Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Friday, April 30, 2004


Not the new Jack Black/Ben Stiller/Rachel Weisz/Amy Poehler flick.

But what I feel toward all of those lucky bastards who will be seeing Radiohead and The Pixies at Coachella tomorrow.

Happy trails

Bob Edwards Signs Off 'Morning Edition'

Bob Edwards signed off Friday after nearly 25 years as host of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," thanking the "hundreds of people who have done their best to make me sound like I know what I'm talking about."

He has been the only host of the show, which is broadcast live from 5 to 7 a.m. Eastern time. Edwards, 57, didn't hide his disappointment at the reassignment, saying he had been looking forward to celebrating the show's 25th anniversary this fall. NPR said it made the change because it was trying to refresh the network's broadcasts.

I’ve never been the biggest “Morning Edition” fan*, but couldn’t the NPR brass let the man stay on the air until his 25th anniversary? Is that so much to ask? It’s not as if they were losing millions of dollars in advertising revenue due to Bob Edwards. I really don’t think that Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne have Howard Stern quivering in fear behind his shades.

*In all fairness, I usually only hear the last 20 minutes of M.E. as I drive into work biding time until Nic & MBE.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I never knew April 29th was so cool

Four of my faves are celebrating their birthdays today:

Jerry Seinfeld (the big five-oh)
Daniel Day-Lewis (47)
Michelle Pfeiffer (46 & still stunning)
& Uma (34)

I guess I have a thing for 34 year old, blonde NYC-dwelling Tauruses.

It humbles me . . .

to read exposition this ingenious by a 25 year old investment banker. I definitely should have blown off fewer classes in Ann Arbor.

I'm really not this superficial, I promise. Okay, maybe I am. Sort of.

Last night, for the second time in less than a week, I was a passenger in my own car. Now, for most people this would not indicate that a huge psychological barrier had been overcome. However, when it comes to my car, I am not most people. Not. Even. Remotely. Close.

Prior to this past Sunday night, in the 27 months I have owned my automobile (acquired with 8.2 miles on the odometer) my cool-as-hell aunt was the ONLY OTHER PERSON (non-valet, non-repairman) I had permitted to drive the car. Once.

In the past 72 hours, I have been chauffeured by TWO DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS (a friend & the roomie). While it’s true that I was in absolutely no shape to drive either evening, that had never deterred me in the past. The car has been abandoned at myriad watering holes and homes both in Los Angeles and Las Vegas rather than my turning the keys over to a non-stranger. I have said “not a chance” to my mother, my father, my stepbrother, my brother, my cousins and countless others without a second of guilt.

It’s not that I love the car any less now. In fact, my affection toward it has grown exponentially as we’ve both aged. We may not be as red hot as we were those early months together, but our mutual reliance and utter familiarity with each other has bred a fondness and level of comfort that cannot be overestimated. I guess we’ve just reached a place where I’m confident that, no matter what, my car will come back to me. At 30, it’s nice to finally feel that way about something.

“If you love somebody, set them free” is actually beginning to make sense.

Once again I’m awed by others' audacity

Wanna know something? I don’t really begrudge Walter the HHS constituent relations phone guy a little smut on my dime. It’s totally gotta suck to be him. And Janet, the DOD actuary. Who knows? Maybe she’ll hit a royal on that Costa Rican video poker site. It’s just an alternate form of social security, anyway.

Federal employees wielding government credit cards have improperly charged diamond rings, karaoke machines, a mounted deer head, cars, laptop computers, access to Internet porn and gambling, and other goods and services, agency investigators said yesterday.

Federal Employee Misuse of Credit Cards Cited

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


I really need to move to New York.

I actually found a decent LA blog (no offense Wil Wheaton)

Good afternoon, Jessica Blueprint. Thank you for adding to my already diminshed job performance.

And she's not bad looking for a blogger. [third from the left]

The ’62 Mets & ’03 Tigers ain’t got nothin’ on me

Despite my better judgment (and a ten-year layoff), I drafted a fantasy baseball team this season. Given that I have not passionately followed the sport since the 1994 strike robbed my White Sox of a world championship, I did not expect greatness, but this is fucking ridiculous:

Team.................Record.............Winning %.......Games Behind
12 Uch’s Team....7-29-0...............194....................16.5

That will teach me to draft 6 Yankees (including A-Rod, Jeter & Rivera).

To make matters worse, my mom’s team is in third place. Will someone please give me back my testicles?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Believe the hype

Normally a five-star review from Blender is sufficient to send me scurrying in the opposite direction. However, after hearing Portland Oregon incessantly over the past week, I picked up Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose, produced by Jack White.

