Tag Archives: 5 for Friday

5 Worst Things About the Universal Backlot Tour

Last weekend, with nothing much to do, my lovely girlfriend came up with the notion to spend some time at Universal Studios Theme Park. Not a bad idea, it is always fun, it was a nice day and better yet, just a block away! Also she really wanted to go on the new Universal Backlot Tour to see the newly installed King Kong 3D 360. I was curious about that as well, so after we hit our mandatory ride on the Simpson’s Ride it was time to wait in the long ass line for the now highly demanded Universal Backlot Tour. The King Kong 3D 360 was awesome! By all means check it out, there were a few other things on the Backlot Tour I haven’t seen before either that were awesome… but 5 things pissed me off and annoyed the hell out of me! One is new, the other 4 have been bothering the hell out of me since I first moved here.

ABBA Because Universal put out “Mama Mia” we’re now all subjected to goddamn “Dancing Queen”. “Dancing Queen” is why uneducated people say that disco sucks. That song suck, that song is disco, but dammit, disco doesn’t suck, besides, you’re 15 and don’t even know what you’re talking about!

Billy Bush & Nancy O’Dell That’s right, they annoy me for the same reason and they’re always appearing together in this thing. The annoyance first starts while you stand in line for the tour. They run a loop of these 2 morons reading really terrible, trying too hard and failing to be funny copy that make you embarrassed for English speakers everywhere, on monitors as you wait. It is just too soul crushingly unfunny. And then at the end of the tram ride they return w/ a voice over that makes me want to stab babies.

Al Roker I usually have no problem w/ Mr. Roker, but something about the fake weather report for the backlot that he gives on the monitors the trams have just irks me. Maybe it is just because I think some executive thought “Hey, you know how we can brand this theme park tour w/ something else we own?” and everyone else in the board room called him a genius. I don’t know, I just hate it.

Whoopie Goldberg Once you get on the trams you are subjected to Whoopie on the television screens of your tram every now and again, giving you the history of Universal Studios. It is terrible, I cringe every time the tour host stops talking to switch to a pretaped package, with fear that it will be her. She’s not funny. She hasn’t been remotely funny since what? The early 90s? I’m sure that we can all agree on that. That makes her not funny for nearly 20 years now. Why did the morons putting this together get her to host it then? And have her try to be funny? Her John Wayne impression is so terrible it makes Peter Griffin’s look pretty damn impressive. It is seriously nails on a chalkboard bad. It is like they’re trying to tell us “Hey, its Whoopie! You all like her, right Middle America? She was in movies! Remember when she was funny! You assholes all bought tickets to “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit!” Weren’t you all just delighted when you heard her in “the Lion King?” So this is really all your fault!” Can’t we get someone else? Hell for the few minutes Peter Jackson was on, it was not only refreshing not to see Whoopie, but exciting to see someone legitimately excited to show you something on the backlot as well as not talking down to you.

5 Favorite Things About Vegas

Yay! This weekend Allison and I are headed to Vegas! Time to celebrate! Celebrate with a LIST!

Hash House A Go-Go’s Chicken and WafflesChicken & Waffles tower
It’s off the strip (but I think they built a new one close to it) but worth the drive. Everything there is yummy, but the fried chicken is something I dream of, and the waffles have bacon cooked in them. They are a masterpiece of culinary achievement.

Nine Fine Irishmen
It’s the Irish themed bar in the New York New York casino. It’s just so inviting. I’ve never even been there when the band is playing and I love it! It’s just a cool place to chill out and sip a Guinness.

The Burger Bar’s Desert BurgerAllison wanted dessert... not another burger!
It looks like a burger but it’s all candy and fruit. It’s effing good! If Hubert Kellar came up with this, he’s a genius, and if he didn’t, he hired a genius. Sometimes I don’t even want a genuine burger from the Burger Bar, but I’ll always want the Desert Burger!

The Tropicana
The Tropicana is pretty much the go to place to stay for Allison and I when in Vegas. It’s not too fancy and still holds some of that awesome old Vegas appeal. They’re doing it up all fancy, but I hope it doesn’t change too much, I really like the place! It might not be trendy, but it feels a lot more like the Vegas I enjoy than a bunch of the other hotel/casinos do.

