Monday, December 18, 2006

Have you ever wondered...

Why muffin tops taste so much better then muffin stems? They both come from the same batter. Why does the bonnet stymie the flavor?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am bursting with Christmas Spirit. I really, truly am. Tree trimmed, several light strands strewn, bows abound, Bing bangin', etc. But if I could just squeeze in one more gripe before the end of the year....

Is there a worse Christmas carol than "Santa Baby?" I certainly can't think of one.

Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a '54 convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo

Santa baby, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
Been an angel all year
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa honey, one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie and fill my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean on a phone
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry ... tonight

Line by line, the song details everything that can be wrong with Christmas. A character study of a shallow, materialistic golddigger. It is kinda catchy though. The Eartha Kitt version anyway. I just hope Santa doesn't fall for it.

Who else is pumped for "Rocky Balboa?"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


We went to The Grove last night, which was lovely. Nicole bought a gift card for The Grove and it was at that moment that I witnessed one of the biggest rip-offs in the history of retail. Just when you thought nothing could top the 30% "convenience charge" brought to you by Ticketmaster, The Grove blows them out of the water....Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Gift Card Activation Fee!! (Fanfare, wild applause) That's right, it will now cost you an additional two dollars to "activate" the Grove Gift Card you might be buying. What, you ask, is so different about these gift cards that they require an activation when every other gift card in the country is either pre-activated or requires simply dialing an 800-number and entering a few digits? The answer, of course, is absolutely nothing! The brilliant folks at The Grove have decided to have their representatives activate the card for you and rob American consumers for a couple extra bucks in the process. Ya gotta love it.

Friday, December 08, 2006


You're my boy, Blue....You're my boy.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Top 20 or so Movie Speeches...kind of

This is not a comprehensive, well-thought-out list. Adam challenged me to put out a list better than his so that's the only goal I was really going for. I am sure if I took more time, there are plenty of "speeches" I could come up with that belong on this list. These are just the ones that I happened to have on dvd/vhs. At least they are all speeches and not scenes, Adam!

A Time to Kill -- Matthew McConaughey's closing statement a.k.a. The Now Imagine She's White Speech

Rocky IV -- The Anybody Can Change Speech to a converted Soviet crowd (and government) practically invented the Unintentional Comedy Scale (see Bill Simmons)

National Lampoon's Vacation -- "You know what I think? I think you're all fucked in the head. We're ten hours from the fuckin' fun park and you wanna turn back! This is not a vacation. It's a quest, a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fuckin' fun we're gonna need plastic surgery to remove our godamned smiles! You're gonna be whistling Zippity Doo-Dah out of your assholes! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose! Praaaaaise Marty Moose! Ohhh Shit." Any speech that inspires me to rewind it 45 times in order to memorize it deserves a spot. A comedic classic.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation -- The Jelly of the Month Club, Christmas Bonus Speech. An outburst similar to the one in the original but deserving a spot all its own.

Taxi Driver -- "You talkin' to me?" One of the most quoted speeches of all-time and a chilling insight into the character of Travis Bickle.

Goodwill Hunting -- Adam got the movie right, but he used the wrong speech. The speech deserving recognition on this list is the one described as a "Taster's Choice moment between men" when Robin Williams' character breaks down the intellectual bravado of the title character.

Bull Durham -- The I Believe Speech as penned brilliantly by Ron Shelton and performed pitch perfectly by Kevin Costner. Anybody else agree there ought to be a Constitutional Amendment outlawing artificial turf and the designated hitter? There's actually another great speech towards the end said by Susan Sarandon, but I can't recall it well enough to describe it here.

Casablanca -- Much like "Bull Durham," this one is chalk full. I will agree with Adam on this one and highlight the "We'll always have Paris" speech

The American President -- "...My name is Andrew Shepard and I am the President!" i.e. SUCK IT, BOB RUMSON! An inspiring speech that gets my heart pumping everytime.

Field of Dreams -- "...People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come..."

A Few Good Men -- "...Deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall..."

Jerry Maguire -- I got two from this one, Rod Tidwell's opening speech coaxing Jerry Maguire to shout at the top of his lungs "I love Black people!" and Jerry's impassioned plea to Rod in the restroom to "Help me help you."

Glengarry Glen Ross -- This speech is so kick-ass it inspired Alec Baldwin to take the part even though it is his only appearance in the movie. Conrad and I put this speech on in my office all the time. It just dominates.

Full Metal Jacket -- The fascist IT dept at work will not allow me to find this clip online but I think anyone who has ever seen the movie knows exactly what I am talking about.

Ghostbusters -- "Gozar the Gozarian! Good evening. As a duelly designated representative of the city, county, and state of New York, I hereby order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension." One of the greatest of all-time? I guess not, but it's on here for the same reason as the Lampoon ones. It was good enough to make me memorize it.

Tombstone -- Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp blows away two Cowboys and tells the despicable Ike to take a message to the others..."You called down the thunder, well you got it....So run you kerr. Run! Tell all the other kerrs the law's comin'. You tell 'em I'M comin'! And hell's comin' with me, you hear?! HELL'S COMIN' WITH ME!" One of the most quotable movies ever.

