Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Two more

Side of the house/driveway.

Suburban multiplex.

It's just like the snow we have in L.A., except it's not as fun when it goes up your nose

And here's my dad using his superpowered snowblower to clear away the snow while I sit inside like a wussy little bitch and take pictures.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Bored is the king of Israel

I'm not all that bored; I just thought that would be a good title. It's post-Christmas in Boston and I have received, among other things, a new digital camera that's so small I worry about swallowing it. This means that I will now be able to make good on my months-ago plan to post occasional photos on the blog. They won't be good photos, but they will make the page take a few seconds longer to load.

So, stay tuned.

No, I'm serious. You stay right there hitting the "refresh" button every ten seconds until you see some pictures here. Do not move. Remember the last ten minutes of Secretary? Like that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Actual money for virtual stuff

All I can say about this is that by comparison, I have never done anything remotely geeky in my life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


I have multiple friends who refer to boba (not the tea, but the actual tapioca balls) as snotballs. Terminology-wise, it's harsh but fair. On the other hand, have you ever gotten a shot of "pudding" in boba? That really is snot. And not even compressed into a more palatable ball form. It's just this amorphous mass of snotness suspended in the middle of your drink. And I guess it kind of tasted like chocolate, but when you come down to it, snot's snot. Long story short, I don't recommend taking the "pudding" option when getting boba.

Time to cancel Showtime

Because they've canceled Dead Like Me, which is easily one of the best shows on TV right now and definitely in the upper echelon of all-time shows. Why? I thought the whole point of cable networks -- and especially pay cable networks -- was that they didn't do stupid shit like yank great shows off the air in their prime. Sure, Fox can do that, and so can NBC, and, well, just about everyone else, but the cablers (to use some lame-ass Variety terminology) are supposed to have slightly better sense.

Anyway, apparently MGM (who produces Dead Like Me) is now looking for another network to air it. Probably just so they can sell more DVDs, but you don't always need a good reason.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I think, if there is a God, his sense of humor is disturbingly similar to mine.

Yep, I know, that's pretty cryptic. But if you're reading this, you probably know what I'm referring to.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Today's random thought brought to you by Benjamin Moore

Why do painters wear white shirts and pants? Do they need to keep a careful log of all the paint they spill on themselves? Or are they hoping to develop some kind of Pollack-esque clothing line that they can sell to some company in Paris and retire?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Jewish vs. Goyish

The following list is the result of several emails exchanged between Eti and I, inspired by this website which is in itself a hilarious read, as we attempted to compile a definitive account of what is Jewish and what is Goyish. (If you're so goyish as to not know what a goy is, it's a Yiddish word to describe a non-Jew. Me, for example.)

The stuff in regular text is mine; the bold stuff is Eti's. You will likely see some disagreement and/or political editorializing on both our parts.

Linux is Jewish; Windows is goyish.
Netflix is Jewish; Blockbuster is goyish.
Amoeba is Jewish; Tower is goyish.
Trader Joe's: Jewish; Whole Foods: goyish
Hitchcock was a Jew in goy clothing; Spielberg is a goy in Jew clothing.
Variety is Jewish; EW is goyish. UPN is Jewish; the WB is goyish (except for Gilmore Girls which is a totally Jewish show)

The Valley is Jewish; Palms is Goyish.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is Jewish; Starbucks is Goyish.
Vanilla Ice Blendeds are Jewish; Boba is Goyish.
Daily News is Jewish; LA Times is Goyish.
CPK is Jewish; Chili's is Goyish.
Ventura Boulevard is Jewish; 3rd Street Promenade is Goyish.
Vegas is Jewish; Reno is Goyish.
Mercedes are Jewish (even though they shouldn't be); BMWs are Goyish.
Surgeons are Jewish; Pathologists are Goyish.

Desktops are Jewish; Laptops are Goyish.
Conference calls are Jewish; Video conferencing is Goyish.
Ham and cheese sandwiches are Jewish; Seafood is Goyish.
Post Its are Jewish; Memos are Goyish.
Stamps are Jewish; Pitney Bowes is Goyish.
Carnations are Jewish; Roses are Goyish.
Car alarms and detailing are Jewish; Pimping your ride is Goyish.
Bottled water is Jewish; Vitamin water is Goyish.

Beer is Jewish; wine is Goyish.
Vin Diesel is Jewish; Paul Walker is Goyish.
Gaugin is Jewish; Monet is Goyish.
Surround sound is Jewish; 3-D is Goyish.
Normal cell phones are Jewish; Nextel walkie-talkies are Goyish.
England is Jewish; America is Goyish.
Dial-up is Jewish; broadband is Goyish.
Pencils are Jewish; pens are Goyish.
Crossword puzzles are Jewish; word searches are Goyish.
Nicotine gum is Jewish; the patch is Goyish.

Day Runners are Jewish; Palm Pilots are Goyish.
Pop Ups are Jewish; Spam is Goyish.
Zippers are Jewish; Velcro is Goyish.
Cocaine is Jewish; Heroin is Goyish.
Bumper Stickers are Jewish; Laker Flags are Goyish.
Christopher Walken is Jewish; Jack Nicholson is Goyish.
Wall paint is Jewish; Wallpaper is Goyish.
Garbage is Jewish; Recycling is Goyish.
Madonna was Jewish until she changed her name to Esther and became Goyish.

