Monday, October 31, 2005

how the oldest profession on earth has grown

san francisco is gay enough without halloween. with halloween, this city is positively ecstatic, and i find it completely hysterical. the castro is the mecca of comedy. i mean, anywhere else in the world, a restaurant called "the sausage factory" isn't funny. so yeah, it's funny.

the costumes were completely out of control.

what else is funny is that i would be surprised that the oldest profession in the world had taken all forms, and today, i saw them all. i'm talking devil prostitutes, clown prostitutes, nurse prostitutes, mummy prostitutes, pirate prostitutes - you name the costume, there's a woman in this city wearing it prostitute style. i saw a bee prostitute walking into the safeway today. i didn't know there were bee prostitutes, but yeah, come to think of it, why not? there must be a market for horny and desperate bees paying for pollination.

seriously. this city has been invaded by really hot women wearing costumes of different types of prostitutes. i'm talking butterfly prostitutes, cowardly lion prostitutes, schoolgirl prostitutes, etc. they're giving new meaning to "trick or treat".

i'm thinking the former.

or they could just be wearing these slutty costumes in a vain effort to beg for attention.

either way, i'm down with it.

how to write with sarcasm

an open letter to governor arnold schwartzenegger and the higher-ups at sf muni (our beloved transportation system):

i just wanted to take this moment to state unequivicably how much i love the new reduced changes in service.

i love waiting longer for trains. really, i do. it is my belief that we san franciscans do not spend enough time outside in the near-perfect weather, and with the increased waiting time for trains, it's a breath of fresh air for my lungs - literally and metaphorically. plus, the extra ten to fifteen minutes i spend waiting can be easily used for soul-searching and for finding cures to the world's problems. clearly, a lot can be done while waiting longer for the train. and the now-standard wait of 20-25 minutes allows us not to take muni for granted, much like how we did when we only had to wait 5-10 minutes.

and when the train eventually does show up, i must admit that i do love standing as close as humanly possible to the person next to me in the now trademarked "as-crowded-as-possible" setting. i love being able to hear their whistling song of inhaling and exhaling and to smell their aromas - especially after a hard-day's work, or when they're on their way to a commune in the park. i can't help but feel that it brings me closer to mankind as a whole, to experience these different senses, and this would never have been possible had there been more trains to carry these passengers and therefore a place for me to sit. besides, by standing, i burn calories. my doctor will be thrilled to hear that!

so you can clearly see how much i love the new reduced service - but increased benefits. more time outside, more time to think, getting closer to my brethren and burning calories while standing - who says muni isn't concerned for my general welfare?

and to anyone who complains about reducing in service while raising the prices, i say don't listen to them. they're only silly people who have somewhere to go.

your biggest fan ever.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

how to offer a perfect tribute

to wellington mara, from his beloved team:

shutout the hated redskins. give up just seven first downs. allow only 125 total yards. cause ten turnovers.

score 36 points. pile up 386 yards of total offense. control the ball for 39:21.

and for a personal tribute by those who loved him most:

a gritty ten yard touchdown catch. run for a career-best 206 yards with a touchdown. and continually pressure the quarterback all day long, and eventually getting a sack out of it.

bravo, big blue.

how to make me laugh

whenever i hear something i think is funny on the telly, i'm gonna post it under a heading that says "how to make me laugh". that's the way i'm gonna roll for now on. you best believin'.

and now, for our first installment:

"66% of americans recently polled believe that president bush is doing a poor job on the war in iraq. the other 34% believe adam and eve rode to church on dinosaurs."
- tina fey, "saturday night live"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

how you can't deny the accusation

oil companies have reported a record-breaking spike in profits at a time when prices are at a record-breaking high - insanely high - especially after hurricane katrina and the war in iraq.

so, i ask, is this capitalism or is it just capitalizing?

how little class and tact there is

cbs just announced that a miniseries called "category 7: the end of the world" will be premiering on november 6.

are they friggin kidding?

i just counted. it's only been 69 days from when katrina hit new orleans.

i think it might be a touch too early to capitalize on it and to make money on it. then again, i might not be the best person to comment on this, considering that i have both a heart and a soul.

now, i know it's not exactly about katrina (but i'm sure michael bay's team is working on that script right now) and i know that they started filming before the tragedy, but that doesn't give them any reason to actually air it - especially just 69 days after something so devastating in this country. i would say that it comes across as tasteless, but we're talking about television networks, so that word wouldn't really bother them.

look, i'm not claiming that i know exactly how long it should be. i just don't believe now is the right time. it reeks of capitalizing.

you do know this conversation was discussed by cbs executives.

- "well, to bring up the 'category 7' discussion, well, you do know it's only been 69 days since..."

- "yes, but i've done some research, and 65 days has been decided to be the optimal length of recovery time for viewers. we are waiting 69 days. that's four more days of healing."

