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by Danny Cross 03.01.2013
Posted In: Life, LGBT, TV/Celebrity, Culture, technology, Shopping at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (23)
 
 
kindle

Did I Just See a Gay Kindle Commercial?

Last night around 9:30 I was just minding my own business, watching some harmless comedy shows on demand when a commercial came on that piqued my interest via a typically dumb interaction between a dude talking to a babe in a bikini. I was waiting for some type of cliché to end the interaction between the two — something like a beer-commercial crotch shot or the woman doing something weird like licking an ice cube — when the story took a most-surprising turn: the dude in the scene was gay. 

The woman sits down on a beach chair next to the guy, who is squinting into his iPad-looking device like a dork. She starts reading her Kindle like the sun is no big deal and he says: "That's a Kindle, right?"

Woman: "Yeah, it's the new Kindle Paperwhite."

Man: "I love to read at the beach, but..."

Woman: "This is perfect at the beach. And, with the built in light, I can read anywhere anytime."

Man: "Done."

Woman: "With your book?"

Man: Nope. "I just bought a Kindle Paperwhite." *Leans toward her.* "We should celebrate."

Woman: "My husband's bringing me a drink right now."

Man: "So is mine."

Husbands waive from the bar.

I watched it again this morning (the email I sent myself on the subject after having several beers and talking about sports all evening only says: “Gay kindle commercial. What does that commercial mean?”), and it’s actually pretty genius. Gay-rights groups have pointed out that this type of media is following steps taken by shows like Ellen and Modern Family, which depict gay couples as pretty much ordinary anymore. 

Check it out here: 

Naturally, some people on the Internet think it’s way icky. 

And organizations like One Million Moms (a weird, conservative Christian group that should be named something more like “One Million Mean Moms.” Ha.) took exception to it. OMMMs wrote this: “We have Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite commercial that promotes gay marriage. Instead of Amazon remaining neutral in the culture war while showcasing how their product has no glare even at the beach, they chose to promote sin.”

People flagged the ad as inappropriate enough times on YouTube that it was briefly taken down for review, but it was posted back on the site later. 

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 02.28.2013
Posted In: Cinfolk , Culture, Fun, Interviews at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
silhouettes of people

Cinfolk: Sara Bornick

In “Cinfolk,” I ask interesting Cincinnati people doing interesting Cincinnati things questions I’d never get to ask for a traditional news story; the more interviews I do as a writer, the more I find myself daydreaming about what makes these people tick, aside from what I'd usually get to share in a traditional news story. For the inaugural Cinfolk blog featuring German Lopez, click here.
 

If you don't have cabin fever by this time of the year, you probably moved here from Siberia, the Arctic Tundra or  Wisconsin, in which case you're used to mind- and body-numbing misery and cold weather year-round. We're glad you escaped. For the rest of us, it's getting really old coming into work with frozen strands of hair, never having a good reason to drink a margarita, wear a sundress, roll down the windows or eat a popsicle. That's about all I'm thinking about these days, in fact, which is why I got in touch with Sara Bornick, founder and owner of streetpops, freelance graphic designer and proud owner of her very own EasyBake oven.
 
Anyone who's ever been lucky enough to have their teeth stained or a shirt dribbled on by one of Sara Bornick's gourmet, quirky and preservative-free ice pops understands that the transition from winter to spring just can't be complete until every Cincinnatian has the chance to buy the daintily packaged treats from her modest, funky little retro streetpops storefront in Over-the-Rhine.


According to Bornick, who’s been busy preparing for a new streetpops season, she and her cart-
toting team will be selling pops again on Final Friday, March 29. Look out for new pop flavors (like cookies and cream, butter pecan and maybe a chocolate olive oil pop crafted from imported Italian olive oil).


Hannah Mc
Cartney: What was your favorite toy when you were a little kid?

Sara Bornick:
For years I asked for an Easy-Bake oven, but never actually got one ... until I was about 25, as a joke. I was really into LEGOs as a kid, and anything outdoors.

H
M: Dog person or cat person? Why?
SB: Dog! Especially my Boston Terrier, Parker (aka Parker Pantalones).

HM: Did you have a nickname when you were a kid/in college/now? What was its significance?
SB: When I was a kid I was nicknamed "Bugs" because I had to have a lot of teeth pulled before I had braces on, so for a good year or so I only had my two front teeth.

HM: Have you ever met a celebrity? If not, who would you want to meet?
SB: I met chef-celebrity Richard Blais when he was in town on the Top Chef tour. It was right before we launched streetpops in 2011. We talked about a pop place in Atlanta that he loves
and using liquid nitrogen to make pops.

HM: Tell me one guilty pleasure artist on your music player.
SB:
Eighties hair bands/rock ballads — Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses.


