Saturday, June 30, 2007

how i'm so proud of my beautiful little niece

she cut her first tooth this week.

congrats, ava rose. i knew you could do it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

how if you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people

that's a quote from the michael moore movie "sicko", and it's a good way to start my review.

written, directed and produced by michael moore
viewed at the vogue theater, san francisco, ca

now, many of you know that i have a well-deserved reservoir of emnity towards healthcare companies. this movie stoked that. because, like most everything in the world, businesses that make decisions purely based on the bottom line are businesses that make bad decisions. but it's so much worse, so profoundly evil when healthcare companies do that because the product they're skimping on is getting people healthy.

so they are jeopardizing the health of their customers to save some money.

in fact, they actually go out of their way to make you feel worse.

you can't debate that point, whether or not you like michael moore. all you need is one "denial of claim" to realize the horrors of their practices. fucking assholes, all around.

the point of this movie, and most of his movies, is that a country as great as america should be ashamed of her self-imposed and refused-to-be-fixed faults. "roger and me" is about america's addiction to greed and the effects it has on the helpless. "bowling for columbine" is about american government's manipulation of the media to impose fear on its citizens to control them. "fahrenheit 911" is about how the american government's ties are much more important to them than the people they defend.

in this case, it's a disgrace that a country like america has so little concern for the welfare of its citizens. and that's a reflection of the politicians from each party that are indebted to those who put them in power - the healthcare companies.

sicko isn't about the people. it's about the system in place.

and that system sucks - especially when you compare it to other countries.

as usual, moore takes extreme examples to tell that story, and that's really what rankles people. whether it's catching charlton heston on a bad day with fancy editing or surprising the CEO of GM at his front door, his methods and evidence always come across as somewhat loose at worst, circumstantial at best.

but that doesn't mean that his points aren't solid.

they are. they truly are.

and his facts seem to be almost dead-on.

also, although he paints the healthcare systems of other countries as perfect, they are far from that. the point is that their ideals are, although the details might not be. still, to be fair, for an opposing view, here's an interesting article refuting moore's claims. to each their own, and to watch a movie with just the filmmaker's point of view deserves a counterpoint.

but you know where i stand.

how the finest actor of our generation has decided to branch out

and here's a bunch of clips from six of his newest films:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

how i just experienced the best thing i've ever heard on a bus

and i have to publicly thank timothy taylor of 30th avenue for it.

thank you, timothy taylor.

let me backtrack: i'm on my bus, going home after work. the bus is not overly crowded, but crowded. every seat is taken. i'm reading my book, and mostly everyone is in their own little world. but it is a quiet ride.

mr. taylor decides this would be a fantastic time to break that silence and make a phone call. fine. you know, you'd hope that people would have enough couth and respect to not do that. but that's expecting too much from people nowadays.

and now, it's commonplace.

but i digress.

so mr. taylor called ticketmaster and was asking about packages for the all-star weekend being held here in san francisco. beyond the game, there's a bunch of fan friendly conventions going on, and he wanted two tickets. he asked how quickly he would be able to get his tickets. they said he'd have to retrieve them at the will-call window at the ballpark (i know this, because i could hear her on the other line). he said he'd rather have the tickets sent to him. she said they could only do overnight until monday, and he would have to be there to pick them up; they wouldn't leave it. he said he works and wouldn't be able to be there for them. she mentioned that maybe they could send the tickets to his office. he thought that would be a nice idea.

the tickets cost $54. shipping and handling (including overnight delivery) would cost an extra $19. he did not like this. how much would it cost if i picked them up at will-call? well, just $4. so i would be saving $15 if i did not have them delivered? yes. and that would cost me....$58? yes that would be correct.

okay, i'll do that then.

at this point, my mouth is opened, because, on a crowded bus, full of people who have been listening to his voice because it's the only noise that we hear, he says, and i quote...

