Monday, March 31, 2008

" belong somewhere you feel free."

The Song of the Day is "Wildflowers" by Tom Petty.
I'm going with this one because, like many TP songs, it feels like a travelin' song and that's what's on my mind today. I love that feeling I get all week leading up to a trip, regardless of the destination (this time South Dakota). It's not just the anticipation itself, it's the way it permeates into all the little things that you need to do before going out of town. Who's gonna cat sit? How am I going to get to the airport? Packing--I love to pack. All these things that resemble ordinary everyday chores are injected with a sense of urgency and excitement. I'm going places, baby! Litrally. Cap it all off with my great love for airports. The newsstands with their floor-to-ceiling magazines, the generic, diluted versions of Starbucks and Mickey D's, and the "Home Turf" sports bars that are home only to transitory souls in search of a cold beer and a ballgame. The peoplemovers that make you feel like gliding at double speed. Someday when it's late or early enough that there's no people in my way, I'm gonna try running on one of these things at a full sprint. I love it all, I tell ya. I can't wait.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The song of the day is "The Way I Am" by Eminem.

Reason being...I've got a real short fuse today. I went ape shit once already over someone's annoying ringtone. I'm not trying to be a tough guy or anything. I'm just so fuckin' tired I have no patience or tolerance. I tried medicating with a triple grande latte (skinny hazelnut to be exact) and it didn't do a damn thing. It affected me about as much as a pistol shot hurt King Kong. I am in that stage of exhaustion where you need sleep so badly that you'd swear you were sleeping and that what you know is reality feels more like a dream. I need a cold shower or a slap in the face.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

For Everyman

I've been becoming disenchanted with Los Angeles recently. I've had plenty of bouts like this over the years, but it would always pass. Lately, it's been stickin'. Nobody enjoys traffic but it's more than an inconvenience to me. I can feel it eating away at my soul. It sucks the lifeforce right out of me like E.T. being stuck on earth too long. As I sit there wasting away for 10 hours a week, sucking fumes, listening to my brakes moan, feeling my car shudder in protest at the perpetual idle, I swear everyday that I've hit the breaking point. I think I might actually be right. Finally. The bitch of it is, it's not just the LA traffic that's so horrible, it's that it's pretty much unavoidable. We've been talking about moving down to the Westside which would be great. I would zip to and from work, door-to-door in 20 minutes tops. But what if my next job is back in the valley? I already moved to be closer to work once and it was great for a while, but then things happened and I found myself stuck in one of the worst commutes of my life again. What about softball? If I move to the Westside, I'm not going to wade through the 405 and the 101 at rush hour to get to a game in Burbank so I have to give that up. What about seeing my friends on a weeknight? Forget it. What about if there's a movie screening in Hollywood or a concert in Universal City? You cannot have anything resembling a life in this fucking city without dealing with traffic. And it's only getting worse.

Not only is the traffic getting worse, but it's costing even more. Four fuckin' dollars a gallon. And climbing. Of course, it won't stay up that high, but on the average it certainly won't go down from year to year either. I am sick and tired of watching more and more of my money go to gasoline, which, without getting too much into politics, isn't helping anyone else any more than it's not helping me. And yet, in this city, what choice does a person have?

I've gotten a little off track here, sorry. My point is that I've been thinking more and more about pulling up anchor and moving out of this town. Of course, this decision is not mine to make alone, but I am beginning to campaign and I think Nicole has to sympathize with my frustration. I've been thinking about a smaller city. Not a town, per se, and not quite "the country," but something smaller than this vast expanse. A walking city. A city with a mass transit system useful enough that we could sell off our cars and not have to deal with freeways at all. It has to be someplace quieter though. Someplace more affordable where a guy can afford to stash more than a couple bucks away and actually have realistic plans for the future. It's still gotta have culture though. I need theatres that show independant films, quirky bookstores and coffeehouses. I need a good music scene, someplace where I can be confident that most tours will make a stop. I need someplace with like-minded people. Even the diluted right wing nuts of California are beginning to give me ulcers. I'm thinking I need to live among my fellow "latte-sipping, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing" hippy, liberal, environmentally-aware brothers. It's time I just give into it and go full circle, just like Rambo finally did this year. I'm talking about a place where the (microbrewed) beer flows like wine. In short, I'm talking about a little place called.....PORTLAND. Would I miss my family and friends? Of course. That's maybe the only thing keeping me here, I think. Well, that and the Angels and Trojans. But you know what, the Angels play at Seattle a few times a year (which is doable) and SC will be in either Eugene or Corvallis every year too. Up until last weekend, you know how many times I had seen my family since Christmas? Zero-point-zero-zero. Would it really be much different taking a short flight versus a long drive? Maybe not. And when it comes to friends, who doesn't love a friend that gives you an excuse to go on a weekender?