Scent of a Woman -- As stated in previous post. The creme de la creme of movie speeches.

Okay, that's all I have time for right now. Adam, I have thrown down the gauntlet.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You Make the Call

Which monologue is better as performed by the legendary Al Pacino...

The speech before the final game in "Any Given Sunday?"


The "trial" scene from the end of "Scent of a Woman?"

NOTE TO CONRAD: Do NOT watch the scene from "Scent of a Woman!" Until you have seen the movie in its entirety from beginning to end, seeing clips will dilute your enjoyment of a fine film. Just don't do it, man.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Nice little Friday


I am fresh out of staples.


Staple supply aptly replenished. THAT was a close one.

Nice and overcast today, foggy even. I am loving it. It's easier to be sick when it's grey outside. I am beginning to have some fun with my incredibly hoarse, weak voice. I sound like Tom Waits after downing a fifth of whiskey and a pack of smokes. But it's fun. Then again, what is hell if not a massive karoake party where you have no voice with which to rock?

Why are razor blades so damn expensive? Price gouging if I have ever seen it. Same thing with cat litter. 18 bucks for 25 lbs of sand?? What the fuck?

Is there a better place in the world to be than New York in early November? I can't think of one. Burbank's nice too though...

I do enjoy Christmas shopping. I can barely imagine how much I would enjoy it if I were rich and unfettered by annoying budget constraints.

I think it's time to close my door and take a 3 minute mucas-halk-up break.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Turkey Day Dilemna

I was talking with my grandma yesterday and she said Thanksgiving is going to be at my aunt's this year because my aunt's 3 stepdaughters are all coming and bringing their boyfriends. Seeing as how I loathe one of said boyfriends, it leaves me with a Turkey Day dilemna:

Do I...

A) attend Thanksgiving and just not give the little putz the time of day?

B) attend Thanksgiving and be outwardly rude to the asswipe?

C) attend Thanksgiving and be the bigger man, not being anything but gracious to the little fuckwit? (Actually, seeing as how this option would give me an ulcer or move me to drink more heavily than is advisable, I am removing this option from consideration.)

D) go to my dad's family's for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Is the thought no longer what counts?

I feel this way every single year and yet it still surprises me everytime. What is happening to us with respect to the concept of gift-giving?

I e-mailed my stepmom about what to get my dad for Christmas. I mentioned some of the things I was considering. I think I was looking for confirmation that they were fine ideas and/or insider information as to whether he already has one or what his size might be, etc etc. What I got was notification that they would be putting out a Christmas list and could I please send them one too. I realize that they mean well, but I really don't like this whole thing that seems to be so common now of putting out a list or exchanging lists. If I go buy you something from your list and you go buy me something off of mine, and we have a set date like Christmas in which we will make an exchange...where's the surprise in that? Where is the fun? "Oh look at's the exact shirt from Banana Republic I linked everyone to in precisely the size and color I wanted. Thanks (checks card again), Dad." It makes no difference which gifts came from who! It's indistinguishable! Why don't we just save the gift wrap and buy something for ourselves instead? Obviously, that is not the idea behind giving gifts, especially at The Holidays, but if we're just exchanging lists, really, what's the difference?

How did it come to this? I think it's one part laziness (who has the time or energy to have to think of a gift on their own, right?) and two parts fear of getting someone something they don't like. I think we become so fixated on getting the right gift for someone that in doing so we lose the original principle of giving the gift in the first place. Isn't the thought what counts? If so, then we shouldn't be exchanging registries and checking things off like milk and butter off a grocery list; we should be sitting down and thinking about who we're buying for and what we think they might like or need. If we get it wrong, then we get it wrong. When receiving gifts, we should be appeciative of the thought that went into it, regardless of whether that thought was spot-on or miles off. Right? Isn't that what "it's the thought that counts" means?

Before I get up any higher on my soapbox I will admit that I made a list this year. I gave it to my grandma because I figured "respect your elders" outranked "it's the thought that counts" as far as axioms go. I realize my dad and stepmom are also my elders, but I am just not feeling good about Christmas going in this direction again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

GO YANKEE(candle company)!

I've got one of these babies burning today....MMMMmmmmm, don't it smell delicious. Who cares if it's 85 degrees outside today? I will force this to be Fall!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I (heart) Ted
I have a non-sexual crush on Ted Allen from "Queer Eye" and Nicole knows this. She surprised me with a cooking class hosted by Ted himself!

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Yeeeeeeah, I'm gonna have to sort of 'disagree' with you there..."

Uncle Pete, I love you, but you are just plain wrong.

With roughly two minutes to go in the game and leading by three, USC found itself with a third and goal at the Washington 4-yard line. Washington had only 1 timeout remaining so conventional wisdom says you should run the ball to force them to call their last timeout. The Trojans went to the air and failed to complete the pass, thus bailing out the Huskies.

Asked if he had thought about running the ball, Pete said, "Yeah, we could have, but it was worth going for the touchdown and seeing if you could score it there. We thought we had a call we could make."

I'm fine with that....AS LONG AS you are planning on going for it on 4th down should you not complete the pass on third down. Pete instead elected to kick the field goal. This makes absolutely no sense.