The Pill is Jewish; condoms are Goyish.
Golf is Jewish; tennis is Goyish.
Priority Mail is Jewish; FedEx is Goyish.
The Club is Jewish; LoJack is Goyish.
Sedans are Jewish; SUVs are Goyish. (sorry but it's true)
Stapling is Jewish; binding is Goyish.
The Red Sox are Jewish; the Yankees are Goyish. (but the Mets and the Cubs are even more Jewish than the Red Sox)
Hardwood floors are Jewish; wall-to-wall carpeting is Goyish.
eBay is Jewish; is Goyish.
Mexico is Jewish; Spain is Goyish.
Cereal is Jewish; eggs and toast are Goyish.
Blistex is Jewish; Chap Stick is Goyish.
Ice skating is Jewish; skiing is Goyish.
Soccer is Jewish; football is Goyish.
Skee-ball is Jewish; Whack-a-Mole is Goyish.
Judges are Jewish; juries are Goyish.
The White Stripes are Jewish; The Strokes are Goyish.
Debit cards are Jewish; credit cards are Goyish.
Anorexia is Jewish; bulemia is Goyish.
The Declaration of Independence is Jewish; the Constitution is Goyish.

Lawn with sparse grass is Jewish; Astroturf is Goyish.
Track suits are Jewish; Performance fleece is Goyish.
The ACLU is Jewish (unfortunately); PETA is Goyish.
Live with Regis is Jewish; The Today Show with Katie Couric is Goyish (Extra goyish points for Couric's face lift)
"High Fidelity" is Jewish; "About a Boy" is Goyish.
Vandalism is Jewish; Arson is Goyish.
Trailers are Jewish; Trailer Parks are Goyish.
Files are Jewish; Dossiers are Goyish.
Slideshows are Jewish; PowerPoint presentations are Goyish.
After Christmas Day Sales are Jewish; After Thanksgiving Day Sales are Goyish.

Jose Bernstein's is Jewish; Baja Fresh is Goyish.
Blogging is Jewish; keeping a diary is Goyish.
Sick days are Jewish; lunchtime doctor appointments are Goyish.
Duffel bags are Jewish; suitcases are Goyish.
Kleenex is Jewish; Puffs Plus are Goyish.
Baking a cake is Jewish; baking cookies is Goyish.
Jello is Jewish; pudding is Goyish.
Air travel is Jewish; space travel is Goyish.
Walking is Jewish; bike riding is Goyish.
The CIA is Jewish (or at least it was); the Department of Homeland Security is Goyish.
Sneakers are Jewish; sandals are Goyish.
Pixar movies are Jewish (except for A Bug's Life which was fairly Goyish); regular Disney movies are Goyish.
Hearsay is Jewish; eavesdropping is Goyish.
Cubicles are Jewish; offices are Goyish.
Money is Jewish; bling is Goyish.
Exercise is Jewish; Atkins is Goyish.
Wes Anderson is Jewish; Tarantino is Goyish.
Plastic is Jewish; paper is Goyish (although the whole paper-or-plastic thing is severely Goyish in itself)
Cruises are Jewish; road trips are Goyish.
Getting take-out is Jewish; waiting an hour for a table is Goyish.
Pre-meditated murder is Jewish; "crimes of passion" are Goyish.
Art museums are Jewish; car museums are Goyish.
Manicures are Jewish; waxing is Goyish.
Jeopardy is Jewish; Wheel of Fortune is VERY Goyish (but The Price is Right is fairly Jewish) Salsa is Jewish; Tabasco is Goyish.
Musicals are Jewish; rock operas are Goyish.

Having a Goyish boyfriend is Jewish; Having a Jewish girlfriend is Goyish. (credit goes to Meital for this one)

Special OC section:
"The OC" is Jewish; the OC is Goyish.
Summer is the hot Jap; Marissa is the unloved shiksa.
Seth Cohen is Jewish; the majority of teeny boppers who love him are Goyish.
Sandy Cohen is surprisingly Jewish; Peter Gallagher is Goyish, but his eyebrows are Jewish.
Anna was Jewish; Summer is Goyish, but is Jewish by proxy.

Kaitlin Cooper's horse with a skin disease is Jewish; Kaitlin Cooper being sent off to boarding school is Goyish.
Luke's gay father was Jewish; Abercrombie and Fitch Poster Boy Luke is Goyish.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


It's old news by new that Merriam-Webster's most-searched word of the year was "blog." It's really not that surprising, although I wonder why anybody thought that word would be in an actual dictionary. Did they also look up the colon-parenthesis smiley face?

Anyway, what is surprising is that the seventh-most searched word was "peloton." No, I don't know what the hell a peloton is and no, I'm not going to look it up right now and find out and then pretend I knew what it was all along. But still, aren't you curious? I am. Let's take a look.

Main Entry: peloton
Definition: a small group of soldiers; platoon
Etymology: French `platoon'

Oh. More war terminology. Yawn. I was hoping it was something sexual.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Expensive booze


I guess you drink this along with those truffle mushrooms that only grow in one part of the world for one day every ten years or whatever.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Random shit

A search on eBay for "bling" turns up 5,733 items.

Also... you know the people behind the dairy section in Trader Joe's, the ones who stock the milk and stuff? They really, really freak me out. For some reason I am deathly afraid of looking through the space between milk cartons and seeing someone back there. Yet, oddly enough, it doesn't freak me out when I'm in a library and I see someone through a space in a bookshelf.

That's it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Last night I saw Overnight , the documentary about Troy Duffy (writer/director of The Boondock Saints). In a nutshell, his story went like this: Bartender sells script to Miramax for huge money, gets to direct script with full casting approval and final cut, gets his band signed to do the soundtrack, then manages to piss off Miramax enough to kill the whole deal.

Anyway, after seeing a movie like that it's hard to resist pondering the whole nature of success. Here's what I came up with.

