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Fan Boy Says: Horror-tober part 5 of 5

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Horror is a genre of the unnatural: things that shouldn’t exist but somehow do; things that do things they shouldn’t; anything and everything that defies the law of physics, biology, and offends the human sensibility. Zombies are an easy example: they aren’t dead when they should be and they do a lot thing dead bodies don’t normally do like walking around and attacking the living. While zombies don’t unnerve me (not even the new fast running crazy zombies) there are some shows and films that do. [Read more →]


6 holiday gift ideas that don’t suck

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Last week I promised you five non-sucky, non-budget-breaking holiday gift ideas, but I can tell you’ve had a long week, so you’re getting six. Two ideas for your girly-type recipients, two for the less overtly effeminate, one for a household or couple of any orientation, and one for kids.

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Fan Boy Says: Horror-tober part 4 of 5

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It rarely, if ever, gets talked about, but it is possible to find a good horror movie. To qualify, a good horror movie is a good movie with an element of the unnatural that is scary or at least creepy. These movies are generally easy to spot because you’re shocked at the director’s ability to tell a story. I blame the industry. If there weren’t so many terrible and incoherent horror movies the following titles wouldn’t be so stunning.

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books & writingon thrillers and crime

On crime & thrillers: through a thriller-writer’s eyes: the life and work of Ian Fleming

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Last year was the centenary of Ian Fleming (1908-1964). It was a very good year for the creator of Bond, James Bond.

To celebrate his life and work, a good number of events took place in the United Kingdom, the U.S. and around the world.

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family & parentinggoing parental

Going Parental: My three-year-old is kicking my ass

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The reality show Survivor has a great little tag line, “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.” The person who is able to accomplish all three of these things at the end of the show wins a million dollars. Pretty awesome, right? My three-year-old daughter would kick ass in that game. They’d never see her coming. I imagine it would go a little something like this:

“Ohhh look at that gorgeous little girl with the blond hair and big eyes. What a sweet smile you have. Aren’t you just the cutest little thing?! Hey wait a minute, how the hell did I end up on the floor — hogtied, with you standing on my back pumping your fists in victory? What just happened?!”

I’ll tell ya how. She just outwitted, outplayed and outlasted your ass. Welcome to my world. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmovies

Trailer review: Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin star in ‘It’s Complicated’

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Last week I made a rare visit to the cinema, and was immediately reminded precisely why my trips are so few and far between. Although I had successfully evaded the Regal ‘First Look’ at sundry pieces of cinematic ordure sliding down the pipeline, no sooner was I sitting comfortably than I was subjected to one of the vilest obscenities I have ever beheld. [Read more →]

travel & foreign lands

The Joys of JetBlue (and junkets)

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As a writer for a mix of magazines, I receive a fair amount of invites for press tours. I usually accept or decline based on one strict journalistic principle: is this something I like? For instance, when I received an offer to go on a trip to Bavaria with Sam Adams’ representatives, I signed on because:

1. I like Sam Adams beer.

2. I like German beer.

3. I like beer in general. [

Fred's dreams


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June 18, 2009
I dream I am in the bathroom ready to leave for a trip to a nearby amusement park/carnival. In the bathroom, with a great deal of self-importance, I recite some of the final lines from Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie: “These days, the world is lit by lightning.” I repeat the line several times with increasing gravity. When I go out to the car, I notice that a neighbor who had been half buried in dirt pulls himself out, dazed. He is fully clothed but his penis is hanging out of his pants.

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books & writing

Just Fantastic: Yet More Zombies

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Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness is one of the great features of the comic book world: zany crossovers with no repercussions. The closest film has ever gotten is most likely Freddie vs. Jason, where two unrelated characters faced off just for shits and giggles. In all cases crossovers tend to foster an air of stupid but fun as explanations are rarely given and fan demand plots or actions generally occur.

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Gail sees a moviemovies

Gail sees a movie: New York, I Love You

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The filmmakers involved in New York, I Love You were given three constraints: They had to shoot their segments in 24 hours, they had a week to edit and they needed to give the sense of a particular neighborhood.  Some of the short segments are funny, some are dark, some have a twist and some are stronger than others. They also seem intertwined with New York, and as a whole, New York, I Love You is as enjoyable as a whirlwind weekend in New York. [Read more →]

recipes & food

Easy weeknight dinners: homemade ricotta gnocchi

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I know what you’re thinking, “there’s no way making homemade gnocchi is an easy weeknight dinner”, but you’re wrong! If you have a food processor (and I realize not everyone does….but they’re on sale at Lowes this week so maybe you could look into it), then making these light and delicious gnocchi will take you about 20 minutes. And if you don’t have a processor, then save this recipe for a rainy weekend afternoon when you have an hour to kill and make them by hand.

