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Monthly Archives: October 2007

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Carthay Circle Land, Here We Come

Al Lutz of provides the skinny on the five year, $1.1 billion expansion for Disney’s California Adventure. A very much needed improvement, I’d say. We went to DCA a couple of years ago, and the experience was underwhelming to say the least. We saw everything we wanted to in a half-day, as opposed to the 2-3 days you need at Disneyland. Having the entrance re-themed to 1930s Los Angeles will be a big help, as opposed to the mishmash of poorly conceived junk they have now. I love the idea of having a replica of the Carthay Circle Theatre, site of many a classic film premiere, near the entrance. For once Disney is doing something right!

Peel a Wheelie

Wicked-cool artwork: Branded In The ’80s takes a look at Weird Wheels stickers, a kustom kar series that owes a big visual debt to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. I would’ve loved to have pasted these on my Trapper Keeper!

Lucille Ball in Meme

William tagged me with a television meme. So let’s turn our brains off and answer some questions, shall we?

1. What TV show have you seen every episode of?
I can answer this in two parts. During childhood I’m positively certain I’d seen every episode of such rerun staples as The Brady Bunch, Bewitched, Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie and I Love Lucy. More recently I’ve seen all of Will & Grace, The Simpsons, South Park, and Sex and the City. I’m just about done with Six Feet Under on DVD, and once that’s over I’m going to tackle The Sopranos. I’ve also seen every episode of Faulty Towers, To the Manor Born, Firefly and Margaret Cho’s flop sitcom All-American Girl.

2. What show makes you laugh until you cry?
Nothing. I can honestly say that nothing on TV makes me laugh that hard.

3. What show do you wish had not been canceled?
For some reason, the only shows I can think of were from the ’80s — Police Squad! and ABC’s retro news program Our World (which died a quick death when they scheduled it opposite The Cosby Show). What else? Maybe Double Trouble, that show with Katey Sagal’s twin sisters. It would have been interesting to see if they made it in the fashion world!

4. What show do you wish WOULD be canceled?
Although I’m annoyed by all the daytime judge shows, the brainless reality “who can demean themselves the most”-a-thons, Deal Or No Deal, Law & Order/C.S.I. and their spawn, or anything on a shopping or religious channel, I know there’s a place for them and I wouldn’t wish them to be canceled. Okay, Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News can go.

5. Who is your favorite TV character, either past or present?
Lisa Simpson. Also, recently I re-viewed the Frank “Grimey” Grimes Simpsons episode and I can identify with him to an unnerving degree.

Sweet Chewy Nostalgia

Halloween candy flashback time! The temporarily renamed Neato Ghoulsville writes about Wrapples, the 1970s product for lazy people who crave a quick and easy caramel apple. I remember Wrapples really well — my father was a salesman for Kraft Foods back then, so we had a lot of them around the house. I used to wrap them cold around an apple, or better yet just eat them rolled up. I also liked to devour the single chocolate caramel Kraft used to insert in their bags of individually wrapped caramels. I wonder why they did that?

Good Grief!

It looks like Ford at Basic Hip Digital Oddio will be shutting down much of his site by the end of the year. Better enjoy stuff like Vertigo: Then and Now before they’re gone forever.

Also: Bill Watterson reviews the new Charles M. Schulz bio for The Wall Street Journal (thanks, Eric!). I can’t wait to check out this book. The fact that the Schulz family has denounced it makes the thing even more attractive.

Key West with Matt & Christopher

Key West with Matt & Christopher

Well, it took a week, but the little website I made documenting our trip to Key West is finished. What else is there to say about the trip? It was enjoyable, despite the hot and muggy weather (I brought a pair of jeans but never wore them). The island is about as laid back and funky as its reputation suggests. Other observations:

  • Although we did a lot, exploring the cemetery was one of my favorite activities — not only is it free, you get a nicely designed map detailing the backgrounds on some of the more notable inhabitants, and it had a lot of neat grave markers and tombs from contemporary times back to the early 1800s. Call me ghoulish, but that kind of stuff thrills me.
  • Walking around: Duval street is Key West’s main thoroughfare, lined with hopping bars and about a million shops selling t-shirts with stupid slogans. Avoid it — unless you’re an alcoholic, the area has limited appeal. Also stay away from any hotels located directly on Duval. I liked the Historic Seaport Boardwalk along the island’s north side, however.
  • Beaches: good luck since Key West is oddly lacking in decent beaches. We went to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park on the island’s west side, however, and that area has a good, if awfully pebbly, beach.
  • Attractions: once at K.W. you might see some tacky looking ads in the tourist magazines for a butterfly house. Don’t be fooled, this is a gorgeous, dreamlike little indoor/outdoor walkway where butterflies float all around you. I took a ton of pictures. This is located near the south side (a.k.a. “the breeder section” as one local told us). Also recommended is the aquarium near Mallory Square, a modest and charming home for the local sea life built in the W.P.A. 1930s.
  • Food: sorry, we don’t go to tourist magnets like Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (I don’t even remember seeing it!). Bar none, the best meal we had there was at a Cuban restaurant called El Siboney, a hole-in-the-wall popular with the locals. Huge portions, great prices, yummy food and plenty of yellow rice with black beans. For seafood, check out BO’s fish wagon and its quintessentially Key West-ish outdoor dining area (lots of graffiti, battered license plates on the walls, wild chickens roaming the tables).
  • Local TV: Strange, I know, but I loved checking out what south Florida had in the way of local TV. They had a channel there which aired seemingly every lo-fi public domain film ever uploaded to the internet. Old b&w serials, blurry cartoons, music videos, that sort of thing (at one point I even saw a computer cursor left on the screen!). They also had a station called WGAY, part of which included an old queen doing catty MST3K-style commentary on that ’50s movie where the scientist kept his girlfriend’s disembodied head alive. So funny.
  • Snorkeling: I wish we could have gone snorkeling, but the winds were too high and nobody was going out. There’s always next time, however!