No matter how successful I become...

1. I'll still start books and not finish them.

2. I'll still have trouble sleeping some nights and then, the next day, be really exhausted by the early afternoon.

3. I'll still order things at restaurants that sound good but end up being disappointing.

4. I'll still eagerly anticipate certain movies months -- even years -- before they come out, only to find out that they suck.

5. I'll still do that weird thing where I'm waiting to use a single-person public restroom and try to open the door but find that it's locked and then walk far away so when the person comes out he doesn't know I was the one who tried to bust in on him.

6. I'll still get slightly depressed when a season of one of my favorite shows is over (especially the cable shows, where you have to wait 6 months to a year for the next season).

7. I'll still eat two Krispy Kreme donuts and then wish I'd only eaten one.

8. I'll still get paper cuts.

9. I'll still go outside in clothes inappropriate to the weather but not feel like going back inside to change once I realize what the actual temperature is.

10. I'll still call people and get their voicemail.

11. I'll still get colds, sore throats, headaches, and occasional indigestion.

12. I'll still get songs stuck in my head.

13. I'll still be talking to someone and not understand what they're saying and just nod because I've already asked them to repeat themselves twice.

14. I'll still forget where I put things.

15. I'll still wake up in the middle of the night and have to pee but really not want to get out of bed and just lie there for a few minutes trying to will myself back to sleep.

16. I'll still be allergic to cats.

17. I'll still obsess retroactively about the impression I make on girls.

18. I'll still write things down and then not be able to read my own writing.

19. I'll still forget people's names and be embarrassed when they remember mine.

20. I'll still lose my train of thought.

So, really, what's the point?

Monday, November 22, 2004

McSweeney's does it again

Tales of Erotica: Chuck Norris and Me

Guest which hand?

I think it was probably Disney who first hit upon the idea of replacing the word "customer" with the word "guest" in every possible instance. Which is fine for them, because they're nuts. But I really don't like how this practice has spilled over into all kinds of other places where "guest" just isn't appropriate. At Blockbuster, they're actually saying "next guest in line, please." And that creeps me out, because I do not want to be thought of as a guest there. I want to be thought of as a wallet with feet, and they're just trying to get the ten-dollar bill out of me and kick me to the curb as quickly as possible. That's exactly the relationship I want to have with Blockbuster. I do not want to sit in front of Blockbuster's fireplace and sip cognac and discuss Faulkner's early short stories. Same goes for Baja Fresh. I'm really okay with being just a customer. I don't need to sleep on their blue Ikea futon and use their weird cinnamon toothpaste. Just give me my burrito and our relationship is over.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Cingular Über Alles

When I walked into the (formerly) AT&T store yesterday to wander around and look at phones, they couldn't stop telling me how great it would be if I switched my AT&T plan to a Cingular plan... I mean, rollover minutes! (Rollover minutes! They're the greatest thing ever! If you don't have rollover minutes, you'd better just swallow this whole bottle of Xanax right now.) And yes, I have a better deal under AT&T right now, but it'll all be switched over to Cingular within a year, so I might as well do it now so I can start building up "bonuses" or whatever. Then I realized that now that the merger is complete, there are three Cingular/AT&T stores in Westwood in about a one-block radius. Then some well-dressed Korean guys handed me a pamphlet and asked me if I had accepted Cingular as my personal savior. I think things have gotten out of control.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


While eBay may have some interesting stuff for sale right now, I think it's being outdone by the Paris Review Auction.

Check it out... you can have lunch at the Playboy Mansion, a Knicks game with the Basketball Diaries dude, and my personal favorite, get your voicemail message recorded by Alec Baldwin.

They're on the pricey side. But wouldn't it be worth it all just to have your voicemail say, "What's my name? Fuck you, that's my name. 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight and I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW, that's my name. Leave a message at the beep."

Monday, November 15, 2004

Shocking news item of the day

The government is advising against traveling to Afghanistan. Really? Well, I guess the "It's a Small World" ride isn't quite done yet.

It's not Christmas without funny-tasting soda

After I heard about this wacky Holiday Pepsi (through, I figured I should give it a try, if for no other reason than to blog about how it tastes. Sadly, there isn't much to say. It's tinted red, which would seem to imply a relatively drastic change in flavor, but it basically tastes just like Pepsi except for some kind of indistinct "bite" and a weirdish aftertaste.

I think I'll stick with Holiday Coke, assuming they still have those vintage Santa pictures on the cans. Those are cool.


Although I will readily admit to being hooked on both The Apprentice and The Amazing Race, I still think reality-the-noun is a lot more entertaining than reality-the-word-that-goes-before-television. Case in point: Found Magazine, recently introduced to me by Rossanna. It's a monthly collection of random notes, journal entries, emails, handwritten ads, etcetera, that people find on the floor at bus stations or stuck to the bottom of their shoe or wherever. Some of them are depressing; some make you think; some are just absolutely fucking hilarious. I think I need a subscription.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Here I shill again

I'm Nick and I approved this message.

I highly encourage any and all, especially any and all in the L.A. area, to check out the newly formed blog of Alastra & Sons, Purveyors of Fine & Fresh Theatre for information on their debut pair o' plays coming next week to a theater near you. ("Near you" meaning "near Melrose and the 101.")

The plays are called The Declaration of Independence vs. The Constitution of the United States and Romeo & Candace, and I've read them both and seen rehearsals for the latter, and can assure you that they both kick ass. And I'm not just saying that because they're putting up my first play in January. Really. No, really. No, actually really. But don't take my word for it -- definitely don't take my word for it; come and see the plays for yourself.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's not my fault

I really didn't want to make any jokes about Veteran's Day. It's a sacred holiday that has honored brave American soldiers since 1926. And if you work for UCLA, it's a day off.

