Monday, July 30, 2007

how i'm gonna stand up on my sports pulpit

and offer my somewhat expert opinion on a couple of varied subjects.

i don't know how anyone can have a problem with this. we're getting a solid hitter in the two-hole with great speed and who makes contact, which makes him ideal to hit behind josejosejosejose...jose...jose, and he just so happens to sport a couple of gold gloves. and we barely gave up anything for him other than taking on his salary. look, i know some met fans want to see what ruben gotay's got to offer at second. but seriously, we got him for nothing in the offseason, and we were able to designate him for assignment a couple of months ago without anyone offering to pick him up. and now that's he's hitting, for what accounts for a brief stretch, does anyone really feel comfortable about him in the playoffs? honestly? he might turn out to be a nice player. but he's not one right now. castillo is a really good baseball player, and he's got two rings to his credit. he's a super upgrade over what we had hours ago. great job, omar. and thank you.

a couple of years ago, the lakers augmented their duo of shaq and kobe with karl malone and gary payton, giving them four superstars in their starting lineup. the problem was that they only had one ball to share among four guys who demand it, and they wound up short of a championship, getting walloped by the pistons. now, the celts have three superstars, except instead of just matching them up without any foresight into what makes a team work, they're all unselfish. and they all seem to complement their skills extremely well. and they're all hungry for a championship. as a knicks fan, i don't like this one bit. still, are they gonna get their title? no. no way. the rest of their team just isn't up to it. yeah, they're gonna run all over the weak eastern conference, but then they'll get run over by another great three: nash, marion and amare. or duncan, parker and manu. or maybe just yao and t-mac. but it'll be a damn good run by three very likeable superstars who will prove that three great players can indeed play together greatly.

i've never been as uninterested for the beginning of football season as i am right now. from tom coughlin being around to jerry reese making very little upgrades during his first offseason to watching eli not get any coaching yet again to no tiki to save us and now, to this, strahan bitchin' again about something. yeah, i'm gonna be there in front of the telly watching the g-men play the cowboys in the season opener on that sunday night, but let's face it, they're just not very likeable right now - especially strahan, who should be winding down and bathing in the final days of a legendary career, but instead, is going down like a spoiled brat. a really spoiled brat. one that's trying to swindle his team into helping him pay off his horrible divorce settlement. i'm just tired of it all, and the season is still a month away. great.

how i don't know what this is or what they're trying to accomplish

but i don't care, because this is friggin' bad ass. see what a little thought, creativity and a trampoline can accomplish?

the grape lady would howl with delight if she saw this.

how i'm betting on the retro revolution

which means that someday soon, just like vinyl records, tight jeans, vans slip-ons and mullets, the genius of this will be cool again. and the i-phone will weep jealously.

how i don't know whether to feel old or sad

but the new cover of "rolling stone" just made me realize that the standards for what is a truly superior american album begins right there.

an another note: pull it together, axl. enough already.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

how i've been getting back into movies

which means i owe you some reviews. so here goes it:

starring seth rogen, katherine heigl, paul rudd, and leslie mann
written and directed by judd apatow
viewed at the amc van ness 1000, san francisco, ca

judd apatow's got it figured out. tell a story that people can relate to with characters significantly less than perfect, pepper it with jokes you haven't heard before from voices unique in their own stature, and then cast actors you don't really know so they can get into their characters without bringing their schtick into it.

i hope he never wavers, because i actually think "knocked up" is better than his previous, "the forty year old virgin", and anything else he's ever had a part in and trust me, that's saying a lot.

seth rogan is comedy gold. you believe him, you know him and he's made you laugh not only with him but at him. katherine heigl supplies the goods. i'm not a big paul rudd fan, but leslie mann's usually very good. and rogan's buddies are fantastic. maybe this movie went about fifteen minutes too long, but if you've ever been in a relationship, this movie hits you.

well played, apatow. well played.

