We like versatility in the OnMilwaukee.com editorial office. So, we were duly impressed when Scarlett Johansson's collection of Tom Waits covers was, well, impressive. Also this week, we're high on learning things from YouTube, Taco Tuesday at Koppa's, a politically-charged and hilarious TV show, a creepy crime drama and a classic Paul Newman movie.
Scarlett Johansson covering Tom Waits -- Some might call me late on this one, considering that Scarlett Johansson's album of Tom Waits covers, "Anywhere I Lay My Head," came out in May or something.
Others might call me musically inept, given the barrage of bad press the record received from critics. I just got my hands on the 45-minute collection earlier this week and I'm enjoying it despite the shaky reputation. The title track is a sultry charmer and other songs, like "I Don't Want to Grow Up," pay tribute respectively, but not annoyingly.
She got David Bowie to help her out on "Fannin' Street" and TV On The Radio's David Andrew Sitek produced the album and lent his multi-instrumental talents throughout. While she doesn't do anything too out of the ordinary, the mood here is rich and welcoming for many Waits fans (though probably not all.) This is a pleasant surprise. --Julie Lawrence
Learning how to do stuff on YouTube -- In the past year, YouTube videos taught me how to fold a paper crane from a piece of origami and how to twist balloons into animals. (No, I'm not pursuing the latex arts; I'm hosting a 5-year-old's birthday party.) In addition, my husband learned how to play the ukulele from a series of YouTube videos. I used to teach myself how to do random things by reading books, but seeing it done makes it so much easier. --Molly Snyder Edler
My "Bartman" Cubs' fan heckle -- There's nothing worse in my sports life than leaving Miller Park after the Brewers lose to the Cubs. All those Cubholes singing their "Go Cubs Go" song, smoking their Camel Lights and drinking our city's beer - it drives me crazy.
I will admit that the Cubs are damn good this year, but it still hurts to lose to them, especially at home. So, I want to heckle after a loss but as a Brewers fan there's no basis for it. A "Cubs Suck" chant is moronic and while yelling "Go Home FIBs" is fun, it's pretty lame. So, I resort to a simple "Bartman." It's a nod; of course, to Steve Bartman that foul ball dude from 2003 who helped the Marlins beat the Cubs in the NLCS. Cubs fans hate the guy, and many start to quake at the mere sound of his name.
So, after a loss (or even a victory) I just like walking back to my car singing, "Go Bartman Go." Sophomoric? A bit. But, it makes me laugh and keeps my Cubs taunting at a somewhat creative and classy level. Go Brewers! --Jeff Sherman
"Dexter" -- This quirky show is in its third season on Showtime, but thanks to Netflix, I can catch these addictive episodes at my leisure. The show stars Michael C. Hall ("Six Feet Under") as Dexter, who is a member of the police force and a serial killer. But, it's much more complicated than that. The Miami-based show is funny, sexy and almost every character, including Dexter, is likable. I am not usually into cop programs or blood-and-gore on the screen, but I'm completely hooked on a series that smears the lines between right and wrong. --M.E.
"The Daily Show" -- Telling people to watch Jon Stewart deliver the fake news is about as revelatory as recommending the custard at Kopp's or Leon's. But, the guy has been on fire lately. It's the fastest 23 minutes in TV. If you miss a show, you're missing two or three belly laughs a night. And, we can all use a few more of those. --Drew Olson
Taco Tuesday at Koppa's -- Thanks to Caroline McDonald from our fine team for finally getting me to Koppa's, 1940 N. Farwell Ave., for the grocer and deli's "Taco Tuesday." For only $3, you get two soft or hard shell tacos with either ground beef or spicy beans. They include all the fixings and sour cream (for an additional 25 cents). They're tasty and bursting at the seams. Good stuff. Try ‘em. And, don't miss the grocer's beer and wine aisle while you are there; the selection and prices are great. --J.S.
Celestial Seasonings' Madagascar Vanilla Red Tea -- I drink tea almost every night, and I usually go for the Milwaukee-based Rishi. Recently, however, I tried a box of this caffeine-free rooibos tea by Celestial Seasonings, and it totally impressed my inner tea snob. Best of all, this tea cuts the vanilla with a slightly bitter flavor for a nice blend that's not too sweet. Plus, red teas are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. I might even choose this tea over a glass of red wine. Nah. --M.E.
"Cool Hand Luke" on DVD -- Paul Newman's death should inspire people to check out this classic movie. The anti-establishment message fits the theme of the late 1960s. You have to like the classic scene where he Luke hijacks a dump truck and raises the bed to deflect the bullets as guards shoot in his direction. --D.O.