"my credit card number is 5424..."

and on he went.

mr. taylor, thank you for your idiocy, and setting a new low for the rest of the world to meet.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

how i don't get isiah thomas, and because of him, i'm losing my childhood team

upon the knicks trading for zach randolph to play next to eddy curry, this was my first (and still correct) reaction:

we now have two low post scorers who can’t pass the ball out of a double team, and a roster full of players who can’t, won't or don’t know how to feed them.

it's a great deal in fantasy basketball, but the worst possible idea in constructing a team that needs to play together. it makes no sense at all.

we're getting bigger and slower in a league that's getting quicker and smaller. we're matching our center who still hasn't played a lick of defense in his career with a defensively indifferent power forward. also, he's a social malcontent who's been in and out of trouble, and we're dropping him in the biggest city in the world. and we're limiting the playing time of david lee, the one player on the roster who did everything you need to win. and we don't have an outside shooter to take the congestion out of the lane to give them room to operate.


this really isn't that difficult, isiah. in fact, it's common sense.

it really is.


because of the sucker in the luxury box, i'm questioning my love for the blue and orange.

i can't believe i just typed that.

how i'm pretty sure this will be the end of professional wrestling

i haven't written anything about the whole chris benoit tragedy, so here goes it.

for people who don't really know wrestling, i'll give you an analogy: if you heard that axl rose murdered his wife and child and then killed himself, you would shrug your head and say, "well, that's axl".

this wasn't axl. in the world of pro wrestling, chris benoit was bono.

so imagine bono doing all that, and you've got why this is even more shocking.

there's going to be tons of coverage about steroids in wrestling and how the wwe's wellness program is really just a weak first step in cleaning it up. and once the ignorant claims of roid rage (which happens over five minutes and doesn't prolong over an entire weekend), the dark and creepy underside of the world of wrestling - the unfettered drug use, the psychological and physical demands of being on the road, the injuries, the strain of keeping in superhuman shape - will be uncovered. and these performers will be lumped together, deserved or not.

and now, beyond the limits of reality and taste that wrestling goes, everything they will do from now on will be even more tainted, as the one guy who nobody questioned, the one guy who seemed like the paragon of what was prideful, was a guy who did the unspeakable. and if he was capable of that, then how could you look at the ones you can't stomach?

i don't think this is a tidal wave that professional wrestling will be able to wade through, especially with ultimate fighting gaining popularity by the minute.

still, it was a good ride.

how i've been meaning to post this

but i've been really busy at work and just haven't had the time.

but now that i do have a second, i feel like jose reyes waiting for shawn green at home plate after his walkoff home run to beat the cardinals.

it's never a bad thing to feel like jose.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

how those who don't think advertising is an art form need to take a look at this

people throw the word "art" around very easily, even though there are very few things in the world that are truly "artistic".

i mean, people call music "art", but is it really? listen to all the crap that out there. that's not art; it's commerce.

hell, it's the same for film. movie companies throw out so much crap for the sake of a dollar without any care or thought to any artistic integrity. "RV" is not art. sorry. that's commerce.

it's the same for painting and writing and anything else considered an "art" form. just because you write something down doesn't make it art. it's a chemical reaction.

my point is that very little of it is actually art. only a very few of it actually is. "art" is actually a pinnacle. everything else is just filler.

taking in all that, people don't consider advertising in any form to be artistic, and i can't figure out why. the same standards hold up. much like music and film, 97% of what you see is crap. commerce. insulting.

there's no difference, no difference at all.

but that 3%? hot damn.

this viral film for dove won the palme d'or in cannes. if your thoughts aren't provoked and your soul isn't stirred, then maybe you should rethink what art is.

Friday, June 22, 2007

how i hope this review will just be about an aberration

i can't believe it took me close to two months to get around to seeing this:

spider-man 3
starring tobey maguire, kirsten dunst, james franco and thomas haden-church
directed by sam raimi
written by alvin sargent
viewed at the metreon imax screen, san francisco, ca

it breaks my heart to admit that the spider-man movie series finally (and sadly) lost its way.

the first two movies were really great. like, really really great. there was such a rich humanity in both of them that, although none of us are superheros, we can relate to the man who was. that was the magic of those spidey comic books that mesmerized me during my youth - all in all, peter parker was just a teenaged kid going through some pretty heavy stuff, the least of which was being bit by a radioactive spider.

and in the first two movies, even the villains, although over-the-top, had a human element to them. norman osborn was a power-hungry scientist that took performance enhancements that drove him crazy (although the real emotional heft in this storyline was manifested in the jealous and vindictive relationship between his son and peter parker).

