Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nice Little Tuesday

--The Phoenix Suns have been blowing past the rest of the NBA like they were standing still. Last night they had a 17-game win streak halted. Before that, sandwiching their previous loss was...another 17-game win streak. Pretty damn impressive, but it just makes the 1972 Lakers' 33-game win streak all the more incredible.

--If there was ever a day for flapjacks, it's today. No, better make that french toast. The kind that's filled with strawberry cream cheese. Mimi's does this. I have no access to a Mimi's. This coffee will have to do for today, I guess. Come to think of it, why stop at french toast? Screw work today. I'd really like to be strolling a narrow, rain-soaked Parisian street, making my way to a cafe where I would read the paper and drink two or three cafe au laits. Yeah, I said it. So what?

--Nicole went to a book club meeting last night. I think book clubs are a great thing and there should be more of them. I'm not sure I would want to be a part of one myself though because I don't know if I could handle only every fifth book I read to be one I actually chose.

--Being in Miami would be fun too. I have good memories of Miami. Plus, I think it would be fun to be in a major city like that during Super Bowl week. Feel the buzz. Speaking of the NFL, I really enjoy watching it, but I don't have much passion for any one team, unless you count hating the Patriots, which I guess you would have to. Sure, I am an established Jets and Bucs fan, but I will be the first to admit that I am not a true fan of either team. I don't follow either one all that closely. That being said, if I were starting fresh, looking out at the NFL landscape, I can see several teams that I could openly root for. The Chargers, the Colts, the Chiefs, the Packers--these are examples of teams I could gladly attach my allegiance too. I'm not doing that because that would be sports bigamy. I'm just saying...

Monday, January 29, 2007

You Make The Call

Greatest invention of all-time? I say YES.


I didn't actually get a good photo of the trucks themselves so I got this online.

Nothing says Monster Trucks like a tailgate with 40s, The Champagne of Beers, and Pork Rinds. There was also a lovely salami and cheese spread. Note my intensity.

Chicks dig 'em too.

The skeptical rookie and the cagey veteran.

As you can see, I maintained my intensity level throughout the event. MONSTER TRUCKS! It's only once a year, folks!

Friday, January 26, 2007


I realize we're living in a post-Columbine era and that schools need to be proactive in thwarting such tragedies in the future....BUT....I still gotta file this one under "Give Me a Fuckin' Break."

They're were gonna kill Tom Cruise, Oprah, AND the Energizer Bunny!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Who needs Jackie Childs?

My dad bestowed upon me his old espresso/cappuccino machine. Life as I know it will never be the same. I feel like Kramer after he took the settlement offer from Java World that granted him unlimited cafe lattes. I can make one whenever I want one. I don't have to pay 4 dollars for it either. Buying the espresso and milk in bulk and performing the labor myself (which is kind of fun) sets the price of a Cafe Kumpart at less than a dollar per beverage! We are witnessing the dawn of a new era, my friends. A new era indeed.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend

My worst fears have been confirmed this afternoon. My favorite baseball player, "Dynamite" Darin Erstad has agreed to sign a contract with the Chicago White Sox, leaving the Angels after ten glorious years. I thought I was prepared to deal with this. The writing was on the wall last season when he went down with injury. I knew the chances of him returning were remote. Yet I still feel a sense of shock as I am finally staring at cold proof that it's actually happened. The White Sox? Really? Ozzie Guillen? Really? Conrad has confirmed that Darin and his NEW team will be in the Tempe area the same weekend we are there to watch the Angels. This is like going to a party when you know the girl that just dumped you is gonna be there with her new boyfriend. Then again, I almost hope we run into Ersty at the local Gordon Biersch or Claim Jumper. I'd like to look him right in the eye and ask him, "Why, Darin? Why?"

James Blunt and Other Random Crap

--He sounds like Katherine Hepburn. "On Golden Pond" was excellent, but, as a pop singer, it's just excruciating to the ears. "The Loons!!!!"

