Monday, December 24, 2012

Drink 'n Songs: Eggnog

Welcome to the first installment of Drink 'n Songs, in which, in order to maximize enjoyment of a beloved (likely alcoholic) beverage, I pair it with a group of five or so songs. I've been kicking around this idea for a couple of years now and figured Christmas would be the best time to get off of my duff* and unveil it.

And the beverage for this inaugural installment of DNS? Eggnog!

Now, you can go out and buy premade eggnog from a store - might I suggest Southern Comfort's go at it? - and mix it with your choice of spiced rum, Irish whiskey, brandy, or bourbon. Or if you're feeling your oats, you can make your own from scratch. Per the Behind the Bar Show podcast, here's a recipe:

4 eggs
2 oz simple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 cups milk
grated nutmeg

Whisk eggs until frothy. Whisk in simple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. While still whisking, slowly add the milk. Serve in Irish Coffee glasses or mugs. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Feel free to spike with rum or whiskey.

Got your eggnog all ready? Good. Just what songs would enhance the pleasure of consuming this Yuletide drink? Look no further! Actually, you will have to scroll down to see them...

1. The Minus 5 - "Your Christmas Whiskey"

"Christmas is the warmest time of year" is the repeated theme of this song by the Minus 5 and they are right. This is a time for sharing with family and friends, so pour them a mug of eggnog and let the warm fuzzies inside you grow.

2. Duke Ellington - "Sugar Rum Cherry"

You're sitting around the house, listening to the same old Christmas songs and the rage swells when Wham! shuffles onto your playlist. It's high time you class up the joint with this smokey take on "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy". And rum is in the title, so it kinda sorta is mandated that it be included in this list.

3. John Legend with Stephen Colbert - "Nutmeg"

Face it: eggnog is the most sensual of the holiday beverages. So, put the kids to bed, ladle out a couple of glasses, and get freaky with your loved one while John Legend ushers you through the quiet (snow) storm.

4. The Decemberists - "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)"

While eggnog is one of the best things about the holiday season, you don't want to overdo it. You'll be regretting it when a fight inevitably breaks out during your party. Let the Decemberists' cover of this John Denver staple serve as a reminder that this drink is best enjoyed in moderation. (Plus, overindulgence will result in your "fat pants" becoming your "regular pants".)

5. The Morning Squirrels - "The Eggnog Song"

This is a bit of nepotism on my part, since this is a song my brother composed and performed back around 2005. Yes, it may be a little on the nose for this list, but it really lays out the eggnog-fueled joys of the holiday season (with assists from Charlie Brown and Linus).

So there you have it. Put these songs on the hi-fi in your space age bachelor pad, kick back with a mighty mug of nog, and revel in the waning days of the year. Merry Christmas!

*Duff beer! There's an idea for a future edition. Brilliant.

Wonderful christmasTunes

Season's greetings, faithful reader(s). The economy's in the dumps, there's rage in the Middle East, Howie Mandel is hosting a new game show. Clearly, we need a little Christmas. And this year's edition of A Very Micah Christmas has arrived just in time.

This year I put all of the songs - well, all of the ones available on Spotify - into a playlist for your convenience:

The full AVMC '12 experience includes the following:

1. "We Need a Little Christmas" - AgesandAges
2. "Wonderful Christmastime" - The Shins
3. "The Wassail Song" - The Boy Least Likely To
4. "Silent Night, Holy Night" - Allen Toussaint
5. "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" - Paul McCartney
6. "All I Ever Get for Christmas Is Blue" - Over the Rhine
7. "O Little Town of Bethlehem" - The Silver Fleece
8. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" - Frank Sinatra
9. "White Christmas" - Dean Martin
10. "Snowflakes" - Erica Driscoll and Boots Ottestad
11. "The Krampus Song" - Jordan Dobbs Rosa
12. "Hanu-calypso" - Kenny Ellis
13. "Mambo Santa Mambo" - The Enchanters
14. "A Great Big Sled" - The Killers with Toni Halliday
15. "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" - Twisted Sister
16. "Zombie Christmas" - Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler
17. "Lonesome Anti-Christmas Blues" - The Fratellis
18. "Cheap Gold" - Frightened Rabbit
19. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - Built for the Sea
20. "Christmas Must Be Tonight" - My Morning Jacket
21. "Christmas Eve With You" - Lindi Ortega
22. "If We Make It Through December" - Merle Haggard
23. "This Good Night Is Still Everywhere" - Dustin Kensrue
24. "Auld Lang Syne" - Andrew Bird
25. surprise!

You can grab them all right here. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I've neglected this blog so much (and put more effort into my Tumblr lately) that I almost forgot to post this slideshow I made for the best Thanksgiving song ever, Steve Poltz's "Holiday Song".

Count your blessings, enjoy the time with your loved ones, think of others, keep warm, and stay safe.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After Charlie Brown inevitably takes his own life, the neighbors and his "friends" will have his blood on their hands

I made these Great Pumpkin pictures and posted them one by one over the last week at my Tumblr, but I figured it's be nice to have them all in one place.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"And the Oscar goes to...Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star!"

It's time once again for the glitzy annual Hollywood circle jerk that is the Oscars. Just who will reign supreme this year? The tale of a majestic animal in a time of battle (Hugo), the pretentious and meandering arthouse film (The Descendents), the cloying 9/11 drama (Moneyball), or one of the six other flicks?

