Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hiking in COVID Times: Traveling to San Dimas to Avoid the Crowds

With county trails open and people getting antsy and leaving their homes, some of the more popular spots are jam-packed: Witness what happened last weekend at Eaton Canyon, a popular spot that was shut down on Memorial Day due to the crush of people flooding the park to hike to its famed waterfall.

We drove a bit further to San Dimas, where the Michael D. Antonovich Trail offered a bit of a less-crowded hiking experience -- mostly shady, thanks to a creek that runs along the path way. Socially distant hiking isn't easy, and we kept our masks on -- as did many of the other hikers we came across.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

'Community' Reunion: A Chat with Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Dan Harmon and Everyone

On a recent Friday afternoon, I had the privilege of watching the cast of "Community," along with creator Dan Harmon and special guest star Pedro Pascal, as they read an episode of the show — and then answered a few questions from me, their friendly moderator. Very few, of course, because once this cast gets going, it's best to stay out of their way and let the chemistry roll.

As I wrote in my recap for Variety:
Fans hoping for a “Community” movie announcement are going to have to wait a little longer. The cast and creator Dan Harmon reunited recently for a table read, followed by a Q&A to reminisce about the show — but continue to tap dance around the notion that the second half of the show’s “Six Seasons and a Movie” prophecy might come true.

“We can’t make movies right now,” quipped Donald Glover, who was among the “Community” stars who gathered to read the Season 5 episode “Cooperative Polygraphy,” as part of an event to support COVID-19 relief charities. In particular, the reunion, which streamed on Monday on Sony Pictures TV’s “Community” YouTube page, was a benefit for Frontline Foods and José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, two groups working to get means to frontline responders and vulnerable communities.

But here’s perhaps the breakthrough: During the Q&A, Glover said he would be game for such a film, joining his co-stars, all of whom have reiterated their desire for a “Community” movie. Star Joel McHale has suggested in various interviews that Glover — given his music career as Childish Gambino, his TV career with “Atlanta” and a film docket as well — might be too busy to join in.

Watch the full interview here:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The 8 p.m. Essential Workers/First Responders Tribute

In our neighborhood, we now know exactly when the clock strikes 8 p.m. — the cheers, the gongs, the claps, the horns, the whistles, the drums and more. It's a lift-me-up, practiced all over the world, that our part of town has fully embraced. And because we live at the base of a hill, the sounds echo all around, providing a true nightly celebration. In honor of the essential workers, the first responders, and honestly, everyone just getting through the day in these uncertain times, it's a joy to hear every night.

Most evenings, we listen from home. But on a recent night, we climbed to the top of the hill, with noise makers in hand, to join in the celebration. The blogger kids felt a bit self-conscious about it, but I think they secretly, ultimately, enjoyed the pomp and circumstance. Two months into quarantine, it's sometimes the little things that can keep spirits up.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Quarantine Family Game Night: A Roundup

You've seen our ongoing tally of Family Movie Night (Wednesdays) and Family outdoor grill night (Saturdays)... now welcome to the addition, our Family Game Night! Early in the stay-at-home pandemic, we spent several evenings playing board games... but as the weeks carried on, we found ourselves playing fewer games and spending more time in front of our computers. Hence, the decision to make game night a formal Monday evening event. Here have been the games so far:

April 20: Clue

April 27: Monopoly (Voice Banking edition)

May 4: Uno

May 11: Sorry / Exploding Kittens

May 18: Battleship / war (cards)

May 25: Throw Throw Burrito
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