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

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 11.14.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Culture, Movies at 02:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
guyfieri_web

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

At the risk of inducing widespread PTSD flashbacks, I invite everyone to recall 2011’s Internet Public Enemy No. 1, Rebecca Black. The teen, who is probably a decent human undeserving of worldwide hatred, assaulted eardrums on a massive scale with her music video gone viral, “Friday.” The worst realization to come out of Friday-gate wasn’t the sorry state of the music industry or even the online bullying Black faced, but the fact that, apparently, rich people will throw a few thousand dollars at a greedy producer to create a shitty song and music video for their marginally talented child.

Record producer and songwriter Patrice Wilson was one of the driving forces behind “Friday” and if you wanted to give his work another chance, you’re in luck. He worked with Nicole Westbrook to record a song not about one day of the week (that’s so 2011), but one day of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Thanksgiving.

Kraft Mac-n-Cheese – AY! Stove Top stuffing – AY! We one-percenters should have better food than this.

While we’re on the topic of social phenomena ripe for mockery, it’s fitting to recognize Food Network’s Guy Fieri (Real Name: Guy Ferry. Yeah, douchebag status: confirmed) who recently opened a new restaurant in New York City. It seems most people either love or hate Guy. He co-owns five California restaurants and hosts the popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, on which he travels the country highlighting off-the-beaten-path chow-down spots — so, clearly he’s got some fans out there. Others are a bit turned off by his labored “Rock-N-Roll” façade, his annoying catchphrases and his penchant for bowling shirts.

I can’t trust a man who purposefully styles his hair like a goofy visor hat from Cappel’s, and apparently New York Times’ Pete Wells isn’t a fan either. In his Nov. 13 take-down piece on the new Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, Wells completely ripped the joint apart limb from tribal tattooed limb. While any attempt to seriously review what sounds like a black hole for overweight tourists would probably prove futile, I feel Wells could have been a bit more creative in his blasting of Fieri. Guy’s an easy target, so why go with the cliched “Dear Guy,” letter format, punctuated by a series of overly sarcastic questions? At this point I’m waiting for a cynical review of Wells’ review (please tweet any findings to @jackern), but I have to hand it to the reviewer for this service assessment that made me choke on my morning coffee: “The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a real restaurant.” Find the full story here.

Fans got a first look at Brad Pitt zombie action flick World War Z last week. The film, based on Max Brooks’ 2006 novel of the same name, may stray farther from the text than fans have hoped, judging by the trailer. (Though it’s important to note how deceiving these first looks can be). The book reflects on a worldwide war on zombies after the fact, using interviews with survivors to paint the terrifying picture, whereas the film appears to be a straight-up zombie movie. However it turns out, zombie purists beware: These may be the quickest and most agile undead yet.

After last week’s election, gay marriage is now legal nine states. It’s a great feat for equality, but we’ve got a long way to go. In fact, gays across America have given straight, conservative men an ultimatum: Vote to legalize same-sex marriage, or they will marry the crap out of your girlfriends.

Portlandia, the hilarious sketch comedy spoofing counter-culture trends, returns to IFC Jan. 4. The show stars SNL’s Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag guitarist-singer Carrie Brownstein — quite possibly my favorite non-romantic duo — in a series of timely skits about the hipster sect of popular culture. All the good little boys and girls of Oregon and beyond can get an early sampling of the two with the “Winter in Portlandia” holiday special on Dec. 14. Fans will see Peter and Nance go low-carb to stave off winter blubber and meet Candace’s son as he swings by Women and Women First during his holiday visit.

Here’s the first skit from the upcoming third season:

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 08.02.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Fun, Life, Culture at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ipaday

Hop 'Til You Drop

Today is IPA Day!

Today is a damn good holiday. 


It’s IPA Day. Or, in the world of Twitterati and Instagrammers, #IPADay.


IPA Day started last year as a grassroots social media movement meant to rally beer nerds worldwide in a grand, joyful and bottle-filled celebration of a craft beer rich with history, hops and happiness.  

According to the event’s website, “IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer.”

Last year, enough drinkers got excited about the concept to get the hashtag trending on Twitter with around 10,000 tweets, and now some bars and restaurants are even holding events to celebrate. If you can't find an official event around you, you can at least be a good Samaritan by visiting your favorite watering hole and convincing someone to swap out their normal watered-down brew for something far more satisfying.


The origin of the traditional India Pale Ale is a contentious subject: Popular legend has it that the brew gained popularity in the late 1700s and early 1800s when some genius British guy decided that extra hops needed to be added to the beer Brit soldiers and sailors took on their long voyages to India.

