Monthly Archives: September 2008

Scarlett Johanssen breaks my heart…

I know she’s been engaged to actor Ryan Reynolds for a while now — and I am kinda married and everything, so I totally shouldn’t care — but I was still sad/surprised to hear that one of our favorite actresses, Scarlett “Scarjo” Johanssen got secretly hitched this weekend in Canada. Just kidding about the sad part…um, kinda.

Seriously though, secretly doing anything in this TMZ world is a big deal, so, kudos on hiding that shit from the media, Scarjo! And congrats on marrying Reynolds too. The dude has done some really good stuff in some really bad movies, but Christine and I still totally dig him. So, rock on, happy couple!

And live it up while you can, amigos, cause you just know my girl Alanis (Reynold’s jilted ex-fiancĂ©e) is in a dark room somewhere totally writing a mean-ass song about you guys…

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“Wicked” at the Hollywood Pantages

Although Christine and I saw the Tony-award-winning musical “Wicked” a couple weeks back, am finally just now getting around to blogging about it. But please don’t take the delay as a lack of enthusiasm, because this show rocked our world…HARD!

Not only are the songs great and totally catchy, but the story itself is really, really cool and after seeing the show in person at the Pantages, I gotta tell ya, “Wicked” is well on its way to being one of my favorite Broadway shows ever.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Christine how many times I’ve played the rocking soundtrack while cleaning the kitchen…let’s just say she knows all the songs by heart now too. Ha!

I don’t know if it’s the fact that the book of the musical was written by one of my favorite screenwriters, Winnie “My So-Called Life” Holzman, or the fact that it deals with such deep, socio-political issues in such a frothy, lighthearted way, but “Wicked” is way deeper and darker than it need be. And if you ask me, that is totally a good thing!

Loosely based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical version of “Wicked” is, on the surface, the story of what went down with the “The WIzard of Oz” witches Glinda and Elphaba (aka The Wicked Witch of the West) before Dorothy arrived on the scene. But deep down, the show is about how difficult it is to be different, and the price one pays for daring to stand up for something you believe in, in a society where it’s much easier to simply blend.

I know…deep, huh? I told you! If you’ve seen the classic movie (and, well…who hasn’t?) you know that the so-called Wizard of Oz is a fraud. One of my favorite things about this show is that when Elphaba learns this and threatens to expose the phony Wizard to all of Oz, she is quickly branded “wicked” by the powers that be and banished to a life in the shadows.

Hmm…you might almost say Elphaba is being “unpatriotic” by speaking up and, like some of her modern-day American contemporaries, she pays a stiff price for her views. Hell, there is even a song dealing with the fickle nature of history and how it is essentially written, and often re-written, by the victors. Really interesting stuff any way you look at it.

And when you couple all that depth of content with some seriously kick-ass songs by Stephen Schwartz — the first act closing number “Defying Gravity” will leave you breathless! — and those dazzling sets and costumes, this is a show for the ages, amigos. Even my brother, who generally loathes musicals, loved it.

But “Wicked” is leaving L.A. in January, so, if you live in town, check it out while you can at the Pantages. I mean, shit, even if you don’t like the show, you gotta love that theatre. Just looking up at all those cool green lights outside the facade…wow, it’s like the freaking Emerald City, baby! Awesome!!

Oh yeah, and despite what you read in the paper or online there are TONS of cheap seats available for all shows. We got $100 rear orchestra seats for $50 at Goldstar.com and if you buy you tickets in person at the Pantages box office, they’re even cheaper. Ryan and Laura paid $32.50 a seat the day of the show with not a handling fee in sight! Yee-haw!

Go, “Wicked”!

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com

OK, I ain’t trying to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow or anything, because, unlike a lot of bloggers out there, we love us some Gwynnie. She’s cute, crafty, a pretty decent actress, an even better talk show guest, and her new PBS series with chef Mario Batali: “Spain…On The Road Again” looks awesome! It’s actually been winking at us all week from our Tivo…we’ll let you know it is.

But despite all the things we dig about Gwyneth, we — or maybe it’s just I — cannot get behind her recent jump into the already-crowded lifestyle guru business. That’s right, amigos, Gwyneth launched a lifestyle website this week, and though I’m down with anyone joining the blogosphere, I gotta say, her site is, well…kinda laughable.

First off, the name: GOOP.com. Huh? Weird. Secondly, she has virtually no content anywhere on the site save for the one really cloying, actressy “mission statement” pictured above. And “Nourish the inner aspect”…? What does that even mean? Urgh, kill me already.

Admittedly, the site just launched this week in “preview” form, so maybe GP’s cooking up some seriously def blog posts, but why launch a website with nothing on it? Lame. However, my biggest beef with Gwynnie’s new site is that she totally stole my concept. Seriously! As you can see above, GOOP is organized by categories labeled: “Make”, “Go”, “Get”, “Do”, “Be” and “See”. Jeepers, all she left out was the “Eat”. Might as well take that one too, you old blog-idea-stealer!

I’m not too worried though, if the steady barrage of online Paltrow bashing continues, GOOP will probably die a pretty quick and painless death. And though I don’t agree with much of what has been written about poor Gwynnie, I have to say the best quote I read about her misguided adventures in blogging appeared in an article by Maria Russo in this week’s L.A. Times.

“That brings us back to the life-advice-from-a-star issue. Women are unlikely to line up to hear Paltrow explain how she has perfected the art of living. It’s a tricky line you have to walk, if you want to advise the fair sex. You really ought to have suffered some sort of great hardship and loss. It also helps if you struggle ceaselessly with your weight, and it’s a bonus if your domestic arrangements are on the freakish side. As evidence, I offer this list of successful, beloved female advice purveyors: Oprah. Martha. Suze. Rosie. Tyra.”

