Tuesday, December 23, 2008

how these would be the coolest xmas gifts ever

seriously, if anyone got me either this or this, you might have a new best friend.

of course, the first lady of steveohville wouldn't necessarily be happy about it.

but it's hitch, baby!

Monday, December 15, 2008

how this struck me as weird

i saw this in the toilet stall at o'hare airport in terminal F. it's a new way to protect your ass while sitting on the seat. here's the directions:

So wht happens is that you wave your hand in front of this sensor with the number "96 on it".

then a plastic covering on the toilet seat rotates around, so you sit on a new plastic covering.

then the sensor displays the number "95", which i guess means that there's 95 plastic coverings left for this particular seat.

seems like a lot of work for a men's toilet. and it makes me wonder what the hell goes on in the women's shitter at o'hare.

seriously, what goes on in there?

how maintaining two blogs is not easy

as you can tell from my complete ignorance of the speakeasy, it's been a chore to keep up with two blogs - especially when one of them requires me to write every single day (while keeping a full-time writing job on the side).

that being said, i'm gonna do my best to make this work.

i might be here once a week. at the very least, i'll post some links that made me laugh. at the very best, i'll post something original once a week or so.

but i gotta tell you, it's creatively draining.

so here's some links (for now):

an incredibly accurate description of what the process of an advertising agency making a christmas card looks like - "peanuts" style.

see who google thinks is the worst band in the world.

shit, my plane is boarding.

i'll try to find more later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

how christine is cured! christine is cured!

i just wanted to share this with you all because it's very important to me.

6 years and 9 months ago, my close friend christine was diagnosed with leukemia. she and her husband tommy and daughter kailey had just started their lives together, and suddenly, their world was falling apart.

if you've been reading this website, you know all about it.

the day i got the call was undoubtedly one of the worst moments of my life. nothing was right. nothing was fair.

after trying every sort of treatment possible, christine had her bone marrow transplant operation - basically, her last chance. the operation was a success, although the recovery was long and painful. going through life with a reforming immune system is tough enough. doing it with a one-year-old daughter in a house that's being completely fixed up was another. but she got through it.

throughout it all, she's been brave and upbeat. and she's transitioned from being one of my closest friends to being one of my heroes. hell, she inspired me to run the phoenix marathon in 85 degree heat in her honor in an effort to raise money for the lymphoma and leukemia society. she was the first person i called when i crossed the finish line. we were both crying. she was happy. i was in pain, but happy nonetheless.

and as her immune system got stronger, she began getting her life back.

today, november 12th, 2008, is the five year anniversary of her bone marrow transplant.

that means that my close friend christine is cured from cancer.

she beat it.

christine is cured from cancer!

i'm crying as i type this, but she beat it.

i just wanted to share that with you all.

but don't take my words for it. here's care for christine for the official announcement.

much love to everyone.

now go out and celebrate.

how i owe you a bunch of links

this post is powered by the blind crossdresser i saw at the BART station, which made me wonder if he even realized that he was dressing like a woman:

i'm sure you've seen this before, but some guy posted an ad for his car on the bodybuilding.com forum, and the pictures included "sexy" photos of his girlfriend, who is everything but. just read all the pages of comments and responses. some great stuff in there.

the practice phone call on last week's "the office" was probably the funniest three minutes they've created. this season, they've completely raised the game.

our "lebron's DNA" feature debuted on nikebasketball.com. it's first of what's seemingly an endless stream of content we're creating. also check out our shoe feature, "the story of the six".

also, my friend steve dildarian had his animated series "the life and times of tim" premiere on HBO a couple of weeks ago. check it out if you're into the type of show that'll make you laugh your ass off. if you don't believe me, reminisce about the budweiser lizards and ferret commercials. and then take into account that he wrote them. so yeah, you bet your ass this is funny.

and last, but not least:

i voted "no" on proposition 8 in california, which means i am for gay marriage. honestly, if two people love each other, shouldn't they have all the same rights as every other couple? shouldn't they be entitled to the same happinesses that we all experience without hiding it? i think they rightly deserve it.

however, sadly, my state voted "yes" to outlaw gay marriage.

my first instincts is that though i deeply disagree with the result, it is the will of the people, and that is that. but it really strikes me as wrong. and that got me thinking about the history of social issues, from women's suffrage to civil rights, and how if they were left to the will of the people, we'd still be where we were a hundred years ago.

so i'm changing my mind on how to approach righting this wrong, thinking that a social issue you believe in is worth fighting for, no matter what the majority of the populace decides is correct. let the courts decide this, i say.

what am i getting at? here's keith olbermann's take. normally, i find him more entertaining than informative and far too extreme to take at face value. but there's nothing in his speech that i disagree with. he's dead on about this, and so am i.

Friday, November 07, 2008

how i'm proud and shameful of this reply

this was my reply in an e-mail string about presidential athletes. i got halfway through it and couldn't turn back and had to finish it. i'm posting this because it could possibly be the most ridiculous thing i've written in a long long time:

from steve:

i think i would enjoy playing on the same squad with obama. after all, he's a redistributor.

from what was written in the history books, martin van buren was a big-time flopper that got under everyone's skin. rumor has it that andrew jackson wanted to slap the shit out of him during a game of 21 for calling a charge. supposedly, jackson yelled, "nobody, not even a dirty, low-down, slavery-hatin' carpetbagger, would have the audacity to call a charge in pick-up! but you, sir, have sunk even lower!" and not even that was able to stop van buren from doing it thrice more. jackson was loading his bayonet before daniel webster subdued him.

it's true.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

how i got to share an amazing experience with my son

last night, at 9 PM, i took my son into my arms, sat on our couch and watched barack obama's acceptance speech with him.

it was an amazing experience. obama represents so many things to so many people, but the one thing that any american, democrat to republican to independent, can admire is how, despite everything he had going against him, he was able to be elected by people of every race and age to the highest office our country offers.

this is a man who grew up the son of a kenyan immigrant and a white woman, whose father ditched him early, who grew up poor, a man who was named barack hussein obama. it's safe to say that this man had zero chance of ever becoming president.

but still, this is a man who worked his way into columbia university and then harvard law and then edited the prestigious harvard law review, a man who eschewed big money law firms for public service, a man who rode a wave to the top powered by listening, thinking and accepting others, a man who has become the most inspiring and transformational figure in this generation, a man who forced a populace to finally look past the color of skin and just see a person who is our best choice to lift our country back up.

he's a man who overcame everything to rise to the highest level. he stands for that greatest american trait, that you can become anything you want to be.

but, although that's always been said, it's never really been true. all of our presidents have been white and rich and been given every opportunity to succeed. it's true for them, but not really for the rest of us.

but now, we have a president who is black and grew from a very modest background and made the very best with what life threw at him.

today, that great american dream is a great american reality.

and here we are, father and son, watching president elect obama, and i've got tears in my eyes. because, for my son, just one month into his life, every single door is now open for him. there's no reason why he can't achieve anything he wants. if barack obama can do it, if this man who had nothing can achieve everything, then so can my son, who begins his journey with love, support and a family that will do everything for him.

i can't wait to see what he'll do with it.

go get 'em, wyatt.

Monday, November 03, 2008

how i'm taking a redo on "echoes, silence, patience and grace"

last year, i purchased and jumped into the foo fighters' newest album and, to be honest, didn't really like it. i thought it was schmaltzy. too sentimental. boring. it sounded like a band that just ran out of things to say.

alas, it won a grammy for best rock album, further reinforcing my original ideas that this album just didn't have it.

but i've been listening to selected tracks recently, like "the pretender" and "statues", and on my work trip away from the first lady of steveohville and the boy of steveohville, and i decided to give it another take.

and i like it so much more.

and that got me thinking: the album didn't change, but in the past year, i have. and where i was once hardened and critical i am now softer and sentimental. i miss my family right now. and as i listened to the foo fighters on the plane, i just wanted to be home. dave grohl and the gang helped bring me there:

Wish I were with you but I couldn't stay
Every direction leads me away
Pray for tomorrow but for today
And all I want is to be home

All I want is to be home

then again, when you write something like this, sentimentality is a way of life.

how there's an endless supply of reasons why i love my city

and here's the latest:

measure R is about renaming the oceanside water treatment plant in the city of san francisco.

to what, you might ask?

why, the the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

oh hell yes, i'm voting yes.

how i'm back sorta

and by back, i mean i have fifteen minutes in between feedings and feel like typing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

how there's many great things about sports

and i know that sports doesn't just build character, it also reveals it. and that just gets proven over and over again, such as these past 24 hours, where it became impossible not to be impressed by and appreciative of what both youth (tampa bay rays) and experience (bernard hopkins) can pull off.

i heart sports.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

how i'm typing this for posterity's sake

this is the last moment in my life that i am living for myself. from here on out, everything i do will be done for my child's benefit. every thought, every emotion, every action, every word is dedicated to make my child's life better.

these last 34 years, in which i was the most important person in my life, is coming to a dramatic end in a couple of moments.

it was a damn good run.

