Friday, May 29, 2009

Endless Summer Food Review: 10 of 52

As part of my New Year's Resolution to try 52 new restaurants, diners, coffee shops and bakeries during 2009, I present the following review.

Endless Summer


The Norwegian Star Cruise Ship


Who I Went With:
Mark, Geoff, Travis, Tony and Chris

What I Ate:
Chips, fresh salsa, mango salsa and guacamole

Fajita salad

Beef burrito and rice

Chocolate cake

Would I Go Back:
If I was ever aboard the Norwegian Star again, yes I would go back!

Worth the Price:
It only cost $10 to enjoy this restaurant and it was totally worth the price. Probably the best food I had on the cruise.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Running into Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds was the headline performer on my cruise through the Mexican Riviera. I had heard rumor that she was on the ship for the entire week but I had yet to see her. People talked about running into Debbie and how great she was. She was on board to work one evening but she was also enjoying the cruise.

One afternoon I was hungry so I went to the Market Place Cafe (a 24 hour buffet with ever changing food and dessert options). I loaded up a plate, filled up my soda glass and picked a table. As I walked toward my desired chair, I noticed Debbie eating lunch as well.

I almost joined her but decided to stick with my original plan of finding my own seat. I sometimes get a little over confident around celebrities. Why wouldn't Debbie Reynolds want to have lunch with Michael Rivers (an almost celebrity)? It seemed logical to me.

As I ate I tried not to stare at Debbie. It was hard. This was the closest I'd ever come to eating lunch with an Oscar nominated actress.

A few people approached Debbie while she ate and she was always gracious. Posing for photos, signing autographs and telling people how much she was enjoying the cruise (not that I was listening in on conversations).

When she finished eating I went over and asked if I could get a photo with her. I said I was really looking forward to her show and wished her well for the rest of the week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beaches Food Review: 9 of 52

As part of my New Year's Resolution to try 52 new restaurants, diners, coffee shops and bakeries during 2009, I present the following review.


Manhattan Beach, CA.

American food. It was hard to concentrate on the menu when this was the view from our table:

Who I Went With:
Erich and William. We went on my first day ever in California. William used to live on the beach so he was a great tour guide!

William and Erich.

Me and Erich. I borrowed William's hat for the photo.

What I Ate:
Burger and fries.

Would I Go Back:
Of course. Did you see that view!

Worth the Price:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting Ready for Vacation

My cruise through the Mexican Riviera was a great experience. I'm finally getting around to organizing the 700+ photographs that I took. I'm also coming up with many blog ideas so I can share the adventure.

Part one of the vacation was getting to the International Minneapolis - St. Paul Airport. I had to be there by 6:30am and that was no small accomplishment.

I arrived at the Mall of America Lite Rail station at 6:15am.

How many people are on the train at 6:15am?

Just one. Me.

How much luggage do I take on a nine day vacation?

A lot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Roat Osha Food Review: 8 of 52

As part of my New Year's Resolution to try 52 new restaurants, diners, coffee shops and bakeries during 2009, I present the following review.

Roat Osha

2650 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Thai food.

Who I Went With
Tony and Adam.

What I Ate
Cream cheese wantons

Pork Pad Thai

Would I Go Back
Yes! Thai is a favorite food of mine and I've tried it in many places. Roat Osha is wonderful. The flavors are very full and fresh. Their Pad Thai is my favorite in the Twin Cities. The decor is great too. Very modern, new and open. The space has a very good feel.

Worth the Price

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Judy Garland Festival Schedule

The schedule for the 34th Annual Judy Garland Festival has been announced. This year's festival is celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the MGM film The Wizard of Oz. I attended the festival in 2007 and 2008. I've met many wonderful people from all over the USA and Canada. Seeing these people each year is like seeing family. I'm looking forward to going back again in 2009.

The following is a list of events scheduled for this year. Please check the Judy Garland Museum site for more details!

Get Acquainted Buffet
Mingle with special guests and fans from though out the U.S. and abroad.

Judy Jeopardy Game
Join in the fun and test your Judy skills.

Judy Garland: Alive in our Hearts
Informal song tributes by Garland fans.

Judy Garland: The Dressing of a Legend
Michael Siewert shares his premiere collection of 15 gowns worn by Judy Garland.

Me and Michael Siewert at the 2008 Festival

Judy Remembers Dorothy
Emmy Award-winning Garland historian John Fricke shares thirty years of anecdotes and quotes, all drawn from Judy’s own words and experiences.

Supper with the Munchkins
Sleepyhead Margaret Pellegrini & Lollipop Guilder Jerry Maren.

Concert Pianist Richard Glazier - "A Salute to Judy Garland & Friends"
Richard Glazier’s new show "is a tribute to the woman most often called the 'World’s Greatest Entertainer.'

