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by Jac Kern 02.27.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Beardwatch 2013

Last week on Survivor, most of the episode was devoted to the Bikal tribe, aka the Favorites. Our homeboy Matt Bischoff didn’t get a ton of airtime, but was selected to join an alliance with Sherri, Laura, Julia, Shamar and Mike. The other alliance, referred to as “The Lovers,” is comprised of the four attractive people who bonded early on their collective attractiveness. When Gota got their buts kicked in the immunity/reward challenge, Cincy-born Reynold Toepfer immediately addressed his issues with Shamar. The Iraq War veteran, who started a tiff with Matt last week, prefers to “conserve energy” and do crazy Pilates stretches over wasting time fishing, securing the shelter or doing pretty much anything else.

                                                              Feel the burn!

After Reynold spoke his peace, he proverbially slipped in an extra chair at the popular kids’ lunch table and asked Matt to join the pretty people’s decision and vote Shamar off, going against Matt’s original alliance.

Later, Reynold found a hidden immunity idol (which is a thing?) that protects whoever’s in possession from elimination. After hiding the object in his pants, trying to keep it secret, Laura immediately noticed a telling “bulge” and knew the plan to eliminate one of the Lovers was foiled. Clearly, this was all just a producer’s plot to get people to talk about Reynold’s “bulge.” Success! Unfortunately, Reynold did not give his immunity idol to cuddle buddy Allie, and the blonde got six out of 10 votes (Matt stuck with his original alliance). Looks like there’s more space at the popular table!

Speaking of locals on TV, it looks like Cincy has their own Sons of Anarchy (I wish).

You know how at the end of every Law and Order episode, a message states that the stories are not based on actual events? Well, we all know that’s a bunch of bullshit, and this week’s upcoming episode of Special Victims Unit couldn’t make that any more clear. Via Dlisted:

A famous young Hip Hop couple in a physical dispute screams “Chris and Rihanna!” but, in SVU world, the abuser done gets killt!

People love it when local products make national news. The latest: BuzzFeed’s list of “Cincinnati Foods That Are Better Than Yours.” Sure, you’ve got the ubiquitous Skyline and Montgomery Inn (yawn, sorry), but there are some fresh Cincy exports like Tom + Chee’s grilled cheese donut, Kings Island’s blue soft-serve and portable yums from It’s Just Crepes.

Check nearly any humor blog/Internet recreation site and you’ll likely find a list of the “Worst Tattoos EVAR” complete with misspellings, poor drunken decisions and unfortunate portraits. Also, you’ll probably see this picture. Well, not anymore — Scott Versago of Akron’s Ohio Ink Studios fixed the butchered tat! Channeling my guilty pleasure crush Oliver Peck (panel judge on Ink Master and ex-husband of Kat Von D — don’t judge me), I have to say the “new” tat has entirely too much dark shading, but it’s certainly an improvement and looks much more like the original woman who passed away.

The Oscars were kind of fun this year. Seth MacFarlane didn’t attack us with his arsenal of voices (though many saw his jokes as misogyny at its finest) and the awards were pretty spread out among the films (as opposed to the usual one or two favorites). But after watching Saturday’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, no other movie awards show will match up. The much-funnier-than-MacFarlane Andy Samberg hosted, the show is uncensored on IFC and the evening was brought to us by Jameson, an apparently magical ingredient for a high-larious evening. And, yes, independent films are way cooler than Lincoln.

The night kicked off with the award for Best First Screenplay (See what I mean? What a cool award.) As the camera panned around to all the nominees, Derek Connolly (of the perfectly surreal Safety Not Guaranteed) took a giant swig of what appeared to be a wine glass full of Jameson (each table had a half gallon!). To his surprise, Connolly won and went on to make a speech that stumbled along for more than six minutes (this was what appeared to be the only time the show was cut/censored), ending with a fabulous moment with the one and only Bryan Cranston. Check out this moment and more highlights:


And one last Oscars gripe: I was enraged to see Channing Tatum perform an entire dance sequence onstage without tearaway pants, Ginuwine's "Pony" or a single pelvic thrust. They totally overlooked a potential Magic Mike nod and I don't appreciate it.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.22.2013
Posted In: Fun, Food, Drinking, Eats, Events at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/22-2/24