but i can't wait to give it all up for someone even more special.

how we have a fever for a baby

in the past hour, i've seen my wife go through shakes, raised blood pressure and a fever - all at the same time. it was one of the worst hours i've ever been through, and it didn't affect me physically. never had i felt so helpless, despite the countless cold towels we continuously put on her.

but she got through it, the latest intense challenge in her pregnancy.

and, as the doctor checked her out, we found out that the first lady passed her physical challenge with flying colors - she progressed 6 centimeters in three hours, an absolutely amazing achievement.

now we're just one centimeter away.

we're in the home stretch, and i wouldn't bet against her.

how we're getting close

the first lady of steveohville has had the most visceral, gutteral and intense contractions ever known to shake this planet. but she's got the most loving, giving and proactive nurses and support team around her. as she cries, we cry. if we can only capture her pain for her.

and let's be honest here: if men had to deliver babies, this civilization would have ended centuries ago.

but now we're in the wonderful world of the epidural, and hopefully the worst has passed. she's relaxed and dilating, and we're relaxed and prepping, and the baby is relaxed and getting ready for his or her's debut appearance in our lives.

we can't wait.

how they really meant it

they don't call it vacation. they don't call it paradise. they don't call it easy street.

they call it labor - for a damn good reason.

the first lady's had a rough time tonight. the cervix checks are very painful, and that's when and where they also inject the misoprostil pill into her. it breaks my heart to see her break down in pain like that, but it's a necessary evil.

anyways, between the all-body rash and the contractions and the painful checks and suppositories, she's had probably the roughest night of her pregnancy (and trust me, we've had our share of very rough nights).

but at 6AM, everything we've been working for came to fruition: her water broke.

i'm so unbelievably proud of her. i wish you all can witness how proud and strong she's been through all of this.

now we're at the starting gate - finally. and the finish line isn't that far away.

how we get there will be interesting.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

how hopefully our son will come out tomorrow (or daughter)

the pitosin actually has a higher level. i mean, 60 is great. but we got that sucka up to 66. and afterwards, after a run through and a cervix test, our doctor decided that this pitosin ain't really workin'. or, rather, has worked as much as it can.

so we're switching tactics to misoprostal (otherwise known as cytotec), which will soften the cervix even further, hopefully allowing the first lady of steveohville to begin to dilate, which will cause the spawn of steveohville to begin dropping, which will cause intense labor to begin, and will hopefully...fingers crossed...

but that's gonna take time. so we're looking at a sunday estimated date of arrival.

which is just as good as any.

how we're hoping that with her contractions come an addition

the first lady of steveohville has still been utterly amazing. we've been having a great time with her mom, aunt, sister-in-law and friend, a huge estrogen meeting with me on the outside, looking in. and it's been wonderful. the ladies have taken her mind off of her full body rash, the contractions and the edema.

now the pitusin is at level 60 (the highest), and suddenly her walks to the nursery have become marathons. each step has made her contractions heavier and stronger with bigger waves for her to surf over.

that's a great thing, a major first step.

so it seems although we're not at the home stretch, we've just entered the starting gate. and when they open, there's nothing that's gonna get in her way.

i'm so proud and honored just to be along for the ride.

how i am so proud of the first lady of steveohville

she's been so strong since we've been admitted to the hospital. this hasn't been the best pregnancy, and the whole body rash she's just gotten is pretty damn mean, but through it all, she's been the most courageous and inspiring person i've ever been around. i'm so damn lucky to spend the rest of my life with her, and to have her be the mother of my child.

we've got a couple of hours to go. the pitosin is being amped up, and so are the contractions - and so are her moans.

we're gonna get there, baby. we're gonna get there real soon.

Friday, October 03, 2008

how i'd be willing to take it too

once, when i was in college, i went to a club in long island and wound up peeing in a stall directly opposite from dee snider. our eyes caught, and all i could muster out to say was "you're dee snider".

it was 1995, and he wasn't willing to take it then.

but now? maybe.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

how even with a broken heart i can make this real simple

let's say i'm an architect in charge of building amazing houses. i hire a general contractor to put the pieces together. his job is to find the crew and to get the finest supplies.

as we're building, i have big concerns about the bricks that our general contractor purchased. they seem rather flimsy. in fact, they keep falling apart. and it comes to no surprise to me that, just as our house is about to be finished, suddenly it all collapses.

now, i need to apologize to my benefactors over this. so i state how disappointed i am, and how we'll get to the bottom of this and vow that it will never happen again.

our general contractor analyzes the collapse, and decides that the bricks weren't wrong, but rather how the bricks were applied. at least, that's got to be his plan, mostly because he very slightly changes the bricks. i mean, they're still the same bricks, but changed in a way where it really doesn't make much of a difference.

however, my general contractor doesn't get around to firing the bricklayer until halfway through our new house is being built. you know, because if it wasn't the bricks fault, then it was the fault of the person who laid them down. but he finally makes the change, and it seems like the new bricklayer has got it going right, but sooner rather than later, the bricks continue to seem flimsy, and they keep falling apart.

and again, just as our amazing house is about to be finished, the whole damn thing collapses again.

so it's been two years now, and i've got no amazing house to admire.

so i know it's not the bricklayer's fault. hell, we've used two different bricklayers, and the house still collapses. so, using the basic rules of the process of elimination, i can point the finger at the general contractor, as in, the dude who chose the bricks. after all, i saw with my own eyes how the same damn bricks keep falling apart two straight years.

so what do i do? well, if it were up to me, i sure as hell wouldn't do this. that would be idiotic - especially since i'd make sure that the second attempt at building a house was a roaring success and not another collapse.

but that's just me, someone taking a logical view on how to build a house. it's obviously a much more insane train of thought for those who just sell them.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

how there's such brilliance in irony and sarcasm

here's bill maher's "new rules" segment from his show "real time". start watching it from 1:50 on. it's truly some of the most inspired, insightful and best written political commentary i've heard in such a long time.

and, of course, hilarious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

how i wish i knew more about the economy

although i'm extremely suspicious of anything that involves the government, large corporations and insane amounts of money, i must admit that i don't know how they all work together.

but what i do know is that rep. marcy kaptur of ohio absolutely speaks for me and my fears.

good for her.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

how wearing your favorite team's jersey doesn't make you a genius

ever notice how the loudest person in a bar is usually the most ignorant? well, here's a list of the wonderful insights yelled out by the loudest football fan in the valley tavern this morning - a lesbian woman in a pats jersey:

- "what's with the o-line? what's with the o-line!", in response to watching a replay of the pats' line trying to stop seven rushers with five blockers.

- after cheering wildly after a first down catch by wes welker - "that's my boy!" - a dolphins' fan replies with a generic but still well-placed "scoreboard!" chant (since the score at that time was 31-13 miami), she comes back with, "i bet that was a stupid giants fan who yelled that!" even though...i can't make sense of that. sorry.

- in a response to my obviously sarcastic line of "wow, brady looks awful out there", she says, "that's because it's not brady! it's matt cassel! not brady! it's cassel! see? cassel!" as everyone around me laughs at her.

- "can you put the sawx on? we need to put the sawx on! playoff baseball! woo!" just as ronnie brown scored yet another touchdown to put the cassel-lead pats down 38-13. after which a dolphins' fan yells, "what? no more football for you today?" also to the laughter of everyone around me.

- and even though her team lost at home by 25 to a team that went 1-15 last season which should have shut her gaping mouth with humble pie, and even though the raiders were playing the bills, one of her rival teams in the AFC East, she yells "raiders suck!", just as the silver-and-black lose on a last-second field goal. and, of course, this almost sets off a huge brawl.

at least, thanks to eli, good times were had by all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

how my morning jacket made for an almost perfect night

my morning jacket
the greek theater, berkeley, ca
september 19, 2008

this is not my first rodeo with this louisville-based outfit. i caught them a couple of years ago at the fillmore as the guest of my friend dylan, who produced their first album (and was the impetus for their lyric, "met a bad man from california"). we went backstage with them and met them. happy to report that they're cool chill dudes - a complete dichotomy from the sonic and explosive performance they had on stage.

saw them again at the fillmore a couple of years later, and loved them even more. but this would be the first time i'd see them at the greek, which just seemed to be tailor made for them: exquisite, outdoor, misty, and a little weird. in another words, it's a great venue for jim james' ethereal voice to carry and infiltrate - just like how thom yorke's voice did a couple of years ago in a soul-shattering performance that every one i know who was there is still talking about.

tonight was the same - although not quite. when MMJ gets into their slow stuff, i don't really get the impression that they're sold into performing it. i mean, they have to, in order to take a break and keep the flow going. and i know that they're sold on it when in the studio. it just doesn't work live.

but when they get into the hard stuff, holy mother of god. it's the best of the allmans, lyrnyrd, gov't mule and stillwater at once. it's tight hooks and his piercing voice. it's the stuff that gets your head going one way and your body in another. and when they end with "one big holiday", well, you just don't want to leave.

by the way, he's not quite there yet, but jim james is closely inching towards the realm of mick jagger/jack white/dave grohl/billie joe armstrong, of frontmen that you just can't take your eyes off of. i think it's the slow stuff that's holding him back. he's just not selling it.

but other than that? hot damn.

the one thing that could have made it perfect, however, would have been if they covered pink floyd's "wish you were here" - in fact, it would have been a perfect song for their talents - and dedicated it to the first lady of steveohville, who got me the tickets but was kept away by bedrest. love you, honey. thank you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

how you learn something new every day

and you thought rednecks were done not worldly:

The origins of this term Redneck are Scottish and refer to supporters of the National Covenant and The Solemn League and Covenant, or "Covenanters", largely Lowland Presbyterians, many of whom would flee Scotland for Ulster (Northern Ireland) during persecutions by the British Crown. The Covenanters of 1638 and 1641 signed the documents that stated that Scotland desired the Presbyterian form of church government and would not accept the Church of England as its official state church.