Holy shit. I cannot believe Loretta Lynn wrote the whole album. She certainly does not sound anywhere close to 70. The songs are lyrical, stark, rough, elegant, heartwrenching and hardly country, yet certainly not generic Johnny Cash alterna-rock. This album is neither a comeback nor a reinvention. It is simply a great artist performing at a peak level with the aid of a crack producer.

You owe it to yourself to give it a listen.

Next day we knew last night got drunk
But we loved enough for the both of us
In the morning when the night had sobered up
It was much too late for the both of us in Oregon

In honor of Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

Hidden treasure at the Festival of Books---

After getting strong-armed into re-subscribing to The Paris Review and running into Karen Hughes and Eggers, I was ready to get my ass out of Westwood as fast as the convertible could take me.

That was, however, before I discovered the 50%-off sale at The Ten Speed Press and found this. Yep. For only $9, I now own a piece of the counter-culture:

As you can tell, my head was all jammed uptight with low-level, nervous making careerist issues around fame and status as we got dressed for the Trentfest. And when Dr. Tim emerged from his bedroom with a mint dish full of square white Ecstasy tablets for the taking, I rather wished that they were Valiums. Simone said yes to the doctor's kind offer to join him, but Scrappi, Yvonne, and I just said no.

However, being of sound mind but low income, the thought of turning down a free hit of Timothy Leary-quality Ecstasy irked me. I wandered over to the mint dish and pocketed one. Then, just before getting ready to head up the hill to the ol' Tate mansion (not far from Timmy's house), as we dawdled over our last beers, I impulsively wolfed down my Ecstasy hit.

I must have had an empty stomach that night, because it came on quick. There was a cherry red Ferarri tailgaiting us up the winding path, and when Leary pulled over to let it by, the long-haired fellow inside started gesticulating wildly. Eventually, he stuck his head out the window and shouted that he was following us up to Reznor's place. It was a familiar face, indeed a veritable poster-boy face for bad behavior. It was Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.

On arrival, the enthusiastic Haynes, excited to meet Leary, jumped out of his car, bragging that the Ferarri he was driving belonged to Johnny Depp. At that moment, with the Ecstasy really coming on, I entered a comfort zone with LA media culture. It's all the same fucking playground; Johnny Depp is just another kid. Even Madonna is just another kid, as within reach as Theresa Bonasia, the little girl I had a crush on in the first grade. The world was a friendly place.

[Excerpt: "Good Vibes from Sharon Tate and Charlie Manson" by R.U. Sirius]

Monday, April 26, 2004

Thanks for stopping by; see you tomorrow

Despite my intention to have a low-key, apartment-hunting, book-reading sort-of weekend, the past 60 hours have been nothing short of amazing. I am currently unable to comprehend how I was able to accomplish all that I did. It was a weekend of note due to its breadth and substance, not any particular activity or incident.

As a result I’m taking a little breather today. No further posts. No links. Nothing witty, cynical or humorous. Work will be about work. Home will be about home.

In case you were wondering, still no apartment, beach house-sitting gig has been confirmed, my nose is freckling and I really dig FIDM grads.

Friday, April 23, 2004

I will be here tomorrow afternoon

LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is a two-day celebration of the written word and one of the country's premier literary events. The Festival is free to the public and held each year on the last weekend of April on the UCLA campus. The 2004 Festival will be held on April 24 and 25.

Following a morning of apartment-hunting, I will unwind among the Los Angeles intelligentsia (a screaming oxymoron if ever there was one) and oodles of top authors including:

Martin Amis
Jane Smiley
Pico Iyer
Alice Walker
A. Scott Berg
Christopher Hitchens
James Ellroy
Douglas Brinkley
Tobias Wolff
Carl Hiaasen
Ray Bradbury
& Clive Barker

Oh, yeah. Eggers’ll be there, too.

And Lauren Weisberger will be on a panel: “Finding Truth In Fiction”

Mark your calendars

April 23, 2004. Not only is it a special day in its own right [see below], but today is the unofficial transition from winter to summer here in Southern California.

Indeed. It was perfectly sunny on my commute this morning as my car thermometer read a balmy 79۫ at 8:58 am. Top was down. Tunes were blasting. And my seat warmer remained off.

Yep. Today, I love LA.

A shout-out


and many more . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2004

FSF does Hollywood

Talk about coincidence.

I just impulse purchased a copy of The Pat Hobby Stories, a series of fictionalized short pieces (originally published in Esquire) describing Fitzgerald’s experiences working for Universal in 1939 and 1940. I brought the book with me to read while on conference calls today.

Imagine my utter surprise when I saw Charles McGrath’s FSF article in today’s New York Times. The article describes FSF’s Hollywood work, a colossal failure by all accounts, in some detail:

Fitzgerald worked briefly and unsuccessfully as a rewrite man on a few other projects (including, for a disastrous week or so, "Gone With the Wind," for which he was forbidden to use any words that did not appear in Margaret Mitchell's text). But after "Three Comrades," his main MGM projects ended in failure. One, a movie called "Infidelity," which was intended for Joan Crawford, was canceled because the Breen Office, which controlled standards for the movie industry, took a dim view of pictures about adultery.

