Friday, May 28, 2010

...For The Ride Home: The 9:30 Club turns 30, Paramore singer caught in naked photo scandal and it's true about Alicia Keys

What a week. Not only did we continue our "Signs of Summer" series, but we unveiled a new feature that promises to entertain once a month. We again saw more people come around than we could have ever expected. And we celebrated two months. Goodness, gracious. Saying goodbye to week nine is almost heartbreaking. To send it off correctly, you will find a somewhat unofficial video for Alicia Keys' duet with Beyonce, "Put It In A Love Song," a track you should really try and work into your rotation this summer. Really. It's got all the elements of a nice little summer jam. It's a long weekend, friends, so we don't expect many of you to be around Monday (though, if that's not true, drop us a line in the comments section). We expect to see your fabulous digital faces back here, rippin' and ready to go Tuesday with new posts and more banter about any and everything under the sun. Make sure you stay safe this weekend, and be sure to celebrate accordingly with cookouts, beer, meat, burned skin and regrets (not in that order, of course). Before you embark on such things, though, take May's last ride with us, check out some nice links, explore the world that is "Running From Camera," get carried away and as Ms. Keys says in the bridge, "Work it baby, work it out." Until Tuesday, friends, love you, miss you.

One of the most popular places to see a show on the east coast is the 9:30 Club in D.C. This weekend, they celebrate 30 years of awesomeness. Side: Was last there to see Raphael Saadiq. Dude killed it. (Pollstar)

The Times-Picayune
of New Orleans uses its front page to relay a message to the president. Those people down there are pisssssed. (Media Matters)

Remember those 50 Cent photos from yesterday? He talked about it to a Cleveland newspaper before kicking off his tour there last night. Bonus: Mase is brought up. (Call And Post)

ESPN will not revisit the tape surrounding Kansas City Chief wide received Dwayne Bowe’s comments about a girl being in every room of the team’s hotel. Something smells fishy. (Pro Football Talk)

Hulk Hogan is mad at commercials. So much, in fact, that he is going to sue them. What happened to Brooke Hogan’s VH1 show? And what’s the other half of the Nasty Boys up to these days? (Bleacher Report)

Gary Coleman is on life support. (ABC News)

The lead singer of Paramore had a photo leaked of her topless. She’s such an oddity. Can’t figure out if I find her attractive or not. Thoughts? (Billboard)

Improper text messages and phone calls. The University of Connecticut’s basketball team is in a heap of trouble. Sad. Kind of like Calhoun. (Fox Sports)

We speculated on this weeks and weeks ago. Today, it’s confirmed: Alicia Keys is indeed pregnant and engaged. Remember where you heard it first. (Rolling Stone)

Blogspot Banter: Running From Camera

One of the main things we wanted to accomplish when starting this blog was an un-paralleled communal vibe that anybody who stumbles upon our tiny part of the blogosphere could feel radiate off their computer screen whenever you manage to find yourself on our page. We do the best we can to always respond to anybody who is nice enough to leave a comment in the comments section, and if you haven't noticed by now, we always urge you wonderful readers to voice any and all opinions when applicable or possible. It's part of the fun. The No. 1 reason why we do what we do is because it's fun.

As part of that vibe, we wanted to reach out to other, much more popular Blogspot bloggers - who, we'd like to add, have been doing this far longer than us and are way, way better at the whole blog thing than we are, considering the enormous amount of edge they have in experience, if nothing else - to ask them how they have begun and maintained popular blogs through Blogspot. In addition, we wanted to get a feel for how to stand out in the crowded world that is called the Internet above the zillions of other people who take a shot at having a successful blog. And with that said, the notion of "success" when it comes to the blogosphere, we've found, has become entirely relative to whomever sits behind the computer. Is it hits? Is it comments? Is it advertising revenue? Is it the simple notion that your thoughts are being broadcasted throughout the entire world to see?

Nobody knows, but that's the fun, really. These Q&A's are designed to help get a glimpse into the complicated and extensive world of blogging. Why? Because we love you. Expect one of these on the last Friday of each month - a good way to go into the weekend, and a good way to get ready for, well, a new start with a new month ahead. Consider it a present for all the hard work you've done, reading our ramblings as much as you do.

First up is the individual behind a blog called "Running From Camera." Blogspot recently named it a "Blog of Note," and, as you will read below, the blog was also featured on The 9 over where the big boys play at Yahoo. The premise of the page is easy. As it says at the top of blog's page - The rules are simple: I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.

That idea has provided a great deal of awfully interesting photos that has garnered the person behind it a tremendous amount of popularity within the Interwebs. Still not sold? Well, take one look here, and shutter as you find yourself dropping 30 minutes of your day, trying to figure out what's going on in the picture.

Yep. That's what we thought.

So, without any further ado, we hope you enjoy taking a look into the person behind "Running From Camera."

Note: Through e-mail exchange, the individual behind this did not want to be named. Because we would never want to offend anybody - like, ever - the name has been omitted, and the identity of the person at hand will be kept secret.

Q: You’ve had your blog since 2006. That’s almost five years you have been running now. What gave you the idea to begin a blog based around taking a picture of yourself in such a manner? Did you come across any bit of inspiration for this particular blog?

A: I started out taking these pictures in May 2006. I had bought a small digital camera (Canon Powershot A520), and I was playing around with it. The series grew, and in June, I put the pictures on a blog, mainly because I was experimenting with Blogger and the way it connects to Flickr. I had not seen the idea of these pictures being used before, but later I found some similar pictures from others. The one that came closest was John Divola (although the pictures look quite different). I put a link to his series on the blog (under "Prior Art").

Q: Your blog has a consistent base of commenters. What advice would you give to a blogger starting out in regards to how to gain readership? Were there any struggles you had to begin with, and how did you overcome them?

A: I make the pictures/blog mainly for my own amusement. I have never tried to promote it, or tried to get views. The first few months, I had hardly any pageviews at all ,as far as I can tell. Then it got picked up by some other bloggers, which led to it being featured on something called "The 9" at Yahoo, which led to a period with more visitors and commenters. Since then, it has been like that: Sometimes it gets picked up, there is a peak, then it slows down again. There have also been some publications in magazines and newspapers in different places, the biggest one of these was a full page of photos in the Guardian newspaper (in the UK). I have noticed that publications in print media hardly lead to an increase in visitors, while being mentioned on a high profile website can bring you a lot.

Q: Is there a job you have working aside from your blog? How do you find time to blog around your professional career? Would you like to make a career around your blog and/or blogging?

A: I don't spend too much time on the blog, I try to post at least a picture a month, but it is not a big thing really. I have to moderate the posts, because I get a lot of spam comments, and I found this is the easiest way to control it, but that does not take more than a few minutes every few days. I do have a job - I make my money as a web developer. I don't want to make a career out of this blog. I think it is a fun thing to do, but I don't want it to be any more than it is.

Q: How important is the comments section or readership numbers to you? Is this blog up and running for fun, and your own personal enjoyment, or is this something that you only find gratification in when you know other people are reading? That said, have you become discouraged and have you ever considered giving up your blog because you thought no one cared/read? If so, how did you overcome those feelings?