Of the Best Picture nominees, I've only seen two and a half. I really enjoyed Moneyball. I was more lukewarm on Midnight in Paris since I'm no fan of Woody Allen or when actors stand in for him (sorry, Owen). This afternoon I gave that glorified screensaver The Tree of Life a chance, but shortly after the dinosaurs appeared I checked out. Maybe in my golden years when I'm all hopped up on medicinal marijuana, I'll give it another shot.

Two films from 2011 that I thought were great, but got absolutely no Oscar love are Win Win (in my heart, the National's "Think You Can Wait" won Best Song) and Submarine. Do check them out.

Some are ragging on the Academy for bringing Billy Crystal back to host, but can you really blame them after the disaster that was last year? There's a right way to hip things up and a wrong way. Let's just call this a rebuilding year.

Oscar talk just wouldn't be the same without a little fashion. I couldn't give a hoot about all that (right now I'm watching last night's "Portlandia"), but here's who I'm wearing tonight: shirt by Jean-Jacques Shirt del Woot, pants by Armand Champion, hoodie by House of Old Navy, and slippers by Georgio Dockers.

I'll be live blogging the awards in the comment section. Swing by and tell me who you're wearing, give me your thoughts on the nominated films and performances, take the celebrities down a peg, tear apart the ceremony, or just say hi.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Requiem for the OG zombie

R.I.P. Bill Hinzman, 1936-2012.

You set the tone for 45 years of cinema and I'll be disappointed if you're not shuffling around out there as I type this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Burns Night

Here's to another Burns Night. It's been one big sucker punch to the gut of a day for me, so this gives me a positive excuse to get lost in a bottle of McClelland's Islay tonight.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gonna kick it root down.

Entering the world of smart phones early last year changed my life. Now wherever I go, I have a little computer in my pocket. Need to check movie times or sports scores? No problem. Kill time by surfing the web? Can do! Need directions? Fire up the ol' GPS. Listen to European pop stations? There's an app for that.

While I love my LG Optimus V, I can't truthfully say a world of productivity and entertainment possibilities opened up to me. You see, while the phone is a great starter Android in many respects, there is one major drawback to it: a paltry 140 mb of internal that leaves little room for apps. Sure, a lot of apps out there can be moved to the SD card, but not all of them, by any means. With so many apps out there begging me to give them a spin, there was only one solution. I would have to root my phone.

When it comes to electronics, I'm a straight arrow that plays by the rules. (Well, I did complete the arduous task of punching a sequence of numbers on my remote control to make my DVD player region-free. Yar!) I don't cotton to voiding warranties should anything malfunction. Combine that with my limited technical knowledge and I didn't think I'd ever be able to unleash the full capabilities of my phone by myself. That is, until I found out about Gingerbreak.

With Gingerbreak, the process couldn't have been easier. I installed it on my Optimus and pressed one button. Boom. Rooted. It couldn't be simpler.

Of course, this was just the first step. With my phone "free", so to speak, I was now able to install apps that require rooting. One such app would solve my internal storage problem: Link2SD. This app moves any non-system app to the SD card and create a link to it on the phone, tricking it into thinking it is in the phone's memory. Installation of Link2SD was easy. It just required a partitioning of the card. (The first partition is for the moved apps. The second's for everything else.)

The one-two punch of Gingerbreak and Link2SD finally unlocked all of my phone's potential. I could now download many of the daily free paid apps from Amazon that I had been banking. Paper Camera for cool pictures. Lightning Bug to relax me! Flight Control to occupy all of my free time! And much, much more! Really, I am so glad that I rooted my phone and wish I would've done it sooner.

And here's one funny moment from my rooting experience:

We speak the same language, yet are worlds apart. I love my phone, but not that much. Sicko.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Requiem for a fashion icon/pundit

R.I.P. Tony Blankley, 1948-2012.

He was my favorite McLaughlin Group All-Star and will be missed.

Monday, January 02, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it (and I'm totally cool with that)

It would be folly to make an effort to better yourself during the year that the world's going to end. Play for today, as the bard Robert Smith wrote so many years ago. So I'm not going to make any profound resolutions for 2012. But I will make a few tweaks in my life before the Mayans bring us all down.

Firstly, there are all of the previous attempts to improve things over the past couple of years. Some items were successfully completed (Redesigned blog! Read an epic-length book!). Others will have to be carried over for another year (More Bible time! More Britcom time!).

Now, the big thing I want to accomplish in the coming 12 months is to be more socially available. Living about 40 minutes or so from all of my friends has really secluded me. They don't really want to make the trip down south and all too often I regrettably return in kind. I really miss hanging with everyone. What's more, who knows how many professional/romantic/etc. opportunities have been lost by retreating into my cocoon of video games, DVDs, and books? So, I will make the effort put myself out there*.

Also, I want to get my writing and this blog back up to speed. In 2011 I made the first big step with the redesign and custom URL. Heck, I even did the same for A Very Micah Christmas, which I kept fairly up to date this season. Now it's time to take things to the next level. In the new year I will do more longform posts. In the meantime, all of the "drive by posts" - links, pictures, videos - have been transitioned over to the Micah, please! Tumblr**. Do check it out!

So, that's that. I think I can do those things before we're reduced to rubble. And if I fail, it's not like anyone will be around to call me out on it. Win-win!

*And, hopefully, that includes a move back to Richmond proper, which would greatly reduce any "effort" needed in going out.
**The exception will be that the Crushes of the Week will be staying put here when I bring them back. Gotta keep up those page visits!