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.