Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teen Idol Beat-Down: James Van Der Beek vs. Zac Efron

Hey, everybody! What. Up. It's Tuesday, which means it's another Teen Idol Beat-Down. What is Teen Idol Beat-Down, you ask? Simple. It seeks to answer the question, "In a fictional fight between a teen idol of yesteryear and a teen idol of today, who would win?" The winner will be decided via poll, and to help you make an informed decision, I will be outlining the pros of each contender. Ain't I nice? For tonight's battle, I present:

James Van Der Beek vs. Zac Efron

Teen girls in the late nineties swooned when they caught sight of Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery, the insecure, sensitive, uber-goober protagonist of Dawson's Creek. With the exstensive vocabulary only a home-schooler could pull off and a luxurious golden mane that shown gloriously in the sun, Van Der Beek made nerdy look cool and sexy. Zac Efron burst onto the scene in the High School Musical franchise, where he somehow made teen heartthrob status despite musical numbers like this:

Wait. Hold up. Is it just me, or does the "Bet On It" number kind of have the same vibe as this TOTALLY SERIOUS AND AWESOME AND NOT AT ALL LAME scene from Footloose?

DON'T FIGHT THE MUSIC, REN. DANCE AWAY YOUR PAIN. Oops. Sorry. I lost myself there for a moment. Anyway, who would win: James Van Der Beek or Zac Efron?

James Van Der Beek: Pros
-self-deprecating sense of humor

Zac Efron: Pros
-He can sing, act, and dance (subjective, but whatevs)--triple threat!
-He beefed up for this movie. If anything, it looks like he could beat someone's ass.

Van Der Meme just 'cause:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Proof That Filters Can Make Crappy Pictures Look Amazing

The latest craze among those with smartphones are applications that apply vintage filters to pictures. The most popular is Instagram, but since I have a Droid, the application I downloaded is One Man With a Camera, which is similar. These apps are the best inventions ever because they can turn the crappiest of photos into works of art. Don't believe me? Behold, I bring you my newest photo collection: Bored at Work. Taken in less than five minutes and with zero effort:

I call this one, "Work Space."

"Glasses and Coffee." Literary.

"Ruler, Paperclip, and Keyboard." How is this photo speaking to you?

"Rings." More than meets the eye?

I'm going to get so much use out of this app. Stay tuned for my next collection, entitled, Randomness: A Trip Around My Apartment (working title).

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Sometimes, I get afraid I'm turning into one of those crazy dog owners. You know the type: the ones that insist their pups prefer a certain brand of dog food, who treat their dogs like they're close, personal friends instead of a pet. I do tend to bring up Ava a lot in conversation, and she even has her own Twitter account. However, once in awhile, I will catch of glimpse of people who have truly gone off the deep end, which makes me look like I'm still paddling safely in the shallows. Like this:

That there is a dog wedding. People actually dress up Spot and Fido in a wedding dress and groom garb, and HAVE AN HONEST-TO-GOD WEDDING CEREMONY like it ain't no thang. Like it's completely normal for two dogs to get married and for the union to be valid. There was a TV special about this phenomenon a few weeks ago, and it said that people pay thousands for these types of ceremonies.

There's so much I could write on this. So many jokes. So much snark. But it's too easy. So I'll just say that I no longer feel so wackadoo about my dog having her own Twitter account. 

America, you are ridiculous. Don't go changin'.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bay Area Eats: EATS! American Grill

Last weekend, my parents were in town, and for Sunday lunch, I decided to try something new and take them to a restaurant we all hadn't tried yet: EATS! American Grill. After reading favorable blog reviews as well as praising Yelp! reviews, I'd been wanting to check the place out for some time. I wasn't disappointed (my parents loved it as well!).

We started off with the complimentary basket of Saratoga Potato Chips and dipping sauce and an order of fried pickles ($4.99). The pickles were piping hot (a sign that they were made fresh!), and the chips and dipping sauce were just a perfect complement. I don't know exactly what the dipping sauce was comprised of, but it was very similar to the sauce that comes with Outback's Bloomin' Onion.

Perusing through the menu's variety of Americana fare, we settled on the Bin on Weck ($8.99--Pops' choice), the French Dip ($8.99--Mom's choice), and the Midwestern BLT ($8.79--my choice). That BLT was probably the best I've ever had. EATS! turned the simple sandwich on its head by making it with fried green tomatoes, peppered bacon, lettuce, its "Signature Spicy Sauce," and slapping the whole thing between two pieces of Texas Toast. I had the choice between the regular Spicy Sauce and "full heat," and opted for the regular (I don't like terribly spicy foods). The regular sauce added just enough of a kick that I could appreciate without draining my water glass. Its flavors also enhanced the fried green tomatoes and peppered bacon really well.

