Weekend Thoughts: Holiday Road

The other night I fell asleep with the TV on. I had this odd dream about National Lampoon’s Vacation and the John Candy Wally World scene. Very strange. I woke up around 3 a.m. and turned the TV off. I got to thinking about it in the morning and discovered why I was having that dream (or least partly why) …

Man, that’s catchy.

For additional entertainment be sure to check out Rashida Jones singing the “I Love Stuffing” song. Or at hulu.com. She is great. You may remember her in the “Prop 8: The Musical” video featuring Sacramento Community College.

A random post about a dream I had to a Sacramento connection in 8.6 seconds. A new record!

A Christmas Tale: DVD Review

Looking for a good holiday movie? Stick to the classics. Whatever you do, skip A Christmas Tale by Arnaud Desplechin. This newly released DVD can be found tucked alongside The Grinch that Stole Christmas, Elf, Home Alone, and dozens of other feel-good standards. But don’t be duped. This film doesn’t deserve such good company. The DVD jacket is dressed with quality quotes of positive film reviews, one going so far as to name it “#1 film of the year.” Let’s be honest. This is the #1 yawn of the year.

The movie takes place in France, so you’ll need to read subtitles. It’s about a dysfunctional family: the sister banishes a brother from her life; the mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness; and the grandson is sent to a mental institution. Then the whole family comes together for the holiday, and the viewer must endure their puffy speeches and trying interactions. The only likeable moments are those shared between the outcast son and his mother, whose constant banter about hating one another is clearly their distant manner of sharing affection.

Despite the jacket’s description of the film as a “black comedy,” Continue reading “A Christmas Tale: DVD Review”

Boo at the Zoo

We took the family to “Boo at the Zoo” for some Halloween revelry Saturday night. It was a great costume party for the whole town, and it seemed like the whole town was there — they might want to open up a little bit more of the zoo next year. Since they had the train going down the main avenue I take it that area is not off limits at night: they should probably open that up to take some of the strain off the narrow walkways around the pond. The dance party tent was a great addition.

The best costume I saw on a grownup was a guy in a Halo soldier costume wearing an apron and carrying a spatula: “Master Chef.” Nice work, whoever you are. I also saw a totally scary Ray Trethaway costume. 🙂

Haunted Sacramento: Your Guide to a Happy Halloween


Possible Halloween costumes: junior high P.E. teacher (wig, sweatshirt, and gym shorts found at local thrift store)
Possible Halloween costumes: junior high P.E. teacher (wig, sweatshirt, and gym shorts found at local thrift store)

A Sacramentan’s go-to Halloween guide featuring tips on ghost stories, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, ghostly haunts, and spirits.

Ghost Stories:
No Halloween party is complete without a haunted tale. If your theatrical skills are lacking, or you’ve long forgotten how the story of The Hook ends, I’ve got the answer for you! Professionally-narrated audio ghost stories are available for download from the Sacramento Public Library. Simply download your favorites and turn up the volume. You are no longer limited to the spooky CD of the door creaking or the smash hit “Monster Mash” played on repeat. These ghost stories are sure to send tingles down your spine.

Continue reading “Haunted Sacramento: Your Guide to a Happy Halloween”


This weekend, Cal Expo gets a head start on the Halloween season with the inaugural Witchapalooza. Music, street entertainers, celebrities, inflatable rides and, of course, spooky things abound to support several local charities. The best news is the bargain price for family fun — admission is only $5 and kids 12 and younger are free. Many of the attractions are geared towards fans of fantasy fiction, so if you have a kid, or are a kid of any age who loves to read about wizards, vampires or ghosts, you’ll find something at Witchapalooza to tickle your fancy.

Check their website for all the details, but some intriguing features include appearances by film legend Malcolm McDowell, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kristy Swanson, and paranormal romance author and lycanthropy expert Eva Gordon. Awesome shopping opportunities are available from dozens of vendors, including costumes from Badger’s Den, one of the best suppliers of historical reenactment and fantasy supplies in the US, and Whimsic Alley, a recreation of numerous shops from the world of Harry Potter. Several contests have prizes, including a costume contest for both kids and adults, and patrons will have the opportunity to win $500 in cash. Steampunk culture will also be featured, including demonstrations of strange and fantastic gizmos.

Spare me the labor

Labor Day is one of the few holidays I can think of where you celebrate something by not doing it.

Rancho Murieta Online has a few suggestions on things to do on this upcoming Labor Day weekend, in case you were becoming overwhelmed with all the options for the holiday.

In case you would like to spend Labor Day by walking down streets and randomly explaining the history of Labor Day to passers by, check out the Department of Labor website on this very topic. If you could do this in a mailman’s uniform sitting at a bar, you’d be my hero. Cheers.

Happy Earth Day, Sacramento

Earth Day is a birthday. On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans joined together to promote a healthy, sustainable environment and gave birth to the modern environmental movement. Today, we celebrate activism, community development, and altruism. We celebrate a growing empowerment among people who believe that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness includes a healthy environment and that habitat preservation includes every one of us. tree-hugger1

At age 39, environmentalism is gaining general acceptance. We drive hybrid cars and leave carbon footprints. As more people learn of the universal importance of healthy living, they see beyond the “environmentalism” stereotype of hemp granola munching hippies versus the corporate suits. Today, the suits are eating hemp granola to control their cholesterol and the hippies run companies driven by sustainability, green energy and corporate responsibility. Groundbreaking laws, such as the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act and Senator Steinberg’s Sustainable Communities Strategy may steer a 21st Century California toward a healthier future in a cost-effective manner. On the federal level, the new administration is working to reverse eight years of practices that were disastrous to clean environments and healthy habitat.

Come celebrate with your community. Sacramento Earth Day 2009 will be at Southside Park this Sunday from 11-6. Walk, bike or take public transit. More than 100 vendors and booths will educate you on amazing new technologies and ways you can save money and make your life greener. Delicious, healthy food will be widely available with music, entertainment and fun all day, including classic rock jam band Deadlocke and reggae grooves from Zion Roots.

Continue reading “Happy Earth Day, Sacramento”

Christmas tree recommendation open thread

Post your comments below if you have a good Christmas tree purchasing tip. My recommendation is Three Women and an Armoire, which is probably the best antique dealer in town. They have a selection of splendidly-priced trees, and you can pick up some unique furniture too. I picked up a 6′ Noble fir for $30 and an antique Chinese cabinet for $745 (just kidding).

Three Women and an Armoire
1116 F Street – 447-2168

Right Awn! Don’t let them take Christmas!

Right AWN!It seems that things get a little silly around town during Christmas. But, is this really “how we do it in Sactown“?

In any case, this story is too good to be true, except that apparently it is true. As such, it warrants a dusting off the RIGHT AWN!, for the dude who used a giant Christmas ornament to defend his family and guests. I’ll let the story tell the story:

Man wielding candy cane lawn ornament subdues attacker

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A man using a candy cane lawn ornament fended off a knife-wielding neighbor who had been attacking holiday guests at a Sacramento home.
Police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong says the man used the two-foot-tall plastic ornament to subdue the attacker until officers arrived.

He says the 49-year-old suspect became intoxicated, went over to a neighbor’s home on Thanksgiving and began waving a kitchen knife at people gathered on the lawn.

He cut several peoples’ clothing before one of them decided to fight back.

Police say the man with the knife was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The guest who took up the candy cane was not arrested because police determined he acted in self-defense.

RIGHT AWN, Christmas Candy Cane Wielding Ninja Defender!