More and more restaurants and food trucks are offering late-night yums to meet the demands of the area college students, bar crowds and general night owls. Usually “fourth meal” conjures up the thought of tacos or pizza, but what about donuts? Busken has set up a pop-up donut shop at 1218 Vine St. (between A Tavola and Sloane Boutique), open 7 p.m.-midnight Thursdays and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through March 16. Here, guests can swing by after dinner or drinks for a free Lite-Hearted donut, Busken’s new heart-shaped glazed treat. After tasting one of these bad boys, you’ll be shocked to find they’re only 140 calories a pop. You won’t have to feel too bad about indulging in a mindnight snack, but you may be left wondering whose soul Busken had to sell to get these delicious donuts to clock in at 2.5 grams of fat.

Bockfest might not officially begin until next weekend, but events leading up to the big parade and festival are already in full effect. Friday is the annual Precipitation Retaliation Happy Hour at Milton’s Tavern. Why the retaliation? In 2008, a huge snowstorm nearly shut down Bockfest, so the next year a paper snowman was set ablaze as a sacrifice to the precipitation gods. The burning snowman tradition stuck, and it continues tonight at 8 p.m. Grab a drink and watch the sucker burn!

In the market for some unique furniture, home décor or apparel? 20th Century Cincinnati is a must this weekend. The 19th annual show brings vintage and mid-century modern trends to a one-stop shop at Sharonville Convention Center. Sixty dealers bring furnishings, paintings, textiles and much more, filling 20,000 square feet. And fashionistas: There will be lots of vintage clothing, costume jewelry, accessories and more dating from the ‘20s to the ‘80s. The showroom is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $7 admission is good for the full weekend. Find more info here.

The Northern suburbs of Cincinnati sometimes get left out of the city’s biggest celebrations, so they made one their own! The Taste of Northern Cincinnati, also in the Sharonville CC, features food from some of the top eateries in the ‘burbs. From noon-4 p.m. Sunday, attendees will enjoy grub from LaRosa’s, Red Squirrel, Velvet Smoke BBQ, Blue Goose and more. These restaurants will also be competing for awards for best appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert and a people’s choice prize. Admission is $18; $5 for kids.

The Academy Awards are Sunday and if your invitation also got lost in the mail (every damn year!), there’s a local way to celebrate. People Working Cooperatively presents its annual Oscar party at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, complete with a red carpet, cocktails, dinner, and a live screening of the show. Ticket sales benefit PWC’s Modifications for Mobility Program, which helps low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners make important alterations to their houses so they can remain safe and comfortable in their own homes. Buy tickets and find details here.

Check out our To Do list and full calendar for more events, art exhibits, theater shows and concerts.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 02.21.2013
Posted In: Cinfolk , Interviews, Culture at 12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cinfolk: German Lopez

When journalists interview people, it's more often than not about something very specific. When we interview the governor, his press person would definitely give us a dirty look if we threw in questions like, "What's your favorite '90s boy band?" or, "Did OJ do it?" We're there to discuss something specific, and straying too far outside that topic is viewed as either a waste of the interviewee's time or an invasion of privacy.

The reality is that there are more facets to the people we interview than we'll ever know. What was Senate Chef Daniel Wright's favorite toy when he was a kid? What does CityBeat editor-in-chief Danny Cross order at Taco Bell?

The answers to questions like these don't define a person, but neither do their jobs, possessions, political leanings, philanthropic efforts or social status. It's a little bit of everything. In this blog series, I'll be picking random Cincinnatians who are doing something interesting, call them on the phone/harass them on the street and ask five or six weird questions and hope I don't get yelled at. Feel free to comment if there's someone you'd like to suggest.

As a practice go, I'm first interviewing my cubicle mate and reporter extraordinaire, German Lopez. If you don’t recognize the name German Lopez, it’s because you probably never read CityBeat, so shame on you. Around the office, he's known for his dry sense of humor, really liking donuts, ditching all of our happy hours and one time writing almost an entire issue by himself. He's the one we all go to when we need him to explain in plebeian language the meaning of complicated political and economic data.

Hannah McCartney: What's your favorite most recent viral video?

German Lopez: The video of Eddie, the geriatric sea otter with arthritis who can dunk a basketball, definitely tops my list right now. I think CityBeat should run a cover story just profiling Eddie. It's probably more important than the governor's budget proposals.