Many Covenanters signed in their own blood and wore red pieces of cloth around their necks as distinctive insignia; hence the term "Red neck", (rednecks) which became slang for a Scottish dissenter*. One Scottish immigrant, interviewed by the author, remembered a Presbyterian minister, one Dr. Coulter, in Glasgow in the 1940's wearing a red clerical collar -- is this symbolic of the "rednecks"?

Since many Ulster-Scottish settlers in America (especially the South) were Presbyterian, the term was applied to them, and then, later, their Southern descendants. One of the earliest examples of its use comes from 1830, when an author noted that "red-neck" was a "name bestowed upon the Presbyterians." It makes you wonder if the originators of the ever-present "redneck" joke are aware of the term’s origins - Rednecks?

Friday, September 05, 2008

how to replicate what a 4.0 earthquake centered just 18 miles away feels like

1. sit on a chair or a couch.
2. jolt it forward in one movement.
3. wonder what the hell that was.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

how i'm still trying to figure out the whole palin thing

as most of you know, i don't believe in political parties. in fact, i view government and politicians as being a complete marketing mirage generated to keep people separated and in line.

the coolest thing about being an independent is that it allows me to keep an open mind towards the candidates of both buffooneries. but right now, i'm leaning towards barack, i'm still very open to the idea of mccain, although to be completely honest, i don't think a swing is gonna happen.

why is that? well, they're both full of shit. in fact, every president we've had since roosevelt has been completely full of shit. don't get fooled: it's all just lip service to get you to vote for them. nothing really separates the two politically, because what they say they're gonna do will not coincide with what's going to happen. political parties are beholden to those who get them into office, and those people are not us. it's oil companies, car manufacturers, banks and any company with a lobbyist in tow.

so, for me, i'm just looking for the candidate i'd be able to tolerate the most. and right now, i think that's barack. why? well, because it's not the bullshit he says, but rather how he sells the bullshit, just like reagan did for the republicans and clinton for the democrats.

but like i said, my vote has yet to be set in stone.

so that's why, after five days or so to think about things, it shocks me that i'm still utterly confused about mccain's decision to nominate susan palin as his running mate.

at first glance, it's a political decision: he's looking to cash in on all those disgruntled hillary voters still out there. being that no woman has ever held that high of an office, she represents an option for change. her beliefs go hand-in-hand with the right wing conservatives that mccain still needs to capture. and she's the only one in the race who has gubernatorial experience and has set budgets and all that jazz (although so did george dubya, and look where that got us).

then again, it's not political at all: she's got even less experience than barack does, which means that any attempt by mccain to attack his inexperience would sound hypocritical, considering that he's 72 years old and she's just his fifth cancer away from the presidency. and, considering her lack of experience, it shows a complete lack of judgement by mccain in a pressure situation - which doesn't bode well for his potential tenure. and the issue with her concentrating on this campaign while her family has so many other pressing issues for her to deal with just doesn't look good to anyone. and before you say that her family issues are none of our business, well, it is when she'll be holding the second highest office in the country - and that jumping into private issues is sadly the world we live in nowadays. doesn't make it right. just makes it real.

what i'm saying is that there had to be better options out there for him. there just had to be.

and that gets me back to this: i just can't figure it out. either way i look at it, nothing makes sense to me.

which means it's yet just another brick in the wall for barack.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

how i have a bunch of observations that have been welling inside of me

it stuns me to realize that a great number of people in this country still have no idea that the left side of an escalator is the passing lane. i've missed three trains this week because of ignorant blockages. i'll vote for the candidate who can write this into a law.

the differences between the mcdonald's southern style chicken sandwich and a chick-fil-a sandwich are huge, when you consider that we're talking about a buttered roll and waffle fries.

"almost famous" and "hoosiers" never stop giving me the chills, even on my 75th viewing of them.

virgin atlantic needs to get a little more intuitive. this morning, i rode in first class for the first time in my life (it was the only seat available). i immediately took a snobbish attitude, even giving myself a "rob van dam two-thumb salute" when they announced boarding for the elite like me. then, as the lower class people boarded, i looked down upon them with disdain and pity.

but here's the thing: for all the benefits you get in first class, virgin makes it rather difficult to use them. the buttons and knobs for getting the chair to recline just doesn't make sense, and could be much easier. and i couldn't find the outlet to plug my headphones in (they were at my feet for some reason). and the tv was tucked away in my armrest, without any sort of notification that i had entertainment of some sort for my privileged eyes.

my point is that someone as important and as elite as myself sitting in first class deserves all the accrouements that my elevated price demands. and it should be easy. i should not work as hard as the plebians who sit behind me.

also, if you're in the anaheim/disneyland area and can't find yelp's highly acclaimed goofy's kitchen, then eat at cafe casse croute and tell me what you think their sausage patties are made from. i'm thinking it's something alien. or angry.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

how it's really quite this simple

jet blue > virgin america > this > any other american airplane company.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

how this might be the strangest junk mail i've ever mistakenly received


How are tou my dear Donzi? Your sister told me you lost lots . Are you ok? I know you can't sleep enough my sweet baby. Theresa told tou are excellent doctor and you love your job. In this world, nothing is easy but when you try your best God help you and blesse you my sweet Donzi. Thank you for Theresa and she came yesterday evening for clean . This afternoon 4pm she go see Dr. Lui. Now i said ;good nignt my baby; and nice and beautiful dream. I love you. from your mom

here's my guess:

donzi and his mom had some sort of rift. they no longer speak. in fact, she didn't even know that donzi is a doctor. so the rift had to last for a decade because it takes that long to get through medical school.

she only knows that he's a doctor because for some reason he sends a cleaning maid (theresa) to her and she accidentally let his occupation slip.

donzi's sister also told his mother that he lost something - maybe weight? but she didn't tell his mother that he's a doctor.

how i long for the simple days of kenyan princes and their unclaimed fortunes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

how you learn something new every day

when someone yells "code seven!" inside a walgreens at union square, it means that someone just ran out of the store because he stole a tiny jar of vaseline.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

how not even garnering the democratic presidential nomination can save you from the wrath of rick astley

yep, you know that you've made it when you've been rickroll'd.

and when you watch this version, you realize how genius this is.

and, of course, how sad that someone has that much spare time.

Friday, August 15, 2008

how i have ten olympic sized observations

here's what i got on my mind about the olympics, which has been televised somewhere near my eyesight for about 16 hours a day:

1. best moment of the olympics so far: i was gonna say jason lezak's come-from-behind american victory against the arrogant french in the men's 4X100 swimming relay, but i need to go with the chinese men's gymnastics team laughable and awkward high-fiving after their routine. it's truly the stuff olympic dreams are made of - or, at least, mine.

2.best viewing experience of the olympics so far: this one goes to swimming again, and you can pick between the green line in the water that tells you how the racers are doing against the world record, and the underwater cam that truly gives you the best look into strokes and their pull. only downside: it's also a cock cam. and it's even worse when the men are swimming.

3. best play i've seen so far: i'm gonna go with dwayne wade's falling-out-of-bounds cross-court alley-oop to kobe bryant that was even more dynamic than what i just typed out. i wish i could link to it, but nbcsports.com doesn't let me. can't expect a television network to understand linking.

4. funniest video (non chinese men's gymnastic team high-five edition): the slow-motion footage of track sprinters running towards camera. intuitively you know they're booking it right at you, but they're blinking very slowly and their cheeks are flopping like a old woman's tits during an earthquake.

5. worst spectator sport: i would say water polo, because all you see are swimcaps moving slowly in the pool and a ball being passed around the perimeter. but their treading is just mindboggling and painful to imagine. so let's just say nothing is as miserable as equestrian, especially when the riders wear top hats. that outfit just makes you think that it doesn't take much to be an olympian.

6. best villain: i changed my mind on this one. i originally wanted to pin this one on france's alain bernard for his arrogant boasts before the 4X100, but he shit the pool when it was up to him, so he got what he deserved. but with the recent racist photos taken by the spanish basketball team and their completely ignorant defenses of them, i just want to see the american team completely depants them - even moreso than i did before. if they played the way they did against greece, they should.