- "i see, yes, and 65 days, where did that number come from?'

- "we had a focus group in utah and that's what they came up with. 65 days. it's our corporate standard. utahans don't lie. they loved 'everybody loves raymond'."

- "didn't everybody love 'everbody loves raymond'?"

- "the utahans did first. therefore, the corporate standard. 65 days. 65."

- "i see, yes, cbs' corporate standard, yes."

- "we are doing four more than the corporate standard. we go the extra mile."

- "i see, yes, but why not wait an extra couple of weeks, you know, to be just that sure."

- "i don't want to disrupt any CSI programming. now that would be a tragedy."

corporate laughter follows.

- "what about hurricane wilma?"

- "i didn't hear you."

- "i said, what about hurr..."

- "i said, i didn't hear you."

more corporate laughter.

Friday, October 28, 2005

how to simply put it

i like bill maher. i might not agree with him all the time, but he's incredibly well read and research, and everything he says has a foundation of thinking behind it - which really puts him into rare air in the world of talking heads - and that makes him well worth watching.

anyways, he had a show last week about the upcoming indictments of scooter libby, karl rove, dick cheney and eventually george w. bush, and how the republicans are calling this a "witch hunt", even though they did the same thing to bill clinton during his impeachment process. it's all hypocritical. all these politicians are completely blind to america.

the medium-sized explanation of the whole thing is that these indictments (and eventual impeachment charges) declare that the bush administration revealed the identity of a CIA agent whose husband, a writer for the new york times, was about to reveal that the claims of wmd's in iraq were fabricated to justify a war. so the administration put his wife in peril in a proactive response to the truth about an unnecessary war, which has since claimed 2000 american lives.

clinton, on the flip side, got a blowjob - and he also had monica lewinsky in the room while holding high-level security talks, which was a stupid thing to do.

to put it simply, however, maher said that bush, cheney, rove and libby are going to be impeached for leaking the name of a cia agent. clinton was impeached for leaking on a fat jewish girls' dress.


how to honor a legend

in the haste of being attacked by the grobanites, i failed to write anything about the death of wellington mara, the owner of my beloved new york giants and one of the main reasons why the NFL is what it is today.

obviously, i didn't know the man. but every giants fan knew him, truly knew him, as our surrogate grandfather, our surrogate father, our surrogate brother. he loomed over the meadowlands every sunday, and just seeing the overwhelming emotions of tiki barber, jeremy shockey and michael strahan, all 60 years his junior, all saddened by the news of his passing, speaks volumes.

anyways, i read this article, written by someone who knew him, and it got to me a little.

then i read this compilation of quotes from influential football players, coaches and executives about him, and nothing tells the true measure of a man than this, from lawrence taylor: "mr. mara was the greatest thing that ever happened to the new york giants. personally, he always treated me fairly. he was always there to help me, even when i wasn’t willing to help myself."

god bless, mr. mara. go big blue.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

how to become a michigan football fan

have your cousin sign a national letter-of-intent to play for them.

congrats, john.

from the staten island advance or newsday.

go maize and blue.

how not to shock the masses

a wnba player recently admitted that she's gay.

also in the news: alcoholics admit they like alcohol.

Monday, October 24, 2005

how grobanites need a serious dose of reality

first off, i would like to thank each and every grobanite who took the time to read my blog and then comment on it (read post below). i respect all of your opinions, and respecting my opinion means i should respect yours.

having said that, you are all out of your minds.

i never said that josh groban had a bad voice. reread my post. in fact, he's got a fantastic voice. he's a great vocalist. but instead of singing the song, he decided instead to show off his voice. and whenever a vocalist makes that decision, it results in them crapping the bed.

the best version of the star-spangled banner that i ever heard was whitney houston's version, right before super bowl xxv in 1991, mainly because she sang that song exactly how it was meant to be sang. you see, that's the beauty of it. it's arranged in a certain way for words to be accentuated, for emotions to be felt and, most importantly, for the whole song to be sold as genuine. and by singing it the way it was meant to be sung, she blew everyone away.

which is ironic, because she has made a career of showing off her voice rather than singing a song.

you see, there are vocalists and there are singers. you might not think there's a difference, but there is. the best way to explain it is with the song "i will always love you", sung by both dolly parton (who wrote it) and, again, by whitney houston.

when you hear dolly's version, you hear the desperation and the loneliness and the hurt of the words. the lyrics dictate how dolly sang it. there's genuine pain in the words and thoughts and in how dolly used her voice to sell that. granted, she wrote the song, but the template was made for future singers. she sang the shit out of it. you completely feel every nuance.

