It's A Family Tradition . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, December 28, 2009 19 comments

I’m a firm believer in traditions, especially around this time of year.

For good or ill, I think they serve a useful purpose because they help trigger or condition the brain to respond to the seasonal stimuli. It might be bringing home a Christmas tree, Aunt Betty getting drunk on sherry, you getting drunk on Anchor Steam Christmas Ale alone, watching ‘A Christmas Story,’ sleeping with an ex-girlfriend, carving the turkey or roasting a beef tenderloin, but the constant is that no matter how simple or complex or potentially embarrassing they are, these traditions remind you of the holidays.

My personal favorite started a long time ago. I must have been about ten years old when it began with a note from Santa in our fireplace. My brother and I had already unwrapped all the presents, and we thought we were done until my Dad innocently asked us to look at a white piece of paper sitting on top of a pile of wood. We did. It was a riddle that led us around the house to other notes, and eventually, up to the roof where I had a skateboard waiting and my brother had a scooter (push, not electric).

Since then, things have changed with family additions and wives and girlfriends, but the each year there is always a note from Santa in the fireplace right after we finish opening all the gifts. The puzzles have gotten progressively harder over the years. One time, somewhere around high school, we even had to go off-site to a local Barnes and Noble where my Dad had hidden the next clue inside a copy of a Kurt Vonnegut book that proceeded to send us back to our house. I’m still not certain what would have happened if someone would have purchased that book before we got there.

The riddles typically take on the form of a crossword puzzle where certain letters of each answer are important and spell out the next location. The questions are nearly always culled from books, movies and music that we’ve seen, talked about or asked for that year for Christmas. This past week, they included questions regarding:

• ‘The Wild Bunch’ movie
• Bloom County comic strip
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book
• Tom Waits
• The way Hemingway took his whiskey (Neat)
• Flogging Molly band
• Robert Earl Keen
• Brave New World novel

There were many others, but we eventually discovered the clues with help from our respective wives and girlfriends and in the end, we found a plethora of gift cards to use around Austin.

My brother and I are obviously too old to legitimately claim this tradition should continue, but it works. We all like it, and I believe my parents might care about it even more than we do. But it’s not really Christmas until a note from Santa arrives – single-spaced and always one long page – followed by a puzzle that can only mean the holidays are here.


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Quick Hit Early Christmas Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, December 24, 2009 11 comments

"Why don't you wish in one hand, and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.” – Billy Bob Thorton, ‘Bad Santa’

That's not exactly the Christmas spirit, so here's hoping everyone's wishes are granted today & tommorow . . . why not? It's just good karma, I suppose, and since I'm a sucker for this time of year anyway, I hope everyone has just as good a time as I do.

This QHF will be short, however, because this week I've been hungover from 3 days straight of late nights with my Irish friend, been subjected to a 3.5 hour job interview by a large corporation that everyone has heard of, traveled many miles in the car, worked on my grandparent's farm to get them firewood and haul away their burn barrel trash, and somewhere in between, wrapped presents and tried to relax.

So, I have been mostly out of the loop on Hollywood shenanigans as well as the world in general, but we'll take a look at the hard stories of the week anyway:

Carrie Underwood got engaged to Ottawa Senators hockey player Mike Fisher, her publicist said Monday.

"The couple couldn't be happier," said publicist Jessie Schmidt. No wedding date has been set for the couple, who have been dating for about a year.

Underwood made the decision to marry this particular hockey player because he was the only one who still boasted an entire set of his natural teeth.

Reports made the rounds this week that Catherine Zeta-Jones slightly flashed her nipples during a recent performance of her Broadway hit “A Little Night Music.”

Multiple tabloid report claimed that Zeta-Jones accidentally flashed a nipple during her performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. The rumored wardrobe malfunction occurred in a scene where Zeta-Jones reunites with a long-lost lover and then peels open her kimono to “show him what he’s been missing,” according to The New York Post report.

A shocked fan on the left side of the orchestra stated that they indeed did see Zeta-Jones’ boobs: “I couldn’t believe it. No wonder Michael Douglas looks so happy. The couple sitting next to me also saw it and poked each other.”

A spokesman for Zeta-Jones insisted that the reports are false, and that Zeta-Jones is never actually naked and wears a body stocking throughout the whole play.

Regardless, ticket sales are sold out for the show for the next several months with tickets on the left-side being sold at a premium on Ebay and Craig's List.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins have broken up after more than two decades together, PEOPLE reported this week.

