Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Anybody call for a web-slinger? 

Spiderman 2. Its better than the first, but its nothing to rave about. I enjoyed the first installment, too, but the flaws in that one didn't really reveal themselves to me on the first viewing. Spidey 2, however, has several moments that made me cringe.

1. Biggest pet peeve is when characters verbalize their internal monologue. It happens at least three times that I can remember and is COMPLETELY unnecessary. It's the stuff that bad screenwriting and, hell, even bad comic books are made of. Example, Harry Osbourne rushes out of a building after chaos. Harry, "ARGH! I'm ruined! Now, all I have left is Spiderman..." Or Peter contemplating his choices while standing by the window. It's just plain stupid. Painfully stupid.

2. James Franco is simply awful. Quite a shame after I thought he turned in a rather decent performance in the first one. This, sadly, was the most poorly handed story line in the film. I say "sadly" because it is also the one with the most potential.

3. There are times when this film fails to use any real physical space which is very distracting. Example: Spiderman is in the middle of the Hudson River, no buildings or any such thing around, and shoots a web to sling away. This happens a couple times.

4. Is it wrong for Aunt May to have more screentime than Doc Ock? Yes. There was a point in the film when they returned to Doc Ock's lab and I thought, "oh yeah, he's still in this movie."


5. I don't understand taking the mask off in public as many times as he does. The first instance, on the train, fine. I'll give them that for they way it was resolved. But the climax versus Doc Ock? No, sir. Didn't make sense. His identity, remarkably, is anything but secret by the time the movie's over.

6. The one thing that confused me that most confused me were the terms of Peter's mental block -- the reason his powers were fading/faded. Follow me, if you please. When they recall the burning building scene and Peter rushes in to save a child, it takes place after the "Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head" montage, a montage clearly indicating that things are much much better with him. Why, then, is it such a struggle for him to escape the burning building and save the child? He should logically have full use of his powers. It's something that bothered me while it was in play.

However, the action sequences are pretty great and I thought Doctor Octopus was very menacing. The scene with him slaughtering the doctors in the operating room is particularly cool. Reminiscent of Raimi's earlier days.

On the whole, its better than the first because there is simply more to it. Spidey 1 was really skin and bones, 2 has a little more meat to the story. I just wish the script had one final rewrite. It's so close to being a really solid movie. If you're going to see it at all, do it in the theater.

*Stupid Celebrity Glimpse Note*

George Carlin and Jack Black were among the many who had the priveledge of being in the same theater as me at 12:35 a.m. Feeling a little sleepy.


Is death too good for this man? 

Only two days after sovereignty was handed back to the Iraqis, now they get Saddam back, too.

Mouwafak al-Rubaie, Iraq's new national security adviser, said the trial would be broadcast live on television and radio and that the tribunal would be able to impose the death penalty.



Monday, June 28, 2004

Accident free for 0 weeks 

A few days ago I made a stop at Fatburger to, you know, grab a burger. Step up to the register to place my order and I see next to it a sign that reads (paraphrasing), "This Fatburger has been employee accident free for ___ weeks." Employee accidents, eh? You mean burger flipping? That's high risk? Fair enough. Problem was, though, that in the blank on the sign there was nothing written. Nothing? Yes, the space was empty. Some employee must have had an accident this week. I chuckle to myself at the possibilities, nevermind the fact that this establishment actually needs a sign alerting their customers that the kitchen is accident free, as if to relieve them of overwhelming concern. "Damn, I don't know if I am going to be able to finish my food. But wait! The employees haven't slipped on the wet tile in three weeks! Glory be, I'm so hungry," they must say to themselves. So I ask the cashier while pointing to the sign, "Hey, the space is empty. How many weeks?" The cashier, foppish to say the least, goes limp-wrist and says, "Oh, its been a lot of weeks." A lot of weeks, eh? Consider my confidence inspired. I was relieved to find no severed fingers in my french fries.


Any wrestling fans out there? 

I haven't watched the stuff in an excessively long time, but I found this interesting. I've heard of football players becoming wrestlers, but never wrestlers making the leap to pro football. Brock Lesnar definitely has strong attributes, but he's a project for sure. I'll be interested to see how his try-outs go.


So those movies? I saw them. 

First off, let me just cast this opinion into the wind: "Dodgeball" is a piece of crap. I wasn't planning on seeing it, but yesterday I somehow found myself in a theater watching a rather unfunny movie unfold before my eyes. There are a few good one-liners, but the rest of the film is just what I had dreaded it would be: Ben Stiller rehashing the same character he's played in his last 673 movies and not being funny. It's a waste of time, don't see it.

If you want comedy, though, Anchorman is it! The movie is brainless, naturally, but endlessly entertaining. Will Ferrell has a likable quality about him that Ben Stiller, in my opinion, has never ever possessed. You live to see him ham it up and in this film he certainly does. Several gut-busting laughs. There are moments in Anchorman that will floor you. The characters, however, are all very one-note. But the pacing is handled so that you don't get sick of any of them.

