Monthly Archives: December 2010

Alanis Morissette’s Christmas miracle!

Her ex-boyfriend’s marriage to Scarjo may have gone down in flames, but it’s all good news for Alanis Morissette and her husband, rapper, Mario ‘Souleye’ Treadway. The couple, married this past May in Los Angeles, welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway on Christmas day.

I don’t know what Imre means exactly, but, I do seriously dig the name Ever. So, congrats all around and here’s hoping the birth of her first child only adds to the depth and complexity of Alanis’ angsty-arty jams. Yes, haters, Morissette still releases new CD’s, and I have them all to prove it!

Congrats again to the happy couple and bouncing baby Ever. Long may you rock!

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Merry Christmas 2010!

Just finished cleaning the kitchen and prepping the meat and beans for tomorrow’s enchilada fest, and as I turned off the radio (thanks for another amazing year of Christmas jams, KOST!) and that last light in the kitchen, I couldn’t help thinking of how lucky I am.

It’s been a long, strange year, but I have amazing friends, the coolest family in the world and a wife and little girl who make every single day that I am alive truly magical, even when it’s totally not.

And now, as I drift off to sleep with the smell of Christmas in the air — who says Christmas can’t smell like enchiladas? — I just want to thank everyone I know and love, those sleeping under our roof tonight and those who aren’t, for everything you do to make my life…well, kinda rad. You guys rock!

So, before my pot of holiday cheese totally bubbles over I’ll leave you with Greta’s 2010 Santa pic. As you can see, she refused to smile, but, on the upside, she didn’t cry like last year either. So, I call that progress!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream @ Baskin Robbins

If you consider yourself a true lover of ice cream, you will stop reading this right now and immediately drive yourself to your local Baskin Robbins. Seriously, I’ve had some great cake ice creams in the past, but this one, well, let’s just say it takes the cake. Pun completely intended!

Rich, creamy, cake-y to the max, the Red Velvet Cake ice cream at 31-Flavors is so good that I don’t know why I even bothered with a second scoop of my usual favorite Chocolate Fudge. I shoulda just got two scoops of Red Velvet Cake, and you know what? Next time I go, I will!

But if you’re interested in this amazingness, you gotta act fast because Red Velvet Cake ice cream is the flavor of the month for December, and, in just a few short days, December will be over. Forever. So, check it out while you can, and in case you’re wondering…that white, creamy stuff swirled throughout the scoop is frosting and it is AH-MAZING!

I’m not kidding, the flavor profile for this rocking ice cream is so subtle and lovely, you’d swear you wear eating a vastly more expensive cone.

This is Christmas for your mouth, amigos…so, start celebrating today!

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The Ramones to receive Grammy Lifetime Acheivement Award!

How many Ramones have to die before the Recording Academy gives the punk pioneers the freaking respect they deserve? The answer, apparently, is three out of four. But, hey, better late than never…

The Ramones will be joined by fellow inductees, Miss Julie Andrews, our second-favorite inductee, Dolly Parton, The Kingston Trio, The Juliard String Quartet, Jazz great Roy Haynes and Gospel king George Beverly Shea. And even though the event will not be televised, we will be cheering on our boys from home by blasting some of their badass tunes on the iPod.

Congrats on your big night, guys, we only saw you play live once (opening for Pearl Jam in San Diego in what can only be described as a life-altering concert experience), but, wow…what a show! All hail the once and future kings of punk!

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“TRON: Legacy”

I should have trusted my gut on this one. You know, that little voice that kept telling me not to get too excited because even though it had rad, state-of-the-art (at the time) effects, the first “TRON” kinda sucked too.

Unfortunately, I did not listen to my inner voice and have spent the past few weeks hyping the shit outta “TRON: Legacy” to Christine, who, had absolutely no interest in seeing the movie. Well, what can I say, amigos? Once again, Christine was righter than rain.

“TRON: Legacy” is a bloated, boring, totally derivative peice of crap. I’m not kidding, man, this movie sucks major ass. At least the first flick had the wow factor of the cool “in the grid” effects and all, this movie plays like a soulless, two-hour ad for toys and spinoff sequels and shit. And except for a sparkling, seriously transcendent score by electronica legends, Daft Punk, the movie is a complete and total waste of your time.

