Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Some opportunities have come up recently that may lead to some big changes… but I’ve been entirely too busy the past few weeks to even post pictures from New Orleans (remember? Halloween?) so for huge life decisions, I haven’t had a chance to do the usual process yet. Stay tuned though… and in the meantime… here’s some quick news…

Guilty Pleasure Movies – I caught this article on Yahoo! News the other day… and I swear it caught me watching one of these Top 5 Guilty Pleasure movies. Basically, there’s a new movie “Burlesque” out with Christina Aguilera & Cher starring as… well, burlesque dancers… and you know I’m a fan of that stuff (as long as I don’t think of a seventy-something like Cher) but it brought upon this list… by the way, this is THEIR list…

  1. Showgirls” (1995) – This was the one that I think they were spying on me. Yes, I admit it… last Monday night, I was flipping through the channels on Starz… and found this gem. It’s the story of Nomi Malone, a girl that wants to be a star in the Vegas limelight (instead of hooking) so she gets involved with the burlesque game… and apparently it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Everybody knows that the greatest line in the whole movie is when she pronounces Versace (Ver-sa-chi) as Ver-sayce. You can’t beat that… but then again, if that’s the highlight of your movie besides the catfights, lesbian makeout scenes, pyrotechnic nudity & overall drama… then you may not be a fan of this movie. Instead of rubbernecking on the freeway when I see a car accident, I watch movies like this. Don’t judge me.
  2. Xanadu” (1980) – Never seen it… heard it was Olivia Newton-John on rollerskates…
  3. Grease 2” (1982) – All I remember is that Michelle Pfeiffer’s in it… and some guy on a bike… we all make mistakes.
  4. Point Break” (1992) – Quite possibly the perfect bad movie… Academy Award winning director (Kathryn Bigelow of “Hurt Locker” aka Mrs. James Cameron), Keanu in his prime (well… did he really have one?), Patrick Swayze, surfing, character names like Johnny Utah, special cameos by Flea & Anthony of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bank robberies by Presidential banditos, “I AM AN F-B-I AGENT!!!”, skydiving, for f**k’s sake it even has Gary Busey!!! It shames me to think of how many times I’ve seen this movie. Absolutely shames me to the core… and yet, I’d still watch it again.
  5. Mommie Dearest” (1981) – No idea what this is…

So with that in mind… I give you MY Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Movies…

