Sound of Music Sing-A-Long vs Me on Jeopardy!

Larry edited my chat with Alex and we tweeted it over to the flamazing host of the Hollywood Bowl Sound of Music Sing-A-Long, Melissa Peterman….and she responded!

So yeah, I’m ready for my second round of fame due to my Jeopardy Experience.  It’s gonna happen.  My body is ready.  Regardless of any of that, still very excited to go again this year.

A Day at the Races

I’m pretty sure it’s been at least 20 years since I’ve been to Santa Anita Race Track and actually watched and placed bets on horseracing.  At least.  If I think about it, it’s like at the latest, I was in high school, and maybe when Mom, Harv & I would go when that was something we all liked to do and before we got bored of it and couldn’t pick a winning horse to save our life, or maybe it was a time when one of the aunts had a birthday party there in the infield.  Regardless, it was high school or maybe early college when I last went, and man, a lot of memories came back when going back there yesterday.

We went to celebrate our friend Paras’ birthday, and it was a bit surprising to see that was where they wanted to hold the party.  Not really what I imagined younger folk would do, and while it certainly wasn’t a packed house like I kind of remember from my youth, there was  a good mix of young and old, and certainly plenty of people there who looked like what you’d imagine hang out at the track.

The day was a beautiful one to be there, with beautiful blue skies and nice temps – it was certainly warm, but we were in the shade and it was comfortable.  We drank plenty of beer, bet on most of the races (even won a race and got $22!), had some food, caught up with friends, and had a great afternoon at the races.  Happily Uber is a thing now, so it was great to go there and leave without having to worry about parking or drinking.  Anyway, pictures below!

Trailer Time – April 2017

There’s a lot of exciting stuff headed our way whether it’s TV or Movies, and MAN, I am pumped for some of these things like no one’s business….

First off, Showtime just released this SPOILER-FILLED teaser (for the original two seasons of the show) but it is pushing all the right buttons and man, it’s crazy to think that in ONE MONTH, Twin Peaks Season 3 will begin.  That. is. CRAZY.

So yeah, that’s happening.

Then of course, the movie trailers below are just so fucking awesome and great, and will have to hold us over until the movies themselves are released in the distant fall… First?  Thor: Ragnarok, and believe you me, I would never have believed it myself if you had told me I’d be pumped up for a freakin’ Thor movie.   They’ve been the weakest of the Marvel movies in my mind, and while Thor is obviously attractive, I’ve got Captain America for that.  But this trailer?  Showing Cate Blanchett in all her bad-ass glory?  Set to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”?  Thor cracking wise when he sees Hulk?  Jeff Goldblum goldbluming???  SIGN ME UP.  And it’s on my birthday too, so hey:

I’d be remiss if we didn’t of course talk about effing Star Wars:  The Last Jedi finally releasing a trailer!  We finally hear Luke speak!  And know very little else, but it does look great, and things seem kind of bleak with Luke being ‘over it’.  Ready to find out what happens next, finally!

In other news…it’s kind of hard to believe, but Larry & I are close to celebrating our first anniversary.  Where did the time go?  I know, actually, all too well, with work having swallowed it up pretty effectively…but still, kinda shocking.  Life comes at you fast…

No Longer a Homeowner!

It really happened and everything went through as had been hoped for:  my Colorado Springs home now belongs to someone else!

Bye Bye, Lisa Drive

It’s surreal for it to be actually a true statement.  I no longer own a home.  HOLY SHIT.  Do you even understand the stress that has been on my back for the last 10 years???  It’s been a pretty good investment and a wonderful tax deduction, but to have to suck up the times when I didn’t have renters?  That only happened very rarely, but when living in NYC and having that situation occur was very painful to absorb.  It’s not so bad now, but I haven’t had renters since last July, so yeah, double rents for me!  And I paid to get it fixed up so I could sell it, which was totally worth it, btw.

All of this is just a long way for me to say I can’t really believe it happened and didn’t catastrophically veer into disaster.  The buyers obviously liked the house, my wonderful realtor made the deal happen, I got a good price for it and actually made a profit on the house (although let’s be honest, if I add all the money paid over the years and when I didn’t have renters…let’s consider it even), and on Friday, the closing happened.  And the proceeds just arrived today.  WOW.

Larry & I can actually and realistically start to plan for buying a home of our own now.  My VA loan is available again and I have the means to provide a good chunk towards a down payment.  We’re not in the market until early next year, which works out fine.  This is just…wonderful.

“How Did This Get Made?” and More

Another week goes by and I’m still employed (yay) and the week goes by quick enough for me not to be too dragged down by it all.  Yay, again.  I’ve been trying to figure out what it is I want to do with my life, and yes, I recognize I am 40 and should have figured that out a while ago.  So while I recognize that the career side of things is basically just me finding a niche where I can get stuff done and get paid while doing it, as being a true “professional” in some career has long ago stopped being an option for me, I do think I can figure out hobbies and such that will bring me personal satisfaction.

Writing is certainly up there, and if I can get the discipline to write on a regular basis and also figure out things to write about passionately, that would be a good first step.  Musical instruments are also an interesting thought, but man, you need to take lessons and get the time commitment figured out, and that’s freakin’ tough right now.  But I have this new guitar and I want to get back to it, so we’ll have to make that work out.   Stupid video games are also a bane to my productivity, to be honest.  So many good ones out there.  Anyway, just some random notes from me to you.

How about some pictures?

Barb and I had a nice after-work catch-up at Traxx earlier this week and it was wonderful.  Sometimes, you gotta get a drink at the Art Deco Union Station in your city, amirite?

