producer foulup, like they weren't quite sure who their target audience was and included jokes to appeal to any potential viewers. This leads to a disjointed vibe and a lot of underdevelopment.

One of my biggest beefs is that Bill Hader was super under utilized. I think he's one of the most talented comedic actors out there right now, and he didn't get much screen time. I understand it was mostly Andy's vehicle, but the scene where Hader gets to shine was one of my favorites. I was a little bummed there weren't more moments like that.

Still, there are genuinely funny moments and a sweet message that doesn't beat you over the head. Rod's love interest in the movie states it pretty simply when she said something to the effect of "I like that you never sold out when everyone else grew up and got boring." That's not just a good take-away life message - it's a good message to keep in mind while watching the flick. There's something to be said for a little wonderfully weird movie.

At any rate, I'm on the fence because the internet opinion of the flick seemed to be all or nothing. While I don't agree with the bloodfest the critics had, I don't think it garners as high of a cult classic status as it's getting. I simply thought it was a funny movie, a little flawed but a decent first effort from Samberg. I'm at least interested enough because of Hot Rod to see his next flick. It's not as funny as the Incredibad album or the good Digital Shorts, but I'd suggest you check it out if you're a fan of either.

Final Verdict: 6/10

buy Hot Rod at Amazon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When In Wheeling You Must Eat Here

When In Wheeling You Must Eat Here

Wheeling, WV, the home of an awesome casino, Oglebay Festival Of Lights and a really awesome shopping complex filled with everything you need to empty your wallet and a wonderful market district with yummy places to eat and buy tasty treats.

So with all of this going on, how can I tell you that there is only one place you need to stop to eat when you are in the city?

Its easy.


Yes, there is a creperie in Wheeling, and the crepes are some of the best I've ever tasted!

So head on over to Later (Allegator) @ The Market in Wheeling and try some savory crepes that are filled with all sorts of things like ham, chicken, roasted red peppers, cheese and spinach.

Then you'll want to have a sweet crepe as dessert. You'll really want to share these, unless you don't care about your waistline. These gorgeous treats are filled with stuff like creme cheese, nuetella, ricotta, fruits and topped with honey, chocolate (do I need to go on), and nuts.

This one is called Monkey Business and is full of bananas, cream cheese and topped with honey and sugared walnuts!

This is a must stop place on when you are in Wheeling. After all, how can you resist a place who's slogan is eat or we both starve, and the mascot is an alligator wearing converse!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Love The New Moon Soundtrack

I Love The New Moon Soundtrack

Let me say first, that I hate the Twilight books and I have no desire whatsoever to see any of the films.

That said, the soundtrack for New Moon is probably one of the best soundtracks out there.

I just heard it for the first time today, because my best friend, is a Twilight junkie. There's no saving her, she's too far gone.

I wasn't all that keen on the first films soundtrack, but this one is really great, especially the Death Cab For Cutie song, Meet Me On The Equinox. I have a love/hate relationship with Death Cab, but this song is more the sound that I like. (Kind of a a post modern Pet Shop Boys sound) I can listen to this song over and over.

I also really love the Bon Iver/St Vincent song, Roslyn. Its just so pretty.

There's really not a bad song on the album and the flow of the tracks is perfect. Its not a mish mash of songs tossed on a record to score a hit. These songs belong together. I don't think I can come up with another soundtrack as well put together as this one.

In fact, it's opened my eyes to some bands I probably would never have listened to if not for the fact that I had no choice but to listen to this album today. So yeah, I think I like OK Go now, I think I may also like Muse and a few of the female singers that I've never heard of, that appear on this album.

So, even if you don't like the books and movies, you might want to check out this soundtrack, because it really is full of awesomesauce!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2 Beers You Must Try

2 Beers You Must Try

It wasn't until I discovered a place called Barley & Hops in the South Hills part of Pittsburgh that I truly found a love of beer.

I'm not a fan of regular brews like I.C. Light, Rolling Rock, Coors or Bud. Me. I'm a microbrew kind of girl. Sure I like Corona and Fosters, but the stuff I really love is the unique flavors, like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or the Blackberry Witbier, but let me introduce you to two beers that are unlike any beer you might ever come across.

O'Fallon's Cherry Chocolate Beer, which is like nothing you've ever tasted before. When you drink from a glass you can smell the chocolate in the beer. Its a darker brew, but its not bitter like most darjer beers and it also doesn't carry a huge price tag like many brews from the smaller breweries. At Barley and Hops, this bottle sold for $3.75 and let me tell you it was worth every last penny.

I wish I had know about this company. I would have headed to South Hills last month in hopes of getting the Pumpkin beer. Check out the website to learn more about the special beers O'Fallon's makes.

If you ask me what my favorite beer is, Framboise Lambic would be the answer. It tastes nothing like beer and though the framboise (raspberry) is my favorite it comes in a few other mouthwatering flavors.

The best lambic I've had is made by Lindeman's though lambic is starting to show up in breweries here in the US. Sam Adams makes a cranberry lambic that I hope to sample soon.

Lambic is known as the champagne of beers. It even masquerades as one. It has a beer bottle top but beneath is a cork!

If you aren't a huge fan of beer, these are two drinks you definitely want to try. If you are a fan of beer, try these because they are awesome and you need to expand your palate.