Like so many would-be screenwriters, Fitzgerald thought he could beat the studio system. He wrote to his daughter, Scottie, that he intended "to find out the key man among the bosses and the most malleable among the collaborators — then fight the rest tooth and nail until, in fact or in effect, I'm alone on the picture." But in the end the studio won, as it most always did, partly because Fitzgerald was an often grudging and reluctant collaborator and partly, perhaps, because his gifts never suited the medium in the first place.

A bit of advice to aspiring screenwriters: If you want to succeed in Hollywood, make sure you lack anything resembling genuine literary ability. The best scripts on paper are consistently the worst movies. Other than "About a Boy", I cannot think of a recent book that was improved upon by its cinematic adaptation.

By the way, Charlie Kaufman is the exception that proves the rule.

No Hollywood Ending for Fitzgerald, Papers Show

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Today's Lesson: Don't live in a fucking trailer. Ever.

It's very simple. If you live in a trailer, Mother Nature will nail you with a tornado. Don't try to run and hide. Suck it up and take it at home like the inbred toothless trash that you are. And for christ's sake, don't ruin it for everyone else by taking refuge in the local bar. You'll still end up dead and your neighbors will be minus the one thing that helps them forget that THEY live in trailers, too.

UTICA, Ill. - Searchers with shovels and buckets pulled eight bodies Wednesday from the rubble of a tavern where residents had gathered to seek shelter from a twister that flattened the century-old building.

Mayor Fred Esmond said several people from a nearby trailer park had congregated in the basement of the Milestone Tap on a night when dozens of twisters tore through the Midwest.

Eight Found Dead Day After Ill. Twisters

And I thought my love for her was only due to “Secretary”

Gentlemen Prefer Maggie [New York Times]

''I'm so glad I went to school,'' said Gyllenhaal, a graduate of Columbia, where her studies concentrated on English literature, religion and philosophy. Having this base, she explained, allows for her ''inner life'' to grow in a profession that values mostly the exterior qualities of fame. ''You're invited to tons of parties, and you'll wear all these shoes and that dress, and it can be enticing, but I think it also sucks you dry. If you do it a little, sure, it's fun, but too much and you will start to lose your footing.''

''Oh, I like clothes,'' Maggie offered, zeroing in on that wallet. ''I have a lot of clothes,'' she said. ''As long as you think about other things too, then clothes are great. As a matter of fact,'' she added, and I could almost hear her smile, ''I've been having a fantasy lately of playing a superfox. A character who lounges around in her bikini and high heels all day.''

Picture it: James Bond & The Pink Panther double-teaming Spider-Man

As if they weren’t producing enough shit individually . . .

Legendary movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is in advanced talks to be bought by Sony Corp. and two buyout firms in a deal that could be worth close to $5 billion, sources close to the deal said on Wednesday.

Sony initiated the talks, the sources said, partly because it wants worldwide distribution rights to MGM vast movie library that includes the James Bond movies.

Great. One fewer place of possible future employment.

MGM in Talks with Sony, Others – Sources [Reuters via Yahoo]

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

In honour of tonight’s program

LONDON FIELDS, an excerpt:

Chapter I: The Murderer

Keith Talent was a bad guy. Keith Talent was a very bad guy. You might even say that he was the worst guy. But not the worst, not the very worst ever. There were worse guys. Where? There in the hot light of CostCheck for example, with car keys, beige singlet, and a six-pack of Peculiar Brews, the scuffle at the door, the foul threat and the elbow in the black neck of the wailing lady, then the car with its rust and its waiting blonde, and off to do the next thing, whatever, whatever necessary. The mouths on these worst guys – the eyes on them. Within those eyes a tiny unsmiling universe. No. Keith wasn’t that bad. He had saving graces. He didn’t hate people for ready-made reasons. He was at least multiracial in outlook – thoughtlessly, helplessly so. Intimate encounters with strange-hued women had sweetened him somewhat. His saving graces all had names. What with the Fetnabs and Fatimas he had known, the Nketchis and Iqbalas, the Michiko and Boguslawas, the Ramsarwatees and Rajashwaris – Keith ws, in this sense, a man of the world. These were the chinks in his coal-black armour: God bless them all.

. . .