Fahrenheit 9/11, sadly, is just plain not as funny as Anchorman. Seriously, though, as disheartening a film as any, this is one of those rare "important" films. That last sentence is sarcasm free, mind you. Whether or not you're a fan of the intrusive Michael Moore or you're a supporter of our monkey president, Fahrenheit 9/11 merits your attention. It's eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and -- quite honestly -- affirms many conspiracy theories that have been floating around since September 12, 2001. To those who view this film solely as an attack on Bush, yeah, you're mostly right. That's not to say, however, that this attack is not COMPLETELY VALID. It's really not until the film delves into Iraq that Moore even begins tugging on any heart strings (although, with this subject matter, it'd be hard for anyone to try avoid being manipulative). The Bush material is pretty cut and dry. The only time where I sensed any irresponsibility on Moore's part was during a sequence in which some Army rangers storm an Iraqi household and arrest a male college student while the rest of his family cried that the boy had done nothing wrong. All the while, the rangers kept repeating that they had acquired their "target." It's not like the military is just going roll in on a whim. They were following a lead. That one nagging bit aside, people have to realize that Moore is presenting an argument 'cause, you know, its a documentary film. We're not talking about the Travel Channel or National Geographic. The point of being a documentarian is to present a case or opinion and back it up with facts. You have to take a side. Hell, journalists aren't even unbiased! The facts are there, as well as several intuitive leaps in logic; conclusions that most anyone would come to given the information. I left the theater feeling fairly drained. It's a harsh reality knowing that this man, this profoundly dumb man who can not adlib a response to save his life (red flag #1, people), is the leader of the free world.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is not by any means a film that you can watch over and over again. It's very much like "Requiem for a Dream" or "Monster" in that respect. It's well made, but will drain your will to live. However, Moore's effort separates itself from the other two examples in as much as I consider it to be a landmark film. By "landmark," I don't mean the same vein as Citizen Kane which revolutionized camera work and storytelling, but rather that this is a significant cultural event. It's a film that will stir conversation amongst voters which is something that this country is fairly void of. We're so used to just accepting what's put in front of us, we never bother to delve further. You can go the rest of your life without seeing "Requiem..." or "Monster" or even "Citizen Kane," for that matter, and you wouldn't be any worse off. If you don't see "Fahrenheit 9/11," though, you really are missing out on a number of things. Man, this write-up reads like I just gave the film oral. Not my intent. Just saying that it is an important movie.

A testament to the public's desire for the truth: Fahrenheit 9/11 grossed $23 million this past weekend, fininshing #1 at the box office and becoming -- in three days -- the highest grossing documentary of all time.


Saturday, June 26, 2004

Michael Moore: fat! Will Ferrell: funny! News on the march... 

Today is movie day. This afternoon, I'm going to Fahrenheit 9/11; a film being hailed by some as a masterpiece and dismissed by others as a personal attack on President Dub-ya. I'm excited to see for myself. I can't recall a film this politically motivated that has sparked so much debate and discourse throughout the American public. Then again, the subject matter is September 11th, so I suppose this sort of frenzy is to be expected.

Later tonight, after I've dabbled in brutal harsh reality that is this modern world, the gods smile upon me and give me comedy. I'm one of the lucky bastards that's going to the advance screening of Anchorman, the new Will Ferrell vehicle. The preview, although possibly a little too revealing, looks hysterical. Can't wait.


Did it again... 

I'm sure I'll be feeling the effects of fatigue later tonight, but it was worth it to wake up at the crack of dawn and watch the Springboks crack Wales 53-18. What a pretty sight. This time around, though, I only got just under 2 hours sleep before my alarm went off.


Friday, June 25, 2004

The last couple days... 

... I've had the song, "This Year's Love" by David Gray stuck in my head. I'm not a big fan of his, but its probably as pretty a song as any to have implanted in your mind. That's all.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

It's Criminal 

Vancouver Canucks forward, Todd Bertuzzi, made a disgrace of himself back in March when he brutally attacked an opposing player while on the ice. Now, he's facing criminal charges for it. Some might say deservedly so. But I wonder if there isn't a line between the law of the provincial courts and the NHL. There's already precedent for this. Back in 2000, renowned goon Marty McSorley was brought up on charges for an on-ice act of violence. While neither McSorley or Bertuzzi's assaults belong in the game of hockey, does the fact that they occurred during the run of play preclude them from having to face consquences outside the sport? Tensions are high, adrenaline is flowing, you don't always have a clear head. Then again, Bertuzzi's attack was definitely premeditated and I'm not about to excuse it. He deserves all the backlash he's getting, but this seems like a matter that should be left to the NHL.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I'm terrible, but this is pretty amusing... 

