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!
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.
Last Saturday would have been Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday, and though we didn’t get to celebrate his big day like we usually do, we did ring in Elvis’ 75th birthday in high style last year. So, let’s just consider this post my 2011 birthday tribute to the King. Happy birthday, dude!
Last January 8th, Christine, Greta and I had just arrived in New York City for a friend’s wedding. There was snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air, but, it was Elvis’ birthday and we were determined to try the Elvis sandwich at Greenwich Village’s legendary Peanut Butter & Co..
I mean, sure, we’d had peanut butter and banana sandwiches before (at Graceland no less!) but the fine folks at Peanut Butter and Co. add two key ingredients which really set that freaking sandwich on fire: honey and bacon. It sounds kinda weird, I know, but, trust me when I tell you that this tasty-ass sandwich is a thing of rare beauty, amigos. Incredible!
Washing the whole thing down with a truly decadent Fluffernutter Shake — which consisted of peanut butter, milk and Marshmallow Fluff! — we scooped up a few jars of dark chocolate and honey-infused peanut butter to go, wished the King a happy birthday and set about touring Manhattan.
And when it came time for our last meal in NYC a few days later, guess where we headed? You guessed it, right back down the street to Peanut Butter & Co. for more of their savory/sweet Elvis-y goodness.
Happy birthday, EP. We love you!
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!
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:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads: Wow!
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.
Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s! February 2009
Greta’s baby nursery featured on Unique-baby-gear.com March 2009
“The Orphanage” October 2007
The KFC Buffet August 2007
Bettie Page (1923-2008) December 2008
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!
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!
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…
I know the media cares — maybe too much, the morning chat shows were crazy repetitive, yo! — and I know my mother-in-law and I get all little-girl-gushy where the royal family is concerned. But the fact that Christine could seriously give a shit about this story makes me wonder…
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!
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!
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 YouTube — Greta 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!
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.
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.
Thanks to this delicious 10 pack of Dad’s Root Beer (made with real cane sugar, y’all!) I know what I’ll be drinking this Father’s Day. But even better than the frothy root beer will be the awesome company I’ll get to share it with!
I know it sounds super corny, but being your Daddy is the best job I ever had, Greta B., and I’ll love you forever. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!
Whoa…could this summer get any cooler? I just got an email from my friends at Elvis.com announcing the upcoming launch of a super cute Mr. Potato Head Elvis! Yay, now my Darth Tater won’t be so lonely.
Introduced to the world by a rocking Elvis tribute artist in a sparkly Elvis jumpsuit, Mr. Potato Head Elvis’ debut is timed to coincide with Elvis Week 2010 and will be followed at Christmas time by a ’68 Comeback Special version in black leather! Whew, now I finally know what to ask Santa for!
OK, I’ll say it…last night kinda rocked. Not only did Christine manage to score my friend Arturo and myself two free tickets to a super cool John Waters reading and booksigning event downtown, but, in between the reading and the signing, Mr. Waters was interviewed onstage by none other than Princess-freaking-Leia herself…Carrie Fisher!
Waters started the night off by reading some very funny selections from his new book “Role Models”, which is his literary tribute to the people, both famous and not, who inspired him during his lifetime. And the list of inspirational people truly runs the gamut here, with legendary crooner Johnny Mathis sharing equal space with a buxom Baltimore barmaid. Awesome!
And then, the real fun started when Carrie Fisher took the stage and the two talked like the old friends they are for the rest of the night. There was a brief Q&A peppered with the usual wacky questions from the crowd — one chick asked Waters about the quality of the mussels at some dive in Baltimore! — and then all the crazy folks in the Aratani/Japan America Theatre (myself and Arturo included) got into line to get their books signed.
Unlike most booksignings I’ve been too, Waters really took his time with his fans and lemme tell ya, they ate it up. People brought him gifts of food, music, movies, you name it, it was there on the table beside him.
So, yeah, we waited in line for a long-ass time, but, wow, what a line it was. Drag queens, older gay men, younger gay men, lesbians, hipsters, Hollywood types, four very strange people in wheelchairs, two people hobbling around on broke-ass crutches, Johnny Knoxville (yep, he was there too!) and a morbidly obese one-armed woman in a halter top. I’m not kidding, amigos, that line looked like a John Waters movie come to life!
When we finally reached the amazing Mr. Waters he looked a little tired from all the craziness, but, ever the trooper, he not only signed, but, personalized both of our books, posed for individual pics with each of us and even signed my DVD copy of his film “Cecil B. Demented”. Hooray!
Now, if I could have just talked Carrie Fisher into signing the lightsaber collection in my backpack, all would truly have been right with the world…
And in honor of the big yellow dude’s 30th birthday, the crazy-cool folks at the Googleplex are featuring a fully playable Pac-Man game where their logo should be on their home page. Wocka wocka yeah!
Better yet, if you double click the “insert coin” button on said home page, you can play a two player version of the game with Mrs. Pac-Man, who, as everyone knows, was always way cooler than her husband. I mean, hello, she had a bow on her head and shit. How cool is that?
