Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex and Demons

Yes, in that order! The rainy weather here has forced me indoors to partake of one of my favorite indoor activities: movies. Recently I joined the many other American women in my demographic group and went to see Sex and the City, which I loved, loved, loved. (Did I say "love" enough times?) It was romantic, sad and funny. I liked the script and the chemistry between the characters. Mr. Big was big-screen handsome. And the shoes and clothes! The bird in Sarah Jessica Parker's head! How about those bridal gowns? The Carolina Herrera version alone was enough to make me want to remarry.

And here is the embarassing confession: I had never seen this show. Not one episode, despite all the praise my friends have heaped upon it and all the media articles that have covered it throughout the years. Yes, I have been living under a rock. I'm not much of a chick-flick kind of gal, but now I may have to Netflix a few seasons' worth of SATC.

To counteract all the visual estrogen, recently I also rented Hellboy, Guillermo del Toro's 2004 film based on the comic strip about an angst-ridden demon conjured up by the Nazis who is rescued as an infant and adopted by a loving paranormal researcher. With his unusual strength, Hellboy grows up to defend mankind against the forces of darkness but is constantly at odds with the fact that he is a demon. He is also in love with a woman who is plagued by unwanted powers of her own.

This is a funny, suspenseful and beautifully shot film. I watched it a few years ago but wanted to get in a more recent viewing before the July release of its sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. I have high expectations for the sequel and I'm very nervous about that. You know how sequels can be. I'm very excited to see it, even if the sun eventually makes an appearance for the summer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fremont Sunday Market

In the spirit of disclosure, I have to admit that we went to the Fremont Sunday Market today and I did not bring my camera. Bad, blogger, bad! I will try to be a better blogger tomorrow. For now, I am using an image from this Web site that provides really good information about the funky, artsy, good-humored neighborhood we call Fremont. This is really what it looked like today: Sunny skies, short-and-Ts weather and a lot of color.

Fremont sits in the northern part of Seattle and is quite an eclectic place. There is a statue of Vladmir Lenin standing near a Taco del Mar eatery and a giant troll grabbing a Volkswagen under a bridge. In the summer, we look forward to the Fremont Solstice Parade, which starts off with creatively painted nude bicyclists zipping by (the uptights have a field day with this one) and continues with an amazingly creative and funny procession of non-commercial, non-motorized displays. I don't think my kids ever see me laugh as much as I do during the parade. If we go this year, I promise to bring my camera.

In Fremont, there is also a corporate presence, represented by companies such as Adobe, Google and Getty Images. As I mentioned, it's pretty eclectic there.

The Fremont Sunday Market is the bomb. There are so many vendors selling food, flowers, produce, textiles, collectibles, used CDs, toys, etc. The dog-watching is pretty fun, too, especially since there are more dogs than children in Seattle. I bought a new cotton bucket-style hat for $10. My son, Mr. Pubescent-Rocker, bought a used Metallica CD for $4 and a used Swiss Army knife for $5. The vendor had a ton of Swiss Army knives in a variety of colors and said they came via airport security confiscation. I got my daughter, Miss Thang, a necklace with carved wooden zebras on it for $1. The necklace really does look as hokey as it sounds, but hey, it was $1, and Miss Thang cherishes it. My husband, the Silent Swede, didn't buy anything, but he did enjoy munching on the fresh Kettle Corn we bought from one of the booths.

Even if you don't buy anything, the Market a fun place to people-watch, chat with the vendors and look around at all the collectibles. I was tempted to buy my sister Lena, who used to worship New Kids on the Block, an old "New Kids Sucks" T-shirt, but I couldn't pony up the $15 asking price. Sorry, Lena. You can always catch them if they do a concert here, because, quelle horreur, they are touring again!

I was also tempted to buy a roll of toilet paper that featured George W. Bush's smiling mug on every square but restrained myself because I AM on a budget. At that same booth, I also refrained from buying the sticker that said, "I see your point but I still think you're full of shit." I'm going to have use that phrase more often.

