hollywood, because I could

Somebody pinch me.

No, seriously, like every morning I’m going to need someone to pinch me.

After 23 years of life in New York City, I am finally a resident of the endlessly ecelctic City of Los Angeles, California.

Adding to the surealness of this new chapter of my life is the fact that my husband and I drove across country in four days with three cats in the back-seat.  Without incident, I might add.

Cats are not as easy to transport as dogs.  They are very “who-moved-my-cheese” when it comes to new places, so strange hotel rooms are constant resets.  Strangely enough, all three were pretty excited about being in our new hotel room each night (possibly due to being out of their cages after long days).

Our drive from New York to California was South by Southwest, stopping in Roanoke, Little Rock, Albuquerque and finally our new home in Downtown Los Angeles.  Or, as the locals say, DTLA.
 
The whirlwind of it all was rewarded with time to decompress, and in the first three days we were able to take in much of the city and a little of its suburbs.

In three days, we were able to debunk three myths about La La Land:

1) Nobody walks in L.A.
2) Nobody takes the subway.
3) Everybody is so phony and fake.

Not true.

DTLA is extremely walkable.  The subways are way cleaner and more efficiant than New York City.  And everyone I’ve come across so far has been the real deal.  Unless they were just an aspiring actor playing “real.”

It’s so hard to tell these days.

Cities - Talking Heads

Think of London, a small city
It's dark, dark in the daytime
The people sleep, sleep in the daytime
If they want to, if they want to
I'm checking them out
I'm checking them out
I got it figured out
I got it figured out
There's good points and bad points
Find a city
Find myself a city to live in.
There are a lot of rich people in Birmingham
A lot of ghosts in a lot of houses
Look over there!...A dry ice factory
A good place to get some thinking done
Down El Paso way things get pretty spread out
People got no idea where in the world they are
They go up north and come back south
Still got no idea where in the world they are.
Did I forget to mention, to mention Memphis
Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks
Do I smell? I smell home cooking
It's only the river, it's only the river.


Jeremiah Moss - On Cities Changing

Jeremiah Moss's Vanishing New York blog has served me, and countless other New Yorkers like me, of the city's change for the worse.

His new book Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul, has been extremely helpful as I put in perspective my departure of New York City.  Both Jeremiah and I have been New Yorkers for the same period of over 20 years.  I believe we've crossed paths multiple times as we took in the vanishing bars, movie houses, bookshops, cafés, concert venues, and specialty shops.

Here's a passage from the conclusion of his book, which really struck a chord with me...




For generations, New Yorkers have both celebrated a grieved the city's changeability.  Harper's claimed in 1856 that New York is "never the same city for a dozen years together.  A man born in New York forty years ago finds nothing, absolutely nothing, of the New York he knew."  More recently, Colson Whitehead declared: "You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is there now."  Fair enough.  But as I hope this book has illustrated, the nature of urban change has changed.  As Adam Gopnik put it, "Cities change.  It is their nature.  Those which stop changing stop being cities.  Cities that change entirely, though, cease to be themselves."  For years now, New York hasn't been itself.  It is being de-urbanized.  

goodbye new york


You may have seen it on social media if you follow me there, but it's official.  We're moving to Los Angeles in a few weeks.

I've lived in New York City for almost 22 years, and in that time I've had some incredible experiences.  I've never lived anywhere else longer than here, and it's bittersweet to leave friends and family behind.

So, due to opportunity out West, we've loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.  Okay, not really.  We have people loading the truck (and packing) for us.  And we're moving to DTLA, which like everywhere in Los Angeles is only a 20 minute drive away.

I'd like to say a studio has bought the rights to this blog for a new Netflix series, but I can't really go into the details right now.  Also, that's not true.  But, we're driving across country with three cats, and if that's not material for a Nat Geo or Animal Planet live-streaming special, I don't know what is. 

Keep tuned to the blog here for updates, and if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you'll probably get some live-video on there during the move and after.




Christmas is for Zinger Zappers



When talking Christmas memories with folks from the New York area, there's always a strong denial that Dolly Madison snack cakes never existed.

Not to be confused with First Lady Dolley Madison, Dolly Madison was a bakery that produced a variety of sugary, processed baked goods that really took off when they associated with the Peanuts characters.  

Probably due to regional preference to Drake's Cakes, amount other East Coast snacks, the Dolly Madison commercials, products, and apparently packaging, never really made it to the New York Tri-State area.

That's a shame, because my East coast friends will never associate A Charlie Brown Christmas with the incredibly addictive coconut covered raspberry Zinger.  This snack was so good, you would eat it even when it was crushed by a thermos in your lunchbox.


Luckily, we have Fandom to gather the proof of Dolly Madison's long-time association with the Peanuts gang.  A lot of the original commercials I remember as a kid are available on YouTube.  Recreate your memories of Zinger Zappers below, or prove to your East coast deniers that this existed...









