Saturday, November 27, 2004

New Ken Burns (he's really good) 

Unforgivably Black: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
sounds very interesting indeed. With a title like that, how could it not premiere on MLK Day?


Here's a new one 

Jeunet's latest film, A Very Long Engagement, has been deemed,"not French enough" by the Frogs. Hmm... I don't know if that's such a bad thing.


Friday, November 26, 2004

I woke up at noon today 

and was drinking by 12:20pm. I see no reason to stop. It is, after all, the Friday after Thanksgiving. So many leftovers in the fridge. Drinking some sort of triple-filtered vodka and coke concoction. It is, how you say, "delicious." Wheeeeeee!


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Arizona really did need this 

Andy Katz points out what all UofA fans know to be true: Arizona really had to win last night against Michigan lest they spiral out of control on the road to disaster. Watching the game last night, I'll be the first to admit that Arizona was "lucky" to escape with a win and, after getting slapped by Virginia (just man-handled!) last Sunday, this could very well have saved their year. Michigan seemed to have momentum and control of the interior through out the game, especially in the first half. The Cats claimed to have practiced how to attack to 2-3 zone, but you wouldn't know it watching the bulk of this game. Michigan had plenty of opportunities to put UA away and fortunately they were unable to capitalize. Inexperience? Maybe, but Michigan did win last season's NIT (which any college hoops fan knows assures them of a successful NCAA bound season this year). I like the Wolverines to make a lot of noise in the Big Ten and finish in the top three in that conference behind Illinois and probably Michigan State. The Spartans still have some work to do before they sell me on being legit. For instance, some ability on the perimeter would help.

So tomorrow night, I get the matchup that I and all of college hoops was looking for: #17 Arizona vs. #1 Wake Forest. From the looks of the impressive victory over Providence last night, Wake looks every bit the #1 ranked team. Chris Paul and Justin Gray form perhaps the best if not one of the top five backcourts in the country and will spread the Cats thin. Something I'm looking forward to: Chris Paul vs. Mustafa Shakur at the point guard matchup. Two years ago, this pair were rated the top high school point guards in the country. Now, they get to square off against one another. I'd like to say this will be the key to the game, but really, the key for Arizona will be to establish themselves inside with Channing Frye who can't afford to settle for jump shots. Also, Hassan Adams will need to improve his shot selection if Arizona is to stand any chance.


Bigger things 

US soccer's brightest, most capable star (presently) is heading to Germany.

Landon Donovan is the best American soccer player, right now. His development, along with virtually all of the USA's talent (with rare exception) was cultivated in MLS. To anyone who doubts Major League Soccer's worth on an international level, I refer you simply to the Men's National Team. Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, Bobby Convey, Tim Howard, Eddie Lewis, John O'Brien, and so on, all came up through MLS and are now international commodities. All now play in Europe, a testament to training ground of MLS. It's a double edged sword. As hard as it is to see the country's best talent go abroad to play their club soccer, it is ultimately beneficial to the National Team. Obviously, anything that's good for the National Team will invariably increase interest in MLS as more soccer fans come out of the wood work. The competition among European clubs is stiffer and better than what we can offer state-side. However, the exodus of all the US' established talent paves the way for a new set of American stars to emerge in MLS. US soccer has a pretty good cycle going for itself, even if it means departing with some name recognition on the club scene. Now the way is clear for guys like Alecko Eskandarian, Eddie Johnson, and of course, Freddy Adu to lift up a new crop.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Don't see Kinsey with your parents 

Liz pretty much sums up my feelings on Kinsey. Thus far, it's one of the year's best. Stellar performances across the board. Liam Neeson and Laura Linney can bank on Oscar noms and I think Peter Sarsgaard is deserving as well in a supporting role. Much like Condon's Gods and Monsters, this film is pretty solid up and down. It ends probably right where it should lest it get too bio-pic-y and drawn out.

The film's release is as timely and appropriate as ever. Social regulation of sexuality is nearly as prevalent now as it was 60 years ago when the film is set. The only difference is that we now know that things like homosexuality and pre-marital sex aren't necessarily immoral (well... 49% of us know). For it's timeliness alone, this film should be remembered come awards time. It won't win anything, though. As much as Hollywood is a liberal hot bed, it is still controlled by crusty old white conservatives. That's just a fact.

I feel a little bad for this, but there's a point in the film where Professor Kinsey (Neeson) questions whether or not his work will do anything to help the sexually abused and frustrated people he surveyed, whether or not it will reach an audience. "I could have done more..." Anyway, when he begins this monologue, I immediately thought of Schindler's List. Couldn't help it. The similarities were too apparent. Anyway, don't let that detract too much from the film when you see it. And you should! Just don't see it with your parents. You'll have to trust me on that.

Here's the buzz.


Good ol' Indiana 

Remember, everyone: sex is bad.
Happy Thanksgiving eve!


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Seein' The Wimbledons tonigt, bitch 

You may have noticed that the volume of posts on this sight has dropped in recent days. That's because of two reasons.

1. I've got too much time on my hands these days (you think that'd have the opposite effect, but no).

2. This computer is really shitty.

Anyway, tonight I'm going to the Derby to check out The Wimbledons in all their stunning glory. If you're in LA, you should go. The Derby @ 10pm. Do it!

Speaking of music, Ron Artest's rap album dropped today. Timely, isn't it?


