Monday, August 29, 2005

Oh, Friendster Whores, you so crazy 

We're all familiar with "friend" sites like Friendster and Myspace, yes? Basically, you join these sites and create a profile detailing the middling curiosities about yourself. You can add your "real life" friends to your friend circle (as most people do), but some have been known to meet - gasp! - new people on these sites. **NOTE: Don't ever ask "why?" Simply accept that some things "just are."** There are message centers for each profile and you can randomly (and creepily) drop in on a guy/girl from out the blue and say, "Hey (scratch balls), your pics are really cute. We should meet up for drinks some time. You know... if you like what you see."
Probably 80% of the time, it's the girls' inboxes that are perpetually bombarded (You may choose to either ignore or embrace the unintentional double-meaning of that last sentence. This choice, I grant thee) by random guys. The percentage is likely higher than that. Point is, there is more guy-approaches-girl occurring that girl-approaches-guy -- just as in our day-to-day lives. SO, with this knowledge, a guy such as myself can't help but become suspicious when an attractive girl begins flirting with him all of a sudden. After all, how often do I get approached? We'll say, "Less than often." Just so you're all aware, I have absolutely no qualms about listing the email addresses here-in because, well, they're effectively spam. I now give you the reason for my skepticism.

hi Alan
Message: Hey there Alan, I was looking around on friendster and saw you and it looked like we might hit it off pretty well so I decided to see what might happen if I wrote to you. According to friendster we are pretty close to each other, so I figured I would give it a shot. I'm a little shy and new to here so I am not quite sure how to begin. I just kinda wanted to wink your way and tell you I liked what I saw. I moved here for work and thats about all I have done since I got here, which makes it hard for me to get out and meet people and I really wouldnt even know where to go anyway, so I figured I would give this a shot. I hope you dont mind me writing you out of the blue, but I am just dying to get out and have some fun. Things are finally slowing down and I am getting more and more down time everyday, I just need someone to spend that time with, interested?? I hope so!! If your ready for me than write me back at my email and we can see where we can take this, it is caringfun232@hotmail.com Well, I have probably said enough already and talked my head off!! I will wait to see if you get back to me to let you know a little more about me.

Dudes! She's winking at me! Seems nice enough, right? Girl-next-door-type just moved to the big bad city and needs someone to interact with and be comforted by. Oh by the way, her profile name wasn't "Cindy," as listed in the message. It was "Naughty." Also, I received a distinctly similar message six weeks earlier.

What's up Alan?
Message: Hey there, just browsing around trying to meet some people from around here. I just moved to Philadelphia a few weeks back and I hardly know anyone. I figured I'd give friendster a shot and see if I have any luck. I'll keep this short until I know you're interested. Just looking for someone to hang out and have a good time with....not looking for anything serious. I RARELY get a chance to check this account on friendster so if you want to chat hit me up at erinsfriendster@hotmail.com and I'll send you some more pics. Talk to ya soon hopefully.

Erin is a bit more concise than Cindy and even throws in a bit of specificity (she's in Philadelphia) in an attempt to legitimize her claim of new girl, big city, you're cute. However, "I'll send you some more pics" just screams porn. You know what Cindy and Erin have in common? Neither of the profiles remain on Friendster. In fact, they seem to have been removed within hours of their sending their respective messages.

The overwhelming evidence in front of me, I decide it would be funny to reply to one of these pay-to-fuck-me scams just to see what the response would be. So I email the former. Here is their delicious reply:
Hey Alan, thanks for getting in touch! I am struggling a little today but am REALLY glad I took today off work! :-) A bit about me....I'm a LA woman through and through, I like my job and love this town, it just has so much to offer. I definitely want to meet up with you soon if you're down! According to friendster, I live close by so we could really meet whenever you want. GREAT NEWS (if you're a baseball fan) my boss gave me 2 tickets to the Dodgers/Giants game... Care to come with me???

I posted A LOT more pics (as I said I'd give you!) on my newest personal,
some are topless but NOT bottomless, but they're at http://www.unravelmylove.com/erin2005 My profile is listed in that site under "BackSideBabe". I wanted to post my personal info (i.e. phone # and my
personal email address) there for 3 real simple reasons.
2) I never have to worry about being contacted by children since only
adults are allowed in the site.
3) I know all the replies I receive are genuine.
I've met 3 people off of this site, and it's truly made me feel safe. I had
a nightmare of an experience in the past that I don't want to happen again.
Thats all I've got to say right now, let's just plan on meeting soon! Cause you know what that means... ;)

Give me a call!

***The following is a requirement of this website: "If you are offended
adult material or are not of legal age to view such material, or if you
simply would not like to hear from any members from this website,
this link to be removed:" http://www.unravelmylove.com/subscription.php

"Cause you know what that means... ;)" Dudes!! She totally wants to do me!
I really shouldn't have to spell this out any further. I mean, wow... this is the greatest thing ever. If any of you are down, BackSideBabe wants to take you to a Dodgers game and then bone nasty. Don't be hesitant, man. Everything's cool. I meet all my lovers on unravelmylove.com. Actually, I'm curious to know what her "nightmare experience" was like. I imagine she spammed the wrong man. It would be wrong to get mad at these harlets, ladies and gents. They are here purely for our amusement. They deserve many thanks.


