The Fun in Funfetti

September 4, 2011

Hello melty colors. Pretty.

Yesterday I whipped up some Funfetti cupcakes for a friend’s gathering (but ended up coming home with half of them… danger zone!). Which, compared to last weekend’s pudding cookie sweatshop (I’ll write about that soon), was a very easy and relaxing task.

Lately if I am performing time-consuming or tedious tasks alone in my kitchen (cooking projects, washing dishes), I will listen to WTF with Marc Maron. (He interviews comedians. It typically gets pretty deep.) So while I cupcake’d, I got to hear Amy Poehler being her delightful self. I still have a lot of cupcakes left, if you want any, Amy Poehler. (And you too, Marc Maron.)

I only have one muffin tin, so it took twice as long to bake everything. Sigh. During the baking, I watched The Soup.

And during the frosting, I watched Thursday night’s episode of Louie. The Funfetti frosting came with oddly baby/Easter-colored sprinkles. And not really enough of them.

A soothing pastel vision.

There’s something very satisfying about the methodical task of frosting things.

When I ran out of pastel sprinkles, I turned to my stash of chocolate sprinkles. So I have a few manly cupcakes. (For Marc, if he wants them. Or Amy. I’m not gonna be sexist about this.) (Or Joel or Louie. You can all have cupcakes.) (Only if you’re in the Los Feliz area.)

Come and get 'em.

Incidentally, Funfetti is a Pillsbury-only thing. The Betty Crocker version was called something like Rainbow Sprinkle Funtimes.

And it was cheaper, but I HAD to go with the REAL Funfetti. Veracity and all.

Happy Sunday/Labor Day! I am taking Mr. Tea on a very special secret surprise Trek today, and I’m very proud of my secret-keeping skills. (Pics to come, I’m sure.)


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30 ROCK is Back!

October 16, 2009
Lots of Love

Lots of Love

“30 Rock” returned to us last night. Season 4 premiere… wow. Steve Buscemi reprised his role as… strange investigator guy… but nobody mentioned that he was going to be there. Poor Steve Buscemi. Give him some love!

It wasn’t my favorite episode ever, but even on not-my-favorite weeks, “30 Rock” always has moments of hilarity. My friend Cole and I bbm’ed (that’s BlackBerry messengered, losers) some of our favorite quotes as we were watching. I figured I’d share them here.

Steve Buscemi: It’s like I tell my assistant: Your weight is a reflection on me.

Liz Lemon: Pete and I are intercoursing each other!

Josh: I don’t need this show, because I could get a job tomorrow in the Air Force!

Tracy Jordan: Are you a large child or a small adult?

Jenna: You know [blue gels] make my teeth look see-through!

Jack (to Kenneth): We’re not so different, you and I. [Classic super-villain line.]

Also, there were Cheesy Blasters, which were hot dogs filled with jack cheese, wrapped in a pizza. The perfect snack for kids! And a page strike, and a “blanket union” for bucket drummers and department store Santas. And Pete’s wife, who is a wannabe sexual deviant. (Remember what she did with Pop Tarts? Ha.) (And then Liz ate them!)

One of the best storylines was Tracy’s realization that he’s lost touch with the common man. Tracy always nails it.

The one thing about last night’s episode that make me barf in my mouth was the hand-off to Leno. You might not have seen it if you DVR’d, but the tail end of the episode was Jack and Liz watching Jenna’s cowgirl music video commercial for a tennis game in the “Real America” (played by foreign tennis players… ha). It was a total spoof on those terrible country-western music video football commercials. Fine. All good. Pretty hilarious.

Jack turned to the camera and said that Leno was coming up next. Fine, whatever, it’s NBC, it’s “30 Rock.” It worked, like a wink. But THEN Jay was looking at the camera on HIS show, and welcoming “The Real America,” and the cowgirl extras from Jenna’s commercial were dancing on Jay’s stage. But it didn’t feel like a spoof. It felt like actual “Real America” bullshit.

