Tag Archives: Entertainment

Esquire Rules of the Day: 7-12

24 Feb

Well here we are again.  More rules of life by Esquire…rules of life, because being a man has gotten much harder.

Rule No. 7: Wow is not a verb.

Rule No. 8 : Sitcom characters watching porn always tilt their heads.

Rule No. 9: In movies, Italians can play Jews and Jews can play Italians, but neither Jews nor Italians can play Lutherans.

Rule No. 10: Actors are short.  Comedians are shorter.

Rule No. 11: There is nothing that can be marketed that cannot be better marketed by using the voice of James Earl Jones.

Rule No. 12: No talking at the urinal.

The Movie Theater That Fits in Your Pocket

24 Feb

There is a great highlight in the newest Details magazine (March, the one with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield on the cover) of the new ShowWX+ projector by Microvision. They say “time will only tell if Microvision’s ShowWX+ is mentioned in the same breath as the camera obscura or IMAX, but for now it’s the palm-size reason to give up your flat-screen.  The size of a cell phone, the projector connects directly to your iPod, iPhone or iPad (or, with an adapter, to a laptop or digital camera). Aim it at a dark wall and view high-resolution photos, TV shows, sales graphs – anything you have stored – at up to 100 inches wide. Just like that, your home video collection is a movable filmfest.”

$450; www.microvision.com

 


What to Know about PUBLIC BATHROOMS

22 Feb

Men. While almost all manly posts on this butch blog come from magazines, there are rare exceptions.  This post is one of those exceptions.  There is a hilarious and entertaining book by Thomas Fink entitled “The Man’s Book: The Essential Guide for the Modern Man” that I will be posting about over the course of the next few weeks.  Not only is the information funny, it is stuff that most people don’t write about.  For example, today’s post is that of the public bathroom: rules, etiquette and general information:

THE PUBLIC BATHROOM

There is an unstated code of conduct in men’s bathrooms that, while more instinctive than prescriptive, remains surprisingly universal.

1. Rules of Conduct:

No Pairing. Unlike women, men visit the lavatory for entirely practical reasons, and it is suspect to immediately follow a friend to the bathroom.

No Talking. Terse conversation in the bathroom can take place either before or after, but not during, use of the urinals.

No Looking. Eyes should be aimed straight ahead or down in concentration; glances toward your neighbor are very suggestive.

No Touching. Hands should be in front of you.  A bump of the elbows can be deflated by a sober apology, but without turning the head.

2. Optimal Strategy

When faced with an array of urinals to choose from, which one should you take?  The basic idea is that the distance between users should be maximized, at the same time minimizing a newcomer’s chance of getting too close. The latter makes the end-most urinals highly desirable. Never go between two men if it can be avoided.

3. Loo Man

The symbol for a man’s public bathroom is a stylized profile of a man standing with his arms down. Unlike the Mars symbol for a man (A arrow emanating from a circle and pointing northeast; believed to represent a sword and a spear) it is a pictogram: its meaning can be deduced from its shape. The male bathroom symbol differs from the female one in having broader shoulders and straight legs as opposed to a flared dress. Do not mix them up.

Esquire Rules of the Day: 1-6

22 Feb

Esquire has compiled a fantastic book called “The Rules: a Man’s Guide to Life.” complete with the tagline “revised and updated – because being a man has gotten much harder. The book is phenomenal…they could actually be tweets (get on that, Esquire!) because they all seem to be under 140 characters.  Some are serious how-to-behave rules and others are just comedic.  My plan is to release one page worth of rules every day, and today are rules 1-6.  I hope you enjoy this recurring segment on manliness!

Rule No. 1: When Aliens talk, they never use contractions.

Rule No. 2: Old people always have exact change.

Rule No. 3: Do not trust a man who calls the Men’s Room “the little boys’ room.”

Rule No. 4: When someone says he is “pumped” about something, it really means he is about to do something stupid.

Rule no. 5: Women who sound sexy on the radio weight 377 pounds.

Rule No. 6: For every Tom Hanks, there is a Peter Scolari.

 

And there you have it!  I hope you enjoyed the first post on the random and humorous RULES by Esquire.  Check back every day to learn and laugh with each new rule.

