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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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.
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!
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…
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.
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!
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!