Saturday, September 29, 2012

Healthy homemade ice cream

Here's a great recipe to both satisfy your sweet tooth and not stray from your diet. I use a few ingredients but really the only ingredients you need are frozen fruit and water. If you want to make the deluxe stuff though, I use frozen fruit, zero calorie sweetener, sugar free creamer, and a little bit of almond butter. 

Ingredients:

2-3 cups frozen fruit
2 tbsp sugar-free coffee creamer (optional)
2 tbsp Splenda zero calorie sweetener (optional)
1 tbsp almond milk (optional)
1 tbsp nut butter (optional)

Less than 75 calories per cup.



Start by measuring 2-3 cups of frozen fruit into your blender. For this recipe, you need a decent blender. Your standard shitty $15 Walmart blender might not work. I highly recommend the blender you see pictured, the Vita-Mix. It was expensive but holy shit if it's not the best kitchen appliance I've ever bought, hands down. Worth every penny. Anyway. If you don't have a blender with a tamper included, you'll need to scrape the sides several times while blending. Add in 2 tbsp creamer, 1 tbsp almond milk, 2 tbsp of Splenda, and about a tablespoon of almond butter.




I added an ice cube just to fluff it up just a little. 


Blend all ingredients together on high for a minute or so. The idea is to break the fruit up fast enough that it instantly refreezes. If you have a tamper, tamp the ingredients into the blade as it blends. If it gets too hard or the motor begins to overheat, add a splash of water. If you don't have a tamper, use the ice crush setting on your blender and scrape it after every 2-3 seconds of blending. 

 

When it's ready, it will look exactly like ice cream that you'd buy at Baskin Robbins. 


It should have a thick consistency and should still be frozen. 


Voila. Fresh, homemade, healthy ice cream that's low calorie and easy to prepare. You're welcome.

Upcoming movies in 2012 I'm excited about

Lincoln


I explained in this post why I am looking forward to this. Daniel Day-Lewis is America's greatest immigrant and Steven Spielberg is America's most famous Xbox Live gamer. Not to mention James Spader, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field. My prediction: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor. Release Date: November 9, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


The only thing more exciting than a new movie in the Lord of the Rings canon is THREE new movies in the Lord of the Rings canon. The Hobbit is the first movie of a trilogy that tells the story of Bilbo Baggins back when he was a young thug slinging game on the east side of the Shire, who gets ahold of some baller-ass jewelry and decides he needs to protect that shit. Release date: December 14, 2012

Les Miserables


Not only is Les Miserables the greatest story ever told, the musical is one of the best Broadway masterpieces to ever grace the stage. This movie adaptation of the musical is especially unique because when they filmed it, instead of recording a master track and miming the songs, they actually sang live on each take, which promises to provide an even more intimate and powerful performance. Les Mis is by far my favorite musical and if the movie does it any justice, it may quickly become one of my favorite films as well. Release Date: December 25, 2012

The Master


Another genius film by Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic and enigmatic science fiction writer and Joaquin Phoenix as his increasinly-disconnected-from-reality disciple. My prediction: Best Actor nominee for Joaquin Phoenix, Best Picture nomination, Best Director nomination, Best Supporting Actor winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams. Release Date: October 12, 2012

The Frozen Ground


Although this one doesn't have a trailer yet, The Frozen Ground is based on the true story of Robert Hansen, a serial killer in Alaska in the early 1980s who killed between 17 and 21 women. It stars John Cusack as Hansen, who is being hunted by  Alaska state trooper Nicholas Cage with the help of an escaped would-be victim, played by Vanessa Hudgens. I'm looking forward to this mostly because it was filmed last winter here in Anchorage, so there will be plenty of places and things that I recognize, which is always fun in a movie. Not to mention any movie with Nicolas Cage is guaranteed to be a winner (see generally, every nick cage movie ever). Release Date: December 1, 2012

Django Unchained


Quentin Tarantino is back with Django Unchained, which tells the story of Django, a slave played by Jamie Foxx, who is bought by Christoph Waltz's character and turned into a bounty hunter in exchange for his freedom. It promises Tarantino's trademark acerbic dialogue and plenty of gratuitous violence. My prediction: the DVD release will have an hour of unreleased material. Release Date: December 25, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dunder Mifflin: Drug Cartel

Note: This post contains spoilers for both The Office and The Wire

The Office is a popular mockumentary sitcom on NBC that focuses on the employees of a regional branch of Dunder Mifflin, Inc. With the premiere of its 9th season last Thursday, I thought I would share something that I've discovered about the series.

Dunder Mifflin is a publicly traded mid-cap office paper supply and distribution company, with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and most recently, Florida. For most of its run the show focused on a regional branch of the company, ran by a bumbling, inept office manager named Michael Scott. Since Michael Scott's departure from the show, the company has been a subsidiary of Sabre Incorporated, a Korean printer company, headquartered in Tallahassee.

