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.)

xoxo…

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Snack With Caution: BEN & JERRY’S LATE NIGHT SNACK

August 9, 2011

When I chip you chip we chip.

Typically I am pretty good with my portions. If you give me a big chocolate bar, I will eat it in small chunks over a series of days.

If I bake a spice cake, I will eat it in small pieces, and it will take me at least a week to finish. (I actually did that, but I didn’t blog it yet.) (WHY I did that is still unclear/stupid.)

It is probably okay for me to buy a big bag of Baked Ruffles, but it’s safer to buy the individual-sized bags. (Sometimes the giant bag FEELS like an individual size– you know?)

But I am really bad with ice cream. It calls to me.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Tea and I bought the Dreyer’s Slow-Churned Drumstick ice cream. It’s the best parts of a Drumstick all covered in chocolate and swirled around in vanilla ice cream (a bit like Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream, which was a danger to my health when we had it in the old office’s kitchen).

I don’t know what it was (perhaps the awesome just-home-from-the-store melty-ness action), but I ate that slow-churned ice cream until my stomach was doing a churn of its own. Maybe half the container, which is probably double the size of a human stomach. I never learn!

Luckily Mr. Tea retained custody of the ice cream, because even after a mundo stomachache, I wanted to eat it again the next day. (See: I never learn!)

When I saw the new Ben & Jerry’s Jimmy Fallon Late Night Snack ice cream at Gelson’s last week (seriously, they carry every flavor of everything), I was mighty tempted by the prospect of chocolate-covered potato chips. But I held myself back, because I just can’t be trusted around ice cream-y goodness.

I ALMOST bought the mini-size of AmeriCone Dream to console myself, but that just seemed like a slippery slope to a freezer full of mini AmeriCone Dreams.

If you’re like me, there IS a way to keep ice cream around the house– sorta. I buy individual-serving ice cream– like the Skinny Cow cones, or the Weight Watchers English Toffee Crunch Bars. And I don’t let myself eat more than one. (I could just ban them from the house, but that would only resort in teeth-gnashing or spending $4/cup at nearby Gelato Bar.)

So yeah, I’m not trying the Jimmy Fallon ice cream unless I can take one scoop and hand off the rest of it to some sort of ice cream parole officer. Until that day arrives (?), I will console myself with the delightful giraffe song. (Apparently the video is expired? WTF, that was the best thing ever.)

(Okay, now I don’t know what to console myself with.)

Another solution: I need to be amongst many, many other people– people who will eat the ice cream before I can go too crazy on it. Basically I need to have an ice cream-tasting party, and send everybody home with the leftovers. (OR they need to release the mini-size of the Fallon flavor.) (No wait, I already nixed that idea.)

How do you deal with those foods that you love so much, you have to set them free (from your kitchen)?

xoxo…

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Tasty TV Morsel: THE AMAZING RACE Host Phil Keoghan (Also, Last Season’s Mel & Mike)

October 11, 2009
Watch out for that plane!

Watch out for that plane!

In case you’ve never watched the Emmys, “The Amazing Race” always wins. Yet I don’t know many people who actually watch this show. But everybody SHOULD watch “The Amazing Race,” because it is… I mean, they race around the world. That is cool.

Last season I started watching, thanks to Mike & Mel White. Mike White is one of my favorite actor/screenwriters (SCHOOL OF ROCK), and the star of one of my favorite internet shorts, “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?” So I watched to see Mike White, but ended up getting sucked in, because this show is a festival of laughter and tears and flying around the world.

Amazing guys.

Amazing guys.

Mike and Mel were the best, because they weren’t doing it for the money, and because throughout everything they were really kind to each other. Most teammates start hatin’ as soon as the going gets tough, but not these two. They were so proud of each other! And Mel has a fascinating back-story.

I recommend that you go back and watch season 14, if only for the Mel/Mike gems (until they got eliminated… very sad night).

Speaking of inspiring stuff, back to Phil Keoghan. His accent really eluded me for months, but it turns out that he’s from New Zealand. (And yet, he sounds nothing like Bret & Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords.) He had a near-death experience when he was 19, and started an inspirational website (maybe the book came first?) called No Opportunity Wasted. Get it? NOW? (Not to be confused with the National Organization for Women.) So… he hosts “The Amazing Race,” which is also in the motivation genre, I suppose.

