Jul 17, 2019

Kickstarter - The Decline of Mall Civilization

If you were around in the 80s, you no doubt have some special memories of going to the local mall. It was the one place where you could do it all: shop, hang out with friends, eat, and play video games. Unlike the malls today, there was actually "mall culture" back then.

Hold on to your leg warmers, because Michael Galinsky wants to take you back to 1989.


I wish I had known about the first book when it came out because I totally would have gotten one. If you don't want to miss out, head over to Kickstarter and snag yourself a copy for $44 or for just $10 you can get a 4x6 postcard featuring an image from the book. They've just about hit triple their funding goal already so this is definitely going to happen!

See you at the mall!

Jul 10, 2019

Vacation Pt 1 - Seattle

Hey folks, here is the first of a few vacation posts. It's probably going to be a bit long so grab a drink and some snacks. The vacation started in Seattle, WA. I was only there a couple days but was able to see a few things after getting some suggestions.


This is my favorite shot of the city taken from the cruise ship just before leaving Seattle. The Space Needle lets you know where you are and I really like the different colors of the buildings in the foreground. We may as well start there, you don't travel across the country and not go to the Space Needle!


The Needle is right next to the Museum of Pop Culture which will be its own post because I have SO many pictures. The top of the Needle has a great view of the city and we were lucky enough to get there just before sunset.


The observation area is pretty cool. Instead of a fence to keep you away from the 520' drop, there are large sheets of plate glass that are angled outward. Not only can you walk up to the glass but you can lean forward to look below. There are also a few glass benches where you can sit and lean back to rest on the glass, if you're brave enough. The lower level used to house a rotating restaurant but is now another observation deck.


This area does still rotate and has a glass floor so you can look down 500 feet. What's really interesting about this is that all the mechanical bits that make it rotate are also visible through the floor as well. It's not like a merry-go-round, it rotates very slowly.

With the Needle being built in the early 60s, there's a lot of retro-future stuff in the gift shop. Even if going to the top doesn't interest you, definitely check out the gift shop.


The Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair and this wax mold machine still works. They do keep some pre-made ones behind the counter in case the machine breaks down.


Some retro-future style art.

From here, we'll travel to the waterfront and hit Pike Place Market.


The original Starbucks is in the neighborhood and had a line going out the door of all the caffeine faithful. For some reason, I didn't take any photos of it! In the Market area, the are plenty of vendors offering flowers, fruit, and enough seafood to choke a whale. There are also a few levels below the market with various shops, including a comic store and a magic shop.


The Pike Place Fish Market (above) is famous for its flying fish. Not actual flying fish but because the staff are known for throwing fish over the counter instead of just passing them by hand. I'm talking 3' long salmon here!

If you wander the market area, you may find yourself at the infamous Market Theater Gum Wall. Now, when someone told me to visit the "gum wall" I had pictured maybe a 5'x5' section of brick wall with gum stuck to it. I was so very wrong.


It's not just a single wall...

Every bit of color you see on these walls is someone's chewed up gum.
Every. Bit.

I definitely had an odd feeling walking through here.
Not like spooky or gross out odd, I dunno.


The gum wall started around 1993. In 2015 the area got a scrub down to try and preserve the walls. What you're seeing is just 4 years of gum! If you look at the ceiling in the first pic, you will see some pipes. You can see those same pipes in the above pic to give you an idea of the area. It goes beyond what you can see here too! As you walk further away, the walls are covered less and less.


I invite you to click on these photos to get an up close view of the masticated masterpieces.

The final stop for this post is Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, founded in 1899.


As the name suggests, this is a shop but it's also part dime museum. There is all sorts of tourist kitsch for sale and then there's the slightly more oddball stuff.


Like this wall of mounted insects. There is a display case below this with spiders and scorpions encased in glass. There are all kinds of taxidermy animals around the place both real and imagined. Check the top row for a rabbit-headed bird and a Jackalope head.

