Monday, December 05, 2011

I Heart Kelly Kapowski

A couple of weeks ago, there was an article going around called "10 Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain To Their Children." I opened it with great expectations, but for the most part it let me down.

It may be because I'm on the older side for 90s children, but I don't recall people liking Clarissa Explains It All or my friends playing with Tamagotchis or ever caring about Fern Gully. If I were to write about a collector's fad that sapped my parents of money, I would've written about Pogs, not Beanie Babies.

I was particularly disappointed in her first point regarding Topanga and Boy Meets World:

1. Topanga was at some point in human history considered not only a legitimate first name for a human being, but the kind of name that would inspire in malleable teenage boys a life-long infatuation. Topanga, in our day, was leading lady name-material Topanaga (pronounced Tah-payne-ga, for those who will have only seen in it written down) is the name of the quintessential girl-next-door who will live, along with Feeney, in our hearts forever. 

I took issue with this passage because Topanga was most certainly not the quintessential 90s girl-next-door. That title easily goes to Kelly Kapowski.

If my kids ever ask me about my youthful crush, Topanga wouldn't even cross my mind. I'm not sure why the article said she inspired a life-long infatuation within teenage boys. Nobody wanted Topanga. Let's not forget that in the early episodes of Boy Meets World, Topanga was a weirdo. I understand she became more normal & slightly more attractive as the series went on, but in no way did she ever make it into any conversations about "hot chicks on TV." Even Alex Mack was cuter than her.

Kelly Kapowski, on the other hand, was a well-rounded member of the community. On top of being quite the hottie, she was a cheerleader, a member of Hot Sundae, a waitress at The Max and a caring big sister to a ton of other siblings created by her seemingly anti-contraception parents. Kelly Kapowski is the quintessential 90s girl-next-door. And if you don't believe me, trust in the Biebs.







Tuesday, August 30, 2011

College Words of Wisdom

In August 2001, I was having dinner at T.G.I.F. (those Black Angus burgers were solid) with some high school friends. Most of us were moving to Ann Arbor to start school at the University of Michigan in about a week. It was a last gathering of sorts. We happened to strike up some decent conversation with the waitresses, who told us about a party nearby. I don't recall if the waitresses were attractive, but I do remember hearing the words "free beer."

We showed up to the house party and saw a bunch of 25-year-olds partying. Picture the house party in Superbad, but with people in their mid-twenties bonging beers & playing drinking games. We surveyed the scene & commented with disgust at how immature these people were. "How lame," we thought. "They're in their mid-twenties. Shouldn't these people be a little bit more mature instead of getting shitfaced on a Sunday night? Don't they have jobs? College is over..."

Fast-forward exactly seven years later to August 2008, about a week before my 25th birthday. I had organized & hosted The Beer Olympics. We had a planning committee, created a PowerPoint presentation & produced official t-shirts. I even declared myself "Master of Ceremonies" and led a (tiki) torch-lighting ceremony. We drank copious amounts of beer and were so loud that the restaurant next door to my apartment would no longer seat people in their garden. After the event, we scampered around the East Village at 10pm looking like this.

Oh, the irony. Our naivete was laughable.

Now, fast-forward ten years from that house party. The Little Taquito, my youngest sister, is in the midst of her own welcome week and officially starts college classes this Wednesday. Just the idea of "ten years" makes me feel old, but consider these other things:

- I turn 28 on Wednesday and have nothing good to look forward to, other than the fact that I get a 4-day weekend for Labor Day. Ten years ago, I was excited to be able to legally buy cigarettes & porn, and I had welcome week and the rest of my college experience. The world was mine for the taking.
- The 2011 VMAs just aired, and I didn't know 80% of the people on there. They had a tribute to Britney Spears, in honor of her winning the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Ten years ago MJ was still alive, and Britney was still a hot teenager. (And for fun, read this recap of the 2001 VMAs. Fatboy Slim & *NSYNC (*NSYNC!!!) were the top winners. People actually could tell you who Chris Kirkpatrick was.)