A: I am flattered by nice comments, of course, and sometimes amused by strange ones, but it is not really that important to me, as I am not trying to do anything in particular with this blog. If there had been no visitors, I might not have continued this long, I guess, but who knows.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Q: Favorite food?
A: Herring (raw, the Dutch way)
Q: Favorite television show?
A: I have not watched television in years...
Q: When you are not working or blogging, what do you enjoy doing the most?
A: Reading (books)
Q: What’s your favorite blog?
A: It is embarrassing to admit, but I don't really read blogs on a regular basis.

For more, check out

Double Feature: Sex And The City 2 & Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

Each Friday, we will offer up two movies that are scheduled to be released within the accompanying weekend. We know, we know. It’s hard to come across blogs who ever actually get movie talk right. That’s why we won’t say much. A trailer. A paragraph. And boom – all you need to know about what new movies you can take your beautiful object of affection to see this weekend. It's like going to the drive-in movie theater. Remember those? So much fun. Thank us later, not now.

Sex And The City 2

Well, there's this, this and this. It sure seems as though this is dead in the water before anyone could even utter the word "Carrie." That said (and as a full disclaimer, it should be noted that I've never seen a second of either the show or the first movie), I seem to somehow, in some warped inexplicable way, like what these pictures are about. It's complete woman-power glam at its best. The "Sex In The City" franchise is sort of like how a man would view a pay-per-view fight: It's attraction is based more upon the event's hype and the things it stands for than the actual product itself. Men hear two beefcakes are going to battle it out after eight months of talking about it, and all they want to do is grab a beer and watch, no matter the fighter, no matter the circumstance. Women hear that four high-maintenance ladies are going to parade around in the fake desert, and all they want to do is grab a new pair of shoes and watch, no matter the plot, no matter the circumstance. Two things: One, I've always wanted to get into it and would very easily watch either the show and/or movie with any woman in the world at any time. And two, this is easily the best tagline for a movie we will see all year - "Get Carried Away." While there may be some debate as to whether or not this is the best movie out this week, we can all agree that it's certainly the most fabulous. And sometimes, that's more important than anything.

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

For all the appeal "Sex And The City" may have to women, this seems to be the perfect anecdote for the male species. Dudes fighting with weapons, fire, explosions and the guy who at one time was the Bubble Boy. Absolutely no interest in this movie, and in fact, the notion that these kinds of films just keep seeping out each week so far this summer is kind of sickening, actually. At what point can we stop with all the fancy action medieval-like visions, and just make a movie with a point? And what's with taking everything back to hundreds of thousands of years ago, anymore, too? "Robin Hood," "Clash Of The Titans" and now this. Goodness. Enough, already. Still love Jake Gyllenhall, though, and it appears he got himself a body while filming this picture. So, good for him. Still not enough to garner any interest in this, though. Message to Hollywood: Can we be done with these, now?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

...For The Ride Home: My goodness 50 Cent, Willie Nelson cuts his hair and be sure to add Elmo on Twitter

"Everybody's Fine" was...I don't know. It's hard to imagine anyone my age liking it for the first 60 to 70 minutes. It's a bit hollow. It's missing depth. But once that last half-hour picks up, and the movie winds down, it's pretty good. The movie itself is the true definition of "OK, there is really going to have to be a good ending to consider this movie not bad on any level." I cried twice. But I can cry at puppy dogs, so that shouldn't be a good indicator. Rent it? Probably not. If you happen to be flipping through the channels late one night, there is nothing else on, and you see the movie is already half-way done, you might as well give it a shot. Anything else, you may consider a waste of time. How could I possible follow that up? I watched the first three chapters of the R. Kelly "Trapped In The Closet" series, which is why chapter one is above. It's just so neat! And I'll stand by that now and forever. It's guilty pleasure No. 419. And finally, today is our two month anniversary!! Notice two exclamation points. Naturally, we'd like to thank you, the incredibly attractive reader, for coming back as much as you have, and helping us grow. To show our appreciation, check back tomorrow for a brand new fun feature. In the meantime, groove to some Kells up top, struggle with the sport of golf, much like we do, and check out a few links below. It's Thursday, friends. The weekend is near.

Thought about posting these pictures to accompany this post, but realized it may scare you away. This is how 50 Cent looks today. Honestly. And it’s alarming. (The Superficial)

Newsweek has a new Web site. Does this mean the magazine won’t go under? (Newsweek)

Speaking of changes, get ready for some when it comes to The Hollywood Reporter. Janice Min has ideas. (Los Angeles Times)

Ohhh, Lisa, Lisa. Our heart aches that “American Idol” is over and this will be the last recap. Crystal gets to sing with Alanis Morissette; they duet her tune "You Oughta Know" which produces the best lyric change in the history of "American Idol." The lyric: “Would she go down on you in a theater?” becomes “Would she go down with you to the theater?” They hug each other after pulling that off. (Washington Post)

Willie Nelson cut his hair. Is it weird that I actually wondered to myself when he would ever do that the other day? (CBS News)

The United States national team met and spoke with Joe Biden today. Jason Sudeikis’ impressions of him on SNL make me laugh. (TMZ)

Remember when we told you Limp Bizkit were reuniting and touring? Yeah, they apparently have to move the venues. Next step? Cancel the tour. (Limp Bizkit)

Elmo tweets. (Twitter)

Signs of Summer: Playing golf with friends

Despite the agonizing fact that the official start date of summer isn’t until June 23, we’ve already had a few waves of summer-like weather in my neck of the woods. Its days like these that energize and invigorate the lion’s share of us who live in areas with over 225 days a year of “gray” weather, and these nice days deserve their due.

With that said, every Tuesday and Thursday until the official start of summer we’ll bring you an ode to the signs of summer, one marvelous item at a time. And PS – we would love it if you would pepper in your thoughts as well.

Today we pay homage to the game of golf.

Or as it may be the case for 90 percent of us, taking in the beauty of nature, enjoying time spent with friends and drinking a bevy of Bud Light w/Limes… while pathetically attempting to get a weird little ball in a tiny little hole that is sometime positioned 500+ yards away.

Who came up with this sport anyways?

I only started playing last summer, so my game is absolutely abysmal at this point, but when I went out with my brother for the first time the other day, I was downright floored with a feeling of elated relaxation. The birds were chirping, the sun was bobbing in and out of puffy white clouds, the grass was freshly mowed…

And then I shanked my tee shot into the woods DIRECTLY to my left.

But even despite that, it was such a nice escape. The one part about golf that amazes and occasionally infuriates me is the complexity of a seemingly simple game. I always thought it was a bunch of slightly overweight bankers hitting a ball around. Now that I’m into the game a little, I realize just how wrong I was.

My internal thoughts/questions/setup for each shot:

– How far to the hole – Which club to use – How far apart are my feet – Keep my left arm straight – Keep my head down – Keep my eye on the ball – Don’t try to kill it – Keep my left foot planted – Relax my shoulders – Don’t forget to follow through – Am I lined up to where I want the ball to go – Keep my wrists locked – Don’t grip the club too tight – Don’t turn the club face accidentally…

This explains it much better.

And so it goes. The better half of this blog and I plan to get at the sticks next week. Expect a complete synopsis and a healthy dose of smack talk, gloating and excuses.

