Entertainment

Step Brothers: What Not To Do in a Job Interview

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Step Brothers. Sony Pictures.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Step Brothers, which was released in theaters 10 years ago today, you will know that there’s at least one, albeit extreme, life lesson included – what not to do in a job interview.

Life goes haywire for Dale Doback and Brennan Huff at the start of the film when their parents, Robert and Nancy, meet at a conference, fall in love and get married. The pair are thrust together in the same house and even have to share a bedroom. Although this is a common occurrence for a lot of children in modern families these days, the main difference here is that Dale and Brennan are 40-year-old men.

Sibling Rivalry

Things get off to a rough, and hilarious, start for the new step brothers, played by John C. Reilly (Dale) and Will Ferrell (Brennan), who were brought together not only by circumstance but by their sheer and utter laziness. Each has lived with his respective parent his whole life and they despise each other on sight, which eventually culminates in a knock-down, drag-out fight on their parent’s lawn, the repercussions of which include a TV ban during Shark Week. But even worse, they both have to find a job.

That same day, after a family dinner, Dale punches Brennan’s egotistical, ass-hat brother Derek (Adam Scott) in the face, gaining Brennan’s respect and the two discover they have much more in common than not. “Did we just become best friends?” Brennan asks. “Yep!” Dale replies.

Dale’s long-suffering father Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Brennan’s mom Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) pull some strings and get the two man-childs job interviews at several potential workplaces. For anyone who has ever been on lot of job interviews, watching the two of them show up wearing tuxedos, interviewing as a team, pushing people out of their way as they strut through a reception area and Dale yelling, “We’re here to f*ck sh*t up!” will find this scene extremely cathartic.
Continue reading “Step Brothers: What Not To Do in a Job Interview”

Diet, Recipes

It’s Not a Party Without a Bean Salad

Most summers, my sister and her husband have one blow-out bash at their house on a Saturday in July. It’s usually attended by at least 50 people and to feed everyone they barbecue beef, chicken and pork and the rest of the food is provided through a potluck. One of my favourite side dishes to make for any potluck is German Potato Salad (I will post this recipe at a later date) but my brother-in-law’s mom also makes it, and it’s really good. So, at the first summer bash I attended, I left it to his mom to provide her German Potato Salad to the hungry masses. Meanwhile, I needed an alternative, so I brought another favourite of mine, Chickpea Salad.

As guests were mingling at the potluck table and filling their plates, my sister’s friend turned to her and commented: “Who brings a chick pea salad to a party?” She smirked and replied: “My sister.”

It has now become a running joke, with her friends and mine, that their yearly bash is not really a party if there’s no chickpea salad.

Since then, I’ve modified the recipe, using mixed beans instead of just chickpeas – it’s actually tastier and has less calories – but this recipe will work with either. Enjoy.

Marvelous Mixed Bean Salad

High fiber, low calorie, vegan salad.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 145 kcal
Author Bonnie Byrne

Ingredients

  • 540 ml can Unico Bean Medley
  • 1/4 cup Unico White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • 1/2 medium onion finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely diced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Open a can of Unico Bean Medley, pour it into a strainer and rinse beans well with cold tap water. 

  2. Dice all vegetables on a cutting board.

  3. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, adding the olive oil and white wine vinegar (more or less than 1/4 cup can be used, according to taste) until they are well coated.

  4. While mixing the ingredients, add sea salt and freshly ground pepper, according to taste.

  5. Can be served immediately or refrigerated for later use. Refrigerate any unused portions for up to three days.

Recipe Notes

*If you replace the Mixed Bean Medley with a can of Chick Peas, the calorie count rises by 40 calories per serving.

 

 

 

Eclectic

Hometown Horror

On Saturday evening, my brother and I were enjoying barbecued pork souvlaki skewers and Greek salad and talking about how the meal reminded us of growing up in Toronto’s East End and heading to Greektown for dinner on the weekends. His favourite restaurant was Asteria Souvlaki Place, one of the least expensive restaurants with amazing food. I remembered going to Pappas Grill with friends when I was in high school. In the early 1990s, my sister and I would take him out on his birthday for Greek food and drinks on the Danforth. The atmosphere in the neighbourhood was relaxed, casual and friendly; just everyday people getting together for a fun night-out.

