So much for the Dog Days of Summer huh?
Leading up to our country’s birthday party—in only a matter of weeks the ole USA set off its own share of sparklers:
Obamacare is here to stay, as our Gay Marriages. You had Confederate Chaos and then there was the Donald himself, who didn’t need a bottle rocket to self explode on the eve of the 4th…..
Pucker up Trump and while you’re at it—kiss those presidential dreams goodbye. Its like a wise man once told me, “Just because you’re rich, that doesn’t make you smart.”
Yes saying Happy Birthday to the red white and blue for the 239th time always gives us great pause to celebrate the important reasons why our country is unique but I know we can always improve the greatest nation in the land—-sometimes its all about the little things.
So in the spirit of Independence, these are the things I hope our country can be “independent of” in the next 12 months. I’m confident Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln would be in my corner on these pressing matters….
LET FREEDOM RING:
*BACKWARD THINKING: Can we stop having grown men put their hats on backwards or better yet prevent others from parking their car backwards—does it really save that much time?
*NICK-FOOLERY: Please eliminate the following nicknames from our lexicon, especially if I just met you: “Boss”, “Young Man” and sometimes “Champ”
*MIS-FIRINGS: Time for my annual “get off my lawn rant”–is there anything more overrated than Fireworks? If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I get it if you want to let off a few for an hour but hours of fireworks in one evening—I don’t get it?
*RUDE PEOPLE: Merica we’re a nation of good, hardworking and often rude people. A few tips–if someone let’s you walk across the road “thank them.” If they open a door for you—“thank them” And oh—if they let you over in traffic—feel free to…”thank them”. Pretty easy stuff right?
*AIRLINE ETIQUETTE: Our country tis of thee–sweet land of airline liberty. Simple rules—when deplaning–wait for the person in front of you to exit their row before you precede to move forward. And oh yeah, when the whole plane is sleeping–not a good time to be the only loud talker on the plane. Our forefathers would back be on that one.
Belated Independence Day wishes—our first order of business in this mid summer trip around the Naborhood. As always–thanks for stopping by.
I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT? The US of A is loaded with big thinkers and risk takers–often a lethal combination in this land of endless entrepreneurs.
The key to a great idea is to find something which nobody has done before where how often do we see it and then say it—Gosh why didn’t I think of that?
The latest culprit was here in Tampa where check out this interesting innovation at the Citrus Park Mall:
They call themselves”Happy Rides.” Basically they are animal go carts that your kids can ride around the Mall. Seven bucks for 10 minutes and you can shell out 12 dollars for 20 minutes.
The end result
My daughter loved it and its quite the summer craze. The best thing about it is they market themselves. Both times we rode these around, at least 10 people asked us about it and said they wanted to try it. The customers marketing the product—pure genius! Damn—I wish I would have thought of it first.
BEST SOUNDTRACK EVER? I often talk about “remote droppers”in this blog– you know movies that when you see them make you immediately drop your remote. Ran into one the other day in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”
I think this may be the first R rated movie I ever saw in a theatre back in 1983?! Watching it, I kept hearing good songs which led me to the Soundtrack which may boast the best All Star Cast Ever. You had Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, Billy Squier , Graham Nash, Sammy Hagar, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin and even Donna Summer.
Not too shabby. Pretty good melting pot as well.
I’m not done though. Some of these songs are good, others are lame while others you wonder who sang them? Everybody’s favorite character in this movie was burnout surfer Jeff Spicoli, a role which put Sean Penn on the map. Well Spicoli had a Spicoli’s theme in the album. I always wondered who it was?
It was none other than Jimmy Buffett who wrote and performed the song—-a nice exclamation point for a soundtrack full of them.
BEST BBQ: I love barbeque. Have had great offerings in Birmingham where everybody raves about Dreamland which is good but I’m partial to Jim and Nicks and Full Moon.
I’ve had it in Kansas City and all over the country but strange enough may have found my leader in the clubhouse.
Have heard great things about 4 Rivers Smokehouse and the place sure lived up to the hype—-its my new favorite bbq joint.
Sure the barbecue menu is great. Gotta say the Burnt-Ends barbecue is my favorite but my kids enjoyed the pulled pork and even the bbq quesadillas!