Friday, August 26, 2005


The ID photos for the new cast look horrible. Everyone looks either stoned or like they just farted and are only now smelling their farts.

Here! Put some meat on your head!


Hey, weekend! Hurry the hell up and get here! 

This week has bored me to bits. I'm dying here. Dying, people! HELP! Thank the lord I'll be out of this dank hole in a few minutes and then off to tonight's Dodger game versus Houston. I was hoping to see Roger Clemens pitch, but alas, he throws on Sunday. Should be fun times, though, even if the Dodgers are lousy this season because they have 4,203 injuries on their roster.

Also psyched for this weekend's big Tri-Nations rugby match between South Africa and New Zealand. If SA wins they capture the Tri-Nations title for the second year in a row. It would be a momentous victory. I'll have to check the listings on Fox Soccer Channel to see what time the game starts. Probably something like 3 a.m.


Trouble in Paradise City 

I admit it: I'm only posting this because I'm so in love with the title I came up with for it. It's got such a bad 80s tagline quality to it! Yes! Anyway, the issue is the licensing rights for one of the greatest bands of all time: Guns N' Roses. It seems like the only alternative end result than drug overdose in the life of rockstar are licensing disputes. In the court of public opinion, Axl hopped on the looney ship long ago and this lawsuit is further proof of that. Even in terms of music, his former bandmates have left him in the dust (Velvet Revolver was pretty solid until they almost instantly dissolved). Ever listen to any G N'R from this past decade? Ugh, it's terrible.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's all just so damn funny, isn't it? 

The Florida Marlins suspended their bat-boy for six games because he hurled on the field after accepting a bet that he couldn't drink a gallon of milk in under an hour without chundering. If this isn't baseball's story of the year, it certainly is the funniest. This brief write-up encapsulates almost everything that is whacked out about the national past time. I love that the kid was dared by a major league pitcher, who was such a tight ass about the time-frame that he wouldn't part with a measly (to him) $500. Hell, why not bet the kid he can't pass a steroids test after juicing up? He'd only be suspended four more games! Priorities, people.

Anyway, got a lot of time on my hands at work, right now. What better way to kill them than by surfing the internet for web-comics? One of my faves, a softer world, linked to a strip that is rather hit and miss. But when it hits, it's fantabulous! Here's White Ninja.

And here.

More Ninja.

I'd link a few more selections, but you get the idea. Oh, here, have another.


What's the deal with airline peanuts? 

I'm sure that everyone has noted the nation's recent obsession with childhood obesity. Sure, we've been aware of it, but lately there's been a massive flare-up. Yesterday, driving home from work, I glimpsed what is now my current favorite billboard. On it is a pediatrition (one would assume) with an aloof, yet concerned look on her face. Next to her, a caption:

"Childhood Obesity, don't take it lightly."

Between the woman's frumpy look and the word play, I don't know - it tickles me. Greatly.

I think it's impossible for any use of the Kool-Aid Man not to be funny. Love that Perry Bible Fellowship.

I don't know why I've yet to mention the following here, but a couple weeks ago I attended a party. It was fun, 70s-themed -- more accurately, Three's Company-themed. But the highlight of the night, in my mind, was the valet service hired by the hosts. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the best thing ever: Valet of the Dolls. How's that for best pun ever? Throwing a party in a neighborhood where street parking is atrocious? Hire these ladies. Attractive women parking cars. I tell you what... it's brilliant. Sometimes I feel so lucky to live in Los Angeles.


Another lawsuit 

Fox Targeted In Reality Suit

By Jim Benson & John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/24/2005 1:45:00 PM

The WGA has filed a second class-action lawsuit over reality TV working conditions, this time against Fox and Rocket Science, with a third lawsuit in the works.

The guild helped a group of writers file a suit last month against ABC, NBC, The WB and TBS for shows including The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Are You Hot? and The Real Gilligan's Island.

Plaintiffs in the new suit against Fox worked for Trading Spouses; Joe Millionaire; The Next Joe Millionaire; My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé; Renovate My Family; Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay; and Married by America.

While the reality shows are unscripted, the writers create and suggest dialogue and situations to goose the entertainment factor and put some words in those "unscripted" mouths.

The new suit alleges that writers were "instructed to falsify timecards, as well as subjected to violations of overtime laws and 15-hour days with no meal periods."

"It's time for Fox and the other major broadcasting companies to step out in the light of day and end these injustices," said WGAw President Daniel Petrie Jr in a statement. "In this case, Fox was in direct creative control of these series and used Rocket Science Laboratories, Inc. as a vehicle for the systemic violations of wage and hour law.

The WGA is planning to file a series of lawsuits, with a third now in the works.

Union officials say they have been "met with silence" so far from the networks and studios since filing the first suit.

The WGA's ultimate goal is to organize all editors and producers on reality shows, says David Young, the guild's director of organizing.

The class action suit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of writers and editors who worked on seven Fox "reality" series over the past three years. There are 10 plaintiffs named who will serve as class representatives.

"They work under other job descriptions. No one is called a writer in reality TV to serve the illusion that it is just spontaneously happening," Petrie said at a Los Angeles press conference Wednesday, attended by more than 30 other writers who allege they were abused at the hands of "reality" producers.

