#Foodgasm Alert: The Turducken of Pies

I was just reading this hilarious article about the new 5-pies-in-one, or the “Turducken of Pies.” 

Screenshot 2015-12-18 15.05.38

A few years ago, my dear publicist friend Stephen Crane and I headed up from his SoCal home to visit my other friend, Tony Swatton in Burbank. (I always stay at Stephen’s house for a few days after San Diego Comic-Con to recuperate.) Tony, whom I had just seen at Comic-Con, could be a blog in and of himself. He was the “Pirate of the Year” for Pirates Magazine and has graced the cover more than once.

Our favorite pirate, Tony Swatton.

Our favorite pirate, Tony Swatton.

Tony formed the “Norse Hollywood Dining Vikings” Club, which started out as lark; he and his buddies all dressed up like Vikings and showed up at Ikea for Swedish meatballs, bemused when they were firmly escorted out. Here’s a typical biz card:

Image courtesy of Matthew Hunt Designs.

Image courtesy of Matthew Hunt Designs.

You see, Tony makes all the costumes and weapons for those memorable Capital One ads, and they are all stored at his fabrication shop. Yeah, I’ve tried some on. Since Tony tends to hang with fellow pranksters, the hijinks never stop. (If I ever move to California, it would be Burbank just to be near our funny actor friend Dan Roebuck, plus Tony’s shenanigans.) Tony also makes the swords for all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and most recently, was the star of the internet sensation show Man at Arms. His Sword and Stone shop in Burbank, CA is legendary.

On Victory Boulevard just a few doors down from Tony’s storefront is this wonderful Greek restaurant. Actually, I’m not sure they refer to them as Greek restaurants in California, but that’s what we call them in Chicago. Diners, maybe? You know the kind. The menu goes on forever. If you have a tough time making food decisions, this is no place for amateurs.

So in all, it was Tony, Stephen, Scott Empey (Tony’s BFF and my custom jewelry designer) and me. We entered and walked past this well-lit, glorious display case of pies. You could almost hear the choir of angels singing inside of it. As we sat down and discussed which sensible foods we should be ordering, the discussion took a dangerous turn, shifting to those damned delectable pies. I opined that it was criminal that no one ever made a banana-coconut-cream pie, since I always hated having to choose between the two, like two calorie-laden lovers who could both satisfy me equally. At that point, Tony excused himself to go wash his hands, and I noticed him getting chatty with the woman at the counter on his way.

As our meal ended–our bellies sore from laughing at all of Scott and Tony’s crazy exploits–a vision of beauty arrived at our table: a coconut cream pie, flipped over atop a banana cream pie, with four forks! We four foodgasm’d out! To this day, it remains the most exquisite dessert I’ve ever had, in no small part because of the company who shared it with me.

If they ship, I’ll be ordering the Turducken of Pies for my next trip to Burbank, reassembling my merry band of knights of the round pie table, plus Tony’s new wife Karen, whom I love and adore. I even have a new name for my epicurean kindred spirits: The Norse Hollywood Dining Pie-Kings–Pie Pillaging Specialists.

Dave Dorman STAR WARS Marvel Variant Comic Featured in Limited Edition STAR WARS LOOT CRATE

And what, to my wandering eyes, did appear…but a $100 Limited Edition STAR WARS LOOT CRATE, pulled by eight tiny Tauntauns…

Usually Jack will say, “Guess what came in the mail today?” followed by “Deez nuts! Ha!” and he goes off on his merry way. But today was different. Today was followed by the scream of “LOOT CRATE!!!” which was probably heard all of the way to Tatooine. Since Dave couldn’t get a copy of his own comic, he just had to spend the $100 to order it via LOOT CRATE. You know…that monthly geek tzotchke box that is the bane of my existence? I think the NDAs Dave signed were probably more onerous than those from the State Department. So here’s a play-by-play:

The STAR WARS LTD. ED. LOOT CRATE: I'm just surprised it didn't feature the radioactive glow of the briefcase in PULP FICTION.

The STAR WARS LTD. ED. LOOT CRATE: I’m just surprised it didn’t feature the radioactive glow of the briefcase in PULP FICTION.

HISTORY: Dave seeing his VADER DOWN cover in comic book form for the very first time!

HISTORIC GEEK MOMENT: DAVE DORMAN seeing his VADER DOWN cover in actual comic book form for the very first time!

VADER DOWN Marvel Comics variant cover by DAVE DORMAN

VADER DOWN Marvel Comics variant cover by DAVE DORMAN

Even though Dave had to buy this limited edition LOOT CRATE to get a copy of his own book, he feels he “still got a lot of cool stuff I can share with my family.” (Editorial comment: I think by “family,” he means “Jack.”)

Dave would like to thank Jordan D. White and Heather Antos at Marvel, the folks at Lucasfilm, and the decision makers at LOOT CRATE for having Dave paint the cover for this once-in-a-lifetime collectible.

