Day 305: Street Food Cinema

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead

A few years ago my wife and I experienced our first Street Food Cinema in Hollywood. It’s a terrific event of live music, food trucks, and a classic movie shown outdoors in different parts of Los Angeles. I love the picnic atmosphere; it’s family friendly with a laid-back  vibe.

For Halloween last night, my wife scored tickets to the final event of the season at Exposition Park for one of my favorite movies: Shaun of the Dead. Since we’d already dressed as zombies this year, we decided to do a DC/Marvel crossover with my wife going as Spidergirl and myself as Clark Kent-changing-into-Superman (an easy costume for me since I already have the eyeglasses).

We arrived in time for the last song of the band, found a spot near the front to lay down our picnic blanket and beach chairs, then did a quick scan of the food trucks before deciding on our dinner: shish kebabs for my wife and a shrimp po boy and chicken/sausage/corn bisque for me. The food was delicious and we cracked open a bottle of a wonderful wine for the movie.

I was surprised that more people weren’t dressed as zombies or the characters from the movie, but there were some terrific costumes. I particularly liked the McDonald’s Hamburglar I was in line with for dinner.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the film as much as I always do. Shaun of the Dead is such a smart, funny movie, brilliantly versed in its zombie cliches as it pokes fun of itself and the genre. The weather was perfect last night and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend Halloween.

Day 300: The Walking (Maybe) Dead

The Walking Dead Season 6.

The Walking Dead Season 6.

If you haven’t watched Episode 3  of Season 6 (“Thank You”) of The Walking Dead yet, skip this post.























My favorite character is dead. Maybe.

From pizza delivery kid to Rick’s right-hand man, I’ve rooted for Glenn since he appeared and loved how his character grew throughout the show. While Rick has slowly lost his humanity, Glenn has never lost his.

Nobody would have blamed Glenn for killing Nicholas in the woods, yet he gave the man a chance to redeem himself. It was this good deed that might have cost him his life.

It sure looked like Glenn was ripped apart by zombies after Nicholas offed himself. It was a terrible way to go as the horde of walkers closed in on them, Nicholas committed suicide, and his body fell into Glenn, causing them to tumble into the waiting zombies.

There are theories that Glenn isn’t dead, though. I haven’t read the comic books, so I’m not sure if that plays into this. One theory explains how he is actually underneath Nicholas, who is the one getting torn to pieces, while another theory points to the fact that actor Steven Yuen didn’t show up on the Talking Dead, the after-show where the actors who have been killed chat about their work on the series.

I’m open to believing that second theory. The first could be plausible, too, with some nifty camera work. I didn’t read anything about a dream sequence, but that might be another way to explain it since Nicholas was having those weird zone-outs prior to killing himself. Maybe Glenn woke up Nicholas before he put the gun to his head?

As I typed that last paragraph I realized dream sequence would be a pretty lame cop-out. The show is too smart for that. I hope.

Whatever the answer is, I expect most of the main characters to die eventually. It’s what makes the Walking Dead so great: nobody’s untouchable.

Note: I haven’t looked it up yet, but wasn’t the music in this episode reminiscent of the classic Romero movies? If the zombie apocalypse ever hits, you can bet the sound of synthesizers will be playing somewhere.

Day 293: Full Geek Mode

Full Geek Mode

Full Geek Mode

I’m in full geek mode right now. After the Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer debuted last night, I read a handful of Star Wars articles and watched youtube videos (and, yes, I watched the trailer dozens of times).

One thing that I stumbled upon that I absolutely loved was this quote from Felicia Day: “Geekdom is the joy of connecting about things you love without fear of judgment.”

I’ve been connecting with Star Wars for the last 24 hours, but I’m not forgetting about my other geekdom joys. I’m finishing (finally!) A Clash of Kings, I’m all caught up with The Walking Dead, and I just started James Doohan’s memoir, Beam Me Up Scotty.

The only thing I didn’t geek out on tonight was Fresh Off the Boat, since it was off the air this week. This is probably a good thing or else I might start getting my geekdom worlds mixed up.

Day 285: There, Their, They’re

There, their, they're.