The World I Knew
Todd Leaves New York City

I know this is slightly corny, but I've always had a soft spot for the quasi-Christian rock band Collective Soul.   

Their eponymous second album was released around the same time I moved to New York City, so there's one song from it that always sticks.

Hitting the charts around now, 21 years ago, THE WORLD I KNOW might be the most perfect summation of my emotional state as a prepare to leave Manhattan for Hollywood.  I'm not usually a lyrics person (I hear the music before I listen to the words), but this air-guitar ballad pretty much nails it.


The World I Know
Collective Soul

Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don't know why
Are we listening
Hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I've been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one, into one
So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know
Oh it's the world I know
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don't know why, don't know why
So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know
Oh it's the world I know
So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world belo
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know

Oh it's the world I know



the last ten films I've seen...

HIGH TIDE (John Reinhardt, 1947)
STRAW DOGS (Sam Peckinpah, 1971)
THE BODY SNATCHER (Robert Wise, 1945)
PURPLE NOON (René Clément, 1930)
ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (Charles Barton, 1948)
HALLOWEEN (John Carpenter, 1978)
HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (Joe Chappelle, 1995)
MAGIC (Richard Attenborough, 1978)
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)
SIGN 'O' THE TIMES (Prince, 1987)

a new album from
THE HORRORS

At long last a new album from one of my favorite modern bands THE HORRORS.

They get more commercial in sound with each release, but they're still dark and spooky.  Dig the first track HOLOGRAM here...


MY OUTDOOR MOVIE FESTIVAL

Since moving into our awesome apartment in 2013, Craig and I have hosted epic screenings outside on our terrace (with the exception of 2014's terrace closure).

Amidst the backdrop of midtown Manhattan, here's every film we've screened to date, and some of the opening trailer reels I created for these special nights:

2017 (so far)






2016



 











2015


 

 

  

















2013



 










FOUR FRAMES PER FILM

One year ago, I started the Twitter account FOUR FRAMES PER SECOND.

While I wish I had the time to do this every day, I do plan to post more in the upcoming year.

Bonus points to anyone that can identify all of the frames in the 50 films below...


Criterion Collection's MILDRED PIERCE
a restoration explained

If you're a CRITERION COLLECTION nut like me, this is what we get excited about.  A beautiful detailed look at what went into the new 4K restoration of MILDRED PIERCE...


Gotham City of Stars

I've been trying to figure out where I've heard the opening of the La La Land tune City of Stars before.

Not to ruin your Oscar weekend, but...


La La Land - the video game

Just when you thought La La Land couldn't get any more annoying, here's the 8-Bit Cinema video game edition...

a bit more of the old IN and OUT



IN                                                         OUT

Grey                                                    Black

Janelle Monae                                               Beyoncé

                        "RESIST"                                  "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN"

KenKen                                                    Sudoku

Butter                                                    Bacon

Cash                                                  PayPal

$200 Chromebook                              $1000 iPad Pro

FilmStruck                                            SeeSo

Dungeons & Dragons                          Game of Thrones

James Baldwin                                     Ta-Nehisi Coates

MET Opera                                     Terminal 5

Iced Americano                                   Ice Coffee 

Rasputin                                   Hamilton


Chartreuse                                        Bitters

               Snow                                              Snapchat      

President Donald Trump
The Simple Child

Trump, the Simple Child, answers your Passover questions:
Why is this night different from all other nights? Let me tell you. It's a very special night, you know. Very special. We may be eating flat bread, which I gotta tell you is a little bland, but I'll be able to do something about that. Where was I. Oh, right, you know there was no way that Pharaoh was going to let your people go. No way. But you know what he did. He let them go. We are going to do that sort of thing to, you know. We are going to let our people go and make America great again. So many people. Many of them happen to be Jews. Jews that voted for me, some of which are at this seder table right now. I think a lot of Jews want to see a change. And speaking of change, Melania sitting over there on the orthopedic cushion would like to replace this roasted egg with a more permanent faberge egg you can enjoy for Passovers to come. Okay? Thank you.


Now Ranting on ScreenRant

Since starting this blog way back in 2004, I've grown to love writing a little more with each passing year.

It has been an honor to share my life with, at least a hundred people through the years.  And I have the incredible 21¢ from Google Analytics to prove it.

Of course, my real fifteen minutes of fame has come from a side-gig over at the incomparably cool Forces of Geek, where I've had the pleasure of sharing movie reviews, nostalgia trips and now a new podcast about sequels, remakes and reboots called Oh No They Didn't.

If there's one thing that my recent professional full-time job seeker gig has generated, it's a desire to be a lot more creative on a daily basis.  I've probably started more side projects during the past few months than I can keep track of.

But now I'm being paid to write about the biz, and I'm enjoying the structure a lot.

