Look What Popped Up! That’s From Disneyland Exhibit. — Theme Park Duo

Ever wanted to see some of the ride vehicles from the Disneyland attractions up close and personal? Does a original Press Pass from Disneyland’s Opening Day peak your interest? Richard Kraft shares his personal collection of Disney items in a pop-up exhibit followed by an auction in Sherman Oaks, which I had to check out. […]

via Look What Popped Up! That’s From Disneyland Exhibit. — Theme Park Duo

The Theme Park Duo Podcast – EPISODE 112: MIDSUMMER SCREAM HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL 2017

Hello All. A little different blog today. Theme Park Duo whom I also blog for has a cool podcast and this time it is about Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival last weekend. Give a special listen at about 33:55 for a special guest… ME! Turn up your speakers while out by the pool on this hot summer day and enjoy!

Source: The Theme Park Duo Podcast – EPISODE 112: MIDSUMMER SCREAM HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL 2017

Wonder Woman Day 6.3.17

Like many young girls in the 70’s, we sat down in front of the one television in our family house weekly and tuned into one of the seven channels available and watched Wonder Woman. Linda Carter played the lasso wielding superhero that we all wanted to be. She flew in on her invisible jet, stopped bullets with her sparkly cuffs and saved the world from the bad guys. All of this after elegantly spinning around and changing from Diana Prince and her everyday attire into her superhero costume. This show was based on a DC Comic, which I was not familiar with back then, and the show only ran for 3 seasons.

Now 42 years after the TV series has long since been retired, we honor her with Wonder Woman Day 2017. This day follows the overdue release of the DC movie creatively title Wonder Woman. Comic Book stores around the country celebrated Wonder Woman Day with free Wonder Woman comics, Wonder Woman Crowns and Cuffs (made out of paper however) and featured various Wonder Woman comics, figures and anything Wonder Woman. Pop Comics in Anaheim owned by Thomas Gaul, a high school friend of my husband’s was where we made our target destination to celebrate Wonder Woman Day. Pop Comics also had a special guest… Wonder Woman! No it wasn’t Linda Carter, but a great likeness of her posed for pictures with all who came to Pop Comics. Did I take a picture with Wonder Woman? Why of course I did. I do have to say I was a bit jealous when she gave my husband her sword to hold in his picture with her. So not fair! Anyways- Wonder Woman Day was fun and I hope it grows to be even bigger next year.

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On a side note, we did see the DC Comic movie Wonder Woman the following day and I am no movie critic, but it is definitely a movie you should go and see. You will laugh out loud, cheer and even shed some tears. Wonder Woman is getting the recognition she deserves… finally.

And to think this all started for me as a very young girl watching a TV show in her family home and wanting to be just like Wonder Woman.

 

 

 

Monsterpalooza 2017… Make-Up, Movies and Monsters… Oh My!

One, Two… Freddy will sign for you. Three, Four… want to buy some more. Five, Six… Monte’s Band will play some licks. Seven, Eight… gonna stay out late. Nine, Ten… going to Monsterpalooza again. The real version of this song haunted many people while we watched one the most iconic movies of the 1980’s- A […]

via Monsterpalooza 2017… Make-Up, Movies and Monsters… Oh My! — Theme Park Duo

Walking Through Wondercon 2017. An article I wrote for our friends of Theme Park Duo.

Back in Anaheim for 2017 after spending the previous year in Los Angeles, Wondercon returned the weekend of March 31- April 2nd. This event is put on by the same production that brings Comic-Con to San Diego each year. Attendees come from up and down the coastal state to see what new Pop figure they […]

via Walking Through Wondercon 2017. — Theme Park Duo

National Boysenberry Day At Knotts

April 3rd has been marked as National Boysenberry Day, by none other than Knott’s Berry Farm. It also just so happens to coincide with the Boysenberry Festival happening right now until April 23rd. Do you think this was planned? Who cares. I want any reason to eat stuff with Boysenberry!

After checking out the Knott’s website to see what kind of yumminess I could have for dinner, I picked something new that was not on the Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card. For those who don’t know, there is a tasting card and for $25.00 that allows you get 6 different Boysenberry Foods, such as pizza, ravioli and meatballs. I decided to try the Boysenberry & Apricot Pulled Pork sandwich, which was also on a Boysenberry infused roll and it did not disappoint. The sandwich was topped with coleslaw and Boysenberry BBQ sauce.  The corn on the cob was delicious and of course I could not pass up the Boysenberry Punch. Way too much for me to finish, but boy was it good. With a full belly, it was time to walk around the park for a bit.

