Sunday, January 29

8th Graders Make Me Hella Nervous

Long story short: My job depends on 8th graders signing up to take my class in the high school. I'm presenting a video to them Monday about how amazing my class is to take. I'll be honest, if I was in 8th grade, I'd take Italian not only b/c I love it but because I was great at languages and my class is really easy.

Biggest fear: Someone shouts out, "This is GAY!" and the whole thing is over.

Thoughts & opinions welcomed. I'm unsure about the music choice. I wanted it to be Italian (if we used an English song, no one could agree on the perfect song....[It was Janelle Monae - Tightrope, obvi]) Whole thing is about 5 minutes.

I have to remove this by 3PM today b/c the kids are all minors.

Much love to all & grazie, fisti

p.s. Be on the lookout for one of my fave students doing an AMAZING Sammy Sweetheart impress.

Embed's not working, click the title of the post.

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Chicken and Dumpling Soup for the Soul

This soup recipe is amazing. Just make it.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

2 32-oz. containers chicken stock
¼ cup olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
2 ½ cups chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tablespoon pre-minced garlic)
2 cups chopped celery
2 pounds chicken breast (or whatever cut you like)
Salt and pepper
1 can Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits
1 small bag/bundle fresh spinach, (optional, highly recommended)
Parsley (also optional)


1.     Prep: Chop onions, carrots, and celery. Mince garlic. Trim chicken of fat, leaving the cuts whole.
2.     Pour chicken broth into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
3.     Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and sauté until onions start to brown, about 5 minutes. Drain.
4.    When the broth begins to boil add the onion mixture to the pot, along with the celery and chicken.
5.    Season with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like (Italian seasoning works well).
6.    Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
7.   Separate the dough by the perforated lines. Cut each piece into quarters.
8.    After 20 minutes, remove the chicken and cut it up into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken back into the broth and bring the heat up to medium.
9.    When the soup is simmering, add the dough to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
10. Wash the spinach and remove stems.
11.  After 10 minutes add the spinach, stirring the pot so the leaves get under the dumplings.
12.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes more.
13.   Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley if you’d like.

-ID and AV

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Saturday, January 28

Ice Ice Baby Yeah

Vanilla Ice performs most of Ice Ice Baby and one line of the TMNT Rap for some fans while being backed up by an acoustic guitar and a glockenspiel in the corner of a coffee shop on a boardwalk by the ocean.

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Wednesday, January 25

Michelle Williams for President, or Best Actress, whichever.

Full disclosure, I haven't seen My Week With Marilyn, yet. But I intend to. And I'll be rooting for her come Oscar night, not just because I have faith that she knocks it out of the park as Miss Monroe, but also because I just like her. 

I didn't always like her. She was the bane of Joey Potter's life for a few years, while sporting a particularly bad haircut. However, she went out of her way to prove herself in films after D.Creek wrapped, leading to amazing films like Brokeback Mountain and Blue Valentine. 

Honestly though, it comes down to this. She has handled the loss of her child's father with so much grace that I can't help but root for her. Reporters can't help but ask about Heath and her answers will break your heart. 

Why do you keep your hair so short? - Elle UK
"I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it."

Do you think there was a part of you that imagined the two of you would somehow end up together? - GQ
"I said it would make me too sad to answer but it's also..."—and she nods even as her voice breaks once more with tears—" of my favorite things to imagine." And through the tears, a beaming, almost beatific smile stretches room-wide across her face. "It's actually one of my favorite places to visit."

I never thought I'd shed a tear over a GQ article, but damn it, Jen, you just wreck me sometimes. 


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Monday, January 23

Bach and Jumping

If you don't care for the music, I think the visual is pretty darn cool.

Jump jump jump

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Fuck Joe Paterno

 "The evil that men do lives after them.
The good is oft interred with their bones"
Julius Caesar Act 3 Scene 2

Joe Paterno was a really successful and incredibly long tenured football coach for Penn State. During his time at Penn State Joe Paterno donated over 4 million dollars to Penn State including helping to get the library which shares his name built. This aside, Fuck Joe Paterno. In 2002 Joe Paterno was informed that a staff member had been seen in Joe's own words "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature" to a ten year old boy. Joe Paterno heard this, slept on it, AND THEN THE NEXT DAY reported it to his superior and didn't do shit else. So Fuck Joe Paterno and Fuck anyone else who doesn't do all they can to make sure kids are safe from anyone who wants to hurt them. Joe Paterno will only be remembered for what he didn't do. Fuck him.

