Hot Dog Delight

Archive for October 2008

 

I’m still on a High School Musical high.  Last night, I watched the final installment of the hit Disney movie phenomenon.  In theaters.  One of my dearest friends had free movie passes, so I jumped at the opportunity to go with her – partly because it was free, but mostly because after I saw the trailer for High School Musical 3: Senior Year in high definition, I knew that I had to watch it, and she was the only person I knew who wanted to see it just as badly as I did. 

 

 

Okay, all of you non-believers out there can laugh and mock me all you want, but HSM 3 was fantastic.  These movies aren’t considered a phenomenon just because they appeal to children.  Oh no.  Let me tell you that there were grown men and women in the theater with me, without any kids.  In fact, this past weekend, the movie opened at number 1 in the box office, with $42 million!  The movie only cost $11 million to make, and so far, it has grossed $83,485,753 worldwide!

 

HSM 3 was everything I wanted it to be and more.  Not only did it exceed my expectations, but I would even pay $12 to watch it again.  That’s right.  I thought it was that good.  I loved every moment of it.  Even though my mind wandered a few times during the dialogue, and there were times when I was laughing at what was happening instead of laughing with the characters in the storyline, once the singing and dancing came back, I was enthralled.  Riveted.  Highly entertained.  Amused beyond belief.  Yes, I can’t stop gushing about it.  I will have to own this movie when it comes out on DVD, so that I can learn the songs and practice the dance moves while I’m alone and in my room.  What?  I’m not ashamed. 

 

For those of you who might be curious about the plot, it’s senior year, and Zac Efron and gang are back.  The East High School Wildcats are amidst a basketball championship, prom is just around the corner, and the big spring musical is the last chance these seniors will get to be a part of a production together.  While HSM 3 caters to a Disney audience, it also deals with real issues that I’m still dealing with as a 23-year-old (figuring out what you want to do, what your dreams are, learning to listen to your heart, and living your life the way you want to instead of living your parents’ dream, albeit with a feel-good, sometimes cheesy factor).  Key lines include, “I’m not a little kid anymore” and “I want my own dream – so bad I’m gonna scream!” 

 

Zac Efron, for all the slack that he gets, is definitely the star of the movie.  He really steps up his performance from the first HSM two years ago.  The other kids in this movie (more like young adults now) are also incredible performers.  I love every song and dance number.  Not to mention the clothes are cute and colorful, the songs are catchy and upbeat, and the dancing is really quite impressive – everyone is so together and so on point! 

 

From the moment the first musical number came on, until the very last, all I wanted to do was clap my hands and bop side to side to every beat.  After the movie ended, I was filled with so much happiness, and my heart was full of joy and glee!  I know that HSM 3 isn’t for everyone, but I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun watching a movie!

 

Check out highlights from the movie below:

 

 

 

 

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Last night I tuned into The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.  Apparently Rachel Maddow has been the talk of the town recently – she’s doubled the audience for a cable news channel in just a matter of days.  So when I was channel surfing last night and stopped at MSNBC, I decided to give her show a go, and I watched as Rachel spoke with Pat Buchanan about the “Palin Problem” – how Sarah Palin, who once boosted John McCain’s ratings, might now be negatively affecting McCain’s campaign for office. 

 

Now, I’m not a political person.  I don’t feel strongly about most elections.  I rarely watch CNN or MSNBC, and I’m not very well-versed on the issues.  But ever since Palin has become the Republican nominee for VP, I’ve not felt so many things and so strongly about a politician before:  a mix of shock, confusion and awe after learning about her practices as Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska, anxiety and worry about her views on certain issues, and terror that someone so unqualified and unprepared to hold the second highest office in the country could actually be considered for the job.

 

The shock and incredulity continued as I watched Buchanan defend Palin last night by saying:  

 

“Of course she’s under such savage attack, because she’s so attractive and so conservative – she’s a Christian pro-lifer…” 

 

He continued by asking Rachel,

 

“What causes the press to go feral on this lovely, attractive woman who has great intelligence, ability, decisiveness, not a great information base?”

 

Let’s back up for a moment and think about Buchanan’s defense of Palin.  So, let me get this straight.  The reason she’s under such savage attack by the media is because she’s so attractive.  That’s why the press goes “feral” on her – she’s just too darn pretty.  We’re all just jealous of her, really.  We all want to be Sarah Palin.  We want to go on Neiman Marcus and Sax shopping sprees, spend over $150,000 on our clothes, hair, and make-up (yet still maintain the notion that we’re just a hockey mom at heart) and use $20,000 in taxpayer dollars to fund our family’s travel across the country.  On second thought, maybe that’s why I want to be Sarah Palin…but is that really why the media attacks her?

 

What are we, in junior high?  What is Buchanan saying?  Yes, Palin is a woman.  And yes, I don’t think she’s ugly.  She’s not my cup of tea, but I wouldn’t argue with someone if they told me they thought she was attractive.  But let’s make this clear.  That’s not why people question her abilities to lead.  Her looks have nothing to do with the way the press handles their coverage on her.  Her ridiculous responses to questions, her absurd remarks and comments are really enough ammo for the press – her appearance is not what we have fault with. 

 

The media attacks Palin because she fails to rise to the same standards as former vice presidential candidates.  She makes a fool out of herself in interview after interview.  She repeats the same, mindless responses that the RNC has drilled into her.  My ears want to bleed every time I hear her talk about how she is a Maverick, how McCain is a Maverick, how she wants to put government back on the side of the people, how she’s all for Joe the Plumber and Molly the Dental Hygienist, how she would never meet with dictators without preconditions. 

