Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Friday, July 30, 2004

H & K clearly aren't the only ones under the influence of something beyond sliders

From Roger Ebert's review of "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle":

Summer has been filled with comedies that failed because they provided formula characters, mostly nice teenagers who wanted to be loved and popular. "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," on the other hand, is about two very specific roommates who want to smoke pot, meet chicks and eat sliders in the middle of the night. Because this column is read in Turkey, Botswana, Japan and California, I should explain that "sliders" are what fans of the White Castle chain call their hamburgers, which are small and cheap and slide right down. We buy 'em by the bag.

Is a slider worth the trouble leaving home and journeying through two states? If you're stoned and have the munchies, as Harold and Kumar are, and if you're in the grip of a White Castle obsession, the answer is clearly yes. The only hamburger worth that much trouble when you're clean and sober is at Steak 'n Shake. Californians believe the burgers at In 'n Out are better, but that is because they do not appreciate the secret of Steak 'n Shake, expressed in its profound credo, "In Sight, It Must Be Right." (Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland.)
Excuse me? What the fuck are you talking about? I definitely understand the whole In-N-Out thing, but Steak 'n Shake??? During law school, I lived within a one mile radius of at least four Steak 'n Shakes. And 'lemme tell ya, that's all news to me.

All of it.

Put this one in the "I'd rather self-immolate" file

From: Ticketmaster []


Universal Amphitheatre
Universal City, CA
Fri, 10/15/04
On Sale Sun, 07/25/04


Rick Springfield
Universal Amphitheatre
Universal City, CA
Sat, 09/18/04
On Sale Sun, 08/01/04


Jackson Browne
Los Angeles County Fair
Pomona, CA
Sat, 09/25/04
On Sale Sun, 08/01/04


Eddie Money
Trump 29 Casino
Coachella, CA
Sat, 10/16/04
On Sale Mon, 07/26/04

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Even the Sports Guy agrees with me

From today's Sports Guy column:

"Did you see any clips of Barack Obama's inspiring speech at the Democratic Convention on Tuesday night? Finally, a politician who can be reasonably compared to Cyrus from "The Warriors". This is fantastic. He should have walked out on stage surrounded by the remaining members of the Gramercy Riffs."

Putting Elizabeth Berkley into perspective

On the drive to “Showgirls” the other night [that just sounds awful], I listened to KCRW's live coverage of the Democratic Convention speeches. In particular, I was keenly interested to hear Illinois State Senator (and presumptive future U.S. Senator) Barack Obama’s keynote address. To this day, I can still remember how, as a ten-year-old sprawled across our brown shag carpet in front of the family room TV, I was blown away by the power and simple eloquence of Mario Cuomo’s 1984 “A Tale of Two Cities” keynote. I never imagined that anyone, let alone a 42 year-old state legislator in his national political debut, would ever give a convention speech as effective as Cuomo’s. Arguably, Obama’s speech was more powerful. It was, from a political standpoint, certainly more important. Here’s an excerpt:
For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief—I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper—that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism here—the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!
It simply does not do the speech justice to simply read its text. Go here for access to video of both the highlights and the complete keynote address.

In 1984, buoyed by Cuomo’s outstanding convention speech, Walter Mondale won only his home state and the District of Columbia. Here's hoping that the legacy of Obama’s 2004 speech includes the translation of mere rhetorical power to actual electoral results.

Today's sign that the apocalypse is truly nigh

I just learned that BOTH of my parents (divorced for over twenty years) have been mystic tanning in preparation for my brother's wedding next month.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Two nights, two cinematic masterpieces

Tonight: “Showgirls” One-Night-Only Interactive Screening.


Tomorrow: The studio’s archives department presents “Flash Gordon” in 35mm, including Queen’s soundtrack in all of its Mercury-esque cheesy glory.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Outside submissions requested

I need to compile at least ten (10) descriptive words or statements that people have written about me for a workshop that starts tonight:
These words or phrases can be found in letters written to you, in yearbooks, report cards, job performance evaluations. It's best if these statements come from throughout your life. Please list them exactly as they were written, without interpretation. You are welcome to bring a longer list if you have access to a quantity of saved material. You may include things that were said, but only if you remember them verbatim - do not include statements of which you recall only the "gist."
All I have so far is “[a]pproaches work with a positive attitude,” which even I know is a huge crock. I think I need some help.

Anyone want to contribute? I promise to use them all AND I will even post the full list.