But consider this:

Dunder Mifflin is a front company for a large Northeast regional drug smuggling ring. It uses paper sales to legitimize its earnings and delivery trucks to move and ship the product to its regional distribution centers. Here's how it works.

The Players:

David Wallace

David Wallace is the cartel leader and kingpin, using his Wall Street background and ruthless business skills to procure and market the product worldwide. Dunder Mifflin's paper clients are smaller regional drug buyers and sellers, using Dunder Mifflin's paper product to launder their finances and transport their drugs undetected. He funnels their money through the publicly-traded paper company, and oversees the entire operation from his office in downtown Manhattan. In season 6, he decides he wants out and sells the company to Southwest cartel kingpin Jo Bennett, then later buys the operation back from her at the end of season 8.

Ryan Howard

Ryan is the wunderkind of the drug world, or should I say was. Ryan was hired at the end of season 3 to help manage the paper side of Dunder Mifflin, having just recently completed his MBA. This explains why, in Season 4, Ryan Howard's rise to power in the Dunder Mifflin corporate world led to his addiction to cocaine and eventual fraud charges, bringing unwanted attention to the company and threating the entire organization. Ryan is humiliated and sent to work as a temp in the Scranton office as punishment for his mistakes.

Creed Bratton aka William Charles Schneider 

Creed Bratton is the jack-of-all-trades of the Dunder Mifflin organization. Despite his persona of being a scatter-brained, washed-up guy living out his autumn years in a go-nowhere job, Creed is actually highly intelligent and organized. Creed is responsible for "quality assurance" at Dunder Mifflin, both in the above-board paper company and in the drug organization, making sure that shipments arrive on time, supplies are up to standards, and that problems are handled quickly before they have a chance to get out of hand. His nonsensical ramblings and seeming separation from reality make operating under the radar much easier, as no one expects much from him. Creed's long years in the business have made him the go-to guy for just about anything, and much like Red in Shawshank Penitentiary, he's a man who knows how to get things.

Darryl Philbin

Darryl is the warehouse manager for Dunder Mifflin Scranton. By day, he makes sure that all the paper supplies go out on time and in the right quantities to the right people. By night, he makes sure that all the company's drug shipments go out on time and in the right quantities to the right people. Darryl is one of the most critical members of the operation, because he oversees both the paper shipments and the illegal drug shipments concealed within them. His job also involves hiring and training trustworthy and discreet drivers to make shipments under the radar.

Charles Miner aka Stringer Bell

Charles Miner is a Dunder Mifflin executive working directly under CEO and Kingpin David Wallace. Known for his no-nonsense business acument and ruthlessness in the drug world, Stringer Bell came to Dunder Mifflin after faking his own death in Baltimore to escape the Barksdale drug operation there, changing his name to Charles Miner and inventing a fake management background. He is sent in to help repair the damage after Ryan nearly blows the whole operation when he's convicted of fraud at the height of a cocaine addiction. Stringer Bell disagrees with David Wallace's choice of Michael to run the Scranton branch, and ultimately pushes him out. However, after he realizes that Michael is essential to the operation, he goes to work elsewhere in the operation and Michael returns to the Scranton branch.

Michael Scott

Michael is the hired distraction for the company. His lack of intelligence and social understandings make him a constant thorn in the side of the paper company employees. He is a constant distraction, and his cluelessness about the actual business side of Dunder Mifflin provides both a way to conceal the illicit trade as well as to provide a scapegoat if the conspiracy is ever discovered. Eventually David realizes that Michael's love for Holly could jeopardize the operation, and the two are moved to Colorado.

Holly Flax aka Officer Beadie Russell

After escaping the corrupt Port Authority police in Baltimore, Ofc Russell assumes the name Holly Flax and joins the organization in Season 4, replacing Toby in Human Resources. A former law enforcement officer, her job is to help maintain the front for the organization in order to avoid law enforcement detection. As an HR rep, her job is to keep the company out of the courtroom and out of the public eye. Once she falls in love with Michael, David transfers her to the Nashua office to avoid any potential complications, but when she returns to Scranton and falls in love again, he decides to let them both move to Colorado and leave the organization.

Hidetoshi Hasagawa

Hide (hee-day) comes into the organization in season 6, where he works alongside Darryl in the warehouse. A skilled surgeon from Japan, he arrives at Dunder Mifflin after fleeing Japan for assassinating a Yakuza mob boss during surgery. Hide becomes the company's enforcer in the Northwest region, dealing with stubborn customers or late payments as necessary.