With the right sense of humor you, too, will find this to be hilarious. Calm down, there's a seat in the nether regions of hell reserved for all of us. Take solace in the fact that Mary Kate is only 3 years and half a billion dollars away from flourishing in the soft core porn industry.

The link is all buggered, so here's the article:

Mary-Kate Olsen Being Treated for Eating Disorder

Tue Jun 22, 3:07 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Teen actress Mary-Kate Olsen, who with her twin sister Ashley has grown into an American pop icon and fashion brand, has entered a program for treatment of an eating disorder reported to be anorexia.

The 18-year-old co-star of last month's film "New York Minute" recently "entered a treatment facility to seek professional help for a health-related issue," publicist Michael Pagnotta said on Tuesday.

"She is thankful for the encouragement and support of her friends and family, who are with her every step of the way," he added.

A person familiar with the situation told Reuters that Olsen was suffering from an eating disorder. Olsen entered a facility during the past week or 10 days and was expected to remain in treatment for about a month, the person said.

Us Weekly magazine, in the cover story of its upcoming issue, identified the disorder as anorexia.

Speculation about Olsen's rail-thin figure has been the subject of tabloids, gossip columns and the Internet for weeks. The actress herself poked fun at the issue during the twins' recent appearance on "Saturday Night Live," shouting to an extra playing herself, "You're too skinny! Eat a sandwich!"

Pagnotta said both sisters, who turned 18 on June 13, were going ahead with plans to attend New York University together in the fall.

But Ashley Olsen will be making a planned trip later this month to Australia and New Zealand without Mary-Kate to launch overseas promotion of "New York Minute" -- the sisters' first theatrical feature, he said.

The twins have been in the public eye since they were 9 months old, starring in the television sitcom "Full House." Since then, they have sold millions of videos, DVDs and books and have launched their own fashion line.

But director-producer Michael Kruzan, who has worked with the twins for years, was quoted in Us Weekly as describing Mary-Kate as the "more competitive" of the two girls.


The Terminal 

Steven Spielberg's latest is pretty damn shmaltzy... Even for him. But despite the incredibly dense sentimentality, I, ultimately, enjoyed this movie. I didn't by any means love it, but I was entertained enough that I'd recommend it. The film has such a winning charm about it, powered by the endearing performance of Tom Hanks -- who is just so damn likeable! Shit! His foil, however, is an abomination to screenwriting. The character played by Catherine Zeta Jones is, in a word, insipid. The fault doesn't fall so much on her as the writer. There are also about a handful of moments in the movie (let's say 4 or 5) that I wish were simply not there, but they're just throw-away jokes/lines that don't really impact the story.

What I find interesting about this film is that a lot of people, those with a hyper-critical eye at least, will be turned off by its positivity. That is to say, it might be too nice for some. It's a very bizarre critique to have, yet I heard it last night from friends who labeled the film as "unimportant." I don't believe this movie is trying to be important at all. To my friends' credit, it is very Hollywoodized as far as story is concerned, but it does have a heartfelt center and you can't help but root for the character to succeed even if his goals seem trivial (which they are not).

It feels so weird telling people that they probably wouldn't enjoy it because the conflict, so to speak, isn't dire.

The Terminal. Thumbs up. You can probably wait for it come out on video.


Azzurri blow it 

Well, the mighty Italians turn in a tank job. They're out of Euro 2004 on goal differential, bettered by Sweden and Denmark. The Italian media, of course, is screaming "conspiracy" because of the 2-2 result in the Sweden/Denmark match that led to Italy's exit. There is, of course, nothing to validate their claims. Italy sunk themselves with subpar performances that resulted in ties with both the Swedes and Danes. The win today over Bulgaria proved to be irrelevant. Big disappointment for them. They were a strong favorite, behind France, to win the whole thing. Having Italian blood on my mom's side, I've been a fan of Italy forever. Now that they're out, I'll have to turn my support to England for the duration of the tournament.


Monday, June 21, 2004

The sweet taste of naked freedom 

You're laying out on a nude beach in Spain, frolicking in the water, tanning, ogling. The place is packed and your head is incredibly distanced from reality. Suddenly a raft full of African refugees washes up on shore. You think to yourself, "Shit. Haven't seen that before." The person on your left gives you a once over and, while struggling to meet your gaze, replies, "Usually, they only come ashore at night. Sometimes, though, they get lucky."


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Hallmark Hangover 

I've seemed to develop a knack of having hangovers on days when it's imperative I speak to my parents. On Mother's Day, I had a hangover. Today is Father's Day... hung over.

I'm told last night's party was excellent. I was mentally there for the majority of it, but was wondering how it all turned out.

Today is good, though. Today is, thus far, quiet. I think that's what I really need at the moment. A great opportunity to get bundled up in blankets on the couch, chug gallons of water, and float in and out of consciousness while watching DVDs.

