Thing Thoughts: Hey I Won A Contest for Taking a Survey!!

I recently decided that I was going to take every damn survey that promised to enter me into a drawing/sweepstakes/raffle/contest in order to call companies’ bluff and see if I could win something, and guess what? I did.

I do love SOM shoes and everything they stand for. They’re hand-made by a small business based in Colorado (for the most part, made to order) and despite being sneakers of the Chucks variety, can be resoled when you wear down the sole. They are minimalist footwear, so don’t expect much in the way of cushioning between the sole of your foot and the ground. It took me a couple of days to acclimate to the shoes but now I absolutely love them.

I digress.

SOM emailed customers with a survey asking for customer feedback to make them a better company and promised to enter participants in a contest to win one of these boxes and lo and behold, I got picked! The last time I won a contest was to get my likeness drawn and included in the Icebox web series “Zombie College” back in 2001. Remember Icebox?

With all that, let’s look at what was in the box:

A Bluecorn Beeswax Candle
Dirty Water Soap Works Soap
• Chocolove Chocolate
• A SOM Footwear Sleep Mask
• St Pierre Catering Nutty Granola
• Save Our Soles Socks (the key to my heart is good socks)
• idea chíc Wood Postcard
• Wild Zora Meet & Veggie Bar (addictive!!)

Thank you SOM!

Please go check out their shoes. They really are great. In fact, I’m wearing them right now. No joke.

Sad Thoughts: So Long Book Castle Movie World, Burbank, California

Well I suppose this one was inevitable: Book Castle Movie World is closing. The shop has been a fixture of Downtown Burbank for, oh geeze, it has to be 40 or 50 years at least.


The shop had all the appearances of a film curios shop that might stock or display props, costumes, reproductions, movie posters, screenplays, and other ephemera to tickle a cinephile’s fancy. The shop front had the dilapidated Art Deco look of a repurposed clothing store from the 40’s that had gone long unoccupied until the Movie World tenant moved in. The displays featured faded movie posters for past great films and even the latest and greatest stuff in theaters, all showing an equal amount of fading and weathering.

But the reality inside was somewhat different. Continue reading “Sad Thoughts: So Long Book Castle Movie World, Burbank, California”

Travel Thoughts: Barley Forge Brewing Co. in Costa Mesa, California

After finishing my tea at Milk & Honey, I wound up over at Barley Forge Brewing Co. across the street for a St. Patrick’s Day Lunch of corned beef, excellent cabbage, mashed potatoes, and some token carrots (no clue why those were there, I hate carrots…). Oh, and also beer.


My favorite of their in-house craft brews would have to be the ‘Grandpa Tractor.’ It’s light, but not too light, crisp, and refreshing, seriously the only three words that should ever be used to describe beer. One thing I can’t stand about wines and wine tasting are all the metaphors used to describe the stuff. No, beer should be crisp and refreshing. Bam. Done. End of story. It’s harder than you think to find beer like this though. Nowadays, breweries are trying to make their marks by coming up with all kinds of weirdness in beer texture and flavor that I’m not going to get into…including Barley Forge…so all you need to know, is that their Grandpa Tractor is fabulous and doesn’t mess around.

Here is Barley Forge’s Website.

Movie Thoughts: Red Sparrow was a Slow Burn Espionage Thriller that Deserves More Credit

My mother saw Red Sparrow, and didn’t like it. A lot of critics saw Red Sparrow, and didn’t like it. I saw Red Sparrow, and I liked it. Which means I know more about movies than any of the people mentioned above.

No hear me out for a sec.

Continue reading “Movie Thoughts: Red Sparrow was a Slow Burn Espionage Thriller that Deserves More Credit”

Car Thoughts: The Aston Martin V550 V8 Vantage – My Grail Car

This post about the mercurial Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 was originally published on DriveTribe but as is the case with most social media, it has devolved into the sharing of unoriginal, vintage and viral media, so I’ve edited and reposted here.:

AMV8 1

My Journey to See My grail car
James May of The Grand Tour and another deceased pokey motoring show says “never drive your icons,” and i look forward to breaking that rule to drive the coolest f*cking Car Ever made…some other day.

Continue reading “Car Thoughts: The Aston Martin V550 V8 Vantage – My Grail Car”

Travel Thoughts: Milk & Honey in Costa Mesa, California

I live for small coffee roasters and Milk and Honey in Costa Mesa, California was a nice place to stop and feel serene while I waited for my car to get smogged.

APC 0213 hdr

Of course, I was also sick and so did not get the opportunity to sip coffee there, as I do prefer tea under such conditions, but in spite of that and the malfunctioning industrial ice maker along the wall that I found myself seated at, it was a lovely little experience.

Continue reading “Travel Thoughts: Milk & Honey in Costa Mesa, California”

Movie Thoughts: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri Used the OTHER Harvey Weinstein Tactic

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is not the great movie everyone says it is. It’s not bad by any means, and Sam Rockwell’s acting is superb, but the reason it won the oscars it did were largely due to the OTHER strategy Harvey Weinstein was known for, namely: SHMOOZING. So I would say bravo to Fox Searchlight as they did an AMAZING job of marketing this movie to critics, association members, and festival organizers.

Continue reading “Movie Thoughts: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri Used the OTHER Harvey Weinstein Tactic”

Movie Thoughts: Annihilation is An Nihilistic Movie That’s Brilliant

Annihilation is a movie that should allow you to switch off, but it’s so cerebral you can’t help but switching on to 11, you become highly receptive to everything that is going on in this stunning picture, both good and bad.

Of course it’s also beautiful and brilliant and the premise is wonderfully cerebral, but much like the surface layer of the movie itself, my personal view of the movie is unfortunately dark.

To be clear: it’s an excellent movie but…

Continue reading “Movie Thoughts: Annihilation is An Nihilistic Movie That’s Brilliant”

Movie Thoughts: I Only Liked Black Panther, but I Loved Early Man

Yes, Black Panther was epic and awesome and fun and spectacular, but then there’s the world of Aardman:

Sure Black Panther made a quadrillion dollars this weekend, but I, as a matter of taste and policy, will always hand my non-existent award for the best movie of the weekend to anything made by Aardman or Laika given their rich and heart filled celebrations of feature length storytelling utilizing old school stop motion animation techniques.

Continue reading “Movie Thoughts: I Only Liked Black Panther, but I Loved Early Man”