But look who the freaking official spokesperson is! Tell me the Department of Veteran Affairs was not just trying to make us snort milk out our noses.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

One more thing

I also found a flyer for this place at Boba Loca. It's kind of ridiculously overpriced but sounds fun. I wonder if they have inspirational verse written on the Segways.

Praise the Lord Jesus Boba

Since I am nothing if not hopelessly predictable, I went today for my usual Tuesday boba-or-shake-or-ice-cream-or-other-sugary-comestible-that-will-eventually-kill-me. The locale of choice? Boba Loca here in Westwood. (There are only about 276 places to get boba in Westwood, and I still have about three or four to check off the list.)

Anyway, written at the bottom of the boba cup was: "Acts 16:3 - Accept the Lord Jesus and you will be saved -- you and your household." (Something to that effect, anyway.) This is interesting for two reasons.

1. Right below the bible quote it said "This drink contains small tapioca balls which may be a choking hazard. Drink carefully." (But in case you don't drink carefully, you'd better accept the Lord Jesus right-the-hell-now, because you don't want your tapioca-filled soul to suffer eternal torment.)

2. According to any number of online Bibles, that quote wasn't remotely accurate. A quick Google search has revealed that the real Acts 16:3 says: "Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek." I guess that didn't have quite the effect the Boba Loca folks were shooting for.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Smooth Jazz

What the hell is that, anyway? I guess it's what I'm listening to right now, while I'm on hold for Singapore Airlines trying to see if I can bump my boss up to business class for her flight home from Japan. But I just don't see what it has to do with jazz. It's like calling the Backstreet Boys "smooth Clash." I'm not the hugest fan of jazz in the world, but I'm well aware that it's one of the most sophisticated musical forms we have, if not the most sophisticated, and there's something seriously wrong when Singapore Airlines hold music is allowed to appropriate the word that defines its genre.

Now that that's out of the way, does anybody have a robot truck that can drive from L.A. to Vegas? You could win $2 million.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A little snag

Seems like migrating to Canada may be a little trickier than expected. But that's no reason to give up.

It's a sad day

No, not because of that. (Vancouver, remember? Cheap apartments and pretty trees.)

It's a sad day because I have realized I must give up my beloved daily Diet Vanilla Pepsi. The last two days that I drank it, I got a great caffeine buzz for a couple of hours, and then a raging headache immediately afterwards. And I could probably counteract the headache with advil or vicodin or heroin or something, but I don't want to go down that road.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


It's not over, but it doesn't look good.

Chances are I'm going to be looking long and hard at these sites over the next few days.

I know a lot of people talk about moving to Canada in this type of situation, but I kind of want to be the one who actually does it.

Because Canadians get it. Actually, pretty much the rest of the world gets it. Just not us.

Bright side?

Well, Vancouver is tied for the best city in the world to live in. And you can get a 2-bedroom for about $750 American.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Point, counterpoint

I'm so flattered. Reena has created a blog for the specific purpose of refuting my Valley ramblings.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record...


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Previously, on "The Valley"

The start of 2005 will see Robert finally moving out of the apartment we've shared since last May. I really thought we had something special, but apparently he's had a girlfriend for about 10 months and it's time for him to move in with her. And her sister, because they needed sitcom potential.

Anyway, this leaves me the obvious three options.

1) Find another roommate. No. Not happening. I have no homeless friends, and I'm not doing open calls. I don't want to try to get used to sharing a bathroom/kitchen/TV/parking space with a stranger, especially when the apartment is really not all that big to begin with. Which leads us to...

2) Stay in the place and cough up the rent on my own. Never having had a place of my own, I've kind of coveted this idea for a while; and now that I have a steady job in a nonvolatile industry, it's a viable option. I'd have a second room to do whatever I want with, total dominion over everything apartment-related, and tons more closet space (Robert's room is the one with the giant sliding-door closet; mine is the one where the closet is almost too small to even hide in). But the rent -- while pretty low for a 2-bedroom -- would eat up more of my salary then I'd prefer. (Okay, "prefer" isn't the best choice of words; technically any amount of rent would eat up more of my salary than I'd prefer, since I'd prefer to live rent-free, but... back to topic.) Saving, for example, wouldn't really be happening much.

(Drumroll please)

3) Find another place. The problem with this is that I'd be breaking a promise. After the second time I moved (June 2002), I promised myself I'd never move again. Because it's impossible for that process not to suck. I mean, I've seen "Newlyweds"; it's even hellish when rich people move. I really dont' like to think about trying to schlep a big TV and half the Ikea catalog to another part of town. But if I could find a place I like better than this one while also saving a couple hundred dollars a month, then it might be worth biting the U-Haul bullet. So, to that end, today I officially started looking. I paid my $60 for the two-month membership, pretty much the one unassailably sound investment one can make in the moving process, and I clicked the search button. Unsurprisingly, there is very little to be had for under $1000 in the "cool" neighborhoods such as Larchmont, Fairfax, etc; and even here in Palms they're fairly pricey for what you get. I went back to the main search page and check out... the Valley. Like most City-dwellers, I hold the Valley somewhere between Scientology and low-carb candy on my offensiveness scale. But offensive or not, it's got a lot of potentially nice one-bedrooms for around $850. And I'd be walking distance from friends. And people wouldn't have to drive around for 20 minutes looking for a parking space every time they visited. And the drive to Ikea would be much shorter.