The sides are outstanding and the best part is 4 Rivers is always changing them up and then you have the desserts. They are so good—I bet some just come in for those.
Have never seen a barbecue joint with a better all around menu and package than 4 Rivers–check it out—-you’ll love it.
SUMMER MOVIES: The summer movie scene has been a big letdown the past few years but this summer has quite the contrast.
Unlike the critics, I loved the Entourage movie–I thought it brought out the best this fun show had to offer which is hard. The more Ari Gold, well the better.
Entourage couldn’t top the class of the summer flicks though as Inside Out is proving to be the best of the Pixar dynasty and that is surely saying something. I loved Toy Story with my ladies but this movie may have topped it.
The movie which in true Pixar fashion can entertain both the kids and those adults taking them centers around the emotions of an 11 year old girl who is struggling from a move at such a vulnerable age.
It takes you inside her brain and it stars her five dominant emotions:
Joy, Anger (my favorite voiced by the angriest person on the planet in Lewis Black) Disgust, Fear and Sadness.
What makes this movie so rare is that all kids love it and adults not only like it but it seems to be therapeutic for everyone—even the those high on the intellectual foot chain:
In a column in The New York Times, two of the country’s top psychology experts (Dacher Keltner and Paul Ekman, both of the University of California–Berkeley) explain one thing that the movie gets right that most people get wrong.
They write: (courtesy the Business Insider)
Emotions organize — rather than disrupt — rational thinking. Traditionally, in the history of Western thought, the prevailing view has been that emotions are enemies of rationality and disruptive of cooperative social relations.
But the truth is that emotions guide our perceptions of the world, our memories of the past and even our moral judgments of right and wrong, most typically in ways that enable effective responses to the current situation.
All of this from a Disney movie?
While Inside Out delivered–very and probably predictably, I was disappointed with the Ted sequel.
The movie was a classic case of all the good scenes coming in the trailer—never a good sign. Definitely rent this one —I still love the original though.
SICK IN THE HEAD: Looking for a great summer read? I recommend Judd Apatow‘s “Sick in the Head” which is a collection of interviews with the biggest names in comedy the famed filmmaker has collected since he was a teenager.
Apatow, who apparently never sleeps, has transcribed tape recorded discussions he has had stored since he was a 15 year old when he took a job as a dish washer in a local comedy club–just so he could watch stand-up for free.
His interviews cover the gamut with the best of the best from Seinfeld to Louis CK, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock–even Mel Brooks and many more.
An easy, entertaining and fascinating read.
NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT…: One of my favorite athletes said goodbye this summer, yes mighty Marty St Louis ends quite an inspiring career at the age of 40.
Many in Tampa are Marty Mad because of the way he left the Lightning demanding a trade as captain in the midst of a playoff run but I will always have positive memories of him.
Not as a slower New York Ranger but as speedy, spunky and stellar member of the Bolts who brought home a Hart Trophy, two scoring titles and the crucial goal in the team’s cup run in game 6 at Calgary.
How can you not appreciate a guy who wasn’t drafted but leaves the game as a lock to be in the Hall of Fame and will go down for now as the best player to have skated for the Lightning.
I used to be the TV Host for the team and it didn’t matter what the circumstance, St Louis always had time for me between periods (which helped as we were the same height) and while many didn’t think he had much of a personality, I disagree.
I remember doing a dual interview with Marty and Vinny Lecavalier for my Naborhood show on Bright House Sports Network when before we started taping, St Louis started laughing at something Vinny said and literally couldn’t stop laughing for the next 10 to 15 minutes. I had never seen him let his guard down like that but had heard the stories from his teammates for years.
I remember being on the bus with the team in Montreal as we were all waiting for St Louis to get on as he was visiting with his many family members—the team was calling them, “The Smurfs.”
He was fun to be around and serves as a great reminder to many little guys trying to make it to the biggest stage (whatever that may be)—don’t let the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.
We’ll miss you Marty!
EXTRA POINT: No offense to Women’s soccer, Nascar and Wimbledon—but can we just fast forward to football season please……!
UNTIL NEXT BLOG,
CREDITS: David Becker/Getty Images,imdb.com,random house,Disney Pixar, yelp.com, & Business Insider and csnwashington.com