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Going Deep And Embracing The Pain . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 31, 2007 15 comments

{Editor's Notes: Congratulations to Miss Ash, who was the only person to answer all 12 questions correct. Thanks to everyone for playing as most people got either 10 or 11 right and once I sort through them all, shirts will be sent out.}

I got a deep-tissue massage yesterday, and I needed it like Anna Nicole Smith needs a brain or Keira Knightly needs a cupcake.



Well, maybe not quite that badly, however, I had knots in every possible muscle group according to the masseuse - and then she blasted me into submission. Again and again.

Gentle drums beat rhythmically from the stereo as she used her oils and powerful hands to knead the knots until they released their tension. But they would not go gently. They fought and struggled valiantly before ultimately relenting their hold over me.


"Where do they go from here?" I asked at one point in a daze of delirium and pain.

She laughed and said "Oh, you poor dear," before she dug her elbow into my rhomboids and pushed harder.

The massage was frequently painful, often vicious and ultimately very satisfying. A little soreness today is a small price to pay for the greater freedom of movement and strength.

This was a far cry from a relaxing Swedish massage or a Happy Ending session at some seedy establishment where the windows are tinted and the staff look like this yet are unlikely to be nationally certified therapists:


Those are entirely different matters with far different goals in mind.

I needed a release of the legal variety, and one thing I learned during the session was to embrace the pain. You can't run or hide from it, and doing so just makes things worse.

It might not be as excrutiating as watching Britney Spears dress herself and then appear in public . . .



But it was close and I feel like a new man today thanks to a session that pushed my inner resolve to the limit.

-BDS

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$2 Dollar Pop Culture Quiz . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, January 30, 2007 13 comments

At long last, here is the first $2 Dollar Productions Pop Culture Quiz. This will give you a little taste of how my brother and I have been expanding our minds lately.

The rules: The first 5 people who email me the correct answers to bstokes33@hotmail.com will receive a $2 shirt that looks like this:




{Editor's Note: I wouldn't put the answers in the comments section unless you want others to benefit from your expansive knowledge. Ha. But feel free to add any questions of your own as I will compile them for a later post as I need to study too.}

And with that, here are the questions:

1) One tagline for the firm read "ever since two enterpirsing young men turned the City Morgue into a swinging business people have been dying to get in."

2) What movie involves college, plastics and Ben Braddock?

3) Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were in what two movies together?

4) In 1990, which film was the biggest box office draw in $ - Pretty Woman, Home Alone or Ghost?

5) What 3 movies did Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise co-star together?

6) Name 3 Jim Carrey movies to gross over $100 million?

7) What real-life person knocked Elaine out of "The Contest" on Seinfeld?

8) What actor did not cameo on "Friends" - Brad Pitt, Jon Favreau, Chris Issack or Vince Vaughn.

9) Who played the son of Al Bundy on "Married with Children"

10) What was the name of the show that gave rise to Urkel?

11) Who was originally supposed to star alongside Paris Hilton in "The Simple Life."

12) Who made a bizarre appearance on MTV's Total Request Live before taking time off for exhaustion?

The gauntlet has been cast aside, and let the games begin.

-BDS

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Birthday Manifesto & Ticket Bought . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, January 29, 2007 22 comments

"You never slow down
You never grow old," - Tom Petty


Ahh, this Monday feels bleaker than most as it also doubles as my birthday.

Is there anything worse than having your birthday fall on a Monday? The answer is yes. This is one of those "milestone" birthdays for me despite the fact that there are no good benchmarks to hit once you've turned 21 and can drink legally.

16 was great because it allowed you to drive a car.

18 was even better because you could then drive your car to a gas station and buy cigarettes, lotto cards and pornography (if your gas station was kind of sleazy).


21 is obvious and if you remember that night clearly then you are a better person than me.


But once 21 is dead and gone, there are no more milestones to look forward to unless you're a cheap bastard and are just itching to get the senior discount at IHOP and the movies.

But enough birthday bitching, eh? In reality, any birthday you celebrate is a good one because it means you're still walking around on two legs and have the ability to fiercely pursue any bizarre course of action that you deem reasonable.

