Run Fatboy Run

February 17th, 2009


Run Fatboy RunIt's the London Marathon, and thousands of feet pound along the Thames Embankment. Two of those feet belong to out-of-shape, out-of-luck Dennis Doyle. He's running to gain the respect (and hopefully, the love) of Libby, the girl he left pregnant and heartbroken at the altar five years earlier. And running alongside Dennis is Libby's handsome, successful, self-confident and very fit new boyfriend.

Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Thandie Newton (Crash) and Hank Azaria (The Simpsons) star in a runaway laughfest from debuting director David Scwimmer (Friends). Can Dennis win back what he lost by lacing up some hi-tech footwear? One thing's for sure: He's putting his heart and soles into the attempt.

On the day of his wedding Dennis leaves his pregnant girlfriend, Libby, at the altar. When he meets her new boyfriend, five years later, Dennis decides that he had better make it up to her now or he might lose her forever. The difficulty lies in the fact that this new boyfriend is many things that Dennis is not. The new guy is successful, confident, responsible and he runs marathons for charity -- and that is held over Dennis's head as if that one thing sums up how Dennis will never be good enough. Dennis responds that he will run the marathon, too. So now he trains for 26 grueling miles as if Libby will be waiting for him at the finish line.

I will admit that my expectations for this film were low. I have enjoyed Simon Pegg in some of his other movies, but not enough to rush out and see this. (Not based on Simon Pegg's involvement, but) I was afraid that it would be one of the romantic comedies that tried to focus on the romantic rather than the comedy.

The movie was funny and charming. The supporting cast was made up with some great characters, including but not limited to Dennis's landlord/upstairs neighbor Mr. Goshdashtidar (Harish Patel) and Dennis's best friend Gordon (Dylan Moran). The involvement of these supporting cast members and the interaction between Dennis and his son were probably the high points of the movie.

This is probably not a movie that you will invite all of your friends over to watch, but it is worth seeing on a night when you stay in.

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February 16th, 2009
The WacknessDr. Squires: Men do the things they need to do to become the men they want to be. Do you understand?

Shrimp with Garlic Cream Sauce Over Linguine

February 13th, 2009

* 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
* 12 large shrimp, peeled
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
* 8 ounces fresh linguine, cooked and drained
* Salt and pepper


In a saucepan bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Using a small paring knife, remove the vein along the back of each shrimp and rinse under running water. Add garlic to water and boil for two minutes. Add the shrimp to the water and cook with the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and garlic. Peel the garlic and finely chop. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until cream begins to thicken. Stir in parsley, Parmesan and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over linguine in a large bowl and toss to coat. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan. -

This seemed like an unconventional recipe to me because I do not have much experience in the kitchen. I know only some very basic techniques. But I found this to be a very easy recipe. I know it is cliché, but make sure you have everything prepped and ready to go before you start. With some very short cook times (especially with the shrimp - DO NOT OVERCOOK YOUR SHRIMP!) organization is your friend.

This recipe is a shell, as far as I am concerned. It needs something. It is like a cheese pizza - plain is good for some people, others need toppings. Right off the bat I added mushrooms to my linguine. I cooked them separately and added them at the end when I tossed everything together. Roasted tomatoes might be good for this dish. Try some zucchini if you want another veggie.

Instead of 12 large shrimp I got 18 medium shrimp. I like medium shrimp in pasta. That is simply a personal preference. But be sure to shorten your cook time if you use smaller shrimp!

I loved this dish with shrimp, but I look forward to trying this recipe with chicken next time. Aside from how I cook the chicken, it will be a seemless transition into this recipe and good if you have guests who don't like seafood.

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2007 Marqués de Cáceres White Rioja

February 11th, 2009

This white wine from the Rioja region of Spain is made from 100% Viura (or Macabeo) grapes. This is a grape known for its dryness, medium acidity and floral notes (even though I found it to be a little tight on the nose). This is my first white Rioja, and I am at least mildly impressed. I normally don't like white wine. I normally love wines from Rioja. You can see my conundrum. This wine was certainly dry, which is how I prefer my whites, if I must have it. On a dryness scale I would put this between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, but much closer to Pinot Grigio. I consider white Rioja, at least ones made from Viura grapes if I can find them, to be a viable option when the occasion calls for white wine.

