Chris reviews Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

How can I describe to you how good this movie is? I could tell you how it faithfully and unflinchingly charts Al Yankovic’s meteoric rise, from his troubled childhood in which his accordion playing was the unforgiveable sin that caused his estrangement from his family, to his infamous, onstage alcohol-fueled breakdown and arrest. Perhaps I could highlight the tender but unapologetic treatment of Yankovic’s love life, from the beginnings of his highly publicized, turbulent affair with Madonna, played to absolute PERFECTION by Evan Rachel Wood, to their violent and heartbreaking separation amidst a hail of bullets and cocaine.

I could explore the end of Al’s innocence, as we watch his wrenching betrayal by Michael Jackson, who parodies Al’s song “Eat It” in a ruthless attempt to cash in on Yankovic’s success. I could expound on the way this film so seamlessly pulls back the veil of Al’s entanglement with organized crime, from his role in the murder of Pablo Escobar, to the retaliatory assassination that so famously cost Yankovic his life at the 1985 Grammy Awards. All of those things would be valid. But I think the very best way I can pay tribute to “Weird Al” Yankovic – as well as to this movie, which so accurately chronicles and celebrates the brief but oh-so-bright candle that was his life – is to tell you that as soon as this movie ended, I immediately pressed play and watched it all over again. 9 out of 10. Absolutely triumphant.

“Weird Al” Yankovic, “Now You Know”
“This song is technically eligible for Oscar consideration…”

Halloween 2022: Oct. 30ᵗʰ – Halloween Schichttorte

I promised you to do something new each day, and I have, although it may not be obvious. Longtime readers will remember that I’ve made a schichttorte before. So at first glance this doesn’t exactly appear to fit the Halloween bill.

In fact, I’ve actually made a Halloween schichttorte before, although I unfortunately seem to have misplaced the pictures to prove it. That had a similar frosting design, but, if I remember correctly, the layers were purple and green.

What’s new about this cake is an ingredient I’ve never used before, but will keep on hand from now on: activated charcoal powder. I have NEVER been able to get a bake to look this black. The liquid food coloring I used turned the off white batter into a mild grey. This stuff turned it BLACK. And as stygian as it was in the bowl, it was even more deeply black after it was baked. Before I frosted this cake, the top looked exactly like it had been scorched in a red hot skillet. This stuff gets food impressively dark.

The activated charcoal added no flavor whatsoever, and is so fine and lightweight that your tongue cannot detect its presence. And don’t believe the picture above. Activated charcoal powder looks nothing like that. I’m only using that image because my camera literally could not focus on the real stuff. It is such a fine powder, and so deeply black, that there is no surface texture nor different shades for a digital camera to focus on. It was like scooping weightless spoonsful of pure darkness into the mixing bowl. This stuff is awesome! It is hands down the most Halloween ingredient I have ever used. And from what I’ve read, it even helps to clean your digestive system and whiten your teeth! I’m so glad I bought it.

If you’re going to do any Halloween baking, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you incorporate activated charcoal powder into your recipes. From now on, when October rolls around, this stuff will be a staple in my kitchen. I’ve found nothing else that can do it’s job remotely as well.