Ha, I couldn’t have said it better. So, my advice to Gwynnie is to fatten up, go gay or serve some time and then we’ll talk, or you know…listen. And in the meantime, give me back my blog concept, flaca!

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RIP WaMu…Hello Kitty!

Man, all the craziness this week on Wall Street is really freaking us out. I mean, we don’t own a home or anything, but, wow, when we heard that our longtime bank of choice, WaMu, imploded last night in what experts are calling the largest bank failure in U.S. History, well, hell…that shit is a little too close to home, yo!

So, though we haven’t transferred all our funds yet, Christine and I are seriously considering switching to the far less complicated Hello Kitty ATM machine pictured below.

Seriously, it’s either Bank of Sanrio or the freaking mattress at this point…and since Hello Kitty has way cuter ATM cards, I think we’ll go pink.

In the meantime, rest in peace, WaMu, we haven’t loved a bank as much as we loved you since, well…ever. Free checking, cool tellers, cheeky wording on your ATM prompts, and yes, we even loved those goofy ‘Whoo Hoo!” commercials.

But today, as we say goodbye for the last time, the only catchphrase that comes to mind is a sad, heavy-hearted: “Boo Hoo!”

Vaya con dios, amigo…

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Ben & Jerry’s newest flavor: Breast Milk Swirl?

Just when we thought those lovable nuts at PETA (People for the Ethical Treament of Animals) couldn’t get any weirder, they sent a letter this week to Ben & Jerry’s urging them to replace cow’s milk with human breast milk in all of their ice cream flavors. Yep…I said breast milk, as in, from a nursing mother.

Still don’t believe me? Read the letter for yourself here.

Crazy, huh? I don’t know what kind of breast milk business plan PETA has in mind, but my guess is that this is one flavor even those crazy hippies from Vermont will take a big old pass on.

However, if they do elect to make the switch from cow’s to sweet mother’s milk, I imagine a few thousand of the intimidating-looking breast pumps above will come in mighty handy at the old ice cream factory.

As for me, I think I’ll stick with the Cake Batter Ice Cream for now…

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Zona Rosa: best burritos on the planet!

If you haven’t eaten yet, I suggest you grab yourself a power bar or something, because these here pictures are gonna make you drool like a hungry baby. Or, well, maybe that’s just me…

Either way, allow me to introduce you to my favorite burrito place on the planet…San Francisco, California’s legendary Zona Rosa.

Located at the grungy tail-end of the city’s storied Haight-Ashbury district, Zona Rosa has been serving up bad-ass Mexican food for as long as I can remember. And, seeing as Christine and I have been eating there since 1990, well, wow…that’s a long-ass time, yo.

I don’t remember which one of our roommates first stumbled upon this wondrous place, but I discovered Zona Rosa in college, while living in a rundown flat full of crazies — seriously, we had six roommates and a cat at one point! — just a few blocks away on Fell Street.

Rolling out of bed, all hung over and groggy, and walking up to Zona on a Sunday morning in our sweats was more than just a mere weekend ritual for us…hell, Zona Rosa was our church, baby! And we rarely missed a chance to worship their tasty grub…even on school nights.

And, best of all, because it was the Haight, you could walk into that place in your flip flops and boxers if you wanted to. In fact, many people still do. And, yes, for the record, I did go to Zona Rosa in my boxers several times — before Christine came along and made me wear, you know, pants and stuff — but hey, they looked like shorts, so, no big.

But the extremely lax dress code is just the tip of the iceberg at Zona Rosa, because almost everything on their menu is fantastic. And though it’s not traditional Mexican food by any means, there is something kinda Cali-Mexi-authentic going on here with the flavors that is just amazing.

Let’s start with the beans, Christine favors the black beans, but for me, a Zona Rosa burrito is all about the pintos. I don’t know what they do those things, but they rock…HARD! Couple the beans with that fluffy orange Mexican rice and you’re already halfway to heaven, amigos.

The meat selection is vast: steak, pork, chicken, carnitas, saucy, dry, you name it, they have it. But my favorite will always be the grilled carne asada-style steak. Toss in some cheese, fresh salsa, guacamole and a little bit of sour cream, roll that shit up in a big, fat flour tortilla and you are good to go!

And don’t ignore those free chips either. Sure, they can be overcooked and a tad hard sometimes, but they practically melt in your mouth when smothered with the spicy green and red salsa they have at the tables. I kid you not, amigos, the food here is crazy-magical…you’ll die!

And though my friend Ginger probably gets sick of driving Christine and I all the way out to the Haight from our hotel downtown when we visit the City — as she did in July on our way to visit Master Yoda — I know that somewhere, deep down, Ginger’s a fan too. I think…

Either way, if you’re ever in the city, you gotta make time and room in your stomach for some Zona Rosa. As one of my most-loathed former roommates used to say: “Once a Zona Rosa addict, always a Zona Rosa addict.” And though that wanker has, thankfully, long since faded from our circle of friends, he could not have been more right about Zona…I will love this place till I die!

And I kinda mean that literally as I have already instructed Christine to toss a Zona Rosa Super Burrito in my coffin at my funeral. Yep, it’s that good!

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Um…is this really news to anyone?

Clay Aiken, the Barry Manilow of the 21st century is gay?! Shocking! Next thing you’ll tell me that old union-busting scab Ellen Degeneres is married to a woman! Oh, wait…nevermind.

Congrats on the whole coming out thing, dude. And for the love of God, please stop repeating your Christmas Special, because, cheesy as it is, Christine and I watch it every time that shit airs! Yikes…

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