The Only Reason I Care About the Olympics

The Only Reason I Care About the Olympics

Everyone who knows me knows I only care about one sport: hockey. Therefore, everyone who knows me knows I'll only be paying attention to one part of the Olympics: hockey.

The best part is, depending on which of the Pittsburgh Penguins get picked for which teams, I may not even be rooting for my own country. I can't help it if I want to see my NHL team win!

Sidney Crosby carrying the torch is always nice, too. Safe to say that if nothing else, Pittsburghers know what was going on up in Halifax today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dear Doctors of the World

Dear Doctors of the World,

If you want to inspire confidence in your abilities when patients come in for a routine check up, don't clap your hands together and say while walking through the door, "So, what is this, a pregnancy test?" Even if you are a gynecologist, that isn't cool.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Waters Of Mars

The Waters Of Mars

I haven't been impressed with a Doctor Who special so far this past year. In fact, up until this point I've been totally disappointed by the episodes leading up to David Tennant's departure as the Doctor which is coming sometime between Christmas and New Year's.

That said. The Waters Of Mars left me both breathless and angry. Breathless because it was probably the most fast paced well written episode of Who that I've seen in a long time. This episode was excellent. I didn't want to take my eyes from the 2 inch screen that I was watching it on. Yes, people, I watched this episode on my Zen Vision. Angry, because I didn't like what he was doing to the Doctor personality wise.

Without giving away much of the episode, as it won't air in the US until Dec 19th, I can tell you that the story is one of the best, even though at first I wasn't impressed. It felt a bit like "42" for awhile which was one of my least favorite episodes with Martha, but very soon it took on a life of its own.

In the last 15 minutes of the episode, you get a lot of foreshadowing of what's to come. Including a bit of madness on the part of the doctor. There's a visit and a song by a former Who alien too.

The only thing I didn't like was how Uncle Rusty seemed to be doing to Ten what he did with Captain Jack in Torchwood. I feel that when the End Of Time epis conclude everyone will be waiting for Matt Smith to become the doctor, because Rusty was making it hard to like Tennant's Doctor as The Waters Of Mars came to a finish.

He didn't feel like the doctor that showed up on Mars saying his intentions were fun.

I know that when I see the last episodes, I'll cry, because even though Who has been in my life for quite a long time, Tennant was MY DOCTOR! He will always be my doctor, and I will miss him terribly in that part.

Matt, you have some big shoes to fill. I hope you're worthy of the role you've taken on.

The Waters Of was breathtakingly sad and as much as I hate to give that bastard RTD credit, it was fucking brilliant.

One from the Vaults: Gooby

One from the Vaults: Gooby

The first thing you probably need to know about my movie going habits is that I see five shitty movies for every good movie. Willingly. And even though this was released a few months ago, I'm including it in the Vaults because of its sheer awfulness. Nothing says quality like direct-to-video, and Gooby is the very pinnacle of direct-to-video.

Gooby tells the story of a boy with some serious mental health issues, acknowledged at the first of the film and then conveniently glossed over (giving me the take-home message that childhood onset schizophrenia is outgrown? ). His yuppie parents find the house of the dreams and make the kid move, which sets off the hallucinations and then brings his childhood toy Gooby to life. Gooby is not, in fact, a hallucination, as everyone else in the film can see him. Gooby gets the kid into all kinds of madcap zany bullshit, and his parents learn the lesson of spending time with their family. Or something.

Here's a better outline: a giant orange bear with a Scottish accent runs around and makes weird jokes while Eugene Levy, a sadsack substitute teacher and failed kids' author, tries to photograph him and the world's most self-aborbed parents have some vague yuppie job and don't notice their kid going out at night or being sent to the hospital. (In one scene, the kid pretends to throw up on the dinner table to cover for Gooby making noise upstairs, and the parents' only reaction is to move the Chinese food out of the way. Not, "Shit, my kid is sick," but "please don't party foul on our moo goo gai pan.")

Like most of these weird direct-to-video kids movies, most of the hilarity is unintentional, so bad it's good. The long shots, the awkward lines, the creepy adults, the misplaced CGI and green screen. It's worth the cost of renting it if only for (1) the nanny that looks like Iggy Pop and (2) the scene in which Gooby terrorizes an 11 year old bully in a hot dog costume so much the bully pisses himself, and then Gooby utters in simple, childlike amazement, "Look, Willy, the hot dog peed!"

Honest to blog this is a real movie. For the longest time I thought it was a clip from Tim and Eric, but I promise you that this movie exists in 99 minutes worth of gut-wrenching glory. I honestly don't expect you to believe me, so here's a link to the Gooby trailer. May God have mercy on your soul.

true masochists can buy Gooby on Amazon

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pittsburgh Area Bands: The Switch Kids

Pittsburgh Area Bands: The Switch Kids

We like our pop rock in Pittsburgh. I don't know why. But the good thing about that is we do it well. Today, I'm highlighting The Switch Kids. Formerly known just as The Switch, which I liked better. But whatever. It's all about the music, right? I was reminded of them because of the fact that every time I ride in my brother's car & we listen to his iPod, their song "Radio Reminder" almost always come up on shuffle.

They're fun, fast, & catchy. I hadn't listened to them in a while, but my brother's iPod left me wanting more. They're good times. They make me want to dance (that said, I think I'm the only girl that wants & tries to dance to rock music). There's not much else that can be said without being redundant & wordy, although songs like "Life Under the Big Top" are heavier, longer, & a slight departure from the usual but are very well-done.