I mean, hell, if I — a child of the 80′s who worshipped the effects of the first movie and played the hell outta the “TRON” videogame — hated it, just imagine what non-“TRON” geeks, people like Christine, with no connection to the first film whatsoever, will think of this junk?

Yikes…thanks for ruining another cherished, childhood memory, Disney.

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“The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition”

Even though Greta had a lot of fun opening presents and stuff last Christmas, this is the first year that she’s been really getting into all the cool holiday traditions and stuff — music, lights, Santa, etc. — so, needless to say, every day has been an adventure this December!

And adding to that holiday magic has been the super-cute Christmas book, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, with illustrations by Coë Steinwart. We bought this book and toy set (each book comes with a different looking toy elf inside) at a post-Christmas sale at Nordstroms last year, and, man alive, am I glad we did!

Here’s how it works. According to the story, every night, your personal elf (who you name and register online) heads home to the North Pole to tell Santa how you’ve been behaving that day. And every morning when you wake up, your elf is sitting in a new location in your house.

Our elf is named Paul (Greta named him, and we have no idea where the name came from) but lemme tell ya, watching her look for him every morning is hilarious and the look on her face when she finds him, well, if you could put Christmas in a bottle, that’s what it’d look like. Adorable!

I know it’s a little late in the season to start your own “The Elf on the Shelf” tradition, but, you could always do what we did and pick one up on the 26th for next year. Either way, this is a total holiday must-have for anyone with little kids…so cute!

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Blake Edwards (1922-2010)

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but, it’s raining cats and dogs here and on a day like today I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the late, great Blake Edwards, than snuggling up with the ones you love and watching his classic film version of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Edwards directed dozens of awesome films — I lived for the original “Pink Panther” movies when I was a kid and “Victor/Victoria”, “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Experiment in Terror” were all instant classics — but for me, his most memorable flick will always be the perfect little gem of a movie that it “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Great cast, lushly-beautiful locations — both the real-life and backlot NYC locales look gorgeous! — and that swinging Henry Mancini score…wow…watching “Tiffany’s” is like eating giant strawberries dipped in really great chocolate. Mmmm…sheer cinematic yumminess all around.

Ironically enough, I just recently sat Greta down and made her watch “Tiffany’s” in all its widescreen DVD glory (she loved the music and any scenes with “Cat” the best!) and lemme tell ya, it holds up beautifully.

So, rest in peace, Mr. Blake Edwards. Thanks to you, I have an instant, tried-and-true cure for the “mean reds” for years to come…

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2011 Golden Globe Nominations

Whoa, talk about an eclectic bunch of nominees. I mean, three nods for “The Tourist” would be shocking enough, but the fact that they came in the Comedy/Musical category? Crazy!

And Johnny Depp is cool and all, but, two nods for totally lame movies in the same category? Yikes, if the Hollywood Foreign Press wanted him to show up that badly they shoulda just cut out the middle man and  given him an honorary award already. Jeez! But other than that bit of typical Golden Globe-cheesiness, it was sort of business-as-usual this year at the HFPA.

After dominating the LA and NY Film Critics awards this season, David Fincher’s rocking “The Social Network” is looking like the one to beat with a very well-deserved six nominations. I know it came out a while ago, but “Social” is still one of the best things we’ve seen, and I’m happy to say that after taking a detour into straight-up Robert Zemekis hokumville with his last effort, the vastly-overrated “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, David Fincher is back with a vengeance, baby!

Also was thrilled to see “Inception” score several major nominations yesterday. Like I said before, this movie seriously rocked our world, so, here’s hoping it does the same with the Globe voters!

We haven’t seen “The King’s Speech” yet, but, it looks amazing and we love everyone involved with it, so, kudos to them as well. If there’s any justice in this world, two of our favorite actors of all time, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter will finally win awards this year for their work. Go, Brits!

