Thursday, November 25, 2010

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR TURKEY

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm writing from Fonda, NY aboard the Lake Shore Limited. I departed from Chicago later than expected last night, but a good night's sleep and a couple states later I'm here on the East Coast!

While I won't be enjoying a traditional (stationary) turkey dinner, I'm watching some s3 Gossip Girl and catching up on my back issues of Sunset Magazine. I can't complain!

I am incredibly thankful for so much in my life, especially these days. Trying times more often than not give way to a deeper appreciation for what we have, and I'm a very fortunate fellow. Soon I'll get to see my family, and - now, more than ever - I feel very lucky to have so many good friends spread across the country.

Here's hoping everyone is having a splendid, gluttonous holiday (remember: naps are key). While I'm riding the rails, enjoy some stuffing for me!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CHICAGO'S FINEST

My cross-country trainventure has officially reached a checkpoint! From Union Station in Los Angeles to Union Station in Chicago, I've survived the first leg of my journey.

Rob met me downtown during my layover, and we explored the city (Gotham City!) for a bit on foot. The light rain and chilly winds were actually a perfect introduction to the city...as was Giordano's deep dish pizza! Everyone in the know was right - my life is forever changed. DELICIOUS.

Now I'll be boarding the Lake Shore Limited, en route to Boston. I arrive tomorrow evening, drive to my final destination of Longmeadow on Friday, and my reunion is on Saturday night!

This trip has already been such an unforgettable experience. Ready for the craziness to continue!
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Monday, November 22, 2010

ALL ABOARD THE WAYBACK MACHINE


Well, gang - this is it! In just a few short hours I will be aboard an Amtrak train. Destination: My 10 Year High School Reunion! I will be traveling via locomotive nearly 3,000 miles back to my hometown of Longmeadow, MA, taking in along the way all the beauty and splendor our great nation has to offer.



I've always wanted to travel a great distance on a train, and when I got the invite to my class reunion I couldn't resist making an adventure of it. I'll have approximately 66 hours to reflect on, reminisce and remember a simpler time. When I had it all figured out, of course! Sarcasm.

The only layover I have is in Chicago perfectly enough, so I'll be popping in to the Windy City and checking in on my dear friend Rob.


I'll be documenting my entire cross country journey, and look forward to sharing the experience. While the blog may not get updated as frequently for the next week, you can follow my trip from state to state on my
Twitter and Facebook pages.

Lastly, since I'll be on the rails (not cocaine) for Thanksgiving - I get in Thursday night - I'm gonna wish you all a very happy turkey day now. Watch the Macy's Parade, eat, drink, pass out...just have a fun, safe one. I'll be back in LA on Sunday evening, with stories to tell!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

THE GOLDIE STANDARD



HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GOLDIE HAWN!

Today one of my favorite actresses of all time turns 65 - the radiant Goldie Hawn. I've been a huge fan for as long as I can remember. I'll also never forget the time several years ago that she almost hit me with her Range Rover in a crosswalk (she felt really bad and mouthed "I'm so sorry!" from the car).

Here are just a few of my favorite Goldie roles, in celebration of her glorious day of birth!


Glenda Parks, Seems Like Old Times


Helen Sharp, Death Becomes Her


Elise Elliot, The First Wives Club


Gwen Phillips, HouseSitter


Joanna Stayton, Overboard


Sunny Davis, Protocol

Thanks for the memories and near death experiences, Goldie! Here's to a lot more of the former.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NEARLY OUT & ABOUT


Great big thanks to The CW for finally moving forward in the wish-fulfillment department. On last night's 90210, Teddy (my beloved Trevor Donovan) applied some gas to his coming-out storyline and hit up a "West Hollywood Bar".

My biggest question in anticipation of this ep was, of course, if they would actually film at a WeHo bar. And if so, which one? Even with bountiful set dressing, you can't hide the supreme gayness/tragedy of places like Rage or Micky's...and Teddy is nowhere near comfortable enough yet to set foot into a mega-bar like The Abbey.



When Teddy rolled up to the "Lounge", I still wasn't sure where they were. The architecture looked vaguely West Hollywood, but the entry doors didn't match up to any booze-hole I've ever patronized.

Even though I know for a fact it's not, this exterior scene felt very Canadian. I half expected the Degrassi kids to walk by, gabbing about Kraft Dinner or something.



