Category Archives: Do

We’ve Moved!

Well, amigos, I’m pretty sure that it has been apparent for a while now — especially considering that our last post was from 2012! — but, effectively immediately, we are officially closing up shop here at Make.See.Eat.Do. and moving to our sister site, stayathomeyeti.wordpress.com.

Thank you for “following us” for the past seven years, it’s been a real pleasure generating content for you guys, and your continued support and comments have meant the world to us. Unfortunately, the rigors of working as a freelance writer, raising a kid and blogging regularly on three sites has become too much. So, something had to go…sorry.

However, if you’re looking for more fun, food, travel, crafting and movie geek awesomeness in the future, please check out our ever-evolving stayathomeyeti blog. We still talk a lot about child-rearing stuff and stay-at-home-fatherhood, but, the site is expanding and changing every month…so, come check us out.

And if you like video blogs celebrating collectible toy unboxings, cereal eating contests and all things My Little Pony, you might also enjoy our daughter Greta’s newly revamped Planet Greta blog. And if you just wanna hang out here and reread your favorite posts on Graceland and Nashville, well, that’s cool too. The site isn’t going anywhere, so, have at it!

And finally, thanks again for everything, amigos…you guys have been awesome!

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park coming to L.A.!

Break out the Butterbeer, amigos! Word on Diagon Alley is that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is finally coming to Universal Studios, Hollywood! Hooray! Now we won’t have to fly all the way to Orlando to check out the awesomeness of the beautifully-designed theme park for ourselves. The park isn’t due to open till 2015 (at the earliest!) but that gives us plenty of time to get Greta up to speed on the books. So, coolness all around…

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Long live “The King”

Didn’t get to celebrate “The King’s” passing like we normally do yesterday, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Elvis Presley was not in our thoughts. And then, we saw this super cool billboard in Times Square and we knew that it was a sign, um, you know, like a spiritual sign…from beyond and everything.

Anyway, it made Greta and I smile. Long live “The King”! Oh yeah, and if you’re interested in reading SAHD-centric, semi-real time updates of our adventures in NYC this week, click here.

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Video Mart, Grants Pass, OR

OK, since we’re on the subject of great, old-school video stores, I gotta tell ya about one more of them. Video Mart is located literally on the wrong side of the tracks in my wife’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon, but, don’t let that stop you, because this store seriously rocks!

Although it’s been in Grants Pass for years, I just discovered Video Mart this past July with my nephews. They were drawn in by the store’s amazing Sunday deal on video games — all games are a dollar and you get them for five days! — but what really thrilled me was the store’s vast selection of truly unique movies.

Sure, they have all the top-40 shit up front and yes, they rent Blu-Ray too, which is awesome, but, the thing that kept us coming back was their rocking selection of older titles. The pricing didn’t hurt either, every older title is available to rent for $1.00 for three nights. And if you rent more than five, you get to keep them for five glorious nights! Awesome!

Needless to say, I got myself a membership (yep, they let me get one even though I live out of state!) and we got down to some serious movie renting. All totaled, I think we rented somewhere between 10-15 movies during our visit and at least 4 video games. Best. Vacation. Ever!

And kudos to the fine folks at Video Mart for knowing their shit too. The dudes at Odd Obsession would probably still take the gold in a movie trivia head-to-head, but, trust me, there are some truly knowledgeable film and game geeks working here too.

So, next time you’re in Southern Oregon, grab yourself some Abby’s Legendary Pizza, a six pack of Weed Pale Ale, a movie from Video Mart, and call it a night…

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Odd Obsession Movie Rentals, Chicago

In case you hadn’t noticed, I started up another blog recently, but that doesn’t mean I love this one any less. On the contrary, I have been itching to share some of our recent adventures in Chicago (where we were in May) and Portland, OR (where we were in July) before launching into a whole other round of adventures we’re bound to experience in NYC, where we will be next week.

Trust me, it sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is. Hell, anyone who has traveled with a two-year-old can tell you that the going can get pretty damn rough sometimes. And that’s why you need the mellow, “let’s casually explore the city” kind of days in between the sightseeing.

It was on one of those days this past May, when we encountered the staggeringly-well-stocked, totally old-school video store known as Odd Obsession Movie Rentals in Chicago.

Located in the gritty heart of the suddenly-trendy Bucktown/Wicker Park area, Odd Obsession is the kind of classic, deep-catalog video store every great city should have. You know, the type of place you can call up with just a vague notion of the obscure DVD title you’re looking for, and not only do they know the movie, but they carry it too! So cool…

And I swear to God, walking inside that joint was like stepping into a time machine. They don’t carry many actual VHS titles anymore, but, the whole place smelled, looked like, and even felt like your favorite, musty childhood video store. I say felt because those shelves were so packed with super cool titles that you could hardly turn around without bumping into something amazing. Literally. Next time I go, I’m leaving the stroller outside.

