Thursday, September 30, 2004

Master Debaters 

Tonight is the first presidential debate between John "Orange-faced Zombie" Kerry and George "I'm running this country into the ground" Bush. Dollars to donuts that what Bush will have to say will sound something like this.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Baseball returns to the capital 

It's been a long time since the District had a team in the Majors. Now, after 33 years, America's national past time returns to America's capital. At Canada's expense, to boot. Frankly, the Expos leaving Montreal has been long overdue. Their attendance has been consistently abysmal and the apathy towards baseball is overwhelming. Naturally, the franchise is going to have to ditch their name. Somehow, "Expos" doesn't quite resonate as Washington's team. I think the obvious choice for a new team name would be the city's original name, "Senators." Only, I motion that this group of Senators be known as "Senators III." Given that the first two incarnations bolted town and became the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, respectively, I think it's only fair. And hey, with any luck, Senators III will split town, too. If for no other reason than to continually disappoint baseball fans in DC.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if Baltimore Orioles owner, Peter Angelos, would actually see to it personally that Senators III leave Washington. It was a pretty big deal for Major League Baseball to silence him as he was (and still is, I'm sure) concerned that the Expos franchise moving to DC would horn in on his Baltimore market.

The question now: Who will buy this non-Expos outfit? Technically, the team is owned by the other 29 teams in MLB. Presently, there's said to be a bid a couple bids mounting.

Man, seems in recent years that I never really talk baseball until right around this time of the season. It's the last couple days before the playoffs and I don't like the way my Oakland A's have looked in September. They had a fair lead in the AL West on the Anaheim Angels heading into the month and, now, after going sub-.500 ball in September, suddenly find themselves tied for first with only five days until the regular season is up. Forget about getting the wild card, too, because Boston already clinched that. So the A's had better take the division or else I'll be forced to deal with disappearing-reappearing-disappearing-reappearing Angels fans clamoring for the stupid rally monkey. Ugh. To hell with the Angels.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Everybody loves a whore (so why don't you) 

I'm not about to get into the habit of posting IM conversations on here, but I come to the realization that I've "sold out" time and time again in my professional career. Not even intentionally. Just sort of happens. First reality television, now this:

*Names alterted to protect the weak and feeble-minded. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee...*

Cash $ is yours truly (natch).


Handlebar Moustache: whats new with you
Cash $: i'm wearing a shirt that says Campbell's on it
Cash $: it makes me a whore
Cash $: since that was one of our sponsors on the show
Cash $: and the shirt was compliments of them
Cash $: but its a nice t-shirt
Handlebar Moustache: does it have a soup can?
Handlebar Moustache: i always assumed you dressed workily for work. t-shirts? how casual!
Cash $: nope. but under the left arm pit are black lines of steam coming from a cup
Cash $: dress code here is casual
Handlebar Moustache: how attractive
Cash $: anyway, i like my red Campbell's whore shirt
Handlebar Moustache: red campbell's whore
Handlebar Moustache: theres something about that
Cash $: its the part i was born to play
Handlebar Moustache: wear it proudly
Cash $: i am
Cash $: it still has that new shirt smell
Cash $: *sniffs shirt*
Cash $: mmm... whorish
Cash $: such a nice shirt!
Handlebar Moustache: with armpit steam
Cash $: and how!
Cash $: got a bowl of soup for ya right here... just under my pit
Cash $: mmm...
Cash $: i mean
Cash $: gross
Cash $: and
Cash $: mmm
Handlebar Moustache: shut up
Cash $: damn

I was also quoted today as saying the following when eating some skittles: "I'm tasting the rainbow. I'm putting it in my mouth." Sadly, I can not deny this. I tasted the rainbow. It was primarly lemon and orange.


AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Sunday Oct. 17th 

I had a proper email that I sent out over the AIDS Walk site but I seem to have lost it. I would've just pasted it on here, but alas, I'll explain to you what was in it.

Pretty much, I'm doing this walk for the second year and would really super-duper appreciate it if you (yes you!) would sponsor me. I don't like to ask people for anything, but this is a cause that's infinitely bigger than anything in the world today. Seems like everyone either knows someone directly or has a friend who knows someone who has been affected by AIDS. AIDS is bad, people. We don't like it and we're fixing to eliminate it. Why? 'Cause AIDS is bad, people!

While I'm clowning around, I know that this is a very important matter and something I take seriously. I've had the AIDS Walk link on the sidebar for well over a month, now. Last year, I was able to raise over $300 -- which I was damn proud of. If you're so inclined, you can use this as a tax write-off. Again, while I hate to ask, it is imperative that I do so.

Many thanks to all of you. I appreciate your time and consideration more than you can know. Cheers.


Why I'm an ex-pat 

Doing me proud, boys. Doing me proud. I wonder why it is that we've been teetering on 3rd world status for the last decade or so. Maybe it's our math skills. Because when you venture to break a Guinness record, you probably already know what the current mark is. So when you trot out a third of what the record-holder has, why are you wasting Guinness' time?

Mmm... Guinness...

You think 11:30 a.m. is too early?


