Michelle Rodriguez: Home Truths Hurt Amiga

Michelle Rodriguez photo op
Michelle Rodriguez, who has made a career out of playing ballsy women who say and do what they think, learned that home truths can hurt, eh amiga? When asked about the rumor that she was being considered for the part of Jessica Cruz in Green Lantern, she laughingly retorted that this was the “dumbest” thing she had ever heard.

Read the rest of the article on Viral Global News…

Robin Williams Remembered by Zelda

Last August Robin Williams took his own life and the world cried out in shock and disbelief. His daughter Zelda, took break from social media and stepped back from the events in front of her and the rest of Robin’s family. Friday night at the Noble Awards, the daughter of the late comedian, spoke about her father and the hummingbird tattoo on her hand.

Read the rest of the article at Viral Global News…

Jennifer Lawrence Shouts Out on Facebook About Rumors

Jennifer Lawrence at Comic ConAs much as America’s newest sweetheart hates social media, Jennifer Lawrence shouted out on Facebook about those fight rumors with David O. Russell. Someone must be taking them seriously as the actress actively avoids the Internet, and did so before the hack that spewed inappropriate pictures of the star across the globe. It has already been reported that the “screaming” session between David and Jennifer was a preparatory exercise for an upcoming scene.

Read the rest of the article at Viral Global News…

Leonard Nimoy: Saying Goodbye to a Pop Culture Icon

The news that Leonard Nimoy has died at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, something he told his many fans about last year, met his legion of fans on the Internet this morning. Now the world must face saying goodbye to a pop culture icon, one that has spanned decades to become one of the most beloved characters in the Star Trek verse. Nimoy brought the part-human Vulcan to life back in the 1960s and his Spock, complete with “satanic” earpieces, caught fire with the show’s audiences rather quickly…

Read the rest of the article at Viral Global News…

Leonard Nimoy LLAP No More

Leonard Nimoy as Spock
Leonard Nimoy, the man who maintained an image as cultural icon across several generations, is gone. The talented individual who signed off on his Twitter feed with LLAP (Live Long and Prosper) will do so no more.The 83 year old actor became a household name in the 1960s when he portrayed Spock, half human, half Vulcan, who was the first officer on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in “Star Trek.”

The character became a hit with audiences, although not with producers who wanted the role written out of the show. The show struggled to find enough fans overall but Spock became so popular that the show’s touted star, Bill Shatner, was a little put out that the Vulcan got more fan mail than he did. There were rumors of quibbling between the two stars when the show was on its short three year run.

Later on, in the 1999 comedy “Galaxy Quest,” Tim Allen and Alan Rickman would play character’s based upon Shatner and Nimoy, respectively, and both did a brilliant job parodying the “rumored” relationship of the two.

Nimoy became so connected to the role in Roddenberry’s space opera that it was shocking to see him without the “elf” (or satanic as the producers called them) ears of his character. The actor was, however, believable in whatever role he played.

Whether he was a villainous “mercenary” gunslinger (1971 “Catlow”) or a shrink (1978 “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” [remake]) he was entertaining and watchable. But it was Spock that Nimoy was best known for and while he would leave the logic bound alien behind in his twilight years, most notably in the 2009 – 2012 television science fiction show “Fringe.”

Leonard was rushed to hospital with severe chest pains last week and this morning the world learned that the multitalented performer had died at home. Nimoy tweeted more than a year before his hospital visit, in January 2014, and told his fans that despite quitting smoking over 30 years ago, that he had COPD and he should have quit sooner. He ended his tweet saying “Grandpa says, quit now!” and finished, as with all his missives on Twitter, with LLAP.

That the actor had a “love/hate” relationship with his character on “Star Trek” in the beginning was a well known fact, back in the day. His two autobiographies related his search to “live” or come to terms with the consequences of being Spock, the first “I Am Not Spock” was followed later with “I Am Spock.”

One thing is certain. Bill Shatner has more than a fair share of those who worked with him in the TV series and the films who do not get on with him. Shatner is a larger than life character off set who makes no apologies for his opinions or for stepping on the toes of others. As he has aged, he has mellowed very little and is still one exciting individual to witness at conventions. Leonard Nimoy, on the other hand seems to have more than his fair share of friends from both small screen and large.

