Monday, September 30, 2013

WTF -- Grey's, Miley and Kanye

A few 'WTF' moments I've noticed recently...

I've watched Grey's Anatomy before, but it's been a while. I noticed that they had a new season on Netflix, so I was getting caught up with the latest hospital drama. I noticed, while watching it, that Miranda Bailey was wearing earrings while in the operating room.

Now maybe that's the way it really works. Maybe the doctors and nurses have dangling necklaces, watches, rings and earrings while they are in the O.R.

I wouldn't actually know since I've never been in one. However, one would think that earrings would not be appropriate to wear in the operating room.

After Kramer's Junior Mint incident on Seinfeld, you'd think anything not needed in the O.R. would not be in the O.R. Granted, the Junior Mint incident was fictional, but who is to say a surgeon couldn't actually lose an earring inside a patient while operating?

All I know is that I wouldn't want to be the patient with an earring in my chest and I wouldn't want to be the hospital on the other end of a malpractice lawsuit if that were to happen.

It seems all Miley Cyrus is trying to do these days is grab attention, get headlines and sell herself -- I mean albums. Sex sells. Britney Spears proved that. Pamela Anderson proved that. Channing Tatum is proving that. There are dozens of not-so-talented actors/actresses, models and singers who use their looks to achieve money and success.

The thing that baffles me about this whole 'wild child' Miley thing is: Miley doesn't need to resort to that.

As Pink told E! Online, “She’s really freaking talented, she’s beautiful, she can sing her ass off and to go up there and do that? She’s cheating herself and she’s cheating the rest of us."

My thoughts exactly.

Pink is a pop veteran. She knows her stuff.

"People can like it if they want," said Pink. "I’m not going to buy it. She can do better. I’ve seen her do better.”

Miley is one of the few young, former Disney teen stars who are actress/model/singers who can actually sing. Whether the entire 'pop star gone wild' is an act or not, it's a pity she's restoring to swinging nude on a wrecking ball in her music video when the song is incredible on it's own merits.

Lastly, WTF is up with Kanye West lately? Granted, he's never been the most humble of people, but his interview with Zane Lowe for BBC left me shaking my head.

“I’ve reached a point in my life where my Truman Show boat has hit the painting. And I’ve got to a point that Michael Jackson did not break down. I have reached the glass ceiling. As a creative person, as a celebrity. When I say that, it means, I want to do product, I am a product person.

Not just clothing, but water bottle design, architecture, everything, you know, that you could think about. And I’ve been at it for 10 years, and I look around, and I say, wait a second, there’s no one in this space that looks like me, and if they are, they’re quiet as fuck. So that means, wait a second, now we’re seriously, like, in a civil rights movement.”

He's all about selling himself to make money it seems. He reached a point Michael Jackson didn't break down though? What point is that? Kanye married a reality TV star and is therefore photographed more than before. You're right -- MJ didn't do that.

Michael Jackson sold between 300 and 400 million albums in his career.

Yeezus, Kanye's recent album, sold 327,000 in it's debut week, but then dropped 80% after that.

Then he goes on to say he's the biggest rock star in the world.

"It’s some nice ones here and there, some good shit here and there. But we culture. Rap the new rock ‘n’ roll. We culture. Rap is the new rock ‘n’ roll. We the rock stars. [Zane Lowe: “It’s been like that now for a minute.”] It’s been like that for a minute, Hedi Slimane! It’s been like that for a minute. We the real rock stars, and I’m the biggest of all of them."

I'm pretty sure there's more than a handful of people who could dispute that claim.

Nonetheless, the most ridiculous statement Kanye made was "I am a God."

"We got this new thing called classism," West explained. "It's racism's cousin. This is what we do to hold people back. ... And we got this other thing that's also been working for a long time where you don't have to be racist anymore, it's called self-hate. It's like the real estate of racism. Where, just like that, when someone comes up and says something like, 'I am a god,' everybody says 'Who does he think he is?'

"I just told you who I thought I was! A God! I just told you! That's who I think I am! Would it have been better if a I had a song that said, 'I Am a N----r?' Or if I had a song that said, 'I Am a Gangsta'? Or I had a song that said, 'I Am a Pimp'? All of those colors and patinas fit better on a person like me, right?"

