Tuesday, October 30, 2012

After the Storm

Hurricane Sandy was downgraded to a tropical storm rather quickly, but that did not stop the devastation she caused.  Sadly, one of the lessons I learned from Katrina is the aftermath is often worse than the storm.

If you live in any of the affected areas and are lucky enough to have power, please consider registering with the Red Cross's Safe and Well website.  Phone lines tend to be overloaded during emergencies.  This site is a way your loved ones can search for you by name and address to find out if you are okay.

If you are not affected by the storm directly, please use it as a reminder to be prepared.  There are plenty of resources online to help you come up with a disaster plan. 

Lastly, if you want to help, consider giving blood or donations through reputable sources.  This article lists a number of organizations poised to respond to the disaster.

This is another one for the record books. 

Everyone, be safe and sound. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

This Day in History: The Space Shuttle Came to Town

So, Space Shuttle Endeavor came to town recently.  Friday afternoon, a friend and I headed down to Inglewood to see it for ourselves.  It was like a street fair, tons of families hanging out, taking pictures and making incredibly bad jokes about the shuttle and the giant donut in the picture.  (How would you caption the photo above?  I know you've got a pun in you somewhere...!)

That's Randy's Donuts, if you're wondering (you can just read it on the side there).  A throwback from the days when every other building in LA looked like what it was:  The hat-shaped Derby, the bowl shaped Chili Bowl, the list goes on.  It probably has something to do with this being Hollywood.  We like our altered reality here.

File:Brown Derby Restaurant , Los Angeles , Kodachrome by Chalmers Butterfield.jpg
The Brown Derby Restaurant, Los Angeles.  Courtesy of Wikipedia.
This is a town that loves mixing reality with fantasy, and rubbing elbows with the stars.  So it was interesting to see such a crowd gathered at four o'clock in the afternoon on a work day, and nary a celebrity in sight.  Scarred and weathered from years of rubbing elbows with the real stars, Endeavor passed by to share a little of her glory with the rest of clayfoots.

Even the Goodyear Blimp made an appearance in the sky overhead to pay her respects. (It's that little fish-shaped thing just to the left of the light stand and donut.  And yes, all vessels are ladies in my book, if you must know.)  Endeavor's new home will be the California Science Center.  For more pictures, check out this fantastic photo gallery from the Los Angeles Times.  Amazing.

Welcome home, you beauty.  You'll fit in just fine.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Kiss A Wolf - A Beauty and the Beast Book Review Extravaganza!

The crazily talented Miss Cecil Castellucci has done something wonderful-- as editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Young Adult/Children's Literature section, she has launched a series of reviews and ruminations on classic fairy tales. 

 Beauty and the Beast PosterBeauty and the Beast Poster

Are you a fairy tale buff?  Do you long to read every version of Beauty and the Beast that's out there?  Are you getting ready to watch the remake of the awesome 80s tv series and just want to wet your whistle a little?  (Side note:  I think the Beast should be A BEAST! Not a dude with contacts and a bad attitude. Ron Perlman rocked that lion-face like an Egyptian god!)  Then click on over and see what the likes of Aimee Bender, Merrie Haskell, Heather Tomlinson and a few others have to say on the subject.  Check out my review of Mercedes Lackey's THE FIRE ROSE-- note the cool cover art by my beloved Darrell K. Sweet!  I confess I did choose to review this book because of it's cover.  I've read half a dozen books for Sweet's cover art alone.  It's an interesting way to pick a book, since you never know what you're going to get! 

No matter which side you come down on, which versions you love, or love to hate, let's all tip our hats to seeing beauty in the mostly beastly of places (or faces), and love conquering all.

Noo Yawk Comic Con!!!


For all you lucky devils out there in Manhattan standing in line to get into this year's NYCC, I have a treat for you!  My wonderful publisher, G. P. Putnam and Sons will be at the Penguin Books booth handing out advanced reader copies of ORLEANS for your reading pleasure!  Just head over to booth #921 and say "Hey Mister, throw me something!"  And when they stare at you blankly, just ask for the book.  Not everyone has been to Mardi Gras.

Have fun my fellow comic book geeks.  EXCELSIOR!