As my sister embarks on her own journey, I figured I'd give her some advice:

- Don't major in Economics. It's useless. The entire degree is not Pareto efficient and provides me with zero utility. In fact, I would consider it deadweight loss.
- Beware of the male Women's Studies major. Always question his motives.
- If you major in Women's Studies, Art History or Philosophy, I'll pull you out of college myself.
- Join a bunch of clubs that interest you. But not the foosball club. That did not get me anywhere socially, and I did not become good at foosball.
- Welcome Week is the best time of the year. It's so awesome that I decided to relive it two years ago. Just don't get a UIP while on probation for an MIP, like me.
- Don't lose your phone. Our brother, El Burrito Grande, lost his phone no less than two times during college. Due to today's high prices, you'll be relegated to a Motorola Razr if you lose your Android device.
- You probably shouldn't join a sorority. Just make friends with a bunch of girls in a sorority, have them invite you to live with them in their unofficial off-campus house and drink all of their alcohol & rage in their parties. Just a warning -- you still may get hazed.
- Should you decide to join a sorority, don't join the Asian, or perhaps I should say AZN, sorority. If you join a regular sorority that just happens to have a lot of Asians and is known as "the Asian sorority," I guess that's OK. But you don't need a sorority for that. Just go to the library if you want Asian friends. For you Michigan folks, just go to the Fishbowl.
- If you join a sorority and you decide to wear sweat pants with Greek letters on the buttocks, you will cease to exist. Even if you don't join a sorority and you wear sweat pants with anything on the buttocks area, you will cease to exist.
- Friends who visit from other colleges will never have as good of a time as you promise and vice versa. Don't worry about it. That's just the way it is.
- Jimmy John's is shit.
- I encourage rope lights & liquor bottles filled with highlighter fluid (on which you shine a black light) as decorations for your dorm room. Reminiscing about your crappy dorm room decor is one of the great joys of post-college life.
- Winamp is the bomb music player. It has thousands of skins from which to choose, so you can accurately reflect your personality and current tastes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shut Up, Cleveland

I wanted the axis of evil to win the NBA championship. I know I'm in the minority here, but three of the best players in the world joined forces to win an NBA title, and I really wanted to see if they could pull it off. (Yes I'm including Chris Bosh even though everyone likes to poop on him. I don't know much about basketball, but based on what I saw and the stat sheet, he seemed to justify his place.) 

With that said, I still thought it was pretty cool that the Mavs, Dirk, Kidd, Cuban, et. al. got their title. They were the much better team, and they earned it. I'm a Pistons fan, so in the end I didn't really care that much.

However, what's really bugging me are the Cleveland fans & Dan Gilbert. They can't shut up about Lebron losing. They're like an annoying ex-girlfriend who just won't let go. I get that The Decision sucked and lacked class, and they had every right to bitch about the way it went down because it was wrong and tasteless (especially that idiotic "Welcome to Miami" pre-season celebration). But it's over now, and they need to deal with it. I wish they would just shut up. They might start seriously challenging Boston fans & Lakers fans for the title of "Most Annoying Fans" if they keep it up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Old School is Better than The Hangover

Back in 2003, Roommate #2 was telling me about a trailer he saw for a movie about a bunch of grown-ups who go back to college and start a fraternity. My first reaction: "that sounds stupid."

A few weeks later while watching another movie, I actually saw the trailer myself and had a complete reversal of opinion. I couldn't wait until this movie came out. As we now know, Old School was far from stupid and unbelievably funny.

Old School was released in February of that year, but the staying power of the film was tremendous, due in no small part to the plethora of hilarious moments, memorable music and great performances.

The Hilarity
I recommend you stop being such a faggot. (Totally came out of nowhere. So unexpected and well-delivered, it was hilarious.)
I'm here for the gangbang. (Another out-of-the-blue moment. The look of the guy and delivery were great.)
I told my wife I wouldn't drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow... Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday. We're going to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond. I don't know. I don't know if we'll have enough time. (I think all guys should consider this when deciding whether to get married.)
It's so good. Once it hits your lips. It's so good. (So true, and still quoted.)
Honey, you think KFC is still open? (Don't we all wish?)
You're my boy, Blue! (R.I.P.)