Monday, November 22, 2004

Looks like Artest will have time to focus on his music career 

The fallout of the Pacers/Pistons brawl is about what one would expect, if not slightly on the harsher end. Suspending Ron Artest for the entire season draws a clear line in the sand and puts the rest of the league on notice. The players association will appeal the length of the suspension, along with all the others handed out, no doubt, as in Artest's head, he was defending himself. The mentality between athlete and fan is radically different and even though going into the crowd is wrong, period, there is validity to Artest's argument. Stephen Jackson, who also rushed into the stands with Artest, only got 30 games. He should thank his lucky stars it wasn't more. The guy was uninvolved until that point and only had intentions of the worst kind. Jermaine O'Neal, Indiana's best player by a mile, got slapped with a 25 game suspension for nailing a fan on the court. Fighting a fan? Okay, given, it's a bad thing. BUT, that dumbass fan ran on to the court. He was looking to antagonize. He was looking to start trouble. I think he got just what he deserved when O'Neal socked him in the face. Under those circumstances, I thought O'Neal's suspension was maybe a little rough. Ben Wallace of the Pistons getting six games is excessive. Players who have done exactly what he did in the past have rarely received more than one or two games.

So what happens to the Pacers now? According to Cesar's Palace, they just went from 12-1 favorites to win the title to 100-1 longshots. Who are they going to get to field their team? O'Neal and Artest are their two best players? Somebody get me a Pacers beat writer. I'd get one myself, but this stupid Mac is hyperlink-retarded.

I think the Pistons organization got off lightly, as their fans proved to be of the worst kind. A couple months back, the Italian soccer team AS Roma had to play a European Champions League match at home in front of an empty stadium. Why? Because in their previous home game one of their fans threw a beer bottle that hit the referree in the head, causing the game to be abandoned. That is what the NBA should do to Detroit. Hold their fans and poor security accountable. Make them take a hit financially. It's the only way you'll be able to send a message to that rogue element of fans who are out to ruin it for everyone. The fans who attacked Kansas City Royals first base coach, Tom Gamboa, on the field. The fan who stabbed Monica Seles during a match against Steffi Graf. Nothing happens to these assholes! In most cases, they walk off scott-free, like the German douche who stabbed Seles. Now, the Detroit police is reporting that nine fans in the brawl on Friday are claiming to have been assaulted. Anything for a buck, right? Disgusting. Make the Pistons play a game in front of an empty home arena, save for press. It's the right thing to do.

Know what I'd love to see? Ron Artest get voted as a starter in the All-Star game. The game itself is a farce and the fan voting is even worse. Their record speaks for itself. Continually voting in Vince Carter (most overrated "superstar" in the league) as a starter. Voting Grant Hill as a starter when he's played less than ten games (once, only four!). So the fan balloting reveals idiocy on a grand scale, but everyone has a chance to redeem themselves if they vote Artest in as a starter. That would be divine.


Friday, November 19, 2004

Pacers and Pistons and Fans, OH MY! BRAWL! 

Holy crap! I was watching ESPN News with a couple friends for an hour tonight just taking this in and trying to comprehend the magnitude of tarnishment the NBA rep has suffered. The most vile, troublesome scene, in-game, perhaps ever. I still can't believe that even after Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson lept into the stands that fans rushed on to the court only to get decked yet again. I'm flabbergasted.

Three sides are to blame. The players, obviously, for rushing into the crowd. Although I think they have a credible reason for doing so. They were being physically endangered and felt obligated to defend themselves. The fans, more than any other party, should be held responsible for getting involved in the first place and for acting like cromagnin dogs by throwing beer and ice at Ron Artest, on to the court, and at the Pacers in general. Detroit fans are ugly, ugly, rabid thugs. All they need is an excuse to riot and they got one. The final party of blame: The NBA. Where was the security?! This melee went on far too long. Ridiculous.

Sigh... I miss hockey. Please come back NHL. The NBA tries and tries, but they'll never be able to shake their post-Michael Jordan image as a league of filth and ill-repute. Please come back, hockey.

Also, sidenote, saw the most timely commercial as we were watching the ESPN news coverage. LeBron James, the latest face of the NBA, is playing one-on-one basketball against his animated self. Human James can't seem to get past Cartoon James' strong defense. SO... Human James bounces the ball through Cartoon James' chest, dunks it, and then, while hanging on the rim, kicks Cartoon James in the face! Then the Nike logo comes up. Wow...

And you say the NBA doesn't promote positively...


I'm trapped in a glass case of emotion 

Ever have trouble finding the right words to express your feelings? Ever wanted to share in a joyous occasion, but could never find a card that didn't make you want to wretch? Fear no longer, Cyrano. Your problems are hilariously solved.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

No! No! No! 

Stop apologizing!

"I felt like it was clean, the organization felt like it was a clean skit and I think it just really got taken out of context with a lot of people and I apologize for that," Owens said. "Personally I didn't think it would have offended anyone and, if it did, I apologize."

But that's just it! You didn't do anything wrong, T.O. You didn't do anything wrong! As hard as that is to believe (what with Owens attracting so much negative attention for on-field antics and off-field personal attacks in the press) it's a fact. Oh how I wish someone involved in this over-blown mess would just take a stand and say it is what it is: a stupid, harmless little skit.

Thank you, Donovan McNabb.

Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb wasn't quite as vocal, saying he didn't find the segment offensive and believed people were overreacting.


Sloppy Wildcats hopefully won't be as sloppy tonight 

My disgust is a little late, yes, but here's my take on Arizona's game this past Tuesday.

In their win over San Diego, UofA looked bad. "Sloppy" is probably the best word to describe their play in the second half. Mustafa Shakur was the only player that I thought had a good game and even he made some careless passes. Ivan Radenovic's play was inspiring, though. No Christian Drejer here (sorry Florida fans).