7. best michael phelps stat i learned this week: he has the legs of someone 6'0", so they're much stronger for someone who is 6'4". he has the reach of someone 6'8", which gives him a stronger pull for someone his height. his heart pumps twice the amount of blood than a normal heart. and he is apparently allergic to kryptomite.

8.random sports that i've randomly watched: field hockey. badminton. equestrian. water polo. fencing (epee). and the weirdest of them all: synchronized diving. it's the creepiest thing on the planet. you've been warned.

9. best line i wrote on deadspin.com about the olympics: based on china's replacing a child singer with a lip-syncing prettier child actor and their "16-year-old" women's gymnasts with training bras, "if china were a character, it would be the star on the funniest sitcom ever."

10. best thing about the olympics: nobody in china has ever heard of brett favre, and they don't care.

Monday, August 11, 2008

how if you don't get chills from this, you're probably french

in case you haven't seen it yet, here's the new nike basketball spot featuring marvin gaye and his revolutionary version of "the star-spangled banner" from the 1983 nba all-star game.

and before some of you write in and get on my case about my hypocracy on this, let me set the record straight: marvin gaye took the national anthem and turned it into something completely new, and he sang the hell out of it - not to show off, but to tell a different story using the same words. he didn't vocalize it and exaggerate certain words so that the song served a selfish purpose, like you know who did a couple of years ago to show off.

marvin gaye turned an old standard into something new.

i dig that. and this spot.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

how i wish i could be as funny as this

of course, whenever i write a line like that, i'm talking purely about the onion. this time, in video form.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

how it's august, and i'm sure enough to call it

yep, i just saw hands down the best film of the year, and we're not even into the prime months of november and december.

starring christian bale, aaron eckhardt, heath ledger, gary oldman and maggie gyllenhall
written and directed by christopher nolan
viewed at the kabuki sundance theaters, san francisco, ca

well, well, well. even with all the hype and anticipation, even with everything i thought it would be, even with the tall heights of the first epic tale, still this film surpassed anything my imagination could conjure up. it took the groundwork from "batman begins" and built on it, sharpened it, raised it, perfected it.

it's a masterpiece, really, and everything you'd want from a film of this genre.

of course, it's got some advantages. we're already head deep into the psychological scars of bruce wayne. we've already spent some time into the darkest recesses of gotham city. we've already survived ra's al-ghul, and although we didn't agree with them, we saw their point. we felt the tumult between the millionaire playboy and his childhood love, and also his bonds with his loyal assistants. the foundation's been laid.

but, with the right gardener, every good foundation will sprout something beautiful. or, in this case, depressing. we peel more layers off the scars. we see how dismal constant fear can turn a city into desperation. he see how a man without fear of dying can commit unfettered terrorism. we see that love can take many forms.

this movie is deep. the script is spotless. the acting is tremendous. the drama is thick. the tension is gripping.

and my nerves are shot.

i haven't even begun talking about heath ledger yet. but his performance makes jack nicholson's look like amateur hour. he sells the psychotic. his every word is a symphony of terror. his look, his posture, his cadence, his stares - hell, the joker's everything - his entire being feeding from a horribly scary place. he wears his creepy on the inside and outside. he's given the perfect script and character study, and colors it with the perfect performance. give him the award already. ain't nobody touching him this year.

it's truly a shame. but trust me, that's the only one you'll find in these 150 minutes.

if you're not one for chills, if you're not one for deep thought, if you're not one for drama and suspense, if you're not one for the perfect marriage of superhero and logic, and if you're not one for the highest levels of art, then stay home.

otherwise, he's calling for you.

how facebook is an amazing teaching tool

beyond being an amazing social networking tool, facebook never ceases to teach me. to begin with, i learned about the los angeles earthquake two minutes after it happened due to the status updates of my friends who experienced it. cnn came in a good nine minutes later.

and today, also by reading my friends' status updates, i was shocked at how many of them were absolutely shocked that a politician could actually reveal himself to be a scumbag.

what, you expected integrity, honesty and fidelity in someone who takes a job that attracts those hungry for power?

you expect them to actually be, you know, human?


Friday, August 08, 2008

how the opening ceremonies completely blew me away

i think everyone believes that these olympics by the host country could be an amazing achievement or a colossal bust. of course, there's the olympic spirit of overachieving athletes that overtakes everything. but there's also all of china's problems struggling against all of china's potential. beyond winners and losers, there's the drama of how china will do while under the microscope of the world's eye.

and believe you me that i'm not one for pomp, and don't get me started on circumstance, but the opening ceremonies of the olympics had both of them in full force.

it's a good sign.

it was visually, emotionally, artistically and technically staggering. it was gorgeous, poetic and eloquent. it was dynamic and breathtaking. i mean, the people running on the globe - whatthefuck?!? truly amazing. just impressively well thought out and executed, from the first moment to the last, with yao ming marching with the 9-year-old survivor and hero of the earthquake from sichuan, it's a great sign for a great seventeen days.

hell, i wrote all that and didn't even mention the skywalking torch bearer.

and the unbelievable fireworks.


holy crap wow.

i'll never forget it.

especially if we get much more of jennie finch, and nothing of the menu at guolizhuang restaurant.

also: while china impressed everyone in the world who had a television and two eyes, our chinese restaurant here in san francisco took two and a half hours to deliver dinner, and it tasted like, well, the menu at guolizhuang restaurant. whatevs.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

how it's a new world, people, and this is how we do things

i got two emails tonight, and they both help out two good people.

the first one is a link to a facebook page for "the myth of lost", an unauthorized look into that amazing tv show by my friend, marc oromaner. if you're facebook inclined (and if you aren't, what's wrong with you?), then become a fan of the book and you'll be notified when it comes out in september.

and then i got another e-mail, this one from my friend mike o'neill about his company, "the jimi". so do the click thing and help a brother out:

We just got some pretty great news about my company. We’ve been chosen as one of the twenty semi-finalists in the Forbes Magazine ‘Boost Your Business’ contest. It’s a small biz competition with a first prize of $100,000 to invest in your business. Each semi-finalist puts up a 30” elevator pitch video and readers vote their favorite. These votes determine the top 5, who then get to present full on business plans to a Forbes panel of experts.

Here’s the link. It’d be great if you could vote for us and email anyone and everyone you know, and ask them to vote for us too. We’re currently ranked 2nd unofficially, but that could be short-lived, so we need all the help and exposure to as many people as we can get to stay in the top 5. Feel free to use any legal means necessary! Thanks.

i'd feel dirty about this, but mike and the jimi absolutely deserve all the praise and votes they'll get. hopefully, it'll be enough.

how they absolutely, positively could not escape his wrath

ladies and gentlemen, may i present to you, triumph the insult comic dog at comic con.

and yes, it's everything you'll think it'll be.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

how i know what i saw, and i don't think i liked it

i've successfully tivoed the three exhibition games that the men's olympic basketball team has played so far (against turkey, lithuania and russia), and although they've won every game by over thirty points in each, i can't saw that i'm all that impressed. they're gonna get beat - maybe not against the weaker teams, but spain, argentina and greece are definite threats.

first off, these teams they're played clearly aren't showing their full deck. how do i know this? well, nobody in their right minds would play the americans in a man defense, but that's mostly been what they've seen. these teams might not be as athletic or as talented, but they aren't stupid, either. these games don't matter, and they're treating them as such.

secondly, when they have gone zone, it hasn't been very exotic - except for the "guard the man in your zone" defense that russia played for a moment. and that absolutely confused the americans into bad shots, turnovers, bad spacing and insecurity.

thirdly, there's been a plethora of bad shots taken by the americans that were forced up for no real good reason. there's been a ton of 1-on-5. there's been a lot of fadeaways. and yeah, it might work against teams that just aren't as talented or athletic, but that absolutely won't fly against spain or argentina, teams that are on the same athletic plane.

and that's my point. it seems like they're still running NBA offenses against international teams, which doesn't really make any sense against non-NBA defenses. don't get me wrong: isolation plays work in a league with strident defensive restrictions. but there's none of that in international ball, where systems often overcome athleticism. we still can't seem to grasp that.

it just blows my mind how there's so very little offensive imagination in this country. it's the "same old same old" by every single coach. "give the ball to your best scorer and have him go" is not an offense. and neither is "give the ball to someone and have them create", which is what i've seen so far. it relies on a player dribbling into trouble, and that's never a good idea, no matter how unselfish this team might be (and they actually have been, for the most part). there's still not much movement without the ball. and strange defenses are eliciting predicatably strange shot selections. it's much of the same. then again, maybe the americans are playing possum too. could be.

on the plus side, the defense has been tremendous, although the pick-and-roll defense (and backdoor defense) is still a little spotty. and that's not gonna work against argentina, spain or greece. but it's been good enough, and has been the impetus on many of their big runs, with points coming mostly off the break.

can we win just by running? right now, it looks like we better.

i just hope it doesn't come to that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

how i thought we resolved this

but it seems that the national do-not-call list doesn't apply to a 202 number you can find here. i've been getting three calls a day from these jackasses - with no response on the other end from them - and it seems like i'm not alone nationwide. i called verizon, and unfortunately there's no way i can block their calls to my phone, which seems like an essential option that should be automatic.

anyways, if you've been getting calls from these assholes, continue to ignore them.