We didn’t rent anything, of course, but, just being there and sensing the true love of movies inside every nook and cranny of that place really filled my heart with glee. I’m not kidding, it was like church for film geeks, and best of all, they even had a store cat. You know, the big old, fat kind that sits on the register when you’re trying to pay. I didn’t ask, but, I’ll bet he’s named “Rosebud”.

Anyway, someday very soon (like, next week) video stores will be a thing of the past, something we joke about: “OMG, remember when you used to have to leave your house to rent movies?” and when that day comes, I’ll be glad to know I visited one of the greatest video stores ever…and took lots of cool pictures.

Rock on, Odd Obsession Movie Rentals, rock on!

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“Grey Gardens” Greta (via Stay-at-home-Yeti)

I know this is more of a “Planet Greta” type of thing, but, this picture was too darned cute not to share with you guys too…so, enjoy!

"Grey Gardens" Greta Spent most of the morning trying to convince Greta that her gigantic, two-and-a-half-year-old noggin is just too big to fit into her favorite 6-12 month-sized dress. And lemme tell ya, it was brutal. Tears, yelling, throwing, more tears, and that was only on my end. So, finally, I give in and let her wear her favorite dress exactly the way she wants to. And this, my friends, is what it looked like. Eat your heart out, Little Edie! … Read More

via Stay-at-home-Yeti

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L.A. Libraries reopen today!

It might not be big news where y’all live, but today, Monday the 18th of July, the libraries of Los Angeles will throw their doors open to the public, on a Monday, for the first time in months! That’s rights, thanks to the overwhelming voter approval of Measure L, the libraries have had enough of their funding restored so that they’ll be able to be open and fully-staffed on Mondays again. Hooray!

Greta and I already have very comprehensive lists prepared of all the books and movies we’re gonna check out today. So, see ya in the stacks, amigos!

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Carmageddon…scharmageddon! (via Stay-at-home-Yeti)

Wow, this Stay-at-Home-Yeti blog is kind of awesome…check out his post on surviving this past weekend’s Carmageddon!

Carmageddon...scharmageddon! OK, so, we just drove the second leg of our trip home from Oregon — a nice little jaunt from my Aunt’s house in Sacramento to our place in L.A. — in the record time of eight hours. You know, give or take a few hour-long stops to let Greta run herself ragged at rest stops and such. But, even with the stops, we made great time…and why is that such a big deal you ask? One word: Carmageddon! Yep, that’s right, amigos…the Armageddon of traffic j … Read More

via Stay-at-home-Yeti

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National Donut Day 2011

Although I still think it should be held in the dead of winter, instead of the beginning of June, today is National Donut Day! And you know what that means? You guessed it…free donuts at Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts locations nationwide. Hooray!

I’m not sure who else is participating in this glorious day, but, it’s worth checking out your local donut mongers to find out what kind of deals they got going. I mean, hey, even a sale donut is better than nothing!

See ya in line, amigos…

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Happy last Saturday…

I’m pretty sure we’ll all still be here on Sunday, but, just in case, wanted to make sure I got in more short blog post. Oddly enough, as much as I love this song, I don’t think I’d ever actually seen the video before, and lemme tell ya, it’s pretty lame, even by early-80’s bad video standards.

But, Debbie Harry’s “Cousin Thinny” looks rad, and, come on, who can resist her trail-blazing white girl rap?! Seriously, that shit floored me as a kid. I remember getting chills the first time I hear that insanity…so cool!

Anyway, happy “Rapture” day, amigos. Hope to see you on the other side…or, you know, Sunday. Whichever comes first…

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Save our libraries, vote “Yes on Measure L” today!!

Oh, man, you don’t even wanna know how bummed Christine and I are that we can’t vote “Yes on Measure L” today. But, because we live in Burbank, which is its own city, we cannot. But what we can do is urge anyone of voting age in Los Angeles to get out there today and save our libraries!

Even before Christine starting working at The Library Store, we used the hell out of the libraries in Los Angeles and beyond, and now that Greta is here, well, forget about it. Books and libraries are a huge part of our lives and let me tell ya, the libraries in Los Angeles are in serious trouble.

Shortened hours, brutal staff and budget cuts and a philistine mayor and city hall who care more about pricey, unproven after-school gang prevention programs than they do about libraries have driven the already beleaguered LAPL system even further into the ground.

