200th Post Congratulatory Hoedown

Has it really already been another 100 posts since our first meaningless retrospective? As tradition dictates, here is a collection of some of our favorite posts from 101-200.

Weekend Update 7.27.08
Come to Zion 9.01.08
Scruffy Looking Nerf Herders 11.01.08
The First (and Only?) Barton Family Turkey Bowl 11.28.08

Pop Culture
Caped Crusader Cinema: Batman & Robin 7.29.08
The Soothing Soft Rock Sounds of Yesteryear 2.01.09
U2 Discography: Zoo Station 2.21.09
The Compound 2.26.09

We Heart Sandwiches 9.23.08
All I Want For Christmas 12.16.08

Three is a Magic Number 8.03.08
A World Without a Voice 9.03.08

On a more administrative note, with our ever growing collection of posts, I figured it was time to start utilizing Blogger's "labels" feature. If you look below the blog archive, you will find the newly added subject archive. Now when you are looking for the recipe for Restaurant Style Mac & Cheese, or trying to remember what fake name our readers picked for Eddie, just click on the corresponding group and your search should be greatly simplified. I have already found this added organization useful, and I hope the rest of you will too.


Movies We Grew Up On: Excessive Carnage Edition

Because everyone has a handful of films they associate with their childhood, and all our blog needs is another running series about movies, we are pleased to present the newest addition to the Dave & Kristen Show, "Movies We Grew Up On." Since for every beloved childhood treasure that still holds up today, there is a cinematic turd lurking in its shadow, we will always attempt to answer the question "is it still watchable?" Our inaugural installment deals with movies we really had no business watching when we were little. At least my selections were edited for TV, which is more than Kristen can say.

Dave's Pick: Jaws Series

I was fascinated by sharks as a kid. My memory isn't entirely clear on when this interest originated—somewhere between watching a documentary on them in 5th grade, taking a field trip to the New York Aquarium that same school year, and periodically catching the Jaws movies on TV. I remember seeing the original Jaws, as well as Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge, but not Jaws 2 for some reason. Thinking back, I find it funny that even though I was scared of pretty much everything else, the adventures of a relentless killer shark didn't seem to bother me.

Is It Still Watchable? The original Jaws is one of the greatest suspense thrillers of all time. As for the others? Well, they are sequels to one of the greatest suspense thrillers of all time. Jaws 3-D is pretty bad ("the third dimension is terror"), featuring some hilariously inept 3-D effects that didn't exactly translate to the small screen. But Jaws: The Revenge manages to be even worse. By this time, the thrice resurrected shark is attempting to carry out a personal vendetta against the entire Brody family for killing it three times already ("this time it's personal"). To paraphrase Roger Ebert, I know full well I'm expected to suspend my disbelief. Unfortunately, my disbelief is very heavy, and the suspension cable just snapped.
Movie Trailer Voice Guy: There is a creature alive today who has survived millions of years of evolution... without change... without passion... and without logic. It lives to kill... a mindless eating machine. It will attack and devour... anything. It is as if God created the devil and gave him... JAWS.
Honorable Mention: RoboCop

Kristen's Pick: Commando

I can't imagine what was going through my parents' heads when they let me watch this movie as a kid. I had forgotten all about it until a few years ago when Dave came upon some excessive carnage while channel scanning and I said, "Wait! I've seen this!" The film, which can only be properly summarized with one long run-on sentence, tells the story of retired Special Forces soldier John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his daughter that looks nothing like him (Alyssa Milano) who is kidnapped by Bennett, an evil guy with a bad mustache wearing a chainmail muscle shirt, so Matrix befriends an annoying airline stewardess who helps him raid an army surplus store for gear and weapons before storming the villains' island compound to kill the same three extras hundreds of times and impale Bennett with a large pipe. Phew.

Is It Still Watchable? Sure, if your idea of humor involves a well-placed axe to the groin, or getting scalped with a circular saw. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it.
General Kirby: Leave anything for us?
Matrix: Just bodies.
Honorable Mention: First Blood


We Heart Cheesesteaks

Here are a few local places we have found where you can get a good Philly Cheesesteak. As always, please inform us of any hidden treasures we may be missing out on.