Speaking of golf, Tiger “returns from injury” to defend his crown at the Memorial Tournament next week… and I hear he has a new girlfriend already.

I got nothing.

Be good and come back for The Ride Home links at 4 p.m. today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

...For The Ride Home: World Cup roster set, "Idol" comes to an end tonight and Kiss taps a unique choice for an opening band

Hello, hello. Plan on taking a break from "Dexter" tonight by watching the accompanying movie. Hey, you have to keep that Netflix list in motion, you know. Did anybody see this? It seemed to have flopped, and from what I understand, the movie is awfully sad. Sounds like a great night, doesn't it? For those who aren't lucky enough to hold such a flick in their possession, tonight is the end of "American Idol" as we know it. Not only will it be Simon's last show, but most everybody already knows that the singing contest began its downward spiral as soon as we found out "Dancing With The Stars" was beating it in the ratings. Will Ellen come back next year? Will the show go back to three judges? Will anyone watch? All of these questions will not be answered tonight, but it ought to be interesting to see how Simon wants to go out. Before you tune in - or take a walk while enjoying some beautiful summer weather in late May - take a look at the below links, ponder LeBron going to L.A. and sit back with a nice ice cream sandwich. Be good, friends. It is Wednesday, after all.

We are finally down to the 23-man roster that will fly over to South Africa. Don’t forget, friends: June 12, we open against England. (ESPN)

Joe McGinniss is stalking Sarah Palin (kind of). Slate defends him. (Slate)

“American Idol” comes to an end tonight (as we mentioned up top). So sad to see one last post from Lisa until the karaoke contest begins again next year. (Washington Post)

More “Idol:” The 10 best insults from Simon Cowell. “You sound like Cher after she’s been to the dentist.” (CBS News)

And speaking of contests, the Pussycat Doll won “Dancing With The Stars” last night. She called the win “life-changing.” Really? (People)

The Academy Is… is going to open for Kiss this summer. Would love to see Kiss fans’ response to that. (Alternative Press)

“He said ‘Do it faster.’ It’s like, come on, man. I’m dealing with Congress here. It takes a little bit of time.” (Yahoo)

Jesse James’ dad beat him. And that’s why he cheated on Sandra Bullock. Duh. (MSNBC)

It’s almost Bonnaroo time! Here are 30 acts you absolutely must check out before making that trip to Tennessee. (Spin)

LeBron to...the Lakers?

Everybody seems to have this undeniable urge to weigh in on the NBA’s free agent class and the ramifications the moves will have on the future of the league. Naturally, at the center of this talking point is Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and the countless preposterous scenarios every sportswriter south of Anchorage has created (and that doesn’t even include the gabillions of bloggers who seem to think their opinions matter).

That said, I didn’t necessarily want to opine on such a topic simply because it has become both cliché and tacky to fall into that trap of run-in-to-the-ground discussion. And I won’t. Instead, I came across an awfully interesting take on the matter yesterday while listening to Tony Kornheiser’s talk radio show out of Washington.

Former Chicago Tribune writer – and author of two fabulous books on Michael Jordan – Sam Smith laid out a possibility that I haven’t heard discussed yet. Because I love you, the well-rounded sports fan reader, I thought I’d add yet another corner of the room that has become the speculation of where Mr. James will land. Interesting:
“I lean toward him staying in Cleveland,” Smith said. “Because they’ve made the first move – they’ve gotten rid of their coach, who he (James) implicitly said he didn’t want anymore.”
After likening Mike Brown’s exit to Doug Collins’ exit from the Chicago Bulls after Jordan’s early years (the front office ran it by Lebron and Lebron didn’t object to the firing of Brown, much like what happened when Collins got pushed out of Chicago), it really gets interesting…
I have no doubt he’s going to look around, but I still think that (if he leaves) the best option is L.A. I see Lebron as really more of a super-sized or super-charged Scotty Pippen,” the writer continued. “He’s somewhere between Magic Johnson and Scotty Pippen as a player. His first inclination is to be a team player – move the ball around, rebound, do a lot of things. And if he wants to play with Phil (Jackson) in the triangle, and he wants guaranteed winning, to me, that’s where you go. You do a sign and trade with Cleveland. You see, Cleveland is not going to want to do a deal with a rival, like Chicago…If he wants to make the max money and not sign another short deal, Cleveland is going to want him out of the conference – not in Miami, Chicago, New York, not in any of those places that can knock them out in the first round. L.A.’s got players…they could have a decent sort of team in Cleveland if they lost Lebron with the players they have if they get a center. And I know (Andrew) Bynum has had injury issues, and all that sort of stuff, but if you could get Lebron out of your conference and get a center in return, maybe some draft picks…if LeBron wants to win, that’s the place to go. Why wouldn’t it be the favorite choice?”
Come on. You didn’t really think we’d go that long without posting on LeBron, now did you? If nothing else, it gave us the opportunity to show this crazynuts video (sorry, Sheed)…

And finally, if you’d like to see a preliminary list of the players available this summer, go here. Much more on all of this mumbojumbo as it unfolds.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Paula is coming back to "Idol," Joe Jonas is mean to Demi Lovato and the return of Must-See TV

Woke up. Took a jog. Cleaned. Did work. Spoke on the phone for lengthy periods of time, and check my e-mail only to find a criticizing note left from the other half of this blog regarding the notion that no one cares about fashion, and why I wrote such a thing was beyond him (but not exactly in those words, of course). Absolutely offended, I will now post this picture of Carey Mulligan at Cannes to spite him, and mention that you could have seen this picture had you followed one of the links on the aforementioned post (wink, wink). She's so cute, isn't she? An absolute doll. And why must people say bad things about how she looked! She looks great! I'll tell you what! That's a lot of exclamation points. Anyways, so it's Tuesday, which means "Dancing With The Stars" will be on the television this evening. Who you got? People seem to think Erin Andrews can come up from behind and steal the victory. How about the ice skater? Seems unfair that he's allowed to compete. Part of his profession is "ice dancer." Then the Pussycat Doll?! Honestly. She gets paid hundreds of billions of millions of dollars to do such things on a consistent basis. Not that I'm in the group of people who think Ms. Andrews is God's gift to pretty, but it would admittedly be nice to see her win. Before you sit down to take that in, though, be sure to click a few links below, leave some comments and gaze at the adorable-ness of Ms. Mulligan. Be nice, now.

The album cover for Eminem’s “Recovery” was put on display today. Feel like I’m way more excited for this than I should be. (Eminem)

When will people far smarter than I ever begin to understand that making people pay to read things will never, ever work. The New Yorker eyes one price for all readership across any technological platform. (Adage)

The Wall Street Journal
makes an error and refuses to correct it. 11 days later. Writer/blogger/editor is awfully upset. (Wordyard)

Is NBC Thursday nights making a return to Must-See TV? Interesting read. (Popmatters)

Paula Abdul will indeed be at the “American Idol” finale. Simon giggles. (TMZ)

Late on this, but this rumor is really one of the juiciest the sports world has seen in years: A timeline of how the Delonte West and LeBron James’ mother rumor began. (Deadspin)

Nooooo!!!! Joe Jonas broke up with Demi Lovato. This summer tour promises to be awkwarrrrd. (US Magazine)

You can watch Jimmy Fallon watch “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” live all week this week. For an additional five bucks, the host will call your new movie “awesome” and tell you that you look “stunning.” (LNWJF)

Signs of Summer: Family-Owned Ice Cream Stands

Despite the agonizing fact that the official start date of summer isn’t until June 23, we’ve already had a few waves of summer-like weather in my neck of the woods. Its days like these that energize and invigorate the lion’s share of us who live in areas with over 225 days a year of “gray” weather, and these nice days deserve their due.