"Whether [the writing] is done in advance, in some cases a 100-page 'outline,' which I would call a script, or after the fact in a paper cut, which I would also call a script, or by editors who are writing using raw footage rather than pencil and paper, these storytellers in television do exactly what I do as a storyteller in film," Petrie says.

"But there is a basic difference. These storytellers do their work without the basic protection of a union contract."

The suit is based on the concept of "joint employment," which under California law provides that any company that has direct or indirect control of the wages and working conditions is an employer and legally responsible for labor law violations, according to WGA legal counsel Tony Segall.

"In this case, the evidence of a joint employer relationship between Fox and Rocket Science is particularly compelling," Segall says. "Although television networks generally and historically like to avoid being characterized as employers--they frequently take the position that they just buy product and broadcast it--the facts here (are) absolutely clear that Fox was involved in every aspect of production of these shows and is therefore, legally speaking, an employer."

The multiple labor law violations, the WGA asserts, all stem from the plaintiffs working virtually unlimited hours-night and day-without any overtime compensation or appropriate meal periods.

"From show to show, the practice was pretty consistent," says Segall, who says the total damages will be "substantial" once the WGA can verify pay stubs of the litigants.

One of the plaintiffs at the press conference, Lowell Goodman, who worked on Trading Spaces, says he was told the production schedule was extremely tight, which often led to 12 hour-plus days to produce the show. "Lunch breaks were a rare treat."

He also charged that staffers were frequently required by supervisors to work six and seven days per week, "often into the wee hours of the night," and that a show deal memo noted six-day work weeks and that a missed day (even holidays) would not be compensated.

Additionally, he says, workers were instructed to fill out weekly time cards based on a template created by Rocket Science, with specific start times, meal breaks and finishing times, "even though none of these times corresponded to the actual hours worked."

A Fox spokesman says the network had not yet seen the suit, which was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, but notes the company does not comment on pending litigation.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Indulge me 

Can't stop thinking about: The last 15 minutes of the series finale of Six Feet Under. I thought it was terribly powerful and probably the best possible "curtain call" that show could've devised for it's characters. It shook me pretty hard.

Can't stop playing with: This bikini-clad woman and her free fall through the sky, interrupted periodically by large atoms. Hat tip to Berto for pointing this out on his site a while back. Speaking of which, I want an update, buddy.

Turned down: A job offer. I received one today from out of nowhere. Would've been a promotion and outside of the company - which means more money, naturally. Why didn't I take it? The gig only lasts eleven days. Deal-breaker. My current job is set to run through April.

Overheard at lunch: Stunning ignorance. Eating with people older than myself. I'd like to think they're folks of intelligence. One is regailing the group about his recent trip around the world. He notes that the most fun he had was in Pamplona during the Running of the Bulls. One guy asks the storyteller, "What is that? Is that like their big thing?" My eyes are pretty wide at this point, but the storyteller calmly confirms. Then, a woman asks, "What country is that?" Cue loud sigh from my end of the table. My goodness, people. Incidentally, the woman asking what country Pamplona is in also had never heard of Nelson Mandela until about two weeks ago. Mind-blowing. And my God my co-worker's face still looks like a freaking handbag! Must... Not... Ridicule...


Maradona admits there is no God! 

If we could turn back time, eh? Maradona admits that perhaps the most famous goal in the history of soccer - clearly seen as a hand-ball - was, in fact, a hand-ball! This is like the Soviets coming out and saying that they shouldn't have been awarded a do-over in the basketball gold medal game at the '72 Olympics! Like Jack Ruby saying, "Hey, shooting Lee Harvey Oswald was probably a mistake. Here's who killed JFK." Well, maybe not that momentus. But still, a confession of cheating

I've never been a fan of the Argentinians on the pitch. They always play dirty. And they're fond of cheating.



I came back to work yesterday to find that one of my co-workers - the one I work closest with, in fact - got far far far too much sun while on break. This is beyond sunburn, although she claims she never burned. No, this is something else comletely. Her face is as rubbery as leather. Kinda like this guy. As much as I want to call her George Hamilton to her face, I know she is already way too self-conscious about her image (she's stupid like that - and my God, she never shuts up). Anyway, I can't make eye-contact with her for more than five seconds before I have to either look away in disgust or choke back laughter. Does that make me an asshole? Not really. I mean, how do you tell someone their face looks like a handbag? Worse, how do you refrain?!

I want to go to bed.

And I want my fucking car back. What kind of fucking idiot doesn't realize that the beeping sound their car makes when they lock the doors with their remote control alarm key is a car alarm? That's not a rhetorical question. Sadly, I have found someone that stupid.


Stupid world being all stupid 

I hate this. "Hey, we're a made-up nationality. We out-number you by a gazillion. We have scores of countries dedicated to our faith. You have one. Let's say that our side represents a football field while yours is only a packet of matches. Tell you what, you give us half your packet of matches and there'll be peace. How isn't that fair?"

Sort of surprised at the seriousness of this, though now I wish Britney Spears were from Turkmenistan.

Constitution or not, the army has already said they plan on being in Iraq for another four years. Why? What's compelling about being in that shit hole?


Monday, August 22, 2005

I've been at work for a little more than 30 minutes 

... and already I want to leave.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is really funny. Consistently funny, even. Surprisingly sincere romance, too. I saw the trailer and thought for sure that the last half hour would be total shlock, but I was wrong. Really entertaining stuff. I recommend it greatly.

