Wednesday, March 31, 2021
A Little Weird by Andrew Goldfarb
(http://www.theslowpoisoner.com/index.html, year unknown) This is a t-i-n-y, yet somehow squarebound, collection of creepy creatures that is crazy, kooky, courageous and visually cacophonous. Cool!
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
(PepsiCo) I wanted to try this but couldn't find any of the marshmallow flavored cola, and it's almost Easter. So instead of a review I changed it to pee-flavored Pepsi Pees. I'm HILARIOUS!
Monday, March 29, 2021
Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray
(Dr. Browns, 1868-present) I don't really drink much pop, let alone corn-syrup-infused gentile pop, but when Passover rolls around it is a great reminder that our Jewish-est pop (at least according to Jewish deli stock) is not only Kosher for Pesach, but comes in this delightfully unusual celery flavor, which you could not reproduce if you had all the celery and seltzer and sugar in the world. It's afi-un-common!
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Mel Tillis "M-M-Mel Live"
Thursday, March 25, 2021
(Coca-Cola Company) It has sugar, not corn syrup, so it's Passover friendly, and for some reason the bottles looked totally different this week (I think they recycle bottles vigorously and we just got a shipment of bottles we've never seen before), and it's fun to drink out of a bottle.
Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels
(Trader Joe's, 2021) Obviously Trader Joe's is the superstore of snack porn, but most of the stuff is copies of better known stuff, like a classy ALDI situation. But these freaking things are just amazing and original and weirdly light even though they are combining three heavy snack faves. Bravo you snack pornographers!
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Coming 2 America
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
(Hershey's) Reese's flavored Kit Kat is a GREAT idea! Apparently these have been around for over 20 years but I never saw them until the recent Reese's candy shelf takeover, with the pretzels and the big cups and the thins, etc. Good job, Hershey's.
Monday, March 22, 2021
El Ranchero Chipotle Tortilla Chips
(El Ranchero) Purple bag...yes! Design easily moves this up near the top of the Chicago chip pile!
Sunday, March 21, 2021
The Love Witch
(Anna Biller Productions, 2016) The Love Witch is a masterful film that gorgeously recreates the look and energy of an Italian 1960s sexploitation horror film, but then plays the male gaze against a feminist eye cast upon conceptions of love and sex, doing it all with a viciously funny sense of humor. There is a feminine hygiene callback bit that is as funny as the best joke in a Mel Brooks film, with better timing. This movie looks so good and is so successfully sexy and weird and satirical that it is hard to categorize, impossible to forget, and certainly should be a really famous movie that everyone watches over and over forever.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
(www.whitecastle.com, 2021) In honor of their centennial White Castle has made this supposedly once standard, and for the last few years very rare (available at only a handful of locations, allegedly one spot in Chicagoland, and that spot certainly wasn't 79th and Stony) burger widely available. It features a freshly grilled, thicker, more wild looking patty than the standardized square, aerated slider, plus fresh lettuce and tomato. On the one hand, it is delicious, probably the tastiest thing on their menu (unless your loyalty to the gooey butter cake exceeds mine). On the other hand, it's a weird marketing ploy to say, "Hey America, our product used to be better than it is now!" We didn't remember that, you were off the hook! Also, cutting up fresh vegetables is new to the staffs, and my first sack each had a different cross section of the sticker on the sliced tomato. But hopefully this sticks around permanently (I'll keep buying them) and they will all master tomato sticker peeling. It's $1.69 in Chicago (so probably the same in NY/NJ, and a dime less everywhere else) but it's worth it, as three of these are definitely as or more filling than five traditional sliders, so you pay a couple bucks more for a better meal, which is still half the price of an overrated Au Cheval single burger.