Speaking of, I finally confirmed my trip to New York City and have a plane ticket in hand as I will be there from Feb 18 - 22nd.

What will I be doing for this modeling trip?

Who knows & at this point I no longer care because simply getting the invitation was the endgame for me as the rest is gravy (and I could eat a lot of gravy at this very instant).

And according to my nutrionist, I'm tracking fairly well, although we're still trying to take off some additional body fat and then build out over the last 2 1/2 weeks.


I wish it were ending tomorrow as my mood is turning blacker by the day, but for my birthday, I am going to push those thoughts aside and merely weep quietly at my desk.

I'm sure nobody will notice.

But I did want to remind everyone and post notice that tomorrow a Pop Culture quiz will be posted here between 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Central time, and the first 5 people to email me the correct answers will receive this handsome prize:



So, if you've got nothing better to do on a Monday, then surf the Web to start preparing for this contest.

I will be hiding under my desk if you need me.

-BDS

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Bathing With The Drunken Viking . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, January 27, 2007 20 comments

{This is the sixth of what will be a recurring series that will only happen when I have consumed far too many spirits with my brother. Last night, several celebratory pints were ordered which triggered strange thoughts, candid insights and pure horseshit. Selah.}

* Allowing more than 3 people to buy you a shot for your birthday is a very bad idea

* If every stripper who claimed to be putting herself through medical school actually was then I would visit my doctor much more often.


* "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" is an excellent movie, but I have to believe that part of my reason for liking it so well had to do with the fact that Jessica Rabbit is probably the sexiest cartoon character to ever walk the face of the Earth.



* I love peeing outside in nature - it's like one giant toilet.

* I know Sex on the Beach was a good thing to buy a girl in college and I also know it sounds vaguely interesting in theory, but the reality is that sand gets everywhere and into every orifice and that is not very funny at all.
* New Blogger forced/tricked me into signing up for it yesterday and I'm still pissed as I hate learning this crap (like how do you move pics within the fields). I was holding out for months against those bastards, but they finally won.

* Serving any kind of seafood at a fast-food restauraunt is usually a horrible idea.

* I like to wear varying shades of black-on-black on occasion, but nearly always worry about looking like Neo from "The Matrix."
* The term "thinking outside the box" has been used so much that I can't figure out who the hell would still be thinking inside the box? And if so, they damn sure wouldn't admit it.


- BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, January 26, 2007 16 comments

"He said 'Baby, up your butt with a coconut.' I think he was prepared to do it. But I saw no coconut. There was no coconut to my knowledge." - Bill Murray - Quick Change



It's Friday again, and since my birthday is looming on Monday, it is also a celebratory weekend. But before anything interesting can begin, there is work to do and news to dissect, so let's jump right in with:

Leonardo DiCaprio told Newsweek that he almost gave up acting after feeling like "a piece of meat following the international success of Titanic in 1997.


Personally, I treat my meat extremely well and I think there are far worse things to be construed as, but I think what might have made me want to quit was when James Cameron told me I'd have to stand at the front of the ship and yell "I'm the king of the world."

Paris Hilton was sentenced to three years' probation this week after pleading no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving.


From now on, Paris will be driven around by Nicole Richie. Bad idea. Perhaps Lindsey Lohan? Even worse idea. If the judge was in my pocket, I think a sentence of 3 years making Paris take the bus would have been much more appropriate.

Keira Knightley sued Britain's Daily Mail for insinuating that she was dangerously thin, and that she might have an eating disorder.


Yeah, she looks about as healthy as 90-year-old woman on a feeding tube.

Jennifer Aniston will play a lesbian in her guest stint of FX's Dirt and share a kiss with former "Friends" co-star Courteney Cox. The former Friends co-stars, who are best friends in real life, play bitter enemies and rival tabloid editors on the March 27 season finale.


I guess that would make them "Friends" with benefits, eh? Those are always the best kind.