--The terrorist behind last season's madness is Jack Bauer's BROTHER! AHHHHHHH! The world has been turned upside down! Up is down! Black is white! We can trust nothing anymore! AHHHHHHHHH! I am interested to see how Jack and CTU ultimately discover that Big Brother Bauer was behind it all last season. He's already killed his trusted colleague Curtis. Will they have him take down his poppa and brother as well? I hope so. I was dying to see Donald Sutherland appear in the Poppa Bauer role, but, alas, it's James Cromwell. Cromwell AGAIN.

--I'm still gonna close out the season, but after watching both shows last night back-to-back, I am reminded how badly "Heroes" really does suck. That show was down for like a month and this is what they come back with? Weak. Tired and weak.

--I hate it when people (mostly shows like "Extra") personify the term "Oscar." You've heard it...."Leonardo DiCaprio has been overlooked for his titanic film performances in the past...Will Oscar finally reward him this year?"

About the Oscars...I still need to see "Babel" (does anyone pronounce this title with confidence?), but my early vote for Best Picture goes to "Little Miss Sunshine." My sentimental pick, the one I am really pulling for, is Djimon Hounsou for "Blood Diamond." Speaking of him, why can my dad never pronounce Matt Damon's name correctly(always "DAY-mee-Un"), but he rolls "Djimon Hounsou" off the tongue without a hitch?

--Taking a page from Joe....What I Am Listening To:

Phil Collins. THE Phil Collins. "Against All Odds" will really get you to work in the morning, I'm tellin' ya. The world needs more Phil Collins in my opinion.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I need to get this off my chest...

I realize I use this space to bitch more than anything, but I just can't let this go...

I read this article this morning about Muslim groups crying about being portrayed as villains on "24." Here are some highlights:

"The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims," said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season's premiere. "After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn't sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality."

Give me a fuckin' break. I have watched all but one season of the show and not once have I gotten an impression of fear and hatred for Muslims, much less an "overwhelming impression." I'm not sure which grocery store you shop at, but at my local Ralph's, I'm betting you're the only one having trouble differentiating fiction and reality. If watching a fictional television show truly instills in you this great fear of the general public, maybe you should just call Pink Dot and stay home. The reasoning of these whiners is inherently racist and somebody should call them on it. To assume that the message of a story concerning a handful of specific individuals applies a broad statement about their entire race is ignorant and prejudicial. Let's be honest here. The number one threat to the safety of our country right now (other than bears) is terrorism, with Al Qaeda leading the charge. Al Qaeda is an extremist Islamic terrorist organization. It's not like the writers of "24" are pulling this stuff out of thin air. In the interest of creating dramatic entertainment, they are calling on real-life threats to build that drama. There is nothing wrong with that. The KKK uses Christianity to justify their terrorism and has been depicted as a villain in film and tv, but most sane people realize that not all Christians are white supremacist murderers. That's a pretty loose correlation but you catch my drift.

Fox issued a written statement responding to the protests:

"24 is a heightened drama about anti-terrorism," the statement read. "After five seasons, the audience clearly understands this, and realizes that any individual, family, or group (ethnic or otherwise) that engages in violence is not meant to be typical.

"Over the past several seasons, the villains have included shadowy Anglo businessmen, Baltic Europeans, Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the (Anglo-American) president of the United States," the network said. "The show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multidimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints."

That brings up a good point. Throughout the run of the series, it seems to me that "24" has been very responsible and even proactive about depicting the danger in falling into the trap of prejudicial thinking. Even though the current villains are Muslim terrorists, already in the first four hours the show has portrayed many innocent Muslims being discriminated against and has served as a cautionary tale in regards to it. Were the protesting groups taking a bathroom break during the whole Sandra Palmer/Walid Al-Rezani subplot?!

The article continues...

Watching the show's characters talk about detonating a nuclear weapon a few blocks from where she works unnerved Sireen Sawaf, an official with the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, and a self-described "huge '24' fan."