Keith didn’t look like a murderer. He looked like a murder’s dog. (No disrespect to Keith’s dog Clive, who had signed on well before the fact, and whom Keith didn’t in the least resemble anyway.) Keith looked like a murderer’s dog, eager familiar of ripper or bodysnatcher or gravestalker. His eyes held a strange radiance – for a moment it reminded you of health, health hidden or sleeping or otherwise mysteriously absent. Though frequently bloodshot, the eyes seemed to pierce. In fact the light sprang off them. And it wasn’t at all pleasant or encouraging, this one-way splendour. His eyes were television. The face itself was leonine, puffy with hungers, and as dry as soft fur. Keith’s crowning glory, his hair, was thick and full-bodied; but it always had the look of being recently washed, imperfectly rinsed, and then, still slick with cheap shampoo, slow-dried in a huddled pub – the thermals of the booze, the sallowing fagsmoke. Those eyes, and their urban severity . . . Like the desolating gaiety of a fundless paediatric hospital (Welcome to the Peter Pan Ward), or like a criminal’s cream Rolls-Royce, parked at dusk between a tube station and a flower stall, the eyes of Keith Talent shone with tremendous accommodations made to money. And murder? The eyes – was there enough blood in them for that? Not now, not yet. He had the talent, somewhere, but he would need the murderee to bring it out. Soon, he would find the lady.

Or she would find him.

UCLAlive Presents Martin Amis & Christopher Hitchens

Monday, April 19, 2004

He got NO game

I wish this was a fictionalized account:

As I was loading groceries into my car in the Whole Foods parking lot this evening, I ran into a super cute, blonde British woman that I absolutely recognized from somewhere (no, not Maccers; I think I remember what Maccers looks like). We made that "I'm sure I know you from somewhere" eye contact and the lightning bolt hit simultaneously.

"I know you from the gym," she said stating the exact thought that had just crossed my mind. "Absolutely," I responded lamely as hell, while trying to think of her name and whether she was a trainer or a client.

"It's nice to see you out of gym clothes. I haven't been in for a while . . . I just got back from holiday in the Caribbean. Look at my nose, I got so burnt." She pointed to her little, pink whisp of a nose and wrinkled it in mock disgust.

"Oh, cool. What island did you go to?" O.K. figured out that she's a client, but still struggling with the name (and trying to put my bags in the trunk).

"No. No. It wasn't that kind of a holiday. We went on the Disney boat. It really wasn't much of a holiday."

"The Big Red Boat?" I cannot believe those four words actually crossed my lips.

"Uhhhh, I'm not exactly sure what boat it was. I was with my sister and my four young nieces and my mother and father; I never had a chance to relax. It's as if I returned to LA and need a holiday to recover from my holiday."

"Isn't that always how it is." The threshold has been crossed - I am a blithering idiot. I am wholly unable to think of anything remotely interesting to say. The drug moratorium begins forthwith. And I still cannot remember her name. "I always get back from a holiday [why the fuck am I now calling it a holiday???!!!!], and need another holiday to recover from the previous holiday." Shoot me now. Please. I beg of you. I actually find this woman attractive. She looks great in her workout clothes, even better than Sandy, in fact. What have I done?

There's a significantly awkward pause as I begin to put my groceries in the trunk. Why am I suddenly so uncomfortable and at such a loss for words? I am not usually this hopeless, am I?

"Well, uh, I'll see you at the gym. Nice to see you." She's beginning to hightail it toward the entrance.

"Yeah, it was good to see you. Take care. Have a good evening." It is as if I am watching some other me implode from high above.

She turns full away and enters the sliding doors. I finish loading the trunk and drive off, feeling somewhere between dejected and despondent (over my incompetence, not the woman).

Jason Bentley is playing the new single from The Streets on Metropolis when suddenly . . .

"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Damn."


If you're playing along at home, please cross another off the prospective dating pool.

Happy TV-Turnoff Week 2004

FYI --- If anyone is looking for summaries of this week’s “The OC”, “Friends”, “Las Vegas”, “CSI-Miami”, “The Simpsons”, “Arrested Development”, “The L-Word”, “Malcolm in the Middle”, “Law & Order”, “Survivor: All-Stars”, “Will & Grace”, “60 Minutes”, “The Sopranos”, “Deadwood”, “24”, “South Park”, “Scrubs”, “That 70’s Show”, “West Wing”, “Tru Calling”, “ER”, “Saturday Night Live” or any of the twelve “Seinfeld” reruns, please withhold your request until April 26th.

In accordance with TV-Turnoff Week, my TiVo will be working double-time next week.

Although I adore my car, maybe those public transportation proponents have the right idea

This will definitely make "missed connections" ads obsolete:

"Toothing" is a new craze where strangers on trains, buses, in bars and even supermarkets hook up for illicit meetings using messages sent via the latest in phone technology.

"Toothing is a form of anonymous sex with strangers -- usually on some form of transport or enclosed area such as a conference or training seminar," says the "Beginner's Guide To Toothing" on a Web site dedicated to the pursuit.

Users discovered they could send anonymous messages to people they didn't know with Bluetooth equipment, spawning a craze dubbed "bluejacking".