Last week on Quick Hit Friday, I speculated whether "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington would go to rehab or be fired first - and the winner is . . . Rehab as the actor has started counseling as "a necessary step towards understanding why I did what I did . . . "


I am so sick and tired of people doing insanely stupid things, and then using rehab as a get-out-of-jail free pass. Washington is merely the latest example.

Tyra Banks has always emphasized the importance of body confidence, but told People magazine that it stung when tabloids ran pictures of her in a swimsuit under headlines like , "America's Next Top Waddle" and "Tyra Porkchop."

Banks said it was "such a strange meanness. . . . It was really hurtful."


{Editor's Note: This is not the swimsuit shot in question}

She's likely right about it being flat-out mean, but weight issues aside, Tyra seems more than a little crazy and extremely egocentric from nearly every clip I've ever seen of "America's Next Top Model" or her talk show. So, I guess there are some subjects that even Tyra doesn't want to discuss about herself.

As always, let's end with a gold image that makes me want to purr like a leopard:


And with that in mind, I hope everyone indulges their animal instincts this weekend, so . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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$2 Dollar Shirts & Contest Ready . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, January 25, 2007 20 comments

With any luck, the $2 Dollar Productions shirts will be rolling hot off the presses later this week, and the final design (as envisioned by my brother) looks like this:

{FRONT}

{BACK}

Simple & elegant as that is a black Hanes t-shirt with electric blue writing.

These will be worn during our upcoming chance to make it on VH1's "World Series of Pop Culture," which we will try out for in early February. As I mentioned before, the Austin qualifier will produce one winning team who automatically moves into the real game to be filmed in New York City in March.

But even if you lose, there is still a shot that the producers can grant you a "wild card" birth in the contest.

I would prefer to win the thing, but I am becoming increasingly nervous about my knowledge base. My brother and I have been trying to study by running through trivia cards (Pop Culture board game, Movie Scene In Game), however, there's really no good way to cram for such a broad subject.

The categories could be virtually anything from Reality TV to 80s movies to Late Night Television to Cartoons to whatever, and so it really comes down to whether you've absorbed our pop culture like a sponge and are ready to regurgitate it back out.

Anybody can tell you who said "Life is like a box of chocolates," but those same people don't necessarily know the name of Ice-T's extremely trampy wife (CoCo).


{Editor's Note: Possibly the worst camel toe I have ever seen}

I might know more about Pop Culture than the average bear, but I'm no expert. I read too many books to be a true aficionado who could strike fear into my opponents, but I'm striving to narrow that gap.

To keep my head in the game and also to get some of these shirts circulating out in the world, I will be writing out a trivia contest to posted this following Tuesday - January 30th - and the first 5 people who send me the correct answers will be awarded a newly minted shirt.

What a deal, eh?

The categories will likely be movies and television, and if you're interested in exercising your brain and love t-shirts, then start preparing immediately.

Personally, I'm going to keep scanning Wikipedia and hoping that some of the categories skew my way. Selah.

-BDS

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Oscar Beats Me Like A Gong . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 24, 2007 12 comments

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and although I'm typically well-versed in the competition among the films, this year I have neglected a majority of the nominees for various reasons.

Many of my rationales for not seeing these movies may have been suspect, however, it doesn't change the fact that I'm woefully unprepared at present to predict the outcomes and make arguments that the actual winners might not deserve their awards.

The big winners so far have been "Babel" (7 nominations) and "Dreamgirls" (8 nominations though shut out of the really big categories). I have seen neither of them.



In the case of "Babel," I assumed from the first preview I saw that this would be a well-meaning, possibly profound and utterly bleak affair. It was the last part that has kept me from seeing it so far as every time I considered it, I just wasn't in the mood for something that heavy.

"Dreamgirls" was a different story as I just generally don't care for musicals with the notable exception of "Footloose," which was more of a dancing movie.

I liked "Chicago" just fine, but didn't rush out to see it. I've heard Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson were excellent (and both received best supporting Oscar nominations) in "Dreamgirls," a fact that still hasn't caused me to pay money and sit inside a theater.

For Best Picture, "Babel" will be competing against ``The Departed,'' ``The Queen,'' ``Letters from Iwo Jima'' and ``Little Miss Sunshine'."


