Friday, August 31, 2012

LA County Fair Food

September is almost here and that means that the Los Angeles County Fair is coming.  Travelling amusement park rides with my daughter.  Shopping for gadgets with deals that beat the infomercials.  Cows, goats, chickens and piggies.  And the food.  

A friend and I were invited to preview some of the food that will be available at the Fair this year. 
Chicken Charlie.  Large pictures drew us in, of bacon wrapped Dodger dogs, a chicken sandwich made with crispy crème donuts, and deep fried frogs legs.  We split a Dodger dog that was battered and fried and placed in a bun.  It was a perfect beginning to our Fair food experience.  Later we tried their pineapple shrimp, which had extremely delicious shrimp, salty rice, and pineapple chunks served in a hollowed out pineapple half.  My favorite of the night.  Their deep fried cookie dough balls served with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar, were very delicious.

Tasti Chips.  Serves freshly fried potato chips (gluten free) and onion rings.  We loved the onion rings, which had the perfect amount of batter and were fried to perfection. 

Harold & Belle’s to Geaux serves “Fine Creole Food”, and we both devoured small bowls of their crawfish etouffee, with a large ratio of crawfish tails in a rich sauce served with rice.  Delicious.  They have a restraunt near the corner of Jefferson and Crenshaw, and I look forward to making a visit.

Pink’s. We were treated to the Daytona Dog. Ketchup, spicy mustard, onions, jalapenos, and GUACAMOLE!.  Their hot dogs are always good, and this guacamole dog is worth a try (the Pink’s chili cheese dog is still my favorite).

10-pound Buns.  A large thick slice of their sourdough bread loaded with cheese and a choice of toppings.  This stand has been a favorite of mine for several years now.

Big Kona Hula Shaved Ice.  My friend had a banana, rootbeer and condensed milk shave ice.  He said it was delicious, and it sure looked good.

We each had a low calorie beer (Michelob Ultra) from Skinny Girl Bar and Food.  Shared a Blooming Onion.  Had funnel cakes and soft serve ice cream.

The L.A. County Fair starts Friday 8/31/12.  Go for the food!

This post is the first By Mr. Elise's Ramblings, John Derby. He is a fair expert, who goes every year and even took me there on one of our first dates. What can we say it's a family tradition!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mack Sennett Silents on TCM

If you ever wanted a crash course in early silent film, TCM has it for you on Thursdays in September, with producer and director Mack Sennett films and shorts. He was arguably the original King of Comedy.

Sennett's great stars included Mable Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, and Charlie Chaplin, not to mention the timeless Keystone Kops. You may remember he is depicted in the film Chaplin by Dan Aykroyd.

TCM will show 4 films and 83 shorts. You can get a peak from the trailer below.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Boardwalk Empire returns to HBO

Boardwalk Empire is finally coming back to HBO September 16th. I've been dying to see how Nucky will deal with his new life. I'm guessing we will see a lot more blood and guts as we sink deeper into the gangster era and prohibition.

I'm excited to see the addition of Bobby Cannavale (most recently on Nurse Jackie) as Gyp Rosetti. New characters and from the looks of things a very different Nucky are bound to take the show in a fresh direction. For my sake though I hope it doesn't get too graphically violent.

If you need to catch up or just refresh your memory you can find season 2 On Demand and HBO Go.

Check out the trailer:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Doctor Who returns to BBC America

Doctor Who Season 7 is back on BBC America Saturday, September 1st! Woo Hoo!

I had heard rumors, but this morning I got an official press release for BBC America. There will be five new episodes, beginning with Asylum of the Daleks. All the incarnations of Daleks will apparently be present. Daleks are bad enough, and now there are crazy ones.

Enjoy this trailer till next saturday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homeland on Showtime

I know I am late to the Showtime series Homeland party, but I have to jump in late and say how great it is now. I had thought it would be like every cop show, where there is a new crime every week and Homeland security would solve it. But I couldn't have been more wrong.

Each episode unfolds more of a mystery that takes so many sharp turns it's difficult to accurately guess what will happen next. Luckily, I was able to get a copy of the first season and devoured it immediately. If you missed the first season too you have a full month till Homeland returns September 30th.

The DVD of season 1 comes out August 28th, so get it preordered and catch up. I promise you're gonna thank me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Teachers Rock on CBS Friday

On Friday CBS will air Teachers Rock, a tribute concert celebrating teachers and education. The benefit concert has live performances by Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Fun. and Josh Groban and special appearances by Viola Davis from “Won’t Back Down”, Josh Hutcherson, Miranda Cosgrove, Pauley Perrette, and many more. Proceeds from Teachers Rock will benefit three non-profit organizations:, Feeding America and Teach for America.

My daughter and I attended the concert last night, and it was really amazing. It's so great to see teachers getting a little credit for their job. If you have an amazing teacher in your life you can nominate them for the Teachers Rock Wall of Fame, and let them know how appreciated they are. Every day from now to September 20th one nominee will be inducted and they will receive a $500 gift card.

It really was a great night, and a wonderful opportunity to honor teachers and spotlight three great charities while enjoying a great concert. If you watch Friday you can look for me, I think you can see me in the background when they honor a teacher in the audience toward the end of the show.