"It's a great show, and I do realize it's a multidimensional show that portrays extreme situations," she said. "They have gone out of their way to have non-Muslim terror cells.

"But I'm concerned about the image it ingrains in the minds of the American public and the American government, particularly when you have anti-Muslim statements spewing from the mouths of government officials."

LOL!!! "...Concerned about the image it ingrains in the minds of...the American government." That is all-time right there. I can just see President Bush sitting at Camp David watching "24" next to a crackling fire, calling Dick Cheney as it ends, and saying "I don't know, Dick, after watching this program here on Fox, I'm thinking we ought to put together some Islamic internment camps." Actually, Sireen might have a point here.

Engy Abdelkader, a member of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee from Howell, New Jersey, launched a campaign Wednesday to encourage Muslims offended by the program to complain to Fox.

"I found the portrayal of American Muslims to be pretty horrendous," she said. "It was denigrating from beginning to end. This is one of the most popular programs on television today. It's pretty distressing."

What's distressing to me is the society we're living in where people are constantly finding themselves "offended" and "launching" campaigns of protest. The beauty of the country is that they have the freedom to do that, but, really, isn't it more often than not a complete waste of time and energy? How many more pressing issues could we resolve with all the energy put into "launching" campaigns against fictional television shows.

What's it like to "launch" a campaign anyway? Is it anything like launching bottle rockets? Does it require safety goggles?

Okay, I'm done now.

While we're on the subject of prejudice, I must confess that I am guilty of it myself...

Dear Boston transplants in LA, if you love the Red Sox, Patriots, and Dunkin' Donuts so damn much just go back to Boston already. I am really sick and tired of hearing you whine about it. The Dunkin' Donuts thing is what really gets me. I have had Dunkin' Donuts when I lived in NY. As a self-professed donut guru, I can firmly say that the donuts of Dunkin' suck ass.

Speaking of Boston transplants, has anyone else almost enjoyed The Sports Gal more than The Sports Guy during this NFL season? Call me crazy, but I think we're onto something here. Espn.com now has all her mini-columns on an archive page that you can find here.

Okay, one last thing about fuckin' Boston...Everybody keeps predicting that Sunday's AFC Championship Game is going to come down to Adam Vinatieri making a game-winning FG over his former team. Are they crazy? Have they never seen a Patriots game before? (If so, I envy them.) Every move that team ever makes works out for them. Every single break goes their way. I'm calling it, the game will come down to a final kick from Vinatieri, but he's gonna blow it and the Pats will squeak out another maddening win. At that point, I will elect to not watch The Super Bowl.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Last night was a night of broadening horizons.

Our friend Rob took us out for sushi as a belated birthday present and, while I have had sushi plenty of times before, I have been somewhat wimpy about it. Not that I would just stick to California Rolls, but I would stick to things like that that came in the roll with the rice, and seaweed wrap. Your spicy tuna roll, your shrimp tempura roll, etc. Last night I went beyond that. As we were dining with a consummate sushi professional, we let Rob take the ordering reins and I just ate whatever was in front of me. Eel, Toro, Yellowtail--you name it, I ate it. And it was delicious. You sushi enthusiasts may be laughing, but this was big for me. There was a culinary bridge built uniting East and West. And the sake....oh, the sake! I had only had it once before and the details of that night are somewhat hazy. The things I do remember would rival any embarrassing drunken tale. So I was a little leery about trying it again. I'll be damned if it wasn't the smoothest alcoholic beverage I have ever tasted. It was a fine bottle called Tamade and it was like trying Belvedere after a lifetime of Popov. It was like butta.

Man, what a nice day it is outside. A little chilly but not too cold. No wind to piss me off. And the slight possibility of rain. Conrad just checked in...we have visual confirmation of rain sprinkles! Cue the playlist!! Woo hoo! Bring it on!