whitney's version, however, is completely devoid of pain or any sort of emotions. her voice does give you goosebumps, i agree, but that's not the point: she used the lyrics to show off her voice to the extreme where the emphasis of the song was completely lost. but that's okay for whitney; the song wasn't what she wanted to show off anyways. you see, using the musical arrangement of that song behind her, she could have read the words to the declaration of independence or the back of a cereal box and her vocalization wouldn't have changed. the lyrics were incidental. she used the song to vocalize. she used the song to show-off. the song was irrelevant.

huge difference between the two versions. listen to them both and tell me that i'm wrong. you can't.

and that's exactly what i felt about josh groban's performance, or anyone's performance when they change the singing of the star spangled banner for the mere purpose of showing off their voice. it cheapens the song, and it's never ever better.

and, most importantly, it always ends up with the vocalist crapping the bed in front of an entire nation and with a crowd full of people rolling their eyes and saying "what is this asshole doing?" but that's okay. they've all got loyal fans who will continue to buy their brand of vocalizations. and that's their right. more power to them.

kudos to all you out there for supporting him. that's admirable.

but a bed has been crapped upon.

he crapped the bed.

america's bed.

now with his crap on it.

so that's my point: a singer is able to adapt their voice to the song. a vocalist just does their thing, no matter what is warranted. he vocalized the song, and an injustice was done to it. and that's a shame.

if you think that he sang the best performance of that version of the national anthem, then go for it. i agree with you, and i would rather not hear that version ever again.

but let's be real here: it's safe to say that you also believe that if josh groban pitched for the astros, he would have pitched a no-hitter. or that if josh groban did the play-by-play, he would have predicted everything right before it happened.

so everything i've read has been taken with a mountain of salt.

i'm sure that i've now pissed you all off more. so be it. can't say i've been trembling much. then again, i've also now probably pissed off the "friends of whitney houston" group. that actually scares me more. she's craaaazy.

so, to recap and to respond to your thoughtful comments:

- yes, i would have done a better job at singing the national anthem, mostly because i would have sung the national anthem. and this is coming from someone with a horrible voice.

- i have a huge appreciation in music, mostly because it's part of my job to work with music and work with composers in coming up with original songs or adaptions of old songs. yeah, i know what i'm talking about. and i understand why some things should be left alone. i understand updating things to make them better. but there has to be a reason for it, other than showing off.

- he crapped the bed.

- you all obviously like the way that smells.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

how josh groban should be flogged and/or destroyed

i believe fully in flogging and/or destroying any performer who believes that their talent allows them to change the singing of the national anthem. although this country is built on free speech, and the right to sing a song however you choose, i feel that it's completely disrespectful to crap on "the star spangled banner" with some "special version" of it, and, let's be honest, it's never a change for the better. in fact, it's purely making changes just for changes sake. the song was written and composed that way for a reason. so sing it like that.

i feel that we need to sacrifice a performer to get my point across.

and with josh groban butchering "the star spangled banner" before game 1 of the world series by changing its tempo and inflections, i see that we have our first scapegoat.

thank you, josh. you will not be missed.

how you should never trust the drunkards

it has come to my attention that an inebriated male assumed my identity and sent out e-mails to some of you, and also posted on my blog early saturday morning, around 3:30 am.

had i been aware of this unprovoked attack on good writing and spelling, i would have taken every means possible to have prevented it. but this writer was incapacitated.

i assure you that measures will be taken to keep this from happening again.

i am ashamed for all of us.

how to type a drunk e0mail

this is me after my friend billy's going-away party ashemoves to australia..

i am drunk and with the hivccups.

i can barely stand much less type.

i refuse to edit check.

i had a good time tonight,

good times were had,

imwrote "billy, don;t put the blow in bloke" on the poster. if ound that funny.

wha t is wrong with nme?

Friday, October 21, 2005

how to make those three hours tolerable

random thoughts from jury selection, which lasts every day from 1:30 to 4:30:

1. if someone really wants to be excused from a jury, they will go to all ends to do it. they will say anything. they will admit to anything. and i'm not talking about the bullshit racist comments. there've been none of those. i'm talking ridiculous statements and rationalizations.

2. busy female lawyers don't dress well. in fact, i hold their outfits in contempt.

3. when the judge needs to call some more prospective jurors from the jury pool, everyone in the audience makes themselves as small as possible - even though their names are pulled from a random list. for reference, their reaction is the exact opposite than the audience from "the price is right".

4. stupid people put themselves into stupid situations where stupid things happen to them. it's amazing to see how bad things happen to people when they do nothing to stop them from happening - or are always open for them. san francisco is "jerry springer" but the trailers are victorians. by the way, i'm just talking about the prospective jurors. i can't wait for the accused's story.

5. there are a lot of gay people in san francisco and i'm actually shocked by it. i know it's their mecca, but i'm blown away at how many there are in a random selection. and by "blown away", i'm using that term metaphorically.