Friday, March 19, 2021
(dawn of man-present) I don't like most canned soups as much as I used to, but I do really like soup. I'm gonna order it in restaurants more and learn to cook it better.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Gooey Butter Cake On A Stick
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Gene Siskel's Review of Space Jam
(Chicago Tribune, 1996) Siskel was a Bulls fan and, as did we all, loved Michael Jordan. But dude REALLY loved Michael Jordan, noting that the "great looking" cinema newbie's "eyes sparkle." He praises MJ's delivery and sharp dialogue, insults Shaq's movies (with the zinger "Bulls 1, Lakers 0," which is not a basketball score). And gives it 3.5 out of 4 stars. OK, I agree with that rating. Here are some examples of Michael's sharp dialogue, plus the complete review (plus a special treat for any of you who make it to the end).
Our Flick of the Week is “Space Jam” — you may have heard of it. A certain basketball player teams with cartoon characters to defeat — it would be silly, wouldn’t it, if I wrote, “tries to defeat” — animated aliens threatening to wreck the Looney Tunes gang as well as an array of NBA stars ranging (in height) from Shawn Bradley to Muggsy Bogues, a span of 27 inches.
How good is Michael Jordan playing himself? Very good. He wisely accepted as a first movie a script that builds nicely on his genial personality in an assortment of TV ads. The sound bites are just a little longer. He also delivers dialogue that is as sharp as what comes from his public persona. In other words, he doesn’t play a character who is hard to believe, nor does he play a dumbed-down version of himself. Sounds obvious? Tell it to Shaquille O’Neal and his dumb genie character in the disastrous “Kazaam.” Movie score: Bulls 1, Lakers 0.
"Space Jam" also manages to offer jokes and action that will appeal to adults as well as children. Compared with the most recent Disney animated features, "Space Jam" is, at times, a hoot, especially when it has fun with Michael's less-than-stellar baseball career and the way his fellow players were starstruck. Reportedly, the scene in which a rival catcher tips him off to the pitches comes from real life.
Michael’s assets as a film star are many. He is great-looking; his eyes sparkle, and he has a star aura. All that holds him back from establishing a career is script selection. Supporting roles and working with good directors should figure into the mix. Bill Murray is fine for broad comic relief as Michael’s teammate, and Wayne Knight from “Seinfeld” manages to fill out the traditional fat guy role with a measure of dignity. My only major quibble with the picture is that the new animated alien characters we meet at the beginning of the film are less than inspired. They get better when they turn into NBA-cloned “Monstars.” By the way, tell your kids you want to wait a few days before seeing “Space Jam.” The lines will be long and the frustration level (if you get shut out) will be high. “Space Jam” is rated PG.
3 1/2 stars
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Super Magic Forest by Ans
Monday, March 15, 2021
Roy Head "One More Time!"
Sunday, March 14, 2021
La Florentine Almond Nougat Candy
Cento) I don't know exactly what nougat is, I am not sure who these fancy Italians (?) on the little candy boxes are (opera stars? opera characters? There is an anti-opera writer from the 17th Century named Ferrante, but that can't be this dude), and I am not even sure I totally enjoy the light yet substantial airy sweetness and chewiness of this classy confection. But I feel like a special man when I eat it, and I deserve specialness!
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Bee Gees "2 Years On"
Friday, March 12, 2021
Hershey's) This is a Whatchamacallit with peanut butter instead of caramel, so it's good, but not as good, and it's name is not quite as good (sorry, Lisa M.), and the design is a little worse (but still eye-catching). So it's a Whatchamacallit, but worse, but OK. Is it the same as a Thingamajig, the retired Whatchamacallit companion? Maybe, I can't remember exactly how that tasted. But unlike the Thingamajig this is not a variant on a Sharkula AKA.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Orange Mango Bodyarmor SuperDrink
(Bodyarmor) This just tastes like you made the Tang wrong.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk
Nestle) This does taste just like the milk left in the bowl after you finish Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so I am satisfied with the honesty and the quality of my purchase. However, their are at least 200 readily available beverages I would choose over the milk left in the bowl after you finish Cinnamon Toast Crunch, including chocolate milk, tap water, bourbon, Yoo Hoo, dollar store fruit punch in little plastic barrels, any La Croix other than Key Lime, Malort, Tahitian Treat, mango nectar, Soursop, Mogen David, Hi-C, anything coconut flavored or with actual coconut water in it, any Jack Daniels except cinnamon or apple (or any combination of the two for an "apple pie shot"), Ting, Cel-Ray, and many, many more. So this is good, but unless the gas station is down to Cinnamilk and Key Lime seltzer I have drank my last non-natural bowl occurring version of this.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
(El Sabroso) "The dip's in the chip," they claim, but it's not. It is apparently really hard to synthesize avocado flavor - I mean half the actual avocados you get don't have it, and the other half don't have it before or after their mini-window of ripeness. So why even claim to have this flavor? Is it to get me to buy this once and then be disappointed? If so, mission accomplished. I'm the dip who got into these chips.