But... god, it's the VALLEY, right? How did it come to this?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Maybe I left that town a little too soon. Like, four years too soon. Then again, I have an idea what the streets of Boston look like right now and of the likelihood of my surviving them. I don't know. I don't know what the hell to say right now. Maybe I'll think of something later.

Monday, October 25, 2004


It's mean, but I can't help it. I love reading the other team's newspaper when they lose.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Game 2

Watching the Red Sox in the World Series for the first time since I was eight is pretty amazing. But you could not ask for two worse announcers than Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Thanks, Fox, I really like listening to these aggressively bland guys you've hired, at least one of whom is an obvious Yankee fan.

And hey, I just noticed that Tim McCarver looks a lot like Michael Palin. And then I thought about how much more fun it would be to have Michael Palin announcing the game. Even if he had no knowledge of baseball whatsoever. In fact, especially if he had no knowledge of baseball whatsoever and just made witty asides for three hours.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Donald Effect

I just saw some older-middle-aged guy in the bathroom with an enormous gut and a hideous combover. The gut part isn't such a big deal; I mean, who in America isn't at least somewhat overweight in these supersized days? But the combover part... it made me realize. I think The Donald's success on TV may have convinced balding men everywhere that they can totally get away with the combover. They say to themselves, "Well, that guy's pulling it off, so why not me?" Don't they understand that The Donald could wear a wreath of dead sewer rats on his head and still inspire hyper-religious levels of ass-kissing? Ah, well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

In the next couple days you will probably see all kinds of articles all over the place with flowery dramatic language about how the Red Sox have defied the odds, made history, blah blah etc.

That's all fine, but I don't think any of them will do anywhere near as good a job as this.

(Thanks to fellow ex-Massachusettsian Rossanna for the link.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Why my team/city is better

I'm watching the Red Sox - Yankees game on Fox right now, and I don't know how it's going to end. But the security people are apparently so worried about what the fans are going to do if the Sox win that they have posted riot police along the lines of the field.

Now, I'm not going to say Red Sox fans are exactly a peaceful bunch. Most of them are fairly insane. But, a few drunken tussles aside, they're capable enough of keeping order among themselves as not to require the presence of dozens of armed law enforcement officials.

Yankees suck. Good night.

A poem

Since Karri wrote a poem yesterday, I figured I had to write one myself. It's a competitive writing thing.

It's called "Afternoon Drink."

I love you Diet Vanilla Pepsi, oh yes I do,
I don't love any carbonated sugar-free phenylalaninated artificially colored and flavored bottled mass-market consumer beverage as much as you.
If I were drowned or strangled or suffocated or otherwise deprived of oxygen such that my lungs filled up with toxic carbon dioxide, I would turn blue.
Oh, Diet Vanilla Pepsi, I love you.

The end.

That was fast

There is now a rumor that Mary-Kate is dropping out of NYU.

Maybe too many of the other students were teasing her for looking like this. You know how vicious those kids can be.

Or maybe she already blew her half of the fortune on one of these sites.

Monday, October 18, 2004

More weirdness from the mass consumerism front

Okay, now, what the hell is this? It's 7-Up, apparently, but it's... like, healthy, or something. What's next? Low-carb Captain Crunch? A fat-free Quarter Pounder with Soy Cheese? Can't anything be allowed to remain bad for you?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Poker and 911

First of all, the 911 part. I'm driving home on the 405 tonight and all of a sudden the cars start slowing down. Then I have to maneuver around a stray bumper panel. Probably not a good sign. Then I see the source of said bumper panel: a flipped-over car on the side of the freeway. The driver appears to be okay and has made it out of the car on his own, and two other cars are pulled over near him, so I figure the situation is probably under control but I decide to call 911 to make sure it gets reported. I dial 911 on my cell phone. It rings. It rings again. It rings five or six more times. Then I hear, "You have reached the 911 emergency line. All operators are busy. Please wait." Then some recorded loop message that I can barely make out about how the lines are always busier when there's been an accident, etc., etc. Then, every minute or so, "All operators are still busy." After at least five minutes I hang up, figuring the accident has been called in. But I'm not exactly left with a whole lot of confidence in the whole 911 setup. I mean, thank god I wasn't calling because I'd been shot or stabbed or something. When 911 keeps you on hold longer than IBM tech support, something is not right.

Anyway. I also lost $10 in poker. Here's how it went down.

9:00 - leave with Eti and Randy to drive up to house in Valley where poker is being played
9:30 - arrive at said house, meet other players; we are told that the current game will be over soon and we can get in the next one.
10:00 - still waiting.
10:30 - still waiting.
11:00 - game finally ends and we all buy in to the new game for $10
11:10 - and, I'm out. went all-in before the flop on a pair of queens, beaten by a pair of kings. (miraculously, I was not the first to go out)
11:10 - 1:45 - watch everyone else play until the game is over.

That's my night.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Never eat a muffin lying down

I have now completed the whole platelet-giving process outlined in the previous post. It went pretty well, and I got to watch my A Few Good Men DVD for about the 2,184,375th time while the blood-and-platelet-pumping-and-separating-and-pumping-back-in machine was doing its thing. (I'm very glad I brought my own movie rather than picking one from their library, because the other two donors were watching Legally Blonde and Anger Management, and if those are good representatives of their selection, yikes.)

I said it went "pretty well." Actually, it went really well for about 45-50 minutes. Then it started getting a little painful. Not excruciating, but not comfy. The nurse figured out what was going on -- she said the needle had "infiltrated," which of course, to someone with zero knowledge of medical terminology except what I've learned on Scrubs, is not a very comforting word. Then she explained what she meant by that, and the gist of it is that it was my fault. I moved my arm a little too much, and the needle slipped away from the vein and was pumping blood into non-vein areas... which means, basically, there's going to be bruising. I'm supposed to ice my arm for a day or so to minimize the black-and-blueness.