6. i can see why judge judy has a temper.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

how to have a heart to heart, writer to writer

transcript of my meeting "the sports guy" bill simmons, author and rabid red sox fan, at his book signing in san francisco:

STEVE: "hey bill, nice to meet you".

BILL: "nice to meet you, too".

steve hands bill two books for him to sign. bill opens up one of them. he prepares to write, but steve's voice stops him.

STEVE: "it would really mean a lot to me and my brother if you just wrote 'page 168. number 13'. thanks."

BILL: "why? was is it?"

STEVE: "you don't want to know."

bill begins flipping through the book towards page 168.

BILL: "i need to know. i'm a writer. i need to know what i'm writing."

STEVE: "i'm also a writer, and trust me, you don't need to know."

bill reaches page 168 and reads #13 out loud.

BILL: (clearing his throat) "three pitches later: mookie slaps a grounder to first rolls between buckner's legs and into rightfield...knight scores from second. mets 6, red sox 5. there are no words."

bill closes the book and looks at me.

BILL: "mets fan, huh?"

STEVE: "long suffering."

BILL: "i know how you feel."

bill scribbles something in the book and shows it to me. it reads "dear steve. there are no words. bill simmons."

steve nods his head in agreement.

STEVE: "could you do that for my brother too?"

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

how i had a suspicious mind

at the end of my daily run yesterday morning in golden gate park, i passed by a short and aging elvis impersonator in full regalia. i got the impression that he was out for a stroll.

just wanted to share that with you.

Monday, October 17, 2005

how there's massive, and then there's massive

i've seen a lot of massive home runs. i remember butch huskey hitting a bomb in the upper deck of veteran's stadium. i've seen mike piazza unloading and making the ball scream for mercy. i've seen balls dent scoreboards, i've seen balls find another orbit, and i've seen balls that seem like they'd never come back down. i've seen roy hobbs hit a ball so hard that the stitching came out.

hell, i live where barry bonds plays.

massive shots. all of them.

but i don't think i'll ever see as massive of a home run as the one albert pujols hit last night. and i'm not just talking distance (it had to go at least 450), but being down to your last strike with the season on the line and hitting this bomb that puts you up by one and into game six of the LCS.

massive, literally and metaphorically.

that massive.

how words need to be chosen wisely

while on my run in the park on saturday, i passed by a tented area which was a fundraiser for the "intimate partner violence awareness" group.

intimate partner violence awareness.

that's a strange coupling of words, huh? i had to think about them, put them together and then understand what it meant. okay, that took me all of three or four seconds, but it's not an obvious read at all.

and especially for such a good cause, that's not a good thing. seems like a catch-all to me.

in my mind, what would have worked better was "don't smack your bitch up weekend".

how there is an east coast bias

last year, the entire country galvanized behind the boston red sox as they marched their way towards their first world series championship since 1908. if you weren't wearing pinstripes or cardinal red, you were a red sox fan for the month of october, and it was a good feeling, a better story, an fantastic fairy tale.

this year, the chicago white sox are systematically crushing their way towards their first world series championship since 1917, and nobody can give two shits.

does an eight-year difference in droughts mean so much? or a different sock colorization?

you don't see anyone wearing white sox hats. you don't hear anyone rhapsodizing about konerko or podsednik or buerhle. you don't see women coming out of the wood work and claiming allegiance to a team they know nothing about.

there's not even much ado on the networks about it.

it's the same story, but different coverage.

sumthin' smells fishy.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

how i'm no longer giving the benefit of the doubt

i would always argue with my clients over not talking down to their audiences, that they're not stupid, that by talking to everyone you're talking to no one, and that audiences appreciate it more when you challenge them. that's what made "seinfeld" brilliant.

but movie companies and marketers still continue to treat people like idiots (then again, this country did re-elect bush). but, to be fair, it's incredibly insulting (like in big-budget summer blockbusters when movie companies put a "love story" in for "the women"), especially when they try to put demographics of people into neat little boxes.

but i don't believe in the practice of fitting everyone into a stereotype. in reality, it fits nobody.

but, you know what? i'm thinking about changing my stance on all this.

as i sat in the theater waiting for "the forty-year-old virgin", they played this trailer for this movie that's a blatant "brady bunch" ripoff - except not as clever. the crowd was rollicking, as if it were a farrelly brothers movie. i mean completely laughing hysterically, as if this were an amazing idea and that these jokes and gags were brand spanking new. i thought someone's head and guts were gonna explode.

did i mention that the crowd was full of adults?

so maybe i'm wrong about all this.

