16 December 2006

i just can't look, it's killing me

the problem with free, very good scotch is there's nothing at all preventing you from drinking your body weight in it. thus, i woke up with a headache and, once again, that random feeling where you're not quite sure what's going on. and you're certainly not sure how it's 9:00 and you're usually out of the house somewhere around 830. then, maybe you think, "is it saturday, because i don't remember friday, and i know the maj and i were going to the jingle ball, and i think i'd remember that." and finally, your brain kicks into high gear and you realize, it is friday, and your alarm clock has finally died on you (because you knocked it over one too many times last weekend).

this whole jingle ball thing came about because the maj has connections at z100, and they gave her two tickets and vip access, whatever that means. i'd been listening to z100 in the mornings, and become familiar with the line up. nelly frudato or whatever, nick lachey, the pussycat dolls (who, at the time, i didn't even know of), the fray (who i described to all who asked as "those guys who did that gray's anatomy song"), jojo (who's always on at the gym), evanescence (what is that shit all about, anyway?) and finally, the only real reason to go anyway, the killers. there were other bands, but a few i didn't recognize and the rest sucked.

we got to MSG when jojo was onstage and made right for the "all star bar". this was a bar close to where we were sitting that was, again, free. since scotch was still seeping from my pores, maj and i decided to go with johnnie walker black. but there's something a little disconcerting about being poured a JW black from one of those bar hose thingys. it's, well, it's just not right. and i won't even get into what the barmaid interpreted the phrase, "just a little ice, please," to mean.

now, have any of you out there in netland been in a room with like 50,000 screaming 12-year-olds? i had, twice before, as a veteran of two, uh, well, how do i say this...new kids on the block concerts. one time in the second row. but let me tell you, my perspective (on a great many things, actually), has certainly changed. they are loud. and bouncy. and they don't even have breasts but they know all the words to that "don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me" song (don't get me started on the grammatical faults of that shit). i know now, without a doubt, i will be a hugely annoying parent. anyway, shit rolled through. we spent most of our time hiding in the bar, along with most of the other attendees over the age of 17 who were not there with offspring. we popped out for the gray's anatomy song, because, well, i wanted to. guess who knows the lyrics to that song? every single fucking person in that room except me and the maj. i looked around, stunned, as groups of girls took endless pictures of themselves, waved their cellphones in the air (god, bring back the lighters, at least, please) and acted generally like mentally deficient fish. at one point i actually gasped with fright.

of course, nothing was more disturbing to me than the pussycat dolls debacle. maj explained to me that these girls are strippers or something, or like, burlesque dancers, and they have a club in las vegas and stuff. again, i'd had no idea who these freaks were until i got there, aside from knowing their "music" was strongly sexual and weakly artistic, at least that was my guess from the name. maj really wanted to see them for some reason and so we went back into the fray (no pun intended) and suddenly i felt just like the time i ate a bunch of mushrooms with some friends and went to guillaume's brother's 15th birthday party. in other words, entirely unwell.

the killers, however, made it all worthwhile. they shot a bunch of confetti and streamers up in the air, and sang "when you were young", "can you read my mind", that new xmas song they did, "somebody told me" (at which point everyone in the audience aside from the two of us decided to stand up and start yelling -- we were already at it) and, of course "mr. brightside". needless to say, as soon as that was over, we bolted.

13 December 2006

win ken stein's resignation

i'm a little late coming to this one, especially considering Professor Stein was one of the many who helped mold my young mind in cowwege. and considering this book is directly related to my paycheck.

first off, i haven't read this book, nor do i have any plan to. due partly to professor Stein's hard-line belief that water will destroy the middle east before oil, i see no point in opining over what israel or the palestinians or any other motherfuckers want to do about peace. secondly, i do think "apartheid" is out of line, i'm also confused as to why people want to keep writing books about this bullshit. this will end at one point and one point only: when humanity vanishes.

but the real problem i have with this whole issue (or two i guess--maybe three)

least importantly, the bitchy response from the carter center:
“Although Professor Kenneth Stein has not been actively involved with the Carter Center for more than 12 years, I regret his resignation from the titular position as a fellow.”
if that doesn't throw it out there that Prof. Stein wasn't exactly going to be missed, i don't know what will: Professor Stein used to wash the floors here, he doesn't now, but he did once.

nextly, the god-awful sentence from the NYT:
Mr. Stein also said he had been struck by parts of Mr. Carter’s book that seemed strikingly similar to a work by a different author, but he would not disclose the details.
when are people gonna fucking learn that you can't use the same fucking verb twice in a sentence? unless it's fuck.

and finally, perhaps most disturbing:
David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, dismissed Mr. Stein’s claims. “We’re confident in his work,” Mr. Rosenthal said of Mr. Carter. “Do we check every line in every book? No, but that’s not the issue here. I have no reason to doubt President Carter’s research.”
Do we check our work before we release it to the masses as fact? nah. what's the point in doing all that? i do happen to know that authors warrant and represent that, if their work is one of non-fiction, they take responsibility for any statement they claim is a "fact", so it's not actually the publisher's responsibility (so far as their asses are covered), but, hey, i don't know, if a former president were being accused of fabrications and rejiggling of history, i might want to come out a little stronger than "well, we figured he used to be president, so he must be telling the truth, right? i mean, why wouldn't he? he probably remembers everything that happened accurately and has no personal agenda, so, you know, whatevs."

the end of the article accuses Prof S as being sore at Former president goober because he didn't get enough cred for his work on the book. i know what it's like to be snubbed from the acknowledgments, and i'm a pretty petty and jealous person sometimes, but A: PS isn't the only one lobbing these complaints and B: i've seen the dude teach, his ego is gigantic, but his respect for truth, knowledge and credibility is bigger.

my foot is fine, super troopers was awesome (as per us.).

