Monday, June 29, 2009

Whistle Stop Diner: Food Review 13 of 52

Whistle Stop Diner

Benson, MN

Who I Went With

What I Ate
Roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, bread and Diet Coke

Would I Go Back
The Whistle Stop Diner is half way between Minneapolis and Aberdeen, SD (my hometown). This is the first time I stopped there and I was pleased. The diner is very charming and serves comfort food at its best!

Worth the Price
Yes. The roast beef special was only $6.25.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Judy Garland Festival Here I Come

Pictures and stories to follow on future blogs!

Have a great weekend!

Check out the Judy Garland Museum homepage for more information.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today in Entertaiment History

June 25 . . . 1951
CBS sends the first color broadcast over the air. At the time, CBS owned fewer than 40 color receivers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Favorite Quote: Christina Crawford on Joan Crawford

When I was growing up my mother [Joan Crawford] often would say I reminded her of Norma Schearer and she'd get a strange look on her face. Only later did I realize she was pathologically jealous of Shearer.

Who Said It:
Christina Crawford.

My Opinion:
With many recent sources questioning the validity of Mommie Dearest, something tells me that Joan wasn't the person who was pathologically jealous.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Kids of Judy Garland Trilogy Part Two

This is part two of my quest to see Judy Garland's three children. I had already met Joe Luft in 2007 and 2008. His sisters, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft were next on my list. In September of 2008, Liza went on tour and she appeared in Minneapolis. My friend Ryan flew in from Phoenix, AZ, to attend the sold out concert with me.

Liza was phenomenal. She sang. She danced. She told stories. She told jokes. She was everything you'd want from a legend in concert. Her show was very old school, very high class and very professional. The lighting, sound, song selection and choreography went above what we expected. The sold out crowd was in a state of constant cheers and applause.

After the show I predicted Liza would take the show to Broadway. It was that good. I was right. In December of 2008, Liza returned to Broadway after almost a decade. Her show was called Liza's at the Palace and it just won a Tony Award. I told you the show was good.

Now I've seen two of Judy Garland's children.

Once again, I found myself down to one to complete a trilogy.

Lorna Luft, you are mine!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Diet Coke on Vacation

Diet Coke is my favorite thing to drink. I love it. I didn't try expanding my taste buds while I was on the cruise.

In this picture I'm holding the Bottomless Soda Cup. For $50 you got a cup and for eight days you could fill it as many times as you wanted. A can of soda was $1.75 (plus 18% tip) so I easily got my $50 worth.

I went all the way to Cabo San Lucas for a Diet Coke. During the walking tour we stopped for a soda break and I knew what I had to order.

Holding a Coca Cola Light in Mazatlan. In America it's called Diet Coke. But I had to learn to order Coca Cola Light while on vacation.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today in Entertainment History

June 16 . . . 1989

Ghostbusters II is released earning $112,494,738 in the United States.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Favorite Quote: Divorces

Why do Hollywood divorces cost so much? Because they are worth it.

Who Said It:
Johnny Carson (1925–2005).

My Thoughts:
This quote is very Carson. He was married four times so he knew all about the "worth" of a divorce.

1. Joan "Jody" Wolcott (married in 1949).

2. Joanne Copeland (married in 1963). Her divorce settlement was almost half a million dollars in cash and art and $100,000 a year in alimony. For life.

3. Joanna Holland (married in 1972). In the divorce, she received $20 million in cash and property.

4. Alexis Maas (married in 1987). This was Johnny's longest marriage, lasting the rest of his life.

Maybe it lasted because he finally got away from the ladies with very similar names: Joan, Joanne and Joanna. What are the chances?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Top 10 Baby Names 2008

The Social Security Administration has released the Top 10 Baby Names for 2008. I was curious where Michael ended up. The results:

Top 10 Boy Names for 2008

1 Jacob
2 Michael
3 Ethan
4 Joshua
5 Daniel
6 Alexander
7 Anthony
8 William
9 Christopher
10 Matthew

Ugh. Frustration. Michael lost another year's battle to be in the number one spot. A spot he first achieved in 1954. Michael held the number one spot for 43 of the next 44 years. Only slipping in 1960 when David was the number one boy name. In 1961, Michael knocked-out David and took over the top spot again. He held tight through 1998 (38 years).

From 1999 through 2008 Michael has held the #2 spot. What has happened? David managed to keep Michael down for only one year. Now for ten years Michael can't get back on top.

Since 1999, Jacob has held the number one position. Just who IS this Jacob? I think it's time for Michael to reclaim his rightful spot on top of the list!

Go Michael!

If you are curious about your own name, the Social Security Administration has a great site to look up names, years and ranks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Versailles Food Review: 11 of 52


Norwegian Star Cruise Ship

Who I Went With:
Erich, William and Richard.

What I Ate:
Rich Onion Broth with Small Beef Ravioli, Parmesan Cheese and Fresh Herbs.

Pasta with Short Rib Ragout, Ricotta Cheese and Aged Balsamic.

Chocolate Dessert.

Would I Go Back:
Yes. It was a very nice, formal dining environment. It was a great change from the Market Place Buffet. If I'm ever on the Norwegian Star again, I would be back.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today in Entertainment History

June 11 . . . 1982

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was released. With a budget of $10,500,00, the movie went on to gross $792,910,554 worldwide and was nominated for nine Oscars. It won four.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Judy Garland's Birthday

Frances Ethel Gumm was born on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, MN. At 2 1/2 years old, Frances sang Jingle Bells onstage at her father's New Grand Theater. By age 13, she was known as Judy Garland when she signed a contract with MGM.