So… that was unsettling? Gross? Desperate?

I don’t think Leno realized that the joke was on him. (He’s supposed to understand comedy… right?)

The rest of NBC’s comedy block last night was… okay. I was really hoping to see the Dave (Louis C.K.) & Leslie (Amy Poehler) relationship progress on “Parks & Recreation,” but it was a stand-alone episode about a visit from Pawnee’s Venezuelan sister city. It was a funny episode, but… I want Louis C.K.!

I’m starting to think that “Modern Family” is my favorite network comedy of the week. Time will tell if “30 Rock” can reclaim its place of honor. (I think Dylan’s supplementary music video wins, this week. Sorry, Jenna.)


PARKS & RECREATION Was “Classically Hot” Last Night

October 2, 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss Pawnee 2009.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss Pawnee 2009.

Episode 203, “Beauty Pageant” Air Date 10/1/09

There is really no rhyme or reason to which shows I decide to write about on here. Last week’s “Community” was funny. (I haven’t watch this week’s episode yet, but it was probably funny, too.) Chevy Chase’s character does not understand what “sausage fest” means, and kept trying to have one with Joel McHale’s character.

This week’s “Modern Family,” was also funny, and poignant (especially the Manny/Jay storyline). It included a zany spin on “The Bicycle Thief,” which is one of the saddest movies ever. Ever. Italian Neo-Realism, man. So depressing. Ugh, life is hard.

But I’m going to write a little bit about “Parks & Recreation” because… oh, Leslie (Amy Poehler). She tries so hard, and it’s both hilarious and heart-achy to watch. Also, Louis C.K. is Leslie’s new love interest, and he is awesome.

Up until now, I’ve never thought, Hmm, C.K. is a weird last name to have. What’s up with that? What does the C.K. stand for? I just accepted the oddness of his name. But today is a new day. I’m goin’ Wiki-diving.

A ha! His real last name is Szekely, and he started using C.K. because it’s almost the same pronunciation. The More You Know. (Cue shooting star.)

Okay, back to the show. Leslie was asked to be one of the judges for the Miss Pawnee pageant. Intern April decided to enter because there was a $600 prize. Leslie was glad to see April entering the pageant, and referred to her as a girl who is not “classically hot.” HA. Those two words have no business sitting next to each other.

Louis CK is a cop named Dave. Leslie first encountered him last week, when Tom (Aziz Ansari) was arrested for… long story. At any rate, Dave likes Leslie, and he comes to her office to see her. He says he came to look at the murals. The nearest mural depicts a male and female settler having a rout. Leslie tells Dave that the original title of the mural was “A Lively Fisting.” Laugh out loud!

"A Lively Fisting"

"A Lively Fisting"

(Remember when that lady on the news said that Barack and Michele Obama like to fist, but she met that they like to bump their fists? OOPS. Reporting FAIL.)

Leslie’s agrees to go to coffee with Dave. BUT when he mistakes a framed photo of Madeleine Albright in Leslie’s office for a photo of Leslie’s grandma, Leslie tells him that she’s busy.

Madeleine Albright is NOT Leslie's grandmother.

Madeleine Albright is ruining everything! (For Dave.)

(To be fair to Dave, I can see the resemblance.)

Leslie tells Ann that she can’t date a man who doesn’t share her interests. Poor Dave/Louis C.K.! He totally realizes that he blew it… but also, LESLIE is blowing it by rejecting him based on one little thing. Argh!

Ann (Rashida Jones) invites Mark Brendanawicz over to fix her shower, in exchange for a quick and easy-to-make dinner. Mark says that it’s going to be the “weirdest second date ever.” He doesn’t know the half of it, since Ann ends up realizing that Andy is in the pit, and inviting him in for dinner (Mark’s idea, because it’s raining). Andy is hilarious, and thinks that it went “really well,” even though Ann ends up kicking him back to his pit-tent.