how losing can equal winning

i would love to say that yesterday's usc-notre dame football game was the best college football game i've ever seen. it probably was, but that qualifier would be that much more impressive if it came from someone who grew up with the sport. i will say it was one of the best football games i've ever seen, especially one that, by any standards, should have been a blowout. just some amazing heroics and effort. matt leinart is practically brady-like clutch. reggie bush is the new barry sanders. and brady quinn's got a bright future ahead of him. one of the top rivalries in sport just proved itself once more.

it's really startling what charlie wies has done with that team this year. of course, ty willingham did the same miracles with his first team in south bend. but this fighting irish team does look like one of the top teams in the country (shit, it was one bad bounce away from beating the best college football teams ever), and these aren't his players.

and with weis' former team, the patriots, losing to the broncos, dropping their record to 3-3, is it fair to say that there's more to the magic of charlie weis. he meant so much to the pats; he means so much to the irish. two teams that have his fingerprints on them lost this weekend, but we're just talking about the scores.

we're talking subtraction by subtraction and addition by addition.

we're talking about an irish renaissance.

i'm not a notre dame fan, but i think they make college football more interesting. and when you grew up without a team like i did, that's more than a little something to go on.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

how small statements are made

i read this on (which is a great website) and thought it was so funny that it deserved repeating here.

Book it now: Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez will be card No. 666 in the 2006 edition of Topps Total baseball cards.
Topps officials acknowledge that the employee who assembles the company's card checklists is a Yankees fan who assigns the undesirable number to the pitcher or player on the team that knocks the Yankees out of the playoffs.

That's why Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke, who got the last out of the 2004 ALCS, was number 666 in 2005 Total, and why the Florida Marlins' Josh Beckett of Spring, who beat the Yankees in the 2003 World Series finale, was 666 in the 2004 set.

And that's why Rodriguez, who closed out the Angels' victory Sunday in Game 5 of the Division Series, will be 666 in next year's set. It's the safest sure thing in the world of cardboard — unless Yankees Fan goes with Ervin Santana, who pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief of injured starter Bartolo Colon.

i'm not really all that sure about their predictions. after all, considering that the honor goes to the player who's most responsible for dealing the yanks out of the playoffs, i would be shocked if #666 isn't assigned to a-rod.

Friday, October 14, 2005

how i'm not backing down from my stance

when i tell people what my favorite movies are, i may come across as some sort of a film snob - which should come as no surprise, because i am a film snob.

and although it doesn't crack my top 10, when i tell people how much i adore and revere "porky's", everyone gets the feeling that i'm putting them on.

but i'm not. i really think it's a great flick.

beyond the incredibly funny scenes - the shower, the mole, lassie, mike hunt, the whorehouse - all of which are among the hardest i've ever laughed, there's a certain earnestness to the whole thing, about what it's like to be a reckless teenager.

it's described as a teen sex comedy, but there's only one real sex scene, and that's played for comedy - wa, wa, wooooooooooooo! - but there's also these strong storylines based around redneck america and high school camaraderie. just because there's teens and it revolves around a strip joint doesn't necessarily make it a "teen sex romp", which are basically translucent. there's a lot of well done shit in here.

don't get me wrong; it ain't "sunset boulevard". but i really think that once you get past the unfair stigma of "teen sex romp", it's really a damn good movie. well written, well directed, well edited.

it's really well done.

and i'm sticking to it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

how wookies are americans too

i just read on that the actor who played chewbacca in the star wars movies is about to become an american citizen.

why that news item deserves to be on has not yet been determined, but that's not my point. unlike other actors who've played iconic characters, this photo is the first time i've ever seen him, in the flesh:

and in case you're wondering, the wookie is on the right.

how not to cover up a bad call

again, in the spirit of making yourself seem bulletproof, excuses have taken centerstage (and making things worse) than the smart way, of taking responsibility for a mistake.

last night, in the angles-white sox playoff game, angels pitcher kelvim escobar struck out sox hitter a.j. pierzinski on a pitch that may have been in the dirt. angels catcher josh paul caught it, umpire paul eddings rang him up and made the strike call, and everyone headed to the dugout - except for pierzinksi, who ran to first (a third strike has to be caught cleany, in case you don't know).

the umpires then called him safe at first.

now, whether it bounced or not the ball bounced is debatable and whether you get that right or not is human. it was the way the umpire changed his mind - or didn't let his call be known. nobody in that ballpark took his third-strike "mechanic" as anything other than "3rd out". that he got duped into changing his call is horrible.

it was a mistake - a fatal one, as three pitches later, he was driven home to win the game.

here's the problem: he made the call. he had no right to change it. and if that's not his "out" call, then there wasn't an out called in the whole game - or in the history of the game.

it was an out call, whether or not it was an out or not.

okay, it was a mistake. humans make mistakes.

but instead of taking responsibility, the umpires banded together and went off about how "the call was right" and that "he didn't call him out" and blah blah blah, when it's obvious that if pierzinksi didn't run, there would have been another inning to be played. and that if paul didn't think he caught the ball cleanly, he wouldn't have rolled it back to the mound before tagging him out. but with each excuse, it just sounds worse and worse and more incompetent.

