Wednesday, August 31, 2005

how tragedy hits home

the following is from my good friend anthony, who just packed up his things in new orleans and moved on out before katrina hit. we're thinking of you, buddy, and we love you.



Being a writer, I thought I’d write.

Saturday: It is about 6 pm as we decide to evacuate our homes and apartments at 2 AM. The clan that consists of myself, my wife Cheryl, her parents, her sister and her son. Our brother in-law being a parish employee had to stay behind to work. We packed what we could think of that would be necessary for what we believed would be a three-day excursion. A mini vacation to Little Rock, Arkansas perhaps. The irony of letters ARK do not escape me.

We opt to drive together as a group, leaving a car, truck and everything else behind.

Sunday: We arrive in Little Rock after eating at an IHOP just around Tallula, LA. Suddenly, we have a pool, a balcony view, someone cooking breakfast every morning and the luxuries of all luxuries, a maid. As we begin to try to contact people, we learn that the 504 area code is worthless. We learn that there is no power, no running water, no sewer system. We are unaware of the location of grandparents, friends, co-workers, etc. The notion of unemployment and homelessness begin to set in. We finally come to the realization that our house in Birmingham hasn’t sold. Although, I can never understand the complexity of the Almighty, I at least have the answer to the question: God, why won’t our house sell?

The executive decision is made and we pull our house off the market.

Monday: The same all day – watching the news, calling cell phones and hearing what I have now committed to memory, “I’m sorry, due to the hurricane, all systems are busy, please try your call again.” Today, it occurs to me that without phones, financial questions can’t be answered and in thinking that the gulf coast has lost millions in casino revenues, your everyday ATM has become the new slot machine. Any amount of withdrawal is three cherries.
And then there are the looters.

Watching people ransacking retail outlets is an odd thing. On the one hand you think, well they need to survive – that is the mode they are in. On the other hand, as you see people carrying things like Nike shoes, suits and jewelry out of stores you used to legally purchase such things, you think – shoot on site. To me these are the sub-humans that New Orleans inhabits. And true it is an habitat – “The zoo,” I told my wife, “is flooded.”

Somehow, we manage to see our apartment on the news, being a mile from Cheryl’s parents, we deem that indeed the entire city is underwater. The biblical story of JOB comes to mind. If you have never read it – do so. The malls, the blockbuster, homes, cars, everything is submerged to some degree. Knowing helps, slightly. I say this because as once as you come to grips with total loss, you truly can only look forward. There is no yesterday.

Tuesday: More of the same. Clothes are getting worn. I personally am wearing as little as possible. A scary thought for those who’ve seen me naked. Crazy enough, you can lose everything but your sense of humor, I suppose. More calls are made to re-establish ourselves in Birmingham. The idea now is to harbor who we have in tow and hunker down for the month they are saying we will have to wait to return. To what, however, we have no idea.

Wednesday: Cheryl’s mom’s birthday. 61. The only thing I can think about is that for her birthday she has been given one more day. As of today, none of us know much about our jobs, homes and family members. Although we do get word that grandparents are alive. Thank God. We are also getting calls from friends offering help. Our love goes out to them. Ah, something else we have not lost.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

how talent is scarce

how scarce? here's a running list of all the talented people my roommates saw while watching the video music awards on mtv. it didn't matter if they performed or presented or sat on their ass in the crowd. they just had to be seen and voted unanimously. (and by "talented", it's someone you watch and say, "holy crap. that person's talented." it's not that hard. in fact, if you're honest, it's pretty obvious).

so here goes it, in order of appearance. prepare to be underwhelmed.

billie joe armstrong
kanye west
missy elliott
dwayne wade
shaquille o'neal
alicia keys
mike judge (in the form of "beavis and butthead")
jamie foxx

yep. that's it. out of the hundreds on stage and the thousands in attendance, we found ten.

celebrity's given out so easily nowadays, ain't it?

how geeks make the world go in a circular motion

this is a video of some online game where geeks do voice chat and plan some sort of a raid and then actually attack while communicating with each other (and if i got the description of the whole game wrong, please take careful note that i couldn't care less).

it's funny enough listening to all the planning and on-spot statistical evaluations (i'm not making that up).

anyway, halfway through it, when one of them named leroy goes off on his own and ruins everything, it becomes gut-busting stuff. comedy at its apex.

enjoy and feel better about yourself.

how to return volley

this happened to me and my carlos beltran shirt while on line in the men's bathroom after the mets lost to the giants.