Well, guess what else keeps kids off the streets and out of gangs, Mayor Villaraigosa? You got it, libraries! Los Angeles ranks last in per capita spending on library materials in the eight largest U.S. library systems…LAST! We are a major metropolitan city, amigos, that is just plain shameful.

Great cities deserve great libraries, they are the cornerstone of learning and a real beacon of light in our community, especially in these troubled times, so, please, please vote “Yes on L” today.

To read more about the awesomeness that is Measure L, please click here.

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VanityFair.com ♥’s our protest pic!

I don’t know what I was more excited about a couple weeks back, the fact that the Motion Picture and Television Fund has reversed it’s decision to close their beleaguered hospital and retirement home in Woodland Hills, or the fact that VanityFair.com used my picture (from a 2009 protest rally we attended there, shown below) for their story about it.

Just kidding. I mean, sure, it was kinda cool to be asked by the editors of VanityFair.com to use my pic, but, come on, that doesn’t even compare to the real good news story of the week!

That’s right, amigos, after an epic, two-year battle by the teamsters, every major union in Hollywood, and most importantly, people like Nancy Biederman and her rocking “Saving the lives of our own” campaign, the MPTF finally came to their senses and found a way to save the home and do the right thing. Yee-haw!

And though I’m sure some changes lie ahead for the home and its occupants, the good news is that the facility will remain open to the very-deserving elderly members of the entertainment community for years to come.

I was out there recently for an appointment and let me tell ya, that campus is plush, yo. Really a gorgeous place to grow old. So, here’s hoping the facility stays solvent till I need it too!

To read the full VanityFair.com article on the subject, click here.

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Barbie & Ken together again!

Wow, we are totally slipping on our pop culture knowledge. Even Christine and I — hard-core Barbie lovers from way back — had no idea that Barbie and Ken had been broken up all this time until we read about it last week. Crazy, huh?

According to Mattel lore, Barbie dumped Ken, after forty-three years of dating bliss, seven years ago on Valentine’s Day. Since then, she has been dating Aussie surfer dude, Blaine, while Ken has been doing everything he can to woo her back.

Well, I guess seven years of wooing worked, because Ken finally won back Barbie’s heart on this past Valentine’s Day. And to celebrate their fateful reunion, Mattel has released a totally groovy update of the original Barbie and Ken dolls in this super-cool Barbie & Ken “She Said Yes” gift set.

But, wait, it gets better! Said gift set is available this week only (2/13 through 2/20) for the low, low price of $5.00 at Target stores nationwide. Ha, just try and beat that price point, Blaine!

As you can imagine, we were first in line when they went on sale Sunday, and Greta has been carrying the born again lovebirds with her everywhere we go. Which is cool and all, but, lemme tell ya, Ken’s flip flops are impossible to keep on, so, he mostly goes barefoot now.

Either way, congrats to the happy couple. This year also marks Ken’s 50th birthday and from what we hear, Mattel has all sorts of other surprises in store for the newly-un-single man of plastic. So, watch out world, because the greatest love story of all time is bound to get a lot more interesting!

Oh yeah, we also just learned that Ken has a last name and it is Carson. Yuckers! I’m hoping Barbie keeps it real and doesn’t take Ken’s last name when they wed, or, re-wed, or whatever they do. I mean, seriously, can you think of a less-fabulous-sounding name than Barbie Carson? Yikes…

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Oscar Nominee Luncheon (2011)

OK, I’ll totally admit it…aside from actually attending the Cannes Film Festival, one of my dreams is to attend the Academy’s annual Oscar Nominee Luncheon. And, I ain’t picky, I don’t need to attend as a nominee. No way. Hell..I’d wait tables or, you know, make lattes for them if it got me in the door!

I mean…check out these pics and tell me this does not look like the coolest event of the entire award season. No pressure to win, no live-television audience, just all the free food, drink and movie star snapshots you can stomach. So awesome!

Oooo, hey, come to think of it, I made scads of lattes for Ms. Bening when I worked at Peet’s, so, who knows…maybe she’ll give me a recommendation for next year. Either way, sign me up!

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Happy 43rd birthday, Lisa Marie!

Wow…who knew that Lisa Marie Presley shared the same birthday (February 1st) as our BFF, Ginger? It got me to thinking about what other celebrities share our birthdays. As I’ve mentioned before, I can claim Doc Martens, Debbie Reynolds and Susan Boyle on April 1st, but what about the rest of you? Any cool (or better yet, uncool!) celebs born on your birthday? Let me know…

And in the meantime, here’s hoping our two favorite early-February birthday girls had a blast on their big day, yesterday. Much love to you both!

