A Look at the new Speed Racer Trailers

March 10, 2008

I grew up around cars.  My father used to lull me to sleep as a child with a trip around the block in his dragster.  I spent many weekends during my youth at the racetrack.  So it’s no surprise I like television shows with great cars and, as a kid, liked a cartoon about a boy and his car – Speed Racer.

Mach 5But in reality, I haven’t watched a Speed Racer cartoon in ages.  In fact, I’d forgotten all about the Mach 5 and Speed, Trixie and the gang until I heard that the Wachowski brothers, the duo behind the Matrix trilogy, were bringing the ‘60s Japanese anime to the big screen in a live action feature in May.

At the time, I was intrigued by the resurrection of a childhood favorite.  After seeing the two new international trailers just released, I am a lot more that intrigued.  I am eagerly anticipating the May 9 release date.

At let me tell you, from what I saw in the trailer, this movie isn’t the cartoon of my youth.  Wow!  If the trailers are any indication this movie is going to be action packed with a Mach 5 that will blow your mind.

And the characters are not stuck in the ‘60s either.  In fact, the Racer universe seems a bit futuristic and very colorful.

I’ve followed the casting news for the movie, but wasn’t sure how the actors where going to fill the shoes of the cartoon images.  Let’s just say, hats off to the casting and wardrobe because I was blown away the resemblances.

Speed RacerEmile Hirsh is perfect for the role of Speed, right down to the spit curl on his forehead.  Although Speed is a little older than I remember in the cartoon.  And Christina Ricci looked great as Speed’s loyal girlfriend, Trixie.

The Speed family is rounded out with John Goodman as Pops, Susan Sarandon as Ma and Paulie Litt as little brother Spittle.  Although we didn’t get to see him in the trailer Scott Porter will play Speed’s older brother, Rex and Kick Gurry will fill the shoes of the quirky mechanic, Sparky.

But we did get a look at Speed’s one-time nemesis, Matthew Fox as Racer X.  (Loyal fans of the series might have a question here.  But I don’t want to spoil the movie for newcomers, so let’s just say you’ve got to watch the movie to understand).

In the movie, Speed is going to team with Racer X to win the Crucible, a dangerous cross-country race that took the life of Rex.  But Speed has to do more than avenge his brother; he must defeat the rich and powerful Royalton (Roger Allam) who is behind the fixing of races and the plan to stop Speed at all costs.

This summer is going to be a very popular summer at the theater.

Are you looking forward to the Speed Racer movie?


Rainy Day Activities for Under a Buck

August 5, 2007

It’s summertime and for kids it means it’s time to be outside playing.  However, we’ve been having a rash of afternoon thunderstorms.  What do you do with active children when the sky turns grey?  Or when temperatures swelter?

I found this article recently by Lifehacker with 10 ways to entertain you kids for under a buck.  Most of the ideas require using things around the house like boxes and paper cups.  Not all the activities are indoor, but a majority are.

Unfortunately, my twins are still a little too young for some of these ideas, but I’ll be bookmarking the page anyways.  I remember trying several of these as a kid but had forgotten about them.  I’m glad to have the reminder for these simple forms of entertainment.

The one idea I didn’t know about was the Home Depot Kids Workshops.  They are offered on the first Saturday of every month at 9 a.m. at all Home Depot stores for children 5-12.  Sounds like a perfect outing with daddy.  I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to attend these workshops.  They sound like fun.

Quick Summer Meals

August 4, 2007

For me a quick summer meal is a sandwich and chips, but for those of you that have a more discerning palette, here are 101 ideas for summer meals that take less that 10 minutes, courtesy of the New York Times.

10 Minute MealsI’ve never been much of a cook.  It’s just something I don’t have a knack for.  Many have tried to teach me and most ran screaming from the kitchen after an hour with me.  My husband says he likes to cook, but I simply think it does so out of self defense.  In fact, he is a pretty good cook, especially when he has the grill going.

When my husband is home, we grill out a lot in the summer, but he’s always looking for some other ideas light, quick ideas for the hectic nights.  So I was thrilled with finding this list for him.