Friday, July 25, 2008

how you can't beat the humor of local television

the first lady of steveohville and i have a weekend vacation in monterey at our cousin's house. unfortunately it doesn't come with cable tv, so we're left watching the local news. as you would expect, hilarity ensued.

seems their anchor has a weird name. you just don't find many lead anchors named olga. at least she doesn't look anything like she sounds. at the beginning of their pieces, their correspondents have these poorly-edited long awkward poses before they begin speaking, which usually end up in garbled words and loud run-on sentences. and the dude who handles the chryon graphics was either having a bad day or was the ballsiest comedian ever (63 degrees in salinas and 05 degrees in carmel? anne thompson from vaniety fair has a beard and an adam's apple? the weatherman motioning to a graphic that just left the screen?) classic comedy.

my point? just great stuff from fox 35 central coast. highly recommended.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

how i miss many things about home

namely, my family, my friends, pizza, shea stadium and the close proximity to the greatest city on earth. when i'm gone for too long, i feel it. it's a pull that will never go away.

but what i don't miss is greased-up douchebags like this. not at all. and since these don't exist out here, i can say how happy i am to be a californian.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

how i met the rooster and upgraded my feet

that is, danilo "the rooster" gallinari, the newest of the new york knickerbockers.

suck it, isiah.

also, i'm now the proud owner of a pair of hyperdunks, the flyest and most revolutionary basketball kicks in the entire universe, only sold in this country at the niketown in las vegas, and now currently wrapping my ankles. here's my colorway:

suck it, sneakerheads.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

how "mad men" left me amazed and disillusioned

the first lady of steveohville and i just sped through all thirteen episodes of the first season of "mad men" and it is completely deserving of being the most awarded drama in the emmys this year. i mean, my god it's amazing, the characters are so rich, the storylines are gradual and compelling, the art direction is gorgeous, the writing dead-on, the acting sublime and each episode leaves you wanting for the next. you know you're hitting on something special when a show becomes an experience.

and season two starts in two weeks. sweet.

the only thing that did disappoint me was, well, the final episode. not the whole thing, but the completely ridiculous storyline involving...shit, you probably haven't seen this.

okay, look, if you haven't seen it, go do it. you can find it on on-demand on comcast and it's available on dvd.

if you have seen it, highlight the section below and read on:

c'mon now. this entire show was built on plausible storylines built on character studies that are smart, believable and fitting of the times. each detail of each character is demandingly well-stitched.

with all that being said, how did peggie not know she was pregnant?
and how did she not know that she was nine months?
she works with all women, and nobody picked up?
she lives with a female roommate, and nothing?

i have no issue with her being pregnant. i just have a BIG issue with her being nine months pregnant and rushing a baby through at the end. makes no sense to me whatsoever. and wouldn't it have been better just to have the impending birth hang in the balance between the seasons?

i really don't get it. and it left a foul taste in my mouth.

still, i can't wait until july 28th.

and now back to your regularly scheduled sarcasm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

how i like to read behind the brand packaging

hello. we are kashi. we make high fiber cereals. and we're calling it "good friends". because we believe that this is a meal that good friends would enjoy together in a healthy lifestyle.

and by good friends, we want to make sure that we, kashi, think that good friends can come in any shape, size of color. especially color. and we can prove it. see? we have a white woman and a man who could be either polynesian or asian and they are together because they are good friends. because they see past color, just like we do. in fact, when we look at that box, we see two friends. that's all. what do you see?

and on our other box, we have another white woman, and her good friend is a black woman. and they are right next to each other. yes, we stand for that. that's what we stand for. because, when it comes to our boxes and our brand, this is okay. we don't believe in segregation. good friends can be anyone. they could be lesbians. anything can be possible when friendships are born.

we mean, they are not lesbians. they are not. (but they could be).

what they are, are interracial.

this is what we believe in.

and we put it on our box.

of course, if you have friends who are the same color as you are, then that's cool too. feel free to invite them over and share our high fiber cereals. we would have put that on our boxes, but again, we don't see color, so it didn't occur to us. maybe next time we can have two black men on our boxes.

or two white men.

probably two white men.

eat our cereal.

how all chicks want to do is dance and watch dance shows

the first part of that is a quote from my friend will. the second part is a human truth.

seriously, the first lady of steveohville and her friends can't get enough of "so you think you can dance?" and, unfortunately, with the lack of good shows on during the summer months, i've been sucked into it.

it's a bizarre show. i don't get dance, but i do get storytelling and athleticism. and when they actually tell a story with their bodies, the two of them moving at one in concert with the music, it can be truly beautiful and emotional at the highest levels. i really dig when that happens.

anything can be art when it's done at the highest levels.

once a show, it'll be just like that.

the rest, however, is just an endless compilation of cliched seizures. jumping for no reason. contortions for contortion's sake. complete detachment from logic, storytelling or emotion. no connection to the music whatsoever. there's just no point to it and no reason for me to care. there's nothing to answer to.

and that's the majority of the show. it's, at the same time, both horrible, hilarious and impossible not to make fun of. which i do. constantly. and without limits.

and the judges are uninspiring. nigel (the executive producer) knows what he's talking about. they usually have a choreographer on who refuses to say anything critical. and then they have a blowhard named mary murphy who just repeats whatever nigel says but louder and with an annoying southern accent while making sure she throws in her meaningless catchphrases.

how many more weeks of this?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

how i think mustaches are...wait, i don't think i can even say the word

last night, when the first lady of steveohville and i went to kaiser for a baby checkup, i noticed that the large majority of men in the hospital were sporting mustaches. they were thick and thin, long and short. they hid their upper lips. these were men young and old, hip and out-of-date.

why were all these mustached men there? were they there for mustache impants? were their mustaches carrying some sort of infection? do you need a mustache for proper service?

i felt naked.

it might have been a coincidence. but with jason giambi's 'stache inspired resurgence and john oates' career revitalization through mustache and animation, i think the inevitable has happened:

the mustache is back.

how did this happen? was there a vote on this? because if there was, and this was passed, it might be time to move to canada.

but then i'd have to grow one of these.

can't win.

how here's a bunch of items i owe you

here's some links that i dug recently:

when the first lady of steveohville and i were making wedding plans, i half jokingly mentioned that i wanted chick fil a for our wedding meal. and the first lady half jokingly told me she would leave me if we did. that being said, and not joking at all, i can't believe this wedding passed muster - by either party.

can you guess which which olympian is the adidas guy?

this is the best first round you'll barely see this year.

to all the high school graduates for next year, i ask you to play it safe. and if you don't heed my advice, take it from them.

thank god for sasha baron cohen. i can't wait for "bruno".

and, in case you haven't heard this yet, and while we're giving thanks to god for the best stuff on earth, here's the perfect marriage of some douche named dmitri and voicemail.

how this is the most important correction of all

i saw this originally on deadspin, but it's too great just to leave there, mostly because it speaks so deeply to the inner reaches of my soul.

newsday, a long island based newspaper, was forced to print this story correction, and trust me, you couldn't find a more important topic to new yorkers to get this right.

that poor guy could have been stained forever.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

how if you're ever in chicago

check out my friend JQ's new shakespearean hip-hop play called "funk it up about nothin", which is hot of the heels of his last critically acclaimed shakespearean hip hop play, "the bombitty of errors".

as someone who's worked closely with JQ (he composed all the music for my nike "my game is made outside" campaign) and as someone who really digs his creativity, i can be pretty damn sure this'll be a blast.

after all, he is the guy who brought you this.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

how i couldn't even imagine how deeply this hurts

i remember when the mets let darryl strawberry go. i was distraught. and the day lawrence taylor retired? heartbreaking. when the knicks traded patrick ewing, i understood why, but it still sucked.

however, i never lost the mets, giants or rangers. i still had the rest of the team to root on, still had the home games to attend, still had the emotional chains that pulled harder when the season drew on.

i can't imagine how a sonics fan feels right now.

after 40 years of allegiance, of fathers and sons and grandsons going to see wilkens and chambers and payton, of living and suffering with almost great teams and hopeful rebuilding stories, of arguments between fans and high-fives with strangers, suddenly it's all gone - and neither side who argued the case cared at all about the people who cared most about the team.

one on side, there's the utterly detestable clay bennett, the dick dastardly of this two-bit organization, who lied from his first day as owner and continued to act in poor faith throughout any sort of faux negotiation and never cared to keep his customers happy - and seemed to mock the city and their citizens at every moment.

and with him there's david stern, who as j.a. adande wrote should never be allowed to run another hypocritical "NBA cares" commercial, who decided to make the implausible business decision to move one of his franchises from a global city to one most americans will never think of visiting. and he did this by endlessly belittling the home that cherished it for forty solid years.