Jon, aka "Toothy Toothing" and the guide's author, explained toothing was born after he was "bluejacked" by an unknown girl while commuting to work in London. After a few days of flirting, she suggested a brief encounter in a station lavatory.

If Jon and those who use his forum are right, toothing is certainly livening up life for some bored commuters.

"A lot of my day's taken up with a soul-aching commute into the city, and that just feels like dead time," Jon said. "Flirting is fun, sex is fun. We're just employing expensive, complex toys to find the most basic form of entertainment."

If only I could have done this when I was driving next to Rachel Leigh Cook through Coldwater Canyon.

"Toothing" latest hi-tech sex craze (via Reuters)

And it’s only the nineteenth . . .

99 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Killed in April

This just makes me sad. And so fucking mad. Dubya, who has yet to attend one funeral for a U.S. soldier, should be forced to wear a toga made out of that “Mission Accomplished” banner for the remainder of the campaign.

Come November, I hope that Bob Woodward will be able to take credit for knocking a second administration out of office.

Oh, yeah. The Puppetmaster, a/k/a Dick Cheney, is simply an egotistical reprobate.

Friday, April 16, 2004

I am NOT a New York based media blogger, but even this was way too fucking much

I just received my weekly books update e-mail from the Times and clicked on Patrick Demarchelier’s picture of Plum Sykes to get a better look at the author of Bergdorf Blondes. Although neither the picture nor the author ultimately did anything for me (she gives off that lanky, Vogueish, Mischa Barton:super-anorexic vibe), I began to read the review and came across this in the second paragraph:

In all seriousness: we must build a tiny apocalypse-proof time capsule. If we can resist the temptation to burn Plum Sykes's book, we can smuggle it into the future. Perhaps the next breed of humanoids can learn from the holocaust of culture and commerce that destroyed our icky civilization.

After cleaning the Dragonfruit off my monitor, I scrolled up to see who-in-the-name-of-Tanenhaus authored this example of literary criticism at its finest:




Yes, sir. Sam Tanenhaus, in his VERY FIRST Sunday Book Review, let Choire Sicha desecrate the old gray lady. Again. While I will be the first to admit that the book likely is not worth the floral-scented paper it’s printed on, it certainly, definitely, has-to-be, must be of more value than to merit a Choire Sicha review. There are plenty of witty, talented and insightful late-20/early-30 somethings that can write circles around Sicha. (Paging ET.) Why the fuck does the Times allow Choire to be its voice when reviewing pop culture “literature.” [FYI- Sicha reviewed ’40 Watts From Nowhere’ in February.]

I find it incredible that the name Sicha appears alongside Eder and Kakutani without a great big asterisk. I was already appalled that Sicha’s obituary will contain the words “New York Times contributor” (clarification: obituary is fine by me, NYT is not). And, to exacerbate my revulsion, the review solely identifies him as a writer for The New York Observer. It doesn’t even mention his groundbreaking work on Gawker.

Ultimately, I think Choire sums it up best:

Look: We all have our own taste in beach trash. One summer weekend, I sat down and read seven of the Janet Evanovich New-Jersey-girl-bounty-hunter-mysteries, and I loved every page. . . . We're all God's flawed creatures.
. . .
If you have any sense of justice at all, the publication of this book [review] demands that you rouse yourself from the couch this very second and set out to loot and burn Manhattan. Meet us at Da Silvano and bring weapons.

I'll be in LA, waiting for the earthquake.


One of the perks of my job is that I get my own interns. Now, these are not just any doing-grunt-work-for-the-resume sort-of interns. These are actual competent twenty-somethings hoping for a break into the world of motion picture studio work. In fact, if you ever receive a letter from me, odds are excellent that one of my interns is the actual author (although I insist on signing everything myself . . . it’s an ego thing).

Anyway, I just returned from a send-off lunch for one of my interns. He is very good at what he does (he easily could do most of my job) and one of the few truly fun people in my specific office. Seven of us had a nice Friday lunch up here at this marginal restaurant, where I discovered the Friday miracle that is the Taster Six. Yep, my intern friend and I each had ourselves a wonderful liquid lunch. And now I get to negotiate a key location agreement for Annoying Child Star’s next big movie with quite a buzz. I think I'm going to demand the following credit:


Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

All right, who’s coming to visit?

Expert warns California to brace for big quake by September

Russian-born University of California at Los Angeles professor Vladimir Keilis-Borok says he can foresee major quakes by tracking minor temblors and historical patterns in seismic hotspots that could indicate more violent shaking is on the way.

And he has made a chilling prediction that a quake measuring at least 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale will hit a 31,200-square-kilometer (12,000-square-mile) area of southern California by September 5.

The team at UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics accurately predicted a 6.5-magnitude quake in central California last December as well as an 8.1-magnitude temblor that struck the Japanese island of Hokkaido in September.

