4.29.2010

You Said It, Pt. 4

Kristen and I love to quote movies and TV shows as part our everyday conversations. Just in case the 60 quotes we compiled last year (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2) didn't sufficiently prove this point, here's another 30. Basically, nothing we say to each other is original.

Salutations


"Hey, brother."
Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) // Arrested Development


"How've you been? Busy inventing things?"
James Bond (Sean Connery) // From Russia With Love (Video Game)


"Hello, boyos."
Jar Jar Bink (Ahmed Best) // The Phantom Menace

Directives


"Oh ho ho, look at it roll! Now we can watch Jackie Gleason while we eat!"
Sam Baines (George DiCenzo) // Back to the Future


"Let's get outta here."
Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) // Big Fish


"SAY IT!"
Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart) // The Dark Knight


"Hand me that chopper."
George Nelson (Michael Badalucco) // O Brother Where Art Thou?


"I would not say such things if I were you!"
Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) // The Princess Bride

Declarations


"I'm a monster!"
Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) // Arrested Development


"There's always money in the banana stand."
George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) // Arrested Development


"I am having a love affair with this ice cream sandwich."
George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) // Arrested Development


"It happened at sea. See? C for Catwoman!"
Robin (Burt Ward) // Batman: The Movie


"You're crazy."
Vinnie Ricorso (John Dair) // Batman


"There is no Dana, only Zuul."
Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) // Ghostbusters


"Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave... with a box of scraps!"
Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) // Iron Man


"Red light! Green light!"
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) // Mission: Impossible


"You don't even know we exist!"
Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) // Quantum of Solace


"Son, you got a panty on your head."
Hayseed in Pickup (John O'Donnal) // Raising Arizona


"Hooch is crazy."
JD (Zach Braff) // Scrubs

Reactions


"Ooh la la? Ooh la la? Ooh la la?"
Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) // Back to the Future Part II


"On no, it's boiling acid!"
Bank Guard (Joe Grifasi) // Batman Forever


"Messy, messy, messy!"
Professor Hinkle (Billy De Wolfe) // Frosty the Snowman


"I'll be at the Red Lobster in case you change your mind, Shooter."
Jeering Fan (Joe Flaherty) // Happy Gilmore


"Didn't you see the signs? I saw the signs."
Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) // Ocean's Twelve


"No... NO... NOOO!"
Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) // Revenge of the Sith


"LIAR!"
Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) // Revenge of the Sith


"Ahh!"
Homer Simpson (Dan Castellanetta) // The Simpsons

Miscellaneous


"Cah-ca, cah-ca, cah-ca, cah!"
GOB Bluth (Will Arnett) // Arrested Development


"Ooba... Ooba..."
EW-3 Midwife Droid (Jane Bay) // Revenge of the Sith


"Ehehehehehehehehe!"
Tom Cruise's Character (Tom Cruise) // Every Tom Cruise Movie

4.27.2010

Bad Little Monkey

Eddie loves Curious George, so Kristen and I determined this would be a perfect theme for his upcoming birthday party. His George fandom has come primarily through the PBS series, so I initially designed a pretty standard invitation based on George from the show:

PBS George

Now, I also loved Curious George as a kid, but it was from reading the original books by Margret and H.A. Rey. These stories are generally too long for Eddie's current attention span, but it is fun for me to read them now as an adult. They came out in a much less politically correct era, so some of the trouble that George gets into is a little more, um, inappropriate than his modern antics. I scanned some of the classic illustrations in question to use for these more humorous designs:

"Knock Yourself Out"

"Go Overboard"

"Smokin' Good Time"

We couldn't decide on a favorite, so we ended up sending out different versions to various friends and family. Collect all four!

4.25.2010

Krissy's Life In Film, Pt. 2

Previously: 1984-1989

1990 // Edward Scissorhands

I'm not sure what possessed my parents to record this movie off cable. It seems like the type of movie they would describe as "weird." Maybe it was just a habit of recording every movie that played. I remember discovering it on a dusty VHS tape (along with The Strongest Man in the World starring Kurt Russell) one fateful day and deciding to see what it was. I have loved it ever since.

"You can't buy the necessities of life with cookies."

1991 // Fried Green Tomatoes
There was a time when Fried Green Tomatoes was on TV a lot, and it turned into one of my favorites. Maybe it was because I had a crush on Chris O'Donnell and was devastated when (SPOILER ALERT!) Buddy got hit by that train. Whatever it was, this was a favorite for a long time. In preparation for this post, I checked it out from the library and we watched it. I was surprised how well it holds up in my opinion. Dave had better watch out... with me watching movies like this, I might stop meeting him at the front door with a 6-pack and bringing his dinner to him in his recliner while he watches sports.