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Safe House

I am real excited to see Denzel's new movie Safe House. It comes out February 10. The preview is great. It might be another example of a Kanye song being too effective at making a movie look awesome, Limitless had Power in the preview and it looked like the best thing ever, it was aight. And Green Lantern wasn't Ryan Reynolds' fault. The bad guy in Green Lantern had a huge purple head an enormous purple dome that movie was never gonna be good. And it looks like Denzel is gonna play it all "Im impossibly smarter than you and my swagger is on another level" kinda like Training Day or American Gangster while Ryan seems like hes going to go from bewildered to bad-ass. I am ready for this movie. Check out the preview.


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Sunday, January 22

Painting Squirell

This is nothing like the Elephant who painted a self portrait. This is a a squirrel, named Miss Winklelhimer Smith, maybe painting maybe chewing on what it figured is a stick all the while the most crazy stage mom super enthusiastic high pitched whats wrong with parents today voice gushes over how special it is. Its only 18 seconds long.

I think this is animal cruelty, maybe?

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Obama Loves Sneakers

 Its a great picture of Obama, what a smile, my favorite part might be the bald white guy secret service agent in the background staring down the camera. And Spike Lee apparently can't smile. And is Obama really tall? Because he is towering over Spike Lee.
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Saturday, January 21

Auf Wiedersehen

Heidi Klum and Seal might be getting a divorce. Its sad. They always seemed so happy.
I think the perfect way to get through this is to watch the original music video for "Kissed by a Rose" from the Batman Forever soundtrack.

Im already feeling better.
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This is a video of an ENORMOUS Shark filmed by some Scientists. The Scientists are doing some science looking at the bottom of the ocean and some science tools when the most ENORMOUS Shark slow rides through the scene. Its a crazy Shark too, there is no tell tale shark fin, the face is ENORMOUS, and its swimming at the bottom of the Ocean. SHARK!


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Friday, January 20

Sesame Street is for Grown Ups, like me.

Ok, ok, it's for kids. At least, all the puppet stuff is for kids. But the adults, the real live people, those are for adults. I barely remember the live action people from sesame street. I can vaguely remember someone named Maria, but I keep seeing Mrs. Huxtable in my head, even though I'm pretty sure Maria was spoke Spanish.

Anyways, all this to say that Sesame Street has a pretty constant stream of celebrities on to sing songs and explain words, but as a child I was like, that puppet is hilarious when he doesn't understand that tall person. And now I'm like, John Krasinski is so funny and charming!

So in case you don't know the meaning of the words "soggy" or "prickly" or you just like tall actors on critically acclaimed, viewership challenged NBC comedies, here are two clips:

This post brought you by the letters
A and V
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Wednesday, January 18

The Future is NOW!!!

So this guy John Elfreth Watkins Jr is an American Civil Engineer who had some lofty predictions for what he thought the world would be like in 2011 from 1900.  As his wiki page is summarized in the google search bar, "John Elfreth Watkins (1852–1903) was a civil engineer working for American railroads of ... Massa, William R., Jr., Smithsonian Institution (2004) Finding Aids to ..." (Down with SOPA) 

Its a long article, so Ill tell you which ones to pick out.

Top 5 that actually came true:

The American being taller

Height 5'7" - 1900
Height 5'9" - 2011

There will be No C,X, or Q

He pretty much called AIM and Text talk 100 years before it happened

Photos will be Telegraphed/Telephones around the world

The internet.

There will be Air ships 

He predicts that they wont compete with other modes of transport ( AA and AE are bankrupt)

Vegetables will be grown with electricity

Among other things

Top 4 that were way off

No Mosquitos nor Flies

Lofty thinking.

Automobiles Cheaper than horses

Cheap horse is still $5000

Everybody will walk 10 miles

Im worried about how completely opposite this prediction turned out

How Children will be Taught

Don't cry

All this talk about predictions makes me think we should have something like a dead pool.  Lets put it in writing, my guess is Hefner 

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Tuesday, January 17

This is how I am chosing my next book.

 Its one of those decision making trees. It speaks to me especially because I have either read or want to read many of the book on here. I'm sure you nerds will be into it too.

Side note: I always wanted to open a bar that had a decision tree for choosing cocktails. Anyone want to invest?

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Friday, January 13

Moonrise Kingdom Trailer

The trailer for Wes Anderson's latest movie is out. Our very own AM worked on this and it looks freaking great.

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Thursday, January 5

Dear Friends

I miss you all terribly and hope that you had a wonderful holiday season!

I'd like to share with you some information about a project that I am involved in, and am quite proud of:

"Limbus" is my feature-film debut and one of the most exciting things I've done since moving to Los Angeles.  I am playing one of the leading roles: the plot centers around 4 cult members who commit group-suicide and find themselves trapped somewhere in between life and death, searching for answers and a path out.  Heavy stuff, I know, but the work we've done so far has been very rewarding and the footage from the initial shoot is haunting and heart-wrenching.  We shot for several weeks in early December, and will be picking up again in February to finish the film.