I got lost on my way to Tuesday 

This is weird. I actually have a 5 day work week this week. Gasp! I haven't had one of those in nearly a month thanks to Labor Day, the Rosh, and the Yom. Already, I feel discombobulated. Today feels like Thursday and yesterday was completely inocuous and without identity. This is the part where everyone says, "Fuck you, Alan. 'Bout time you git back busting yer hump." Fair enough. Bite me, though, would ya?

So this most recent visit to see the family back in Phoenix happened. That's about the long and the short of it. Not really any time for events to materialize when you have such a quick turn around and when your weekend is dominated by such an event as the holy day of atonement. At the behest of my dad, I made my annual trip to services, dusting off the tallas and kippa. My brother, like myself, has little tolerance for the long, dry ordeal. It's repetitious and, this service at least, was unnecessarily long. My brother tells me that he suffered during Rosh Hashanah services when I was in LA. Well this time... things were going to be different. I was going to entertain myself come hell or high water and I was going to do it by getting my brother to crack up laughing at the most inappropriate times. I'm proud to say: Mission accomplished and then some. Icing on the cake was that it was an Orthodox service. Chabad, no less. So any glares we received were extra comforting. Look, I can't help it if the guy in front of my looks like a Leprachaun. He's practically begging me to do an Irish accent and talk about how he fondles little boys when he's tanked on pale ale and potatoes. "Come find mi pot o' gold" he taunts. My dad didn't appreciate it none too much, but I was able to deflect most of the criticism because I was able to maintain my composure. Unlike my brother who was burying his head in a book every five minutes. Ever since I moved away from home, I kind of feel bad for him around this time of year. The high holidays are always accompanied by obligatory family gatherings and luncheons featuring the same faces that you only ever see at this time of year. My absence leads to my brother running into minefields like this:

Family friend: So, how's everything in LA? You a Hollywood bigshot or what, eh? You talk with Steven Spielberg, yet? Why don't you talk to Spielberg? He's Jewish, you know.

Brother: You're thinking of my brother.

And so it goes for the poor guy. I figure I'm doing him a service by making obscene comments to him on the holiest day of the year.

Something shocking, though, related to services. I don't know if you're all aware, but a tallas is kept in a tallas bag. They're finely crafted and don't come by terribly cheap. Anyway, I left the room during the mourner's prayer and returned to find the my tallas bag had been lifted. Swiped! The hell?! Here? Of all places? No doubt, some douche bag who only shows up for and hour of services once a year mistook it for his own and scurried off so that he and his boring wife could make it over to the Goldbergsteinbaums for dinner. Or something to that effect. Anyway, I was pissed. I told my dad afterwards not to bring me to his coven of thieves again. Ain't that a pisser?

Minor highlight unrelated to anything above. The airline steward on my Southwest flight is the Mothman. As in The Mothman Prophecies Mothman. Yeah, the guy who talks about the chapstick. That guy. His voice is a shrill whisper and this is how he announces that refreshments are on the way:

Mothman: You're getting... thirsty... You want to drink something... Peanuts...

I don't know, struck me as odd.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Me likes Conan 

You should, too. Everyone's favorite late night talk show host will be taking over The Tonight Show!

Ahem... in 5 years time, that is.

Okay, I'm going home to listen to his writer commentary on "Marge vs. The Monorail." Love that Simpsons season 4.

Oh, and back in LA again. More about that later.



Sunday, September 26, 2004

Shaun of the Dead 

This is pretty much just a blatant re-posting of what I put up on Begum just a few minutes ago, but this movie kicks some serious ass. It's a riot, lots of fun. Hilarious. Your fun time is virtually assured.

You have to remember, though, that "zombie-comedies" don't come about all the time. So "Shaun of the Dead" does limit itself to the plot conventions of most any zombie movie. However, not only is this intentional, you realize after 15 minutes that you wouldn't want it any other way. I totally recommend this flick, duder.

I think maybe some of my enthusiasm for the film may be derived from the fact that I knew virtually nothing about it heading into the theater. Hence, no expectations or hype (I realize the irony here as this post no doubt has your expectations rising, but try ignore that and just heed my recommendation). No better viewing experience than going into a movie cold and thoroughly enjoying it. Guys, I laughed my ass off and I'm really picky about comedies.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Random miscellaneous 

- I'm flying to Phoenix in a couple hours for the weekend to see my folks over the big Yom. It'll be nice to get some home cooking. One of the best meals of the year is the dinner when breaking the fast. Mmm... everything tastes so... aahlulhaalaa...
I'll be flying out of Burbank, thankfully. Stuck in my head: "Leaving on a Jet Plane." Yes, I realize Peter, Paul, and Mary did it first, but you'll just have to deal with the link to Chantal.

- Athletes are infinitely quotable. Every now and then, they offer up some gems. But this? This is a wealth of wow. This is why we interview athletes.
Virginia's Marquis Weeks caps off his 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. "That was just instinct. Kind of like running from the cops," said the senior tailback. -- Washington Post after Virginia's victory over North Carolina. Clearly -- clearly-- I need to watch more University of Virginia football games.