I've only seen "The Departed" (which was excellent) among that group of nominees, although I do plan to rent "Little Miss Sunshine" this weekend. "Letters From Iwa Jima" hasn't even been released in Austin, and I just can't muster any enthusiasm whatsoever to see "The Queen" as I care about the British Royal Family almost as much as I do about fine cheeses or crack - which is next to nothing at all.


The Best Actor category features competition between Leonardo DiCaprio for ``Blood Diamond,'' Ryan Gosling for ``Half Nelson,'' Peter O'Toole for ``Venus,'' Will Smith for ``The Pursuit of Happyness'' and Forest Whitaker for ``The Last King of Scotland."

If I was betting, I would lay odds on Whitaker winning this one with strong competition from O'Toole, although not one single person in the United States has actually seen "Venus."

Best actress features the typical Academy list which they seem to pull from every year, and includes Penelope Cruz for ``Volver,'' Judi Dench for ``Notes on a Scandal,'' Helen Mirren for ``The Queen,'' Meryl Streep for ``The Devil Wears Prada'' and Kate Winslet for ``Little Children.''

Cruz is the only oddball in this mix as the rest seem permanently fixed in a slot. It is my sneaking suspicion that no Academy Members actually watch Judi Dench in her movies; they simply hear her name and pencil her in on the ballot.


She could likely show up on-screen for all of 3 minutes, take a crap in the middle of a scene and then declare something biting in her lofty accent and still secure a nomination. But that's just my theory (and it's not to say that she is not a good actor either, simply that you don't have to reward her every single time).

Anyway, there are many more categories, but if I can't even tackle the major ones, then my depth of knowledge about Best Animated Documentary shorts will be even worse.

I obviously have a lot of catching up to do, but that's also one of the irritating things about getting older is that you tend to see fewer movies in the theater, which is just another thing to add to my growing concerns about my upcoming birthday that is less than a week away.

There is no time to waste, and I might have to sneak away at lunch to start reversing this trend.

-BDS

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Irrational Fears About Centaurs . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, January 23, 2007 19 comments

I was trying to focus on work this morning, but instead, my mind drifted towards centaurs - you know, the half-horse, half-men who roam the forests of the world.


These creatures are stock mythological characters who are typically seen as benevolent and good whenever they turn up in stories. But I have never liked them very much at all.

There has always been something vaguely filthy about these things, which has caused me to doubt the veracity of their statements and the true intentions of their hearts.


I remember seeing "The Chronicles of Narnia" movie, and feeling very uneasy about the children forming an alliance with talking half-men whose mother's must have had sex with a horse or possibly an entire team of Clydesdales to conceive them.


This seems to be the root of my problem with centaurs as I just don't like the bestiality aspect of their origin, which seems like a huge family secret that you would never want to share in polite company.

It's very possible that they were created a different way, but I have never heard of their true origins.

And until I do, I will regard them warily because I have been to Old Mexico. I have seen the donkey show. It is not a pretty sight.

Trust me.

-BDS

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Indecisiveness May Or May Not Be My Problem . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, January 22, 2007 14 comments

I don't know the cause nor do I have an answer for it, but I have been one indecisive bastard lately.

Paper or plastic, gel or pomade, pork chops or Astro-glide, there are simply no easy decisions in my personal forecast for reasons unkown to me. These pictures didn't help my delicate condition this morning as I waffled on them all like a socially awkward dancer at a middle school social.


I simply couldn't decide whether Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler looked like a pansexual wood elf who submerged himself in the water or an emaciated sewer rat soaking in the surf.


It was impossible to determine whether Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, The Notebook) looked semi-cute with her new pink do or like a twelth-rate punk wanna-be who spilled a bottle of Pepto-Bismol on herself and decided that she actually liked it.


And who could say whether this outfit represented a step-up or another step-down for Britney Spears?

Not me. Not today. Maybe not for awhile.


The only thing I do know is that this guy is the least genetically-gifted person in North America, and that the only thing worse than a miniscule penis would be one that is obscured by unruly pubic hair.

