Laughs »Check Out My Theme Songs (Worst Laugh)

The songs themselves (musical themes self written by a self deluded reality TV semi-star for self conceived programs he would star in)? CONCEPTUAL GENIUS!

“When you want to learn the mysteries of how things work
Weather, the planets, the whole universe.
Tune into the show, that's really effective
Watch Richard Heene – Science Detective!”

The fact that this is somebody's real dad? Just depressing.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Drinks »The Charleston (Worst Drink)

You guys know I'm always there to defend a hipster; that's not the source of my beef with The Charleston. It's just become such a terrible scene to run smack into on your way out of the subway – like an underage pocket of Austin's grody 6th Street. It defines the new obnoxious, oblivious, street-side drunkenness that gives the younger generation such a bad name.

I've even been coerced into going inside once by a friend we ran into on the street, and what CitySearch has erroneously called “vastly charming” is actually vastly disgusting, with some of the most heinously unkempt and overflowing toilets I have ever been privy to (pun intended) in my life… But that's the downside of offering free pizza to drunk children, I suppose.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Songs »I Say A Little Prayer (Worst Song)

I really don't want to live my life begrudging Rupert Everett anything, but I'm afraid he's the one mainly responsible for the renaissance of popularity behind the grating Dionne Warwick hit “I Say A Little Prayer”. A friend recently purchased an unusually long-limbed teddy bear clad in a ladies hat and a tank top emblazoned with the phrase 'Grandma's Favorite' (at Mohegan Sun, no less) that, upon squeeze, 'sang' it which didn't help matters in terms of my angry feelings towards this obnoxious song.

I know it may seem like an odd one to feel passionately hateful towards, especially since I'm no hater of Warwick or Burt Bacharach, but there you have it.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Movies »The Doom Generation (Worst Movie)

It's a painful thing to have gone through, watching The Doom Generation, and every time I'm reminded of it, whether by seeing that dumb looking kid's face or hearing the words Gregg Araki, it's like a flair up of agony. Come to think of it, not unlike the sensation one might experience living with a chronic STD.

This indie road trip to hell sits comfortably atop my mental list of the worst movies I have ever seen; even watching seconds-long clips on You Tube is supremely irritating and infuriating.

While I don't assume too many people are in queue to re-watch this piece of trash from a decade that brought us so many fulfilling edgy indies, I still feel obligated to warn you dear readers about its evil ways.

I'm reaching deep into the archives of terrible films because I was really good to myself this year and saw none of the movies topping early worst-of-2009 lists (no Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for me) but I would like to bring up a few dishonorable mentions: like the fact that Jason Segel really creeped me out in bad ways in I Love You, Man and my friend Mike's prediction of what might truly be the worst film of 2009. It stars something called Travolta Williams.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Desserts »Penny Licks (Worst Dessert)

How could I resist this ice cream cone cupcake from Penny Licks? It's adorable. But, it was also terrible. Every part of it, even the sprinkles, tasted old and stale and flavorless. It was unconscionable.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Books »Petals on the Wind (Worst Book)

I got into serious trouble once back in elementary school for bringing this V.C. Andrews book, Petals on the Wind, to school and now, years later, I understand why and completely agree with the verdict. I was expecting some melodramatic YA fiction but what I got was queasy grossness by way of glamorized incestuous pedophelia. As a fairly reasonable adult I can not believe that this was marketed so successfully to pre-teen girls for decades. It's an outrage

Picking off where the teen lit (even abbreviated as 'lit' and paired with 'teen', the reference to legitimate literature is misleading) phenomenon Flowers in the Attic left off, the Dollanganger clan is out of the attic and off to follow their dreams of becoming ballerinas and doctors. They meet a seemingly kindly old man who takes them in and… Well, really I can't even tell you what ends of happening, I felt so off-put by the whole thing I actually put the book the book back in my purse and?defiantly rode the rest of the way home with nothing to occupy my time. Worst of all: my copy didn't even have the cut-out cover art!

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Restaurants »La Bella Mariella II (Worst Restaurant)

This is a truly heartbreaking story. Once, not too long ago, a miraculous thing happened – an ugly menu for a pizza joint called Vinnie Vella's (adorned with an illustration that practically begged for low expectations) arrived on our doorstep and, surprisingly enough, their 'Grandma's Pie' (fresh ingredients atop a perfectly thin/thick crust) turned out to be absolutely delicious. Furthermore, VV's actually delivered to our neighborhood (I'll never forgive you for forsaking Greenpoint, Fornino).