starring homer, marge, bart and lisa
directed by david silverman
viewed at the century theater on market, san francisco, ca

at the end of this review, you're probably gonna come away with the impression that i hated it. trust me, i didn't hate it. i just wish it weren't burned out.

if this movie had been made years ago, let's say ten years ago, when each episode of "the simpsons" was biting, epic, gut-bustingly funny and provocative, could you imagine what an extended 90-minute story could have been like? it seemed like each episode, homer got into something you couldn't conceive. the plots took you to really strange places. there was nothing i'd rather watch.

nowadays, i have it tivoed, and i watch it intermittently. and when i do, i don't really laugh, i just say, "oh. that's funny." and as i watch the show, the plots seem familiar, and although it might make a slight detour, it winds up exactly where i thought.

i guess what i'm saying is that nowadays, "the simpsons" are tired but still enjoyable.

this movie felt tired.

and yet, it was also still enjoyable.

viewed at the red vic, san francisco, ca

in case you are of the uninitiated, this is a double-feature of "B" movies made by robert rodriguez and quentin tarantino that pay homage to the cheap exploitation films that leveraged sex, monsters, cars and drugs in their plots. they had very little artistic merit, and yet, fun as all get out.

and i got to watch it in the type of rundown theater it was meant to honor.

starring the absolutely delicious rose mcgowan, freddy rodriguez, marley shelton and josh brolin
written and directed by robert rodriguez

rodriguez doesn't waste any time, as within the first five minutes, we're clearly in a zombie movie, and there's no lack of bloodshed, decapitation and gunplay throughout the remainder of the film. you want a plot? well, you try to piece it together. it's really just an exercise in how gory and ridiculous you can make a story. in fact, if you want to really get technical and scientific about it, the amount of plot in this story is inversely related to the amount of fun you'll have watching it.

seriously, i had a smile on my face throughout the whole thing. it was written to have terrible dialogue and predictable plot twists. it was meant to be ridiculous by any means necessary. the actors were directed to overdo it.

and it had zombies. bubbling, disgusting, saliving zombies.

if you've laughed, screamed and loved movies like "the texas chainsaw massacre" (the original by tobe hopper) or any pure slasher flicks from the 70s, then you'll love this.

i did.

starring kurt russell, zoe bell, rosario dawson and tracie thorns
written and directed by quentin tarantino

tarantino took another route - this of a psycopathic killer on the loose. but instead of using a chainsaw or a machete as a weapon, this guy used his stunt car to kill hot chicks.

simple enough.

but as exciting as "planet terror" was, with the constant action and gore, this movie had a little too much tarantino. if the idea of these movies is to pay homage of these B movies, tarantino only meets it halfway. the plot is dead on. but the way he shot it and wrote it doesn't match up.

i mean, the writing is too good and too longwinded. the directing is too sophisticated. it's way too much, too thought out, too well done, for a genre of movies that was meant to be made quickly and shipped out even quicker.

so, i guess what i'm saying is that this movie needed to be crapped up.


okay, but as it were, there's no real tangible storyline, and that's fine. it's all about making the best car chase ever, and in that respect, tarantino doesn't disappoint. in fact, it's downright exciting and hilarious. plus, the idea of casting actual stuntwomen in lead roles so they can provide their own stunts was a stroke of brilliance. it's not meant to be shakespeare in the park; it's "bullitt" in tennessee.

did i enjoy it? hell yeah. permanent smile on my face.

was it as good as "planet terror"? not for the genre.

taking them both in, for three and a half hours of film, it was damn well worth it. it's a great idea, really, down to the fantastic fake movie trailers between the films. of course, when it was out nationwide, it bombed. maybe the public didn't actually get it the idea behind it, but that's not necessarily the fault of the filmmakers.

it's a niche movie meant for niche moviegoers. it's not a date movie.

still, it's a helluva good time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

how i'd like to hear cousin brucie try to promo this

with the state of modern music as it is, i fully expect this to top the charts.

hey, it's better than most of the crap out there.

