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Sixteen Candles

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long duck dong

Image credit Sixteen Candles, 1984

It’s my party and I’ll watch Molly Ringwald if I want to! Yes that’s right, I’m turning 30-something this week, so why not give myself a boost by watching the story of maybe the worst birthday ever. No matter what happens on my big day- traffic, the restaurant losing my reservation, my DQ Ice Cream Cake melting on the way home- at least a geek isn’t walking around with my underwear in his back pocket.

Sixteen Candles (DVD/Download) was the John Hughes film that started it all. So much 80’s teen angst, wrapped up in one pretty redhead named Molly Ringwald. Her character Samantha endures a famously forgotten sweet-sixteen, while struggling with a massive crush on high school heartthrob Jake Ryan. Oh and her grandparents saddle her with a foreign exchange student at the school dance. And a geeky guy convinces her to part with her underwear (before randomly mixing a dry martini?!). There are racist and sexist jokes, and alarmingly old-fashioned views on date rape, but we somehow forgive all this. We forgive it for the idea that the unobtainable crush is crushing right back.

Eventually Samantha does get her birthday cake, in the very best way possible. To celebrate her birthday, and mine, while watching Sixteen Candles I recommend drinking a Birthday Cake Martini.

Birthday Cake Martini

3 oz Cake-flavored vodka

1.5 oz White Chocolate Liqueur

2 oz Half-and-Half

2 oz Amaretto

Rainbow sprinkles

Whipped cream

Combine vodka, liqueur, amaretto, and half-and-half in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold, then strain into chilled glass. Top with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

Birthday Cake Martini

I’m fortunate that my birthday has never been forgotten, though any kid with a summer birthday can tell you that out-of-school-season parties are sparsely attended (particularly in the days before Evites). But in Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald only needs one great guy to make her birthday special. And at 33, I can say the same. Cheers!


Top Five Movie Hangovers

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We’ve all been there. Waking up only to find that your tongue has been replaced with sandpaper, someone is squeezing your head with a vice, and oh yeah- your room is now on a tilt-a-whirl axis. No matter how much water you thought you drank the night before, sometimes it’s just never enough.  Of course we’d all like to look as fabulous as Holly Golightly in a men’s tuxedo shirt and satin eye mask first thing in the morning, but reality is a very different beast.  What follows are my Top Five Movie Hangovers, in no particular order.

1.  Long Duk Dong, Sixteen Candles

Image credit Sixteen Candles, 1984

Image credit Sixteen Candles, 1984

Oh, high school.  So much time spent trying to get booze, and absolutely no thought given to the morning after.  The Donger need food.


2.  Alma the maid, Pillow Talk


Image credit Pillow Talk, 1959

Alma’s daily cure all- tomato juice and tabasco.  And the sweet soothing sounds of Rock Hudson on the piano.


3.  Elliot Garfield, The Goodbye Girl

Goodbye Girl

Image credit- The Goodbye Girl, 1977

No amount of meditation and wheat germ can take away the sting of a night of heavy drinking.  Or a bad review in the Times.  Capital P, Capital U, Capital TRID.


4.  Stu, The Hangover


Image Credit The Hangover, 2009

Sure everyone in this movie was hungover, but I think Stu had it the worst.  Waking up to discover you are suddenly responsible for Heather Graham AND a baby?  THE HORROR.


5.  Spud, Trainspotting

Image Credit Trainspotting, 1996

Image Credit Trainspotting, 1996

Choose life.  Choose a job.  Choose a career.  Choose never drinking so much that you wake up to discover you’ve crapped the bed.