Wasatch Wingz
Location: Millcreek

This little dive is nestled in a dingy strip mall off 3300 South. We only discovered it because we found some discount certificates on CityDeals.com. We haven't made it back since we moved from Sugar House, but as one of the owners told me when I asked for a takeout menu, they will "deliver right to the hizzouse" (see Christie's comment from You Said It, pt. 3). I wonder if their delivery zone includes South Jordan.

The Downtown Philly
Location: South Jordan, American Fork

We have bittersweet feelings about The Downtown Philly, since it replaced one of our favorite sandwich places, New York NY Fresh Deli, but I suppose we shouldn't hold it against them. As an interesting bit of trivia, one of their cheesesteaks may or may not have contributed to Kristen going into labor a week and a half early, as this was our "last supper" before her water broke in the middle of the night.

The Philadelphian
Location: Sandy

When I get together with my old college roommates for our quarterly Mario Kart tournament, we always like to feast on something manly and greasy for dinner. We got takeout once from The Philadelphian for the tourney based on my friend Mike's recommendation, and it fit the manly/greasy bill nicely. I have never actually been to the restaurant, but I hear it is a total hole in the wall. How delightful.

Recently, we have also been experimenting with making cheesesteaks at home. The following recipe is used by Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia, taken from our American Sandwich cookbook.

• 4 tbsp soybean oil (we used canola oil)
• Onion, coarsely chopped
• Green and red peppers, coarsely chopped (optional)
• Mushrooms, coarsely chopped (optional)
• 24 ounces rib eye steak, thinly sliced
• Cheese Whiz
• 4 crusty Italian rolls

The steak needs to be sliced very thin, like 1/8th inch. The best way to achieve this, aside from having a friend that is a butcher, is to slice the steak while it is still partially frozen. Heat an iron skillet or nonstick pan with add 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions, peppers, and mushrooms to desired doneness, and remove from the pan. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, and sauté the meat slices quickly on both sides.

Now normally I tend to steer clear of brands that prominently feature the word "whiz," but if you are going for authenticity, you gotta use Cheese Whiz (if you are still skeptical, melted provolone is the next thing). Melt the Cheez Whiz in the microwave or on the stove, and spread generously inside the sandwich rolls. Pile on the steak and sautéed vegetables, and you're ready to clog some arteries. Makes 4 sandwiches.


Living in a Fantasy World

I recently finished up my third year participating in a fantasy basketball league. I run the Park City Sundancers as part of the WFBL, which was started by a friend of mine, Ben Barnes. We both graduated from USU in graphic design, and were coworkers at USU Extension Marketing for a while.

Now I must say, the WFBL is no ordinary fantasy league. Over the last few years, it has gradually gotten bigger and better, expanding from 4 teams to 12, and encorporating a companion blog that features satirical recaps of our games (studious readers may have noticed the WFBL link regularly at the top of our blog list over the last several months). Ben is the blog administrator, while me and his brother Ted (an editor for the church) share writing duties with him.

After finishing 6th out of 10 and 7th out of 12 in my first two seasons, this year I was finally able to put together a competitive team, posting the best regular season record. Unfortunately, I came up just short in the finals to Ben's defending champ Zermatt Abominables.

We also like to hand out end of the season awards (yes, we realize we are nerds), which brings me to the purpose of this post. Most of the awards are game-related like "Best Draft Pick" and "Most One-Sided Trade." But then we also like to review what we have written and pick the "Article of the Year." Well, this season, the article I wrote after winning the conference finals was selected for this honor, so I wanted to share it here. Partial credit must certainly go to Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove, and all others responsible for making The Karate Kid, which served as my obvious inspiration.




The two Wasatch finalists, the Park City Sundancers and Twin Falls Gators, treat the crowd to a thrilling montage of high flying dunks, long range shots, blocks, and boards set to Joe Esposito's "You're the Best Around."


