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.