There's such a nice breeze outside, too.


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Napoleon Dynomite and Alan: A Conversation 

Napoleon Dynomite: Hi. My name's Napoleon Dynomite. You might recognize me as Napoleon Dynomite.
Alan: Hey.
ND: What are you doing? Are you busy?
A: Feh... yeah.
ND: Busier than last week?
A: Not that bad.
ND: Aren't you gonna ask me any questions?! Geez!
A: Um... yeah. How's it going?
ND: I'm probably the best I've ever been in my life. I'm the greatest indie star probably in the history of the universe.
A: Yeah, I thought your movie was pretty silly -- in a good way. It's funny. You definitely make it worth watching.
ND: That's right! It's just incredible. It gives me such a rush. It's just awesome.
A: Right.
ND: You got any butt-kickin' tunes?
A: Just got burned copies of the new Beastie Boys and Velvet Revolver, respectively. I like them both so far, but I'll have to bond with them more before I can really articulate how I feel about 'em.
ND: I like breaking a funky beat.
A: Good.
ND: What's on your mind, dude?
A: Eh, stuff.
ND: Like your landlord and what a maddening bitchface she is?
A: Actually, yeah. Weird. She's just being really shifty about our new lease and I can't tell if it's just her normal bizarre, stupid, infuriating way or if another shoe is going to drop. I don't like not having control of my living situation.
ND: I bet I could beat her up if I wanted to, but I don't feel like it. God!
A: Yeah, but otherwise most everything is cool. We're having a big ass party on Saturday.
ND: Am I invited? Geez! I bet if I show up people would just want to see my 'chucks.
A: Your "chucks?"
ND: My numbchucks! God! I can't believe you didn't know that! You have like the slowest brain synapses of all time.
A: Yeah, so this party is going to be pretty sweet.
ND: I bet if I show up I could beat everyone there in a drinking contest. I once drank, like, four bottles of vodka and was the most sober I'd ever been in my life.
A: I kinda think you'd lose that contest.
ND: Is there going to be awesome drama there? 'Cause I know I love drama probably more than anything ever. Except for dancing and stuff.
A: I doubt it. My new housemate will be there, though.
ND: Geez! Does she have a boyfriend?
A: Dude.
ND: God!
A: Anyway...
ND: Hey, this is your 100th post. Do you think that's the coolest thing of all time?
A: Eh, not really. Listen, work's being a real bitch right now and I've got to deal with this braindead intern and his caffeine addiction.
ND: God! Fine! I'll just play by myself. I'm just gonna hang out!
A: Oh, but check it, no comments -- once again -- on my scenes. That's a good thing.
ND: That's fine, I guess. God!


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A shambles 

That's the only way you can describe the Lakers. The city of Detroit is minutes away from rioting (as they are so famous for doing). I'm the first to admit it, the Pistons were simply the superior team. They had more hustle, more heart, more hunger than the ego-laden Lakers who forgot, apparently, that championships are not awarded by the press. For all the hype, this proved to be one of the most one-sided finals in NBA history. Which is ironic because we all thought that LA would be the dominant side. Detroit just ran LA off the floor and they did it at their own leisurely pace.

LA will be back next season. The makeup of the team, however, will be in question. Malone is virtually a lock to retire. Gary Payton will definitely leave. Let's not forget that Kobe will be a free agent and going on trial! Although, I don't think he'll be convicted and I also believe there's a slim chance he'll leave LA. If he does, it'll be the biggest mistake of his career because Kobe Bryant has a long way to go before he can win a championship without Shaquille O'Neal on his team. Case in point: Kobe's virtual absence in games 3, 4, and 5 of this series.



I've been so happy and content since last night. We've found a new kickass roommate who is set to join us in July. If I were a 12 year old girl, I'd probably take this opportunity to write a poorly conceived poem about unicorns frolicking in an open field, oblivious to the mad world that surrounds them.


Monday, June 14, 2004


The Supreme Court opted to keep "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Personally, I don't know if I really care one way or the other, given that it is not mandatory to recite the prayer -- err -- pledge. If you don't want to, you don't have to. The phrase "under God" doesn't hold a big point of contention with me. There is, in public school, already a clear separation of church and state. So much so, that it is almost taboo to speak of religion unless you're taking a course entitled "Religion: its out there. Let's discuss it without everybody getting offended." Ultimately, if I had to make a choice over whether it stays or goes, I'd ditch it.

What's interesting about this is that the "under God" bit of the pledge was introduced during the early years of the Cold War. So when some of the Chief Justices say that it reflects our national history and past time, they're clearly full of shit. It was introduced to distinguish us from "Godless Communists" and, thus, is a propaganda tactic and not a part of our struggle for independance or some such thing that the Justices intend to associate with it. In this context, "God" is very much a religious reference. However, I'm of the belief that as time has progressed, the connection between "under God" and religion has become further and further and further removed; almost to the point where its just another word. But that's me. I'm not fanatically religious, nor do I condemn religion outright (I have a problem with evangelists, but don't we all).