There, their, they’re.

Last night’s The Walking Dead premiere was great — I won’t go into the details here for those of you who haven’t watched yet, but I wanted to share the above comic. It’s got zombies … and a quick lesson on there, their, and they’re.

I’m sure everybody sees the same mistakes being made over and over again on social media. From misspellings to incorrect your/you’re usage, the Internet is a living, breathing grammar and spelling worksheet.

There, their, and they’re are easy to remember, but if you need a refresher, check out that zombie comic, then go to your Facebook page and practice your newfound knowledge on all of your friends’ status updates.

Day 284: Sunday Zombie Day

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Sundays are always more fun with football and zombies. Although the Raiders lost again, at least season six of the Walking Dead was on tonight.

My wife and put together our zombie costumes with a little help from the 99 Cents Store and some of our old clothes. We went as slumber party zombies to the season premiere showing sponsored by our local comic book store.

As seen in the photo above, we ran into our friends Sasha, The Governor, and Michonne. Can’t wait for the mid-season party!

Day 273: Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

The September heat wave is nearly over, so it was the perfect opportunity to fight off the cold … and an unending wave of zombies.

Actually, it was another warm night, but my local gaming group got into a cold-weather mood and played Dead of Winter. I enjoyed it despite having one of my characters die immediately, thanks to a horrible first roll of the die. It happened so fast I forgot her name, but I did miss her search skills for the rest of the game. My lone survivor was the ninja and he proved quite adept at slicing and dicing zombies.

Dead of Winter is a terrific co-operative game with a traitor element. The theme is outstanding if you’re into zombies and the tension level ramps up quickly as characters try to scrounge up food, fuel, medicine, and weapons. The traitor managed to complete his mission (it was between me and him and I was expelled since I was going to die of frostbite anyways) as we all succumbed to our lost morale.

Day 262: Clearance Sale

Munchkin Zombies Deluxe

Munchkin Zombies Deluxe

I occasionally stop by Barnes & Noble to see what they have in their clearance section and today I dug through a pile of Game of Thrones action figures, Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles, and assorted bookstore knickknacks before I found something to my liking: Munchkin Zombies Deluxe. It’s a zombie-themed version of the popular Munchkin game by Steve Jackson that retails for $29.99. The clearance price was 50-percent off and I had a 15-percent-off coupon, so after tax I ended up paying just under $14. Score!

There’s a terrific thread on with information about the B&N clearance sale. I never knew there was a method to the clearance-sale madness and it was nice to learn about it so I could plan my next day of bargains.

Day 250: Movies and Games

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead

Since two of my favorite things are watching movies and playing games, here’s a short list of movies that pair well with games.

  1. Trading Places (the classic Eddie Murphy rags-to-Wall-Street comedy) and Pit (the classic card game that recreates the chaos of Wall Street trading).
  2. The Station Agent (a wonderful and underrated film starring a pre-Tyrion Lannister Peter Dinklage as a quiet fan of railroads and trains) and Ticket to Ride (my choice for the perfect gateway game; easy to learn and fun to play).
  3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (a documentary about a sushi master) and Sushi Go! (a sushi-themed card game with cute art and fast play).
  4. Clash of the Titans (the original movie featuring the guy from L.A. Law as Perseus) and 7 Wonders (a civilization game using a card-drafting mechanic that you can play in under an hour).
  5. Shaun of the Dead (hilarious zombie movie featuring Simon Pegg in his breakout role) and Zombie Dice (a light press-your-luck dice game that you can play while watching Shaun of the Dead).

Day 244: Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies

My nieces and nephew introduced me to Plants vs. Zombies years ago, but I never understood the hype … until last week.

After downloading the Android app, I quickly got sucked into protecting my home from all sorts of zombies. I learned how to plant sunflowers to generate sunlight that I needed for more powerful plants. I learned the ecstasy of a last-second save at my doorstep. And I learned the agony of having my brains eaten by my undead friends.

While it’ll never satisfy my board game cravings, Plants vs. Zombies is a fine way to fill up some free time … or stay up past one’s bedtime, as yours truly did last night.