The Green Fairy

Although I would never assume (out loud, at least) to include myself in any list including Hemingway, Picasso, Degas, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Ewan McGregror, I recently became an initiate into their (not-so-selective) fraternity where the sole rite of initiation involves the consumption of absinthe. While it may not become my sipping liqueur of choice, it does have a certain refined charm. And that warm clarity of vision thing . . . holy shit . . . they ain’t kidding.

Two pieces of first-hand wisdom for the potential absinthe imbiber:

1. Do NOT drink it on an empty stomach. Despite logic (and a large lunch) attempting to persuade you that food in your stomach will dampen the feeling and slow its absorption, I will tell you in unequivocal terms: WRONG. Food will not dampen absinthe’s effects. Dry heaving, on the other hand, certainly will. Absinthe should not be an aperitif. It should enhance, not kick-start your evening.

2. Prepare yourself for a massive (and when I say massive, I mean MASSIVE) hangover the next morning when the thujone has dissipated and all you are left with are the remnants of the 70% alcohol, the water and the sugar cubes that constitute the remainder of the concoction.

Here’s a great excerpt from the definitve absinthe site:
Quality absinthe, properly distilled, does have a different effect over and above the results of alcohol, though at up to 70%, the effects of the alcohol alone can be considerable. Absinthe's effects, despite popular conception, are not due to the wormwood (Artemisia Absinthia) alone. Absinthe's constituents consist of a very delicate balance of various herbs, most of which contribute in one way or another to its intoxicating effects. Ted Breaux once explained it that it is a push-me, pull-you effect of the various herbs, as some are of an heightening effect, and others are lowering. The effect on the individual is subjective, and can best be described as a kind of heightened clarity of mind and vision, mildly ponderous and sparkling, and warmed by the effect of the alcohol. This seems to wear off after 20 or 30 minutes, leaving one with an alcohol buzz. 2-3 glasses seems to do the trick. More than that, depending on the proof of the alcohol, will just make you very drunk.
La Fée Verte FAQ

And if you all ask very nicely, I’ll fill in those wonderful gaps in the chronology falling between consumption and hangover. Just not this second. It’s a Monday and I do have a bit of work.

Friday, July 23, 2004

If you’re deciding which new movie to see this weekend...

go see “The Bourne Supremacy” and, regardless of how much you dig the costume, please skip “Catwoman.” I have a sushi lunch riding on whether Halle Berry’s stinker will break $15 million this weekend. Yes, I took the under.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

This may be the funniest political spoof I have ever seen

JibJab Media's "This Land is Your Land"

Thanks to my good pal MC Gusto for the link.

Especial de Dia

In my ever continuing quest to find engaging content on the web (all in the name of speeding my workday along), I assumed I had hit all of the truly substantive quality personal blogs at one time or another. I was wrong.

Maccers linked to "The gorgeous Stephanie" (her words, not mine) today. Intrigued (yes, I'm superficial. enough already. been there. done that.), I visited Stephanie Klein's outstanding blog, Greek Tragedy. And while she may in fact be beautiful (for a blogger or otherwise), her wonderful writing and great photos are what really piqued and held my interest.

So, if you have a moment (or three hours) to spare, check her out. Although I now know way too much about the brazilian waxing process, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Jealous anyone?

Tonight, the (ex-)roomie and I will be sitting down for our semi-regular sushi dinner at [Zagat excerpt]:


Food: 27 Decor: 7 Service: 16 Cost: $48

Studio City
11288 Ventura Blvd. (Main St.) Studio City, CA, 91604 (818) 508-7017

“Let Mr. Trust Me [aka chef Kazunori Nozawa] take care of it” at this decor-challenged storefront Japanese in Studio City, a perennial top-ten contender for Food renowned for its omakase menu of “sublime” sushi that’s “tailored to American tastes”; while some are growing tired of his “Sushi Nazi” “shtick”, you still have to “arrive early” or else join the “line stretching down the street.”

To date, I have dined at many, many, many, many sushi restaurants and none have ever topped Nozawa. No, it's not as electric as sex or skydiving. But it's pretty fucking close.

By the way, if anyone wants to go to Masa while I'm in New York, just say the word (and bring your AMEX).

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

“Station master says 'ol ninety-four's on-time out of Chattanooga and Brady’s on board all right.”

That was my one and only line when I made my high school stage debut as the not-so-immortal Bollinger in the exquisite “Inherit the Wind.” I followed up the line with a (truly horrendous) cornet flourish to herald Matthew Harrison Brady’s arrival from the wings on stage right.

Of all the lines I delivered throughout my high school theater career, that is the only one I can recall verbatim. The cliché is that you always remember your first time. In this case, it’s true as hell. I had the lead in several plays throughout high school and can’t even come up with some of the character names, let alone any dialogue.