Judy Garland would become one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever known. A few of her achievements include:

  • Appeared in 32 feature films.

  • Received a special Academy Award for Best Juvenile Performance of 1939 in recognition of her work in The Wizard of Oz.

  • Nominated for two other Academy Awards.

  • Starred in 30 episodes of The Judy Garland Show earning a total of 10 Emmy Award nominations.

  • Appeared as a television guest on nearly 30 other shows.

  • Performed more than 1,100 theater, nightclub and concert performances in from 1951 until 1969.

  • Received a special Tony Award for record-breaking Broadway engagements at the Palace.

  • Recorded nearly 100 singles, and over 24 record albums.

  • The record Judy at Carnegie Hall received an unprecedented 5 Grammy Awards in 1962, including Album of the Year.

  • Performed over several hundred radio broadcasts.

  • Sang at countless benefits for the military during WWII.

"The rest of us will be forgotten, never Judy." - Frank Sinatra

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mazatlan: The Fog Tour

During my cruise through the Mexican Riviera, I did a tour of each port. I will never forget Mazatlan. Not because of the amazing time I had in the city, but because of the fog that settled in right as our tour started.

Everything we were supposed to see in the higher altitude of the city was covered by a dense fog. Our tour guide prefaced everything he said with, "If you could see, this would be right here." "If you could see, that would be over there."

To keep in the spirit of the tour, here are a few photos.

The tour group enjoying . . . the fog.

If you could see, you'd know that these stairs carved out of rock lead to a diving platform. Rock divers go to the top, wait for the waves to come in and then they jump. They can't jump until a wave is in the right spot or else they would land in 4 feet of water.

Some of my fellow tourists decided to climb the stairs. I kept my feet planted on the sidewalk.

If you could see, I could tell you about this street. But I don't remember.

If you could see, I could tell you this building's significance. But I don't remember.

If you could see, this would be a great photo of me, the mermaid statue and the sparkling blue ocean in the background.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Joan Rivers

Photo credit: Zsuzsanna Kilián (nkzs)

Happy Birthday, Joan!
I hope this upcoming year is filled
with much happiness,
great success and good health!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Market Place Buffet Food Review: 12 of 52

Market Place Buffet

Norwegian Star Cruise Ship

Who I Went With:
I ate here many times over my 8 days cruise. Sometimes by myself and sometimes with friends (Erich, William, Travis, Robert, Mark, Greg).

What I Ate:
Everything. The Market Place was open 24 hours a day. The variety of food was always changing. It's amazing how much food a person can eat when it's there all the time. Burgers, fries, sandwiches, salads, pizza, pasta, seafood, Asian, beef roasts, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, desserts and much more.

On the 2nd morning of the cruise, I was still so full from day 1, that I couldn't even think of breakfast. So I ate a mixture of fresh fruit and chilled pineapple soup. It was wonderful!

For lunch, dinner, afternoon snacks, evening snacks and 2:30am snacks I tried as many different things as I could. One lunch was a ham sandwich on pretzel bread, baked apples, potato salad, Spanish Rice and dumplings.

Would I Go Back:
If I ever take another cruise, I'm sure I'd find my way back to the Market Place.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Favorite Quote: Writing

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love and then for a few close friends and then for money.

Who Said It:
Moliere (1622-1673)

My Thoughts:
I'm supposed to be getting paid for this?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Kids of Judy Garland Trilogy Part One

Getting a picture with Joe Luft at the 2008 Judy Garland Festival.

I've already written about my success in completing my 9 to 5 Trilogy. I do have a similar goal that I've been working on for almost 2 years.

In June of 2007, I attended my first Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids, MN. I am a Garland fan and I wanted to see the new Judy Garland Museum. I decided to visit the same weekend as the annual festival. If you are a Garland fan, I would recommend going. I'm already planning to attend the 2009 festival because it is celebrating the 70Th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.

One of the 2007 guests of honor was Joe Luft, Judy's son. I found myself face-to-face with one of Judy's children. Here was the little boy who sat on his famous mom's lap while she sang Over the Rainbow during her Christmas special. Now he was all grown and taking part in a weekend that celebrated her life and extraordinary and unmatched talent.

Joe was very polite and accommodating to anyone who wanted to speak with him, get a picture with him or have him autograph a variety of Judy Garland merchandise. I got my picture with him and we talked for a few moments (something I repeated in 2008). When I looked at the picture I realized that I needed to see all of Judy Garland's children. Another trilogy was born.

Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft were next.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today in Entertainment History

June 1 . . . 1938

The first Superman comic is released by Action Comics. The cost was 10 cents. In March 2009, one of the 100 copies known to exist sold at auction for $317,200. The owner purchased it in 1950 for 35 cents.

If only all investments were that good!

National Flip a Coin Day

Great news for everyone facing questions or dilemmas. Today is National Flip a Coin Day.

1. Think of the problem you're having.
2. Get a coin.
3. Heads is "yes." Tails is "no." Or vice versa if you prefer.
4. Flip the coin.
5. Whatever side lands face up is your answer.
6. Problem solved!