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The Library Store featured in Los Angeles Magazine!

Just found out that Christine’s store, aka The Library Store, is going to be featured in February’s “Hidden L.A.” issue of Los Angeles Magazine as one of their best “below-the-rader boutiques”.  Hooray!

Cooler still is the fact that the magazine only chose six stores to feature in the retail section of the issue. That’s right, amigos…of the hundreds, if not thousands, of super cool retail haunts in the Los Angeles metro area, The Library Store is one of the top six picks. How cool is that?

Oh yeah, and on top of all that, The Library Store was also voted Best Bookstore last year by the Los Angeles Downtown News. And, as anyone who has shopped there before can tell you, unusual books are only one of the many, amazingly-eclectic gifts on sale at The Library Store.

I dunno, I might be a little biased here, but, I don’t remember rad things like this happening before Christine took over the buying. So, rock on, sweetie. You and your super cool staff deserve every honor you receive!

For those of you who haven’t checked out the awesomeness for yourself, The Library Store is located in the heart of the historic Richard J. Riordan Central Library at 630 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles.

And if you can’t make it there in person, check out the scads of groovy gifts available on their website here. Long live The Library Store!

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The WordPress/Make.See.Eat.Do. Year in Review (2010)

Happy 2011, everyone! With all the “year in review” wrap ups going on right now, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring with this super cool Blog Health email I got from WordPress today.

Wow…who knew that people cared that much about Denny’s and the freaking KFC Buffet? Thanks for sharing, WordPress. You guys rock! So, without further ado, I give you our blog’s  first official Year in Review. Enjoy!

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how your blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads: Wow!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 70 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 494 posts. There were 228 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 39mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 9th with 432 views. The most popular post that day was Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were designdazzle.blogspot.com, nurserymuralsandmore.com, en.wordpress.com, flickr.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the orphanage, kfc buffet, bettie page, baby nursery, and marla singer.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s! February 2009

2

Greta’s baby nursery featured on Unique-baby-gear.com March 2009
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3

“The Orphanage” October 2007
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4

The KFC Buffet August 2007
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5

Bettie Page (1923-2008) December 2008
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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2010. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

See you in 2011!

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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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“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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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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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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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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The iPhone Generation II: Meet Desmond!

Oops! Somehow, in my enthusiasm for our spanking-new iPhones, I totally forgot to tell you my new baby’s name. Christine has yet to settle on a cool name for hers, but mine was Desmond from the get go! I mean, come on, how could I not name the coolest, life-altering mobile phone in the world after the coolest, time-bending “Lost” character ever? It was just too perfect, so, Desmond it was…Mr. Hume if you’re nasty.

Now, if I could only talk Christine into naming her iPhone Penny, all would be right with the world, brutha

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The iPhone Generation

Early contract termination fees be damned, Christine and I finally broke down last week and joined the cult of iPhone. That’s right, amigos, we both switched over and are, at long last, a two iPhone household. Hooray!

Some of our more impassioned fellow cult members gave us a hard time for not going full hog and getting the swanky iPhone 4G, but, trust me, the 3GS version that we did get is more than enough mobile awesomeness for us both.

And, brother, the words “mobile awesomeness” don’t even begin to describe our sexy new iPhones. Slick, streamlined, and, like all things Mac, crazy easy-to-use, this is, hands down, the coolest cellphone I have ever owned.

Christine says she fell in love with hers at the store, but for me, it was the first time I synced it to my Macbook and in a matter of seconds had every important thing on my computer downloaded onto my iPhone as well. I have never been able to do that with my Sprint phones and, lemme tell ya, it felt amazing!

This baby laptop has it all, yo…music, photos, loads of super cool Apps, and best of all…customizable ringtones! I shit you not, I learned how to make my own ringtones using songs from my personal library in like, five minutes.

I know it sounds crazy, but I haven’t felt this much insta-love for something since Greta came along. Sorry, sweetie, Daddy still loves you best, but, seriously, who needs a second kid when you have a shiny iPhone in your diaper bag?

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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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Countdown to London 2012…

Yesterday, our friend and fellow Olympics-nerd, James, mentioned on his Facebook page that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England are due to begin exactly two years from now. Hooray! I know it’s a little early to set up a season pass on our Tivo — seriously, I would if I could — but, it’s never too early to start talking about the latest Olympic mascots!

Introduced to the world back in May, the official mascots for the London games are a pair of strangely-hideous, one-eyed blobs named Wenlock and Mandeville.

And while they are not nearly as cute as the Fuwa Friendlies from the Beijing games, or the epically-cool Quatchi and friends from the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Wenlock and Mandeville do have a pretty interesting origin story, and the animated clip explaining it all (below) is even cooler!