With my Forrest Gump-ish luck regarding disasters (e.g., missing 9/11 altogether), I’ll be in NYC for my brother’s wedding when it hits.


Place: Office of The World’s Best Doctor™
Date: Today
Time: 9:30ish
Re: Pre-merger check-up taking advantage of old insurance before new policy kicks in

WBD: So, everything is good. Excellent. Need any refills?

Uch: Nope. I think I’m all set for now. If my foot’s feeling a bit sore, I’ll take a couple of Vicodin before I go to bed. But I still have a bunch left from the last refill.

WBD: A couple of Vicodin?

Uch [backtracking feverishly]: No, no, no. Not a couple of Vicodin at once. Hell, you gave me Vicodin ES. If I took a couple of those I wouldn’t be able to stand.

WBD: Well . . . it’s potency is different for different people.

Uch [thinking as quickly as his sleep-deprived mind will permit]: I never take more than one at a time. What I meant was that I’ll take one when I get home from work, around 8, and then a second when I’m going to bed at 12:30 or 1.

WBD [skeptically]: Hmmmm, that still sounds like a lot. I normally tell patients to break the ES in half. That’s usually plenty.

Uch [having just killed his golden goose]: As I said, I only take it on incredibly rare occasions.

WBD: Well, since you haven’t experienced any major flare-ups following the increase in your allopurinol dosage, you should be using the Vicodin sparingly at most. O.K.? [dramatic pause] Is there anything else you need?

Uch [with mock innocence]: Any other fun prescriptions?

WBD [sardonically]: I think you’re having more than enough fun with the Vicodin.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


THE PERFECT Mother's Day Present:

Flavor-Flav on a hype tip
Um ya hype drink, come take a big sip
Um in position, you can't play me out da pocket
I'll take da dopest beat yougot and I'll rock-it
Like chocolate, even vanilla - chocolate, strawberry, saperella
Flavors are electric - try me - get a shock-a
Didn't I tell you to leave Flavor Flav alone knock-a
A clock on my chest proves I don't fess
I'm a clock-a, rock-a rockin' wit-da-rest
Flavor in da house by Chuck-D's side
Chuck got da Flavor-Flav don't hide
P.E. crazy, Crazy P.E. - makin' crazy loowies for the shoppin spree

Flavor Flav world renown; Can't keep a man like Flavor down

Sell your soul and credibility to George Lucas and look what you get in return

Scottish actor Ewan McGregor said Tuesday he undertook survival skills training and medical emergency lessons for his next big project -- a round-the-world trip by motorcycle.

The 33-year-old film star will embark on a three-month journey later this week to New York by way of Eastern Europe and the hostile terrain of Mongolia, Siberia and Alaska.

Accompanying him on the 20,000-mile trip to be filmed for a documentary will be his friend Charley Boorman, an actor who is the son of film director John Boorman.

Ewan is so fucking cool. He gets to ditch the wife and kids for three months on the most amazing roadtrip ever.

[As I wistfully look out at the Hollywood Hills]

*sigh* I was Ewan McGregor once. I wish I was still Ewan McGregor. *sigh*
[Full story forthcoming, I promise.]

McGregor to Embark on Global Motorcycle Trip

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Uch got served

After having listened to KCRW's wall-to-wall coverage of the 9/11 commission (Ashcroft is fucking evil personified) and W's third East Room press conference, I was all set to do a brilliantly original excerpt/commentary post highlighting how truly asinine our Commander-in-Chief sounds when he goes off-prompter (or when Karen Hughes's hand isn't thrust up his ass). I got home from the gym, had some dinner, watched an awful episode of "That 70's Show" and leisurely headed into my room to start drafting my post. Before I grabbed the text excerpt from the Times, I looked in on a few of my friends & counterparts to see if they had anything new to say.

And to my utter disgust, I discovered that my post had been preempted by the (now somewhat less) lovely Maccers. Yep. Not only did I get fucked, she did it better than I ever would.

It's time to start drinking and popping pills. It worked wonders for HST.

Holy shit, I almost forgot to get my tickets!

Martin Amis and Christopher Hitchens presented by UCLA Live -- Next Tuesday at 8

The best-selling author of Times Arrow, London Fields, Money and Experience: A Memoir, Britain’s Martin Amis creates hypnotically readable novels smoldering with apocalyptic humor and brutal irony. Amis will be joined by friend and The Atlantic Monthly and Vanity Fair contributing editor Christopher Hitchens, whose recent biography Why Orwell Matters is a brilliant exhumation of a misunderstood hero.

The Taxman Cometh

Random Thoughts as we approach April 15th:

I would love the fact that I’m getting a five-figure refund a hell of a lot more if it wasn’t solely due to the precipitous tax bracket drop that accompanied the job change.