I was also glad to see David O. Russell finally score a nomination (for directing “The Fighter”) of any kind after years of creating crazy-cool, fantastically-quirky movies. I know a lot of people hate it, but, I still “Heart Huckabees” to death. So, even if you are a big old a-hole in real life, congrats on joining the ranks of the nominated, Mr. Russell!

The TV side of things was pretty cool too, with many of last year’s nominees returning for a second chance at the gold. My favorite nomination though has got to be “The Walking Dead” for best TV Drama. That show is insanely-good, so, really glad to see it represented here.

Oh, and finally, how cool is it that NIN’s Trent Reznor scored a Best Original Score nomination for his dreamy “Social Network” soundtrack? Reznor’s thumping, trance-like music made the movie, man. So cool!

To see the full list of this year’s Golden Globe nominees, click here. And don’t forget to watch the big show on Sunday, January 16th, 2011. Ricky Gervais is back as host, so, you know it’s gonna be fun!

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Battle of the L.A. Craft Fairs!

Wow, talk about an embarrassment of hipster-holiday-shopping riches! This weekend, December 11th & 12th, Los Angeles will be home to not one, but two of our favorite killer craft shows. That’s right, amigos, the Renegade Craft Fair is returning to duke it out with her older, more-established sister show, Unique L.A.…on the exact same dates no less! Crazy, huh?

If we didn’t have such a busy weekend planned, we’d probably try and hit both shows, but the fact is, we do have a busy-ass weekend planned, so, it’s looking like the Renegade Craft Fair might win out this year.

Sorry, Unique L.A., we still love you and all, but the other show has a lot of the same kind of stuff, and best of all, admittance to the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale is totally, 100% FREE. So, guess which price we like better?

Check out the flyers for more information on both shows. And whichever artsy L.A. gift show you chose this weekend…happy shopping!

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Denny’s 2010 Holiday Slam Menu

Ah, man…just when we thought we couldn’t love Denny’s any more than we already do, they go and get all deliciously-seasonal on us!

That’s right, amigos, for a limited time only, the house of Denny’s is offering a Holiday Slam Menu featuring such mouth-wateringly-good concoctions as cranberry-orange pancakes, gingerbread french toast and peppermint chocolate cocoa and milkshakes! Mmhmm, top that, IHOP!

But as tasty as all that stuff is, the crowning glory of the new Holiday Slam Menu has gotta be the Holiday Turkey Melt: turkey, stuffing and Swiss cheese served on potato bread with a healthy dollop of cranberry honey mustard and a side of gravy for dipping. I think Christine said it all when she described this heavenly sandwich as: “The best part of Thanksgiving“.

Hmmm…for me, the best part of Thanksgiving has always been the loving communion with cherished friends and family, but, if Christine says it’s all about the food, well, who am I to argue?

Either way, this spectacular sandwich tastes like the best Thanksgiving leftover sandwich you ever had. Seriously, it’s kinda magical. But, it won’t be around for long, so, check it out while you can. Yum!

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“The Sing Off” returns!

OK, how rad was the season-two premiere of “The Sing Off” on NBC last night?

So totally radical that Christine — who was dead-tired after helping me finish the Christmas decorating — stayed up till almost 1:00AM to watch the two-hour season premiere in its tune-filled entirety. Yep, it was that good!

No worries if you missed the first episode (the eliminated groups weren’t that great anyway) but if you love that fake-ass, studio-recorded stuff they do on “Glee” then you’ll really love watching the real thing done right in front of a live studio audience. Holy crap, some of these guys are ah-mazing!

So, please, please, do yourself a favor and check out the rest of the very short season of “The Sing Off” on NBC. And for the love of God, pray that those goofy stoners from the University of Oregon in Eugene sing at least one more Lady Gaga song before they get voted off, that shit was off the hook! WOW!

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Elizabeth Edwards (1949-2010)

Love or hate her husband, former Senator, Vice Presidential Candidate and Presidential hopeful, John Edwards, his lovely wife, Elizabeth Anania Edwards, was always the best thing he had going for him. Elizabeth Edwards truly had it going on, man…grace, charm, smarts, warmth and the very refreshing ability to cut through the noise around her and get to the heart of any issue.