Twin Falls holds the early 6-3 lead, but Park City superstar Dwyane Wade has yet to play. He is expected to make his anticipated first appearance tonight. As the team heads towards the tunnel, Gators assistant coach and Mamba Kai Sensei John Kreese pulls small forward Al Thornton aside.

Kreese: Al, I want Wade out of commission

Thornton: But Sensei, we can beat these guys!

Kreese: I don't want them just beaten.

Thornton: But I'll get thrown out!

Kreese: Out of commission.

Kreese trains his iron eyes on Thornton. He cannot endure their searing heat. His head drops as Kreese bends him to his will. Thornton tentatively walks over to the Park City bench, jumps high in the air, and lands a flying sidekick to Wade's right hip.

Thornton: I'm sorry, Dwyane! I didn't mean it!

Wade crumples to the floor as Thornton is dragged away amid a shower of boos. The Gators have their way with the Sundancers in the absence of the EBP runner-up.


A dejected Dwyane Wade, accompanied by team trainer Kesuke "Mr." Miyagi, lies on the trainers' table, resigned to missing his second straight game after not missing a game all year.

Wade: Mr. Miyagi... you think we had a chance of winning?

Mr. Miyagi: Aye, had good chance.

Wade: Can't you fix my hip with that thing you do? You know, with the clapping and the rubbing, and the hey hey hey, my hip feels better?

Mr. Miyagi: No need play anymore. You prove point.

Wade: What, that I can take a beating? Every time I see the Gators, they'll know they got the best of me. How will I ever have balance in my life? I mean, aside from having more money than I could ever spend and being idolized by millions.


Mr. Miyagi: Close eye.

Miyagi's hands come together, punctuated by a dramatic music note.


Wade emerges from locker room as the crowd goes wild.

Announcer: Dwyane Wade is gonna play? Dwyane Wade is gonna play! This is what it's all about, folks!


With their star player once again on the court to galvanize the team, Park City has cut into the Gators once insurmountable lead, now only trailing 5-4. As the Gators call a timeout to regroup, Mamba Kai Sensei John Kreese motions for his star pupil, Kobe Bryant.

Kreese: Pummel the hip... you have a problem with that?

Kobe: (scared) No, Sensei.

Kreese: No mercy.

As play resumes, Kobe cheap shots Wade several times in his bruised right hip, but the referees are distracted by Tim Duncan flailing around after getting slightly nudged by Chris Bosh, so no foul is called. Wade limps to the bench, but after a timeout, returns to the floor wearing a traditional Karate Gi. As the Gators dribble up the court with the clock running down, Wade slowly assumes the crane position under the basket by standing on one leg and lifting both arms high into the air. Kobe calls for the ball.

Announcer: 30 seconds remaining...

Rondo: It's over, guys! Get them a body bag, yyyeeeah!!!

Kreese: Finish them!

Kobe hears the call of his sensei and drives to the hoop. As he releases the ball, Wade leaps high in the air and blocks the shot. Frustrated, Kobe gets his own rebound and shoots it a second time. And once again, Wade leaps and bats the ball away. Time expires. Kobe stares at the scorer's table in disbelief as he sees that Wade's last two blocked shots are the difference Park City needed to win the blocks category 11-10, and thusly the series, 5-4. The Sundancer crowd storms the court in a wild rush of celebration. A tearful Kobe grabs the Wasatch Concludings trophy and personally hands it to the Sundancer hero.

Kobe: You're all right, Wade.


100 Years 100 Movies: What a Drag

Previously: Tinseltown Talkies

For my second installment, I'll be taking a look at a pair of films from different eras that both utilize the age old comedic premise of men disguising themselves as women.

