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Showing posts from 2010

The Six Most Underrated Films Of All-Time

Every year, thousands of movies come out.  Some are universally loved, some universally hated, some missed by many, some seen by many and put on a pedestal they don't deserve.  So I started thinking about movies I've seen, which many haven't (most likely), that everyone should.  This list isn't comprised of movies like Legion, which I liked, but I'm sure I'd be laughed out of any serious film discussion for admitting.  This isn't movies that contain an Oscar nominee, but didn't get widely released.  This is a list of movies that most people I know haven't seen, but are actually considered pretty good by those in the know. 

So I started thinking about what criteria I would use to comprise this list.  I've rated over 2000 movies on Netflix using their star system.  Now while I believe 0-5 stars is very difficult to use, I needed something.  So here was my criteria.  If I rated the film a 5-star movie, the overall rating had to be under 3.5-stars.…

Inside the Actors Studio: The Questions

Last year, I did the full version of Proust's questionnaire, but I'm going to keep this simple.  Since I started this on my damn phone and wasn't going to type that much.  For those of you who don't know, there is a Bravo television show called Inside the Actors Studio, in which the host, James Lipton asks celebrities a set of questions at the end of each show.  Some are telling.  Some are moving.  Some are just plain hilarious.  So here it goes.  Here are mine.

1. What is your favorite word?

Thanks.  A simple word, but so seldom spoke with sincerity.  When it is, it's magic.
2. What is your least favorite word?

Fag.  The most overused word in society today.

3. What turns you on?


4. What turns you off?


5. What sound do you love?

Children's laughter.

6. What sound do you hate?

Car horns.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Bitch.  Because it can be used playfully, but when used with malice can drive a woman crazy and a man to the brink.
8. W…

Giving Thanks

Last Thursday, as the turkey and stuffing was eaten, the gravy was poured and the football games watched, it dawned on me that we may have lost sight of the the concept of Thanksgiving.  Sure, people say they are thankful for their meal and to be with family and friends, but it's rarely a time of serious reflection.  Especially when the smell of a sweet pecan pie is wafting through the air.  I'll admit, I didn't really reflect that day either.  A triple creme brie and a glass of nice Cabernet had my thoughts elsewhere.  But as the days passed, especially Monday night I started to really be thankful.

I'm thankful for my mother, who isn't with me anymore.  I'm thankful for her teaching me compassion and patience, even if at times I don't show them.  In doing so, I have become a better person.

I'm thankful for my father, who taught me to look for more.  Look for the clues, the answers and to question everything that doesn't sound right.  In doing so, I…

Karaoke: For The Singing Impaired

Recently, I have discovered the world of karaoke.  Over the last few months, one of my local watering holes, Stephen's Green has been having a DJ named Kystle, who plays karaoke.  The first time they had it, I really didn't know what to expect.  The place really isn't that type of restaurant, albeit they do draw a crowd for their weekly music.  The night started off slow with me refusing to sing.  This was partly because a previous time I was tricked into singing Lady Gaga's Bad Romance and that is one hard song to sing when you are drunk.  This time was different.  Well it got up to me and I decided to sing It's Raining Men by the Weather Girls.   Now obviously, the song is great, but there's something about seeing a chubby heterosexual guy jumping around singing this song. Well, I had a little help from some others, so I wasn't embarrassed.  Now I can't wait for it.  Every time they have it, I try and get as many people to come out for it.  The reason…

The DMV: White Plains Edition

As I entered the lovely White Plains Mall, I walked down the dirty corridor, passed some odd restaurant, an optical place and a Subway, I turned to my left and to my disbelief, the DMV was gone.  License plates in hand, I called my boss and he told me they had moved it upstairs.  I walked towards a young man wearing jeans who turned around and he had wings bedazzled on the back of his pants.  Was he a frustrated bird?  The Phoenix rising from the ashes?  I don't think so, he looked more like a frustrated rapper.  I passed a man having a loud conversation with no phone.  This bothered me more when I realized he didn't have a bluetooth device either.  I entered the DMV and was pleased to see there were only three people on line and about forty people sitting.  I knew it would be quick.  I approached the desk to get my ticket and was enamored by the young lady with nails longer than a samurai sword.  She handed me the ticket and I walked towards the benches. 

The first thing I n…

Dream Analysis

I've had this ongoing nightmare that has me perplexed.  It's lasted quite some time and the last time I mentioned a dream, a friend of mine gave me her analysis.  It was pretty much on point, so I threw this one at her.  After her analysis I decided to reflect a little and see how her analysis and the dream told me things about myself.  Her analysis is italicized for the reading comprehension impaired.