  1. Starship Troopers” (1997) – Even better than “Showgirls”, “Robocop”, “Total Recall” and all the other guilty pleasures to come from director Paul Verhoeven, I have to put “Starship Troopers” at the top of the list. If you haven’t seen it, then you just can’t understand. Now, the two sequels are pretty much crap… but it has giant alien insects conquering the universe with spaceship transports, bugs that fire thermonuclear projectiles, sucking the brains out of their victims, and of course… we have the technology to travel willy-nilly through space… but not take care of infestations. Aside from that, I love the PSA’s and news updates that pop up from time to time… and Denise Richards & Dina Meyer in their prime… and for f**k’s sake it even has Doogie… and Michael Ironsides… and Gary Busey… well, his son Jake anyway. I wonder what Casper Van Diem has been up to since then… but probably f**king half of Hollywood. Favorite line – “The only good bug is a dead bug” or “Would you like to know more?”
  2. Pootie Tang” (2001) – You know that I love superheroes… and being from the ghetto, of course I’m going to love ghetto superheroes who are irresistible to the ladies and can also sing & dance… in their own language. Not too many people enjoyed this movie from director Chris Rock… but hey, that’s their problem. Also, little known fact, I own the DVD not because I’m a huge fan… but because purchasing the DVD was actually cheaper than renting it at Blockbuster. Yes, it was in a $2 bin. Sold!!! Favorite line – “(his silent song that everybody jams out too)” “POOTIE DONE DID IT AGAIN!!!”
  3. Tank Girl” (1995) – Absolutely one of the worst movies ever made. Period. You cannot deny it. However, I blame my brother for exposing me to this one. He was a huge fun (I think he had a crush on the titular actress Lori Petty whereas I’m a Naomi Watts fan myself) so we watched it a few times… and there’s plenty of dirtiness & explosions for an impressionable young mind… and kangaroo / human hybrids voiced by Ice-T… and Malcolm McDowell as a baddie… there’s even a musical number of “Let’s Do It”… so yeah, you look past all that craziness. It was based on a comic book, right? Never seen it? You may want to check it out… but be warned. Favorite line – “Quit pickin’ on my girlfriend!” Tank Girl kisses Jet Girl (Watts) and the guys hassling her walk away. “Thanks, I think it worked.” “What worked?” So have to try that once…
  4. Revenge of the Nerds” (1985) – Hey, if Sir James Cromwell stars in the movie, it can’t be that bad, right? Well, he’s in the movie for about three minutes while the credits roll (as Jamie Cromwell, pre-Sir years) and after that it’s just a college comedy with the likes of John Goodman, Ted McGinley (“Married with Children”), Curtis Armstrong & Anthony Edwards (GOOSE!!!). This was one of the few movies that I had growing up… so I could probably quote the whole damn thing to you… but I won’t unless I’m in person. Favorite line - “All jocks ever think about is sports… all nerds ever think about is sex.”
  5. Mannequin” (1987) – I blame the catchy song… and the fact that Kim Cattrall was gorgeous… and that Captain Harris from the “Police Academy” movies (another guilty pleasure) was in it… and to a lesser extent, HollyWOOOOOD!!! Yes, the story of a princess cursed to be a mannequin and only comes to life when nobody else is around for a lowly department store window decorator (Andrew McCartney) just seems to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Favorite line – “Armand… is the wind!”
  6. Dirty Dancing” (1987) – If somebody would watch this movie with me… I’m sure it’d make the list. I already love the soundtrack and all the parts that I have seen (parodied) over the years but… I can’t officially put it on the list until I have seen it, right? That’s why it’s number six on this list of five. Maybe I’m seeing the whole Patrick Swayze in his thirties, pre-18 Jennifer Grey relationship in an out-of-context manner… but the whole thing seems weird to me. And you know I like the dirty dancing. By the way, was anybody else NOT surprised that the star of a movie with “Dancing” in the title won “Dancing with the Stars”? If you are surprised, you chose to be. Favorite line – “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!” Face it, it’s everybody’s favorite line… ever.

So there you go… and now for some guilty pleasure movie updates…

Bad Santa 2? – I also watched this holiday classic on Spike the other day (totally butchered… but the spirit is there) and then stumbled on this news clip. Out doing promotion for "Faster", Billy Bob Thornton revealed to Collider that he'd be up for doing a sequel to his 2003 pitch black comedy "Bad Santa". "Bad Santa's become like a classic Christmas movie. People watch It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street and Bad Santa. Now its sort of the box set. And there's been talk of making a sequel to it, which I actually would like to do. I've never done a sequel to one of my movies, but that one makes sense to me to do it" says Thornton. Thornton adds that a lot will depend on the director having the balls to keep the film dark and edgy - "Probably get a director who's got the juice to, with whoever makes it, you know, who puts up the money, to get it in blood. That's the way you have to do it, and hopefully it'll work." Hopefully director Terry Zwigoff can help out with “Bad Santa Resurrection” and yes, that will be the working title… in my world. Sigh… RIP Bernie Mac & John Ritter. A tear came to my eye when I saw you guys on TV the other day.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Like I said, a lot of things to go over so free time is at a minimum… plus I’ve had a bit of a cold the past day or so… and I don’t want it anymore, so I’m going to go to bed early. Lame, I know… but hey, it’s not like my roommate is going to mother me back to health. Have a great night everybody!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, here’s the rundown of this quickly adapted Thanksgiving trip back home. I left Wednesday after work (a little early) and made it in enough time to grab In-n-Out Burger on the way to the airport. The roads were better than anticipated. See, Wednesday morning… my thermometer in Gretchen (sounds dirty, I know) read -16 degrees on the drive to work. What does that mean? Even if it were almost 50 degrees warmer, water would still freeze. Anyway, the flight was pretty quick, like an hour, and when I landed everybody was telling me how cold it was at 10 degrees above zero in Slick City. I kinda laughed to myself thinking “Eh, it could be worse… like 12 hours ago.” Anyway, my dad picked me up at the airport and we watched a little TV and caught up before I went to bed. Nothing major Wednesday.