Larry and I got dinner at a great new restaurant called The Tsujita in the Americana, where the specialty is a weird twist on ramen:  the noodles and pork are served cold and separate from the broth, which is really hot and delicious.  You then dip the noodles/pork into it….and it’s fucking wonderful.  A great addition to the restaurant selection here.

Yesterday was the main event for us though, as Larry had been able to secure tickets to an event called “How Did This Get Made?”  What it is is 3 hilarious people (Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael (who we feel in love with from her role in Grace & Frankie), and Jason Mantzoukas) + a hilarious guest talking about various terrible movies and all the wondrous ways it is terrible.  It’s a podcast you can listen to via iTunes or Earwolf podcast website and you definitely should.  The first one I ever listened to was recommended by Larry and it was all about A View to a Kill, yes, the awesome 80s James Bond movie.  Both Larry & I grew up on it so we’re blinded to its failings, but man, this really long podcast just does a number on it and it is epically hilarious.  Well worth the nearly 2 hours to listen to it if you have time, as they point out so many of the ludicrous plot points and characters.  So funny.  Anyway, Larry’s been addicted to the show ever since, and finally scored tickets to it for this past weekend!  He’s been super excited although I think we all were kind of worried once we learned about the movie that was going to be the topic of our show yesterday:  Chopping Mall…..yes, it’s a craptastic 80’s “horror” movie about “teens” trapped in a high-tech mall with 3 malfunctioning murderous robots.  Holy shit this thing is bad….but don’t take my word for it, here’s the awful trailer for this awful movie:

I can’t be sure this is the real trailer as the description kind of indicates it’s not?  But it captures the sheer cheese of it all.  Anyway, Larry & I ventured over to where Nicki lives in LA to watch the movie on Amazon Video with her as she and Austin were going to go with us for this fun.  The three of us watched it in wonder as the movie truly is just terrible terrible terrible.  And the performances are ridiculous and there’s lots of boobs for no reason and it begs the question, HOW DID THIS GET MADE???  Full circle, people, that’s what just happened.  It’s a truly perfect movie for this show (and podcast).

Anyway, having done our research for the night’s entertainment, we then went over to the Largo Theater, which is on La Cienega Blvd just a block north of the Beverly Center, which hilariously is the exterior for the Chopping Mall.  So of course, after we got our tickets for the show (not too bad of seats – it’s a random draw and we ended up getting 5th row), the three of us went down to the Beverly Center.  Apparently it’s not the interior that was used for the movie as another mall had that distinction, but it was still fun to think about it anyway.  There is a main foyer in the Beverly Center that looks a LOT like the movie though.  It’s still weird to be back in that neighborhood and see the Beverly Connection across the street and consider I spent 5 years working there at the Bookstar which is now gone….like truly gone.  It’s been remodeled into an Old Navy.  🙁

We then met up with Austin at the Largo’s bar once that opened up and we had a few drinks to get into the spirit of things.  Anyway…the show was amazing.  Larry had been bracing for the possibility of June not being there, but as it was the 8pm show, the likelihood is higher that she was going to be present and happily she was.  They of course loved tearing this movie apart as it certainly deserves to be.  I’m looking forward to hearing the podcast once they release it, which we think is going to be in a week or so.  Highly recommended once it is!

Anyway – pictures!

Saturday, Mar 11, 2017: How Did This Get Made @ The Largo

It was just a great night and a fun way to spend most of a Saturday.   Of course, Daylight Savings Time coming around this morning to steal some of our precious sleep time is the worst.  Anyway, we eventually got our act together, watched last night’s SNL (the Ivanka Trump “Complicit” ad was amazing), and then headed out to Target to restock the house supplies and then watch Logan.

Logan (2017) (saw this on Mar 12 @ the Pacific Theaters in Glendale)

Well, the reviews are in and it’s been getting across-the-board raves, and rightfully so.  It’s getting praised for very good things, such as a stripped down story, wonderful performances, and a more serious take on what usually isn’t.  And oh yeah, it’s R-rated and it takes full advantage of that, as Logan is fucking violent as hell.  I mean, it’s REALLY violent.  But I have to say that while I did enjoy the ride, the movie feels too long and I think it needed to have an explanation for some things to help place you in the world.  I get it, you do get enough hints as to what’s happened in the time between the last X-Men movies and 2029, which is when this is set.  But I kind of still wanted to know more – what actually happened that Professor X and Logan keep referring to?  Obviously it resulted in the deaths of pretty much all the mutants, but what was it?  Maybe it doesn’t matter, but the ambiguity for ambiguity’s sake kind of turned me off.  And this movie is bleak, full stop.  There’s very good reasons for that but just know this is not the movie that ends with everyone hugging it out at the end.  Nope.

Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are of course fantastic, as is the young actress who played Laura / X23.  It’s interesting to think where the “modern” X-Men movies plan to go from here…do they tell the story I’m bitching about missing?  Or are they only going to do the “First Class” X-Men?  OR just reboot the whole damn thing?    Logan is certainly a better movie than the recent Apocalypse though, and for sophistication, it stands pretty much above most of the other recent X-Men movies too.  I guess I’m struggling with liking it but not loving it?  And wanting to have SOME exposition to fill in some of the blanks.

Movies Seen in 2017:

Fantastic / Rave-worthy:

Very Good:

Okay / Wait to See at Home:

Only if You’re Going to “How Did This Get Made?”

  • Chopping Mall (1986)