Mystery Men rocks my socks.

mystery men

Superhero movies are ubiquitous in our culture. But none have been as underrated as 1999’s Mystery Men. It’s a story about a bunch of nobodies desperate to be heroes in crime-ridden Champion City. It was panned by critics and lost a ton of money. But here’s why it’s one of the best movies ever:

1. Ben Stiller is a ticking time bomb of fury. His character Mr. Furious is a convinced that his super powers come from a place of unbridled rage. The only problem is that his anger is actually fairly mild and benign, and his real name not Furious. It’s Roy.

This is an angry primal scream to let you know he's really furious.

This is a big-time primal scream to let you know that he’s really furious.

2. Janeane Garofalo makes bowling look really cool. She plays The Bowler, the only female superhero in the ensemble. She is the son of Carmine the Bowler, and is out to avenge his death. And she keeps his skull in a bowling ball.

Whatever. I have the coolest ball and your ball is stupid.

Whatever. She has the coolest ball and your ball is stupid.

3. This movie is full of awesome quotes. Including, but definitively not limited to, “He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions,” and “I don’t need a compass to know which way the wind shines.”

4. Tom Waits builds awesome weapons. He plays Doc Heller, a genius who makes powerful non-lethal weapons for champions of justice.

Yo, bro. Tom Waits has what you need.

Yo, bro. Tom Waits has what you need.

5. Paul Reubens has the worst farts ever. Pee Wee Herman himself plays the Spleen, a man who was cursed by a gypsy to “forever be he who dealt it”. It’s a chemical weapon straight from his ass.

Mystery Men was not the worst time he's ever had at the movies.

Mystery Men was not the worst time he’s ever had at the movies.

6. Hank Azaria likes to throw forks. He plays the Blue Raja, and his catchphrases include “I say, what the fork!” His super skills all center around silverware.

Don't make fun of his forks if you're not willing to save Champion City yourself!

Don’t make fun of his forks if you’re not willing to save Champion City yourself!

7. Eddie Izzard is a disco-dancing bad guy named Tony P. He killed The Bowler’s dad, and he’s a giant fan of velvet and fake fur. His wardrobe is reason enough to watch this film.

These clothes were from his personal wardrobe.

Pretty sure these clothes were from his personal closet.

8. The main bad guy is played by none other than Geoffrey Rush, and his name is Casanova Frankenstein. He plans to vaporize Champion City, and that just ain’t cool to the Mystery Men.

That's Lena Olin by his side, you guys.

That’s Lena Olin by his side, you guys.

9. I know this is the writer geek in me talking, but I honestly enjoy the character arcs in this movie. The protagonists are sympathetic and lovable, and they all find their redemption (spoiler alert).

10. Tim Burton may or may not have been the director. The director credit goes to someone named Kinka Usher, whose resume includes no other movies, only commercials. Tom Waits eluded in his autobiography that Tim Burton was indeed the director. I love this movie either way, but it’s always fun to entertain a real-life Hollywood mystery.

Fall schmall


Everybody I know seems to be worked into a froth over autumn leaves. “Yay, orange and red on the trees and falling to the ground and making big colorful piles and shit. Blah, blah, blah…”

These harbingers of doom are lovely!

These harbingers of doom are lovely!

Please friends, stop having kittens over dying leaves. Because the death of the leaves is just the beginning. Everything is going to die for the winter, including my soul.

Forgive me if that seems hyperbolic. I assure it’s not. Winter in Michigan is AWFUL, comparable only to Dante’s fifth circle of Hell.

It begins with lovely leaves falling daintily in the wind. Next the wind grows more powerful and tears the shingles off of your house and tosses your cat into the neighbor’s fire pit which is thankfully not lit because it’s already too cold to even use a freaking fire pit. The snow sprinkles down next and it’s almost pretty for a few days. Next, the wind chill drops to forty below and everything freezes over and the first person who calls it a “winter wonderland”’ will get a punch in the crotch from yours truly. Eight months later, the thaw happens and I finally leave my house for the first time that calendar year.

The leaves were trying to warn us.

The leaves were trying to warn us.

And please don’t say “at least you have seasons” as if freezing my ass off for most of the year is better than living in a nice, warm climate that is secure enough in its identity to remain stable instead of changing into a hose beast just because that’s what it did last year. Having more than one season is not what it’s cracked up to be.

No snow needed.

No snow needed.

So until I get back to a warmer locale where I belong, please appreciate your precious leaves to yourself. Because it’s all doom to me.

Never change, General Hospital!


I’ve been watching General Hospital on and off for most of my life. This is not something I’m proud of, but it’s just part of who I am. You cannot imagine my relief when GH (yeah, I call it GH) was spared from the daytime soap chopping block at ABC.