The Alternative Oscars

22 Feb

Here in this post, we (and the march 2011 issue of Esquire Magazine – the one with Liam Neeson on the cover) are making up for all that the academy ignores: the villainy, the sex, the other severed limbs – and the, uh, acting…

 

Beard of The YearJeff Bridges’s

Ever since its breakthrough role – coated in White Russian in The Big Lebowski – Jeff Bridges’s beard has been his most expressive instrument. On Rooster Cogburn (True Grit), it reeked of whiskey, tobacco, and life experience. And in Tron: Legacy, it was a testament to his character’s humanity, a contrast to his eerily smooth-cheeked digital avatar.

Future Best ActorAaron Johnson

Artist-director Sam Taylor-Wood took a gamble when she entrusted the 20-year-old Johnson with the daunting role of young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, in which he turned in one of the best biopic performances of all time. (Later, she would get engaged to him and have his child.) Then the makers of Kick-Ass cast Johnson as the world’s scrawniest superhero. Beneath his downy, adolescent exterior seems to lurk the weathered spirit of a Johnny Depp or a Daniel Day-Lewis, with commensurate awards to come.

 

Most Unnecessary Technical Virtuosity In a Comedy or MusicalThe Other Guys

The superfluous but masterful montage in the otherwise straightforward buddy comedy The Other Guys, in which scenes of orgiastic debauchery at a bar are frozen in time as the camera moves freely through them Matrix-style.


Most Unnecessary Technical Virtuosity in a DramaThe Social Network

Casting one guy, Armie Hammer, to play the Winkelvoss twins when, presumably, a real-life pair of twin actors would have worked just fine.

2010 Special Award for Achievement in ProfanityColin Firth, The King’s Speech

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckin’, fuck, fuck, fuckin’, fuck. Bugger, bugger, buggedy, buggedy, fuck, fuck, arse, balls, balls, fuckety, shit, fuckin’ willy, willy, shit, and fuck.  And tits.”

Best Special EffectUnstoppable

In the age of computer imagery, director Tony Scott realized that the best way to make it look like you derailed a train is to derail a train.

Most Convincing LesbianJulianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right

Moore’s two takes on homosexual attraction – one torrid and illicit, the other domestic and well-worn – couldn’t have been more different or more effective.

Villain of the YearMark Strong

Mark Strong looks like the evil version of that other guy, who, in case you’re wondering, is either Andy Garcia or Stanley Tucci. His villainy is elastic, a function of his multipurpose, vaguely Mediterranean ethnicity. (His father was Italian and his mother was Austrian.) Strong can play everyone: Arabs, Eastern Europeans…he topped himself last year, playing a traitorous English knight (Robin Hood), a ruthless Italian-American mob boss (Kick-Ass), and a lily-livered Russian windbag (The Way Back). He brought humility to all those performances. Not that his characters were humble – quite the opposite – but it takes a certain self-effacement to seek the humanity in the most wretched evildoers.

 

Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movie About DreamsShutter Island

Unlike the clinical logic of the dreams in Inception, Leo’s tormented, surrealistic nightmares in the overlooked Scorsese film are actually dreamlike.

Best Supporting NonagenarianEli Wallach

His performances this year – in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Ghost Writer – were short but in no way cameos. As sharp opposite Josh Brolin and Ewan McGregor as he was opposite Clark Gable and Steve McQueen.

 

Least Erotic CunnilingusRyan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Even if you think you’d enjoy watching a miserable man go down on his miserable wife in a kitschy motel room in a last-ditch attempt to save their once beautiful but now disintegrating marriage, you won’t.

 

Judge Reinhold Award for Achievement in Masturbation

By a Male – Zach Galifianakis, Due Date

By a Female – Natalie Portman, Black Swan

 

Best DocumentaryJackass 3D

The most fascinating examination this year of a man’s courage, stupidity and genitals.

 

Best Comedic Performance By a NewcomerSean Combs, Get Him To The Greek

He steals most of the honest laughs in his scenes. Either he was making it all up, in which case he’s a much better actor than we thought, or he was playing himself, in which case he’s a jackass.

Best Movie Nobody SawAnimal Kingdom

Take The Godfather, reserve all twisted notions of family loyalty but rinse off the sepia tone and discard any sense that there’s honor and glamor in crime. Replace Italian-American stereotypes with naturalistic Australian grit. Add Aussie actress Jackie Weaver’s brilliant performance as the clan’s saccharine-voiced but ruthless matriarch.

The New Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Johnah HillJosh Gad

As the sarcastic but lovable pudgy roommate in Love and Other Drugs.

The New Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Zach GalifianakisCharlie Day

As the alarmingly unhinged roommate in Going The Distance.

Best Line in a Bad ScriptJeff Bridges, Tron: Legacy

“Every idea man’s ever had about the universe suddenly up for grabs…bio-digital jazz, man.”