- I heard today that a wrestling icon from my childhood passed away today. I haven't been able to find confirmation, but let's take a moment of silence for The Big Boss Man. I still remember that Summerslam from ages ago when he teamed with Hulk Hogan to beat Earthquake and Dino Bravo. Dino Bravo, heh, that guy lost all the time.

- Paul Bettany is actually very good in Wimbledon. Yes, try get over the fact that I saw this and just accept that it's passable fluff. Enjoyable, if not sometimes ludicrous. It's a rental. And yes, the Dunst isn't very good in it.

- If you're sometimes desperate to talk sports, I found a forum that might be able to help you. It's in the community section at Sports-Central.

Okay, that's all I got right now. Peace out to the brothers on Cypress and try to avoid getting caught in any Sexy Hass scandals.


Add this to the English lexicon 

I've created a short-hand term for "sexual harrassment." I present to thee: Sexy Hass.

Reginald: Hey, Alfonso? Why the dour face?

Alfonso: Dude, I'm being sued for sexy hass.

Reginald: Sexy hass?

Alfonso: Yeah man... Sexy hass.

Reginald: What you gonna do?

Alfonso: Well, my lawyer's trying to see if she'll settle out of court and then I'd
have to take a class.

Reginald: A class?

Alfonso: Yeah man... a class.

Reginald: On Sexy Hass?

Alfonso: Yeah man... Sexy Hass 101.

Oh man. Sorry. That was lame. Just remember, though. Getting in trouble at the work place? "Sexy Hass" has a much lighter tone to it than "Sexual Harrassment." It's like the informal usage.

"Hey, buddy! Sexy Hass!"


You don't know what you're missing 

Well, some of you aren't missing anything at all. But to those who haven't been reading my friend Roberto's Hakushaku blog, you're definitely not maximizing your time on the internet. I know I've talked about it before, but this site is comic gold. Behold this excerpt -- definitive proof of why you should be loyal to the Hakushaku:

However, in his native tongue, Haku is considered quite the comedian, and the he had the whole bus roaring with laughter. The best part is that as he was talking to people, he would occasionally roundly insult them in English for no reason, which of course only I would understand. I SWEAR ON MY EYES THE FOLLOWING ACTUALLY HAPPENED:

(Introducing me to a rather bucktoothed girl from the front of the bus)

Haku: “Oh, Robert, this is Yuki-chan”

Yuki: “Hello, it’s nice to meet you. I’ve heard many stories about you”

Me: “Haha, yes. Doubtless”

Haku: “He tried to kill our Emperor”

(all chuckle)

Haku: “Yuki is your age, you know”

Me: “Oh really?”

Yuki: “Yeah, I just turned 23”

Haku: “Mmhmm. (In English) Is too bad you look like Falcor the Dragon from Neverending Story, ne.”

Me: (Choke on beer, fall over)

Yuki: “(In Japanese) I’m sorry?”

Haku: “I said you’re very cute”

As I had been drinking during this conversation (of course), I had inhaled about a pint of beer at the punch line of the story, and spent the next 5 minutes retching/laughing. Those of you who don’t live in the rural mountains probably can’t appreciate how surprising this reference was. The fact that he had even heard of this movie was amazing enough, but to actually call her “Falcor the Dragon” was too much, and I nearly died. It would be like a Mandingo tribesman nonchalantly dropping a reference to Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell: The College Years.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

He's dead, foreign, and here to entertain the troops 

Okay, bare with me. I just ran into Zombie South African Bob Hope for the second time in as many weeks. I'm grabbing lunch from this tiny Mediterranean place across the street from work, waiting in line, just sort of caught up in a general malaise and, just like last week (I neglected to post about it, then), I'm snapped back into the moment by the sound of a very distinct South African accent. "Cantelope, please. Yes, that one." It's the guy ordering in front of me. In my head I smile, knowing of the connection he and I share. But wait! This is not just any man. This is comedy legend, Bob Hope! Dead ringer for him ("dead" yes, yes, I know). Hold on, though. When did Bob become South African? Furthermore, when did he stop being dead? Oh my god. He's back. He's back and he wants cantelope and no U.S.O. show is going to stop him.

Zombie South African Bob Hope

He's real.


What are you? Some kind of retard? 

Coming to you from suburban Maine, town says boy not normal enough to play on playground. This is kind of outrageous, maybe even a little sad. No, definitely sad. I rememember in elementary school there wasn't a day that went by without disciplinary recourse either on the playground or in the classroom (and no, not always me either, but thanks for thinking that). The Rankowski family is just when comparing the ban placed on their son to a slap on the wrist given to any "normal" child that acts out. People are afraid of things that are different and its a closed mindedness that much of the nation is willing to accept. Pfft... what's next? Banning gay marriage? Aaaahahhhhaahahaha... *lights a cigar* hahaaaha... *drinks champaigne* hahaha... hah... ha...



Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Jon Stewart on O'Reilly Factor 

To quell your thirst for wonder and enjoyment, I present thee the following transcript of Jon Stewart being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on last night's "O'Reilly Factor." I would really have like to see this. Favorite excerpt:

O'REILLY: Don't you think that these guys want to be hip, when McCain was on with you -- Bush hasn't been on with you, right? You would remember that...

STEWART: George Bush?


STEWART: I don't recall the president stopping by the program.