Does anyone know of an IRC regulation that supports the deduction of my 60” Sony HDTV? How about my DVD burners?

Since I work for a movie studio I think I can write off my monthly Playboy TV subscription.

Hmmmmmm, my drug and alcohol expenses certainly should be included as deductible medical expenses. Let’s see, depression is a medical condition and I was miserable the 6 months I was working for BIG LAW FIRM in 2003. Shit, I don’t have any receipts. I wonder if my ATM statements will work . . . or maybe my dealer will sign a binding affidavit.

I wonder if I can claim my penis as a dependent? Maybe the car?

The way 2003 went, every time I took a girl to dinner it should be 100% deductible as 501(c)(3) charity. Hell, it’s not as if I got any fucking benefit out of it.

Why I have no equity

Home values in Los Angeles County posted the biggest year-over-year increase in at least 15 years in March as frenetic buying activity pushed the median sale price up 29%, to a record $375,000, according to data released Monday.

At this point, $375,000 gets you a 1200 square-foot two-bedroom crack house located directly underneath LAX’s flight path.

Home Prices in L.A. Soar at Record Rate

Monday, April 12, 2004


A friend of mine is acting as a host at tonight's Miss USA 2004 official after-party. Although I pleaded with her for an invite (or, at a minimum, a body makeup job), I'm sitting at home watching Everwood. (No, I've never seen the show before. Yes, I know tonight's director.) In order to alleviate my unmitigated disappointment, I have decided to put metaphorical pen to paper and give you, fearless readers, THE PANTHEON™:

Maxim has its Hot 100 and FHM has its 100 Sexiest Women. I have THE PANTHEON™.

THE PANTHEON™ is not a list per se, nor is it a ranking. It is fluid, ethereal, somewhat unquantifiable and wholly subjective. THE PANTHEON™ from yesterday is not necessarily identical to, or even reflective of, THE PANTHEON™ of today. In fact, Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle should be applied to THE PANTHEON™: the moment it is formalized, it loses its instant particularity and identifiability.

THE PANTHEON™ is not about sex, love, beauty, intelligence, sensuality, character, race, hair, insight, religion or eroticism. It is about all of these things and none of these things. THE PANTHEON™ exists. It lives and breathes. It is a cloud and a mountain; it is the sun, the moon and the stars.

Thus, in no particular order, here is THE PANTHEON™ as it stands on April 12, 2004 at 9:25 pm:

Those of you who know me may notice what you think is a glaring omission from THE PANTHEON™. Well, you're wrong. She is beyond mere inclusion in THE PANTHEON™: it would cheapen her to lump her among the others. She is not an Amazon woman; she is most definitely from the high plains.

Two members of THE PANTHEON™ Hall of Fame (gone but not forgotten):


3000 years of beautiful tradition

My two favorite wannabes:

WALTER SOBCHAK [click me with volume on]



KABBALAH disciple Madonna is starting to think she's really Jewish. For the first time in her career, the songstress will no longer perform on Friday nights. "She is observing Shabbat on Friday evenings," her longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg tells New York magazine.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Dinner w/the director & Natalie Wood gossip

O.K., folks. I've had way too many complaints that my posts have been less than creative since I returned from Chicago. It's about 10:00 pm on a Sunday night and I'm reasonably buzzed, sitting next to my favorite feature film director (regardless of familial relationships). I figured I would give you a quick post (and he wants to see what the hell I was talking about). So . . . here it goes:

Next time you want to chat about the wonderful, divine Natalie Wood, chat with the greatest director/cousin that I know and you'll learn all you have to know. Despite her infidelity with C. Walken, it was certainly an accidental (and incredibly unfortunate) death.

I will be happy to elaborate on all of this when I'm slightly more sober. If you really want to know most of the facts underlying this post (and I feel you are trustworthy), I'll put you in touch with the right people.

Otherwise, expect a full post on Monday.

Take care. And thanks for dinner, A.

Friday, April 09, 2004

A Good Friday Treat

The Sports Guy Does Vegas

During a shuffle, the Hard Rock's gaming host introduces himself to Hopper, sweet-talks him, hands him a card. These are the things that happen when you're gambling $100 and $200 a hand for five straight hours -- Hopper even had a passing hooker rub her crotch against his right elbow. At least we think she was a hooker. You never know at the Hard Rock.

Destructive things with no guilt ( 2)

Happy end of Passover & Happy Easter to all!

Thursday, April 08, 2004

A moment of serenity antecedent to an evening of indulgence


Manchester lady
clones, bobby d and sushi
stole my gg, too

If you're VERY nice to me, I'll recount my one-day transformation into Ewan McGregor.

Every time he opens his mouth or writes a new dissent my disgust grows

Last year, Scalia was criticized for refusing to allow television and radio coverage of an event in Ohio in which he received an award for supporting free speech.