This list has a lot of great ideas that we would really enjoy if it was the two of us, but now that we have the twins we need child-friendly meals.  And unfortunately, many of the ideas on this list just aren’t. 

Guess we are back to my repetoire of sandwiches and hot dogs  (oh didn’t I mention my speciality?) for meals with the twins.  But for those of you with older kids or without the children all together, enjoy!

So Many Blueberry Recipes

August 1, 2007

I recently posted about my blueberry picking adventure with the twins.  Unfortunately, I think the twins might have eaten more than their fair share of blueberries that day.  Since that trip, they’ve not touched blueberries.

Blueberries and CreamSo now I have all these blueberries and the twins are on a blueberry strike.  What to do?  Well besides freezing them, I found some really cool recipes for blueberries and thought I’d share with you too.

There are 53 different recipes to choose from.  They all looks so good, I honestly can’t decide which one to try first.

What’s your favorite blueberry recipe?

Become a Simpson Character

July 27, 2007

Think the guest stars are one of the best parts of The Simpsons?  Wish you could be one yourself?  Now you can.

Simpson MeWith The Simpsons Movie opening today in theaters, fans can’t get enough of the Simpson.  But now you can become one yourself.  This site let’s you Simpsonize yourself.  You’ll need to have an photo you can upload.

It was kind of fun to do.  The photo here is my Simpson self.

Here’s more Simpson fun to enjoy before or after the big movie.

Simpson Trivia — How well do you know Homer and company?

Simpson Quotes — Vote for your favorite Homerisms.

Simpson Personality Test — Which Simpson are you most like?

Tour Springfield — Visit all of Homer’s favorite places.

So sit back with your favorite donut with sprinkles and enjoy.

10 Reasons to Watch the Tour de France

July 26, 2007

Tour de FranceBefore I met my husband, I’d never heard of the Tour de France.  Now it’s a tradition every summer to tune in to the hottest cycling event in the world.  Not yet a fan?  Here are my Top 10 Reasons for you to give it a shot.  Remember this list is from a non-die hard cyclist.

10. The Team Names
What other sport has cool team names like Liquigas (pronounced Leaky Gas) or Rabobank (which for about a year I though was pronounced Rob-a-bank)?  The names are so much fun to say.

9.  The Team Cars
The team cars leave even the best pit crews in the dust.  C’mon, they do their work while following their cyclists on the road.  Watching the team cars mesh with their team is like a work of art.  They pass food and water to their bikers while on the move.  Team directors communicate with the team, often in several languages, from the car. 

And the cars look like a rolling parts store, carrying wheels, chains, pumps and more.  I know my husband would love a car like that following him on his rides, especially when he blew a tire last weekend three miles into his ride. 

8.  Bob Roll
While Bob might not be the world’s best cycling commentator, he is colorful.  Yes, he does make my teeth grit every time he mangles the event name by pronouncing it “Tour-D-France.”  But he makes up for that little quirk with all the other entertainment he provides.  A former American cyclist, Bobke provides some interesting insight. 

Personally, I love the non-commentary things he does best — his commercials and his promotions for the Tour and Versus.  My husband’s a big fan and I’ve even bought him Bob Roll’s guide to the Tour. 

7.  The Liggettisms
Phil Liggett, one of the announcers, has some of the best lines ever.  These lines are called Liggettisms.  Where he comes up with some of the phrases  to describe the competitors performances still leaves me flabbergasted. 

My husband has two favorite.  My poor children will probably hear these phrases every time they compete in a sport.  Here they are:  “He reached down into his suitcase of courage” and “He must’ve been wearing a cloak of invisibility because he came out of nowhere.”  Obviously, Phil’s a Harry Potter fan.

6.  The Fans
The fans are fanatical.  C’mon many of them camp out for a week ahead to get a prime spot on a mountain stage.  Others bike the route themselves.  But there’s no doubt of their of their dedication when the cyclists come flying by.  They line up for miles, they cheer, they wave flags, they make signs, they dress up, they even streak.  Some fans, themselves, are famous like the legendary DiDi the Devil.