The Music
The movie brought some classics back to life, and even paved the way for The Dan Band to make appearances at wedding scenes in other similar movies, such as Wedding Crashers and The Hangover.
Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler (as performed by The Dan Band)
Dust in the Wind - Kansas (as performed by Will Ferrell)
Here I Go Again - White Snake

The Characters
Frank the Tank (With all much due respect to Zoolander, this was Will Ferrell's first major hit and paved the way for his string of major movie successes.)
The Godfather (Totally made up for Legally Blonde, and also cemented Luke's status as the better Wilson brother.)
Vince Vaughn (Going to his strengths and reminding everyone of why we loved Swingers so much.)
Elisha Cuthbert (She was in her prime and riding the success of 24.)
Dean Gordon (Cheeee-eeeese. Entourage hadn't debuted yet, but this definitely set the stage for us hating Jeremy Piven.)
Craig Kilborn (Played the jackass to perfection. I'm still wishing he'll return to SportsCenter.)
Ellen Pompeo (She was actually cute and likeable here, before she became whiny and annoying on that horrible show-that-shall-not-be-named.)
Seann William Scott (Showing there is life beyond American Pie.)
Snoopaloop (His greatest role since the cripple on Training Day.)
Red Dragon (I know it was just a car, but to its credit it wasn't exactly street-legal.)

So, why am I getting so nostalgic about this movie? Because everyone is getting moist over The Hangover 2. Don't get me wrong; The Hangover was a very funny movie. I'll give credit where credit is due, but The Hangover 2 seems to be the exact same plot. Not only were they too lazy to come up with a new plot, they were too lazy to even come up with a new way to do a sequel. They totally aped the way to do a sequel from The Karate Kid: take the exact same movie, move it from the western US to Asia, and have a white guy get yellow fever and fall in love with an Asian girl.

I just want to make sure Old School gets the proper credit it deserves for laying the groundwork for all of these raunchy buddy comedies for this century. The granddaddy of them all is probably Animal House, and there were a lot of good movies after that. However, Old School propelled careers and a comedy-movie genre.

With that said, I'm probably going to see The Hangover 2. I'm sure I'll get some good laughs. Plus, Jamie Chung is in it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Coughlin's Law: When He Pours, He Reigns

I caught Cocktail last weekend. It's been a couple of years since I last saw it, so I went to IMDb to look up some random facts. I got thrown off when I saw that it only got 5.4 out of 10 stars. This is only slightly above the 5.1 rating of Agent Cody Banks, which I also caught this weekend. I thought this was a travesty,until I got deep into the movie and realized how ridiculous it really was.

Cocktail was a triumphant story about a young man, who overcame the odds to start his own chain of mall bars and broke class bonds by marrying a super-rich Elisabeth Shue. A classic story, but let's be honest the real reason people saw this movie was to see a young Tom Cruise juggle bottles of Jim Beam.

The bartending & showmanship were great, but if you had to wait that long for a drink, you'd be cursing & determined not to leave the guys any tips. It's not Benihana. On top of that, the scene ended with Coughlin & Flanagan toasting each other. They were making drinks for themselves. Assholes!

And what about the scene at Cell Block, when Flanagan is able to quiet 3+ stories of club-revelers to do his barman poet schtick? What this tells me is it's possible for a bartender to command the attention of hundreds of partying NYers who just want to drink, dance & get laid, just so he can recite a poem about drinks, like the Sex on the Beach or the Long Island iced tea, that no one outside of college or a beach orders.

Let's move on to the bar. The bar where young Flanagan learns his craft is T.G.I. Friday's. Now, I must admit that I very much enjoy their burgers. However, I don't think any Friday's is as lively or packed as the one shown in this scene. I challenge you to tell me of a single Friday's anywhere in the country that gets as raucous as the one depicted in the film. This definitely would not happen in NYC.

I mentioned Elisabeth Shue earlier. She isn't unlike many young NYC girls, who claim to be independent of daddy's money. She works at an entry-level position, in her case as a waitress at a diner, so she can support herself & live on her own. But her apartment is actually really nice, and it doesn't really make sense that someone with her job could actually afford to live alone in that apartment... or the nice beach vacation she took with her friend. Keep in mind she was at the same resort where a now-rich Coughlin is honeymooning with his millionaire wife. I'm guessing she gets mad tips because she's so cute. I guess her character is actually spot-on. (Just to be clear, there's nothing wrong with getting help from daddy. Family phone plan, anyone? Just don't complain that you're barely getting by on your own, then show Tom Cruise your really nice apartment.)

I know I just ripped a lot on this movie, but don't mistake that for hate. I still thoroughly enjoy this movie; it's fantastic. Like the movie poster says, "When he pours, he reigns." 

(Side note: I find the aging of Bryan Brown, who played Coughlin, to be absolutely amazing. He was 41 when Cocktail came out. When I saw him again in Along Came Polly 16 years later, he didn't look like he had aged a day. He must have some Asian in him.)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tumblring

I finally started a Tumblr edition of The Dirty Burrito. Have no fear this edition isn't dead. I will now have two separate streams of content.