Two reporters ordered to erase tapes during Scalia speech

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The You've Got To Be Shitting Me Department:
[Gambling Edition]


"It was divine intervention. I have a great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and had just looked up at the $2 million and said a little prayer to her when I hit the jackpot. Our Lady really looks out for me. When I won, my knees started shaking and I started yelling and screaming." Lopez, whose daughter has a multi-million dollar fortune, was handed a check for $121,000 - the remaining $2,421,291.76 million will be paid in installments over the next 19 years.

J.Lo's Mom Wins $2.4 Million on Slot Machine


A British man who has sold all his possessions, including his clothes, will stand in a rented tuxedo on Sunday and bet everything on a single spin of the roulette wheel. If he wins, he doubles his money. If he loses, he will be left with only the television crew documenting his every move.

Briton to Bet All on Vegas Roulette Spin

What absolute moron dreamed this up?

The latest fashion must-have: eyeball jewellery

You know it's fucking early when . . .

your dog won't even get off the couch to say goodbye as you leave for the airport.

Remind me never to do this again.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Be kind, I beg of you
[Final Chicago edition]

It is almost 11:00 pm here in Chicago. I have survived two Passover seders, nearly 80 relatives and friends of the family, regurgitating the same story about my job 74 times, an aborted landing [details later this week], summarizing "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" to my father after he fell asleep, my mother's unspoken and subtle guilt trips and at least 25 attempts to set me up with some "cute girl" someone knows in LA.

I am being picked up by an American Taxi in five hours and should be back at my desk at 9:30 am local time. I anticipate that I will be at less than 100%. If I should falter in some way, shape or form, please cut me a little slack. I shall return to my hyperkinetic yet lovable normalcy by Thursday at the latest.

Thank you for your understanding & support.

His fingering makes all the girls cry
[Chicago cultural edition]

Lang Lang made an appearance at the big Michigan Avenue Borders yesterday to promote his outstanding "Live at Carnegie Hall" CD. Although I missed the signing, I nevertheless picked up a copy of the disc.

Incredible. Outstanding. Sublime. The kid is only 21 and a master. I played piano for 13+ years and can't begin to comprehend his genius. (I know, I know -- the only things I can still play by heart are Für Elise and the theme from "The Greatest American Hero", but I know talent when I hear it.) If the only two classical albums you own are the soundtracks to "Amadeus" and "Shine", you must must must do yourself a favor and buy this CD. (You'll love it & it'll get you laid.)

[And if you don't enjoy it, Krucoff will send you a refund.]

Monday, April 05, 2004

I'm so converting . . .
[Chicago/Non-practicing Jew edition]

I wonder if this is an appropriate topic for the Passover seder table? Pass the Matzah, please. More Haroset anyone? Mmmmmmmm . . . four sanctioned glasses of wine.

Church plans classes on 'The Simpsons'

Friday, April 02, 2004

It's time to play "NAME THAT ARSE"

Thanks, ET.

Why do I do this to myself?

I made these reservations yesterday:

Not only do I have a 6:40 am flight to Chicago tomorrow, but I’m flying back to LA on Wednesday at 6 am (the earliest flight United offers).

Given that I will likely get no sleep in the windy city, I’m going to be a fucking zombie when I get back to LA. Maggie better appreciate this visit.

Guess where Uch will be on June 5th . . .

Back on the floor of the Staples Center hanging with HRH Prince Rogers Nelson and the NPG. Tickets confirmed. No roomie this time. Anyone jealous?

It ain't coke, but it's damn good

I cannot get enough of dragonfruit vitamin water. I don't know whether it's the vitamin C, the not-so-fruit-punchy taste or the cool blood red color, but I am absolutely unable to leave Whole Foods without grabbing at least four 32-ouncers. And they're inevitably gone within 24 hours. Nah, I don't have an addictive personality . . .

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah

After 19 seemingly interminable days, my baby is coming home. Yes, there will be no more pulling into Matsuihsa’s valet in the most nondescript rental car in the western United States. I cannot begin to estimate how many ingénue opportunities I missed putt-putting around town like Willy Loman. Although I have to front $1600+ until I receive the insurance reimbursement, it is a pittance compared to the value of my resurrection.

Now, all I need to do is find a new home. Perhaps 10236 Charing Cross Road?

There’s almost nothing better than . . .

Eating homemade penne alla vodka with Jesus and Christ followed by a screening of The Passion of the Jew.

All it needed for perfection was a Gwynethish-looking improv actress on my lap.

All right, do I merit a return invitation now?

It's her world, folks . . . we're just lucky to be along for the ride

ET kabobs Amanda Hesser and Krucoff at the same time.

Fuck, I should just quit now and go back to websurfing for porn.

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