Monday, February 27, 2012

Contests, silly or fun?

I entered a contest. Silly or fun?

I don't enter a lot of contests. Can't keep up with all the requirements. But I realllly want some new furniture. I like the look of the stuff on Epoch Designs. Crossing my fingers!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My New Social Network

I have a whole new group of friends. It took me awhile to get all of their names straight. There were so many of them, and almost all at once. They were all colors, shapes and sizes, and while I didn’t lack a social life before, I now found myself befriending many types of animals and creatures as well. It was a strange new world, getting to know them all and getting up to speed with all of their likes and dislikes. They rarely leave my house, but unlike stereotypical houseguests, they never leave wet towels anywhere, they don’t have any special dietary requirements, and they don’t mind sleeping in a heap from time to time. Of course, not once has one of them ever offered to clean up, but I guess you can’t win them all. Isn’t it enough to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, school friends, skating friends, the local baristas, people at my husband’s office . . . just anyone I need to remember. But this? This I didn’t see coming.

Barney was first on the scene. He was easy to remember because, well, he was large and blinded us with his personal shade of purple. Then came Old Panda, followed by Hopkins the frog (Hop-Hop for short). This tiny green frog began dominating our every move. Can’t get in the car without Hop-Hop! Can’t go to bed without Hop Hop! The Panda family had to keep up with the Frogs-es, and grew steadily as Baby Panda, Amanda Panda, New Panda, another Baby Panda, Little Panda and Crawley (don’t ask) joined the fray.
Not wanting to be outdone, the frogs leaped ahead with Eggo, Stripey, KK Frog, Kermit and some large ball of green fur that has yet to be named. Barney, thankfully, didn’t bring along any friends.

Eventually this crew allowed other species to make their way into the living room, but not into the kids’ beds. That is sacred territory. Only a spaceman of extreme worthiness could bridge that gap, and his landing occurred in late 2009.
Buzz Lightyear’s leadership relegated the miscellaneous monkeys and zoo creatures that had filled in the gap between birthday and Christmas to a small pop up tent, seemingly content to lie in a heap of inattention. Then Barbie made her grand entrance and all hell broke loose.

She pranced in and guess who wasn’t far behind? Princesses, with all their accompanying pink and sparkly paraphernalia. Anyone who knows me knows I love pink. But at first glance, I wanted to ask, “Who shot the bottle of Pepto Bismal?” The inanimate amongst us built a small village in my living room, but the good news is that they now had their own mobility options. Trucks and cars of varying behaviors parked themselves on the Thomas table and under chairs. A garbage truck aptly named ‘I Stink!’ by my son became the preferred mode of transport for a small giraffe named, oh hell, I have no idea what his name is.

Alas, my head swimming in more names than I’ll ever remember and more faces daily that blur my eyes are now the audience to which I must cater. Who gets to sleep in bed? Who gets to go in the car? Who watches you eat breakfast? No, they can’t go to school with you. You have real friends there. I know, I know, these friends ARE real. Sigh. I just sometimes wish my kids had imaginary friends. They would be far less messy, could go anywhere with us at any time (except the bathroom – PLEASE LET ME PEE IN PEACE!!), and I’d never trip over them or take an unexpected ride across the living room, face first into the couch because they got left behind in the rush of everyone trying to play with the same toy at once.

I rarely have time to talk on the phone, and without Facebook I might have less of that aforementioned 'social life'. But when I see the wonder on my children’s faces as they talk to Charlotte, Hazel, Stripey, Eggo, Hop Hop or whoever, and make up stories to create this ‘real’ environment, I have to pause and wonder. These stuffed friends remain in previous centuries, blissfully unaware of digital friendship. It’s like they know something about being face to face. Despite the fact that they are so loved they almost have no faces left. Hmmm.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rescue Bots

I thought his head would explode when I told Chase we were invited to preview the new Transformers (Hub TV) show, “Rescue Bots”. Held at the L.A. Fire Dept. Historical Museum in Hollywood, at Station 27, the museum alone would have been enough to bring it to fever pitch. Featuring several antique fire trucks, engines, a huge collection of old fire hoses, hats, uniforms and displays of equipment, there was so much to see. We explored the large than life statues in the courtyard,
examining the detail of fire hoses and uniforms, then made our way inside and upstairs to have a snack and watch Rescue Bots.

Cushy bean bags had been set up for viewers and I have to say I was surprised that the show was pretty well done. The writing was good (even some humor for parents) and the characters were interesting. My son was captivated.

Afterward I had the opportunity to interview a few of the voice actors from the show. Chase helped me, asking Elan Garfias and DC Douglas if they liked their jobs. He was most interested in DC Douglas, the voice of ‘Police Bot, Chase’. I could see him trying to figure out how the same voice came out of this tall man AND the cartoon on screen, and has his same name. Then he wandered off to check out the hats again.
Garfias’ parents got him into his first voiceover job at five years old, feeding him the lines because he couldn’t read. DC Douglas’ resonant voice made for a great conversation, during which he shared his favorite childhood cartoon to be Speed Racer.

Also on hand was Maurice La Marche, famed Canadian stand up comic and voiceover veteran.
He was as kind as could be and super friendly, sharing his experiences in the voiceover world and his excitement at seeing that what he had voiced (Chief Burns) worked well in Rescue Bots. With credits such as the original Beany & Cecil, Dennis the Menace and the uncredited role of Buddy's Belch in Elf (2003), La Marche has thrice portrayed Orson Welles in "The Critic" (1994), Ed Wood (1994) and “The Simpsons-Treehouse of Horror XVII” (2006). He also provided voices for the 1984 "Transformers" series, the film of which was Welles' last performance. La Marche is only the third person in history, and the second in the last 50 years, to be the official voice of Popeye.

The series premiere of “Transformers Rescue Bots” will be Saturday, February 18th at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT on The Hub. Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I was invited to attend the screening through Moms LA. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

Most ridiculous statement ever.

"Tony Bennett, the evening's first performer, recounted other recent big-name deaths in the music industry. 'First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now the magnificent Whitney Houston,' he said. 'Let's legalize drugs, like Amsterdam. It's a very sane city now.'"

Following the death of Whitney Houston, the pre-Grammy celebration at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, music industry celebrities and executives paid tribute to Houston. I am appalled that as a society we know what drugs and alcohol do to your body. The way they ravage and destroy your life. And yet someone like Tony Bennett has the nerve to make this statement. As if the reason for Ms. Houston's death would have been acceptable if drugs were legalized. Whether or not she perished from prescription medications directly or not, she clearly struggled to overcome her addictions.

For anyone fighting their demons, this is a slap in the face and an utterly ignorant thing to say. I have lost all respect for Tony Bennett.