Another popular Boysenberry item is the Boysenberry Beer & Wine. There is also a $25.00 tasting card for 6 tastes of the beer and wine. Since the park was only open until 8pm, they were no longer serving. An employee shared with us last call is 6:30pm. I am sure this area is open later to match the park hours on the weekends.

Next, a Boysenberry taffy stop on the way out of the park… I told you I liked Boysenberry. This is a great little treat while sitting on the couch after work. It has to be fresh or forget it. It was super fresh, so ring me up!

One more stop. This time to give big hugs to our friend Colleen Tolley. She was there with her son, who was having fun on Log Ride, so time for a quick chat. It is always great to see friends, laugh and of course take a picture.img_0230

Just a quick visit to Knott’s for some tasty food, but we will be back soon to experience all that is Boysenberry. The last day is April 23rd and as fast as the days are flying past us it will be here before you know it. So don’t miss out on the Boysenberry Festival!

Beauty and the Beast 2017.

This was posted to Facebook, but I also wanted to share it here with you all.

 

***SPOILER ALERT***
Saturday Night was Date Night and we saw Beauty and the Beast 2017. Before I go on, please see the movie before you read this and know there are spoilers or items that could taint your enjoyment of the film in this post. I believe it is impossible to improve on such an amazing movie, which happens to also be one of my very favorite movies of all time. Not to mention an Oscar & Golden Globe Winner and Nominee. Quite impressive for an animated film.20170318_213748
The new incarnation of Beauty and the Beast was visually beautiful, had great new songs and some well cast actors. However, there were a few moments when I felt like I was spinning like a top due to the CG effects that were trying so hard to copy what cannot be done unless animated.

A highlight of the film was the Beast. I am not sure which parts were CG versus the live actor. The blending of those two mediums was a success. Also, his costuming was gorgeous. I had a challenge with Belle being British, but I think her accent faded in and out within her dialog and was not noticeable when she sang. Gaston, Le Fou and Papa were well cast and acted by each of the actors. The Gaston scene in the pub was fun and I liked the dancing on the tables. The real-life animated characters were a little flat. You could not see the expressions on their faces resulting in the lack of conveying emotions. That was a bit disappointing.

Beast’s transformation scene was impressive, matching it closely to the original. I liked the addition of the scene when the castle staff became antiques. It added emotional weight. This was the only time in the movie I got a little misty eyed. The fact that Belle did not stand out in the opening scene/song “Belle” bugged me. She was the only one that wore blue in the original movie and that was a huge miss, in my opinion. Answering some of the unanswered questions from the original movie was unnecessary and just added more time to the film. I truly never thought about Belle’s Mom, Mr. Potts or Gaston’s Military background. At a 2 hour and 9 minute running time, it felt long.

On the whole, I enjoyed the film and revisiting my favorite characters. I totally get why Disney remakes the classic films in live action… Opening weekend totals hover around $350 million worldwide so far.

In my mind and in my heart, the original Beauty and the Beast is still superior.

On a related note, we were able to get the AMC Dolby Cinema pins that they were “sold out” of. It just pays to be nice and not yell at someone when the website clearly states while supplies last. I think my pouty lip and Beauty and the Beast shirt may have helped a tad as well.

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All sealed up so you were not able to pick the pin you wanted. Smart!

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We got 2 out of the 3 pins. Not too shabby!

NAMM 2017

IMG_1275Each year dealers, buyers, distributors and musicians congregate at the Anaheim Convention Center and take over to check out and listen to all things music. NAMM stands for National Association of Music Merchants and is a trade-only event. How do I get in you ask?  Well it’s the age-old cliché:”I know a guy, who knows a guy” and I will leave it at that. The most expensive thing I buy is food, because you can’t technically buy stuff.

Covering the floor space of the Anaheim Convention Center are rows and rows, booths and rooms of the newest and coolest guitars, drums, amplifiers, woodwind and brass instruments as well as smoke machines, lights and even a tape gun to tape down electrical cords for all to ogle over. The Arena area of the convention center houses smoke machines, lights, rigging and stage items, but this year there were a couple of awesome things that I thought I would share.