The Blogger version will continue to function as my long-form outlet, while Tumblr will host my quick-hit entries. Think of the pair like Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny DeVito in Twins. Sometimes you need something more robust, but other times you just want something short & sweet.

I hope you check it out & follow:
http://thedirtyburrito.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK Randomness

First up, this MLK loofah, courtesy of the HGOC. I didn't create it, people.

I got MLK Day off, but according to the NY Times, some students in the South had to attend school. I understand the sensitivities of canceling MLK Day in the South, but the kids need to go to school! I'm pretty sure MLK would prefer that the kids get an education. The quotes from the NY Times article are amazing: "It always seems like Martin Luther King day is the first one they are willing to give up,” said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (It's the first one people give up because it's the first holiday on the calendar.) As can be expected, the reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton chimed in on the matter. From Al Sharpton, "We’re urging people to keep their kids home. It’s un-American not to observe the holiday." You know what else is un-American? Leading the world in education. There's a reason the US lags behind the rest of the world. I highly doubt the countries leading the world in education give their students as much time off as the US. So, I hope you followed Reverend Sharpton and did your part to honor the great Dr. King by keeping your kids at home and withholding their education. (And no, this is not a veiled attempt to say Asians rule at everything. If you look at the chart, seven of the top ten countries listed are from the West. Though the top three are Asian... On a related note, I do have thoughts on the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua. That'll be a separate blog post.)

I've read that a lot of the people were quite irked by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. Newsflash to Hollywood: he's a comedian! And you've chosen a profession that requires you to be in the limelight. Deal with it. It's made you millions and millions, so stop complaining. The Tim Allen joke was amazing though. I only caught the last hour of the show, so I didn't see Toy Story 3 win and was wondering what Tim Allen was doing there. I kept trying to think of work he's done, but all that kept creeping into my mind was Home Improvement, a show I really disliked.

I can't believe people still have a thing for The Social Network. Back when it was released, critics were calling it the movie of the year. After I saw it I had to ask, "Why?" Don't get me wrong. I liked the movie and found it very enjoyable. I'm not at all disappointed I paid $13 to see it in the theatre, but I don't think it should win any "movie of the year" honors. Hollywood is all moist because the odd power couple of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin were able to make it work. OOOOOH. AHHHHH. Two powerhouses in the film-making industry who don't seem to be a likely team chose to collaborate on a project, and everything panned out. Sweet! If it wins, it's going to be this year's Crash. In retrospect, does anyone seriously still think that movie deserved to win that year? I realize the subject is relevant to our times, but even Sorkin himself says, "From a plot standpoint, you could’ve told the same story about the invention of a really good toaster." Does that sound like a movie that should win the top prize? Also another reason not to give it film of the year Justin Timberlake had a starring role playing Justin Timberlake. If they wanted to cast a musician, they should've cast Mos Def. Who cares if Sean Parker was white? Mos Def still would've been 10 million times better than JT.

In matters related to Sean Parker, I just want to give a shoutout to Shawn Fanning. The Social Network seemingly depicts Sean Parker as the sole creator of Napster. This is false. Shawn Fanning was actually the technological brains behind Napster, and Sean Parker was his business partner. You gave us free music you will not be forgotten.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hokeamania

I IMed The Flint Skinny on Wednesday to ask him where I could watch the Brady Hoke press conference, and he responded, "In the archives of awesome."

I watched the entire hour-long press conference at work that day, and I came away impressed. The man loves Michigan. There's a good chance he turns into a wolverine when there's a full moon. He's also charismatic. He had some funny moments, like when he made up the word "multipli" when talking about his goal of winning multiple Big Ten championships.

He did a spectacular job of selling why he's the right coach: his philosophy, his love for the players, his respect for the program and its tradition...yada, yada, yada. But the part I loved the most was the answer he gave when asked about the rivalries. (At 16:30 of this video.)

Reporter: "Michigan has lost to its main rivals, it seems, in the past few years. Could you talk a little bit about the rivalries and what your thoughts are in the last couple years?"

Brady Hoke: "Sure. You wanna win'em."

Boom goes the dynamite!

