Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DLR LotD 09/26/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Where is that page?!" --  Members of Team Quatchi, many times during the day

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Apple of My Eye!

Today, my dad called so that the nephew could thank me for his birthday gift.  It arrived on the right day!  Thank goodness, because for some reason, I kept blanking out on which day this week was the actual date.  Lame.

Anyway, so Brady sang "Happy Birthday" about 5 times to *me*, probably in order to get it into my head that I should be singing to him.  When I finally did, though, he would have none of that, and didn't want to hear the rest of the song.  Whatevs, Birthday Boy.

Happy 5th Birthday, Brady!  

BananaMan Loves You...and so does Tita

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nom Nommilicious

Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food and Wine
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Paramount Pictures Studio Lot

It's nice to have beautiful weather on Labor Day weekend, especially when you're going to be outside all day.  Glenn and Cindy, my fellow Wine And Dine Enthusiasts (WADEs for the rest of this post and beyond) picked me up so that I could partake in more of the day's festivities.  Thanks, Glenn! 

Technically, Cindy doesn't really like wine, so she said that she'd give away her drink tickets if we wanted more.  We were given 8 each, but not everyone asked for a ticket in exchange for their samples, so I ended up having 4 left at the end of the day.  Not that I didn't drink anything.  Oh, heavens, no: it was quite the opposite.

So here's a list of what I can remember that we had, and maybe I'll have a thing or two to say about stuff. 

  • Deluxe Dumplings food truck: I had the scallop and crab dumpling, which was quite tasty, especially with the sweet pea vinaigrette  Glenn was unhappy that it had cilantro inside, but at least he finally got to try the duck taco, which he enjoyed.  Cindy had already had both of these, so she was nice enough to tell us what she liked and we followed suit.  All of the food trucks that we went to seemed to want cash only.

  • Sinatra Family Estates: this was the first wine tasting of the day for Glenn and me.  I thought the "Nothing But the Best" Cabernet was OK, and Glenn was OK with the "La Voce" Tuscan blend.  I wonder what the "Come Fly  With Me" Cabernet tastes like.

  • Melissa's: Our first free food of the day.  They served Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes with Roasted Hatch Chile Vinaigrette.  No, I did not memorize the name.  The recipe is on their website.

  • Voskos Greek Yogurt::  They had free samples with ingenious folding-paper spoons.  I enjoyed the blueberry flavor so much that I bought some today when I went grocery shopping.  Darnit!  I forgot to use my coupon!

  • Marche Noir Foods and Black Market Bakery:  We had their Pasta Caberneti, which is made with wine flour.  Yum!  They use the skins of the grapes in their flour, and I could actually taste some cabernet in there.  They also had Cabernet Brownies, which were quite tasty.  OMG, they have a recipe on their site: Cabernet Penne and Manchego (Mac n Cheese). WANT.  Later in the day, we returned for more Caberniti, but they didn't have anymore of that.  So I had Black Market's Black Widow Tart.  Mmmm....non-spidery.  They had bags of cookies with a sign that read "These are your cookies", so I told Cindy to put them in her bag.  She did not.

  • Starr African Rum:  We were watching a little presentation about some kind of special ice that doesn't melt quickly.  Then the guy gave us samples with the ice.  Samples of the Starr African Rum with the ice, that is.  I didn't realize this until after I gulped it down.  Yikes!  This was Cindy's first alcoholic drink of the day, and she had done the same thing, so ... whoa.  I would have rather had some kind of mixed drink with the rum, but didn't want to stay to wait for him to make more.  They had the prettiest bottles of the day.  It took a lot of waiting for me just to get this picture.

  • Fancifull Fine Food & Baskets:  They had some little samples of cheese and salami and other little things.  Our favorite was the Western Sage Cheddar from Bravo Farms, which is a place I visited on the way home from a meeting in Fresno.  

  • Stephen & Walker Trust Winery:  Their Sauvignon Blanc Green Valley of Russian River Valley was so fruity that it tasted non-alcoholic after that African rum.  Glenn had their port wine.

  • Lunazul 100% Blue Agave:  All 3 of us had shots of the Reposado.  Oh my goodness, it was smooth and yummy.  I would have loved to have taken the whole shot at once, but since it was so tasty, I savored it a little bit.  I need to get some of this on my next trip to BevMo.