It wasn't until we followed Teddy inside that I recognized the place immediately - East|West! That's right, it's the classy alternative to the nearby debauchery down the block on Santa Monica Boulevard. I've always loved the atmosphere at E|W, and now-former-roomie Rob even worked there for a while.

Kudos to the BevNiner location scouts for not only making it that much easier to imagine TrevDon in one of my local haunts, but also for not dousing the place in glitter and filling it with tacky go-go boys and stereotypes. East|West was a good choice! And you best believe I'll be in there again soon, seeing if I can feel my BevNiner Husband's hunky presence.


Speaking of gratuitous, TrevDon recently traded Los Angeles for Las Vegas to film a guest appearance on
CSI. He's playing a spartan (durr) who gets mixed up in a murder. He was kind enough to tweet this behind the scenes photo, which almost completely makes up for the fact that this show airs on CBS.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Donovan! You're inching towards the closet (okay, fine...Teddy is), and even closer to my apartment. I hope Cory Monteith doesn't get jealous!

Monday, November 15, 2010

MIX-N-MASH MONDAYS: 11.15.10



I'm happy to return to Mix-N-Mash Mondays, especially with an entry from an artist I've been enjoying for many months now. He goes by Pogo, and he is a genius in ways that wrinkle my brain just thinking about them.

If you're not familiar, Pogo (check out his site here) makes original tracks comprised entirely of words, sounds and music from movies. He's been especially adept at reinterpreting Disney animated films, which is how I became familiar with him. This is his latest effort, based on Walt's first masterpiece, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:


Wishery
Pogo
Download Now

For a while Disney even contracted him to make some tracks for them - unsurprising given the level of quality and talent required to create each masterpiece. You can watch the video for "Wishery" here, and my personal favorite, "Alice" is below:


Here's to the start of a great week, everyone!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

BE AN ATHLETIC SUPPORTER


On Tuesday night Rob and I celebrated his last night in Los Angeles by going to a Lakers game. It was my first time seeing the boys play in person, and it was ridiculous amounts of fun! Now, I'm the first to admit that sports haven't always been my thing. But living with Rob helped me find a new appreciation for the whole concept, and I've definitely been a fan of the purple and gold (the only instance in which it's not a tacky, clashing color scheme) for the past year or so.

And being at the Staples Center on game night? It took it to a whole 'nother level. I'd previously only been to this venue twice. Once for Madonna, and the other for...Britney Spears. Stereotypes happen. One comparison I can make is that Lakers fans are nearly as enthusiastic as Madge fans, albeit for completely different reasons. It's a beautiful thing.


Our seats were the second to the very back row - which sounds awful, but thanks to Staples' design there's really not a bad seat in the house. Especially when you get color commentary by the hilarious African American couple within earshot. "Take it to the hole, Kobe! Take it to the hole!" The utter hatred for the Minnesota Timberwolves caught me off guard (LA turns booing into an art form), but it was ultimately pretty damn funny.


The legendary Laker Girls shimmied onto the court a few times during breaks in the game, but perhaps the best was when they changed into their (sponsor) Carl's Jr. outfits. If these were sold in Halloween stores, they would be labeled "Slutty Carl's Jr. Employee". I snapped the above photo mid gyration, so it kinda looks like they "whip their hair back and forth" a la Willow Smith. I don't remember what the actual song was - all of their selections were pretty random.


It was a close game pretty much all night, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't have me on edge. But we managed to pull ahead for a 99-94 victory, thanks to the fucking awesomeness of Pau Gasol (I call him 'My Giant') and MVP Kobe. And how could we not stop in the Team LA store after the game? I purchased a this-was-made-for-Joe purple and gold argyle Lakers scarf, which I proudly wore to work for the rest of the week.

By the way - I'm now accepting applications for game companions...I really want to go again! The Lakers, frozen margaritas, and a certain sense of excitement and energy in the air. You got me, sports! You really, really got me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

IT WAS ALWAYS YOU, HELEN



Female empowerment took center stage last night, as The Cinefamily at The Silent Movie Theatre presented another delicious double feature - The Legend of Billie Jean and Supergirl! What's that? It can't possibly get any better? It can: Helen Slater appeared in person for a Q&A!

