Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's like Captain Crunch, but it makes you poop

My wife and I have been trying to work out regularly and eat better. Both of these things are challenging, but doable.

I refuse to eat Shredded Wheat. Dennis Wolfberg's stand up routine ruined me for Fiber One, calling it a "nuclear laxative in a box." We've tried a couple of the Kashi cereals, and what they lack in flavor, they make up for in health benefits of regularity.  It's not that they lack flavor, it's just that they don't taste like cereal did when we were kids. Remember how good Count Chocula was? Or the best part of Fruity Pebbles... the milk at the end? Oh, yeah.

As I was walking down the cereal/snack food/cleaning supply/car tire aisle at Sam's Club yesterday, I saw a Kashi offering which I hadn't seen. It is called "Honey Sunshine" and looks like Cap'n Crunch. I took a chance.

It's really pretty good. It doesn't have the same SNAP, since that shiny, sugar lacquer finish (non-nutritive food varnish in Griswold-speak) associated with Cap'n Crunch is probably not something the organically-minded Kashi wants to include in its cereal. Is it wrong to miss that raw, mangled feeling  in the roof of your mouth when you eat Cap'n Crunch? The trade off is having to go to the bathroom once or twice more a day and the raw feeling associated with it. (Yes, I know it's gross, but it's true.)

In cereal, as in life, there are trade-offs. While the cereal is cheaper at Sam's, I'll end up spending a little more to buy a box of the Cap'n Crunch just to dig out the Crunchberries.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Listen up Royals Fans

As a dyed in the wool, lifelong Cardinals fan and longtime resident of Kansas City, I think the time has come for me to drop a little knowledge on you.

The Cardinals don't consider the Royals rivals.  Mostly they look at it as a chance to rest a few of their regulars.  Honestly, I don't see how the players get geared up to play those games.  They really don't mean anything.  There's no chance they'll see them in the World Series, and probably won't see any of them at the All Star Game, except Zack Greinke.

Here's a little more knowledge.  The only reason a Cardinals fan circles those games on the calendar is because they can drive to Kansas City, get a hotel room for two nights, eat out for two days, and see two ballgames for the price of seeing the same teams play twice in St. Louis.

And, to be completely honest, no one in St. Louis really wants to go to the Royals games. There's only a one in four chance they'll get to see anyone who's any good. (Greinke).

When the Cardinals beat the Tigers in 2006, I took a lot of abuse from Royals fans at my bar. They rooted for the Mets. They rooted for the Tigers. I had no one to celebrate with when the Redbirds earned their victory on that Friday night.  I just drank a celebratory Irish Car Bomb and took a couple of phone calls from family members.

Of course, now I'm hearing the grumblings once again. Royals fans, who have no vested interest in the Dodgers, are rooting for them because they're playing the Cardinals.  I can understand a Cubs fan suddenly becoming a Dodger fan because there's a rivalry.  I do that myself, rooting for any team that plays the Broncos, or any team that plays Missouri. 

But I can't understand the Royals' fan mentality when it comes to the Cardinals. 1985 was a long time ago.  Concentrate on winning the weakest division in baseball, then maybe you can talk smack.

Go Cardinals.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Apparently some of my favorite movies are chick flicks

I'm one of those guys that can watch certain movies over and over again. The Quiet Man, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Animal House, Field of Dreams... just to name a few.  Friends and I call those movies "Saturday Afternoon Must Sees."  Those are the movies that you'll watch, no matter if they're on a movie channel or edited and on cable.  I'll still watch it, even if I have it on DVD.

The other day, my wife said something that surprised me, especially when I realized that it was true for myself.  She said all men have one or two chick flicks that they will watch every time they are on. When she pointed out that several of the movies that I watch are chick flicks, I was taken aback.

"Really?" I asked.  I make fun of her for watching the weepy chick flick crap when I come in from cleaning the garage, working in the yard, or some other manly task.  "Which of my Must See Movies are chick flicks?"

So then she started to list them and we had a little argument... errr... debate about why these movies are, indeed, chick flicks.  I think I proved my point on a couple of them, but mostly, I think I lost.

P.S. I Love You
This movie has been in heavy rotation on HBO. It stars Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank as a married couple. He dies of cancer, but manages to send her a series of letters to help her cope with his passing. I watch it because it has some great shots of Ireland, some good Irish music and a great supporting cast.

I lost because Holly spends a lot of time with her friends (Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow) and has a contentious but solid relationship with her mother. With the help of Gerry's letters, Holly also meets the man who could be her next great love, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, employing the worst Irish accent since Brad Pitt in "Snatch."  We also see Morgan's naked ass, which, my wife says, is enough to qualify this as a chick flick to the nth degree.

If Lucy Fell
This is an indie flick, written and directed by Eric Schaeffer, who also stars as an ultra hip artist name Joe.  He and his roommate and best friend, played by cute, pre-Sex & the City Sarah Jessica Parker (no longer cute) enter into a death pact.  They will jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if they don't have serious relationship potential by the time they reach 30.  Lucy meets flavor of the month artist Bwick (played by Ben Stiller when he could still act).  Joe finally works up the courage to ask his neighbor, Jane (played by the incredibly beautiful and underdressed, in at least one scene, Elle Macpherson.)

The soundtrack is great, the writing is sharp, Schaeffer and Stiller are hilarious. There even a scene about one of Lucy's dates having a bowel movement.  Macpherson is nearly naked and talking dirty to Joe. That's enough for me to be safe in liking this movie.

I lost because in the end, Joe and Lucy discover that they are in love and do not have to go through with the death pact. Any movie where best friends figure out they love each other is the basis for a chick flick, my wife said.

For Love of the Game
Another baseball movie for Kevin Costner, who plays aging pitcher Billy Chapel.  He's pitching in Yankee Stadium on the last day of a difficult season. He's just been informed that the Tigers have been sold, and that he'll be traded next year.  The manager wants some hotshot rookie to catch him, but Billy tells the manager he won't pitch unless Gus (played by John C. Reilly) is doing the catching.

Costner pitches a perfect game and tells the owner he's hanging up his spikes.  So there's a lot of baseball, dude loyalty and Yankee hating. That's enough to save this from the chick flick label, I think.

I lost because, and Ashley had to point this out, there's more time devoted to the developing love story between Billy and Jane, played by Kelly Preston. I guess I kind of blocked all that out, like those scenes are commercials during the game.  The clincher of her argument was that the final scene had Billy going to the airport to fly to London to be with Jane.  "That's the whole point of the movie," she said. "They just disguised the love story with baseball so guys would take their wives and girlfriends to see it."

Crap. At least I've still got Braveheart.