Aside from the obvious criticisms about their virtually non-existent defense (and it was pathetic in the 2nd half, especially on the interior), one of my biggest complaints from last season so far has not been addressed by the staff: feed the ball inside to Channing Frye. This guy is at least one of the three best centers in the country and can fill it up if you get him the rock. UA lives and dies far too much on the perimeter. If you want to win, you get Frye the ball consistently. He should be taking at least 12-15 shots a game. Period. It's imperative that he be the focal point of the offense.

And where was Hassan Adams???

San Diego's roster looks pretty different from last year's and I expect that team to be much more competitive this season. It's also possible that Arizona just lost interest in the second half after dominating and building a comfortable lead in the first. Season openers are never a team's best performance. Also, missing Isiah Fox (because he got fat) probably hurt a bit as far as slowing down USD in the middle. Those are the reasons why Arizona fans shouldn't be crying just yet. Still... not a good game for the Wildcats.

After they beat Wright St. tonight ("when", not "if"), they have a tricky Michigan squad waiting for them. I think the much-improved Wolverines will provide a good test and set a barometer for where Arizona really is at. Still hoping to see a Zona v. Wake matchup in the pre-NIT final.


Right now...  

I'm in my boss' office, watching a tape of last week's episode of The O.C. I suppose you could say that there are worse things in life.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

More Nicolette jumping into Terrell's arms hoo-ha 

Here's some sharp criticism of the two-faced NFL regarding Monday Night Football's Desperate Housewives cross-promotion. I happen to fully agree with the article. I didn't mention them in my brief post last night, but here's a list of "outrages" the NFL promotes.

- Violence/Brutal injuries (as stated before. part of the game, but glorified to the Nth degree)

- Sex Sex Sex. Cameras jammed underneath sprawled, scantily clad cheerleaders. Cheerleader swimsuit calendars.

- Mass alcohol consumption. Have you seen a Coors Light commericial during a game? Have you seen the "Coors Twins???" That ties in to the sex, as well.

- Speaking of commercials, what about the never ending avalanche of viagra and levitra ads that flood primetime and Sunday afternoons? What do the naive parents think of those?

- The league champions guys like Ray Lewis, previously accused of homicide.

Yeah, the worst thing ever is a hot blonde dropping her towel. Sickening.


Hell yeah! 

I'm pretty jazzed, right now. Just found out I'm getting a 10% (meager, but hey) raise and getting to keep my health benefits during my two month long hiatus! Sweetness! Of course, I'll be out of work on Friday, but at least I'll still have health insurance during my weeks of sleeping in and eating cereal three times a day. You have to understand, this is big. Our company is pretty stingy when it comes to matters such as this, hence my continued involvement in the "movement." You know what I'm talking about. WGA style. Aaaanyway, I'm totally going to see the shit out of the dentist while I'm off. Never been covered for dental before.


This country is dominated by the sheltered 

ABC Sports apologizes for steamy intro to 'Monday Night Football' that they had also aired the night before. No one complained then, so why is it different now? Because Monday Night Football is "family" TV? Puh-lease. We live in a puritanical society that thrives on violence. The hypocrisy is, well, I'm sure you're all aware of it. Football isn't exactly a cuddly sport and, oh yeah, the NFL glamorizes the hell out of the hard hits and gruesome injuries that occur within the game. Cowards.


I still hate Janet Jackson.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Nice shirt, gay-wad! 

Perry Bible nails it again.



Remember Armand Assante? What the fuck was that all about?


Three things that are awesome 

They have happened, are happening, and will be happening.

1. Arrested Development
I spent the better part of last night watching six episodes of the greatest comedy on television, right now. Somewhere around the fifth in an endless series of gut-busting laughs, I realized that I have to go buy the 1st season on DVD. I've been watching the show peripherally, missing an episode here and there, but having a mini-marathon last night really sealed the deal. Brilliance. The best of everything funny is in that show. The series of gags in the 'one-armed man' episode alone should be enough to get you to watch.

2. Vince Neil
Definitely outing myself a bit, here, but last Saturday I saw Vince Neil in concert. Don't even pretend like you don't know who that is. Don't even think about it! Don't deny that you know that Vince Neil is the lead singer of Motley Crue and that the Crue kicks giants amounts of ass (amounts untold because numbers don't go that high). It may sound stupid, but it seriously is some of the most -- if not the most -- fun I've had at a concert. But then, I like Motley Crue... and all that goes with that. I haven't listened to my Crue CDs in forever, yet I knew all the words to every song played. Lame, huh? NO! Los Angeles 80s trash is a beautiful thing. Holy shit, people, if you could've seen the sights at that show. I swear there were trash queens there straight out of 1987... only they'd aged 17 years. So that hot 24 year old chick in the 80s that was rocking out hardcore to the Crue, "dressing" in barely anything save for a fishnet stocking is still around wearing the same thing. I, for one, would be rather disappointed if she got all dolled up like that just for the show. I think it would be much funnier if she simply hasn't dropped the style. Same for the guys, many of whom had longer hair than the girls.

3. University of Arizona basketball
The season tips off tonight at home against seemingly overmatched San Diego. Expectations, of course, are high this year. The Cats start off the year ranked #11 in the AP polls and are, as far as I know, the overwhelming consensus pick to win the Pac 10. The great thing about college basketball is that, unlike football, the polls don't really matter. If you're a good team, you'll get to the NCAA tournament and have a chance to prove your worth on the court. So many great football teams get short-changed by the polls and, thus, never get a chance to win on the field. The Wildcats opener tonight is part of the pre-season NIT tournament and a mouthwatering potential final versus #2 Wake Forest and Chris Paul is definitely a possibility. I live for this stuff. If the Wildcats don't trip over their ego, they could march all the way to the final four. The key to maintaining that level head is sharp shooter Salim Stoudamire. If he's focused, UofA is money.


