Friday, October 29, 2010

A Joke for the Madman

A friend sent me this joke and I immediately thought of the Milk River Madman because of his annual Lonely Bachelors and Oppressed Husbands trips with his friends. Enjoy


Four guys have been going to the same deer camp for many years. Two days before the group is to leave, Ron's wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn't going.

Ron's friends are very upset that he can't go, but what can they do.

Two days later the three get to the camping site only to find Ron sitting there with a tent set up, firewood gathered, and dinner cooking on the fire.

"Dang man, how long you been here, and how did you talk your wife into letting you go?"

"Well, I've been here since yesterday. Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and said, 'Guess who?' I pulled her hands off, and she was wearing a brand new nightie. She took my hand and pulled me to our bedroom. The room had candles and rose petals all over. On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes! She told me to tie and cuff her to the bed, and I did.

And then she said, "Do whatever you want."

So, Here I am.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Favorite Buddy Movie

With Boxer being gone for what - 5 years? the Milk River Madman continues hosting the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme and tries to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is FAVORITE BUDDY MOVIE. I like this theme because it is pretty broad (I meant wide in scope - not good-looking babe), promises to be funny as most buddies are and could include woman, animals and even machines as buddies (I hope someone does that take on the theme - I, of course, will not). I thought of two, relatively new buddy movies that didn't do all that well at the box office but that I think are hysterical. Interestingly, they both have the same, very popular co-star in them (which I talk about in a minute).

The first one is the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly hoot - Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Ferrell and Reilly have paired in several movies, but this is by far their best. And Reilly is outstanding as Ferrell's racing sidekick who always lets him win. I believe I used this movie before, so I won't use it here.

And the one I've chosen is a little obscure but it's been running on HBO for the last couple of weeks and I think it's under-rated and extremely funny. It's 2008's Role Models starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott. What makes it funny (to me) is the way these two handle kids.

The common denominator in both movies is Jane Lynch. Talladega Nights was the first movie I ever saw her in. And in Role Models she plays a psycho head of a day care center (maybe the forerunner for her part in Glee?) and she plays well off of Rudd and Scott. The following clip is the best scene in the movie (sorry for the poor quality - it was taped off of a TV screen but all I could find).

It's a guy movie for sure with some crude comedy writing as evidenced in the following clip.

For more favorite buddy movies go on over and see the Madman . I guess we can consider him Boxer's funny, drunken, sidekick buddy. Nah, I was just kidding about the funny part.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Favorite Foreign Actor

In light of the fact that we still have a Boxer's Rebellion still going on (I kid), our hostess is still unavailable to assume her duties (he said, "doody") . So Milk River Madman continues hosting the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme and tries to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is FAVORITE FOREIGN ACTOR. I immediately thought of British actors like Sean Connery, Kevin Branagh or Clive Owen, but that would be too easy. Then I thought about some European actors like Antonio Banderas or Javier Bardem. Good but not really favorites. Aussie Mel Gibson? Good movies but a total whack job (he's doing Hangover 2 for Christ sake).

No, my favorite "foreign" actor is on this side of the pond. And that would be Canadian - Mike Meyers. From Wayne's World to Austin Powers to Shrek, this guy makes me laugh. He'll probably never get an Academy Award, but he's one of the funniest film stars out there. And you could make an argument that Austin Powers makes him British, but that would be a stretch.

One of his more under-rated movies and where we first heard the beginnings of the voice that would be Shrek was 1993's So I Married an Axe Murderer. I love every scene that features Stuart MacKenzie. Here are 3 short clips.

The Pentavirate.

Head! Move!

We have a piper down!

For more favorite foreign actors (not actresses), go on over and see the Madman . He put the "grrrr" in swinger, baby! Yeah!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Favorite Disney Movie (Non-Animated)

I'm not even going to mention Boxer's situation and her hopeful return to host MCW (doh, I just did). So Milk River Madman continues hosting the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is FAVORITE DISNEY MOVIE (NON-ANIMATED). I looked up all the Disney movies ever made and there are hundreds of them. Sure a lot are animated but there were many I hadn't thought about since I was a kid and use to watch on the Wonderful World of Disney every week. And then there were all of the classics that we would see at the theater or drive in.

Some of the ones I really liked were Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which we saw in the family Rambler at the drive in. The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes which was one of the first Curt Russel movies I can remember. This was the first movie to use the word "Computer" in the title.