With that said, every Tuesday and Thursday until the official start of summer we’ll bring you an ode to the signs of summer, one marvelous item at a time. And PS - we would love it if you would pepper in your thoughts as well.

Today we pay homage to family-owned ice cream stands.

If you don’t enjoy ice cream in the summer, my bet is that you may be a member of a terrorist organization… Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but seriously, ice cream is the best. And part of what makes it the best for me is the fact that aside from that mediocre stuff you can get in the freezer section at your local wholesale grocer, ice cream stands are only around for a few months out of every year.

Now I realize that most Dairy Queens, Baskin Robbins (who?), Coldstone Creameries and Bruster’s are open year-round, but they just don’t have the same feel as the mom and pop ice cream shops that turn up in late April/early May. I really get the feeling that these folks care about the product they’re peddling a little bit more than the big boys. And that feeling makes my tasty treat taste so much better.

How about the generic replacement names these guys come up with for Blizzards? Arctic Swirls, Arctic Blasts, Twisters, Mix-Ins… all awesome and all just within the parameters to avoid a copyright infringement. That’s America, man.

My top 5 “Arctic Swirl” flavors in no particular order:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Thin Mint
Coffee w/ fudge brownie bits (you have to ask for this one, it’s not on the board)
Heath Bar

New flavor suggestions would be appreciated - I get into a rut where I’ll order the same five flavors over and over again; although I did try a Birthday Bash Arctic Swirl the other night and my-oh-my was it delish.

Now who’s hungry?

Come back for the Ride at 4 p.m. guys and gals. Hearts.

(The Internet loves kitty pictures, right?)

Monday, May 24, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Mike Brown's players liked him, cougar trend is on its way out and goodbye "24" and "Law & Order"

Got really, really drunk this weekend. It's odd, kids. When you hit a certain age, you don't really get to do that as much. Then when you do, you are reminded of why you don't anymore the next morning. So weird. Used to be able to hang, but I couldn't even move for the first four hours of yesterday. Need to get my game up with all that's going on this summer, though. Goodness, that was rough. Anyways, we kick off week nine with a bang, or, well, Jimmie's Chicken Shack. Why? Well, during my run this morning, this song came through on the shuffle, and it reminded me of the last time I saw the band perform this song, and how pleasantly surprised I was to hear it live. It's just so much more reggae-y with the electric guitars. We plan to unveil a new feature Friday, so be sure to check it out. It promises to be even better than the "Lost" finale. Wait, "Lost" people, is was indeed good, right? Had to have been. If they would have shown a blank screen for three hours, you would have loved it. Be honest, now. We love you, but come on. I digress. We can speak of this new feature more as it grows nearer. Today is Monday, so we begin the week right with some neat links. Oh. And once you are done with those, you can check out how fabulous the pretty people looked at Cannes this year. You have to dig at least one of those things, right?

Let the shaking begin in Cleveland: Mike Brown was fired today as head coach. Surprisingly (and we mean that) most of his former players have gone to bat for him. One conspicuous absence? That’s right. Mr. James himself is “on vacation.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

This is weird. Brittany Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, died over the weekend. The entire thing feels icky. (People)

Last night, “Lost.” Tonight, “24” and “Law & Order.” (Entertainment Weekly, The Daily Record)

Was going to post a Champions league final piece today instead of the Cannes fashion write-up, but knew none of you would care. In honor of that, though, an all-star team for the year that was international football. (The Big Lead)

Taking a good, in depth look at the work the National Enquirer puts in to some of its pieces. Scoff all you want, but the effort put into the John Edwards stuff was pretty damn good. (GQ)

NPR ombudsman sounds off on NPR, like all good ombudsmen should. (NPR)

Wait, the cougar trend is over?! No way. Not on the same week “Sex And The City 2” is set to hit theaters. (Popeater)

A little late, but we weren’t here yesterday: Chicago is going to the Stanley Cup finals. (Yahoo)

Cannes 2010: The fashion that was

So, "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" won the top honor at the Cannes film festival Sunday, consequently wrapping up the 2010 edition of the French film festival (and, for the record, Javier Bardem shared the best actor award as well. This is only noted because of the brilliance of "Vicky, Christina, Barcelona," and how great he is in that particular film.) Because the festival came to an official end Sunday, it's now time to take a look at the most important aspect of the event: Fashion.

That's right. Cannes is traditionally a realm for celebrities and movie stars alike to start new trends, flaunt excessive outfits and display an unparalleled sense of elegance that is only really mirrored at fashion weeks in big cities. In terms of red-carpet and movies, Cannes reigns high above all other similar festivals in terms of relevance to the fashion world.

This year? The aforementioned "No Country For Old Men" star seemed to have an edge on every other male individual who took in the pomp-filled festival (and that even includes the cast of this new Wall Street movie that seems to be everywhere). As you can see from the above photo, he looks great with his shaggy facial hair and the always wonderful black over white look. Keeping it simple can go a long way, don't forget. (Plus, goodness, you have to root for him and Penelope, right?) Johnny Depp also came out on top, according to those who know far more than I ever will. Sure, he seemed to return to his "Pirates" look, but, as you can see here, it's way better than his clean-cut attempt in the awful "Public Enemies."

As for the females, you can't turn anywhere without hearing about how fabulous Kate Beckinsale looked. Harper's Bazaar gave her two photos. These guys also thought the actress reigned tall over everyone else throughout the entire week. That said, Carey Mulligan, an actress who we clearly love, got killed for her attire, an outfit you can see here. Totally dig what she's continuing to do with her hair, and though we are admittedly biased, what's wrong with how she looked?! Come on, now. She's a doll. Finishing out the noteworthy females (and from the "biggest pleasant surprise" category), is Michelle Williams. Don't know too much about her, but every time I see her pop up, she looks absolutely stunning. Her heels with this dress go spectacularly well with the dress, too. Something about her just screams beauty.

And finally, here's a recap of what fashion trends may have kicked off at Cannes this year. Summer dresses are hard to come by, but, as the Guardian pointed out, if you can find one worthwhile, it can make an entire season. Still can't get on board with short-sleve button-ups and the skin-tight jump suit, though. Sparkly or not, it's way too much of a risk if you haven't kept those muscles toned. Need more? The video below gives a nice recap of who wore what, what worked and, as always, what didn't....

Phew. Tried to keep that as short as possible, even though it seemed like a lot. Hopefully, you, the already wonderfully pretty reader, picked up a few things about what to try out this summer. And if you didn't, well, at least come back for The Ride to see what neat links you should look up.