Moment of Realistic Practicality: no way this happens before the wedding, which is still over a year away, if it happens at all (the move, not the wedding). Denver could ultimately win out too. My point is just the feeling like it's time to go. Which brings me to the Song of the Day! I think it speaks for itself.

For Everyman
By Jackson Browne

Everybody I talk to is ready to leave
With the light of the morning
They've seen the end coming down long enough to believe
That they've heard their last warning
Standing alone
Each has his own ticket in his hand
And as the evening descends
I sit thinking 'bout Everyman

Seems like I've always been looking for some other place
To get it together
Where with a few of my friends I could give up the race
And maybe find something better
But all my fine dreams
Well though out schemes to gain the motherland
Have all eventually come down to waiting for Everyman

Waiting here for Everyman--
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand
Waiting here for Everyman--
Don't ask me if he'll show -- baby I don't know

Make it on your own if you think you can
Somewhere later on you'll have to take a stand
Then you're going to need a hand

Everybody's just waiting to hear from the one
Who can give them the answers
And lead them back to that place in the warmth of the sun
Where sweet childhood still dances
Who'll come along
And hold out that strong and gentle father's hand?
Long ago I heard someone say something 'bout Everyman

Waiting here for Everyman--
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand

I'm not trying to tell you that I've seen the plan
Turn and walk away if you think I am--But don't think too badly of one who's left holding sand
He's just another dreamer, dreaming 'bout Everyman

Click here for Youtube video

Monday, March 24, 2008

All over the map

--Went to see a screening of "Field of Dreams" tonight at the Arclight. I'm normally not a stay-for-the-credits guy. I know they tried to ingrain the practice into us in film school, but it didn't really take. Sometimes I'll need a minute to absorb and gather, but more often than not, I am ready to stand. Conrad is an unequivocal credits guy so tonight we sat until the lights came on and I'm glad we did because on this 900th viewing of the movie, I discovered something new. After all the credits and thanks and Panavision logos, etc., there was a dedication that I had never stayed around long enough to catch. It said "For our parents." I think that's a dedication that was absolutely fulfilled. Among other things, it's a story about parents and kids, specifically one man's quest to make amends with his deceased father. To see the filmmakers make such a point resonated with me because a couple years ago I gave my dad a dvd copy of the movie along with a baseball mitt and ball, my way of saying, "Hey dad...wanna have a catch?"

--Caught the end of the Laker game when I got home. Man, I wish they would just go back to the old uniforms permanently. They are so damn sharp. They don't look outdated either so let's get Jerry (or Jim) Buss on the line and make this happen.

--Anybody wanna go see James Taylor all by their lonesome? Who needs ticket (singular)? I got one. Face plus miscellaneous ticketmasterape fees.

--Last night, I watched "Away From Her." Wow. I was deeply affected by this movie. I didn't just cry, I laid awake when I couldn't have been more tired. I've heard a lot of people describe the premise of the movie as depressing, and I sort of expected it to be. After actually seeing it though, I think it's a good example of a distinction between depressing and heart-wrenching. I haven't seen it in years, but I might say "Schindler's List" was depressing where as "Life if Beautiful" is heart-wrenching despite both movies being about the holocaust and neither (I don't think) having a happy ending. To me, "Away From Her" was achingly beautiful. It was like a more realistic, more focused, quieter "The Notebook." And I friggin' loved "The Notebook."

--On that note, consider this post to be an open invitation (and request) to anyone I would call a friend to please slap me right in the mouth if it ever seems like I'm taking my fucking blog a bit too seriously.

--Listening to Counting Crows' new album, fresh off the download (only downloaded because it was ripe with exclusive extras). At first listen, it's a welcome throwback to their early stuff. Which is not to say I didn't like "Hard Candy" because I did. I just felt like they were headed towards a more pop-oriented place with that album and they took it right up to the edge of going too far. I was worried the next album would go over the edge. I don't really know what that would sound like, but my point is just that this, to me, is a much less pop single-type album and they were due for something like that. I think it's kind of got the best elements of August and Everything After and Recovering the Satellites combined. But that's just one fan's opinion.

--I'd like to post something here a little more often, but sometimes I just don't have anything to say or nothing I haven't said to five people already that day. So at the risk of being completely cheesy (not the first time, won't be the last), I think I'll start doing a Song Of The Day thing just to give me something I can always talk about aside from "Today I ate cornflakes. Used too much milk."

The Song Of The Day for Tuesday, March 25th:

"Your Love" by The Outfield.