Ridiculous DrinksJose likes pineapples!
I think that each time one goes to Vegas they should find a place that serves some ridiculous drink, or a drink in a ridiculous fashion. Either be the Girl Drink Drunk or drink out of a plastic guitar, it makes no difference, it’s always awesome and Vegas is the only city where it won’t look out of place.

5 Kick Ass Things from Wizard World Anaheim

The weekend before last Allison and I drove on out to Anaheim, got our press passes and hit the floor at the Anaheim Comic Con AKA Wizard World Anaheim. We got a couple reality show contestant interviews, which is why we went, but we also just had a really good time. Here’s the 5 things that just kicked a major amount of ass (other than being there and having an awesome time w/ my rad girlfriend).

Talking to Doug TenNapel
I’ve liked Doug’s work since I first was introduced to him via the “Scud: Tales from the Vending Machine” issue that he wrote and drew. Then I find out he was behind “Earthworm Jim” and did album covers for Five Iron Frenzy and I knew he had to be cool. He was awesome! Very friendly, talked about Rob Schrab w/ me as well as “Sockbaby” and talked to Allison about “Catscratch” and directing Kevin McDonald. Really laid back and fun.

Running into Nathan Barnant
You may know him better as Keith Apicary or even Trale Lewous, but he was there, just walking around as himself. He was gracious enough to stop and talk to Allison and I when we stopped him. He even took the time to pose for a picture with Allison too. Ran into him later and he said “Hey, I know you!” Total class act, that guy!

Futurama Voice Panel
Billy West and Phil LaMarr hosted a panel of them talking about working on “Futurama.” It was pretty funny, Billy is pretty silly and Phil is pretty quick witted, an awesome pair for sure. One fan even asked for them to quickly do Fry meeting Samurai Jack, and they went for it. They talked a bit about making the new “Futurama” episodes for Comedy Central. I’m finding it hard to explain how cool this all is, but trust me, it was a lot of fun seeing these 2 guys just talk.

Hug from Doug Jones
I had to stop by and say a quick “hello” to Doug Jones after enjoying him in a few things (like “Hellboy”) and hearing how friendly he was. I stepped up and told him that and then I mentioned how much I liked seeing him in “Sockbaby” and he immediately hugged me. Allison snapped a quick picture then gave her a hug as well. The man is awesome!

Handshake from Junction Jack
Late in the convention when things were slowing down and our interviews had been done I took the time to tell Bob Gunton that I was a big fan of “Greg the Bunny” and that I just wanted to shake his hand. I don’t know if it was because it was late, or he’s just super nice but he talked to me for quite a bit knowing I wasn’t there to buy and autograph or anything. He even said “Greg the Bunny” was one of the most fun times he had doing television and to watch out for Warren “Professor Ape” DeMontague’s upcoming MTV show that he’s making an appearance on.

5 Podcasts That I Love to Listen to

the Adam Carolla Podcast
This hardly needs any introduction, after all, it is the most downloaded podcast of all time or something. I like Adam, he’s always been funny to me so this is pretty up my alley. I started as an every day listener, then I got burnt out and started listening to only the guests I like, then quitting for a few months and now I’m back to listening to it at least 4 days a week. Adam is just so damn likable and reminds me of a sarcastic uncle or something.

Overthinking It
I just recently got into this one. They take a pop culture topic and then dissect and over think it. It’s fun if you have a geeky mindset like me. It is based on their website, so once a week they all call in together and have kind of a forum on. Lots of different and smart topics pop up from the most unlikely sources.

A Life Well Wasted
It’s a video game culture that well, rarely comes out. It is so well done that I look forward to whenever the host gets an episode together. He did a whole episode on people who hoard old games and gaming systems, one on why video game creators create and hope to accomplish and even one on the death of the pinball industry. Smart and well done, if only there were more!

Drunken Zombie
I’m not a big horror movie fan, but I am a big get together w/ some buddies and drink and talk about stupid stuff fan. That’s what this podcast is. Okey, so they’re all my friends so that makes it easy for me. They really do make me laugh, but they are pretty knowledgeable about what they’re talking about, and heck, I’ve used some of the info I’ve got from them to rock at pub trivia.

This American Life
It’s the same as the public radio show, but in podcast form. I always liked This American Life but I could never remember to listen to it on what ever hour they played in on Sunday. Now I get the opportunity to let it come to me. When the feed it late I go nuts, I want it, I want it by Sunday evening so I can listen to it at work dammit! Ira, who’s in charge of that? Crack the whip on them!