and please, wait about 20 seconds for his grand vocalization skillz to take hold.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

how you better hope there aren't any cameras around when you have an unfortunate incident

if you haven't seen "the grape lady", then you just haven't lived.

and if you haven't heard her dance remix, goddamn, it'll kill you with laughter.

thank you, internet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

how i would like to congratulate someone i never met

this is the perfect opportunity for me to give my warmest thoughts and best wishes to "the schmoozer" steve somers on getting married this past weekend.

most sports personalities on the radio are just oversized blowhards with undersized intellects. but "the schmoozer" is cut from a different mold. not only is he smart, but he's also funny and engaging, and it helps that he's fanatical towards the mets, knicks and rangers.

he's got a legion of loyal listeners. even from 3000 miles away, through the magic of the internet, i still schmooze along.

so congrats, steverino.

i just hope they opened the ceremony WITH THIS!

"well, good evening to you and how ya be? At six fifty six and fifteen seconds on wednesday evening on the altar. steve somers here, his wife there. eddie robinson on the other side of the temple. one, seven one eight, nine three seven, six, six, six, six is the number to call for what will be a three hour schmooze until tony paige at 1 on the FAN...NEW YORK!"

how this is all about piling on

i'm sure you might have read about HBO's expose with steroid chemist patrick arnold as he claimed that there's no way barry bonds didn't take steroids.

i think, at this point, the media is just piling on.

let's be honest here:

1. bonds took steroids. just because the tools haven't been invented to catch what he did doesn't exonerate him. there's more than a mountain of circumstantial evidence to prove this.

2. the only people who really doubt this are ardent bonds fans, the uninformed, the misinformed and giants fans. usually, these people are one and the same.

3. all that being said, he's not a cheater. a cheater is someone who finds an unfair advantage over his opponents. in this case, he's not the only one who took steroids. in fact, more pitchers juiced up than batters. so by not doing it would have put him at a disadvantage. that's not excusing what he did. he just wasn't alone.

4. like i said, we know already.

i don't think this is news.

this is just the media finding another way to take a punch at bonds. he's about to break a record, albeit tainted, but instead of letting that be the story, they're just finding something else to ruminate about.

i'm just sick of it all.

how i'm back from los angeles

it's about twenty degrees colder, i'm tired from constantly thinking and stressing and i have friends in town, so sleeping will be at a minimum.

still, i've got a new pair of nikes and a bunch of stories that are better told than written.

however, there are stories that are better blogged, like the one about a beached whale in san francisco, or the one about the zombie outbreak in a philipine prison, or the one with the worst headline ever, or the one where john maine's improbable home run is recreated using MVP baseball 2005 or even the one about the worst water cooler conversation ever.

you see, i still got your back.

Friday, July 20, 2007

how the NBA will be in a no-win situation for a long time

the realization that the NBA had an official who may have fixed games is a complete nightmare for david stern, mostly because it's providing fodder for the majority of fans who believed that the refereeing was already shady to begin with.

now, there's proof.

when dwayne wade was awarded with foul after pseudo-phantom foul in the 2006 finals, when star players and the best teams were given beyond the benefit of the doubt when they didn't deserve it, when whistles were swallowed at random times (or at crucial moments), when certain notoriously favorable referees were called upon to officiate certain games in which it would benefit the league for playoff series to be extended, well, there's no shortage of conspiracy theories floating around, despite the denials.

what can david stern do? even though it might just be a solitary issue, the perception is that it's not. can the whole of them be incompetent? well, here's one that wasn't, so how about the rest, right?

how stringent can he further the existing officiating standards without making them robotic? aren't they already scrutinized?

and yet, despite the grading already in place, one was dirty. and they didn't know.

so, despite stern's dismissals, he can't point to his referee judging system anymore. that has failed. and despite his dismissals of crazy conspiracy theories, he's got a criminal investigation on his hands.

every questionable call from now on will be fixed, whether it is or not. every human judgment will be because there's money on the line, whether it is or not.