After we were done with the Market, we walked down about a block to sit near the water, munch a little more on our Kettle Corn and check out all the kayakers, bikers and boaters who came on by. "It's better than watching a movie!" enthused Miss Thang and I have to agree with her.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Me Like Blogs

I lead a rich, adventurous life. In my head. My real-world life is pretty good, too, but let's face it: When you're a married mother of two living in the 'burbs, there's only so much excitement you can squeeze out buying a new Swiffer Duster, finding a good off-leash dog park and discovering that your children DO like vegetables.

This is when I turn to the blogs. They make me laugh, think, drool, and usually all of the above. It's like visiting interesting people and hearing their thoughts, only they are accessible to you 24/7 and they can't grab you if they're a little crazy.

Here is a partial list of some of my favorites. Aren't you glad you asked?

AlohaWorld. This is a fun place for anyone interested in Hawaii but especially so for us former Hawaii residents who now make our home elsewhere. My favorite feature on AlohaWorld is the Ohana Lanai message board, where I can connect with other "ex-pats" from all over the world and discuss our nostalgia for the foods, culture and people we left behind. They are an especially kind and supportive group of people with a wicked sense of humor, so there are a lot of fart jokes. You never saw THAT in Magnum PI, did you?

Project Rungay. Right now I don't have any (outwardly) gay friends, so this is where I go when I crave fashion tips and witty gossip. Tom and Lorenzo, or TLo, as they are collectively called, started this blog when they became entranced with the talented, ass-kicking Laura Bennett, a contestant from Season 2 of Project Runway. Things went wild from there and now TLo get invited to all the big fashion events. Thankfully, they bring their cameras and and keen observations and then they share.

The Consumerist. Which are the best and worst companies for customer service? Why do we hate Comcast? Now what has Wal-Mart done? I think you get the picture.

dlisted. Yes, I have a mean streak, and I take it out on celebrities and celebrity-wannabes. This blog is hilariously and crude. I guess that makes it hilariously crude. Hey, I don't write the stuff; I just read it. Might be NSFW, but it depends on your workplace.

Overheard in New York. I just discovered this and it's become one of my new favorites. Just goes to prove that New Yorkers are as stupid as the rest of us.

The Tasty Island. Pure. Food. Porn. From. Hawaii.

Snopes. The next time your Aunt Bethel sends you another Internet "warning" about gang members abducting children from parking lots or people who are drugged at bars and wake up missing key body parts, check it out at this urban legends Web site. A woman whom I barely know keeps forwarding me hysterical "warnings, " 99 percent of which is deemed false by Snopes researchers. For a while I kept sending this woman the URL for Snopes as a hint, but some people enjoy sending false info, so now I have the Delete key especially reserved for her.

BBC. Because after you've been updated on food, fashion and celebrity gossip, it's good to find out what else is happening in the world.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bowing Down at the Starbucks Shrine

Starbucks-bashing seems to be the trend nowadays, but I can't join in. I love their lattes, their baked goods, the friendly service and even the canned jazz. Sure, if there's an independent coffee shop nearby that offers good service, quality and ambiance, I'll go there and support the little guy instead of The Man. But sometimes I'm in an area where I'm unfamiliar with the businesses, and if there is no friendly local to point me in the right direction, coming across a Starbucks is like finding that lighthouse after you've been thrashing around at sea for a while.

Still, there is such a thing as too much. Near my house are three Starbucks, in addition to two Spotted Cows (a wonderful locally owned coffee shop and ice creamery that makes homemade ice cream to die for) and countless drive-through espresso stands. I would support all of them but my body can only ingest so much caffeine before my eyeballs pop out. The amazing thing is that, despite so much competition, all of these places stay pretty busy.

I think of these places whenever I hear my guy Lewis Black spout his tirade against having so many Starbucks in the world. Every time I listen to it I find myself laughing while nodding in agreement. Let me know what YOU think.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Serenity Now, Serenity Now ...

Tough day got you down? Are current events making you anxious but your worry beads are nowhere to be found? Help is on the way -- Just click here and feel your troubles melt away.

(This is totally safe for work, in case you were worried about that, too!)