King me or go fish tonight at La Cocina Restaurant.
When was the last time you enjoyed a board game with someone in the same room? Don't you miss having actual words with friends? I know what you're saying, "I can't go because I work late." Luckily for you, game night doesn't start until 9 p.m. Now all you need is a babysitter and your competitive attitude.
It looks like we were caught with our pants down at the Tucson Weekly offices because we forgot to wish Lute Olson a happy 79th birthday yesterday. I blame Facebook for not reminding me.
I remember the first and last time I saw good old Lute. I was sweeping the floor at Park Place Century Theaters and I looked up and Olson was munching on a bag of popcorn with one of ex-wives. My hands dropped my broom and dustpan, my legs automatically ran over to open the door because god forbid they open their own door. As they walked by, I reached out to shake Lute's hand and he just walked by. Maybe he couldn't see me because I was face-to-face with his belt line or maybe he doesn't talk to the help. I'll never know.
Happy belated birthday, Lute. This Luther Campbell is for you:
August is apparently Memory Lane month for the Tucson Padres and local minor league baseball in general.
First the T-Pads are turning their remaining Thirsty Thursdays (starting this week and running each Thursday through Aug. 29) into a Tucson Toros-themed night, complete with the team wearing 1990s-era Toros jerseys.
Now, those locally operating the soon-to-be-headed-to-El-Paso AAA club are on the lookout for anyone and everyone who's ever worked for either the Sidewinders or Toros throughout the years. Former Toros workers will be honored on the field before the Padres' Aug. 24 game, while ex-Sidewinders employees will get the same honor on Aug. 25.
It's yet another great gesture by the local baseball machine to thank the dissapointingly few people who have supported these teams over the years. This final season's attendance is a woeful 2,657 per game, about 300 less per contest than last season and a good 1,500 behind the next worst club in the Pacific Coast League.
And this for a team that, entering today, is above .500 and only three games out of first place in its division. It'd be a disgrace if the T-Pads made the playoffs and drew less than 3,000 to a postseason game.
No white Broncos this time. No ill-fitting gloves, fame-seeking judges or Kardashian-producing attorneys. Just a simple ruling for OJ Simpson, one that grants the infamous football player/ham sandwich actor/alleged murderer parole on a handful of the charges he was convicted of five years ago.
But since he still has to stay in prison, what the heck does it matter?
The Nevada Board of Parole Commissions granted Simpson, 66, parole for good behavior during his stint at Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada. But the parole only applied to two kidnapping, two robbery and one for burglary with a firearm conviction.
The rest of his convictions, all of which were part of a 33-year sentence for his involvement in a 2007 memorabilia robbery gone bad in Las Vegas, do not offer the chance for parole until nine years have been served. That's four years from now, so in the meantime OJ should probably continue to work on his whittling and toilet wine skills.
There had been talk that, had Simpson won a complete parole that would have let him out of prison now, he would almost immediately return to his acting career. Naturally, that meant picking up a guest spot on Charlie Sheen's train wreck of a sitcom, Anger Management.
Since no new glimpses of Nordberg (his eponymous character from the Naked Gun movies) will be coming around anytime soon, it's best to end this blog with some classic OJ work. With Polish subtitles, naturally.
For the first time my 11-year-old son Rafi, at the urging of his grandmother, announced recently he was going to spend his allowance on a Mother's Day gift for me. He wanted to know what I wanted. He couldn't believe my response when I told him not a thing this Mother's Day and all my remaining Mother's Days. And sorry, floral shops across the Moldy Pueblo, I banned flowers, too.
I told him it was time for us to start a new tradition and I asked if he could write a one-page letter to me or make something like those early-childhood glory days of tiny hand prints and crayolas—whatever 11-year-olds are moved to make nowadays.
When it comes to things, I pretty much have all I want. Although, right now, as I watch my son navigate through middle school and do what I remember doing during that time—figuring out friendships and a place in this world (wow, maybe I'm still working on that)—I just wish I could have time. You know, just go back a few times to fix things or slow things down this very instant. This beautiful son of mine on the cusp of manhood: He towers over me, but his smile is the same—dimpled and glorious. However, my heart hurts a little knowing time won't slow down for this mother. No.
When my son was born, I remember clearly how I felt the first time I held him in my arms—the power of love I felt was so strong. I remember remarking I didn't realize what true love was until that day. He was and remains the love of my life. Becoming a mother also helped me understand my own mom better and I think it helped me become a better daughter. At least, with all my faults, I'd like to think so. Of course, you'd have to ask her.
