Monthly Archives: September 2009

Dispatch from Planet Greta: Greta crawls!

OK…I know we promised not to bore you guys with baby news all the time once we launched our sister (or is it daughter?) blog, Planet Greta, into orbit. But, I’m sorry, when your baby girl starts crawling, you kinda wanna spread the word!

So, without further ado, we give you the HD video world premiere of Greta crawling across the living room floor last Wednesday night in her pajama top and a diaper. Yep, that was what she chose to wear for her crawling debut, I guess the pajama bottoms were slowing her down or something.

And while I swore I’d never let “my baby” run around the house in just a diaper, once Greta tore off those pants — something she really loves to do these days! — she was moving so fast we barely had enough time to  pause “Glee” and grab the camera, let alone re-pants her. Oy!

Either way, enjoy the show…

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Founder of Jedi Church banned from store for wearing hood!

Just when we thought religious discrimination was a thing of the past, the UK press is reporting that one of the founders of the International Church of Jediism, Daniel Morgan Jones (23), was forcibly ejected from a Tesco supermarket in North Wales for refusing to remove his hood — which he wears at all time for religious reasons — while shopping.

Emperor Palpatine shopping at Vons #1

According to Jones, who also goes by his Jedi name, Morda Hehol, the Jedi doctrine explicitly states that a Jedi Knight “must wear a hood up in any public place of a large audience.” I don’t know how large the “audience” was at that grocery store, but Jones claims that Tesco security violated his “religious rights” by asking him to remove his hood.

Making matters even worse was the fact that a Muslim woman in a veil was allowed to shop freely while Jones was shown the door. “I walked past a Muslim lady in a veil…surely the same rules should apply to everyone” Jones griped later.

Still reeling from the experience, Jones is considering legal action, but in the meantime advises other UK Jedi to boycott Tesco stores, hoping to make the grocery chain “feel the Force“. OMG, so awesome!

Emperor Palpatine shopping at Vons #2

Emperor Palpatine shopping at Vons #3

But the real kicker here was the reaction from Tesco’s corporate office. Responding to the Jedi dust up this afternoon, Tesco released a statement saying, and I quote: “He hasn’t been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.” Ooo, snap! Take that Morda Hehol!

Funnier still was Tesco’s closing statement: “If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.” Ha! Hilarious! Break out my Anakin costume, sweetie, we’re going to Tesco!

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Scarlett Johansson + Pete Yorn = Best Music Video Ever!

Longtime readers know of my deep and abiding love for Scarlett Johansson, but what even I didn’t know until this morning is that aside from looking lovely and acting her ass off in some amazing movies, Scarjo can actually sing! I mean, I knew she had an album a while back, but, no offense, so did Paris Hilton.

"Relator" single album cover

And while I can’t vouch for the quality of the entire album Scarjo released this week with indie slatwart Pete Yorn — it’s called “Break Up” — I can say for sure that the song and video for their first single “Relator” is freaking awesome!

Christine and I often Tivo cool music videos for each other to find when they wake up and you can imagine my surprise when the little rocking, retro-fueled video (linked below) bleep bleeped onto my screen this morning. Sheer. Pop. Awesomeness. Thank you, sweetie!

"Scaryorn" in Jim Wright's awesome video for "Relator" #2

"Scaryorn" in Jim Wright's awesome "Relator" video!

"Scaryorn" in Jim Wright's awesome video for "Relator" #3

Seriously, I loved the song so much that I watched the video at least ten times today…even Greta was tapping her feet! And even though the song comes a little too late to be our official 2009 summer jam — that honor goes to the equally jamming “1, 2, 3, 4″ by the Plain White T’s — something tells me “Relator” will be getting a lot of play on our iPods this fall.

To see the video for yourself, click here. And in the meantime, rock on Scaryorn, we don’t just love your song and music video…we totally wanna be you guys! Um, you know…minus the whole breaking up part…

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Marini’s Chocolate Covered Bacon

One of our first stops whenever we hit Santa Cruz is Marini’s at the Beach on Pacific Ave. Not only does Marini’s have the raddest selection of candy, salt water taffy and other assorted sweets on the planet, but now they also offer…ta da, Chocolate Covered Bacon.

Marini's legendary chocolate covered bacon #1

That’s right, amigos, Marini’s has found a way to merge two of Christine and my favorite food groups into one. And though Chocolate Covered Bacon sounds awesome in theory, it pains me deeply to tell you that the actual result is a bit odd. That said, I am glad we sampled it at least once.