What good does a six-point lead do when they are getting the ball back at the 20 yard line with a timeout in their pocket and a passing game that has marched down the field at will all day long? It certainly doesn't serve you any better than the three point lead you already have does. Taking the field goal is no better than going for it on 4th and failing; either way, a touchdown beats you. It's actually worse to kick the field goal because your kickoff is most likely going to give Washington the ball at at least their own 20-yard line. If you go for the TD and fail, they are starting from the shadow of their own goal at the 4. I think you absolutely MUST go for the touchdown in this situation. You must put the game away. Win it by going on the offensive, not the defensive. Play to fuckin' WIN, not to avoid losing. Is there no play in the playbook that has a better chance of netting a paltry 4 yards than a defense does of stopping an attack they have not stopped all day? An SC touchdown wins the game outright. A chicken-shit field goal leaves the door wide open and begs them to come on in. And what if it fails? You're still in the lead! A touchdown beats you either way! True, failing to convert the 4th down would allow Washington to send the game to overtime with a field goal. Woopity Friggin' Doo! Are we afraid of going to OT at home against an unranked opponent? I guess so. Not only was Pete's decision strategically illogical, but it makes no sense from an emotional/momentum standpoint either because it makes SC look afraid. I realize that the lack of experienced players is largely responsible for the more conservative playcalling this season. But it doesn't hold water for me. Give your players the experience of going out and claiming this game. Give them that confidence. In this very game, they went for it on 4th down around the Washington 40-yard line to maintain a drive and they converted. And now you're not going to go for it from the 4 to WIN the game?! Foolish and cowardly, I say.

"Kicking the field goal is exactly the right thing to do," Uncle Pete says, "You make them have to score a touchdown with one timeout left. I don't know any other way to do that."

I do. Take the game out of their hands. Put it in the end zone and get ready for a Gatorade shower. Pete is a defense-oriented coach but face the facts, Pete...the defense was not playing well enough on this day to warrant the choice of putting the game on their shoulders rather than on those of the offense. No sacks in two weeks, and very little pressure on the quarterback at any time in the game.

Luckily...and I really mean luckily, the decision Pete and Lane made did not come back to bite us this time. But the fact that the call was made and still defended after the game only sets us up to get beat next time we find ourselves with a choice of gaining 4 yards or defending 80 yards to lock up a win.

Friday, October 06, 2006

When did this happen?

Unless you have been listening to ESPN Radio lately, this will probably be meaningless to you...

There have been these ads for realtors lately which is fine. It's surprising that there is nothing really annoying about them because most ads on the station are quite grating. Anywho, there is one thing I don't get....They have apparently changed the pronunciation of the word "realtor." All my life, it's been (real-ter). Now they are saying (real-TOR) like they are some sort of He-Man character. It just doesn't sound right. I know I am the only one on the planet that this bothers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Okay, seriously...

The use of the word "hero" is getting waaaaaay too liberal, isn't it?

I once was given too much change at a Carl's Jr. drive-thru and I gave it back. Does that make me a hero?

Cruiser once picked up an injured pigeon from the road and brought it home. Is he a hero?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So not feeling like working that am driven to bad poetry

I wish I could be out walking today
But I’m stuck inside this cubicle cell
A fluid mind in a frozen body
A thinking man’s living hell

Strolling among pumpkins
Falling into banks of crisp auburn leaves
A tall stack of recycled paper
My closest thing to a tree

Sipping spiced cider
Feeling the cold air in my lungs sting
A climate-controlled maze of metal
Burnt coffee and static cling

I want to be listening to James Taylor!
I need to be wearing a scarf!
Dear God, a bowl of clam chowder!
Reheated fish sticks know nothing of a Fisherman’s Wharf!

Let me walk with an old camera
Taking bad pictures of beautiful scenes
Let me smell raindrops on grass fields
Take me away from these machines!

A farmer’s market in the clearing
Selling jam and fresh cut flowers
Kneel to pet a sweet old dog
Or rot in traffic at rush hour

America in autumn
Wool socks and football games
America in corporate offices
To be numb is the greatest pain

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

From the Director who brought you "Dude, Where's My Car?" comes...

"The Great New Wonderful"

I watched it Friday night. Insightful, funny, powerful emsemble dramedy.

Netflix describes it as:

New York City a year after the 9/11 tragedy is the setting for Danny Leiner's comedy portraying five stories of vastly different lives in the same uncertain surroundings. A psychologist (Tony Shalhoub) and an ordinary yet angry man; two pastry purveyors (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Edie Falco); a married couple; two immigrant friends; and an older woman (Olympia Dukakis) set in her ways -- they all try to rebuild their lives as the city does as well.

It sounds like another too-soon, not-interested 9/11 movie but this is a movie that smartly neglects to show any footage from September 11, 2001, real or recreated because it knows it doesn't need to. The horrifying images from 9/11 are burned on our brain already and the depiction of a distant, innocent plane against a blue sky one year later is the perfect pin prick to put the story into a Post-9/11 context without recalling a flood of visions that would drown out the quiet subtleties of the movie, not to mention it's surprising humor. Which is not to say that this movie is not as upsetting as "World Trade Center" or "Flight 93" probably were to those that saw them. It's just that "The Great New Wonderful" sneaks up on you. I didn't feel overly emotional at any point in the movie and I was nowhere near tears. For a while, I was even wondering what any of it had to do with 9/11. Yet I couldn't manage more than two hours of sleep Friday night.