22. Some Like It Hot (1959)

While a few of the movies we have watched so far have almost felt like a homework assignment, Some Like It Hot was genuinely entertaining. The setup involves two Jazz musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) forced into hiding after witnessing a gangland shooting. Now this may not sound very comical, but add the detail that they are hiding as members of an all girl jazz band, and much hilarity ensues. Marilyn Monroe oozes curvaceous sex appeal as the lead singer of the band, and sparks understandably fly when the boys get their first look at her. Curtis and Monroe share a slew of sharp, innuendo laced one liners, while Lemmon covers the broad slapstick. Thanks to the tight plotting and memorable dialogue, it is easy to forget that these are the two least convincing ladies of all time (at least until Charles and Buddy don dresses and wigs on an episode of Charles in Charge). There is no secondary agenda or deep hidden subtext to be found, Some Like it Hot just wants to make you laugh. If you have never seen this movie, go rent it next weekend and that's exactly what you'll end up doing... a lot.
Jerry/Daphne: Will you look at that! Look how she moves! It's like Jell-O on springs. Must have some sort of built-in motor or something. I tell you, it's a whole different sex!

69. Tootsie (1982)

I'll be honest. I had heard of Tootsie, but had never had much desire to see it because, well, the thought of Dustin Hoffman in drag just wasn't very appealing to me. In the film, Michael Dorsey (Hoffman) is an actor so desperate for work that he invents the persona of Dorothy Michaels to audition for the part of a middle aged woman on a soap opera. And since there wouldn't have been a movie otherwise, he ends up getting it, and the charade soon becomes more elaborate by necessity. While this premise could have been handled with all the finesse of a mediocre sitcom, Tootsie successfully rises above the gimmick with a witty screenplay and memorable performances. There are all manner of sexual complications that come along with his deception, including falling in love with a female co-star (Jessica Lange), and having said female co-star's father fall in love with him, but Michael is also pleasantly surprised to discover that Dorothy liberates him to become the person he never knew he could be. There are some sharp observations about gender politics in the '80s to be had, not to mention some gentle satire at the expense of soap operas. Bill Murray provides some great lines in a small supporting role as Michael's roommate, wryly observing what intelligent viewers should already be thinking. And as a self proclaimed intelligent viewer, I sure appreciate that.
Michael Dorsey: I was a better man with you, as a woman... than I ever was with a woman, as a man. You know what I mean?

There's only one word to describe these so-called ladies: Woof.


Funny the Way It Is

Are there any Dave Matthews Band fans in the house? Well, stop dreaming under the table—today is your day. "Funny the Way It is," the first single from their upcoming album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, was released this morning as a free (and completely legal) mp3 download. I have been listening to it continuously for most of the afternoon, and so far I'm really digging its euphoric groove. So what's that crazy album title all about? Word from the band is that GrooGrux King is a tribute to late saxophonist LeRoi Moore, who died last summer.

Download "Funny the Way It Is" for the unbeatable price of FREE.


You Said It, Pt. 3

Unlike our first two installments of "You Said It," these quotes don't come from movies and TV shows. They are gleaned from actual funny/awkward interactions we have had with different people over the years. Unfortunately, there is no way to include sound clips this time around. Instead, next time you see us, be sure to ask us to do our impressions.

"So, you two lovebirds just lovin' life?"
Our nerdy landlord, Larry, not long after Kristen and I were first engaged.

(If you guessed that I only included this image to toy with Kristen's irrational fear of birds, you would be right.)

"Radisson? Radisson on Lexington? I don't know how we're gonna pull this off."
Airport shuttle driver on our honeymoon in New York. We made the mistake of getting on the wrong shuttle, so our driver treated us to a terrifying drive across Midtown Manhattan.

"How is ya?"
The redneck Activities Committee Chairman in our Sugar House ward. Kristen and I had the priviledge of serving under him as committee members.

"I'll hook ya up."
Our obnoxious salesman at Civilizzation when we bought our bedroom set. I simply asked if delivery was free or if there was a charge, and he gave us the impression that our dressers would be stocked with illegal drugs when we got them.

(Now seems like a good time to mention that Civilizzation has a crappy logo. And what's the deal with those double Z's?)

"Buyin' that new Cinderella CD for Christmas?"
Walmart Cashier. Okay, first of all, it was a DVD, second of all, it was still early October, and last of all, I don't like making small talk with cashiers, especially the ones at Walmart.