My parents' sandwiches looked equally as delicious. I can't really describe what they tasted like, as they weren't my sandwiches (obvs), so descriptions from the menu (and your own imaginations) will have to suffice:
 Bin on Weck (Beef on Weck):
Buffalo's other claim to fame. Brought to us by Michael Wuliger of Bin 27, this famous sandwich is thinly sliced roast beef served on a kummelweck roll and topped with our own Horsey Sauce. Au Jus served on the side. 

French Dip:
Born in 1918 in Los Angeles, CA. This classic is roast beef cooked and seasoned to perfection, topped with Swiss cheese and served with a side of Au Jus for dipping. 

Yummy. If the clean plates were any indication, I'd say they were received enthusiastically.

EATS! lives up to its reputation as being a great go-to for American food. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is casual (plenty of TVs for watching the big game and a full bar for those who want something a little stronger with their food), and you will feel right at home. It's definitely a place I plan on visiting again; I've got my sights set on its fried Oreo sundae!

EATS! American Grill
4502 S. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33611

Mon-Sun 11a.m.-10p.m.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teen Idol Beat-Down: Hanson vs. the Jonas Brothers

I might as well make this a Tuesday feature since apparently I just can't bother to post on Mondays. ANYway, it's a new week, which means it's a new Teen Idol Beat-Down! The concept is simple: a teen idol from yesterday is pitted against a teen idol of today in a fictional fight. The winner will be decided via poll, and to help you make an informed decision, I will be presenting the advantages each contender has. This week we have...

Hanson vs. the Jonas Brothers

It's 3-on3 this week, y'all! 3-man band Hanson vs. 3-man band the Jonas Brothers. Wow, that was an awkward sentence. It also had the number 3 a lot. Wait, did the spirit of a Sesame Street character momentarily overtake my body and try to make this post sponsored by the number 3? What's happening here?

Oh. Right. You don't give a flying fuck about Sesame Street or about how many 3s are in this post. Get back to the fight, yo! Well, alright. In 1997, Hanson bopped to the top of the charts with their hit, "Mmmbop." I do believe everybody back then--even Hanson fans--pretended to loath the song, but as soon as they got home, they turned that shit up and danced their asses off. And really, can you blame them? IT'S A CATCHY SONG. 

I'm not even gonna lie, I have it downloaded to my iPod, and I jam out in my apartment. Along with, "Said I Loved You, But I Lied." Sometimes you need a little Michael Bolton in your life. 

Anyway. Taylor was the undisputed cutie of the group, Issac was the beast, and everybody wanted to punch Zac in the face because he was so annoying. But together, they were loved. 

I think the Jonas Brothers came on the scene via Camp Rock, although don't quote me on that. From my point of view, they just appeared out of nowhere. Along with a bunch of Camp Rock stuff. I don't really know who is considered the cutie, the beast, or the annoying one in this trio, because I'm not in their target audience, and I'm too lazy to Google it. I just know one is named Nick, one is named Joe, I don't know the other one's name, one is married, and I guess one or all of them had or have purity rings. And they're tight with Mickey and Minnie:

So with that extremely unhelpful information, who would win: Hanson or the Jonas Brothers?

Hanson: Pros
-There's three of them, so together they could put up a decent fight.
-They rocked long hair and grunge wear. That's pretty badass.
-Zac might have been irritating as hell, but homeslice looked to be scrappy. I'll bet he could cut a bitch.

The Jonas Brothers: Pros
-There's three of them, so together they could put up a decent fight.
-They have the support of Mickey, Minnie, their friends, and the ENTIRE DISNEY ENTERPRISE. Since Disney rules the universe, the Jonas Brothers have ready access to a host of ass-kicking resources. 
-They ALL look like they could cut a bitch if provoked. 

Quizzes by Quibblo.com | SnapApp Quiz Apps

*Images from Zimbio and HollyWire

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teen Idol Beat-Down: Devon Sawa vs. Darren Criss

So I'm a day late in getting this up, but it turned out to be serendipitous, as it is VALENTINE'S DAY! And what better way to celebrate than to vote on a fictional cage match between those teen heartthrobs that stole our hearts back in the day (read: late 90s/early 00s) as well as today? As always, the score will be settled via a poll. The most votes = the biggest badass. To help you make an informed decision, I will list the pros of each contestant. For tonight's match, I bring you:

Devon Sawa vs. Darren Criss

I must admit, I'm a little conflicted when it comes to this one. Being a child of the 90s, I feel compelled to side with Sawa. But truth be told, I wasn't a huge Devon Sawa fan. I fell into the JTT camp. On the other hand, I find Darren Criss absolutely adorable, and if I were thirteen and in possession of a Glee-themed Bop Magazine, his pin-ups would definitely be all over my locker at school. But who the hell cares about me, amirite? Let's get to the nitty-gritty. 