Once they disconnected me from the pump, they put an icepack on my arm and brought me a muffin and orange juice. The muffin was top-notch but, being that I was still lying down, there was no place for the crumbs to go but my shirt. I feel this was a pretty good illustration of the notion that muffins are really more of a sitting-down-at-a-table food.

Friday, October 15, 2004


Mailing stuff at USA Network was easy. We just wrote a mail code on the envelope and some other person or department with a lot of money got charged for it. You could mail personal stuff to Egypt if you wanted; nobody would ever notice. At UCLA Development, things aren't quite like that. We use stamps. Stamps that we buy from the post office and then get reimbursed for. I don't quite understand that system yet, so another assistant was nice enough to lend me a sheet of stamps until I can figure it out. It's a sheet of American Indian-themed stamps with different pictures of American Indian artifacts on them. And in sending important business communication, I'm trying to use the blandest stamps possible. But eventually I'm only going to have one stamp left, which means I'll have to use the one that says -- and I am in no way kidding --

"Ho-Chunk bag"

This is the kind of expression I would imagine J.Lo using back when she actually was from the "block." As in, "Yo, that ho-chunk bag better not be talkin' shit about my boyfriend!"

Yeah, I think it's time to go home.


The days of free parking at the ArcLight are finally over. It's a slippery slope from here.

As a valued member of the ArcLight Hollywood community, we want to let you know that beginning Wednesday, October 20, 2004, due to a recent rate increase by the City of Los Angeles (the owner/operator of our adjacent parking garage), our validated parking rate will be increasing to $1 for four hours of parking, with purchase of a movie ticket. Validation is still required. We will continue our practice of covering a portion of the cost charged by the City for our guests to park in the garage.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Back to school

Since I started almost a month ago (yikes) at UCLA, a good amount of my time has been spent in training or orientation classes. It's sort of like being back in school: not college, where I was in classes I had chosen out of interest, but high school, where every class was chosen for me and I had nothing to do but sit, tired and bored, trying to think of something interesting to think about and usually failing.

So what I've been doing these classes is just trying to imagine ridiculous things happening, things that would completely break the stoic, academic, businesslike mood.

I'll give you an example. Today I was sitting for about two and a half hours in a training class learning how to do online expense reports. And as the instructor was introducing herself, trying to ingratiate herself and gain our trust or whatever, I thought it would be really funny if right then, I started vomiting explosively and then my entire body exploded. I don't know if that's funny to anyone other than me. But it was funny enough to me that I had to stifle a giggle, and kept stifling it, and then I did one of those things where you're holding in your laughter for a long time and then someone says something only slightly funny and you just burst out laughing because it's your only chance to, but the level of laughter coming out of you is completely inappropriate to the joke that wasn't even supposed to be that funny.

I have really thick veins on my feet. What if I get cut there? Will I hemhorrage uncontrollably?

Speaking of hemhorraging uncontrollably (am I not the king of segues?), I'm donating platelets on Saturday morning at the UCLA blood donation center. They'll siphon a bunch of blood out of me, then separate out the platelets, then pour the platelet-less blood back into me. And all the while, I'm strapped into a chair watching a movie. Just like this guy. But at the end, I get four hours of vacation time credited to me, and also a cookie. It should really be ten cookies, since donating platelets takes ten times as long as donating blood and they give you a cookie for donating blood, but I'll take what I can get.

Now I really need to turn my attention back to The Apprentice.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Observations in Westwood

Remember the Gap in Westwood? No, I never bought anything there either. I lived in Westwood for almost two years, I certainly bought plenty of clothing from the Gap during that time, and yet I never went to the one Gap store that was easy walking distance from my apartment. Anyway, sometime around a year ago they shut it down. I blame myself. Because now they are putting up a Bebe in its place. In the same row of stores that includes Victoria's Secret, Ann Taylor, and like five salons.

Am I the only one who sees that Westwood is slowly being transformed into the set of Legally Blonde?

Sure, they've also installed an Urban Outfitters, but come on. Trying to find actual clothing there is like trying to find actual music videos on MTV.

Also: Haagen-Dazs? Please stop claiming you sell gelato. I refuse even to try it because I can see with my own eyes that it's only ice cream that was left on the counter too long.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Badass record collection update

Good haul at Amoeba this afternoon. The results:

Dead or Alive - Rip It Up
Bryan Adams - Reckless *
Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill *
U2 - The Joshua Tree
Don Henley - Building the Perfect Beast *
Hair - original Broadway cast recording **
The Big Chill - original soundtrack
B52's - self-titled (debut)
B52's - Cosmic Thing
AC/DC - Back In Black

* - Shut up, it was a dollar.
** - Okay, a dollar may have been too much.

For the love of god and all that is holy!

Does Scott Bakula even have a publicist anymore? Is he aware of this?

I don't even know where to start.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


I haven't written anything since Tuesday, but that's mostly because there hasn't really been anything to write about. The debates? Everyone pretty much already knows how they're going, and this isn't a political blog anyway. (You can tell because the word "outrage" doesn't appear in the title, which it would if this were a political blog. But it's not. So I'm going to stop talking about it as if it were. Because it isn't. Okay? Good.) My beloved Red Sox are kicking some Angel ass, which is a good thing (and no offense to any Angel supporters; I'm just telling it like it is).

Also, y'all should check out Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Westwood, because they have a fairly interesting employee there. No kidding, he actually works behind the counter. I was just there tonight.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Bad-ass record collection, part the third

Four more.