Here is a review that explains it much better than I do:

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fall Y'all

This is not me, just some lucky stranger.

This is me. Welcome, Great Pumpkin!

"You've Got Mail" was not a great movie but I do love the part about loving New York in the fall including the reference to a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils...

The pumpkin spice latte....the taste of autumn for those with no autumn


Where's burnt sierra when you need it?

The gold standard of personal organization

Remember these?


So the Angels are not in the playoffs...but at least the Red Sox and White Sox aren't either. I'm ready to watch some October baseball, stress-free for a change. I think I am rooting for the Twins in the AL and the Mets in the NL although I really wouldn't mind if any of the teams not from Oakland won it all. Once the A's are out, which should be in about 4 games, it's all gravy. Go Twins!

Somewhere leaves are beginning to change colors, just not here. I am digging the fact that it actually rained a bit this morning. I had to hold myself back from busting out a sweater and cords. I expect to see the scarves start coming out in full force any day now. I'll have my pepto bismal ready for that day.

I could sure go for a nice cup of soup today...a beef vegetable...perhaps a bisque of some sort. A chicken breast and brown rice will have to do.

This is just about the time of year when I really hate living in LA (other than the proximity to friends, family, and USC football). When other parts of the country are experiencing actual seasons, ours are designated by temperatures in the frigid 70s and the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. You really have to sort of create autumn and winter for yourself here, I think. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on the scarf-wearers after all. I guess the good news is that it challenges the imagination somewhat, but even if you talk yourself into feeling Fall in LA, it's never really real and that's always kind of bittersweet. To me anyway. This reminds me of elementary school when the teachers would decorate the classroom for each month or season. October would mean brown and orange all around, with leaves and pumpkins mixed in with the crepe paper. That was fun. Who's up for arts and crafts?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is ridiculous

Just bought some concert tickets on They seemed cheap at $15 each. After checkout, 2 $15-tickets cost $48. Are you fucking kidding me? That's $9 in fees per ticket which works out to 60% of the face value of the ticket. 60% in fees, Ticketmaster?! I know this has been going on for years and I am preaching to the choir here but 60-fucking-percent?! That is not ticket-master, that is ticket-fascist. Congress, can you step in here please?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ride 'em, Cowgirl!

Move over Thighmaster, the iGallop is here!
I'd like to take a moment to help spread the word about a product that is revolutionizing the world of womens' exercise. It's called the iGallop (another non-Apple product piggybacking the "i" prefix in an effort to be cool). It's "the fun and easy way to exercise your abs and core" by simulating a horseback ride...and being an odd but undeniable turn-on in the process. Apparently, you just put this thing on top of a chair, straddle it, and go to town. They say "the secret is in its zero-impact, tri-axial riding action." I say, indeeeeeed it is. However, whatever the secret is, its about as well kept as Victoria's. They might as well call this product the iDryHump. I highly recommend you go to the Brookstone web site and launch the video demonstration. It is high-larry-us.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All Over the Map

Should September 11th be a national holiday, one which we don't have to come into work? Personally, I would sure prefer it that way. It was tough to do my job that day. It was difficult to find the motivation to deal with people's petty complaints and grievances. It was a day I would have much preferred to spend just laying low at home, not necessarily dwelling on 9/11/01 but giving it its due pause. We have so many other holidays that are meaningless to us beyond being an extra day to spend at the beach. This, to me, is one that I would actually make honorable use of. I understand the argument against it, that we need to flex our "resolve" by not letting terrorists' murderous attacks disrupt our American lifestyle, but, personally, I just don't feel that way. Maybe there is an argument to be made that if we made it a national holiday, 100 years from now when all those who witnessed 9/11 are gone, that it would become just another long weekend. I can understand protecting against that, but I don't think it could ever happen. Not with the images captured that day. Not that it doesn't already, but if the attack on Pearl Harbor had been captured on digital video from multiple perspectives, wouldn't that day resonate more with us, a generation who was not alive to witness it? That sentence is oddly worded. I hope it made sense. Anyway, I think I would like to not have to come to work on 9/11. My job seems somewhat irrelevant to society as it is, but on that day it's really hard to find the point in any of it. Could it be an optional day? I don't know.

I know this is just me....but I am kind of weirded out by people leaving comments on musician's myspace pages. It seems to me to be equal parts stalkerish and trying too hard to impress someone. I don't really know why this is and I am sure that I'm just crazy, but there ya have it.

I don't like it when I come into the kitchen and find someone has taken their food out early and left precious seconds frozen in time on the timer. I always have to clear it to get back to the clock. This is a tic, I realize.