Friday, May 21, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Gus Johnson on Madden, CNN isn't nearly as bad as people think and Bradley Cooper gets an action figure

We end week eight with Paramore's "Misery Business" only because it just can't get out of the head after coming on during a workout yesterday. Plus, it's a nice little in-your-face ditty that should help you start your weekend out correctly. Besides, next weekend, you'll be fooled into going to cookouts, or camping with friends you don't really like all that much, so enjoy the weekend-before-the-holiday the best you can. Moving forward, we saw record numbers this week! Notice the exclamation point. Our undying thanks is echoed to each and every one of you wonderfully intelligent readers who have come across our silly blog, left a comment, or even just clicked to see that crazy-good Tom Petty video from last week's "Saturday Night Live." We hope to see it continue next week, when we plan on unveiling a treat for all of you friendly people. Until then, though, click on a few links, try to see "Solitary Man" if you happen to be around a theater that carries it this weekend and enjoy the greatness May can bring (sometimes). Be good, and as always, love you, miss you.

“Come hear our pastor. He’s not very good, but he’s short.” Had to link this. (CNN)

Great Friday news: Gus Johnson will be doing play-by-play for the next Madden video game. In honor of such awesomeradical news, have fun with this. (Kotaku)

Hey, CNN has been doing great! 2009 was the network’s most profitable year ever. (National Journal)

Metallica is going to tour. Opening acts? Slayer, Megadeath and Antrhax. Those dudes on VH1 Classic who host that public access show rejoice. (Spin)

Tried telling you this weeks ago, but no one wanted to listen. Matt Barnes is cheating on his fiancé. “Basketball Wives” ratings consequently go up. (Media Take Out)

Brett Favre said that if the Southern Mississippi baseball team makes it to the College World Series final, he will play another season in the NFL. Rachael Nichols prays for an upset. (ESPN)

“Lost” will end Sunday. These guys think they know how it’s going to end. (MSNBC)

Bradley Cooper is going to get his own action figure. “The Hangover” really wasn’t as funny as you thought it was going to be, right? (Showbiz Spy)

Double Feature: MacGruber & Solitary Man

Each Friday, we will offer up two movies that are scheduled to be released within the accompanying weekend. We know, we know. It’s hard to come across blogs who ever actually get movie talk right. That’s why we won’t say much. A trailer. A paragraph. And boom – all you need to know about what new movies you can take your beautiful object of affection to see this weekend. It's like going to the drive-in movie theater. Remember those? So much fun. Thank us later, not now.


Spoiler alert: We decided against the new Shrek film in theaters this weekend. Why? Well, I've never seen any of them, that's why. Why write about something you know nothing about? That's reserved for things like grills, music and sports, silly. Anyways, Not a single person in the world is giving this film a chance, and that's probably fair. That said, a feeling somewhere deep within my gut tells me this is going to be surprisingly funnier than expected. Don't really like Will Forte (even on "Saturday Night Live"), and Kristen Wiig becomes tiresome after too long (though if you do remember, it wasn't too long ago that this was said. Standing by that, too). But if you are stuck in search of something to see, and you have absolutely no interest in cartoons, this seems to be a film that's worth giving a shot. Or, well, you could be like the rest of mankind and wait until a Saturday afternoon sometime in 2012 to see an edited version on TNT.

Solitary Man

Yes, it's limited, but this is the first high-expectation movie of 2010 for this particular blogger. Referenced it last week when Jenna Fischer was on David Letterman's show pumping it. Don't know a thing about Michael Douglas, so this could be his time to prove something to, well, me. In any case, Danny DeVito, Jesse Eisenberg and Susan Sarandon round out this possible dream cast, so it's hard to think this movie will disappoint. Then again, this comes from someone who thought the same about "Syrianna." And we all know how that turned out. Anyways, it's limited this weekend, so with any luck it'll go nationwide within a couple weeks. If not, it'll be saved into my Netflix que before the end of the weekend. Why so hot on this, you ask? Take a look at the trailer. It speaks for itself.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Soccer is more profitable than you want it to be, Miles Davis and we're down to the final two on "American Idol"

Last night, I finally sat down and began watching the first season of "Dexter," an action that has long been preached to me by nearly everyone I know. Had little to no expectations's kind of good. I certainly don't want to rush to any type of conclusion, so we'll see after I get through episode two tonight. If it's still "kind of good," we may have a new show to obsess over on our hands. Still don't want to give in, though. Need to fight it. Speaking of television, tonight will showcase the season finales of all your favorite Thursday night comedic television programs. Can't wait for "30 Rock," and as pointed out by an awfully nice commenter, "Parks & Recreation" will be back, so we can breathe easy. All things considered, "Community" turned out to be a pretty nice show, too. NBC may be on to something. And now we kindly wait for them to mess it up. It's Thursday, so, as always, this is your reminder to go do things young pretty people do on Thursdays (i.e. begin the weekend early, drink heavily and do things you know you'll regret). Before you do that, though, check out a few links, read our second installment of spectacular summer things and get ready for Matt Damon to kill it on "30 Rock."

The better half of this blog e-mailed this to me this morning, and you have to see this: Five out of the top seven most valuable sports team brands are soccer clubs. And to think none of you as much as commented on my World Cup post last week. (Forbes)

Yes, yes. Hate John Mayer all you want. Everyone does. But this is awfully awfully funny. (John Mayer Blog)

A vote in favor of Twitter. And it’s from someone who reviews CDs. (Columbia Journalism Review)

A Miles Davis box set featuring box sets lumped together. Sign me up. (Pitchfork)

Facebookers formulate group to quit Facebook at the end of the month. Shucks. Now you won’t be able to check and see if your ex from six years ago is dating someone who is better looking than you! And you won’t be able to poke! And those college party photos? Gone! How shall your everyday life operate?! (Popmatters)

Floyd Landis cheated. Remember when one of his theories for failing the doping test was drinking too much the night before? (ESPN)

Suge Knight was arrested. Again. Eighty percent of the rap community will go to sleep without a gun under their beds tonight for the first time in months. (ABC News)

Slezak’s “American Idol” recap: The final two are set, and no one will be watching. (Entertainment Weekly)

Signs of Summer: Bud Light w/Lime

Despite the agonizing fact that the official start date of summer isn’t until June 23, we’ve already had a few waves of summer-like weather in my neck of the woods. Its days like these that energize and invigorate the lion’s share of us who live in areas with over 225 days a year of “gray” weather, and these nice days deserve their due.

With that said, every Tuesday and Thursday until the official start of summer we’ll bring you an ode to the signs of summer, one marvelous item at a time. And PS - we would love it if you would pepper in your thoughts as well.

Today we pay homage to Bud Light w/Lime.

It would be an absolute anomaly to even consider drinking eggnog on the Fourth of July - and the same could be said about drinking Bud Light w/Lime at Thanksgiving. But the second the thermometer hits 68 degrees I start craving this elixir from the gods.

In what can only be described as an utterly refreshingly-tastic experience, Bud Light w/Lime can be consumed as easily as Kool-Aid while still giving you the light summer buzz that perfectly accompanies burgers and dogs on the grill. If my grill had a “preferred wine selection” to accompany each entrée, every single preferred wine would be Bud Light w/Lime.

I’ve been ostracized in the past for my love/obsession with this sweet nectar, the lightest of light beers. Friends have asked if I have anything other than “Aquafina” to drink and I’ve been called more than a few girls names - but I don’t care. It's light, it's delicious, it's versatile, it's AWESOME.

