To Live & Ride In L.A.

To Live & Ride In L.A.
from TRAFIK on Vimeo

Just found this clip on, and as I was watching it unspool way too quickly I kept thinking “Awesome!” and  “I wish this were longer — like feature length.” Then at the end my prayers were answered when the screen read:  “Coming 2010.”

While it seems focused on the scene’s youthful fixed-gear niche, this old single-speed freewheeler is very much looking forward to this.

Brooks Was Here

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Shawshank Redemption. Twenty? Thirty? I’ll probably see it that many times again before I shuffle off. It is one of my favorite motion pictures. It is one of the best ever made. Out of all of its magic — and every freakin’ frame is nothing but the stuff — the one slice that never fails to break my heart and reduce me to a blubbering snuffling wreck no matter how many times I see it is this brilliant, brilliant one — a short film in and of itself, starring James Whitmore:

The actor died today in Malibu at the age of 87. Rest in peace.

I Am A Dirty, Dirty Man

Agh. I waited too long. For the past however many days I’ve been snickering ever time I biked by a monster billboard north of Venice Boulevard at National, and of course I knew better to get a snap of it while I could, but I didn’t and this morning, it’s gone. Bah.

The billboard up until yesterday was part of a mega ad campaign promoting the DVD release of a 50th-anniversary edition of  Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” and most prominently featured the above classic moment when Prince Charming is about to bestow the kiss that will awaken her from her comatose state.

I’d seen several variations on the promo featuring different scenes accompanied by the headline of “See More Than Ever Before,” but whoever created and approved the pairing of that headline with the above image of Charming positioned atop the pronated babe either is really really numbskulled or — more likely, gawd bless ’em –  knew exactly what the hell they were double entendre-ing.

“Sleeping Booty,” anyone?

An Occasional Look At Favorite Shirts: Batman

Previous entries here: Leonardo, Vote, Midnight Ridazz

No, not this Batman currently breaking box-office records in all its awesomeness, that one. The one that started it all. The one with the campy Caped Crusader and the campier Joker and the campiest songs by Prince.

Don’t know how old the oldest shirt you have in your collection is, but though there’s some cracking and peeling evident, this one’s still in surprisingly good condition considering it dates back to Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Freakin’ Nine. When the smallest portable cellphone was the size of a brick and twice the weight, when the intarneight was barely more than a gleam in Al Gore’s eye, when you could go to the airport with someone leavin’ on a jetplane and wave at them from the gate while they waved at your from inside the plane.

Good gosh: my daughter still had a couple months to go before she was born.

I’m pretty sure I bought this one at the old Burbank Miller’s Outpost that used to stand across the street from NBC, and damn if I didn’t wear it proudly in the days leading up to the film’s June 23 opening — and to the theater, too.

And today.

Things I’d Like To Do This Weekend

In no real order:

  1. Haircut.
  2. Take the dogs for a good long neighborhood walk.
  3. See “The Dark Knight” with Susan.
  4. Replace the bottom bracket on my bike and maybe get a new handlebar stem, and a new chain and while I’m at it swap out the brakes (and put them back on my road bike) with the new set that’s been sitting in my closet since a week after I got the bike last January.
  5. Drop off my rear wheel at Orange 20 to get it rebuilt with a new hub, because the bargain-basement loose-bearing hub that came with the bike is toast.
  6. Hit a driving range because I’m scheduled to play in a business trip golf tournament (at this PGA championship-level course in Savannah, Georgia, where I’m bound to break records for the highest score — even with steady practice) in less than two months and I haven’t so much as picked up my clubs in more than two years (other than to put them in the basement).
  7. Go to an AT&T store and get the new iPhone because I can’t wait no longer — but I’ll have to because by “get” I mean wait 10 days (or more) for it to arrive because the AT&T stores around town are apparently on a no-stock/shipment-only basis. Yes, that’s right. I’d rather wait a week-and-a-half (or more) than in line at The Grove for an hour or so. Because I hate lines. And because I hate The Grove. And yes I understand there are other Apple Stores out there. I’m not an idiot. I hate the Beverly Center, too. And the Glendale Galleria.
  8. Put Buster through a test day and night run in his new outdoor tortoise house I built last month.
  9. Go for a Sunday morning bike ride.
  10. And probably a half-dozen other things I can’t recall right now because it’s Friday afternoon and I just wanna go home and chill with my baby and a DVD.