I love Phil because he’s generally very serious on the show, but is secretly hilarious. I like to watch his weekly behind-the-scenes snippets, where we get to see more of him. (On the show he’s only shown briefly, to narrate and tell people whether they’re out.)

Word!

Watch it tonight!

xoxo…

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TOP CHEF Started Without Me/Fabio Viviani is a Tasty TV Morsel

August 20, 2009
Fabio (right) and his Euro-BFF Stefan.

Finale-mohawked Fabio (right) and his Euro-BFF Stefan.

Despite the constant commercials on Bravo, somehow I didn’t realize that the new season of “Top Chef” was premiering last night. “Top Chef” is one of those shows that I don’t watch every season, and usually don’t watch from the beginning of a season. Last time around I hopped on the bandwagon about halfway through, and stayed because I LOVED Fabio.

Who can forget his classic lines and phrases, such as “bunky bed” and “This is Top Chef, not Top Pussy”? (And, later, “This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop.”) (And Fabio was from Italy, so he said “poosy” and “scallope.”)

Also, (married) Fabio had a special man-love bond with the shows only other European contestant, Stefan. Fabio was the nicest guy on the block and Stefan had the vibe of an evil super-villain, but somehow they got along like two peas in a bunky bed.

Previous-Roomie (Lauren) and I were distraught when our beloved Fabio was kicked off in the Top 4 episode. Luckily the smart producers brought him back for the finale as a judge. (As I said before, he’s totally invited to join me on my “Rejects of Reality” TV show.)

Fabio’s restaurant, Cafe Firenze, is not too terribly far from here. Someday I hope to make a pilgrimage to the Fabio Mecca, just to bask in the light of his greatness (and eat delicious Italian food).

Maybe for my next birthday (oh yeah, by the way– today is my birthday!).

Back to the matter at hand… I still don’t know if I’m going to watch this season. (Big news, I know.) Let me know how it is, and maybe I’ll jump in later (As “More to Love” Luke would say to Wacky Danielle, “Dive into that, like you’d dive into a swimming pool.”)

xoxo…

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Now We Know They Can Dance: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Final 4

July 31, 2009
Look who made the Final 4!

Look who made the Final 4!

Looks like my tasty TV morsels are AMERICA’S choice as well. (This is quite a surprise because me and AMERICA don’t generally see eye-to-eye.)

How is everybody feeling about the Final 4? How exciting was it for Evan when he realized that he beat Ade to get into the Final 4? (RIP Ade, I loved you too.) (He’s not really dead!) It was like David slaying Goliath. Or like… the Little Evan That Could!

I’m so excited to see these four dancing all mixy-matchy next week. At this point it’s anyone’s game– they are all worthy of the crown.

xoxo…

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Tasty TV Morsel: Regina Spektor on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN

July 31, 2009
Isn't she lovely?

Isn't she lovely?

In case you haven’t heard, living in LA involves a lot of commuting. Everybody has different ways of coping with the driving. I tend to listen to music or “This American Life” podcasts. I also like to talk on the phone. (Don’t worry, those of you who are versed in California driving laws– I have a Bluetooth hands-free thingamagig.) Lately, I spend most of my driving-time singing along with Regina Spektor.

I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon Regina Spektor’s music, but I remember when: During the particularly melancholy winter/spring of my freshman year of college (so…approximately 2005), “Love Affair” and “The Flowers” were on a playlist that I would listen to on my iPod every night as I fell asleep.

After my sad spring passed and my iPod died, Regina went off my radar for a while. She came back into my life with a WOW when “Begin to Hope” came out in 2006. (PS ALWAYS buy the bonus tracks versions of her albums.) Then my computer died and took my iTunes with it (technology is really good at parting me from my favorite music), and once again Regina and I were on hiatus. (I have since rectified this problem and I’m listening to “Begin to Hope” AS I TYPE THIS.) (It’s coming from inside the computer!)

And now it’s 2009, and “Far” just came out, and I saw (500) DAYS OF SUMMER last night, which was rife with choice Regina songs. Special thumbs-up to the song “Hero” (500 DAYS… has a great soundtrack, but I didn’t love the movie… sorry!). The thing about most of her songs is that they start out sounding one way, and by the end they’ve progressed into something totally different (I don’t know the musical terms for all this, but I wish I did– I took music theory in high school, so I SHOULD know). And throughout, they’re LOVELY.