and then there's the city of seattle, who honorably never gave in to david stern's blackmail for a new arena, but then decided that although there was no money amount that was acceptable for losing a civic treasure, still settled for $45 million.

nobody gave a shit about the people who buy the merchandise, wear the jersies, lose their voices while chanting and spend their free time and money obsessing over the one thing that, no matter where their lives might lead them, would always stay constant.

nobody cared about the family stories and arguments or the conversations in local pubs. or the hopes and dreams neighborhoods had for the kevin durant era. or the way a basketball team can pull a city together, no matter how many consecutive rainy days it might have.

and now, all of it is gone, buried underneath the scars of legal documents, empty lies and bitter insults.

you know, i understand fully that sports is business. i get that totally. no denying. but i never thought it was bad business.

but i never thought that an NBA franchise with 40 years of equity in a global city would be moved simply to repay a favor to a friend.

i never thought that an NBA arena in the middle of the city that was renovated just ten years prior would be seen as "antiquated" and "unable to house a professional franchise" and would be the cause of a team leaving their city.

i never thought that seattle could actually lose a team to oklahoma city. and that david stern and the NBA would actively encourage it.

i never thought that the NBA would let it happen.

i never thought it would come to this.

but it did, no matter how incredibly bad for business it is.

the NBA is a weaker league today. seattle is less of a city. clay bennett is the new art modell. david stern is a hypocrite who is losing his fan base through an endless series of arrogant decisions.

and oklahoma city is still irrelevant, no matter what the NBA will have you believe.

and it's a shame that the shameless should have the day.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

how san francisco is a haven for really wonderful days

with all the things that have been going up in our lives, the first lady of steveohville and i decided to do a whole lot of nothing during this past weekend. i can't tell you how much of a gift that's been, to not worry about deadlines or checklists. seriously. you should try it sometime.

anyways, you still have to do some stuff to fill up a whole lot of nothing. so we decided to go for a walk down valencia in the mission (about two miles round trip) and hit up a restaurant on the way back. well, on our way down, we got caught up in the san francisco dyke march and also the dykes on bikes parade which was, in a word, hilarious. and, in another word, uplifting. a bunch of the marchers had just gotten married in city hall, and it was truly an honor to applaud for them and their struggle to get recognized. and there were those who actually chose to get recognized by showing their tits. (of course, it's always the people whose tits you really don't want to see). all in all, from the first bike that rode by to the last pair of floppy tits who jiggled past us, the whole thing was pretty damn cool, one of the truly amazing moments borne in this city that you don't appreciate until you experience it. and, of course, it's not a march or protest in san francisco unless frank chiu is there. and he was, walking side by side with lesbians.

on the way back, we ate dinner on valencia at 22nd at this wonderful restaurant named spork, which has a fantastic little backstory. and now, it's become the go-to eatery for us to take whomever comes to visit. we had this delicious appetizer called "italian stallion" which was a small serving of lasagna with fresh mozzarella. then, for dinner, the first lady had strawberries with goat cheese croquette, and i had the seared dayboat scallops, followed by a root beer float drowned in sioux city sarsparilla. overall, the food was simple but elegant, which matched the simple and elegant ambiance. and it seems like i'm not alone with high praise. if you're ever hungry and in the mission, there you go.

at night, we relaxed on our couch, searched on demand and watched "gone baby gone", which is as a tight, smart and expertly made film that was made last year. then again, it's a crime drama set in boston, and two academy awards later, you can safely say that movies like that haven't sucked recently. and it's based off a dennis lehane novel, so there was a lot of good momentum behind it automatically. and, to continue on with the tidal wave of goodness, it starred the always great casey affleck and ed harris. and it was, i shit you not, expertly directed by ben affleck. yes, that ben affleck. seriously, this movie had a lot of great buzz around it last year, and it's very well deserved. it's worth checking out on a rainy night with approaching thunder. or just any night you want to be entertained.

then, at night, we watched the first ever saturday night live, which was aired because it was hosted by the recently-deceased great george carlin. the show was very rough in its infant stages, but it did have this classic andy kaufman skit, which from the first time i ever i watched it, has heavily influenced my sense of humor.

we then spent the next morning actually sleeping in, with our alarm clocks off and the shades drawn. 8:50 am was never so special.

like i said, it was a great day.

Friday, June 27, 2008

how i barely survived my first film of the year

it pains me to announce that, in the 2008 calendar year, i had yet to see a film inside a movie theater. if you know me, or even just read my blog, you know that i usually have to find my way inside a theater just to re-energize myself (and to give myself something to write about).

but with, you know, everything that's gone down this year (or, as i like to think about it, gone up), i just haven't had a chance to. but the list of films awaiting my eyes was growing bigger by the friday.

so it stuns me to write that, with all this down time that just suddenly hit us, the first movie i saw this year was...wait for it...

starring the gang
written and direxted by michael patrick king
viewed at the tiburon playhouse, tiburon, ca

i'm gonna reveal the funniest part of the film right here, and it wasn't even in the film: when the first lady of steveohville and i walked up to the ticket booth, i asked the attendant, "i'd like two tickets for 'sex and the city', and one loaded revolver".

everyone laughed. hard.

and that was it.

i don't want to say that the film is brutal. there were some really nice scenes that were very reminiscent of the great HBO series. but it was waaay too long, waaay overdone and waaay too obvious, and it was desperately in need of both an edit and a second draft. honestly, a film this anticipated and expensive deserved a script and performances worthy of the hype - and not a lame attempt.

and believe me, it was a pretty lame and underwhelming attempt, unless you love cliches and transparent plots, in which case this was the best film ever made. and this comes from someone, a man full of testosterone, who actually dug the series. (and i can already read the e-mails piling in that say, "how can you consider yourself a man if you saw 'sex and the city' before 'iron man' or the new indiana jones film?" and you know what? you're right. my bad. my so very bad).

look, guys, you know your chick is gonna want to watch it with you, if they haven't already. i would milk this one as much as you can. negotiate two, maybe three films in return. it's that terrible - and there's a lot of terrible to go around. just smile and force your way through it. she'll appreciate it.

for the record, the first lady of steveohville mentioned that, although it wasn't a good film, it took her to a good place, where those four ladies were her friends every sunday night and they all shared a half hour together. so the film experience was purely about reminiscing with old pals for one last go-around.

and i understand that. i felt the same way about "transformers".

Thursday, June 26, 2008

how i hope this nba draft review makes up for my recent negligence

sorry i haven't been writing as much. getting married will definitely crimp a writing style.

here's what i think about last night's nba draft:

i think the knicks did alright. we're gonna suck next year and the year after, and we need to dump salary, so we might as well draft a kid who has a good chance to be a stud in two years or so. until we get rid of marbury, curry, randolph, crawford and richardson, this train ain't moving anywhere. and since there's probably no nba gm stutarded enough to trade for any of them (although i'm probably overestimating the lot), we might as well just ride it out.

one last time: damn you, isiah.

the nets did well, i thought. a starting five of devin harris, vince carter, yi, boone and brook lopez isn't half bad. and with ryan anderson, cdr, sean williams and some other interesting pieces off the bench (and if krstic ever comes back, all the better), they'll suck, but it'll be a promising suck - especially when they've cleared out a ton of cap space for lebronmania 2010.

and we have the warriors, who drafted 6'10" 190 lb. anthony randolph. i swear when his profile came up during the telecast, it said, "must improve: ribs". don't we already have this guy on our bench? isn't he named brandan wright? and didn't nellie not play him? and doesn't nellie have a problem playing andris biedrins, who is light years away from where this kid is and would actually be a big contributor for any other team? i think we could have used a point guard - because with this being nellie's and baron's last year, we might as well be all system's go.

and that's especially since portland's gonna win the whole damn thing for ten years straight.

so that's my review. i promise to write more, now that i have this strange item called "spare time" hanging all around me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

how the west coast proves it's the best coast yet again

the best thing about being up late getting wedding stuff done and listening to tony paige and ed coleman on WFAN at 4AM except that i'm living on the west coast where it's just 1AM is that i'm the first in my family to hear that willie randolph has been fired by the mets. and it'll be another three hours until anyone else back in staten island will learn about it. so eat some of that, dad, mike and uncle joe. i'm 3000 miles away, and i am first.

for the record: this year wasn't willie's fault. he played with the old and brittle lineup he was handed. and the way omar and the wilpons went about with the prolonged and media-fueled extermination was nothing but bush league. you don't send a good man across the country to manage a game, win the game, and then fire him when you had a whole homestand to do it. and, on top of that, he's now got to fly back home on a five-hour flight, deal with the media when he lands, deal with the media at shea, deal with the packing his office up, deal with the media when he leaves shea for the last time - all this while battling jet lag - well, that's completely undignified and inhumane for a classy and respected new yorker with decades of honorable service with both the mets and yanks. poor willie deserves so much better than the weeks of paranoia and torture and inconvenience that he got.

all that being said, he also deserved to get canned this past winter, where i still and will always hold him primarily responsible for that awful collapse.

