Tag Archives: Burbank

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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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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Birthday cupcakes for Elvis!

Yesterday was Elvis Presley’s birthday, and keeping with a tradition we started last year, Christine and I celebrated what would have been The King’s 74th birthday with some sweet Yummy Cupcakes! Yee-haw!

Cupcakes for Elvis #1

Last year, we were kind of bummed that Yummy Cupcakes didn’t feature their rocking Elvis cupcake on his actual birthday — they missed it by like, two or three days — and we told them so. Well, I guess the power’s that be made note of his actual birthday this year, because, lo and behold, guess which special cupcake they featured yesterday afternoon? You got it, the Elvis cupcake!

A sugar coma-inducing blend of peanut butter cake and chocolate/banana buttercream frosting, this cupcake was so sweet, and so totally Elvis that we were both kind of blown away. It was so rich, in fact, that we actually had to cut the sweetness with vanilla ice cream, something I’m sure Mr. Presley would have heartily approved of.

I think he also would have dug the other two cupcakes we purchased in his honor…a very tasty Chocolate Raspberry number with chocolate frosting and a raspberry filling and our old standby — and my Stepmom Wendy’s favorite! — the Peanut Butter Cup cupcake! If you haven’t tried it yet, get thee to Yummy, amigos, because this cupcake rocks!

Elvis cupcakes at Yummy Cupcakes, Burbank!

Elvis cupcakes @ Yummy, Burbank!

The Peanut Butter Cup cupcake consists of chocolate cake topped with vanilla frosting, chocolate and peanut butter sprinkles and a wedge of an actual peanut butter cup on top…but the secret to it’s success is a dollop of peanut butter filling inside the cake itself. Man alive, Elvis would have loved that shit…amazing!

So, as we blow out our Graceland “Forever Elvis” candle one more time…we wish the King nothing but love on his big day. Happy Birthday, dude, we’re already counting the days till your 75th…

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A night for the record books…

Holy crap, what a freaking night! Not only did we elect our first African-American President ever, but we did it with record numbers! I mean, shit, last I heard, L.A. County had an 83% voter turnout this year. Amazing!

Barack Obama on election night #1

And even cooler than the turnout and the positively epic results was the totally electric vibe in the air last night. Seriously, everywhere Christine, Ryan, Laura and I went in our pursuit of election night freebies — and as you can see from the pics of Tiny O, we made the rounds! — the winds of change were in the air, baby.

People were excited, happy, smiling, it was like everyone in the country got out there and voted for change and then went out there and scored some free food to celebrate. And what a celebration it was!

We were actually mid-way through our happy hour priced meal at the Daily Grill in Burbank when the news came over the airwaves. Our man had won…and even the McCain-Palin-loving chatterboxes at the next table could not dampen the spirits in that joint.

I swear to God, tiny bar food hamburgers never tasted so sweet as they did at that moment…wow. And though we were stuffed to the gills by the time the bill came, we still had enough room to swing by Krispy Kreme on the way home — we hit Ben & Jerry’s before we ate — to score some free donuts.

Barack Obama on election night #2

Barack Obama on election night #3

Barack Obama on election night #4

And as we ate our piping-hot donuts and listened to Obama’s kick-ass speech on the radio on the drive home, we knew that no matter how bad our heartburn was in the morning, we were gonna wake up smiling…

Rock on, President-Elect Obama, rock on!

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On the road with Obama

With the election just a couple of weeks away and getting crazier by the minute, Christine and I decided to take our brand new Barack Obama action figure on a quick campaign push up the coast to Northern California.

The fact that we were both itching for a fun, weekend road trip might have had a little something to do with it too, but either way, Jedi Master Obama came with us and as you can see from the pics below, the little plastic dude had a blast.

Not only did he get to cross the Golden Gate bridge during Fleet Week — and see the Blue Angels performing above us on the drive back! — but Obama also got to tour the rocking Charles Schulz Musuem in Santa Rosa, judge a surfing contest in Capitola, check out Sista Monica’s soulful outdoor gospel choir in Santa Cruz and best of all, Lil’ O got to wrap up his journey with some tasty hot wings at the Burbank Hooters.