It's a shame that the result of this case was determined over a "technicality," but most people in this country are fine with leaving the pledge as is. What's intriguing, though, is that the plaintiff, Newdow, is an Atheist MINISTER. A preacher. An Evangelist! Couldn't you then make a case that Atheism, itself, is a religion? If not a religion, then a fundamental movement that separates itself only with the belief that there is no god? I mean, aside from that one major point, there's not much difference, is there?


Mayday Film Festival Update 

Team Lower Gatsby -- that's us! -- won two prizes. The first being one of the three awards for best performance, which was won by... um... me! Aww shucks. The second award was the big one, Best in show, which we eaked out by one vote. Now I can say I was in a multiple award winning film. Hot shit. If only anyone outside of the 60 or so people who were at the screening were able to confirm this. Hmm...

At any rate, the screening was a great success and everyone seemed to have an excellent time. Looks like the next wave of 24 hour films will happen in the coming months. This may turn into a semi-annual event. Some guys at the screening who had contacts were talking about making it even more regular than that. We shall see. In the meantime, I'm going to go pawn off my award so I can buy some whiskey. I'm so Hollywood.


The search is over? 

We're hoping. The search for a new roommate to fill in the vacancy at our palace of a house may very well be over. It's such a relief to finally be done with it. The prospect of getting a stranger to sign on to our lease wasn't an appealing one (the film, "Shallow Grave" comes to mind), but I've got an awesome feeling that this girl is going to click with the three of us and that the transition will be seamless. Hell yeah!

Just for good measure, he's another look at our ridiculously popular ad. We probably received somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 responses over the weekend. Craigslist is great. It's also a great source of amusement in as much as it's crawling with super creepy perverts.


Saturday, June 12, 2004

Ronald Reagan update: 

He's still dead.

All the funeral procession coverage, the national day of rememberance, all the nostalgia... he's still dead. Know what would be newsworthy? If he suddenly wasn't dead.

The Onion.com was really spot on with their headline, "Reagan's body dies." The implication of course being that his mind has been gone for quite some time. And now that I've explained the joke to you, I'm going to bed.


I woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday to... 

... watch rugby. Yes, I'm depraved. It was the live South African broadcast of the Springboks match vs. Ireland. I'm proud to say the good guys won, 31-17.

I should probably go back to bed. Hmm...

Later on today, we're finally having our screening for the Mayday Film Festival and our short film, "The Martyrs of Circumstance." I wrote about it somewhere in this blog, but right now I'm too tired and lack the inclination to link to it. Just believe me, it's there. People will love it. For crying out loud, we crucify the last two people on Earth!


Friday, June 11, 2004

Who wouldn't want to live with us? 

Honestly, if this advertisement seeking a roommate doesn't turn you on, then nothing will. My roommates and I? Yeah, we're the best.

Oh, and feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who is looking for a place to live in Los Angeles.


Food fight! 

Remember food fights when you were in school? They were awesome. Total chaos. I don't remember ever getting arrested for one, though.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

This just in: 

The Lakers are worthless.

Also, having just looked down, I realized I have ink on the front of my white shirt.




That's the feeling. A little fried in the head right now.

Went to bed at midnight last night. Earliest I've been to bed in well over a week. That's mostly my own fault. But I'm over-tired right now and thinking about a lot of stupid things. At the forefront for this entire week have been two dubious anniversaries. One is the 10 year anniversary of my Nona's passing and the other I already wrote about. Both have me hyper-aware of the passing of time. It waits for no man and, furthermore, seeks to make him depressed.

Watching this miserable Lakers game right now. Those last two minutes from game 2 (when Kobe Bryant sent all of Los Angeles into cardiac arrest) not withstanding, I've never ever seen a heavy favorite look so absolutely awful. They're just getting outplayed by Detroit. Simple as that. It's a fan's worst nightmare: your team is the dominant goliath heading into the series, only to be exposed as soft, erratic, and lacking in intensity. They just don't care as much as the Pistons. Frustrating.

And my oldest friend is going through a veritable shitstorm right now. He left town for good this morning. His father's health is in question. I can't help but sympathize. I grew up with him. I grew up with his dad. They're like family. Rough times.

Living situation? Don't ask. We're determined to rent out this crawl space and that's all there is to it.

At least I've had fun the last couple nights. Karaoke on Tuesday, singing classics like "Welcome to the Jungle," "Rock You Like a Hurricane," "Piano Man," and "Take On Me." Wednesday I saw the latest Harry Potter. Definitely the best of the three films thus far. Very fun. Makes me wish I was a thirteen year old wizard studying at Hogwarts... with Alan Rickman as my hysterical professor.

