In Pursuit of the Despicablimp, Part Deux

My mission has failed.

I didn’t get any photos of the Despicablimp. In my wild and crazy youth, I would have chased it all the way to Chicago if I’d had to. These days, however, the extent of my adventurousness (is that a word?) is just getting home from the mall. I get out of breath walking to the kitchen.

I should have gone to the airport when it was parked here and taken photographs. But I had my heart set on an airborne photo. I considered trying to bribe the pilots–but with what? I could hardly offer a home-cooked meal. I wouldn’t wish my cooking on anybody. Oh, sure, Collin eats it and sometimes actually likes it–but Collin has a positively Kryptonian gastrointestinal system. I’ve watched him eat fossilized tacos!

Yep, I’m disappointed. This photo, from the Despicablimp website, was taken as the blimp was approaching Chicago. This is the kind of shot I was hoping for. A blimp at night is a truly beautiful sight to behold!

But this past week, just the prospect of getting that elusive photograph, has been the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. I can’t remember the last time I got so excited about anything. I felt energized–which may be why I’ve been able to write again.

Looking at the comments accompanying the photos posted on the Despicablimp site and reading the Tweets on their Twitter page, I found I was not alone in my response to the big airship that looks like a giant Minion. Everywhere they go, people say just seeing it makes them smile. It makes them happy, just to be a part of the blimp’s journey.

Is this why the two Despicable Me movies are so popular? Is this why Collin and I–and a lot of other people–have baskets full of plush Minions, buy Happy Meals to get Minion toys, and wear Minion T-shirts and boxer shorts? (Don’t laugh–they’re soft and comfy and all those smiling yellow faces promise only sweet dreams!) I can’t speak for everyone, but they sure make me feel happy.

What makes you smile?


Be sure you check out William’s latest “Day in the Life” posts at Speak of the Devil–and do take the Yahoo Summer Movies poll! (It looks like Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill is winning the poll for Sexiest Summer Stud–but in second place (and beating Iron Man 3‘s Robert Downey Jr.!) is Despicable Me 2‘s Kevin the Minion! What can I say? Minions are irresistible!


In Pursuit of the Despicablimp

I now understand how Wile E. Coyote feels, always chasing the Road Runner but never catching him.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to photograph the Despicablimp, the airship cruising the country to promote Despicable Me 2 (yep, the Minions–which, as anyone who knows me or has visited my Facebook page can tell you, is one of the truly great joys of my life!). The Despicablimp is painted to look like a gigantic Minion, so of course I want to photograph it!

Since I have yet to get my own photos,
I “borrowed” this from the

The Despicablimp arrived in the St. Louis area on Tuesday evening. I was on the lookout for it, having received its estimated arrival time from the pilots via Twitter. It could have been a good shot, had I not been positioned just a bit too far south! I had a spot on a hill overlooking the interstate, my camera set for zoom. A few clouds aside, it was a bright, sunny afternoon. I had everything I needed for a good photo. Except my subject.

I finally gave up. The bugs in that overgrowth were waging war with me–and winning. (Note to MoDOT: mow the land around the exit ramps, will you? Those bugs play dirty!)

Wednesday morning brought renewed hope. Tweet from the Despicablimp crew: they would be in the air again, “all over town.” Well, not exactly all over town. Not in my neighborhood, anyway. I find myself wondering if this might be due to the fact that we’re very near the Jefferson County line. For the unenlightened, Jefferson County was once the meth lab capital of the country with 2075 labs counted. It now has only 1825 (if you don’t count those mobile meth labs in soda bottles) and has lost the top spot to Tulsa, Oklahoma. But that’s still a lot of meth labs in Jefferson County, and a lot of druggies who might mistake the Despicablimp for a UFO and start shooting at it!

I can imagine them trying to explain themselves to Sheriff Boyer’s deputies: “But it was self-defense! We saw an uffo! They was gonna take us on their spaceship and do experiments on us!” (Note to any and all aliens in our galaxy: If you ever do take any of these nitwits, please give them brain transplants!)

But I digress. Back to my own pursuit of the glorious Despicablimp. Collin and I went out as soon as it was airborne again, armed with our smartphones/cameras. We had lunch at McDonalds (which, by the way, did a DM2 promo–we ate a lot of Happy Meals to collect two complete sets of Minion toys!). We found a booth that gave us clear views in three different directions–just in case.