If you've never seen The Legend of Billie Jean...well, mostly I just feel sorry for you. This cinematic gem from 1985 tells the story of Billie Jean Davy (Slater), who ends up on the wrong side of the law and leading the charge of a full-scale youth revolution in Corpus Christi, TX.



What's she fighting for? The $608 it will cost to repair her kid brother (Christian Slater)'s motor scooter, trashed by a creepy rapist's Hunky McNoBrains of a bully son. FAIR IS FAIR! Also along for the ride is Yeardley Smith, instantly audibly recognizable as the voice of Lisa on The Simpsons, and Peter Coyote when he was still super handsome. About 45% of the film is set to Pat Benatar's "Invincible", which unsurprisingly was released as the movie's theme song.



After TLoBJ, Helen Slater herself took the floor for a brief Q&A with Cinefamily's Hadrian, along with the film's surly writer Lawrence Konner. Some things I learned:
  • Helen and Christian actually aren't brother and sister, it's just a weird coincidence.
  • Faye Dunaway was "always very aware and particular of how she was being lit at any given moment".
  • When asked what he wished the The Legend of Billie Jean could have been without studio interference, Konner simply said, "Better."


Supergirl never goes to New York in her "first" adventure. The movie takes place in Illinois, and was filmed in England.

After a brief intermission - where Ms. Slater was gracious enough to meet fans such as myself in the back courtyard - it was time for the "secret" 2nd film, which of course turned out to be 1984's Supergirl. This movie not only features Faye Dunaway as an evil sorceress bent on world domination, but also Peter O'Toole as a Kryptonian lush named Zaltar.

Slater of course plays the titular role, but is sometimes called Kara and sometimes called Linda Lee. Sometimes she has brown hair. It would appear that Supergirl received generous amounts of financial funding from Popeye's fried chicken.


"I can make the sky rain coconuts with pinpoint accuracy, but I still can't control men's minds!"

Faye ultimately does her best to steal the show. Her scenes are all very dramatic, almost as if she seemed determined to turn this into her greatest role ever. Every time she summoned the 'Power of Shadow' I could feel my soul shrink in terror! Also definitely worth mentioning? There is a screen credit for an actress playing 'Selena's Astral Image'.

Overall it was an amazing night, thanks once again to the gang at The Cinefamily. Last night I volunteered with them for the first time, and it certainly won't be my last. Their programming is top drawer, and you can't beat the atmosphere, people or truly one-of-a-kind events. Check out their next 'Pajama Party' screening on November 27th - a double feature of Labyrinth and Return to Oz! I wish I could be there, but I'll be on the East coast for my high school reunion. Sigh. Go, have a blast, and report back to me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

CENTERFOLD MUPPETGASM



For the love of Skeeter, this is finally happening! The eternally-in-development (I don't have the heart to call it "hell" in this instance) and long-awaited movie The Muppets is finally beginning to film this month! Entertainment Weekly broke the news in their latest issue (with Harry Potter on the cover), and included the above centerfold spread of the gang with co-writer/star Jason Segel.

And for those of you who are worried that the first theatrical Muppet film in over a decade would feature the sanitized, unfunny versions of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie et al - fear not! As it stands, this looks to be a genuine return to form. Direct your gratitude towards Segel, a longtime fanboy: "We've worked really hard to stay true to the original spirit of the Muppets. We've missed the same thing everyone else has been missing."


If you need further proof of the Muppets' impending return to the spotlight, check out Entertainment Weekly's "Reunions" coverage from mid-October. They dedicated a two page layout to a homecoming for The Muppet Show, which ran from 1976-1981. For more detail on this beautiful photo above (shot on the Walt Disney Studios lot), click to make it bigger!



And speaking of that classic series, BOOM! Studios' superb The Muppet Show comic book recently ended their "Family Reunion" miniseries, which reintroduced Scooter's twin sister Skeeter after a decades-long absence. She's finally canon, y'all! Welcome back to the family, Skeeter.




They say that patience is a virtue, and I for one have been very patient. I've weathered the storms (culminating in the utterly worthless The Muppets' Wizard of Oz) and was elated upon seeing the first ray of sunshine through the clouds (Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody, of course). Now, The Muppets - and I LOVE the simplicity of this title - is scheduled for release on Christmas day 2011, with our beloved felt icons putting on a big show to save the Muppet Theater. Do us - and all the Muppets - proud, Mr. Segel!