this would have been nice: "although i originally called the batter out, i had a moment on indecision upon seeing pierzinski running to first base. upon further review, i should have stuck with my original call, but at that instant, i did not. i would like to apologize to the angels and their organization for my very human mistake." see, not so rough, huh?

instead, excuses, and making it worse.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

how hypocracy starts at the top

does anyone else find it scary that president bush is exactly the same person as the enemies he fights?

this is from his address to a joint session of congress and the american people:
"The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children."

but then he goes ahead and practices a fringe form of catholic extremism that has been rejected by most god-fearing catholics in the country. and, worse yet, he makes political decisions, like picking harrier miers because of her faith, because even his god knows she isn't even remotely qualified. it wasn't a political decision; it was a religious and loyalty decision - the same logistics found in the enemy we're fighting.

and then there's this in his speech:
They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

is he talking about us or them, because a lack of freedom is exactly what's been going on in this country. beyond the restriction of freedoms they instituted upon us through censorship and scare tactics, what's really scary is the lack of freedom of religions. take a good look; there's no real diversity in his cabinet. don't get me wrong; he's got minorities. but he only has devout cathoilcs. there aren't any jews or protestants or muslims. it's just catholics trying to force their way of life on us. that's no freedom of religion.

i had this insane music teacher in high school, a born-again christian, who taught us that if you played "stairway to heaven" backwards you can hear satanic messages. to be honest, it actually was a cool class in that he was teaching us crazytalk.

he's a born-again. so is our president. miers is a twice born-again (don't know how that works).

these people run our government, the same people who we're protecting ourselves against.

ironic, huh?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

how there's multiple definitions for "postponed indefinitely"

i was called for jury duty a couple of weeks back. like it is everywhere, you're instructed to call the day before to see if you have to come down to fulfill your service.

i did. and the recording said, and i'm somewhat paraphrasing, "the jury you have been selected for has been indefinitely postponed. you will be contacted later with further instructions."

cool. i'm off jury duty.

so i get a letter from the superior court of california for a "notice--failure to appear" and told that i was supposed to report for jury duty as instructed and that failure to respond to this notice would result in legal action and may result in a fine/incarceration.


so i called the number and told them what happened, and they told me that i was supposed to call every night.

i said, "hold on. the recording said that it was postponed indefinitely".

"yes, but you're supposed to call every day. it says so in red in your jury duty handbook."

"but the recording said it was postponed indefintely. postponed indefinitely means that it ain't happening until further notice."

"yes, but you were supposed to call back."

"so i was supposed to call every day, even though what i was calling for was postponed indefinitely."

"yes, and you were called in."

"for something that was postponed indefinitely."


"why doesn't it just say 'please call back tomorrow'?"

"because it says that in red in your jury duty handbook."


"you do understand how stupid that sounds, right?"

she was very nice on the phone and told me that this happens a lot, the recording needs to change, and that all i need to do is go down and fill out some paperwork. no harm, no foul.

postponed indefinitely. who knew there was leeway?

how i am in a quandary

i need some help on this situation: is the fact that i have crappy wide receivers on my fantasy football team:
A. a tragedy
B. a calamity
C. a catastrophe
D. heartbreak
E. a disaster
F. all of the above

you know where i stand on this issue.

damn you derrick mason, tory williamson and bobby engram.

or damn their quarterbacks. or their offensive coordinators.

don't they know what they're doing to my fantasy season?

heartless jackasses.

how art should make you feel

my friend kathryn sent me this website. in short, people e-mail their deepest emotions and thoughts, and someone turns them into art (in the form of postcards). it's brutally touching - which is what art should do.

Monday, October 10, 2005

how reputations precede and prove themselves

ninth inning of the yanks-angels game. yanks down 2 runs.

coming up: jeter. a-rod. giambi.

or, rather:
jeter: the best postseason player ever, bar none.
a-rod: the biggest choker and least clutch player ever. bar none.
giambi: a damn good hitter.

those are their reputations (giambi also has the steroid thing, but that's another story).

my roommate brett and i came up with this scenario: jeter singles, a-rod hits into a double play, giambi then singles to keep the inning going.

and wouldn't you know it?

seriously, i think yankee fans would rather have stephen hawking holding a wiffleball bat in his mouth at the plate in a big situation than a-rod. unequivicably.

i'm not kidding about that.

how it's all on her record

everyone is up in arms about how, because she was never a judge, that supreme court nominee harriet miers has no record of any judgements.

i say p'shaw.

she recently stated that president george w. bush is "the most brilliant man she's ever met".

so there you go. it's on her record.