They run along the routes cheering on their favorite riders.  They get so up close and personal that the fans are often the cause of some of the wrecks.  But that doesn’t deter the thousands upon thousands that make the annual pilgrimage to the Tour.  My husband wants to join this elite group for his 40th birthday.

5.  The Course
The Tour has a little bit of something for everyone on its route.  It has the flat stretches for your sprinters.  It has the team time trial that really showcases a team’s ability to work together.  It has the individual time trial that let’s each rider lay it on the line.  And it has the mountains . . . aaahh the mountains, by far the best part of the Tour.    It takes real stamina to climb a mountain that is so high it is not even rated.  But the climb is just half the battle.  It takes talent to navigate on the descent too.  Personally I love to watch the switchbacks.  They really take skill to maneuver at the speeds these guys are traveling.

4.  The Crashes
The Tour has more crashes that Nascar.  But when a competitor crashes here, it takes a toll on the body.  As if riding hundreds of miles in the July heat for 20 days isn’t enough of a challenge, several riders also ride broken and bandaged.  Where else can you see someone finish the Tour with a broken collarbone like Tyler Hamilton did a few years ago.  Now that takes guts!

3.  The Scenery
What other sport has backdrops like the Tour de France?  The view is gorgeous everywhere on the route.  You have the wonderful scenic views from the mountain tops, the quaint little towns and the gorgeous castles along the way.  You get a full tour of France and never have to leave your living room.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it for myself in person.  What’s better is that each year you see something a little different because the route changes from year to year.

And nothing beats seeing the peloton cruising down the Champs-Elysees in Paris on the final day.  Talk about a city of love — love of cycling that is.

2.  The Drama
The Tour has more drama than Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears together.  First there was the anticipation as an American who had already won a battle against cancer set an unthinkable record by winning the title that is the pride of France seven years in a row. 

But the excitement didn’t end when Lance Armstrong left.  Last year, the field of the Tour was trimmed at the last minute when a doping ring was uncovered that included many Tour regulars.  Last year’s title is still contested, as is the drug-testing policies of the Tour, as American Floyd Landis battles doping charges. 

Yesterday Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov was expelled for doping after being cheered to his second stage win in Stage 15 despite several crashes during the Tour.    Today, the current yellow jersey holder and today’s stage winner, Michael Rasmussen, was fired by his team Rabobank for missing team drug tests earlier this summer and lying about his whereabouts during those tests.

1.  The Uniforms
Very fit men in tight bike shorts.  Need I say more?  And if the view from behind doesn’t do it for you ladies, there are always those legs.  And for those of you that prefer views more of the female persuasion, there are those pretty ladies handing out jerseys and flowers at the podium.

Blueberry Picking with Toddlers

July 21, 2007

BlueberryToday I took the twins blueberry picking for the very first time.  It was an experience.  Actually any activity with twin two-year-olds is an experience.

We went to a place called Apple Berry Manor in Virginia Beach.  It was pretty much blueberry bushes in this guy’s backyard.  But they were a nice bunch of bushes, taller than I expected.  We went with my mother and aunt, my sister and her three kids (9, 4, 1), and a friend and her two-year-old.

The twins quickly got the hang of picking off the blueberries.  But then they only wanted to pick two or three, put them in their basket and then go sit on the grass with my friend’s two-year-old and eat them. 

Then they gave up the pretense of picking berries altogether and would just go from person to person getting berries already picked for their baskets and would go munch on them.

I know they ate more berries than they picked and they put a good dent in the total amount picked.  My friend’s daughter had a healthy helping and left with a blue face.  Surprisingly, the twins escaped with very little mess.

Towards the end, the twins emptied their buckets and then ran around with them on their heads giggling.  My little bucketheads was very cute.

We did make it home with some berries.  Quite a few, actually.  And I would say the twins and I had a good time.  It looks like berry picking will become an annual event for us.

If you are interested in berry picking, you can find a location near you by going to pickyourown.com.