Here is my initial post on her Facebook page: Hey dream analyzer - had a dream the other night that someone was trying to kill me. This has been an ongoing dream (for like two years) with the same person after me (I don't know them). The person always appears and I get away. In the dream, I write my dreams down, because I'm also dreaming I'm being chased by this person. They told me if I burn all my written down dreams, they'd leave me alone. So I do this. But while doing this, I meet a woman. She asks me what I'm doing and I tell her. Now he's trying to k…

Halloween: Behind The Mask

Let me begin by saying that I am not a big fan of this holiday.  Sure as a child I would pester my parents about it and we'd sit and make a costume and then I would skip down the street and annoy my neighbors with that irritating little saying "trick or treat."  Funny how in all my years I never got a trick.  Why don't we teach our little ingrates to just say "put the damn candy in the bag, grandma," because that's what we really mean.  One thing I will say for Halloween is that it does teach us many things about many people. Sometimes their costumes reveal more than just some cleavage.  Sometimes they reveal someones hidden persona.  One that is trapped beneath heavy sweaters, taped glasses and failed expectations.  Sometimes they just show us some tit.  Either way, it's always an interesting evening.

Halloween has taught me that whether it be an intricate mask hiding someones identity or simple fake glasses with a moustache, a mask enables people …

Stupid Ideas and Inventions

There have been many a great invention over the years.  There is the wheel, the Frisbee, and of course Gold Bond medicated powder (if you don't know you better axe somebody).  Recently, I've noticed that some inventions aren't that brilliant.  Some are downright silly.  These are a few of the items we would all be better without.

Sunday Night Football - Going to work on Monday sucks enough as it is, but thank you NFL, you've given us three and a half more hours to drink, when we've already been out for seven hours.  Couldn't you have just been a little kind and started the game at 7pm?  No, I have to wait an hour and watch Andy Rooney for a fucking hour.  Thanks a lot. 

TV Remotes - I'm as lazy as they come.  I'll drive two blocks to go somewhere, using the excuse that I may go somewhere else later.  It's pathetic, but I'm not so bad that I can't stand up and walk three feet to change a fucking channel.  I have watched as people look franti…

People Are Strange

I don't know if it's the ozone, dietary habits or the incredible ease in obtaining prescription medication, but it seems to me that people are getting stranger and stranger.  Now this isn't to say we didn't have our share of nut jobs back in the day, but the prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate. 

While growing up in Brooklyn, my parents had a tenant who took them to court, accusing them of stomping their feet in the middle of the night and waking him up.  He also said we had made rude remarks to him and were horrible landlords.  So he had his day in court.  Everything sounded like a valid complaint until he said that my brother (who was two at the time) would call him a "crazy homo" and that my parents used to pour hot wax through the cracks in the floor to burn him.  Case dismissed!  That was nearly 25 years ago and now that story almost seems tame.

Maybe I'm just more perceptive than I was in my youth, but the number of people who talk to thems…

Some Random Thoughts and Baseball comments

The great thing about a blog is that your thoughts are documented.  That is unless you're wrong.  Well at the beginning of the season I picked the Texas Rangers to come in last in their division.  I also only picked four of the eight playoff teams correctly.  That's the worst I've done in about 15 years.  I did however pick the Phillies and Yankees to play in the World Series again....but it looks, as of now, as I might be wrong.  I should get Kudos for having the Giants in the playoffs though.  Not many "experts" did.  I should say that I also predicted Texas/Philly in the World Series back in June.

So what else is going on in my head?  Here are a few things.

I have decided that I don't like cold cuts anymore.  Unless it's salami pr proscuitto, I'm not interested.  In the past few years it's dawned on me that cold cuts (especially Boar's Head) are as bland as a Michael Bolton CD.  Cold cuts has joined pasta on my "why the hell did I used…

Fantasy Football's Greatest Exchange

Anyone who plays fantasy football knows there is a message board.  In the past 12 hours, my last opponent responded to my smack talk and then I offered somewhat of a rebuttal. Not really, it was more of a concession speech.  We've had some good exchanges, but this tops them all. 