It’s not that it tastes bad, because, well, bacon never really tastes bad. But the biggest problem I had with this concoction is that is was cold. I know that’s the only way to keep the chocolate from getting all melty and everything…but, I’m sorry, cold bacon is just not the same as the warm stuff.

And though the chocolate coating is delicious, it also seals the grease onto the bacon when it chills, which is even more off-putting. I left my piece out for a while and I think it tasted much better at room temperature. True, the chocolate was all goey by then, but the bacon was much more palpable.

Marini's legendary chocolate covered bacon #2

Marini's legendary chocolate covered bacon #3

So, if you do decide to check out this strange marriage of flavors for yourself, I have two suggestions. One, call the folks at Marini’s up and order it ahead of time. They sells out of their Chocolate Covered Bacon every day, usually before noon, so, plan ahead.

And two, and this is a biggie, do not order more than one piece of bacon per person in your party. We got all greedy and ordered a half pound — which wasn’t cheap considering the whopping $9.00 per pound price tag — and that turned out to be way, waaaay too much for the four of us to consume. Seriously, one large piece of bacon is more than enough for a party of four. Hell, one bite per person would have been enough.

And while Marini’s doesn’t offer suggestions for accompanying drinks or anything, I recommend washing your bacon down with something nice and bubbly afterwards. We had a round of ice cold Cherry Dr. Pepper’s with ours, but, honestly, any carbonated beverage will fit the bill.

Um, you know, as long as it doesn’t have any bacon in it…

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Kanye West: A-hole extraordinaire!

OK, normally MTV’s Video Music Awards are totally fast-forwardable. Overlong, boring and packed to the gills with live performances by people who Christine and I can’t stand — last year offered us the Jonas Brothers and Lil’ Wayne, nuff said — but as you can tell from my previous post, this year, the show was kind of insanely watchable. Emphasis on the insane!

Host Russell Brand was almost as cheeky and hilarious as he was last year, and the opening tribute to Michael Jackson was very cool, even if Madonna got a little Madge-centric sometimes in her speech. I mean, come on, your worst review for “Swept Away” was better than whole years of Jackson’s life, so, stop with the comparisons already…

Taylor Swift @ the 2009 VMA's #1

Taylor Swift @ the 2009 VMA's #2

But the real fireworks last night came when Kayne West interrupted Taylor Swift’s sweet-ass acceptance speech to tell the crowd that he thought Beyoncé should have won instead.

Yep, the man who famously said that George Bush hates black people and gets all bent out of shape when he doesn’t take home enough gold at award shows is judging the winners and losers in categories he’s not even eligible for! WTF?!

Sorry, dude, I’ve seen every video in that category and Taylor Swift’s was the best in the bunch. The song rocked, the video told a story (shocking, I know, in today’s boring-ass video age) and it looked great. What else is there?

Taylor Swift @ the 2009 VMA's #3

And honestly, whether you liked her video or not, for you to interrupt Ms. Swift’s speech like that to tell the world that she didn’t deserve the award she’d just won was just plain shitty. And on live TV no less? Yikes, ain’t no half-ass apology gonna make up for that shit…

I mean, seriously, you can make fun of George Bush and you can act like an egotistical prick all you want, but you verbally beat down America’s Sweetheart on national TV…well, that shit’s gonna haunt you.

Have a nice life, a-hole!

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My apologies to Lady Gaga…

Dear Lady Gaga,

I know that in the past I have disparaged you to no end in both my blog and in conversations with my friends and family, but after watching your totally bizarre, insanely awesome performance at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, all I can say is…please forgive me. You seriously rock!

Lady Gaga at the 2009 VMA's

I don’t know if I understand everything you did last night onstage — the “Phantom of the Opera” stuff was cool, but you lost me with the crutches and wheelchair bit, and the blood-soaked ending was just plain crazy! — but anyone who can pull off totally bizarre, performance-arty shit like that with a straight face is cool in my book.

And though it was obscured by fur, feathers, a golden mask and bright red lace for most of the night, the earnest look on your face tells me that you are not just toying with us, but are, in fact, totally batshit crazy.

Lady Gaga @ the 2009 VMA's #2

Lady Gaga @ the 2009 VMA's #3

And for that, and so much more, I gotta tell ya, I kind of love you. So, please forgive me for anything bad I might have said or thought about you in the past. You truly are one fearlessly freaky lady and the music world is a better place because of it. Yep, I even like your music now too…crazy, huh?

Rock on Lady Gaga!

Your newest fan-

Yeti9000

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Lunch at San Francisco’s Ferry Building

Christine and I usually visit San Francisco at least once a year for her work and every time we go, one of the first places we hit is the super cool Ferry Building Marketplace at the end of Market Street.