Yet, I remember “Inherit the Wind.” I remember almost missing my cue during one performance. I remember struggling with the fucking cornet. And I vividly remember how psyched I was to sit next to Erin Jacobs (she of the revealing lingerie in the school’s winter production of “Noises Off” and the 2-seconds of face time in “Uncle Buck”) throughout all of the trial scenes.

Why is this all flooding back to me today? Well, in addition to Ernest Hemingway (1899) and Robin Williams’s (1952) birthdays and my one-year job anniversary (see below), on July 21, 1925, John T. Scopes was convicted for teaching evolution in the “Monkey Trial” that inspired Lawrence & Lee’s “Inherit the Wind”:
Dayton, Tenn., July 21 -- The trial of John Thomas Scopes for teaching evolution in Tennessee, which Clarence Darrow characterized today as "the first case of its kind since we stopped trying people for witchcraft," is over. Mr. Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, and his counsel will appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee for reversal of the verdict. The scene will then be shifted from Dayton to Knoxville, where the case will probably come up on the first Monday in September.

But the end of the trial did not end the battle on evolution, for not long after its conclusion William Jennings Bryan opened fire on Clarence Darrow with a strong statement and a list of nine questions on the basic principles of the Christian religion. To these Mr. Darrow replied and added a statement explaining Mr. Bryan's "rabies." Dudley Field Malone also contributed a statement predicting ultimate victory for evolution and repeating that Mr. Bryan ran away from the fight.

Mr. Scopes, who is hardly more than a boy and whose pleasant demeanor and modest bearing have won him many friends since this case started, was nervous. His voice trembled a little as he folded his arms and said:
"Your Honor, I feel that I have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue in the future, as I have in the past, to oppose the law in any way that I can. Any other action would be in violation of by idea of academic freedom, that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our Constitution, of personal and religious freedom. I think the fine is unjust."
[Excerpted from the original 1925 New York Times article.]

Although Scopes’s conviction was later overturned on appeal, just reading that article gives one pause. Times haven’t necessarily changed as much as we like to think they have. Have they?

Ah, fuck it. That’s it. No more reflection for the remainder of the day. Must not forget to drink heavily, however.

One year ago today . . .

was my first day of work at the studio. I cannot begin to fathom how 366 days (leap year, remember) have flown by so quickly. Yet, I am finding it more and more difficult to remember how truly disgruntled I was toward the end of my law firm days and what a saving grace the new gig has been.

I literally have not seen the inside of my office on a weekend. Ever. Until I basically gave up working at the law firm (never told them, just sort of disengaged), Saturdays were the norm and Sundays an all-too-often occurrence. Nowadays, the only time I’m on the lot on a weekend is for a premiere or other special event.

Sure, I’m significantly poorer than I was in the law firm days. Oh, well. We all make adjustments. Dinners at Matsuhisa, Campanile, Spago, Bastide, Sasabune, Patina and Chinois are now special occasions rather than the nightly rule. My attendance at every major concert to blow through Staples is no longer a must. And yes, the Clippers season tickets are a thing of the past. However, the car has gloriously survived. The new apartment is a thing of beauty. And I paid for the TV one month before I quit the firm.

But what I’ve lost materially and monetarily are infinitesimally insignificant when compared to what I’ve gained in terms of free time, peace of mind, friendships, women and yes, even this blog. Being content most of the time sure beats the hell out of being miserable all of the time.

So thanks to all of you who have ridden alongside me not only this past year, but throughout all of my time here in LA. Without your support and friendship, I would not be comfortably sitting here at my desk, avoiding work and typing this overly syrupy, sentimental drivel.

And, no . . . I won’t forget any of you when I’m running this place.

Friendsters in low, low, low places

I was thinking of doing one of those self-deprecating in its ignorance and oh-so-uncool-that-it's-hip "there's this new thing called Friendster that all the kids are talking about" posts, but what's the fucking point?

It's way too pretentious in a "not having an act is your act" kind of way. So, I'll cut right to it:

I currently have but four friends on Friendster, and one is the only other person on the planet who shares the exact same parents as I. Now, please don't feel sorry for me as a big loser due to this fact (there are plenty of other genuine justifications for your pity). Truth is, I haven't spent much time on Friendster at all. In fact, just this evening I figured out how to re-save the few photos that actually exist of me in an under 500 KB format, thus permitting Friendster uploading.

Since I have now wasted time configuring the damn thing, I've decided to give it a semi-legitimate shot. The photos are done. The profile is next. I promise.