Last night my victorious adversary came out with this gem:

Hopper, Hopper, DEAR Hopper! You know, as I get older, sometimes I am forced to realize that I'm never going to fulfill all the dreams of my youth...I'm never gonna play pro football or roam center field for the Yanks, I'm never gonna be super rich or famous. Nah, I'll just struggle along and hope for the best like everybody else. Maybe it's a mid-life crisis thing, I don't know. But this realization can be tough. It first struck me a couple of years ago, and I have to say, it was hard. I was a little down, maybe even depressed.....then Zak talked me into joining a new rotisserie league that was being run by Ja…

Some Random Thoughts For the Day

Sometimes things stick in my head and I can't them out.  It's part of why I started this silly blog.  I know only a few people read it and most think it's silly or dumb, but sometimes it's like a therapist.  Sometimes you need someone to talk to who won't speak back and offer their unwanted opinions.  Remember what they say about opinions. Believe me, I know, I'm one of the most opinionated people around.  So here's some thoughts that are keeping me awake at night.  OK, anything keeps me awake at night.

You know you might have a drinking problem when you spend a night drinking and nobody gets any better looking.  This is not directed at any of my personal friends, because I only hang out with beautiful people.  Ok maybe I do have a drinking problem.

I watched a girl, about 17, driving a Mercedes run four stops signs in a row.  When I caught up to her she was on a cell phone.  She then proceeded to drive right through a red light.  How is talking on a cell p…

The Work Week

I've been giving a lot of thought to the work week that has become the standard and feel it needs to be tweaked.  Obviously there are some jobs that require you be there at specific times due to things like hunger.  So my dear friends in the food service business this is not for you.

I'm talking about 7-3, 8-4, 9-5ers.  The typical eight hour day shift people.  It's kinda silly. Just based on my experiences and things I'm told be people in offices, this could be significantly cut and would enhance production and job happiness.  The average person, other than answering phones and going to meetings, most likely doesn't have eight hours of actual work.  So why should they be there for eight hours?  To me, they'd be much more happy sitting on their recliner than sitting in a cubicle, so let them.  Here's the first thing.  The damn water cooler/break room morning.  It does nothing but promote animosity through gossip and hearsay.  Instead of coming in dreary-eye…

The Curious Case of Jon Hopper

Like all of us I have gotten older.  I'd like to think wiser, but that's up for debate.  In the past I used to get in trouble, get in fights, and on occasion got people to hate me.  I still do, but with much less frequency.  I love debates, but hate fighting.  Fighting is a tiring process.  Physical fights are usually less stressful than yelling matches, because at least there's an outlet for your anger.  When you have a verbal argument there is a level of stress that you achieve that isn't healthy, because in the end, both parties are most likely going to agree to disagree and that is just damn frustrating.

When I was younger i used to get into a lot of physical fights.  I mean a lot.  I noticed something very strange about it.  I'd almost get aroused when there was about to be a fight.  It was an adrenaline kick that I got very excited about.  Most of these fights lasted a few seconds, but the thrill was always exhilirating.  These days, as I've entered my fo…

Terms: Am I Really Getting That Old?

Texting and instant messaging have taken over the world.  People now text, instant message and e-mail more than they talk.  Talking seems so passe.  Even I am guilty of this. I find it's easier to get an answer from a text than to ask someone, because it cuts to the chase.  I don't have to hear about their day, their wife and kids or the odd growth that has appeared on their under carriage.  Texting has made life simple, but it's also skewed the way we look at some terms.

Remember the good old days when the word WHATEVER was not a sufficient answer? It still isn't but I'll be damned if it isn't the answer to every question for teenagers.  If I ever said whatever as an answer to one of my parents questions, I'd be whacked in the head. It's a not so polite way of saying, fuck you and fuck off.  It's not an answer, ever.

BTW aka By The Way.  It's an IM staple and a phrase I use way too much.  I use this phrase more often than I use shampoo.  I use …

Quickie Blog: People That Bothered Me Today

1. People who drive with tickets still under their wiper blades. And we're worried about cell phones?
2. People who pretend not to notice you and then discuss something you'd rather never hear about.
3. People who take up two spots.
4. People who speed up for red lights when they see you are crossing the street.
5. People who walk through parking lots like there isn't a chance of a car driving through.
6. People that don't get to the point.
7. People whose armpits I have to look at while ordering food.
8. People who are orange. Seriously, I saw Snooki again in Scarsdale singing the Lollipop song.
9. People who don't signal - I Know I've covered this.
10. People - for the most part....everyone does something that annoys me....I'm just trying to get you all back.  One person at a time.

Michael Vick: Starting QB

There has been a lot of talk about ex-dog trainer/breeder/killer becoming the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. A local newspaper wrote a headline stating Dog Electrocuter Named Starting Quarterback.  Is this really that big a deal?  The man did his time and while I don't condone cruelty to animals, this was a dog, not a person and he paid his price.

