Archive | February, 2010

You Know You Want to Try It Too

28 Feb

When I saw on CBS’ Sunday Morning today that there was a pancake batter in a can product called Batter Blaster, I was simultaneously horrified, skeptical, and curious. I mean, pancake batter in a can? With a name that sounds more like a comic-book villain? Seriously? But as someone who likes his pancakes (and waffles) on a Sunday morning, I decided I had to do what any other self-(dis)respecting person would do, and try it.

According to the website, Batter Blaster isn’t available everywhere, but it can be found at Stop & Shop (near the eggs and whipped cream), so I went there. Five dollars and a conversation with an amused and excited fellow shopper later, I was home and cooking. The batter (which, by the way, is made mostly with organic ingredients) didn’t come out in the same whipped-cream style that I’d seen on TV (it was much runnier, despite my shaking of the can), and the pancakes might not have been the thickest ones I’ve had, but they were, as advertised, light and fluffy. Tasty too. I was very impressed. So I kept on cooking and had myself a very good breakfast.

And there you go. I’ve learned something today: Pancakes from a can can actually be good. And now, when I want to have pancakes or waffles on a Sunday morning, I don’t have to worry about mixing up the flour and eggs and other stuff. I just have to look in my refrigerator. Score.

Happy Birthday, EW!

27 Feb

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hit newsstands and my mailbox yesterday, Managing Editor Jess Cagle notes in his editor’s letter that the magazine celebrated its 20th birthday this month.

It’s a significant milestone, and even though my only connection to the magazine is as a reader, I still feel like celebrating.

In fact, I’ve been an EW reader since that very first issue in February 1990, and have read every single issue mostly cover-to-cover (all 1,092 of them).

During these 20 years, I’ve spent some summers away from home, and I changed my address or bought duplicate copies during those times so I could stay in the loop and wouldn’t miss anything. At one point, about 10 years ago, when I was in my hoarding days, I had actually saved every issue of the magazine, and the day my parents asked me to get rid of them (i.e.: to throw them out) because they were selling their house and couldn’t lift the heavy boxes, was a real bummer. Continue reading

Insanity Is Contagious

25 Feb

Things aren’t what they seem on Shutter Island, and neither is the movie of the same name. Shutter Island would appear on the surface to be a crack thriller: It has Martin Scorsese behind the camera, source material written by Dennis Lehane, and actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley in lead roles. Instead, this film, about a federal marshall investigating a disappearance at a mental institution off the coast of Boston, is a bit of an overly long, heavy handed mess. Nearly everything about it is overdone, from DiCaprio’s acting (and his Boston accent) to the score, which announces early on in no uncertain terms that the institution is bad news. When the plot reaches its climax, the resolution just goes on and on, as if Scorsese was trying to trap you — just like his lead character has been trapped. Shutter Island won’t go down as one of Marty’s best, that’s for sure. I’m giving it a C.

Yes, There’s a "Sequel"

24 Feb

Last week, I told you about the video I made that shows my niece wearing my shoes. If you watched it, you probably saw that it was actually a very amateurish-looking commercial for my employer.

So what was the deal? Continue reading

An Addict and an Enabler

22 Feb

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step in curing yourself of an addiction, and while I hate to make light of addiction, I must say to you all: Hello, my name is Martin Lieberman and I am addicted to cupcakes.

I have no willpower, so I am helpless whenever I see one of those mini-cakes with frosting on them.

I’ve known of this problem for some time, of course. I mean, why else would I have gotten so up-in-arms about Johnny Cupcakes not selling actual cupcakes?

But it’s gotten worse lately. Continue reading

My Niece, the Star

16 Feb

I’ve now become that guy.

My 21-month-old niece, Abby, was doing something cute when we were on vacation a couple weeks ago, so I took a quick video of it and now I’ve posted it on YouTube.

For some reason, Abby has a fascination with shoes. And in this video, you’ll see her wearing mine — even though they’re a bit too big for her little feet.

But she doesn’t care. She’s having a good time.

And so was I, watching her.

Love Stinks

15 Feb

If you don’t already hate Valentine’s Day, you will after seeing the movie Valentine’s Day. A film seemingly devoid of purpose after February 14, this cinematic waste of time employs practically every romantic comedy cliché in the book: Best friends who realize they’re attracted to each other! A hot chick who can’t find love! An old couple who learn a secret about their relationship after all these years! A precocious kid who pines for an older woman! A naive woman who realizes her boyfriend is still married, and exacts revenge in front of the wife! Two virgins who are about to have sex for the first time — until one of their parents catches them! A cynical man who hates the holiday but somehow manages to fall in love anyway! Stevie Wonder singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours” on the soundtrack! Characters singing “I Will Survive!” A sassy black woman played by Queen Latifah! A sassy Latino sidekick (played by George Lopez)! An unseen radio DJ doing voice over! Oh, and this being 2010, two characters who turn out to be gay and a Bollywood-style dance number! (Whoops. There’s a spoiler or two in there. I guess I just saved you $10.)

Yes, Valentine’s Day, with its holiday-centric story and large ensemble cast (including Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Topher Grace, Taylors Swift and Lautner, Grey’s Anatomy stars Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane, and my beloved Jennifer Garner), wants to be Love, Actually. But it’s not. It’s not even as good as last year’s large-ensemble rom-com, He’s Just Not That Into You (which I actually kind of liked). Rather, it’s over-stuffed, overly long, really obvious, predictable, and pandering, and just an embarrassment for nearly everyone associated with it. Sure, I didn’t groan as often as I thought I would, and for the first third or so, I thought this was actually kind of a light, fun flick, but some plot twists (such as the ones mentioned above) you can see coming from miles away and director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) takes his sweet time letting them play out. Ultimately, this is a film that’s even more of a chore to get through than the day on which it’s based.

Neither a good date movie nor a worthwhile anti-holiday movie, Valentine’s Day instead confirms that February 14 is the stupidest of days, the most Hallmark of holidays. (And I actually like Valentine’s Day!) That’s why the movie gets a D from me.