Friday, June 7, 2013

Indiana Jones Adventure: Decoder Cards

Actually it's just one card. Like everyone who knows me in real life or reads this blog (which I think no one does) the main reason I go to Disneyland is for the Indiana Jones Adventure Ride. I love that ride! It's one of my favorite rides. Sadly the price of a ticket to Disneyland has sky rocketed to $92 and this will make it even harder to visit Indy. I'm not saying I won't visit Disneyland (I probably am) but the ticket price is a barrier. But I'm getting off topic.  The Indiana Jones Adventure ride opened at Disneyland on March 4, 1995 and is located in Adventureland (makes sense right). Since then it has been operated. 

Here's what most folks don't know. On the opening day, Disney employees who worked at the Indiana Jones ride gave out these decoder cards to every guest who rode the ride on opening day (big Disney fans know this by the way). They also gave out these cards called "Forty Years of Adventure" which I'm not to familiar with. But it's the Indiana Jones cards that I am interested in. 
Indiana Jones Decoder Card
But what are these decoder cards for anyway?" one may ask. If anyone has ever rode the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, you'll see these hieroglyphics or "Mara-glyphics" written all over the temple walls. Well, with these decoder card any guest could figure out what these hieroglyphics really said. Which is totally awesome right? It's was almost as if the whole temple was real! 

So know that I explained what these cards were for, allow me to explain how I got my hands on one of them. No I did not order them online. It was given to me by a very good and awesome friend (shout out to Laurie!). See I was only a toddler when the ride opened so I could not have obtained one. My friend had this card and seeing how big of a Indy fan I am, she gave me hers. Isn't that awesome?! These puppies go for at least $30 to 40 bucks online. And here's another thing. There were three different designs (so far that I know) for these cards. I have one of them. That means I have to hunt down the other two. This time on my own, meaning I have to use the interwebs. 

I'm actually lucky to even have a friend who kept her card since she was a kid. Hardly a lot of people keep
stuff like that (notice I say hardly. Disney fans keep everything and maybe Indy fans too like me). Which also reminds me of something else. Back when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was coming out in theaters in 2008, Disneyland had this thing where they promoted the whole Indiana Jones thing. Their park maps had pictures of the Indiana Jones ride. They called this event "Indiana Jones: Summer of Hidden Mysteries." Apparently you would see a Disney employee running around dressed as Indiana Jones (I never saw this, and mind you I did going during this event). Well long story short there were special maps given out for kids and I never got my hands on it. And the park map I had was ripped up. So now I have to get my hands on those items...again.    

That was my little history lesson/ Indy haul this week my dear readers. Hope you enjoy it. Oh and one more thing. If you visit Disneyland and want to get a decoder card you have to go inside the Indiana Jones store (located in Adventureland right in front of the Jungle Cruise). But you won't get an actual card. Instead the Disney employee will give you a print out of the card on a sheet of paper. But hey, something is something right? Adios! 

These cards are small!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Last Book Store (Downtown Los Angeles)

On the corner of 5th and Spring Street there lies a place where a person can lose themselves in a world of flying pages, and the find the words of a long lost author. They call this place The Last Book Store.
How did I come across this place? Well crazy cats, it was by pure luck as well as an accident. One day I was with my parents driving around downtown LA. It was very late in the day and the streets were flooded with cars. In order for us to cut threw traffic, my father took Spring street all the way towards 5th and it was there that I saw this place. What caught my eye were the vinyl records on display on the window, and then the name The Last Book Store printed on the window in gold like letters. It was then that I knew I had to come back and check this place out. And so now I have, multiple times, and it's easily my favorite bookstore.

Why is it called The Last Book Store? Well according to their website "The name was chosen with irony,
View of the first floor from the second floor.
but it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as physical bookstores are dying out like dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books." So in a way it really is like a last book store. They sell both new and old books. Customers can even sell or trade their own used books. They also host events like open mic night and author meet and greets.

But what's so special about this store that  keeps me coming back and even blogging about it. Well, my dear readers it's the fact that it mixes art with books. There are so many things hidden (literally) in every corner.  You'll see books suspended in midair, pages fluttering everywhere and a giant life size mammoth head hanging on a wall. And this is just the first floor.
The first set of artful decorations you'll encounter on your way to the second floor.
The first floor might not seem too impressive to most (I as sure as hell was impressed though). But there's two floors
This is just the very beginning of the second floor. The labyrinth
of books lies behind from where I am taking the photo. Unfortunately
I did not take a photo of it.
in this book store. And it's the second floor that receives the most attention. On the first floor you'll see books how they are normally sold; in sections of genre. On the second floor it is literally a labyrinth made out of books.