Why didn't people picket Matthew Broderick films and plays when they were going on?  You do know he killed two people in Ireland and his defense was "I don't remember."  He received a $175 fine and a slap on the wrist.  What about Kobe Bryant telling three cops that he had consensual sex, but admitting the girl asked him to stop when he tried to go somewhere normally used as an exit and he admitted he didn't stop.  Isn't that rape?  Kobe's sentence?  A huge diamond ring for his wife and an NBA championship.  What about the media men on FOXNews who make stuff up that is slanderous and destro…

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I've been down in the dumps lately.  No money, single for way too long and frankly living in excess that is probably taking years off my life.  At times, I sit alone, think and get down.  I go out way too much in an effort to abort a life of solitude and to get me through this rough patch.  I know it won't go on forever.  It never does.  There is always a silver lining, or so I'm told.  Mine might be bronze, but I'll take it.  I'm usually the one cheering others up, but this past weekend a few events took place that caused me to do what I love to do most.  Laugh.

Sure there are funny things that happen every night, but this weekend, for whatever reason, the laughter was plentiful.  The laughter was the kind that made your cheeks turn red and your eyes run with tears.  Moments like these are special.  Usually it's something that is said or done.  Many times someone is the target of a joke and as long as their is no malice, it's appreciated by all parties inv…

The End of Summer

OK, this summer actually has a week left in it, but it's winding down.  Kids are in school, the weather has started to change and soon the leaves will become beautiful hues of yellow and orange.  Then again, we could have what we had last year and the beginning of this year and Autumn might go the way of Spring and never actually show up.

Many sun worshipers are saddened by Summer's passing.  I am not one of these people.  I don't like sweating and summer makes me sweat.  There is something special about getting up on an Autumn morning and feeling that slight chill in the air. Having a hot cup of coffee on a brisk Sunday morning, knowing that your day will be filled with football and friends.  I remember when I was younger hitting the field with friends playing tackle football.  Coming home bruised, but refreshed.  A hot shower and some lunch got me ready for a day in front of the tube.  It was a special time. 

Autumn is also the most photogenic of all the seasons.  There…

Favorite Foods A-Z

I'm always thinking about food.  Cooking it, eating it, just watching shows about it makes me happy.  I love talking about food almost as much as I do sports.  Recently, it dawned on me that I spend almost as much time reading cookbooks and magazines about food as I do reading about anything else. I love thinking about something I'm going to make when I win the lotto and have a kitchen big enough to make something other than eggs and bacon.  I know it's an excuse that pretty lame, because I have made some pretty nice stuff in my tiny space. 

Since I'm similar to most in that I'm consumed by reading lists, I'm going to write a little A-Z about my favorite foods.  Some might have descriptions or reasons, some I feel are self explanatory.  Now realize, these are foods, not dishes. So here it goes.  Bon Apettit!

Avocado: I used to hate them, but now a nice slice or two on a burger makes it "california-ized."
Bacon: Everything is better with bacon.

Droid: A Love Story

Remember when we were young?  You would pick up the phone, stick your finger into the dial and turn it.  Calling a friend was a workout compared to today's technology.  Your friend would answer and you'd get together and hang out.  Chatting away like crazy until you left.  Many times you'd return home and call that same person up and talk even more on the phone.  Wow, how things have changed.

Now you text five friends and hope that someone meets you out.  Once out, you chat lightly, all the while, checking your phone for messages from people you aren't with. It's disgraceful. I am guilty of it too, so I am not judging.  The other night, while laying in bed, recovering from my weekend of debauchery. I was checking my phone. People were saying hello on Facebook to each other and were in the same restaurant.  What have we become?  Sure it's funny, but have we gotten to the point where a 10-step walk to say hello is too difficult?  How is it that we find it accepta…

College and Pro Football Predictions.

Ok, this isn't really a blog, but more like evidence of my brilliance.

So here it goes - first college.  The Preseason Rankings have Alabama, Ohio St, Boise St., Florida and Texas

The final rankings going into the bowls will be
1. Ohio St. - Terrelle Pryor proves he's the beast with the Heisman and a National Championship
2. Florida - undefeated season without Tebow shocks the nation
3. Oklahoma - the post Sam Bradford Era starts with a bang, but nudge even though undefeated
4. Boise St. - loss first game of the season to Virginia Tech ends National champ hops
5. Alabama - early season loss to Florida and late season loss to Auburn dooms them

As for the  NFL

East - Patriots 11-5
North - Ravens 10-6
South - Colts 12-4
West - San Diego 13-3
WC - Miami 9-7, Houston 9-7

East - Cowboys 13-3
North - Minnesota 12-4
South - New Orleans 11-5
West - San Francisco 10-6
WC - Green Bay 9-7, Chicago Bears 9-7 (that's right, three playoff teams from one division)

AFC Championship…