Monday, November 15, 2004

D.C. United: 2004 MLS Champs 

Earnie Stewart, Jaime Moreno, Alecko Eskandarian, Ben Olsen, some guy named Freddy Adu... D.C. has regained their form as the league's top collection of talent, just as they were in the mid-to-late 90s. I watched the better part of their 3-2 final victory over Kansas City. KC had no answer for the constant pressure brought on from United, especially in the first half when Earnie Stewart rode roughshot over them, creating havoc in and around the penalty area. This championship is D.C.'s fourth and it also makes Freddy Adu (age 15) the youngest professional athlete in the history of American team sports to win a title. Superboy had a strong rookie season in MLS, scoring five goals this year. The future looks good.Congrats to United. Their entertaining, attacking brand of soccer was definitely fun to watch this season.


The 'fall guy' walks away 

I'm sure everyone and their mom will be talking about this so, with respect to that, I'll just say that I wish he had resigned before the election.


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Our Vice President is not a monster 

Just look at this photograph attached to the announcement that he left the hospital after testing.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Something we can all agree on 

College basketball officially tipped off last night (yay!), highlighted by Final Four contender Syracuse waxing Northern Colorado by 50 (why bother scheduling that game? Doesn't help at all, Boeheim! Oh wait, that's the Orange annual tradition -- cupcake non-conference schedule). Anyway, while tripping around at Collegeball I happened upon this fantastic site; one that will surely unite the people.

We Hate Duke.

God love 'em.


Op-Ed: Revisionism is A-OK 

I came across this post which speaks directly to the hypocrisy of Arafat's reign of terror. Just thinking about stuff like this hitting major American papers makes me want to chunder. Thanks to Soccer Dad for being on the ball.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Which old witch? The Wicked Witch! 


They said it (the headline on Yahoo!):

Palestinians mourn their longtime leader; chance [finally] seen for new peace talks with Israel.

PA = less corrupt


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

NBA talk 

The LA Clippers outscored Indiana 31-7 in the second quarter tonight. 31-7! That's outrageous! They currently lead the Pacers by 23 midway through the third. Unreal. The season is only a week old, but the Clippers are definitely the surprise thus far. They're one double overtime loss to defending champ Detroit away from being unbeaten and are really playing some inspired ball.
*Final score update: Clippers 102 Pacers 68

Also hot are the Jazz who are just flat out mashing teams into the ground. I knew Utah would be good, but they look downright scary. Them and Phoenix. Both are unbeaten. The new-look Suns are also pasting everyone in their path, scoring loads and loads of points, though they're in a battle right now with Cleveland.

Hot and cold team of the week: Lakers. In their three wins they've looked anywhere from great to fantastically awesome. In their two losses, anywhere between mediocre and horrible. They only game I wasn't able to catch was their easy win over the Atlanta Hawks (who are miserable). Somewhere between the two polar extremes lie the real Lakers. If Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, and Chris Mihm are clicking then Kobe & co. will continue to do well. Tonight, they take on one of the league's early disappointments: Memphis.

A playoff team last year, the Grizzlies are off to a dim 0-4 start. Pretty surprising. Also looking pretty poor in week one is Sacramento. They're only 1-3 out of the gate and not playing with much fire. Rick Adelman better right the ship in a hurry before things get out of control. Stojakovic's focus is definitely somewhere other than basketball.

Finally, last night the New Jersey Nets beat the Portland Trailblazers by a final (a final! score of 64-60. I hereby motion that both teams be expelled by the league. Their expulsion will serve as a warning to any NBA team who fails to score at least 75 points in a game. If you can't score 75, you're worthless and nobody like you and you have cooties, so there!


Those Michigan St. football players sure are funny 

This "prank" is decidedly unfunny. Way to go, Michigan State. You're an embarrassment. Cheers to another mediocre season and probably missing out on a bowl game. If head coach Nick Saban has any balls at all, he'll cut these two dickheads from the team.


Ashcroft out. Gonzales in. Totally safer. 

John Ashcroft's resignation means we ended terrorism, right? Right? Anyway, word is that Alberto Gonzales will be his successor. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really familiar with him at all. My opinions will take shape in time, but for now:

Gonzales, 49, has long been rumored as a leading candidate for a Supreme Court vacancy if one develops. Speculation increased after Chief Justice William Rehnquist announced he has thyroid cancer.

Gonzales' career has been linked with Bush for at least a decade, serving as general counsel when Bush was governor of Texas, and then as secretary of state and as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court.


Some conservatives also have quietly questioned Gonzales' credentials on core social issues. And he once was a partner in a Houston law firm which represented the scandal-ridden energy giant Enron.


The gospel-singing son of a minister, Ashcroft is a fierce conservative who doesn't drink, smoke or dance. His detractors said he gave religion too prominent a role at the Justice Department — including optional prayer meetings with staff before each work day.


Well, everything as expected, I suppose.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004


If you live in LA, you've seen those big advertisements for "Accidentes" Spanish-speaking lawyers. They're plastered all over benches and buses. Anyway, today I had the good fortune (and I mean that in all seriousness. The guy's who appear on these ads are so comic they're farcical) of being behind a bus at a stop light that featured "Accidentes" on the back. Same old ridiculous Accidentes guy with his sleazy mustache and crooked smile. One thing was different, though.

