Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Atene Returns! 

What's that, you say? Good Day, Mr. Kubrick wasn't enough for you? Well, how about a little more from the man, himself. If you can get past the first minute and a half, it'll be worth it. There'll be no deflecting of ridicule here, Atene! We're still laughing at you. After all, you're no Michael Curtiz, director of The Seahawk.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Mo-wrong-go: How it all went wrong" 

That's the title of the Morongo adventure experienced this Friday past which was, all in all, pretty damn fun. Oh the lengths we'll go to see a dumb joke to the end. One night at Morongo feels like a full three-day weekend. And not even because it's that entertaining. It's because when you go there, you need to be high. This will erase all meaning of time for you.

As is to be expected, the crowd at a casino in the middle of the California Inland Empire is a... different one. You step onto the casino floor and you're struck with this ill feeling that you outclass everyone. It's an "ill" feeling because you've done nothing to better yourself and yet... There were precious few people under the age of 50 and seemingly everyone was either an Asian granny or trash. Who knew? The hotel/casino, itself, is a very nice facility. Our double suite had two bathrooms, one of which was broken at first. Fortunately, we brought some brownies with us. So in addition to getting tossed out of my tree of vodka and whiskey, I was high as a fucking kite all night. The worst (best?) was sitting down at the central bar on the casino floor which had tables decorated with glowing rocks. The pretty colors... the pretty bright colors... and then there's not-Lindsay Lohan sitting at the table next to us and I don't know... slkdjfldfnierun... FIVE DOLLARS?! Get outta here...

I'll say this, though. Blackjack dealers with curly blonde hair that look like Blythe Danner will love you, especially when you're asking for her to hit you with a 15 after being dealt a 6. She might ask you questions like, "What's that 'M' on your hand?" and you might completely ignore her, even though she keeps repeating the question, because you're so high, you can't fucking hear her. Only the next day, will you be told she was even talking to you. She like me, though. Know who won't like you? The blackjack dealer with the unpronouncable name who just wants to go home at 3 a.m. and end it all. You'll ask her over and over how to pronounce her name, but damn it, you can't understand Huizsen because, well, you're chasing that 13 after splitting three times. And you're high.

I woke the next morning in my terrycloth robe (you better believe I passed out in that thing) and the words running through me head were, "The regret... the goddamn regret..." But on the plus side, for the last couple days I've been kicking around the house in my Morongo slippers. Word.

Also, it's cold as shit at work today and, while I'm thinking of it, I caught the 1st season of The Wire last week. It's good stuff. One thing I found pretty ridiculous, though, was that just about every episode of the season -- at least 10/13 -- there was a threat to shut down the wire. "Oh no! They're going to shut down the wire! That's bullshit!" "Oh, wait, I talked 'em out of it. We've got three more weeks on the wire!" Seriously. Every episode. I hear rumors that season 2 has a B-storyline. That'd be nice.


Ultra-Madness: The Movie 

It exists. Oh man, does it exist. You may know it as the box office bomb, The Fountain. The first twenty minutes plays like some sort of fever dream, amazing to look at while completely bewildering. Eventually, the movie lands somewhat on it's feet and offers some semblance of a story, but it does such a... job at detatching you from anything resembling a care or a whim that by the time you actually begin to become invested in the two main characters, the movie is over.

Unless you've seen it (and virtually no one did), the rest of the post will be confusing as hell to you. Bare that in mind...

The mish-mash is pretty easy to make sense of by the time we're halfway into the film. Everything set in the "past" is fictional, everything in the "present" is real, and everything set in the "future" is for you to decide whether or not this is Hugh Jackman's finishing of the book or actual reality. At first, I just assumed that the closing sequence had to be a bookend to all the Inquisition Era Spain storyline -- as fictional as the book Weisz had written. But it could just as easily be seen as reality given the medical breakthrough Jackman discovered while operating on his baboons (yup...). Yet my first instinct was to assume that it was the former and I think the reason why is because I interpreted this film not as an ode to love, but as a way for dealing with loss. In that context, the ending simply has to be fictional.

At any rate, Aronofsky (whether you like it or not) has an almost pretanatural ability for creating the most depressing, dark, souless atmosphere in his films. The Fountain is no exception, even if it falls well short of being a satisfying viewing experience. I mean, nothing actually happens when it's all said and done. It is, in so many words, a long grieving period -- an exercise in loss. And to that end, you probably could do without it. Not bad, but not compelling either.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Casino Royale 


The first two acts are quite easily the best I've ever seen from the Bond franchise and have two of the best action set-pieces perhaps ever! There's a noticable drop off in act three as the direction and story begin to wander a bit off course, but not nearly enough to ruin the film (I was still riding the high of the first two hours). A tad on the long side and I believe that has everything to do with some of the dawdling in the last 30 minutes, but still undoubtedly one of the top three Bonds (along with Goldfinger and Goldeneye), if not the best.

Daniel Craig: Nails. Never has Bond been so icy cold and BADASS -- a quality no other actor had brought to the role previously.

Eva Green: I love her. I'm just going to put this out there and you can agree with me if you like (but no disagreeing, because you'd just be wrong): Hottest Bond Girl ever.