DRUNKARD: hey, how's that beltran shirt paying off?

i ignore him because although his team won, my team is still 10 games better than his.

DRUNKARD: hey, beltran, wish you didn't pay for that shirt, huh? 13 homers and 60 rbis suck.

i ignore him again. everyone knows that beltran is having a crappy year.

DRUNKARD: hey, how's that beltran shirt paying off?

okay, now i've had enough. so i turn around and say

STEVE: dude, you're wearing a barry bonds hat.


here's a couple of rules about heckling:
1. if your team craps the bed, it's a good idea to shut up.
2. if you're gonna rag on a player, don't wear anything that says barry bonds on it. it's like a michael jackson fan making fun of clay aiken. plus, even if my guy has 13 homers and 60 rbis, that makes it 13 homers and 60 rbis more than your guy has this year. so shut up.
3. i'm quicker than you.

how it will all go down

on the way to the game two of the mets-giants series in sbc, my roommate brett posed a question: if you threw all the cities in a battle royal, who would win?

it would have to be WWE rules, which means over-the-top-rope and both feet have to hit the floor below. and once you're out, you're out.

here are the unscientifically chosen combatants: boston, new york, philadelphia, washington dc, baltimore, richmond, charlotte, atlanta, orlando, miami, nashville, memphis, new orleans, cleveland, cincinnati, chicago, detroit, milwaukee, minneapolis, seattle, san francisco, oakland, los angeles, san diego, phoenix, salt lake city, denver, st. louis, dallas and houston.

and it takes place in vegas. obviously.

winner takes honolulu.

so it's 30 cities. who will survive?

of course, the pussy ones are always eliminated first. so goodbye orlando, miami, cincinnati, seattle, los angeles (who successfully auditioned for the role of "pussy city #3"), san diego, nashville, phoenix, denver, st. louis, charlotte and dallas (yes, you dallas. don't be puttin' on "don't mess with texas" airs. everyone knows you're full of shit). salt lake city is also included in this grouping, but i just wanted to point out that not only was it the first one eliminated, but it flailed its arms like a little girl in the process.

and before anyone complains, i live in san francisco, and it's thrown out right after salt lake city.

the next ones to go out are the ones with a lot of heart, but not the size to compete. so goodbye baltimore, richmond, atlanta (you're not a big city until you get more than one street), memphis, cleveland, milwaukee (who was too drunk to feel anything), minneapolis (who would have been tossed earlier if not for its tough winter-resistant skin) and houston, who coughed up something when it hit the floor. new orleans was extremely feisty, but its heart was bigger than its body, so out it went, although it went right to a strip club afterwards.

so that leaves boston, new york, philly, dc, detroit, chicago and oakland, who is not as big as the other cities but you don't really want to mess with it.

the next to go is boston, who talks a good game and annoys easily, so it goes head over heels. in fact, everyone teamed up to throw it out without debate.

dc goes next and chicago right afterwards (this was a surprise, but as you well know, you can't make for a good battle royal without a couple of swerves).

so now philly, detroit, new york and oakland are all in. and there's really only one thing to do: team up and eliminate the behemoth in the ring.

so new york is out.

and then, the critical mistake (and there's always one that settles a battle royal): philadelphia and detroit laugh at oakland's small stature, and they precede to ignore it and settle it themselves.

and as philly and detroit battle to the death, oakland awaits the right moment and BAM! a dropkick places the both of them on the floor.

your winner, and your battle royal champion: oakland.

don't question the logic. vince mcmahon would approve.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

how sweet is easily tacky

at the mets-giants game tonight at sbc park, there was a videogram on the huge scoreboard in centerfield that read:


before you say, "owww, that's sweet", you have to consider the buildup.

now, i don't know either amy or scott, but you'd have to believe that he screwed up big time for him to pay that much for a message on a scoreboard. remember, it costs much more than a bouquet of flowers. so, he probably cheated on her or said something completely inappropriate or just did something so completely idiotic - basically, he did something utterly unforgiveable.

he probably bought these tickets months ago; she's probably from queens (there are many amys in queens).

they haven't been speaking for about a week.

