Friday, April 30, 2004

Dallas Mavericks flame out. Good! 

It's not a surprise or anything, but I'm glad that Dallas lost in the first round of the playoffs. This is a team that made some notable acqusitions this past off-season, none of them particularly helpful. They didn't get a big man and they still don't have a defense which means, in short, they were not committed to winning anything. In the face of that, I'm glad they failed. Mark Cuban can jump up and down like an idiot all he likes, but this 1st round exit is pure validation that the Mavericks aren't going anywhere any time soon. You can bet there'll be some changes in personel this off-season. it's unfortunate because I really like players like Steve Nash and Michael Finley. But I just can't support a team that is content with being a paper tiger.


Rene Gonzalez is a spineless douche bag. 

Much has been made of the recent death of ex-NFLer, Pat Tillman, while he served with the Army Rangers in Iraq. He has been called a national hero, someone to respect and admire, the personification of sacrifice and American values. He deserves all of those accolades. Every last one. The man gave up a comfortable life making millions a year playing football in favor of taking up arms for his country after 9/11. He died bravely. Whether or not you agree with the Iraq War, you can not argue that this man had no valor, no integrity, no selflessness. Or can you? One such fuck up, Rene Gonzalez of the University Massachusetts, very much disagrees with the idea of Tillman being hailed as a hero and has shared as much through the University's student paper.


In that write-up, good ole' Rene the retard calls Tillman a "G.I. Joe idiot who got what was coming to him." Without parroting too much of the above link, I have to say that that statement is one of the most disgusting, ignorant, insulting, insipid comments I've ever read. The audacity of this punk, the fucking balls, to call this man a wannabe Rambo is enough to make me sick. And really, you should be having the very same reaction. Rene's assertions are not based on anything more than pettiness. They're just thoughts he tossed up in the air that landed in his article (which was somehow cleared by his editor!). Fact is, there is nothing speculative about Pat Tillman being a hero. It is all their for everyone to see. When the text of the scenario is 'professional athlete making millions of dollars trades in easy life in favor of service to his country as a Ranger (the front line of every battle waged) in its greatest time of need,' the subtext is anything but, 'Pat Tillman is just a dumb jock who wanted to look cool and people are stupid to think he sacrificed anything.' I'm sorry, it just isn't there. Now, I'm not a flag-waver by any means. You find me any time soon cheering in favor of the war just as you probably wouldn't find me at a peace protest. But this sickening display of vile ignorance is enough to get me extremely upset. It's a direct slap in the face to anyone who believes that pride, honor, and sacrifice take priority over gluttony, excess, and fame. And to wish death upon somebody? To say that "he got what was coming to him?" That's so incredibly wretched. It's beyond shocking poor taste, it's downright wrong and awful. But you know what? All things being fair, I hope Rene Gonzalez gets what's coming to him. I sincerely do. And you do know what's coming his way, right? I'd imagine that after the press shreds his now worthless name and drags it through pungent muck where it belongs, he may have a beatdown coming his way. Really, I'd love to be a part of that. Fuck you, Rene Gonzalez! Fucking rot!


Thursday, April 29, 2004

Screw Germany 

I'm a huge world soccer nut, so you can imagine my shock and glee when I saw one of the final scores from yesterday's international series of friendly (exhibition) matches: Romania 5 Germany 1. WHA??? That's incredible. The World Cup finalists get embarrassed by a team that failed to qualify for Euro 2004 and who was missing their best player, striker Adrian Mutu. Amazing. The Germans will point to not having their three best defenders on the pitch, but this isn't like when England hammered the Germans 5-1 back in '01. That English team fielded the best side possible b/c it was a World Cup qualifier. The team Romania put out yesterday is a far cry from that. Looks like Germany has a lot of fine-tuning to do before they kick off Euro 2004 against teams better than Romania in the forms of Holland and the Czech Republic.


The funniest man I know 

No one spins a story like my old high school friend, Roberto. He now lives in Japan as an English teacher. If you want comic gold, I highly recommend checking the Hakushaku link on the right. You see, Roberto was a stranger in a strangeland even when he lived in the States. Now imagine his travails in Japan.