Thursday was Thanksgiving… and the first meal was with my stepmom’s family in Fruit Heights, but my brother and his kids were there too. Kairi & Vinny were very happy to see their Uncle $teve… and the feeling was mutual. We played a bit and had some great food with the family. Around sunset, I was getting ready to go when my brother said, “Hey, you should come hang out with me at Isaiah’s tonight.” “No thanks, I’m going to mom’s for dinner and spending the day with her, but I’ll be by tomorrow night.” “F**k her, hang out with me & your buddy.” See, I had to stop myself from saying, “No, f**k you… and everything you stand for, you’re lucky I don’t knock you the f**k out right here in front of your kids while everybody else in the room is jealous that they didn’t, you douche.” But instead I said something along the lines of “I’m going to hang out with my mother tonight… and I will hang out with Isaiah tomorrow. If you would care to join me in either case, you are more than welcome to.” Then I hugged the kids goodbye and Kairi asked, “Are you leaving again? I don’t want you to go.” She really knows how to tug at the heart strings. “Oh sweetie, I’m going to see grandma and then I’ll see you tomorrow night, okay? You be a good girl for daddy.” “Okay Uncle $teve, I love you.” I know I haven’t elaborated on why my brother and I are at odds (even though, I don’t think he knows it because I’m so damn nice & cool about it) but trust me, it’s completely founded. I’d like to say that I’ve forgiven him… but he makes it so difficult by being a douche to every single person he’s around & expecting everything without the least bit of effort on any level… and he blames it all on his ex-wife or having to watch his kids. I understand that being a single parent is tough… but seriously, what else are you doing? He even tried to get sympathy from my stepsister who has been raising a kid on her own for nearly a decade with a mother paying for everything, while she works and goes to school… and oddly enough, it didn’t work. Weird how that happens. Anyway, I love the douche… but he makes it very tough… and perhaps I will forgive him one day… but it really ain’t today.

That night, I went up to my mom’s and hung out with her and my cousin Alicia. We had another Thanksgiving dinner, checked the newspaper for Black Friday sales and she wanted to know what was on my wishlist, and then we watched “Little Shop of Horrors” starring Rick Moranis, John Candy, Bill Murray and the great Steve Martin. I had never watched it before… mainly because it’s a musical… but it was actually pretty damn funny (though Audrey’s voice bugged the sh*t out of me… but hey, I’m not from Jersey). For those who haven’t seen the movie (or the play), it’s about a quiet sweet florist Seymour (Moranis) who works in a basement of a floral shop and has a crush on a coworker named Audrey, but she has a dipsh*t boyfriend dentist who beats her (Martin). Anyway, Seymour discovers what he thinks is a new plant… and names it Audrey II… but he soon finds out that only blood is what makes the plant grow… and it’s getting BIG… and it needs “fresh meat” so… now he has to kill to feed his plant… but only douchebags… but then, what happens when he runs out of douchebags? (By the way, just… think about that world for a minute… go ahead, take your time… okay, back to the story) Anyway, I found it pretty funny so I would recommend it to anybody who needs a good laugh… and can deal with musicals. On that note, to watch the movie, we used my brother’s Netflix account (because my mom paid for everything anyway) and apparently over the weekend when I was gone, she watched a bunch of chick flicks… so I’m picturing a few days from now, my brother using it on his PS3… and it suggesting “Steel Magnolias” or “Playing by Heart” or “Fried Green Tomatoes” or something like that… and him going “Why the f**k would they suggest… oh wait, this one has Angelina Jolie! AND Scully! How bad could it be?”

Can you guess which one is my mom? Circa 1974

Friday morning, my mom, Alicia & I woke up at the crack of noon (okay, 9-ish) for some shopping… which was basically me watching my mom buy presents for Kairi & Vinny for a few hours… and then we went to Kohl’s and found a pretty good sale of dress shirts, so I got to pick out a few fly selections. I also did some shopping… but I won’t tell you where or what or for whom. Around sunset, I said my goodbyes and went to my buddy Isaiah’s house… and as mentioned before, he’s basically my brother… and he turned THIRTY two days earlier… so after giving him some crap for that (the few months I can) we caught up, stopped by the liquor store, and basically between he, my brother & myself, we drank a half gallon of some of the absolute worst rum you can imagine (the cheap stuff) with Kool Aid chasers (cuz that’s how gangstas do) and just having a good time.