And the way she dealt with the sad, tumultuous final chapter of her life? Wow, we should all live and die with such class and dignity. In my mind, there hasn’t been a more insanely-qualified shoulda-been First Lady since Tipper Gore, and I mean that as the highest of compliments.

Rest in peace sweet, beautiful Elizabeth Edwards, you will be missed…

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Missing Martha Stewart…

While putting up our classically cool, white-on-white Martha Stewart Christmas tree this past weekend, Christine told me that she suddenly realized that she really missed being able to watch Stewart’s daytime show “Martha” on a daily basis. I think she said “profoundly missed”, but, I could be wrong.

Either way, there is a void in our lives this holiday season and it is all due to the fact that Martha Stewart moved her show to the freaking Hallmark Channel. Urgh! No offense, Hallmark Channel, many of your made-for-television movies look awesomely bad, but, come on, why you gotta bogart the Martha?

I mean, who even gets the Hallmark Channel?? I know we don’t and I don’t think very many other cable carriers down here do, so, who is watching “Martha” in our absence? Well, according to a recent LA Times article, no one. Stewart’s show is tanking in cable obscurity and it’s just not right!

So, for the love of all things good and baked and hand-made this holiday season, ditch the Hallmark Channel while you can and come on home to network television, Martha. The holidays are so not the same without you…

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Three-and-a-half weeks in a Chevy Malibu…

This past summer the brainiacs at GM announced a massive hybrid battery recall on their entire fleet of Saturn Green Line Hybrid vehicles and a few of their other branded hybrids as well. Now, that seems like an easy enough fix, right? Make some new batteries (22,500 to be exact) plop them into the hybrids in question and you’re good to go.

Well, GM being the bloated, gas-guzzling dinosaur-of-a-car company that they are, it was anything but easy. We put our names on a replacement battery waiting list at our old Saturn dealer back in August — we had to switch to a new GM-certified repair shop when our beloved Galpin Saturn closed — and just now had the issue repaired. Yep, I said, August, as in, four months ago!

Initially, the wait was fine, I mean, the car ran great and we didn’t have any problems to speak of, so, we were cool sitting on the waiting list at Galpin. But when the “check engine light” began to flash every time we started the car, we began to worry. And when the “service hybrid system” light came on and the entire hybrid system stopped working while driving to the mall one day, well, we knew it was time to take the Chenbot to the doctor.

What we didn’t know was that it would take three-and-a-half weeks to get our car back. The guy at the new dealership told me to remove: “everything of value out of the car”, so, I guess I shoulda known we were in for a long haul, but, almost a month without our car? Come on!

Sure, we had a rental car (the dreaded, oldie-magnet Malibu mentioned above) and it was totally paid for, but, seriously GM, how long does it take to whip up a new batch of 22,500 hybrid batteries?

The answer of course, is, FOREVER. According to what I’ve read online, we are actually one of the lucky ones as some people have been waiting even longer for a battery. And many drivers of older Saturn hybrids (the recall dates back to any 2007 models) don’t even get a rental car, so, they’re like, doubly screwed!

And the worse thing is that there has been virtually no news coverage of this latest GM blunder-fest anywhere…not even a local news blurb. I’m sure nobody cares about Saturns anymore, but, wow, where’s crazy old Ralph Nader when you really need him, man?

Anyway, we are finally back in our beautiful Vue and it seems to be running fine, but, before I go, I just wanted to run some numbers by you. Between the cost of our rental car ($950) and the replacement battery ($1050) GM paid out over $2000 last month, just for us. Multiply that figure by every car involved in the recall and GM will have spent a staggering $45 million dollars on this mess.

Now, if they were just another lame, backwards-thinking car company with one foot in the grave, that would be one thing, but, GM, with its long, rich history of incompetence and mismanagement, received over $52 billion of tax-payer funded dollars in the recent bailout. That’s right, amigos, we paid $52 billion for GM’s mistakes, and, hot on the heels of that epic failure, they screw up again with this costly hybrid battery recall? Insanity!

So, hang in their fellow Saturn hybrid owners, your day (and battery) will come…you know, eventually. And as for you, GM, well, you can suck it. Big time! Seriously, I kinda hate you guys…

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