Runner-up // Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

1992 // A River Runs Through It
This was another movie that my grandma owned, so we watched it when we got tired of Roger Rabbit. I would venture that this movie is a bit more mature. It also helped that it had Brad Pitt in it. He is (undoubtedly) the reason why I liked it so much growing up. This is another that I hadn't seen for years, so I checked it out from the library so we could watch it. It has a great story and memorable characters. After watching both A River Runs Through It and Fried Green Tomatoes in the same week, Dave commented on how similar they are. They are set in the same time period and the main family in both has a rebellious child. If only Idgie Threadgoode had moved to Montana and hooked up with Paul Maclean, things would've played out quite differently.

"It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us."

Runner-up // Wayne's World

1993 // Jurassic Park
In elementary school, I became fascinated with dinosaurs. There were two books that I specifically remember checking out of the Creekview Elementary library on many occasions. The first was a biography of Beethoven (random, I know). The second was a huge illustrated encyclopedia of dinosaurs that would barely fit into my backpack. After seeing Jurassic Park, I knew that I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up. Who wouldn't want a life of excitement and adventure, outsmarting genetically engineered dinosaurs in an amusement park gone wrong? Okay, so maybe I was a little naive.

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

1994 // Forrest Gump
If you've been doing your math while reading these posts, you should realize that I turned 10 in 1994. So, you can see that I have always watched movies a bit above my maturity level. Forrest Gump definitely fit the bill. It took many years before I really understood most of the social and political references in this movie. That means that what I liked about this movie as a kid is not exactly what I like about it now. As a kid, I loved Bubba and his big gums. I used to do a pretty sweet imitation of him, but don't ever ask me to do it because I won't.

1995 // While You Were Sleeping

1996 // The Cable Guy
I am not a big Jim Carrey fan. I think he is too zany and too over-the-top, generally speaking. However, there are a handful of movies where Jim Carrey does a great job, and The Cable Guy is one of them. There is just enough creepiness added to the standard zaniness that it makes the movie good. By far the most quoted scene at our house is the Medieval Times scene. If you haven't seen it, you should... especially if you have ever experienced the joy of Medieval Times.

"There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?"

1997 // Good Will Hunting
Once again, we have a movie that was way above my maturity level when it came out. I'm not sure when I first saw this movie, but I do recall first seeing the unedited version. If you haven't seen it, don't... unless wall-to-wall foul language doesn't bother you. After seeing it once, I recorded it when it came on TV. I'm not sure what is worse, the edited version or the unedited version. Let's just say it is really difficult to seamlessly edit out every other word in the film. However, I do really like this movie and think it has a great message about being who you want to be. And don't worry, we only quote the edited version at our house.

1998 // You've Got Mail
Even though now this movie is really dated (thanks to all the references to AOL and chat rooms), I still enjoy watching it. It has a nice, relatively wholesome love story, which you don't see too much these days. Plus, everyone knows that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are pretty good together.

1999 // Sleepy Hollow

4.22.2010

The United Countries of Baseball

I don't think it's a coincidence that my two favorite seasons, spring and fall, coincide with the start and finish of baseball. The greening grass and blossoming trees represent the inherent hope of another opening day. The falling leaves and chilly air perfectly accent the drama of the playoffs.

There aren't many people around here that share my love of the game. But I think growing up near a team plays a critical role. Nike's "United Countries of Baseball" map from a few years back illustrates this beautifully.

(Click to Enlarge)
Fan Loyalty Circa 2007: These borders are real for seven months a year. From Opening Day to the World Series, the majority of people of each country pledge their allegiance to the team shown. Regardless of placement in the standings, questionable trades, draft picks, pitching rotations, uniform redesigns, or mascot behavior, and these lines stay true until the citizens of each country vote to redraw the borders for next season.
It is depressing as a baseball fan to be stuck out in the middle of the "Unincorporated Territories." Yes, there is that scrawny arm of Rockies Country reaching over to the Great Salt Lake in a gesture of pity, but Coors Field is still an 8 hour drive away. And the Salt Lake Bees just don't cut it.

4.19.2010

Cinematic Utah: Northern Utah Triple Feature

My occasional photographic series of small, run-down Utah towns has started to come into a tighter focus lately. Instead of shooting any old building I see, I have started thinking more specifically about the single screen movie theaters.

This change in emphasis has largely been facilitated by the website Cinema Treasures, which lists pretty much every theater that has ever existed (as far as I know) across the country, and whether it is currently open, closed, or demolished. You can also sort by state, so I went through the entire Utah list, taking note of the theaters that would be a good fit in for my series.