P.S. Roberto has a deep booming voice that puts James Earl Jones to shame. Try imagine that while you're reading his hilarious anecdotes.


You know what's bullshit? 

Being woken up at 8:30 (when you don't have work) and being told that the cable guy is here. Only he's not here. He was here for a second, then gone. And I was soundly asleep. That's bullshit!

What's not bullshit? Last night's episode of The OC. Part of me is still embarrassed that I even watch the show, but its so trashy and fun I can't help it. It's one of 4 or 5 shows I watch on a regular basis which is surprising even to me. Season finale is next week and I'm calling my shot right here and now as to what happens.

The called shot:
Ryan (the OC) finds out that Teresa's baby is his. He will do the honorable thing and marry her for support and to take responsibility for his actions. They probably won't actually get married in the finale (although this show has a horrible quality of resolving even the most daunting conflicts within the same episode they arose), but rather the plan for them to do so will be laid out.

What I'm watching:
Stanley Cup Playoffs
The OC


Kobe and The Lake Show 

Boo and jeer all you like, I'm a big Lakers fan. Glad to see that Kobe's trouble in court didn't stop him from pouring in 31 points on the court to knock Houston out of the playoffs. Beating the Rockets in 5 was about what I figured would happen. Now its revenge time against the quietest defending NBA champ there ever was, San Antonio. I like the Lakers in 6. I still believe that the only team who can beat LA is LA. If these egos can all stay focused on the ultimate prize, they won't be beat. There's no question that Malone knows what's at stake. Gary Payton, despite gripes about playing time, is in the same boat. Shaq will be out for blood against the Spurs. That leaves Kobe's troubles in court as the only obstacle. Thus far, he's persevered. He's going to have to be the difference in this series. Shaq and Malone will have their hands full switching off on super-amazing Tim Duncan but, by my count, that's two superstars in the frontcourt to one. The key to the series, I believe, will be if Gary Payton and Derek Fisher can neutralize the Spurs' Tony Parker. I think Payton is up to the challenge. If those matchups fall into place for LA, then Kobe will be enough to put them over the top.

Sidenote: the Kobe Bryant trial should not be national news, just as Michael Jackson, Robert Blake, and Scott Peterson don't deserve national attention. All this frenzy over something that won't have any effect on how I live my life is ridiculous. Last I checked, none of them had anything to do with the election, Iraq, the economy, anything relevant to America's well-being, etc. Before you say, "Well, you're a Lakers fan and who cares whether they win or lose?" I say that the Lakers are paid to play, perform, ENTERTAIN. There's a large amount of emotional investment that goes into being a sports fan and the spontaneity of sport is something that no book or film can match. Conversely, if Kobe Bryant isn't shooting hoops, then I don't really care what he's doing. Not that this would excuse the charges he has against him, but I can't understand how anyone would justify this as "serious news" when it's nothing more than a circus. Case in point: OJ Simpson.


"Mean Boys"  

Clearly the answer to the upcoming film, "Mean Girls," starring Lindsey Lohan (yeah, hot), "Mean Boys" is the story 3 guys who set out to mentally torture their paranoid friend until he becomes suicidal. It promises to be quite hilarious, actually.


Back in town 

I was able to gain some clarity on the future roommate situation. That is to say, there is no solution yet. Things are up in the air, but we're trying to figure a way to keep Emily. She's all for that. We'll have our cake and eat it too, damn it!

Now that I don't have the luxury of mom's homecooking, the next week or so will be a challenge financially. Right now, I'm getting by with a little help from my friend (oh, I get by with a little help, I get by...). Sorry. That was uncalled for.

Finally, I was dumbfounded to learn that people in LA know about this blog. I kind of blushed upon hearing that. But it made me immediately think that I would be labeled as two-faced, for in the past I have railed on blogs as being a tool that further disconnects the socially awkward from any kind of social reality of human interaction. To a point, I will defend that endlessly because, in certain cases, that's exactly what they do. To a point. However, as I've already made clear, what reaches this blog regarding any topic of any kind will be no different than what comes out of my mouth if I were to talk to you in person. Does that make sense? What I'm trying to make crystal clear is that I'm not hiding from anyone by having this blog... even if I'm not advertising to the world that it's here. But when things are on your mind and you've got some time, hell, why not have an outlet?