Right now I’m a little bit obsessed with “Dance Anthem of the 80′s,” which starts out really fun and pop-y (in a Regina way) and turns into something much more emotional. Actually, I’m obsessed with the whole album. A lot of the songs are infused with melancholy ideas and minor chords, which I guess hearkens back to Regina’s Russian roots. I grew up singing minor-chord songs in temple (you know, us Jews and our sadnesses), and I love sad music in general (my sister calls most of the music that I love “suicide music”), so I am all about her saddest songs. But there are also a lot catchy, fun songs.

Anyway… how am I supposed to describe music to you? This isn’t a music website! This is a website about TV and snacks, and I’m unfairly using a loophole to talk about music. What I really wanted to say was that Regina Spektor was on Conan O’Brien last night, and she was AMAZING and ADORABLE. I never realized how tiny she is! Her gray eyeshadow was really beautiful, and her eyes looked HUGE (in a good way). She was sitting at a GIANT piano (that’s the technical term)–seriously, it was at least ten feet long, maybe fifteen. Also, from one curly-haired person to another: Great hair!

Most notably, Regina is pint-sized. She looks like a Polly Pocket compared to Conan! (Which means she’s probably about my height, maybe taller.) (Polly Pocket was one of my favorite childhood toys.) I guess I was surprised because Regina comes off as such a big personality in so many of her songs. But as we all know (I hope) good things come in little packages.

I didn’t think I could love Regina any more, but I was wrong. I expect her to be soulful and edgy, and she was. What surprised me was the bubbly charm she emitted when Conan thanked her at the end. I have a feeling that she’s a really sweet person. (I don’t have any anecdotal evidence to support my theory. If you do, by all means chime in.) I recommend that you hit up the Hulu to see this performance. (And look up her music on the YouTubes or the iTunes. I’m not always a fan of her videos, but they’re artsy and unique– I can’t fault her for that.)

And also: Her lyrics are lyrical, as lyrics ought to be. Seriously, go listen to “Blue Lips,” or “Machine.” Any of them, really.

“It’s been a long time since before I’ve been touched/Now I’m getting touched all the time/And it’s only a matter of who/And it’s only a matter of when.”

(You know what’s been touching me? Your blog comments! Thanks, guys.) (Now I’m putting down this corndog.) (I don’t even eat corndogs!)

I really want to see Regina Spektor in concert. She was just here, and I knew about it but didn’t buy tickets, because I am dumb.

I’m sure I’ll be writing a similar post about Imogen Heap in August, when her new album is released and she (hopefully) hits the talk show circuit.

xoxo…

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Tasty TV Morsel: Jeanine Mason from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

July 27, 2009
Pretty sexy: Jeanines the queen.

Pretty sexy: Jeanine's the queen.

This is a watershed day: My first female Tasty Morsel! And why not? I can admire females all I want! If you read last week’s recap, you know that I have a major girl crush on Jeanine. As in, wish I could look that good in a tattered military uniform and/or a sports bra thingy and some bicycle shorts. And, you know, dance like whoa.

And why post it on a Monday? Good question. Mondays are a sort of doldrums day for SYTYCD fans. It’s been a long time since Thursday, and we still have several days to go until Wednesday. On top of that, I have the day off from work, thanks to a swine flu outbreak. No joke! It’s my first snow day ever, and it’s 80 degrees F out here.

After the tremendous outpouring from Evan Kasprzak’s fans last week (thanks, you guys!), I just want to give them a shoutout and reassure them that I am still all about Evan. At this point all the dancers are great, so why not spread the love? Collect ‘em all!

From the first week of the top 20, Jeanine was a force to be reckoned with. She’s a contemporary dancer, but she matched hip-hoppity-hopper Phillip Chbeeb in their hip hop routine. And let’s be honest: Jeanine and Phillip were an adorable couple. I was hoping that they were an off-screen item, even though it seemed like Phillip might have been dating the girl he auditioned with (or maybe no girls at all! I’m sure that somebody will correct me, if I’m off-base here).

Being paired with Phillip was a blessing and a curse because he already had such a big SYTYCD fan base, having been featured on the show last year. But right away I knew that Jeanine could rise to the challenge, because she glows with mega-watt star quality (that’s why she’s still here… RIP Phillip.) (You’re not really dead! Whew.) Seriously, I would have to rewind and watch Phillip and Jeanine separately, because they were both total eye-magnets.

And whatever the judges said, I loved every dance Jeanine and Phillip did. The tango? Sexy. (When Jeanine reappropriated it and used it as her solo dance? Cool callback!) The Russian dance? (Does Nigel has some sort of beef with Russia and Poland?) I thought it was fun!