Then one day we called up (the number was actually in Jim's phone – no longer) and ordered the usual. The place had a different name, but they assured us the menu was the same; we had no idea to what degree our lives were about the change for the worse. The delivery was late, we were starving, but what was in the box – ugh – we couldn't even bring ourselves to try more than half a slice each.

Nice job La Bella Mariella II, you ruined a beautiful thing with your gloppy cheap cheese and overly sweet canned tomato sauce you try to pass off as belonging on a pizza (PS: the photos on their site are totally inaccurate). I'm truly ashamed to admit it, but we actually threw away almost an entire pizza.

You will never be forgiven and I hope you perish the way of Better Fellas (the short lived shop that set up in the same location between Vinnie Vella's and Bella Mariella II).

Souen is really lucky, by the way, that I was so crushed by this pizza shop debacle and spared them the wrath of a lengthy tirade because their vegan dirt food made me sad while I was eating it and mad to be paying obscene amounts for it.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Albums »Glee – The Music (Worst Album)

Glee I have a confession: I like Glee. I think it's smart and funny and every time Jane Lynch is on the screen I am completely happy with the world. However, I spend a large majority of the (hour long!) show either revolted and pushing fast forward or downright embarrassed and looking away (that would be every time Matthew Morrison starts to rap and hip hop dance) because of those damned musical numbers.

I'm sure this American Idolization was a vital component to getting the surprisingly edgy show on the air but the songs (of which there are far, far too many each episode) are a real obnoxious downer… and now they are available in one easy to torture your enemies with CD.

Ever wanted to hear a (more) emasculated version of REO Speedwagon's Can't Fight This Feeling? Glee's got it.

Even worse than the squeaky clean, over produced, Broadway-style trained vocalized cannibalization of songs I actually like (such as Dancing with Myself), the show and its cast are unforgivably responsible for introducing me to popular songs I could have otherwise easily avoided by willfully and purposely not turning on the FM radio. I never had to know about Celine Dion's Taking Chances or Jordin Sparks's No Air and I would have been happier for it.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Recipes »Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken (Worst Recipe)

Some things (sadly) are just meant to be fried. While someone somewhere I'm sure has been able to achieve the golden crispness that I always see in photos of baked 'fried' chicken recipes, it won't be with this particular recipe.

I made this for friends, and while the chicken itself was moist (the only complimentary thing that could be said), it looked like I had found some paste and half-heartedly tried to spread it across a plain, bland chicken breast with my finger. The guests were polite, and I've since redeemed myself with some awesome chili.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Style Icons: Male »Christian Audigier (Worst Style Icon Male)

This is almost too easy. The douche bag empire built upon the 'heritage' of the real Don Ed Hardy (a famous tattoo artist who is not, as one would have to assume, dead – which must make his daily episodes grave-rolling a bit spooky to witness) has become, in the wrinkly, orange and predatory claws of French grossy Christian Audigier a tacky, garish and omnipresent style nightmare… They've even come out with an expansive array of Ed Hardy beverages, including (but not limited to) a vodka (see the banner hanging outside our neighborhood's brightest spot, Club Europa) and a “celebrity” energy drink.

Be sure to watch this Ed Hardy boys video for more laughs at the brand's expense.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Hunks »Ryan Reynolds (Worst Hunk)

Sure, I loved Fifteen; it was no Swan's Crossing or Degrassi, but is was excellent as far as teen stereotype driven melodramas go… I loved watching the sagas of Matt, torn between basketball and alcohol; his girlfriend Ashley (Laura Harris of my husband's dearly missed Women's Murder Club), who spoke as if she were on the verge of tears all the time; total bitch Brooke, hell bent on destroying the happiness of others; and Dylan, the cool guy with the leather jacket and the serious attitudebut that pig-faced little kid Billy Simpson, he was never my favorite.

Years later, that pig-faced kid is a pig-faced man, only now he's Van Wilder, and women are in love with his hunky body. Sure, he might be one of Hollywood's most commercially viable leading men (he was fine in Adventureland) and married to the gorgeous Scar Jo, but he'll always be Billy Simpson to me and, even worse, he reminds me too much of Dane Cook in the face to qualify as a hunk.

I actually feel kind of guilty disparaging someone who doesn't seem all that bad… I'm sure he's a nice person(?), but I simply cannot abide his status as a hunk.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Style Icons: Female »Speidi (Worst Style Icon, Female)

They're terrible, sure… but just to be fair I'll let them defend themselves in their own words. These are some of Heidi's:

'Jesus was persecuted, and I'm going to get persecuted, ya know?'

'I have been the most religious person since I was 2 years old. I always felt this crazy connection to God.'

