Spring Break at Walt Disney World: Good Morning Magic Kingdom! – Daffy Does Disney

With my last full day in the parks in front of me, I intend to take full advantage of the resources available to me, including the early morning extra magic hours at the Magic Kingdom. My misunderstanding of how the new morning entry protocol works yet again puts me there a little on the early side – and with an empty stomach. Oops. But, of course, once the morning gets rolling all of that gets left behind in great theme park fun!


Twin Peaks: The Return – Parts 1 and 2

Twin Peaks is back.  The show’s opening moments remind us how long we have been waiting.  In a clip from the final episode from its original run, Laura Palmer tells Special Agent Dale Cooper that she will see him again in twenty-five years.  It’s actually been twenty-six years for us, but who’s counting?  We had Fire Walk With Me to tide us over.  That conversation took place in the mysterious Black Lodge where Agent Cooper still resides.

Flashbacks remind viewers of the show’s infamous second season cliffhanger in which our hero was trapped in the Lodge while his evil Doppelganger took his place in the real world.  I wondered if Lynch and company might sidestep this dangling plot thread but the new episodes offer no easy solution.  Coop is still trapped and his Doppelganger is a terror that needs to be stopped.  This is the story I have waited a quarter century to see completed and Twin Peaks didn’t disappoint.

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May 22: Happy Birthday Ginnifer Goodwin and Laurence Olivier


Ginnifer Goodwin is turning 39 today.  She made her screen debut in a recurring role on Ed and her feature film debut in Mona Lisa Smile.  She then had the somewhat thankless task of playing Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash’s first wife, in Walk the Line.  She has starred in Something Borrowed and as a voice actor in Zootopia, been part of the ensemble cast of He’s Just Not That Into You, and had supporting roles in Birds of America and Ramona and Beezus.

However, her best-known work has been on television.  She starred on HBO’s Big Love as one of three wives in a fundamentalist Mormon family.  Subsequently, she has starred for six seasons on ABC’s Once Upon a Time as Mary Margaret Blanchard, also known as Snow White.

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Al Pacino: An Evening With Al

Imagine that you are an English major learning how to conduct an interview.  Your teacher arranges for a guest to come to class to answer a few questions.  And that guest just happens to be Oscar winning actor, Al Pacino.  For a handful of students at UCLA, that actually happened.  Writer Lawrence Grobel convinced Pacino to answer a few questions for his students and this article from the May 2002 issue of Movieline magazine was the result.

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Weekly Recap: Sarah Speaks and a Return to Twin Peaks

You may have noticed that I am more than a little excited for tonight’s Twin Peaks revival.  It’s not just because Twin Peaks was my favorite TV show for a short while.  There are plenty of TV shows that I liked that I don’t want to see brought back for more.  But Twin Peaks was different.  Not only was the show revolutionary, but it also became a cautionary tale.  The creators of shows which were inspired by David Lynch were quick to point out that they would not fall into the same traps as Twin Peaks did.  If someone said a show was pulling a Twin Peaks, they typically meant that the writers were jerking the audience around.   That the story hadn’t been properly plotted out in advance and was being made up on the fly.  The creators of Lost were quick to claim that they weren’t pulling a Twin Peaks although arguably the ending up doing exactly that.

My point is that Twin Peaks wasn’t just a great TV show.  It was also a show that squandered it potential.  As a fan, I have spent the last twenty-five years thinking about what might have been if only David Lynch and Mark Frost had been more involved in the show’s second season or if ABC hadn’t sentenced the show to death on Saturday nights or forced Lynch to reveal the show’s central secret before he was ready to do so.  Starting tonight, Twin Peaks has a shot at redemption.  That doesn’t mean tying up the series in a big bright bow.  If you’re a Lynch fan, you know better than to expect something like that.  But hopefully this third season will bring closure to something that was at its best strange and wonderful.

Speaking of which, it’s been another strange and wonderful week here at Le Blog.  Why don’t you grab a damn fine cup of joe and enjoy the weekly recap

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May 21: Happy Birthday Mr. T and Judge Reinhold


On a day with few really big names, our headliners are two people who had fairly high profiles during the 1980s.

Lawrence Tureaud, much better known as Mr. T, is turning 65 today.  A former soldier, he had worked as a bouncer and a bodyguard, and was noticed by Sylvester Stallone while taking part in a “toughest bouncer” contest; Stallone recruited him to appear in Rocky III, where he played Rocky’s rival, Clubber Lang.  Mr. T then starred in the film D. C. Cab, and later in the eighties was one of the leads on the Canadian-produced series T. and T.  During the decade he also had a short career in professional wrestling.  But he was best known for another television role, as a former Special Forces sergeant with a distinctive hairstyle, a fear of flying, and a really bad attitude.