This morning, I woke up to the news that 15 people were shot on Danforth Avenue in Greektown last night. Two of those people have died, an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year old girl. The victims were innocent people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most were just enjoying an evening out with family and friends. Reports say the gunman walked down the Danforth, firing bullets into restaurants and at people walking down the street.

I haven’t lived in Toronto for years but I still visit regularly for TIFF and to hang out with friends. I will continue to do so. But the horrific van attack in North York this past Spring and the mass shooting leaves me with a heavy heart today, thinking about these tragedies that have befallen my hometown.

Entertainment, Hot Men

A Closeted Tom Cruise Fan Comes Out

I hate to admit this, but I love Tom Cruise. Not Tom Cruise the brain-washed Scientology fool with his arranged relationships/marriages/couch jumping antics, I’m talking Tom Cruise the actor. And before you say you can’t stand him or “he makes my skin crawl,” you must admit the man can act. And very often, he can act well. The first film I remember seeing him in was Risky Business (1983). Admit it ladies, I know I wasn’t the only teenage girl at the time who enjoyed watching him dancing around in tighty whities in his parent’s living room, singing along with Bob Seger.

Tom Cruise
Interview With Vampire: Louis and Lestat.

And let’s not forget Cruise’s chilling portrayal of one of my favourite literary characters, The Vampire Lestat, alongside the equally hot and talented Brad Pitt (who co-starred as Louis), in Interview With The Vampire (1994).  I wasn’t all that confident about Cruise playing Lestat when the casting was first announced. But when I sat down in the movie theater and he appeared onscreen, I changed my mind in a hurry. If that movie didn’t get your blood pumping, I’m not sure what would. 

Cruise was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, in his role as Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia in 1999. He has also won Golden Globe Awards. But anyone who had to sit through the hot mess that was The Mummy (2017)  would not be surprised to learn that the film garnered him a 2018 Razzie Award for Worst Actor. Continue reading “A Closeted Tom Cruise Fan Comes Out”

Entertainment

Evil Gran’mas and Voodoo Disneyland

When I was a kid,  I was convinced my grandmother was a witch, but she sure as hell had nothing on Marie L’Angell, Jesse Custer’s Gran’ma on AMC’s Preacher.

I didn’t like my grandmother much and the feeling was mutual. She had a knack for upsetting me, like telling me I looked like I was pregnant when I’d wear a bathing suit as a teenager, leading to the inevitable body image issues I’ve had since then. Her taunts later progressed into calling me an old maid, in front of my parents and younger siblings, because I was still single at the ripe old age of 30. I would dread special occasions and big family dinners because she would be there.

I was even stressed out before her wake a few years ago – right up until the moment I looked into her coffin and realized, with sweet relief, that she was dead and I’d never have to put up with her bullshit ever again.

Jesse's Gran'ma Preacher
Betty Buckley as Marie L’Angelle. Photo: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television.

Preacher is one of those shows that’s an acquired taste. I took a pass when it first aired and then binge-watched the first season during an AMC marathon right before Season 2 began. It’s based on a comic book series about a not-so-pious, you guessed it – preacher. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon wrote the comics. Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin developed the comics into a TV series. Keep Reading!

Entertainment

Bye Bye Baby

I was listening to the Bay City Rollers in my car yesterday while driving home from my parent’s house in Owen Sound, singing along with Rock and Roll Love Letter. I was thinking about how there was a time in my life when I was too embarrassed to admit I had ever even liked them.

Bay City Rollers
In my Rollers gear!

But when I was a kid, I lived and breathed the Bay City Rollers. Their pictures adorned my bedroom walls. I listened to their albums continuously and had the full “Rollers” uniform – tam, scarf and pants trimmed with tartan. My mother would wake me up in the middle of the night so I could watch their appearances on late-night programs like The Midnight Special.

The Bay City Rollers were the first band I ever saw live. I saw them on August 11, 1976, at Maple Leaf Gardens and August 22, 1977, at Exhibition Stadium.

The man who started it all, Bay City Rollers founder Alan Longmuir, died today at the age of 70. Keep Reading!