Right...the reason people are upset is because you're not a God. It doesn't have anything to do with your race. It has to do with the fact that you're not a God. Simple as that, dude.

Meanwhile, after several of his outrageous comments were spoofed by Jimmy Kimmel, Kanye threw a Twitter fit about it and demanded an apology.

The guy is living in his own world. Maybe he's a God after all...

Related Content:
TV's Most Annoying Neighbors
Nettles goes solo
The Top 7 - Pink's Best Performances
Pitbull: Global Warming - reviewed.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Earth Fare

Earth Fare, in addition to being a grocery store, has its very own bakery, complete with a selection of cupcakes.

Earth Fare is known as the healthier grocery store. I don’t know if that applies to their cupcakes, but I’m assuming it does. The entire list of ingredients is listed underneath the name card that’s on display.

There were four different cupcake flavors available – chocolate, vanilla, red velvet and carrot. I passed on the chocolate and went with the other three.

Carrot Cupcake

I’m generally not a fan of fruit bits and chunks, but the cupcake looked so good that I decided to take the chance.

The cupcake was moist, with a good taste. The frosting was really creamy.

The orange sprinkles on top added an extra element to the cupcake.

I could have done without the carrot chunks. There were a lot of them in there.

The taste, however, made up for it.

Shockingly, I'd have to say I'd order it again. If they could just blend up those ingredients a little more, they'd get the a great tasting cupcake without chunky carrot bits. That'd make me a happy cupcake eater.

Vanilla Cupcake

I tried the vanilla cupcake next and I was sorely disappointed. It was not nearly as moist as the carrot cupcake. In fact, this cupcake was pretty crumbly.

It didn’t help that there was not enough frosting on this one, which left a lot of dry, crumbly cupcake to eat.

Then again, the frosting wasn’t very good, so maybe it’s a good thing there wasn’t much of it. There was some kind of oddball taste to it – kind of like sugary mayonnaise.

Whatever it was, it’s not what I like in my vanilla frosting.

Even though the cupcake wasn't nearly as moist as the carrot cupcake, the cupcake tasted better than the frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcake

I figured the red velvet would make up for the vanilla cupcake, so long as the frosting wasn’t the same as on the vanilla cupcake. It wasn’t, thankfully. It was cream cheese frosting instead.

Unfortunately there wasn’t enough of the cream cheese frosting to go with the cupcake. The red velvet was actually the least moist of the bunch too.

There was almost a burnt taste to the cupcake, but it somehow helped out the taste of the cupcake.

Related Content:
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cloud 9 Confections
Charlotte Cupcakes - Novel Sweets
Charlotte Cupcakes - Jenn's Sugarlicious Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Sweet Lorraine's Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Maddy's Fatty's
Charlotte Cupcakes - Splat! Cakes n Such
Charlotte Cupcakes - Berry's Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Polka Dot Bake Shop
Charlotte Cupcakes - Wow Factor Cakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcrazed
Charlotte Cupcakes - SAS Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Decadent Designs Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - It's a Piece of Cake
Charlotte Cupcakes - Black Velvet Patisserie
Charlotte Cupcakes - Maggiemoos
Charlotte Cupcakes: Kai's Kookies and More
Charlotte Cupcakes: Two On Earth Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes: FuManChu Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - The Bakery Shoppe
Charlotte Cupcakes - Jewell Treats
Charlotte Cupcakes - SweetCakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Just Baked Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - La Bree's cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Bake Me A Cake
Charlotte Cupcakes - Tizzerts
Charlotte Cupcakes - Suarez Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcake Delirium
Charlotte Cupcakes - Sunflour Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes – Kimberley’s Bakeshoppe Gourmet Cupcakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Nona's Sweets

TV's Most Annoying Neighbors

Saturday was National Good Neighbor Day (the holidays they come up with, huh?).

Sometimes a good neighbor is someone who takes your garbage can out to the street when you're on vacation. Sometimes a good neighbor is someone who brings you baked goods. Other times a good neighbor is someone who leaves you the heck alone!

