So, you’ve all been shopping, haven’t you? Of course you have! We’ve seen you schlepping those shopping bags up and down the escalators at the malls. We’ve seen you stand in long lines at Macy’s just to get gift boxes –that’s the 6th floor at “Gift Wrap”. Just from a cursory glance it really does seem like there are a lot more people out there spending money, so there must be some kind of economic recovery going on. Yes, the economists declared the recession to be over in June 2009, but unemployment has slowed things down, or at least the perception that the economy is still tanking. We don’t think so. We have proof. Read the rest of this entry »
Today is my birthday. 9/11/10. Ah, so you noticed? I get that from time to time. The double-take, the slight pause, the occasional “So what’s it like?” question which, I suppose, is more rhetorical until I actually try to come up with an answer. Because in fact I don’t really have any answer. Because I don’t think I have fully internalized my feelings about this. Because maybe I try to not let things get to me. But I am going to try to explain how I feel today, the 9th anniversary of the day that, according to many people, I am supposed to suddenly feel differently about this day, my birthday that I used to celebrate as if it were any other day. Read the rest of this entry »
My nephew and I have a long-distance postcard relationship. For a couple of years now he and I manage to see each other rarely but instead send each other postcard dispatches in which I will describe a cool attraction I visited and he will get excited about a local dish or delicacy from a vacation spot around the US. I travel a lot internationally so I have sent him postcards from places like Singapore and Paris, and even more obscure places like rural Massachusetts (the homemade pasta e fagiule soup at Il Forno in Fitchburg = to die for) and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This latter spot was memorable because in the middle of 98-degree summer heat, a woman who was missing a front tooth was selling Siberian Husky pups outside on her pick-up truck bed. $400 in cash and that precious pup could have come home with me in a bag on my flight back to SFO –ah, the things I regret in my travels. Read the rest of this entry »
At my niece’s 17th birthday party last weekend we brought the laptop and played a familiar game. We either went on to iTunes or Youtube and did a little “Name That Tune”: play a few seconds of a pop song and we’d all try to guess the title. Another nephew has some kind of app on his Verizon phone that allows him to access songs and lyrics. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s get real: the Miss Universe pageant is a mostly bloated, hoary affair, now resurrected by Donald Trump and his lackeys and it’s essentially a travelogue and two-hour commercial-filled tribute to Las Vegas, which is where this tired blimp has now parked itself recently. The show, telecast by NBC last Monday night, even lost 10% of the late summer audience from last year, so maybe this thing really is on its last legs. Read the rest of this entry »
George Steinbrenner, who died the other day following a massive heart attack at the age of 80, was a larger-than-life figure. As owner of the New York Yankees for 37 years, he presided over 7 World Series titles and 11 pennants -no small feat for anyone in baseball, especially someone who took on such an obsessively managerial role in virtually every aspect of the game, from the merry-go-round hiring and firing of managers to on-field calls that really weren’t the purview of a team owner. Read the rest of this entry »
Get out! 7-11 is here. Not the date, silly -the store. Oh yeah, well it’s 7-11 the date too, we guess. Don’t you know what happens every year on this magical date? Thousands of people flock to their local 7-11 stores and celebrate the anniversary of the store chain by filling up on free small Slurpees. Tomorrow is 7-11’s 83rd birthday. That’s right -more than eight decades serving up local fare that’s literally a block away, and serving customers all over the world.
We all grew up with this chain, and we definitely grew up with the Slurpees -my favorites were the Cherry Red and of course, the old standby, the Coke flavored one. Pull back that knob and fill up those cups, but don’t get brain freeze like Bart Simpson did when he went into the Quik-e-Mart, which is “The Simpsons”’s homage to this most venerable of institutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Summer has officially begun and with the toastin’ and roastin’ temps and it’s time we crown a new Summer of 2010 pop song champion. It’s the 3rd annual SMASHgods competition, and I have to tell you, with pop radio stations blaring everywhere across this country, everyone is in the mood of enjoy a totally energetic song right now, whether it be cruising down Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood (KISS-FM, 102.7 with Ryan Seacrest), or the Upper East Side (Z-100 in Manhattan) or up north in SF, where I have managed to find no discernible difference between Wild 94.9, Energy 92.7 and Movin’ 99.7. Read the rest of this entry »
Full disclosure: I was a pretty hardcore Jamiroquai fan back in the day. In the early 90s I was in Paris and inside the Virgin Megastore I heard a pretty amazing album, “Emergency on Planet Earth” on the headphones. Its eclectic mix of jazzy beats and funk on what was a paean to the horrors that we have caused to our environment made them noticeable to world audiences who also noticed the lanky lead singer, Jay Kay, the one that appeared in a furry buffalo hat.