Omnisistem Lighting displayed these mechanical globe lights operated by a motor which raised the lit balls up and down and changed to various colors. These would be cool to hang outside for a party, but since they are only water-resistant having to take them down would be a pain.
Fireworks inside venues have caused heartburn to venue management forever, but bands think it is cool to light things on stage on fire. Sparkular has created indoor fireworks with no fire. Sounds weird right? But it is so cool! IMG_1406It is a box with granulated alloy that “lights” and shoots out fountain like fireworks. You can touch it and no burns or marks. It is quite expensive but if you are a huge touring band, money for awesome fireworks on your stage is a no brainer. I don’t endorse or receive anything from these companies, but just wanted to share these couple of super cool things and where they came from.

Amongst all this “other stuff” is of course instruments. Guitars and basses in all shapes and forms some of which would probably only look good for a photo shoot or hanging on a wall decorate the booths of each company. Amplifiers from various companies are also on display in all sorts of sizes and colors. Drums and all things that go crash in the night are placed in the far corner of the huge floor. As you walk closer to that area you won’t be able to hear much else, which makes no sense to me that’s where the lounge area is. I could not forget about the many displays of good ol’ woodwind and brass instruments and all of the other instruments you would see in a parade or an orchestra. A wide variety of instrument gawking is represented for all to enjoy.IMG_1320

One of the exciting aspects about attending NAMM is getting to see and often hear famous musicians play or sing right in front of your eyes. Each year a list is published of scheduled performances and signings of various artists daily along with award shows and various seminars. This year truly bummed me out because I did unfortunately miss the opening event of Richie Sambora (one of my favorites) and Orianthi in the open air area of the Convention Center. Stevie Wonder is one of the musicians who attends each year, each day and sits down to entertain the visitors at random. I have not heard him play, but last year I was able to see him up close in between the four deep bodyguards surrounding him. I was able to get a small listen to Gilby Clarke formerly of Guns & Roses performing in a very quaint area of the KORG booth. There were only about 30 people in the room rocking out with him which is a fan’s dream. When the set was complete, listeners were able to chat with him and the band members as well as take photos. It is great to see these rockers still playing and entertaining the ears of the fans.

While standing with my friend as she was getting ready to shoot pictures of DJ Ashba guitarist of SIXX A.M., Charlie Benante drummer of Anthrax, David Ellefson bassist of Megadeth, Mike Inez bassist of Alice in Chains and to my huge surprise… Lita Ford. She was not listed on the appearance list we had seen earlier in the day, so I was super stoked! After standing and shooting some pictures myself, I was smacked upside the head with the thought to get in line and meet her! I was a little starstruck I guess and I am using that for my story and I am sticking to it.

After standing in line for about 40 minutes, my Bucket List received a check mark when I was able to meet Lita Ford. I congratulated her on the She Award she had received the  previous evening. I shared with her that I was able to see her play at one of the final shows at Irvine Meadows earlier in the year. Lita said it was so much fun and was glad she performed. Now here is the really girly part… As she was signing my photo, I looked at her nail polish that was a lighter color of the silver metal looking polish I had on. I just joked with her and said “Our polishes match.” Lita replied with, “Oh wow they do. They look like shiny metal. I really like yours.” She then proceeded to tell me a fan turned her onto the color she had on and she got it at Walgreens after a show one night. Oh my!

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Lita Ford and Me!

Lita posed for a couple of pictures with me and the moment was over. I walked away from that moment flying high and joking that Lita Ford and I had a girly conversation about nail polish. What an awesome experience!

Back down from the cloud and back at NAMM 2017 on the show floor…

NAMM has more than just instruments, it showcases all things music such as guitar straps, picks, cases and ear monitors. A few years back I won a pair of custom UE (Ultimate Ears) monitors. These are like ear buds for music, but these are the type the musicians wear at concerts while performing. I never thought in a million years that these would suit my purpose of normal music listening, but man was I wrong. I use them when I fly and when I want to totally block out the world and just rock out. While on my way home from Texas on this Friday of the NAMM show, I noticed a crackle in my ears. I figured I would have to send them back for repair, but with UE at the NAMM show I thought I would ask about the repair policy. I spoke with a UE designer who hooked me up with right person and poof my ears were turned in for repair and at no charge! I will make sure I tell even more people about UE and the great service as well as product they have. What an excellent way to take care of your customers UE.

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View of the Anaheim Convention Center Courtyard from the 3rd floor

Even though we have attended NAMM each year and it is usually the same overall, this year was a little extra special… great customer service and check marking an item on my bucket list. Can’t wait to see what new adventures we will have at NAMM 2018. Until then… Rock on!