In the spirit of Good Neighbor Day, here are some examples of some not-so-good neighbors. In fact, they are TV's most annoying neighbors:

10. Marcy Darcy (Married with Children)

Imagine working all day as a measly shoe salesman (just so that your wife can try to spend all your money at the mall) and then coming home to find the rich, opinionated next-door-neighbor there.

Not only is she there, she's filling your wife's head with all kinds of notions about how you should be more romantic, more generous and not such a tightwad.

That's what Al Bundy had to deal with, living with Marcy Darcy. I'd insult her too, Al.

Liberated, know-it-all women are annoying neighbors.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Personalized Plates - to do or not to do?

When I got my first car, I wanted to personalize it.

I didn’t get to choose my car. I bought it because there was a good deal on it. It wasn’t the color, make or model that I wanted. Of course, it was just cool to have a car.

However, I wanted to make it my own, so I tried to come up with a few ways to snazz it up.

I wasn’t about to put up one of those silly window-hugging stuffed animals (although the Garfield ones aren’t horrible).  I’ve never been a big fan of window decals either. Having anything dangling from my mirror was not an option.

I found some cool 8 ball air valve covers (unfortunately they didn’t fit my tires) and I bought Scooby Doo floor mats.

Lastly, I seriously considered a personalized license plate. I would probably have ended up with one, but I couldn’t come up with anything I liked. After all, there are fewer characters to work with than on Twitter.

I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, but lately I’ve been noticing that a lot of people didn’t have the problem I did in coming up with a personalized plate.

I don’t know if it’s southern thing, a North Carolina thing or if there are just that many personalized plates out there.

I’ve spotted these all within the past month. They do help answer the question: to personalize or not to personalize – though some leave more questions than answers.

Is this person telling people to buy land from them or buy land in general?

This person obviously spends their free time on a boat someplace on Lake Norman.

This person obviously has strong, positive feels about pop/rock

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Celebrity (look-a-like) sightings - part 2

Disclaimer: all of the following celebrity comparisons are based on personal opinion. You may agree with some and think I’m bat-shit crazy on others.

There are ordinary people who look like other ordinary people. There are ordinary people who look like celebrities. Lastly, there are celebrities who look like other celebrities.

Here's round 2 of celebrity look-a-likes:

CM Punk and Adam Levine

Adam Levine is the lead singer of Maroon 5. CM Punk is the longest reigning WWE Champion in recent history.

Levine prefers that his hair stands straight up. Punk likes to gel his hair back. If not for the hair differences, these two could pretty much be each other.

Even with the different hair styles, they could easily be brothers.

I'm sure the ink-covered arms and other body parts don't hurt in making them look similar. I think Punk has more meat on him, but these two pretty much have the same build.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TV's faceless characters

This is it. This is the season that the girl underneath the yellow umbrella will finally be revealed. How I Met Your Mother entered into its ninth and final season last night.

It'll still be a while before we finally see Ted's wife and the mother to his kids.

Ted’s wife (and the kids’ mother) isn’t the only faceless character on TV. In fact there are several characters, from the past and present, whose faces were never revealed.

Sometimes the faceless characters are the most memorable, as you can see by the examples below.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Cloud 9 Confections

In addition to Novel Sweets, you can find Cloud 9 Confections at 7th Street Market.

It seems they have more of a permanent set up that Novel Sweets does. While Novel has a stand that is set up each day in the middle aisle, Cloud 9 has a spot along the wall, complete with a display case and kitchen.

I’d stumbled upon their website a while ago, but it seemed they only worked weddings and other large-scale events.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The best agency names

On Tuesday, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will premiere on ABC.

I sat through three previews for the show when I went to see Iron Man 3 at the cheap theatre a few weeks ago. It looks like it could be a good TV show.

At first I had doubts, but it looks like they are going to keep the show in line with the universe Marvel has so masterfully set up with the first two Iron Man movies and The Avengers.

Instead of focusing on billionaire's with suits made of iron, giant green genetic freaks, or Gods from another dimension, the show is going to focus on a team of mortals -- doing whatever they can to fight the threats that haunt the U.S. and the world.

What exactly is S.H.I.E.L.D. though? It's a fictional espionage team that's been highlighted in multiple Marvel comics, TV shows and movies.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

If I had a million dollars

The Powerball is insanely high again and there’s still a chance to go get a ticket. In fact, that’s probably what I’ll end up doing today.