UPDATE: it seems i'm having a mighty hard time with follow-through lately, craigslist just reminded me that i neglected to actually link to either article i was yelling over. whoops. i guess it was that urgent need to turn to my actual work every now and again. anyhoo, here you go. and also here.

12 December 2006

Ode to Real Genius

if you are worth anything, you are familiar (intimately) with the 1980s geek fest movie, Real Genius. There are many great things about this movie (in no particular order).
1. it is hilarious. almost every single line in the movie is quotable, which really says something
2. it features possibly the most geeked-out soundtrack ever made. this shit isn't just indie-synth schlock, don henley, robert palmer and byran adams are all represented. for those of you who have yet to see this movie, i won't mention anything about the song in the final scene, because you should see it with purity of mind
3. laslo hollyfeld's #1 car
4. the overarching theme of "war is bad"
5. the fact that this is a 100% geek movie. it's not a geek vs. cool people movie or a "hey, look, geeks are really OK" movie. it's geeks and no one else even makes an appearance (save the beauticians). geeks in their own environment -- as geeky as they want to be. this fact can go unnoticed no longer. applaud the 100% geek film. find me another one!
6. this is more of a theory than a reason the movie is great, but i do believe that Chris Knight is the world's very first hipster. (well, this version of hipster.) he's 90% sarcasm, hates authority, wears ironic t-shirts (and they looked old way back in the '80s!), smart and creative but still a huge slacker until it's absolutely necessary to do some work, loves to party, seemingly living off his parents' dime (except for the liquid nitrogen coins he uses for coffee). oh, and he has "bad on purpose" hair. i think he might be wearing eyeliner as well. just a theory.
7. the last scene of this movie is a fantasy for kids and adults alike
8. there's barely any obscenity or nudity, so when it's cut and played on, say Comedy Central, you don't actually miss much (or anything?), even better with the dvr.
9. what kind of movie randomly throws Stacy Peralta in it as a Pilot? a totally awesome movie.
10. "kent, this is jesus, kent."

i blame you for the moonlit sky and the dream that died with the eagle's flight

remember that song "sleeping satellite"? i'd absolutely entirely forgotten about it -- but thanks to this handy dandy music matrix (?), i was able to have the following thought process: "oh man, that song! i remember that song! god, it sucks."

however, let's not hold it against this unknowing little matrix. for most of the day i've been having a grand old time in the world music section. this might also be the only place where you'll go from deep cut rolling stones to nick drake in no moves. rock on.

in more serious news, i had a little minor surgery this morning. two weekends of mosaic-ing a table for the new compy (yes, i am now wild cherry sara, fanboy) left a substantial number of tiny shards of glass all over the floor of the apartment (not to mention xy's feeble, disastrous and pathetic attempt with the nippers, resulting in a single tile shattering into umptillion pieces followed by his feeble, disastrous and pathetic attempt at sweeping it up), one of which (actually two of which) made its way into my dainty little foot. the first was located and removed as swiftly as saddam hussein. #2 proved a little more osama bin laden. so i limped around sunday (to the bocce playoffs, at which we won and then lost and are now out of) and monday (to work, where i complained nearly the entire day to everyone who would listen), unable to work out and catching infinite flack from xy about sitting on the couch with my foot in a basin like an 80-year-old. this morning my concerned co-workers asked about it and i informed them that the damn thing was still in there. they all wanted me to go to the doctor but i'll be damned if i'm gonna mess with four hours of bureaucratic inefficiency and pain for a little sliver of glass. plus, i can't afford the copay. long story still long: we ended up with my foot on the desk and about five people around me, one of which was shoving a (sterilized) needle into my foot. i doubt that i'm really conveying the full weirdness of this situation, but i promise you, having someone poke your foot with a (sterilized) needle while it's sitting on your desk with people you work with is more like something that would happen in one of my lynch-esque dreams than reality, but go figure.

coach dball just pointed out that i forgot to "end" the story. a "denouement" was expected, he said. i swiftly reminded him of the "lady or the tiger" (which it turns out he'd never read), a story in which the author leaves it up to the either sadistic or super sadistic reader to choose the fate of the main character. so, i ask you, dear reader: do i still have glass in my foot or did we extract it on my desk at work? here's a hint: i'm leaving work right now and going to the gym. then i'm going to watch super troopers. study up kids, there's a quiz on "real genius" tomorrow.