Friday, November 30, 2007

how a fire under an ass can do wonders

i'm not sure what's gotten into "the sports guy" on, but he's been churning out great articles recently. it's like he's in that magical groove from a couple of years ago, when each article became an event to any sports freak with a laptop.

let's break it down: first, he wrote that article about taking his 2-year-old daughter to an NBA game. then, his marathon seven hour chat. and now, here's letter to himself in 1982, and it's dead-on great. also, his football picks are hilarious, like this one:

Jets (+1) over DOLPHINS
While we're passing out congrats, kudos to Ricky Williams for staging the worst comeback since Screech's porn video. Anyway, can you think of any situation in which an 0-11 team should be favored unless it's playing a team fighting a roster-wide case of mononucleosis or something? Is this the lowest moment in Jets history? They're getting points from an 0-11 team! That's almost worse than being an 0-11 team, isn't it?

how i don't know why this struck me as funny as it did, but goddamn it, it did

i stopped finding paris hilton funny a long time ago. but, then again, you should never say never.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

how i think too much about the knicks

this was posted during bill simmons' epic chat yesterday on,

Otis (Toronto, ON): how close are we to having the Knicks banished to the WNBA?

Bill Simmons: (12:29 PM ET ) That a boy, Otis! I like the idea of banishing the Knicks to the WNBA - Renaldo Balkman would be the 10th most attractive player in the league.

that got me thinking: how would the knicks do in the WNBA?

i have two different takes on this: realistically and honestly.

realistically, the WNBA champs detroit mercury couldn't even come close to matching up physically with them.

6'11" eddy curry would be guarded by 6'4" tangela smith.
6'11" zach randolph would be guarded by 6'1" penny taylor.
6'4" quentin richardson would be guarded by 6'0" diana taurasi.
6'5" jamal crawford would be guarded by 5'10" kelly miller.
6'3" stephon marbury would be guarded by 5'9" cappie pondexter.

taking the obvious advantages in strength, speed and athleticism (no offense to any of the ladies out there), but i can't fathom how they would ever stop the knicks.

physically, the mercury trots out there looking like a small high school boy's team (but better, obviously) taking on an NBA team.

and defensively? again, huge size, strength, speed and athletic advantages to the knicks. and although the knicks are dreadfully and embarrassingly terrible at help defense, they wouldn't have to leave their man. the mercury would score. it would just be very difficult.

so realistically, the knicks wouldn't lose.

honestly, they might.

you see, all isiah would have to do is force the ball down low to curry and randolph. there's nothing anyone on the mercury can do to stop them. in fact, the knicks would only be stopped by themselves.

and how? well, marbury and crawford would get pissed off at curry and randolph scoring so easily. so, at some point, the passes would stop. and marbury and crawford would start chucking it up. again, many of them would go in. but not all of them. and judging what we've seen from randolph and curry, they'd probably begin to sulk.

and by sulk, that means going from being the two worst defenders in history and eliminating any sort of effort and care.

scoring would be easier.

and isiah's already lost the team, so it's not like they'd listen to him whenever he comes up with a "solution".

so, realistically? no. but honestly?

i've already spent too much time on this.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

how i will rock on and get connected worldwide, thank you

it takes something like this that puts everything else in my life in its proper place.

somewhere, in the deepest darkest regions of the internet netherworld, the bank of america guy is furiously creating a response.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

how if you're looking for something nice to do for the holidays, here's something worthwhile

my friend stacie has started a humanitarian cause called "the see and sprout project". she just landed in thailand, and is already doing her magic.

in case you're too lazy to click through, here's what it's about:

The See and Sprout Project is a creative collective, international exchange art workshop launched by Stacie Krajchir for youth in Khao Lak Thailand affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami.

Village children will be guided to create visual and written images about their feelings and perceptions about themselves, their family and their community and to explore ways of translating these feelings to people who live outside their community.

Photographs combined with stories, captions and personal journal entries will be edited into a group exhibition to share their experiences and explore the challenges they faced before the disaster, and continue to face in their daily lives.

The workshop includes children who have lost their family, friends, homes and community schools during the tsunami and beyond. How their lives are now and how they move forward having lost so much. We are launching our charter project at the incredible Baan Tham Namchai Orphanage which is a true honor.