HM: When you sit down to write an article, what's the process like? Describe your work style.
GL: Before I start writing an article, I complete most of my research, interviews and an outline. Once that's all together, I sit down and write the entire article, whether it's 500 or 4,000 words, all at once. The first draft is usually a disaster, but I do extensive copy editing to fix up the structure and wording after that. The editing probably takes me longer than the writing process because I have to fact check every line and make sure it's all written in an easily digestible manner.

HM: What was the last meal you cooked for yourself?
GL: Chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and corn. It was freaking delicious. But I rarely cook for myself. One of the upsides to having a stay-at-home husband is I usually get home to a delicious cooked meal. The only downside is I have to make all the money.

HM: Where's your favorite place to sit down and read a book in Cincinnati?
GL: On the couch at home while surrounded by my ferrets, cat and husband. But I usually read political blogs, newspapers and e-books on my iPad instead of actual print.

HM: What website can you not go a day without checking? Why?
GL: There are a bunch of answers to this, but the top choice is probably Wonkblog, the domestic policy blog at The Washington Post. It has all the studies and graphs I need to form an educated opinion on major political issues. And CityBeat.com, of course.
 
 
by Jac Kern 02.20.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Drinking at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Beardwatch 2013

Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites premiered last week and Cincinnati’s Matt Bischoff (whom we interviewed here) made it through the first episode, officially making it further than Cincinnati’s last castaway. Despite my wide-ranging TV prowess, I haven’t watched Survivor in about 20 seasons. But having an interesting local character like Matt actually makes the show pretty watchable. Survivor, like every reality show, follows a set of standard rules in editing, and if you read between the lines it appears Matt could be on the show for a substantial amount of time: He got enough airtime to intrigue viewers, but not so much that it seems like they’re gearing up for his departure. Elsewhere, Matt pulled his weight. He stood up to the cocky Marine barking orders but not actually doing anything, but soon after paved things over, showing that he’ll put a dude in his place, but not be a dick about it. He helped construct the tribe’s shelter and brought them to victory in the immunity challenge.

But Matt isn’t the only hometown boy kickin’ it in the Caramoan — Sharonville native and Ken Doll lookalike Reynold Toepfer, now a San Francisco resident, joins Matt in the Gota Tribe. Reynold is a Princeton High School and Miami University grad, but he’s moved away from the Queen City so he’s DEAD TO US. Just kidding, but seriously, he’s kind of a d-bag. He formed an alliance with Laura because she flew under the radar by not being “the cutest, not anything.” Gag. Then, no sooner than night one, dude was getting into some straight-up heavy petting with Alli during sleepytime.

                             Matt, looking like an island ninja, checking out the "sleeping" situation going on with two of his tribe-mates.

Isn’t this supposed to be a family show? Not that I’m worried about “the children,” it’s just my feeling that if you’re going to be kind of a sleazy reality show, you should just be a really sleazy, self-aware reality show.

Predictably, the show has portrayed Matt as something of an outsider. In one particular scene, four of the young, attractive, conventional Survivor types (Reynold being one of them) dubbed themselves the “cool kids lunch table” (gag again) and then the camera panned out to Matt, looking alone in the ocean. In the show’s defense, Survivor’s core audience probably relies on this type of blatant stereotyping to understand what’s going on. More Beardwatch to come!

The Internet acts as a platform for feedback for companies. So when a TV show gets or cancelled or a product is removed from shelves, many consumers can share their critiques online. Now, usually this quickly turns into a bullshit sounding board — just read a Yelp review from a bitter customer — but sometimes the public can harness the power of technology and allow its collective voice to be heard. Case in point: Maker's Mark made news last week when the company announced that the bourbon would henceforth have a reduced alcohol content in order to keep up with demand. If the bourbon was diluted just a bit, they could produce enough booze to meet sales demands, but that shortcut would affect the alcohol volume by about 3 percent (from 45 percent ABV/90 proof to 42 percent/84 proof). Bourbon drinkers weren’t havin’ none of that. So guess what? Maker's changed their minds! The bourbon recipe will remain untouched. Long live Maker's Mark!