I just got this one tonight too. If you don't recognize the title or artist, just punch yourself in the balls and sing in your newfound pitch:

Josie's on a vacation far away
Come around and talk it over
So many things that I wanna say
You know I like my girls a little bit older
I just wanna use your love tonight
I don't wanna lose your love toniiiiiiiiight

Or I suppose you could just sample it on Youtube and save your balls.

So I'm making that the song of the day, for me at least. Kind of a weird, unnecessarily tension-filled day on Monday so I'm pulling out the big guns with this upbeat, infectious 80's number to kick start a better Tuesday. I think that's reason enough.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

As if I needed another reason....

From's "First Read":

If there's one thing outside of politics that can steal a candidate's attention -- especially the hoops enthusiast Obama -- it's March Madness, which begins in the next hour or two.

His top bracket picks include: UNC in the East, Kansas in the Midwest, Pittsburgh in the South, and UCLA in the West. Obama has his money on the University of North Carolina to win the NCAA tournament this year beating out UCLA in the final.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Some would say this is a poorly composed photograph. I say the photographer could tell we were missing two guys and chose to use the vast expanse of concrete here to represent their cowardice and inadequacy

It speaks for itself, I think.
Conrad got so excited he pissed himself, but at least he got some new shorts out of it.
Sonic the Angels Fan?
Guinness. It does a body good.
Test of strength! Greco-Roman knuckle-lock!
Do NOT fuck with the Mad Dog!
That sky is real.


A (Hook) Shot In The Dark

Click on image to enlarge

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mixed Messages But What Else is New


(CNN) — Even as Hillary Clinton's campaign attacked her rival, Barack Obama, for failing to "deliver on his promises," her husband, former President Bill Clinton said Saturday that a joint ticket pairing the two would be "almost unstoppable."

The former president referred to his wife's own comments that indicated a willingness to consider the prospect. "She said yesterday and she said the day after her big wins in Texas and Ohio and Rhode Island that she was very open to that and I think she answered explicitly 'Yes' yesterday," said Clinton during a Mississippi campaign appearance.

"I know that she has always been open to it, because she believes that if you can unite the energy and the new people that he's brought in and the people in these vast swaths of small town and rural America that she's carried overwhelmingly, if you had those two things together she thinks it'd be hard to beat."

He added that, in his view, Obama would win the "urban areas and the upscale voters" while Clinton claims "the traditional rural areas that we lost when President Reagan was president. If you put those two things together, you'd have an almost unstoppable force."

Hillary Clinton told a CBS interviewer earlier this week, shortly after she ended a string of 11 losses with wins in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, that a joint ticket "may be where this is headed. But of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket. I think the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me."

The New York senator has made the suggestion in other interviews, as have her campaign surrogates. On Friday, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told the National Journal that it was important for the winner of the Democratic nomination to make the offer to the runner-up this year.

The Obama team has largely avoided making similar statements.

UPDATE: In an interview with CNN affiliate KTVQ in Billings, Montana, Obama called the notion "premature," saying he has won twice as many states as Clinton and a greater share of the popular vote, and he believes he can maintain a delegate lead.

"You won't see me as a vice presidential candidate, you know, I'm running for president," said Obama.

So let me get this straight. In the past week or so, starting with the berating "Shame on you" rant, Shrillary has compared Obama to Ken Starr and George W. Bush, reduced his entire political life to "one speech," openly favored John McCain over Obama, implicitly perpetuated the ridiculous Muslim rumor her campaign originally created, and essentially called Obama a liar. Now you want to join forces? Huh? My head is literally spinning. The Clintons are unquestionably smart people, but this makes no damn sense. Does she really think she can set out to destroy Obama, then jump on board and all will be forgotten? I guess in her shrewd, calculating, political robot mind, that's a typical machination. Since every single word that comes out of her mouth is designed solely for political gain with honesty only occasionally on board by sheer coincidence, such a deduction would be commonplace. But is she arrogant enough to think the American people are going to buy it? Since her core constituency is the uneducated demographic, I guess I can see how she might think so. However, the latest polls show that the Dems' lead over McCain in a general election preview has shrunken to a virtual tie. The party is being dragged down exactly as I was just saying the other day. Thanks a lot, Hill. Good show, old girl. What really baffles me is that in this combined ticket scenario, I'll bet she has the gall to believe she would be at the top of the ticket. Could she realize it's mathematically a near impossibility for her to win and be pandering now to ride Obama's coattails in the general election? No, that would be too logical. And I know what by man Barack The Vote would say to that: Negative. No Deal.