"I found a dollar in my pocket. I am a rich woman."
Rite Aid Cashier. We don't normally shop at Rite Aid, but we went there to stock up on travel size bath supplies for a trip. As we approached the check out, the small hispanic lady manning the register informed us of her exciting discovery.

"I hungy, Dave."
Our nephew Josh, whom we used to babysit all the time when he was younger. Though we have many sayings that he originated, this is probably our favorite. Kristen still likes to tell me when she's "hungy."

"Ruh roh."
Middle-aged Waitress at Applebees. After making a simple mistake, she did her best Scooby Doo impression. Meanwhile, Kristen and I stared at each other in disbelief.

"Um, which one is roast beef? Sorry, It's only my third day."
Subway Employee. Okay, I'm willing to let it slide that you have made it through 16 years of life without learning the difference between turkey, ham, and roast beef. But you still don't know by your third day working at FREAKING SUBWAY?

"What's good here?"
Old Lady in line at Subway. We could probably do a whole Subway related post come to think of it.


Slippery When Wet

As I pulled into the office parking lot this morning, one of my coworkers was standing by the front door on her cell phone. As I approached, her exact words were "You are going to die." "Why, what happened?" I asked. I quickly found out as I walked inside. A water heater on the second floor had ruptured and had been gushing water for who knows how long. The ceilings were dripping and there was an inch or two of standing water on the floor throughout. Luckily, I had the foresight to wear flip flops today.

Thanks to a couple of overworked Shop-Vacs, we got a lot of the water sucked up, and the office manager made the call that every insurance agent dreads. Utah Distaster Kleenup eventually arrived to lend a hand. (Let me tell you, nothing says "we can help in your time of need!" like a deliberately misspelled business name.) I stuck around until early afternoon, moving around water-logged office furniture and such. Here are some photos I took of the damage. Can you guess which one is my office?


You're Only One Once

Eddie's first birthday is now under a month away, and Kristen and I are faced with the task of deciding what we we should get him for this momentous occasion. Luckily, we have you, the readers, to help us with this tough decision. As always, please include a comment along with your vote.

Animal Planet Shark Attack! Playset
Nothing appeals to childhood innocence like a ravenous shark attacking a scuba diver inside of a flimsy underwater cage. Unfortunately, the image doesn't do this product justice by showing the finer details like teeth marks on the cage bars. Control the shark's jaws by pressing down on the dorsal fin, and tear that diver limb from limb!

Edward Cullen 7" Action Figure
Why would we get Eddie the first ever action figure of Edward Cullen? Not because "the shining vampire" is his namesake (because he isn't), but because Eddie deserves to know why there will be half a dozen other Edwards in his Kindergarten class. The figure is poseable and highly sexy and comes with a replica of the Cullen family crest.

Batman 30" Action Figure
Maybe Eddie already has a Batman action figure to play with, but it is only a measly 6 inches. This ultimate figure makes a powerful statement standing at a much more impressive 30 inches, which is 10 inches taller than Eddie when he is sitting up straight (since he doesn't stand yet), and 23 inches taller than Mr. Pretty Boy Vampire.

Disturbance at Lars Homestead Playset
Now Eddie can recreate a memorable scene that wasn't actually in A New Hope! I guess Lucasfilm has finally run out of toys based on the actual movies, and now they have moved onto fan films, in this case, the Cops parody, Troops. The playset includes a moisture vaporator and homestead, Owen and Beru Lars, Stormtrooper and a creature mentioned in passing but never seen, a womp rat. Surpisingly, the charred skeletons are nowhere to be found.

Tauntaun Sleeping Bag
From the entrail-lined interior to the lightsaber zipper pole, this sleeping bag from ThinkGeek.com is every kid's dream (or rather every kid's geeky father's dream). Unfortunately, it turned out to be an elaborate April Fool's joke. But there is hope yet for Tauntaun lovers like Eddie (you should hear his Tauntaun impression). ThinkGeek now has a note on their website saying that due to the "overwhelming tsunami of requests," they are going to try and bring this to life—hopefully in time for Eddie's next birthday.