So, that might be two things, but at least it means that all hope isn't lost for my ability to cast judgements, which does constitute a small relief on a Monday morning.

-BDS

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Up On The Mountain Vol. 11 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, January 20, 2007 17 comments

{Editor's Note: This is a semi-regular series of high-water mark performances that spans movies, television, books, music and life its ownself.}

"Take me down to the Paradise City
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty," - Guns N Roses, "Paradise City"


"Paradise City" might not have the fierce guitar opening of "Sweet Child of Mine," the quiet drive of "Patience" or the mammoth opus that was "November Rain," however, for my money, the song represents the pinnacle of Guns N Roses brief ride to the top of the musical summit.

The track was on their landmark recording, "Appetite For Destruction," which was easily one of the best debut albums ever made.



From the opening refrain listed above to the music backing it, the song mixes in some bleak imagery of someone "living under the street" with a driving plea to take a trip to an ideal utopia where the grass is supple and fertilized and even more importantly, the girls look good. Damn good.

You wouldn't have to twist my arm to get me there as I have a long-standing appreciation for both grass and women, which Axl's vocal timber and Slash's guitar work make sound even better than they usually do.


This song was the culmination of the original band in all its glory. Before all the egomania, bad craziness and bombast that followed, Guns N Roses never flew as high as they did with "Paradise City."

The video was pretty cool as well.

I still get irritated when I hear about the new Guns N Roses album, "Chinese Democracy," which may or may never come out. But it doesn't feel like a real G N R effort, and I would bet hard cash that no song on the album will come close to this one, which was truly a high-water mark for the band.

-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, January 19, 2007 12 comments

"I'm a fiend for Mojitos," - Colin Farrell, "Miami Vice"


The ice has finally melted in Austin, which means it's time for delayed business trips and work in general, but before all of that reality sets in, let's examine some of the truly important stories in the world.

Lindsey Lohan finally entered rehab this week.


Yawn. Wake me up and remind me to care when she falls off the wagon again, flashes her crotch and falls over drunk at a party and breaks something. Those were the days, eh?

The Golden Globes are always a good time, but Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz reportedly didn't get fully into the spirit of things. Diaz supposedly stalked Justin like a wounded hyena and at an after-party got into a screaming match after catching him talking to Jessica Biel.



In a Diaz-Biel brawl, my money is squarely on Jessica and I would be rooting for her too as Diaz generally annoys the hell out of me.

In other Globes news, "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington issued the following statement after he followed up some offensive language on the set with the same exact thing at the awards show.

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance. By repeating the word Monday night, I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on 'Grey's Anatomy."


Let's see if he's fired or checks himself into rehab first as my advice would be don't use the word fag unless you're talking about a cigarrette in Europe.

Moving to something that is surprising, Tara Reid actually looked decent while lounging around recently on a beach in Australia.


It's been a long, hard road for Reid, but she seems to have hit bottom and is actually starting to claw her way out of the gutter. We'll see how long that lasts as "Taradaise" is still stuck in my mind on an endless and horrifying loop.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was sentenced to five days of menial work for throwing her cell phone at her former maid after the supermodel suspected her hired help of pilfering a pair of designer jeans.

Her maid needed 4 stitches to close the wound on her head.

I think 5 days is too light for Campbell who has a history of treating her employees with an Iron Fist - literally - and a far better punishment would have been for Campbell to be the maid for a month and allow her former employee to assume the role of taskmaster.

Fair is fair.


The hits just keep on coming for Britney Spears who was vying for a spot on an all- star NFL Network promo to air during the Feb. 4 Super Bowl Game.

The New York Daily News, quoted a source told the singer's camp no because Spears is "too much of a train wreck. Besides, we already have Paris Hilton."


Ouch. When you've dropped behind Paris on the totem pole of celebrity taste and class then might as well be underground you've slid so far.

But let's stop that downward spiral right now, and end on a high swirly note of color and class:


There's a thaw in the air and a kaleidoscope of harmony in my heart, so with that in mind, stay warm and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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