‘Tis the time for giving, and these area organizations need your help to keep children safe and St. Louisans warm and well-fed this holiday season.
There’s no doubt that this has been one of the worst summers for Hollywood in recent memory. Correction: Hollywood actually did pretty well. We were the ones who had to suffer. And every time a big-budget movie faltered this summer, it didn't simply disappoint, it went down in flames. You can almost hear Will Smith and Johnny Depp laughing over single malts at Teddy’s:
Well, we are halfway through the summer movie season and the news is not good. Critics and insiders are calling this the summer of the flop, and despite the obvious (Oblivion, After Earth, White House Down, The Lone Ranger) I wonder why that is. I mean, come on, crappy action movies have been as much a part of the summer fabric as baseball games and BBQs. Why suddenly are movie-goers voting with their wallets?
OK. If your Oscar checklist is complete, and you are nauseated by the options at the cineplex—as well you should be—there is a silver lining. Not Silver Linings Playbook yet, but you have options. There are some great DVDs that came out this week, so if you want to stay in and hunker down with a good movie, these are my suggestions:
Maybe your bedroom closet space is limited to a few flimsy wire racks and a metal pole, or you struggle to fit groceries in a disorganized pantry. Perhaps there’s no storage system in the garage, or the entertainment center is overrun by cords and DVDs. If you find yourself in such a situation, California Closets may have the answer to your home organization problems, says James Cline, the company’s retail sales and marketing VP. “We work to align our customer’s needs and desires with an exact solution. We could have two spaces with the same dimensions, but because we are customizing each for that particular customer, you’ll never see the same design twice.”
New on DVD
Before he moved into The Gatesworth in 2009, John Lesser took a tour of the senior living community and was immediately impressed with the number of activities and amenities available to residents. “It’s positively amazing—the variety of options they offer us,” Lesser says. “It’s a wonderful way to stay social and active.”
Entire bookstore aisles are devoted to the subject, and every January those aisles are populated by people seeking help with a New Year’s resolution, perhaps the same one they’ve made for many years.
As people age, the importance of keeping the mind—as well as the body—active shouldn’t be overlooked. These area programs keep seniors both physically and socially engaged.
Well, it’s that time of year again, spring vacation. Unlike most, the Baldwin family does not have a spring break routine. We don’t always head to Destin or Jupiter or Beaver Creek. We’ve been to Florida and Colorado, but we’ve also tried the Ozarks and the Northwest and more often than not, we stay here. You wouldn’t think it, but St. Louis is a nice place to spend a vacation. We almost go to the art museum, and we think about visiting the zoo and we have every intention of going to the science center. It’s nice. So once again I have planned a very sedate holiday, basically clean out the refrigerator and catch up on my Tivoed shows. I know cleaning the fridge sounds ambitious, but it’s time. I think the food is planning a rebellion. I hear noises in there, and then I open the door and it suddenly gets quiet, revolting indeed…but I digress.
The Kaleidescape allows users to download all DVDs and CDs to one piece of equipment for viewing and listening throughout the home. Photo courtesy of The Screening Room
It seems home technology updates faster than most people can keep up with. Get a head start by selecting items that are sleeker, lighter and can store more memory. It is also best to consolidate equipment and make sure anything you purchase will lower bills and energy usage in the long run.
Courtesy of This Old House
Those of us who haven’t outgrown toys are in luck. These days, a dazzling variety of innovative gadgets are on the market, designed to make our lives easier, more creative…and more fun. Here, a trio of local experts tell us what’s new.
Kudos to the ROCKETS HOCKEY squirt B1 team, which donated food and bottled water for the needy during the Arch Hockey Tournament held recently in Chesterfield. Team members include: Bixby Childress, Natalie DeWitt and Jack Kincaid of Ladue; Matt Redfering of Brentwood; Chris Hanson of Ballwin; Ryan Griffin of Maryland Heights; Patrick Lochner of Town and Country; Peter Johnson of University City; Luke Roemerman, Tyler Wester meyer and Tommy Shelby of Webster Groves; Jimmy Schneithorst of Clayton; and Jennifer Williams of Frontenac. Coaches are Frank Childress and John Williams.
There are plenty of things you already know about Albert Pujols, he’s a future Hall-of-Fame first baseman, a family man and dedicated philanthropist. But here’s something you might not know: The Cardinals slugger is also a major car buff, and when he’s not working out at the ballpark, you can often find him doing carpool duty in the family’s 2007 Rolls-Royce. “My kids love that car,” says Pujols. “There are two TVs in the back so they can watch their favorite DVDs.” The Rolls was a gift in 2006 from Albert’s wife Deidre, who knows the way to her husband’s heart.
Green news…The Downtown St. Louis Partnership and St. Louis Car Sharing Cooperative have launched WeCar, a membership-based program that reduces reliance on personal automobiles for people who live or work downtown. Members pay a $35 fee and are given a pass code that will grant them access to any of nine Toyota Priuses parked in a designated lot downtown. Rental fee to use the car is $10 an hour. It’s perfect for people who live downtown and would like to take Metro or the bus to work but need the flexibility during the day to attend meetings or run errands. Reservations for a car can be made in advance online. The program is offered through Enterprise Rent-a-Car and modeled after a similar program launched earlier for students and staff at Washington University.
So off we went on a little winter break: Christmas in Michigan. One hour into the trip, the children were poised for a blood-letting and I was tearing at the bag of Mint Milanos I had sworn not to eat until noon. The SUV was stuffed to the gills as we stomped up north, leaving our carbon footprints in our path. Then I did it. I stupidly, stupidly asked myself the question: Could things get any worse? The universe chose to answer my question. No, I didn’t get teleported to Afghanistan or break out in hives, but the fuel pump on the car did die a quick death.