For a couple of Grammy-winning musicians, the Black Keys sure have a lot of time for extracurriculars! When they’re not making completely random, ponytailed cameos on Workaholics, they’re trolling Beliebers. Well, drummer Patrick Carney is. Justin Bieber tweeted that Carney (“the black keys drummer”) needed to “be slapped around” in response to a comment Carney made to a reporter about Beiber’s Grammy “snub.” Carney went on to change his Twitter name and profile picture to Justin Bieber and JB fans were pissed. He’s back to assuming his own identity but you can read the hilarious trolling tweets here.

And because I look up any topic on the always-reliable Wikipedia before writing about it, I discovered that Carney was married to (and later divorced) writer Denise Grollmus in a ceremony officiated by Will Forte. Yes, MacGruber. WTF CARNEY.

Beyonce’s documentary debuted on HBO Saturday, drawing in more viewers (1.8 million) than any HBO doc in nearly a decade. A little self-serving and definitely over-the-top, fans and critics alike had a field day with Life Is But A Dream. Basically, Beyonce records her every waking moment, which, according to this doc, includes lots of traveling, dance rehearsals and iMac confessionals. We finally got a good look at mini-Jay, Blue Ivy:

                                                                 “We’re not worthy!”

Beyonce even tried to convince us she was down-to-earth by rocking some crazy braids in the interview portions, filmed inside her childhood home. Here are some quick and dirty deets from NY Mag including number of manicure close-ups and number of Destiny’s Child mentions (ZERO!). We got a couple peeks at her preggo belly, but there were not enough shots of her eating French fries and too many shots of private helicopter rides to convince me she’s 100 percent human and not an Illuminati alien goddess. Three stars.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.12.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Comedy at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Some believe that thousands of years from now, when people examine the things we post and share on the Internet (the horror!), our collective obsession with cat photos will mimic the Egyptians' feline-friendly hieroglyphics. While I’d hate to see this century remembered for I Can Has Cheezburger, our cat fancy cannot be denied. Further proof: Monopoly is replacing its iron piece (who knows what those are anymore, anyway?!) with a cat.

Most Archer fans know the voices behind their favorite ISIS staffers, but Vulture found the real-life inspiration for each animated character. How much tail do you think Sterling doppelganger Jason Fitzgerald is getting?

Snowstorm Nemo rocked the Northeast last week, and we all know what that means for grocery stores:


Is eye-posuction a thing? Lil’ Kim debuted her latest face recently, and homegirl doesn’t even look like the same species (perhaps she’s just another feline worshipper?). I’m sure I’d do a lot of fucked up stuff to myself if I was a badass millionaire rapper, but go under the knife to this point? I think not. What happened to our demure, pasty-sporting, natural beauty?

Another day, another reinterpretation of Disney princesses. People can’t get enough of that shit! Bust recently featured artist Yudi Chen’s awesome male versions of classic princesses, including “Cinderfella,” “The Little Merman” and a bearded Rapunzel.

One of the most annoying aspects of Facebook (and damn is that saying something) is getting its own television incarnation — Farmville: the TV show (via Videogum).

Who could forget Sweet Brown, the 2012 Internet sensation from Oklahoma City, Okla. whose spirited news interview post-apartment fire went viral? You may know her from the “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” meme. Few surpass meme status, but Sweet Brown booked herself a dentist commercial! Via Dlisted:


If you’re an Always Sunny fan, you know all about the D.E.N.N.I.S. System, Dennis Reynold’s method for luring and abandoning women, aka “erotic conquests.” Find your own system for torturing romantic pursuits here. This is mine:

J - Justify Approach

A - Accept Fault

C - Cry Together

Q - Quality Time

U - Unexpected Action

E - Engage Physically

L - Lend Money

I - Inspire Hope

N - Nurture Dependence

E - End Relationship

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! (Thanks, Hannah!)

An Internet hacker known as Guccifer recently published photos and “sensitive correspondence” from the Bush family, including both former presidents. The most interesting find? Evidence of Dubya’s interest in the arts. Via The Smoking Gun:

Yes, this appears to be a self-portrait of GWB in the shower. All together now: Bush-hacked!

