Monthly Archives: June 2009

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

First Ed McMahon, then Farrah, and then, inexplicably…Michael Jackson? Yikes! What a lousy week to be a 1970′s icon. Not only is Jackson’s death completely shocking, but, it’s also very sad to me for one key reason.

See, I loved Michael’s early stuff with the Jackson 5 and his groundbreaking music videos are literally seared into my memory banks from watching them so many times, but the thing I’m most sad about today is that Michael Jackson never got to truly come back from crazy town.

Michael Jackson #1

The upcoming farewell concerts (that, sadly, will never be) in London aside, Jackson never got to have the true career resurgence I always felt he was owed. I mean, love him or hate him, the dude was a freaking musical genius that we will probably never see the likes of again.

Not only could he sing and dance with the best of them, but the dude knew how to write and market amazingly beautiful pop songs. I defy you not to move your body when “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” is playing. I mean, seriously, his music shimmered!

The problem with Jackson was always his personal life. And while a huge chunk of Jackson’s personal problems can be laid square on the bulky shoulders of Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson, I gotta say that a lot of the craziness that haunted Michael Jackson in later years was sorta self-inflicted. Sure, he had a hard-ass childhood, but that doesn’t excuse everything.

And whether he really was guilty of all the stuff he was charged with over the years or not, the fact remains that Jackson was a very strange dude who long ago lost touch with reality. My sincere hope for him was that someday he would put out an album on par with some of his best early solo work. You know, something that would make even the most jaded Jacko hater remember what he was famous for in the first place.

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Michael Jackson #4

I mean, shit, if Britney Spears can come back after shaving her head and going batshit crazy on a nightly basis for years, why couldn’t the King of Pop? Sadly, the answer to that question is that he just didn’t have enough time. And while the grand Michael Jackson comeback I always hoped for will never be, I can take solace now in the fact that the music he left behind is pretty damn spectacular.

So, rest in peace, Michael J. I know your time here was brief and not always sunny, but I can assure you that the worst days are behind you and that your legacy as the once and future King of Pop is pretty rock solid in our book.

Keep on rocking, amigo, and, by all means, make sure and say “hey” to your ex-father-in-law, Elvis, for us…

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Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)

Anyone who watched that crazy-sad documentary “Farrah’s Story” a few weeks back knew that this day was totally coming, but, wow, who knew it would come so quickly? And Christine and I had no idea it would move us like it did. I mean, we were sad and totally shocked about Michael Jackson, but, Farrah’s passing made us both cry like babies.

Farrah Fawcett #1

I guess it might be the cancer angle, or maybe just watching her fight so bravely in the face of completely shitty odds, but for whatever reason, the death of Farrah Fawcett hit us both really hard. Sure, she was crazy sometimes — that boozy meltdown with David Letterman in 1997 comes to mind — but for anyone who grew up in the 1970′s, Farrah was the 70′s. I mean, seriously, who didn’t love that woman back in the day?

One season on “Charlie’s Angels” and that awesome, nipple-tastic poster above would have been enough for some women, but not Farrah. Fawcett showed she could really act in hard-hitting, award-worthy movies like “The Burning Bed”, “Extremeties” and “The Apostle” and, hell, even her bad movies kinda rocked. I mean, hello, my brother and I did not run to the theatre to see “Logan’s Run” for Michael York.

And even though I have yet to sit through it, I must admit I’ve always been curious about that legendary robot rape scene with Farrah in the epically-bad “Saturn 3″. Yes, amigos, the villainous robot apparently attempts to rape Farrah at one point. Don’t know if it happened onscreen or not, but I do know that was a key selling point when the film came out. And we were totally buying…but, well, it was rated R, and we were way too young pass for 17…so, we never saw it.

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But even crazy misfires like “Saturn 3″ prove that Farrah’s appeal was kinda bulletproof. She wasn’t just easy on the eyes, but she was funny, smart, opinionated and one of the most interesting and one-of-a-kind badasses to ever rock the pop culture spectrum.

So, for that and so much more, we salute you Farrah Fawcett. Your humor, your strength, your style and most of all, your rocking hair, will live on forever. Vaya con Dios, angelita de Carlos…you will be sorely missed.

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Where we’ve been…

Our Facebook friends have already seen some of these pics, but after being away from our blog for way too long, Christine and I wanted to finally fill the rest of you in on where we’ve been…

No, we weren’t off in Fiji with the baby for the past two weeks. We were actually up north helping Christine’s Mom rid herself once and for of the crazy-ass huckster she has called her boyfriend for the past six years. Yep, it’s official, Christine’s Mom finally gave the worthless a-hole the boot. Hooray!