with acumen like that, she'd be perfect on the highest court in the land.

no, not that one she was nominated for, but the one with tommy chong, david crosby and the grateful dead.

how i don't understand me sometimes

i know i'm not the only person on the planet who hates it when someone decides that everyone around them is allowed to be privy to their loud cellphone conversation. in fact, i wish rickets and scurvy on those people. i know my friend the croz hates them too.

anyways, i'm on the 1-california headed west, and a chinese woman gets on while continuing her conversation on her cellphone - except she's speaking in chinese. obviously.

and, for some odd reason, i was even more incensed than usual.

when i cooled off hours later, i figured it out that if i am to be annoyed by someone's conversation, they should at least have the common courtesy of annoying me in my language, so i could gauge if it's worth it (which it never is).

how stupid is that?


croz, help me out on this.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

how october means more

anyone who believes that baseball doesn't keep a strong fabric on our nation and our culture, well, they'll never get how someone like me can watch all 18 innings of the astros-braves game 4, how my stomach went up and down with each runner in scoring position, how to sit in awe as a 43-year-old pitcher threw three scoreless innings on two days rest, how just one mistake could mean everything, how one mistake did, and how i could get a little emotional for a game where i couldn't give two shits about either team playing.

and how my heart jumped as the astros players jumped at home plate waiting for their homerun hero run towards them.

and that's just one argument why october may be the best month in sports.

(although ask me that again in march).

Friday, October 07, 2005

how original "original joe's" really is

before the franz ferdinand concert at the bill graham auditorium last night, my buddy lawson and i ate some dinner and drank some beers at original joe's, a locally-famous eatery in the beautiful tenderloin area. and by beautiful, i mean downtrodden and decrepid. if you've ever watched "cops" filmed in san francisco, then you've seen the tenderloin.

and if you've ever smelled the scent emanating off a very old man, then you've got the feel of "original joe's".

the food is very large and damn good. it's guy food in a guy place - which shouldn't come as a surprise, considering there's nothing but guys and wheelchair-bound women in the place - like the loud table next to us, a group led by a boisterous man who looked like a fatter stacy keach. they debated non stop, using such talking points and evidence as "you're a pussy" and "fag!"

the decor is very "goodfellas", with poor leather seats and dim yellow lighting. all the waiters wear tuxedos for some reason.

after dinner, we sat at the bar. and these are the people we saw:

- a keyboardist playing background for a bunch of vocalists called "the uptown singers", which is odd, considering there is no uptown in san francisco. there's a downtown (the financial district) but nothing uptown - and if there was, it wouldn't really be anything to brag about.

- the lead guy of the uptown singers looked like hubie brown, circa when he coached the knicks in the 80s during his white 'fro days. this ain't what i'm referencing, but it's close enough.

his voice wasn't bad, very old-timey, like what you would hear off a 78 player that you have to wind up with a crank. he sang broadway tunes and asked everyone if they knew what musical it was from, and nobody had a guess. and why would they?

- the other singers, all in the their sixties, bringing their unique vocal stylings - but called up boy-girl-boy-girl. one guy with a beautiful operatic voice brought everyone down with "danny boy", but you got the feeling that's the only song he can sing. i, for one, would have like to have heard him tackle "99 problems" by jay-z. but that's just me.

- a drunk old man who sat next to us who ordered a sierra nevada, thanked the bartender upon recieiving it and then proceeded to pour sugar into his glass - for FIFTEEN CONTINUOUS SECONDS, forming a mountain of sugar on the bottom. oh yeah, he drank it.

- on our other side of us, a young blonde prostitute being "sweet talked" by her customer, a very hefty older man who looked like a dirtier and white-haired version of former allman brothers guitarist warren haynes.

that is, if warren haynes were sporting a white, ragged zz top beard.

- a bald man with thick black glasses and an exaggerated limp.

i know i have an overactive imagination, but seriously, all of this happened and all these people exist.

and thank god for that.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

how things are gonna be better

i usually listen to howard stern during my morning runs. this is nothing new; for the past ten years, he's been beside my every step. and it's been difficult during my runs to not get angry and frustrated when you hear him complain about the labyrinthine measures of censorships placed upon him.

that's why his move (and my move) to sirius satellite in 45 days is a big deal.

and that's why i laughed my ass off during my run this morning.

sirius told howard that they were gonna run a test throughout the whole morning on his station. they wanted to put a morse code signal on it to check it out. howard had another idea.

beginning at 6:30 and running for four hours, howard had a procession of farters and queefers blow their talents for everyone to hear on satellite radio.

it's hysterical stuff, no matter how crass you might think it is.

yeah, it's gonna be a great ride.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

how to do a catch-all

here's everything that doesn't fit in a posting.