And remember when she wore the Amy Winehouse costume?

Can we talk about the fact that Jeanine is 18 years old?! When I was 18, I was just learning how to walk and chew gum at the same time. If you Google Jeanine or look her up on the Youtubes, you will find that she is already the Queen of Dance. I’m sure that she’s very famous in the dance community and everyone’s saying, “Ho hum, Jeanine, we know you’re great. You’ve been around for years and years.” But I am not in the dance community, and I say, “Color me impressed, Your Majesty.” (Also, Jeanine rhymes with “queen.” Coincidence? I think not.)

Can we also talk about how beautiful Jeanine is? Ye Gods, she’s like a Disney Princess come to life. She has a great body, and not in the twiggy sense. Jeanine is made of muscles. She could beat up a gang of thugs. And yet she still rocks the flowy gowns and princess. I admire that duality in a woman.

And she is so poised! 18 years old! And when she was a girl, they told her she didn’t have the right legs for dancing. (Whoever “they” were, they were wrong.)

But the real reason that Jeanine gets my Tasty Morsel seal of approval on this Monday afternoon is that her solos are amazing. Remember how I was kind of stumped by the cancer dance? I realized that it was partially because Jeanine’s “Let the Drummer Kick” solo, which came just before that dance, MOVED ME MORE THAN THE CANCER DANCE. If I was going to shed a tear between one commercial break and the next, I would have shed it for Jeanine’s dance (instead, I just rewound it and watched it a bunch of times in a row). Those quick kicks were like sonic booms for my eyes. Wham! Pow! Out of nowhere! Stealthy.

And the “Moonlight Sonata” dance? Forget about it. The precision of her movies, the sync with the music, the costumes, the emotion, the choice of song… no wonder this girl is a Hall of Famer. Mein Gott! I always get really upset when the timer cuts her off, because her solos pull me in like whoa. Don’t cut her off like that, countdown clock!

The first time that Jeanine and Phillip got in the bottom three, Cat called it a blessing in disguise, because she really wanted to see their solos. I was right there with Cat, especially because Jeanine didn’t get to dance in her own style until really late in the game. (And when she finally did– remember the Travis Wall dance, with Jason? Of course you do.) Can you believe how well she did in all those not-her-style styles? And bonus points forever that she danced to the “Moses Supposes” song from “Singin’ in the Rain” (oddly, one of my favorite songs ever), and swallowed a pillow-full of feathers for her craft.

Jeanine is so good that I’m always super-pumped for the guy who gets paired with her. I don’t think we’ve seen her dance with Evan yet, and I have my fingers crossed that she’ll dance with either Evan or Ade this week (or both).

After last week’s performance show, my mom called me, distraught. “Jeanine’s going home this week,” she fretted. “They judges didn’t like her waltz.” I told my mom to chill. “Chill, Mom. Jeanine’s going to be fine.” And with the demise of Janette this week (their names were too similar! Apparently, there was only room for one J-girl from Florida), Jeanine just might end up being the top girl of the year, if not “America’s favorite dancer.” (Let’s be honest: At this point, they’re all winners.) (RIP Janette! You’re not really dead!)

So Jeanine, I can’t wait to see you dance this week. (DANCE FOR YOUR LIFE!) You’re a reliable and lovely dancer. You also give off a bit of a dangerous vibe sometimes, and I like that. If you’re part-bitch, part-nice, that’s totally relatable! Nobody’s perfect. And who says that you have to be nice to be perfect? Not I, I say. (And please please please– try not to get swine flu. It’s all over Los Angeles, apparently.) (Or at least, all over my office, in theory.)

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Tasty TV Morsel: Zach Galifianakis on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN

July 25, 2009
Zach is sitting pretty, while Conan looks "strangely intense."

Zach is sitting pretty, while Conan looks "strangely intense."

(Do you like the screengrab? I grabbed it myself! This is a really exciting step for the blog.)

I love Conan O’Brien. I love Zach Galifianakis. (I am actually considering seeing G FORCE. Bad life choices, but we all do stupid things for love. DATING IN THE DARK!) (On second thought, I have HBO. I can wait.) When I heard yesterday that Zach was on Conan… no brainer. “I gotta set the DVR,” I told my roommate. “We’re gonna have a good time tonight!” She just moved in with me last week, but already I know that she’s going to be in my wolfpack.