Other beer nerds say the idea of adding hops to beer dates back as far as the 1760s, when there was a general consensus that it was “absolutely necessary” to add hops to beer intended to be consumed in hot climates.

And while Americans may have totally fucked up the taco and every Asian chicken dish (I swear General Tso's chicken is just a bunch of McNuggets doused in bastardized barbeque sauce), we kind of hit it head (pun) on with our Americanization of the IPA, which has enveloped into a beautiful beer subculture rich with variations like double and triple IPAs and crazy flavor profiles, adding fruit and herb undertones and dark, smoky accents.

While some certain brands and styles of beer like mainstream pilsners and lagers might be more ubiquitous in the American drinking landscape, the IPA represents, truly, a craft beer art form that continues to be innovated and explored.

If you're not sure where to start, check out alehead.com's list of some of the best IPAs available today before you head to the store. Bell's Two Hearted Ale will forever have my heart, but I think we might have to see other people today.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 06.27.2012
Posted In: Arts, Culture at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
hail-a-cab

Cincy, NKY Taxi Drivers to Collaborate for World Choir Games

Covington, Newport, Cincinnati taxis allowed to overlap service

In honor of the World Choir Games, the largest international event to ever take place in the Cincinnati region, city leaders have already taken several measures to step up the taxi infrastructure to cater to the some 20,000 participants expected to flood into the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region.

As part of that initiative, the city of Cincinnati on Tuesday announced an agreement signed by Cincinnati city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. as well as city managers of Newport and Covington, Ky., agreeing to allow licensed taxicabs to freely commute and transport passengers across city lines from July 1-15. This differs from normal taxi law, in which a Covington driver who picked up passengers in Covington and transported them to Cincinnati, for example, would be barred from picking up another group of passengers within Cincinnati limits, instead required to go back to Covington to seek business. 

Licensed taxi drivers who wish to take part of the integrated system are required to attend a "Hospitality Session" hosted by the City of Cincinnati, which will offer recommendations for interacting with international visitors and offer drivers World Choir Games schedule information. With completion of the session, drivers will earn a purple World Choir Games placard for their car, signifying their ability to commute across the river. 

In May, City Council voted to approve a number of changes to the Cincinnati taxi system, to be implemented over a series of three stages, beginning July 1 to coincide with the influx of the World Choir Games. Changes included increased fares, an expanded arsenal of taxi stands and improved signage.

 
 
by Jac Kern 06.26.2012
Posted In: Culture at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
fr30melting_away-1

Your Tuesday To Do List

With Cincinnati Pride Week just around the corner, Oakley’s 20th Century Theater hosts Cincy Pride Week Cruise-In with Chicago cabaret act, Amy & Freddy. The funny and fabulous duo is a smash on the GLBT cruise circuit, and they’ll perform along with Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and The Queen City D-Dolls. Dress in your hottest resort wear and get ready for a night of music, dancing, comedy and plenty of cruise cocktails. The ship sets sail at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 at the door. Seating is limited nightclub-format, so arrive early and keep the party goin’ til 11 p.m. Find details here.

While we’re on the topic of cabarets, on the other side of the river is Musical Theatre Night at the Thompson House. This inaugural weekly event is like karaoke, but with a live pianist and tunes from your favorite movies and musicals. Bring your own sheet music or pick a hit from their provided selections. Come around 7:30 p.m. to sign up. The night runs through 11 p.m. Flex those jazz hands and go here for more info.

The JCC Summer Film Series kicks off tonight at Montgomery’s Mayerson JCC. Based on the popularity of the organization’s Jewish and Israeli Film Festival last winter, the center will again screen excellent movies rarely shown in Cincinnati, through Thursday. Tonight’s film is Melting Away (Namess Ba'geshem), the first Israeli feature film that deals with the topic of parents and their relationships with transgendered children. The movie begins at 7 p.m. Check out the full lineup here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.16.2012
Posted In: Events, DIY, Culture, Music, Drinking at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

GOOD Ideas for Cities is an opportunity for problem-solvers to tackle some of their cities’ greatest urban challenges. GOOD has an excellent magazine, but the company is also a collective of innovative individuals, nonprofits and other organizations united to push the world in a positive direction. The GOOD Ideas for Cities program will be presented in six cities this year, including Cincinnati. Local urban leaders met with GOOD to determine some of the city’s urban issues and, last month, GOOD put out a call for creative Cincinnatians with bright ideas. Six teams of problem-solvers were selected and each given an urban challenge Cincinnati currently faces. Tonight at the Contemporary Arts Center, these teams will present their solutions and join the urban leaders for a Q&A. After the 7 p.m. presentation, enjoy drinks and conversation and learn how to help make the ideas a reality. Admission is free, but you must RSVP here. Doors open at 6 p.m., so come early as reservations do not guarantee entrance after 6:45 p.m. It’s a pretty big deal that Cincinnati was selected to participate in the program, and tonight is sure to be an engaging, inspirational evening.