Well, better get back to watching the second half of this miserable Laker performance. Hopefully they made some halftime adjustments.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Please don't have a lockout. Pleeeeeease :( 

I'm sure some of you will be delighted that this will be the last ice hockey post for some time. But I will be sad. Aww...

Yeah, so last night was the penultimate match. Game 7 -- the highest drama sport has to offer! The Lightning prevail and deservedly so. Hmm. Someone here said the Lightning would win in seven. Oh yeah, it was me. Aren't I just so adorable when I gloat. I know what you're saying, "You're not adorable, duder, because you never gloat." I thank you all for that back-handed compliment.

Seriously though, the final ten minutes of last night's game were incredibly intense. Give Calgary all the credit in the world, but for the first time during the playoffs, they looked flat (last ten minutes aside).

Now I hope and pray the owners and players can reach a middle-ground on the collective bargaining agreement. I'll be crushed if an arrangement can not be brokered this off-season and the owners lockout the players. Some European-based stars already have contingency plans, agreeing to tentative contracts to play with clubs in Europe.


Monday, June 07, 2004

Knight Rider at his finest 

Michael Knight: Kit! Break right! We're heading straight for that tree!

Kit: Look asshole, we wouldn't be having this problem if you didn't pour whiskey in my tank.

Michael: Wait a minute, you're not Kit.

Kit: And you're not sober. Don't worry, the police are here now. This will be good for your afterthought of a career, I'm sure.


It's the Jekyll/Hyde Lakers. I hate it. 

Sad sorry suckity suck suck. That was the Lakers' second half performance of last night's game 1. Save for Shaq, who played an awesome game, the team was w-o-r-t-h-l-e-s-s. If you're not hitting outside shots, then for the love of god stop settling for them. Penetrate inside, draw some fouls, try to push the play! Don't sit on your heels like the slow Pistons want you to.

Game MVP: Chauncey Billups (would've been Shaq if LA just GAVE HIM THE BALL EVERY TIME! DETROIT CAN'T STOP HIM!)

Worst player of last night: Karl Malone. Where the hell were you, redneck????

It wasn't so shocking that the Pistons won because we never know which LA team will come out to play. What is shocking is how convincing Detroit looked in victory.


June 6, 1997 

Yesterday was the anniversary of D-Day; The Day of Days. The Longest Day. But this date also marks a bitter anniversary of my own. It was seven years to the day that I had last stepped on South African soil. Normally, this wouldn't even be worth mentioning. However, this 7th year is particularly bothersome.

When I was 17, I visited S.A. after a seven year absence. I remember leaving the airport from Cape Town, sobbing like a little girl as my dad told me that "they'll miss you, too." I promised myself that there would never be an interval of that length between trips again. But now, it seems I've broken that promise to myself. For as much as I complain about it, I suppose it would be silly to actually blame myself for not having the money or time to fly down there for a couple weeks. It stings, though. I feel like I've missed out on a whole other life back there. All my relatives, including my lone surviving grandparent, have missed me growing up into the remarkable man I am today (tongue buried not so far in cheek). There's a lot I miss about being back home.

I distinctly remember being on the beach in Sea Point in '97 and feeling a sense of completion; something I had never felt in all my formative years up to that point. It's a feeling I've been chasing, scrambling to regain ever since.


Saturday, June 05, 2004

More hockey, more Shins 

1. Super stoked that game 6 of the Flames/Lightning is going to overtime. Calgary can win it all tonight.

2, After looking at the Shins photographs from their website, it seems that I only look like the bass player when he's on stage. Strange.


I'm the bass player 

I hadn't seen them before last night, but apparently I bare a striking resemblance to Marty, the bassist/keyboardist of The Shins. I noticed it, the three people I was with noticed it. Something strange is going on. At any rate, it gives me hope that I can also be a bass player in a rock band. All I need is a bass guitar, lessons, and a band. I figure those will all be pretty easy to come by.

The show last night was pretty good. They played for a little over an hour. Just about all of their slower songs were sped up a tad just to keep the energy flowing. Otherwise, the translation from cd recording to live show was impeccable. I was also, for the first time in nearly forever, really taken by the lighting design of the show. When they played Mine's Not a Horse, for instance, I was totally transfixed on the lighting, forgetting at times that the band was rocking out on stage. Strong show. I enjoyed it.

And now the weekend is here and I plan on being lazy. I'm going to watch my hockey and my basketball and after that I don't much care. Something will inevitably happen to disrupt the laziness. I probably won't be opposed to it.


Friday, June 04, 2004

The Shins 

I'm jazzed. Less than six hours to go until I see The Shins tonight at The Wiltern. I've never heard of the opening acts, The Fiery Furnaces and Rogue Waves. Haven't heard anything about them either and chances are I'll miss most of their act, so I don't really care. But damn, am I stoked for The Shins. A few of my friends who saw them a couple months back said they put on a great show. Let's hope they don't have an off-night.