I watched "The Devil Wears Prada" last night and I gotta say I really liked it. I haven't read the book, but based on what I have read about the differences between the two, I think this might be a rare example of a movie being better than the book it was based on. If the Meryl Streep character was the fashion industry's version of the boss from hell though, it's got nothing on the film business. The worst she did was call her assistant fat and rudely dismiss her. Try enduring that while dodging a fax machine thrown at your head. It really surprises me that these type of people survive as long as they do without one of their staff getting fed up and beating the snot out of them. I guess they have a knack for casting.

Monday, January 15, 2007


"24" is back and no one could be more happy about that than me. However, we're 2 hours in and I have some issues with the new season.

1) The new President, Wayne Palmer. I just can't buy into the leader of the free world, the most powerful man on the planet...wearing a goatee. He is the least presidential looking of all the series' presidentes. Plus he's got the shaved head thing going. And he looks like he's about 32 years old. He looks like a stuntman in a nice suit. Also, what is with this gravely voice of his? Why is he constantly doing a Clint Eastwood impression? No way this guy gets elected looking and talking like the leader of a S.W.A.T. team.

2) I don't buy for one second this premise of the U.S. trading Jack Bauer's life for a tip to Assad, the man presumed to be behind the string of terrorist attacks. It has been firmly established in various movies and TV shows (including this one I wanna say) that the United States does not under any circumstances negotiate with terrorists. It just doesn't happen. They don't send heroes like Jack Bauer to the slaughter for "tips" that will help them catch terrorists; they employ such heroes and entrust them with the task of catching the terrorists and bringing them to justice. Much like he's done for 5 seasons now. Sorry, don't buy it. Luckily, they seemed to have moved past that plot point within the first hour.

3) There is no way the U.S. military fires a missile into a suburban home without visual confirmation that the home is the terrorist base they were hoping to find. This mysterious Fayed calls and gives them a location and they just take his word for it? "Target acquired. Fire missile." "Are we sure this terrorist guy is actually there? How do we know this guy didn't give us the coordinates of the Anderson Family just moved here from Green Bay, Wisconsin?" "Dude, weren't you there? The mysterious Fayed told us this is where Assad is. That's good enough for me. FIRE!" There's just no way. Five seasons of this show has taught us that they would have had to stake out the house and get a visual confirmation that Assad is actually in the house before they blow it up. I can still picture the bouncer/president standing over the speakerphone all perplexed. What do you mean we didn't get him?! He wasn't home?!

Stripes reference too good to pass up:

Stillman: Fire when ready, corporal.
Corporal: What coordinates, sir?
Stillman: "Coordinates??" The only way to learn something is to do it! Now fire that mortar!!

4) Casting. It's not that the actors were unbelievable or performing poorly in their roles (except El Jefe, of course, as stated above), but it really took me out of the story when these actors would pop up that I would recognize from other roles that were the furthest possible role from anything "24." Regina King pops up as Sandra Palmer, the Prez's sister, and all I can think about for the next 15 seconds is "Jerry Maguire." The FBI agent who shows up at her office is the fuckin' ponytail guy from the bar in "Goodwill Hunting." You know, the "do you like apples" guy. Then in the suburban subplot, The Terrorist Next Door, Ahmed, is the guy that was just in that last Van Wilder movie! We just saw him all over TV getting manhandled by strippers in a college dorm room! Again, not that he doesn't do a mean terrorist, but I laughed when I saw him. No one should be laughing during "24." Oh I just remembered one more!!! The neighbor that Ahmed shoots is none other than Big John from "Can't Buy Me Love!" I can't wait to see who they throw at us next.

Does this mean I am not already thoroughly enraptured by the new season? Of course not. I am most definitely IN. I'm just sayin...it's not perfect so far. I can barely contain my anticipation for the second half of the 4-hour, 2-night premiere event.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday! Friday! Friday!

If I don't have any work to do, why can't I just go home? Seriously, I have about 45 minutes of work to spread out over 8 hours today. I'm gonna need to fill some gaps. I think I will take an extended lunch and hit Best Buy. I got a couple CDs to get (new Ben Kweller and Ron Sexsmith), and I think a PC game would be a wise investment to get me through the rest of the day.