  • Evan Williams Honey Reserve Bourbon: Perhaps it's good that this isn't available at BevMo, or I'd be there right now instead of writing this.  Seriously, I want, like, 3 bottles of it.  Honey-y, not bourbon-y, although bourbon-y is good, especially with BBQ. :)

Sherry with empty glasses on Party Street

  • Blackheart Premium Spiced Rum: OK, I thought that I didn't want anymore rum, then I saw that the guy was giving Cindy a whole bunch of it with some Coke.  So I had some, hoping that the Coke would dilute some of the alcohol in my system.  It did not.  I was dizzy.  Glenn had gone for some SmartWater at the Sweets Truck, but he didn't see my text asking him for Red Velvet Cake Balls.  Cindy was busy taking pictures of the dancing bottle from the Korean Cultural Center.  Glenn wondered why I was drinking again if I was already dizzy before he left.  Well, I was thirsty, and this was refreshing and yummy.  Besides, the lady gave me a pirate wench tattoo.  I couldn't help it.  We all decided that we needed real food.  I also decided that I was done drinking.

  • But first, Cindy wanted a bag.  So we went to Don Francisco's to sober up a little with some coffee.  I had the Hawaiian Hazelnut flavor.

  • Ragin Cajun food truck: The nom nom truck had a realllllly long line, so we had some Cajun food.  I had the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo which was quite tasty, and not too spicy, but with good, tasty spiciness.  APPARENTLY, we were sitting in what Paramount uses for a pool when shooting water scenes.  It did not feel refreshing to sit there, though, except for the nice shade.

  • The other WADEs had Gekkeikan Sake while I stood in line for free Fiji Water.  In the same little building, they were giving out Bacon-Wrapped Matzoh Balls from Gorbals.  At first I thought, "bacon-wrapped matzoh?  Isn't this wrong somehow?"  Then I remembered that I shouldn't care because I'm Catholic.  I very much enjoyed my tasty treat, and I'm sorry that they ran out of bacon before Glenn and Cindy got there.  

  • Delicious Wishes of Beverly Hills:  Clearly, Cindy had too much to drink today.  She asked them where they were located.  The gal responded nicely, "Beverly Hills".  ;)  I tried to give Cindy the benefit of the doubt, thinking that she meant their exact location, but that's not what she meant.  Oh, wow, I had a really yummy Peanut Butter Ball, and I want more of those.  This totally made up for not getting anything at the Sweets Truck.

  • We went back down to Party Street (in the Brooklyn portion of the lot), which was the street where I got really drunk on the tequila, bourbon and rum.  I thought that I was done drinking.  I really did.  But I did try whatever was in the same bottle that looked like the dancing bottle.  It was ok, but I threw it out and decided later that it was yucky.

  • Izze:  I had the Sprakling Pomegranate flavor.  It was very good.

  • Glenn came back from wherever he went, and showed us that he got a pen from there when he tried their tequila.  I wanted a pen.  Cindy wanted a pen.  We went there.  There = Don Cardona Tequila.  I don't know which kind I had (probably the Silver, even though I'm not a gentleman), but it came with cranberry juice, so I had some.  It was really good.  APPARENTLY, I wasn't quite done with the drinking.

  • We visited the LA Times Wine Club and got free corkscrews.

  • Cindy then decided to sample whatever drink they were offering at a show.  I don't know what it was, but Glenn went to get some, too.  I was still enjoying my cranberry juice and tequila.  I like this combination.

  • We completed forms with Buick so that we could get free water bottles.  My bag was now full of things out of which I could drink stuff.

  • They went for some curry chicken at SedThee Thai, and I waited for them.  (I am not a fan of curry). 
We decided that we were finally done drinking, and it was time for dinner.  The nom nom truck line wasn't long anymore, so Cindy and I shared a combo of Pork Banh Mi with Pork Tacos.  We would have had the lemongrass chicken in one of the items, but they had run out.  This was the first time that the two of us had eaten banh mi. We are now fans.  NOM NOM!!! 

Glenn had sliders from a different truck, but I can't remember which one.  As we ate in the pool, we listened to She and Him, Zooey Deschanel's band.  I like Zooey, but I could hardly hear her, and we decided that there was something wrong with the mixing board, or there was a problem with the sound operator.  Whatever.  I swear that the first five songs all had the same chord progression.  We left just as they were playing different chords.

  • Cindy reminded Glenn that he wanted dessert, so he got some Coffee Toffee Banana Pudding from Nana Queen's Puddin' & Wings.  I had a taste.  It was yum.  You know I can't resist a nicely dressed banana.  So here she is.

  • Cindy saw that they still had egg tarts at Deluxe Dumplings, so she and I each had one.  Mmmm...egg tart.

  • It's too bad that we couldn't walk around the premises, but I made sure to take a picture of the famous gates as we left.