I won’t spoil it for you by giving any of the plot away, but, their names do carry great meaning for folks in the UK and the story behind how they were “born” is really kinda cool. And on top of all that, the clip holds up very well on repeat views. We’ve watched it dozens of times already on YouTubeGreta is obsessed with the rainbows! — and I still get misty-eyed at the ending every time.

Anyway, though I probably won’t be dashing across the pond to buy plush figures of these new mascots (if they even come in plush!) when the games begin, I do heartily approve of them in concept.

So, check out the first of what I’m assuming will be many videos celebrating the world’s next big Olympic mascots…and by all means, let the countdown to London 2012 begin!

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Renegade Craft Fair: Los Angeles

We might not have made it to Comic Con this weekend, but we did spend the afternoon hanging with some insanely-hip DIY geeks at the second annual Renegade Craft Fair: Los Angeles, so, I’m not complaining.

A twisted sister of sorts to the home-grown Unique L.A. independent design show staged twice yearly at the California Market Center, the Renegade Craft Fair is being held this weekend, June 24th and 25th at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (aka “the cornfield”) in downtown L.A..

Unlike Unique L.A., which highlights mostly local artists, the Renegade Craft Fair is open to hip, crafty vendors from all across the country. So, while you do get a little of bleed-over — we saw a lot of the same stuff we saw at Unique L.A. this past April — the Renegade Craft Fair definitely had a grittier edge.

It might have been the open air venue (which was gorgeous!) or the free-flowing concert-in-the-park feel (several of the vendors we browsed were shirtless and maybe a little high too boot!) but the stuff on display was all very cool, so, though we got a bit dusty on the drive in and out (again, just like an all-day concert) the groovy, laid back feel of the event made everything A-OK.

So, if you’re looking for some fun, outdoorsy shopping, or even just browsing — seriously, there was some truly stunning one-of-a-kind art on display here —  slap on some sunscreen and head on down to the Renegade Craft Fair: Los Angeles.

Oh, and parking and admission is totally FREE, gotta love that! For more information on the event please click here.

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A night at the Saturn Awards…

I should start off by saying that, sadly, “Not Forgotten” came home from the 36th Annual Saturn Awards empty-handed on Thursday night. Sorry…

But one of the things I learned about attending my first big-time award show (as a nominee!) is that it really is an honor just to be nominated. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. And seeing as the folks who put on the Saturn Awards are some of the coolest, geekiest, sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans imaginable (people like me!) I was even doubly honored.

Seriously, I have never felt more at home in a room full of Hollywood phonies, and that’s because these people were not your everyday Hollywood phonies.

No way, man, these folks were the real deal. That Starlight Ballroom was busting at the seams with talented, creative, film-loving freaks and geeks of every shape and size…and those people know how to party, yo!

This year, the Saturn Awards were held at the Castaway Restaurant in the hills overlooking Burbank…and if there was any doubt as to where you were when you got out of your car, the scads of little alien heads at the bar and the life size astronaut suit on the red carpet totally clued you in.

Still wondering what award show you were at? Well, perhaps you should ask that fellow over there in the Samurai Stormtrooper costume, or the man driving the moon buggy in a grungy space suit. I swear, amigos, I never stopped smiling all night…that place was fanboy heaven.

Rubbing shoulders with people like Sam Raimi, Leonard Nimoy, Billy Dee Williams, Guillermo Del Toro, Malcolm McDowell, the lovely Anna Torv from “Fringe”, cast members from “Heroes”, “Chuck” and “Breaking Bad”, iconic “The Greatest American Hero” star himself, William Katt, and actually being touched by the dude who played touch-happy Jacob on “Lost” (Mark Pellegrino)…I mean, shit, who needs an award with a line-up like that?

Of course, we would have loved to have won our category — we lost to Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But The Truth”, which includes no sci-fi, fantasy or horror to speak of — but, we were having too much fun to dwell on the loss for long. I mean, the food was great, the bar was wide open — Daddy had three mojitos and a chocolate vodka martini, but who’s counting? — and the vibe at the Castaway was awesome, so, what’s to complain about?

And on top of all that coolness, I managed to score two gift bags at the end of the night. Sure, I felt a little greedy lugging them around the after-party in the courtyard, but what can I say, I loves me some free shit. And when that free shit involves “King Kong” and “Avatar” DVD’s, well, all the better!

Thanks again for the nomination, guys…long live the Saturn Awards! To see a full list of this year’s Saturn Award winners, please click here.

And to see more of my super-nerdy pics please click here.

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