Least Expendable ExpendableDolph Lundgren

The most generous thing you can say about the expendables is that by casting all of those over-the-hill ’80s action heroes, director Sylvester Stallone was intentionally going for that era’s good-bad cheesiness. Lundgren was the only one who didn’t seem to get the irony of it all – and who therefore succeeded in recapturing that spirit.

Best Black ComedyFour Lions

Chris Morris’s farce about inept suicide bombers in England is a hybrid brand of comedy – at once broad slapstick and upsettingly dark and relevant satire – not seen since Dr. Strangelove. It’s also the first movie yet to have truly humanized terrorists. Which is what makes it so terrifying.

Near-Death At The Movies

11 Nov

This article, from the November 2010 issue of Men’s Journal Magazine, was inspired by the release of James Franco’s new film 27 Hours.  In the film Franco gets trapped and has to figure out how to survive, escape or get help (extreme abridged version).  That led the writers of the magazine to brainstorm a list of other near-death experiences in movies.  The mag calls the folliwing movies “Nerve-racking survival films that are a must-add to your queue.” They are the following:

Touching the Void (2003)

Life, pain, suffering, death, and the hard moral calculus of extreme adventuring intersect in this riveting documentary about two accomplished climbers on a disastrous descent in the Peruvian Andes.

Cast Away (2000)

Tom Hanks lost nearly 50 pounds to play a marooned survivor of a plane crash with the smarts and determination to overcome loneliness and privation. That said, its his close friendship with a volleyball that stuck with us the most.

The Edge (1997)

This overlooked action thriller set in the wilds of Alaska features a brilliant script by David Mamet, a pair of cagey but knockout performances by Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, and one very hungry grizzly bear.

Open Water (2003)

True story of a couple scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef who are forced to spend a long night in shark-infested waters when their charter boat leaves without them.  Simple premise, inspired execution.

Video From All Corners…Cubed

26 May

Wow.  I am in awe over here.  You gotta love GQ Magazine – even though the first article is usually located approximately 48% into the Stephen King-sized novel of a publication (you know, past all of the ads?), it has some great information in it.  One of the things that caught my eye in the March 2010 issue (Kobe Bryant on the cover) is the Boxee Box by D-Link.  Out this spring, the Boxee Box aggregates and organizes tons of free and paid TV and movies available on the web in a slick, user-friendly interface.  Want to watch LOST? No need to go to ABC.com or Netflix.  Just type “Lost” into Boxee and every episode available on the internet appears, no matter the source.  It’s like some Uber on-demand system from the future.  Get it from www.boxee.tv – it costs about $200.

12 Days of (Free) Christmas…

13 Dec

The funny thing about the recession is that every magazine on the shelves is talking about how to do everything for less.  I mean everything. I will spare you some of them, but one caught my eye and I thought that it would be worth posting.  The November 2009 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Jason Bateman on the cover, has a full section on how to save money during the recession and various statistics about how spending habits are changing.  One section was titled “12 things that don’t cost a cent.”  For your pleasure, here they are…

Music – listen to full-length albums at lala.com and spinner.com.

Directory assistance – Dial (800) FREE-411 for phone numbers

Television – Hulu Desktop (hulu.com/labs/huludesktop) streams shows – 30 Rock, Lost and more – from a computer’s HDMI out port to a connected HDTV.

Brains – MIT’s OpenCourseWare portal (ocw.mit.edu) provides lecture notes, project examples, homework, and tests from real classes in 35 fields, from biology to architecture to economics.

Software – Open Office (openoffice.org) has word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs that are nearly identical in look, feel and features to Microsoft Office.

Wi-Fi – know before you go with wififreespot.com, which catalogs hotels, cafes, and shops with free web surfing in your hometown or travel destination.

Grub Reviews – your paper’s bloated dining critic is limited to one meal a night, typically at an over-hyped joint.  But chowhound.com‘s user reviews help you find authentic and downright delicious spots from diners who share your tastes and budget.

News – The Wall Street Journal charges for its online content, but if you have an iPhone, you can download its free app and enjoy the same stories at no charge.

Books – Pull up public-domain books, from Twain to Dickens to Poe, on your cellphone with Project Gutenberg’s nearly 30,000 digitized, downloadable books.

Shipping – before you check out at your favorite online store, visit freeshipping.org for coupon codes that can cover the expense of shipping.

Languages – Learn to say “Where’s the bathroom?” in 36 different languages with the BBC’s online guides.