the wolves have a nice flesh of meat to chomp on.

from microfiber ballgate to the murderous all-star game weekend in vegas to a crappy finals that could have been averted by reseeding, the commish hasn't done a very good job running the league recently. now here's his biggest challenge, and for once, it's fair to ask if he's up to meet it.

how if this is what our political elections has come to, then i'm fine with it

vote obama. his supporters have the best tits.

i cringe about what rudy giuliani's supporters look like.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

how these might be fakes, but then again, i don't care

just like how i love advertising for what it could be but loathe what it is, here's an example of my industry at its most hilarious.

and yes, it's clear that i do consider unintentional comedy to be the highest of art forms.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

how i might have two new addictions, and i'm not wincing at all

i know this is an old show and series, but i just watched the first episode of "beauty and the geek" on the cw (whatever that means). it's insanely compelling and hilarious. i think it's gonna get old, but we'll see. another point: the beauties aren't really all that beautiful, but the geeks are at defcom geek level 113. and there's something endearing about that.

the other is "scott baio is 45 and single", which would be much better if they didn't pretend half the time. i mean, his agent's worried about the cameras following scott and how this might be a bad idea, but who do you think negotiated it? and there's a healthy dose of overacting during supposed intimate moments. i mean, they're going far out of their way to not notice the cameras. and it's annoying.

still, it's kinda interesting not only getting into his life, but also seeing how vulnerable he is. imean, it's not like he knows where this life coach will be taking him. there could be a ton of embarrassment ahead for him. but he's subjecting himself in this for the search of something good. and guess what? there's also something endearing here too, although he and his friends are classicly cliched los angeles douchebags.

how i'm officially jealous and anxious

now this is advertising done strategically, artistically and, most important, beautifully.

it gives me hope for what our industry could be.

and it makes me sad for what it would rather.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

how i had a very productive weekend

six things i saw this weekend:
1. a seal in the pacific ocean
2. kelp on the sand
3. didier drogba on the attack
4. cows grazing peacefully
5. fireworks let off in the upper deck of a football stadium
6. the hard fall of a boxing idol

six things i learned this weekend:
1. didier drogba is an unbelievable athlete.
2. after 6pm on gameday, it costs $20 extra to get your car out of the parking garage on near the ballfield.
3. sunscreen should be in the glove compartment when you drive a convertible.
4. i would be very very very dangerous on "the world series of pop culture". very dangerous.
5. after watching the espys, lebron james has just got "it".
5. sometimes, a day alone is a day well spent.

how painful can be ironic can be funny

especially when it involves pamploma.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

how as good as the best modern comedies may be

they still have a problem matching up with this classic.

god bless you, reverend jim.

Monday, July 09, 2007

how i just did it for the first time

here's my nike debut, courtesy from the brilliant directing by lance acord.

enjoy lebron's four videos. and pump your speakers up.

how i'm sure this is what p.diddy was thinking of when he started "vote or die"

please, i beg of you, head over to newsday's website and vote for keith hernandez over don mattingly in the battle of the mustaches.

you know nobody can touch mex's.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

how i think the money would have been better spent

as much as i appreciated the thought and the performances behind the "live earth" concerts, in which the main focus was to alert the world about global warming, i just got the feeling that all the money spent on transportation and cleanup and everything involved could have been spent more effectively on some lobbyists.

in an ideal world, our politicians listen to their populace, but this isn't an ideal world. this is the real world, and they couldn't care less. they really couldn't. you can protest all you want, but it matters very little to them.

the only thing a politician cares about are those who put them in office. and as much as we want to believe that it's votes, it's actually the money behind getting those votes. we're talking the corporations and special interests that donate the most to their causes.

if the fact of global warming expects any traction, it's gonna have to be made in the pockets of those who can make a change.

