Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alas, Poor Donnie, I Knew Him Well

The other day (several weeks ago) my buddy Kevin sent me this rewrite of The Big Lebowski (a portion of it) that was done in Shakespearean pros. Now, The Big Lebowski is already a masterful work of cinema and, in my opinion, of literary merit, but to take it Shakespearean seems like a capital idea!

So it got me thinking, what other films would have their level of awesome boosted by Shakespearean dialogue? Here is my list:

1. The Matrix - it could easily be done considering the lofty (and somewhat childish) philosophical discussion that go on throughout the film, not to mention seeing Keanu Reeves doing Shakespeare is worth 10 bucks in and of itself.

2. Meet the Parents - I'm not one for Ben Stiller's brand of comedy. At least not his 'incredibly-uncomfortable-and-excruciatingly-embarrassing' films...Zoolander and Dodgeball were awesome. I think seeing him recite line after line of exasperated statements when flushing the toilet, or setting fire to that wooden thing, or the conversations in the pool during the volleyball game would be priceless.

3. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen - This movie actually wouldn't be good with Shakespeare. I just would like to see him try to do it and then watch as his head exploded.

What movies would you like to see in Shakespearean form?

Here is the link for the Lebowski rewrite:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Obsession...Not By Calvin Klein

A woman stopped me on the Burnside today and asked me,

"Excuse me sir, where is the nearest Starbucks?"

Before I tell you what I replied, let me give you some back story.

I like coffee. Actually, it is more like an obsession, but not for all coffee. When I was in high school Starbucks was just beginning it's push east from its home in Seattle and energy drinks were coming into their own. By the time I made it to college (and required a substance to stimulate me out of bed) coffee was really booming all across the nation, but in Texas energy drinks were still king. By the end of college I had about enough of the horrible taste of Red Bull, Monster, or Bawls (which still makes me laugh) and switched over to the flavorful and creamy mocha-frappa-lotta-gotta-getta-gowah-chino lattes. This included Starbucks.

Fast forward to a year after college and I found myself disatisfied with every restaurant and snack shop having a cafe portion and serving the same sugary crap coffee. It didn't matter where you bought it, because after the first wave of the coffee craze everyone just made what Starbucks made which is sugary horrible coffee. Then I found Cafe 360 near my apartment in Austin. They served gourmet Italian roast coffee called Segafredo and it was delicous!! I had never been able to drink just black coffee, I thought it was too strong and too bitter, but this was perfect. After that I exclusively drank coffee from there.

A year or two later I went to travel with my sister about Italy and Europe while she was studying there and came across a cappuccino. Now I've had cappuccinos Starbucks, and quite enjoyed them, but nothing prepared me for the cappuccino I had in Italy. The coffee was at the perfect temperature, the roasted flavor and aroma teased my senses, the milk was light and frothy, but smooth as silk and more satisfying than ice cream. Unbeknownst to me I had been drinking dirt water topped with non-dairy whipped cream all this time.

Now I live in Portland, Seattle's sister and competitor for coffee greatness and I tell you I have found the greatest. At Coffeehouse Northwest you will see skills unmatched by any barista. Seriously, these guys are scientists about coffee. I once overheard a conversation between the owner and one of his fellow baristas about what the proper brew time for a shot of expresso should be for different pours of coffee....I don't even know what that means. I once had a drink remade FOUR TIMES because it wasn't up to his standards. And best of all, the owner took a trip to NYC to tour some coffee shops and found the best cappuccino he ever had and when he asked the owner made this drink so special he told him to use a certain organic milk. It was more expensive, but the owner could have it no other way and now exclusively uses it with his cappuccino, which are in my opinion the best in the world.

So, back to my story. What was my reply?

"There is one two blocks that way ma'am, just across the street. But you could go to Coffeehouse Northwest and pay half the price for ten times better coffee at a shorter distance."

She stared at me for a good three seconds (I actually almost got two blinks in) and said,

"Oh, well I'll just go to Starbucks thank you."

Poor thing, she apparently was a re-tard. (Hangover)

PS. Good news to one and all (or just fans of coffee), Coffeehouse Northwest in addition to roasting their own beans (starting in Feburary) will be opening a drink cart somewhere on the east side!!! Hooray for good coffee and hooray for food carts...uh, I mean drink carts!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Sorry Jimmy Fallon

So I was listening to the latest SModcast (Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier) and I had an epiphany. Not really an epiphany, more of a realization.

Throughout the show they were laughing at funny comments, themselves, and their own jokes. When they laugh, I laugh. Even if I don't know what they are talking about I laugh. And then it dawned on me, that's what they put in a laugh track for!

I had actually already known that from film school, but this made me think about it in a different way. I rewatched some of Jimmy Fallon's old skits from SNL and found them to be funny in the moment. Afterword I always thought he was being unprofessional, but when I was watching, I was laughing.

I wonder if you took out the laugh track on Seinfeld if it would still be funny?

PS. I decided it would be based on the fact that the show Curb Your Enthusiasm is funny, which does not have a laugh track.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Texas Pride

There has been a lot of talk recently among my family and friends about Texas. More specifically, the amount of pride Texans have for their state which is considerably higher than any other states' pride (everything is bigger in Texas).

My fiance is in Texas for the 2nd time in a month (lucky) and is visiting Austin for the first time. She remarked on one of her other blogs about her trip thus far, which has a theme similar to this blog, about how everything is bigger in Texas.

But the real reason for writing today isn't because of Texas pride (although it sort of is), it's because today is the National Championship and Texas....will.....WIN!! I am currently wearing everything that I own that has Texas Longhorns on it and I must say I'm feeling quite toasty.

Now I could go on a tirade about how Texas is the overall best team and that Colt McCoy (the winningest quarterback in NCAA history and best completion percentage in history) should have gotten the Heisman trophy, but I won't. Instead I will Longhorn coach Mack Brown do the talking.

AP asked Coach Brown, "what the team will do this time without a huge, game-changing player like Vince Young to lead the way?" and Coach Brown said this,

"Well, I guess I'll have to settle for the winningest quarterback in NCAA football history."

Well said Coach Brown, well said.

Then later he was asked, "Bob Stoops (Oklahoma head coach) and Coach Pelini of Nebraska went to visit Nick Saban (head coach of Alabama) the weekend before the game, for a pow-wow of sorts, what are your thoughts on that?"

Brown - "Well if that actually took place then I would consider it the greatest compliment a football coach and team can receive. I mean if you have everyone ganging up on you, you must be doing something right."

Ohhhh, burn!!! Coach Brown really knows how to talk to the press and be a politician as well as a great coach. Let me tell you Coach Brown, if it was me I would've gone a different route like,

"Really? I suppose they want to let Coach Sabin in on their secrets to LOSING!! BOOYAHH!!"

Maybe I'd leave off the 'booyahh' but you get the picture. Mack Brown = class. Hook'em Horns!!!