Housed inside the beautiful shell of the historic Ferry Building (which opened it’s doors in 1898), the marketplace can best be described as a gigantic indoor farmer’s market. With offices upstairs, the bustling lower level is home to some of the tastiest gourmet grub in the city.

The Ferry Building, San Francisco

Little girl (not Greta!) at Miette

Miette's collection of cool goodies!

Artisanal cheeses, chocolates, meats, tea, coffee, breads…there is nothing you can’t find at this place and if you are lucky enough to come on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday between the hours of 10:00AM and 2:00PM, you’ll find a real life farmer’s market camped outside the building as well. And, man alive, is that place amazing!

But even if you can’t make it for the outdoor farmer’s market, the permanent storefronts inside the Ferry Building will more than satisfy you. We’ve eaten at almost every joint in there and aside from the bland, totally overpriced Mexican food at Mijita, everything we’ve eaten there has been excellent.

That said, we are total creatures of habit and almost always eat at the same two places. First stop is usually Charlie Phan’s Out The Door. Located directly behind Phan’s already-legendary The Slanted Door, Out The Door has some of the best Vietnamese “street food” I’ve ever had. Soups, salads, spring rolls, out-of-this-world Vietnamese coffee, this place is probably one of my favorite restaurants of all time. Seriously good food!

Miette @ the Ferry Building!

Miette pastry table at the Ferry Building!

The amazing chocolate pots @ Miette!

And the meal we had the one time we actually managed to score a dinner reservation at The Slanted Door — which is usually booked months in advance — will go down in the record books as one of the finest meals I’ve ever had. I  kid you not, amigos, I have actually had dreams about their world-famous Chicken Claypot with caramel sauce, chilies and fresh ginger. DELICIOUS!

Our second favorite spot in the Ferry Building is Miette Patisserie home of awesome cookies, pastries and the second-best cupcakes in the city (right behind my all-time favorite, Kara’s Cupcakes!). But cookies and other baked yumminess aside, the thing that keeps Christine and I coming back year after year are Miette’s incredibly tasty Chocolate Pots de Creme. Holy crap, these things will totally change your life!

Served in a tiny glass jar (which you get to keep!) the chocolate pot is like the best pudding you ever had topped with a healthy dollop of dreamy, melt-in-your-mouth, creme fraiche. Yum!

Boccalone sandwich board sign @ the Ferry Building!

Boccalone at the Ferry Building!

And while we were a little sad to learn that they no longer uses the Miette logo glassware for the pots (which make rad tea light holders back home), as long as the chocolate keeps tasting this good, who really cares what it comes in?

Our two favorite stops aside, this past visit we decided to try something different for lunch. So, at the urging of Grandma Wendy, the four of us jumped into the long line outside Boccalone Salumeria to try their Food-Network-famous mortadella hot dogs. And, lemme tell ya, the sign out front, “tasty salted pig parts”, doesn’t even begin to describe how good this fancy hot dog was.

The sight, the smell, even the sound as it popped in your mouth when you bit into it, this was truly a weiner for the ages…delicious!

Boccalone delivery bicycle!

Mortadella hot dog @ Boccalone!

My only complaint about the Ferry Building Marketplace is the lack of parking. This was our first time driving to SF with Greta (we’re saving her first airplane trip till January!) and the parking really sucked. The dedicated lot they do have is very small and street parking is a nightmare. And when you do find street parking, it’s metered up the wazoo, so, bring your quarters!

Oh, and one more cool thing. The Ferry Building Marketplace has free WiFi, so, bring your laptop and sit a spell at one of the giant wooden tables facing the bay…the view is incredible!

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“American Idol” reaches a new low…

First “American Idol” producers refused to do right by their long-suffering workers by going union, then they dumped Paula Abdul when she asked for like, a third of what Seacrest makes, and now, “Idol” producers have made the biggest mistake of all by hiring Ellen Degeneres as the fourth judge.

Ellen as fourth "Idol" judge mock up from BestWeekEver.TV

I mean, really? Ellen?! What was Tyra too busy running her media empire to take the gig? Jeez, what the hell does a self-absorbed union-busting scab like Ellen know about judging singing competitions? And if America thought Paula was too nice to the contestants, just imagine how much the “queen of nice” will pander to the worst singers in the bunch?

Urgh..if I wanted to see Ellen’s manufactured brand of “aw shucks folks” sweetness I’d watch her daytime show. The fact that she’ll be inflicted on my “Idol” viewing time each week might just be enough to break me of my “Idol” habit for good. On the upside, not watching “Idol” will free up a lot of Tivo time come January…so, hmmm…maybe I should be thanking Ellen.