I also don't like it when people leave toothpaste in the sink. It doesn't drive me nuts or anything, it's just something I have to fix if I see it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Soapbox Sports

Last night I watched one of the greatest tennis matches I have ever seen, Marcus Baghdatis vs. Andre Agassi in a second round (!) match at the US Open. Andre appeared to be cruising to victory after taking the first two sets, but Baghdatis was quite the fighter. He also annoyed the shit out of me with all his antics, talking to the sky (God? How did you guide my shot into the net?), pounding his chest, etc. But I gotta hand it to him, down two sets to one and trailing 0-4 in the 4th set, most players would have packed it in. This son of a bitch from Cyprus (the country, not the city) fought all the back and took the set 7-5, setting up the deciding 5th set. And then he broke Agassi in the first game of the 5th! Andre's match and career appeared to be on the ropes! Then Baghdatis suffered some sort of thigh "injury" and used a long injury timeout. This only gave a visibly frightened Agassi time to sit and regroup. It also gave the raucous New York crowd time to build their "Let's go Andre" chants to a deafening pitch. Sure enough, when play resumed, Agassi broke him right back. They stayed on serve until the 9th game (4-all)...Baghdatis had by this point already established himself as one of the most extroverted players in the game today. Imagine the over-acting antics of a professional wrestler but in tennis. Anyway, with Agassi serving in the 9th game, Baghdatis is suddenly stricken with sever leg cramps. He's rollin' on the ground in "pain," jazzing the whole thing up for the crowd that doesn't care. However, the rules state that you cannot receive treatment for the same injury in the same set so his trainer cannot help him without causing a forfeit. So Andre is a good sport and delays his next serve as long as he can and play resumes. You would think if the guy was in so much pain that he could barely walk that there would be no chance he could chase down an Agassi forehand. Yet every time the point was in play, he looked fine and kept battling to stay alive. I think it went to something like 25 points. Andre was trying to exploit the injury but in doing so was overhitting balls and keeping Baghdatis in it. Between every single point, Baghdatis is hopping over to the umpire on the sideline, practically begging for treatment. He was making faces like he was enduring torture rather than tennis and yet he kept getting to these balls just fine ten seconds later. It began to look like the World Cup. Finally, finally Agassi captured the game to take a 5-4 lead. In the interest of brevity, I will just say that he went on to win 7-5 in a match that lasted 3 hours and 48 mins. He had to get a cortisone shot after his last match and here he was going nearly 4 hours and outlasting the 21-yr old kid! Unbelievable. Say what you will about Roger Clemens dominating baseball at the age of 40 but let's face it, Clemens best outing in the last two seasons could not compare with what Agassi did last night. Andre's post-match interview only solidified his standing with me as one of my favorite athletes of all-time. He was humble, gracious, funny, intelligent, and, get this, sincere. Baghdatis was actually very classy in his remarks as well. Did anyone else see this damn match?! I didn't think so. Damn it! Way to go Andre! Five more matches, one at a time!

I am disappointed to see that the USA Basketball team lost to Greece today, but mostly because now sports radio is saturated with the same tired bullshit about the team being "selfish, overpaid, individuals," and about how they don't "make each other better." The latter concept is the most asinine notion in basketball broadcasting this decade. It has no meaning, makes no sense, and is completely subjective.

USC Football starts tomorrow! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! I can barely stand it! Of course my mom comes into town on the same day which is also my grandmother's birthday, but damn it, I will watch that game come hell or high water! FUCKIN' FIGHT ON! So everybody knows that Matt Leinart knocked up his now ex-girlfriend from SC, but did anybody know that she is mormon? Daaaaaaaaang. She also used to date Az St. QB Rudy Carpenter. Just some trivia.

Texas' freshman QB is named Colt McCoy. Texas quarterback named Colt McCoy. That's like if SC had a signal-caller named Troy Newport. It's just too good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Wine tasting in Solvang and Los Olivos!

"If they order Merlot, I'm leavin'. I am NOT drinking any fuckin' Merlot!" (I think I actually did have some...somewhere.)

When I think of wine tasting, I think of an ostrich farm, naturally.

Emu Emo.

Nicole, Lady of the Ostriches

Play Freebird!

I swirled mine a little too vigorously.

The patio at Lincourt/Foley vineyards.

Nicole, a little snokkered at said vineyard.

This was a tough guy that worked at the Foxen Vineyards tasting room. Touch that tennis ball at your own peril.

I love pictures like this

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Cry For Help

Please, friends, help me help myself. I use the word "lovely" faaaaaar too much.

"How's it going, John?"
"Lovely, how are you?"

"Hey John, how have you been?"
"Lovely, thank you."

"How was your weekend?"

I don't mean to do it. At this point, it's an instinct. But I need to deny it and change it. If I were someone else, it would drive me insane that my answer to any question was the same word, much less that word being "lovely."

If you catch me saying the word, me on it. I can't do this without your support.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

WTC, OC, Oh.

I was talking to someone at work earlier this week who was saying how enthused she was to see Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center." Her reason was that she wants to be reminded. She said she thinks we all should be reminded. My thing is...I haven't forgotten. It was five years ago. I don't need to be reminded. Does anyone feel they need to be reminded at this point?