"Actress Susan Sarandon and her partner of 23 years, actor Tim Robbins have announced that they separated over the summer," her rep Teal Cannaday tells PEOPLE in a statement. "No further comments will be made."

Rumors about the break-up are circulating that the tension was due to Sarandon's wanting to donate money to ACORN while Robbins felt the ACLU was more deserving, and apparently, no compromise could be reached.

Steven Tyler has entered a rehabilitation facility to treat an addiction to painkillers the Aerosmith frontman has taken to cope with 10 years of performance injuries.

Tyler said he's eager to return to work with his band mates.

"I love Aerosmith; I love performing as the lead singer in Aerosmith. I am grateful for all of the support and love I am receiving and am committed to getting things taken care of," the 61-year-old rocker said in a statement released Tuesday.

To treat the pain, doctors recommend that Tyler stop listening to Aerosmith records immediately.

As always, let's end with a gold image or three:

I figure a little snow and a lot of nudity is always good for the holiday season. So, enjoy any flakes that fall to the ground, crank up the heat and shed some clothing and . . . Happy Early Christmas Friday!


{Editor's Note: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone.}

{Editor's Note: RIP Brittany Murphy}

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 18, 2009 26 comments

“Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!” – Zach Galifianakis, “The Hangover”

I liked ‘The Hangover’ quite a bit even if I didn’t (and still don’t) think it’s an all-time comedy classic. But it’s definitely worth a rental if you missed it in the theaters as it’s got a dangerously funny and funky vibe, thanks largely to the presence of Galifiankis who provides the most laughs of any of the cast members.

Oh well, I’ll probably be sporting a few hangovers of my own this weekend as my best friend from Ireland is in town with his wife and they are staying at the loft. We’ll run around Austin today and then head down near San Antonio to hear Robert Earl Keen at Floores Country Store tomorrow night.

But before I leave the office by 3 p.m. to meet them at a downtown watering hole, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

In Tiger Woods news, it was rumored this week that Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren are headed for an imminent split that will likely be permanent.

This speculation was based on recent photos of Elin that were taken without her wedding and engagement rings and this was assumed to mean that she was sending a public message that the breakup is coming sooner rather than later.

“She knew what she was doing when she stepped out and pumped gas without her wedding rings,” said one source. “There are plenty of people who would have filled the tank for her so she wouldn’t even have to be photographed. She chose not to go down that road. Moreover, she chose to make it clear those rings were not on her. No hands shoved in pockets, no hiding."

Another source said that Tiger has a long road ahead if he wants forgiveness saying: "Tiger’s got a long way to go to make things right, and have the kind of family he was fond of talking about. He’s going to have to play by Elin’s rules now. Forgiveness isn’t exactly around the corner.”

Forgiveness might not be around the corner, however, a revamped pre-nuptial agreement that grants Elin a lot more money if she stays married to Tiger certainly is, so I wouldn’t consider this marriage over quite yet.

Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal have split, according to Us Weekly, as the magazine claims Gyllenhaal’s pushing for marriage led to their parting.

“She felt pressured to wed again — but she wasn’t ready,” a source told the mag. “She couldn’t give Jake enough, and she got cold feet,” the source added. “From the beginning, Jake wanted all of her, and she knew he deserved someone who could give him that. He wanted to be together at all times, and it became a lot for her to juggle with work and the kids. When it comes down to it, she isn’t ready to get married and he is.”

So far, the break-up has proven to be ever bit as enthralling as their coupling.

Reality television star Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to a baby boy Monday.

Mason Dash Disick was born in Los Angeles, and is the first child for Kardashian, 30, and her boyfriend, Scott Disick, 26. Kourtney is the oldest of the three Kardashian sisters who appear on the E! network show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

The baby is doing well, but Kourtney won’t stop crying because she knows that being pregnant out of wedlock was the only way most people could identify her among her other two sisters – one of which is famous for being married to a Los Angeles Laker basketball player and the other for having a giant ass.

Singer Chris Brown attacked Wal Mart for allegedly not stocking his new CD – Graffiti - on his Twitter account this week, and then later shut down his Twitter account, possibly for good.

Brown wrote on Twitter: “Just was at Walmart in Wallingford CT, 844 north colony. The[y] didn’t even have my album in the back … not on shelves, saw for myself,” he wrote.

According to a Walmart employee, the store was actually sold out of his albums.

“All Walmart stores nationwide have carried the CD since its release, including the Wallingford, [Conn.], store mentioned in the post. This store actually sold through its initial shipment over the weekend. The majority of our stores today are showing they do have copies available. We are surprised at the comments online,” said Walmart in a statement.