Hustle and Flow is decent. Terrence Howard turns in a very strong performance. My reaction to this movie, however, is tempered with one of the worst movie-going experiences of my life. This was in Phoenix with Brent. Here's his re-telling of the debacle:

So Alan and I are chillin' after dinner at his parents' place, trying to decide what to do with the rest of our evening. We are in the least conveniently located place in all of metro Phoenix, located an hour away from anything. So, we check the movie times, decide on Hustle and Flow and scramble over to the theater to enjoy the pictures.

Sitting in our row is a 16-year old (maybe) girl. She's yammering on her cell phone as the movie starts, finally gets off the thing and a guy strolls in. They start chatting it up for about five minutes, and as I'm about to get up to ask them to be quiet, the guy leaves and never comes back. 20 minutes later, another 16ish-year old girl walks in and they start talking like it's their living room. Eventually, one of them gets up, presumably to go to the bathroom, and as she walks by on the way back to her seat, I stop her and say:

Brent (politely): Excuse me, could you please stop talking, your disturbing my friend and me, and we're trying to watch the movie.

Girl: ...

B: Okay?

Girl (at a normal volume): Well I wasn't even talking.

B (staring at girl): ...

G (staring back): ...

And then she went back to her seat. And continued yammering on. A few minutes later, I notice they're whispering and looking over at me. I look back, one of the girls is giving me an awkward staredown, so I walk over to try to deal with the situation.

B (quietly, but stern): I don't know if you've ever been to a movie theater before, but talking during the movie is very rude. You're disturbing the people in the theater.

G (yelling): Oh my god! I wasn't even talking!

B: Yeah, you were.

G (still yelling): What, so your angry because we're laughing and talking about the movie?

B: Laughing? No. Talking? Yes, this isn't your living room. Please be quiet.

G (defiant and still yelling): I wasn't talking! See? Now you're disturbing everyone in the theater.

B: Look, just stop talking.

G: Or what?

B: Or I'm going to have somebody ask you to leave.

G: Are you done?

B: It depends on whether or not you're done talking.

G: Just go back to your seat. Move four seats down if we bother you so much.

B: No, you see, it's you who needs to respect the fact that you're bother us.

G: Just go back to your seat.

There's about a 60-second staredown and I move back to my seat. To my surprise, they shut up. For about 15 minutes, that is. Until three 14-year old boys sneak in to the theater (this is probably an hour into the movie).

The girl who was not throwing a shitfit gets up to go to the bathroom and one of the 14-year olds turns to me and says, "She looks good, huh?"

I laugh and say, "She's a little young for me, pal."

She comes back and the boy and his friend go over and start hitting on the girls...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOVIE.

Evidently, Alan overheard one of them saying "You want me to beat him up," which is funny, because this is a 14-year boy we're talking about. He's 120 lbs. soaking wet with a brick in his back pocket, and he's trying to impress a girl by (idly) offering to fight me (and, by extension, Alan).

During this whole ordeal, I'm faced with the dilemma of telling a manager to have them kicked out or just tolerating it until the movie is over. The problem with telling a manager is that I'd have to spend 5 or 10 minutes finding one and explaining the situation. Then, the manager would have to come into the theater and kick them out. From my experience in trying to get them to shut up, I can only imagine what kind of scene that would have been in the middle of the movie. I'm thinking it would have cost me about 20 minutes of the movie before I could sit back down and watch the rest of it.

So, Alan and I just suffered in silence. I desperately wanted the movie to end, not because it was a bad movie, but because I wanted to get out of that environment.

In the end, we told out horror story to a manager and got free movie passes. I'm starting to think that this behavior in a movie theater should be punishable by death.

Like Brent, I also couldn't wait to be out of there. That's not a slight on the film at all.

Finally, leave it to a team that I support to blow two out of three against the worst team in baseball. Kansas City had lost 19 in a row before beating the A's twice. Twice?! Of course, no sooner do I start trumpeting Oakland then they go into a tailspin. Still atop the AL wildcard, but looking lousy doing it at the moment.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Mario Twins 

Well, going to the beach didn't happen because... well... because it's impossible to get my car out of the driveway. For at least a few days. Sweet deal, right?! People are idiots. So I turn to one of my new rays of sunshine: Mario Twins. They look so much goddamn like the same person.



In the house. Returned from Vegas yesterday simulataneously better for the time away and worse for wear. Basically, I needed break like nobody's business, though we probably spent a day too long there and I paid for it. Literally. Aside from blackjack, the gambling was unkind to me. The sportsbook was definitely the most irritating. I'm sure I've said before that betting on baseball is a crapshoot, but there's something about Las Vegas that makes you toss your better judgement into the wind. It's like a contact high. You step into a casino and BOOM! You're buzzed. Anyway, I knew I should've taken the sure thing in my parlay by picking Atlanta and Tim Hudson to beat the minor league Dodgers rather than risk it with Houston (even though Roy Oswalt was pitching and they were at home) against flame-throwing Carlos Zambrano and the stupid Cubs. That one burned me up. And after the first two days, I didn't have either the stones nor the pockets to step up to the craps table again. Some of you know Brent. He finished over two grand ahead. The craps tables were generous to him.

