Samstag, 31. Juli 2010

Paragraph Movie Reviews: The Baxter

If you don't have plans to see this movie, you can check the spoilers here and then come back.

It's not easy to come up with a clever take on the worn out genre that is the romantic comedy, but I proclaim this movie a success in that regard. Writer/director/star Michael Showalter's premise of following the jilted "other guy" from every other romcom who gets shoved aside so the destined lovers can get together in the end is a unique one with plenty of material to mine. Showalter's goofy charm is perfect to propel an off-center protagonist like Elliott Sherman and he does a good job balancing the quirky sense of comedy he and his "State" buddies generally bring to their work with a full-on send-up of what you'd expect from typical movies of this fare, tongue firmly in-cheek and overselling the dramatic moments hilariously. Fantastic supporting cast as well, particularly Justin Theroux who does brilliant over-the-top parody work as the "right guy," milking his character's oversensitive monologues and breathless admissions of love. You can see Elizabeth Banks beginning to come into her own as the amazing comedic actress she is today here, not quite fully as developed as she'd soon become, but showing signs of greatness in her more manic scenes. Michelle Williams isn't out-and-out hilarious, but she's cute, which is really all that's asked of her. Great cameo work by Peter Dinklage, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, and David Wain, who gets perhaps the funniest scene in the whole film, fill things out. My issues with "The Baxter" would be that it could maybe stand to lose at least 20 minutes or so, as the plot meanders in the middle somewhat, killing time to get us to a destination we've already caught a glimpse of. Also, as funny as most of the movie is, there are times where Showalter and company botch the transition between touching and absurd, which can be a bit awkward. Mostly a solidly entertaining romp with lots of heart and more humor though; I'd recommend it.

New release: Shimmy Shimmy Anklet at [MAGIC NOOK]

Coins, coins and more coins :) Shimmy Shimmy anklet is inspired by belly dance, a very sensual, feminine and beautiful dance that I adore. The anklet is available in silver or gold, in two styles: normal and with subtle glow.

[MAGIC NOOK] Shimmy Shimmy Anklet (Silver)

[MAGIC NOOK] Shimmy Shimmy Anklet (Gold)

Please note the anklet is designed for prim feet and it might not look pretty with 'normal' avatar feet. For vendor picture I used Jolie Pied Flat Bare feet from SLink.

If you're on a tight budget you might want to know that silver anklet is cheaper at The Dressing Room for next two weeks!

Here are TAXIs for you:
And, as always, take a look at all items available in current edition of TDR (click).

Freitag, 30. Juli 2010

I feel alone~

Well you know all those times whenever ur down or sad there is always someone who would eventually say that they would be there for you? Yea same happened to me as I simply can't remember all those people who actually said that to me. Buthen whenever I really am in need of someone to actually make me feel better or by just having someone around, nobody is every around!!

Hey it's not like you could actually go and meet anyone just because your upset right? Sigh.

And what happens is that when called or sms, everyone is so busy with their own life and own stuffs that sometimes I end up wondering if they even care whether I'd be alive or dead.... But let's just say that it's they who is having the problem.......

Look at how they'd be chasing me and would get so pissed off that I couldn't be there. What am I? Some emotion-less human or wait! Am I even a human to begin with? *smack head*

At times I just feel like I wanna break free at any costs. No matter what ever way am sorry but that's how I feel. Wishing upon the star for an angel to grab ma soul away~ Sigh.....

All I want is just some care... Am I asking too much? Though there are a few people who actually LOVE to know what is actually going on with me so they could practically beat me down even more than I already am....

The above pic is how I exactly feel. I've been faking as if I am happy and all but actually I feel like I am just dying slowly inside. I wanna let go of it. But HOW?!!

Everytime I just feel almost snapping at someone for even small issues. Sometimes feel like just wanna go bang my head on the wall for no reason or even worst feel like strangling ownself. T____T

I need a break. Someone kindly save me.... Even a day would do....

Linko! LIII

* I'm sure we'll have one or two more Comic-Con related posts coming up across the weekend before we get back to our regularly scheduled stupidity, so I don't want to dwell too much on the big show here except to point out that the news I'm most excited about (and actually most nervous about) is the word that IDW will be publishing an anthology of new Rocketeer material. I held out hope for years that Dave Stevens would eventually come back and continue the adventures of Cliff Secord to absolutely no avail, but I'll take what I can get now, especially considering the talent the publisher seems to have lined up on the thing. Nice cover from Alex Ross, too.

* Wikipedia Hole Link! - This week, I ended up spending more time than any human should reading about Cap'n Crunch online after buying a throwback box of Crunch Berries which used the original Jay Ward version of the cereal mascot (I'm a sucker for throwback packaging and Jay Ward in general, so combining the two is a no brainer for earning my dollars). Still, along the way I got reminded of the legend of the "real life Captain Crunch" John Draper. Click through and read his page, for reals.

* Speaking of Wikipedia, is there anyone on the planet who knows one single Goddamned fact about Dan Buckley worth putting on his page?!?!?! I'm assuming there is.

* Cupcake POW! is an adorably funny webcomic. (Via)

* OK, I kind of lied about no Comic-Con links, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this post by actor and general nerdlebrity Wil Wheaton on Techland. I mean, I've spoken with Wheaton on the phone before, and he seems like a very nice person who honestly cares a lot about the various things he's passionate about, and good for him on that. But I've read a few of his screeds on this concept of some kind of shared nerd culture which we must all support or stand up for in the face of Hollywood publicists/jocks/morons/whoever doesn't belong to be an aggravatingly stupid and pretty offensive one. And when it comes to whether or not a week-long event dedicated to generally nerdy things attended by over 125,000 people is "destroying" that supposed culture, I'd almost laugh if the whole enterprise wasn't taken so seriously by those engaged in the discussion. I don't know. Maybe I'm just missing some key point, but as a person who loves things like comics and sci-fi and could take or leave most movies and video games, I find the idea that someone who gets paid an honest wage to come and promote a movie or whatever is a threat to me enjoying the things I enjoy to be kind of childish behavior. Am I way off base here?

* Lots of news from home this week for some reason. First off, if I've at all cornered you to talk about life in my beloved hometown of Flint, Michigan before, I implore you to read Gordon Young's story on Dan Kildee's attempts to make Flint a model city for the shrinking of depressed urban areas. I like the Kildee family an awful lot for personal reasons, and I grow more and more into a proponent of Dan's plans for the shuttered houses of Flint the more I read about it. Worth a glance.

* Meanwhile, Flint's "favorite son" Michael Moore has announced a plan to make Flint a pilot city for refurbishing old theaters and new, community run movie houses. I put the favored son thing in quotes because despite the fact that almost anyone I meet asks me about Big Mike whenever they learn where I'm from, I myself and most other Flint natives tend to think that his positive contributions to our city fall somewhere between bull and shit. This sounds like a nice plan, though. Good for Moore.

* Finally, I crack up every time I read about antiquated laws still on the books, and this particular article reminded me again of the hilarious Michigan law which prohibits swearing in front of women and children. I've heard tell of people being written up for that but as of yet have avoided such a fate for myself. Fingers crossed!

Brad Campbell covers Four Color 1015

Original cover by Dale Hale; Dell 1959. Brad Campbell's website is here.

Road Trip: Mariposa, Yosemite, Steam Trains and wildlife.

After Comi-Con, Raccoon, who comments here, offered to let us stay there for two nights, in order to get our energy back for the drive home. So the plan was to go from Fresno to Yosemite and to the edges of San Francisco in one day. What? That’s totally possible right? Well, it turns out it is possible if you are some sort of driving masochist.

The road into Yosemite has not been upgraded since the 60’s and they had stripped many miles so once in the ‘National Park’ lands the two lane road turned to gravel for miles. The up to 5,000+ feet (a mile high) and down again and up again and down again was playing a bit of havoc with my lungs but the scenery was nice and people even stopped for deer.

On the way up we stopped at the Yosemite Steam Train, which is a narrow gauge train that was used in this region for logging and transport and still runs today. If you look at the picture of the engine, straight down from the steam whistle, you can see the vent and the puff of steam venting as the engine is building power. They combine dinner and a steam engine ride, with the number 15 engine in the shed along with some of the other vintage train cars. We sadly didn’t have time for a ride (but picked up postcards!).

We entered the park inner system where you can go left to go to Yosemite Valley or right to go up to the Mariposa woodlands. We went right and started climbing even more. We had wanted to go to the Sequoia National Park but couldn’t fit it in, and to find that the Mariposa had groves of Sequoia trees as old as 1,800 years was a win/win. There was a trail that I was told, “I wouldn’t even recommend mothers take strollers on it.” So we wheeled on the road and then went a bit off road when needed. The road climbed another 1,000 feet so both Linda and I got our exercise that day. The Sequoia’s are tall and majestic and people have been visiting this area for such a long time, most of the trees are named. In fact there is a tree which you used to be able to drive through from the 1880’s until 1969 when it fell down in a storm. Pictures of people taking their wagon teams through the tree show that people like big trees and they like to go through them.

We encountered a fallen giant soon along the path and it was covered with carved initials and dates, the oldest I saw was from 1934 but I am sure if you looked hard there was some from over 100 years ago. A picture of Linda down near the root system gives a sense of perspective on this mid sized Sequoia tree. The Sequoia are a type of Redwood but unique. One of the unique aspects of them are the LARGE pine cones they produce (do not stand under the tree when they fall!). I think you are not supposed to take them from the park but we saw people walking with them (the one photographed was put back on the display stand after). I also think they release the seeds during a forest fire, maybe someone can help me on that. Which would make sense as if you have a forest of 1,000 year old trees you don’t need new ones every year, but when some of them have been wiped out.

While we were up there we looked up at noise and saw a woodpecker who had already made several holes into a tree working away, I don’t know if you can spot him in the bark, as this is up 40 feet or so.

We saw a LOT of wildlife in a very short period of time, which was very refreshing after staring at bad driving, very bad driving and lots of cityscape (hey drivers, there are things called ‘indicators’ you can turn on before you change lanes….just a heads up!).

Here is a blur of a tree, and that black blur is a black squirrel, which I have a film of. He just kept running round and round and round the tree, so I will put a film up of that later, as motion is so much easier to see with animals in the wild. So consider this ‘coming attractions’ once I get the films uploaded to youtube.

We also saw a small type of squirrel called Peco’s which live around the Sequoia. We saw two of them which were running around the place like it was a giant track, first round and round the tree up and down then on to the next park, over the log, down the fallen log, then racing each other right in front of us and around back to the tree again. They did this several times (getting a pictures of two racing Pecos is harder that you might think). If you look at the tree on the left at the bottom you will see a black shape (one Peco) and the other is a grey stretched out blur approaching the tree, the second picture shows the grey on the tree as the black is about to scamper around the corner. It was amazing to watch, like some Chaplin film, or a high energy comedy energy.

There were also three male deer grazing in the valley down from us but blocked mostly by trees and not giving great pictures. However while looking at them a squirrel or Peco jumped up on the stump behind me and started to chitter in chastisement. I wonder what I did? So the wildlife was literally running up to me, in various forms.

Here is Linda between two of the younger Sequoia’s in order to give some perspective on the size of these trees. Soon after we met a couple from Chester in England who said, “You see one tree, you’ve seen them all.” Which I though odd since in the UK, any Oak Tree of significant age is on the survey maps and named and recorded in a national registry. I like lots of trees, the giant Douglas Fir of Vancouver Island, the Moss and Trees of the Hoh, the Redwoods, the Sequoias, and would love to see the gaint Mahogany trees of South America. We have seen the Oaks of the UK, the Black Forest and looking forward to more.

On to Yosemite, Linda saved me a hard wheel by driving down to meet me. We drove for another hour before the Yosemite valley started opening before us (This was taken by me while Linda drove). You go through a long tunnel and then the valley is there, broad before you with half dome in the back, Angel Falls on the right and El Capitan on the left (apparently this year you have to reserve to do the 3-5 day rock climb up it – just in case you don’t have enough things to do or train for). I guess the park service got tired of people stopping so they put in a view right at the end of the tunnel and I got a picture of Linda and the Yosemite Valley. When planning Linda was ‘Why do we have to drive all those hours to Yosemite?” and I kept saying, “It is just something you have to see.”

Yosemite IS something you have to see, along with the giant mansion sized boulders on the ground which are just a ‘cracked chip’ fallen off of these giant granite faces. Thanks to Ansel Adams (who has a museum of his work here) and others, this valley is preserved and an ad saying “Pepsi” or “Got Milk?” is NOT spray painted across any of the majestic towers.

It was close to 7:00 by the time we made it down into the Yosemite Valley Drive and we didn’t know when the visitor center closed or if it was already. Linda had gone out and took a picture, but on the way back two squirrels were getting ‘busy’ which we were told later was not sex, but just ‘playing’, er, okay, well, here is a picture of them and you can decide (Yaoi: Squirrel Style?). I hit the horn to get Linda to look up as I found the visitor’s center closed at 7:30. We drove, we got lost, we got lost again, and then we found the visitors center, with Linda going ahead to look in the gift store. This picture was taking by a kind and very nice looking German female (hee hee!).
On the way in we had passed a sign reading “Speed Kills Bears” with a picture of a bear. I guess it was supposed to make us slow down but considering most people are scared of bears, maybe it ended getting people to speed up? Linda wanted a picture but in the visitor’s center we found a magnet of it. We also got a FEW (dozen) postcards in the 12 minutes we had. Plus I talked to a Ranger and showed him the videos, and he identified the Peco’s versus the black squirrels.

The Ranger also let me know that because we had the blue badge I could drive on an ‘official use’ and ‘do not enter’ road which went out to Mirror Pond and from there we caught the sun shining the sunset on Half Dome.
Yes, these few hours were a fast and rushed tour of Yosemite and while we wanted more, it was enough. On the way back we saw a male buck with antlers feeding with the Yosemite Valley behind. The park seemed to have animals and scenery everywhere we looked. Two cyclists rode between me and the buck deer while I was about to take the picture, the husband saying to the wife "Deer, what deer, I can't see anything?" as he passed by 10 feet from the deer and rode past and away, never seeing.

The sun continued to descend and up above, in the clouds, the sunset continued. We headed out of the park stopping to make some sandwiches and prepare for drive to San Francisco. Eiki Eiki and I had not left the van much but we had seen a lot and taken a LOT of pictures (ohhh, about 200).
The road down from Yosemite is a twist rapid elevation drop which is the hardest on me and made me pass out complete for about 90 minutes (not sleeping but literally BAM, unconscious). It was as we neared San Francisco that Linda let me know that she wasn’t EXACTLY sure where she had the directions to Raccoon’s house.

Oh. (It turned out she had left them……at Raccoon’s house on the way down).

So we hit a lot of exits since a lot of them got the ‘that looks familiar’ to Linda. As for me, since it was a week ago, I had no memory at all. Eventually I decided we would systematically take EVERY exit, and we had eliminated each one until we had one left. It was 1:00 am and we were both punch drunk from exhaustion. There were orange cones and there seemed to be a gap so I directed Linda into what I thought was the ‘construction exit’. I directed her instead to a police car waiting in the dark which popped on the lights, and started writing things down and checking Linda’s eyes (that red is exhaustion, not drugs, honest!). The police officer let us go, but he didn’t know how to get to Raccoon’s address. He did know that the Trader Joe’s we knew was nearby to Raccoon was ‘around here’. Great.

We didn’t get a ticket and after one final wrong turn, corrected we finally made it to Raccoon’s where I lay down, irritating his two cats who had claimed the futon as their new plaything.

Yosemite was worth it, though I woke up the next morning in shock with blue fingers and shuddering. It was good to know we could have a day to rest up as well. Because after that we were headed into the unknowns of southern Oregon, then a long driving day from there straight back to Cheryl’s (who had flown back earlier).

Donnerstag, 29. Juli 2010

Giacomo Nanni covers Nembo Kid 376

Original cover by Curt Swan and George Klein; Pubblicazione Settimanale 1963 (cover reprinted from Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen; DC 1963). Giacomo Nanni's website is here.

Mittwoch, 28. Juli 2010

A Marvel-ous San Diego

Well great a job as he did, I can't just let Kiel take all the spotlight for San Diego Comic-Con International coverage, now can I?

One of my favorite things about conventions is getting to really feel a part of the larger family/team/insert-term-here that is Marvel Comics/Entertainment. Admittedly working away in my corner office with the rest of the Digital Media Group's content division (wow, that sounded delightfully corporate) I sometimes lose sight of being a member of this larger whole that also includes the boys and girls from editorial, marketing, etc. as well as all our great creators. When you're forced to pull together for a mammoth happening like SDCC though, that sense of camaraderie with the peeps you're in the foxhole with really comes back to the fore, and the best part is when you remember how much you like a lot of those folks.

I think more than any show since I started at Marvel, this one was the one where I really bonded with many good people outside my department, and a major goal of mine is not to let those relationships die on the vine going forward. I'm so fortunate not only to have the job I do, but also to work with some incredibly fun, dedicated and talented individuals, so I'm glad I get the wake-up calls to appreciate all that now and again.

Whenever a show goes well for Marvel, it's mainly due to two dudes: Mike Pasciullo and Tim Dillon. They organize the crap out of everything and also coordinate things like massive golden thrones from big deal movies being the centerpiece of our booth and attracting mucho traffic. Once again, them boys outdid themselves this year.

Closer to home, my digital posse annihilated the con this year in the most positive of ways. We put out over 60 pieces of content between news articles, videos, liveblogs, interviews and much more--for real, you can check it all out here at our hub page. For a team of ten on-site staffers plus less than half a dozen freelancers, that's pretty dang impressive to my mind.

Shout-outs to my writing crew of Jim Beard, TJ Dietsch, Tim Stevens and the CKT's own Kevin "MIA" Mahadeo as well as newly-minted west coast assistant editor Marc Strom. Kudos above and beyond as well to our tireless video team of Alex Kropinak and "Fast" Eddie Bursch who did insane hours at the show and produced some beautiful stuff. Applause to our photographers Judy Stephens and Ryan Russell who were snapping away all weekend; Judy's pic of the Avengers cast even landed in New York Magazine! And high fives to my editorial compatriots John Cerilli, Ryan Penagos and Harry Go, plus our lovable adopted PR queen Margarita Vaisman and comics' toughest on-site reporter, the incomparable "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels. Oh, and of course big thanks to that dreamy Tom Brennan, just because.

And what was I up to at the show? Well, here's the short version...

-My primary responsibility was to liveblog a solid half of the panels Marvel held. I was generally paired with Strommy, but once in awhile Harry subbed in, and for the Marvel Digital panel it was all three of us. In all cases, I took the role of color commentator (ala Jerry "The King" Lawler, whom I met at the show) while my counterpart did play-by-play.

-The sole exception to that set-up was one of my very favorites panels of the show, Marvel Writers United, featuring Brian Bendis, Mark Waid, Matt Fraction and Chris Claremont, for which I flew solo. It was a similar "let it all hang out and talk about writing, influences and comics" panel with Geoff Johns, Brad Meltzer and Judd Winick back at SDCC 2004 that firmly cemented my decision to do this for a living to begin with, so revisiting that experience after a fashion was an awesome trip.

-Another huge treat for me was getting to watch and liveblog two episodes of the upcoming Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series. For real, guys, this show is going to be amazing. I don't say this lightly, but I really do believe this will be Marvel's Justice League Unlimited, and you won't find many bigger JLU fans than me. It just had the humor, the action, the larger sense of continuity and so many cameos, which is a lot of what I loved about JLU. As a bonus, I got to sit next to Chris Yost, who wrote both eps and gave me little easter eggs as we watched. On my other side, screaming like a 13-year-old girl at a Miley Cyrus concert, was Jim McCann, and seated behind us was Chris Cox, the voice of Hawkeye--so cool!

-Also really enjoyed in particular the Women of Marvel panel, where Kathryn Immonen, Marjorie Liu, Laura Martin, Christina Strain and the aforementioned Judy Stephens spoke eloquently and entertainingly on gender roles for both characters and creators in comics. It was a little strange to see Arune Singh moderating such a lineup, but my man was another SDCC MVP for sure and really came into his own on this show; I'm proud of him.

-I can't forget the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions showcase if only because seeing Stan Lee and Dan Slott share a stage was a joy to witness (Slott was still geeking out during our flight back to Jersey).

-Aside from panels (and there are many great ones I didn't list above), I also got to do some video hosting, which is always enjoyable for me. Fun fact: I acted all the way through college and would have double-majored in theater and English had a favorite professor of mine not smartened me up to the idea it was better to focus on one over the other, so I really like being able to get back in front of the camera on occasion. Reuniting my tag team with Mr. Daniels was a highlight, as was myself and Penagos attempting to push through the delirium of close-of-show Sunday insanity.

-I also helped facilitate for the second year in a row Todd Nauck sketching WWE Superstars, in this case the Bella Twins; there's already a video up on and we should be posting one of our own shortly. Todd is probably the legit nicest guy in comics and one of the people who really made my weekend along with his beautiful wife Dawn, and the Bellas turned out to be incredibly kind, gracious and enthusiastic, so it was great to link them up and I hope we get to do more with both parties in the future.

-Oh, another unique bit of fun for me was getting to interview the editor-in-chief of the Guinness Book of World Records, who was on hand to present Chris Claremont with a plaque commemorating X-Men #1 from 1991 as the best-selling comic of all-time. That one's not online yet either, but I'll link as soon as it is and you can witness me trying to scam my way into history by setting a world handshake record and learn the current record for most Mars bars eaten in one sitting.

So much more went down over the week, but I've already got an essay here, and some stuff is best left to me and the eyes and ears of San Diego. Thanks so much to everybody who made this probably my favorite con ever!

Camera FOUND! Pictures of Comic-Con opening night and Pasadena

The Camera has been found!

We went right from driving down to Comic-Con, entered the Exhibitor’s Hall as it opened (the rows are like streets starting at 0, 100, 200, up to 5000+: Section 400-1400 is books and publishers, while 3000-4000 was entertainment and major producers). The Exhibitors hall has a mix as everything from penguin and Little Brown are there having signings with free books to lines to get autographs of everyone from the directors and WW from the show Middleman, to Spike from Buffy and Booth from the series Bones. Plus there are games being exhibited and new series being advertised so a touch of E3 as well where games not available are shown as well as signed books not released for months.

I did not appreciate how empty the aisles the first night were as I browsed manga (the bad where the camera was found when packing to leave). I then wheeled over to various sections advertising things like Salt with Angelina Jolie and other films (with real movie or set props). I also didn’t realize that much of the items on the counters, like special artist drawn and stitched book bags were merely ‘give-aways’ for first night people. The SWAG was what everyone but me was grabbing, which included free DVD’s, books, postcards, bookbags, toys and more. The next morning the Director of Pan’s Labyrinth was there but only those in a lottery got to see him and get a signing. I didn’t win.

I did however wander by Square Enix which was advertising their new game in full wall widescreen, along with some Anime set releases. I was offered to play new PS3 and X360 games but turned them down (I didn’t know there would be a line later) and took a look at where people could ‘lift a car’ using a prop car for the new show ‘The Ordinary Family’ about a family of superhero’s (Big theme, also the new Zombie TV show coming out).

On the way down and back we stopped at Pasadena, my ‘home town’ though since my parents moved 18 times between moving from and then back to Victoria, I am not sure what is home. We bought what little furniture from my teen years is left from the parents. So I guess our table is ‘home’. But Pasadena is important to me, where I grew up for almost 10 years. Here is the ‘famous from film’ Pasadena city hall just down from the library. I had stopped to make sure the library had NOT changed over the years. Because THIS was my library, hardwood checkout desk, tapestries and all.
I found the children’s reading room (which I was encourage to leave after finishing the entire summer reading program in less than a week) the same, they only changed some shelving but kept it all the Walnut of the original from the 1920’s.

Here is one of the reference rooms where I used to drag out large books of the first 20 years of superman or batman to read at home. It is the essence of a reading room to me and influences not only how I think about books but about book spaces. My bookstore had hardwood bookshelves and open spaces, my home has dark wood bookshelves and open spaces. This library defined how I looked at books. It was odd rolling past where the Louis L’Amour westerns should be to find they had MOVED them.

We went by the Wrigley Mansion where Mr. Wrigley of Wrigley’s chewing gum lived and where I had jogged past on my way down to the Rose Bowl for training runs
(there is a VERY steep hill on the street by his house, great for training).

We also stopped by the NEW and upscale downtown to Chado’s Tea Room. It reminded me of a tea merchant I went to in Lisbon, Portugal who kept the tea from around the world, sold there for hundreds of years in wooden boxes. Chado’s has a book of 40 pages of teas plus special blends that are not in the book. The owners wrote ‘The Tea Encyclopedia’ and OWN a tea plantation themselves in India. Chado only uses the top tip and first and second leaf, the top three grades of tea possible. They also sell a very enticing collection of teapots.
We bought some tea, as what better gift than some top quality tea from the source, having smelled the 5 pounds of tin in the bin before buying, then ordering by the ounce. It was fun and addictive, and without the help of the tea seller it would have been hopeless as Earl Grey Blends (including dating back to 1814) have more than a page.
That was part of our stop in Pasadena on the way to Comi-Con and the ‘lost’ pictures including those of my library, a place of refuge from LA heat and of finding out how many books I could carry away – I would have them stacked so they were above my head when I carried them – oh, just 25+ books at a time.

We are off to Yosemite, just wanted, with some internet access to let you know what was going on and share a bit of Comi-Con, my past, a gorgeous library and specialty tea house with you.
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