Monday, March 8, 2021
lovecorn.com) These are super vegan, non-GMO spiced corn nuts that have most of the copy on the packaging addressed to the eater like it was a mash note. These are smaller kernels than your common corn nut, but that makes it seem more natural, and they are crunchy and tasty and good. Love, It.
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Pringles Scorchin' BBQ
Pringles) Not even vaguely scorchin'! Obviously scorchin' should be hotter than flamin' hot, and this is not even in FH's neighborhood. Maybe my tube was broken, but if this was being judged in a Hot or Not situation, this would be a thundering Not. But let's talk about the redesign of the mascot: I get that replacing the hair with eyebrows allows for a lot of eyebrow-action mood changes and expressions, but I am not sure about the solid mustache over the textured mustache. I figure that the way the chips spoon together in-tube is represented the harmoniousness invoked by a barbershop quartet, thus the old timey guy. But losing the mustache hairiness now makes it seem extra artificial, which is accurate, but they should shy away from that. So: new sleek look is slightly less old-timey (less harmonious) and more unnatural, but in exchange, the character is more expressive. Not taking a stand here, but not excited about the change. But moreso, how the f-word is this scorchin'?
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Robert Dayton "Someone is out to KILL ME"
https://robertdayton.bandcamp.com/releases, 2021) Sometimes I wonder why so many smart, weird, original, funny, strange unnerving artists are not as successful as their talent and work deserves. Then I realize it is because they are smart, weird, original, funny, strange unnerving artists. This EP, a solo work from half of the should-be-legendary Canned Hamm, is produced by his former Hamm-mate and is basically a creepy, kooky, one man show about a man in bloody peril. The music is a fitting soundtrack to a man grappling with anxiety that is partly in his head and perhaps in all of his own blood that is covering everything. How is that not as intriguing as Harry Styles?
Friday, March 5, 2021
The Fleshtones "Face of The Screaming Werewolf"
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Under The Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Ditka's Beef Stick
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
We Ate Wonder Bread by Nicole Hollander
Fantagraphics, 2018) For many years Nicole Hollander was the most interesting thing on the funny pages. Her avatar Sylvia sunk into the tub, said or typed some funny-assed shit for her cats to hear, and generally (like her cats) didn't give a fuck. I always felt that was Hollander's attitude as well, because her inky, underground comix-meets Basquiat style clearly was going to make Beetle Bailey-saluting dowagers say "Oh my!" When I lived in Providence they had a Reader's Comics Poll every so often in the newspaper to decide which strips to drop, and Sylvia always lost, but the editors knew they couldn't lose one of the only comics by a woman and risk a scathing letter campaign by Brown and RISD feminists (not to mention losing subscriptions of the massive Venn-diagram overlaps of newspaper hoarders/cat ladies). Released around the same time as Emil Ferris' "My Favorite Thing Is Monsters" and Carol Tyler's "Fab 4 Mania," this book completes a triptych of stunning autobiographical(-ish in Ferris' case) coming-of-agers by expressive women cartoonists about growing up in Mid-Century Chicago. This hybrid text/comics memoir is not as narratively ambitious as the other two books, as Hollander reduces her Jewish upbringing (by a hustling dad, a mom not attuned to Nicole's artistry, and colorful neighbors) to a few briefly but vividly recollected anecdotes. But the gorgeous, expressive, color drawings here are wild, soulful, and viscerally impactful. This is some art...that might not win a comics poll. But when it comes to polls, Hollander, who obviously cares very much about her work, her world, her family, her history and her artistry, doesn't give a fuck!