Devon Sawa made his way into the diaries of girls everywhere when he appeared in the last five minutes of the movie Casper.  I know he was in other movies, like Little Giants, Now and Then, and Wild America, but I guarantee you if you ask any girl in her 20s the first thing that pops into her head when you say "Devon Sawa," it will be Casper. Trust me on this, okay? I know. I was there. 

Darren Criss warbled (See what I did there? Glee pun, LOLZ!) his way into our hearts when he appeared on Glee's second season. Dark, handsome, and sort-of-tall (he's 5'8" according to IMDB), he brings a  sexy, Tom Fordish-kind of vibe into the midst of all the Justin Bieber wannabes and pretty boys currently dotting the teen heartthrob scene. 

Both are valiant contenders, but there can only be one winner. So who will it be? Darren Criss or Devon Sawa?

Devon Sawa: Pros
-He's got tattoos, which, as everybody knows, is a pictorial way of saying you could fuck some shit up.
-He's Canadian, which throws people off. As soon as you mark him for a pacifist, BAM! You've got a broken jaw, courtesy of his RIGHT HOOK.
-He hung out with wild animals on Wild America. Might have even wrestled a bear, I dunno. I'm too lazy to look it up. 

Darren Criss: Pros
-He's half-Filipino, which means scrappiness runs in his blood. This is not me being racist. Have you seen Filipino Mixed Martial Arts? You don't want a can of that opened on your ass.
-He can sing, which throws people off. As soon as you mark him as one of those sensitive singer-songwriter types, BAM! He is throwing some mixed martial arts at you and you're barely alive.
-He's also half-Irish, and we all know about the notorious Irish temper. Combine that with some mixed martial arts and you will be dead. Okay, that might have sounded a little racist. Sorry. Don't hate me. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bay Area Eats: Yogurtology

I've been a fan of Pinkberry ever since it opened at Westshore Plaza. I loved the variety of fresh ingredients, friendly staff, and different flavors. Pinkberry is still my go-to frozen yogurt place--when I'm at Westshore Plaza. But for all those other times I get a fro-yo craving but don't feel like dealing with mall parking or mall crowds, I have a new go-to place: Yogurtology.

Located in a strip plaza on Church Ave., Yogurtology is unassuming. I was guilty of driving by on multiple occasions, but never stopping in (until a few weeks ago). I wish I would have visited sooner, because the place has an amazing variety of flavors (twelve!) and toppings (60!).

Yogurtology is self-serve, meaning you grab an empty cup and fill it up with whatever you want. Flavors ranging from Salted Caramel to Red Velvet to (my personal favorite) plain ol' Tart Nouveau are at your disposal, creating the temptation to mix-and-match. After you select your flavor(s), you can then select from toppings ranging the gamut from mango boba beads to mini donuts to fresh fruit to Twix and Kit-Kat bars. You do pay by the weight of your frozen treat, but unless you go crazy and attempt to shove all 60 toppings into your cup, you shouldn't pay much more than you would for a yogurt at one of those flat-rate places (lookin' at you, Pinkberry!).

My creation: Tart Nouveau yogurt topped with Hersey's chocolate, chocolate-covered waffle cone bites, brownie bites, chocolate chip cookie dough, and rainbow Sno Caps

Bonus: the friendly staff works hard to keep the place clean and sanitary. On every single one of my visits, workers were vigilant in vacuuming up stray toppings and making sure each topping had its own serving spoon/tongs. The floor and tables are mopped and wiped down as well, and the food itself looks and tastes fresh--never like it's been setting out for days on end. 

It's definitely worth it to give Yogurtology a try. If you can't find anything there to satisfy your frozen yogurt craving, then you are way too picky. 

1202 S. Church Ave., Suite C
Tampa, FL 33629

11a.m.-10p.m. Sunday thru Thursday
11a.m.-11p.m. Friday & Saturday

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Who I'm Listening To: The Jinxes

Having three posts in a row about Jonathan Taylor Thomas was starting to creep even me out, so I thought I'd divert the path of this blog back to territory that's a little more respectable: music. Specifically, The Jinxes, which is an up-and-coming folk pop singer/songwriter duo based out of Monterey, CA. I first heard about these guys on Twitter, when I got a notification they were following my tweets. I'm not sure how they found my profile, but I'm glad they did. They're pretty good! The soothing melodies and guitar riffs are very similar to those of The Weepies, which makes them a good go-to when you're looking for something a little more mellow.