Favorite Shins track: "Gone For Good"


God I love OT playoff hockey 

What better present to get last night than overtime in game 5 of the Cup. Wouldn't have been able to see the game if not for Tampa's excellent 3rd period. But alas, it was Calgary who prevailed. Flames look primed to finish the job on Saturday and bring the Stanley Cup to Canada for the first time in 11 years. Helluva story considering the franchise hadn't won a playoff series since 1989! Which, coincidentally, was the last time they won the Stanley Cup.


Star Crossed Dreamers 

Had a pretty vivid dream. It all began when a bunch of 20-somethings, myself included, were hanging by our fingertips off the side of an on-ramp to the freeway. Why were we dangling so? Well, we were watching all of our toy Hot Wheels cars racing down the ramp. There were about 25 or so. My car, Lucky Charms, was victorious. Huzzah!

Suddenly, without any reason or warning, the scene shifts to a lovely, open country field. All the faceless people who were watching the Hot Wheels race with me were there, enjoying the picnic atmosphere, playing in the warm sun. Then a package appears before me on the blanket I'm sitting on. But it's not for me. It's from me and addressed to a girl whose name I can not recall. Someone calls the girl over and tells her, "You got something from Alan." She bounds over and growing nearer she evolves from silhouette into flesh. She has shoulder-length black hair and is wearing a sun dress with muted floral patterns (which for some reason struck me as odd). The sun glistened off her face and was outshone only by her smile. We made eye contact and even though I had never seen this girl before in my life, it became immediately clear to the both of us that we had met earlier in this very same dream. We both sensed the connection.

She bends down to open the package, excited that I got her a gift. Do I know what this gift was? Nope. I didn't even know I sent her anything. She tears off the wrapping and opens a cardboard shoebox. Empty. A wind rustles through the field briefly, then stops. Barking is heard in the distance. The barking draws closer and closer until finally, this girl's dog sprints towards her. A bystander exclaims, "Hey! That's your dog, Po!" Sure enough, the girl had a dog named Po that apparently had passed away not long ago. "You brought back my dog," she squealed. Next thing I know, we're in the tightest embrace of our lives.

"I'm in love with you, Alan," she whispered, "I've been in love with you ever since I saw you for the first time at the freeway." The strange thing is, I felt exactly the same way about her. We had never exchanged words before this moment, but we knew we were destined to share and love each other. I let her know as much. In that moment and time, love at first sight was very real and very concrete. Passionately, we kissed; neither one of us loosening our lock around the other's waist. Her mouth was soft and wet and her tongue danced the merengue with mine. It was a dream come true. But then I realized internally... This was still a dream.

Between kisses, the mystery girl of desire gushed, "I knew from the second I saw you that you were the one. You were the one for me." I was dumbstruck, as I implicitly felt the same way about her. How could such kindred spirits ever come together? "I love you," she continued, "But I'm engaged."

She was engaged.

Callously, she backed away. A tear runs down her cheek and, quickly, she jets off in the opposite direction. Whatever conviction or passion her words held dissipated into a mist. They were empty. Love was empty.

And the dream was over.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

A little insight from the sheltered point of view 

The following is an interview quote from one of the cast members on the show I work on. He's Southern --not to automatically demonize him because he really has been leading with his best foot -- and has grown up with a sort of close-mindedness. Regarding gay marriage:

I really don’t understand gay marriages that, that much. I know that I never will go to one. Uh, but it is something- - I’m still getting over or trying to understand gay people in general, and it’s hard for me to make, uh, give a very good opinion on that subject.

He doesn't fear it and I'd venture to say that we wouldn't call himself a segregationist. But this perspective is a result of a lack of exposure and with a lack of exposure comes an unwillingness to understand subjects foreign to a person's upbringing. To this character's credit, he is really breaking down some walls. But on a larger scale of gay rights -- biblical interpretation aside -- I think we can see clearly that the resistance to treat gays as equals is a result of ignorance rather than flat out hate.


Stanley Cup: Game 5 

Pivotal game 5 is tonight. You've gotta believe that the winner of this one will likely win the Cup. Niemenen got suspended for that malicious hit on Lecavalier, and deservedly so, but Calgary still look pretty fierce. Even without one of their best defensive forwards, they don't figure to miss a beat. Their intensity has been up this whole series. If you saw game 4, you know that Calgary lost despite outplaying Tampa Bay for much of the game, but the Flames ultimately shot themselves in the foot, with Niemenen lending a very unhelpful hand to his teammates. Nik Khabibulin looks awesome right now. Still, the team to scrutinize tonight will be Tampa. Will Lecavalier be able to go full speed? Will the injuries to Fedotenko and Kubina catch up with the Lightning? So much riding on tonight's game. Calgary loves the road. I'd say the pressure in game 5 is on the Lightning.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Art of a Master 

I've been enamored with this guy's masterful work ever since it was shown to me a few days ago. It's really quite hysterical. Give all of these pics a look. It's well worth it.