We need some help fundraising though:

Kickstarter is a grassroots funding tool that was named one of the top 50 inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine.  It is an exciting new way for non-corporate creative projects to attract investors.  If you're unfamiliar, here's how it works: we set a goal ($10,000) and a time limit (1 month); if enough patrons pledge donations, and we meet our goal, our project gets funded.

If the idea of supporting independent art excites you, or if you'd like to help me take a huge step forward in my career, or if this project just sounds cool to you, I encourage you to pledge.  Even $1 and you can say honestly that you produced a Hollywood feature!

I know these are difficult economic times, but if you can't afford a donation, you can still help by spreading the word about our project.  Check out the Kickstarter page, and pass the info along to others who might be interested.  Link to us on Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever social-networking site you prefer.  Anything you can do to help will be much appreciated by myself and the other artists invested in this film.

I love you all dearly and hope that you all have a great start to 2012!

-DMc, West Coast Correspondent

Some more fun facts:

Our director, Brandon Nicholas, has 2 previous feature-films that have screened at festivals around the country and have distribution through Netflix.  I've worked with him on several music videos over the past two years.

Our producer, Courtney Salmon, recently finished working on the new Spiderman film (with Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone).

We are shooting on the newest, bestest camera in the business, the Red Epic.  The first films shot on this camera include The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Hobbit, and The Amazing Spiderman.

One of my co-stars, Alex Klein, recently played a German exchange student on an episode of "Community," (red shirt).

We needed a cheap location for the first section of the film, so we took all of the furniture out of my (large) bedroom and built a set, which I slept in during the shoot.

Tuesday, January 3

Call Your Girlfriend Dance Off

Robyn is a master of pop-y dance hits (Show Me Love is in my Top 10 of All Time Songs). And her latest is no exception. The song and video have been out for months, but I just saw it and it's too awesome not to share.

Also too awesome not to share is the recreation of the video in a tiny office at Saturday Night Live, by Taran Killam and bunch of flashlights. It's remarkably accurate.

Happy New Year!


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Sunday, January 1

Let's All Watch Dawson's Creek Together - Episode 8: The Boyfriend

So...picking up where HelloGiggles left off, I put my foot down about the fact that I cannot wait to watch the rest of Dawson's Creek and I also can't not blog about it. My beloved husband got me the beloved complete series DVDs and I hope you'll join me in my endeavor to finish the series...through blog.

Let the record show that I am and always have been a Pacer, not a Dawsoner. And that the profound effects of this show have echoed throughout my life. Though, like anything that comes out of the WB (what the hell is the CW?), I take its melodrama with a grain of salt. That being said...let's bang out Episode 9, shall we?

Dawson is watching TV alone in his room, unsure of what to settle on. He stumbles upon scrambled porn which makes him very confused.

He gives up and settles on American Movie Classics, Mr. Smith Goes to know, like most 15 yr old boys would. Joey enters, stage window. She is complaining about how exhausted she is from Bessie's baby crying and being up all night trying to soothe him. It makes her scowl. Just look at what a good scowler she is.

So good. Dawson let's his Pal Joey sleepover at Leery Manor to catch some decent sleep. As she snoozes, he morphs into a 1950s mid-America mayor and laments about how you just can't find nice young men anymore.

The next morning he is about to go down to the kitchen (Joey ran away in the night?) where Mrs. Leery and Mr. Man Meat are eagerly calling him to PLEASE  break their AWKWARD breakfast up a bit, its PAINFUL. Sensing social danger, he hightails it outta there. They are left to silently damn him as they struggle for conversation over dramatic, intense 90210-style guitar riffs. These are adult problems, that need adult theme music.

Pacey is chilling out with The Old Man and The Sea before school, you know, like most 15 yr old boys would, when he almost gets run over while crossing the street. Who is this hooligan badass in a fancy 1990's convertible and leather jacket? Uncle Jessie? Joey Lawrence? Nope! Its WannaBe Paul Rudd! Jen's ex boyfriend from NY-where-sex-is-twice-as-fast!...or something.

Cut to the Potter residence (its a straight-up house, why do they always refer to it as a trailer??) where Joey can't artfully blowdry her hair because there's only one bathroom and Bodie is showering. Wait...BODIE IS SHOWERING?! Which Bodie?! Show us in the shower! If a bodysnatcher showers, do they undo the zipper in the back?!

In school, Dawson helps Joey study for her Spanish test ("La bicicleta de mio tio es muy bueno.") and he explains how his relationship with Jen is just peaches and cream.
This whole screenshot is the definition of foreshadowing.  And Jen actually compliments Dawson on that sweater. Really, Michelle Williams? Unnecessary.