It should be noted that I myself am part of 2 podcasts, the world’s greatest reality show podcast I’m Not Here to Make Friends with my lovely girlfriend and solo with the music filled 23 Minutes of Ska.

5 Movies I Left Thinking They Were Bad

After seeing Alice in Wonderland the other day I left the cinema pretty underwhelmed. All I could say for it was “well that certainly was a movie.” This is much better than how I left some movies, these are the ones where I felt I had wasted more time than money. These are not just movies that I went to w/ a group thinking “aw this might be bad, but who cares” or “ok that movie wasn’t for me,” no, I’m talking about movies that inspired ire in me.

Santa Clause : the Movie
Imagine a happy little Jose, filled with candy and good cheer, it is the holiday season and he’s going to go see a Christmas movie, then it all goes to hell. Really, I hadn’t even developed any kind of critical faculties and I just KNEW I’d seen something terrible. This movie represents just about everything wrong with the 80s and it’s idiotic excess.

Sleepy Hollow
The first chink in the cornerstone of my Tim Burton fanship. I just couldn’t get over how much I hated this. I seriously almost left during that scene at the windmill at the end that took… oh, for-damn-ever! Really, after this I really didn’t mind Planet of the Apes so much. It does seem like I’m the only person who liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory though. Still, man, Sleepy Hollow was bad, it had Walken and it was still terrible!

Star Wars Episode I : the Phantom Menace
Really, who didn’t see this one coming?

the Watchmen
I wanted to like this, I wanted to like this as much as I’ve always wanted to like the comic. But it turns out I just am not the person for either. The worst part is, the opening had me fooled! I was all “Oh man, how come I wasn’t seeing everything as being this awesome in the comic?” and then BAM! The movie becomes the magnification of what I didn’t like about the comics.

Deep Impact
A movie I hated so much that I ranted about it for a half hour straight. My girlfriend at the time eventually told me to shut up. Thing is, she didn’t like the movie either, but she didn’t want to listen to me complain about it anymore. That was the beginning of the end for that relationship. Allison and I, now we bitch about movies together… a lot, much like after we saw Alice in Wonderland!

5 Minor Things from Scott Pilgrim Comic That I Hope Make the Movie Verison

With the announcement coming today about the release date of the final Scott Pilgrim book and the release earlier this week of the movie teaser poster I’ve never been more psyched for trips to the comic shop and cinema this summer. So I thought I’d go down a short list of minor things that I hope will make it into the final movie, things so small that if they didn’t make it in it wouldn’t even matter, but damn, it’d be rad to see them!

Ramona’s College
It’s mentioned once, in passing, with a small graphic that Ramona’s alma mater was University of Carolina in the Sky. It’s a rad concept that really fits with the rest of the tone of the book. It’s a college, on a huge rock that floats in the air & is chained to the mountains! It’s great because it is so mundane that this natural wonder just plays host to a university and not some kind of them park or something. Then again, we are talking about a world where there’s 2 holes in the moon, and it seems like not that many people have taken the time to figure out why.

Scott’s “Pee Meter”
Scott’s “Pee Metter” is full. Scott goes to the bathroom. Scott’s “Pee Meter” empties. I found this more hilarious that I should. This has the most chance of anything on this list making the movie as director Edgar Wright seems found this as funny as I did. At least that’s what I’ve heard in interviews.

Michael Comeau’s Ring
It is a ring, that has a skull in it. When Michael shows it off to Scott it says “Ssscotttt…” When Scott asks Michael where he got it the response is “From the future.” And then the conversation goes on as if that’s a totally and perfectly logical place to get something. It is said so a-matter-of-factly, and responded to in the same way as “From a gumball machine” that it makes the whole story around the ring even more interesting. Just how did Comeau get to the furture to snag it? It doesn’t matter, Scott’s friends just want to know if his band is going to show up his ex-girlfriend’s band that night.