doc ock was another scientist who was involved in a failed fusion accident that took the life of his beloved wife, and drove him in such a rage that he dedicated his own life to finish the experiment, the world be damned.

you have some of that in this one, too. the sandman was also involved in a scientific accident, but there was a humanity in what made him a villain. after all, he was just a man who made the wrong decisions in an effort to raise money for his sick child.

you don't have to agree with their mindsets, but it's clear where they were coming from. they were humanized.

if they stuck to that, i would have loved it. again, a relatable movie.

but the main focus, or so it seemed, was the black alien venom that overcame spidey, that amplified his bad qualities. the whole storyline seemed forced, from how he coincidentally contracted that, to how it affected him, to his emo haircut, to how it coincidentally found its way to peter parker's enemy - it was just too much. it didn't fit in the series. it just didn't work at all. too many coincidences. too many forced qualities.

it was one storyline too much, and not worth the time.

otherwise, i dug it. the fight scenes were fantastic. and it looked tremendous in most parts. and it still kept much of the charm from the previous two movies.

but the sheen is off, and my heart is breaking.

how it sure wasn't danger mouse on that cd

i'm down with the whole mashup craze. in fact, one of my favorite albums is "the grey album" by danger mouse, as he took jay-z's "the black album" and mixed it with the beatles' "white album".

beyond that it was gorgeous music, there were two strong concepts behind it. first off, taking icons from the 60s and mixing them with an icon from today. and there's the second, which is how neatly the colors of their albums matched up.

why am i bringing this up? my cabbie was playing a cd of maships tonight during ride home from the movie theater. and they sucked.

as soon as i got in, i was treated with "you're the one that i want" - yep, from "grease" - but mashed-up with doctor dre and snoop dogg.


to break it down further, olivia newton john + john travolta + the guys who brought you "nuthin' but a 'g' thang" = not really working. actually, it would have been a complete disaster if not for snoop dogg. his voice and flow sounds so great over practically anything that he could take something that doesn't fit (like this) and get it to almost work.


okay, so that happened. the next mashup was, i shit you not, "pop musik" (pop, pop...pop music) mixed with (i can't believe i'm about to type this) "bring the noise" by public enemy. so i listened to a synthesized song about, well, pop music, but with lyrics about minister louis farrakhan.

yeah, that didn't work either.

my point? it was nothing like this cab ride from years past.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

how in a different context, some things take on a greater meaning

there's an octogenarian singing group based in new england that performs modern rock songs on stage. seriously. stop laughing. once you get past the novelty, it's actually a quite tender concept. if you live out there, they're called "young at heart" (except with the "at" symbol replacing the spelled out "at" - damn you, blogger).

anyway, here's one of them singing "fix you" by coldplay.

as one of the commentors posted, the song is usually chris martin singing about the future.

however, this version by "youngatheart" was supposed to be a duet. but one of the singers died of a heart attack weeks before the performance. so the lead carried on and sang the song by himself, and without changing any words, it became a reflection about missing people in your lives by someone who has lived his life through.

it's really poignant.

here's them singing "schizophrenia" by sonic youth. i betcha thurston moore and kim gordon really dig it.

and here's a video of them singing "i want to be sedated" by the ramones, although it comes off as really cheesy, to be honest.

still, i wish there were more out there.

how i am both scared and intrigued by utah

here's a great story about an athlete from BYU who got into an argument with another pedestrian that led into...wait for it, wait for it...a jousting match involving mops.


even weirder? the provo police captain's name is cliff argyle. and the BYU cross country coach is named ed eyestone.

the player? moppy mopalot.

okay, that last one was false. or was it?

Monday, June 18, 2007

how i'm falling in love with a british-jewish r&b singer with a huge drinking problem

if you haven't listened to amy winehouse and her album "back to black", just channel sarah vaughn with the supremes and see where that takes you.

or just watch her two videos, "rehab" and "you know i'm no good", and let your jaw drop.

listen to them at your own risk. contents are addictive.

how i'm not supposed to laugh

and i'm not sure how this will make me look by typing this, but i have msnbc on right now, and for the first time ever, i'm watching "dateline: to catch a predator". it's disturbing stuff, i gotta admit. yet i'm kinda laughing right now.

okay, i'm not laughing at pedophilia or statutory rape. obviously. let's get that straight. that's not a laughing matter. i know.