And even though I can’t figure out how to insert a fully playable version of Pac-Man into my blog, I can share with you one of the best songs ever written about a video game. I’m talking, of course, about Buckner and Garcia’s cheese-tastic “Pac Man Fever”!
Like all good classic movie geeks, Christine and I have dutifully laid down some serious dinero for the USPS’s cool-ass “Legends of Hollywood” stamps over the years. In fact, we usually buy a whole sheet to keep as a souvenir, you know, one more thing for Greta to sort through after we die.
Anyway, this year’s addition to the already-rocking collection is none other than legendary, four-time Oscar winner, Miss Katharine Hepburn. Awesome! Even cooler is the fact that the photograph they used for the stamp — Hepburn as she appeared in the 1942 film “Woman of the Year” — was taken by the late, great Clarence Sinclair Bull. Seriously good stuff all around.
Oh, and lest you think Kate Hepburn is the only cool stamp on sale these days, the USPS also released a really beautiful set of stamps highlighting “Cowboy of the Silver Screen”, featuring Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and William S. Hart. Wow, kinda makes you wanna pay your bills through the mail again, huh?
In any case, I’d hurry down to your local post office before these groovy stamps disappear. Or better yet, order them online like we do…no lines, no hassle and shipping only costs one dollar! So worth it!
I know it’s only been a month since I posted something new, but, let me tell ya…it feels like it’s been a frigging year. I don’t know what y’all have been up to, but this has been one seriously long-ass month around here, amigos.
On April 1st (which was my birthday, for anyone still shopping for gifts) my sister-in-law, Laura, was hospitalized for what at first looked like a stroke. As if that wasn’t scary enough, it turns out that the stroke was brought on by a rare neurological condition called Moyamoya Syndrome. In the simplest terms — which are the only one’s I can wrap my unscientific mind around — Moyamoya is an inherited disease that causes certain arteries in the brain to become constricted which can often lead to blockages and strokes. When the main arteries get blocked, they sometimes generate tiny offshoot blood vessels that resemble a cloud of smoke in X-rays, hence the name Moyamoya, which translates as “puff of cigar smoke” in Japanese.
Once the doctors realized what they were dealing with, Laura was moved to UCLA Medical Center where she sailed through brain surgery like a bad ass and is now in the rehab wing across the street. It will be a long road to a full recovery, but she is already way further along than most people are at this stage, so we are all very optimistic. And did I mention how punk she looks with a rad, half-shaved head? Awesome!
Anyway, the good news is that, if all goes well, Laura will be coming home on Friday to complete her rehab from home in Glendale. Yay! I’m sure she’s dying to get back to some semblance of normality and being home will totally help in that respect. Hell, I think she’ll be happy to just have her own Tivo back!
And of course we’ll all be happy to be done with hospitals, not to mention that obscenely over-priced parking structure at UCLA! I’m sorry, man, but hospitals suck so bad. And trying to keep Greta from touching every shiny, germy surface in sight when we visit is next to impossible. Urgh, I practically bathed her in hand-sanitizer that first week we visited.
So, as things ever-so-slowly ramp back up to normal, or the “new normal” as my brother Ryan calls it, I just wanted to thank everybody out there for bearing with us as we completely abandoned our blog. Sorry…
And as far as the month of April goes, I usually love you, baby, but you kinda sucked this year…here’s hoping May is a whole lot better for everyone. Most especially for our favorite little puff of smoke herself, Auntie Laura. Get well soon, sweetie…we love you!
I know it happened over a week ago now, but when I found this picture on the White House’s official Flickr page yesterday, I literally could not stop smiling. Kudos to the bad-ass Dems in Washington and most of all, President Obama, for sticking to their guns and signing this landmark Health Care Reform bill into law. I know it’s not perfect, but it is a monumental step in the right direction and I couldn’t be happier about it, so…suck it haters!
I know it sounds corny, but if you ask me, this is what hope really looks like…
Aside from their crazy-lame handling of the Closing Ceremonies last night, Christine and I loved everything NBC aired from Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games, but most of all, we loved the curling. It might not get the prime time coverage it totally deserves, but, trust me, amigos, this was the year that curling finally came into it’s own.
I know that on the surface it looks like kind of a goofy Olympic event — I mean, seriously, aside from Quidditch, what other sport involves prominent broom-usage? — but sit down and watch a match or two, learn the basic rules and the marquee players and I guarantee you, you’ll be hooked.
We’ve been fans since Nagano, but this is the first year we were able to Tivo and watch every match — probably because this was the first year the networks of NBC actually aired EVERY match — played at the Vancouver Olympic Centre. And if you think I’m kidding about the “every” comment, take a look at our poor, battered Tivo next time you come over. I swear, man, that thing was smoking at one point last week…insanity!
Anyway, having watched every match, I can tell you with some authority that this was a hell of a Curling Bonspiel, my friends. I kid you not, those games were dramatic as all get out.
When the American Men’s Team starting losing too many games in a row, their slacker team skip, John Shuster was benched. Benched! Crazy. And guess what happened then? The American Men actually won a game. Even crazier! But instead of sticking to the new lineup for a few games, the men brought Shuster back for the following game and the men ended up losing every other match-up at the Olympics except for one fluke win over Sweden.