That evening, I was sleeping on the floor (the house was already at capacity with three large adults & four kids in a two-bedroom apartment) and I was pretty faded. Well, in the middle of the night, I feel my brother who is lying on the couch, roll over on top of me and I see the blanket cover me… and he is no spring chicken… so I try to throw him off… and he’s heavy… and I’m drunk… but eventually I’m able to and I come out screaming “Get the f**k off me!!!” and then… I realize that apparently it was a dream or something… and I had just yelled that in the middle of a living room… and my brother’s still asleep on the couch… and now the dogs are staring at me. Nice, right? Thought you might enjoy that.

I want to take a moment to recognize a truly remarkable woman… and that is Isaiah’s wife Arwen. You see, I know my brother is not easy to live with. Nor is my buddy Isaiah at times (usually when he’s drinking, which is often). She’s also taken on motherly duties of his children (ages 9 and 6) and works two jobs while my brother continues being unemployed… and her husband is laid off from his last job last month. It obviously stresses her out quite a bit… and I made sure to thank her about a dozen times for putting up with both of my brothers. However, that being said, all the apologies from me in the world have little to no effect when my brother’s constant douchery is paired up with a drunken husband’s misplaced unsubtle comments… and that can cause drama… and it did. Enough to where, last I heard, Arwen is taken some time away from them staying with her brother. Sigh… I just don’t understand my brothers sometimes. It’s like they love this drama stuff… and they don’t think before they speak.

Anyway, so that was Saturday morning, then in the afternoon I met up with a friend that I hadn’t heard from in a while… K-Fish!!! We met up at Chili’s for some free chips & queso and a few beers and caught up on happenings in our respective worlds. That evening, I also met up with JL Clyde for some sushi and a few adult beverages at the Urban Lounge with live entertainment… and some dancing. Good times.

Sunday, I watched “Expendables” and some football with my dad as it snowed outside… and then he took me to the airport… and a few hours later, I was back in Truckee. Basically, it was a great weekend… and I did a lot of thinking about things during it… as I often do. You know, the whole “What is my purpose? Why aren’t I happy all the time like I used to be? Where did my goals go? Am I focused on the right things? What really matters to me? How did I get here? How can I help my family & friends? How is me being out here in this paradise in the middle of nowhere helping to achieve any of it?” kind of thoughts. I also drove through some of the old neighborhoods… and memories came flashing back… and how things have changed since then… and how blessed I am… but it doesn’t really mean anything if I don’t have somebody to share it with, right? If I’m not living with a purpose, then what’s the point? Just to get by? That ain’t me. At least I hope not. I want to regain that fire that I used to have as a young man and a kid… and I do at times… but then other times, I don’t know, it’s just not there unless I really try hard at it… but then I think “what’s the point?” and it fades. There are a few things that still burn like back in the day… but yeah, I guess I just have to figure out what my goals are, what’s important to me, and get back on track towards a life that I want. Not that my life is horrible by any means… but I guess I just have an insatiable appetite to help others & myself… and I get bored easily. I think too much… and it has its advantages and disadvantages… but hey, it is what it is. So yeah, great weekend… and I’ll be back there in four weeks for Christmas too.

Have a great day everybody!!! Hope your Thanksgiving was amazing as well!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks Y'all

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, things change quickly in my world sometimes. This morning was a snowstorm of biblical proportions... and all the local are saying that they are NEVER this early in the season (like before Thanksgiving) so it should shape up to be a pretty interesting winter at times. Anyway, because of the storm, my mom didn't want to drive all the way across Northern Nevada just to see little old me for a few days. I know... sad, right? Not so... because she basically just said, "I booked you a flight to come visit us. It'll be safer and cheaper that way." So I'm heading home for Thanksgiving to see my dad, my mom, my brother, my friends, all my peeps pretty much. Now the only concern is them cleaning off the roads between now and then so I can make it to Reno but it has cleared up a bit since the blizzard this morning. Gretchen's a good girl. She'll get me through any kind of weather... but yeah, flying saves time... and I get reward miles. Woot woot!!! Happy birthday to my buddy Isaiah, who has basically been a brother of mine since the 2nd grade (that's over two decades) as he turns... wait for it... THIRTY in a matter of hours. That old basterd!!! Can't wait to see him for a few birthday brews watching football this weekend.