Jolene Bennett aka Jo

Jo Bennett is the leader of the largest drug cartel operation in the Southeast area, Sabre Inc. Sabre is a Korean printer company that is actually a front for a meth distribution network based in Seoul, South Korea. After David Wallace decides to leave the drug game, Jo's company Sabre buys his Dunder Mifflin operation, seeking to expand its market share and production capacity. Jo has a closer hand in managing the Dunder Mifflin operations than David Wallace did, which explains her constant presence in the Scranton branch despite being the CEO of a multinational corporation. She usually travels with at least one bodyguard (Gabe) and 2 large dogs for protection.

Eric Ward aka Gale Boetticher

Eric Ward is a "fact checker" and investment banker. Prior to changing his name to Gale Boetticher and going to work as a cook for Gus Fring's Los Pollos Hermanos Southwest organization, Eric Ward was the top chemist and quality control supervisor for Jo's Sabre drug production network. In Season 6, he is sent to Dunder Mifflin under the guise of being an "investment banker" prior to Jo's buyout to check their inventory, inspect their supplies, assess their operations, and report back to Jo on the stability and potential of the company and its product.

Harry Jarrone aka Frank Sobotka

Harry Jarrone is a sales and distribution associate in the Utica branch of Dunder Mifflin. Jarrone joined the organization after faking his death and escaping the dangerous world of working as a Baltimore stevedores' union leader. Holly Flax aka Ofc Russell convinced him to join the Dunder Mifflin organization, which he accepts ddue to the trust they earned in Baltimore, and he grows to a position of importance in the Utica office. He confronts leader Robert California after he cuts off his supplies from the Binghamton branch in Season 8.

Robert California aka Bob Kazamakis

Robert California is the CEO of Sabre, Inc. after Jo resigns the position. He is responsible for overseeing the operation, and takes several steps to modernize the legitimate side of Dunder Mifflin, including increasing sales and expanding into new markets. He creates tension within the organization when he changes the supply lines without notifying the regional distributors, resulting in Harry Jarrone's angry confrontation. When David Wallace rebuys the organization back from Jo in season 8, California leaves to go work abroad, exploring the possibility of expanding the market internationally.

Watch the series again on Netflix or Hulu and I guarantee you'll see that there is a massive drug smuggling operation being documented right in front of your eyes, and you never would have noticed it if I hadn't said something. You're welcome.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How the Republicans can win the Presidency in 2012 (and fix the country while they're at it)

Let's face it folks, Mitt Romney is a turd sandwich of a Presidential candidate, and Americans don't seem super enthusiastic about taking a bite out of it this fall. After a primary candidacy that was way more difficult than it should've been-- come on, he was running against a guy who said politicians should be involved in the bedroom and Newt fucking Gingrich-- he's failed to swing the polls strongly in his favor despite an ever-worsening economic climate and Obama's lackluster efforts as of late. With his most recent now-public tirade against the working poor, he's all but guaranteed to lose unless the GOP can throw a Hail Mary pass at the last second.

But they can.
Are you fucking kidding me? Mom Jeans 2012.
With Hank Scorpio here heading up the GOP ticket this November, winning the election against Barack Obama is anything but certain. He's been accused of flip-flopping on major issues such as abortion and public health care, and he fails to attract the media adoration and youthful vigor that Obama so successfully harnessed in 2008. Basically it boils down to this: if there is a better candidate out there, the GOP should boot Mitt Blah-mney to the curb and go with someone that has a better shot.

Fortunately, I've got just the candidate for you. Are you ready for this? Here it is:

Abraham. Fucking. Lincoln.

Official White House daguerrotype by Matthew Brady, 1864
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is the best president ever. Some might think it's George Washington, but he was a chump compared to Lincoln. I mean, he had wooden teeth. Even Abe Lincoln had his real teeth. Knowing the public school system of the day didn't give two shits about a kid like him, Lincoln educated himself back when Khan Academy was charcoal on a shovel in a dirt hut.
An early mugshot of Lincoln after he was caught with a ham under his shirt at the Piggly Wiggly
 Eventually he became a badass trial lawyer known for pulling some straight up Matlock moves on a regular basis in court and having juries be all "holy shit!" all the time. He is said to have handled over 5,000 cases during his career as an attorney. A self taught attorney at that, which as any internet forum will tell you is obviously the best kind of attorney.
"Members of the jury, I've told you my client is not guilty. Are you the kind of person that would go back into that jury room and call Honest Abe a liar behind my back?"

After deciding that things in the U.S. were really messed up and that he should be the one running shit, he ran for State and national office several times and eventually landed a sweet gig as the President of the United States of America. He's also the President who finally said "you know what? Fuck all this slavery noise, it's time to go medieval on the South," turning the tides of the Civil War. He led the U.S. through the most tumultuous period in our history. His steadfast leadership and calculated strategic vision changed the face of America and forever altered the position of the American Presidency.

I ask you, gentle reader: Who better to take the reins in 2012?