Last year we painted classrooms, this year we are going to green a classroom... the paint will be eco-friendly as well as lighting and as many itty bitty other eco ideas I can fit in my suitcase!

there's more on the website about this, and you really should check it out. there are organizations feeding and housing people in need, and that's great. but what stacie is trying to do is to take their mind off things, doing something creative, putting smiles on faces. and, most of all, it's fun. and that's something great too.

it's too late to donate old digicameras, but they do need money to pay for printouts and shipping and all that. e-mail for more information.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

how a confusing ending can almost ruin a brilliant everything else

starring javier bardem, tommy lee jones and josh brolin
written and directed by the coen brothers
viewed at the century san francisco center, san francisco

for the first two hours of "old country of old men", i saw the very best of the coen brothers' illustrious career. i saw the most amazing film of this year so far. i saw a movie brilliantly written, directed and edited, and with truly captivating performances by bardem, jones and brolin. it was everything it was hyped up to be: a master's class in the art of storytelling.

and then, the final five minutes happened.

look, i'm not alone in this. everyone who left the theater with me was completely flummoxed. when i got home, i googled the film, and realized that reviews are flooded with people as confused as i was.

so, the question remains: does a very weird, unsettling and perplexed ending eradicate the brilliance that happened before it?

i don't think so. or, at least, not totally. "no country for old men" is still the best movie i've seen this year.

however, i can't see it winning any awards for best picture. for one, it will split votes with paul thomas anderson's "there will be blood". after all, they are very much alike, in that they are excellent in every aspect of making a film. however, there is a story arc in this one, full of resistance and drama and characters in peril. whereas anderson's movie seems like a challenge to himself, this is a masterstroke of creative geniuses.

and secondly, oh, that ending, it just can't help. it really can't. confusion works for david lynch because he's david lynch and that's what you expect. but for even the masters of the unexpected like the coens, it's just...

okay, enough about that. moving on, bardem, jones and brolin are truly awesome and worthy of any accolades they receive. the cinematography is gorgeous. and nobody edits a film with such poignancy as the coen bro...i mean, roderick jaymes. the first two hours represent the very peak of their canon.

if only.

UPDATE: so i thought about it overnight, and i'm completely changing my tune. the problem with the film is actually with the beginning in that we never know who's story it is. at the end, it's clear that the film is told through tommy lee jones' point of view. but for the mesmerizing two hours before that, we've got his story, but it's mostly about javier bardem chasing josh brolin. when we get to the ending, it's the cumulation of not the whole story, but of just tommy lee jones'.

so, despite the absolute brilliance, there just needed to be more about how this was the last chase of this lawman's career, just because the times have changed, and it's no longer just for someone his age.

damn, so close.

but it's still the best film i've seen this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

how if you're ever in san diego

it feels good to be a part of something real.

how only omar can turn a steaming bowl of crap into a starting catcher

good riddance to you, guillermo mota.

and good riddance to you, willie randolph's insane loyalty to guillermo mota.

i will not miss either of you.

how i need a woman to clear this up for me

on "black friday", the day after thanksgiving, women from all over this land rush to any mall they can find to buy whatever they can get their hands at a discounted rate. the later they go, the lesser of a chance they have of finding the right size. so they line up outside storefronts at the earliest break of day, in hopes of being first.

none of this is disputed, right, ladies?

here's where i'm coming from, though. why don't you do your shopping before black friday, like on "gearing up wednesday" or "i'm bored tuesday", buy whatever you want at a higher price, then bring your receipt in within 21 days for a price adjustment? this way, you spend 75% less time waiting on line, you still get it at the same price, you don't have to worry about your size being sold out, and you can stay at home on friday and laugh at the losers who didn't think of this brilliant idea.

right, ladies?


you can thank me later.

how has a new contender for the title

this website has such a simple premise, i'm kicking myself for not doing it myself.

damn me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

how i'm barely five minutes back into atlanta

and it's pouring rain here for the first time in months, my hotel can be described as "pedestrian at best", i walked past a bar playing gospel karaoke, and i saw a buddhist monk in the hotel lobby trying to decide between mesquite bbq chips and ding dongs.