Political quote of the week that literally made me laugh out loud when I heard it:

When asked by a reporter if one of Obama's advisors referring to her as a "monster" was comparable to her campaign equating Obama to Ken Starr, Shrillary answered that it was not. Her reasoning? Wait for it...

"Because one is an ad homonym attack and one is a historical reference."

I shit you not, she actually said that.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Beard Falls Tonight!

It had a good run, albeit much shorter than the first one. It's just that we enter Daylight Savings Time on Sunday which marks the beginning of BBQ season....We got spring training next weekend. Not to mention Steve fuckin' Nash is growing a beard now. It's just time to start fresh (and clean clean).

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

So That Happened...

Shrillary wins Texas and Ohio. The silver lining is that, assuming Obama wins the Texas caucus, he may only lose around 3 actual delegates as a result of todays elections. The bad news is that Shrillary's wins today effectively doom the Democratic Party, ensuring that the race will go on like a runaway train, unstoppable now on its track to oblivion. If these two candidates continue their competition all the way to the convention, it won't matter who eventually wins the nomination because they will have destroyed their message and themselves in the process and John McCain will cruise to victory in the general election. And let's be clear, there has probably never been a presidential election more vital to the Democratic Party than this one in 2008. They lost in 2000, albeit in a very controversial, still questionable way. Then they lost again in 2004 when they failed to respond to baseless character attacks and failed to establish any sort of religious identity or foundation with the American people. Along comes 2008 and the Presidency would have appeared to be theirs for the taking, coming off of 8 years of a Republican President with the lowest approval rating in history. If the Democratic Party loses this election, I honestly don't see how the party continues to be a viable entity in American politics. Unfortunately, as things stand today, it would appear that even given these extraordinary circumstances, the party is still not going to be able to effectively un-fuck itself. They are not going to be able to get out of their own damn way once again. It's truly sad. What's also sad is the way that the ideas are getting lost in all this. I feel like the party is already beginning to split right down the middle, with each new faction entrenching itself with its candidate, firmly in opposition to its opponent, regardless of a common interest and shared policy views. Hillary Clinton intimated this week that she might be more likely to endorse her drinking buddy John McCain in a general election rather than Barrack Obama. I haven't read anything similar from the Obama campaign, but, screw it, I'll say it myself; if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination I will dance across the aisle and vote for John McCain, then take my Republican friends out and buy them all milkshakes. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE, YOU GODDAMN CLINTON MACHINE! It's true, I have grown to hate the Clinton political machine that much in the short span of these past few months. I fully realize how horrible that is in terms of what politics is supposed to stand for in this country, that I would vote against a candidate who so closely shares my candidates views because I flatly don't like her. No, that's not exactly right. At the very core of all this, it's the politics itself that I find so repugnant. It's not just that Shrillary voted for the war, it's that she refuses to admit that it was a mistake, choosing instead to dance around it and split hairs with her choice of words. Not to mention the now infamous yet clearly strategic and insincere tears she shed in that New Hampshire diner. It's saying how proud she is to be on a stage with Obama and then shouting "Shame on you, Barack Obama!!" less than 48 hours later over something that she knew about for weeks and has been engaging in herself from the start. How about attacking Obama for merely uttering the name Reagan despite listing ol' Ron as one of her favorite Presidents in a book that was, at the time, on the current bestsellers list? I could go on and on with examples of Shrillary's zealously political despicary (see strategery--If there's one thing Bush has taught me it's that it's okay to make up my own words) that even I, an admitted political novice, have been able to observe in this election. Ultimately, it all amounts to gross insincerity. John McCain has impressed me with his apparent campaign integrity on a number of occasions both in this election and the prior election in 2004. I recall an occasion in 2004 where he defended John Kerry from the heinous Swiftboat attacks. I remember during one of the debates this year when a question was posed about whether they owned a gun and what kind, his opponents gleefully bragged about their iron like it was the Wild West all over again while McCain disdainfully answered the question and still dismissed it as the idiotic nonsense it was. My point is just that I, for one, am more inclined to vote for someone who's being honest than someone who will tell me anything I want to hear to get my vote.

I got off on a tangent there for a while. Let's not forget that Obama is still in the lead, that his elected delegate lead still projects to be totally insurmountable. And yet, I was left wondering tonight what would it take for the Democratic party to stop the madness of this campaign and award him the nomination before we get all the way to Denver and watch the party unravel at the seams along the way? What if John Edwards were to finally speak up and he publicly endorsed Obama? I think the time for that has passed. It would surely help either candidate to have him on board, but it's not a king-maker anymore, not in this predicament we're in now. I was talking to Bill Brasky about it and for a while we were left scratching our heads. It seemed there was no conceivable action that end this debate once and for all while there was still time to have it mean anything. It was all for naught, we thought. And then it came to us. There is but one single hope left for the fate of the Democratic Party....

