November 10, 2013 |
Ah, Paris. The food. The art. The sights. The hotel bill. It was the little matter of finding a place to stay that kept an international vacation off our radar, especially in wake of a recession that had put a king-size crimp in our international travel plans. As we discussed a European getaway, we realized that a hotel stay for my wife, Nancy, our daughter, Hannah, and me would cost us as much as our airline tickets. I had read about house exchanges, but Nancy was hesitant to let strangers into our home, despite my continuing campaign about the savings.
November 7, 2013 |
CAVE CREEK, Ariz. - Clad in a black Stetson and Tony Lama lizard-skin boots, Mayor Vince Francia adjusted the holster on his right leg. His six-shooter was loaded with blanks. At least 300 spectators milled around the dusty gravel parking lot of the Horny Toad restaurant and bar, waiting for Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. This would be a duel, a quick-draw contest between the mayors to settle a dispute over a motto claimed by both towns: Which one is "the West's Most Western Town?"
November 7, 2013 |
The depressed farming community of Medora, Ind., is the focus of the often-somber documentary appropriately titled "Medora. " The film, directed by Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart, works as an earnest snapshot of a certain kind of small town that's struggling to exist amid economic downturns, shuttered workplaces and a stultifying lack of hope or progress. It's a sad commentary about people and places that get left behind - the wholesale disappearance of the American dream. As a compelling viewing experience, however, "Medora," which counts actors Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci among its executive producers, falls short as it follows members of the town's hapless high school basketball team over the course of a single school year.
November 4, 2013 |
Monday night at Staples Center, many fans came to harass the contrarian to that ever popular Randy Newman song. They wanted to see Dwight Howard fail because he didn't love L.A. Actually, it was just the Lakers portion of the metropolis that the star player didn't care for all that much. Howard's new team, the Houston Rockets, were here to play the Clippers, a game that was to be, for some, a sideshow to the Dwight Returns soap opera. The real show was a Clippers offensive blitz that earned a few new entries in their record book and was a dazzler for that portion of the crowd of 19,404 that had come to see basketball more than to boo Howard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2013 |
Lucky for Neil he lives up by the foothills, and not down by the seashore. The corpulent Sierra Madre resident recently escaped eviction when the tiny town's police chief decided that Neil was actually a potbellied pig, not a hog. Which was a good thing for Neil, because hogs are illegal in town. Any of Neil's relatives enjoying the good life down in Seal Beach, however, may be in for a different fate. The Orange County beach city this week adopted an anti-pig law, adding it to the list of animals that are illegal to keep.
November 1, 2013
The Lakers put up banners. The Clippers put up "selfies. " Enough said. Sandy Aaronson Santa Monica :: Don't worry, Lakers fans. Kobe will come back and hog the ball. You'll lose some games. Drama will ensue and things will be back to normal. Pat Fraley Long Beach :: Every coach has a finite shelf life with a team. Given Doc Rivers' emphasis on defense, hustle, rebounding and grit, after watching the Clippers in the opener against the Lakers, it is obvious that the players have tuned him out. Sadly, though he has been a great coach, it is time to let him go before the season is irrevocably lost.