The number: 1-800-6666-171

Now, before you tell me that in America phone numbers are listed xxx-xxxx instead of xxxx-xxx, read the number again.


Don't forget that we live in a country where a sizeable (surprisingly large) number of Americans believe the literal devil to be real. A country in which at least one state -- Georgia -- wants to discredit the theory of evolution and make way for the teaching of creationism in public school (Jimmy Carter is right to be embarrassed). Don't you ever forget that. While you're not forgetting, please do your best to stop crying.

Also, how huge is this on the irony scale? 666 in the number for a lawyer? That's amazing. Some almighty being has a sense of humor.


Big Brother is watching you 

"Big Brother," in this case, is the NBA and "you" is Mark Cuban. This is, to my knowledge, a first in the history of sports-related fines. It's something that's making the rounds on the web, but I find it too ridiculous to not post about.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined by the league for comments he made in his blog. Not even completely invalid comments -- he was criticizing the league for opening it's season on election night! Technically, blogs are fair game as the internet is very much a part of the media. I think I'm just taken aback that we've reached this stage, though, and I don't think this is a case of "assume everyone reads your blog" as much as it is "oversensitivity." Cuban's right: The NBA is no weaker for his worthwhile comments. Obviously, they fined him in the interest of drawing a line in their facist sand, but hey, Cuban always gets fined. Doesn't really matter to him.


Monday, November 08, 2004

It's November. It's here. 

Oh sweet heavenly goodness. Are you seriously jones'n for some delicious college hoops? You are?! Wait, you're me??? The madness (or near-madness if you prefer to reserve that word specifically for March) is here. Look! Eat basketball!


I like good movies.  

The Incredibles is a good movie. Very good. It's really not that profound at all, but just really solid the whole way around. Equal parts James Bond, Fantastic Four, and family comedy all viewed through a very intelligent and funny filter. The story isn't amazing and some scenes and plot devices are far from original, but that's not really the point here. The point is to enjoy yourself and have fun. This movie delivers on that. The voice work is pretty great, too. Throw away joke that unintentionally delivers: John Ratzenberger voicing "The Underminer."

Another solid movie that I saw recently that's worth checking out is Sideways which is completely on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum as The Incredibles. Paul Giammati gives an amazing performance in a movie littered with strong performances. The film's strong grounding in wine culture takes a little getting used to because, well, unless you're a connoisseur wine tasting isn't really all that interesting. It does, however, provide a strong base for much of the character work and the movie is very strong in that regard. Each character contributes to the story in their way which we tend to see less and less of lately. This movie wanders occasionally into the land of pretentiousness, but is on the whole very honest and sometimes laugh out loud funny. To tell what it's about would be to ruin it. Another dark comedy in the mold of Alexander Payne. Not as good as Election, but probably better than the somewhat underwhelming About Schmidt.


Death Cab for Statutory 

My god were there were a lot of teeny-boppers at the Death Cab show on Friday. The fundamental difference in having a show sponsored by KCRW (sophisticated, elevated listening) and KROQ (fluffed radio for the masses) is, and will always be, the average age of the audience. I mentioned to my friend while at the show that standing amidst this crowd of what looked like maybe 60% girls under the age of 18 was a form of entrapment.
Promoter: Hey jackoff.
Me: Hey.
Promoter: You know, Death Cab for Cutie is playing.
Me: Oh cool! I wanna see 'em.
Promoter: And see them you shall, my friend. And don't worry, you can be friendly with all the girls you want.
Me: Sweet.
*Goes to show*
Me: Wait a minute...

**NOTE: Actual conversation did not take place anywhere other than the empty wasteland that is my mind.**

The actual concert was, well, kinda mixed. The band sounded incredible. This being the first time I'd seen them live, I was very impressed with the transfer from recorded to live performance. Visually, however, it was incredibly dull. All four band members were fairly static through out the show and the lighting was not up to par of a big stage performance. Aside from one moment when Ben and the drummer were drumming simulatenously, there wasn't much worth watching. I still enjoyed myself, though.


Friday, November 05, 2004

Damn you, TV 

I don't even know why I'm putting this up, but I'm a little disappointed in The Apprentice this season (yeah, I watch it). Last night, it took a turn for the worse -- a possible death blow -- when Raj got fired. I don't necessarily "like" Raj, per se, but he was definitely the only contestant on the show who was worth a damn. By that I mean he was the only one who was, you know, a character. Tell me you can positively identify any other person on that show and I'll tell you you're lying. They're all boring and they all look the same. No one, aside from Raj, is distinguishable. Casting blew it big time. Lame.

Also lame: The OC (yeah, I watch it). Last season's finale sucked and lasted night's premiere was profoundly worse. This show is swiftly moving from fun garbage to just plain garbage. I'll give it maybe two more episodes before I let it go all together.

Speaking of lame Seth Cohen, I'm going to see Death Cab For Cutie tonight. I'm stoked, to say the least. As Doug would say, it promises to be "emotionally devastating."

Meanwhile, Ben Gibbard's other band, The Postal Service, is joining forces with... well... the postal service. Cross-promotion, yo!


Iowa is relevant 

Oh wait... no it's not. Bravo, Iowa. You finally got your votes counted. Ugh...

Elsewhere, this is pretty tremendous.

Donna Frye, a surfer who sports long blonde hair and refuses to get a driver's license, is riding a wave of write-in votes for mayor that could sweep aside two graying 60-something Republicans and carry her into City Hall. The surf-shop owner has capitalized on a confluence of circumstances, including a pension scandal that has shaken the city financially.



Thursday, November 04, 2004

Living in a New America 

It seems that these are all over the web the last couple days. But since I think they're funny (in a tragic, make you want to cry sort of way), I thought they were worth posting.