Fun fact: lead singer Rob met Conan O'Brien when he came through Pittsburgh promoting The Tonight Show.

They also put on a killer live show, when I saw them ages ago. They know how to work a crowd. And they gave me one of the most memorable concert experiences I ever had by covering the Full House theme song. As if that wasn't entertaining enough, almost every single person in the Rex Theater on the South Side that night was dancing & singing along, too.

The Switch Kids on MySpace.

Everything is good, although "Wait a Minute" is a personal favorite. Nostalgia.

And the song my brother's iPod is obsessed with? It's not on the MySpace, but it's called "Radio Reminder," from when they were still The Switch. Definitely worth a listen if you can find it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Since When Is Denny's A Place With Crazy Good Food?

Since When Is Denny's A Place With Crazy Good Food?

Denny's is usually my last choice in places to go out for a quick dinner. Its usually right in front of Kings Family Restaurant which I have a love/hate relationship with.

But not anymore.

Denny's has a new menu and ZOMG is it NOMMY!!!

I had a Cranberry Pecan Salad with Grilled Chicken for dinner. It comes with a nice size bowl of balsamic vinaigrette so you don't completely douse the salad. The chicken was perfection and there were loads of wonderful dried cranberries throughout along with the sugared pecans and a nice touch was some crispy bacon. Not a lot but a nice strip or two. Mmm tasty!

Before this the best cranberry salad I've had was at Garfield's, but this totally blew that one away.

But the best thing on the menu, which is probably the worst thing for you, is the pancake puppies!

Yes, they've made pancakes into little hushpuppy balls and they serve them with maple syrup to dip.

Sooooooo freaking good. Right now they even have peppermint puppies, and those are super tasty.

If you haven't been to a Denny's in awhile, now might be the time to go back. Your belly will thank you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pardon Me While I Ponder This

Pardon Me While I Ponder This

My John Barrowman rant got me thinking about what the freaking hell is so great about the video for Single Ladies?

After watching it, I decided, its not because its great. In fact, the video is lousy. And that has to be the reason its inspired everyone and possibly their grandmother to do stupid parodies.

The song however is an earworm of the worst kind.

One listen and you'll be singing the damn chorus for days.

Its got that groove that reminds me of Whitney Houston's first 2 albums when she was singing really catchy dance pop and that she's tried to recreate with songs like Million Dollar Bill on her new album.

One thing I'll say for Beyonce, is that considering she's a Diva in her own right, she hasn't gone the way of Whitney and Celine, which caused them to lose their pop edge for awhile. And let's face it, even Celine was good when she was singing pop and not wailing like banshee and beating the hell out of her chest.

Beyonce at least keeps it real and I'll give her credit for that. Now if only she'd stop acting...all would be well in the world

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why I Hate John Barrowman

Why I Hate John Barrowman

This post could go on and on forever if I wanted it to. I have a slew of gay men that I absolutely adore, most are on the campy, in your face and out of the closet kind of way, which is why I've never quite understood why anything with John Barrowman in it makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I mean for all intents and purposes JB is a nice guy. He has a great sense of humor and is fun to be around from all that I've heard from the Cons etc, however, I would slap him in the face if I ever were close enough to do it. (And not get arrested)

I think the problem is me. I love things with a great passion and I dislike things with an equal amount of passion.

The latest thing Barrowman has done that annoys the fuck out of me is this:

Do we really need another parody of Single Ladies?

I freaking hate that song to begin with, but really, JB, hasn't it been done enough? I mean Justin Timberlake did it? That heavily browed Jonas Brother did it.

It was only funny time. Its not funny anymore.

Do something useful with your time, like try to convince that evil fucker, Russell T. Davies to fix that hideous mess he made of Torchwood.

You know what? I really don't like "Modern Family"

You know what? I really don't like "Modern Family"

I know that I'm supposed to, because it's the hot new show. It's the one all the hipsters are rallying around, the one all the dirty East Coast Liberals (like me!) just love. It's been likened to "Arrested Development," which I just loved. I continue to watch it every week to figure out what I'm doing wrong, but I just can't get into it.

There's something about it that just rubs me the wrong way.

I've never been a fan of the type of comedy that's designed to be awkward and cringeworthy, which is why I'm not the world's biggest Office fan. The show is hilarious, but Michael Scott makes my brain hurt. I want to be entertained, not made to feel uncomfortable.

I don't like the interview segments, while they do work in the Office, they just seem extraneous here. The Office is designed to be a documentary about the workings of a company, so it makes sense to have the individual interviews. What's the point of it here? Was it ever established that someone was making a documentary on this random family? Or are they all just talking to us because they're completely narcissistic? (Which they are, being it the reason behind the interviews or not.)

And while Arrested Development's humor came from its large lot of eccentric characters, this lot seems less eccentric and more stereotypical, almost insultingly. They are not characters so much as caricatures. The Columbian trophy wife, the soccer mom, the vapid teenage girl, the gays, the Asian baby. It seems lazy. All of these characters are already written.

In short, the concept seems to me like something that would have been a great SNL sketch, but I can't see the purpose for an entire show.