In fact, they were such awful curlers (and such bad sports about it!) that Shuster was actually heard uttering the phrase: “Man, I hate this stupid game.” during their last match with Team China. Are you serious, dude? If you hate the game that much, then QUIT! But while you’re wearing a freaking microphone on the world stage…shut the hell up already! Yikes…stuff like that makes us all look bad.
The American Women weren’t much better, but they did seem to have some genuine team spirit and their skip, Debbie McCormick was kind of a cutie, even if she curled for shit. So, after the American teams went down in flames, Christine and I began rooting for some of our other favorites from past Olympics.
The Veterans on the Men’s Team from Great Britain rocked, but the real story from the UK was the 19-year-old Women’s skip, Eve Muirhead, who was not only cute as hell, but she was also a damn fine curler. She was really fun to watch — not to mention listen to, her Scottish accent ruled! — and I’m sure Muirhead and her team will only get better as they gear up for Russia in 2014.
Also very fun to watch was the Japanese Women’s Team, who had more spunk and spirit in their little black brooms than our American Men and Women’s Teams combined. Seriously, these girls rocked it on the ice!
But the biggest story of the Bonspiel were the two Canadian teams. Led by their bad-ass skip, Kevin Martin, the Canadian men took home the Gold for Canada after one of the most exciting Gold Medal matches in history. Wow, their final game with Norway was a real nail-biter…so exciting! And the Norwegian Team’s already-legendary pants made the whole thing even more so. Gotta love those guys too…crazy pants or not, they are some damn fine curlers!
The Canadian Women rocked it too, but ended up taking home a Silver Medal after their shocking last-minute loss to Team Sweden. And though we felt bad for Cheryl Bernard and her girls losing the Gold on home turf, I gotta say, it was really exciting to see our favorite team of all time take home their second straight Olympic Gold Medal.
That’s right, amigos, Team Sweden, led by their epically-talented skip, Anette Norberg, made curling history by winning their second straight Curling Gold. Crazy, huh? I don’t even think any of the men’s teams have done that yet! Awesome. And they thought they were rock stars before…I can only imagine the reception that Norberg and her girls got back home. Wow…go, Sweden!
Oooo…and speaking of Sweden, I gotta give props to the Swedish Men’s team too. All of the dudes on that team are under 25-years-old, which is really young in curling, but those guys kicked butt. Sure, they lost the Bronze to Switzerland, but they played like curling God’s out there. So cool to watch…I can’t wait to see them come back even stronger in Russia when they’ll all still be well under 30-years-old. Wow…wish I could say the same!
Anyway, anyone who has actually bothered to read to the end of this post must be a curling superfan like ourselves, so, feel free to comment away. We’d love to hear what you thought of the games and which teams you were rooting for in Vancouver…even if you don’t agree with us!
As we say goodbye to yet another amazing, emotionally-charged Olympic Games this weekend, I think it’s only proper to pay tribute to what were probably the coolest Olympic Mascots of all time. That’s right, amigos, I’m talking about Quatchi, Sumi, Miga, and their adorable little sidekick, Mukmuk!
As luck would have it, my brother Ryan was in Whistler this time last year and managed to score Greta a boxed set with all four of those plush beauties in it. And while those groovy Nagano Snowlet Owls were cool, and the Beijing Mascots kicked butt, I gotta hand it to Vancouver for including a freaking cute-ass Sasqautch in their bunch. Grrr…Yeti like!
Now, let’s see London try and top these guys in 2012!
Here’s hoping everyone had a safe and healthy Christmas and that when the ball drops tonight at midnight you are eating and drinking something fantastic with someone you truly love. Hell, you ain’t even gotta love them that much if the food is good…know what I’m saying?
Anyway, in the true spirit of the season, wanted to share Greta’s latest Evite photo adventure with you. Uncle Ryan shot this pic a couple weeks back and if you click here, you can use it as an Evite tonight! So, have at it all you last minute party planners, and remember, even if you don’t use Greta’s baby new year Evite this time, there’s always next year. Happy New Year, amigos!
Longtime readers are probably sick of hearing us rave about how cool the Unique L.A. independent design show is, but for the rest of you, please trust me when I tell you that Unique L.A. rocks, yo! This weekend will mark our third trip to the show and if history holds true, we are sure to come home with loads of groovy stuff and tons of great ideas for projects of our own.
Most of Greta’s favorite outfits and toys — not to mention a good chunk of the super cool artwork in her nursery! — were purchased at the last two shows and though we came home with dozens of bags, the prices at Unique L.A. are beyond cheap. Seriously, there are deals to be had here, amigos. And best of all, you’re supporting local artists and designers instead of, you know, Target and shit.
So, if you’re looking for art, clothing, home goods, jewelry, hell, even just some rocking-good food, Unique L.A. is the place to be this weekend. We’ll be there all day Sunday, so, if you see us foraging through the sale bins at Misha Lulu, by all means, stop and help us. Seriously. The more hands, the better!
Unique L.A. is being held today and Sunday, December 5th & 6th, at the California Market Center in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. For directions, hours, parking, vendor and ticket information, please visit the Unique L.A. homesite here.