Man... my hair has been all sorts of FRO today.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Coming attractions 

Well I hit the road for LA tomorrow, leaving my family behind again for what will undoubtedly be an extended period of time. I love them, but I tend to go a little insane when I spend too much time with them. While the time to unwind in Phoenix was nice, I'm ready to get back into the grind.

So what am I going to do once I hit LA with no money and looming debt? Well, got a couple birthday parties to hit up. And this weekend is our mini-film-fest; a 24 hour window in which my friends and I along with a couple other groups will each make a film. No doubt they will be of the highest quality. Then the next weekend is Prom in Space. My roommates and I are throwing the bitchin'est Prom there is. For all of these events, I will probably be liquored up. Surprisingly enough, I only drank one night during my eight night stay in Phoenix. I didn't get drunk either. I had plenty opportunity, but it just never came up. Hmm... it would seem that Phoenix is my rehab city of choice should I ever need one.


Cash Milliondollars! 

Just finished loglines and rough outlines for the first twenty episodes of "Cash Milliondollars," an animated brainchild I've been nursing the last few months. I'm pretty amped. Now I just need to get a hold of Cartoon Network.


Not Edward Scissorhands 

While talking with Stacey last night, she told me a funny, yet unfortunate, story about her cousin being taken advantage of. Well, that doesn't sound quite right. Not exactly taken advantage of, but rather, surprised. Anyway, her cousin and this guy were getting intimate and all of a sudden she hears a buzzing coming from down there. Turns out this guy was about to use a dildo on her, but she was so blissfully lost in the moment that she didn't realize it until he turned the vibrator on. She freaks out and is shocked that this creepy guy was able to produce a dildo "from out of nowhere." Stacey likens the sleaze to a magician pulling rabbits out of his hat, 10 foot handkerchiefs out of his nose, dildos out of his ear, etc. But the funniest image I came up with was that this guy was Edward Dildohands. You know? He just sort of wears human-hand gloves, but when her panties drop the gloves come off. Edward Dildohands. That should be a porn spoof if I ever heard one. Right up there with Buffy the Vampire Layer, Indiana's Bone and the Temple of Poon, and Lawrence of my Labia.


I love my Simpsons DVDs 

They're perhaps the greatest purchase I've ever made. I skipped over season 1 which is admittedly spotty and lacking in funny. Season 2 is not in my collection either, although there are some gems in there. But season 3! Ah yes! This is where The Simpsons truly hit their stride. I just watched "Homer at the Bat" again last night (the episode where Mr. Burns hires a bunch of major league baseball players to act as ringers on the powerplant's softball team). It's pure genius. Immediately after, I watched the commentary for the episode. The commentaries on the whole are very enjoyable, most notably because it is apparent that the creators love the show as much as the fans do. That's really refreshing when you live in a city known for its cynicism and false hope. Season 4 comes out in June and will feature a couple commentaries with Conan O'Brien, the funniest of the late night talk show hosts. It's a shame that the Simpsons are still airing new episodes, though. It's like watching your dog limp around with one eye, three legs, and a broken tail -- you just wish someone would put it down. I grew up with The Simpsons. This show has had as much, if not more, influence on my sense of humor, my writing, my outlook on life, my personality as any form of media to date. Now, sadly, it's unwatchable. It probably should've come to a close somewhere around season 11 (at the latest). But alas, money talks and Fox still needs programming desperately. Bastards.


You know you're missed when... 

... you log on to IM for the first time in over a week and are immediately bombarded by six friends all wanting to say hi and find out when you're coming back. I'm looking forward to getting back to LA with my no money. Rawk!


Glad I could help. 

I just had over an hour-long phone conversation with Stacey that really seemed to put her at ease. Poor thing is a bit stressed out -- overworked, chaos all around. But I was able to calm her just by listening and spinning a couple stories. That feels good. It's rewarding to know that a person looks to you for comfort. And it makes me happy to know that I'm affecting someone that I care about in such a positive way.