O'REILLY: But McCain's been on.


O'REILLY: OK. Kerry's been on, as we mentioned.


O'REILLY: I've been on. So you've had the three most powerful people beside him on.

STEWART: That's probably right.

O'REILLY: What do you think Kerry wanted to get out of it?

STEWART: A hug -- just a sweet hug. I'm sure what he wants out of it is, again, that access -- it's the same thing that Budweiser wants out of it. It's the same thing that Dell computers...


STEWART: No, it's access to this market that may be untapped, an untapped potential, a reserve, an ANWAR, if you will. He wants to drill in an area that has previously been un-drilled. And don't make a dirty remark about that, because I see it coming.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Week 2 NFL notes 

More notes! This time: football.

- Chicago beating the Packers? What gives? Shocker cost me one of my suicide picks. It's only the third time in roughly seven years that the Bears have won this matchup.

- 7 turnovers for Washington yesterday and the Giants still only won by six!

- Ugliest 0-2 start: Houston. They've lost to Detroit and San Diego. Yikes.

- Most unimpressive 2-0 start: Detroit. Beat Houston and Chicago. Although Chicago just won yesterday, but that may be an aberration.

- Surprised to be winless after 2 weeks: hello Kansas City, hello Tampa Bay (although less so for the Bucs). The Chiefs better learn how to tackle and learn it fast because at this pace it doesn't matter if Priest Holmes is on your team, you won't make the playoffs. KC could be this year's entry as "team with high expectations to go as far as the Superbowl, but flops horribly." Oakland played that part last year in what I refer to as "the unwatchable season."

- Speaking of the Raiders, they were able to scrape past Buffalo 13-10. They probably should have won by more, as their offense racked up a ton of yardage. However, they were unable to punctuate the majority of that with some points. Good showing by the defense, though. Nice to not be off to an 0-2 start.

- Close but no cigar 2 weeks straight for Buffalo as well as San Francisco. Tough loss for the Niners to swallow yesterday, losing the lead with one minute to play.

- How about Jacksonville? They've scored a wimpy 17 points in 2 games, yet they're unbeaten. That defense is solid. A lot of pundits say the Jags could surprise this year. Happily enough, Denver found out first hand. F Denver.

- This Michael Vick guy? He's good. Another 100 yard rushing effort out of the quarterback! Most exciting player in football.


Couple notes on the Emmy awards 

1. Awesome that Sopranos and Arrested Development won for best drama and comedy respectively. Both were deserving. Also Michael Imperioli finally winning!

2. Elaine Stritch has some balls. But I guess it doesn't matter when you're an obscure character actor.

3. Gary Shandling is still a cold fish. He was an adequate host, but there is no warmth in that man -- at least none evident when he's performing.

4. Incredible news! There is someone on this planet named "Bertrand Van Munster." It's true. He's real. And he's the executive producer of The Amazing Race. Bertrand Van Munster. Seriously.

5. I really need to see Angels in America.

6. A lesson learned for The West Wing: you need Aaron Sorkin. The show usually hauls in a boat load of Emmys. Last night, only Allison Janney claimed one. Which is fine, I really like her.

7. Daily Show: swish.

8. I didn't really plan on watching the awards. I actually only found out/was reminded yesterday morning that they'd even be on. Usually TV awards are so stock and always it makes little difference who wins. You see the same people year after year doing the same schtik. Call me a sucker for still imagining myself some day in the future going up there and grabbing a prize myself.


Friday, September 17, 2004

What did we learn this week? 

- Jill Sobule is one of the most entertaining performers around. Any record release party that features cameo appearances and performances by the likes of Harry Shearer (skreeeee!) and Lisa Loeb (sigh...) makes for one awesome time. Right, Liz? Right. Lisa Loeb: oh yes.

- The NHL is on a mission to break my heart. The owners and players' association are light years apart on settling a new collective bargaining agreement and neither side could give a crap about little old me: the fan. Very sad considering the fan base for this sport in the US is fairly shaky when compared to baseball, football, and basketball. If the lockout isn't ended by January, the whole season will be lost. Then I will kill a thousand babies and peel the skin off my body. In the meantime, many NHL players are either fleeing to Europe or opting to play in North American minor leagues. Hey, check it! Even the original six has a league.

- Keane's "Hopes and Fears" has supplanted Radiohead's "2+2=5" EP as my driving CD of choice this week. It's pretty great stuff. If you haven't done it yet, check out Keane.

- This week marked the first appearance of our new interns for the coming semester at work. 6 out of 7 are female. Not too shabby. Also, totally wrong of me to even think that way. Additionally, found out this week that our last day working on the current season is approximately Novemeber 19. That's about two weeks earlier than I anticipated. Hurm. We shall see what unfolds between now and then. In the meantime, the show is still a ratings monster for MTV as the first two installments have indicated.

- Of course the Rosh was this week and that meant I got to phone my grandpa overseas in Cape Town. Sadly, I don't quite get to talk to him as much as I'd like and even when I do get a hold of him, he's in a hurry to get off the phone for fear of sounding feeble. I hate to say it, but I could definitely mark the deterioration in his health by the sound of his crackling, quivering voice. Sorry for the downer. There's no other way to spin this story than: depressing.