Nah, I still hate her phony ass…

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“Not Forgotten” to open in NYC!

Got word earlier this week that my movie “Not Forgotten” will be opening in New York City and three theatres in El Paso, Texas this Friday, September 11th, 2009. Which is like, tomorrow…so, yay!

Not sure what triggered this late-game release strategy, but I do know that “Not Forgotten” will be playing in the heart of New York’s legendary theatre district at the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street. If it does as well in the big apple as it did in Los Angeles, Austin, and Phoenix, “Not Forgotten” could expand into other markets, which would be very cool. No word yet on which markets we’re talking about, but, I’m still pulling for you, Santa Cruz!

"Not Forgotten" to open in NYC!

In the meantime, to make way for the expanded theatrical release, our distributor (Anchor Bay) has pushed the DVD release date back from October to November 3rd. Sorry, Dad…you’ll have to wait a little longer.

But as for the rest of you, if any of y’all know anyone in NYC or El Paso…spread the word. Because starting tomorrow, “Not Forgotten” is back on the big screen, amigos! For complete ticket and showtime information check out the movie’s official website at: www.notforgottenmovie.com

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Madame Tussauds Hollywood

I know our regular Flickr followers might have already seen most (or all) of these pics online, but, since I never officially blogged about it here, I now bring you back in time to August 1st, 2009, opening day at the groovy new Madame Tussauds Wax Musuem in Hollywood.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #1

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #2

Located next to the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd., Madame Tussauds is the newest must-see attraction in a city full of them. And while many Angelenos worried at first about this newer, grander museum slamming the final nail in the coffin of the aging Hollywood Wax Musuem up the street…rest assured, amigos, there is more than enough room for both houses of wax on the boulevard.

For one thing, that old-ass Hollywood Wax Musuem is scary as shit. I mean it, we went at night one time and just about jumped out of our skin in the horror film wing. And though the Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter statue at Tussauds is incredibly unnerving — especially if you stand, Clarice-like, on the marked dot on the floor! — overall, the newer museum is pretty much scare free.

But that’s not to say it doesn’t rock, because, well, it totally does. Not only does Madame Tussauds have the most lifelike statues I’ve seen anywhere, but you also get to do all kinds of goofy stuff with them.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #3

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #4

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #5

That’s right, every statue at Madame Tussauds is there for the fondling. And while the hair and the eyes are strictly off limits in the touch department, everything else on these statues is fair game…and I do mean everything.

Yikes…my brother and I got so raunchy with that poor Halle Berry statue that I’m surprised she didn’t come to life and slap us silly. But tastelessness aside, touching and posing for endless cheesy pics with the statues is part of what make the experience so cool in the first place.

And if you run out of ideas for pictures, each wing of the museum is equipped with props to help you out. Wanna pose as a “Sister Act” nun with Whoopi Goldberg, grab a habit. Feel like chilling with Butch and Sundance, slap on a cowboy hat. And though I think some of that stuff might get kinda gross and germy over time, on opening day, those props were spotless!

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #6

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #7

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #8

My only complaint is that the bathrooms are located in very weird places. One on the top floor and one on the bottom with nothing in between. I had to take the elevator down to the lower level and exit through the gift shop, then reenter through the main lobby to get to the bathroom from the second floor with Greta.

Even worse than that is the fact that the lower level restrooms have no diaper changing stations for babies…not even the women’s! Lame, huh? I realize that not everyone needs these things, but, come on, you spend a gazillion dollars on this joint and you can’t slap up some changing stations in the can? Please…

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #9

Madame Tussauds Hollywood #10

But other than that, and the slightly highish price tag — same day adult tickets run $25 a pop! — the musuem is a very cool place to visit. And seeing as they have plenty of room to expand and loads of new figures on the way — I think they added a Michael Jackson right after our visit — the museum should do a pretty killer job of getting people to come back for repeat visits down the road.

Hell, I’d go back for Halle Berry alone!

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Our summer vacation!

August is usually kind of an insane month for us as we always seem to be traveling somewhere, but this past month was, as the saying goes, off da hook.

Seriously, family, friends, high school reunions, wax museums, soda tasting parties, road trips all up and down the state, you name it, we did it last month. And now, at long last, we’re home. So, while I eagerly prepare to fill you in on the many strange and wonderful adventures we had this past August, please enjoy this picture of a road-weary Greta in her very well-used car seat.

If there was any doubt as to how crazy busy we’ve been, I think the look on her face says it all. Yikes. Thank God she still digs road trips

Greta holding on for dear life!

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