City tours – Learn from the locals with free city tours through the Global Greeter Network (globalgreeternetwork.info), which pairs groups of visitors with knowledgeable volunteers.

Science Fiction Books – Not Just for Nerds

27 Nov

In the November 2009 issue of Details Magazine, with a fab-tastic Glambert on the cover, the “Words” section caught my eye.  The spotlight is on Brandon Sanderson, an up-and-coming author specializing in science-fiction.  Here is the excerpt:

“If the epic-fantasy genre seems suited only to people who play Magic: The Gathering and own Star Wars bedding, consider this: Robert Jordan’s unfinished Wheel of Time series has sold more than 44 million copies. That’s a lot of readers who were left on the edge of their seats when the author died in 2007—including Brandon Sanderson, the 33-year-old writer who was chosen by Jordan’s widow to complete the series using the notes her husband left behind. Today, Sanderson is releasing the first of the three concluding volumes, A Memory of Light: The Gathering Storm (Tor, $30), and is facing expectations from fans who make a tween girl’s passion for the Jonas brothers look like what it is: child’s play.”

Below are 4 additional sci-fi selections that are worth reading.  Choose to do so…if you dare.

1. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer [Little, Brown, $26] – “The literary wonderkind you love to hate puts a pomo finish on Michael Pollan in this polemic about carnivorism and food production.  Foer’s usual stylistic trickery (e.g. a Swiftian endorsement of eating dogs) doesn’t make reading about castrated piglets much more enjoyable, but maybe a subject like this shouldn’t be fun.”

2. Evening’s Empire by Zachary Lazar [Little, Brown, $25] – “In 1975, when the author was 6, the father he barely knew was shot in the head in a parking garage.  More than 30 years later, Lazar tells the haunting story of this outwardly conventional accountant’s secret life – while painting an indelible portrait of the Space-Age suburbs and an American dream built on fraud.”

3. Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith [Penguin Press, $26] – “Analyzing her father’s comedy obsession, 50 Cent’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and E.M. Forster in her first collection of essays, the novelist effortlessly shifts her tone from academically stiff to whimsical.  Bits like the piece about having multiple linguistic personalities offer insight into the author and will appeal to super-fans hoping to better understand Archie Jones of White Teeth.

4. Invisible by Paul Auster [Henry Holt, $25] – “In this novel with multiple (possibly unreliable) narrators, a young poet is sucked into the orbit of an older French couple in 1967 New York, until a shocking violent act derails their association. As usual with Auster, things are more complicated than they appear, and a Russian doll-like series of tales within tales unfolds – all in the author’s crystal clear prose.”

Hard Cider: It’s Easier (To Find a Good One) Than It Sounds

27 Nov

Ask most men, and you will be told that Hard Cider is for girls.  Incorrect – the December 2009 issue of Details Magazine, the one with John Mayer on the cover, points out some good truths about hard cider.  “If you think cider comes in those six-packs you see in the Smirnoff Ice aisle of the grocery store, you’ve clearly never had the good stuff – which is quirky, elegant, and a little hard to find.  Crafted from long-forgotten apples with names like Bramtot and Nehou, in places like Austria, Spain, and Upstate New York, it combines the food-friendly refreshment of beer with the layered intensity of a top-notch bubbly. You can even serve it in a flute, if you’d like.  But guzzling it from a Mason jar while polishing off a plate of ribs is okay, too.  That’s the beauty of a first-rate cider: options.

5 Top-Notch Options:

1.  Isastegi Sagardo Naturaia (Pictured) – $10, demaisonselections.com – This classic basque cider is pungent  – right on the cusp of unlikable – and does its best work with aggressive foods such as salt cod or a rib-eye served bloody.

2.  West County Cider Refield – $13, westcountycider.com – A single-variety cider made from scarlet-fleshed redfield apples (hence the rose hue).  This Berkshire’s find makes for a smart stand-in for Prosecco or demi-sec champagne.

3.Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie 2007 – $11, bunitedint.com – This addictive French cider may smell like plain old apple juice, but one sip reveals a winey complexity that stands up to rib-sticking stews and charcuterie.

4. Farnum Hill Extra Dry – $14, farnumhillciders.com – The driest offering from a crew of New Hampshire cider wizards, this lean concoction is versatile – so you don’t have to stress about the pairing.

5. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Semi-Dry Cider – $16, wanderingaengus.com – With its very subtle sweetness and ginger flavors, this organic cider from Oregon is great with dessert, especially pies and tarts.