Once again, disappointment. The Despicablimp had headed west from its local base at the Regional Airport. It was flying over Forest Park, the Central West End, Shrewsbury–my old neighborhood, the same place Collin and I had gotten a great view of the Titanic blimp one night fifteen years ago. This is what we get for moving.

It also flew over St. Louis Childrens Hospital. I hope a lot of kids being treated there got to see it. It would have made their day!

I was up early this morning, hoping to hear the chirping sound of my Twitter app, letting me know the Despicablimp would be heading in our direction today. Nope. When the tweet came, it was to let everyone know the crew would be taking the day off and the blimp would be on the ground at Alton all day. Well, hey–everybody needs a day off.

I haven’t lost hope. As Scarlett O’Hara once said, tomorrow is another day. I might yet get at least one Despicablimp photo–and if I do, you’ll see it here (and at my WordPress blog) first. And to my photoblogger friends–I don’t know how you do it!

Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby!

I realize that some of my regular readers here don’t do Facebook, so I thought today I’d introduce you to some of the hilarious memes my son Collin does for my Facebook page. Enjoy!

In honor of the birth of the Royal Baby….

A nod or two to the Queen of Memes, the one and only Grumpy Cat….

A little humor aimed at the box office train wreck that is The Lone Ranger….

A particularly snarky wrestling manager….

And my new Facebook status feature, The Daily Minion….


Movie Review: DESPICABLE ME 2

My name is Norma and I’m a Minion junkie.

Ask anyone who knows me well, and they’ll confirm it: I never really grew up. I collect stuffed animals–and I love animated films. I admit that I’ve always preferred traditional animation, but then a bunch of noisy, yellow, overall-clad, goggle-wearing critters known as the Minions arrived on the movie scene, and it was love at first sight.

In Despicable Me, they were the bickering followers of supervillain Gru (voiced by the always funny Steve Carell), who adopted three little girls as part of one of his evil plots. In Despicable Me 2, Gru, now a devoted dad, has reformed and is attempting to start a legitimate business. He’s turned his lab into a high-tech kitchen for making jellies and jams. Too bad nobody, including the Minions, likes the stuff they’re making. His longtime sidekick, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), grows restless–as restless as a hard-of-hearing geezer mad scientist can possibly be–and decides to leave Gru’s lab and go back to evildoing with another supervillain. Gru reluctantly says goodbye to his soon-to-be-former accomplice and the Minions give Nefario a twenty-one fart gun salute (yep,I said fart gun–it wasn’t a typo).

When the Minions start to disappear, Gru doesn’t notice–at first. He’s busy deflecting the matchmaking attempts of an annoying neighbor and his own daughters. The youngest, Agnes, struggles with her role in a Mothers Day pageant at her school, feeling the lack of a mother of her own. Gru is also concerned that eldest daughter Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), now a teenager, has discovered boys.

Enter Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, who provided the voice of snarky orphanage director Miss Hattie in the original film), an agent for the Anti-Villains League, who kidnaps Gru and Minions Stuart and Dave and takes them to AVL headquarters, where AVL Director Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) tries to recruit Gru to help find a supervillain who possesses a dangerous formula that turns anyone injected with it into an unstoppable purple killing machine. He and Lucy end up partners, but at first they can’t get along, and every attempt they make to find the supervillain ends badly…starting with a restaurant break-in, during which they run afoul of a chicken (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

When little Agnes declares that Gru loves Lucy, Gru not only denies it, he insists he doesn’t even like Lucy. Typical male…denying his feelings right up to the moment he says “I do!”

The AVL thinks they’ve found their man when wigmaker Floyd (Ken Jeong) is arrested. Gru is dismissed in spite of his insistence that restaurateur Eduardo (voiced by Benjamin Bratt) is the real culprit…and with Nefario’s help is turning the Minions into monsters. By the time his suspicions are proven correct, Lucy is on a flight to Australia and her next assignment.

Will Lucy return? Does Nefario’s conscience get the better of him? Do Gru and Lucy have a future together? Will Margo, Edith and Agnes finally get a mom? And what of the Minions? Will they be yellow and cute again in time for next year’s Minion Movie?

See Despicable Me 2. The end credits scenes alone are worth the price of admission. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to McDonald’s and get more Happy Meals….

(Also posted at Rotten Tomatoes and WordPress.)