The Great Balloon Hoax

The Great Balloon Hoax

Show of hands, who here is sick of all the Balloon Boy coverage? The story should have been a blip in the "odd news" Yahoo newsfeed and a clever Halloween costume. Instead, it has morphed into a National Crisis TM!!1!

Gotta admit when the story came out, I was amused and followed it. Mostly because I was at work and had already read Fark that day. What I expected to happen was a lot of other bored folks talking about it on the internet. I certainly didn't expect the news outlets to grind to an absolute halt and cover the story for hours. I mean, we're in two wars and a recession - isn't there actual news to cover?

And now everyone is out for blood because the parents "were just out for attention." Of course they were! They're reality TV darlings! Did it really surprise anyone that's watched any reality series? You can't create Frankenstein's monster and then be angry that it drops a little girl down a well.

I don't care if their series got canceled. I don't care if they're going to court. I'm done with the damned story. I kind of wish the profession I went to school for actually covered news nowadays, but I guess that's why we have the BBC.

Sidebar: is anybody else disappointed that this wasn't a marketing stunt for the DVD release of Up?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Movie review: Where the Wild Things Are

Movie review: Where the Wild Things Are

Maybe I should start this off with a disclaimer: I was never one of those kids that was obsessed with this book, which may have colored my movie experience. Don't get me wrong, after seeing the HBO special Maurice Sendak seems like an interesting cat, and Spike Jonze is one of my favorite directors. It's just that I didn't have an emotional attachment to the story and really couldn't get into the movie, even if on paper it was amazing.

By now everyone knows the story: Max is a rambunctious little boy that gets into a fight with his mother. He runs away to the Land of the Wild Things (via his imagination in the book, literally in the movie) and promptly declares himself King of the Wild Things. This is where things diverge, as needed in order to turn a 48 page book into a 100 minute movie.

The movie progresses with lots of very Spike Jonze dialog (there were a couple times it almost seemed like self-parody) from the Wild Things. Soon Max's relationship with them begins to mirror his relationship with his family. Max learns his lesson and returns home.

And... well, that's about it. There's not a whole lot of conflict in the movie. Drama, yes, but no conflict. I'm not saying that they needed to add ninjas and espionage to the movie; I'm just saying that because of the flow of the movie, I couldn't get too engaged.

I didn't hate the movie, though, so let's concentrate on some of the things I think they got right. All the interviews and promotions that said "you've never seen a movie that looked like this" were right. It's very much an atmosphere movie, like Eraserhead (not in tone, mind you... and I'm probably the only person that's able to justify comparing the two.) Jonze captured the inherent sadness of childhood quite well; more than a few times my heartstrings got tugged, as I could remember similar events in my childhood.

The puppetry is amazing as well. I grew up on Jim Henson and have a soft spot for large scale suit-style puppets. Too many movies rely on CGI for non-human characters and lose a lot of the charm of older kids' movies. And the way Max Records (fated by name to be the star) interacts with his human and non-human co-stars is gold. I'm hoping that kid will go far in the movie biz.

Still, with all the good elements, I couldn't get into it. So many of my friends said that watching the movie was "a life changing experience," and the entire time, I sat scratching my head, thinking, "What the hell am I missing?" Maybe I'm just a jaded asshat, but I hardly think this was the movie of the year that everyone else made it out to be. It was a cute movie, but not one I'd be too interested in rewatching.

Final verdict: 5/10 (didn't love it, didn't hate it)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One from the Vaults: Meet John Doe

One from the Vaults: Meet John Doe

Let's get a few things straight here. This is not the movie where Brad Pitt is death (that's Meet Joe Black), nor is it a movie about the bass player of X. Instead, this is a mostly forgotten Frank Capra movie, which is a pity. Meet John Doe could stand up beside It's a Wonderful Life in production value and has a more cynical political undercurrent. But because it's in the public domain now, it hasn't gotten a proper release, and even the more expensive versions seem to have the same lousy transfer my Dollar Store copy has.

The plot is pretty clever. To save her job, a newspaper advice columnist (Barbara Stanwyck) writes a fake suicide letter signed by John Doe, a man fed up with the current state of the world who plans to jump off a building on Christmas Eve. The public goes into a frenzy, and the newspaper is forced to produce a real-life John Doe. They find him in Gary Cooper, a transient ex-minor league pitcher; pretty soon he's groomed and ready for the media, much to the dismay of his hobo friend the Colonel.

The media goes bonkers over John Doe's first speech, and soon John Doe fan clubs pop up all over the country to "help their fellow man." John begins to buy into his own hype and thinks he's doing a great public service. Nobody gives much thought to the mysterious politician funding the John Doe project until it's too late.

First off, I've got to speculate that Frank Capra had Seasonal Effective Disorder, as this is yet another movie where Christmas and suicide go hand in hand. But (1) I can empathize and (2) this is one of the reasons I dig his movies: somehow they're simultaneously dismal and feel-good.

Even if the script gets into Capra-corny territory at times, the performances are outstanding. I was particularly impressed by Stanwyck's range and Edward Arnold's portrayal of the political mastermind behind the John Doe movement. Again, as a film nerd, the John Doe convention scene floored me. Keep in mind this was before the time of GCI, so those grandstands were literally packed with thousands of people in the pouring rain.