Styx - The Grand Illusion ($1.99)
The Pretenders - Learning to Crawl ($2.99)
Dire Straits - Money For Nothing ($3.99)


Björk - Post (import, limited edition heavy vinyl pressing - $23.99)

Yeah, that last one cost about as much as the rest of the record collection combined. My reasons for buying it were threefold:

1. After all these scratched-up old records, I really wanted to hear what a brand new one would sound like.

2. I bought the turntable mainly for the purpose of listening to older records; most of today's bands don't really seem appropriate to buy on vinyl. Björk is one of the few that does. I can't really explain why. Maybe it's because she kind of seems to exist outside of time and space completely, so she doesn't really fit under the whole umbrella of "today's artists." I don't know.

3. The last thing of Björk's I bought was her debut album (Debut) back in 1993, when I was not yet fifteen. I think it's about time the honorable Ms. Gudmundsdottir got a couple more dollars in royalties from me. And the record is pretty cool. The heavy vinyl pressing really is... well, heavy. You have to hold that sucker with both hands.

Bad-ass record collection, part the second

Today I visited the venerable Rhino Records on Westwood Blvd. and conducted a mini-raid of their 99 cent record bin. The results:

Journey - Escape
Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
The Pretenders II (this one, happily, NOT suitable for framing)
Yes - 90125
Rush - Permanent Waves
Footloose - Original soundtrack (Hey, quit laughing. Did you not hear me say they were 99 cents?)

I should be adding more to the list after tonight's trip to Amoeba.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The many faces of Courtney Love

Sorry, I'm on a pseudo-celebrity kick here.

On trial for renegeing on a $50,000 travel agency bill, Courtney Love has taken on the look of a middle-school substitute teacher.

I no longer have any reason to live

When I can no longer look to Paris Hilton as a morally upright beacon of goodwill towards man, then all hope is lost.

Time to go stick my head in a gas stove. I'll be seeing y'all.

I just remembered...

...why it's a bad idea to drink coffee when you're wearing nice clothes. The shirt I have on is going right back to the dry cleaners tonight. My last shred of dignity is going with it.

Frick on a stick, as Dr. Elliot Reid would say.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

You know what's funny?

All of a sudden it's cool to like The Brown Bunny. Remember that movie? Roger Ebert called it the worst film in the history of Cannes, and people everywhere were waiting to find out just how awful it was. The butt of every joke told in Hollywood for several months in 2003, it seemed to be destined for a future on Mystery Science Theater. It inspired a huge, hilarious, and mostly one-sided war of words between Ebert and star/writer/director/editor/composer/janitor/caddie Vincent Gallo.

Several months pass. The film actually gets a theatrical release, which is trumpeted by an appropriately sleazy billboard on Sunset Boulevard (never actually saw it, but I'm assuming it was right across from the Hustler Superstore). News comes that Gallo has re-edited the film, cutting its length significantly and apparently somehow making it less pretentious. Gallo and Ebert even sat down and settled their differences, of all things.

Now look at the reviews! Ebert likes it. Salon likes it. The Village Voice... well, as usual, you can't tell what they're thinking without a map. Because some things never change. But the movie actually has a not-all-that-terrible score of 48 on MetaCritic, and that's about 48 points higher than most people would have guessed last year.

It's official. The Brown Bunny is the cinematic equivalent of that kid in middle school who everyone made fun of so relentlessly that he was scared to even go to class, but then he moved away for a while and when he came back in high school he looked totally different and people whispered that he dealt pot and the cool kids started hanging out with him and he even had a girlfriend who went to another school.

The Vest of Authority

I am wearing a bright-orange vest right now. As you might imagine, it looks just smashing over my taupe dress shirt and multicolored tie. It also color-coordinates perfectly with the lime-green flashlight I will soon be holding.

Yes, I have been roped into being a fire safety monitor. Fortunately, I occupy a pretty low position on the fire safety chain of command. I'm the backup stairway monitor, which just means I have to either (a) stand in the stairway during the fire drill and do nothing, or (b) run downstairs a couple flights and tell the roll call person if there's anyone still in the stairway.

Anyway, the important thing is that I get to wear the vest. There is a fire drill scheduled shortly, and because I am wearing the vest, people will listen to me. It is the Vest of Authority. I wear it proudly.

All shall bow before the Vest.

Oh, and don't forget the Flashlight of Truth. And the Clipboard of Eternal.... uh, Clipboardness.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Diet Vanilla Pepsi is good. The Pepsi part tastes diet, but the vanilla part doesn't.

Where was I?

No idea. I'll pick this up later.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Places the five ties I have worn to work thus far have ended up

Back seat of my car (2)
Zipper pocket in my laptop carrying case (2)
Back on the tie rack (1)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Why DirecTV will probably own my heart forever

I have had free Showtime on DirecTV for the last few months as part of some kind of promotion. This has enabled me to watch Dead Like Me, pretty much one of the best TV shows ever created, in addition to.... well, okay, there's really nothing of value on Showtime besides Dead Like Me. But if I were required to pay for Showtime just to watch that one show, I would gladly do so. I mean, I paid for HBO just for Curb Your Enthusiasm, and that's only ten half-hour episodes a season, whereas DLM has something like 13 hour-long episodes. Anyway, I came home tonight eagerly anticipating this week's episode. But when I turned on the Tivo, it was nowhere to be found. Turns out my free run of Showtime just expired. I started to wonder if I could re-order Showtime in time to watch the second airing at 10. Would I need to call them? I never call DirecTV. I have no idea what the number is. So I order it via the website, and I get a message saying "Your new programming will be available in a few minutes." Score! About ten seconds later I flip the channel to Showtime and it's ALREADY ON. With 90 minutes to spare until Dead Like Me. I... I don't know what else I can... oh, crap. I promised myself I wouldn't cry.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Opinions on new fall TV shows