Here are a few OTHER things that Bud Light w/Lime is:

- It’s sitting on my deck as the sun goes down, playing cards with friends and loved ones
- It’s warped tour tailgating at 9 a.m.
- It’s a sweaty, shower-less weekend at Jamboree in the Hills
- It’s taking in an evening baseball game
- It’s a pathetic round of golf on a Sunday afternoon
- It’s sitting on the beach in the Outer Banks, even though you’re not allowed to have bottles

Most of all though it’s summer, and dammit do I love summer.

Come back for your Ride Home links at 4 p.m. - then go get a 12-pack and kick it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

...For The Ride Home: NFL lockout likely, guess the drum solo and Conan takes his shots

Finally had time to sit down and watch "The Fabulous Baker Boys" last night. Michelle Pfeiffer is the second most stunning woman I've ever seen in a movie. Goodness, gracious. Research shows she was up for an Academy Award for this 1989 performance, but alas she came up on the losing end of the competition. Awards or no awards, those musical numbers are so damn seductive and sexy, it's incredible. Anyways, we are officially half way through week eight, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the talented and thoughtful reader, for sticking with us through these first two months. We'd also like to welcome new readers who (judging by the numbers) have found their way to our tiny little corner of the InterWebs. We love you all equally. As for now, click a link or two, contemplate the importance of cell phones or take some time to put "The Fabulous Baker Boys" in your Netflix que. And don't forget to eat right, friends. Always eat right.

A lockout in the NFL seems inevitable. Or so the head of the players’ association says. (Sports Illustrated)

Hey, hey. Reporters who work for The Huffington Post get paid. (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Where are all my drummers in the house? Super neat. (NPR)

Brett Michaels kept is bandanna on throughout his stay in the hospital. Of course. He said “If I go out, I want to go out rocking.” Doesn’t that mean he would have had to of rocked at some point to begin with? Ohhhhh. (CNN)

Conan killed NBC at the TBS upfronts. Good. (New York Daily News)

More on CBS cleaning house, this time from someone we frequently link to: Lisa Des Moraes. One new show is called “Bleep My Dad Says,” clearly taken from some type of internet phenomenon. Really? They get rid of “Christine” for that? (Washington Post)

Ryan Phillippe wants to be a hip-hop producer now? (All Hip-Hop)

Remember that 48 Hours magazine idea we linked a few weeks ago? Now CBS wants to sue them. (New York Times)

If you'd like to leave a message...

So my cell phone died. No, really. It died. After calling T-Mobile and spending an hour (yes, an hour) on the phone with some overly-happy dude about how my contract was about to be up, and how I was eligible for a brand new expensive free phone, I accidentally pressed the wrong button and hung up on whatever college dropout I was talking to. Naturally, when I called back, I did not hear the same voice on the other end of the phone. When I asked this new salesperson if she had anything on my record referring to the hour’s worth (yes, remember, it was an hour) of conversation I had just participated in, she told me they had nothing. A Friday afternoon wasted.

How have I chosen to fight back, friends? Well, considering my contract has indeed run out, I have opted against re-upping with the company. Actually, I have opted against re-upping with…cell phones.

Yep, that’s right. I have embarked on a Brave New World in which I am one of the six people under the age of 30 without a mobile device. Instead, I have a wonderful new cordless telephone, fully equipped with caller ID, brand new digits and, most importantly, no text messaging function.

Of course I’ve been castrated by all who know about this decision. “Oh, I wasn’t sure if your 1997 phone was able to let you know I was calling,” someone told me yesterday. But on the flip side, I was able to share a conversation with a different friend about this decision that allowed me to find a unique revelation I hadn’t otherwise considered.

At what age do you look foolish trolling around with a cell phone? Remember the first time you got a text message from your mother and you turned to whoever was around you, giggled, and said “Oh geez. My mom just learned how to text?” Or how about how awkward it is when you stumble upon someone in their 40s or 50s talking about sexting with someone in the bar?

See what I mean? It’s sort of like realizing your uncle has a Facebook page or your much older, once-removed cousin constantly updates his Twitter account. It just seems odd, and it takes innocence out of a realm that is based upon – and marketed to – innocent young people who pride themselves on one-upping their peers with the latest movie, music, book or technology. The cell phone generation viewing older people partake in the intricacies of such cell phone-like activities is akin to a 56-year-old Republican father donning tie-died T-shirts while participating in protests alongside the baby boomer generation in 1968.

Sure, I understand the criticism and rush to view my action as pretentious, pompous or ironic in some type of obnoxious way. But in reality, it promises a simpler life on a lot of levels, and that’s comforting. Am I swearing off cell phones forever? Of course not. But for now, it feels nice. And besides, having a land line now allows for such hilarious actions as the one below to ensue…

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

...For The Ride Home: CBS kills television, Magic in a must-win tonight, Austin City Limits music fest lineup announced and "Law & Order" isn't dead?

"Valentine's Day" is out today on DVD. Saw that in the theater on Valentine's Day weekend, and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Even me, someone who had moderate expectations for the film, was overly happy with the outcome. Kind of odd to put out a holiday-centric movie on DVD when the holiday isn't anywhere near, though, don't you think? Anyways, it's Tuesday, and it's the middle of May. All of the springtime television shows are winding down, the singing and dancing contests will finally have a winner and from what I understand, something called "Lost" is awfully close to coming to an end. Took a look at the calendar today and realized a lot is coming up over the next few months. That's exciting, right? Hopefully. Either way, take a gander at the following links and celebrate some of the signs that summer is right around the corner. And if you don't do either of those things, well, we'll still love you anyways.

Late on this, but still wanted to get this in, only because of an undying love for her. Amy Adams had her baby this weekend. (RealityTvWorld)

“If you stuck Stan and Jeff in the same line, no one would pick them out as brothers.” Idiotic bold prediction: If the Magic lose tonight, Boston will win the NBA title. (The Boston Globe)

CBS gets rid of 1,000 shows, including (so, so, so sad) "The New Adventures Of Old Christine." But they left the season finale at a place that has to be resolved! Also included: "The Ghost Whisperer," "Cold Case" and "Numb3rs." (Entertainment Weekly)

The Eagles, Muse, Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem, Norah Jones, Richard Thompson and 1,538 more acts have been announced for probably the most underrated of all the festivals, the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Road trip to Texas in October? (Pollstar)

Soooo, “Law & Order” isn’t dead? (Washington Post)

Prediction: The Huffington Post will have more readership than the New York Times within the next five years. And numbers to back it up. (Business Insider)

ESPN wins the rights for the ACC over Fox, who apparently made quite a push. They paid $155 million for it, too. “Money well spent, baby!” Dickie V. said when asked for comment. (Sports Business Journal)

Justin Bieber got a tattoo and Usher had to sign for it. OK. That last part isn’t true. (Best Week Ever)

In honor of Tina Fey turning 40 today, we link this story. Sad: She says Liz Lemon and Jack will never hook up. (Entertainment Weekly)

Questlove wants you to get out and vote. (Twitter)

Signs of Summer: Get out the grill

Despite the agonizing fact that the official start date of summer isn’t until June 23, we’ve already had a few waves of summer-like weather in my neck of the woods. It’s days like these that energize and invigorate the lion’s share of us who live in areas with over 225 days a year of “gray” weather a year, and these days deserve their due.