What are you thankful for? Here's a list of some of the things that I am truly thankful for... but don't feel like I do enough to show it.

  • My Family - Though sometimes they irritate the hell out of me & seem to be ripe with drama whenever possible, I am truly thankful for them. I know that if I ever needed anything, they would be there for me... and they Love me for who I am. Though my brother works the hell out of my nerves sometimes... I still love the b**ch.
  • My Friends - You ladies & gentlemen probably have no idea how much you mean to me... and if you ever need anything, I'm here for you. Sure "here" may be a few hundred or thousand miles away... but hey, with today's technology, I could be in the room with you in no time. I'm just a phone call away... and if that isn't enough... I have a web cam... though my voice is usually more satisfying than my face.
  • My Health - I'm two meters tall, just over a hundred kilos, work out most days, though I could probably do some more cardiovascular work, but I'm disease free, have a steady ticker, a body like a stretched-out Greek God, a pretty imaginative little noggin, can eat pretty much anything, no real allergies, a few scars... but ladies love 'em. Yeah, I'm a very lucky man.
  • My Home - Yes, I'm renting an apartment and sharing it with a roommate... but he's one of the most easy going roommates possible & though we've had a few discussions over the past few months, we really get along. Also, having a roof over my head is certainly appreciated every time that I have to brave the elements to go anywhere. It's always nice to have a fireplace, a comfortable couch & a warm blanket to come home too even when I don't have a young lady willing to keep me warm at night.
  • My Job - It's hella busy... I'm overworked and underpaid... and I know that I've talked a few times about just saying "Phuket" and wandering the Earth... but I've been thankful for my job for over a decade now... and it has led me to some wonderful places in the world and made the rent payments and bar tabs over the years. Is it the job of my dreams? No, I'm not a superhero or gigolo (as that seems to be my occupation in most dreams over the years) but it's still pretty cool. I love the people that I work with, the job is somewhat interesting to me, I'm pretty much indispensable... and there's a definite confidence in that. Now if I could just get paid what I'm worth...
  • My Vehicles - Though I haven't been able to spend much time with Baby over the past few years, I know she wishes she were with me too... and my little redheaded mistress Gretchen keeps me company here in the Sierras & keeps me safe. It's a shame that I had to lay Brandy to rest this time last year... but she had a great run. By the way, did I tell you that Gretchen went over 60k miles during the trip out to San Fran the other weekend? Yeah, big moment for her. Can't believe that I've put 14,000 miles on her in the year... and 11,000 since my Road Trip 2010 started.
  • My Troops - I think that I speak for everybody when I say that you ladies & gentlemen protecting our nation are truly the greatest among us. Your tireless efforts and unmatched dedication to your country and our safety is something that we can never repay you. Thank you so much for everything that you do.
  • My Imagination - It keeps me entertained... and apparently some other people out there. Am I capitalizing on it yet? Am I writing mega-blockbuster movies? Am I writing the next great American novella? A collection of short stories that will be studied by future generations to marvel at my use of prose & intricacies of sexual innuendo? Alas, not at this time... and I simply have to rely on my wit & charisma during one-on-one interactions to be my beacon for future generations... but maybe one day, I'll just get really bored (or need the c-c-c-cash) and just git r done and start the next Harry Potter craze or something like that. Could I live with myself for writing some terrible literary phenomenon like the Twilight Saga? You bet your ass I could... and I'm sure plenty of people would want to live with me too. We shall see...

There are a lot of smaller things that I'm thankful for... but yeah, obviously you guys mean the world to me... and I'm VERY excited to get to come and see a lot of you in the flesh for Thanksgiving. Anyway, I guess that'll do it for today. Not much else to say other than that. I'll be sure to pack my camera this time so that you all get to see my niece & nephew... and my face buried in sweet sweet pumpkin pie. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Going To The Country