Among a Fiji mermaid and real shrunken heads is the star attraction, Sylvester.


Sylvester is a mummy from the late 1800s.
Here's more info on him.


What a crazy dentist, huh?

That will about wrap up the touring around Seattle part. There are a few more pics I didn't post/link here on Flickr if you still want to do some sightseeing.

I'll leave you with this fun fact about Seattle.
They have dedicated bicycle lanes and traffic lights.
You can't walk more than a block in any direction downtown without seeing bicycles for rent.

Jul 1, 2019

Monthly Movie Recap - June 2019

Hey, everyone! I just got back from an amazing vacation to Alaska with a pit stop in Seattle. There will be plenty of posts with "vacation photos" but I promise they won't be boring! I'm going to space them out so you're not bombarded.


Streaming

Black Mirror (Netflix) - Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this new season is that it's only 3 episodes! I never imagined I'd be saying my favorite episode from any series would have Miley Cyrus in it, but here we are. Striking Vipers was great. I love sci-fi that challenges the brain.

Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix) - I am really going to miss this show! The sense of humor it has is just perfect. If you haven't checked out this zom-com yet, it's worth your time.

On to the big screen!

Predators (2010)
A passable action flick. Doesn't really do much for the Predators, they just seem to keep introducing a bigger, badder one every movie. Because they don't talk, we have to rely on the humans observing them to get any insight into them. If you're going to keep making movies about them, we need to learn more about them. That said, it wasn't as dumb as The Predator.

Rating: 5/10


Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four (2015, Amazon)
Whether you've seen it or have just heard stories about this odd, never released movie, I would highly recommend this. There's plenty of interviews with the people in front of and behind the cameras that really paint a picture of the production. It just might give you a new appreciation, or at least a new view, of this legendary catastrophe.

47 Meters Down (2017, Netflix)
This was okay. I didn't know if two people trapped in a cage underwater would keep my attention but it did. Although there's nothing supernatural or genetic with these sharks it plays a lot like a typical horror movie with jump scares and a couple of fake outs. I do have to give it props for the whole trapped underwater thing though, it got the claustrophobia/running out of air feeling across well. I don't know why but there's a sequel coming. Doesn't exactly scream "franchise" to me.

Rating: 6/10


Possum (2018. Amazon)
First, thanks to Mr Chad Savage for raving about this one, otherwise I may have missed it. This is the kind of movie I love. You may have some expectation going into it then it takes you on a completely different ride leaving you wondering where you'll end up. I don't think it's for every horror fan but I encourage you to give it a shot for the experience.

Rating: 8/10

John Carter (2012, Netflix)
I wanted to love this movie. Everything my eyes were seeing was saying I should love this movie. I never connected with Carter and had trouble keeping up with who was on which side and why I should care that the bad guys don't come out on top. Ultimately I think what it lacked for me was fun and I got a little bored with it. If I had seen this before any other scifi movies in my life I'd probably liked it more. The original story may have come before lots of other movies, but I've seen a lot of this already.

Rating: 5/10

Men in Black International (2019, RealD 3D)
I really liked Hemsworth and Thompson in Thor Ragnarok and they seem to be having fun here. The movie is just okay unfortunately. The script is pretty by the book. When they discover there's a mole in MiB, there's no surprise when they "reveal" who it is. The movie exists in the same world as previous ones and it's a world I like but there wasn't enough newness to keep it fresh.

Rating: 6/10, I wouldn't suggest full price, but good for a matinee or drive-in.


Joan Jett Bad Reputation (2018)
I love Rock N Roll! I've been a fan of Joan's since that song came out and have only become a bigger fan as she has released new music and I discovered The Runaways. This documentary gives a good account of Jett's journey to becoming the bad ass that she is. There's plenty of celeb interviews from Miley Cyrus to Micheal J Fox. I love Joan Jett, not just for her music, but because she's also an awesome person that uses her status to help other people.

Month
New: 7  Rewatch: 0

Year to Date
New: 40  Rewatch: 2

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