I enjoy finding new music, especially from emerging artists I have never heard of. What's beginning to get on my nerves is that so often when I find something new, it's already been pimped by "The OC," "Grey's Anatomy," or some other hip television show. It says it on their website if it doesn't have a big sticker proclaiming it on the cd packaging. I understand why it's there. I do. But I don't like it. Imagine you are out wandering in the woods and you happen upon a hidden trail. You follow it and find it to be quite a gem. It leads to a beautiful waterfall, hot springs, and cave. At this point, you're having a nice little Saturday, a real genuine, unique experience. You walk inside the cave only to find the words "The OC Was Here" spray painted in hot pink on the cave walls. It doesn't ruin the day or anything. The trail is still the trail, the cave is still the cave, but it's just kind of like.....Oh.

Say you meet some girl (or guy) and you think they're the cats pajamas. You start getting all excited and falling in love and thinking about the future (prematurely, of course) and then you find out they are a porn star. Oh.

Keep your damn stickers off my damn CDs! I don't give a frog's fat ass if The OC pimped a song off this album to tenderize a sad montage with acoustic guitar and whispery vocals! If I like it, I like it and if I do, I don't want to associate it with fictional spoiled Newport Beach teenagers.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

la la la

There is a guy I work with who for at least 9 consecutive months has 1) worn a polo shirt and 2) had his lunch delivered to his next, never leaving the building all day.

There is a girl I work with who wears the same white skirt no less than 3 times a week.

Why do I care? I don't. Wear whatever you like. Wear the same thing for 2 years straight if ya like...but don't think nobody notices.

I watched "The Family Stone" last night. Not really a Christmas movie but the setting was a small New England town at Christmas. I know it's August, but what can I say? It was nice.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"It's so hot...milk was a bad choice."

Isn't the workplace supposed to be a safe haven from the ungodly heat of july in The Valley? Why is it 87 in my office right now?

It's like a chili dog outside.

If they don't get the air cranked up, by 4 pm today it's going to be like the steam drawer they keep the hot dogs in at the movie theaters.

VEGAS!!!! (And other fun times from Chirag and Kristen's visit)

Great to see Chirag again. Just like the old days!

These are the people below us that were looking up Heather's skirt all night which she smartly parlayed into free shots for all of us. The woman in the blue would flash us moments after this photo was taken.


It was the highlight of the trip and we came this close to not going.

The beauty of the Voo Doo Lounge is the incredible view...and the Go-Go dancers.


Old college buddies.


In a limo heading downtown...

A little bonfire action. The fire got bigger.

This can be seen every day and yet I hadn't seen it in about a year. Shameful.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"New shit has come to light..."

I am proud to announce the end of secrecy on this blog! I have disabled comments from non-registered users so as to shed the light of day on those commenters who prefer to lurk in the shadows. Since Blogger membership is completely free, there's no reason they can't join up and take some responsibility like the rest of us. Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous, show yourself!

Monday, July 10, 2006

What a weekend

HUGE weekend. Action-packed!

Friday night -- karoake at Acapulco where I rocked Kharma Chameleon (w/Nicole), Can't Fight This Feeling, and The Gambler (w/Nicole and Jim) ... proceeded to Dimple's, aka the worst bar in America, where a loaded Jim began telling everyone we were all on the new sitcom, "Happy Hour." Who should go up on stage to sing Piano Man, but oneDennis Haskins, aka Mr. Belding. Jim, of course, asked the waitress to bring Mr. Belding over to meet us since we have this new show...just as I was about to get up before it got any worse, here he came, the man himself. At this point, I felt reeeeeeally reeeeeeally bad. As it turns out, whether he bought Jim's story or not, he was very gracious and a good sport. Kudos, Mr. Belding.

Pancakes a la Bob's Big Boy.

Saturday -- Dodgers vs. Giants in a high-octane slugfest. Cold beer, grilled Dodger Dogs (a more tasty version of the original), and, of course, what's a Dodger game without a fight in the stands?

Saturday night -- fine folks came over to look at some european vacation photos and watch the best of triumph the insult comic dog. I inadvertantly gorged myself on cheese and crackers.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! -- World Cup Final that I almost ruined do to bad navigating of the DVR...still got to see the heinous head butt and the bullshit penalty kicks. Someone on the radio noted that this is the equivalent of watching an NBA Finals game go two overtimes only to be settled on a best-of-five freethrow shooting contest. Lame.

Sunday Night -- Pearl Jam at the Forum! AHHHHHHH!!! I have never called myself a Pearl Jam fan, but I'll be damned if this wasn't one of the greatest rock shows I have ever seen. They played for about 27 hours straight. The "encores" lasted as long as the main part of the show. Tim Robbins came out and sang an acoustic anti-Bush song with Eddie. I wondered how this show, which took no time in calling Dick Cheney the "world's biggest asshole," would have played in a Red state. Not that I really cared. The show culminated with the last two songs being played to a fully lit (no stage lighting) house which was really cool. Felt kind of like a daytime show at a fair or something. They really left it all out there on the stage, I tell ya. And the crowd was the best crowd I have ever seen at a concert, hands down. Just awesome. All around, a kick-ass, feel-it-in-your-bones, blow-the-roof-off kind of show.