Al. Fucking. Gore.

I'm not talking about an endorsement. Screw endorsements at this point. I am talking about Obama and Gore making a joint announcement of a shared ticket, with Big Al taking the co-pilot's seat once again. Can you imagine it? OBAMA-GORE '08!! There's your dream ticket, folks. The remaining states would be had in a walk (not that delegates matter, according to Clinton). The superdelegates would have the basis to do what the majority of them are itching to do anyway, which is to jump on board the Obama rocket. Momentum? Fuhgetaboutit. Not to mention that that one-two punch would have the steam of defeat piping out of John McCain's ears by Labor Day. Game Over.

The chances of this union actually happening? Approximately 67, 942, 334 to 1. But this is what we're left with. Dream Team fantasies and the now very real threat of Bill Brasky and I having to personally march into Denver and bitchslap some sense into this Party. It will still be too late, but at least we'll feel a little better about the whole thing.

"There, I've said my peace. How's your mom?"

--Bob Sugar

Just Rambling

--As the early returns begin rolling in in today's primaries (and one primary/caucuss), I don't understand how they report on these things. In Ohio, there is 0% of precincts reporting yet Clinton somehow has a 56-42% lead. What is 56% of zero? In Vermont, the polls were closed all of 15 minutes before the state was declared a victory for Obama. How is this possible? I know, exit polls, right? So how is it that in every local, state, or national election I've ever cast a vote in, I've not once been exit-polled? What I also don't understand is how accurate this early reporting seems to be. Not once in this primary race has either candidate won a state where the news outlets had them trailing initially. Not even when it was 0% of precincts reporting. I just don't get it. That being said, come on Ohio. 56-42? Really? Was the do-it-for-the-children ad really that compelling?

--I just started reading "Independence Day," by Richard Ford, the sequel to Ford's "The Sportswriter," my second favorite book of all-time. I'm only two chapters in and very little has actually happened plotwise (see nothing), but I am loving every single sentence of it. I am no literary critic, not by a longshot, but I can say that Ford's writing "voice" is one that completely captivates me. I think it only accentuates it that both books are written in the first person as told by the main character, Frank Bascombe. It's like a Morgan Freeman voiceover in a movie; he could read the ingredients to a box of instant mashed potatoes and it would seem like the most interesting thing in the world. Ford's confident, insiteful, strolling narration of Frank Bascombe taking stock of his life has that same comfortable, broken-in feel. And I'm only on chapter 2 with hundreds more pages (and a whole third book) to go. Lucky for me. I've deliberately waited a while after finishing "The Sportswriter" before starting "Independence Day" because I know there's only three books in total. I gotta ration 'em, ya see.

Monday, March 03, 2008


WOOOOOOOOOOO! Now that was a rough flu. Not stomach, luckily, but my ass was sufficiently kicked for 6 solid days just the same. And now I'm back...with not much to say.

In my opinion, of all the things one can be short on, to be without ideas is nearly the worst. And I'm not talking about blogging.

--I sincerely hope Obama is able to win Texas or Oh-Hi-Ho tomorrow as it will effectively knock Shrillary out once and for all. I'm honestly not sure how much more of this Democratic Primary season I can take. The attacks, the split personalities, the distortion of truth, the tone-deaf foghorn shouting "On Day One" or "Shame on you!", the widened, bulging eyes of a woman willing to literally mame and consume anyone that stands in her path to the Presidency, the now pointless debates, the fear-mongering, the laughable TV advertisements....It's dragging us down, man. I understand that the McCain campaign is vowing to not "go negative" against Obama, which I find very hard to believe, but after these last few grueling months of the Clinton Machine steaming at full speed, I'm not sure I can take much more nonsense and intelligence-sucking bullshit.

--Ya know, I'm not sure I could ever be in a relationship with a vegetarian. Strike that, I am certain I couldn't do it. Seeing as how much I love meat, how could I ever cook for two? No meat in the spaghetti sauce? No ham on the sandwich? No hot dog in the bun? No thank you. Luckily, my bride is a card-carrying carnivore so it's not something I'll have to worry about. Which is good because I've got enough on my plate.

--For all Joe's shit-talking about Cruiser not eating real sushi, I was disappointed with Joe's ordering on Saturday night. A lot of crab in those rolls, folks. Didn't see anything like eel or yellowtail. I'm pretty sure everything he ordered was cooked too. Sure, a lot of it had fancy names, but when you checked the ingredients, there wasn't anything crazier than a California in there. I smell a rat, Broseph!