it's the day of, and he comes by the house, and she doesn't want to speak to him. and the last thing she wants to do is sit through nine innings with this asshole who doesn't even have the nerve to be sincere about what he did.

but he pleads with her, "c'mon honey, we've been looking forward to this for months." but she begins to cry. he begs of her, "please please please, c'mon." but she's not really a baseball fan. "just take one of your stupid buddies to the game."

and, if he hadn't screwed up, he would have. but he just dropped a ton of cash on this stupid message, so he has to take her, because if his buddy saw it, he would be called a "pussy" for the rest of his life.

finally, he coerces her to go. he was probably very sincere about him wanting to spend some time with her. women pick up on that stuff and she's silently hoping for a break in the clouds.

but they have a very quiet car ride to the ballpark. it's not that he's a jerk; it's just that he's nervous that she won't see the message - like it'll come on while she's in the middle of a two-inning potty break.

so they barely say anything to each other. he's nervous and she's steaming mad.

and, in the fifth inning, he gently grabs her noncommital hand and - voila! the message.

she's not impressed.

"that's why you brought me here? so a stupid scoreboard can apologize for you?"

"well, yeah, honey, i love you, and..."

"you had a week plus a whole car ride and five innings to apologize to me, you jackass, and you said nothing. nothing!"

"but the scoreboard was gonna..."

"...and instead of being sincere about your apology, you gave it to a scoreboard operator, and now 39,000 people know that you did something terrible to me, and how pathetic do i seem now?"


"take me home."

"but honey..."

"screw you. i'm leaving."

so is it sweet or is it tacky? i know what my answer is.

Friday, August 26, 2005

how through simplicity comes clarity

this is the most recent press release following the arrest of two brothers in the case of natalee holloway.

"They are suspected of the primary criminal act of together with other people committing premeditated murder, alternately together with other people murdering somebody, more alternately rob a person of her liberty with fatal consequences and even more alternately raping somebody. Aside from these suspicions against the two brothers, there are new suspicions, which at this point the prosecutor is not commenting on."

can anybody make heads or tails out of that?

personally, i think it's blatantly obvious who the perpetrator is, and there's plenty of clues in the above statement to make it as clear as water (not the hudson river).

the killer of natalee holloway is none other than...drumroll please...batman's nemesis, the riddler.

and before any of you ask, it's the one played by frank gorshin.

the jack nicholson riddler took out robert blake's wife.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

how it's not fair

i know i post a lot about this, but bare with me again.

my good friend's little brother is 14, and he's beaten cancer twice in his lifetime. that's an amazing accomplishment and says tons about his strength and conviction. that's part of what makes such a good kid so admirable to all of us.

you would think, at some point, the cancer would give up and find an easier target. but that's the funny thing about them. they just like to ask for another ass whipping.

so now he's about to beat it for a third time.

but, still, if you can, whether you pray or not, or however you ask for things or good will, please keep richie canci in your minds.

and watch with admiration as he kicks its ass again.

how there's no need to worry

i haven't posted much because i've been working my ass off and i haven't had a chance to breathe.

and, in case any of you are wondering, not because i was a runaway teen actress looking for a little publicity to raise my chances to win a role on "charmed" or anything on mtv.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

how there are no coincidences

i just watched the south park episode where stan brings down the fallacy of psychic medium john edward, eventually to the point where that fraud won an award as "biggest douche in the universe". and well deserved, although i don't think dr. phil was around at that time. that would have been a close race.

anyway, the voice of john edward sounded verrrry familiar.

and then, it hit me: in the movie "team america: world police", trey parker and matt stone used the same exact voice for john edward as they did for kim jong-il.

that's why the south park guys are geniuses.

how everything should have a concept

you know when you watch the opening movie credits and it's usually just type and it really doesn't add anything other than who shot the film and what production company made it and so on?

anyways, i found this website which is an anthology of movie title sequences created by world famous designer saul bass.

it's type and design done for a reason, and it's really really cool stuff worth checking out.

the "vertigo" title sequences are just pure brilliance, making you dizzy even before the movie begins. it doesn't translate well on the website, but if you haven't seen it, you should really rent it and check it out.

i love this type of stuff.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

how steve time is good time

i had my plans fall though on me tonight, and faced with a night all to myself (a shock), i decided to do something i haven't done in awhile: a movie doubleheader.

