Skkra Recommends… theft!

When’s the last time you stole something?  Have you ever stolen something?  If not, you’re really missing out, and this recommendation is for you.

I’m not saying to go out and start an international crime ring.  I’m not saying to go lift a $2000 TV.  Though if you’ve done either of those things, good for you.

I’m simply saying, why not go to your nearest 7-11 and walk out of there with roll of Chewy Sprees?  See if you can do it without getting caught.  It’s really fun.  Once you do that, try and get something a little bigger, like a Red Bull.  See how far you can take it… challenge yourself!  My old crew and I used to literally pick an item, like a Mountain Dew, and whoever could leave with the most of them would win.  It was like some kind of amoral, theft-based Supermarket Sweep.

The key is a mixture of careful discretion and pure confidence.  You can’t stand around looking shady… then it looks like you’re stealing!  You need to look like, yup, this is exactly what I should be doing.  Nothing wrong here!  That confidence is the key to hilarious lifts.  Back in the day, I was so good that I could pocket the stupid little horoscope scrolls that are by the register while I was checking out.  It was always a great challenge.

There you have it.  You’re welcome in advance for this great recommendation.  Have fun out there!


Skkra Recommends… Goodfellas!

When is the last time that you sat down and watched Goodfellas?  If the answer isn’t “yesterday,” then it’s been too long.  Cancel your plans for tonight.

I’ve probably watched this movie at least 100 times, and you know what?  It gets better every damn time.  I think – know, actually – that it’s the best mob movie ever made.  Sorry, Godfather.  Every little thing about it is absolutely brilliant, from the music choices, to the cinematography, to the 2016-01-09_Goodfellasdialogue, to the career-best performances from Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta.

Can we talk about Ray Liotta’s voiceover dialogue for a minute?  It’s probably the best-delivered narration I’ve ever heard in film.  It blows all other performances away.  On the opposite ends of the spectrum, Harrison Ford in Blade Runner is probably the flattest delivery I can think of, then you have Denzel in Fallen, which is incredibly good, but still can’t quite reach the level that Liotta manages to achieve.

I love Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny.  Even in Home Alone.  The guy definitely has range.  But I don’t think anyone – probably not even Joe – would argue that Goodfellas is the best role he ever played.  You wouldn’t think that the little Italian with a funny voice would manage to consistently be the most intimidating character on screen, but Pesci’s performance, particularly his blank facial expressions and his eyes when he’s angry… man, you just think “this guy is fucking scary.”


Skkra Recommends… cigarettes!

Yup.  That’s right.  Cigarettes.  Yes, they’re terrible for you.  But if you’re ever been sitting around drinking and had one, you’d know that they can be fucking awesome, too.  So why not take a 15 minute vacation from being a boring, whiny bitch next time you’re drinking and light one up?

If you’ve never been sitting in a dark corner of a dimly lit dive bar and known the quiet joy – or perhaps soul-crushing pain – of sitting there alone, having a drink, and smoking a cigarette or three, then you’re really missing out on a key life experience.  I suggest you go have it sooner than later.

Now that we’ve established that cigs are awesome, what do we have on 2016-01-06_Cigarettesdeck?  Well, I personally recommend menthols.  I was a huge fan of Salem Menthol Lights that came in the slide box.  They’re sadly extinct now.  They used to have one cigarette in each box that had a green filter, and this was “the lucky.”  Saving the lucky until the perfect moment, like the best song in the best set at a music festival, was great.  Sadly, annoying parents with nothing better to do eventually got the lucky removed from Salems, since it “marketed to kids” or some bullshit.  So what if it did?  Your dumb kids are gonna smoke anyways because of how cool it is.  Why ruin my fun???

Nowadays, it’s pretty much whatever is around.  My buddy Medic had me on Parliament Lights back when.  My other friend McSway is a fan of Camel Crush, which is a regular cigarette with the option to “crush” a little pellet in the filter, which then turns it into a menthol.  Somehow, that seems extra unhealthy, even for a product that is already a known carcinogen, so I don’t really dig those.  American Spirits, or Am Spears, are quite delicious, and have a nice slow burn that sets them apart from the others.

And what about cloves?  Man, yeah, cloves.  I almost forgot about cloves.  Do they still even make cloves?  I haven’t seen them in ages.  I used to love bumming a clove back in college.  Someone once told me that a single clove is equal to a whole pack of regular cigarettes.  When it’s that delicious though, does it really matter?  Hell, we’re all gonna die one day anyways.  I’m sure that on my deathbed, I’m not going to say, “Well, I’m sure glad I didn’t enjoy those cloves!”  No, I’m gonna chain those motherfuckers.  Heck, I’m gonna try and find some cloves right now.  2001, here I come.

Sprouts in Vinegar

Skkra Recommends… brussels sprouts steamed in vinegar!

I made these the other day, and it’s my favorite way to have sprouts.  I figured, hey, it’d almost be a crime to deprive my massive audience of this deliciousness.  It’s quite simple.

Get a bunch of sprouts and cut them into halves.  Get a sauté pan and coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive or avocado oil.  Place all of the halves with the cut face down at the bottom of the pan.  Get some plain old distilled vinegar and pour it over all of the sprouts.  Continue pouring enough in there so that you get a decent amount at the bottom of the pan.  Not so much that the sprouts are drowning in it, but definitely enough so that they’re sitting in a shallow pool of it.  Finally, grind a bunch of black pepper on top of all of the sprouts.

Put the pan over medium high heat and cover it.  As soon as the vinegar gets hot and starts to steam, turn it down to low and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, since if all of the vinegar burns off, they may burn.  If you did it right, after about 10 minutes, all of the vinegar should basically be evaporated, and your sprouts should be tender and delicious.

I hated sprouts until I was in my mid-20s.  A neighbor came over one night and prepared them like this, and it was the first time I ever enjoyed them.  The vinegar takes the bitterness out of the sprouts and makes them juicy and tender.

The Grinder

Skkra Recommends… The Grinder!

I think that the first time I truly appreciated Rob Lowe was when he appeared in Tommy Boy.  He pretty much steals every scene that he’s in.  That was probably the first time that I realized how good his comedic timing was.

If you haven’t bothered checking out The Grinder with Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis (“the waitress” from Always Sunny), then do yourself a favor and go watch the pilot episode on demand.  If you aren’t sold on the show within the first 5 minutes, then you’re probably an idiot, and I guess the show just isn’t for you.  The writing is strong, Rob Lowe’s delivery is so good that I’m laughing just thinking about it while I write this, and Fred Savage has some of the best, most emotive facial expressions that somehow perfectly nail each situation.

Side note, I’ve always been a gigantic fan of Mary Elizabeth Ellis, ever since 2016-01-06_TheGrinderI first saw her on Always Sunny.  I know she was in another network show before this, but it didn’t last.  I think/hope this one will, and I’m glad she’s getting a starring role on a high-profile show.  She’s hilarious.  Come to think of it, all of the gals on Always Sunny (Sweet Dee, Artemis and The Waitress) are hilarious.

So!  Yeah.  Go watch The Grinder.