The Scarecrow

February 10th, 2009

Michael Connelly brings back reporter Jack McEvoy (who you may remember from The Poet) for his new thriller The Scarecrow.

The Scarecrow by Michael ConnellyJack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the Los Angeles Times as the newspaper grapples with dwindling revenues, he's got only a few days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of journalism school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang — a final story that will win the newspaper journalism's highest honor — a Pulitzer prize.

Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer from the projects who has confessed to police that he brutally raped and strangled one of his crack clients. Jack convinces Alonzo's mother to cooperate with his investigation into the possibility of her son's innocence. But she has fallen for the oldest reporter's trick in the book. Jack's real intention is to use his access to report and write a story that explains how societal dysfunction and neglect created a 16-year-old killer.

But as Jack delves into the story he soon realizes that Alonzo's so-called confession is bogus, and Jack is soon off and running on the biggest story he's had since The Poet crossed his path years before. He reunites with FBI Agent Rachel Walling to go after a killer who has worked completely below police and FBI radar—and with perfect knowledge of any move against him.

What Jack doesn't know is that his investigation has inadvertently set off a digital tripwire. The killer knows Jack is coming -— and he's ready.

The Scarecrow will be released in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand on May 12, 2009, and in the USA and Canada on May 26, 2009. Read an excerpt now. Michael will be going on a book tour in the UK and in the USA in May.

Pre-order a copy

February 9th, 2009
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise - 14Though she thought of her body as a mass of frailties, she considered her soul quite as ill, and therefore important in her life. She had once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more attentive when she was in the process of losing or regaining her faith in Mother Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude. Often she deplored the bourgeois quality of the American Catholic clergy, and was quite sure that had she lived in the shadow of the great Continental catherdrals her soul would still be a thin flame on the mighty altar of Rome. Still, next to doctors, priests were her favorite sport.

Anchor Steam Liberty Ale

February 6th, 2009

As far as beers go, Ale is a territory into which I have seldom traveled. I traditionally have enjoyed lighter beers - Wheats and Lights. I really enjoy a few Lagers, but that is basically the end of my beer resume. I have tried a little of everything else, but I have liked very little. Due to trying a lot of new foods and wines my palate is beginning to develop as is my curiosity for new things. The Anchor Steam Liberty Ale is a very interesting beer. It has a beautiful light orange hue that might suggest a lighter flavor than is delivered. The top-fermenting brewers' yeast gives it a slightly citrus flavor. There is a nice light carbonation to the beer, too. This is certainly an interesting drink, if you have the opportunity to enjoy one. As I write this, my Liberty Ale is only a memory, but I will have this again. This is a great happy hour beer -- when you will just have 1-2 and you don't feel the pressure to get the cheapest beer and you want something you will be glad you ordered.

Top 5 Movies: Starring Peter Dinklage

February 5th, 2009

February 4th, 2009
KinseyAlfred Kinsey: When it comes to love, we are all in the dark.

2000 Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva

February 2nd, 2009

From the wine merchants I frequent, I believe it to be a rarity to find any Rioja left from 2000. Since I am new to Rioja, and new to wine in general, it was with great curiosity that I approached this bottle. If you happen to come across a bottle of the 2000 Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva, which should be for less than $20, curiosity should be your biggest motivating factor. The wine was good, but not great. It was bigger than some other Riojas I have tried in the past. This actually encouraged me, but not enough to rush out and buy the remaining inventory (maybe if it goes on sale). Most Riojas I have had come in between $20-30 and I think there is better value than this. It was nice to see the Gran Reserva has the complexity to withstand time. It makes me feel better about some 2001 Rioja I have on the rack.