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Eviction Day #2

And while internet defamation and slander laws — not to mention a certain chain-smoking weasel’s litigious streak! — won’t permit me from going into too much depth about why she kicked him out. I will say this, it is my opinion that this man is a lying, thieving drug addict who has made sponging off poor, unsuspecting old ladies an art. And I, for one, was more than happy to show that bastard the door!

Yeah, we had some hairy “as-seen-on-COPS” moments — three Sheriff’s deputies came to the house when things got really heated at one point — but Greta and Christine were never involved in any of the major battles and as of yesterday afternoon, the loser was still gone. So, yay for us!

And while I didn’t wanna waste any pics on the man of the hour himself, I hope you’ll cherish the shots of him driving away for the last time as much as we did. I’m not kidding, amigos, I was so happy to see the dude go that I was actually singing to myself as he drove off.

Here’s hoping we never see that worthless piece of shit again…

Eviction Day #3

Eviction Day #4

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Happy 25th Birthday Tetris!

Saturday marked the 25th birthday of one of our all-time-favorite video gamesTetris! Yep, that crazy-addictive block-stacking insanity has been making our fingers hurt for twenty five years now. Crazy, huh?

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I remember first seeing Tetris on my stepmom Wendy’s Gameboy in the late-80′s and thinking: “Wow, what is one boring-ass game…this thing will never catch on!” Hmmm…I guess that shows what I know about gaming.

And even though Christine and our friend James went crazy for Tetris when we first moved to L.A. in the early-90′s, I must admit that my fondness for the game peaked much more recently. Looking to fill up our then-new iPod, Elvis with some cool games and stuff when we first bought it, I downloaded two games: The Sims Bowling, which totally sucks, and, you guessed it…Tetris.

And guess which game I play almost nightly before going to bed? T-E-T-R-I-S! It’s crazy, I know, but there is something so freaking comforting about strategically stacking those stupid blocks over and over again every night. And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times that game has saved my life on punishing airport layovers or insanely-long days on movie sets. Yikes…

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Tetris #3

So, happy 25th birthday Tetris and many thanks to the mad Russian techie, Alexey Pojitnov, who made all of this possible way back in 1984. History may find more deserving Russians to celebrate, but you’re the king of Kremlin Kool our house, dude!

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Greta’s first protest rally…

She may have missed the Writer’s Strike of 2007-2008, but Greta got to stick it to the man anyway this week at her first official protest rally! That’s right, amigos, our little red-shirted cutie joined Mommy and Daddy at the “Hole in the Heart of Hollywood” rally in support of saving the beleaguered Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills.

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MPTF protest #2

For those of you who might be unaware of the situation, the MPTF Hospital has been a Hollywood institution since the 1940′s and a place where elderly actors, directors, writers and other film industry veterans can retire among their peers. Set on a sprawling campus in Woodland Hills, the home is now in danger of disappearing forever sometime very soon.

The bigwigs at the Motion Picture and Television Fund are crying poor and saying that in today’s economic climate, they just don’t have the money to keep the home open. But the problem with that claim is that when the families and supporters of keeping the home open approached the MPTF about starting up some possible fundraising efforts, the board declared that no amount of money could keep the home open. Huh?

If the problem is money and you won’t let anyone from arguably one of the most creative communities in the world help you raise it, then what is really going on here? My guess is that the MPTF has already sold the land — which they own outright, by the way! — to some developer and therefore has no real intest in keeping the home open.

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But no matter what the back-all shenanigans are here, the situation for the folks still living in the home is dire to say the least. Of the dozens of residents who have already been “removed” from the home, 18 have died within a matter of weeks due to something called “transfer trauma”. WTF, man?!!

These people paid their dues, worked for years in “the biz”, prepaid for their care and are entitled to live out their golden years with their peers. I don’t pretend to know all the details on this one, but what I do know is that if there is a way to keep this place open then we need to do it! If for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do.

I mean, seriously, the motto on the sign out front says it all “Taking Care of Our Own”! So, come on, guys, let’s put the greed aside for a change and get back to the business of doing just that.

MPTF protest #7

MPTF protest #8

For more information on what you can do to help save the home, please visit SavingTheLivesOfOurOwn.org. And to see more pics from Greta’s first protest rally, including many more shots of the celebrity guest speakers, John “Dukes of Hazzard” Schneider and Frances “Titanic” Fisher, click here.

And in the meantime, que viva los viejos a la casa de MPTF!

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Our brand-new Saturn Vue!