- Not depressing, though, is the return of the Mayday Film Festival! You may recall me writing about it back in May. Well, now it's back. All new and improved and begging for you to be a part of it. You know you want to. Who could resist the mayhem that is writing, shooting, editing, and presenting a short film in a 24-hour span? No one, that's who! So if you're in the LA area and have the equipment and a team willing and ready for Saturday, October 2nd, just sign up on the website. Great fun!

- In America is definitely still one of my favorite movies. Ever. Certainly in the top 20. Even better the second time around.

- Just an observation. If you're ever trying to get any writing done and a cute little kitten hops on to your bed to play, there's no point in trying to continue writing. That kitten will ruin you with cuteness and you will be forever unproductive.


I feel taxed watching this 

Aaaand he's back from African Elephant New Years, returning to find this in his email. Sure to incense you thanks to all of it's omissions. Enjoy... then cry.

However, countering the above was this heartwarming story of a mother grieving her fallen son... during Stepford Bush's speech. Kind of makes you wish voters would take notice, doesn't it? There is a very human face to this war and Stepford, along with her 700 rallyers, found out first hand.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Behold the power of sport 

Traditional enemies, yet a family on the field. The story of the Bnei Sahknin soccer club is an inspiring one that kindles hope. I know, I'm not familiar with this "hope" concept either.

Speaking of religiousnessessess, L'Shana Tova to everyone. Be it Jewish, Chinese, secular, or, hell, Elephant New Year (Elephants celebrate New Years, right? Well, at least African ones do), I figure everyone could use the good vibes and wishes of success in the coming year. I'll be celebrating by not going to work tomorrow and eating apples and honey. Word.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Constituencies, ahoy 

Previously thought to be a democratic walkover, the absentee vote in Israel has morphed into a battleground state.

Meanwhile, the Dems would be smart to run like hell with this and publicize the crap out of it. Seems like something America needs to hear and we all know that America doesn't hear anything unless it is drummed into it's thick head.


If you live in New Orleans... 

...you shouldn't be reading this right now. You should be getting the hell out of there. Ivan is coming.

Yeesh. Seems like the last month or so all we've heard about is the myriad of hurricanes destroying the Carribean and wreaking havoc in the Southeast. Can anyone remember another time when three majors hurricanes followed each other back-to-back-to-back so closely?


Monday, September 13, 2004

Viva la Revolucion! 

Hey, David E. Kelley! Suck it! Pretty scathing write-up from defamer.com. Love it. Just in case you don't have access:

David E. Kelley Reality Show Walkout?

A Defamer operative tips us to labor problems on David E. Kelley's upcoming lawyer-driven reality show, The David E. Kelley Project. Kelley, in addition to being Mr. Michelle Pfeiffer, is the prolific television genius that inflicted Ally McBeal on the world, singlehandedly inventing the frighteningly-bony, frequently-hallucinating lawyer genre.

Prolific dramatic television pretty boy wonder David E. Kelley was so incensed by ABC's decision to pit his late lawyer show The Practice up against the popular Joe Millionaire last year, he penned a notorious episode where CBS Television President Les Moonves plays himself being taken hostage by a deranged woman planning to sell the kidnapping as a reality show. Kelley coyly had Fox, CBS and NBC all scrapping for the twisted reality segment in this episode -- not his home network, ABC.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Emmy Award winning Kelley returned to NBC this year to create the working titled "The David E. Kelley Project" -- an eight episode reality drama, featuring real lawyers facing off in the courtroom. He even went begging for barristers on the NBC home page. But, in a case of reality biting back at Kelley's perceived affront to union writers everywhere, the disgruntled camera crew walked off his show last week, temporarily shutting down production.

Let's hope the labor strife doesn't linger. On the other hand, a reality show about a television producer who endlessly develops lawyer shows from a hospital bed after "failed negotiations" with the union sounds like it could be pretty hot itself.

This speaks directly to what I'm talking about. If Mr. Pfeiffer can get hit, anyone can. Awesome.


Locked out 

I think I might cry.

Let's be clear on this. A strike is a fault of the players and players union. This is not a strike. This is a lockout, which means the "bad guys" on this one are the owners. Although, when you're talking about as much money as professional athletes make, these negotiations put neither side in a favorable light. NHL owners: fail.

Sadder still is that so many European stars are ready and set to play this coming season for clubs overseas.


The Joker resides at Buckingham? 

God save the queen! It's Batman! And he wants fairer treatment for single dads! And he's out of shape!


The week past, present, and future 

Time to tour the harbor aboard the U.S.S. Unsinkable Milliondollars with your captain, Cash Milliondollars.

Sept. 11
That was totally on Saturday, wasn't it? I guess it was always in the back of my mind, but didn't really click until I turned on the TV that morning and a documentary on the rise and fall of the Twin Towers was on the History Channel. I watched about a half-hour's worth. Really engaging material, but not quite how I wanted to get the weekend started. Instead, on this day of American woe, the housemates and I along with a host of friends celebrated many things Americana. Such as BBQs (mmm... turkey burgers) and baseball. About 20 of us took in a Dodgers game, only the second I've attended in three seasons living in LA. Exciting stuff, too, sitting out in right field. LA beat National League-leading St. Louis 6-5 much to the chagrin of one of our friends who is a Cardinals fanatic. Wait a second. Americana, BBQ, baseball. Hey! I'm just like President Bush at the "softball game" during the RNC! Yay me! Such a fucking patriot, over here. Speaking of which...