it's just that the way omar, the wilpons and the rest of the stooges did this leaves a horrible, bitter taste in my mouth.

i'm not feeling so good to be a mets fan today.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

how to recap the final day of my trip (tokyo edition)

after checking out for a second time, we decided to spend our last free four fours in tokyo exploring other nearby parts of the city - and in the sun for the first time during our trip. we walked though shibuya to yoyogi park, which is much like central park - except you don't really see the city skyline anywhere in the distance. central park always gives you the idea that you're in a park surrounded by a large city. yoyogi was just a large, beautiful, immersive park in a large, beautiful, immersive city. it felt different, although the two parks are very similar.

we left there and visited harajuku, which is the fashion capital district of tokyo. the main road, takeshita street, was lined with teenaged kids making any sort of fashion statement or fitting into some sort of weird subculture, walking past endless clothing stores, from t-shirts to kicks to lingerie. and the t-shirts were hilarious, with strange translations of english sentences, stuff like "i will dream the dream of worlds", whatever that means. of course, nothing fit a godzilla like myself.

we ate some mcdonalds, just because it was there and it felt like something we had to do. i had a double big mac, which is two big macs on top of each other. it was actually quite good. the meat tasted fresher (probably due to japan's higher food standards), though the fries were nowhere near as good (and honestly, who beats mcdonald's fries). however, they had no orange drink. for that, i say "damn you to hell, mcdonald's harajuku!"

from there, we went back to yoyogi park to visit meiji shrine, which was spiritual even for a apathetic like myself. the custom is for people to wash their hands in cold water from a bamboo fountain, then walk in to pray silently and clap their hands once in unison. i didn't feel right to do that, so i just stood back and watched. there were also a bunch of japanese wedding ceremonies being performed in the shrine's outdoor square. simply put, it was just a very serene place to be on a gorgeous day.

also, it was at the shrine, which was full of tourists, where i saw the silliest t-shirt in japan. it said, "i believe in stanford football!" how silly! nobody believes in stanford football.

and with that, we returned to the hotel, and i boarded a shuttle to narita airport and left tokyo behind me.

writers love symmetry, especially when the opening and ending mirror each other exactly. that's why i really didn't get so mad when my trip ended exactly the way it began: with my bag ripping as soon as i walked into the airport. except this time, i bought some sake (the same i drank at shabu shabu) and got some new bags to replace the old ones. fate is my bitch. put that on a t-shirt, tokyo.

i'll have my photos up on the site, once i get the software loaded in.

until then, sayonara.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

how to recap the twelfth day of my trip (tokyo edition)

it's very difficult for an american to comprehend how much of an ordered society japan is. everything has a correct way and reason, and that's it. in an example like the intersection in shibuya, it works wonders.

in other ways, it's completely inexplicable.

three examples of this, as how it affects me:

1. when preparing for our shoot, we wanted an outside exterior or court that screamed "japan!" and japanese athletes. so our japanese client presented us with one basketball court on a nike campus 90 minutes away from tokyo, and one athlete for each day. the basketball court was completely non-descript: white, clean, devoid of any markings. the athletes were tiny and looked more like fancylads than rugged competitors. if these were just one of many options, no problem. but when we asked for more (while being shocked there weren't any), we were responded with, "oh no. it cannot happen. it is impossible." impossible? really? there's a famous soccer pitch on a rooftop with the city's skyline in the background. did you even check that out? no, you did not. it was just a complete crock of shit - but in their ways of order, this is it because this is how we do things and how can you not be happy with it?

2. we shot on the nike campus on saturday, when most doors were locked closed both inside and out. during a break, we wanted to walk into the employee store, but just couldn't find a way except for a back door. we couldn't get anyone's attention until a store employee walked out. so we tried to walk in the door he left out from, but he said, "no! only entry in front. this is impossible!" but there was nothing impossible about it. we were practically in the store. yet he told us it was impossible for us to enter this way. so we begged him to show us the correct way to enter - and he walked us around the entire building to the proper front entrance, which is just like the back entrance. very little difference. weird.

and finally...

3. i'm writing this in the morning after because i packed up for my trip late last night and went to bed so i can sleep in. unfortunately, i got an early wake-up call, finished up packing and checked out - without ever checking the clock, which said 5:30 AM. we all planned to leave at 9:30. oops. four hours to kill, and i'm dead tired. however, i found this out after i checked out in the lobby and realized i was all alone. so i asked the girl at the front desk if i could just relax in my room for a couple of hours. "oh no, this is impossible!" i replied, "i'm not asking to get another day, just a place to sleep for a couple of hours. can't we make believe this didn't happen?" "oh, well...let's undo your checkout then. that way, it will be possible." does anyone else find this ridiculous? why should i have to undo my checkout just to relax in a room that otherwise wouldn't be used? but that's what i did, because that's the only way to do things.

when walking around the city, i've noticed and admired this rigidness to order and came to the conclusion that america could use a healthy dose of it. and i've come to realize that, sometimes, in just the right doses, japan could use a little "jerry springer".

we had dinner and drinks at the top floor of the hotel, which has a windowed 360 view of the city at night. as beautiful as the people are, they don't match up to the colors, lights and architecture of the city. the air is thinner this high up, but that wasn't the reason i wasn't catching my breath.

we're checking out more of the city tomorrow before we take off.

Friday, May 30, 2008

how to recap the eleventh day of my trip (tokyo edition)

each day i spend away from "the sickness" makes my body a little bit better. if i were at 15% on the day i was sick, i would say 50% the day after, then at 85% yesterday.

after all the sushi i ate yesterday, and after learning that my favorite roll was the one with foie gras, my body operated at about 63% today.

oh well.

still, we had the first day of our shoot today at the nike customer service center all the way out by the narita airport (about 90 minutes from tokyo). on the way, we passed the tokyo tower, which is pretty damn pretty. once outside of tokyo, however, there just isn't much to see.

while on the basketball court, i was shooting hoops with our trainer, who remarked that i have the perfect "white boy from the northeast" shooting form (it was a compliment). i thought that was a weird thing to say, but he mentioned that whenever he works with ballers from the midwest, they tend to bring the ball up from their center and shoot above their heads, whereas i (and my northeastern brethren) keep the ball on the side they're shooting with - and this is the correct way. he said it's just way too common for this to be a coincidence. so we walked about it on the bus, and this is how i broke it down: the midwest follows french licks' own larry bird's shooting form, but in the northeast, brooklyn's favorite son chris mullin was the man to emulate.

see? aren't i so observant? (especially when you ignore that bird played his whole career in boston, which is in the northeast)

anyways, it was a nice discussion that lead to many other tangents, writes the guy with the picture perfect form from the outside.

tonight's dinner specialty, the choice of our interpreter and dinner companion named taki, was shabu-shabu at a restaurant called...called...well, i can't read their business card. it's something in japanese.

anyways, the short version of the meal is this: there's two bowls on a hibachi in front of you (much like a korean BBQ). one pot is filled with a soup made from soy sauce, sugar and sake. the other is just water. once boiling, you toss in thinly-sliced raw meat into the bowls. after a couple of seconds, you pull it out and then dip it into a dish of sauce. then, you eat it. they keep on bringing you an unlimited supply of raw meat to eat.

it was frigging delicious, and a nice compliment to the sake we drank, which was named...named...yeah, i can't read that label either. sorry.

afterwards, in a search for a mcdonald's soft-serve ice cream, we walked around shibuya on a friday night amid the mass of the young, beautiful and stylish, mingling and mixing and crossing wherever you looked. no matter what street we walked down, there they were, and countless of them, but it was always ordered and never uncomfortable, writes the claustrophobe. i wrote this before and i'll write it again, but if i were young and beautiful and fashionable at a world-class level, i think i would give tokyo a shot, just to see what it would be like to fit in.

and hell yes, i'd bring my northeast jumpshot with me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

how to recap the tenth day of my trip (tokyo edition)

tokyo has some weird shit going on.

first off, there's these things called love hotels, which are pretty much exactly what you'd think they are - except not. before you think bad of me, these things are listed in most tourist books as an area to check out, so we did, right after dinner. this is not out of first-hand experience.

if you travel up a hill in shibuya, you are led to this seemingly unending maze of roads with these love hotels. the concept is this: if you want or need a place to get laid, you can come to a love hotel, plunk down 4000 yen (or $40 US) and get a room for two hours. they call that a "rest". for an all night "stay", it costs about 7800 yen (or $78 US). here's the kicker: the architecture makes them look really nice. they fit with the surroundings. and the photos of the rooms that they have on the outside looked quaint enough too. it didn't seem like something a slumlord or a pimp would own. it doesn't feel like the tenderloin or a red light district. in fact, i don't think it's looked down upon. it just felt like a service, like a hot dog stand or a library.

i don't have any other information past that, all of which i found in a tourbook and a foot tour. but considering how young and attractive the people are here, and all the entertainment outlets that surround them, it's actually quite a good idea.

like i said, tokyo has some weird shit going on.