Nimoy, apart from spending a lot of time directing, doing one-man shows and playing Spock in various mediums, had become a sort of elder statesman for Science Fiction and “Star Trek,” as well as an almost mythic pop culture icon. It only takes the sound of the actor’s voice to bring back memories of his performances as the Vulcan so loved on screen.

The perfect example of this was the screening of the 2009 Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana “Star Trek.” Watching the film in England, when Spock (Leonard) starts reciting the “boldly going” speech at the end of the film, I was engulfed in goosebumps and the rest of the usually reserved British audience stood up in the theatre and cheered.

The loss of Leonard Nimoy at 83 is devastating. It almost feels like the spirit of Spock has died and in essence it has. The actor was the one who brought the half-alien character to life. It was his embodiment of the role that made the pointy eared chap so real. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and wife Susan and we will all miss those LLAP tweets from the man himself.

27 February 2015

KFC: Having Your Cup and Eating It

Edible cups Seattle's Best Coffee picture

Quite tickled to read about KFC, the fast food chain formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, putting edible coffee cups on sale in the United Kingdom. Two articles made it into the Entertainment section of Google News this morning each telling the world, oh so briefly, about this new phenomenon.

It seems that in honor of KFC being in the UK for 50 years, these experimental edibles are being offered as a celebratory “gift” to customers. Made of cookie, coated in sugar paper, which can be eaten, with a white chocolate lining inside (heat protection) and scented, the cups are made by The Robin Collective.

This “environmentally” friendly drinking utensil will offer the smell of freshly-cut grass, wild flowers and coconut sun cream.

What…The…Fudge?

Pardon my French but who wants to drink coffee that smells like sun cream, coconut or otherwise. This has got to be a gag, aka a punk, aka a practical joke. As any coffee connoisseur will gladly tell you, smell is an important part of drinking the stuff. Starbucks, for example, teach their Baristas what flavors and scents go with what coffees.

No one will want to eat a coffee cup that reeks of used coffee and grass unless they stand on four legs and give milk. The sun cream bit could be seen as sort of “yummy” but not with coffee. After reading about the olfactory descriptions I went over to The Robin Collective’s web site and found a blank page.

Still, my Internet is a bit dodgy so readers can mosey over and have a look for themselves. But…I still think something smells in the UK KFC news items. (You see what I did there?) And not of wild flowers either. The pictures on offer, from all two of these articles, show Seattle’s Best Coffee cups.

Would not the company started by the “colonel” want to have cups with his logo on it? Granted, there may not be any cups with the KFC stamp on them just yet, but that blank company page seems awfully suspicious.

On the other side of the coin, one article states that the press release references the “scents” and states that these will make the UK customers think of better weather and sunny skies. In a country where rain, fog, clouds and lack of sunshine are the norm, this does make a certain amount of sense.

This not so hidden dig at English weather also makes this seem like a practical joke in the making. But what if it is not? If KFC are really having edible cups made for their 50th, what scents do you think would trump the smells on offer?

Personally, I think they should be scented with Dutch Koekje. Nothing, in my honest opinion, beats the small cookies that were served up with a cup of coffee in Holland. Just the idea of the smell of these small delicacies is enough to bring out the Homer Simpson in me.

26 February 2015

Life in the Real Desert: Where Did All the Hippies Go?

Church Sign...After promising to write about all the Navajo-horse-blanket-jacket-wearing hippies who were frequenting Quartzsite in my Life in the Real Desert “series” they all seem to have disappeared. This leaves the question of just where did all these hippies go? There are still a number of Desert Rats hanging around, but that number has dwindled as well.

The hippies were pretty easy to spot. Horse blanket jackets, dreadlocks – regardless of skin color or nationality – a lot of body surface dirt, a tendency to avoid sunblock, no shoes, some pretty “crusty” looking clothes  and they moved in clumps. (The hippies, not their clothing.) Like most members of any particular branch of society, some were friendly and others only wanted a hand out.