Apparently, Brown had added stupidity to his recent resume that also includes domestic violence – a truly wonderful combination for any human being.

Rock star Courtney Love lost custody over her daughter Frances Bean Cobain this week, and a restraining order was also granted while two legal guardians were appointed to care for Love's 17-year-old daughter that she had with the deceased Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain.

According to legal documents originally obtained by, the court has appointed Kurt Cobain's mother, Wendy O'Connor, and his sister, Kimberly Dawn Cobain, to watch over the minor.

The restraining order may have something to do with Love’s decision to attack her daughter on Facebook. “I hate to sound cold but any kid of mine who pulls this (bleep) has lost her position,” Love wrote. “She was deceptive, she lied and she’s lying to herself . . . My daughter is not always honest.”

The judge claimed that his decision to invoke the restraining order was largely based on Frances Bean's choice to un-friend her mother on Facebook.

Kate Hudson and Yankee Alex Rodriguez have reportedly split up, according to various sources this week. reported Monday that Rodriguez had a wild party weekend in Miami, schmoozing with models and female fans and "acting single."

US Magazine also has sources supposedly confirming the rift, saying Hudson's thirst for publicity surrounding the relationship has driven A-Rod away.

"Alex wanted someone who was more interested in building a long-term relationship than just building their profile," the insider said.

Meanwhile, Hudson claimed she wanted to date someone whose testicles weren’t shriveled from steroid use, which I found somewhat petty on her part.

Toby Keith found controversy this week as several Asian campaign groups criticized the singer for allegedly making a "racist hand gesture" at a Nobel Peace Prize party in Norway.

The singer was in Oslo, Norway to see Barack Obama given the Nobel prize, and after the ceremony, he joined actor Will Smith and musician Wyclef Jean for an impromptu rap performance at an after party. The trio sang “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, and footage from the event surfaced online this week that supposedly showed Keith pulling back one of his eyes when Smith rapped the word "yellow."

A spokesperson for the Asian American Justice Center said: “Toby Keith embarrassed himself and his country, denigrated the Noble Peace Prize and offended Asians and Asian Americans by using a crude, racist hand gesture." While a rep for the Media Action Network for Asians adds, "By doing this, he is telling his Asian fans 'you don't matter, you're not on my radar.'"

While I don’t think that making such a gesture is appropriate in any way, shape or form, I also can’t imagine that Asian Americans make up a high percentage of people who buy Toby Keith's albums.

{Editor’s Note: I’m not entirely sure who buys them.}

Lindsay Lohan's father – Michael Lohan – was arrested and charged with criminal contempt this week for allegedly violating an order of protection.

Suffolk County police say Michael Lohan was arrested Monday on the misdemeanor charge. His attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.

While Lindsay Lohan might no longer be able to get arrested in this town, her Dad obviously has that angle covered.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or three:

A little Black and White seemed like a healthy antidote for all the green and red holiday decorations. So, don’t be afraid to go against the curve today, stand or sit in the best lighting possible and . . . Happy Friday!


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 11, 2009 18 comments

“We’re having too good a time today. We ain’t thinking about tomorrow,” – Johnny Depp, “Public Enemies”

This was a great line in a very good – though only infrequently great – movie. I’m actually thinking about today and tomorrow as this is the last semi-free weekend I have before the holidays kick into overdrive and it turns into a flat-out sprint until 2010.

So, before I flee the office before 3 p.m., let’s look at the hard stories of the week such:

Most stories seemed to revolve around Tiger Woods and his bevy of alleged mistresses which came out of the woodwork this week. It was hard to keep it all straight as among others, a porn star and a pancake house waitress claimed they have been with the golf star, bringing the tally to at least 9 women who claim some form of association.

Tabloids named porn star Holly Sampson and pancake waitress Mindy Lawton as two of the names on Tiger's steamy scorecard, raising the question of how Woods would have been able to keep so many affairs secret for so long.

My main question right now is how did Woods ever find time to practice golf between trysts? He must drink a lot of Gatorade to replenish his fluid levels . . .

In other Tiger Woods news, Barbro Holmberg, the mother of Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, was rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning with stomach pains following a 911 call while she was staying at Wood’s home.

According to Orlando's WESH, Holmberg initially refused transport, then was rushed to the hospital "on advanced life support." Homberg was later released after treatment.

I’m not a public relations expert, however, poisoning your mother-in-law is probably not the best way to deflect media attention for Tiger right now.