They seemed to be very popular in Europe before they caught on here; in fact, the “Return of the Space Cowboy” US club tour in 1995 was played to small audience–they even performed at a tiny dive bar in the Rockridge district of Oakland, CA (which is now a lonely laundromat). Read the rest of this entry »
For some reason, and after stints in LA, Las Vegas and Chicago, the Top Chef crew decided this season to decamp in the nation’s capital. As we can see from scenes that are coming up, the city plays host to a number of venues like the Goddard Space Center and politicians like Nancy Pelosi (yes, that Nancy Pelosi). The crew has also added Le Bernardin chef extraordinaire Eric Ripert to the lineup of judges, including Padma Lakshmi, Tom Collichio and Gail Simmons. Read the rest of this entry »
Ice Cream! Ice cream! Come and get it because not only is it the best premium ice cream around, but it’s absolutely free! Today Haagen Dazs celebrates its 50th birthday by giving out free scoops of its classic and iconic flavors, vanilla, chocolate and coffee, between 4 and 8 pm at all of its locations. Don’t miss out on this opportunity because you never see this stuff being given out like this.
Simply point yourself to a location here and find your closest shop. (Think fancy pants shopping mall or main drag in a university town, like Palo Alto). Then walk in, point to your gaping mouth and say “I’ll have a scoop of the coffee ice cream, please”. Other flavors, such as caramel cone or rum raisin, or even my all-time favorite that they don’t make anymore, Peanut Butter Vanilla, are not free during this celebration, so you’ll have to keep it simple. Enjoy!
It is honestly hard to muster excitement about the final four American Idol contestants. Many have called this the most lackluster season, one that given us mostly stiff and uninspiring contestants, and we’re inclined to agree. This wasn’t the season of an unusual talent, like Adam Lambert last year, an artist who transformed some song choices like David Cook (remember what he did with Mariah Carey or “Eleanor Rigby”?, or even the crowd pleasing charm of a Carrie Underwood. No one this season has generated much originality, or at least these streaks of brilliance haven’t been sustained. Remember when (now-departed) Andrew Garcia did Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”? Read the rest of this entry »
We know today is Tax Day and I know a lot of procrastinators out there are waiting til the very last minute to file their returns. Still need to staple all those receipts together and crunch some numbers? Still don’t know how to make sense of your Turbo Tax? Or maybe you’re like us and got this all done a while ago. Don’t fret. Cause SmashGods has your deals for you to make you forget this yearly burden. We have found the following free deals specially for you today –the hard-working American, the one who deserves a break every day, but having this today just makes it all a little sweeter. Get these specials now before they’re all gone: Read the rest of this entry »
Ah, Singapore! I have spent some time here in the last few years and I was just there recently on a business trip. What can be said about this amazing but sometimes unsettling authoritarian city-state? Where the main activities that concern most Singaporeans seems to be a heavy dose of extravagant shopping (you really must see the incredibly designed Ion Orchard shopping center, a feat of art and design with swirling escalators going up and down several floors) and bodacious eating. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week saw the much-hyped premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC. It did pretty well in the ratings (well, who watches TV on Friday nights anyways?) and it was all over the media outlets, from Larry King Live to the Oprah Winfrey Show. The preternaturally boyish celebrity chef from England, with executive producer (and also boyish) Ryan Seacrest in tow, were busy telling the nation that it was facing a crisis in how poorly its children were eating in public schools all over America. Read the rest of this entry »
The latest product from Ymax, is a derivative of the magic Jack and is called the femtoJack, The femtoJack is very similar to the magicJack in look and feel but it takes the technology of the magic Jack to the next step and allow users to make wireless phone calls for free from their home instead of just landline phone calls. Read the rest of this entry »