'I plan to win an Oscar. I'm very ambitious.'

'I grew up watching Britney Spears. That's someone I inspire to be, you know, like, career wise. I think the world is ready for the next pop star and I'm ready to be the next pop galaxy, so here we go.'

'[Joining the Mile High Club] was maybe the best experience I've ever had in my entire life.'

'I'm more of a modern Mother Teresa.'

And Spencer's:

'Not picking Heidi for the vice president, it's just cold.'

[On Heidi's song, “Fashion”]: 'It's the greatest song of my life.'

'My hustle is just too crazy. I'm trying to take over the world!'

'Anyone in Transformers or Twilight — that's cheating. Because if you give me a billion dollar marketing machine behind Speidi, we would be Obama right now.

'We're just heating up the water in the bathtub. It's gonna get hot!'

'I have never been so madly in love as I am with Heidi. She has the world's greatest boyfriend!'

'I secretly am the hottest rapper in the game.'

'Heidi Montag is the “new, modern day, 2010 Michael Jackson”. Like, Michael Jackson's in heaven. The Holy Spirit now has Michael Jackson juice, so boom! For all we know, Heidi gets possessed with Michael Jackson's divine spirit.'

I'm not often on 'corpulent vampire' Al Roker's side, but I do enjoy this clip.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Spend a Couple Hours »Brooklyn Bowl (Worst Way to Spend a Couple Hours)

Brooklyn BowlIt's really unlike me (and admittedly unfair) to condemn a place that I have not been to myself, but the aura surrounding Brooklyn Bowl leaves me uneasy. Actual threatening and muscle-bound door men, velvet ropes, a line of parked Escalades with yellow license plates crowding Wyeth, overpriced bowling and shoe rental and all the hype surrounding its long awaited opening deliver a singular message to us locals: this place is not for you, it's for assholes that read about it on Urban Daddy.

Even a sure to be excellent menu from the people of Blue Ribbon has yet to get me past the idea of a velvet rope… but a friend of ours did attend a recent DJ Spooky iPhone App Launch Party; let me repeat that: a DJ Spooky iPhone App Launch Party.

Some day I might bring myself to try the place out, all prejudices aside during their happy hour, and if, at that time, I find out that I'm wrong and the place is a secret shining destination of non-obnoxious good times, I promise to write a glowing review and apologize.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Places to Visit »Saratoga Harness Track and Gaming (Worst Place to Visit)

Over all, I had a wonderful time in Saratoga Springs but, despite winning three dollars from the fabulous Glitter Princess slot machine, next time I'll skip out on the carpeted depression that the Harness Gaming Track wallows in. Instead I'll plan my visit around the limited dates of the far classier official racing season.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »The Salvation Army on Bedford (Worst Way to Spend a Couple Minutes)

Salvation Army on Bedford AveThe organization itself is a grand one – both for the people it helps and the affordable treasures one can find there. However, the particular location right off the Bedford Avenue L train leaves something to be desired. I donated bags and bags full of clothing and books when we moved to our new apartment, but a more recent incident leads me to want to admonish anyone considering making a purchase from this particular branch.

It was a crisp autumn evening and it was unusual to see so many people crowded outside the front window of the shuttered shop. Curious as to what they were looking at, we wedged ourselves in to have a look. What did we see? A huge pack of huge rats rummaging through a pile of clothes pressed up against the other side of the glass. It was some serious Stephen King stuff and still makes me shiver to think of it.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

Web Sites »Perez Hilton (Worst Website)

We live in a world where a pig man can gain fame by crudely drawing jizz on the face of pointless celebrities. It's fine to weep.

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Posted on November 9, 2009

TV Shows »Masters of Horror (Worst TV Show)

Masters of Horror, or as it can be more accurately referred to: Masters of Horrible, is an embarrassment to everyone – especially?to us: fans of horror who end up chronically watching it on Netflix's instant service, hating it and ourselves in equal measure.

The horror anthology genre is not always held to the highest standards (I just rented The Hitchhiker and discovered it's dreadful) but this mess makes me wish the genre would just go away for a few years until someone with a real vision and care takes charge of it. On paper this could have been brilliant: past masters like Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Dario Argento (Susperia) have an hour to scare us within the reasonable budgetary constraints of a Showtime series. Instead every director to helm an episode convincingly proves that they should never be trusted again to do anything ever again.

And the fact that I have personally viewed about 80% of the episodes… maybe I should not be trusted to do anything ever again, especially when it comes to proffering entertainment recommendations on the internet.

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Posted on November 9, 2009