Tuesday, June 24, 2008

bunna in hoosierland

Last weekend Bunna realized every basketball fan's fantasy. In Knightstown, Indiana, a small town about 45 minutes outside of Indianapolis, stands a humble community gym that has come to symbolize the legendary history of Indiana basketball. When a film crew descended on Kinghtstown in the late 1980s looking for a place to make their little underdog sports picture, simply titled Hoosiers, the gym catapulted into celebrity. 

Nestled in a quiet neighborhood just off US 40, the gym would go practically unnoticed by any ordinary passerby. However, Bunna got excellent directions from the gas station attendant, who, oddly enough, looked just like "Shooter" (Dennis Hopper), the assistant coach/recovering alcoholic who "know[s] everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented." Anyway, Bunna thought he could get a few pictures of himself outside the gym and be on his way. When he arrived, about 6:30 p.m., a glance at the sign on the door confirmed his assumption:

Hoosier gym was closed for the night. After Biff took a few pictures of Bunna at basketball's Midwestern Mecca, an elderly woman turned the corner and noticing their downcast expressions, mentioned that Merv was her husband, and even though she was off to Bible study, she would be delighted to run back and let him know we were waiting for the VIP tour. Not a moment later, Merv's wife drifted by in their forest green mini-van and Merv appeared at the lobby doors, key in hand and commenced the tour eagerly. Merv was no rookie tour guide. With the greatest possible thoroughness he guided us through every aspect of the gym's construction, every detail of the film's production, every anecdote about the cast, and every possible analysis of the film itself. Bunna was impressed. 

B&B got the tour of the locker room where Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) encourages his team...

sat in the stands directly above Hickory's bench...

sunk a few jumpers from the famous floor...

and snapped a photo with the state champs...

They got to see everything but Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey). Next time they're in Knightstown B&B know where to have a good time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

frickin' fallingwater

Bunna and Biff discovered that they get wireless at Rico's house, so it's back to the Mac! Since the feature on Champaign's mini-parks, Bunna and Biff have been wondering what other cities do in the way of providing urban recreation. Because the CU Sightings crew wasn't invited to Rico's wedding and had to stay at home to work on the next segment on the mini-parks, B&B thought they could do some exploring. But where in the frick are they supposed to go in an unfamiliar city? Pittsburgh's fashionable Squirrel Hill, home to the tranquil and sylvan Frick Park.*

Frick Park, one of Pittsburgh's Citiparks, provided, however, an unpleasant alternative to Champaign's mini-parks. Pittsburgh has a lot to learn. First of all the park was too frickin' big - over 600 acres - including several miles of frickin' hiking and biking trails and frickin' nature walks. How were they supposed to see the whole frickin' park in one afternoon? Impossible. Secondly, the park was too frickin' crowded. B&B ran into dozens of frickin' hikers, bikers, and joggers. And everyone was so frickin' friendly; they never had more than thirty minutes alone to enjoy the frickin' park. And finally, Zoe couldn't find anything fun to do on the frickin' hike. They tried to get her to have fun in the frickin' kid carrier backpack...

...to no avail. She wouldn't laugh or smile the whole frickin' time. B&B tried to distract her from the monotony of the frickin' steep valleys and wooded slopes with the frickin' camelbak, but that didn't work either.

She couldn't even stay frickin' hydrated. Bunna finally got tired of the whole frickin' thing and made Biff carry Zoe on the way out.

They will never go back to that frickin' park. Give them Champaign's Mini-Park II anytime. 

* You may need to be a Utahn to fully appreciate the frickin' humor.

Bunna and Biff had to take a break from the Citiparks and do something really worth their while. What better thing to do in western Pennsylvania than visit the most wonderful place on earth: Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park!

All of Hanna-Barbera's lovable characters joined in making their visit one to remember. Ranger Smith gave them a hearty welcome as they entered...

...and Yogi Bear let Zoe and Biff take a ride in his picnic basket!

What fun! Zoe even got to pretend she was a little toe-headed boy!

On the way back to Pittsburgh, B&B decided to follow some signs to some local-yokel place on the outskirts of Mill Run, called Fallingwater. Apparently some guy named Frank Lloyd Wright built some crazy house in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods. What d'ya know?

They didn't dare take the tour of the interior - who really believes the cantilever construction will hold anyway? - and just decided to take the tour of the grounds. The trails around the house provided them with plenty to do and see. Bunna got to go swimming...

and Biff got to wash her hands.

They really couldn't have asked for more at Fallingwater. Just goes to show you never know what you're going to find in the woods. Western PA is really cool!

Sunday, June 15, 2008