Want more laughter through tears? Okay.


Interview with Brad Bird 

The Onion A.V. Club (which, if you don't know already, has some really interesting interviews) caught up with animator Brad Bird to talk about his work on The Simpsons, The Iron Giant, and The Incredibles which opens in the States tomorrow. Really interesting stuff if you're into the animation scene. Brad Bird rules.


A day removed from the disappointment 

Yesterday was it. That was the day for venting and frustration over the result of the election. By the time I went to bed last night, I realized I was "over it." I'm not happy about the direction the country is headed. I'm not happy about the results of the election. I'm not happy about the election being determined by riled up evangelicals driven by fear and ignorance. I'm not happy about any of these things. The Daily Mirror, a British newspaper, even went so far as to run the headline: "60 million idiots voted for Bush." There's a clue as to how this is all preceived internationally. Do I think Kerry could've united the world? No, I'm sure he'd face many of the same obstacles. Thing is, though, that I had no confidence in Bush's ability to inspire good foreign relations and he's proved incapable of doing so. What's the harm in letting Kerry take a shot?

Thinking about all of that, though, I remember that I was never sold on John Kerry and that there are still plenty of problems with the democratic party. Obviously, I'm not alone on that and he was a tough sell. My vote for him was more of a vote against the alternative. Even though Kerry won the democratic primaries, he was a relatively weak candidate to trot out. The debates proved to me that he was more competent than Bush, but the harsh reality is that no one pays attention to the debates (see: election result). There's a cultural gap in this country the size of which we haven't seen since the Civil Rights Movement. If it was on the ballot, I'd just as soon vote to have California secede from the rest of the country. How else could I deal with monsters like Tom Coburn of Oklahoma being in the senate? I can't vote against him. It's something that's completely out of my power.

For my own sake, maybe it's better that I scale back the political emotions. At least if, say, the Lakers get blown out (as they did last night to Utah by 24 -- ouch), yeah it'll sting, but ultimately won't affect anything. Yesterday, on the drive home, traffic was all sorts of hellish. I come to find out later that it was primarily caused by a giant protest of Bush on Hollywood and Highland. Yesterday. After the election had been determined. Look, free speech and all that, I get it. Right to assembly, I get it. But as best as we can tell (for now), there was no rigging in this election. There is no one to blame for it's result. There's no Ralph Nader, there's no Katherine Harris, there's no hanging chads, there's no recount, there are no lawyers. It was a clean vote and a clean Bush victory. So why whine about it now? Yes, half of us are bitterly disappointed and we recognize how manipulative the Bush campaign was in drumming up the most negative of human emotions to rally his supporters, but what does it solve or accomplish? Virtually nothing. It's never been my thing anyway, but activism like that irks me. I'm not saying there's no point and everyone should just fall in line with Bush, but the timing and circumstances are incredibly poor for such a demonstration. I heard some of Bush's press conference this morning and he was harping about a future of peace and democracy in Iraq. Sounds great. Those are simply words and probably ones he will never see realized in his presidency. If you're still protesting the war, fine. It's just strikes me as stupid and petulant to protest the outcome of a fair election.

Anyway, I suppose the point of all this is that I'll be happy regressing back to casual, yet informed observer rather than the live and die with every blunder of this administration type. It's no way to live. I've done that routine with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and it's just not worth the anguish. It's depressing. It shouldn't be ignored, but you can't let it consume you whole. Soon, you find yourself maintaining your core beliefs while detatching from your emotions. I suppose that's an evolutionary process because no one would be able to cope with that much worry and anxiety on a daily basis and be mentally healthy. So, as I've done with so many other things in my life, it's time to emotionally detatch.


Arafat in a coma 

Emotions and responses I am not experiencing after reading this:

I'd go on, but it might be construed as "hateful." I'm sure you all get the picture. Also, France (not that they were ever on my good side) isn't scoring any points by taking him in.

Road Map to Peace is soon to take a big step forward.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Here's a pick-me-up 

The world needs laughter. Pow!


Bush won because he's a simpleton. No, really... 

It's something we're all banging our heads against the wall trying to figure out: how can so many people possibly still have faith in Bush? Well, the short answer is that they're not smart enough to digest complex sentences. The more thorough answer can be read here, courtesy of Slate.

Now look at your candidate, John Kerry. What quality has he most lacked? Not courage—he proved that in Vietnam. Not will—he proved that in Iowa. Not brains—he proved that in the debates. What Kerry lacked was simplicity. Bush had one message; Kerry had dozens. Bush had one issue; Kerry had scores. Bush ended his sentences when you expected him to say more; Kerry went on and on, adding one prepositional phrase after another, until nobody could remember what he was talking about. Now Bush has two big states that mean everything, and Kerry has a bunch of little ones that add up to nothing.


In times like these it's imperative you cling to distractions 

The only good thing about last night was that the Lakers routed Denver in their season-opener. Kobe lead them in scoring, of course, with 25 points, but it's the performance of erratic and underachieving Chris Mihm that's gives me reason to be optimistic. He had a career night, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. That's great! Hopefully, this kind of play will endure throughout the season and the league will take notice that LA is still a formidable team. Not as formidable as before, but still a reason for concern.

Overshadowing last night's Laker win? Yeah. Pathetic isn't it? Again, times like these you need to divert your attention elsewhere lest you put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger.


Sometimes I hate being right 

This is definitely one of those times. I was right to doubt the common sense of the slim majority of Americans.