But again, a fun trip. Saw Blue Man Group which defies description. Anyone who has seen it can understand where I'm coming from. Basically, it's a show of whimsy. Intelligent whimsy. Whimsy with a good beat. Like nothing I've ever seen before and completely original. Production value like crazy bananas, too. Unfortunately, this coincided with my one night of actual drinking which, oddly enough, took place in the afternoon where I had sat down to some 2-4 poker and buddied up with a couple of 21 year-olds, one of which had never been to Vegas before. They couldn't get over the fact that cocktail waitresses would bring you any drink you wanted and you only had to tip a dollar. So... Jaegger shots it was. By the time Blue Man had ended that night, I had a splitting headache and certainly felt queezy. Rolled into the gift shop at New York New York, where we were staying (they have a lousy pool area, by the way, and perhaps the most pathetic sports book on the strip, bit top notch most everywhere else), at about 1 a.m. and the girl behind the counter greeted us with a "good morning." Needless to say, that completely messed me up. In Vegas you're constantly over-tired and if you're not then you didn't do Vegas correctly. The queeziness unfortunately soured a nice steak dinner over at Luxor Steakhouse, which, by all accounts, wasn't that special. Certainly nowhere near the level of Morton's.

And true to the last few trips I've taken out of LA, I meet someone on my last night in town who is also leaving for the other side of the country the next day. And that person will like me back and they'll actually ask me for a phone number or email address and we'll both regret not having met each other earlier. This is three times in a row this has happened. Some one is playing a joke on me. Clearly, I should be living in New York.

Alas, these last two weeks have zoomed by far too quickly. I trudge back into the salt mines on Monday. I'm less than excited about it. Work is work, though. I think I'll hit the beach today.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

This makes me want to punch everyone in the face 

Crap like this just makes my blood boil. I'm literally seething. Why? Well, it's a simple game of "I told you so." Giving up Gaza alone will not appease these Hamas fucks who continually reject any notion of uniformity with the PA. They're interested in two things: blood and the total destruction of Israel -- both of which I take personal issue with. But then, how dilluded is Abbas?
Speakers at Friday's event insisted all festivities marking the pullout would take place under the official Palestinian flag — a warning to Hamas over its plans for its own military-style celebrations. Abbas also claimed credit for the Gaza pullout, promising that the West Bank and Jerusalem would be next.

The West Bank and Jerusalem?! What a fucking pipedream. Odds are that Hamas would assassinate him anyway before either is ever mentioned again.
God, it makes me angry. If you're symapthetic to the other side and their "refugees" (my fucking ass! You don't repeatedly try to invade a country and then when you're unsuccessful, whine that life is unfair!) then you're out of touch and I honestly don't think I could repsect you as a person. Yes, I understand they're not all the same, but with respect to those in power, yes they are. Again, the militants (And don't fucking kid yourself, they're the ones who have always been in charge) won't stop until Israel is destroyed. How the fuck can you support that?!


Friday, August 12, 2005

Read it if you want. 

My dad turned 60 on Wednesday. It's a weird age. Not just for him, but for the whole family (you know... now that we're all 60). It's the first time the notion of him being "old" has ever crossed my mind. But seeing him when he picked me up from the airport, I was reminded that it's merely a state of mind. Strange happening: that Wednesday night, the local WB affiliate reruns The Simpsons episode featuring Krusty the Klown and his estranged father (voiced by Jackie Mason -- my dad's favorite comic). Coincidence? Yes. It definitely is. I still couldn't help but note it as being a little timely. Anyway, originally I didn't plan on coming to Phoenix at all. But as the 10th closed in, I realized that I wouldn't be able to bear the guilt of voluntarily missing my dad's 60th; especially given that I'm on hiatus. Now that I'm here, however, I feel a great deal more relaxed than if I were to have stayed in LA. Evidently, I desperately needed the change of scenery and a break from the rat race. On Sunday morning, I'll be riding up with a couple friends to Vegas for a few days, as I'm sure I've noted before. If these few days in Phoenix are my shutdown/detox/downtime/relaxation days, then surely Vegas will represent the opposite end of the unwinding spectrum. Only two things that are bad about that upcoming bender:
1. It's not football season.
2. It's not basketball season.
This unfortunately means light action (if any at all) for me at the sports book. Betting on baseball is such a crap-shoot. Very rarely can you spot a sure thing. But gamble I will. In addition to blackjack, I'm figuring on some poker. In fact, I'm totally geared up for it. Call me "Poker (alternately, "Poke-Her") Milliondollars." If I'm feeling generous, some craps, but craps scares me. Before you know it, you're $500 in the hole and only three minutes have passed.

Do I want to go back to Los Angeles? Obviously, I will. We'll see after next Thursday how much damage my vacation has done to my bank account. At least I'll be flying. The flight from Burbank to Phoenix was not without it's lighter moments. Boarding the plane, there was a guy in line who just could not stop farting. Later, while the stewardess was going through her pre-flight ritual on how to buckle your seatbelt (If you can't figure this out, you're retarded. Also, I know "flight attendant" is considered more appropriate, but I don't like it. "Stewardess" has more character, sounds less robotic. Also, bite me) she inserts this little gem when the portion about safety masks comes up:

Stewardess: If you're traveling with a small child... I'm sorry.

Who is this woman?! I'll tell you who: she's a woman after my own heart. It's unfortunate that her work schedule prevents her from ever staying in one city for an extended amount of time. Alas, I'm sure there will be others. But others that funny? And with stones like that? Not likely.