Took a break from it this weekend. Playing catch up now. The world is still a lousy place.

Seeing Jill Sobule again on Tuesday for her record release party at Largo, the same swank little place I saw her a few weeks back. Should be grand. Totally going to get to second base with her.

Listening lately to Muse (Absolution), Death Cab (Photo Album), Garden State soundtrack, 103.1, and when I'm not up for music, NPR. This is all in the car, mind you. I find myself almost never listening to music at home. Strange. Also, sports radio has pretty much been filtered out of the car because of how unlistenable most of it is. Someone say sports?

So I mentioned catching that exciting Dodgers/Cardinals game and how awesome it was, but here are some other notes. Giants slugger Barry Bonds just hit home run #699 bringing him one step closer to baseball immortality and becoming only the third player ever to hit 700 homers.

Canada vs. Finland in World Cup of Hockey Final this Tuesday. This has actually been a magnificent tournament and unfortunately I've been unable to watch any of it because of work. By the way, I beg of you all to please pray for the NHL. Labor talks look very grim.

The NFL is in full swing as of yesterday and already there are quarterback controversies with Miami and the NY Giants (not a surprise for either, but damn it's only been one game). The Raiders of course got off to a typical Raider start opening the season by losing on a last second field goal. Just lovely. Naturally, with every opening week of an NFL season, my office pool picks are a shambles. Only a mediocre 9-6 with tonight's Monday nighter between Green Bay and Carolina still to come.

I'd be remissed if I didn't mention Roger Federer winning the US Open, giving him three of the four Grand Slam titles this year. Damn, that is dominating. A little perspective for you. The last time a men's tennis player won three Grand Slams was Mats Wilander in 1988. The last time any man won Wimbledon and the US Open back-to-back was Pete Sampras in 1995. Put simply, Federer looks unstoppable right now.

Thanks to Liz for lending me the first three volumes of Preacher. I was going to put a dent in it last night, but fell asleep almost as soon as I got my tired bones up to my room.

It continues and so does... shh... the movement. Had another meeting this past Thursday which was actually more informative than the first. Some of the WGA's higher-ups were present, filling us in on what we're actually entitled to while quelling most concerns we had. The secretary/treasurer was actually in this position about six years ago. Not in reality, mind you, but in animation. Writers for animated series' were not covered by the Guild until those few short years back. So it's encouraging to know that the people leading us into the fire have danced in it many times before. The vote of solidarity by one established WGA member who, as he put it, "doesn't have to work another day in his life," was also comforting.

Last Tuesday, we premiered to some great ratings. People around here are pretty pleased about that. While I had seen the episode several times over before it aired -- having put it together, whatnot -- I still tuned in on Tuesday to watch with one of my housemates who obviously hadn't seen it yet. She liked it enough, but I have to admit that about ten minutes into the show I realized that I could give a crap about any of the people on it. I'm sure I could give a crap anyway, but I think much of my opinion is due to the fact that I've been immersed in this season's pop-culture garbage for months now to the point where I don't know which way is up. Que sera.

Also, new interns start their fall semester here this Tuesday. Will we end up with another douche bag in our department? Hopefully not.

Happy New Year
The big Rosh is on Thursday and I'm not going to work. It'll be nice to break the week up, yet again. And of course Friday the 24th I'll be absent from the office again for Yom Kippur. 'Course I'll be spending it with my family in Phoenix, so that could be a whole different nightmare. We'll see. Plus there's fasting, but I've never had a problem with that.

And now...
In a round about way, that brings us to today. Monday. Hurm. Well, it's off to a nice enough start. Kept up my regular appearances at the gym, was a touch overcast this morning. Hopefully LA won't suffer another week of oppressive heat. Also, I may need to buy more ice cream sandwiches after work.


Friday, September 10, 2004


A rare victory for the American middle class. Stupid workers... pfft... think they're so high and mighty with their "overtime pay."


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Coalition of the unwilling 

Not everyone in the US-formed tree house is happy being mentioned on that list. Costa Rica, for one, doesn't want to be associated with it. According to the White House, there are 49 nations in the coalition of the willing. That includes Costa Rica. How many of those listed do you figure are just as unhappy about their inclusion as Costa Rica? I'd be interested to know.

I know, I know... no one actually "cares" about Costa Rica. But still...


Are you ready for some football? 

