Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seriously, I’ve Moved

Due to some technical glitches (and/or my own blunder), some of my subscribers never received notice that I’ve moved my blog over to www.PopCultureNerd.com. Others have informed me that after re-subscribing over there, they’re not receiving the e-mail notifications.

If you’re reading this, it means you’re subscribed to the wrong blog, my old one for which I’ve stopped posting new content. Please go to the new site (I have a giveaway going on right now!) and click “subscribe” on the sidebar so you can start getting the fresh feeds. It should work now because the all-powerful techies from support tell me so.

Thanks for your patience during the move. See you at the new digs!

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I’ve Moved!

In case you were wondering why I haven’t posted in almost a week, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in XML files, CSS codes and whatchamacallits to move my blog over to my own domain. I’m now at PopCultureNerd.com and will no longer be posting here. I just posted my thoughts and reactions to the Golden Globes so come join the party over there!

New Year Brings New Surprises

Got back to L.A. late last night after a wonderful time in D.C. with family, old friends and lots of amazing eats. Every day I had a balanced diet of cheese, pie, cake, candy and cappuccino. Is there a better way to ring in the new year?

Speaking of new year, everyone talks about resolutions at this time. I make the same one every year: Surprise myself. Do something I’ve never done or imagined doing. Even if I fail spectacularly, it counts, because I don’t sit around imagining spectacular failures.

My old college roommate already helped me accomplish this on New Year’s Eve. We had plans for lunch but she said she had to run a 5K to raise funds for diabetes first and then we could go eat. She invited me to come cheer her on. When I got there, I somehow got roped into running with her, even though running is as much fun to me as having monkeys poke sticks up my nose. Did I mention I was inadequately dressed and it was freezing, rainy, and muddy?

But run I did, which was the last thing I thought I’d be doing on New Year’s Eve. More surprises: my time wasn’t completely atrocious and I didn’t die in the process. Though my legs ached a little afterward, I was exhilarated my friend convinced me to run a 5K on the spur of the moment, helping me push the limits on what I think I can do. I also enjoyed replenishing my strength with a large plate of fries.

Happy New Year, everyone. How do you plan to push your limits?

A Tale from My Christmas Past

One year in college, I was stuck at school until Dec. 23 because of finals that must have been scheduled by Scrooge or the Grinch. Christmas was around the corner but I wasn’t feeling it. I was trying to cram a whole semester’s worth of astrophysics into my aching brain.

The dorms had cleared out and my roommate Lennie and I were the only ones left in our building. On Dec. 22, after many hours of studying, Lennie and I decided to take a break and finally do some Christmas shopping. We splurged on a cab to take us into town. We couldn’t really afford it but it was too cold to stand outside and wait for the bus.

When the taxi arrived, we were surprised to see the driver was a boy about our age. His name was Bobby. On the way to the mall, we learned it was his birthday but he was working a double shift to earn extra money for a Christmas present for his mom. He’d been on the clock since six o’clock that morning and it was about seven p.m. when he picked us up. Lennie and I said he should do something to celebrate his birthday but he insisted he’d prefer to do something for Mom.

We told Bobby to wait when we got to the mall then ran inside to See’s Candies and bought two boxes for him and his mother. We ran outside and gave him the candy with our cab fare. “Happy birthday,” we said. “And merry Christmas to your mom.”

Bobby stared at the boxes for a long moment, then turned off his meter. “I’m not charging you for the ride.”

“What?! You’re working late to earn money, not give out free rides!” Lennie said.

“The candy didn’t cost that much!” I said.

He refused our payment a second time, then said he’d wait to take us home.

“Stop being ridiculous. If you won’t take our money, then go pick up someone else you will accept it from. And we might take awhile.” Lennie and I thanked him, made sure he drove off, then went inside.

Two hours later, shopped out and ready to leave, we called for a cab and—surprise—Bobby pulled up.

“We’re not getting in if you won’t take our money!” I said.

“And I’ll just tell my dispatcher not to send anyone else if you call for another cab because I’m already here!” Bobby retorted. It was dark, snow was starting to fall, we got in.

Once we were settled, he turned around and offered his box of See’s.

“We can’t eat that. It’s your present!” Lennie said.

“Which means I can do whatever I want with it and I want to give you some,” Bobby said. Man, he’d be good in my Debate and Argumentation class, I thought. Bobby kept insisting; Lennie gave in and took a piece of chocolate. I might’ve taken two—only to make him happy, of course.

Bobby started driving us home, his meter dark and silent.

“Turn it on!” Lennie said.

“Think of your mama!” I added.

“It’s all right. I finally made what I needed tonight. I’m off after this.”

So he drove, taking the long way home, making detours through neighborhoods so we could look at Christmas lights. We ate candy, talked, he said his mother was the most amazing woman in the world, raising him as a single parent since he was a toddler. He hoped to someday go to college and start his own business, maybe buy Mom a nicer car.

When he finally dropped us off, Bobby said, “This birthday was happier than I could’ve imagined. Thank you.” I didn’t know how to respond, overwhelmed by a feeling I hadn’t had a few hours earlier.