Of course, when I tried to discuss this with a certain friend of mine this morning (let's call him Mike), I was reminded that there are two kinds of music fans, those that welcome new fans of their favorite band and those that have some sort of snotty possessive thing with their band. When trying to share in the experience of the awesome show, which I knew Mike had gone to as well, I was promptly reminded that I was NOT a Pearl Jam fan and that several times I had said something negative upon hearing them played in his car. Weeeeell, pardon the fuck out of me. I guess I have no right to change my mind about something. I guess only the true, lifelong fans of the band have a right to enjoy their concerts. I'm really against this kind of fanship. They treat it like you're jumping on the bandwagon of their favorite sports team right after they win a championship or something. Come on, this is music. Shouldn't we be encouraged to try things new bands or bands that we don't normally listen to anway? Is there something wrong with a great show making a fan out of somebody? I guess there is to Fan B, the music equivalent of a Star Wars Nerd.

Today -- Peterson returned from her vacation and brought me a couple gifts to show her appreciation for my covering for her whilst she was away, a customary practice in our office. The first gift was an inflatable Superman punching bag, the kind with the weight at the bottom that pop back up after you hit them. I love it, but the smell of plastic was so strong that it was giving me a headache and, thus, Superman has had to be moved out into the hall. Her second gift? It is a magnet set of different cat breeds...and their assholes. That's right, the five individual magnets are artists renderings of various cats as seen from behind, all with their balloon knots prominently featured. I want it to be funny, but it's too disturbing.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Illiterate Airborne Terrorists

--So I am enjoying a beautiful July 3rd at Zuma beach. I am laying on my stomach reading "This Side of Paradise" and snacking on red seedless grapes. Suddenly, mid-sentence, a huge glob of brown mucas-like paste is slapped upon my pages, splashing onto my arm. A seagull shat on my fucking book. I picture that little son of a bitch circling overhead looking down on me and, like Jeff Daniels in "The Squid in the Whale," smuggly scoffing at my book as "early Fitzgerald." Snobby little shit.

--Is the 4th of July really the 4th of July if you don't see a single firework?

Friday, June 30, 2006


Have a safe, sane, and altogether pleasant weekend, my compatriots.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Spicey Latinas (and other news)

--I crave The Claim Jumper like no other today.

--Good news, I am a published co-author! As most of you know, my friend Meghan works for Playboy, writing copy for their porn sites. This morning she needed a fresh voice while trying to come up with a hook for the upcoming Latina Channel on one of their sites. After a few minutes of careful creative collaboration, we came up with the following:

These Spicey Latinas prove what a hot tamale really is. Going south of the border never looked so good.

Man, it sure feels good to be writing again.

--Do you ever have those "only in LA" moments? Moments that might not literally only happen in Los Angeles yet they seem to embody the city or the image of the city to a T. I had such a moment yesterday...I picked up the special BBQ issue of "Bon Apetit" magazine this week at the sto and happened upon a recommendation for a restaurant in Santa Monica called Wilshire. They spoke highly of the patio experience there. So I went to Citysearch to read more about it. I happened upon the following User Review:

Posted by
yrrogers on 04/02/2006
I was disappointed in Wilshire. My friend and I arrived Sat. night at 10:20 pm and had to wait in line. The line attendant was very rude and filled with false self importance. After about 10 minutes we got in. The crowd was older (30-40) and not that attractive. We wanted to check out the back bar but a bouncer was guarding the entrance like it was Fort Knox. We got vodka sodas and they were $11 each. We didn't eat anything so I can't comment on the food. When we left 40 minutes later there was no line and the bouncer seemed disappointed and bored. I wouldn't go back there or recommend it.

Obviously, Mr. or Mrs. Rogers has a couple of relevant points. If the staff was unfriendly or snotty, I would like to know that before I commit to the restaurant. The line that stands out to me is when Rogers says "The crowd was older (30-40) and not that attractive. " Well, shit, I really wanted to try the place out but if only the ugly people eat there, forget it. What's the point of going to a restaurant where there's no attractive people, right? Who can eat when surrounded by such hags? What about the fact that Rogers and Co. felt compelled to write a restaurant review despite the fact that they did not eat at the restaurant?

I swear...only in LA would someone rate a restaurant based almost entirely on how beautiful the patrons were.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Razor at the ready...

I am getting bored with my moustache. I think its days are definitely numbered.

"Strong men also cry..."

So here's what happened. Bernie and Kathy (lovers) were in New York, strolling through Central Park as lovers often do. They happened upon a picturesque bridge and Bernie had the wild idea to take a picture. He asked an unknown passerby if he wouldn't mind taking a picture of he and Kathy. So he hands him the camera and goes back to Kathy to pose for the photo. BUT(!) rather than posing, he pulls an engagement ring from his pocket, takes a knee and proposes marriage...all whilst the stranger is capturing the entire scene on digital media in a series of six photographs. I have only displayed one of them here, but the series covers it all: the initial "whaaa?" as he is still standing and pulling something from his pocket, the realization and subsequent joy when he takes a knee, the flood of tears and emotion, the slipping of the ring onto the finger and the smile as it all becomes real. It's impossible to look at these photos and not get a little choked up! Isn't that the coolest thing? How many people have this moment captured on "film?" How many people have photos that capture the raw emotions of any significant moment in their lives? It's just a rare thing to be able to record because you never know when they are going to occur and when they do, you're often preoccupied with living them. Sure, we all have graduation photos (assuming you graduated), wedding photos (assuming you're married), but how precious is it to have a moment as intimate as a proposal captured for all time? I would equate it to having a photo of one's first kiss. Isn't that coolest?