April does a terrible impression of a pageant-girl, stating in her introduction that she likes “people, places, and things.” So… nouns. She ends up quitting the pageant mid-way through when she realizes that the $600 prize is actually $600 worth of terrible gift certificates.

A hot girl who seems like “a trashier version of Megan Fox, if that’s possible” (Roomie’s words) ends up winning (in her opening statement, she says that she’s on Youtube… ha), even though Leslie locks the judges in the room and tries to convince them to vote for Susan, a classical pianist and hospital volunteer.

At the pageant (and in general), Tom is somehow able to be a gross chauvinist pig, but also totally lovable. He can also look at any woman and accurately predict her bra size. Handy skill, I guess.

At the pageant, Dave tells Leslie that he doesn’t want to play games. He likes Leslie and he likes coffee, and he wants to go out with her. He gives her his card and walks away, almost bumping into the hot girl. “Coming through, buddy,” he says to her, not even noticing her apparent hotness. Points for Dave!

So Leslie realizes that Dave is a good guy, and she calls him. He comes back to her office, and Leslie tells him that she’d love to go out for dinner. AWW.

It’s the first time we see Dave without his cop uniform on, which makes him seem more… human. He correctly identifies all of the non-Madeleine Albright pictures of women-in-politics hanging in Leslie’s office (including Nancy Pelosi).

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Dave openly admits that he looked them all up to impress her. AWW. It’s the sweetest moment. (And also funny, because he skips Janet Reno. He still doesn’t know who she is, I guess.) (Insert maybe-he-thought-Janet-Reno-was-a-man joke here.)

I’m so excited for their date! (More excited than I’ve been about any of my own dates in a while.) (Sad?)


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September 20, 2009
Meet the cast: Mark, Tom, Leslie

Meet the characters: Mark, Tom, Leslie, Ann, Ron, April, and Andy.

“Parks and Recreation” had such a short season last year that I only caught the finale. But it’s back in the mix this year, partly because Roomie loves it, so it was on the DVR. I gotta say, I dig the opening title sequence. Great work!

Leslie (Amy Poehler) has been doing zoo promotions, and performs a wedding ceremony for two penguins. After the fact she finds out that the penguins are both male.

(Remember the famous gay penguins in San Francisco who adopted a baby and later broke up over a female penguin? Penguins: Just like celebrities!)

Everyone thinks that Leslie was making a bold political gesture, and she’s suddenly the darling of the gay community of Pawnee. A gay bar called “The Bulge” sends her a cake… and T-shirts.

Leslie: The Bulge is a gay bar? Ugh, the nights I’ve wasted there.

Oh yeah, and Aubrey Plaza is on this show. When I saw her in FUNNY PEOPLE, I didn’t think I’d ever seen her before. But… here she is. And Wikipedia tells me that she is… “April, an apathetic college intern whom Leslie hopes to inspire.”

April basically seems like the real-life version of Violet from THE INCREDIBLES. But she’s not the confident Violet at the end of the movie. She’s the moody, hair-in-her-eyes, hate-my-parents Violet.

But not today. Turns out that April is inspired by Leslie’s unintentionally political act, and brings her boyfriend (and another guy) to the office to meet Leslie.

April: This is my boyfriend, Derek. The is Derek’s boyfriend, Ben.

Leslie: Hey. Oh. Wait, sorry, what’s this situation?

April: What do you mean?

Leslie: How does this work?

April: Derek is gay but he’s straight for me but he’s gay for Ben and Ben’s really gay for Derek. And I hate Ben.

Derek: It’s not that complicated.

Ben: No.

Leslie: Oh. Yeah. Sure.

Leslie (interview): The thing about youth culture is I don’t understand it.


Also great? Leslie has a picture of Hillary Clinton hanging in her office. I’m thinking that’s definitely a wink at the fact that Amy Poehler has very famously portrayed Hillary on “Saturday Night Live.”