If you're a fan of Capra or classic films in general, it'd be worth your time to hunt this one down. Because of the themes, it'd also make a nice addition to your Christmas movie collection. You can find it with some sleuth action at any place they sell crappy $1 public domain DVDs, like your local Dollar {Store/ Tree/ General} or your drugstore's discount DVD bin.

Buy Meet John Doe on Amazon

Monday, November 9, 2009

Album Review: Hafdis Huld - Dirty Paper Cup

Hafdis Huld - Dirty Paper Cup
Album Review by: Andrea Guy

Apparently there are a lot of good bands in Iceland and since there aren’t a lot of bands crossing over into the mainstream of US music these days, its hard to know that, but thanks to a recommendation I found Hafdis Huld.

Hafdis has a teeny tiny little voice but not in that baby way that can grate on your nerves after one or two listens. In fact her accent is so cute I found myself listening to Dirty Paper Cup for the better part of the day.
Its more than her accent that made me stick this CD on repeat though. She manages to write songs that are both pretty and witty, something that’s a little hard to find when it comes to female songwriters in this genre. Usually its all about love and lost love. Sure this subject is there, but not in the same way. There’s Happy Ever After that has a spoken word part that is adorable, especially when she talks about the guy that smells like honey and she really likes honey.

One of my favorite tracks on this CD is Plastic Halo. When I first heard it, I thought of the band Garfunkel and Oates, because they sing with the little sweet voices but sing songs that are just hilarious and pretty. How can you not giggle when this adorable little blonde girl is singing “I hope you choke on your plastic halo, cos it’s the right way for you to go?” It’s certainly a lyric that makes you stop and rewind to listen again.

That’s not the end of the unique and often funny lyrics. There’s also Ski Jumper. I’m sure that’s one of the only songs about that profession out there. Then there’s Fucked Up Mind. I’m partial to songs with Fuck in the title, so this one wins points with me, but its one of those songs that’s so pretty that you almost miss the f-bomb when she sings “I did the only thing that felt right to a fucked up mind.”

If one could actually decide which song was the best on Dirty Paper Cup, and with the Hafdis’ quirky and fun lyrics and her pretty baby doll voice, that’s a damn hard thing to do, but if you could it would have to be Tomoko. Why? Because Tomoko is the song about that perfect friend that you love and you love to hate. Plus the lyrics “You get loads of boys and toys when you want, if you want.”

Hafdis has created an album that is surprisingly refreshing. Give it a try and see what quirky brilliance really sounds like when hidden in the guise of a cute little girl from Iceland.

Watch: Tomoko

Genre: Folk, Acoustic
Sounds Like: Garfunkel & Oates
Buy: Amazon
Released: Oct 1, 2006
Rating: 9.5/10

A (Kind Of) Guilty Pleasure: Ghost Adventures

A (Kind Of) Guilty Pleasure: Ghost Adventures

I've always been a sucker for horror, even when I was a little kid. I was watching SciFi (I refuse to call it SyFy, it's dumb) in elementary school. So it's no surprise that the Travel Channel continuously sucks me into their ghost hunting shows. First, Most Haunted was a weekly ritual with my brother & I. Now, Ghost Adventures is an all-out family affair. Partly because my dad's a skeptic for the most ridiculous of reasons & it's become a family hobby to argue whether or not ghosts are real, but that's not the point.

With paranormal shows like this, the great debate is always whether or not it's real. But I feel like with Ghost Adventures (yeah, the title is pretty cheesy), that doesn't matter quite as much. I'm entertained by just the guys themselves, with the way they interact with each other, scare themselves, & practically verbally abuse the potentially undead. I love it. Don't get me wrong, though, the paranormal is a legitimate interest of mine & is the primary reason I tune in.

Plus, I totally have a crush on Zak Bagans. I admit it. Even though night vision isn't particularly flattering for anyone.

And for I'm a total X-Files nerd, & Dean Haglund, AKA 1/3 of the Lone Gunmen, hosted the Halloween special. Awesome by default.

Song Review: Willow Brocke - Driving Into Winter

Willow Brocke’s Driving Into Winter is a song that you must hear now. It is the perfect song to listen to when you are cuddling up to your significant other on a cold night. Willow’s vocals are smooth and lush, very reminiscent of Basia.

The lyrics beautifully illustrate travel in a snow storm and somehow make it seem like a sexy thing instead of the incredible frustrating and often terrifying experience that it actually is. I think many of us have driven in bad winter weather, so that the full meaning of the lyrics “Up ahead tail-lights glow red. And so I follow. Common sense said: Stay in bed.”

This is probably the song that everyone should play when they are “Driving Into Winter.” The song is so soothing that the insanity of driving on a snow covered icy road might just be diminished a few notches. I know I’m going to be putting this song on a CD for my winter travels, because I’ll want Willow’s beautiful voice keeping me from the road rage. Even if I'm not driving, I'll want to listen to this song just to get the beautiful imagery of snow covered roads outside and of a world that just might stop turning long enough to enjoy this lovely song.

You can download the song for free here

Bow Ties Florentine

Bow Ties Florentine
Bow Ties Florentine

I was looking for a new chicken recipe on Saturday, and this is what I found. I like that Kraft lists the nutritional information, but in reading it I found out it isn't the best for your waist. It was very simple to make, though, and delicious! Here is the link:

3 cups (8 oz.) bow tie pasta, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed (I used 1/3 fat cream cheese)
1 cup DI GIORNO Shredded Asiago Cheese (I used mozzarella)
1-1/2 cups milk
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained

COOK pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook and stir chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

PLACE cream cheese, Asiago cheese and milk in medium saucepan; cook on low heat until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add spinach; cook until heated through, stirring frequently.