President Bush (news - web sites) won a second term from a divided and anxious nation, his promise of steady, strong wartime leadership trumping John Kerry's fresh-start approach to Iraq and joblessness.

Dead to me:
Confederacy (as always)

Bush called Kerry a worthy, tough and honorable opponent. Kerry told Bush the country was too divided, the source said, and Bush agreed. "We really have to do something about it," Kerry said according to the Democratic official.

Pfft... my ass. I can virtually guarantee nothing will be done in earnest. Certainly not now that this idiot is back in office for another four years without having to worry about pesky re-election. But hey, at least he has "Moral Values." My god, just piss off and die.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The signs 

As the exit polls roll in, things are starting to tense up. Kerry just took down Pennsylvania handily. Could this be happening? Could the Bushies be on their way out? I won't be satisfied until Kerry crosses 270 EVs before saying yes. I'm avoiding any, um, optimism, shall we say because I'd rather not be disappointed. The signs are there, though. The stock market was down this morning. The Redskins lost on Sunday. But what about Missouri? They always pick the winner! Right now, they're leaning towards Bush. In some twisted way, I hope Bush actually does win Missouri, but loses the election. If only so that this whole nonsense of omens can be put to rest. Is the stock market omen more meaningful than Missouri? Shut up. After all, the Red Sox* just won the World Series. All bets are off.

*Red Sox are based in Boston, Mass. Kerry? Maybe?

I'm going home now.


Vote-tastic Jackson 

Catching a little TV over breakfast, I was disheartened to find that many voters in battleground states were still voting for Bush because of his "good leadership skills." Oy... Not that it's surprising at all. That is, after all, why they're swing states. At any rate, I thought that this meritted another viewing.

Can't wait to get home and watch The Daily Show for election coverage. Tom Brokaw and NBC will be the secondary.


NBA tips off tonight 

Sort of lost in the election craziness, the NBA returns. Lakers begin their unpredictable season against a Denver team that heavily improved over the off-season. The Nuggets are sure to contend for a top 4 spot in the west. While it's only the first game of the season, this is exactly the kind of game the Lakers need to find their bearings. Amidst all the word that this is now "Kobe's team," the Lakers are still in search of an identity that defines how Kobe's supporting cast will perform. I'm very concerned about their weakness in the middle at the power positions. Vlade Divac is already flirting with the injury bug (not to mention, ancient), Brian Grant is getting up in years (not to mention being undersized in the powerful west), and Chris Mihm is just plain inconsistent (not to mention a shadow of the player he was thought to be when he was drafted).

Its a three team race out east and a cluster fuck out west. Shaq going to Miami just splits the balance of power into about a half dozen teams.

The new Charlotte Bobcats will be incredibly bad. A record low 8-74 season is within reach. Not to mention my scorn. It wasn't but a couple years ago that Charlotte let the Hornets fly off and relocate in New Orleans. That they have another team after such a brief absence is a joke.

I see no reason to not put Detroit back in the finals. Miami is one injury away (be it Shaquille O'Neal or Dwayne Wade) from flopping. Heat will be a serious threat in a year or two. Until then, just another contender. If Minnesota is healthy, they'll meet the Pistons in the finals. Big "if," though what with Wally Szerbiack and Sam Cassell ailing last season. If Cassell was healthy in the playoffs, Minny could very easily have gone to the finals. Their main cause for concern, now, is the proverbial powder keg that is Latrell Sprewell who, stunningly, remained in check last season. If the T-Wolves have issues, San Antonio will vault them in a second.

Final standings prediction:

Eastern Conference

Atlantic (just a bunch of crap teams):
New York *
Boston *
New Jersey

Central (best in the East... great...):
Detroit *
Indiana *
Milwaukee *
Cleveland *

Southeast (one horse division):
Miami *
Orlando *

Western Conference

Northwest (poor Seattle):
Minnesota *
Denver *
Utah *

Southwest (yikes! toughest division may only get 2 in playoffs):
San Antonio *
Houston *
New Orleans

Pacific (interesting race up top):
Sacramento *
Lakers *
Phoenix *
Golden State

* = playoff team

Honestly, picking those last two playoff teams out West is impossible. I went with the Lakers and Suns, but how can you leave out Memphis and Dallas? Portland's going to be tough, too! I'm probably blinded by Lakers fan-dom, so they'll probably slip out, but I like Rudy T coaching that team a lot. Again, this team is a mystery now that Shaq is gone.

Sacramento is another team with an identity crisis and it'll be interesting to see if one of the best collections of talent in the league doesn't devour itself from within. There's already division between Chris Webber (the superstar who vanishes in the playoffs) and Peja Stojakovic (the league's best shooter and, perhaps, most important player on the team). If Peja isn't their leader, then Mike Bibby certainly is. Chris Webber: good for a triple-double on any given night, yet he's the 2nd most overrated "superstar" in the league (Vince Carter of lowly Toronto is 1st).

Dallas will no doubt have trouble at the point and continue to be soft in the middle. They already announced that rookie Devin Harris will be starting ahead of Jason Terry. Very surprising. Again, count me in the camp that is actively rooting against Dallas and their "get as many scorers as possible" philosophy; one that can only assure a flame-out in the playoffs -- if they even get there. I hate teams that are built for the regular season and not the post.

Memphis isn't surprising anyone anymore and it'll be interesting to see if there's a let down there.

Phoenix looked dynamite in the pre-season, but their defense will be tested heavily and they lack a strong center. Although Amare Stoudamire looks primed for a monster year.

Okay, game on. Go Lakers!


I voted 

I'm excellent, that way. If you're registered to vote, you should go be excellent, too. You wouldn't even be the only ones.

