Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey look, another list!!

You know one of the best part of weekends?

Breakfast. I'm not talking about a bowl of cereal or a granola bar, but a real breakfast.

Calmly and peacefully eaten, likely with coffee, breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it's the most delicious. With that being said, not all breakfast is created equal. There are certain breakfast superstars. Being in Texas allows some of us access to the real cream of this crop (minus the #1 stunner, so to speak)

We will go in reverse order, for a change. Let's get to the list.

6. Hash browns/tater tots/home fries/any kind of breakfast potato. Maybe because I'm Irish, but breakfast potatoes are clutch. You almost can't have a good breakfast without potatoes.

5. Shrimp omelet. That's an inside joke. I'm sorry, you probably don't get it.

4. Kolaches. I've recently learned that some people don't know what these are. I pity you. Sausage and cheese is the best. And Christie's makes the best. That is all.

3. Brunch. I include this in the broader category of breakfast because this is the first meal of the day. And it's often the last one. Combining lunch and breakfast (two of the top three meals of the day in my opinion [sorry, I couldn't resist that one]) is a great idea. Mix in a blood mary and you're off to a great start.

2. Breakfast Tacos. There is a generic entry. Filled with eggs, cheese and another item, such as chorizo, bacon and or potato and topped with salsa, these little doozies are fan-damn-tastic. If you're close to Washington Avenue in Houston, try out Laredo Tacqueria or El Rey. If you're close to downtown, try Brother's Taqueria. Although you should know they speak NO English there.

1. Chef's Special Omelet at Camelia Grill. Bacon, onions, peppers, french fries, turkey, cheese and chili. It might seem weird if you've never had it but this is the best breakfast in the world. Trust me. The ambiance is great at Camelia, but the food is even better.

If you're absolutely starving, try the pie after you eat. There is virtually no chance you'll be able to do so, but might as well try. You won't eat again till dinner time, but the Chef's Special is too good to pass up.

Note: this used to be an off-the-menu special but is now on the menu front and center.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Welcome to the Freakshow Part 2

Ok, so earlier I blogged about some of the weirdos who live in my apartment complex. I'll reiterate that it's a fine place to live. Not the most glamorous of places but it is a good location. It's been good to me over the years. Anyway, on the the post.

The gym is seemingly the epicenter of the wackos and freaks who live here. I've maintained that for some time. I'll get there in a moment, but let me provide a little background.

Back when Frenchy and Stephen lived in this complex, we used to hang out at their apartment frequently. I'd walk over to the west side of the complex and a good time was had by all. Many of you have been to our parties over there. You can vouch for that.

Anyhoo, soon before they left, this weird, short, old lady moved in to an apartment on that side. She's always look at us (mostly me) in a strange and distrustful way. She'd frequently double back so we wouldn't know which apartment she lived in. I used to double back on her double back just to screw with her paranoid head. Good times, really.

Which brings me to today and the gym. I'm in there trying to do a little cardio. This wacko walks in wearing an overcoat. It must have come from the kids section because it wasn't dragging on the ground and she's at most 4'8". She walks around and cases the joint before deciding what to do. She really gave me the stink eye. It freaked me out. I thought she was going to go nuts and kill all of us with the shotgun she had tucked into her overcoat.

What does she do first? Shed her overcoat to reveal a hoodie. Which then comes off revealing yet another hoodie. I'm thinking to myself, lady, it's 50 degrees. Good lord. 5 shirts is a bit much. I'm wearing shorts. Relax. It's still Houston.

Anyway, after shedding her her three outer layers (kind of like a snake) she decides to clean off one of the leg press machines. She uses the provided sanitary wipes and cleans it off. Then she decides (in a gym full of 4 or 5 guys and her) to change on the the two TVs to Discovery Health. Mind you it was on ESPN.

The guys were all on that side of the gym and watching the end of a college basketball game. Well, the Duchess decides to change it over to some crap about grandmothers in Peru. I'm not even kidding. And flops down and begins to read a magazine. Not exercise. Not share the TV. But sit, read a magazine and monopolize the TV.