DRAIN pasta; place in large bowl. Add chicken and cream cheese mixture; toss to coat

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Things I Like Saturday

Things I Like Saturday

My friend Cait keeps a blog called Things I Like Thursday, in which she lists things she {digs/ has done/ is grateful for} that week. Since I'm a big fan of ripping people off homages, I thought I'd make my own list.

sugar snap peas: officially my favorite veggie now, but a close second would be....

mushrooms: The sight of mushrooms used to make me gag, but after a delicious meal at a hole-in-the-wall Chinese diner in New York, I really dig them.

Look at That F***ing Hipster: Sort of like Andrea's People of Wal-Mart post, this blog makes me feel better by laughing at ridiculous people. So this is going to be for the next generation what disco fashion was to us. Click here for hipster fail (warning, some NSFW captions and pics at times)

Half-days at work: It's the best of both worlds: a break and a paycheck. Once the holidays pick up, I'll be seeing quite the opposite with overtime, so I'm basking in half-days and long lunches while I still can.

Ben Folds: Every few months I'll have an internal debate as to whether I've "outgrown" Ben Folds. Then I'll see him in concert and realize how stupid that internal argument was. Plus, he's always super nice when he meets people after shows, even when he's been up for hours and his fans go all teenybopper crazed on him.

NaNoWriMo: I'm using it as an excuse to finally finish writing my sketch comedy show, so wish me luck!

chamomile tea: An honest-to-blog miracle drink. Keeps the cold bugs away while making you less stressed AND tasting awesome? Hells yeah!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mmmm French Fries

Mmmm French Fries

Why is it that the foods that are the worst for the waistline are always the ones that taste the best?

I love french fries. I always have. I'm always on a quest for good fries.

So far in the Pittsburgh area, some of the best fries I've had are at the Potato Patch at Kennywood Park. That's truly a given if you are from The Burgh. Primanti Brothers restaurant comes in a close second, and they are a Burgh tradition, putting those wonderful fries on your sandwich with a sweet and sour slaw. Sounds strange, but it tastes freaking wonderful. Lastly there's a little restaurant in Belle Vernon called Sonny's that makes the most awesome fries I've ever tasted. They are so crispy and they taste like they have a coating on them. Mmmm.

I don't know what it is about fries, but I can usually tell if I like them just by looking at them. Those thin fries you get at most of the fast food restaurants are terrible. You can't even get them home from the drive thru and they are cold and hard as rocks, and if they are from McDonald's (at least the on in Charleroi) they are so salty its ridiculous. One local restaurant used to make fries so thin that they had no flavor at all and you had to douse them with ranch or ketchup to make them worth eating. Thankfully they've made some changes to their fries, and they are no edible without any condiments.

So where do you get the best fries in your area? Give me your best and worst!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Album Review: Ist - Toothpick Bridge

Ist - Toothpick Bridge
Album Review by: Andrea Guy

Ist is one of those bands that sound like an amalgamation of different bands so that when you are listening to them you keep thinking you are listening to someone else. When I first played I thought they sounded a bit like The Clash and then I thought, well maybe they sound a bit like The Pogues. Not that it matters who they sound like, what’s important is that you listen because Ist’s Toothpick Bridge is an album you have to hear.

Why you may ask, when there are so many new bands out there to try? Because this stuff is good, damn good. Its definitely worth a few listens and probably a few more after that. The songs on Toothpick Bridge will put a spring to your step and a couple of songs will stay in your head. OK, a lot of songs will stay in your head. I dare you not to find yourself singing Pep Talk Or Scotsman In A Church while you’re walking down the street.

But not all of the songs are faced paced, but even the slower tracks like Would You Buy A Bible From This Man, which is quite possibly the longest song title I’ve seen in a long time, will captivate you. I also give the guys props for an awesome rhyme. I know I would be hard pressed to try to find a good rhyme for Aurora Borealis. But they did and the rhyme even makes sense. I think there should be an award for doing that. If there isn’t. I say there should be. Cookies for the band!

Its that sort of thing that makes Ist stand out from other bands. The lyrics to their songs have the same feel as many of the old school angry young punks that graced the music scene in the late scene Lines like “When you think with your dick And she thinks with her purse,” are classic. (along with the aurora borealis line which always makes me smile). The musicianship isn’t bad either! I have to admit I have a partiality for horns, being a lover of Oingo Boingo for the last 20 years. This is the first band that used a horn section that made me miss the days of Boingo.

Ist prove with Toothpick Bridge that Ist are on the same level any band in the mainstream. In fact, they are probably better. Toothpick Bridge is a well rounded album, with fast paced tracks and slower tunes performed perfectly.

I have to admit I liked this album from the fist track I listened to, which was The Boy’s Not Right. Every song after just got better. Its got anything you could possibly want in an album; catchy lyrics, great melodies and a pretty awesome vocalist. So what are you waiting for? Go check out Ist!