Also, can anyone confirm that roofalin is not the real scientific term for roofies? I learned in school that “roofie” is slang for Rohypnol, and Wikipedia agrees. Is Rohypnol trademarked? Did the writers change it to roofalin just to (spoiler alert) foreshadow the whole roof thing? And because roofalin sounds sillier? Or did somebody really think that “roofie” is short for roofalin? Because if you google “roofalin,” all of the results are about THE HANGOVER. Somebody’s playing a joke on somebody. Or something involving a legal department happened. Maybe.

Anyway, the point of this post is KUDOS to whoever is styling Zachie G (that’s what the kids are calling him now). (No it’s not.) He looks really great with the trimmed beard (did he dye his hair/beard darker?), and the blue blazer really brought out his eyes (although this picture is not the best illustration). He was a rumpled wild card in THE HANGOVER, but the “real” Zach (which, knowing him, who really knows?) seems to be a polite, thoughtful North Carolinian. And handsome. A fox, even. (Uh oh fox, watch out for that wolfpack.)

Also, great shoes. Maybe Zach is styling himself. Whoever is responsible, A+. (Although–and this could be my TV screen–but I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in the eyebrow department.) Knowing “Hollywood,” you were probably at the top of your class, Mr. or Ms. Stylist. In medical school. At NYU. But that was just for kicks. And now you pick out kicks for actors. (“Kicks” is what the kids are calling shoes these days. And also, drugs.) And it’s probable that you make a lot more money picking out Zach’s clothes than you would have made as a pediatrician. (Good life choices? Strange Hollywood truths?) (PS I am obviously goofing, because I’m an aspiring writer. Worst life choices. Wait… maybe I’m just a writer now. Is this a blog, or an aspiring blog? You tell me, I’m confused.)

I was laughing at the part about Zach’s mom not loving the content of THE HANGOVER on first viewing, because… well, I just hope my mom doesn’t read my True Blood recaps. Mothers, don’t let your children grow up to say vulgar things in front of an audience.

I really wish that I didn’t care so much about whether or not I might be offending people. I am so averse to creating controversy. Notice all the apologies? I need to rip a page out of Zach’s book. And when he says, “Hey, why’d you do that? I was reading that page.” I’ll say, “Did I offend you? Was that controversial? Oh wait, I don’t care.” (But I will. I’ll go home and cry.) (Just kidding.) (Am I?) (I would give the page back.) (After I wiped my tears with it.)

Funny to see Zach being interviewed, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’m used to watching him interview people on “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.” It’s pretty much the opposite of the Tonight Show. Secondly, the last time I watched him being interviewed, he was playing his “twin brother, Seth.” I don’t know how I stumble across this stuff and end up spending an afternoon watching it, but that’s my life. I was actually kind of confused about whether Seth was real, until I found the interview’s blooper reel.

I find “Seth” fascinating because A) he has no beard (commitment!) and B) he doesn’t think that Zach is funny, or understand his act. Seth is a commentary on Zach’s comedy, as told by Zach playing Seth. I love it.

Zach is a great guest on late-night shows. I love this Jimmy Kimmel appearance. (He looks pretty stylish there, too, especially in the “Kids…” clip)

The moral of the story is that Zach Galifianakis is enigmatic and a little bit dangerous and seems to live a double life on all sorts of levels. I’m really interested in performers who create personas (I’m kind of knee-deep in it this week, myself), and I read a great New York Times article that went into all sorts of detail about his life and his act. What stuck with me the most after reading the article was the description of his delicate hands (I have tiny hands, too! Celebrities: just like us), and the fact that growing his beard turned out to be a very successful step in his career. Not that I’m trying to sneak a bunch of reading assignments into a blog about snacks and TV, but… if you’re interested, check it out. Summer homework, kids! Keeps your minds tarp as a shack.

I guess it’s sort of a “tradition” now to end these posts with a direct address (a “shout out,” if you will). The weird thing about this blog is that people actually read it. (I have been blogging for about eight years elsewhere, and had negative-4 hits a week, and I blog on here for three days and I had OVER 600 hits yesterday alone. But those old blogs were unsuccessful because they were about me, so I’m going to step away now and give this back to my persona.) And by “people actually read this blog,” I mean, the first two Tasty Morsels actually saw what I wrote about them (and/or their families and friends did), which was totally unexpected.