You can now read my work over at ScreenRant here. I'm on their News beat for starters, but hopefully I'll be able to get some interviews and reviews up in due time.



You'll continue to find Beware of the Blog a great place for my occasional personal rants, shares of ephemeral knowledge and incredibly well structured Haikus.

In the meantime, please bookmark all the links above, and do subscribe to the new podcast over on iTunes or Google Play (better yet, write us up a glowing review).


EXORCIST II &
MANNEQUIN ON THE MOVE
WORST SEQUELS EVER! vol. 1
OH NO THEY DIDN'T podcast

On this episode of Forces of Geek presents OH NO THEY DIDN'T! we're going back to two of the worst sequels ever made:

Exorcist II: The Heretic and Mannequin on the Move



 Was Hollywood possessed by Pazuzu?

 Give us your best cheek bones and let the power of crap compel you.

 It's the first of what we're sure will be many WORST SEQUELS EVER episodes.

 Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play, and if you like the show, please write us a nice review there!

Donald Trump's LinkedIn Profile SUCKS


Here in America, we used to value not only our electoral process, but the resumes of past Presidential elects.

So if you're just joining us, our new President had never been elected to a public office prior, nor has he served in and/or ranked in our military.

In other fun facts, his Cabinet will be the first without a Hispanic member since 1988. There is also a smaller percentage of women and nonwhites than the first cabinets of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush.

This marks the first President since Truman without a Pet in the White House (though his VP was ironically named Barkley).

Oh, and Donald Trump will be the first President of the United States in 25 years to not have a graduate degree of any kind.

His LinkedIn profile also sucks, so don't get me started. Very, very bad. No endorsements. Should be ashamed.

ROGUE ONE: A Star Wars Story
OH NO THEY DIDN'T! podcast



A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...


OH NO THEY DIDN'T!

We're talking about the prequel to Episode IV, or the sequel to Episode III, depending on your generation's affinity for the STAR WARS saga. Also, we discuss the trailers for THE MUMMY reboot, the BLADE RUNNER sequel, and the latest casting updates for the MARY POPPINS thingy.


Please review our show and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes athttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/oh-no-they-didnt!/id1120504077?mt=2


We're also on TWITTER at @ONTDpodcast so please feel free to give us ideas for future episodes!

The Best Songs of 2016

What a great year for music.

As downbeat as the year was, I gravitated towards more upbeat music.    That said, there are plenty of ironic, contrasting lyrics.

For more, monthly, be sure to follow me on SPOTIFY.

WESTWORLD - Oh No They Didn't podcast



Description Sexy robots, programmed for your pleasure have taken over this episode of OH NO THEY DIDN'T! 

We're talking Westworld (the 1973 version, the 1976 sequel, the 1980s television series, and the 2016 HBO series) on the latest episode of the podcast. 

Also, we discuss upcoming planned remakes of DUNE, FREAKY FRIDAY, and BEACHES, as well as the sequels to PACIFIC RIM, WEDDING CRASHERS and THE DARK CRYSTAL. 

Be sure to rate us and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/oh-no-they-didnt!/id1120504077?mt=2


the last ten films I've seen

DREAMSCAPE (Joseph Ruben, 1984)
THE CONJURING 2 (James Wan, 2016)
SALEM'S LOT (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
HALLOWEEN (John Carpenter, 1978)
THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE (Edward L. Cahn, 1959)
WIZARD MODE (Nathan Drillot & Jeff Petry, 2016)
INFERNO (Ron Howard, 2016)
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Whit Stillman, 2016)
MOANA (John Musker & Ron Clements, 2016)
M (Fritz Lang, 1931)

Are You Celebrating?

• for those who voted because you're republican • 
Are you celebrating a victory for your party, despite your loss of dignity in how you got it?


• for those who voted for "anyone but her" • 
 Are you still standing by your decision to throw away your vote, on a third party candidate that you “trusted” or “liked” more?


• for those who voted in the face of your people • 
Do you think your vote for him makes you a conservative Jew, African-American, Latino, Hispanic, or Muslim?


• for those who didn't vote with your vagina • 
Do you feel safer as a woman with a white male leader that devalues your equality?


• for those who think america isn't as great as it was before • 
How do you think we're viewed in the eyes of other nations today?


• for those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman •
 How do you justify your superiority to gay friends, family and colleagues?

The Story and Sounds of
THE HAUNTED MANSION

This is the most formative album of my youth.  I think I played it so many times that it turned as white as a ghost.

I didn't even mind that the main dude sounded like Richie from Happy Days.




Behind the scenes of HALLOWEEN

Check out today's (DAY 20) post on EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN, my October side project.

Some great behind the scenes photos from the 1978 classic John Carpenter film.

Just click on Michael Myers (Nick Castle) taking a Dr. Pepper break...