And yes, I know it's passe (he says with a *sigh*). But, given that a certain trusty im partner-in-ennui has more-or-less abandoned me, I can use all the new external stimuli that I can possibly get to fill my days.

So, if you would like to be my friend, just let me know. Either in the comments or use my trusty newish gmail account. And if I only end up with five friends, hell, I'll get over it. At least I know I have a few tangible pals.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

If it was 1972, I'd actually be cutting-edge

Once upon a time, I subscribed to Interview. No offense Ingrid Sischy, but that may have been the biggest waste of $8.00 since the time I paid full-price to see "Jury Duty". Yes, the spirit of Andy Warhol has undeniably left the building.

However, put Natalie Portman on the cover, throw in a few great Max Vadukul photographs, include a reasonably interesting interview conducted by her "Garden State" co-star, Peter Sarsgaard, and I'll gladly throw down my $2.99+tax. Here's an excerpt:
PS: So let me ask you this: Where do you see movies fitting into the world that is as troubled as ours seems to be?

NP: I think there’s always a need for entertainment and for things that can take you away from reality. I also think we all have a capacity for deep emotion, deep suffering, deep pain. Obviously living these things because someone in your family has AIDS or you’re starving, or your kid’s sick or you’re heartbroken is different from experiencing them through a film; but I think we need to experience certain things, and movies can help with that. One of the things Garden State deals with is our society’s addiction to painkillers and antianxiety drugs and antidepressants. A lot of people in the Western world are experiencing depression and anxiety and all that stuff; but then you go to places where there’s unimaginable suffering and strife, and you can’t even fathom someone being like, “Oh, my God, I’m really anxious.” When you’re fighting for your survival, there’s no time for that, or maybe you just can’t attend to it.

PS: But I do think there’s a kind of collective unconscious. Living in the world and being human, you can bury your head in the sand, you can take a Xanax, you can do whatever you want, but that little feeling you’re having might actually be a connection to the rest of humanity.

NP: It might. Or it might be some sort of replacement for the evolutionary need to experience the struggle for survival.
By the way, will someone let Grambo know that I also purchased the Doonesbury Rolling Stone?

Monday, July 19, 2004

Expect little for I am momentarily incapable of movement

Maccers's broken heart must---absolutely must---feel better than my food poison-riddled stomach and esophagus. All together now: Can we say, 1 am, 2:30 am, 3:45 am, and, oh merciful god, enough already, 4:30 am. If it wasn't for my life-affirming tan, you'd think me a corpse.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Today's question

Why do people have to spoil a good thing by opening their mouths?

Whether it's a post-coital embrace in bed, that perfectly serene moment at a romantic restaurant, following your boss's awful joke in an all-office meeting, simply vegging with a bunch of friends, avoiding anything of substance with your family or nodding inconsequentially to random strangers, there are certain indelible moments where the perfect thing to say is absofuckinglutely nothing at all.

And I'm not sure that's a skill that one can learn or that naturally develops with age.

Today's advice: when in doubt, just shut the fuck up.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

By comparison, I'm even more mediocre than I thought I was

A friend recommended I check out Fresh Yarn, "the first Online Salon for Personal Essays." Four hours later, I was still reading and laughing, and the director agreement I was supposed to mark-up remained untouched. These are not fly-by-night pieces by unaccomplished wannabe writers. In fact, the contributors include a bunch of quite accomplished pros from around town: John Levenstein, Kathy Najimy, Marcia Wallace, Lisa Cholodenko, Eric Friedman, among others.

Jill Soloway, Supervising Producer/writer on "Six Feet Under" and author of the infamously genius "Courtney Cox's Asshole" contributed the gut-wrenchingly hilarious "Diamonds" to the first installment [an excerpt]:
There's this woman I know. Besides her diamond engagement ring and the diamond wedding band, each time she gave birth to one of her two sons, her husband brought her a diamond necklace. In the hospital. Good job, honey. Thanks for ripping your pussy open. Matthew Broderick gave Sarah Jessica Parker a $50,000 diamond charm bracelet in the hospital. Kobe gave his wife a four million dollar "I'm sorry I raped someone" diamond. Ben gave JLO a billionty dollar pink diamond. White diamonds aren't enough, now we need PINK DIAMONDS to really be special. I saw chocolate diamonds on Extra just last week. Brown diamonds, CHOCOLATE DIAMONDS. Can you tell I'm screaming right now? If you're reading this to yourself, you should be screaming anything in all caps in your mind.