NFL season kicks off tonight with Indianapolis visiting defending champ New England. It's a rematch of last year's AFC title game and I expect the same result tonight: Patriots handly consume Peyton Manning en route to victory. New England really looks a cut above the rest of the league. Looking at them on paper, they actually seemed to get better. Here's a brief breakdown of what to expect this year. Not in depth, yeah, but a little something:

Superbowl pick: Patriots over Eagles (I swear, Philly will get past the NFC title game this year... maybe)

Baltimore, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle (although I'm not even close to being sold on the last 3. Indy is soft, KC needs better D, Seattle just needs to prove it on the field -- they've been hyped for a while)

Minnesota (nope. same team as last year. nope.)
Dallas (facing a tougher schedule, offense looks better on paper but won't actually be any better than last year's poor unit)

Still in the mix to make a move:
Carolina (defending NFC champs were not a fluke. That D is still great and they can run the ball all day long with the Stephen Davis/DeShaun Foster combo)
St. Louis (as long as Marshall is healthy)
Tennessee (as long as McNair is healthy. running game may actually be better without Eddie George)
Green Bay (gotta watch out for any team that has Brett Favre and a top 3 running back -- Ahman Green. Remember, they were one 4th down away from possibly going on to the Superbowl)

Teams poised to improve:
Jacksonville (Leftwich poised to break out)
Detroit (dynamic offense, if not young. improved D, too)
Washington (Joe Gibbs is back as coach, Clinton Portis makes the offense potent)
Atlanta (Healthy Michael Vick)

Team with no expectations due to summer from hell: Miami (Ricky Williams retires, David Boston injured for the season, Fiedler is still their QB)

Worst teams this year: San Diego (woof), Arizona (yikes, doesn't help that Anquan Boldin is out the first 8 weeks)

Worse than those teams: San Francisco (They lost all their skill position starters from last year)

Holding out hope for: Oakland (Those are my boys. Definitely better than 4-12)

Wishing ill upon: Denver (Fuck the Broncos! They'll regret trading Clinton Portis away. And fuck the Broncos! Go Raiders!)


Words... failing... wow 

Need a pick-me-up? Feeling a little down? Check out this genius' gallery and feel no pain. It's good for you and the right thing to do.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Williams bias? 

It might be silly to think, but is there more than coincidence involved in the fact that Serena Williams' exit from the US Open last night and Venus' exit from Wimbledon this summer were both due in part to several costly judging errors? I didn't actually watch the Serena/Capriatti match last night, but I caught the highlights on Sportscenter where they showed very clearly a handful of points that Serena should have won but were called out. Although, in sports like tennis, the result of a match is never pinned to one single point, there is something to be said for momentum. I really like Capriatti and I'm rooting for her to win, but Serena was robbed. It's about time tennis implemented a replay system. At least for Grand Slam events.



Kind of alarming when you first hear it, but 1 in 5 Germans want the Berlin Wall back. The gripes pretty much boil down to what the US might liken to a red state/blue state squabble. In this case, West Germany::Blue States :: East Germany::Red States. Still, even with the knowledge that progress is never achieved instantly, would you rather be living with the greatest symbol of the Cold War? If it's supposedly no better now than it was then, why would you opt for division and political unrest?


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Game 

I've put a lot of effort into resisting the urge to buy... the game... The one that will surely end my contact with the outside world. But this weekend I snapped and now, the game -- surprisingly already out of print for PS2 in the States -- is in the mail and coming to my house.

Social life? Gone. Hyperbole? Maybe.



I still don't even know that I like John Kerry all that much, but I do find myself agreeing with an awful lot of what he's saying.He even has an idea of how to start bettering the economy. Granted, its not novel or new, but it certainly is more active than Bush's stance of blaming 'junk lawsuits.'

"Only George W. Bush could celebrate over a record budget deficit of $422 billion, a loss of 1.6 million jobs and Medicare premiums that are up by a record 17 percent," Kerry said. "W stands for wrong — the wrong direction for America."


Friday, September 03, 2004

A great year 

The Sports Guy offers up 1984 as the year above all other years of the last quarter century. It's a fluff piece on the highlights '84 brought us from pop-culture to movies to music to sports, but who doesn't love nostalgia?

Some favorites on the '84 list:

81. Ric Ocasek bags Paulina Poriskova, giving hope to every mediocre-to-ugly guy on the planet that they might get to bag a supermodel some day.

37. "Hello" (Lionel Ritchie) -- This was the one where Lionel falls for the blind girl who made the bust that looked nothing like him. Remember that one? She told him, "This is what I see when I see you," then she showed him a sculpture of Barry Sanders, who wasn't even famous yet. This video is RIOTOUSLY funny now. It slays me. Absolutely kills me. I wish they had made a deleted scene where Lionel says, "Hey, just so you know, that looks nothing like me -- I have swollen lips and horrible gheri-curls!", just for the blind girl's reaction.
10. Joining the NHL as a rookie that season? The great Mario Lemieux. Or as my buddy Sheck calls him, "Sixty-six."

11. Two HUGE wrestling moments. In January, Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Shiek to win the WWF title at MSG, leading to Hulkamania taking off, the Cyndi-Lauper-Lou Albano connection, the MTV card and the WWF going mainstream. Only the biggest turn of events in wrestling history. And in March, Roddy Piper slammed coconuts into Jimmy Snuka's forehead on a "You remember exactly where you were when you watched it, JFK-assassination-level" episode of "Piper's Pit."

60. "This is Spinal Tap" -- A pantheon comedy.

61. "The Natural" -- A pantheon sports movie.