Monday, April 26, 2004

Mike Angelo lives! 

Heard from my friend, Mike, today. He just moved back to New York after suffering in Los Angeles for a while. Drove across the country, he did. 'Ello? Suddenly, I'm Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. What the hell?

Right, so its good to know that Mike made it to Brooklyn. He's a promising stand up comedian. Be sure to keep an eye out for him.



There's something incredibly funny about Wil Wheaton having a blog. I don't know why, but there's something about it that just seems a bit off. You know what I'm talking about. All I can think about now is contacting Wil and asking him questions about "Toy Soldiers." Hmm... it seems like I have a mission.


All over the map 

I just skimmed my previous posts. Think I'm a little scatter-brained?


Girls Girls Girls 

I will never understand them and always love them. I'm screwed. Having lunch with Becky tomorrow before we possibly never see each other again. Not because she sucks, but because we live 400 miles apart.

Found out the other day that my sweet roommate is pondering moving out, which sucks. I'd hate to see her go. It's not really a decision that's in my control though. Hopefully, she reconsiders. I like my Emily.

Stacey. I relish being her rock of stability; her friend to turn to when she's down. Yeah, its the role of the nice guy. You know what? I'm fine with it. But I'm not exaggerating when I say I'd do anything for this girl. Whether she wants to go any farther than a very strong friendship (and it is very strong) is up to her. Last thing I want to do is make anything awkward. But add to the mix that we work together and things get a little more complex. I know, for now, that's she's just fine being friends. But in the back of my mind lingers that silly little hope that she'll realize that I can be more to her than she'll ever know. In the meantime, I'm keeping my options open. We'll talk tonight.


Money for nothing. 

I finally swallowed my pride and filed for unemployment. It's the first time I've ever done so, but this was an emergency. After being on hiatus for 3 weeks, I got rammed with an onslaught of bills. A mysterious trio of outstanding parking tickets (admittedly my fault), registration renewal fee for my car, insurance and car payments, cell phone. My car (steady and reliable) has been a financial nightmare. Every 3 months at least, its good for a financial setback. It all adds up fast when you don't have money coming in. Not to mention, as of now, I'm short for rent money. So yeah, the glass has been broken for an emergency. I hate it. I just need a little something to tide me over.

Shit like this makes it more imperative now than ever that I start actually putting some money aside; saving. Never know when I'll need to crack the piggy bank again. And I hate the concept of loafing my way to a check. Now I've made myself into a hypocrite. But there are those who rationalize the benefits I receive from unemployment as being justified. After all, those are my tax dollars they're giving back to me. I guess I should be entitled to it given the line of unstable work this industry offers. Curse you TV job for being so fun and yet so unreliable!



My brother's a good kid. He's got a good heart. He's just incredibly thick in the head at times. We all have flaws.


That little bitch. 

My brother can be such a prick sometimes. A spiteful, inferiority-complex-ridden prick. That is all.



Overshadowing the "Starting Over" news is word that my grandpa continues to decline in health. He's still in Cape Town; the only grandparent still alive. It's frustrating being so far away at a time like this. He just had hip surgery and is suffering from cancer. On top of that, he's all alone down there. All he has to look after him is the maid, Uncle Wolfie and Auntie Glicky. And they can't really cope with it fulltime. Even if they wanted to, they wouldn't be able to wait on him hand and foot for 24 hours. But my grandpa, 92, is a stubborn man. He adamently refuses to go to a home. Who can blame him? It's a rather unwelcome thought. But from previous experience in my family, its not that bad. He'll always have someone to look after him. He won't be lonely. This whole thing is a trial. My dad has made more trips to South Africa to check on his health in the last year than he has in the previous 15 years since we moved to the States. Even he can't keep up this pace. Me? I'd be down there right now if I could afford it. Cheapest flights, however, run about $1700. Yeah, I just don't have the money. Talking with him on the phone is endlessly frustrating, too. He won't stay on the line for more than 2 minutes before he's done with you. I suppose he has his pride to preserve. He doesn't want to appear weak to those he loves. He puts on this front when really everyone close to him knows the severity of his health. It sucks being so far away. If I'm ever to get a word in edge-wise to him, it has to be in the form of a letter. So I write him. I guess that's all I can really do for him.