I know it’s hard to understand why I’m loyal to a show with cheesy dialogue and far-fetched storylines. But these are the things I love about the show. It’s the purest form of escapist television.

On soap operas, ANYTHING can happen.

Currently on GH, mob hit man Jason Morgan was presumed dead not once, but TWICE! Then he was in a hit and run and his face was all smashed up and then repaired into super HAWT form and he has amnesia (there are two people on the show right now with amnesia-so rad). He’s going by the name of Jake, which is also the name of his son who was presumed dead but was recently found alive (on Cassadine island, natch). So now, we’re waiting on pins and needles to see if he finds out who he is before he marries Elizabeth, who knows who he really is but has always been in love with him and wanted him for her own and now she has him even if his pretty little brain is broken.

I don't know who I am, but I know how to screw on a silencer!

I don’t know who I am, but I know how to screw on a silencer!

They ain’t got to explain NOTHING.

Everybody’s rich somehow. There’s a mob element but we don’t really know what exactly they deal in. And assassins (like the above Jason) never go to jail, and if they do they get pardoned quickly through some magical technicality. The beauty is: it doesn’t have to make sense or be explained. Things move too fast around here for actual plot development!

I should be in jail for murdering Connie, but instead I'm boinking my daughter's boyfriend. Don't judge me!

I should be in jail for murdering Connie, but instead I’m boinking my daughter’s boyfriend. Don’t judge me!

Storyline recycling is the way of the walk.

I love to watch the storylines recycle every few years. Some things are obvious: One-night stands always result in a pregnancy. Pregnancies are never healthy and normal. Dead spouses always show up to weddings.

Oh nuts! Is that your dead wife? Rude much?

Oh nuts! Is that your dead wife in the doorway? I hope she brought a gift.

And a few things take longer to resurface. For example, Olivia got pregnant by mobster Julian Jerome after a one-night stand (these people DO NOT know about birth control), so she had Ned Quartermaine say the baby was his just like he did when Alexis Davis got pregnant with mobster Sonny Corinthos’s baby a decade or so back. It’s hard to remember exactly when that happened, because I think that kid should be about 10 but she’s about 20 because of SORAS (soap opera rapid aging syndrome, which is totally a thing).

Recast, recast, recast!

Recasts don’t always turn out great, but sometimes they are fantastic. The original Carly, Sarah Brown left to pursue her movie career after she was cast in Big Momma’s House 2 or something. A few Carly’s later, GH was happily settled in with Laura Wright. But Sarah wanted her job back and fans loved her. So…they recast Sarah as a mob princess. Things didn’t quite work out, but it was fun to see them be all “hey, why the hell not?” about the whole thing.

Stop calling me Carly, I'm Claudia now!

Stop calling me Carly, I’m Claudia now!

Don’t like this plot line? Freakin’ DROP IT!

Occasionally there were be a plotline so dumb, so pointless, that it just disappears with no explanation whatsoever. It’s like the writers are all “this crap ain’t working so let’s just forget about it and hope the viewers do, too”. I can’t explain why, but I admire the attitude that must go along with those actions.

I'm so glad they dropped that whole alcoholism thing so now I can successfully run my bar even though I never have  customers.

I’m so glad they dropped that whole alcoholism thing so now I can successfully run my bar even though I never have customers.

Please, General Hospital, never change. Keep doing what you do and I’ll keep watching and talking to the TV like a crazy person.


I love Teen Titans Go!


I’m sure a lot of parents can relate. After a steady diet of Dora, Max & Ruby, and Team Umizoomi, a cartoon finally appears that doesn’t bore you into a coma and you realize that you can do this. You can watch TV with your kids without fantasizing about inserting your head into the nearest oven.

Not since Phineas and Ferb has a children’s show so captured my attention. Apparently there was a serious superhero show called Teen Titans way back in 2003. I didn’t watch that one because I was too busy not having children in 2003. Anyway, the same voices that brought us Teen Titans have added a Go! to the end and made it a comedy. And it’s oh so good.

It reminds me a lot of Community in that it’s an ensemble comedy and it’s not afraid to go ‘meta’ without warning. And like Phineas and Ferb, it has jokes that are funny to adults (immature adults like me, but whatever) without being raunchy.

My favorite character is Raven, a saucy half-demon who moves via hover.

My hair is an awesome black bob but you can't always see it because of this rad hood.

My hair is an awesome black bob but you can’t always see it because of this rad hood.

There is also Robin, of Batman fame. In Teen Titans Go! Robin fancies himself the leader. It’s nice to see him step out of Batman’s hulking shadow.

Bat who?

Bat who?

There is a cyborg named Cyborg who loves pizza and has a total bromance with Beast Boy, the green vegetarian shape shifter who is in love with Raven. I wonder what shape-shifting quarter-demon babies would be like?