Listen @
Genre: Indie, Pop, Punk
Sounds Like: The Clash
Label: Monkey Basket Records
Buy: CD Universe
Released: August 17 2009
Rating: 9/10

One from the Vaults: Teenage Strangler

promotional poster for Teenage Strangler
One from the Vaults: Teenage Strangler

It's been awhile since I've been to the theaters, so I thought I'd shake it up and review some of my favorite b-movies, exploitation flix, and MST3K-worthy films. Fittingly, the first one actually was the subject of an MST3K episode and was filmed in my hometown. May I present for your consideration 1964's Teenage Strangler.

A serial killer is loose in West Virginia, targeting teenager women and strangling them with a nylon stocking (hence the name). A witness to a recent murder sees the killer wearing a local Hot Rod gang's jacket, and soon the police are hounding that gang, including the witness's secret boyfriend. Everyone suspects the boyfriend because of his murky past, but the movie throws out red herrings left and right. Is it the boyfriend? The gang's tough leader? The creepy janitor? Local folk-rock act the Huntington Astronauts? Adorable Mikey?

This movie was the vision of Ben Parker, who made the movie entirely in his hometown and filled the cast with friends and relatives, few of whom had set foot in front of a camera before. Like any small town film project, there's more than a few out of focus shots and hilariously bad actors, but that's part of the fun. And true, the movie doesn't quite deliver on the "defilement and death!!" (definitely not the "dismemberment" promised in some ads... seriously, how do you dismember someone with pantyhose?), but really, what drive-in movie from that era did?

The good moments really surprise you. There's some absolutely gorgeous cinematography, like when two characters are running down a street weaving in and out of the light. Being a low/no-budget moviemaker myself, I can spot happy accidents, as purposely lighting that shot with anything other than streetlights would have taken HOURS.

What you end up getting is a charming time capsule of 60s West Virginia that happens to take place in a proto-slasher flick. I have a soft spot in my heart for this era of horror, and it's only a bonus that I can recognize the locations (hey, I almost rented an apartment next to that murder spot!) And if you don't walk away forever scarred by the unexpected musical number "Yipes Strikes," you are a machine.

Buy Teenage Strangler on Something Weird Videos from Amazon

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



Like most bands I get into, I was introduced to Farewell when they were opening for someone else. Specifically, Pittsburgh band Punchline on's Next Favorite Band tour in September. While I enjoy most openers I saw - especially for Punchline, who tend to have the best openers I've ever heard - Farewell was one of the few that made me love them almost immediately. I bought both of their albums at their merch stand right after the show. I spent all the cash I had on me that night. I'm usually really cheap. You get the point.

Hailing from North Carolina, they're described as "pop punk", which in my opinion is a term thrown around as carelessly & thoughtlessly as "emo." They were tapped to tour with Cartel but the tour was canceled, & have appeared with the likes of Houston Calls & cite Green Day, Jawbreaker, & Alkaline Trio as influences.

Musically, the "pop" part makes a little bit of sense. Their songs are catchy & fun, they're good with harmonies & melodies, throw in just the right amount of keyboards, & lead singer Marshall has a strong, clean voice reminiscent of Mark Hoppus. And he's a really nice guy. He sold me the CDs (and then my brother took them). Plus, they know how to write a good song, capturing subjects familiar to rock yet ones we're not tired of hearing about. When it comes right down to it, Farewell is a good, solid, talented rock band. And they're an excellent time live.

"Start It Up" gets stuck in my head a lot. I'm also a big fan of "Devoid (That's What I Think About It)" that has the gem of a line that says, "So when did rock 'n' roll become this fucking fashion show?" which I loved. One reviewer complained about it, claiming some form of hypocrisy, but methinks he missed the point.

Unfortunately, some of the songs I most highly recommend aren't available on their MySpace. But if you can find 'em, listen.

Farewell's MySpace. Listen.

Songs to listen to that I haven't already mentioned: "Zelda," "Cut You a New Smile," "We All Fall Down," "A Collect Call to Arms," "Sucker Bait," "Priorities Intact."

Tubesday Top 3: Things that make me laugh

Tubesday Top 3: Things that make me laugh

Happy belated Tubesday! This week's theme is not so difficult: videos that make me laugh... and, with some luck, you too.

The first puts me in a good mood any time Ifeeling bad. Nothing is inherently funny about the song Carmina Burana (unless you've seen several horror movie trailers in a row), but this montage of pictures representing the song's misheard lyrics is liquid gold.

What else do I find funny? Bad horror movies. One of the other Wenches reminded me of The happening a few days ago, which reminded me of this scene. I'm not sure which is funnier, the Monty Python-esque suicide or random bar lady's deadpan line shortly after.

Finally, a new video/ meme in which the filmmaker's friend describes the plot of the Star Wars trilogy despite never watching a full movie.

Enjoy! Happy Tubesday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Books That Scare Me

Books That Scare Me

My weekly emails from Books-A-Million are starting to scare me.


Because some very creepy people have books coming out. People that have no business writing books. You know like Mike Huckabee. I don't want to read politicians life stories or what they have to say, particularly if they are relgious wingnuts or ex-governors who just happened to be the worst choice as a vice-presidential candidate the country has ever seen. Sure, Ms. Palin is pretty, but I question how well the grey matter inside her head functions.

I'll give Mike Huckabee credit though, politics isn't part of his book which a collection of stories about his Christmases past, with a few reminders, I'm sure, of what Christmas is really about.