Way to go, Bernie. Good show, ol' boy. Good show indeed.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Power of Postage and "Mahogany"

--I went to the post office over lunch and while I was there, I observed their upcoming series of stamps, the "Stop Domestic Violence" collection. I'm all for stopping domestic violence, but aren't some causes just too big to be tackled with postage stamps?

--I also went to buy a greeting card and, for whatever reason, a certain type of card really stood out to me. I'm talking about the African-American cards. You've seen them, they're the cards with prominent drawings of African-Americans on them. I remember when I used to work at Hallmark the series was called "mahogany" which is another issue in and of itself. But anyway, why are these cards necessary when every other card-buying race is represented in one racially-unspecific pool of cards? Are the sentiments contained in greeting cards not universal? Do African-Americans say "Happy Birthday" differently than the rest of humanity? I gave three Father's Day cards this year and none of them featured a human figure on them at all much less a specific drawing of a Caucasian man. Was there a "Birch Wood" collection that I missed? I'm not sure if the technology is there yet, but I think the next revolution will allow us to buy cards where we can have the skin color added custom, right there at the point of sale. "Excuse me, this card is for my friend who is half Portuguese, one quarter Ugandan, and one quarter Taiwanese. Can you shade the skin color accordingly? Do you sell stamps?" I realize that these Afro-centric cards are just an option and that not all thoughtful, card-giving African-Americans are prone to buy these cards. It actually wouldn't surprise me if the sales demographics for African-American cards were similar to those of African-American-dominated rap music, i.e. mostly white kids trying to be cool or funny. Why were these created? Were Hallmark and American Greetings attempting to be sensitive and forward-thinking or was there a public outcry for these cards? Doesn't it seem like one of those times when the whole family is eating beef tenderloin but little Jimmy wants to be difficult and insists that Mom make him some Spaghetti-O's? Okay, let's assume for a second that the Mahogany Collection is not a little weird and is socially justified and loved by all races of this multi-cultural community. Why are the Mahogany cards always such shitty cards? They're never funny and rarely poignant. They're the cards that look they were thrown together in five minutes at the end of the day on a Friday before a holiday weekend. Is this not racism?

Bring us the funk, gotta have that funk

I was in an inexplicable funk yesterday and it seems to have carried over into today. Couldn't tell you what the cause is. I have no idea. Nothing on my mind, nothing particularly bothering me (other than Michelle Branch, of course). Kind of a mental, emotional mononucleosis type of thing. I don't know what I want and I don't want anything. Tired, just want to lay down and read...or sleep.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fuck you too, Michelle Branch.

In a recent interview with People Magazine, recording artist Michelle Branch was asked how her parents felt when she first started dating her 41-year-old husband, bassist Teddy Landau. Her reply?

"My parents hated the idea--and now love him, of course. My dad never wanted me to be with a musician. I mean, how unrealistic is that? I'm not going to fall for an accountant!"

Of course not! What a zany notion! Accountants are so boring. All they think about is numbers. All they are capable of comprehending or discussing are digits and cost reports. It's not like they are unique, interesting individuals who have opinions and passions about things outside of their life at work. There's just no way that someone as artistic and deep as Michelle Branch could possibly ever fall in love with someone that simple. It's laughable! HA!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Somebody pass me a PBR.

Airline Safety

As my backpack rolled through the x-ray machine at my British Airways gate at the airport in Prague, I noticed a sign listing prohibited items such as pocket knives, box cutters, and corkscrews as well as a big container where those and other items had been confiscated. At that point, I remembered that I had a corkscrew in my backpack and I thought for sure I was going to be pulled aside for a body cavity search. Nope. Out rolled by backpack with the corkscrew, which also has a small knife for cutting the foil from a wine bottle, safely stowed inside. When we connected in London, I tested the security there as well and, sure enough, it made it through again. Comforting chain of events, no?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Some pics....

The Churches/Cathedrals/Basilicas were otherwordly gorgeous

While I was disappointed to see that every one of the beautiful cities we visited was defaced with ridiculous amounts of grafitti (literally evrywhere), it was nice to see some of the little hooligans hearts' were in the right place

Prague at night....quite haunting

I was reluctant at first but Prague did ultimately claim the crown (pun intended) for the Best Beer in the World. Pssst.....we brought home 20 pints in our luggage.

On the Charles Bridge



The Astronomical Clock at Old Town Square in Prague

At a Hoyergen (wine village thingy) on the fringe of Vienna

Fans of "Before Sunrise" will understand why the wheel at Prater was so exciting

We would later kiss...but we did not make out.

World's Largest Wienerschnitzel

And I killed it!