But I narrowed it down to two all-time favorites. Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a fascinating movie (to me) and I loved the scenes showing the inner workings of the Nautilus. I didn't choose this one because I'm reasonably certain Karl will do this (prove me wrong Karl). So that leaves 1960's Swiss Family Robinson. I love this movie because the ships, sea, tropical island and most of all - the tree house. I think this movie started my infatuation with tree houses. After this movie and when I was in my early teens, my friends and I built our first tree house with trap doors and rigging. In my late teens on my senior class trip to Disney World Orlando, I got to see the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House and I'll bet I spent the better part of an hour in there. This inspired me to build this tree house many years later.

Unfortunately, the only video I could find under 10 minutes long is this scene where the boys fight the anaconda. I really wanted one of the tree house. That's James MacArthur (better known as Danno from Hawaii Five-O) as Fritz Robinson.

I'm hoping we see some of the more obscure Disney films this week at the Madman 's. Who cried when old yeller died?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Big Anniversary

"A love story that begins in Ocean City and wends its way along the Jersey Shore through Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Cape May Court House, Wildwood, and romantic Cape May." (Words and music by Bud Nugent, 1960).

The Mrs and I just celebrated 20 years of marital bliss. The last few of which have been a little rough because of our jobs, schedules and the kids. We don't get a lot of alone time whether it be dinners or weekend getaways. And when I say WE I mean ME because apparently, US getting away is entirely up to me. She plans the family vacation and everything else is up to me. I don't do a very good job at this.

The 20th anniversary is the "china" anniversary. So I bought her an antique porcelain pitcher (circa. 1880), a framed print of some lilies and a multi-colored pearl necklace (that will go with everything - right?). It looked something like this:

Then I did the dinner on the deck during the week and planned to go to dinner at a local French Restaurant that weekend. She didn't like anything. She wanted something more special for a milestone anniversary. She reminded me that on our 10th anniversary we went on a cruise. I reminded her that she doesn't like cruises (but it was the best vacation I ever had - drunk the whole time, great food and no kids). So it went back and forth like that for a while.

She then suggested Rat's Restaurant, which is this season's Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga's restaurant. It's part of a place called Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton NJ (about an hours drive). We've heard a lot about this place but have never been there. We would tour the grounds, have dinner and then do an overnight at a local hotel. I called for reservations and was informed there was a 2 week wait list. Scratch that idea for now - we will revisit this idea in the near future.

Then the Mrs suggested Cape May. Another place we've never been. Cape May is the oldest resort town in the US and is known for it's many Victorian houses and Bed and Breakfasts. With a little bit of web searching, we found a B&B in the historic district with rooms available and 1 block from the ocean. Done deal. And no kids because they were camping this weekend.

We leave Saturday morning and it takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there. It's off-season so traffic is light. In-season, this is probably a 3 hour drive. We have a couple of hours before check in, so we go to the Washington Street Mall for some shopping and end up having an alfresco lunch at the Ugly Mug.

Editor's note: We forgot to bring our camera. The Mrs bought a disposable but I still haven't seen the pictures. All of the photos below were stolen.

The ugly Mug was okay. I had a fried flounder sandwich and the Mrs had a chicken salad sandwich (I think). We wandered through many stores after.

We finally checked in to Beauclaire's Bed and Breakfast Inn on Ocean Street. This place was way better than we expected as you can see from the accompanying pictures. The house is over 120 years old and was built after the big fire of 1878. The owner's, Joe and Joanne (yeah, I know) have owned the place for 7 years and were very hospitable innkeepers.

This is the main living room and the fire place is pretty impressive.
We had our Sunday breakfast here in the dining room with formal place settings. Joanne served a fresh fruit plate with yogurt followed by a french toast casserole with sausage. It was quite good.

Our room was on the 2nd floor and you had to take these impressive stairs to get there.

When we arrived, Joanne said we would be staying in Nan and Opa's Room (Room 2). I asked if Nan and Opa would mind and she thought that was funny as hell. I'm so quick-witted. The room was very nice but the adjoining bathroom was pretty tight.

After we checked in and the Mrs had a quick nap, we donned our swimming attire and walked to the beach. It was a nice day although a little breezy and no crowds. We saw a pod of dolphins (maybe 30 or 40) about 100 yards out, which was pretty cool. We went back to the room, cleaned up and got ready to go to dinner.