a couple of problems: i really want to see "the 40-year-old virgin", but i don't want to see it in a cineplex sitting in front of some 16-year-old assholes who can't shut up for five minutes. also, if i hear another cellphone go off in a theater, i will, too.

so, being that i actually enjoy the theater experience, i chose two movies that i really wanted to see and can play in front of an audience that will actually appreciate it: jim jarmusch's "broken flowers" starring bill murray, and "the aristocrats".

problem is that they're not playing in the same theater.

so i decided on breaking a cardinal rule, and actually decided that i will pay for both of them. but therein lied the olympic-sized dilemma: "broken flowers" started at 7:30 in the embarcadero, and "the aristocrats" began at 9:45 at "the bridge". yes, that's from one end of san francisco to the other.

can i do it? can one man beat the odds but not the system?

at the embarcadero center, san francisco for $10

remember when you came to realize how amazing of an actor bill murray really is? that happened to me during "rushmore". but then we saw another layer of him, as a detached observing character, in "lost in translation" that he played again in "the life aquatic". and, although i'm not saying he's not great, but he played the same exact character again - the one who just sits there and observes life as it's passing him by - and he's great, but i got it already. he can pull that off well.

that's not a complaint. it's just an observation.

anyway, the movie is wonderful, funny, heartfelt, honest, quirky, insane and utterly human. or, simply put, it's a jim jarmusch film. if, for nothing else, go to see jeffrey wright's performance, but when is that ever not the case? actually, all the performances were spot on, and the footage very raw and poetic, and it's got a really cool ending to it.

it's a damn fine film, and one that let out just 10 minutes before the start of the next one.

so i grabbed a cab quickly and told my driver of the dilemma. and that sonuvabitch swerved and weaved and made up those five miles in seven minutes flat. and, with a couple of minutes to spare, i tipped my man $4 on the $11 fare and told him that he is the champion of all that is good.

it was much obliged.

at the bridge theater, san francisco for $9.75

okay, i'll say this first: it's crude and funny and a very interesting idea. and i dig documentaries, even though you'll be hard pressed to classify this as such. i laughed hard and often.

but it's also quite possibly the worst shot film ever. and that's not me being a film snob. i just don't care to watch extremely close-up footage of penn gillette where i can see his open pores. these are not models. these are comedians - and poorly-lit ones at that.

and it's also quite possibly the worst edited film ever. and again, that's not me being a film snob either. this is why: you don't cut in the middle of a thought. your mind has trouble processing it. your eye only blinks at the end a thought or sentence (it's true, but now that i mentioned it, you'll test yourself). so, as you live your life, if you consider your eyes to be a camera, your mind is processing and editing the film of your life, cutting only at blinks. got it? so, if your eye only blinks at the end of a thought, then your mind only accepts a cut in a film when it also happens at that cadence. that's natural, and it's one of the most important and crucial rules of basic editing. watch any other film. it's how editing works.

and this movie, because it cuts every three seconds or so for no real reason, becomes even more horrifying to watch because your mind is not ready to process it and it gives you a headache. (for more information on what the hell i'm ranting about, or actually a clearer explanation, click here or just trust me on this one).

but other than the vile images and raging headache, it was funny.

and i took the bus home, satisfied.

not a bad night with myself.


Friday, August 19, 2005

how it's refreshing but in a different way

as most of you have heard or read, oakland raiders WR randy moss recently admitted that he has smoked marijuana and will continue to do so, "every blue moon". and, as is the case with everything and anything that involves a celebrity in this country, this story has full-blown into a big event.

and, as is the case, everyone is missing the point.

here's my takeaway: i think it's absolutely refreshing.

whether you believe that marijuana use is right or wrong, whether you believe it makes a difference if he smoked it in-season or off, i'm just blown-away that he was honest about it.

let's be real: i'm gonna guess that most athletes smoke pot. and i'm gonna guess that they're all gonna deny it, much like how bill clinton did or rafael palmiero did with steroids (and every athlete who follows him). and we're not gonna believe them, because why should we, and it's gonna be the same runaround and rigamarole, and the disillusionment won't end.

that is, unless you enjoy "i didn't inhale" or "i have no idea how those steroids were put in my body" or any other hackish excuse they come up with.