note: i have yet to hit fat matt's or a waffle house yet.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

how you can find true humanity in a fake person

starring ryan gosling, emily mortimer and paul schneider
directed by craig gillespie
written by nancy oliver
viewed at the sundance theater kabuki, san francisco

every so often, a movie comes along that is so expertly created that it shows that there can be a strong human truth found in even the clearly absurd. take "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" for instance. if left to the simpleminded, it would have been just a movie about how you can get your mind erased. but with charlie kaufman and michel gondry's amazing gifts of storytelling, it transcended into a strong human truth, that you may be able to erase the hard drive of your brain, but never the hard drive of your heart.

why did i begin with that? because a movie whose basic premise begins with a man buying a "real girl" sex toy and passing it off as his girlfriend is fraught with the very worst that slapstick can offer. in the hands of the farrelly brothers, the real doll becomes a prop. in the hands of michael bay, the real doll becomes something worth exploding, an inanimate object that stays that way until its parts are flying every which way.

but when it stands for something, when it becomes more than a prop or a target, when the filmmakers don't stoop for the easy jokes or a simple plotlines, well that's where the human truth shines through. and we can all connect to it. and it leaves us with something wholly inspiring.

that's what i felt when i left the theater with the first lady of steveohville. she felt it too. it wasn't a movie about a dude who buys a real doll and passes it off as his girlfriend. it was a movie about how love can go through great lengths when great lengths are needed. and if there's someone out there who doesn't relate to that, well, you begin to feel what ryan gosling's character was feeling.

this is the best movie i've seen so far this year, the best script i've watched this year, and gosling's performance is much more multilayered than the brilliance of daniel day-lewis' in "there will be blood".

which means that if you've got $10 and 90 minutes to spare, there's nothing better i can recommend you spending them on.

Friday, November 09, 2007

how the funniest show on tv is back with a vengeance

no, not "the office".
not "30 rock".
and no, not "curb your enthusiasm".

i'm talking "inside the NBA" with ernie johnson, kenny smith and charles barkley. and they're putting their most hilarious bits online, like the always funny "who he play for", where they ask charles where some nondescript player are playing nowadays, and it's everything that makes charles barkley the funniest character on tv, even if he's real life.

it's easily the most entertaining thing about the NBA.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

how there's awesome, and then there's this awesome

certain brands have legacies. their advertising (and who they are) becomes a history of gorgeous storytelling and compelling statements, always being much more entertaining than the content they're interrupting.

sometimes, that legacy keeps on going (nike). sometimes, that legacy ends (see volkswagon).

and sometimes, the legacy is brilliant in one part of the world and not in another.

here's the latest masterpiece to the guinness legacy of advertising in great britain. it's just as brilliant as anything else they've ever done over there (and for those uninitiated, i'm including "surfer" and "swimblack", among others).

makes me wish they ran these over here too.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

how i fear for the retribution that will be brought down on these kids

you're a nerd. you're tired of getting wedgies in the school hallways. so you invent something like this and you think that all your problems are solved.

but then you'd probably just blow it by posting something on the web like this.

(yes, i know that clip is old. but it's still damned fully, ain't it?)

Monday, November 05, 2007

how to review a movie two months before it premieres

due to the wonders of san francisco, i was able to watch a sneak preview of the latest film from one of my favorite filmmakers. here goes it:

starring daniel day-lewis and paul dano
written and directed by paul thomas anderson
viewed at the castro theater, san francisco

first off: i am a huge fan of paul thomas anderson. when everyone killed "punch drunk love", i praised it as a rousing success - because i saw the chances he took by casting adam sandler in a dramatic role, and how amazing the movie was because of it. on top of that, you all know how i feel about both "boogie nights" and "magnolia". and his first film, "hard eight", is just wonderful. the point is that he challenges himself with each film, he takes the preconceptions and turns them around and his stories aren't conventional by any means. his films are what storytelling should be, but sadly aren't. they are not about box office receipts. they are about human truths told masterfully.

so yeah, i dig his work. and when i got a chance to see his movie a full two months before everyone else got a chance to, i jumped.