And with stops at Taco Bell and the classic Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake thrown in for good measure, well, I don’t know about you guys, but that kinda sounds like campaign heaven to me!

If you’re interested in seeing the full, unedited version of Lil’ O’s “rainbow tour” of the California coast, check out the Flickr set here, but in the meantime, enjoy the pics, remember to vote on November 4th, and, as always, go Obama!

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Presidential Poll Cookies @ Porto’s

We’re not sure who’s gonna come out ahead in tonight’s juicy VP debate — guess it all depends on which  Palin shows up, the sleek, impassioned politico from the RNC or the dunderheaded hillbilly from that now-classic Katie Couric interview — but we do know for sure what we’ll be eating while we watch it…

And that would be these crazy-cool Presidential Poll cookies from Porto’s Bakery in Burbank’s revitalized Magnolia Park District.

Yep, even Cuban bakeries are in the poll business these days, amigos. And seeing as Porto’s has a steady line of customer’s out the door, day and night, I’d say the results of their informal presidential poll are pretty representative of what people are thinking right now.

I know that sounds goofy, but so far, Porto’s cookie poll has been mirroring results of other legitimate polls nationwide. When they first went on sale, the Obama donkey and the McCain elephant cookies were neck in neck…then, Obama took a slight lead, but after all the craziness McCain pulled this week, Obama cookies took off and have stayed there ever since. Yay!

It’ll be really interesting to see which cookie takes the lead after tonight’s debate. I mean, if Palin really kicks Biden’s ass, will Porto’s start selling hunting-rifle-shaped cookies or eskimo pies or something?

All I know is that whichever way the cookie crumbles tonight — sorry, I couldn’t resist — Chistine and I will be watching Palin and Biden slug it out on a giddy, sugar cookie high.

Muchas gracías, Porto’s!

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More shamless-self promotion…

After waking up this morning to find out that my ugly mug was appearing on the front pages of not just one newspaper, but two, all I can say is: wow, it must have been a slow news day in Burbank and Santa Cruz. Ha!

Seriously, I knew there would be a couple of Tomás-centric “American Mall” articles appearing soon, but I had no idea they would come out on the same day and both be on the front page. Crazy!

And while I haven’t seen the article from my hometown newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, in person, I did receive an awesome scanned copy of the article from my Dad and it looked cool. Thanks, Dad! And it sounds like my friend Ginger — who is actually quoted in the article! — has secured me a goodly amount of Sentinels as well, so, I think I’m covered.

And I think I’m pretty good on the local front as well. After reading the Burbank Leader about twenty times this morning, Christine and I spent the rest of the afternoon snatching up free copies of the paper from news racks around town. She drove, and I jumped out and grabbed Leaders from every rack we passed. We were the Bonnie and Clyde of stolen local newspapers, but we had a blast.

Speaking of fun, the pics here were taken in front of this strangely futuristic video kiosk at the Burbank Town Center which was playing “TAM” previews of a loop. So, naturally, while hitting the mall with my brother on Friday, I forced him to take these spectacularly nerdy picture of me in front of it.

You can imagine the stares we got as Ryan and I stood there waiting for the kiosk to cycle through the ads for GNC and Forever 21. Seriously, I’m kinda surprised no one called Mall Security…we must have looked so creepy just lurking there with our cameras at the ready. Yikes…

Anyway, the good news is, we got the pics! So, enjoy. Oh yeah, and before getting to the actual article links, I gotta give a huge shout out to my boy, James for writing the juicy little press release that made all this shameless self-promotion possible to begin with. You rock, dude!

You can check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel article here: “Harbor High Graduate debuts show on MTV”, and the Burbank Leader piece here: “From malls to MTV”. And don’t forget to watch the actual movie this Monday night, August 11th, at 9:00pm on MTV. Rock on!

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