but i am laughing how suave and calm chris hansen is when he reads the disgusting dialogue back at these pervs, as if he's reading back supreme court testimony.

and i am laughing at these pervs and all their excuses, and the emaculated look on their faces as they sit there, knowing they've been caught and not being bright enough to get away with it, and how they've never done this before, oh no, sir, this is the first time, i swear.

and i'm laughing when they try to bargain with hansen for some reason, being that he's just a well-dressed man with a clipboard.

i mean, it's not funny, seriously it's not, but...

maybe it's just this batch of pervs.

yes, it's probably just these pervs.

don't think less of me.

i'm never watching this again.

how i've been slacking with my posts

been busy. so sue me.

here's some links to help you get over it, such as:

- a guy who sinks 70 shots in 35 seconds in pop-a-shot.

- he should meet up with this lebron etch-a-sketch genius.

- a ten-minute chronological look at plane crash in "lost".

- an idiot who drives his prius into the n-judah tunnel in cole valley.

- triumph the insult comic dog at the tony awards for him to poop on.

i hope this makes us square.

how tiger woods turns sport on its head

sports is a way for us to watch amazing people do amazing things. we follow teams, game in and game out, to see what they will do, to see if they can pull it off. to see if they can perform miracles on athletic fields.

amazing people doing amazing things.

but then there's tiger woods who, along with roger federer, is the most dominant athlete of this generation. when he is in the hunt for a major championship, like he was on sunday in the u.s. open, just one stroke behind the leader with one hole to go, it's absolutely must-watch theater. he's one of the few athletes you can't peel your eyes away from.

the difference is that you want to see if he doesn't win.

let me rephrase that: you want to see him win, because with each win, he gets closer to jack nicklaus, and he's given us no reason not to like her.

but he is so dominant, that the drama is to watch him not pull it off. the idea of him losing is so inconceivable, so unbelieveable, the idea that tiger woods can't win, that he can't pull off the possible, that when he doesn't, like he didn't on sunday, now that's mindblowing.

truly amazing.

that is theater.

and that is just amazing, to see if he can't.

there's nobody else out there like that. most people want to see the yankees lose, or floyd mayweather to get his head knocked in. that's a different story.

tiger woods, he's a different animal.

Friday, June 15, 2007

how thinks i'm a winner

i am a lucky lucky lucky man to be endowed with winning a lottery such like this, although what doesn't come with my prizes are classes to improve your spelling and grammar.

then again, with all my winnings, i don't need to lern how to spel or rite goode.

yes yes, i am a winner.

bow before me.

verified by an actual e-mail from an actual something:


Your participation for this Online loterij was selected from your e-mail domain and your e-mail luckily won a raffle ticket that entered you for this year draw held at the Headquaters today. You have therefore been approved to legally claim a total sum of One Million Euros(1,000.000.00 Euros.).Your e-mail address was attached to a Ticket Number:1327795, Batch: TL/0534/30/06 Reply To file for your claim, please forward the following information(s)below ;


Congratulations from all members and staffs of dayzers loterij promotion.

Best Regards,
Mrs Mary Hanks.

how it's been awhile since alter ego steve has made his presence felt

yes, the world-roaming yacht-sailing casanova who mistakenly gives my e-mail address to women across the world has struck again.

new, from some lovelorn lass named kristi smith who lives in a city with a port:

Hi love,

Here's my flight information.

As far as renting a car, we actually switched out of the mustang b/c my dad said he rented one in Miami and the car rides terrible and all we would do is complain, so i'm not quite sure what car were getting now.

In any case, we are still renting a car so we don't need you to pick us up, however, i will need directions from the airport to your house, if you can email me that i would really appreciate it..thanks! :)

I'm so excited!! Can't wait to see you!! :)


Monday, June 11, 2007

how i'm gonna cut to black at the end of this post

nothing has caused as much uproar today than the finale of "the sopranos". hell, even paris hilton admired the hoopla.

anyways, as always, people are complaining about it. and it figures, because the people who complain about it are the people who have no frigging idea what the series was about.