The rest of this is probably going to border on rambling, but I'm not too worried about it. This week I was subjected to the final 20 minutes of I want to be a Hilton -- the latest in tasteless, amoral bullshit. Basically, the contestants of this reality show strive to become social climbing windbags, as vapid as the show's namesake and just as classless. Here's the lesson taken from this show: You're only worth a damn if you're rich. You don't need an education, you don't need to be cultured, you don't need to worry about life outside your New York penthouse apartment. I don't know how it's ratings were, but I sincerely hope they were miserable. Who wants to be like Paris Hilton? Here's the answer: No one worth talking to. If you find the elitism in that last sentence hypocritical, good for you. Hopefully you can see the bigger issue. We're a country of ego-driven social parasites all striving to claw and whine and sleep our way up to the top while stepping on all the lesser folk around us. We're a country of Paris Hiltons, of Terrell Owenses, of wannabe rockstars who are dying to replace Michael Hutchins in INXS.

What's funny is that in spite of that, this is still the best country in the world. The possibility here is limitless and you can create a life far better than any other nation could possibly foster. That is simply the truth. I'm reminded of it every day. Hell, I've experienced it first-hand. I really should return some of those emails the relatives keep sending. Lazy ass, that I am.

I don't how this post managed to take a preachy nose-dive, but there it is. I'm glad I'm at home for a couple days... even if it is a fucking wasteland retirement community out here. I think I really needed it. Later, they're gonna give Daddy the "Rainman Suite," baby. You know, 'cause I'm going to be looking like the money - like the bomb. With these fucking bear claws and these fucking fangs.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tied for 1st place, bitch! 

With the rubber match against those bastard Angels to come this afternoon. Man, the A's ended May 12 1/2 games out of first place. Now they're level at the top. For anyone who doesn't know: that's incredible. It seems that Oakland was able to shake off the horrid outing on Tuesday night.

It's been a long time since I've posted and I promise a real update later sometime. I know all four of you are excited.


Friday, August 05, 2005

What's on tap for the next two weeks? 

Well, I'll be sleeping in and spending full afternoons on the couch in my underwear scratching myself and burpring a furious storm while watching reruns of The Golden Girls on Lifetime.

Ahem... or something like that. Probably not like that at all. Vegas will be happening, though, and that will be a sweet sweet release.

Today is my last day of work before this hiatus begins. It also happens to be my boss' birthday. Here is what is slated for the day:
- Show up, eat cake, have celebratory birthday celebrations of a celebratory nature.
- Goof off for a couple hours, signing up co-workers for various spam alerts and the like. Side note: I received spam today about mortgage rates from, "Refugio Young." Best. Name. Ever.
- Then its off to some fancy steakhouse (the name of which, I forget -- great details, right?) at noon for what promises to be some excellent dining. Our boss - the birthday girl (lady) - insists on paying. She's loaded.
- After that, it's off to the movies to see Hustle and Flow. With the boss, no less.

So. How's your day at work?

Once more: Refugio Young. Wow.


Didn't they see Deep Blue Sea?!? 

They just cloned a dog in Korea this week. Now, Australia seeks to breed test-tube sharks. Listen, if Saffron Burrows, Samuel Jackson, Thomas Jane, and LL Cool J have taught me anything it's this: As a side effect, the sharks will get smarter... then they'll eat the shit out of you! They say, "The gray nurse shark is the labrador of the sea due to it's docile nature." Dude, it'll kill you on sight! How hardcore are these sharks? The young eat each other... while still in the womb! Yo! Forget abortions. What if you were a twin, but had to kill your twin sibling while still in the womb if you wanted to be born at all? That'd make you a pretty dangerous motherfucker. Oh, you for real, dog.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Glory be! 

One of my favorite hockey players is coming to Los Angeles. I love it. Roenick is 35, yes, but the guy still plays at All-Star caliber. This move coupled with the signing on Tuesday of Slovakian super-scorer Pavel Demitra from the Blues have the Kings looking pretty sharp on offense. I'd love to see a line consisting of Roenick, Demitra, and Alexander Frolov. Now that's a power play.

Of course, Kings wouldn't have got Roenick if Philadelphia didn't just snatch up the best player in the game in Peter Forsberg. I like the moves the Flyers are making. They have acquired very formidable defensemen to patrol the blue line and Forsberg gives you a better chance to win the Stanley Cup than anybody else.

Also making big waves is Edmonton, which is fairly surprising. But yesterday they pulled the trigger on deals to acquire Chris Pronger and Michael Peca with out giving up a whole lot. Watch out for the Oilers.

The success of teams like the Kings, Flyers, and Oilers in this mad mad mad mad free agent frenzy (so far) obviously has to result in other teams suffering. Right now, the two taking on the most damage are St. Louis and Colorado.

I've said it before, but I've never seen or experienced anything quite like this free agent period. This truly is a new era in the NHL. Teams to keep an eye on in the coming weeks:
- Anaheim - Just signed Scott Niedermayer, now being run by Super General Manager, Brian Burke (formerly of Vancouver)
- Boston - Just nabbed Brian Leetch, in a good position financially to make more big moves
- Pittsburgh - Just signed Sergei Gonchar and how attractive is the opportunity to play with both Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby?