Do they know something I don't know? Are they different than me because their feet look right in a strappy sandal, their toes don't look absurd when painted, like mine do, like donut holes with red dots on them, they know exactly what to do when someone slides their chair in for them? Me, I scoot, I'll make a loud scraping noise with my chair, but these women who get diamonds, I bet they glide into the table. They chew right and they sip right, which is something I don't do.

I store my sip of coffee in my cheeks before I swallow it, like a chipmunk with a spring's worth of nuts. This is something I know I do but I can't stop doing because I don't notice I'm doing it until after I've done it.

I just don't get it, I mean, who ARE these women and WHAT are they doing for these diamonds? Do they withhold sex? Have constant sex? Give great blowjobs? Refuse to give blowjobs? Give blowjobs where at first you pretend to not really wanna be giving the blowjob but then you start to get into it and next thing you know you're just slobbering away like some diamond-deserving secret princess whore of blowjobs? Could somebody please tell me WHAT ARE THESE WOMEN DOING FOR THESE DIAMONDS?

Are they mean? Are they nice? Do they scream? Do they think of themselves as a special prize that deserves special gems? Are their pussies cleaner than mine? Prettier than mine? Waxed? Unwaxed? Waxed with floor wax? Do they have giant stanky messy hairy retro bushes that don't give a shit at all, bushes that say fuck you - you're going to stick your face in this mess AND you're going to give me diamonds, WHAT IS THE FUCKING DEAL WITH THESE DIAMONDS?
ADDED BONUS: If you want to see Jill do her thing live along with a bunch of other talented people, check out tonight's (July 15--8pm) sit 'n spin at the Hudson.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Pressboard Estates, just down the street from St. Sebastian's School for Wicked Girls

My buds at Couch of Sin have located this invaluable map of Springfield USA.

You'll find me at Moe's, conveniently located at the corner of Second and Walnut.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Yes, I work for a major motion picture studio.
Yes, I am a lawyer.
Yes, I was a political science major.
Yes, I was a member of student government.
Yes, I am politically active.
Yes, I despise the current administration.
Yes, I am socially liberal.
Yes, I am a member of the ACLU.

Yes, I finally saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" this evening.

It contained no great revelations. And, as always, Michael Moore takes easy potshots whenever convenient. Despite its faults, it clearly is the most important motion picture of the year. It highlights, clarifies and humanizes a situation and culture that permitted, and arguably encouraged, our unilateral invasion of a sovereign state that posed no immediate threat to the United States, nor even a clear and present danger, while simultaneously undermining our moral credibility (not to mention the "war on terrorism") throughout the world.

In terms of his presidency,

--The best thing to happen to George W. Bush was to be born the son of a successful, wealthy, intelligent and accomplished man.

--The next best thing was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's decision to use four passenger aircraft as terrorist missiles on September 11, 2001.

Appropriated moral authority and a culture of fear do not allow wisdom to flourish where none was ever present. The incendiary mix of arrogance and incompetence flowing throughout the executive branch is not endemic to republicans. Nor are democrats necessarily immune. Partisan labels, while helpful, are not determinative. However, the 2004 election is an unequivocal no-brainer. On November 2nd, our great republic must undertake a representative democracy's version of a coup.

Please encourage friends, family, acquaintances and complete strangers throughout Ohio to make sure their state is blue on election eve.

Kerry-Edwards 2004

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Contribute Here

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Didn't John Lithgow do the same thing to Denzel?

Check out "Ricochet", "Mission: Impossible", "The Firm" and "The Godfather: Part II" and just try to tell me that life doesn't imitate "art."

Fundraiser for Governor of New Jersey Charged With Blackmail [AP via NYT]
Gov. James E. McGreevey's top fund-raiser was charged Tuesday with trying to thwart a federal investigation by videotaping a witness in a compromising position with a prostitute.

Real estate developer Charles Kushner hired a call girl to have sex with the witness, had someone videotape them, and then sent the man's wife a copy of the tape, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie said.

Kushner apparently was attempting to influence the witness' testimony in a criminal investigation of Kushner for possible tax fraud and illegal campaign contributions, authorities said.

As succinctly stated by Marion Berry: "Bitch set me up."

Monday, July 12, 2004

Today was a good day

Yeah, it's a Monday. But it was gorgeous out, top down all day weather. Heard Scissor Sisters' great cover of "Comfortably Numb" on MBE. And, due to a co-worker's surprisingly entertaining birthday lunch, I escaped from the office for a solid couple of hours.