Now, I will take credit for the restaurant. I did some research and found The Washington Inn to be one of the best restaurants in Cape May. And it's a good thing we made reservations or we would never have gotten in - and this was off-season. They even called me to confirm our reservation, so I know they were looking for tables.

The Inn was built in 1840 and has been beautifully renovated. When we arrived for our 7:30 reservation, we were seated almost immediately. Our server, Barbara, ran down all of the specials and some of the wines on a very extensive wine list. They serve "flights" of wines, which are 3 different 2 oz. glasses paired together by their sommelier. The Mrs had some Cabernets, one of which she liked so much we wrote it down - and I haven't seen it since. I just had water because I'm still not feeling all that well from the pneumonia.

We started with appetizers. The Mrs had the Washington Inn Crab Cake. Now, about the only seafood she'll eat is crab cake and shrimp, so she's kind of a connoisseur of crab cake. She declared this to be the best crab cake she ever had. I found this picture of the dish on The V.I.P. Table blog and this gentleman agrees.

I couldn't decide between the signature Lobster Bisque or the soup du jour Butternut Squash, so our resourceful server gave me a cup of each (not something they normally do). The bisque was good but the Butternut Squash was outstanding. Even the Mrs (who hates all things squash or pumpkin related) liked it.

For her entree, the Mrs ordered a Duck Breast with Cherry Jus (menu item). She said it was good but not the best duck she's ever had (oh, she's a connoisseur of duck too). It was served with polenta which she's not keen on. I had the Branzino special. It was served whole and stuffed with butter, dill, onion and lemon with roasted fennel and tomato, fingerling potatoes and green beans. This was one of the best fish dishes I've ever had. I never had branzino before (but I remembered it from an Iron Chef challenge) and it was fantastic. For dessert, the Mrs had an Apple Napoleon and I had a Raspberry Cheese Cake, both of which were excellent. The cheese cake reminded me of the fluffy cheese cake that my mother use to make. Different from the traditionally more dense New York style cheese cake.

Overall an outstanding meal, great (but a little slow) service and an overall great dining experience.

After dinner, I arranged for a horse drawn carriage ride through the historic district. This was really nice and gave us a real good idea of just how many restored houses and buildings there are here; several hundred I would guess. Our driver, Marlene, gave us a detailed history of the town and certain houses as we passed. She had only been in Cape May since the summer, so the tour hadn't gotten to stale for her.

We headed back to the Beauclaire and got out some champagne with cherry liqueur (the Mrs brought it from home) and sat on the front porch swing and watched the carriages go by. A very nice night. So much so that the Mrs wants this to be our anniversary tradition every year...crap.

We left in the morning after breakfast because the kids were coming back from camp and we had a load of stuff to do. But it was a nice get away and I think I was able to redeem myself - a little anyway.

Late Edition Pictures: The Mrs did get the pictures developed but I'm too lazy to go back and insert them into a seemingly endless story that took less than 24 hours in real time. Here are some of the around town sites.

Here's the Mrs checking out Beauclaire's Bed and Breakfast Inn.

Believe it or not, I'm looking at a pod of dolphins. I'm telling you they're out there.

The Mrs lounging in the sun as she frequently does.
Good bye from Cape May.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best Black and White Movie

After Boxer's little sojourn to Chickory, I have my doubts that we will ever see her again as hostess of MCW. So Milk River Madman will have to indefinitely continue hosting the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is BEST BLACK AND WHITE MOVIE. Now when I think of black and white movies, I always think of movies pre-1960. And although rare and artsy-fartsy for the most part, there are some descent modern day black and white movies. So for this theme I'm going to go old school and new school.

One of my favorite black and white flicks is Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 Psycho. He could have done this in color but I think going black and white makes this a far scary movie and to prove he could make a good, low-budget film. And of course the shower scene is the most famous and doing it in black and white allowed him to use chocolate syrup for the blood in the bath tub, which he felt looked better and I agree.

My newer black and white (with some colorization) is 2005's Sin City. Frank Miller brought his graphic novels (comic books) to life with a four story vignette. I love this movie and I think it would have been terrible if done all in color. The best scene is with Mickey Rourke as Marv in The Hard Goodbye. Say what you will about Rourke but he absolutely nailed this character. Marv is one of the coolest bad asses you'll ever see on the big screen.

Warning and spoiler alert, it's a little long and very graphic.

I'm hoping we get a good mix of old and new black and whites over at the Madman 's today. And I'm not talking about milkshakes.