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bill Frist is enlightened 

And that makes him a bad person? This headline appeared on cnn.com after Frist proposed that more funding be invested in stem cell research, breaking ranks with the President on the issue: "Frist not invited to evangelical rally."


Anyone want to tell me how this is a bad thing? Not invited to an evangelical rally? That's like saying, "You're free to think and do whatever you like and we're giving you a billion dollars." Oh, and be sure to check out the results of the poll question on that CNN page asking, "Was Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist right to break with President Bush over funding for human embryonic stem cell research?" It's comforting (the people!) and discomforting (opposed by the administration!) at the same time.

Elsewhere is Fundamental Christian world, there's a watchdog group attacking Bible study in public schools. Makes sense to me. Separation of Church and State and all that good stuff. Then I read the article and it's revealed that the Bible study is an elective. Well, you know, I suppose that sounds okay.


What's this? This section that immediately follows the preceding statement. What's that say?

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said her group looked at the course after the Odessa school board voted in April to offer the class. It asked Southern Methodist University biblical scholar Mark A. Chancey to review the curriculum.

Chancey's review found that the course characterizes the Bible as inspired by God, that discussions of science are based on the biblical account of creation, that Jesus is referred to as fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, and that archaeological findings are erroneously used to support claims of the Bible's historical accuracy.

He said the course also suggests the Bible, instead of the Constitution, be considered the nation's founding document.

"No public school student should have to have a particular religious belief forced upon them," the Rev. Ragan Courtney, pastor of The Sanctuary, a Baptist congregation in Austin, said at a news conference held by Texas Freedom Network.

Unbelievable. The right can shove it (and I'm not even planted on the left!).


Will birth babies for brains 

I know. That was a really distasteful headline. But check this out. I actually gasped, "Holy shit," when I read this: Brain-dead woman gives birth. Amazing. What is most fascinating about this happening is that it's a human interest story that is actually interesting. Not to mention heart-wrenching.


Putting Shaq's millions to use? I don't know 

Shaq's $100m deal is still ginormous, but also a paycut (I know, it's hard to fathom). But instead of making $125m as before, O'Neal is taking less in the hopes that the Heat will be able to put more talent around him. No sooner does he sign his deal, then this mammoth trade occurs. My brain hurts just reading about this trade - the biggest in NBA history. 5 teams. 13 players.

The jist is that Miami got a lot more dangerous, adding Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, and James Posey. The only player of note they depart with is Eddie Jones who is going to Memphis.

There's no denying that the talent is there, but a couple things:

1. Antoine flamed out in Dallas because he was playing a supplemental role -- 3rd, 4th, 5th option -- much like he'll be expected to do in Miami where he'll be 3rd banana at best. His ego has no end. It remains to be seen whether he can adapt.

2. JWill has a predisposition to try and score. He has a reputation as being wreckless. JWill + Pat Riley bootcamp could equal fireworks (and not the good kind).

3. If the Heat don't resign Damon Jones, they lose the 3 point threat. Williams was a lousy 31% from 3 last year. I am not convinced that he is the right backcourt compliment to Wade.

Again, it looks good on the surface, but this is a big experiment and Miami may have blown up a contending team when they only needed to add one piece. We shall see. They're prohibitive favorites now (Shaq and Wade will do that for you), but until I see them gelling as a unit, I'm not ready just yet to hand them the Eastern Conference over Detroit and Indiana. Just so you know I'm not full of it, one of the NBA's best columnists/insiders backs me up. I've got a sneaking suspicion that this is all going to blow up in Shaq's, Riley's, and Miami's face. They got talented players, but they look like the wrong ones for the team.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Shaqalicious nets a $100,000,000 contract for 5 years with Miami. Is he worth it? 'Course! He's Shaq!

I don't think anyone here would question signing the most dominant player in the game to such a fat contract. But this is a five year deal. What about 2-3 years from now when Shaq's body starts slowing down? When he's playing 55-60 games a season? I'm not saying the Heat made a mistake - not at all. They're playing to win now and if that means getting burned on salary cap a couple years down the line, so be it. But still. Shaq isn't getting any better. In a couple years this deal could really hurt them.


Fun at the workplace 

You know how there are themed days of the week at an office? "Casual Fridays" or "I hate Mondays?" Well, I've come up with another one:

"Wife-beater Wednesdays"

The shirt of course. You know? Everyone can wear wife-beaters. It'll be great. I call official dibs on marketing this one.

Shifting gears, I was watching some TV last night and happened to turn on HBO Comedy right when The Godfather Part III began. Before I knew it, I was watching the whole thing. Haven't seen it since high school and it's not that bad, but there were some things I had forgotten since I was 17. For example, did you know George Hamilton is in this movie?! As the family lawyer, no less! That blows my fucking mind! And what's worse, I know it shouldn't. Because who cares about George Hamilton? That's right. Nobody.

After III, the channel magically turns to Lifetime because, damn it, the first episode of The Golden Girls spinoff, The Golden Palace is on... starring Don Cheadle! Cheadle circa 1992! Amazing! The sides of his head were completely shaved, he sported a pair of diamond earings, and flashed this outrageous tie that screamed, "gay." That was something.

Then after that, an episode of The Golden Girls comes on in which Blanche is falsely accused of having an affair with a local congressman. Eventually, the congressman confesses that not only did he not have an affair with Blanche (the thrust of the episode), but he also happened to...