after 86 episodes, most people still think it's somewhere between "donnie brasco" and "goodfellas", jean claude van damme and freddie kreuger, quentin tarantino and tobe hooper. they think it's blood and guts and pepperoni. of course, it's never ever ever been anything close to that. it's just what people want it to be. it's everything they've already seen before, over and over and over again.

simply, they want "the sopranos" to be "cleaver".

but that's entirely not what the best dramatic series ever made was created to be. it's about mob boss tony soprano, and the unsettling dichotomies of his life: his family at home and his family at work, trying to do right while continuing to do wrong, dealing with his mommy issues while being the head of a crime family. he just happened to be in the mafia. he could've been a corporate executive, but a mob boss was just so much more interesting. but no matter what his profession was, it's about how life doesn't always resolve itself, how life might be unrewarding, how life is always left unsettled.

this last season wasn't about new york against new jersey in a bloody battle for mafia supremacy. no, it was about tony dealing with all these issues in his life, right after almost losing his own. going through each episode this season, he dealt with his mortality, his perceptions, his paranoia, his vices, his fatherhood, his relief, his anger and his fear. after all, the premise was about a mobster going to therapy to deal with what's going on, right? the ducks made him feel sad. he wanted to talk about it. he went to therapy. and from there, we began to see how unsettled his life really was.

and, in the finale, he settled everything.

he gave paulie his just due.
he realized that meadow's choice of career was perfect.
he was finally able to put a.j. in the right path (for now).
he made his peace with silvio.
he made an allegiance with agent harris.
he said his peace with his sister.
he and carmela were not perfect, but about as tight as they can possibly get.
he realized that uncle junior was suffering a fate far worse than a bullet can give.
he told off a therapist.
he got his revenge on phil leotardo.

hell, the people who are complaining about how open-ended the finale just don't get it. who's the head of the new york crime family? who cares. what's gonna happen to A.J? doesn't matter. what about the indictments? irrelevant.

it's all about how tony deals with stuff. and, in the finale, he dealt with them all.

always was about that. never changed. and it stayed true.

like i said, it's the only show in the history of television that people avidly follow and have absolutely no idea what they're watching.

it's amazing, really.

and that last scene, oh that last scene. well, david chase is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, isn't he? i mean, if he kills tony, then the people who want him alive will bitch about it. and if he doesn't kill him, then vice versa. and the people who are complaining for some sort of definite answer just really wanted to see brains spilling out of ears, whether they were tony's or a.j.'s or who else's.

but, instead, in the most dramatic scene ever written, acted, edited and directed, we are made to feel tony's life, how everyone could be a killer, how even a nice simple dinner at a diner could be something rich in horror and complexity, and how no matter tony wants to look at his life, there's nothing but death or prison to look forward to.

and when we suddenly cut to black, we don't know whether it was just meadow coming through the front door or cold hard murder. so...if you want him dead, so be it. if you want him alive, it's all you.

you know, it's a dichotomy.

in the past three weeks, we've seen chrissy dead from a bloody car accident, tony curbing a guy on the base of a toilet, bobby bacala killed in the best filmed murder scene ever, silvio comatose from a bullet-ridden attack and phil leotardo's helmet blasted and crushed, and people wanted more? seriously?

so as the fans of "cleaver" sit back and gripe about how nothing was resolved though bloodshed and decapitation, i'm just gonna sit back and soak in how awesomely they settled just about everything, a perfect ending for a series about how the dichotomies of life can make you unsettled.

and for the record, i think he's dead. after all, tony told bobby bacala all about it while fishing that “when it all ends, you never see it coming, it goes to black and silence...”

cut to black.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

how this may or may not be a double feature i'd be intererested in


Coming to a theater near you: As of Friday, the Balboa's marquee will feature "The Rape of Europa" and "Knocked Up."

only in san francisco.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

how this is my 1,000th post

i would like to thank everyone who's read all of them, some of them, a couple of them or just one of them.

i don't know why i write this blog. i get nothing out of it other than the counter keeps moving up, and although i don't know who's reading, i do hope that they're laughing.

so, it is with great pride that i give you something that raised unintentional comedy to the highest art form: "welcome to my home" with brenda dickson, parts one and two.

it's everything that the internet was invented for. and it's the high bar this blog will aim for in the next thousand posts.

enjoy. and thank you.

how it's safe to go back into the water


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we now return to your regularly scheduled sarcasm.