It was also humbling, because I got some lovely feedback. (Speaking of summer reading, Seth wrote a great article about his stint on “Dating in the Dark.”) The power of words! I love to be a snark and I think that’s what I’m supposed to do here, so I need to put down this corndog now (I don’t eat corndogs!). Every time I say the word “humbling,” another corndog gets its wings. But I just wanted to say, thanks for reading and thanks for commenting, and everything is always in good fun. And the Tasty Morsel segment is always about somebody I like (er, appreciate…), so it’s embarrassing if they come across it in an I’m-blushing way more than an I’d-better-find-a-lawyer way. (Well, I WOULD like to find a lawyer, if he is single and ready to mingle.)

Obviously Zach is a little bit more high profile (understatement), but it’s Hollwood and I am… maybe even less than one degree of separation from him. So I will do the shout-out, but know that the shout-outs are all in fun, you guys. I am not waiting by the phone for any of you.

Welcome to the future. Waiting by the phone doesn’t even really exist anymore–although agonizing over whether a guy will call or tweet or Facebook message or Text or IM or BBM is worse, because his status says that he’s just chillin’, and he ought to be callin’– because our phones are glued to our hands. We’re always waiting by the phone now and never waiting by the phone now (what’s a land line?). It’s a paradox. (Incidentally, I am getting my first Blackberry tomorrow, also known as plugging into the Matrix. Dear people I used to make eye contact with, It was nice knowing you.)

What’s this post about, again? Where did it start? Oh yeah, Zach Galifianakis was on Conan on Thursday night.

Zach, you’re looking good. But if I ever meet you at a party, I will not be fooled by your blue eyes, delicate hands, and rumpled locks (I enjoy rumpling my locks as well– curly hair is fun!). I will listen to my mom’s party-going advice, which is to cover your drink with your hand at all times. Because even though you may invite me into your wolfpack, or ask me to come to NC with you to meet your “twin brother,” I am hip to your act. We can have a good time without roofalin. I really, really (and then some more) don’t want to wake up the next morning with any missing teeth. (The missing teeth nightmares are bad enough!) (TMI?)

I set out for this post to say, “Zach Galifianakis, your stylist gets an A+. Nice going, you look sharp.” How do I always end up writing a thesis? I should try to convince some university to give me an advanced degree for this. (Hey ASU, what do you think? Oh, my “body of work” is just beginning? Not significant enough? Okay, cool. No big. Just checking.)

xoxo,

Bingerina

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Tasty TV Morsel: Evan Kasprzak from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

July 24, 2009
Evans flying high-- he made it into the Top 6 this week.

Evan channels his inner Chuck Bass.. and Austin Powers?

This post was originally slated to air on Wednesday. As you might recall, I ended up writing a full-blown SYTYCD recap instead. I couldn’t resist! Then I was going to post it last night, but part two of the True Blood recap swallowed me whole, Jonah-and-the-whale style. (BLOGGING IN THE DARK!) Recaps are fun, but they take for-eh-ver to write. (I’m very meticulous.)

But it works out pretty well to post this piece now, because as of last night we know that Evan is safe for this week. (Yessss!!!) I had an uneasy feeling that this might be his last ride on the Hot Tamale Train (although… is he even ON the Hot Tamale Train? He never gets a break, does he?), but he pulled through with flying colors. He wasn’t even in the bottom two! Good work, Evan. You looked great with Shortest Girl (TM) Janette this week. I can’t believe she was eliminated (that’s not a spoiler alert, because it happened more than 12 hours ago, and in our digital age that’s the equivalent of 12 days ago).

RIP, Janette (just kidding, she’s alive and kicking… high-kicking, probably). You were Mia Michaels’ favorite, to the power of 4.

Whereas some of the contestants were more or less invisible until the Top 20 revelations, this season featured Evan from the start.  (Last year, he was eliminated in the Las Vegas rounds–fairly late in the game, I think. The producers probably had a good feeling about his chances this time around.) That gave the audience a long time to get to know him, although the coverage sometimes seemed to paint him into a corner, as a dancer/character. (As we found out, nobody paints Evan into a corner! He dance-leaps right out of that corner!)

From the first time we saw him, Evan was pushing against the odds. During this season’s auditions, Evan and his brother Ryan were framed as a schticky, mugging pair of vaudevillians. (His style is a sort of Gene Kelly old-fashioned cool–billed as “Broadway” on the SYTYCD website– which isn’t necessarily the rage amongst the voting demographic. Ryan’s style–at least on this show–is tap dancing with an emphasis on whoopee cushion. He also choreographs Evan’s routines.)

