Tag Archives: Chris

1977: A Year in Review

As the month of my 34th birthday fast approaches, I find myself wondering what movies came out the year I was born. Do the math. Hurry. I’ll wait.

It was the same summer that guy Sam knocked out all the power in New York and talked to the dog and just one month before Elvis ate his final peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwich. 1977. A glorious spot at the end of the decade that ushered me into this world along to the tunes of “Rich Girl,” “Dancing Queen,” and, it pains me to admit, “Hotel California.”

– First off, let’s get the foreign movie out of the way so I can appear cultured and without boundaries. “House.” Not the American movie that came out a couple years later with the Greatest American Hero and Norm from Cheers. The Japanese one. This movie is insane. It’s one of those movies that you watch and while you’re watching it, you really can’t wait for it to be over, but you know that you have to suffer through it because it’s so awesome and you want to be able to tell people that you watched it. The only thing I’ll really say about this movie is there exists a scene in which a piano eats a girl.

– That segues nicely into America’s response to this; Death Bed: The Bed that Eats. Now, I’ve never actually seen this movie and all I know about it came from Patton Oswalt’s sketch on Werewolves and Lollipops, but from his description, it sounds unstoppable.

– Next up, Romero’s “Martin,” the first ever vampire movie to be set in Braddock, PA. Well, the first guy-who-is-crazy-and-sort-of-acts-like-a-vampire-in-a-roundabout-way movie to be set in Braddock, PA. If you’re a fan of the Twilight movies, you may want to stay clear of this one.

– Now this next one is a personal favorite of mine. “Pete’s Dragon.” What kid didn’t want to hang out with his own animated dragon buddy named Elliot and also Mickey Rooney?

– Who could forget about “Slap Shot?” Paul Newman and a crew of goons skated their ways into America’s heart with their representation of the Jets, a now defunct hockey team from Johnstown, PA.

– Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” won four Academy Awards that year. I’ve never seen it, but am slowly making my way through the Allen catalogue. Maybe I’ll try it out this summer.

– David Lynch released his first movie, “Eraserhead.” He hit the ground running with this title, confusing everyone who watched it and setting the tone for the next thirty years of his career. This film is also in the National Film Registry.

I could probably go on forever, but I’ll limit it to just two vastly different movies from my favorite genre, Science Fiction. And by admitting that here in the blogosphere, I’ll be spending the next four months of Fridays alone in my room crying into my paperback copy of A Princess of Mars.

– “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Richard Dreyfus gets blasted by some alien lights and spends the rest of the movie freaking out and building things out of mashed potatoes. Despite the lack of action figure rights, this movie did pretty well for itself, according to Box Office Mojo, grossing over 116 million dollars.

– And lastly, we cover George Lucas’ “Star Wars.” The movie series that pretty much ran the next ten years of my life into the ground and still, to this day, inspires long and drawn out conversations with people I’d rather not be seen with. I don’t even want to think about the sheer quantity of hours that I’ve dedicated to these movies. I could have probably been a doctor if my brain wasn’t filled up with useless facts about the Dagobah System and how lightsabers were made. And it all started a mere two months before I was born. Thanks George. I hate you. And so does the little kid whose diseases I could have cured if it weren’t for you.

In conclusion, 1977 ruled pretty hard. Check out that list and see what other movies we have that came out that year. We have quite a few. Additionally, please address all birthday cards and gifts to Christopher, c/o Film & Audio.

– Christopher

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Easy DIY Iced Coffee

If you’re like me, you like your coffee-making to be inefficient and time-consuming with not a single of thought of convenience. For almost all of my coffee addictions, I swear by the french press. I grind my beans for the morning pot, boil my water, stir the grounds in and wait the allotted time until it’s done steeping. Start to finish usually runs around 20 minutes. But, as the mornings gradually slip out of their grey winter gear and change into the greens and blues of spring and summer, I find myself wanting to drink hot coffee less and less. I want it iced. I want it cool. I want it refreshing. Most importantly, I don’t want to spend two dollars and fifty cents at the corner coffee shop every time I want one. But, how to make my morning coffee cold? How about Cold Press coffee?

Cold press coffee is the method of making coffee that is basically no method. Zen coffee. Cold press was out there practicing flawless No Mind while you were still taking Freshman Intro to Eastern Philosophy and having your mind blown by Fellini films. Simply put, you take the grinds and you put them in the water. Wait twelve hours. The coffee is done. Barring the use of the refrigerator and the grinder, you can actually make this coffee with zero electricity. (TOTALLY OFF THE GRID) While I do find that interesting, it’s not really the reason why I’ve been making it this way. The real reason is the lower acidity that cold brewing achieves. It’s the simplest, smoothest cup of iced coffee that you’ll ever drink. Add the concentrate to hot water and you’ll find you have a smooth cup of hot coffee and you don’t have to be a snob to make it.

The first time I tried this method, it didn’t work out too well for me. It wasn’t nearly as concentrated as I thought it would be and my coffee ended up watery. It wasn’t until my fourth try that I really got it right. So, be patient and don’t be intimidated.

THE STEPS

1. Grind your coffee for a medium coarseness. Somewhere between drip and french press. I usually grind a bit finer as I like the stronger flavor it produces.

2. Get yourself a jar. I’ve been re-using a 28 ounce spaghetti sauce jar. Any jar will do, but try to find a slightly larger one.

3. Put your grinds into the empty jar. As I’ve been using a jar that holds three cups of water, I mix in around ⅔ of a cup of coffee grinds. Again, this will be something you’ll have to test out.

4. Add the cold water. Now, I’ve read that you aren’t supposed to stir it at all. You add some water. Wait five minutes. Add more water and so on. I think that’s dumb. Fill up your jar with water half way, close the lid and shake it. That way, you’re getting the water in contact with all of the grinds. Open it back up and finsh filling it. At this point, you’ll notice that all of the grinds will be floating at the surface. Over the course of the next twelve hours, they will settle to the bottom.

5. Either on the counter top or in your refrigerator, let your coffee steep for twelve hours. I use the refrigerator as it leaves you with a cold end product.

6. Wait. Wait. Wait for twelve hours.

7. Depending on what you have around your house, figure out the best way to strain your grinds. I was pouring it over a paper towel stretched over a pitcher, which worked, albeit slowly. But, in a strike of pure genius, I realized how dumb I was and just poured it into my french press, plunged the screen down, poured out the coffee and was done. And now that I think about it, I can use the french press for the entire process.

8. If you brewed in the refrigerator, then you don’t have to wait for your coffee to get cold. Since you’re dealing with a coffee concentrate, you need to dilute it a little to get the flavor correct. Try using ⅓ coffee to ⅓ ice to ⅓ water. If you need it to be stronger, just add a little more coffee. I also add a little creamer (soy milk, actual creamer, almond milk and sometimes skim if I’m desperate enough) and a pinch of sugar. Stir vigorously and serve.

– Chris

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