As we were planning a quick trip up to Logan to visit my parents this weekend, I consulted my list and found theaters in Garland and Smithfield that we could find without going too far out of the way. I had already photographed the theater in Brigham City last fall, so I'm including those shots here as well.

Capitol Theatre #1 // Brigham City // 10.23.09

Capitol Theatre #2 // Brigham City // 10.23.09

Main Theatre #1 // Garland // 4.16.10

Main Theatre #2 // Garland // 4.16.10

Main Theatre #1 // Smithfield // 4.17.10

Main Theatre #2 // Smithfield // 4.17.10

I have been pondering what I should ultimately do with these photos. I have thought about putting together a separate website/blog for them—perhaps people could order prints if they so desired. It would also be really cool to develop a nice coffee table book with a historic profile of each theater. Unfortunately I have no idea how I would fund something like that, or how to go about getting it published. Does anyone have a wealthy uncle who loves old movie theaters?

4.15.2010

Albums I Grew Up On: Butt Rock vs. Geek Rock

Previously: Synthpop Sisters

Today I am taking a look at two diametrically opposing albums from my past which represent a conflict as old as the dawn of man. Brawn vs. brains. Jock vs. nerd. Cool hair vs. big glasses. Actually, forget I mentioned hair.

Bon Jovi: New Jersey

When I was in 8th grade, my cousin Nathan moved to Utah and we became good friends. He made me a copy of his New Jersey cassette, thus introducing me to "butt rock." The album had all the key elements of the genre—fist pumpers ("Lay Your Hands On Me, Bad Medicine"), power ballads ("I'll Be There For You, Living in Sin"), and the all-important cowboy fantasy ("Stick to Your Guns"). Other bands like Van Halen, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, and The Scorpions soon followed as I graduated from KISN 97 to KBER 101, but it was always Bon Jovi that had something of a bad boy image in our house. Both my parents and sisters objected to me listening to them, so I'm sure they were relieved when the phase eventually passed. As I started upgrading to CDs a year or two later, butt rock was giving way to grunge and alternative, and New Jersey was one of the albums that didn't make the transition. But I'm not ashamed to admit I have some Bon Jovi lurking on my iPod. I am endlessly amused that they caused so much trouble back in the day since their songs are ultimately harmless, and quite often unintentionally hilarious.

Hold your horses, cowboy. Pennsylvania doesn't count as "the west."


They Might Be Giants: Flood

I got my first taste of They Might Be Giants from the classic early '90s cartoon, Tiny Toon Adventures. The episode "Tiny Toon Music Television" prominently featured the songs "Istanbul" and "Particle Man" as part of collection of animated music videos (see below). Surely others from my generation remember this. I later discovered these songs weren't created specifically for the show, but were written by a real band, albeit a very quirky one. If I may venture a guess, I'd say the mission of They Might Be Giants is to prove that geeks can rock out too. However, they don't need to rely on the lyrical linchpins of cool kid music (sex & drugs) to do it. In typical geek fashion, they would rather use their songs to explain to the common folk why Constantinople's name was changed to Istanbul ("people just liked it better that waaaaay"). They also have the intuitive minds to see that guitars and accordions are pretty much the best one-two punch since math and science. But let's not underestimate their mastery of catchy hooks and choruses. "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is one of those songs that gets impossibly stuck in your head, much like those ear worms in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

video

4.11.2010

Spin City

When we did our Swingtown series about Daybreak's unusual playground equipment last June (here and here), I declared this climbing contraption (pictured right) to be "the biggest waste of space in the entire community." Well, apparently somebody important was listening. We were out on a walk a few months ago and noticed it had been replaced with new spinning toys of varying styles and sizes. This intriguing development practically demanded that we assemble a follow up report.

Exhibit A
We have noticed these spinning poles starting to pop up in several parks around the community. Sit or stand on the platform as a friend spins you, or use your feet to spin yourself, and soon the world around you bleeds into horizontal speed lines. Choosing to disregard her history of motion sickness for the sake of this post, Kristen nearly lost her lunch testing one out.

Exhibit B
Looking rather innocent upon first glance, this angled seat starts unexpectedly rotating as soon as you sit down. If you really put your weight into it you can get going really fast. Of course with your legs up in the air it's hard to stop unless you recklessly throw your feet down and leap off in a dizzy blur of flying wood chips. I was forced to employ this method when Eddie wandered over to get a closer look at what Daddy was doing and I nearly severed him in half with my legs.