I leave you for now with some thoughts to ponder:

1) If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

2) What if there were no hypothetical questions?

3) Where do forrest rangers go to "get away from it all?"

4) If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

5) What was the best thing before sliced bread?

6) One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.

7) If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too?

8) If you try to fail and succeed, which have you done?

9) Whose cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have "S" in it?

10) Is there another word for "synonym?"

Thursday, January 11, 2007


RAIN!!! RAIN, DAMN IT!!! RAIN!!! You know you want to! I can see how grey and ominous your clouds are! Just give me a few drops and we'll start from there! I got an Itunes playlist all set for ya!! What, you want me to do a rain dance? Is that what it's gonna take? Fine, you win.

(45 second Rain Dance Break)

Okay? Are you happy now? Can you show me some precip now, old friend? We had a deal!

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Man of My Word

I watched nearly every down of the NFL Wild Card Weekend. My couch and I were one. I walked to Borders and Second Spin between games on Saturday, saw "The Queen" Saturday night, which was excellent, and didn't leave the house until the final whistle blew around 5 p.m. on Sunday. It was great.

SNL was actually funny this week. Granted, it was a repeat, but it was still from this season so I think it still warrants mentioning. I don't know if it was the greatest host of all-time, Alec Baldwin, just carrying the rest of the losers or if they are finally turning things around. I may tune in again to find out.

After the games were over yesterday, I was bored out of my mind and going stir crazy. I couldn't think of anything better to do so I --get this-- went for a walk. Not for exercise per se, not to go anywhere in particular, just a walk for walk's sake. It was lovely. I realized how many things that seem far enough to merit driving to are actually only 5-10 minutes away by foot.

Friday, January 05, 2007

And Another Thing...

Why do athletes, rappers, and hip-hop afficiandos love "Scarface" so fuckin' much? I mean, really? It's such a cliche.


I don't really feel like working just yet so why not do a little blogging. Blogging...to blog.

I have been reading more lately than ever before in my life, including my school days. I am probably reading as much now as normal have been reading for years. It began with Pride and Prejudice which I enjoyed a great deal. Then I tore through Angels and Demons which was excellent. Now I am on to The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I am enjoying that one as well and should finish up within the next week. Going back to Angels and Demons, I think this one is going to make a better movie than Davinci Code did. It seems to me that it has more action, the stakes are higher and more urgent. Unfortunately, Angels will have the same director, writer, and lead actor as Davinci so I will not get my hopes up. When I saw it in the theater, I thought I liked Davinci. I thought it was as good an adaptation as anyone could have hoped for considering that so much of the book consisted of Robert Langdon spouting history and figuring things out in his head. When I watched it again on dvd, I found it borderline unwatchable. I love Tom Hanks (and I do mean love), but he just fails miserably in this movie and it has nothing to do with his hair. What was that all about anyway? Why were people so up in arms over his stupid hair? Was the length and style of Robert Langdon's hair truly pivotal to the plot or themes of the book? I don't remember it being so.

I saw two movies that I cannot recommend strongly enough, "Blood Diamond" and "An Inconvenient Truth." I know some might be scared away from the former due to Leonardo's accent and from the latter given that a (gasp!) Democrat is the central speaker, but I implore these people to put their prejudice's aside. Leo's accent is actually inconspicuous and "An Inconvenient Truth" tackles a global problem that supersedes political affiliation. See them movies, suckas!

It's only January and I am already feeling Baseball Fever. Even though I realize my team has no greater chance of doing any better than it did last season, I cannot wait for the 2007 season to begin. Luckily, Spring Training is only 2 short months away. Look out, Tempe!

Man, it is tough to get off the holiday diet. I crave sweets. I desire them. They call to me. Cookies. Fudge. Chocolates. Egg nog, oh the egg nog!! But I must resist. It's not worth another chin.

NFL Playoffs this weekend. My interest this season has been spotty, but dammit if I'm not pumped for the postseason. With little else going on, I intend to camp out and watch every snap.