I do know that once my mom became a grandmother she went into superhero mode, supporting me through every challenge that presented itself. Nowadays, she's opened her home to us, helps me with after-school pick-ups and care, makes dinners—especially my son's favorite foods. There are the special holidays and trips. But what I love about my son being able to spend more time with his grandmother are little things I hope add up one day—reminders to be polite, to wash his hands and cultivating independence.
But what's also wonderful about time spent with his grandmother is that he gets to hear stories. Many of them are stories I got to hear growing up. But because of what I know now—what those stories did, how they helped me become who I am today—hearing her share stories on family history or traditions means more coming from her. I don't know where my son will be 20 years from now, but if he moves away, I know those stories will come in handy when he visits. His grandmother will pop into his head and our family's history will unfold. I know it will, because that's what happened to me and still does.
Those stories fill my head and heart. They are about the people that make up a family. They are about my mother in her late 70s wanting to make sure a new generation has something to hold onto and doesn't forget. But no doubt, no doubt at all those stories are about Tucson and have a lot to do with why I moved back home five years ago. They are also why I understand the importance of family and cultural history. Rafi knows his family's ties to Tucson. Poor kid. Those things you learn by default when you live with storytellers.
Maybe one day I'll be blessed to tell another generation our stories. Maybe I'll get a chance to eavesdrop and hear Rafi tell some of those stories to wee people I hope he feels the same way about—he'll hold someone small and precious in his arms for the first time and be surprised at how he feels inside. That love.
Driving home last week a song came to mind. It's a song I used to sing to Rafi at bedtime from the beginning, the very beginning. A little song I wrote right there in the hospital room. It came to me and I sang a rousing song driving down Aviation Highway, the kid sitting shotgun with a smile across his face.
"You remember that song?" I asked him.
"Yeah," he admitted.
"Good, Mr. Beautiful. Don't you forget it," I returned.
Seriously, who needs gifts on Mother's Day, when in reality, I have everything I need.
For those who grew up with cable in the late 1990s, Dexter's Laboratory was one of those great shows that fueled the imagination of creative kids while keeping enough slapstick and silliness to make everyone happy. Plus, the main character was a pint-sized mad scientist before those were cool (I'm looking at you, Stewie Griffin).
But, as with seemingly every show back then, there were episodes that were produced, then shelved, after the network found them inappropriate for the intended audience—even though, somehow, Rocko's Modern Life skirted the lines of good taste on a constant basis.
"Dexter's Rude Removal" is one of those episodes—and thanks to the magic of [adult swim], Cartoon Network's adult-humor brand, the episode is now on Youtube for your enjoyment.
And...it's severely underwhelming.
Honestly, I couldn't make it through the seven minute clip of constant bleeping and characters acting like douchebags.
The bottom line: It's nice seeing a new Dexter's Lab, but it just isn't as charming or entertaining as Dexter's Lab should be.
If, however, that didn't deter you from wanting to see the episode, head below the jump to sate your desires. Enjoy.
If you don't have any positive feelings toward "A Charlie Brown Christmas," I'm relatively certain that your heart is made out of wood—or you don't celebrate Christmas. Either or.
The fact that it has been as successful as it's been over the past 57 years wasn't a slam-dunk, however. Even the men responsible for it, Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, were afraid that it was going to be a complete failure after its first screening. In fact, according to Mendelson, it seemed like the entire room watching that screening felt the same way.
Except for one animator.
What the roomful of executives saw upon the first screening was a shock—a slow and quiet semireligious, jazz-filled 25 minutes, voiced by a cast of inexperienced children, and, perhaps most unforgivably, without a laugh track. “They said, ‘We’ll play it once and that will be all. Good try,’ ” remembers Mendelson. “Bill and I thought we had ruined Charlie Brown forever when it was done. We kind of agreed with the network. One of the animators stood up in the back of the room—he had had a couple of drinks—and he said, ‘It’s going to run for a hundred years,’ and then fell down. We all thought he was crazy, but he was more right than we were.”
PopMatters has a spectacular article on the history of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," written all the way back in 2006, but like the movie that is its focus, it's near timeless. Give it a read at PopMatters.
Curtis Reframed: The Arizona Portfolios, an exhibit of 60 iconic photographs of the American West taken by… More