To top it all off, yesterday, after months of conscious procrastination, I finally picked up Talking Heads' near-perfect boxset, "Once in a Lifetime", at Amoeba. Although it's not my favorite Heads' song, "The Democratic Circus" struck me with a certain resonance when listening to it this afternoon:
Found out this morning
There's a circus coming to town
They drive in Cadillacs
Using walkie-talkies, and the Secret Service

Their big top
Imitation of life
And all the flags and microphones
We have to cover our eyes

We play the sideshows
And we like the tunnel of love
And when we ride the ferris wheel
We're little children again

And when they're asking for volunteers
We'll be the first ones aboard
And when the ringmaster calls our names
We'll be the first ones to go ... to sleep

Stealing all our dreams
Dreams for sale
They sell 'em back to you

On with the show
Start the parade
We sand along
Sweep us away

It's political party time
Going down, going down
And the celebrities all come out
Coming down, coming down, coming...
Yeah, I'll be visiting NYC when Dubya and his cronies invade the island. Unlike the Republicans, however, I expect New York to welcome me with open arms and an endless supply of food, drink & merriment.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

All right, who's going with me?

The always cutting-edge Kerry has called my attention to the upcoming one night only free Interactive Screening (July 27th in LA) in honor of the release of the "Showgirls" VIP Edition DVD set.

I was fortunate enough to attend the sold-out opening Friday night presentation of this masterpiece at Skokie's old Old Orchard Theater (R.I.P.) with a few degenerate friends back in September 1995. I don't believe any first-run movie experience has yet topped the asinine thrill that came from seeing a buck naked Jessie Spano thrash about uncontrollably in a swimming pool with Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

A word of advice

I do not care how beautiful, firm and supple your breasts are if your areola is surrounded by a large tattoo of a gecko.

Think before you ink.

Friday, July 09, 2004

On the clearest of days, there's always a cumulonimbus looming

Friday evening. It's going to be a gorgeous night. They actually decided to pay me today. I'm about to leave the office for the weekend and not look back. All should be fantastic.


There always has to be that fucking but.

And today's but is a solid bummer. Not life-alteringly depressing. But a downer nonetheless:

My best friend and favorite person in the office left today for maternity leave. We had a nice baby shower, I ate way too much and there were hugs and good wishes all around. I even bought flowers.

The problem with her maternity leave is that it will be permanent. She knows it. I know it. Anyone with half-a-brain knows it. As a result, my buddy, the sole consistent respite I have from the drudgery that is my day-to-day job, has left me all alone.

No longer will I be able to stop by her office on my way to the mail room or the kitchen and kill thirty minutes in the process, laughing the entire time. No longer will I have a constant im partner-in-crime, who would ALWAYS help me outlast my boss, the Sr. VP, when leaving the office. And no longer will I hear those wonderfully mundane stories about her family, her son and her life growing up in Burbank.

When you are surrounded by very few people you actually give a damn about (both in and out of the office), the ones you consider as friends are all the more extraordinary. Although I wish her only the best and certainly will see her again, I know one thing for sure:

I already miss my friend.

Maybe she's adopted

Is it just me, or does it actually appear that the hamster wheel in Nicky Hilton's brain is actually turning? For some odd reason I get the feeling that, unlike everyone else in her family save Tinkerbell, she actually has a moderate grasp on reality. It's not just that I find her significantly more attractive than Paris (she really does look quite good in person with the dark hair); it's that she has never done anything to truly embarrass herself. And for high society's version of a white trash family, that's an accomplishment in and of itself.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Andrew McCarthy

Preface: I just took a 10 mg Valium on a virtually empty stomach, so if I trail off and make little sense, please forgive me.


I am not a fan of Andrew McCarthy. I've always thought that he is, at best, essentially a shit actor. Yes, I secretly enjoy "Weekend at Bernie's", and yes, I consider "Less Than Zero" the greatest LA-scene movie of all-time. However, all of this is despite his presence, not as a result of it.

And yet, I could not get Andrew McCarthy out of my head on the drive home from this evening's John Kerry fundraiser.

(Pharmaceutical update: the Valium is kicking in. I am not long for this entry or, as a matter of fact, consciousness. I shall try to soldier onward.)

Why was Andrew McCarthy invading my brain after a an evening of solid stand-up and entertaining tunes? Three words: "St. Elmo's Fire".

I have never been a fan of St. Elmo's Fire. It's watchable, sure. But ultimately empty and unrewarding. All of the brat pack women have had finer moments, both artistically and aesthetically. And the guys were just plain annoying.