Father of the Pride - meh
Joey - blech
Lost - kick-ass
Veronica Mars - see Lost
CSI: NY - so good I forgot to watch it

Records I need to look for the next time I'm at Amoeba

Dire Straits - Making Movies
Bonnie Tyler - Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
Journey - Escape
Dead or Alive - Youthquake
The B52's - self-titled
Violent Femmes - self-titled
The Bangles - Different Light
New Order - Substance
The Cure - The Head on the Door
The Pretenders II (a good-sounding copy)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Today's story

This is the story I wrote as kind of a prequel to my screenplay. To paraphrase the late Tom Lehrer, if my work inspires just one person to say something nasty to a friend or strike a loved one, it will all have been worthwhile.


Suitable for framing

That's the euphemism I just came up with a few hours ago. It's used to describe a record that sounds so awful that the only thing to do with it is put it in one of those Urban Outfitters record frames and hang it up. (This idea was stolen from Eti, who has been buying cheap albums at Amoeba just for the purpose of framing them.) The first record to fit this description is The Pretenders II. It's very disappointing because there are a lot of good songs on that album, including "Talk of the Town." Then again, you pay one dollar for a record, you take your chances. Actually, you take your chances with any of them. The $9 Boston album I'm listening to now doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the $3 Fleetwood Mac one I was listening to before.

This is why records are so much more fun than CDs. You never know what they're going to sound like.

A resurgence?

One lone termite dropped down into the kitchen light fixture last night and started wandering around. However, it couldn't find a way out of the fixture and into the kitchen, where Stuart would have happily devoured it. I was rooting for the thing to make it out, I had Stuart at the ready on the counter, but it just kept walking around in the light and fluttering its wings in frustration.

Next time, Gadget. Next time.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The play

The Space-Time Continuum Can Be A Real Bitch Sometimes

The Employment Blog

Yeah, so my first day as a UCLA worker bee went pretty well. Aside from having to say "Corporate, Foundation and Research Relations" every time I answer the phone (say it fast enough and it sounds like a line from a Lewis Carroll poem), I think I'm going to like it there.

It's still a little surreal to just all of a sudden have a job and, you know, do things during the daylight hours of the day to earn money. It probably won't be long before my couch and TV show up at the office and get all in my face, like, "Dude, where the hell have you been?"

Also, I discovered a new use for a tie. At lunch, a couple drops of pasta sauce splattered themselves onto my shirt, and I was freaked out until I realized that I just needed to shift the tie over a couple inches and, voila, the stain was concealed.


The turntable situation was resolved today, not by purchasing a new turntable but by purchasing a DJ mixer to go between the turntable and the receiver. I don't really have room for the mixer, but it's kind of cool and it has the little rows of green lights to indicate sound levels. Whatever those are called. So I'm listening to Cyndi Lauper as I blog. (That's how people blogged in 1985. Except they blogged on stone tablets or something.)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Original Material

Hi there. I can't believe I admitted to buying some of those records. Please remember that most of them were a dollar. But I actually do like all those artists. There's no point in denying it. I also like some more contemporary, less embarrassing acts, but it's not as much fun to buy their records.

Anyway, here's a story. With this new blog, I plan to start throwing some fiction into the mix. Because... well, just because.

Later on, if you clean your room and finish your vegetables, maybe I'll post a play up here too.


After today's visit to Amoeba, I now have one pretty bad-ass record collection. I have nothing to play it on (the turntable I just got at Guitar Center won't work with my receiver), but I hopefully will soon.

Here are the records I bought today, in no particular order.

The Who - Face Dances
The Cars - Heartbeat City
The Pretenders - II
The Knack - Get the Knack
America - History (Greatest Hits)
Kim Carnes - Mistaken Identity
Peter Gabriel - So
Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna
Men at Work - Business as Usual
Paul Simon - self-titled
Steve Winwood - Back in the High Life
Heart - self-titled
Boston - self-titled
Madonna - self-titled, 1st pressing w/ extended version of "Burning Up"
Fleetwood Mac - self-titled
Duran Duran - Rio
Duran Duran - Seven and the Ragged Tiger
U2 - Under a Blood Red Sky (live)
Madonna - Like a Virgin
Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
Blondie - The Best of Blondie

Most of these were a dollar. Some were two or three dollars; the Madonna one was $20, but for that price I figured it must be a pretty good copy. (There's a solid chance I'm wrong about that. I'll find out when I have a functional turntable.)

An Explanation of the Title

I am bad with directions. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being chauffered by me at any time, in any city, going any place, knows this very well. Some people pick up city layouts like that: they're new in town, you drive them around for a while, they watch the street signs, and after a few days they have no trouble getting anywhere on their own. Those people are as alien to me as personal hygiene is to Courtney Love. When I lived in the Boston suburbs, I studiously avoided driving anywhere in the city because the outcome was always the same: (1) print out useless Mapquest directions; (2) get lost and drive around aimlessly for between 30 minutes and 3 hours; (3) fail to get anywhere near the destination; (4) finally stumble upon a way to get home; (5) consider myself lucky for not ending up in Wisconsin. In L.A. it's a lot easier, but that doesn't mean I don't get lost on a fairly regular basis.

Hence the title of the blog. Also, I wanted something that was only a few words and easy to remember/type in. So there you have it. Let us never speak of this again.