See you there!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan on Women

I get fiscal conservatism, I don't agree but I understand why others would feel it was a good choice. Where these people lose me is on the social issues. I can't believe a person who can't wrap their brain around more than half the world populations need for planned pregnancy, could understand all the other cultures in the world they would have to work with as President/Vice President.

Sorry for the politic bomb on this entertainment blog, but as the election draws closer they are going to happen.

Thanks to Planned Parenthood for so many things but also for making this graphic available. Follow the Planned Parenthood link if you would like to tell Ryan you disagree with his stance on these issues.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis

Cosmopolis is David Cronenberg's new film starring Robert Pattinson. It opens in Los Angeles and New York on August 17th and nationwide August 24th.

I was invited to a screening last week. The film is extremely challenging for the viewer. It moves at an incredibly slow pace and the action mostly happens either off screen or in it's periphery. Robert Pattinson plays a currency speculator who, to my mind, is completely isolated from the world and longs to reconnect.

The entire film takes place in one day. Our main character has chosen to get a hair cut across town, that town being New York, and with the president in town and a celeb funeral, the journey takes all day. He travels in the back of his custom white limo and is joined throughout the trip by various colleagues and attendants.

The whole thing reminded me of a young man on a journey of discovery. Siddhartha in the modern age, maybe .I recommend this for extremely patient film goers, who enjoy unraveling a riddle with their film going.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Copper on BBC America

Copper is a new show coming to BBC America August 19th. It's set in NewYork's Five Point in 1864 and centers on a police officer/Copper who has demons of his own.We're lucky, there will be 10 episodes instead of the Brits usual 6 or 8.

I was able to watch the first two episodes and found them action packed. It's a lot like every other Cop show, only the time period allows the officers to behave in all sorts of out of the question ways today. No one is having their Miranda rights read and hey if someone dies why not help yourself to some of their stuff?

It's a pretty gritty world and just about everyone needs a bath in every episode.The class system is in full force, even in the brothels. Both the stories and the lighting are very dark, but I'll be watching to see where this show goes.

This is BBC America's first original scripted drama but hopefully with it's success there'll be more to come!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ParaNorman Opens August 17

ParaNorman is a new noir kid movie opening August 17th. My 8 year old daughter and I attended a screening last week and both loved it. Probably for very different reasons.

First the kids review. My daughter loves these "scary" movies. She's seen them all. So you could say she was a sure thing going in. If your child isn't that thrilled by scary movies, I asked my daughter to rate this one compared to others. She said ParaNorman is scarier than Igor but not as scary as Coraline. She also thought it was very funny with lots of gross out and bathroom humor.

I'd give you an appropriate kids age range but really you know your kid best. My little one could have seen this at 5 but there were 8 year olds that had to leave the theatre at certain scenes.

Now from the parent: I agree with my kid. But I also think the movie has so much more to offer than ghosts and Zombie. The film has a bit of a 50's horror vibe and like all great 50's horror flicks it has an underlying message. ParaNorman has a great moral about bullying, mob mentality and that weird kid, that receives so much of their attention.

Norman is different than everyone else but that is what makes him special and in the end what turns out to be exactly what all of his classmates and towns people need. No one in the film is really painted as a bad guy (not even the zombies, believe it or not) just people making poor choices.

Finally, there is a wonderful message about letting go of anger and not letting it make you as wrong as those who have done you wrong. OH yeah and there's a whole thing about stereotyping...Really the list goes on and on. And then there are the ghost and zombies to make it all extremely palatable for all the kids and frankly, a lot of parents who could use the message too.

I highly recommend this film, and maybe a conversation about it's moral afterwards.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hope Springs August 8th

Hope Springs opening August 8th stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple with 31 years of marriage but absolutely no communication skills. The majority of the film takes place during their couples counseling and home exercises.

Going in I thought it would be more comedy, like It's Complicates or Somethings Gotta Give, but it's pretty heavy. I'd go as far as to say a bit "cringy" in it's revealing their personal problems, even if they are fictional.

It could be called a" feel good" movie, just for the sole reason that unless you're on the precipice of divorce, this movie makes your marriage look great. In seriousness it is an interesting look at what it takes to pull a marriage back from the edge. Both Meryl and Tommy are great. Just be prepared for more drama than comedy and maybe a few tears at the end.

Friday, August 3, 2012

PBS & Jet Blue LA Reading Event Aug. 7th

Come enjoy PBS and Jet Blue's Summer Reading event on August 7th at the LA Central Library. Featuring a live performance from PBS Kids’ Mr. Steve! There will also be character (Hooper and Super Why) meet and greet opportunities as well as literacy themed activities for the little ones. It is sure to be a fun filled day. You can find more details and registration information at

Visit for summer literacy resources for your family or to post your child's favorite book online. For every "favorite book" submitted on the website Jet Blue will donate a book to children in need including pre-schoolers from Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP). For information on the library visit: 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hour Returns November to BBC America

Very excited to say The Hour is coming back to BBC America this November. I don't have an exact date just yet, but the end is near.

I got to see a trailer here at The BBC America press tour and the show will resume 10 months later. Hector will be up to some wild philandering, Freddie is sporting a slightly more masculine look, and by Romola Garai own admission Bel is screaming at both of them all the time.

I really love this show, and highly recommend getting your hands on the first season if you haven't already.