Finally, rumors surfaced this week that nude photos of Tiger Woods exist, and certain media outlets - Playgirl among the leading ones - plan to publish them in the future.

"We were approached by a third party who wanted to know our 'interest level," Daniel Nardicio, Playgirl spokesman, claims in several published reports. "Our lawyers are currently going over them, the source, the entire package."

But reports that Tiger Woods' lawyers in Britain have secured a court order barring British publications from printing said naked pictures or videos of the golfer. The order was issued by the High Court of London, and the letter stresses that the order is not an "admission that any such photographs exist."

If they do exist, then I guess the world will soon know whether Tiger is swinging a 3 Wood or a Putter down below. Ouch.

(Editor's Note: The above doesn't entirely work, but again, I'm exhausting all my golfing jokes with this continuing story.}

In other sports news, Tom Brady and Gisele Bunchden welcomed a baby boy to their household this week, according to People magazine.

The couple have yet to pick a name, but everyone involved is happy. "I don't have any picks, so we haven't really chosen one yet," Brady, 32, said Wednesday of their new arrival. "But everyone is great. Everyone is doing really well."

I guess no name at all is better than the bizarre and embarassing monikors that most celebrities give their offspring, but then again, if you're a boy with a star quarterback and a supermodel for parents, your name could be Assclown Dipshit Brady and you'd still be a hit with the girls.

Prosecutors charged two people this week with threatening to sell photos of actor John Stamos unless he paid them $680,000.

Stamos' spokesman Matt Polk said there was nothing embarrassing about the images. "At the conclusion of the investigation and hearing, the photos will be available and the public will be able to see that the photos are simply John posing with fans," Polk said.

The extortionists were apparently too dumb to realize that A) No pictures of Stamos could be more embarrassing than his awesomely coiffed mullet from his ‘Full House’ days and B) Stamos doesn’t currently have $680,000 to pay out unless ‘Full House’ syndication revenues are a lot higher than I realize.

Nicolas Cage’s ex-girlfriend sued the actor this week for “mental, physical and emotional abuse” after he allegedly threw her out of her house.

Christina Fulton claims Cage bought her a house in 2001, but when she went to sell it this year, she learned that Cage had never transferred title, reports. In September, the Hollywood heavy served her with a 60-day notice to vacate the premises, said Fulton.

Fulton did not specify in the lawsuit what Cage did to justify her claims of “mental, physical and emotional abuse.”

My bet is that he tied her to a chair and forced her to watch ‘Ghost Rider’ on an endless loop until she vacated the house to escape the pain.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or three:

I can think of a few ribbons I’d like to unwrap even though Christmas remains a few weeks away. Nonetheless, try to show restraint today, make sure your knickers match and . . . Happy Friday!


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Bathing With The Drunken Viking: Holiday Edition . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12 comments

{This is the 32nd entry in a recurring series that will only happen when I have consumed far too many spirits. This past weekend, I ploughed through a holiday birthday bash during the Big 12 Championship game where the Shiner Bock was flowing freely, which triggered strange thoughts, candid insights and pure horseshit. Selah.}

• Kay Jeweler’s boasts the cheesiest holiday commercials by far each and every year

• You can never have too many Christmas lights around your place.

• Don’t be the person who gives the awkwardly long hugs at holiday gatherings – it’s just creepy for everyone involved

• Be done with your shopping by Dec. 15th – except for the inevitable last minute emergencies - or you will pay the price

• Don’t be the guy wearing the Santa hat to the party unless the full outfit is included with it

• Never get behind anyone older than 65 when checking out with your gifts because this age bracket still writes checks to pay for things

• Stop giving knick-knack gifts to people – everyone has too many of those things already

• When you have multiple party invitations, always finish with the one closest to where you live so your drive home is shorter

• Never use someone else’s joke at a holiday party if the originator is also on the guest list

• Never drink more than 1 cup of eggnog at any party.

• Some combination of Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and Scrooged should be watched during the month of December

• Never consume more than 3 drinks at your company holiday party unless you want terrible stories to circulate about you and the office intern following the bash

• “You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.” – Dean Martin


Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 04, 2009 26 comments

“She was an ass-model... she did jeans and uh you know, magazines and shit. Anyway, it was fashion week in New York and uh... I took her to Iceland.,” John Travolta, “Taking of Pelham 1 2 3”

I often day-dream about having the means and the manners to someday squire an ass-model off to Iceland for a weekend of partying. Alas, that will not happen this weekend as I have a birthday party at my loft planned for my brother, and there is a lot to do for that. Besides, ass-models are a handful anyway.