Wait for it...

...be a woman! He had a sex change in 1968. This has nothing to do with anything! Awesome!

Lastly, A's beat the Twins 2-1 last night. We're on fire, bitches!


Monday, August 01, 2005

The End of the Road 

No, not Boyz II Men-style. Talking about the upcoming documentary that a couple friends are putting together. They just set out on the road this past weekend for 19 days of mayhem across this far-too-big country. Check out the trailer and keep up with their findings by reading their blog which will chronicle the chaos of the production and the woes of the road. I'm gonna! Best of luck guys.

Couple unrelated knick-knacks...

- Wedding Crashers has actually CLIMBED to #1 at the box office in it's third week of release. That's some serious staying power, right there and also a great big neon sign of how much the public wanted an enjoyable, funny, adult comedy. Hope Hollywood is paying attention.

- Anybody been watching Six Feet Under the last few weeks? 'Cause Nate is dead.


Around the horn and on the court 

Really quickly, just wanted to note that the Arizona Diamondbacks have caught San Diego for first place in the pathetic NL Worst (West, whatever). Both teams: Three games under .500. That is disgusting. That is embarrasing. Hell, San Diego can't buy a win lately. They're the coldest team in the majors... and they're still in first place!

But forget those loser teams. I want to brag about Oakland some more. A's remain the hottest team in baseball. We've only dropped three games since the All-Star break. Shazam! Hot! And now only are 1.5 games behind the Angels for first! Whoo! They're playing like the best, right now, but watch Joe Blanton lose tonight in Minnesota. He was, after all, on the mound for two of those three losses. No matter, though. A's will take at least 3 out of 4 against the Twins.

Joe Johnson is headed to the Atlanta Hawks... and happy about it? WTF? With Johnson leaving, Phoenix is reportedly in the hunt for Michael Finley who is soon-to-be released. In the short term, that'd be a great pick up. Having Finley, Boris Diaw, and newly acquired Raja Bell, as well as Jim Jackson could replace Johnson quite nicely. It'll be interesting. Plus they're getting future first round picks from the Hawks which is a gift.

Johnson, by the way, is an idiot. Professionally speaking, of course. I understand that Atlanta is closer to home, but this was a poor career choice. Robert Sarver said time and time again that he'd match any offer for Johnson, so it wasn't a question of getting the money. It's ego. Joe Johnson would rather be the star of one of the worst teams in the league than be a pivotal player for a championship contender. Tell me that it isn't about ego. ESPN columnist, Ray Ratto, sums up my position perfectly.

And it's too bad for the Suns because they really could have used JJ in the coming years. But if he doesn't want to be there, why stick with him? If anything, the positive for the Suns is that they won't have to worry about having four players (JJ along with Amare, Nash, and Marion) comprise $50 million in payroll. That is definitely a plus.

Finally, I'm fed up with all this Larry Brown hoopla in New York. I think Brown is losing friends and allies by the boat-load. The clear reason he left Detroit - and we all know how good Detroit is (read: Champions in '04, one game away from repeating this season)- is because there wasn't enough attention focused on him. That's what Joe Dumars implied and it is exactly what Detroit's team owner said. It is hard to imagine since Brown was constantly in the limelight there. Now he goes to the mess that is the Knicks after having screwed things up royally in the last couple months for Cleveland, Indiana, and Detroit; teasing all of them with interest in commanding positions at their organizations while derailing the focus of all of those clubs at the same time. And we all know how this movie ends, don't we? Larry Brown has had somewhere in the neighborhood of infinity coaching stints around the country, both in college and the NBA, and he never stays at one place for too long. The Knicks will only improve over the next 2-3 seasonswith a massive overhaul of the roster. He's really interested in sticking around for that? Great coach, but you can't count on him to be there. If the Pistons aren't good enough for him, how long before he gets tired of the Knicks?

It could be the challenge that drew him to New York. Sure. Forget for a second that he'll be paid $10 million a year (!!!!) and that New York is the epicenter of all media and that would sound pretty convincing. But if you're a Knick fan you must be having an incredibly hard time believing that Brown will see this thing through. In no way is it coincidental that the coach seeking more spotlight landed in New York. I think the move has as much to do with vanity as it does the challenge and it is no secret that the circus surrounding Brown the last several months is entirely self-perpetuated. There is no end in sight. Chalk another one up for the incomparable Isiah Thomas: the most self-destructive general manager in professional sports.


I laughed and laughed and laughed 

"What do you call the act?" The Aristocrats!

What is truly remarkable about this movie is that it leaves you with absolutely nothing to talk about. It's really all on the screen. This is due, probably, to the fact that it isn't really a movie. Hell, it barely feels like a documentary. I'd liken it more to an extended late night talk show skit. Only more vulgar and funnier. And I loved it! Go see it if you ever want anything to be funny in your life ever again. Those 90 minutes have fulfilled my search for comedy for the rest of the year.

Oh, and one of the trailers - completely out of tone for what we were about to see - is a movie I've been highly anticipating for some time. The kicker (for me, at any rate), is that it is co-written by perhaps the foremost expert on the subject of soccer hooliganism, Dougie Brimson. Color me excited. Having just read Bill Buford's "Among The Thugs" (which I recommend) definitely has me in the mood for this.


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