Leslie finds out that The Bulge is throwing a party in her honor, and embraces her “fabulous”-ness.

But OH NO, Marsha from the Society for Family Stability Foundation (SFSF) is really mad about the gay penguin wedding. She says that if Leslie doesn’t annul the marriage, she will publicly call for Leslie’s resignation.

Over a fake penguin marriage.

Okay, this is where not watching last season gets a little confusing for me. Nurse Ann (Rashida Jones) informs us that she has ditched her annoying boyfriend (Andy) and he went to Kansas to “climb mountains.” Now she’s flirting with Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider, cutie at large), who fell in a big pit (last season was all about that pit, I think) at the end of last season after kissing Leslie?

So Mark was in the hospital for a week, and now he’s flirting with Ann, not Leslie. Because… he says he was really desperate when he kissed Leslie. But Ann doesn’t want to date Mark, although she think he’s gotten nicer since he hit his head. She tells Leslie that Mark asked her out, but she won’t go out with Mark because she is Leslie’s friend. Ann and Leslie hug, and Leslie seems sad. Aw. She’s lonely.

Whew. I think that’s right. Correct me if I’m wrong.

The overarching theme of this series seems to be that Leslie is lonely and love-lorn. She’s so sweet and so… alone.

I have to give a shout-out to Roomie’s favorite line of the week:

Leslie: Hey, Brendanawicz, you big sandwich eater!

Oh yeah, Aziz Ansari is on this show. He’s great. I follow his Twitter. Good guy. He plays… Tom Haverford? Oh, thanks again, Wikipedia: He “changed his name from Aziz Abdul Al’Rahman to be more appealing in politics.” And… “Although he is married to an attractive surgeon, he still hits on women.”

When Tom/Aziz reads Leslie’s card from The Bulge, he notes that they called her “grrrrrrrrl,” with “eight Rs.” In FUNNY PEOPLE he played a comedian named Raaaaaaaandy! With eight As. Another wink? I think so.

Okay, so Leslie and Tom enter the party at The Bulge.

Leslie: I can’t believe this is a gay bar.

Tom: Yeah, especially with that heterosexual cowboy greeting us on the way in. [A very gay picture of a shirtless cowboy.]

Leslie: Where should I drink now?

Tom: There’s a bar on 8th Street called “Pitchers and Catchers,” you can go there.

Leslie: Yeah.

Leslie wants to tell the Boys of the Bulge that her “position is [she has] no position.” She is going to “regretfully decline” their invitation to honor her. But then the gays tell Leslie that she’s their hero, and she gets swept up in the party.

April brings Leslie up onto the stage and says, “She’s Leslie Knope, and she wants to recruit you.” (If you don’t know that she’s riffing on Harvey Milk…. go rent MILK, like, immediately.)

Also, how funny is it that her last name is essentially “Nope”? Poor woman. She tries so hard, but… nope. Speaking of that, April and her boys created a poster in the style of the Obama HOPE poster, except that it has Leslie’s face and says, “KNOPE.” But when Leslie is up on stage, at times the camera cuts off the poster so that it just says, “NOPE.”

Leslie tries to explain that she wasn’t trying to take a stand, but the gays are chanting her name and don’t really care. So she says, “I just have one thing to say. Together we can change Pawnee forever. Let’s dance!” And then “Boom Boom Boom” comes on, and they dance. And Leslie gets drunk.

Leslie: You know why tonight’s fun? Because everyone’s so gay. And they know how to have fun, and… the dancing! Just… it’s everyone is just who they are. And who they are is just stone-cold gay.

And then Leslie is wearing rabbit ears and singing along with “Poker Face,” into a microphone. “Blah blah blah blah!”

Leslie: There’s two bisexual guys here and I got both their phone numbers!

The next day, Leslie is still singing “Poker Face” while she sits at her computer, in the office that she shares with Tom. She had three drinks named after her at The Bulge. She’s practically the next Liza Minnelli.