Luckily, eloquent Lennie stepped in. “Thanks for giving us a gift, too, Bobby. And your mom already has the best one.”

He gave us a business card and said to call him if we ever needed a cab again. We never did, but I still have his card, yellowed and frayed at the edges, the printing faded but the memory still clear after twenty-three years.

My Fantasy Fellow Jurors

Yesterday, I had jury duty and found Rumer Willis in my jury pool. This got me fantasizing about being on a jury panel full of famous people. Who would I want on there?

After some deliberating (I had a lot of time to kill), I came up with this list of 11 people I’d like to serve with and why:

  1. Chuck Norris, because if anybody tried to bullshit him, he’d roundhouse them in the head.
  2. mentalistSimon Baker, because he can read minds like he does on The Mentalist and tell when someone’s lying. OK, that’s reaching but c’ mon, it’s Simon Baker. Do I need to explain why I want to be sequestered with him?
  3. Bono, because he seems to have a strong desire to do the right thing. Plus, he can lend me his shades so I can sleep through boring testimony.
  4. feyTina Fey, because she’s smart and sharp-witted so she’d make deliberations fun.
  5. Jesus, because who would lie to Jesus?
  6. J.K. Rowling, because she knows about good vs. evil. Also, she might write the plot of her next book on lunch napkins and leave them lying around.
  7. Speaking of lunch, I’d want Wolfgang Puck, because he’d take the crappy food in the courthouse cafeteria and turn it into something edible. Yesterday, my beef stew looked like it had floating chunks of…never mind.
  8. cateCate Blanchett, because I just want to sit next to her amazingness.
  9. Ann Coulter, because if deliberations go long and I get cranky, I want someone around I can slap without remorse.
  10. clooney as claytonGeorge Clooney, because I want to dare him into placing a whoopee cushion on the judge’s chair.
  11. Bruce Springsteen, because he’s the Boss and can serve as foreman.

Who would be on your fantasy jury panel and why?

Will You Go to Harry Potter Theme Park?

via Entertainment Weekly

via Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly has details about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park that’s set to open next spring in Orlando, Florida. Rides will include the Hogwarts Express train, a high-speed roller coaster based on the Triwizard Tournament, and a family coaster called Flight of the Hippogriff (depicted above).

The park will also feature Ollivanders, the wand store where “the wand chooses the wizard,” and hangouts like the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head that will serve Butterbeer, the drink of choice for Harry and his friends. Of course, the park will also contain Hogwarts, where some newfangled technology will supposedly bring the magic and characters to life for visitors.

This all sounds good but I was hoping for a ride that would simulate playing Quidditch. I think I’d be great as a Beater. Ha!

What do you think? Will you go to this theme park? (UPDATE: Collider.com has lots of photos and a virtual tour here.)

Deep Thoughts from Dave Barry

davebarrySince I’ve been waiting six years for humor columnist Dave Barry to write another novel for adults—2001’s Big Trouble and 2003’s Tricky Business were hilarious—I occasionally Google him to see what he’s doing besides co-writing the Starcatcher books for young readers with Ridley Pearson.

I found him on Twitter where his tweets rocked me with laughter. Here’s someone who knows how to use this social platform to entertain, not provide inane chatter about the burrito he had for lunch like many others do. If you’ve never read Barry, you might be inclined to check out his past work if you happen to stumble upon his tweets.

Want to test this theory? Scroll through the small sampling below (plus the rest here if you have time) then tell me whether you’d like to check out his books. Warning: Do not consume liquids while reading or they might exit through the wrong cavity.

Some of Barry’s tweets:

  • The hair-dryer tag says “WARN CHILDREN OF THE RISK OF DEATH BY ELECTRIC SHOCK!” But how often? Daily? And which children?
  • I just acquired a follower named “AssScratcher.” It is difficult to describe my feelings about this.
  • You know how to get captured terrorists to talk? Put them in a “spinning” class. They wouldn’t last 10 minutes. I know I don’t.
  • TODAY’S TIP: If you have a dog, make sure the door is closed FIRMLY when you go to the bathroom. Never mind why I am telling you this.
  • There is nothing quite like a flight to LaGuardia. Except maybe the last chopper out of Saigon.
  • What should be the penalty for drivers who don’t go when the light turns green? Today I am thinking: Death.
  • I just got a spam email with the subject line: “Read or you’re gay.”
  • To people who make moving ads that block the view of websites: Not only will we not buy from you, but we want shrews to eat your liver.
  • Driving to Disney World for a soccer tournament. On Memorial Day Weekend. Hope the turnpike service plazas sell heroin.
  • You know who is always fantastically stupid? The person in line directly ahead of you.
  • Overheard just now in doctor’s waiting room: “Can you give me a urine sample?” “Here?” “Well not RIGHT here.”
  • There should be some kind of Nintendo DS system for cows, because they have a LOT of spare time.
  • New York City Update: I just watched an extremely determined woman somehow park an SUV in a space the length of a cocker spaniel.
  • I am still not totally convinced that olives are not the eyeballs of very large frogs.
  • What I need is a search engine that, no matter what I type in, comes back with GO BACK TO WORK.