but now we have randy moss, who freely admits his drug use. he's being honest about it. that's the story.


holy crap. it's almost too incredible to believe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

how to do vegas

just got back from vegas for my friend's bachelor party. it was a great weekend, really well done and planned with a great group of guys. it's the type of bachelor party i'd like to have one day.

especially when there's a celebrity embarrassing himself somewhere nearby.

long story short: we all got VIP tickets for the stuff magazine party at the palms - basically, the type of parties frequented by the hiltons and lohans of the world. we hung out by the pool next to robert horry. some dude from the strokes was walking around. there were beautiful women present, and a bunch of even more beautiful women who are paid to be beautiful, and it's money well spent. and judging by the size of biceps, i'm sure there were a ton of athletes there too.

but as we were leaving, we had to pass by the throng of hundreds who were trying to get inside. they had them all cordoned off in a roped area. and there was this one crazy-haired blonde guy with bugged out eyes that looked like he went on a red bull bender trying to get inside - in fact, he was begging and pleading.

i grabbed my buddy's shoulder in front of me, pointed to the guy and asked, "is that?"

yep. it was c.c. deville, former guitarist of poison.

and he was begging loudly. "but i'm c.c. i'm c.c."

he was left out, of course. wouldn't want anyone to say, "look what the cat dragged in".

Monday, August 15, 2005

how it's possible to ruin a great thing

here's a spot shot by the amazing michel gondry that was ruined.

when we worked with charlie (michel's editor), he told us how he did it. basically, all the people are given books. when given the signal, the line producer will scream out a page. they each open their books to that page which reveals a number (each book has different numbers). everyone then goes to a cement tile with their number on it. when they get there, an image is formed overhead and they enact whatever's needed.

and then they're given another page and another number and another tile to go to and another image forms.

how cool is that?

anyways, he's amazing, and those title cards just...well, they are what they are. hello, advertising.

'tis a shame.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

how contingency plans may be warranted

i'm going to vegas this weekend for a bachelor party.

with vegas being vegas and with this being a bachelor party, i've decided to leave a little last will and testament, in the off-chance that roy's tiger goes on a rampage or that don rickels' head explodes and severs my neck (of course, anyone who even remotely thinks that i'm gonna be in the vicinity of roy horn or don rickels in vegas should please remove this blog from their bookmarks and never speak to me again).

okay, so here's everything i own. divvy it up amongst yourselves. it's not much, but it's all i got.

- my weekly bout with insomnia
- terrible balance
- the ability to mess up sentences
- white nosehairs that grow faster than the black ones
- ligaments that snap when i walk
- heavy footsteps
- farts that sound like a tuba

please, share and share alike. and if i make it back from vegas, in one piece or at least in a couple, then you're just gonna have to buckle up and wait a little longer.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

how the youth will lead us

most of you east coasters probably didn't see it considering the mets are playing in san diego, but 22-year-old wunderkind third baseman david wright made the catch of his career last night.

enjoy. it's superhuman and incredible, and that's whether you're a baseball fan or not.

absolutely amazin'.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

how things stay the same

from, but explicitly heard in my hometown.

Bird's Eye: Hitting the Target in the Freezer

Dude #1: Hey, keep a lookout, I gotta piss and I'm gonna go in the freezer.
Dude #2: Looks like I can't buy frozen burritos here anymore.

--Pathmark, Staten Island

stay classy, staten island. stay classy.

how it could be the giants year

donovan mcnabb is the cover boy for madden nfl 2006. that's great news.

why? let's review:

madden 2002's cover boy? daunte culpepper, who then threw a career-low 14 tds which caused his head coach, dennis green, to get fired.

madden 2003? marshall faulk, who rushed for under 1,000 yards for the first time since 1996; also, he had surgery on his left knee and on his left hand.

madden 2004? michael vick, who broke his right leg in the preseason.

madden 2005? my buddy ray lewis, who had a below-average season for his standards and then fractured his wrist, which helped prevent his team from going to the playoffs.

better eat up on your chunky, donovan.

how they can't help but shoot themselves in the skate

on a day when hockey's greatest player announces his return to the league as a coach, in what should have been a day-long celebration of a hero who did not look superhuman, a man who carried himself with the utmost class as he destroyed every record known on ice, an athlete that is an idol over an entire country and sport who is now about to tackle a new challenge in his life and career, the much maligned (and largely forgotten) NHL also announced that their biggest criminal, goon and cheap shot artist would also return to the ice.

which begs me to ask: are they intentionally going out of their way to destroy their league? is this their idea of going out of their way to avoid any good press or feelings whatsoever? does anyone have any idea what the hell they're doing?

and, most importantly, does anyone care?