You guys do know what Christmas is really about don't you?

I'm just not sure that we need a politican reminding us that Christmas is about more spritual things and family than it is about who gets the biggest and best presents, or who spends the most money. Especially one that has just come off of a failed campaign and probably needs to regroup his funds. If this book had come out two years ago or maybe 3 years from now, I would say it would be worth a shot, but then again, in 3 years would we even remember who Mike Huckabee is?

That said, if you are going to read a book by a politican this year..I'd say go for this one, if the subject matter strikes your fancy. This is a book that goes more along the lines of heartwarming coffee table books that will give you warm fuzzies and not crazy political ramblings or me me me, I'm wondeful me-ness.

Now for the Must To Avoid Book of the year.

Sarah Palin's Going Rogue.

Dear God! Why Why Why! And Why why why! would anyone want to read this?

I think a more apt title might be Going Batshit Insane. Or How I Destroyed The Republican Party In 5 Easy Steps. Actually she didn't do that they were well on their way to destroying themselves long before McCain picked her up as a the Veep candidate.

But really? An American Life? Isn't it bad enough Miley Cyrus has written a book already, do we need to add more books from wingnuts that don't know how to write? Couldn't some of them just go away? Far far away?

What scares me the most is that Sarah's book will probably sell millions of copies, and I can't fathom why?

So ladies, are you planing to read these books or avoid them like the plague, like I am? Have you ever read a book by a politican?

Oh and on a crazy happy note..

I can't wait to buy this even if it sucks

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Great Gaga Debate, Pt. 2

The Great Gaga Debate, Pt. 2

We all know my feelings on Lady Gaga. In short musically, she's not terribly innovative, I think The Fame was overrated, & I don't really like her lyrics.

But then "Fooled Me Again, Honest Eyes" happened.

It wasn't enough to drastically change my opinion of her, but it's a step up. I like Gaga stripped down to just her & a piano. She works better that way. Ironically, it shows that she's not the greatest singer, but for me, that's the appeal. It's raw. It's not disguised by overdone electronics & production - it's real. All you get is her.

The lyrics are better, too. Sure, some of it is traditional Lady Gaga, singing about being rich & famous, but it's also more personal & honest. She actually has some good lines lurking in there - the girl can write a song.

I like seeing this side of Gaga, even if her bizarre fashion choices are still around making everyone wonder. If Lady Gaga wants to last in the music industry, rather than come & go as quickly as so many before her have done, she'll have to keep this up.

This Is Ridiculous!

This Is Ridiculous!

I was doing research for a column I write for a music blog and I came across the headline that there's an autopsy photo of Michael Jackson that may be leaking to the internet soon.


That isn't something that anyone needs to see, not now, not ever and definitely not when there are 3 children that called that man "FATHER!" around. They should have to see this or have to be hidden because they might. Its freaking ridiculous.

The man is dead! It is a tragedy that it happened, but nothing is going to bring him back. Its time to let the story die.

If you need a Jacko fix, go see the movie, the studio decided extended This Is It's run, so take the opportunity and go, but don't feed on the stuff in the tabloids that had their hand in ruining his life and countless others. There are other things you could be doing.

This is just one of the things that annoys me about the media. And sure, I love to read gossip about celebrities, but really there has to be a place where everyone draws the line.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It is 2009 - stop with the blackface already

It is 2009 - stop with the blackface already

Dear Athens, OH,

First off, gotta say that you're a really cool city most of the time. You have so many neat shops and restaurants; I'm a little jealous that West Virginia doesn't have a Big Mama's Burritos or Goodfella's pizza. And your own indie theater and film program? Kudos!

But going to your Halloween block party this year, I saw a few things that were not cool, not cool at all. I saw way too many white guys dressed like Kanye with blackface and sorority girls dressed like fat black lady caricatures. Very ugly and not the picture of tolerance you try to promote elsewhere. Are you not teaching your fellow Athenians, especially your student body, that blackface isn't acceptable?

Apparently fucking not, from reading your student paper. In the opinion piece, some video production students defend an actress darkening her skin in a sketch about Oprah. I want to strike down a couple of the arguments they used in their defense, both in this article and in the rebuttal from the original article that broke the story.

(a) "It was satire." I hate that I have to spell this out to a program of higher education, but satire and humor can still be racist. If you have a person of color crying foul on what you consider funny, then maybe you should reexamine your point of view instead of being condescending and saying, "You don't get it! We were making a humorous statement! You just don't happen to find it humorous!" That's what "It was satire" as an excuse says to me.

(b) "the actress didn't use traditional blackface, she just used commercial bronzer to make her skin darker." If you are a white actress that is portraying an African-American and use ANY type of makeup to darken your skin to ANY degree, that's fucking blackface. End of story. (and yes, before you ask, that does includes Fred Armisen playing Obama. And what would the alternative be? Oh, I don't know, maybe having one than one fucking minority on the SNL cast?)

(c) "The sketch itself doesn't even concern race." Anything involving any person of color concerns race. This is a hard concept to grasp when you're a member of a group in power. It's kind of hard to see beyond privilege when you've got it, but race is involved in every facet of society. Even what you write off as a harmless sketch.

The article asks, "Where do we draw the line as to what is acceptable?" No problem! I can draw that line for you! You can even print it out and keep it in your wallet as a reminder!