Exhibit C
This spinning whatchamacallit appears to be a close relative of last year's infamous leg swinging thingamajig. It took a little more effort to get it going than Exhibit B, at least for someone of my size. As I was shifting my weight back and forth I was reminded of the Rock-O-Planes at Lagoon. No, that's not a good thing.

To help illustrate my descriptions, I have once again assembled a video. And this time Kristen and Eddie have gotten in on the action as well.

4.09.2010

In Pursuit of Pizza Paradise

We don't have the Travel Channel (or any cool channels for that matter), but we happened to catch the pizza edition of their Food Paradise series while staying at Kristen's parents house last month. My mind has been consumed by pizza ever since. This obsession has led us to discover some new local pizzerias (details forthcoming), and caused me to rethink how I make pizza at home, starting with new dough and sauce recipes:

Neapolitan Style Pizza Dough

• 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 1 1/4 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
• 1 cup cake flour (see note below)
• 2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons salt
• Olive oil for the bowl

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for 1 minute, or until the yeast is creamy. Stir until the yeast dissolves.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cake flour, 2 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour, and the salt. (NOTE: You can substitute the cake flour by putting 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, then filling the cup as usual with all-purpose flour). Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (or electric mixer) and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Lightly coat another large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.

Flatten the dough with your fist. Cut the dough into 2 pieces and shape the pieces into balls. Dust the tops with flour. Place the balls on a floured surface and cover each with plastic wrap, allowing room for the dough to expand. Let rise another 60 to 90 minutes. This makes two 14" pizzas.

Tomato Sauce

• 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano flakes

PureƩ the tomatoes, garlic, and oregano in a blender. Pour into a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes to thicken (do not boil). I thought the flavor of the sauce improved after refrigerating it overnight. This is enough sauce to make probably four 14" pizzas.
________________________________________________________________

After scouring the internet for suggestions, including my brother Rob's post about trying to make New York-style Pizza, here's a few relatively easy tips I was able to apply when assembling and cooking my pie:

Use Your Hands
In the past, while trying to stretch the dough out as thin as possible, I have used a rolling pin. But apparently this pops the bubbles in the dough and results in a flat crust. It is better to stretch the dough with just your hands even though this takes a little more persistence, and doesn't always end up totally even. I guess I need to practice my tossing technique.

Less is More
For my experiments I have been making a basic margherita pizza while trying to master a good ratio of sauce and cheese. After spreading out a thin layer of sauce, sprinkle just enough shredded cheese so the sauce still peeks through. Top with torn basil leaves.

The Hotter the Better
Cook at your oven's maximum temperature. Ours goes up to 550 degrees, and takes about 30-45 minutes to heat up. Put your pizza stone on the bottom rack so the cheese doesn't burn. My pizza usually takes about 5-6 minutes to cook at this temperature, producing a slightly charred outer crust while the inside stays soft and airy.

It's still not quite as effective as an 800 degree brick oven, but alas, I don't have one of those.

All in all these efforts have produced a marked improvement in my homemade pizza, even if I didn't get quite as far as this guy.

4.05.2010

Easter 2010

We had a busy Easter weekend. First up was a trip to Huntington to visit Kristen's grandma on Saturday.

The sun came out for just long enough to have the requisite egg hunt.

FYI, that's not an Easter basket. It's a European carryall.

Eddie enjoyed quality time with his two favorite Andrews cousins, Dax and Riley (he hasn't met Logann yet). He also gladly accepted Dax's invitation to be bestest buddies.

The Easter Bunny made his first visit to our house on Sunday morning after being too lazy to show up last year. We had to pause Curious George so Eddie would actually give the goodies in his basket the proper attention.

Sunday evening we went to my sister's house. This photo nicely sums up the attempt to get all of the Barton cousins to gather for a photo. That's Eddie in the top left of the frame, trying to get inside so he could be first in line for the chocolate crinkle cookies.

4.01.2010

Ten Things...

...That Are Launching Around the Web Today

It's almost as if today were some sort of temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum. Check out some of the revolutionary products and services being unveiled around the web this morning. Click on the corresponding images to learn more.

10. Starbucks' Plenta Size (128 fl oz) Coffee

9. MOO’s Back to Front Business Cards

8. Coldplay's Very Own Brand of Cologne, Angst.

7. Ben & Jerry's Virtual Ice Cream

6. ThinkGeek's iPad Arcade Cabinet

5. Twitter's Backdating "Pay As You Tweet" Subscription Plan

4. Verdana/Georgia Love-Child Font

3. Kodak's Aromatography

2. Google Translate For Animals

1. ThinkGeek's My First Bacon Plush Doll