But before I leave the office by 3 p.m., let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Tiger Woods crashed his car after backing out of his driveway near his Florida home this past weekend as he was leaving in the early morning hours and hit a fire hydrant and then a tree.

Just days before that crash, the National Enquirer claimed that the golfer had been carrying on a romance with the New York nightclub manager, and after the accident, rumors swirled that Woods's wife, Elin, had argued with Woods about an affair just before the accident and that she had caused the scratches police found on his face.

Clear as mud?

The nightclub manager came out and denied the affair a few days later saying:

“I did not have any involvement with him [Woods]," Rachel Uchitel told E! News.
"Whatever was written in the Enquirer was not said by me, it was said by two people that claimed they were friends of mine, but they're not."

Woods denied "the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors."

Woods might be able to hit a Driver on the golf course, but if the crash proved anything, it’s that he is a terrible Driver in real life.

In a related story, after first denying the "the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors,” Tiger Woods issued a statement Wednesday apologizing for his transgressions following a new story by US Weekly which reported that a Los Angeles cocktail waitress claimed she had a 31-month affair with the world's No. 1 golfer.

"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves," Woods said on his Web site. "I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone."

It appears that Woods is having a ‘Rough’ time of things and that while ‘Hooking’ up with that waitress may have been a ‘Slice’ of heaven, his wife might now be looking for a ‘Fair Way’ to divide out his assets.

{Editor’s Note: That last line exhausts all my golfing knowledge.}

David Hasselhoff was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center this week under involuntary psychiatric hold, reported.

Hasselhoff was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and released a few days later. The former “Baywatch” actor had allegedly been drinking a large amount of alcohol before his hospitalization, and he was picked up under the California Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 that allows authorities to take into custody persons they believe may be a danger to themselves or others, are gravely disabled or suffer from a mental disorder.

Hasselhoff has denied the rumors.

These Hasselhoff drinking stories are no longer funny. If you want funny, however, go watch ‘Baywatch Nights.’

Despite multiple break-up reports this week, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are still very much a couple, according to their reps.

Nanci Ryder and Carrie Byalick, who rep Witherspoon and Gyllenhaal respectively, tell PEOPLE, "They are still together."

Ryder and Bvalick later added: “And as boring as ever.”

Kevin Federline cancelled a planned radio appearance in Australia this week after disapproving of the way it had been promoted.

The former back-up dancer and ex-husband of Britney Spears was expected to co-host the Kyle and Jackie-O Show in Sydney with radio executives advertising the guest stint online by posting audio clips from his last interview on the station, earlier in November, which featured a caption stating: . "Hear (Federline) confess that he's not ruling out getting back together with Britney!"

The marketing apparently infuriated Federline and he pulled out of the presenting slot at the last minute, citing the radio bosses' "unprofessional" behavior for the cancellation, reports His publicist said: "The headline was completely out of context with the interview and Kevin is not getting back with Britney, so he said, "F**k them, I'm not going to do their show."

In response, the radio station began airing a new caption stating: "Hear (Federline) confess that he's a complete dumbass who still doesn't realize he's only marginally famous for once being married to Britney Spears."

A video of Marilyn Monroe allegedly smoking marijuana as made public this week, nearly 50 years after it was filmed.

The film was recently bought for $275,000 by US collector Keya Morgan, who is making a documentary on the death of Monroe in August 1962 The original video was residing in an attic in New Jersey where the person who filmed it said it was taken at an informal gathering in 1958 or 1959. At one point in the film, Marilyn points her nose toward her armpit and laughs.

The original film-maker - who has asked for anonymity - said the cigarette in the footage contained marijuana.

"I got it - it was mine. It was just passed around," he/she said.

The video ends with Monroe laughing wildly and yelling into an empty parking lot: “Why hasn’t Taco Bell been invented yet dammit.”

Alec Baldwin told ‘Men’s Journal’ in an interview for its December issue that he has lost interest in acting.

"I don't have any interest in acting anymore," Baldwin, 51, told the magazine. He also added: "Movies are a part of my past. It's been 30 years. I'm not young, but I have time to do something else".

The rest of the Baldwin brothers – Stephen, William and Daniel - immediately began auditioning to replace Alec, however, they quickly discovered that the viewing public doesn’t have any interest in them acting anymore.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or three:

In honor of John “Ass Man” Travolta, I chose to honor his obsession today. So, squeeze those glutes together, crack a walnut or two with them if you can and . . . Happy Friday!


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