Except for Andrew McCarthy's Kevin. Yeah, Kevin was whiny and gutless and conceited as hell. He had an unrewarding pseudo-prestigious job and held himself above all of his friends as a result of it. And (the point of all this drivel) he was in love with someone he simply could not have. Not "in love" as in a crush on a friend's girlfriend, think about her naked, satisfied with a pearl-necklace in the shower kind of way. "In love" in that "holy shit" this is it and there can truly be no one else kind of way. Not exactly healthy. Not exactly rational. But certainly understandable.

(Second update: Getting awfully difficult to type. Will never truly be able to finish this. I'll strive for concise simplicity.)

I guess the question ultimately is this: how can one ever truly be satisfied with another when there is someone else tangibly out there in the world who, quite simply, fits. It's not a hierarchy. Nor is it a competition. It's just that first ever piece that, when interwoven with you, appears to create a seamless, unique perfectly distinguished whole.

(Final update: I am beginning to nod off at the keyboard. I have nothing more introspective to write at this moment.)

Political Editorial Freebie:

Get your free Kerry-Edwards Bumper Sticker here. I will actually be defacing my immaculate car with one as a demonstration of my unequivocal support.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Obligatory housewarming visit

Please welcome LAist to the neighborhood. Imagine I just found an unopened box of See's chocolates in my freezer and dropped them off. No need to invite me in for coffee. And, don't worry, I won't stay long.

Bottom line: although you appear tolerable, you certainly are no blueprint.

It reminds me of when the Gendells moved from next door and the Steins moved in their place. Although the neighborhood survived, it just wasn't the same. And I never found a replacement street football quarterback for my team.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Wired my ass

sac reprograms Wired's Rise of the Machines bot hierarchy:
Best Female Pleasure Bot

Loss of Consortium. This bundled software package is young, wet and legally bound. It does not discriminate between the sexes, which gives it an advantage over more well-known pleasure bots such as Eurotrash and Maccers, because everyone knows lesbians, even bot-lesbians, are HOT. Maybe if the maccers-bot had taken advantage of the recent foot-rubbing episode and turned it into a nautical Sapphic epic, it would have had a chance in this category. Sadly, the maccers-bot was not programmed that way.
Although sac's analysis is dead solid perfect, I have to differ with his conclusion. The category invokes pleasure, and while the LoC gals certainly do the pleasure thing incredibly well (and early and often), they are, fundamentally, law students. My friends, there is no law student (or lawyer, for that matter), male or female, that can rise above the fray to achieve the title of best when pleasure is the criterion. They may be fun. They may be sexual dynamos. But, come on . . . at the end of the day they are just a bunch of 3Ls (and one 2L). That ain't pleasurable to anyone.

My unbiased vote's squarely for Mrs. Kennedy. There is nothing but pleasure to be found here. And that's not even counting Jackson in the equation.

Monday, July 05, 2004


Just finished re-watching Phillip Noyce's "The Quiet American", starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser. It is a great movie highlighted by Caine's (much-deserved) oscar-nominated performance as the burnt-out, cynical English correspondent, Thomas Fowler. And it's one of the rare adaptations that truly captures the feeling, spirit and setting of its original source (Graham Greene's prophetic novel).

The novel was written in 1955 and contemporaneously set toward the end of the French occupation of Indo-China. While, on the surface, it is a simple love triangle set in a foreign land, its portrait of the country, the people and the political instability immaculately foreshadowed and predicted the morass that would define American involvement in Vietnam throughout the 1960's and early 1970's.

Although nothing is ever as simple as it seems, I hope those in power remember that there is always a depth to "popular" culture beyond two sentence summaries and log-lines. Graham Greene obviously saw in 1955 that a "big stick" colonization approach (whether French, American or underwritten third-party) would fail miserably in Vietnam. I'm certain he was not the only one.

Similarly, our current foreign policy failures should not be viewed in a vacuum. There have been indicators, signs and guideposts (domestic, international and cultural) that should have led rational actors to envision the current reality (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). Obviously, our decision-makers have been acting with either blinders or simple arrogance. While September 11th apparently gave the administration a blank check, we must remember that the end does not inherently justify the means. And every time Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Ashcroft, Bremer, Sanchez or any of the other "leaders" apologizes to the press, a Congressional committee or the American public for another underestimation, misinterpretation or oversimplification, please ask yourself: Was any of this truly necessary? And, if yes, have we proceeded rationally, learning from both our prior mistakes and what we can reasonably glean from the world around us?