We had a great time, and didn't even need to go ViP since we didn't even get to every single booth.  I don't think I could have physically done every booth without getting really sick, so that's probably a good thing.  Thanks for the fun, my WADEs, and LA Times!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Made it! Top of the World!

Oscar Noir: Week Fifteen
White Heat
Monday, August 30, 2010

Well, here we are.  Week Fifteen.  I made it!  I had perfect attendance for the series!  Yay, me!  Unfortunately, Liz was unable to attend due to a family issue, but Linda was able to join me for a movie that she loves.  We were given surveys to complete, and no, I was not snarky like I am here.  I very genuinely heaped praise on the series, and hoped that they would offer series passes again next year.  I did not mention the crazy, mean, or fascist people.  I joined with others in giving Randy a nice standing ovation when he got to the stage.  He did put together quite a nice series.  Thank you, Randy.

Short:  "Dedication of Academy Headquarters Footage, Dec. 8, 1975"
It's always fun to look at the fashion of yesteryear.  The footage didn't have any sound, so Randy pointed out celebrities, and so did some of the audience, including Linda.  We laughed about the hors d'oeuvres: remember cocktail weenies were just the tops?  Nowadays, we'd expect much, much more than that at an Academy celebration.

Cartoon:  "Golden Yeggs"
Daffy's back!  I'm telling you, there's something about the ducks and the Noir.  Someone in Porky Pig's hen house laid a golden egg, and the culprit, knowing that there'd be trouble, pointed to Daffy as the egg-layer.  Gangsters offered Porky a deal that he couldn't refuse, and they took Daffy and demanded that he lay an egg for them.  Dudes, Daffy's a BOY DUCK.  Dummies.  But, you know, the real egg-layer kinda looked like a boy duck to me, too.  I asked Linda why Daffy didn't just fly away from the gangster's place.  She said that it was because we were watching a cartoon.  Whatevs.

Feature: "White Heat" (1949), screenplay by Ben Roberts, story by Virginia Kellogg, directed by Raoul Walsh, music by Max Steiner, and starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, and Edmond O'Brien.
  • The film was introduced by Paul Thomas Anderson, screenwriter for "There Will Be Blood", "Magnolia" and "Boogie Nights".  Academy President Tom Sherak introduced Anderson by telling the story of pitching a family-friendly script to Anderson, involving a grandfather and a grandson.  He said that he knew that Anderson was influenced by Film Noir by Anderson's only reaction at the end of the pitch, saying, "OK, but in the third act, the grandson kills the grandfather."  
  • Anderson advised us to keep an eye on the extras in the jail scene when they are all eating their meals.  Cody receives news and reacts to it.  The extras were not told what Cody was going to find out or what he was going to do, so their reaction to Cody was a first-take. 
  • Cagney is a genius.  His portrayal of Cody Jarrett was spot on, and I loved every moment that he was on screen.
  • This is the third film in this series in which Edmond O'Brien plays a role,and this is the biggest one.  He wins in the Oscar Noir series.  I mean, listen.  He's the one that Cagney calls " A Copper!"  How awesome is that?!
  • Ma Jarrett, I'm so glad you weren't my mother, or I'd be leading a life of crime.
  • "You couldn't get me out of here if I was pardoned."  
  • I loved the whole police chase, based on their using a radio signal to triangulate the whereabouts of Cody and his gang.  So old-fashioned for us now, yet so new for them at the time.  The best part of the chase for me, though, was that they were showing a map of Los Angeles County and naming real-life intersections.
  • Virginia Mayo sure did have a lot of fur, even though, as Jarrett told her, "You'd look good in a shower curtain."
  • "It's always 'somebody tipped them'.  Never 'the cops are smart'."
  • The special guests for the evening were Pauline Wagner, who worked with Cagney in "LadyKiller", and a writer working on the biography of Raoul Walsh.
  • Ms. Wagner, who had just turned 100 years old on August 18, was a bundle of funny anecdotes.  The audience giggled so much that at one point, Randy stated that he felt like he was on the wrong show.  She said that during an audition for Cecil B. DeMille, he yelled at her because she couldn't sing.  When she told him that it was he who asked her to screen test, and not her asking to be tested, he laughed and kept her as a credit on every show, no matter if she worked on it or not.  
I've really enjoyed this series, and learned a lot about the Film Noir genre.  Many thanks to the Academy for this great series, which I treated as sort of a film class by making sure that I attended every week and wrote up a little review on my blog.  Although I didn't always stay for the guest commentary, I still hope that my report card says that I passed, with flying black-and-white.