Richard performing at the 2008 Festival.

Guided Tours of Garland historic sites in Grand Rapids

Michael Siewart Collection
Collection on exhibit at Judy Garland Museum all day. Meet Michael in the Museum Gallery.

The collection on display during the 2008 Festival.

Dinner with the Munchkins and Silent Auction

Me and Margaret Pellegrini at the 2008 Festival.

How Does She DO That?
John Fricke, the eminent Garland author and producer, looks back at the last forty years and confirms the fact that the world has never stopped rediscovering, appreciating, enjoying, and loving Judy Garland.

70th Anniversary Outdoor Screening of The Wizard of Oz.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Joan Rivers: 19th Anniversary

The first photo of Joan Rivers and me. Don't you love the tinted eyeglass lenses of the late '80s and early '90s?

April 28, 1990, was the first time I met Joan Rivers. Nineteen years ago. I can't believe it!

My parents knew how much I wanted to see Joan so we traveled from Aberdeen, SD to Minneapolis, MN. Joan performed at the famous Guthrie Theater and my mom went to the show with me.

I'll never forget sitting in the audience waiting for Joan to appear. I was so nervous. I couldn't believe I would be seeing her live! Finally it was showtime. The orchestra played Anchors Away and spotlights swept over the crowd.

Suddenly, Joan burst through the curtains. She was wearing a Bob Mackie evening gown and had a black feather boa over her shoulder. When I saw her, I physically jumped in my seat. It was like I had been zapped with an electrical current. The entire show was a rush and I can remember trying to memorize every detail.

After the show my mom and I went to the backstage party. The performance was an AIDS Benefit and if you purchased a $100 ticket (1990 dollars), you got to go backstage. Joan was wonderful with me and I never left her side. I'm sure there were times when she wanted to call a security guard over to "get this kid away from me." But she never did.

As Joan was talking to others, I saw that her assistant, Dorothy, was holding Spike (Joan's Yorkie). I asked if I could pet him. Dorothy said, "Do you want to hold him?" My heart jumped as Dorothy placed the small dog into my hands. I beamed! I was holding Joan Rivers' Yorkie.

After talking with everyone backstage, Joan, her assistant and security guards headed out the back entrance. I of course followed along. My mom, wondering where her son was going, quickly caught up. We went out a back door which lead to a dark alley behind the Guthrie Theater. A waiting limo was glowing in the darkness. It was magical.

Joan asked if I wanted to walk Spike down the alley to "do his business" before they entered the limo. I would have walked Spike to China if she had asked me. I walked with Spike and then Joan scooped him up, said good night, entered the limo and drove off.

Next year will be the 20th Anniversary of that night.

I wonder how Joan and I will celebrate!?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Designing Women Season One DVD

On May 26, 2009, the first season of Designing Women will finally be released on DVD. I've been waiting patiently to see this. But patience was growing thin! For the past few years I've checked multiple websites trying to find a release date. It was frustrating to see almost every other TV series come out, but not Designing Women.

Designing Women and Golden Girls are my all time favorite comedy series. The first season of Golden Girls was released in 2004 and the last season has already been out for over two years. I'm not sure what took so long to get Designing Women started. But finally we can bring Suzanne, Julia, Mary Jo and Charlene into our homes again!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Joan Rivers Wins The Celebrity Apprentice

Congratulations to Joan Rivers for winning The Celebrity Apprentice!! Joan played for the charity God's Love We Deliver.

This wonderful charity will receive The Celebrity Apprentice winning check for $250,000! During the filming of the show, Joan won over $500,000. This money will provide over 56,000 meals and unlimited nutrition counseling for the clients of God's Love We Deliver.

"It's an incredible accomplishment and we simply can't thank Joan enough for this and for all she's done for our clients for over fifteen years. She is truly a remarkable woman, and we couldn't be prouder," said Karen Pearl, President & CEO of God's Love We Deliver.

Please check out the God's Love We Deliver site where you can find more information and make a donation of your own!

Congratulations Joan!!

Photo credit: Paulo Correa (nookiez)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Michael Rivers: Book on the Shelves

It's time for a shameless plug. Yesterday I was in Barnes and Noble and I was looking over the shelves. A very familiar book caught my eye. Mine! I'll Cover You in $20 Bills: The Male Body Beauty Businesswas staring back at me. It felt wonderful to be browsing in a bookstore and find my own book. That feeling of excitement never ends.

Today I brought my camera into the store and I took these pictures. It was good to remind myself of my writing achievement!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Joan Rivers: Celebrity Apprentice Finalist

Congratulations to Joan Rivers for making it to the final two on Celebrity Apprentice!!

Now we must wait a week before the three hour finale on May 10, 2009.

Joan, I'm in your corner. The poker player must go down! If you need help, let me know.

Best of Luck, Joan!!