we can fool ourselves to believe that people will change the way they live. but honestly, that's a crock. we all know that we need to have things done for us for change to happen. we're gonna need our houses to be retrofitted green for us, our cars to be made environmentally friendly for us. it's too much effort for a large population to change for themselves, especially when their neighbors aren't.

so a lobbyist, the real change artists, seem to be the only route to making change happen because the only way a politician will do anything about this is by lining their pockets.

it's the only thing they listen to anyways.

it's a crappy way to look at the world, but it's the truth.

just saying.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

how nothing's better than a joyous welcoming

i would like to be the first to welcome gabriel joseph canci into the world, and to our loving extended family.

you done good, mike and rachel. you done good.

how nothing's worse than a painful goodbye

some of you might remember that my friend edmund walshe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago, and he set up a website about his condition and a call for help.

yesterday, on july 3rd, edmund passed away peacefully at his home.

edmund dedicated most of his professional career finding jobs for developmentally disabled adults. if you knew him, even for just a moment, you'd realize that his job was just an extention, the true essense, of his heart and generosity. it's not an easy job. it's trying. it's rewarding, yes, but also disappointing. it takes an exceptional person.

a couple of years ago, however, he took a brave step, and finally doing something for himself, by moving in a completely different direction with his career by entering ad school, although at an advanced age. like most other industries, advertising is for young people with boundless energy, with eager hearts ready for countless rejections. it's not for someone in his early forties who had already spent most of his life in the grind and was essentially starting over.

i was his teacher. he was a fantastic student. and although he had ten years seniority of life on me, he never disrespected that. in fact, he was amazing in always wanting to learn more, always asking, always working while always making the situation comfortable. trust me, it took a mature person to thrive in that situation.

in fact, it took an exceptional person.

i was not alone in that assesment.

not only did he get through school, but he did it well, extremely well. and, in the process, helped by post-class beer drinking escapades, we became friends, good solid friends, way beyond the teacher/student relationship that it was formed from.

when he got a job in seattle, i was happy for him, despite the empty bar stool on my right. oh well.

eventually, i had the opportunity to freelance up there, at his agency, and he and his wife, parks, welcomed me into their new city and into their favorite bars and their new home, always with a joke and a cold beer at the ready. nothing less was to be expected.

a year later, when they moved back to san francisco, i was elated. and i knew this amazing city was about to become an ever finer place with its newest resident.

but then, as we met up for more drinks in more random bars and made plans for doing it again, the cancer intervened. those plans became hopes. and, instead of elbowing up a the bars, we would be meeting up at barbeques, along with overflowing crowds gathered in tribute of him. at those times, although his body might have been failing, his incendiary humor and his good soul never wavered.

that's what i'm gonna miss from my good friend, edmund walshe. that's what we'll all miss. there never was a soul that deserved better than what the last year gave him, and yet, never let it be known.

and, although there's very little solace in that empty bar stool to my right, again, i do know that wherever the afterlife takes us, i'm sure it's a finer place today with its newest resident.

he proved that many times over.

i'm really gonna miss you, buddy.

if anyone knew him, there will be a memorial service on sunday, june 8th at 2 pm in the interfaith chapel in the presidio in san francisco.

Monday, July 02, 2007

how i forgot that this has been up for awhile, so here you go

here's the first thing i've done for akqa that's dropped on the asian-pacific region, and we are all witnesses indeed.

it only took a day to concept and conceive. not so bad, eh?

you know, as long as you judge it on the time it took.

how this could be the best response ever (and god bless the intertubes)

i'm sure most of you who have been hanging out on this here world wide web has seen the incredibly bizarre "pretty ricky late night special" video that, well, umm...i guess it's as tasteless (if you consider couch humping to be tasteless) as it is uncomfortably hilarious (if you consider a video of teenagers humping a couch to be hilarious). and you only really need to watch thirty seconds of it to really get the point, of which there is none.

anyways, this was posted as a response to that video, and if they gave out awards for youtube responses, the makers would have to clear some space in their trophycase.

it's just brilliant stuff i'm jealous of.