I loved his delivery, but the rest of his answer shows he truly grasps the importance of the games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and "that school from Ohio." I think he understands and respects the program enough that he'd probably leave on his own if he doesn't win those games. And for the sake of Michigan football, I hope he's DOES win those games. We're knocking on the doorstep of becoming the next Notre Dame. There's nothing sadder than those Irish fans wearing those "Return to Glory" shirts for umpteen consecutive years. I didn't realize it was even possible for an annual return to glory.

I am a Hokeamaniac. I look forward to the day when we return to launching 20-yard cross-field bombs to our receivers for 2-yard gains.

(Side note: He called out a "Glen" as one of the former players who showed up to the press conference. I'm guessing it was Glen Steele. I was quite interested in this because Glen Steele was on the 1997 national championship team, and he was involved in the one play from that season that I'll always remember. Fourth-ranked Michigan went to third-ranked Penn State with experts thinking Michigan would finally lose to a superior Penn State team. On Penn State's first offensive play, I remember Glen Steele running through the defensive line and sacking the QB and giving a mighty roar as he was mobbed by his teammates. I'm not sure why, but for me, that play was the moment I knew Michigan was going to run the table. Check it out at 3:05 on this video. Another gem from that video starts at 1:05. Keith "Whoa Nelly" Jackson the best is introducing the coaches and says, "...and of course Joe Paterno's been here forever." That was 13 years ago...)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

I randomly felt like ranking a few father-son acting duos. I'm not quite sure why. I don't smoke pot, so it's not because I'm stoned. It could be due to the fact that it's award season, or it could be because I read about Charlie Sheen's alleged pornstar orgy at the AVN Awards and thought, "His dad must be so ashamed," then realizing his dad is famous too. In any case, the nominees are listed below with my arguments for why they should be top-ranked.

Martin Sheen & Charlie Sheen
Martin played one of the greatest presidents in entertainment history, Josiah Bartlet from The West Wing. Charlie's most memorable roles were in a vast array of projects, such as Hot Shots!, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Major League, Major League II and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (you remember he made out with Jennifer Grey in the police station). I refuse to rank his time on Two and a Half Men as "memorable." Why people think it's funny is one of life's great mysteries. What's unique about these two is that Martin and Charlie both starred in iconic Vietnam movies Apocalypse Now and Platoon, respectively. Not bad. 

Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez
Kudos to Martin. Because he produced one of the greatest movie hockey coaches of all time, he's on this list for a second time. Emilio Estevez played Gordon Bombay, who gave us The Triple Deke, The Flying V and "Ducks fly together." Definitely one of the top two Gordons in movie history (see below for other Gordon.) 

Kirk Douglas & Michael Douglas
Spartacus and Gordon Gekko. "I am Spartacus." "Greed is good." I'll leave it at that.

Donald Sutherland & Kiefer Sutherland
Donald has had an illustrious career, but what stood out for me was his powerful portrayal of the stoned professor from Animal House. I'm trying to come up with a Jack Bauerism right now, but I'm just not that good.

Freddie Prinze & Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Don't really know anything about Freddie Prinze, but he was apparently best known as the star of Chico and the Man. I just really wanted to include Freddie Prinze, Jr. on this list. His hits include I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, She's All That and the baseball classic, Summer Catch.

Now that you know the nominees, here are my rankings in descending order:

5) The Prinze family: if this list of father-son pairs was a standardized test question, thne this family obviously would be the one that does not belong.
4) The Sutherlands: Jack Bauer isn't scary enough to take #1.
3) Sheen/Sheen: Two and a Half Men is more of a detriment than you think.
2) Sheen/Estevez: The Flying V can only do so much damage.
1) The Douglas family: no question about it, this duo is a juggernaut. The ultimate compliment was delivered by Alicia Silverstones in Clueless, calling Kirk's iconic movie, "Sparaticus."

Monday, January 03, 2011

Wife Swap: Shania Twain Edition

Back in 2008, we found out that Mutt Lange, the beautiful husband of Shania Twain, cheated on her with the equally beautiful Marie-Anne Thiebaud, who also happened to be her best friend. At the time, I thought the most interesting part of this story was the severe downgrade in talent by Mutt, and I'd never talk about it again.

Well, I was mistaken. Shania obviously divorced Mutt, but I found out last night that she got remarried... to Frederic Thiebaud, the ex-husband of Marie-Anne. To summarize, Mutt cheated on Shania with her best friend. Shania ended up commiserating with the woman's husband and ended up marrying him. It's a real-life wife swap!

Pretty certain Frederic got the better end of that deal...