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books & writing

Lisa reads: A Sportcaster’s Guide to Watching Football by Mark Oristano

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On any given Sunday, have you ever wished that you knew a little more about football?  You’re watching with friends, everyone is yelling about the lousy blocking or the zone defense and you wish you knew what they were talking about?  Or maybe you wish your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse could get as excited about the pass coverage as you are?  This may be just the book you need.  A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football will teach new fans and old a little more about the game so many of us love.  The author, Mark Oristano, spent thirty years working for/with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers.  Along the way, he picked up a lot of helpful information:

When you’ve finished, you won’t be able to immediately spot “Cover Two” or know which receiver broke his route off too soon or whether the ref made the right call when he signalled intentional grounding.  But you will understand, for example, why first-down plays are the most important play of any offensive drive. [Read more →]

that's what he said, by Frank Wilson

Eternity is actually the absence of time

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My bedtime reading last night consisted of a few pages of John Cowper Powys’s The Art of Growing Old. Since I am only two years shy of the Biblical age, I figure it’s high time to get some pointers on how to deal with my impending dotage. [Read more →]

his & herspolitics & government

Change the good old boys can believe in

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Recently, some women have worked themselves into a tizzy over President Obama and his good old boys club. Apparently, the ladies are feeling slighted as a result of the current White House testosterone-laden culture of ESPN, basketball games, and fist bumps. A major faux pas occurred when Obama sent out invitations to a White House basketball game with nary a woman on the list. Similarly, despite Obama’s many weekend golf games, only last weekend did a woman finally make it out to the links. [Read more →]


Lauren likes TV: What song was that?

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I am so far behind on TV it’s not even funny. Between my vacation (holla to my fellow PV Zoo Party-goers), the baseball playoffs, and my day job, I’m a good 2 weeks behind. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I desperately need some rerun weeks in order for me to catch up. So that being said, this week I can’t tell you highlights, lowlights, and what to watch next week (except for Yankee baseball, of course). So what do I talk about today? [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Manny Ramirez skips the ninth inning for a shower

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Manny Ramirez is everything that is bad about sports. I could substitute his name for “Bad sports” in the title of my column, and people would still know what I meant.

There have been a lot of bad people in sports during my lifetime. Some are criminals. Some are drug addicts. Many are spoiled babies. Manny Ramirez is in a special class, though. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten signs you are too old to be out trick-or-treating

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10. You have to wheel an IV drip bag on a stand along with you.

9. Instead of candy, you ask for prunes.

8. Your “trick” involves taking out your dentures and then biting your own ear.

7. You’ve gone as Larry King, and you don’t need any makeup.

6. You’re the only SpongeBob on the block with a walker.

5. You can suck the chocolate off the Goobers, but you can’t then chew the peanuts.

4. Your grandkids tell you the best houses to hit.

3. Instead of candy corn, you keep hoping for corn pads.

2. When people open the door, instead of saying “Trick or treat,” you look confused, then start singing Christmas carols.

1. You keep seeing someone dressed up as the Grim Reaper – but you’re the only one who can see him.

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & governmenttravel & foreign lands

Requiem for a Russian mobster

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Is it just me, or has 2009 been exceptionally rich in the deaths of legendary figures?  In August, Ted Kennedy was finally reunited in heaven with Mary Jo Kopechne. In July a much more interesting man, Harry Patch, the last veteran of World War I, died aged 111. [Read more →]

family & parentingsports

Halloween costumes in enemy territory

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I love Halloween. In fact, I think I may have more fun getting dressed up than my kids. And since Halloween is on a Saturday this year we’ve decided to head down from New York to the suburbs of Philadelphia, so my kids can trick-or-treat with their 7-year-old cousin. My daughter is going as a rock star, my son is going as a T-Rex, my nephew is going as a ninja, and I thought I would go as a New York Yankee. [Read more →]


Pre-Season Training: 5 holiday gifts not to give

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You know you’re already thinking about it, especially if you’re one of the 7,000 Americans whose unemployment benefits are running out, or if you live in, say, Michigan. In these darkest of before-the-dawn days, maybe it’s a good time to reexamine the holiday gift-giving ritual and all its evil, consumer-driven overtones.

Or maybe, you know, not. Not this year. This year some of you would like a little normalcy, a little dignity, a little tradition, just with fewer finance charges and bank overdraft fees sprinkled on top.

I hear you. You want your brother-in-law to look over at you and say, “Nice,” and mean it. Impact, not indigence. Let’s get started — yes, pre-Halloween, so sue me — with 5 gifts to avoid giving. [Read more →]

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