Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Mild But Albeit Innocent Obsession With Kurt Sutter (#SOA)

Until a couple weeks ago the only thing I knew about Sons of Anarchy was that the attractive fellow from Green Street Hooligans played a badass biker and that Peggy Bundy was involved in some capacity.

After devouring season 1, patiently waiting every Tuesday/Friday for the red Netflix envelope to arrive (yes, I do have it down to a schedule), I've found that even though I can jokingly tweet remarks about my newest fictional crush Jax, played by Charlie Hunnam - I really came out of this season with a newfound appreciation for one man, Kurt Sutter.

Note: "Jax's babies" - I don't know Hunnam, so that would just be weird to say..

In case you don't know who Mr. Sutter is, fret not, neither did I until I was captivated by a cameo from encarcarated Sons of Anarchy member Otto Delaney in 'Better Half' (season 1, episode 10) - which would make my acquintance going on 5 days now.

As mayhem unfolded in Charming and ATF went at SOA from a new angle, the suave gentleman restrained in a 10x10 (best guess) room was the most memorable part of the episode.

It didn't take long before I was googling (what an offbeat verb, I wonder if there's a plan to add it to the dictionary?) to find out more information about this man - the actor, not the character.

Kurt Sutter.

Come to find out, Sutter is more than just an actor that was the lucky result of a casting call. He is the creative genius behind the series. Which leads me to my mild but albeit innocent obsession with Kurt Sutter.

With my limited work in film to spawn my curiousity of his artful process, he is definitely on my list of people in the industry I'd like to sit down with for a few hours, shoot the shit (or sh*t for the more sensitive reader), and pick his brain to the full extent that my stream of consciousness will allow.

I can't imagine what it takes to make something like a simple idea come to be a show that is now rocking its way up the Nielsen rankings in its fifth season on FX.

While most people, understandably, are focused on the actors who are in your face every week carrying the show in one sense - have you ever wondered what's happening to get them there? I love television, but I have a deep appreciation for the day-to-day behind the scenes actions. While Hunnam is delivering that perfect line, I wonder who wrote it? Who chose the music to go with the last epic scene in the season one finale in the cemetary? And, who was responsible for the final shot of him standing at his father's grave that tracked back from a close-up to a wide with the min-flags perfectly lined up (flags no doubt being the result of a fantastic art department)?

And, who's behind it all?

Thumbs up, Kurt Sutter, bravo!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Assistant Woes And Other Related Theories

I think my assistant would poison me if she had a chance.

No, scratch that, I have convinced myself that she would without a doubt lace my coffee with arsenic given the opportunity.

I am so convinced of this fact that I have contemplated leaving a signed note in my desk to that effect. It would read something like the following:

If you're reading this, I am surely in some sort of tragic distress and have been rushed to a nearby medical facility through the use of emergency vehicle as my organs slowly and painfully shut down. I can't be certain of course, but I have a strong inkling that my assistant is to blame. Please follow-up on this crucial clue to solving the heinous crime that has quite clearly been perpetrated resulting in your being authorized access to my desk where this letter is casually stored front and center in the top middle drawer. And, I don't mean follow-up in the same sense as when people write "SEE I.D" on the signature line of their credit cards, I mean it with all sincerity and just as much eagerness. For further proof just ask the co-workers whom seem most likely to have been privy to my well developed theories on the matter, which let's be honest, is just about all the ones I talk to.
P.S. Don't be fooled by her sweet as pie demeanor either! CSI has surely taught you the truth.
I have began taking precautions as my paranoia, which clearly comes from my inner-city upbringing (Detroit, What?!), has skyrocketed right past rational thought at this point. And, in case you were wondering, "this point" is just before I indulge in an adult beverage, after which time my writing becomes stale and I truly believe everyone loves me (well, maybe the latter comes after a few drinks). Although I have no fear that a student would go through my desk and find my log o' misbehavior, I have decided that my assistant might, and have thus started to lock my desk and computer upon leaving the room. Also, considering the pad of paper I use to take the notes on is front and center in the top middle drawer for easy access (much like my imaginary note), I may want to begin thinking about alternative hiding places - and while I'm doing that, I might want to look into locking the cabinet where I actually keep my coffee supplies.

Naturally my father has been caught in the onslaught as every day after school I sit at my desk and dial him up. My guess is that he started to consider changing his personal extension to avoid what is rapidly becoming a tradition sometime around last Tuesday, give or take a day. Of course, I only call to tell him how my day went - and share my misery while ultimately blaming him for my undue stress, and then at the end of the week, e-mail demanding a new purse.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: UNREAL™ Candy

I'm not sure what it is, but there's a part of me that is always hesitant about the idea of new candy. Perhaps it's the nature of the business. There are so many candy brands that I have become accustomed to seeing on the shelf that the noticeable addition of a new competitor catches me off-guard. Even the sudden scribbles you now see on the classic 'Mike & Ike' boxes throws me off-guard.
I definitely have my chocolate loyalty - even though I'm not a huge chocolate fan - so when it came to trying UNREAL™ candy, I was skeptical to say the least.
This trendy chocolate asserts itself as 'unjunked," using that at the center of its' extensive new ad campaign as it tries to break into a market that is already very much monopolized by some of the larger and better known brands.
The biggest concern I've heard from other adults about cosuming sweets, chocolate in particular, come from the idea of gaining weight. Words like "calories," "fat," and "unhealthy" seem to be synonymous with indulging at this point, which makes a healthier alternative all the more appealing.
The packaging proudly boasts its contents' nutrition facts on the back in a bold and colorful fashion. To further make their point, the company website offers a candy by candy comparision for each of its products who all mirror an existing chocolate creation.
What does that mean?
I mentioned before that UNREAL™ candy is a healthier alternative, but an alternative for what exactly? Not just chocolate treats in general, but an alternative for some of your favorites - for some of the classics. Right now, the five options are:
  • Unreal 54 - Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts
  • Unreal 41 - Candy Coated Chocolates 
  • Unreal 8 - Chocolate Carmel Peanut Nougut
  • Unreal 5 - Chocolate Carmel Nougut
  • Unreal 77 - Peanut Butter Cups
Sound a bit familiar? That's because they are basically: Peanut M&M's, Plain M&M's, Snickers, Milky Way, and Reese's Cups.

When I first realized this when I went to redeem my free coupon at CVS (compliments of BzzAgent), I thought it was genius!

So how do they compare?

After trying three out of the five (54, 8, 77), I can honestly say they're not bad. Even though you can instantly tell the difference - a blind taste test of the product side by side with the original would be no contest for a seasoned candy eater. However, if you were looking to make a healthier choice I would completely recommend  the UNREAL™ option. The difference in taste would, I assume, become unnoticable at some point if you made the switch (like the time I switched from mayonaisse to vegenaise, a mayo alternative made completely of vegetables - after a few weeks I stopped noticing any difference).

Out of the ones I tried, my favorite was the peanut butter cups. I thought they tasted the closest to what I was used to, maybe a little sweeter even.

The packaging is also a plus. The bright colors stand out against a black background and make the entire package pop when placed on the shelf next to other options. It's not only a smart marketing move, but will give you something to smile about.

Disclosure: I received a coupon for a FREE Unreal Candy and several Buy One Get One Free coupons as part of a BzzAgent Campaign. I will not be compensated for this review. All opinions expressed above are my own.