73. The Heathers (Locklear and Thomas). Like the Russell and Chamberlain of their time.



Very sad story out of Southern Russia today. Russia hasn't had a very good track record lately with large hostage takeovers. These past two days, it was a school that was under siege. More than 100 bodies found dead. Very sad.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Return of Neon Deion 

Deion Sanders is, has been, and perhaps forever will be one of my least favorite athletes of all time. The man has skill, to be sure, he's one of the best defensive backs the NFL has known. I'll be damned, though, if that mouth and arrogance don't detract from everything he's accomplished on the field. For the past three seasons we haven't had to endure his brazen lip-flapping and self-promotion. But guess who has been lured out of retirement? And paired with Ray Lewis, no less! The NFL's official -- alleged -- murderer. Lewis: also very vocal. I've never dug on the Baltimore Ravens and I guess I won't be doing so anytime soon now that this development has arisen. Deion says he's back to win a Superbowl. C'mon. He only quit in Washington in 2001 because he didn't care about the team. If they weren't going to be in the spotlight automatically, he didn't want to be a part of the effort to get them there. That's been Deion's story forever. Jumped on the Dallas bandwagon when they finally pulled themselves up from the dregs and into the Superbowl picture. Same story when he went to San Francisco. He's coming back as a nickelback which, for those unfamiliar, is a position that sees limited action based on the fact that it's only included in a handful of defensive formations. So hopefully that means the ratio of Deion squawking this season will be minimal compared to if he was an every-down defensive back. Sanders is back. Damn. I'd like to see him get torched by Chad Johnson in Cincinnati and the receiver duo of Ward and Burress in Pittsburgh. If there's any justice, those things will happen.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

New month 

Yeah, so I guess it's September. Phase one of the afforementioned "experiment" (now buried somewhere in this blog) is over. It went off, relatively, without a hitch. Many thanks to all for their support. And now... we try moderation.


Those Israelis just don't care, do they? 

So while Israel intends retaliation against Syria and Hamas for the bus bombings in Be'er Sheva yesterday, you'll notice they're a little mindful this time around about harming civlians. Let them burn... except for the innocent.

The IDF began to respond to yesterday's double bus bombing in Be'er Sheva with a closure around Hevron, several arrests of terror suspects, and the destruction of the terrorists' homes - but then suddenly brought the last part of the operation to a sudden halt. After destroying the home of the first of yesterday's two murderous terrorists, the army turned its attention to the home of the second one - and decided not to tear it down. This, because it was too close to a neighbor's home, and the army engineers feared that demolishing the one would endanger the other.

Safety for civilians? What a novel idea. Homicide bombers are grand.


Charges dropped in Kobe case 

Adulterer? Yes. Rapist? Doesn't look that way. Trial would've started next week, too. Personally, I'm thankful. Not because I'm an unabashed Laker fan, mind you, but because we'll all be spared the daily updates and endless commentary on the latest (what, it's been 2 months or something since the last "who really cares" case, right?) trial of the decade/century/millenium.


"Economic Girlie Men" 

That phrase, and that phrase alone, will win this election for Bush. I'm not even kidding. Yes, that's how little faith I have in the voters. It truly is. While Arnie spun compassionate stories about his childhood in Austria, living in fear of the Soviets, they drew virtually no parallel to the state of the nation today. But its no different at any convention be it Republican or Democrat. A crowded arena full of schills line up to see their favorite faces spout empty jingoistic rhetoric. Buzz words like "patriotic" and "democracy" get thrown out so often, you'd think they were as common as "and" or "the."

There couldn't have been a less convincing notion of "fun" as when the Bush twins stepped up to the podium to introduce their mother and "playfully embarrass" their parents. Their delivery? Nothing short of flawless... that is, if you consider intonation in speech to be cheating. Flat, staged, teleprompter lines that just hurt to sit through. But boy were they bouncy! Eh...

Laura Bush's speech was a yawn. But damn it, she smiled the whole time, so I suppose people will perceive it as "worthwhile" and "honest" with respect to her husband being a compassionate man. That's the Texas debutante petrolium jelly on the teeth in full effect.

By far, though, the shallowest part of the night at the RNC (save for maybe everyone at Madison Square Garden going apeshit over Arnold-isms like Economic Girlie Men) was when the President himself was beamed via satelitte from a township in Pennsylvania. In the background appeared to be something resembling a softball game. But I tell you, my friends, it was no game. If you taped the convention or TiVOed it last night, watch again. The gathering of people in the background are simply watching guys hit a softball and then run off frame like an assembly line. There's no game being played, just guys taking turns hitting a softball. My god! The absurdity involved here! It's like I'm watching a poorly drawn out political satire in which the incumbant goes out of his way to invoke images of Americana like baseball or apple pie or flag waving in and earnest effort to make people forget how poorly he's run the country over the last four years. Oh wait... that's no satire at all... it's actually happening.

This may be oversimplifying it, but for every compassionate Barack Obama speech, there are a dozen "Economic Girlie Men." I hate to say it, but the public doesn't have to think about the latter and that's why I think we're looking at another term for Bush. Not because of merit, but because of an SNL joke. After all, Kerry's a flip-flopper. People don't know what he stands for.


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