The guys all look around and are thinking did that really happen? Well, of course it did. So, me, being somewhat outspoken say (and I actually said this politely [there is a small contingent of you people {no, not those people} who think I'm abrasive at all times. This is simply not true. I certainly can be and I'll admit I've done my fair share and then some of mouth running but I'm capable of being polite and pleasant and spread my share of cheer] "Ma'am, we were watching that. Can you switch it back or change the other TV away from Bravo?"

Well, of course, this lady pretends like she can't hear me. I ask again. Channel 33. No response. I ask a third time. She says she can't hear me. She gets up from the machine she'd been sitting on (not exercising) and asks me if I want to watch channel 23. I say no, 33. I show three fingers on each hand. No avail. Finally, I ask if she'll hand me the remote. She relents. Order is restored.

Now, this isn't meant to be sexist, but if there are 4 or five guys watching sports, you just shouldn't up and change the dang channel. At least ask. That's why there are two TVs. If people are clearly reacting to what's going on in the game, have some sense. They're probably watching and couldn't give two craps about Peruvian abuelas.

Finally, and this got me the worst, was after the other TV was changed to her show, she didn't even look up at it the remaining time I was there. It was on mute and she read her magazine. What the hell is going on over there?

Freak show.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Movies that you like that I think are awful to disappointing

I don't mean that to be combative. I'm just saying that most people like the following movies and I just don't like them. Well, enough of this flim flam. Let's get to the list.

1. Super Bad. Maybe there was just too much hype. Maybe I should have seen it earlier. But I saw this on DVD (and yes, I have it on DVD) soon after it hit stores. I watched with Luke and Jay over Christmas break. They thought it was great. I was so disappointed.

I mean, there were some good lines. But for the most part, I thought it was just not funny. I didn't like Michael Cera's character, or the curly haired kid, or the nerd. Perhaps if I hadn't heard how great the movie was for a year before I saw it, Super Bad would have been funnier to me. But alas, I did and it was not.

2. District 9. When I first saw an ad for this movie, I thought it would be like Independence Day, only with better graphics. I mean, aliens, graphics, and Peter Jackson. And the result was...pure crap.

It's almost like somebody remade Jurassic Park, renamed it "Brian and the Clonoo-saurus" and it ended up being stupid. Plus some really subtle (and by that I mean as subtle as a sledgehammer) political themes about racism and Apartheid.

Now, of course, nobody is pro-Apartheid. And I'm not saying I am. But I don't want to watch a movie about aliens and be reminded of how terrible South Africa's record on human rights is. Call me old fashioned.

3. The Deer Hunter. On paper, a war move, De Niro, the guy who played Freddo and Christopher Walken sounds like a formula for success. And in the end, we're left with a slow, boring and stupid movie. There was only one good scene (di di mao) and most of the movie was about drinking beer. Anybody who says they like this movie and is under 45 should not be trusted to have good taste in movies. Even average taste is movies is out of the question for fans of this movie.

4. Departed. Now, this movie was good. But I thought it could have been an all-time great. Epic (hi Laura) caste, great story, good plot twist potential. All on paper though, unfortunately.

I thought Jack Nicholson mailed this one in. And it really killed the movie. He could have made this movie an all-time great like the Godfather or Godfather II by nailing the role of the head of the organized crime family.

But he was Colonel Jessup, the Joker and the author from As Good as it Gets. In other news, he was the same character he has been since 1989.

Next, it was a little (and by little I mean very) heavy handed. The rat at the end? Was that necessary, Marty? We're not morons, we understand what happened.

The killing at the end? A little too easily wrapped up. Damon killing Jack? Jack being a rat himself? Damon trying to screw over Leo's undercover character? Come on, we see this coming Marty.

In the end, this was a good movie. But it left too much on the table and could have been great or better. Too bad.

5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I couldn't even finish the movie it was that bad. Seeing the dude's junk in the first few minutes didn't help anything either. This movie is similar to Super Bad. I just heard so many people say it was so good. Expectations were somewhat high and the movie was just...disappointing.

6. Step Brothers. Now, I like John C. what's his name and Will Farrell. And I like stupid comedy. But this movie was crap. Another movie I couldn't watch. I had to turn off the TV both times I tried to watch it. What was good about this movie? Farrell shouting? I've see him do that ten times before. It's no longer funny. I hope you're saving your money, buddy.