If I suddenly end this blog or start posting pictures of exotic, foreign beaches, then you’ll know that ticket paid off.

In the event I win, this blog post will serve as a guide on how to spend my money. If I don’t, then this ends up being wishful (but fun) thinking.

There's quite a few things that I'd take care of first: pay off student loans, make investments for the future, etc.

There's the goodwill donations I'd make: giving money to the Wheels to Work program, giving money to my alma matter, giving money to my old high school to keep photography classes going, and giving money to other various, reputable charitable organizations.

Friends and family -- that's an obvious one. I'd give them some of the dough as well.

That's where the fun begins!

First, I’d make a trip to Best Buy, Target, F.Y.E and any other video retail store I could think of. I've always wanted to take a shopping cart and just walk through the DVD aisles, picking out whatever I wanted, taking it to the check out and buying all of it. I would likely drop a few thousand dollars right there.

What's on the list, though? What DVD's to buy? With millions of dollars you could buy as many as you want. Here are a couple of my first picks:

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles box sex. I watched a couple of old episodes online and it's not as great as I remember, unfortunately. It's still awesome, but I didn't remember how cheesy it was.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Novel Sweets

This week I tracked down Novel Sweets, a cupcake shop that strictly bakes vegan cupcakes.

I felt a bit like a detective trying to find a location with their cupcakes. I heard that Eco-licious carried the cupcakes, so I made my way to Commonwealth Ave.

It's the first time I'd been there, so I was in for a rude awakening when I tried to park in a parking spot along the street. They only allow backwards, angled parking. They had a sign that diagrammed how this should be done. It did look fairly easy. Nonetheless, I was irked that I had to re-park in the first place and that there was a fine for not parking the proper way, so I ended up leaving my car in the parking lot of a nearby diner.

After that mess I stopped into Eco-licious. They were all out of Novel Sweets cupcakes. They did have some healthy Twinkies, vegan Samoas cookies and other treats, but I was there for the cupcakes. The shop worker at Eco-licious told me that Novel Sweets has a stand at 7th Street Market and that parking for the first 90 minutes is free. Had I checked the Novel Sweets website, I would have known this.

I went to 7th Street Market and paid $4 to park in the ramp ($2 for every 20 minutes). Evidently I didn't park in the right place to get the first 90 minutes free.

After all that mess, the Novel Sweets cupcakes had a lot to live up to.

I found the stand, which was empty. The shop owner arrived within a minute though -- she was stuck in traffic. She asked if I wanted to wait until all the displays were set up or if I was okay with just getting some cupcakes. I happily took the cupcakes and saved myself another $2.00 in parking fees.

I chose three cupcakes out of their daily selection: a berry cupcake, a chocolate-peanut butter and a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy National Chocolate Milkshake Day!

It's National Chocolate Milkshake Day!

You know what that means -- it's time to celebrate accordingly.

Although I don't like chocolate in baked goods, chocolate is my first choice when it comes to milkshakes -- not ice cream, just milkshakes.

There are several different locations you could go to fill up on a nice chocolate shake.

Here a few recommendations to make your choice a little easier:

Jack In The Box

There may be some bias here because they've given me two chocolate shakes for free at different times. I guess that's what happens when you have a friendly server and you make a late-night stop? Anyway, their prices are reasonable and the Jack In The Box chocolate milkshake is worth a try.

It's made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped topping. It comes with a maraschino cherry, but I always tell them to hold that (not a fan of cherry's, myself).

Find a Jack In The Box location near you

Monday, September 9, 2013

Red Lobster biscuits -- in a box!

During a trip to Sam’s Club I saw the most amazing thing: Red Lobster biscuits in a box!

They were only about $5 too. It was amaaaazing!

I didn't know if the product was available for a temporary amount of time, so I took full advantage.

I mean, really, it doesn't get much better than Red Lobster biscuits!

I only bought one box, but it makes about 30 biscuits. That's about 4 or 5 small dinner parties.

There are three pouches of biscuit mix inside, making it easy to get the same flavoring they have at the restaurant. Thankfully, the directions are easy too.