Scott’s Girly Poster
Scott shares a studio apartment (and mattress on the floor) with his gay roommate Wallace. Through out the comic we find that Scott own virtually nothing in said apartment except for a toothbrush, some clothes and a poster of 2 skimpily dresses girls kissing. It’s beyond tacky, and what gets me even more is that its the only thing Scott owns that purely decorative. It is his only “thing,” everything else he owns can be used to clothe and clean himself, but the poster is just “stuff.” Totally ridiculous too! The fact that Bryan Lee O’Malley doesn’t even draw it, but pastes in a scan of the actual poster makes me laugh even more, as it even LOOKS like it doesn’t belong.

A Jealous Young Neil Calling Steven Stills “Captain Homo”
I don’t know why I love this exchange where when Young Neil is discussing why Knives isn’t with him anymore it’s because she’s obsessed with “Captain Homo” AKA Stephen Stills AKA his roommate. It is just such a dumb insult, but it just plays perfect in context, which would take even longer to fully set up. There’s something about insulting someone or something as “gay” when what you’re making fun of is some that’s completely heterosexual that will always make me laugh.

5 (Relatively Cheap & Tasty) Places to Eat in LA

My good friend asked (for herself and on behalf of her husband) what are some good, non fast food places to eat the next time they come to LA. Oh yeah, and try not to be too pricey! She asked me this in “Ask Rad Jose” and had I answered there it would’ve been “7-11,” but because she’s awesome I’ll answer this here, in a part serious manner. So take this as a guide for yrself if you ever visit Los Angeles and need a bite!

Philippes
It’s the home of the French Dip. That’s not just idle boasting either, this is where the thing was invented! Boy is it good! Be sure to ask for the double dip, only suckers get the standard dip (or so my girlfriend tells me, after I was apparently a “sucker” but that was the day I saw Mark Hoppus there, so who’s the sucker now?) And double plus awesome, it can be easily accessed by the Union Station stop on the Red Line Metro!

Canter’s Deli
Allison and I first heard reference to Canter’s from the band Something for Rockets, or maybe that’s not true, Allison could’ve heard of it earlier and then SFR reminded her of it in an old blog post on their website. Either way it is tasty as all get out. It is standard deli fare in a rockin’ environment. Be sure to grab some cookies for the drive back, no matter how much you buy they usually don’t survive the trip back. Bonus: see if anything rad is going on at the Silent Movie Theatre a few blocks down and make a night of it.

Henry’s Hat
Fast becoming local favorite of mine. I’ve yet to have a bad thing on the menu. They have fun with it, apple smoked sausage done up corn dog style and served w/ a variety of mustards, a North Carolina style pulled pork sandwich w/ cole slaw on it, cool beer and Flaming Dr. Peppers can all be ordered. They also stock board games as well to play while you wait (also in the back room, a Wii) which we’ve never gotten around to playing any as we’re talking to each other and the friendly staff. A bit out of the way in the Vally (just barely) but hey, free parking!

Big Wang’s
This place is damn near an institution by now. It’s been featured in a few TV shows (MADtv I know to be a fact) and it has pretty good wings. I barely remember the other fried goods they have, but I ate the damn out of them on a few occasions. They also have their own beer, Big Wang’s Light. I had it once. Once. Thankfully they also have Blue Moon by the pitcher too! The one in Hollywood used to be painted bright orange but if I recall it’s been painted over… that’s sad, but hey, there’s still a chicken in a wife beater flexing his arms to entice you to come in!

DuPar’s
There’s no doubt about this one, it IS an institution out here. It’s pretty awesome for diner food, but the pie, oh yes, the pie is awesome! And I know from pie, so you have to trust me. There’s a few locations around, so it isn’t to hard to find one, the most famous being the one by the Farmer’s Market. Allison and I once saw Scott Adsit at the one in Studio City and were embarrassed that we couldn’t remember his name and kept wanting to call him “Pete”.

My 5 Favorite Adventures with Jake (so far…)

Adventures with Jake started out as something to do to make my 365 Days photo project more fun for me. I’d take a daily picture and all, got a few good ones, but taking pictures of me and my old skool Fisher Price little person Jake made me laugh. I’ve had Jake since I was a kid, but his first major role in my life was my senior year of HS (’95-’96) where he mostly stayed in my locker. It was during this time he got the name Jake. After that I mostly just let him be for a while on a shelf, but in inspiration struck during 1999 when I had to do a short commercial for my television production course at my college. I made a mock political ad in support of Jake, who’s full name is revealed as Jacob VanCleeve. After that Jake was once again a bit of a after thought, a childhood toy put away once more. When I moved to LA Jake was on a very short list of decorative things that I brought with me (which also included Frog, who’s been with me since birth) to put on a shelf. There are two central mysteries to Jake: A) Why I chose him over Frog to go on adventures with and take pictures and B) Where did his name came from. He’s not named after anyone I know or any characters I know of, heck, is VanCleeve even a real last name?