Evan rose above it all (literally) with his amazing leaps and lines, and his expressive face (he’s a Musical Theater major at Illinois Weslyan University, and I would love to see him in “Guys and Dolls” on Broadway, like, tomorrow). Evan could easily bill himself as a contemporary or jazz dancer– those leaps! Mein Gott!

Ryan was basically number 21 out of the top 20 (but we already know that he will make it to Vegas this fall). First emotional blow! Both brothers took it in stride, which… good moral character! Attractive.

Okay, back to the hurdles… Evan’s short, to the extent that the judges were surprised that he was able to lift the much-taller (?) Kayla a few weeks ago (I wasn’t shocked; Kayla is a feather). (That week, he also had to wear shoes with really high heels. Then again, Ade had to wear RED heels this week.) The first few weeks, wardrobe dressed him in oversized, poofy clothes, which only made his physique look more awkward. Not to mention, the famous hooded eyelid debacle. (Whatever, Nigel.)

On top of all that, Evan was paired with married-girl Randi (from Utah, for what that’s worth), who felt awkward about having to do sexy dances with a man not her husband, and also about having to do sexy dances in general. Sorry, Evan! (And of course, Mia gave them a dance with the theme “Randi’s booty,” as in butt.) You kind of got a dud, in that department (but she was a really good sport and a great dancer, so it worked out). But you’re going to get a lot of girls when this is all over, if you’re into that (or a lot of guys, if that’s your thing).

All of the aforementioned factors added up to potential first-week elimination for Evan, but he’s still alive and kicking. Why? Above all, he’s a fantastic dancer. But on this show, everyone’s a great dancer. Getting into the Top 6 requires that magical “it” factor.

So how did Evan get there? I have a few ideas…

-His unique solos and amazing leaps. There’s nothing more sweet than a bashful guy in an old-fashioned tux, and when that guy does a high split leap into a floor split as if it’s nothing, and it’s just the appetizer of the solo… wow. Trust me on that. (Don’t trust me? See for yourself!) And his face is incredibly expressive. (Take that, Nigel.)

-Despite the emotional and physical hurdles being thrown his way, Evan has maintained a cheerful, can-do attitude. He exudes kindness and class. He takes criticism (even the hooded eyelid thing) with a smile, and pushes himself to improve. He never says an unkind word about any of his partners.

-In a competition populated by a whole lotta beautiful “ready-for-my-close-up” part-time models (heh), he’s an underdog and an outsider– and we like him for it. It’s refreshing. And he’s full of surprises.  In true Michigander fashion, he interviewed that if he wasn’t dancing, he’d be an auto mechanic. Hard to imagine, but he means it– he rebuilt an old car from scratch, just for fun. I never even knew what a “gear head” was until I heard him talk about it. (Also, I never identified with Randi more than when she seemed geniunely confused by the whole “gear head” thing, too.)

-He’s funny, sincere, and open to anything. Remember when he said this? “There’s definitely some moments that are a little awkward in my body. I’m not used to this style of jazz. I’m used to jazz hands and smiles.” Remember the African dance, when he was scrutinized for being pasty, short, and devoid of six-pack abs? Remember how despite all that, he rocked it? He has heart… and soul.

-He’s cute, in so many ways. (And he’s probably not as short as everybody thinks. Cat Deeley is an Amazon.)

-By the end of the whole hooded eyes debacle, he was obviously close to tears. I think that was a combination of the sting of Nigel’s comment, and the aftershock of having two amazing women shower him with praise. Sensitive! Sweet! Body issues that are beyond our control are so easy to identify with! PLUS, when Mia ended her critique with a Zoolander reference, Evan had the presence of mind to swallow his tears, smile, and quip, “A little Blue Steel.” A little Blue Steel, everybody. This kid’s gonna be a star.

-When Mia announced that Brandon was in the bottom two last night and Evan realized that he was safe, you could see the shock wash over his face. I’m in?? He covered his face with his hand, and it was all very, “Pinch me, I must be dreaming.” You’re not dreaming, Evan! Dreamy? Yes. Sleepy-eyed? Maybe. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Dreaming? No.

-Okay, enough with this list. You get it.

Will Evan go home next week? Maybe. It’s anybody’s game. But at this point, he’s going on tour and he’s America’s sweetheart. He’s going to be just fine.