 

Palin might be a smart woman.  She might be hard working and have executive experience, but she is unprepared to lead a nation.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to put someone in office – especially with such difficult times ahead – who is just like me.  I don’t have any insight on how to fix the economy or how to bring the country back to its glory days.  Heck, I don’t even know what I want to do with my life or what I’m going to eat for dinner.  I don’t believe Joe Six Pack or Joe the Plumber have the answers either.  And frankly, I find it insulting to be identified solely by one’s profession.  We are defined by more than our jobs.  It shouldn’t be seen as flattering to give a shout out to someone simply because of the title they hold in only one aspect of their life.  We should be praised for our actions, our ideas, our efforts to make a better life for ourselves, our drive, determination, motivation, our empathy.  Not just our occupation.  Our jobs don’t make who we are. 

 

Palin is not someone I relate to.  She is not someone who inspires me.  I am not impressed by her tough-talking, gun-toting, moose-hunting, wolf-shooting (from airplanes) and creationist-loving ways.  I disagree with her world views, and I don’t believe she commands the level of respect necessary for someone to create real change.  Contrary to McCain’s belief that she is the “most qualified” VP pick in recent history, she is not.  She doesn’t even know what the job specifications of a VP are.  When asked by a third grader what a VP does, she responded that a VP is in charge of the United States Senate. 

 

“They can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom and it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job.”

 

No, Governor Palin.  Wrong again.  According to the Constitution, the role of a Vice President is to become President in the event the President cannot serve.  The VP also acts as President of the Senate, which entails casting tie-breaking votes and presiding over the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College.  That’s it.  Isn’t it about time she familiarized herself with the workings of American government?  Shouldn’t we expect more from someone running for such a high level position? 

 

It’s time we repair our country’s reputation.  There is a lot of work to be done in the coming years.  The country has already voted for someone they can relate to, someone they’d like to have a beer with.  Look at what that’s done, and look at where we are today.  On November 4, please make the right decision and pick the team (because it is about a team, a package deal, and not just the front man) who is most qualified, who will most likely make the changes we so desperately need.  Let’s not make the same mistake again. 

 

See for yourself — Watch Palin answer the job specifications of a VP incorrectly:

 

 

In honor of the last presidential debate, tonight at 9PM, in our great state of New York, I have decided to spread the public service announcement below, brought to you by the Partnership for a McCain-Free White House.  Three out of five parents may be considering voting for John McCain.  It’s time you sat down with your parents, and try to reason with them.  They might not want to hear it, and they might deny they have a problem.  Have the talk with your parents, or anyone else you think might be considering voting for McCain, today.  Your life, your livelihood, and America’s future depend on it. 

For more information on having the talk, please check out the website at:

http://www.mccainfreewhitehouse.org/having-the-talk.html

I am uncomplicated and multi-faceted.  Like the hot dog.  Yes, the hot dog.  That delicious, moist, cooked sausage — otherwise known as the frankfurter — served warm and on a bun.

You see, the hot dog, upon first glance, is seemingly simple.  Just a piece of meat, really.  On some bread.  Coming from NYC, hot dogs are a dime a dozen.  Nothing special.  But when you think about it, really think about it (I know, when have you ever really needed to, but just humor me — it’s my first blog!), the hot dog is quite remarkable.

Hot dogs are made from an assortment of ingredients — beef, pork, chicken, turkey, some combination of all of the above and then some, or even veggie style!  They can be grilled, boiled, steamed, deep fried, broiled, or microwaved.  You can have your hot dog plain, or spice it up with some mustard, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut, cheese, chili — the possibilities are limitless!  But the real wonder of the hot dog lies not in the number of possible tasty topping options (though the list of condiments is quite eclectic) but the wonder of the hot dog lies in its ability to withstand the tests of time!  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit for dramatic effect, but you get the point — the hot dog is not at all what meets the eye!

The sausage-bun combo has been around as early as the 1480s, originating in Vienna or Frankfurt.  And over the centuries, the hot dog has managed to root itself in popular culture.  When you think of hot dog, what comes to mind?  Baseball games and other sporting events, Nathan’s, Pink’s, amusement parks, fairs, Michael Jordan (Ball Park Franks — “they plump when you cook them,” remember?  Or maybe that’s just me…), city street corners, Coney Island, the list goes on!  There wouldn’t be a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council if the hot dog wasn’t worth it all. 

Simply googling “hot dog” yields 25.6 million hits!  Today, the hot dog not only refers to a type of sausage, but, according to Wikipedia, my trusty friend in all things related to pop culture, the Hot Dog might also refer to:

·      the Dachshund, the adorable and absolutely precious short, stubby-legged German sausage dog that trots its way into my heart every time I see one!

·      a television series on NBC from 1970-1971 (a Saturday morning documentary series for children, with noteworthy hosts including Woody Allen)

·      a UK film magazine

·      freestyle skiing, aka “hot dogging”

·      Jughead Jones’ pet dog, from Archie Comics

·      a fictional character on Battlestar Galactica — Brendan “Hot Dog” Costanza

·      MC HotDog, a Taiwanese rap artist (enough said)

There you have it, folks.  The life and times of the hot dog, in a wrap. 

And so begins my first blogging experience.  I hope you all find what I have to say as delightful as I find the hot dog!