Real friends love pie together!

Real friends love pie together!

And last but not least is Starfire, the cheerful alien princess who has a pet larvae thing named Silkie.

I'm pretty and I love gross things.

I’m pretty and I love gross things.

The millennials who were fans of the 2003 incarnation of the show have their knickers in a twist over this awesome show. There are all sorts of disparaging comments on the imdb board about how it’s not like the original. I have one thing to say to the generation that gave us Miley Cyrus: SUCK IT!

My take on the Ashley Madison hack


I am not here to judge these folks. I firmly believe that what you judge today can land in your lap next week and I’m not up for that (looking at you, Josh Duggar). I’m only here to talk to you about anonymity.  

I know the site promised you that your information was safe. But so did Target, TJ Maxx, and a slew of other people whom I’ve willingly given my credit card numbers to, only for them to send me a letter informing me that I might want to get a new credit card and go ahead and destroy the one they have on file. 

It takes no more than 2 minutes to open a Hotmail account, or a Gmail account, or a Yahoo account. None of these require your true identity. So, to all of you asshats who used your work email accounts for a cheating site, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? 

Also, prepaid credit cards are readily available and quite convenient. So, to all of you who used a credit card attached to your name and home address, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? 

And to everyone who thinks this is a hilarious turn of karma, please consider that your medical records are online these days. As are your children’s medical records. The point is: any data breach is bad news. Today’s cheater could be tomorrow’s IBS that your friends didn’t know you have but now they do. 



The worst part of Jurassic World


It’s a really good movie. Not going to lie. But one thing bugged me the entire film. The female lead Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, could have been so much better.

Here’s why: she’s a pent-up career woman who, when reminded by her sister that having children is a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’, gets all teary-eyed and weird even though she’s super successful and who cares if she doesn’t have kids.

But the absolute worst part was her attire. She starts off in a crisp white blouse and skirt combo, complete with heels. She remains in heels the entire movie, even when running from dinosaurs through the jungle. Yet she becomes progressively more undressed. By the end she’s in a tight camisole and her skirt is ripped up the side to give her Angelina-side-leg. And she can finally kiss the hero because she’s suddenly sexy and no longer frigid. Cliché much?

It’s like on Saved by the Bell when Jessie Spano relented on allowing Slater to call her ‘mama’ because he was so damn dreamy. That slippery slope of Freudian creepiness led to straight to Showgirls.

Or on Miss Congeniality when Benjamin Bratt finally showed Sandra Bullock some positive attention because she brushed her hair and put on make-up, because being a badass FBI agent wasn’t good enough until she could walk in heels.

Or my beloved Princess Bride when Buttercup screams uselessly instead of hitting the rodent of unusual size with a stick (they were in the woods, there were sticks EVERYWHERE) as it attacked Wesley.

Jurassic World is a great film, but I couldn’t help but cringe when the movie’s outstanding hero was the strapping alpha male (literally, there’s a whole subplot about him being the alpha in a pack of raptors) who spoke through gritted teeth, even though the damsel in distress saved the day a few times herself. Unfortunately, those heroics were muted by her rack and a hint of thigh.


Guest post by Jenna Brand: How to Dress for Your Body Shape


Apple: With an ample bust and skinnier legs, a short wrap dress may be your best look.

Pear: Your hips don’t lie, that’s for sure! Try drawing attention to your top with bright blouses, a deep neckline, and that perfect necklace.

Violin: Commonly recognized as a deformity of the hips, cover your multiple lumps with a circle skirt, or perhaps a dense tutu for ultimate coverage.

Teddy Bear: Bulbous ears and an intensely huggable tummy can only be embraced. Whenever you find a fun item that fits and doesn’t catch on your fur, buy it and enjoy! Celebrate who you are – What you look like does not define you.

Kate Upton*: At 5’10” and 144lbs, your BMI is 20.7. Although this falls into the middle of the normal range, it’s time to take your body seriously. You are a fat monster and no one will love you at a size 8.

*There is an exception for the actual Kate Upton who is gorgeous and one of just two models to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated two years in a row.  

Shampoo Bottle: Varies by brand. Look for clothing items made for various bottle shapes.

Matchstick: Also known as “Spoon Shaped,” you have a lovely head on top of a barely distinguishable, frail body. You hardly take up any space at all, like an Olsen Twin! Almost any outfit will look amazing on you. Congratulations!

Ethereal: You have less of a “body” and more of a “being.” Flatter your swirling, pangendered Omega aura with a peasant skirt or just glitter.

Human Shaped: Varies by person. Look for clothing items made for humans

Jenna Brand is a wife, mother, and investment banking news aggregator. She was molded from the shores of Paradise Island and posts pictures of her pretty quilts here.