'cuz i don't.

how there's never the right time

i think it was lewis black who said that he can't figure out why they sell porn mags in airports, because he can't imagine a guy who would say, "well, i'm over iowa. time for some titties."

but i sat next to that guy on my flight from jfk to oak. and he was married.

i don't think she was too happy when he took out his playboy somewhere above wisconsin (in fact, she went off to the bathroom in a huff right afterwards). and i don't think she was too happy when he turned the playboy sideways - because that's what you do with playboys.

otherwise, they looked very happily married.

side note: i was watching a repeat of conan o'brien where he introduced his new spring characters. that guy was also watching conan. (when you fly jet blue, you tend to spend more time looking at what everyone else is watching instead of your own tv). anyway, conan introduced a character named "bulimic ms. pac-man", and they ran a video of a ms. pac-man game being played backwards, so it appeared that she was vomiting pellets instead of eating it. friggin hysterical. i couldn't have laughed any louder. but the playboy guy incredibly just sat there, unamused.

maybe he was disappointed that he didn't get to see any ms. pac-man titties. i mean, we were over wyoming.

how quickly a lifetime can pass

i was sitting in a starbucks in times square yesterday (a starbucks in times square! i know, i was just as shocked as you are) and this really pretty girl, no older than 20, interrupted my green tea and new york times with a "are you using this chair?" and a small crooked smile.

a small, crooked smile.

a small, crooked smile.

and in the quick quarter-second from her "are you using this chair?" to my response of "no, go ahead, take it", within the space of my eyes to hers, i strongly believe we fell in love, toured the world, got hitched, had kids, toured the world again, experienced highs without any lows and died hand-in-hand together. i saw it all just pass by, all in the length of what was no less than a blink.

and she walked away with the chair, and it was all over, just like that, and i continued to read about the nomination of john roberts, as if nothing happened - because it probably didn't.

at least, i don't think.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

how to conquer a red eye

in case anyone is wondering or is ever asked, a nighttime flight between oakland and jfk airport in queens is 56 songs long.

57, if you break up a live version of "blue sky" by the allman brothers into two songs.

or 55 if you consider "beat on the brat with a baseball bat" by the ramones as nothing more than a bumper between full-length songs.

so let's say 56, give or take a pearl jam.

Friday, August 05, 2005

how you can't take the new york out of the boy

i came upon this website of photography of public transportation in new york, and suddenly 3,000 miles doesn't seem that far right now.

hit "<< prev" on the top left hand corner of the site to navigate.

beautiful stuff.

how it's good to feel wanted

according to an e-mail i just received, i "am a valued equifax customer".

so to all those who thought i would amount to nothing, eat some of that.

how it's time to catch up

here's some great stuff i've seen:

at the usually funny, we're given a four-episode animated series called the house of cosbys about a guy who clones a bunch of bill cosbys, of which 9 out of 10 are mischievous. they live in a house, and the sane cosbys try to keep the crazy ones in order. i don't know how someone actually made that up. also, to no surprise, the real bill cosby actually filed a cease-and-desist order for this - which i find the funniest of all.

at milwaukee's best light website, go play "lust for bust". it's quite possibly the best game ever created.

not the actual old school nintendo game, but a live rendition of what paperboy would look like if it were real life. really odd and funny stuff, if you were as addicted to that game as i was.

house gymnastics. yep. exactly that.

the answer to the question, "how many lego bricks do you have to connect to give yourself absolutely no reason to live anymore?"

the sports guy dissects the nba offseason by using quotes from "anchorman". really really really funny stuff. here's part one and part two

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

how i get my simple thrills

let me preface this by stating that i am a simple man who enjoys simple pleasures.

today on muni (public transportation, for those who aren't in the know), a snotty girl tried to argue her way out of not paying her fare.

let me backtrack: you ride muni on the honor system. if you have a monthly pass, you do not need to show it to the driver. if you don't, you're obliged to pay the $1.25 and get a transfer. obliged. nobody is forcing you. however, to combat this, every so often the muni police boards and asks everyone for their proof of purchase. and the ballet begins.