Leslie: Plus Ben and Derek are taking me shopping on Saturday, and we are gonna find out my actual bra size! I guess I’m kinda like queen of the gays.

It’s so important to wear a bra that fits just right, ladies. I am forever getting resized. If you’re going to spend $50 on a bra, you’d best be sure.

Oh, the guy I haven’t mentioned yet is Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), Leslie’s boss (I guess). He tells Leslie that she has to go on TV (“Pawnee Today”) and defend herself, because anti-gay marriage Marsha “from the family thing” has called for Leslie’s resignation. NOOO!

Leslie: Why? I haven’t even officially taken a stand on gay marriage.

Ron: That’s funny. Somebody just told me you were queen of the gays.

Tom is a regular guest on Pawnee Today, and we see clips of him flirting relentlessly with the host, Joan Callamezzo.

Oh, guess who’s back? It’s Ann’s douche-ex Andy, in a suit. (Also, Ann and Andy? As in, Raggedy?) Ann asks Andy, “How was mountain climbing?” He shakes his head and says “Oh…” and looks off into the distance as if it was great, but then says, “WHAT?” Haha. What was he doing?

On Pawnee Today, Joan is obviously on Marsha’s side. Bitch! Marsha wants Leslie to annul the marriage, reimburse taxpayers for the cost of the wedding (what, twenty dollars?), and resign.

Leslie: Oh, is that it? Anything else? Want me to jump off a building, perform harakiri [sounds like "Harry Carey]…?

Marsha: Move to a different town? No, I kid.

By the way, Pawnee is in Indiana.

Leslie says that she busts her ass for the people of Pawnee, and she can’t win. Poor Leslie. Seriously, she can’t win in any category of her life. Earlier when Marsha came to her office and asked if she was married, Leslie gave the saddest and awkwardest answer about how she hopes to get married soon, but isn’t dating, and is focusing on her career. But “focusing on my career” is more or less code for: lonely and can’t find a date.

All of the call-in viewers think that Leslie should resign.

Back at Ann’s place, she comments on Andy’s fancy looks, and he says that the suit was three thousand dollars. Yeah right. He “sold out” and got a boring office job in town. But he’s really happy, and feels like he’s matured (he pronounces it like the British do: “matoored”) a lot. (Luckily, Ann calls him on that.) Andy apologizes for being a terrible boyfriend, and really thinks it would “behoove” them to give it another shot.

Ann: I’m really happy for you about your new job, and that you’re learned some new words, but I’m sure about my decision.

Andy leaves, takes off his jacket, and goes into the pit behind Ann’s house (I think), where he’s living in a tent. “The hardest thing about living in this pit is keeping my suit pressed,” he interviews. So… I guess he really does have a job? “And the rats. It’s like a freaking rat parade every night.”

PS Last season Andy broke both legs when he fell into the pit, so it’s kind of funny that he lives there now.

Andy says that he’s living close to Ann because he wants to protect her from the “weird people” who live around there. Right. Like… him.

Leslie doesn’t want to annul the penguin wedding, because it was cute. She apologizes for having fun, and for making something cute. But she will not annul! She goes and visits the penguins, and she is sad that she doesn’t have a mate. Then she goes to Ann’s and tells her that she ought to go on that date with Mark. Because… we’re all just animals!

Leslie: He might not be my gay penguin but he could be yours. [...] Don’t not do it because of me, because I’m really fine with it. [...] Plus I already called him and said that you were dying to go out with him, so have fun!

Leslie transfers the penguins to a zoo in Iowa, where gay marriage is legal… and she drives them there in child seats in the back of her car. (Don’t worry, she mists them.)

Leslie: Oh look, Six Flags! I should take them on a water slide. They might die… but it would be so cute!

And that was “Parks and Recreation.” I had a good time. (And you should watch it, because so much of the funny is in the delivery.)


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