One fact that everyone who visits the bookstore for the first time and must know is that the store was originally a bank. And yes the bank vaults are now turned into a science fiction chambers. There are two and both hold old school pulp fiction books for a dollar. In fact everything on the second floor is a dollar!  Right where the tunnel of books is located there's a bank vault that to me reminds me of Captain Nemo's Nautilus (Jules Verne). I don't know if that's what they were going for though.
The inside of one of the bank vaults. This is the one that reminds me of Captain Nemo's ship.
Of course there are so many super interesting art designs in every nook and crane of this store that I find it impossible to find them all. What interests me most are the books. But since we're on the topic of art, allow me to tell you, dear readers, something. On the second floor there are artists (they have little offices) who..well paint and make things. 
This is the section where artists have their offices. It's my understanding that this is called  Art Walk. 
There is no doubt that this book store has the rights to call itself unique. I have not seen any other book store that uses art and literature and mixes it in a wonderful way. But then again there are many bookstores in LA, so one never knows. But folks this is The Last Book Store; a place where the art of reading is in ever corner, a place where people can meet new people, a place where having a first date is strongly recommended (by who? By me!).  Now to explain something. I remember I posted a photo of a shirt I bought here, at The Last Book Store. On it, there is a picture of a solider carrying books. Why is that there? Well it's simple. On the second floor there are hundreds of different little green army toy soldiers on every bookshelf. One has to have an eye out for them.  Now then, hopefully dear reader, you'll know what I am talking about when I mention The Last Book Store. Well then folks, I really would like you guys to visit this store. Book enthusiasts come and rejoice!
Check out their website for further info:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Lost Beauty of a Mix CD

Dear reader, have you ever made a mix CD for anyone? You know, a CD you make with a bunch of songs that are special to you. And you give this CD to someone you love, someone who is special to you, or to a friend, or even to someone you meet an hour ago. Making these mix CD's take time and effort, regardless of who you give it to.

Well, recently I have begun making mix CD's for friends. I don't really know why I'm doing it. I just do it because to me music bring us humans together. It's the call of universal brotherhood in all of us . And to me music (and of course books) are a great gift.

When I make a mix CD for a person (especially if it's for someone very special) I take time to carefully select the songs I would like to include in the CD. I have the habit of observing my friends, and pretty much everyone I meet (blame it on reading to much Sherlock Holmes). And because I have learned to develop these habits, I can base my playlist on a persons personality making a killer playlist.  Of course the relationship with me and the person whom I'm giving the CD has a huge impact on the list of songs I include in the mix CD.

Once the playlist it done, it's best to listen to the playlist multiple times. Something I like my playlist to do is have a "flow". What I mean, is that I usually make a theme and base my playlist on that theme. Say the theme is happiness. I would include my all time favorite song "Heroes" by David Bowie. Why? That songs brings lots of happy and sad moments all at the same time. I would also include songs that induce happiness and some songs that have some sweet sadness to them. I believe that picking a theme for a mix CD makes making the playlist a lot easier. But I have seen people go crazy and make random playlist, that also works.
This mix CD is made for me, therefore I have chosen songs that
special to me. The theme is Happiness and Love.

Then there's decoration. Decorating the CD is also very important in my opinion. Depending on the theme you choose (if you have chosen any), then there's a specific guideline you must stick to. You can use different pictures from the internet, magazine cut outs, or even draw your own image. I recommend buying the writable CD's if you would like to draw on the actual CD. Now if you have made your own disc cover then you have lots of choices. I suck at drawing so I usually just search on the internet and find pictures that I think will work for my theme.

Mix CD's are still a great gift. They are special because they are made with care. If you have ever received a mix CD, haven't you ever wondered why that person gave you that playlist? What made them pick the songs they gave to you? If you're a guy, mix CD's are the perfect gift to give to that special someone, or it could be the other way around.  So remember folks, mix CD's are not a thing of the past. They are part of us, and they are special. As long as there is love, happiness and friendship I believe mix CD's will always exist. Until next time, adios!

Have any comments? Leave them below.

My favorite song of all time! (Yes I have a top 5 favorite song list, but David Bowie's Heroes ranks number one on my list.)