you can spot the farejumpers. when the muni police boards and makes their grand announcement, the jumpers usually ignore them by pretending to listen to their i-pod. when tapped on their shoulders, they look everywhere - in their pockets, in their purses (if applicable), in their back pockets, in their shirt pockets, in their book - and everyone knows they don't have it, but they go on with the dance anyway. and when they finally admit it, they come up with a million excuses, such as "i didn't take my transfer" (which is idiotic) to "i didn't know you had to pay" (which is even more idiotic, considering what in the world is free and there's instructional signs all over the place) to, if they're cute, sweet talking their way out of it - which never works, because this is the muni police, and they're not happy to be there.

so not paying $1.25 turns into a $76 fine.

which is what happened to this girl today, who went through the whole ballet, complete with pouting and "why can't you be nice?" soliloquy at the end - a nice touch.


my other simple pleasures involve someone trying to parallel park, especially when they're trying to shoehorn a mini into a spot that would fit an explorer. by the third attempt, i'm in hysterics.

yesterday i experienced another simple pleasure. i bought a shirt from banana republic. i like their shirts, and they're well made for the on-sale money i spend on it. but my biggest joy involves watching the very effeminate workers carefully fold my shirt, wrap and origami some tissue paper perfectly around it, sticker it together with a pre-made banana republic label, and then tenderly place it in a white purse-like banana republic bag that, when i go home, i will spike into the floor like it's 3rd-and-goal with :05 left on the clock.

like i said, i am a simple man.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

how it's not easy to keep up

i went to get a haircut today, and instead of asking for them to shave it all off with a #4 buzzer, i asked my barber to trim the sides and cut a little of my curls on top.

he did that, and did it well.

then, as i'm leaving, i look in the mirror and i realize that i just got the same haircut that i wore from 1996-1999 (give or take).

jerry seinfeld once said that you can tell what year was a person's best by the clothes they wear, and i don't think there's ever been truer words. but does that extend to haircuts?

i don't think i dress behind the times (okay, maybe three months behind because i refuse to spend the amount of money these thieves are asking for clothes. clothes!). and there's only so much that i can do with my hair other than cut it short or fro it out. but should i have gone to a hair salon where they would have given me ideas that are more in step with what's "fashionable" today (that i would have rejected probably) instead of the sunset barber services with their three-year pile of back-issue penthouses?

nah. i'm a guy. let's keep it simple. like:
could you hand me that penthouse?
no, the other one.
yep, trim on the side.

Monday, August 01, 2005

how did they think this would work

this is an actual e-mail i got. seriously. i didn't change a word. i just can't believe that someone thought this was a good idea for a scam - and that this might work, and they chose, of all people, ME to be the benificiary of nine million dollars. obviously they are in awe of my financial skillllzzz.

anyway, here it is, unedited, from my junkmail inbox.

Dear Mr Steve,

Compliment of the day to you,

With view of your profile l decided to tell you everything about me to enable you face the fact and help me out.

My name is Judith Halima Makaolou and am here in Cotonou, Republic of Benin West Africa with my junior brother David and we are from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but here in Cotonou as a result of the war in my country.

We entered as a result of the war in my country which lead to the death of my father and mother living me and David alone on earth. And here in Cotonou, we entered as refugee. I am still a student studying medicine and David engineering before the out break of the war in my country. I am 25 years of age and David is 22.

Please we need your assistance and that is why we are writing you now.

My father is a former director of mining in The Democratic Republic of Congo and he was assassinated by the rebels. Before the death of my father, he used my brother's name to deposit some money as his next of kin in a FINANCE SECURITY COMPANY.


And my brother is standing as the beneficiary but cannot lay claim because they do not allow refugees to operate account in the bank and the finance company has contacted us to come and have our fund cleared. Every legal document for the deposit is very safe with us.

All I need from you is to help us get the total money transferred into your account once we change the beneficiary in your name and favour.

The money is a very large money and we don't know how to manage the fund or keep it and that is why we are asking you to help us transfer it to your account oversea or to your account in your country and also manage the money in partnership with my brother for investment business in your company or any other place.





We wait your urgent reply.

Thank you.
Best regards,
From Judith Halima and David