Just look at this. It's a good thing. We're on pace for a record turnout at the polls!

Oh, but then there's also this. It's a bad thing. Ugh... this bloody country, I swear... Is it too much to ask for a paper ballot? Honestly.

For what it's worth, here are the election blogs Yahoo! deems electo-bloga-readable.


Monday, November 01, 2004

I might be on TV... 

... looking like a jackass. If you've got access to Fox Sports Net, you might want to try catch "The Best Damn Sports Show" the next couple nights (probably tonight). My comic friend Trumbo -- who was deep into character as the best Ali G (there were several) -- and I (Risky Business) could very well be on there. Former NBA-er, John "Spider" Salley, interviewed us at the West Hollywood Halloween street fair last night. Nice guy. Pointed out that my abs aren't as flat as Tom Cruise's. As if I needed to be reminded. Thanks, John.

I'd also like to go on record as saying that, in terms of men's underwear, boxer-briefs are where's it's at. Really, I just got my first pair this past weekend for my Halloween costume (yeah, I wasn't about to buy briefs) and they're very comfortable. The support of briefs with the comfort of boxers. Genius! Why didn't I come to this realization earlier?

Sidenote. As I was searching for a good pair of underwear (my god, I can't believe I actually did that. I'm so middle-aged) I came across several packs that had stickers on them labeled, "slightly imperfect." Slightly imperfect? What the hell does that mean? Needless to say, I avoided those pairs.


Fakers lose, Brees looks like Marino, Pats streak ended 

The Fakers

I've been bashing the Minnesota Vikings and the Indianapolis Colts (as well as the Seattle Seahawks) pretty hard this season, so I take great pride in pointing out their losses yesterday. It's not even their fault that I have such animosity towards them. Rather, it's the fault of the so-called experts who think these teams are capable of winning the Superbowl. I sincerely think not.

Even though Randy Moss only played one half yesterday, Minnesota got absolutely pasted at home by a superior, underrated New York Giants team. The Giants are playing some great football and, despite being in New York, really don't seem to be getting their due. Let me tell you something, Tiki Barber is playing like an MVP and Kurt Warner isn't making mistakes at quarterback. Combine that with a strong defense and it might very well be the Giants who end up challenging the Eagles for the NFC crown. Minnesota, of course, had their defense further exposed as being flimsy and unable to stop the run. Culpepper slipped back into his bad habit of forcing mistakes and, unsurprisingly, the Vikings of this season look like the Vikings of last season. You know? The ones who collapsed at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis (high flying offense and all), got lit up for 45 points. Granted, they played Kansas City who is finally back on track with their explosive offense (they've scored 101 points in the last two weeks), but the point here is that Peyton Manning can throw 5 touchdowns -- as he did yesterday -- and the Colts can still lose. I love it. Defense wins championships.

Drew Brees
Part of my bitterness against paper-tigers stems from my frustration at watching the Oakland Raiders. Looks like they'll have to start preparing for next season after getting smashed by a hot San Diego team, 42-14. That's 5 straight losses for Oakland with no sign of righting the ship. Great. The thing about yesterday, though, is they made a much maligned quarterback (Drew Brees) look like Dan Marino in his prime. He completed 22-25 passes and had 5 touchdowns. Now, admittedly, Brees is having a career season and I'm happy for him because he's been shit on in San Diego for an awful lot that wasn't his fault, but he shouldn't be putting up numbers like that. Not when his best receiver is a tight end who didn't play college football.

Streak Snapped
So it finally ended for New England. 21 consecutive victories came to an end against a really really good Pittsburgh team. I don't know that Corey Dillon's absence affected the outcome that much because the Steelers looked very game. Thanks to a scheduling quirk, they get to play another unbeaten (the lone one this year) in Philly next week. If the Steelers win that, you can bet their bandwagon will get pretty full. All this on the arm of rookie QB sensation Ben Roethlisberger. For the record, the Patriots' accomplishments are far more impressive than the '72 Dolphins who are the only team to have an undefeated single season. The league is much much tougher now and both teams came out with a Superbowl. Pats also had a longer streak.

One last thing
Mentioned it in the post below, but Green Bay beating Washington is a good thing. Whether you believe in that sort of garbage/omen or not, vote Kerry.


Fahrenheit PPV on election eve 

Tomorrow, of course, the fate of the nation's next four years will be determined. In an effort to get the vote out, Michael Moore has managed to land a one night only screening of his "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Airing a fiercely partisan pic the night before a hotly contested election is sure to raise some eyebrows, but execs from both companies played it as a solely business-related move.

Well, I can't imagine it'll sway many voters at this point (if you're still undecided, then you're utterly hopeless), but I appreciate the effort being made as a last second push. The fact that there's even any question as to who will win tomorrow's election (let alone how tight the race is) is enough for me to be incredibly nervous and pessimistic. So whether it be "Fahrenheit 9/11" airing tonight or the Washington Redskins losing yesterday to the Green Bay Packers (Legend says that when the Skins lose on the Sunday before election day, the incumbent party loses... I know, I think it's dumb, too.), every effort is appreciated. I can't stand that people would blindly follow empty rhetoric and ignore the abomination that is Bush's record in White House. Pisses me off something awful. Phrases like "tough on terrorism" are virtually meaningless, especially considering that this Osama Bin Laden fellow is still running wild and releasing videos to the media, yet Bush continues to ignore Osama's presence just as he has for the past two years. I even heard some Bush supporters on NPR the other day arguing that people should vote for W. because "it isn't smart to change horses in mid-stream." What is this?! Fucking "Wag the Dog?!" Idiots.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?