and, shockingly to nobody who's read this far, it's a brilliantly made film. each shot is truly epic. daniel day-lewis is amazing, and is the odds-on favorite to win another oscar. his counterpart, paul dano, is great too. the photography that framed them is just gorgeous. the opening fifteen minutes are just wondrous. and the score by radiohead's jonny greenwood is pitch perfect. these are the pieces of this film that are beyond approach, a complete masterpiece by a master virtuoso.

there's a problem, however, and a big one: there's no drama in this film. there's no conflict. there's not even a story arc for the main (and practically only) character. it's just...i'm not really sure what it is, really. i really didn't get the point of it all, until daniel day-lewis revealed his soul to another character. and, to be honest, that's a cheat. you don't tell in film; you show. maybe that's anderson fighting the preconceptions. i think it's just making sense of it all, but taking the easy way out.

yes, it's a human being just being. but there's nothing for him to strive for, to overcome, to grow into. unless it completely flew past me, i found it utterly lacking from start to finish. but it didn't. i got it. he explained it to me.

it just seemed like a missed opportunity.

maybe i'm wrong.

people are going to love this movie. my two friends did. i don't think they're wrong, but i think a lot of people will love this movie because paul thomas anderson is a great filmmaker, rather than he made a great film. and other people are gonna hate this movie for the same reason they hated "punchdrunk love" - they're expecting something previous.

so color me impressed and disappointed. i know that's possible, because i am.

how a photo reveals everything

check out this headline and then look at the photo of the writer.

there's no way someone who poses for a photo that takes herself so seriously like that would have the humor of putting the words "seamen" and "ball" into the same headline.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

how every time you think everything's been done before, here comes something else

i know i'm late to the party, but if you haven't seen the video for feist's "1234" on the ipod commercial, then here it is, the full version.

and it's every bit as enrapturing as it was the first time i saw it.

if you want more, here's the behind the scenes stuff.

all in all, it's everything that's magical about filmmaking.

and those are some crane shots.

how i will be the first to say that i was beyond pleasantly surprised

the first lady of steveohville got us tickets to see gwen stefani in oakland. now, i dig gwen stefani. i do. find a red-blooded heterosexual male (or homosexual, for that matter) who doesn't. i'm just skeptical about her as a musician. when she was with no doubt, i can readily admit that i fell in love with her. she was hot. she was athletic. she sang her ass off, and the music was amazing.

then she went solo, and everything changed. she began to dress like an alien. she put on way too much makeup. she married a hack. and her music? overly produced. lyrics written like a twelve-year-old. and dance music really isn't my bag.

so...was i excited to see her? yes, of course. was i expecting much? not really.

so what did i get?

a super solid band that took those overproduced songs and made them organic - and gave them a truly human energy. choreography that was amazing but not intrusive. the loudest crowd i've ever heard at a concert (thanks to 15,000 teenaged girls). and a singer who worked her ass off on stage, and then to make a even tighter connection with her fans, went into the crowd to sing some more.

she walked around the floor. she hugged her fans. she did a lap around.

and when she got to section 114, she went into the stands, up a bunch of steps, climbed into the seats and continued to sing with her adoring fans holding her up.

i was in section 114. and she was right next to me.

how close? this close:

don't believe me? then watch this.

so...i went in expecting something, i dunno, disappointing at worst and professional at best, and i got thrilled. am i gonna go out and buy her cds? no. but when she comes back, count me in. really great stuff from a really great performer.

Friday, November 02, 2007

how i'm down with lebron

here's the latest website i've done for nike entitled "lebron: the complete story".

and here's the credits:

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: neil robinson
ART DIRECTION: caio lazzuri
DESIGN: mathieu zarbatany
PRODUCER: rachel hardwick
ACCOUNT: lauren black, simon jefferson
MOTION: antti kupla, tim robles
EDITOR: jedidiah stuber

and me.

how you hear the strangest things in elevators

overheard in my office building elevator, which is the slowest elevator in the world:

"this elevator takes forever."

"i know. they should have two elevators. one that just goes up, and another that just goes down."

so, if there's a news report of a lunatic walking around san francisco, talking to himself, making strange up-and-down gesticulations with his hands, eventually banging his head against a brick wall, don't fret. it's just me, trying to make sense of things like that.