While reasonable people may disagree as to the first question, every day the answer to the second becomes a stronger and more definitive "no." We cannot undo our prior mistakes, however we can attempt to proceed in a manner that will bring value to the United States and stability to Iraq without further extreme losses of life, property and liberty. Although I cannot prescribe the appropriate course of action, I am not a decision-maker in the executive branch. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that our current residents of the executive will do anything to ameliorate the situation, in either the short- or long-term. Without even referencing their ridiculous notions of domestic policy, it is quite evident that the current administration must be replaced.

Do what you can.
Give what you can.

And if you will be in Los Angeles tomorrow evening (Tuesday, July 6), go to this great concert. I, for one, will be there.

Almost as classy as Freddy Blassie

It's no secret. I hate Duke. And, truly, there are very few things on this planet I actually hate. Because, ladies and gentlemen, hatred involves an investment of energy. Mere dislike, on the other hand, is easy. To dislike something is the intellectual equivalent of merely crossing it off your mental list. ("This one's dead. Well, cross him off then.") While I dislike the jappy bitch lawyer who has the office across from mine, I certainly don't hate her. In fact, I never waste a moment's thought upon her unless she is directly in my line of sight (or, more typically, shrilly infesting my aural dominion).

However, I do hate Duke. And, yes, that hatred stems directly from envy. Envy at the chips they so mightily wear upon their shoulder, both academic and, principally, athletic.

A brief aside: One of the highlights of my mother's remarriage was that I was given a fully remodeled basement (with fireplace, leather couch and full-size fridge) as my bedroom/playroom in our new home. In that basement, due to the lack of natural television reception, I was given cable. And not just basic cable; I had the works. For a 14 year old boy who didn't do much homework in the first place, this was valhalla: late night soft-core porn on showtime (yes, I know the entire Sylvia Kristel ouvre by heart) and college basketball triple-headers on ESPN. That's when I fell in love with Tark. You see, ESPN had a contract with the Big West conference to show a Big West game late every monday night. And from 1989 through 1991, there was only ONE Big West team worth showing: the wonderful UNLV Running Rebels coached by Jerry Tarkanian. I dutifully watched EVERY televised UNLV game those seasons.

For the unitiated among you (read: foreigners), during this time frame UNLV was the BEST college basketball team in the country: Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson, George Ackles, David Butler, H Waldman, Evric Gray, Elmore Spencer and others. They won the national championship in 1990 (beating Duke by 30 in the championship game) and were undefeated going into the national semifinal in 1991 until . . .

Mike Krzyzewski and his underdog Duke Blue Devils upset Tark and my Rebels (79-77) in what I like to call the "Second Seder Massacre" (I vividly remember sneaking away from my grandmother's passover seder table every 5 minutes to check out the game).

My first year at Michigan, Duke not only beat the Fab Five in an amazing overtime game in Ann Arbor (which I missed, by the way--passed out on my then girlfriend's dorm floor--recovering from her birthday the previous night), but they beat us again in the National Championship. Ultimately, no school I have ever attended has defeated Duke in basketball while I was enrolled.

And that, my friends, is why I hate Duke. Their utter success, while ALWAYS playing by the rules (yes, unlike Michigan, I admit it) makes me physically ill. I despise Mike Krzyzewski for his success, his demeanor and, yes, his utter class.

Today, I hate Duke just a bit more. I was so close to seeing the Blue Devils lose their edge and become like every other school. However, it's not to be. Because Krzyzewski did the smart thing. Did the classy thing. Did the right thing. He turned down insane amounts of money and (probably) the most prestigious job in all of basketball coaching to continue to do what he does so successfully: coach at a place he loves and that loves him in return. Coach K is Duke basketball. And Duke basketball is Coach K. That mutual loyalty is virtually impossible to find anywhere, let alone in the arena of sports.

This hasn't changed much of anything: I still hate Duke. And will continue to root against them at every opportunity (unless they're playing Notre Dame or Ohio State, of course).

However, I admire and respect Coach K. And that's even rarer than the hate.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy 4th of July

It's 1 am, July 4th here in the City of Angels. Just want to wish everyone a great holiday weekend. Although everything doesn't always go the exact way we planned, things do have a way of working out. And, ultimately, we are fortunate enough to live in a country where a degree of success and happiness is available to almost everyone.

I guess I'm reasonably upbeat when I'm wasted. Too bad I probably won't feel this good later. Oh, well . . . the night is still young. Onward & upward . . .

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Don’t Postpone Joy

Saw this on a bumper sticker on this morning's drive from the gym to work. Who the fuck is Joy?

Actually, I just discovered a piece of good news:

I can iPod my BMW. Yep, 2002’s are compatible. Anyone want a hardly used iTrip?

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