Evan, if you’re feeling small amongst all of the towering, tanned, model-slash-actors of Los Angeles, hit me up. I’m 5’1″-ish (so you’ll feel nice and tall), at least as pale as you, and well-versed in musical theater. Additionally, I have the hooded eyelids (and I’m pretty sure we both wear glasses, but not all the time… eye buddies!). Let’s start a club! (We’re gonna need a bigger boat, because… no, I’ve reached my self-stereotyping Jew quota for the week.)

Also, if I were a boy (ha), my parents were going to name me Evan. True story. Is this getting weird? We’re not twins or anything, because I’m older… and, you know… can’t dance to save my life. (DANCE FOR YOUR LIFE!)

Best of luck to Evan and Ryan! I have a feeling that you two will be dancing for your lives, as in… for years to come. You’re contributing to global warming. Global heart-warming, that is. (I’m sorry, I’m spreading too much love right now. I need to put this corndog down and go find a majestic falcon to kick.)(Just kidding. I don’t eat corndogs.)

xoxo…

Little Red Eyelid-Hood

Follow me on Twitter: @dailybinge


Tasty TV Morsel: Seth from DATING IN THE DARK

July 21, 2009
To be fair, this is not Seths best angle. But I still wouldnt ditch him!

To be fair, this is not Seth's best angle. But I still wouldn't ditch him!

Last night my roommate and I checked out the new ABC show “Dating in the Dark.” The basic premise is that three men and three women meet and then break off and have individual dates, all in complete darkness. At the end their looks are revealed, and each person can decide whether to stick with his/her match or bail out.

Out of the three guys in the pilot, my immediate favorite was “Audio Visual Designer” Seth. Rumpled hair, good sense of humor, a jaunt in his step, the Nice-Jewish-Boy vibe. What’s not to like? (He does say that he usually just picks the hottest girl around– excuse me while I vomit– BUT he came on the show to combat that impulse.) And I like the irony of an “Audio Visual Designer” having to meet people IN THE DARK!

Seth was paired with “Marketing Manager” Christina (marketing… probably a bit of foreshadowing that she wants a man with an overall wow-factor), and things seemed to go well for them. They swapped many touching stories in the dark (apparently, because we only saw a few moments of their dialogue), along with a LOT of saliva (I think we saw more of the kissing than the talking). Christina was your average pretty brunette, but not a beauty queen. In the portion where Seth had to describe what she looked like to a sketch artist, he was eerily close to what she really looked like (major exception: he thought she was a blonde). Christina described a slightly less attractive guy than Seth (he described the sketch as “a hobbit,” although… hobbits can be hot), so I thought she’d be happily surprised by the sight of the real Seth.

Not so much.

The one thing that made me happy was that the contestants weren’t allowed to speak when the other person was revealed to them. Can you imagine how humiliating it would be if the other person gasped and said, “Oh God, your face… it’s hideous!” As it turned out, the way the rejection went down was almost worse…

Seth was totally pumped when he saw Christina, despite her unflattering reveal outfit. (Two words for you, Christina, when it comes to tent-y dresses: Belt it.) Christina, on the other hand, blathered on and on about her potential lack of physical attraction to Seth. Um, hello? You made out with him. MORE THAN ONCE. Isn’t that physical attraction? I don’t know. Wait, I do. Yes, yes it is.

Christina spent a looong time lying around the realty TV manse, agonizing over whether to meet Seth on the mythical balcony-of-the-light. As Seth waited on the balcony, he saw stone-cold Christina walk out the front door in her spiky-ass heels, wheeling her suitcase behind her. She didn’t even give him a parting glance. After the bond they both professed to have fostered, the cut-and-run aspect of it was worse than a face-to-face letdown. Seth watched her go, incredulous. Cut to video of Christina crying about how she doesn’t want people to judge her judgy-ness.

The cruelest part was that even creepy “SAT Tutor” and pheromone enthusiast Stephen got a chance in the light with his girl.

The thing is… how hard would it have been for Christina to meet Seth on the porch, and give him another hour of her time? She could easily have rejected him as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. But honestly, he’s better off without her. It wouldn’t have lasted, and now America knows Seth is single and ready to mingle.

Seth can take comfort in the fact that women across America are feeling sorry for him, and also attracted to him. Live it up, Seth! (And/or look me up!)

xoxo…

PS/Random Aside: I’ve heard that total-darkness restaurants are a wonderful sensory experience. But maybe don’t go with a blind date. (Exception: If you and/or your date is literally blind… why not? It’s just like any other date.)


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