Employment is good. 

Just got a piece of good news this morning. The daytime reality show, "Starting Over" was renewed for a second season. I don't care about the show itself, but I've got a few friends who work on it, so I'm happy for them. As for me? Looks like I'll be back office this time next week. Looking forward to it, too. Going a little stir crazy right now.


Sunday, April 25, 2004

They don't need more Mbeki. 

I'm from Cape Town, South Africa. My whole family is. We immigrated shortly before I turned 8. Pretty much all my extended family is back there. As you can imagine, South Africa holds a special place for me. So I like to keep up on events there. And with all the trouble they've had adjusting to democracy, I can't imagine that more Thabo Mbeki is what that country needs. Yes, he ran unopposed, but he's still bullshit. Crime is rampant, poverty is through the roof, the income gap is absurd, and at last check every third person in S.A. has HIV or AIDS. Mbeki, it has been documented, doesn't believe that HIV leads to AIDS. HOW?!?! How is this man the leader of a nation??!?!?! I hear he's not sure about how gravity works either. His government is corrupt and he's not doing anything to change it. Granted, it takes a long time for democracy to settle in a nation unaccustomed to it, but another 5 years of Mbeki will delay that adjustment by at least another 5 years.


The Wrens 

For about the last month or two, I've been obsessing over this band. So I figure that while I'm setting up those links on the sidebar that they should have one. Seriously, YOU need to check them out. Indie-ish rock that is honest, innovative, wounded, and fresh. This might be a little inaccurate, but I liken them to a cross between Built to Spill and The Pixies, only less flippant. Their album, "The Meadowlands," is a masterpiece that will affect you regardless of your disposition. They're coming to LA in July. I need to get my ticket soon. The Wrens. Check 'em out.


Turns out she's not weird. 

Fuck me. Customizing this thing is nothing short of a pain in the ass, especially if you're computer-retarded like myself. The internet is a strange thing. That includes friendster.com. Yeah, I'm on there. I don't know why, but I am. It's a big fad that peaked last summer, but its also an ego boost of sorts. People go on there seemingly to reaffirm that they have friends -- real ones that walk and talk not just in cyberspace but in real life. Anyway, turns out there are some cool people on there. Back in October, this girl (for purposes of anonymity we'll call her "friendster chick") messages me out of the blue. We IMed or whatever; emailed. Seemed like a nice girl. I live in LA and she's in Phoenix, but seeing as how I'm currently in Phoenix visiting my folks, I finally meet her in person last week. She's supposed to be an internet weirdo, right? No. Turns out, she's pretty damn great. 3 1/2 years older than me, but still pretty great. Oddly enough, the older woman thing has become a recent trend for me, so I don't consider it an issue. Anyway, Friendster Chick -- my god, "chick" is such a stupid word... fuck it, her name is Becky -- says she'll be visiting Los Angeles in a couple weeks. I'll definately see her then. Hopefully, though, I'll get to see her in Phoenix before I drive back to Cali on Wednesday.


It begins... 

Well, its been a long battle, but seeing as how I journal anyway, I figure why not take it to the W3 where millions of people can see into my world. Its something every writer should do. I guess its the inner-exhibitionist in me trying to bust out. I've got friends who have blogs and, at first, I didn't really see the point in them -- even while journaling, myself -- but something clicked for me. I get it now. I understand the voyeuristic appeal to them. And why shouldn't I? My vocation, for now, is in reality TV -- voyeur's delight. What I won't be doing here (something I could never do) is slam people online and then smile in their face when I see them in "The Real World." I think that's what really irked me about some blogs I've come across. So it's debatable now whether I'm part of the internet problem of shutting off communication from everyday reality and confiding in the compubox or whether I've hitched myself to a method for therapeutic rambling. In this instance, I don't think time will tell.


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