One bearded young man, with his wife(?) and two small children drove a station wagon, or an estate if you live across the pond, that had a sign painted on its side asking to be funded in order to allow for a vehicle upgrade. Many locals were/are not too enamored with these throwbacks to the 1960s and 70s “love children.”

This attitude is a little ironic considering that a lot of the vendors who sell their wares in the small burg seem to be remnants of the real deal from back in the day. Tie-dye t-shirts, raggedy trousers or long skirts, again dyed, along with any number of ribbons. Of course just as many of these sellers look like escapees from Cool Hand Luke territory complete with reddened neck and southern drawl.

Like any small community, even one made up of nomadic snowbirds who flock in and out, the “regulars” soon spot a new addition who has stumbled into something resembling citizenship of the town. Example: I sound a bit different when I speak. After years of listening every day to the Queen’s English, both at home and at work, I struggled to maintain my American accent, on my old agent’s advice.

Now that I’m not in that market any longer, my accent has changed to reflect my 32 year background. A young lady at the local Burger King, home of excellent free WiFi, asked about my background and another female worker quickly explained that “he comes in most every day.”

Without missing a beat she turned to me and said, “I just love your accent!” To which I replied, “Why thank you, it took me 32 years to learn.” The point is, that even frequenting a local fast food establishment, recognition comes quickly. As this is a small town, one can expect this familiarity to become a regular occurrence as time goes by.

Quartzsite, three camel sign.
Town sign outside of Burger King

 

Now that I’ve noticed that the hippy contingent has disappeared, the time has come to ask the locals if this is normal. Considering the amount of cold weather, for the desert that is, perhaps they all moved to warmer climates like Mexico for example.

For those who were positioned along the intersections near the highway,cardboard signs grasped and thumbs pointed, the numbers have dwindled until only the odd “rat” is hitching a ride. When I first arrived, one “hippy” had a sign with the destination “Anywhere but here” written on it. Another’s said, “Out of Quartzsite.”

I had talked to one young lady who told me point blank that the town was not friendly and that she’d almost gotten in a fight at the local food bank. Not for her, she said, she was sticking up for an elderly lady. As a result, she lost the vittles collected for her and a friend. The twenty-something woman stressed that Quartzsite would not be on their list of places to visit next year.

This information has already been passed along in an earlier article but bears repeating considering the lack of “flower children” in the town. It seems a shame that they’ve disappeared. There was a group who hung out in the shade of a local “hardware” store. They interacted with an old soul, who had a broken leg, that had staked out the shade of a solitary tree on the same lot.

The young people sat in the dirt and sand, eating what they had scrounged and chatted amiably amongst themselves. Speaking, if spoken to and not behaving in a threatening manner at all. Quite unlike the Desert Rats who can be, at first glance, a bit intimidating to the older snowbirds in town.

One Desert Rat dresses like a modern day Robinson Crusoe. On his head is a sort of crumpled tri-corner hat, obviously self-made. He wears a khaki jacket,  what looks like either a skirt or jeans with the legs split open and combat boots. He has black hair and a black beard shaped into a long point, it actually looks like something the devil would sport.

He has some sort of bag, or wrap, around his middle that he keeps covered from the sun. His skin is the color of old teak and mahogany and only the lightness of this legs give clue to his being caucasian in origin. A fascinating chap to look at and one that many people moved away from as he approached. Being on the opposite side the main street, I could not tell if it was appearance or odor which made him an object to be shunned.

Highway running past Quartzsite
On the road again?

 

The Hippies, or travelers as I prefer to think of them, may have disappeared for now and while I have no idea where they have gone, I do miss them. They were all young and seemed to be pretty much carefree. The young wives or girlfriends were pretty and friendly and did not disturb anyone that I could see. Perhaps they will be back.

Until then, once I put together my replacement bike, which could take some time since there is a wheel nut that does not want to loosen, I’ll continue my explorations of the local area and write more about the interesting little burg that is Quartzsite. I have my cousin Kenny and his delightful wife Carla to thank for reminding me that the area here is full of history and deserves to be written about.

Thanks!

25 February 2015