As of right now, The Jinxes only have two songs, "Migration" and (my personal favorite) "If You Want (the buh bah song)." I think they have the potential to have a pretty solid music career, and I look forward to seeing new things from them in the future. For now, though, you can catch them on Twitter, Facebook, and here.

P.S. Does talking about a musical duo that's so new it doesn't even have an album out yet make me a hipster? 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Teen Idol Beat-Down: JTT vs. Justin Bieber

If you couldn't already tell, I've had teen heartthrobs on the brain lately. Naturally, reminiscing over the Tiger Beat kings of yesteryear caused me to wonder: in a full-out cage match-type of brawl between a teen idol of yore and a teen idol of today, who would win? After the ass-kicking is done and nothing is left but blood, broken bones, and a bruised ego, who would emerge victorious and who would be in the fetal position in the corner, sniveling and sobbing?

Hence, a new blog feature: Teen Idol Beat-Down. Every Monday, there will be a new match, and a winner will be decided via poll. The pros of each fighter will be listed by yours truly, so you can better make an informed decision. Got it? Good. Here we go!

JTT vs. Justin Bieber

Jonathan Taylor Thomas, a.k.a. JTT, won over the hearts of pre-teen girls and confused boys everywhere in the mid- to late-nineties. Every week he entered into homes via Home Improvement, and starring roles in movies such as Man of the House and Tom and Huck served to solidify his teen heartthrob status. 

After being discovered on YouTube in 2008, Justin Bieber found success (and a large tween fan base) in the musical realm. The latter part of the millennium's first decade saw his delicate bone structure and standard skinny jeans cause otherwise normal human beings to go absolutely apeshit at the mere mention of his name.  

This begs the question: who would win in a teen idol beat-down, JTT or Justin Bieber?

JTT: Pros
-extensive knowledge of tools from being on Home Improvement
-short in stature, so he can move quickly
-pouty lips and a killer olive complexion that could make even the most heterosexual of men question his orientation

Justin Bieber: Pros
-delicate bone structure
-skinny jeans
-melodic voice
-serious game when it comes to the ladies, as seen in this interview with Chelsea Handler

Friday, February 3, 2012

Open Letter to Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Hi Jonathan (a.k.a. JTT a.k.a Simba a.k.a. the man of my house [read: dreams] when I was 13),

My name is SVB. You don't know me, but I loved your face back in 1997 (as did every other girl between the ages of 10 and 14). I faithfully watched Home Improvement every week, I owned all of your movies (even that creepy live-action version of Pinocchio; I'm sorry for calling something you worked hard on creepy, but it kind of was. I mean, I'm sure if I was high it would blow my mind, but looking back on it 15 years later and sober, it does look like something out of one of my nightmares) and, like the rest of your fans, I was bummed when you disappeared off the face of the Earth. So imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled upon your Entertainment Weekly interview! It's like with that one interview, the world went from, "Remember when JTT was RULING at EVERYTHING back in the late 90s?" to, "HOLY FUCKING HELL, JTT IS BACK! JUSTIN BIEBER BETTER GIRD HIS LOINS AND WATCH HIS BACK BECAUSE SIMBA IS GOING TO MAUL THE SHIT OUT OF HIM!" Or something. It was cool to see you back in the spotlight, is what I'm getting at.

It was also cool to see that you've taken to the Twitter. While I have no definitive proof that it is actually YOUR Twitter account, I am assuming it is based on the following:

1.) It is private, and fake accounts generally aren't;

2.) Your profile background is a picture I have not been able to find on Google Images, which means that it's not in the public domain, which means only people close to that photo have access, which leads me to believe that it is really your account.

To be honest, I really haven't searched that hard for that specific picture, and there is a chance I am really stupid when it comes to using Google Images, but I'm still going to assume that's your actual Twitter profile. Going on this assumption, I sent a follow request, which you ignored.


I understand where you're coming from. You have no idea who the hell I am. Why would you want a stranger following you? That's creepy. I would normally agree, except for the fact that you have 1,071 followers. Really, Jonathan? Do you really know 1,071 people? Could you honestly say that you've met all 1,071 of your Twitter followers and you hang out with them on a normal basis? If you were to win a Super Bowl Party for 1,071 of your closest friends, would you invite every single one of your Twitter followers?

Let's be real here. Just because you allow a user access to your tweets doesn't mean that you're allowing him or her access into your heart and home. It doesn't grant that user an invite to an Oscar Party you may be hosting or an hour-long heart-to-heart phone convo. And I don't want any of that. I have no intention of showing up on your doorstep in a homemade JTT shirt with the entire Home Improvement DVD collection and demanding we have a viewing marathon during which I describe to you (in detail) how each episode made me feel. First of all, I don't own any Home Improvement DVDs. Second of all, I'm not that crafty. Any attempt at making a homemade t-shirt will end up looking like this: