The Simpsons Take The Bowl

bart ATG FINAL

What: The Simpsons 25th Anniversary Bash
Where: The Hollywood Bowl
Location: 2301 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood

Hollywood Bowl Sign ATG FINAL


Admittedly, it’s been a long while since I’ve actually snuggled up on the couch to watch an episode of The Simpsons, and yet, it still feels so deeply embedded as apart of my life. Perhaps it’s because the show is almost as old as I am. I have plenty of fond memories closing out the weekend as a kid on Sunday nights, laughing hysterically at the antics of the residents of Springfield over a bowl of ice cream with my family. I even recall coming home after school catching re-runs as I finished up my homework most evenings of the week.

I remember the big “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” cliff-hanger. I loved catching the cleverly-produced Halloween specials every fall. And I can still hear Krusty the Clown’s crazy laugh in my head at any given moment…20 years later.

It’s no surprise then that watching Nancy Cartwright perform “Do the Bartman” would instantly feel so reminiscent, which Yeardley Smith shared on-stage that night was in fact, written by Michael Jackson. And speaking of Michael Jackson – I teared up with child-like awe when they showed the clip of the iconic episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” featuring Leon Kompowsky, a patient Homer meets during a stint in a mental institution who believes he’s Michael Jackson. Fun fact I learned that night:  MJ did Leon’s voice talent, but hired an impersonator, Kipp Lennon to sing “Happy Birthday, Lisa.” Kipp Lennon came out moments later and performed it live. It was pretty incredible. His resemblance to the late King of Pop’s voice undeniable.

The Simpsons ATG FINAL{The line was too long to take a picture on the famous Simpsons couch, so I snapped a quick photo in between set-ups for the next person. Insert me on the left.}

It’s only fitting then that to salute the longest running American sitcom ever, that The Simpsons would do it big.

And big they did.

For three consecutive nights under the stars (and during the worst heat wave ever!) at the equally iconic Hollywood Bowl, The Simpsons took reign to celebrate 25 years of laughter. The entire venue became a salute to Springfield. Donuts hung above you, Homer and Marge were available for photos, Simpsons-themed treats made for sale at the concession stands, and some of the most memorable residents of Springfield made an appearance as you made your way through the amphitheater.

Simpsons Characters ATG FINAL{The cast made appearances at every turn.}

Themed Snacks ATG FINAL{Simpsons-themed pink donuts, Flaming Moe’s and Duff Energy Drinks for sale throughout the venue.}

Donuts to greet you ATG FINAL{Donuts hung above you. Photo ops abound.}

Marge Bathrooms ATG FINAL{Even the women’s restrooms signs became “Simpson-ized.”}

Hollywood Bowl_Wide View ATG FINAL{Getting to our seats…yes, we were waaaay in the back! The good news: there isn’t a bad seat at the Hollywood Bowl.}

TIX ATG FINAL

We attended the last night of the show, the Bowl’s final performance for the summer 2014 season and unarguably the warmest night of the year.

What a treat to see the residents of Springfield come to life accompanied by the world class Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Co-hosts Hank Azaria, Nancy Cartwright, and Yeardley Smith did a seamless job slipping in and out of character, easily being themselves during their hosting duties, but seemingly even more comfortable voicing their iconic characters throughout the night.

Bart, Lisa, the vampy Lurleen Lumpkin, Chief and Ralph Wiggum, Apu, and Moe among others all made appearances during the performance. (I’m always amazed at how many different voices one actor alone does on the show!)

Special guests graced the stage throughout the evening to sing in-character, or share thoughts about their time working with The Simpsons: Beverly D’Angelo, John Lovitz, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Conan O’Brien (who I didn’t know was a writer on the show! How did I miss that!?!), Kipp Lennon; and a hysterically sweet monologue opening the show by creator, Matt Groening.

If had to pick my three favorite moments of the night, I’ve already mentioned two. It would be Nancy Cartwright rapping straight 90’s style as Bart in “Do the Bartman,” and Kipp Lennon singing “Happy Birthday, Lisa.” My third would be the fireworks extravaganza that closed the show.

Noticeably absent from the festivities (and much to my disappointment) was Homer and Marge themselves, Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner. Admittedly, they weren’t in the billing when we bought the tickets, but I thought perhaps they might pop-up for a moment as a “special surprise” to dupe us all. They didn’t. How can you have a tribute to The Simpsons without the patriarch and first lady of Springfield?

Despite this and the nearly 100° temperatures, it was a memorable evening and the perfect way to say goodbye to summer, but hello to a renewed relationship with The Simpsons.

Night ATG FINAL{The Bowl lights up at night like no other.}

To say that The Simpsons is television royalty is an understatement. As I wrap up my thoughts about the evening and what the show itself has done culturally, I can’t help but be awed at how the brains behind The Simpsons created an entire world that’s all to familiar to me, living through even another generation as I type this. The depth of character development in nearly every re-occurring resident of Springfield boggles my mind. The concept that we have memories associated with everyone from the Qwickie Mart owner to the bartender, to the richest man in town speaks volumes of the world that Matt Groening created. Add in the cultural idioms and phrases coined by the show (“Eat my shorts” and “Doh!” readily come to mind) and you have pure genius at play if you ask me.

Spending an evening celebrating 25 years of entertainment brought back so many happy memories from my childhood. In fact, it makes me want to spend more time with America’s never-aging family, to see what everyone in Springfield has been up to.

The Simpson’s 26th season starts this Sunday, September 28th. I plan on snuggling up on the couch and closing my weekend like I did all those years ago, by catching up with The Simpsons once again.

Bowl Fireworks ATG FINAL{Fireworks to close the show.}

 

{A behind the scenes look at prepping for a night at The Bowl.}

Peter ATG FINAL

{And in the midst of all things The Simpsons….you gotta love their sense of humor.}

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Highlights

Los Angeles Traffic ATG FINAL 2_3{Ahh, the infamous Sepulveda Pass…and this is considered pretty good traffic.
If I shot this 2 hours later, you’d see why.}


Overall, the second week of September rocked as I’d hoped!

I made peace with traffic, my Monday night yoga class helped immensely with that aforementioned task, my lips and I are BFFs again thanks to Burt’s Bees, “The Good Girl” is still good, and I’m stoked about my night under the stars at The Hollywood Bowl this weekend.

I’m not at all saying that because I accepted the even more congested time of year on LA streets and highways that somehow traffic magically thinned out this week, but it seemed the moment I shifted my perspective and adjusted accordingly (by leaving earlier than usual, boo!), it physically seemed to get a little easier on the road everyday. At one point, I actually stopped and asked myself if perhaps it was as bad as I originally thought or if the universe physically heard every Angeleno’s cry and removed a few cars off the 405 as the days passed? (I’m not that naive, but a girl can dream.) One point for the old adage of changing your perspective when you can’t change anything else. It works.

(and p.s. I came across an interesting article yesterday sharing just how hard LA traffic hits the average commuter, financially and mentally, so that you know I’m not just being dramatic.)

Though this week also had its stresses of the non-traffic related variety, I’m happy to report I made it through to the other side. Whew! Things are gearing up to be incredibly busy from now until the end of the year. Pray for me!

As such, I’m making my weekends count, but then again, I always do. Outside of finishing my book and my plans at the Bowl; I’m looking forward to seeing Kristen Wiig’s new film, The Skeleton Twins; and I finally hope to sit down, pull out my tools and supplies and just make the necklace I’ve been looking for forever, myself.

Happy weekend! x

Sycamore Kitchen ATG FINAL

{An afternoon stop on a hot summer day at one of my favorite places…}

Sycamore Kitchen Latte ATG FINAL

{…just to grab my 2nd favorite latte (Blu Jam still makes my favorite).}

Verge Sandals ATG FINAL

{My last summer indulgence.}

Fall Arriving Trees ATG FINAL

{Signs that fall is near.}

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Highlights

Highlights Header ATG FINAL{A Saturday well spent at the museum.}

Though it’s still very much summer, I can feel the subtle shift to fall – well, as much of a “fall” as LA can muster. While we’re still about 3 weeks out according to the calendar, I can feel a more gentle breeze in the evenings, my A/C doesn’t need to be on every time I’m home, and those damn flowers are starting to fall off the tree and stick to my freshly washed car that’s just minding its own business in the parking lot at home. I’m not at all getting prepared for a complete change in season anytime soon though. LA typically channels summer until late October into early November (no joke). My boots and scarves will have to collect a bit more dust before I can find a legitimate excuse to break them out.

Until then, I’m more than happy to soak up the rest of summer. My summer bucket list is coming along, but I’m finding that I’m only at about 40% through it. The goal is to knock this up to 60% by the end of the holiday weekend!

Overall, a good week on my end. I spent most of it prepping a film shoot that we’re heading up to San Francisco for later this fall, then unwinding with a more nights than I care to share of “why am I watching this?” reality tv.

The highlights of life since we last caught up involved breaking the rules when it comes to yogurt, spending a relaxing Saturday at the LACMA, and heading over to the Sundance Theater in West Hollywood to check-out Mark Duplass’s new film “The One I Love.”

The One I LOVE ATG FINAL{“The One I Love” at the The Sundance Sunset 5.}

I’m a huge fan of independent cinema. It’s my absolute favorite type of film, behind a well-made feature-length documentary film, of course. I must say, “The One I Love” is…unique. It plays on what is likely to be a trend in relationship-based or genre-specific films, by not falling into one particular category at all. “The One I Love” is part comedy, part drama, and part sci-fi. This hybrid approach breeds a narrative that’s inherently interesting because you can’t quite place where the story is going. In some cases, this works, in others it doesn’t. This is a case where it worked…I think. I’ll admit, it took such an unexpected turn that you’re not entirely sure what actually happened, and it certainly didn’t help that it was left completely open to interpretation. This would be a case where I’d watch the film again with a more critical eye after the first pass to come to a firm conclusion. It’s available on VOD if you’re not in an area where the film is screening at your local cineplex. If you happen to catch it, let me know what you think…and what the hell happened!?!

So, onto the biggest highlight of my week! Let me preface that living in LA makes seeing a celeb around town a dime a dozen and because of the business I’m in and the all of the screenings/events surrounding the industry – there are few people that I actually get giddy over. This is not to brag, it’s just how it is. It’s actually frowned upon to freak out around celebrities when you’re just a “regular” (like myself) working in the biz. However, the big draw for seeing the film was that Mindy Kaling was moderating the Q&A along with Mark Duplass after the film! I would (and did) get a little giddy for her.

I, like almost every other normal 20-30 something gal in America, feel some sort of weird connection to her. It’s like you can actually picture yourself hanging out with her because she seems so authentic, funny, and down to earth. I’ve often stated on the blog pretty emphatically that we’re really BFFs…she just doesn’t know that. 🙂

Unfortunately, my camera died (what is it with me about not keeping my battery charged!?!) so I didn’t get any shots of her (except the exterior marquee and dinner that night), but trust me – it really happened! And p.s. she’s pretty damn cool in person.

harvest salad ATG FINAL{Taking myself to dinner before the screening – the yummiest salad ever from the Veggie Grill. Note the grilled peaches and pecans!}

With that, it seems this weekend will find me working on my summer bucket list some, and giving myself a much-needed mani/pedi. Oh, and I’m really starting to push it and need to tackle my laundry. Since it’s likely everyone will be out and about for Labor Day and not in front of their computers (if they’re smart), I’m not posting on Monday, but can’t wait to catch up with you again on Wednesday.

I look forward to a relaxing holiday weekend ahead. I wish you the same. See you in September! x

Yogurtland ATG FINAL{That time I totally just ate Yogurtland for dinner. Hey, it kills two birds with one stone: dinner & dessert in one! Less guilt.}

Words_ ATG FINAL{A gem I spotted on the walk to grab my Sunday latte. And they say LA is full of negativity.}

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Highlights

my happy place ATG FINAL

{Finally, my toes are in the sand. It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer.}

Between you and me, I’ve had better weeks. Not that anything in particular happened to me personally that should make me say this. There’s just something in the air as of late that seems to be hitting nearly everyone around me, creating this level of….what…exhaustion, perhaps?  Truth be told, I’ve been dragging much of this week myself.  Add in the aftermath of what’s happening in the press and I suppose we’re bound to feel the effects of it.

Though I’m always mindful of being healthy, I tend to slip into patterns where I could be better about taking care of myself. The interesting (and somewhat frustrating) thing is that I feel like I have been taking better care of myself lately. I’m eating balanced meals and cutting back on sugar, which for me means addressing my more recently developed predilection for snacking after dinner. (I haven’t had Hot Tamales in weeks! And yes, this is a big deal.) I also had an invigorating yoga class that didn’t leave me practically disabled because it had been so long since I last practiced that I was sore for 3 days straight. In fact, I can feel myself improving. And with one exception where I stayed up late one night to put the finishing touches on my blog, I usually went bed at a decent time.

I realize there’s always room for improvement, so I’m going to spend some time this weekend focusing on what else I should add to take things up a notch (and if you’re yelling at me in your head right now to get more exercise on the books…I know, I know). Aside from this, I’m thinking I just need a little at home rejuvenation this weekend. It really could be as simple as a day lounging around in my PJs all day, reading books and watching movies.

As we wrap up another week, I’m decidedly going back to the last time I clearly remember being in my happy place. It started on a late Saturday morning last weekend: my notepad, a few magazines, the first Diet Cherry Coke I’d had in ages, chips and guacamole in the cooler, toes in the sand while watching the fog burn off and turn into pure sunshine on the beach in Malibu with my guy. From there, what more could I ask for when meeting new book club gals over brunch the very next day to chat about an engaging read? (Never mind that I’m now somehow juggling two different book clubs!) Oh, and let’s not forget what I think will become my new indulgence (in moderation, of course): crunchy french toast buried under strawberries. Yum!

In other words, after my first trip to the beach this season (and nearly at the end of it at that!); along with a warm Sunday morning brunch with new friends, somehow, it actually started to feel a little bit more like summer, like my happy place…and most certainly the highlights of life lately.

Have a great weekend!

Malibu Setup ATG FINAL

{Our set-up in the fog in a spot away from everyone…note to self: need beach chairs.}

Malibu Beach ATG FINAL

{Enjoying the view once the sun arrived.}

Trees to Brunch ATG FINAL

{Something breathtaking happened when I gazed up through the trees on the way to brunch.}

Crunchy French Toast ATG FINAL

{A great book club discussion and crunchy french toast (they’re dusted in cornflakes!) topped with fresh strawberries from a cafe 5 minutes from my house…this might become a problem.}

 Buddhist Boot Camp FB Quote

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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Happy Wednesday! I hope the summer is treating you well so far. Interrupting your hump day to share a few random things I’m just lovin’ right now…

…I think you will, too.

1-WILRN ATG FINAL

1. // Taking matters into your own hands: Salad Dressing 101.

2. // International advice: on how to live the sweet life.

3. // Keeping nature close by: bright flowers arrangements in assorted mason jars, windowsill optional.

4. // Shoe candy: Charles by Charles David “Verge” Sandals.

5. // Music to my ears: Latch by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith.

6. // The bad hair day cure: Billabong’s Firebird Trucker Hat.

7. // Summer chic without trying too hard: ASOS Sleeveless Skater Dress.

8. // A.M. grub that actually holds you over to P.M. lunch: Peanut Butter Berry Oatmeal.

9. // Summer mani/pedi inspiration: Best Summer Sheers.


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Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer! And I’m just giddy about it. Ever since summer joined us not so long ago, I’ve been thinking about my bucket list – things I’m looking forward to doing and accomplishing to celebrate my favorite time of year. Outside of plenty of time on the beach, nursing iced lattes, and keeping sandal-ready toes – there are few personal goals, activities, and random to-do’s I have in mind. In honor of the start to summer, I thought I’d share my list – just in time for what I consider to be the epitome of summer fun in the sun, the 4th of July.

Summer 2014 Bucket List:

  1. Find a new yoga studio.
  2. Reorganize my closet.
  3. Spend a lazy Saturday at Paradise Cove.
  4. Buy a new iPod and load it with tons of new tunes. (Mine officially died in May and it’s been torture not having it.)
  5. Hit the Hollywood Bowl for a night of music under the stars. (You can read about past Hollywood Bowl awesome-ness here and here.)
  6. Dust off my tools/supplies and get back into jewelry making.
  7. Take one of the L.A. Conservancy’s Walking Tours of Downtown L.A.
  8. Attend a baseball game.
  9. Spend more time with girlfriends.
  10. Go for a picnic in Griffith Park.

With that, I’ll be out the rest of the week enjoying the long holiday weekend ahead. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

See you next week!

Highlights

Day89{Day 89: A Saturday morning walk around Lake Balboa.}

The last full week of June. The first full week of summer.  Day 95 on the 100 Happy Days Challenge. And the icing on the cake? It’s Friday!

I’m glad for it.

Not a bad week on my end. I’m just tired, in need of a real vacation. You know, the kind where you get on an airplane and land in a far away place where you spend the next 3 weeks straight immersed in “otherness.” That “otherness” being pretty much any and everything that take you away from the day-to-day, to really unplug and recharge. I’m a full-blown adult now and I’ve never had an authentic “otherness” vacation. Not something I’m proud of, not something that I hope at all continues, it’s just a fact.

With the introduction of summer, I’ve spent a lot of time this week, thinking about my bucket list. At the start of every season, I like to celebrate by thinking about my personal goals and/or fun-filled activities that I’d like to accomplish by the end of the season. There’s something unique about summer, in particular, that make crafting my bucket list lots of fun. There’s so much going on in LA during the next few months. With the addition of the warmer weather and long sunshine-filled days, the possibilities are endless.

I’m very much looking forward to the 4th of July weekend vastly approaching, though not quite sure what’s in store. I haven’t made plans yet, likely because it crept up on me if I’m at all honest about it. I suppose it’s time to start brainstorming. As long as there are fireworks involved, I’ll be happy.

I just checked my calendar and it’s blank. Who-hoo! No big plans this weekend other than the usual chores and errands.

As cliché as it sounds (because every female alive is guilty of this), I’ve been struggling lately with that “I don’t have anything to wear, I need new clothes!” phenomenon that tends to hit every so often. I feel like I’m constantly recycling the same pieces in my closet and it’s because I’m realizing that I’m missing a few staples (i.e. the perfect black skirt, a more tailored light blazer/jacket for summer, etc.). Essentially, I just need to throw a few new pieces into the mix and that should solve it. The problem is that it’s no secret that while I appreciate fashion as much as the next girl, I HATE shopping and don’t spend tons of money on clothes as many women my age are known to do. My monetary indulgences lean more toward lattes and earrings…oh, and paying bills 🙂

That being said (and even though I hate shopping, especially when you’re trying to find certain items), I’ve been wanting to work new options into rotation and have been meaning to check out this supposed “awesome” thrift store that I heard about in Santa Monica. This might be a good weekend to head over toward the beach and see if I can muster the strength to find that awesome one-of-a-kind new wardrobe item.

Other than that, it’ll probably just be me, a book, my boyfriend, and Netflix for the next 2 days. We’re finally starting the 3rd season of The Killing, just in time to catch the premiere of the 4th season, which starts in August.

I hope your weekend finds you doing something fantastic!

Day87

{Day 87: Still Crushing on Coral.}

Day88

{Day 88: Happiness is gas less than (barely) $4/gallon. I was a youngin’ but I remember when gas was 97¢.}

Day91

{Day 91: That Monday morning I laughed at how over-cluttered/ridiculous my makeup bag has become. Who needs all this?}

Day93

{Day 93: Another day. Another film. Still my favorite place to be.}

Day90

{Day 90: Still Smiling! DeLorean sighting.}


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