Monthly Archives: November 2010

Chicken in the shell…

My Grandma Cecilia, who tends to favor her meat very well done, used to refer to her hopelessly-burnt BBQ chicken as “chicken in the shell”. And man alive, was that shit tasty…all that crispy, blackened chicken skin (or “shell”) just sliding off that juicy-ass meat into a river of BBQ sauce. Delicious!

Last night’s 2010 spin on “chicken in the shell”? Not so much…

I think the pictures speak for themselves, but, all I can say is make sure you take your packaged Costco rotisserie chicken out of the oven before you turn it on to roast your brussel sprouts. Yikes…

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“Inception”

OK…I know we’ve only seen like three of this year’s big award-season contenders (“Toy Story 3”, “Hereafter” and “The Social Network”, which were all awesome, by the way) and therefore, we probably shouldn’t be making any broad, sweeping predictions yet, but, mark my words, amigos, Christopher Nolan will win an Oscar for “Inception”.

Whether it’s for writing, directing or producing is still to be determined, but, the mad genius behind “Memento”, “The Prestige” and the Christian Bale “Batman” movies has really outdone himself with “Inception”, and for that reason alone, I see many gold statues in Nolan’s future. And boy does he deserve them!

Taut, suspenseful, positively gorgeous to look at, and populated by the coolest indie cast this side of Sundance, “Inception” is the best movie we’ve seen this year. Yep, I said it, the best. Of course, most of you probably already know this since you saw the movie when it came out, you know, last summer.

But, babysitters being increasingly hard to come by, Christine and I didn’t get to see “Inception” on the big screen until last week at Warner Brothers and lemme tell ya, it blew us away. To say that our heads were swimming (in the best way!) for days afterwards is a serious understatement.

This was no mere movie, amigos, it was total immersion in a completely original and boldly realized new world. And we loved every crazy second of it!

I know I geek out over things a lot, and tend to overhype stuff that I really love, but, I kid you not, I haven’t felt this way about a sci-fi movie since we saw the first “Matrix” or “Terminator” flick way back when.

The dazzling technical elements aside, “Inception” is that rare breed of totally game-changing screen stories that will inspire whole generations of nerdy kids to wanna make movies. For me, it was “Star Wars”, for Generation Whatever, it’ll be Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”. Again, mark my words.

Anyway, I don’t wanna give anything away by going too much into the plot or anything, but, trust me, you don’t have to love sci-fi or even Leo DiCaprio to love this mind-bending little jewel of a movie. Simply put, if you like movies, “Inception” will knock you flat on your movie-loving ass. You have never seen anything like it. EVER.

So, you best get busy on that acceptance speech, Mr. Nolan. The clock is ticking…

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Free 2 Taco Day @ Jack in the Box (November 16, 2010)

Hmmm…guess where we’ll be this afternoon at 2:00PM? Trust me on this one, amigos, the best fast food tacos on earth only taste better when they’re totally, 100% free. And this year, you don’t even need to print up a coupon!

Gotta love those tasty, deep-fried Jack in the Box tacos!

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Stage five: Acceptance

Alright, amigos…I give up. There is just not enough time in the day to keep the content flowing on this blog the way there used to be. So, in order to restore sanity to my universe and get things moving again, I’ve decided to keep my blog posts short and sweet from here on out.

I’m not talking Twitter tweet short, but, I ain’t talking magazine article length either. I’m thinking something along the lines of a really long, thoughtfully written Facebook status update. I know that might sound lame, but, that’s all Daddy has time for these days, and if the posts are shorter and sweeter, then they might also be more frequent, which is always good.

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I just found out today (!) that the WordPress blog theme we’ve been using since we launched our blog three years ago, PressRow, is being retired in two weeks. That’s right, our theme got fired. Well, at least they gave us two weeks notice…

The replacement theme WordPress is suggesting we switch over to is called Pilcrow, and is actually, very similar in look and usability to our beloved PressRow. But, things will invariably look a little different, so, if you really hate the changes, let me know and I’ll go theme shopping for something else…you know, in all that spare time I’ll have from posting shorter blog posts. Yay!

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Strawberry Fields, NYC

Had he not been so suddenly and violently taken from us at the age of 40, the late, great John Lennon would have turned seventy years old last month. That’s right, seven-zero. Crazy, huh?

In honor of John’s 70th, Christine and I wanted to post some pics we took last summer during our visit to Strawberry Fields, the Lennon memorial in New York City’s Central Park. Located on 2.5 acres of sprawling parkland just across the street from the legendary Dakota apartment building where Lennon lived, and died, Strawberry Fields can only be described as peaceful.

I’m not saying the rest of the park isn’t peaceful, because…wow…Central Park in August is all kinds of breathtakingly peaceful, but, Strawberry Fields just felt almost magical in its stillness.

A designated quiet zone — Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono still lives in the Dakota and apparently grew weary of the singing of the fans in the park — Strawberry Fields has a serenity that truly sets it apart from the rest of the park.

Sure, there were tons of fans milling about, and the crowd taking pictures around the stunning “Imagine” mosaic that serves as the areas centerpiece was pretty intense, but, despite the sheer volume of people there, Strawberry Fields was a very chill place to spend the afternoon.

And though I was a bit disappointed to discover that there were no actual strawberry plants in Strawberry Fields (I know, I’m lame, but, it would have been nice) I gotta tell ya, I haven’t been that moved by a memorial since our 2007 visit to Graceland.

It’s like John’s aura was all around you, and though there was none of his actual music playing anywhere (designated quiet zone, remember?) you didn’t need to hear it to know that it was there, in our hearts. I know that sounds hopelessly cheesy, but, it’s how we felt.

So, happy birthday, John. Seventy years on, you continue to rock the world…

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The Ice Shack, Grants Pass

OK, people who still think global warming is a myth can totally suck it. This has been one of the hottest falls on record and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. So, it’s official, everybody…the world is totally melting.

And in honor of that utterly depressing sentiment, I thought I’d share with you some pictures of my favorite new hot-weather treat…shaved ice! Traditional snow cones and 7-Eleven Slurpees will still totally do in a pinch (Lord knows they saved my sweaty ass last night!) but for me, the best way to stay cool and blissfully wipe any visions of melting polar ice caps from my head is to suck down a nice cold shaved ice.

And though we recently found a groovy little place near the Americana in Glendale (rock on, Stewie’s Shaved Ice!) that offers some great flavor combos, for me, the best place to find a truly fantastic shaved ice is at The Ice Shack in Christine’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon.

Located on the north end of town just off of 7th street, The Ice Shack is, just what it sounds like, a drive-thru shack where all they sell is flavored icy goodness. And let me tell ya, the Shack rocks, yo. We went there almost every day we were in town last summer and it never got old!

The decor is awesome — the bamboo walls and thatched hut roof outside would be cool enough for most places, but the fact that they use an actual surfboard as the drive-up window is just too cool for words! — the ice is shaved to perfection and the place is staffed by the nicest, cutest girls this side of the Rogue River, but the real reason to visit The Ice Shack are the flavored syrups.

I never checked to see what brand they use, but, wow, that shit is amazing. Literally every flavor we tried (except grape, which is hideous) was out-of-this world tasty, but, my favorite combo was the cherry banana pictured above. Not too sweet, not too syrupy, just the perfect blend of flavor and ice. Mmm…

Anyway, I know it’s a schlep for most of you, but, if you do ever find yourself in Grants Pass on a hot day (or hell, even a cold one!) you truly owe it to yourself to stop by The Ice Shack. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for extra napkins because that candy-colored ice melts crazy-fast, baby!

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