UPDATED (07.27): 1. Not done. 2. Not done. 3. Done. 4. Partially done. 5. Done. 6. Done, and didn’t hit too badly for a two-year layoff. 7. Done. 8. Done. 9. Not done. 10. Well, I did laundry and watered the yards. Bonus unseen big task: Basically rebuilt the bottom of the new tortoise hutch, replacing the screen and slats with plywood.

Stardust Memories

Just a quick paragraph or two about the movie Stardust, which Susan and I watched last night and which despite being a top-shelf big-budgeted production delivered such a disappointing blip on the domestic box office radar during its theatrical release last summer  (regardless of a relatively positive critical reception) as to leave forgettable me thinking when it arrived in the mail from Netflix last week that it was a different movie entirely (specifically: Across the Universe). It even took me a couple minutes in from the beginning to realize it wasn’t.

And I loved it. L O V E D it! Visually stunning, beautifully performed, delightfully fantastical and wonderfully paced, discovering Stardust is something of a bittersweet triumph in seeing how fantastic it was while also knowing how much it was ignored by U.S. moviegoers.

So next time you’re in the video store or adding films to your Netflix list, think about giving Stardust a try. It’s magically delicious!

Iron Man: There Will Be Cheese

So my main beef — quite literally — with Iron Man derives in the first couple scenes when Tony Stark is safely back on U.S. soil after having been held prisoner by terrorists for long enough to McGuyver Iron Man 1.0 and kick their collective holy-waring ass. The first thing he does is turn to his colleague in the limousine that’s ready to whisk them away from the freedom bird that brought him back to his homeland of Southern California and he says that the first thing he wants is an “American cheeseburger.” In the scene immediately following he emerges from the limo to a bunch of news cameras and reporters and his driver hands him… a bag that just so happens to prominently feature the Burger King logo.

Seriously Mr. Stark, a Whopper is the best you and your crew could do? Not that I don’t put BK near the top of my fastfood burger list, but hear me out. When one of the richest most successful and powerful men in the world returns home to a hero’s welcome after miraculously surviving three months of captivity at the hands of extremist goons in the rugged and isolated Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California mountains of Afghanistan, he could pretty much snap one finger and contract TV’s Extreme Home Makeover team to build and equip him a burger stand in about an hour, and with the other finger staff the grill with the finest chef in all the land while simultaneously having a pound of the finest and freshest Angus or Kobe beef delivered.

If not something that over-the-top, at very least hit an In-N-Out or Tommy’s — or better yet, the resurrected Mo’ Better Meatty Meat Burger goodness of Indulge Cafe at Pico and Redondo.

But instead, in this movie that begs me at every turn to willingly suspend my disbelief, I’m expected to swallow that the best that could be done to fulfill this man’s first desire was a warmed-over Whopper? Snagged from the drive-through no doubt? Gah!

With the exception of some other petty issues, this is pretty much the one thing in the entire motion picture that jerked me back to the reality and screamed of product placement.

Those other gripes deal with:

  1. Director Jon Favreau’s cameo scenes as Tony Stark’s bodyguard — was that really necessary?
  2. The whole unrequited love thing between Stark and Penny — yawn!
  3. The climactic finale seemed decidedly not quite fantastic enough — more please!

If you haven’t already figured it out, the shallow extent of such peckings means I thought the movie rocked.

P.S. And there’s a reason to sit through the credits — all of them.