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May 20: Happy Birthday Cher and James Stewart


Cherilyn Sarkisian, universally known as Cher, turns 71 today.  A successful singer and actress for over 50 years, she began her career when she dropped out of high school at 16.  She met singer and songwriter Sonny Bono shortly thereafter; she had her first hits both as half of Sonny & Cher (“I Got You Babe”) and as a solo performer (“Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”) before she turned 20.

Cher’s singing career has ebbed and flowed, as you’d expect given its longevity.  She had a trio of #1 hits in the early seventies, and after a dry spell, came back with several Top Ten singles in the late eighties.  After another slow period, she came back in 1998 with a huge hit that brought her her only Grammy.

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For The Funny Of It

Michael Rosenbaum recently showed up in a cameo role in the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy.  You may not have recognized him since his face was covered in CGI effects.  Rosenbaum is best known for playing Lex Luthor on the long running TV show, Smallville.  While that show was still on the air, the actor made a small bid for movie roles as in the comedy Sorority Boys.  The May 2002 issue of Movieline magazine included a profile of Rosenbaum and fellow handsome comedic actor, David Sheridan.

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Spring Break at Walt Disney World: Gojunoto – Daffy Does Disney

After another afternoon nap, I return to World Showcase in Epcot for my scheduled dinner at Teppan Edo. Come join in as I wander around the Japan pavilion, see some of its “cute” culture, then notice a toy I can’t remember seeing since I was pretty young. Will you be able to sing along with me? After dinner I watch the fireworks and run across a curious bit of detritus. And of course it will then be time for another installment of Pillow Talk with Daffy Stardust!

May 19: Happy Birthday Pete Townshend and Nora Ephron


Pete Townshend celebrates his 72nd today.  The legendary guitarist and songwriter began performing while still in secondary school in London, along with a friend by the name of John Entwistle.  In the early sixties the two joined a band then known as The Detours led by a guitarist named Roger Daltrey.  After a couple of further lineup changes, they had become a quartet, with Daltrey as lead vocalist, Entwistle on bass, a drummer named Keith Moon, and Townshend assuming the lead guitar role.  They also had a new name—The Who.

In addition to playing lead guitar (he developed a distinctive “windmill” style for The Who’s stage shows), Townshend developed into a songwriter of considerable talents.  By 1965 The Who had their first major successes in the UK, with their album My Generation and its title song.  Two years later came their biggest hit in the US.

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Movies that were supposed to launch franchises (but didn’t): Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

It’s happening again.  That show I like is coming back in style.  I am of course referring to the cult sensation, Twin Peaks, which after twenty-five years has been revived for a third season on Showtime.  But this isn’t the first time Twin Peaks was given a second chance.  In 1992, just one year after the show’s cancellation, director David Lynch brought his creation to the big screen.

Showtime’s revival has been met with joyous celebration, but Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me opened to booing at the Cannes Film Festival, jeers from critics and ambivalence from audiences.  Even the show’s few remaining fans didn’t seem to know what to make of the big screen version of Twin Peaks.   A quarter century later, the movie, like the show, has enjoyed a critical reappraisal with many now viewing Fire Walk With Me as an under-appreciated gem.  That may be true, but as an attempt to extend the life of Twin Peaks mania, it was a critical and commercial failure.

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May 18: Happy Birthday Tina Fey and Frank Capra


It’s Tina Fey’s 47th birthday today.  The nine-time Emmy winner began her career with The Second City, Chicago’s improv comedy troupe, and then was hired as a writer by Saturday Night Live.  She began performing in sketches in 2000, and soon was anchoring the “Weekend Update” segment, first with Jimmy Fallon, then with Amy Poehler.  She was also eventually promoted to head writer.

Three of Fey’s nine Emmys have been as a writer or guest performer on Saturday Night Live.  The other six are for the series she created, produced, starred in and frequently wrote for following her 2006 departure from SNL.  The show centered around the production staff and stars of a fictitious sketch comedy series.  The name of the series—the real one—was 30 Rock.

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Universal Orlando: First Time in a Long Time and Potentially the Last Time

Last week, I reviewed a very long list of rides, shows, attractions and other experiences which would be new to my family on our up-coming Universal Orlando vacation.  I borrowed the concept from my old pal and blogging idol, Daffy Stardust, who posts similar articles prior to an excursion to Disney World.  His articles usually cover first, last and first-time-in-a-long-time experiences.  But as relative novies to Universal, our list of new-to-us experiences was long enough to fill an entire article unto itself.  So today, I am back to cover the other two categories.

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