So in honor of Jake, and our going on adventures again (each Wednesday right here on this blog), I thought I’d take a quick look back at some of our previous awesome adventures!

New Comic Day!
OK this one is mostly awesome, except you can see my hand holding Jake up. I always hate when that happens! This is one of my favorites due to the fact that my girlfriend actually sent this picture to Rob Schrab when she had him sign a Scud poster for me!

Where is Jake?
This one is awesome because Jake is all hidey. It makes me laugh. And because I had to pay to get him in and out of the machine it is the most costly Adventure we’ve ever had!

It's Mexican night
The implication that that is a huge plate of food for Jake always makes me laugh. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, that something that broad and silly makes me smile, but it’s true.

Sneaky Sailors
Jake and I sneak on to a large ocean liner and stow away deep down somewhere in engineering. Because making up lies, even when they look plausible, is totally fun.

Looking for Jake in Dallas
Call me boring, but the out of focus Jake in the background just works for me. I liked the idea of Jake being some kind of master mind criminal or super spy that I was always on the trail of, but I only ever took this picture alluding to that idea. Ultimately I think it is because Jake and I work better at the bestest friend in the whole wide world!

Top 5 Number Twos

Assistants to the big boss in any form, that’s a number two. Second in command and even more sometimes. It’s the life of a number two. So now I’m listing my five favorite number twos!

Number 2 from Austin Powers
Admit it, this is the first thing you thought of when you saw this was going to be the list for this Friday. He’s the second in command to Dr. Evil, and if you ask me, did a better job of dominating the world. Also, here he is in his superior form lat 90s, not that wussy Rob Lowe 60s version. Also, that Eye patch is totally boss!

Dr. Girlfriend
Before she was Dr. Mrs. The Monarch she was the number two to The Monarch, Dr. Thadeus Venture’s arch nemesis. As much as I was into watching Venture Brothers for, well, the Venture Brothers for the first season, somewhere in season two I really started watching for her and the Monarch and their messed up relationship.

Commander Riker
Capt. Picard’s number two, and he referred to him as such several times, so it counts! Beardless or not he could play a mean saxophone. Did he ever do that on the show? Or just in that Phish documentary? Seriously, can anyone clear this up? Oh yeah… and space battles, hitting on Deanna and stupid sci-fi junk.

Various No 2s from the Prisoner
Ever revolving doors for the head of the Village and main tormentor for No 6. Some No 2s are a lot more fun than others, and in the end we all have our favorites. I think the first No. 2, the gregarious bearded one, the woman with the cat & what I like to call the Playboy No 2 were the ones I liked the best. I should say “so far” I have only watched 12 of 17 but I don’t really see that changing.

PENCILS!
The ultimate number two! It’s always there for you, and just admit it, you’re totally an effing evil scientist deep deep down!

5 Television Show Theme Songs that are Super Boss

This is easy to understand. 5 TV theme songs that totally kick ass. At least I think that they do. Theme songs started going downhill in the 90s, if they were ever used at all. I know why, adding more time to advertising took away time for the show, so something had to be cut, the theme song was a casualty along with full screen end credits. But these songs are all totally rad!

The Prisoner
They totally covered a lot of this awesome theme with sound effects, but it some how adds to it all. And yeah, the song is over at about 2:10, but the shows intro adds about another minute to that. Man, they must’ve had a lot of time back in ’68!

MacGyver
I was recently reacquainted with this song through parodies of the opening. Then I remembered how awesome it was and it pretty much became the whole reason I thought to make this entry.

Simon and Simon
This show was a favorite around my house growing up. That sax solo still gets me. Simon and Simon had some really lame theme song the first few seasons until it got changed to this. Wise move Mayor of Television!

Hawaii Five-O
This just might be the greatest show theme song ever. The only one that gives it a run for the money is the final one on this list…

Magnum P.I.
Was there really any doubt this would be on here? Little known fact, for the first few episodes this was the closing titles theme and not the into theme!