Lincoln will always be remembered for his prescience on government affairs, his leadership during the Civil War, and being the only person to hate going to the theater more than me, although to be fair Lincoln never had to sit through an amateur production of Cats so I might still have him beat there. He is also the only candidate that would guarantee a victory over the incumbent, Barack Obama.

Now I know what you're probably thinking here. You're thinking "that's a great idea, let's elect a guy who died in 1864. why don't you file that under 'D' for 'dumbass'?" Obviously the real Abraham Lincoln is dead. And if he's not dead,  I assure you, you sure as shit don't want him as your President, unless you think being eaten alive by an unholy beast of the undead is a good thing.
Zombie Lincoln will NOT keep his promises! He will raise taxes, he will increase spending, and he is a creature from the unholy depths of human nightmares. 

 However, we have something here today that's just as good, if not possibly better, than the real Abraham Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis.
A milkshake a day keeps the drainage away!
Daniel Day-Lewis is basically the greatest actor of all time. You're probably thinking it's Marlon Brando or Robert DeNiro or Alfonso Ribiero or some shit like that, but you're wrong. It's Daniel Day-Lewis. End of debate. He is known for his long periods of intense research and preparation for his complex, emotionally demanding roles. He's also a notorious method actor. For those of you who are unfamiliar with method acting and are too lazy to spend 3 seconds Googling it, method acting is a technique "used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances." (wikipedia) Another crazy thing about method acting is that many method actors prefer to stay in character off-camera, so as to further immerse themselves in the character's psyche. Daniel Day-Lewis is notorious for this. On the set of My Left Foot, for which he won his first Best Actor Academy award,
"During filming as paralytic Christie Brown, Lewis refused to leave his wheelchair between scenes, so he could truly experience the problems associated with the condition. His constant refusal to break from character also earned him 2 broken ribs, from his continually hunched position in the wheelchair." (source)

This is fancy Hollywood speak for "this guy is hardcore." So here's the pitch: the Republican Party needs to hire Daniel Day-Lewis to run for President (and subsequently govern) as Abraham Lincoln. This way, everybody wins. Daniel Day-Lewis gets cast in the greatest and most important acting role in history, the Republicans get a candidate people actually want to vote for, and America gets the steadfast and competent leadership of Abraham Lincoln.

Day-Lewis has most recently starred in Steven Spielberg's upcoming biopic Lincoln. Being such an intense method actor, he has of course read everything Lincoln ever wrote, said, or did, in order to completely lose himself in the role and become the 16th President. I even read somewhere that for several months he rented a colonial house in Virginia near the shooting location and had the electricity turned off, in order to learn to make things like reading by candlelight look more natural.
Day-Lewis in character off screen during filming. "Excuse me, maidservant? I ordered four score and seven years ago, what praytell could perchance delay a humble burrito in such a manner?"

Abraham Lincoln healed a sharply divided nation in crisis once before, and bygod we've finally got a good enough replacement that he could do it again.

Exhibit A:
"Ugh, KILL ME, this play is soooooo boring."

Exhibit B:
"In my youth I made a deal with a gypsy in return for eternal life." Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address.
Exhibit C:

Free Campaign Advertising, courtesy of Steven Spielberg.

Contrary to the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure-style common portrayal of Lincoln as having a deep, booming voice, President Lincoln is said to have had a higher pitched voice, with one woman even describing it as "shrill," which as you can see Day-Lewis has adopted in his portrayal. I seriously wouldn't be surprised if he tried to convince Spielberg to let him get shot in the head at the end.

Now I know you're probably thinking "great idea dipshit, too bad he's Irish or something and can't be President." And you're right. It would take a Constitutional amendment to allow him to be president, but let's face it: the Republicans have been itching to take a crack at that thing for years, so now's the opportunity to let them do so in a relatively harmless way. Instead of insidious idiocy like defining marriage as one man and one woman only or criminalizing flag burning, let's allow foreigners to be President. What's the harm? Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of the most populous state in the country, and even Martin van Buren spoke Dutch as his first language, and everyone knows what a hardass President that guy was.

As an added bonus, we can send copies of the movie "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" to countries like North Korea and Iran and Syria and tell them it's a documentary about our new badass vampire hunting president that we raised from the dead somehow. Let's see Ahmedinejad try to pull any shit once Daniel Day-Lewis is running the show.

The bottom line is, Daniel Day-Lewis is the one guy with the potential to completely turn this country around and get us back on the track to prosperity and security, and we need to work together to make this happen. If anyone knows how to create a super PAC to get this show on the road, you know how to get ahold of me.

Let's do this, America.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Conan, who art in Hollywood, hallowed be thy locks...

I made some pancakes recently, and a vision appeared unto me. I was visited by His Holiness the Pale One, the Blessed Virgin Conan O'Brien. All praise be unto His name!



The sauce: peanut butter and a homemade topping made from blueberries liquified in a blender with Splenda. Delicious and low sugar alternative to syrup. Conan be praised!