For those of you wanting to hear Dave’s take on the new Force Awakens film, check out our son’s post-movie interview with Dave at https://youtube.com/the_surfmonkey early on the morning of December 18th, as we are attending the midnight showing.

Dave Dorman Interviews Alien & Predator

That time I wrote the Alien, Predator, Dave Dorman interview for Newsarama…

The famed ALIENS TRIBES cover by Dave Dorman

The famed ALIENS TRIBES cover by Dave Dorman

Denise Dorman's Blog

Dear Friends,

I wrote this parody piece a while back, prior to AVP2 coming out with the “new” Predalien character, if you catch my drift. Dave did a “very similar” creature design as a work-for-hire project for 20th Century Fox years ago, and it became a little controversial when he noted online that the Predalien design in AVP2 was virtually identical to the one he created, and then he proceeded to post both of them for the fans to compare.  I’ve updated the interview a little, but here it is:

Dave Dorman Interviews Alien & Predator

Back Story: Renowned illustrator Dave Dorman, Alien and Predator are old friends, dating back more than 15 years ago to the days when Dorman was painting Alien v. Predator pieces to please the Dark Horse fans…today the threesome reunites for a pre-San Diego Comic-Con interview.

POV: We see the famed Eisner Award-winning  illustrator…

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The Racquetball Chronicles: What IS It About SNOOPY’s Laugh?

My BFF Marovich and I resumed our racquetball war this morning, after taking several months off. I knew I was at risk of injury when Marovich’s tight headband flew off and landed in the server’s box, in her mad exuberance to whale on the ball. I lost the first game 21 to 3.

Since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, we took a break outside of the court to catch up on news. And that was when she shared this ridiculous tale. Fair warning: This probably won’t be nearly as funny to those of you reading this, but I literally cried my makeup off laughing. This story demonstrates our shared, stupid, juvenile humor. You know, the humor that probably only we think is funny.

SNOOPY laughing himself right out of the library.

SNOOPY laughing himself right out of the library.

So Marovich started out her story by asking me if I’ve ever heard SNOOPY laugh. I had, and I started giggling, straight up. If you have no idea what SNOOPY laughing sounds like, please watch this brief, :25 second clip of SNOOPY laughing in the library:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH9MAhDvNjo

(On a side note, I especially love this clip because SNOOPY gets kicked out of the library for laughing, which is like an animated retelling of Marovich’s and my 7th grade year.)

Marovich and my friend Chrissy were shopping at TARGET and they came across this SNOOPY toy with the laughter sound chip. At that very moment, Chrissy made it her mission to nail the pitch-perfect impression of the SNOOPY laugh. She worked hard on it for many days to get it down, exactly right.

She and Marovich hosted Thanksgiving dinner for Chrissy’s side of the family, and Marovich dared Chrissy to do the SNOOPY laugh every time someone said something even mildly funny. Chrissy did. Several times. No one blinked. No one laughed. No one thought anything was weird. Which, you know, is kind of insulting that someone in her own family–all of them, in fact–actually tuned her out, thinking, “Oh, that’s just Chrissy’s stupid laugh…”

So while we were sitting outside of the racquetball court, I pulled up the YouTube video of SNOOPY laughing, and that’s when we started laughing so hysterically, I cried my makeup off. I had visions of Chrissy doing this stupid laugh at Thanksgiving and everyone sitting around the table deadpan, nonplussed. One of the guys who was taking over our court after us walked in on me howling with laughter, and without even knowing what the hell was up, he started laughing. We went back into the court to play out our remaining 10 minutes. Every time I was about to serve, Marovich would throw her head back in that SNOOPY pose and do the SNOOPY laugh, and I’d lose the strength of my serve. She was Delilah to my Samson. By some miracle, I was still winning 7 – 3 when the clock ran out.

Marovich knows when I am way too deep into one of our conversations, I don’t pay attention to whatever else I’m doing. This has led to many funny stories over the years, like the time I drove up and yelled our coffee order to the garbage can at Dunkin’ Donuts, with Marovich sitting in the passenger’s seat, dying of laughter as I was looking over at her with my WTF puzzled face. (In my defense, the garbage can had this weird lid on it that could have been mistaken for the squawk box.)

So today was no different. I drove us to racquetball. As we exited and hit the parking lot, I pressed my key fob, with Marovich following me towards my black SUV. I couldn’t figure out why the damned door wouldn’t open, and uh-oh, when did I get this new scratch in the paint on my driver’s side? Marovich snorted, “This is a Nissan. This isn’t your truck.” So we walked over to the next black truck, tried to get in, and again, the key fob didn’t work. “This is a Chevy,” she pointed out, exasperated. By now, Marovich took it upon herself to find my Highlander, before I made a career out of attempted breaking and entering into every black vehicle that wasn’t mine in this parking lot. “Third time’s a charm,” she snarked, followed by, “This had better go in your fucking blog.”

I can hear her SNOOPY laugh all of the way from here.