With that said, here is a recurring list of odes to the signs of summer, one marvelous item at a time. And PS - we would love it if you would pepper in your thoughts as well.

Today we pay homage to cooking on the grill.

In terms of flavor, ease of cleanup and looking totally bad-ass, is there anything better than cooking out on the grill? I would argue no way. My preference is propane and a cooking rack that is cleaned only sparingly (don’t judge me - I feel it adds to the meal). Sorry charcoal purists, while I admire you greatly, the briquettes are just too hit or miss for me, although the flavors and aromas are to die for. All food must be mixed and prepared by hand to ensure that the love of the act is transferred from my heart, through my fingers to whatever delicious protein is on the menu that day.

Speaking of protein, my top 5 grilling foods: 1) A unique hamburger I found on called “Good Burger,” which I modified slightly to fit my tastes. Unusual ingredients include brown sugar and Cajun spice. Out of this world. 2) Porterhouse steak with a simple olive oil, Worcestershire and garlic marinade. 3) All beef hot dogs. Classic. 4) Honey mustard chicken with a homemade honey mustard glaze/sauce - yellow mustard, honey, mayo and steak sauce. 5) Fatty, delicious sweet sausage.

And the deluge of side dishes to compliment the grilled delicacies are awesome as well. Pasta, potato and macaroni salads are top of mind, but don’t forget about the grilled zucchini, cucumber salad, baked potatoes and cole slaw.

Salivating profusely right now.

And one final question for you: In what other activity can a man justifiably hold his head high while wearing apron?

Come on back for the Ride at 4 p.m. ya’ll… and then go get grillin’.

Monday, May 17, 2010

...For The Ride Home: NBA Jam contest, Onyewu says he'll play for free and the death of Ronnie James Dio

Ahh, yes. I'm back, friends. Need to extend a big thank you to the other, better half of this particular blog for picking up The Ride Friday afternoon as we said goodbye to week seven (and I couldn't even remind you all that we love you and miss you, either. So sad). We hope you had a good weekend. Managed to stay awake for the underwhelming season finale of "Saturday Night Live" and caught the above performance from Tom Petty. Wow, it's good. Damn good, actually. He looks so much better without being strapped to an instrument, doesn't he? This track far outweighed the second performance of the night, and if this song is any indication of how the rest of this new record is going to be, sign me up. Can't wait to catch him this summer. In any case, we begin week eight with some pizza and links. Still doesn't feel quite like spring/summer yet, so let's hope that changes. As for now, read on and be good.

This is sort of neat: They are going to hold a contest for the new catch phrase in the upcoming NBA Jam game. Unfortunately, it’s run through Facebook. (MTV)

Sarah Palin once wore a leather jacket. And it caused an awful lot of outrage. (Chicago Sun Times)

NBC isn’t happy that its fall lineup was leaked. Glanced over it a few days ago, and was it me, or was there no “Parks & Recreation” anywhere in sight? Please don’t say that show is done. Please. (The Wrap)

Wow. U.S. standout Oguchi Onyewu asks for AC Milan to extend his contract for a year. His going rate? Free. No, seriously. He said he’ll play for free. (Yahoo)

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. (The Star-Ledger)

Christina Aguilera does not hate Lady Gaga. In fact, she thinks she's every single way. (US Weekly)

Bill Simmons is going to stay at ESPN. Bummer. (Deadspin)

Meredith Vieira (who is so easy to like, and who is still gettin’ it done) is not sleeping with Matt Lauer. And she wants you to know. (TMZ)

Pizza. Pizza.

I moved this weekend. Spending all of Saturday picking up couches, chairs, desks and beds did much more than tone my muscles and leave me sore throughout all of Sunday (especially considering I decided to go for my daily three-mile jog earlier in the day. How stupid can I be?) Being incredibly tired and worn down after a hot Saturday afternoon/evening that I found myself covered in sweat and dirt, what was the best way to celebrate? A bottle of wine, pizza and chicken wings, of course.

Though the pizza came from a local shop that happens to be the best in town, simply chowing down on a couple pieces made me begin to ponder the following: Who makes the best fast-food, chain-style pizza? The question forced me into ordering from Dominoes Sunday evening just to get that brand new taste back into my mouth one more time before this post was written.

Why? That's because there are really only four major contenders in this discussion. And those are, in no particular order: Dominoes, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and (taking it way back) Lil Caesars (also, as a side, if they would still let adults into Chuckie Cheese, that pizza would have to be up for consideration, as well. Haven't had it in decades but man, memories of their pies are filled with fabulous-ness).

The verdict? Still don't know. Which is why we present you, the fantastically pretty reader, with the matter at hand. To help, we decided to break down each candidate for you. Please note that none of these are considered with either chicken wings or breadsticks (because let's be honest, if breadsticks were added into the point system, Pizza Hut would run away with the gold). So much pizza. So many decisions....

Pizza Hut

Only take the Personal Pan, well, er, personally. But that's only because it's hard to really find a pizza of theirs that's any good. The Natural was the best, but even that didn't last long, and, for that matter, wasn't worth writing home about. Why even consider Pizza Hut then? Well that's because they quite possibly offer the best cold pizza. Let that stuff sit for a few hours and what you have is the best late-night snack any fast-food lover could stumble across. Plus, they have an iPhone app, silly. How neat is that?


The new crust is probably the best quick crust in the business (and by the business, I mean the industry, of course). That garlic-y taste is super tasty, especially when you consider the cardboard it replaced. Being someone who doesn't much care for the entire notion of cheese, though, sometimes Dominoes offers up a bit too much of the topping, even when you ask for a simple "plain" pizza. Saving grace? The jalapeno the potheads working behind the counter now give away with each pie. Because hot juice never hurts, that takes a C-grade to a B-, if nothing else.

Papa Johns

Last had a pizza from this outlet after spending an entire day drunk on Miami Beach. Thoughts? Utterly underwhelming. And that, friends, was a complete disappointment. Up to that point, my head was filled with lovely Papa Johns memories, loving the crust and thinking they had just the right amount of ingredients throughout. Instead, I felt as though I was eating paper. And I was drunk. And I was in Miami. Had that sitting on a tee, ready to smash out of the park, and they still botched it. Probably the worst of the group, for my money, at least.

Lil Caesars

Ever go to one of those Lil Caesars stores that seem to be stuck in some chain of another store (i.e., K-Mart, etc.)? Then, have you ever tried a slice that has been sitting for hours upon hours? And finally, have you ever walked away more pleasantly surprised after eating what you thought would be an awful piece of pizza? Exactly. The underdog, Lil Caesars is a chain you can never count out. Now (and why other chains haven't been smart enough to figure this out is beyond me), they have drive-thru service that allows you go drive up to the window, order the pizza on the spot, and have them give you the pie right there, within a matter of two minutes. I mean, goodness. It takes longer to make an Angus burger. Still not sold? Fine, but you don't have a soul if you aren't smiling when you think of these commercials and the little dude that creeps his way into the shot during the end...