Seeing as Saturn’s greedy, ass-backwards parent company, GM, is filing for bankruptcy this morning, I figured now would be the perfect time to blog about our new car. Yep, even though their future is uncertain at best, we decided to stick with the car company that we’ve known and loved for the past thirteen years and bought ourselves another Saturn.

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Our new Saturn Vue #2

Only this time, we’ve upsized a bit and gone totally green! The 2009 Green Line Saturn Vue isn’t just one of the highest-rated hybrid SUV’s on the road, but it also sexy as all get-out. Heated leather seats, sunroof, OnStar, XM Radio, you name it, and this baby’s got it. And did I mention that it’s a hybrid?

Our salesman at Galpin told us that he has several customers who average 500 miles on a single 18 gallon tank of gas. And while that might not sound impressive for a smaller car like our 2004 Saturn Ion, for a mid-sized SUV, that is downright amazing!

Cooler still is the little green “Eco” light that turns on every time you’re driving on hybrid power. I swear to God, it’s like a freaking video game: “Keep it in the green, keep it in the green!” Awesome! And best of all, the thing rides like a dream and is so roomy and comfortable that even my tall-ass brother swims in the backseat…and that’s with Greta’s carseat taking up the middle seat!

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Our new Saturn Vue #4

I’m sure some folks think we’re crazy for buying a new car from a company on the skids, but Christine and I both really love everything that Saturn used to stand for. In their free-donuts-in-every-waiting-room glory days, Saturn was like this cool little cult…all about hip, smartly-appointed, American-built small cars that got great gas mileage and didn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy.

So, even though the clowns at GM have done everything they can to destroy all that was great and forward-thinking about the company over the last few years, we decided to support the dream that began when that first Saturn rolled off the assembly line in Spring Hill, Tennessee in 1990, by buying what just might be the last Vue running.

And no matter what eventually becomes of the Saturn brand, our little girl will grow up in the backseat of a rocking hybrid with a bullet-proof warrantee for parts and services for at least seven years…so, que viva los Saturns!

Our new Saturn Vue #5

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The Horseless Carriage @ Galpin Motors

Been meaning to blog about this place since Christine and I started the blog, but, as you know, we’ve been kinda busy, so, time and time again, the first-rate grub at the Horseless Carriage has fallen by the wayside. Well, that all ends today!

The first restuarant ever to open inside a working car dealership, the Horseless Carriage has been serving up the best diner food in the San Fernando Valley to the patrons of the legendary Galpin Motors since 1966. Yep, the Carriage is actually three years older than I am…crazy!

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Galpin #1

Christine and I discovered this hidden gem of a restaurant when we bought our first Saturn back in 1996 and we have been coming here for breakfast and/or lunch every since. Located within walking distance from the cozy waiting room at the Saturn of the Valley service area, the Horseless Carriage has always been the one thing that makes long-ass trips to the land of Galpin for tune-ups or oil changes bearable.

And though just about everything on their vast menu is amazing, I gotta tell ya, I have ordered the exact same thing every time I go for the past thirteen years…the pork chops and eggs with buttermilk biscuits and country gravy. I know it sounds boring, but when you find something you love, you stick with it. And, man alive, do I loves me that breakfast!

I mean, seriously, have you ever seen finer grill marks on pork chops? Hell to the no! And that’s only part of the meal…I didn’t even take a picture of the tasty, but decidedly unphotogenic, biscuits and gravy! And best of all, that hearty heart attack on a plate sets you back a paltry $10.65. Top that Denny’s!

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Galpin #5

But that steal of a meal is only one of the many fantastic items on the menu. Christine usually orders the traditional Club Sandwich (which is great!) but the last time we went, she opted for the Horseless Carriage Triple Decker Club California-Style, pictured above.

Substituting pastrami for bacon and adding a heaping wedge of avocado, this sandwich was so good, I just might ditch my biscuits and gravy goodness and get one for myself next time. Seriously, that sandwich was heaven with a side of fries, amigos…fantastic!

And even though one of the waitresses there looks and often acts kinda scary-mean — you know who you are, blondie! — for the most part, the staff is made up of really sweet career waitresses who keep your coffee and water filled like nobody’s business. And, honestly, anyone who can put up with my fat ass reading the paper at one of their best booths for two hours while I wait for my car to be serviced is OK in my book.

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So, if you’re looking for a primo meal that will stick to your ribs while you browse the sprawling Galpin acrerage — they have seperate, swanky-ass showrooms for Fords, Saturns, Mazdas, Aston Martins, Volvos and Jaguars! — or get your car serviced, check out the fine food at the Horseless Carriage. You might be there a while, but you sure as shit won’t leave hungry!

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