1. i just watched a midas commercial featuring fred flintstone and barney rubble, except fred doesn't sound like fred. i don't know who fred sounds like, but it sure as hell ain't fred. which gets me off on another tangent: have you heard kermit the frog recently? well, you probably haven't, because he doesn't sound like kermit either. seriously, is it really that hard to find a fred flintstone or kermit the frog impersonator that sounds exactly like them? isn't that the one job where you really shouldn't take it "in another direction"? does this bother anyone else?

2. chien-meng wang is pitching tonight for the yankees. every time i hear his name, i automatically hear rodney dangerfield say "this place is restricted, wang, so don't tell them you're jewish". which makes me make this distinction: there are guys who can quote and get "caddyshack" references, and there are guys who just ain't guys.

3. really strong episodes of saturday night live, the office, curb your enthusiasm and arrested development this week - especially a.d. with their new character, a lawyer named bob loblaw, played by scott baio. best line: when the family had a typically insane consultation with him, jason bateman spoke up and said, "now i'm not gonna sit here and talk nonsense to bob loblaw." shit like that makes me jealous.

4. i don't think anyone can hit the astros in the playoffs. pettitte + clemens + oswalt * lidge = impossible to score upon.

5. i watched the rangers-flyers game in this new and improved sport called "hockey" or "hockie" (not sure which one, but it's played with sticks on ice), and i gotta say, the new rule changes made the game look pretty damn exciting for me. plenty of odd-numbered breaks and opportunities and, as my roommate brett noticed, a lot of teams scored five goals or more. that's a good thing.

6. there is no number six.

7. i know i may be a sap for saying this, but i really love the wheaties commercial about the slow-pitch softball game with the guy wearing a knee brace pops a homer over the right field wall to win the game - all while we hear the play-by-play of vin scully calling game 2 of the 1988 world series when a hobbled kirk gibson won the game by hitting his famously dramatic and improbable homer over the right field wall off dennis eckersely. it really gets to me - i remember where i was when i heard that call - and then when the guy pumps his fist rounding second - god, it's just perfectly done. thank you, whoever did it.

8. i am a sap. so sue me.

how scientology works in mysterious ways

for everyone who questioned my "sources" about someone's "preferences", i guess this is a good slap in my face. but c'mon, you don't really believe this now, do you? i always thought his character from "born on the fourth of july" had a better chance of making this happen.

i leave the conspiracy theories to your own devices.


Never mind the wedding, when's the kid coming? People magazine has broken the news that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are expecting their first child together. Cruise's publicist and sister, Lee Anne DeVette, related the news exclusively to the magazine that the couple was expecting, though she did not provide any further information regarding the baby's gender or due date. Lest you think this just a wacky story on People magazine's part, DeVette also confirmed to E! word of the impending arrival. This will be Holmes' first child and Cruise's first biological child, as he has two adopted children, Isabella and Conor, from his previous marriage to Nicole Kidman. So far, the engaged couple, who have been the subject of intense media coverage, have not yet set a wedding date.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

how a little culture can't hurt y'all

i went to the bluegrass festival in golden gate park on sunday, which was full of non-football fans masquerading as bluegrass music fans.

i got there right after the giants trounced the rams behind eli manning's four touchdowns, plaxico burress' 200 yards receiving, tiki barber's 128 yards rushing and a defense which caused five fumbles.

i caught a couple of banjo bands - damn good banjo bands, might i add - and a vocalist that split the leaves around me. really fantastic stuff.

(and a quick aside: i really enjoy bluegrass music. it's very pure and honest. but i don't have to dress in overalls or pony-tail my hair to show my affection for it. then again, i wasn't the one masquerading today.)

but the real highlight was to check out my co-star, dolly parton. i watched her perform, and considering i've got context, i can say that she's exactly how you'd imagine her to be. rather, how she is on stage is how she is: eccentric, funny, real, laid back, straight up, warm, charismatic and extremely talented and skillful. extremely.

she sang all her hits and stuff from her new album, which are duets of covers of some of her favorite songs, like "crimson and clover" and "me and bobby mcgee" and she nailed them all. her talent as a writer is only overshadowed by her talent as a singer. she's just completely amazing.

and funny. after she sang "crimson and clover", she said, "y'know, the wind just blew my way, and i'm smellin' whatever it is y'all're smoking. and i can tell you, it ain't crimson or clover". really funny.

if you ever get a chance, just go see her. even if you don't like the music (you're a communist if you don't), you'll laugh your ass off.

as i walked back home, i caught emmylou harris performing. it's one thing to listen to a cd and hear her voice, but it's another to hear it live and really feel the pain and hard living that her voice sells. it's very visceral and gutteral. couldn't really see much of her - i was waaaaaay in the back - but i got a little overwhelmed.

so yeah, that was my sunday. eli manning, dolly parton and emmylou harris.

beats most sundays, huh?