Now, look at all this stuff fitting perfectly into unrelated stuff: http://thingsfittingperfectlyintothings.tumblr.com/

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.08.2013
Posted In: Events, Eats, Drinking at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/8-2/10

The ArtsWave creates and supports art programs and opportunities in the city year-round, but three Saturdays each year, the organization kicks its mission into high gear with the Macy’s Arts Sampler. The free event brings visual art, theater, dance, music, crafts and more to venues across Greater Cincinnati. This Saturday’s sampler includes shows and backstage tours at Playhouse in the Park, Madcap Puppets at Cincinnati Art Museum and tons of other fun, creative opportunities for the whole family from Kings High School to Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, all day long. Find a full schedule of events here.

Cincy Blues Society celebrates 23 years this weekend with Winter Blues Fest. The fest takes place at The Phoenix, CityBeat’s across-the-street neighbors, Friday and Saturday with more than 25 local acts. Sonny Moorman and the Stacy Mitchhart Band headline; tickets are $20 per night; $35 for the weekend.

Not able to make it to the Big Easy this Fat Tuesday? Celebrate Mardi Gras in MainStrasse Friday and Saturday. Get your fill of beads with parades each night, plus live music and Cajun grub in the entertainment tent open 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Stop by your favorite MainStrasse bar, restaurant or business to keep the party going. Tickets are $10 per night or $15 for the weekend; find more info here.

With Valentine’s Day next week, lots of folks are buying up chocolates, flowers, special undies and other goodies for their significant others. You know who could really use some love? The hundreds of adoptable animals that have been abused, neglected or left behind by owners. This weekend, My Furry Valentine brings these lovable critters from dozens of rescues together in West Chester for Greater Cincinnati’s largest animal adoption event. Skip pet stores and breeders and find a pet that needs a home 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at flexi USA, Inc. (8494 Firebird Dr., West Chester). If you can’t make it out to the ‘burbs, check out one of more than 20 participating locations. Each adopted cat, dog, rabbit or other pet will go home with a gift bag of treats, toys, coupons and more supplies.

The Mayerson JCC’s Jewish and Israeli Film Festival kicks off Saturday with a screening of Hava Nagila, a comedic documentary that tells the story of this Jewish celebration staple song. This opening night celebration takes place 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Cincinnati Museum Center and includes dessert, a photo booth and private admission to the museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. The fest continues through Feb. 28 with films shown at the Museum Center, Esquire Theatre, Kenwood Theatre, Mariemont Theatre and the Mayerson JCC. Go here for ticket information and a full schedule.

Whether the word “craft” conjures up thoughts of glitter and glue or bottles and brew, Mt. Caramel Brewing Company’s Art. Craft. Beer. show has something for everyone. The brewery’s gallery will be full of works from area artists with plenty of fresh craft beer to go around, Saturday and Sunday. The event is just one of many happenings coinciding with Cincinnati Beer Week (which continues through Thursday). Get a full schedule and find participating bars and venues here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.05.2013
at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Sunday’s Super Bowl was arguably one of the most entertaining sporting events for even the most athletically clueless. Admittedly, I fall into that category ­— this was probably the most recent football game I’ve watched since last year’s SB — and generally watch for the commercials and half-time show/to justify eating my weight in cheese and crackers/to feel like a real American. But from on-field brawls and the post-Beyonce power outage to the tense final minutes of the game, this shit show was truly a spectacle! Bravo, NFL. Bravo, America.

Queen Bey’s half-time extravaganza was flawless, lip-synching or not. She booty-popped her way through a handful of hits and even summoned recently-reunited Destiny’s Children Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (no, not her) to perform a couple classics in coordinating outfits (obvs). Kelly was looking extra fabulous and, as a friend pointed out, that's really saying something about a chick dancing alongside Beyonce. Michelle, as always, played the cute third wheel role. It appeared that her mic was off for half of her time onstage, which was probably the stipulation for Beyonce even allowing Michelle to be included in the reunion. DC superfan note: Michelle always gets the shaft.

Hours after the epic, show-stopping (literally — you know Bey caused that outage) show, Beyonce’s summer tour was announced: The Mrs. Carter Show. Be still, my heart.

For those who care even less about football than me but still want to check out the over-hyped commercials, see a roundup here.

30 Rock came to a bittersweet end Thursday. Tina Fey’s hit changed the comedy landscape and the way we look at snack foods (I’ll never eat a cupcake the same way again!). Take one last jaunt through TGS memory lane with every trucker hat Frank wore throughout the series.