Thursday, November 16, 2006


He did it, he didn't do it, this is how he might've done it, he was blindfolded when I did, she did it... sigh. I can't even pretend to care. Forget it, America. Move on. You're only feeding the monster by keeping the spotlight on him. All I know is that the search for the "real" killer was as much a farce as the Bronco chase.

Orrenthal, I know you read this blog. I know you enjoy it with your morning coffee. But listen, you're a terrible person. Go away.


I don't know what day it is 

Wednesday? Thursday? It's Thursday, right? Whatever. This week is a blur and it still feels like it should be Friday.

- Today at work, we had free Quiznos for lunch... complete with a financial planning presentation from some reps at Ameriprise. The lengths some people will go to for free food, eh? It was a tasty turkey sandwich, though.

- Too many birthdays in November. And they're all conflicting. What's it all mean? Scheduling pain in the ass. I hate bailing on anyone's b-day, so I'm trying my best (perhaps in vain) to hit up all five over the next couple days. Ugh... man, it's not like I was busy at all last weekend. Damn birthday gods. Harumph.

- Bond, James Bond. Casino Royale is going to be freaking awesome. Damned if I know when I'll see it, though (why? see above).

- My grandpa will be 95 on Monday. That'll also be 19 years to the day that I left that shitbag country. Fuckin' A.

- Speaking of which, South Africa just legalized gay marriage. How progressive! Good for them! Now all they have to do is embrace the fact that HIV causes AIDS and that there's no known cure to AIDS, no matter how many virgins you rape. Socially progressive, but still lost on education. Baby steps.

- Just found out that I have only two days of work next week. That's so hot. Thanksgiving, I would kiss you if you meant anything to me. Maybe I'll take this time to see the new 007. It may be my first actual chance.

- Only 8 days 'til Morongo. Hello terrycloth robes and loose milfs.


Monday, November 13, 2006

It's my Star Wars 

That was Asa's phrase to accurately describe my feeling towards... this....

Simply put: I cannot help it. I am going to see this movie. I'm compelled to cast judgement aside (against all better judgement) and march bravely into the theater to sit there and watch this... thing... this horrible picture of a dear love morphed into an unwieldy, shameless, mega-jillion dollar joke. I don't even watch the show, anymore, save for the occasional episode here and there, because it has fallen so far from grace, so far in quality, it may as well be in the seventh level of hell. And yet, like a moth to the flame, like a lemming realizing his pre-destined fate, I am prepared to throw away $11, 90+ minutes, and give myself yet another reason to cling tenaciously to my Simpsons DVDs more than ever -- just to remember what it's like to love this show more than anything else the idiot box has produced.

Would it be unfair to compare Matt Groening to George Lucas? I don't think it's too big a stretch. In this moment, I finally, fully appreciate what all those pained Star Wars fanatics (the ones with good taste, anyway) have suffered through since '99.

Who knows? Maybe it'll be good. Maybe, just maybe, the movie will fly in the face of all the tripe that the show has flung at us for the past eight years (I only fell off the wagon about four years ago). All I can hope for is that my soul doesn't die a little when I do see it in July. I have always sneered at anyone who ever suggested that there should be a Simpsons movie or claimed that there would be one and because A) it's an episodic series -- there is simply nothing about the show that could ever feel cinematic and B) Groening himself decried it time and again. "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" is about as close as this series will ever get to "event status" and that was a parody. And yet, here we are, staring mediocrity dead in the face and cheering.



"There are a lot of ugly dudes up there" 

Is what I was thinking on Friday night when, at The Troubadour, the Wrens invited a bunch of concert-goers up on stage with them. It was mostly ugly dudes with a smattering of average-to-ugly females. Fortunately, I was with much softer, gentler, more attractive company. And for $9, you couldn't beat this show. Wrens wrule.


Friday, November 10, 2006

A content wreck 

Things are going well. Very well? Too well? We'll say "well." Well enough, anyway.


I think I'm going to see The Wrens tonight at the Troubador, which will be dope. Just saw that Sage Francis will be there on Sunday, too, though I don't know if I'll make it.

Lost is lost 'til February. Frees up Wednesdays quite nicely. Can't say I give two shits about it's replacement, Groundhog Diggs.

Yup... well... (affectionate sigh...)

Song of the day: "Don't Mug Yourself" by The Streets


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Okay, what I was saying below about work still needing to be done, etc. Well, uh, this is a pretty big step in the right direction.

Rummy out.


An unconvincing victory... 

But a victory, nonetheless. Far be it from me to take the wind out of Democrat sails (well, whatever, be it), but to echo what the pundits said last night in so many words, the Dems takeover of the House and the Senate (apparently... there'll no doubt be a recount in VA and Lieberman may yet jump party lines once again) was more a response to Iraq than a shift in idealogy. 2004 was an election of determined by "moral values," just as '06 is a one-issue election, too. Just look around you and you'll blatantly see that progress -- in the real sense -- hasn't necessarily been made. Take Montana, for example. It's pretty damn preposterous (broken ballot machine or not) that this race is even close. Republican incumbent Conrad Burns was squarely in the back pocket of notorious Jack Abramoff, is an out-and-out racist, and received virtually no support from the GOP. Yet they're still counting votes this morning??? Outrageous! That, in a nutshell, should be an indicator to everyone in blue that this is far from over. Partisan politics is stronger than it's ever been and that's just sad. Burns is a villain and yet that race isn't called yet. Disgusting.