Eat at Mel's

Last fall, while writing up childhood memories of visiting my Grandma Jones' house, I was reminded of an old traditon. En route to their house in St. George, we would often stop at Annie's Drive Inn in Beaver for ice cream (and pinball if we remembered to bring a few quarters along). On one such occasion, I recall sitting in the back of our car and having the double disaster of accidentally spilling most of my chocolate shake all over one my favorite Yankees t-shirts. Ah, the things we remember.

Since we visit Kristen's parents in Cedar City every few months, I suggested to Kristen that we stop in Beaver and find Annie's so I could relive this childhood memory. For our first attempt last October, we pulled off the freeway and drove though town, but didn't spot the little drive-in anywhere, so we ended up eating at Dairy Queen instead. After some internet research, I eventually discovered that Annie's had been renamed Mel's.

We went down to Cedar City again in early February, so we scheduled another stop in Beaver. Knowing what we were looking for this time, we quickly spotted Mel's on Main Street. As I walked in, the cramped quarters, vinyl upholstered booths, and pinball machine in the corner all instantly registered in my mind. We placed our order, but when I handed my debit card to the cashier, she notified me that they didn't take them—only cash or checks—which we didn't have. It was off to Dairy Queen once again.

As we were planning our latest trip down south this past weekend, I once again expressed my desire to eat at Mel's. Kristen half heartedly agreed, ready to just get this trip down memory lane over with already. But armed with the proper location and a wallet full of cash, the third time proved to be the charm.

We ordered a pair of "chesseburgers," a large order of fries, and my customary chocolate shake. As we waited, we got to overhear the two teenage workers discuss some juicy local gossip involving someone named Abriana. When our food arrived, the burgers and fries had that perfect old fashioned drive-in taste that I so enjoy. I want to say my shake was just like I remembered, but as Kristen pointed out, I am probably just thinking of the dozens of chocolate shakes I have eaten since then. They didn't have any high chairs, so Eddie got to sit on the bench next to me. Since my food was within the grasp of his curious fingers, eating eventually became an elaborate game of keep away.

Once we finished our meal, I pulled out of a pair of quarters so I could enjoy a game of Lord of the Rings pinball. Now this was obviously not their original machine, but part of the tradition nonetheless. I wracked up about 5 million points during my game. While this sounds like a lot, it was still something like 13 million points short of an extra play. Their modest arcade also included an old shooting game called Turkey Hunter, which I almost played just out of morbid curiosity. A few miles down the road, we started laughing at the thought of picking off pixelated turkeys, and I soon found myself wishing I had tried it. There's always next time.


Happy April Fools Day

Faithful readers may remember the video I posted on April Fool's Day last year, which featured a girl playing a trumpet solo to the Star Wars theme and doing some "inventive" dancing and pantomiming. As I said then, it wasn't an April Fool's joke in the truest sense, but appropriate for the one day of the year that celebrates foolishness.

I have been thinking about what I could do this year for a follow-up in the same spirit, and through serendipitous circumstances, I found my answer. You see, Kristen and I almost always have either a CD or iPod playing in the car, rarely giving the radio a listen. But driving to and from the gym this morning, there was nothing in the stereo. It is such a short trip that I didn't bother putting anything in. So long story short, I ended up hearing the following story on 101.9 The End in the only 2 minutes I have listened to the radio this year.

The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball franchise, are featuring a new item in their concession stands this season, the Fifth Third Ballpark Burger. What goes into this culinary delight you ask?

• 8-inch sesame seed bun
• 1 cup of chili
• 5 one-third pound hamburger patties
• 5 slices of American cheese
• Liberal doses of salsa, nacho cheese and Fritos
• Lettuce, tomato and sour cream
• Jalapeños (optional)

All this adds up to a $20 price tag and an artery obliterating 4800 calories. To see a Fifth Third Ballpark Burger being made, check out the following video. And just to clarify, this is not a hoax.