And yay, did Mr. T walketh amid the Elysian Fields. And it was revealed to him there, that he would be man's next prophet of hope.


Showtime vs. Bad Boys: TNG 

The NBA Finals are set. Lakers vs. Detroit. It's already being billed as a second coming of a rivalry that died about fifteen years ago. That rivalry, of course, being Magic Johnson's "Showtime" Lakers meeting in consecutive finals with Isiah Thomas' "Bad Boy" Pistons. LA won in '88, Detroit in '89. No one from those teams is still playing. In fact, of the two squads set to face off in game one on Sunday, only Karl Malone was in the league when LA and Detroit were vying for the championship.

A generation later, the two franchises hook up again with the ultimate prize on the line and both play similar styles of ball to their uniforms' predecessors. But this isn't going to be nearly as historical a matchup, save for the slim possibility that the Pistons could win (in which case, David would beat Goliath). For one, the Pistons have no dominant leader. Yes, they have Rasheed and Ben Wallace (offensive liability) and Richard Hamilton, but none of those players fit the role of "NBA-poster-boy-and-hall-of-famer-to-be" like Isiah did. There's no figure-head on that team. What's more is that those three pale in comparison to the trio of Malone, Shaq, and Kobe whom they will be guarding. The Lakers, on the other hand, have the two biggest faces in the game today. However, to say that Shaq and Kobe combined have as much charisma in their collective bodies as Magic did in his fingernail is blasphemous. And to say that the Lakers of 2003-2004, the Jekyll and Hyde Lakers, were as consistently good and feared by the rest of the league as much as the Showtime Lakers of the late 80s is equally silly. Granted, an LA victory would give them a mini-dynasty (4 championships in 5 years), but this year's model pales in comparison to, say, the 2001 entry that steamrolled everbody.

The similarities between this generation and the last don't run very far beyond the names on their jerseys. If Detroit is to be taken seriously at all, they'll need to do better than 69 points per game. Magic vs. Isiah was never ever imagined to be one-sided heading into the series. It's never been more apparent than now that the media is desperately trying all they can to spark interest in what could be a very ugly, very short series.


No Futbol for you 

I'm sure most of you don't care about this, but it's related to international soccer which means it caught my eye. FIFA (world soccer governing body) has banned Kenya from all competitions and exhibitions. Apparently the Kenyans have a corrupt football association. Again, I can't imagine that this matters to anyone outside of Kenya, but imagine for a second if all professional sports in a nation ceased to be. It's not like this is a country that thrives on industry and entertainment. I believe this will affect their collective psyche in a harmful way. No doubt they'll still be playing soccer in Nairobi. They just won't be playing with anybody.


His face is melting 

To all you John Kerry fans (are you out there?) and George Bush haters, remember: We are optimists. Kerry tries an approach other than "I'm not Bush." Which is good, because if that's all he had to stand on then this country would be seriously screwed... More so.

I'm pulling for Kerry, myself. But I'm also very skeptical of his chances. If current trends continue into November, then I shouldn't have anything to worry about. However, I think that it's imperative that these trends hold otherwise Bush will find a way to buy his way into another 4 year run. I'm not saying that the American people en masse are stupid. I'm just saying that they're stupid and they need to be drummed over their thick collective heads more than ever with the idea that Bush is bad for the US. I don't trust the voters. Period. But why am I spouting off like this? Apparently, I'm an optimist. Right, John Kerry?

Kerry: Right... I think? (My face is still melting off... *whimper*)


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Kareem Rush  

Rush was a stud in college and actually went to high school with a bunch of my friends in Kansas City. They don't really speak too highly of him, but I attribute that to him being the star jock at their school and receiving all the attention and accolades and ego that comes with that. At any rate, the second year Laker guard came up HUGE last night, hitting 6-6 of from 3 point land. Big time effort from the role player managed to push LA back into the finals (gee, what a surprise). The game last night would've been in serious doubt if not for him given that Shaq was in serious foul trouble. But as it turned out, Rush hit some clutch shots and Minnesota couldn't stop turning over the ball. Now we're only 4 wins away from a 4th crown in 5 years. That's dominance. It won't matter who comes out of the East, Detroit or Indiana, I like the Lakers in 5 if they're focused. 6 games if they're not. Karl Malone and Gary Payton are finally getting their rings. Consider me a happy Laker fan.



This past weekend was one year since my current roommates and I moved into our house. It has yet to burn down despite our best efforts. We'll know in days if we'll be staying for another year. Additionally, 2004 has no business being June. This year is so pooched.


It's the little things 

Everyone needs a bit of sunshine in their life. I offer you this fat 12 year-old who has some very peculiar desires. Listen to him expound on his wants and needs. Do it now.


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