And in California, big business tobacco and oil were big winners. How depressing. Again, CA has two blue cities (granted, they're LA and San Fran) amongst a sea of red ones.

However! This is a momentous election as it struck a blow for (gasp!) checks and balances. Every retard who ever said that this nation will be a facist regime in two years evidentally forgot how the system (sometimes) works. You can only bend and break the rules and ignore the public so long before they lash back at you. I hope the White House is choking on it, this morning.

Also, for the record, I was switching back and forth last night between CNN and MSNBC and eventually just stuck on the latter. Teaming Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman? I like it! Is nice.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's real! 

For the love of Dragonforce, if you live in LA and don't believe in global warming, just take a minute to step outside, right now. It's November!



Dragonforce rules.


I voted 

Don't believe me? I've got the sticker to prove it. So there! Eat it! Remember, CA people - No on 85, Yes on 86, Yes on 87, No on 90. Everything else, do as you like. Be a productive member of society, for a change.

Also, something that's really been pecking at me, lately: What exactly is Happy Feet? You know, the animated dancing penguin movie that's coming out soon? There's more to it, right? Right? Is it just a bunch of gay (so I'm lead to believe -- thank you, Robin Williams) penguins dancing on screen for 90 minutes? Really? Really? Sweet merciful crap!

P.S. - Diane Feinstein's Republican opposition is Dick Mountjoy. I'm not making that up. I've also never heard of him until reading his name in the ballot, this morning. He'll lose, but what a name!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Touch... Morongo... 

We can all agree that those Axe body spray commercials are pretty lame, yes? Lame to the point of absurd humor? Sure. Guy gets in an elevator, is then mauled by woman. Guy picks up his date, is mauled by her mother. And those ads aren't actually funny. That's why picking up some Axe body wash at Target yesterday is funny. How could I possibly resist a body soap labeled "Touch?" I picked up "Phoenix," too, just to mix things up. Also, spraying Axe body spray on eachother at the store is fun, by extension, making Target more fun.

Tower Records, for the record, deserves to be going out of business. They've been overpriced since the dawn of creation and the dvd section at the Sunset Blvd branch smelled like vomit. It was unpleasant.

Only 18 days 'til... Morongo...


Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Borat moviefilm 

No shocker here: it's brilliant. Go see it! Hilarious, yes, but you'll feel less and less proud to be an American, too. Yay!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Setting up shop 

Maybe you didn't see Lost last night and want to watch it later. Maybe I'm just going to blurt out, anyway, that Ecko went down. Good episode, but too bad. Favorite character and all. But hey, that almost certainly means he'll have anywhere between 4-6 cameos in future episodes, right? And because of that, as well as growing apathy for this page, I'm starting a sports blog, the first post of which can be found here.

This page will likely continue, but let's face it, sometimes I freak out with the details and this isn't the forum for it. Madness and lunacy stays here. Sports and lunacy goes there.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006



Okay, maybe the Lakers aren't championship material just yet, but holy freaking crap, last night convincing comeback win over Phoenix, without the services of Black Mamba or Kwame, is plenty of reason to get SUPER-excited about the season to come.

Lamar Odom (34p/13r/6a/3s) showed the form I'd been hoping he'd deliver. Looked like a bonafide superstar out there. But perhaps even more welcome is the apparent arrival of the 19-year-old, Andrew Bynum. 18 points and 9 boards in his first career start? Get outta here!

When you figure that Kobe and Kwame being inserted into the mix will only make this team a tougher proposition... oh my, there's a chance to do some special things in the '06-'07 season.

Now, last night's comprehensive win over vaunted Phoenix will mean nothing if the Lakers can't come back tonight and win at Golden State. This team is young, so focus needs to be a priority. Still, I'm savoring this win as much as I'm sure they are. One down, eighty one to go.

Phoenix, as least on the surface, looked to be at full strength and firing at midseason form in the first quarter. They looked downright scary. A closer examination, however, revealed that as the game went on, Amare Stoudemire slowed down -- telling me and the rest of the world that while he is still gifted physically, he needs a few games to regain his basketball playing shape. Also, when the Suns shooting went cold, their defense failed on every level. Like Charles Barkley said at halftime, if the Suns are really going to win the NBA title, they need to improve their D, because they can't shoot 70% from the floor every game.

And what of Chicago's 42-point blowout of Miami? Yipes! I didn't see the game, myself, but to me, it seems more like an idictment of the Heat than praise for the Bulls. Two things I'm not convinced of: 1) This year's Bulls are a serious contender for the Eastern Conference 2) San Antonio wasn't the best team in the NBA last year.

Anyway. Lakers! Maurice Evans and Vlad Radmanovic contributed to the cause last night, too. Infinitely better than Devean George and Medvedenko. The dead weight seems to be gone from this team. Seems to be.


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