Friday, December 31, 2010

My Favorite Music, Movies, DVDs & Books of '10!

For that matter, here's my favorite music, movies, DVDs and books of the decade (so far)...

The Baseball Project – The Panda and the Freak
Best Coast - Boyfriend
Black Keys – Tighten Up
The Corin Tucker Band – Riley
Dum Dum Girls – It Only Takes One Night
Los Campesinos! – Romance is Boring
M.I.A. – Born Free
Vampire Weekend – Holiday
The Walkmen – Angela Surf City
Notes: I listed songs instead of albums, since really the only new 2010 album that I've found thoroughly enjoyable is Best Coast's Crazy for You. Otherwise, my favorite '10 albums are either new reissues of old faves (Springsteen, Stones, Stooges), or new-to-me favorites from years past (Nikki & the Corvettes, Wire), neither of which apply.

Exit Through the Gift Shop
The Fighter
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
The Kids Are All Right
Let Me In
The Social Network
The Tillman Story
True Grit
Winter’s Bone
Notes: I watched 45 movies this year, 13 of which were 2010 releases. I have yet to see these promising titles: Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Inception, Life During Wartime, 127 Hours...

30 for 30
Baseball: The Tenth Inning
Big Love: Season 3
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 7
In Treatment: Season 2
Ladies and Gentlemen: the Rolling Stones
Let’s Spend the Night Together
The T.A.M.I. Show
This Emotional Life
Notes: I couldn't come up with a tenth item.

Big Hair and Plastic Grass by Daniel Epstein
Blockade Billy by Stephen King
Cardboard Gods by Josh Wilker
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (the first 277 pages, anyhow)
Life by Keith Richards
Mint Condition by Dave Jamieson
Other Lives by Peter Bagge
Stitches by David Small
Undeleted Scenes by Jeffrey Brown
Wilson by Daniel Clowes
Notes: I finished 30 books this year. The best non-2010 books I read were H.G. Bissinger's Friday Night Lights, Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World, Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, Larry Tye's Satchel, Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and The Tipping Point, and George F. Will's Men at Work (even though he's a douche).

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy 40th, Vancouver Canucks!

Didn't want 2010 to end without mentioning that my favorite hockey team hit the big four-oh this year.

This is their 1977 Topps team checklist card.

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Happy 60th, Northgate!

Didn't want 2010 to end without mentioning that our big local shopping mall hit the big six-oh this year.

Which doesn't sound like much -- it's only half as old as Bartell -- but Northgate's 1950 opening turned out to be ground zero for America's subsequent mallification. According to Wikipedia, "Northgate was the first regional shopping center in the United States to be described as a mall, in this instance a double row of stores facing each other across a covered pedestrian walkway (also the first mall to have public restrooms)."

It just wouldn't be the holidays for me without a trip to Northgate, but something draws me back during the rest of the year, too. Maybe it's the pants at J.C. Penny, or the shoes at Footaction USA, or the burgers at Red Robin. Or, seeing as how I was born right across I-5 from Northgate, it's probably some Freudian thing.

In any case, don't bother looking at Northgate's crap web site -- more enlightening is Shopping Center Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cool Hockey Shit

In honor of my current hockey obsession, here's a bunch of cool hockey shit, like the upcoming Winter Classic -- that's the 2009 contest pictured above. Below, the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins logo...

Also, there's Super Chexx...

Bubblegum cards...

The Hanson Brothers (from Slap Shot)...

The Hanson Brothers (from Victoria)...

Mattel Electronics Hockey...

Seattle's puck history, including the Metropolitans, Eskimos, Sea Hawks, Ironmen, Bombers, Americans, Totems, Breakers, and Thunderbirds...

Bobby Orr Power Play pinball...

Backyard rinks...

Lisa on Ice...

And, of course, fights...

Bring the NHL to Seattle!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Seattle's Last Top Model

This morning I was downloading some Herb Alpert tunes while reading up on him online, when I made this cool discovery -- were you aware? -- the cover model of Whipped Cream & Other Delights is from Seattle!

Her name is Dolores Erickson. According to Wikipedia, she was born here in 1937, and her modeling career began at age 15 when she entered a Frederick & Nelson modeling contest. She was later voted Miss Longshoreman in a Seafair beauty pageant before dropping out of the UW to pursue modeling full-time. Dolores now lives in Kelso.

Though the iconic, oft-spoofed Whipped Cream cover is one of the all-time classics, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Dolores's appearance on Cy Coleman's Piano Witchcraft...

See also: Nat King Cole's The Touch of Your Lips and Guantanamera by the Sandpipers.

Here's her official site.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Flickr Sets: Bigfoot Comics, Canucks Schedules & Evel Paintings

Yo, peep these Bigfoot comic books, Vancouver Canucks pocket schedules, and Evel Knievel's supposed paintings.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

V for Victoria

Tonight we returned from a fun 36-hour trip to Victoria, via the Victoria Clipper. Our first stop was for afternoon tea at The Empress (pricey but worth it), where we also swam in the pool, watched cable, spent the night, and found this seagull perched on our windowsill in the morning...

Other than stepping inside Sasquatch Trading Ltd. (pictured at the very top) and eating (at Milestones, John's Place, and Wannawaffel), most of our time was spent combing through downtown thrift stores. No major scores, though I picked up a few of those ubiquitous Don Cherry Rock'em Sock'em Hockey videos. I tend to obsess over hockey whenever I'm in Canada, and though the Salmon Kings weren't playing while we were there, I picked up this pocket schedule for my collection. Did you know? The Victoria Cougars won the Stanley Cup in 1925.

Also checked out Royal Athletic Park (home of the defunct Victoria Seals baseball team) and watched a bit of a kids' bonspiel at the busy Victoria Curling Club. Eliza poses outside...

Our last stop before heading home was at the perennially awesome Royal British Columbia Museum, with its cool totem poles, dioramas, nature scenes and other stuff. Did you know? British Columbia is larger than Washington, Oregon and California put together.

Nice beaver...

They had it stuffed.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Happy 120th, Bartell!

In 1890, George Bartell opened the first of his Seattle drugstores, with the policy that they be "conveniently located, amply stocked, clean and attractive."

Now, 120 years and 56 Seattle-area stores later, adherence to his policy remains obvious. Though I wish my closest Bartell (at Broadway and Pike) was more convenient, the stores are indeed amply stocked, tidy, and inviting. Unlike your typical Rite Aid or Walgreens, with their claustrophobic, canyon-like aisles of inventory piled up to the ceiling, Bartell has their stuff neatly displayed on relatively shorter shelves, so you can easily see over their tops and all around their spacious, well-lit stores. Plus, I'm often surprised to find cool little Bigfoot toys and knickknacks there. Most of all though, the regional booster in me is a big fan of local chains. While many such businesses come and go or are bought out by outsiders (hello, Fred Meyer, QFC, the Bon), I love that Bartell has been locally owned and operated all along.

Here's their official site, and a detailed history on Historylink.