also weird is that the best looking women in this city walk pigeon-toed. in fact, they overdo it. that's how we picked that up. it's really overtly obvious. i don't know why they do it or how, but it happened too often to be a coincidence. of course, everyone will probably be walking pigeon-toed by 2011.

this is in contrast to guangzhou, where the best looking women just ate pigeon toes.

thank you. i'll be here all night.

other weird shit: there's porn on the first two channels on the tv set when you turn it on. meaning, if the tv resets to channel #1, you can find porn on channels #2 and #3.

and they sell porn in everyday convenience stores, like 7-11 (which are all over the place here). and they're not hidden. they're there to be seen.

weird enough for you?

it was plenty weird for me.

japan's into weird shit.

getting off that, i did some shopping this morning in a place called tokyu hands, which is like walmart if walmart were cool, edgy and creative. it's got eight floors, each with three different sections, with the 24 total areas selling different stuff, like housewares, travel equipment, design supplies and the like. but i'm talking the coolest japanese versions of each. explaining it doesn't do it justice.

also what i can't do justice is the sushi i had tonight at a restaurant called gonpachi. remember how i said tokyo was into weird shit? well, the best roll i had in a night full of world class rolls was the foie gras. yeah, you read that right. completely blew me away once i learned that was it.

we had our pre-pro today at nike (a 20 minute cab ride that took 45 minutes thanks to a lost cabbie and the ungridded tokyo city), and everything's gonna go great the next couple of days. we then hit the nike employee store, and they had my lebron "my game is made outside" videos playing on the tvs. nice.

also, i had something called a cold chocolate drink, which is like liquid chocolate pudding in glass. it's the best beverage ever. if you're ever in tokyo, check it out.

anyways, here's how i'll end this post: someone said tonight that tokyo reminded him of the best parts of new york city, minus the best parts of new york city. and it's true. there's no homeless, litter, crime or sewage smells. everything is in its proper place. it's a wonderful way of putting this place.

this weird, weird place that has its own weird shit going on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

how to recap the ninth day of my trip (tokyo edition)

i'm alive. and in more ways than you realize.

i woke up without a headache, willed my tired body to get dressed, packed, checked out and dragged myself into a cab to the airport, and i couldn't be happier to get out of guangzhou. what didn't make me happy was learning that rich, my DP, contracted the same food poisoning that i had (except delayed by 18 hours). so as we drove to the airport, he was just starting the headache faze. poor dude.

anyways, four hours and countless rounds of video blackjack later, we landed in tokyo. narito airport is pretty far away from the city. as in, a $225 cab ride away far. but that's okay. that's why god created expense accounts.

we arrived to the cerulean towers, the most lavish and upscale hotel in tokyo. it's weird, though. yes, it's beautiful and yes, it's exclusive, but it's also rather cold and antiseptic. still, i can't complain. my room is nice, with a stunning view of the city. and my toilet features a heated seat. you read that right. go ahead. read that again. heated toilet seat. yessir, i ain't in guangzhou anymore. huzzah!

we had dinner in one of the twelve restaurants in the hotel - this one, a japanese restaurant. by the way, one thing that does stun me is that the employees in the restaurant barely spoke any english. not to play arrogant american, but wouldn't you think a world class hotel like this would only employ people who also spoke english? there are plenty of americans in this place. that's got to be a large portion of your clientele, right?

then again, why should they kowtow to my language? after all, i am the visitor.

i am the arrogant american.

anyways, this would be the first meal i would eat in 36 hours (outside of the three scoops of ice cream) and i felt that my stomach and digestive system would be up for it. we got sashimi, sushi and vegetable teriyaki for the table, and i ordered sliced beef for myself. and, with the first bite of the sashimi, i ate the best sashimi i've ever had in my life, and it wasn't close. and, with my first bite of sushi, same thing. i cannot put into words how soft, fresh and amazing the raw meat melted in my mouth, and how perfect the rice accentuated the taste. and the sliced beef was in another world. the whole meal was beyond tremendous, and i'm sure this isn't the best sushi restaurant in the city.

and trust me, i'll find it.

my stomach and digestive system were thankful.

we went out with rob (our trainer), getting to know him and he getting to know us. i told him that i wrote commercials for ea sports for four years. he then asks me, "i know this might be a weird question, but do you know the charles rogers commercial? i'm charles rogers, i had..."

"68 catches and 13 touchdowns? yeah, i know it. i wrote it."

"get the hell out of here! i love that commercial! i can quote that whole thing. holy crap, you're the guy who wrote that! i can't believe it!"

and then, he sang the whole thing, even quoting the tagline exactly.

how cool is that? and what's even cooler is that the commercial ran only on one single day five long years ago. that made my day, my month and this trip.

but i digress. after dinner, we went for a walk around shibuya, the shopping center of all japan, and it was just...just...i can't really describe it. it just was, is and forever will be.

i visited the hachikō, which is a statue of a dog and the ultimate symbol of loyalty. in fact, here's the story, from wikipedia:

Hachikō, an Akita dog, was born in 1923 and sold to a well to do family in Tokyo while still a puppy. The father of this family, Eisaburo Ueno, a Tokyo University professor in his 50's, loved Hachiko very much and doted on him constantly, taking him for long walks, always brushing him, and even taking baths with him inside the home. He treated him truly as one of the family.

Up until Hachiko was two years old, he always walked to the station with the father and after the father went through the stalls he would go home by himself. But, then he would return every day to wait outside the stalls to meet the father coming home. All the locals and train station people knew this man and this dog had a special bond.

One day however, the father died while he was teaching at the university. Hachiko went to pick him up but he never came. And, Hachiko never stopped waiting. Every day for about 10 or 11 years he went and waited. The story was picked up and popularized by Japanese newspapers, and Hachiko became a minor celebrity while he still lived, attending the inauguration of his own statue in 1934.

how much does that break your heart and lift your spirit?

we walked through the massive crossection of people in center-gai outside of shibuya station, where bill murray famously whispered something to scarlett johannson at the end of the brilliant "lost in translation". it's just like times square, but nothing like it at all. it's tamed, ordered and with nothing and nobody getting in your face. just absolutely beautiful, just the way it should be.

we walked around shibuya in the shadows of all the stores, each putting their own footprint of architecture on the neighborhood. high rises with neon lights, angles jutting in and out at just the right arcs, it's what vegas would look like if vegas had even a smidgen of design taste and still got lucky. the whole area just completely blew me away to no ends.

it's an area that caters to the young, and the japanese women here are just jaw-droppingly gorgeous and impeccably stylish. they make it work. and i hate to sound gay here, but the dudes have got it going on too. i feel so 2008 here, which would be great if everyone else weren't so 2011.

basically, it's a perfect confluence of beauty, from the people to the stores to the fashion to the vibe.

if i were younger, i would live here.

and this all happened from a thirty minute walk.

tomorrow morning, i'll have the chance to walk around some more and do a little shopping. needless to say, i'm incredibly looking forward to it.

this morning, i was just a body with a defeated spirit and a weakened system. and now, i can't wait to wake up for tomorrow.

what a difference a day makes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

how to recap the eighth day of my trip (guangzhou ritz carlton edition)

holy crap.

over and over again.

guangzhou finally got the best of me. diarrhea by the hour, on the hour, from midnight to noon, followed by a searing migraine until 8pm, all going hand-in-hand with dizziness, delirium and weakness. it was like my stomach was a septic tank, and each time i unloaded, the level went down a little, but not all the way, and each time i turned my body, i was reminded that i had something toxic inside me. just a sickening day to spend 24 hours in a mysterious foreign country.

so yes, i flew all the way to china to get me some montezuma's revenge. go figure.

then again, it could've been worse. i could have had a shitter without a seat.

needless to say, i didn't get on my flight to tokyo. it got pushed back to tomorrow morning. and instead i spent an entire day in room 2311 of the ritz-carlton, watching cnn international (lebanon has a new president!), a replay of the champions league title match between man u and chelsea (john terry really blew it, no matter how you look at it), and mythbusters (proving and debunking the miraculous qualities of vodka) - and the rest of the day and night were spent with my eyes closed and a cold towel on my forehead. all i ate were three scoops of chocolate ice cream (a well-deserved $15 meal) and drank my fair share of water.

i lost my appetite. if you're looking for it, i think i flushed it down sometime around 3:30 AM.

seriously, if rich, my DP, wasn't around to make changes to my airfare and to be a clear head for me, god knows how i would have reacted. i might have boarded a plane to guam or something. who knows. no part of my body was in its right mind.

good times.

and i know all this didn't happen from the 5-star meal i had in the hotel. i guess my body just isn't fortified enough for fresh kill. or the middle ages. however you want to label it.

at least i lost some weight for the wedding.

but stlll, hey, soon i'll be on my way to tokyo, home of the original "office". can't wait. should be a lot of fun.

and, of course, should be a lot of karaoke.

something in a baritone, maestro!

money talks
but it don't sing and dance and it don't walk
as long as i have you here with me
i'd much rather be
forever in blue jeans, babe.