Wannabe Paul Rudd, named Billy, sneaks onto a public school campus and steals an angry Jen away from 1st period so that she can explain how its over between them. Dawson and Cliff watch from afar and have a Stripy Sweater Pity Party.

No, but seriously, Cliff is having a BBQ at his place and wants Jen to attend.

The Leerys decide to reconnect by trying new activities together...hey, whatever staves off divorce, am I right? Ha! But why didn't it work, Mr. Man Meat? "Because I can't get the image of my wife playing Hide The..." PLEASE finish that sentence, Man Meat!!

Cut to Jen, outside with Dawson, begging him to let Wannabe Paul Rudd stay over at his house for the night because the 4 hour car ride from Boston-area to NY-area can only be done in sunlight, apparently. And apparently, Dawson's Creek was filmed in a world where two parents in the middle of a marital breakdown allow their son to have a PERFECT STRANGER gentlemen caller stay overnight. And just look at this guy...what a charmer. Wouldn't you want to be caught boinking him in your parents bed? He meets, then hangs with Dawson and asks, "What are you, some kind of film buff?" HEY. DAWSON. LOVES. MOVIES. OKAY?

After Billy starts spouting the gory details of what Jen was like in NY, Dawson covers his ears, starts yelling LALALALA, and runs over to Joey's where he complains about how horrible TERRIBLE his life is. Making Joey scowl. Dawson, don't you know that no one's life is harder than Joey's??

Look at the wrath she's about to unleash on him. Poor bastard.

Back at Leery Manor, Jen explains that Wannabe Paul Rudd's presence is making her confused about her feelings. Jen, don't you know that only Dawson can be confused about his feelings?? Dawson orders her to attend Cliff's BBQ party...because as his girlfriend she must!

At the video store, Joey is attempting to rent The English Patient because it puts Baby Alexander to sleep, but she's being thwarted by Pacey's silver-tongued truths. "You just can't wait to get your hooks into Dawson something good, can't ya?" Oh, Pacey, you always know how to cut to her heart.

Joey is getting overwhelmed at work ("picking the glass out of the ice machine, scraping the mung out of the Fry-O-Later", what the hell kind of restaurant IS The IceHouse?), but Pacey shows up to beg her to come to Cliff's BBQ so he won't go alone. I LOVE the extras in this scene, particularly the exasperation conveyed. If you watch this scene many times, you can hear the things the extras dub-shouted over this scene.

There's a great interlude scene where Mr. Man Meat confesses to Dawson that there are no definitive answers when it comes to love advice. Dawson is changing to go to the party and takes off his sweater to reveal underneath his hard, muscular...other sweater.

Billy and Jen talk about how she's leaving him for a guy with an ET doll. Shes promises him one last kiss if he will leave and we finally get to see how they do it in New York.

Back at Cliff's BBQ party, which looks like a Newport Slims ad, they're listening to Blink 182's Dammit, so you know its a real party. Also, I guess I blocked out the fact that men's ponytails were huge in the 90's. Pacey goes to hit on a girl and asks Joey how he looks. "Like the before picture in an ad for Geek Remover." Classic Joey. She catches Dawson who suggests they grab a drink and go to his studio (bedroom) to hang out. On the way to the apparent beer keg, Dawson sees Jen. She apologizes, and he completely forgets Joey.

Joey sees them walk away together towards the beach and starts flirting with Thor and drinking heavily.

Wannabe Paul Rudd didn't really leave (WHA?!) and confesses that his goodbye kiss to Jen was tittillating. Dawson calls her slut and then makes this face. Utter bonehead.

Jen storms off, flanked by Billy and Dawson, which marks the second time that she storms off with two dudes fighting over her just this season. Billy flees the beach. A drunk Joey and Thor are sucking face farther down the beach until Pacey breaks them up and punches Thor. Joey passes out and thanks Dawson, who she believes to be her saviour. Pacey rolls his eyes. We all do, Pace...we all do.

They bring Drunk Joey home, mumbling "Tartar sauce..table", and while Pacey tries to calm Baby Alexander, this happens:
He looks about as shocked as I did. On the way home, Dawson tells Pacey that they kissed and it was obviously nothing because she was drunk, right? Pacey attempts to explain that Joey loves him but Dawson won't hear it. Listen everyone, Pacey's had sex, okay, so he knows all there is to love.

Jen awaits Dawson on the pier, where she explains that she doesn't want to really date anyone right now, and that they should cool it. Technically, end it. Dawson prays to his magic leather-strap-stone-pendant to make the sadness stop, but he's done. Jen's final words: "'I'll miss you, you know."
 Oh you will will.

 Roll credits.
   - fp

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