You put the mix in a bowl, add 3/4 of a cup of water, throw in a handful of cheddar cheese, and then roll the dough into little biscuit balls on a cookie sheet.

I only got 9 out of that batch, but some were a little larger than others.

Once I made the first couple of biscuit balls they were hard to roll together. A large portion of the mix stuck to my hands.

While the biscuits were in the oven baking for 14-16 minutes, I put some butter into a bowl, microwaved it, and then added some of the garlic herb blend pouch (also in the box).

The end result was a batch of 9 golden-brown biscuits.

I put the spices on and it ended up tasting just like the biscuits you’d get from Red Lobster.

I probably should have had a little more melted butter in my bowl though. I was a little short on that.

Yes, these new biscuits in a box are pretty much heaven in a box – sold at Sam’s Club!

Related Content:
Charlotte Cupcakes - Jenn's Sugarlicious Bakery
Charlotte Cupcakes - Sweet Lorraine's Bakery
Miller and Kasper - experienced.
Charlotte Cupcakes - Splat! Cakes n Such
Charlotte Cupcakes - Berry's Bakery

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Jenn's Sugarlicious Bakery

Jenn's Suglarlicious Bakery in Gastonia is the kind of bakery you'll want to stop at if you're looking at a large bakery with fanciful frosting and lots of treats.

I'd Googled the bakery to find the address, but I didn't know what to expect when I went in person. Located in Franklin Square, Jenn's is right next to a Subway off of East Franklin Blvd.

There's a purple carousel pony placed against the window, which actually gives an idea as to what the cupcakes are like.

There were 12 different flavors of cupcakes available. Each cupcake had a different color (or, in some cases, two) of carefully decorated frosting. With pink, purple, turquoise, yellow and orange frosting, the cupcake case almost looked like a rainbow.

I've been taken in by colorful, decorative frosting before, though, only to be disappointed by the flavor of the actual cupcake. I probably could have picked more flavors, but I ended up settling on three: the Neapolitan, the Lemon and the Mint Chocolate Chip.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nettles goes solo

Jennifer Nettles is going solo. So long to Sugarland and hello to new adventures.

When I heard that Nettles was going solo, I was excited. She has great range and a charming twang to her vocals.

I always find it funny when a singer, who is pretty much the main singer, or only singer of the group, goes solo – like Gwen Stefani, Rob Thomas, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. They were pretty much singing 85% of the songs they churned out anyway.

I assumed we’d be getting some of the same kind of music from Nettles that we got from Sugarland.

Now I’m not so sure.

Nettles debuted her new song -- "That Girl" -- almost two weeks ago on Good Morning America and it was....different.

It’s described as a follow-up, of sorts, to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” It's not the catchiest of songs, but I do like it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Actors who have played more than one comic book super hero

I blogged about Ben Affleck being Batman the other day and why I think it could work.

One of the reasons I mentioned was his performance in Daredevil. While some critics and viewers didn’t like the movie, I thought it was decent, if not borderline good.

So Batman and Daredevil will both be on Ben Affleck’s list of super hero portrayals. Not too shabby.

He’s actually not alone in playing more than one super hero. Affleck joins a short list of actors who have played more than one hero or villain in the Marvel and D.C. universes.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ben Affleck as Batman? That could work.

You go away on vacation for a week and the world turns upside down aka Ben Affleck being cast as Batman.

There's been a pretty severe backlash against Warner Bros. for the casting decision.

There's also been some angry comments towards Affleck for being cast in the part.

I have to admit: my initial reaction was, 'WTF?'

Now, I'm oddly OK with Ben Affleck joining the ranks as the The Caped Crusader.

First off, there's no denying that he looks the part.

Second, I enjoyed his work in several movies, including his original super hero flick: Daredevil...even though many did not.

Don't get me wrong -- I would have preferred seeing Christian Bale resume his role as Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Sweet Lorraine's Bakery

This Sunday I tried Sweet Lorraine’s cupcakes. Sweet Lorraine's is a cupcake shop on East Blvd. in Charlotte.

First things first though. Don't judge the cupcakes by their somewhat sloppy appearance!

They looked much nicer before spending three hours sitting in my car on a 90 degree day. For what they went through, they held up pretty well actually.