An after-work summer destination for many yuppies Tri-Staters, Party in the Park returns tonight for its 32nd year tonight. Every Wednesday through July, Party in the Park brings booze and popular area cover bands to Yeatman’s Cove from 5-10 p.m. Happy hour runs 5-6:30 p.m. and for the first time, wine and cocktails are available in addition to beer. Tonight’s music comes from Naked Karate Girls. Check out the full lineup here.

Perhaps contemporary Classical is more your style? World-renown composer Yanni performs at the Aronoff Center tonight. Known for being the sound of New Wave and providing the music for the Olympics (since 1988) and countless other televised sporting events, Yanni presents a new touring show featuring new music from Truth of Touch, his first album of original studio music in almost a decade. Tonight’s performance begins at 8 p.m. Go here to find tickets.

Interior decorator and HGTV host/designer Monica Pedersen will stop by Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion to discuss and sign her new book. Monica Pedersen Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home combines the author’s DIY nature and design/décor expertise to turn readers into party-throwing pros. The event begins at 7 p.m. tonight.

Check out our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater shows and other events happening tonight and follow our music blog for a daily live show lineup.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.15.2012
 
 
to do_trailer park boys_provided

Your Tuesday To Do List

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, better known as the Trailer Park Boys, come to Madison Theater tonight. The Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series makes a fun transition to stage with the “Community Service Variety Show.” If last year’s live show was any indication, expect more skits, audience participation and white trash goodness than you can throw a rum and Coke at (and you know Julian will have plenty of those). The show is sold out, so try your luck with the fine scalpers of Covington!

This American Life went live last Thursday, broadcasting the show in theaters across the U.S. and Australia. The show featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual components. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, an NPR-inspired short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. If this sounds amazing (which it was) and you missed out, you're in luck! The broadcast will screen again tonight in several area theaters.

Pro Tip: Download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 (more than a 3D movie, but way less crappy).

Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati tonight from 5-10 p.m. Learn about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati, and what you can do to help raise awareness and bring it to an end. from 5-10 p.m. Enjoy live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and treats, for a great cause. Admission is $5 at the door.

Know Theater welcomes two local comedy groups onstage tonight. Underbelly Comedy and Off the Rocks Improv team up for a "Little Big Night" of laughs. There will be stand-up, improv, sketch comedy and more from some of the city's truly talented performers. Five bucks gets you a seat and a beer! What more could you possibly want? Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Check our our To Do page for more productions, exhibits and events every day and follow our music blog for nightly live shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.14.2012
 
 
acbw

Your Monday To Do List

On this first day of Bike to Work Week, Park + Vine and Queen City Bike want to reward all those who swapped their cars for two wheels with a kombucha keg party tonight. Fab Ferments’ brew will be tapped at 4:30 and the fermented goodness will be served 'til 6 p.m. alongside tasty vegan snacks. P+V continues to celebrate bike month with lots of other events and promotions this month (find more here). Go here for our full Bike Month calendar.

Today is also the kick-off of American Craft Beer Week. That’s a thing! Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, so it’s no surprise that local watering holes are celebrating the creation and consumption of delicious craft beer. Tonight, Arnold’s taps Bell’s Third Coast Ale — one of two fifth-barrels in the entire city. Find Arnold’s full ACBW schedule here.

The Crazy Fox in Newport hosts open mic and all-night happy hour every Monday. All musicians are welcome to perform in a friendly atmosphere, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Seedy Seeds’ Margaret Darling guest hosts this week.

It's Only A Day Away

Tomorrow, Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati. Help raise awareness about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati from 5-10 p.m. There will be live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and more, for $5 at the door.

This American Life presented a live cinema event last Thursday that featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual elements. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, a hilarious short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. The theater in Newport where I watched the show was far too empty — I found the show more entertaining than any movie in theaters right now! Those who missed out have another chance to check out the program in theaters Tuesday. Sure, it will be a recording of the live show, but the charm and excitement of the live format will surely shine through. Without spoiling anything, the stories they were able to assemble were killer: laugh-out-loud, misty-eyed, thought-provoking TAL goodness.

Be sure to download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters screening the show tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Can I gush any more? No. It’s worth the $20 ticket. Please go.

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles bring the trailer park to town for a night tomorrow! For those unfamiliar, Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series and movies that has developed a cult following over the past decade. It’s white trash hilarity at its finest. If last year’s live show was any indication, Tuesday’s “Community Service Variety Show” is sure to bring the LOLs. Buy tickets here.

 
 

 

 

 
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