Friday, May 14, 2010

...For The Ride Home: White Castle candles, Gisele is loaded and that YouTube kid who sang a Gaga tune

Today's Ride is short and sweet. Get your click on, enjoy the weekend and spread some love. See you on Monday.

After 20 seasons, Law & Order may cease to breathe. Dung-Dung. (TV Guide)

Nest Fragrances introduces White Castle Hamburger scented candles; potheads rejoice. In totally unrelated news, proceeds from the candle benefit Autism Speaks... if someone can find the connection, we're all ears. (Delish)

Twilight soundtrack song listing announced. Muse and Vampire Weekend to contribute. How... expected. (Alternative Press)

Since everyone else has a link to this 12-year-old's piano rendition of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," we didn't want to feel left out. The kid is pretty good though. (Yahoo)

Brazilian Beauty Gisele Bundchen earns much more money than her husband. (New York Post)

Newsweek columnist says homosexual actors can't pull off straight roles. The cast of Glee says boycott Newsweek. (Entertainment Weekly)

Sidney Crosby turns down the chance to play for Team Canada at World Hockey Championships... I wonder if Montreal Canadian fans using his jersey as a doormat and burning cardboard cutouts of him had anything to do with it? Hmmmm... (Sports Illustrated)

Double Feature: Robin Hood & Just Wright

Each Friday, we will offer up two movies that are scheduled to be released within the accompanying weekend. We know, we know. It’s hard to come across blogs who ever actually get movie talk right. That’s why we won’t say much. A trailer. A paragraph. And boom – all you need to know about what new movies you can take your beautiful object of affection to see this weekend. It's like going to the drive-in movie theater. Remember those? So much fun. Thank us later, not now.

Robin Hood

Saw Russell Crowe make the rounds during press for this movie and count me in the crowd that tends like movies he's in. "A Beautiful Mind" was genius. "State Of Play" was so much better than anticipated. The overrated "American Gangster" was not a waste of time. Hell. Even "Body Of Lies," a movie that most consider a flop (based a lot on his performance) wasn't all that bad. Blame Leo for that movie's low points. That said, I've never been a fan of neither action or pseudo fairy tale movies. Unfortunately, this seems to be an action movie based around a pseudo fairy tale. He seems to have tied his cart to Ridley Scott and vice versa. That's OK, but if we've learned anything from that team, we've learned the following: Don't believe the hype (i.e. the aforementioned "American Gangster"). So Russell, we still love you, but we're going to have to call in sick for this viewing experience. Here's hoping for a "State Of Play 2."

Just Wright

Anybody ever see "Brown Sugar?" Wonderful movie. In fact, back when I shunned all movies, it was still a film I decided to own. For the first 21 years of my life, the only two movies I owned were "Brown Sugar" and "Catch Me If You Can." "Just Wright?" Well, you can't help but see the comparison between the two movies in your head. Maybe it's the New Jersey Nets angle. OK. That's exactly what it is, actually. Either way, the premise for this picture seems recycled and had the casting director opted for Gabrielle Union over Queen Latifah, this may not have even ever been released nationwide. Think about it. How many times have you seen the Queen on all the late night talk shows this week? Five million. She's one of the few people in the world who continues to make somewhat awful movies but is in high demand when it comes to the "guest on talk show" realm. Two good things? Common and the slew of NBA players making cameos throughout. Still not enough to make it interesting, though. And I like romantic movies, too. "Brown Sugar" DVD, where are you?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

...For The Ride Home: The Pens go down (and go down hard), Jay-Z & Eminem and Matt Lauer is cheating?

Jenna Fischer is in a movie that looks mildly interesting, and she's been making the rounds. The movie's called "Solitary Man," and for more on it, well, check the "Double Feature" post, silly. Seems like it would be the type of movie I would like. Don't know much about Michael Douglas, though. We shall see. Either way, it's Thursday, which means "The Office" will be on your television tonight. Moving forward, it's Thursday and it's the middle of May (but it certainly doesn't feel like it). We have some surprises in store for you lovely, lovely readers, which we will get to in a couple of weeks. Different features. More offerings. Only because we love you. Unrelated: Pink just came on the radio. Recently saw her "Behind The Music" again. Really like it. Like all the "Behind The Music's" actually. They could put Yanni on one and somehow it'd be interesting. OK, that's all. Be good, and don't do anything your mother wouldn't allow...

Alluded to this last night, but the Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins from the NHL playoffs. The league will be lucky if they get eight people to watch their product from now until a champion is crowned. (Post-Gazette)

Instead of an “Idol” wrap-up, take a look at this awfully interesting piece on how the show’s producers will not name a replacement for Simon Cowell before the final show this season. Also, it takes a look at a mighty neat survey found on the “American Idol” Web site. (Washington Post)

The Little Orphan Annie comic strip will be discontinued June 13. (Chicago Tribune)

Jay-Z and Eminem are going to do two shows with each other. One in Detroit. One in New York. If a performance of “Renegade” doesn’t occur, refunds should be distributed. (Spin)

The Sarah Silverman Show will not return for another season. Feels odd. Seems like a lot of people liked that show. (Yahoo)

First Jim Nantz and now this: Matt Lauer is cheating?! Say it ain’t so, Matt. (The New York Daily News)

The Mayweather-Mosley fight earned $78 million dollars. Just imagine what Mayweather-Pacquiao would be able to pull in. (USA Today)

25 rules that will make you a better dressed man. (GQ)

Minimum age requirement in sports = problematic athletes. Wait a minute...

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently came out with a statement that is sure to be met with anger and frustration by basketball phenoms across the country. His idea is to raise the minimum age of entry into the NBA to 21 – up two years from the current minimum age of entry, 19.

To quote the 63-year-old Lakers great, “The attitudes have changed, and the game has suffered because of that, and it has certainly hurt the college game.”

I see both sides of the argument, and to the players credit, I would be pretty upset if someone told me I wasn’t allowed to make a living doing what I do best, regardless of how many years I’ve been around. If a team is willing to take the risk of throwing $15 million at an 18-year-old kid, they’re the ones who have to live with it and try to sleep at night.

But Jabbar’s statement brought a troubling thought to mind: football and basketball both have minimum age requirements, yet seem to be in the spotlight for undesirable reasons more so than baseball (steroids notwithstanding) and hockey.

Additionally, basketball and football drafts its talent almost exclusively from colleges – meaning the players have at least one year of higher education. For the most part, hockey and baseball players seem like they’re drafted on or around their 13th birthday.

So what’s the issue here? Who or what’s to blame in these two sports? Is it the colleges and universities? Is it the parents? Is it society? Is it the leaders of the respected leagues?

Or are the athletes themselves just becoming greedier, more entitled, generally crappier people?

Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least five athletes in the NFL and NBA with major behavioral problems: Ben Roethlisberger, Gilbert Arenas, Matt Jones, Pacman Jones, Ron Artest… In baseball and hockey, well, I actually have to think about it. Sean Avery is kind of a jerk… There are dozens of baseball players who have cheated by taking performance-enhancing drugs… John Rocker was pretty racist…

Maybe I have blinders on, but something doesn’t seem right here: the guys who have some formal education are getting in the most trouble, while the guys who go straight from high school into “the system” come out relatively squeaky clean.

Full disclosure, hockey and football are my favorite sports, in that order. And this is just an uneducated observation.