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, as predicted, it snowed a substantial amount this weekend (though not quite the epic biblical proportions that were forecast… but the night is young & it should continue well into tomorrow), the Eagles dominated the Giants (okay, they won, and that’s what counts), Bone Junior met her first rock crush at the AMA’s (and we both actually bought the same first album when we were teenagers), and my mom will be coming for Thanksgiving… though probably just by herself. Oh well… we shall still have fun. Three day week at work, four day weekend with my mama & some sweet pumpkin pie… oh yeah, winter & the holidays are officially here. Well, my weekend was basically a lot of keeping warm and watching football…

and “Son of the Beach” which if you don’t know, was a series on FX back in 2000… and it was produced by Howard Stern… and it’s basically a spoof of “Baywatch” but it’s entirely double entendres (even character names are Notch Johnson, BJ Cummins, etc.), sex & fart jokes, shameless adult content, and basically everything that you can get away with on a TV-M rating. I like it because… well, it’s purposely sick and wrong… and at least once an episode has a daydream montage where somebody will say something like “dozens of big breasted female prisoners confined to a small area wearing nothing but undergarments? I wonder what that would be like…” and then the daydream begins. Plenty of guest stars are on it too… like David Arquette, Erik Estrada, Alan Thicke, Vincent Pastore (“Big P**sy”), and even the great Neil Patrick Harris. Anyway, it’s a lot like Naked Gun meets Baywatch… so if you like the Naked Guns movies then I suggest you check out “Son of the Beach” because… well, I think you’d appreciate it if you read my blog. Now for some world news…

Sexy Politics - A Polish singer and tabloid celebrity has put up posters of herself stretched out on the sand in a provocative bikini as part of her campaign to win a Warsaw district council seat in municipal elections on November 21. Several of the posters (located here) are to be seen around Warsaw's Bemowo district bearing Sara May's slogan: "Beautiful, independent, competent." "The deeds count, not the words, so I will not promise anything. I live in Bemowo in Warsaw," May, whose real name is Katarzyna Szczolek, wrote on her English language website, adding that she would try to make the city a better place to live in. Internet users who posted their comments below May's poster on various websites were not interested in her political views, instead preferring extensive discussion of the extent to which her photograph had been digitally enhanced. Using sex to sell your political views? Preposterous!!! Effective… but preposterous!!! Though I wish you the best of luck in your campaign, Miss Szczolek, I think that you’re going about this all wrong…

Topless Politics – Instead please take a note from the brazenly provocative, bare-breasted young women of Femen who are becoming an eye-catching -- if unsolicited -- fixture on Ukraine's political scene. Oh yes… this article combines world news, politics, and bare breasted idealistic Ukrainian women… if only more news was like this. Anna Hutsol, Femen's spikey-haired 26-year-old leader, says she commands a small army of 300 mainly student activists ready to peel off in public to support Ukrainian women's rights (PROVE IT!!!). As the group broadens its activities to embrace wider causes, she says Femen is undeterred by increased police action (or frigid temperatures that may make their nipples resemble AK-47 shells). "We plan more protests this year," Hutsol told Reuters. Femen activists caused a minor diplomatic stir last month during a visit by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with a topless street protest in which they made raunchy references to his personal life (so… do I have to kill people and become a dictator for girls to threaten me with nudity?). Last week two semi-clad Femen members disrupted an Iranian exhibition with a protest in support of an Iranian woman held in jail for adultery and complicity of murder. The Ukrainian authorities, who once laughed off Femen's activities as cheeky but harmless antics, may now be losing patience after the anti-Putin demonstration which touched a raw nerve in sensitive ties with a powerful neighbor. "The police are becoming more aggressive now. But at least that shows we are being taken seriously," Hutsol told Reuters in an interview in a downtown Kiev cafe. Established in 2008 by a group of Kiev university students, Femen says its main aims are to improve the role of women in Ukraine's male-dominated, post-Soviet society. "We want to show that our women have a demeaning role in our society. Their place is seen as in the kitchen or in bed," said Alexandra Shevchenko, a 22-year-old economics student who regularly plays a leading role in topless protests. Sex tourists and visiting foreign businessmen who feed Ukraine's sex industry are the group's main targets (note to self). It has also campaigned against sexual harassment of students in universities and railed against international beauty contests such as the Miss Universe competition. Even Mykola Azarov -- the country's dour, grey-haired prime minister -- found himself an unlikely target of Femen when he drew fire by naming an all-male government. But this is no classic women's movement. In conversation, Femen activists invoke no role models. Ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's best known woman, is for them just another actor on a stale political scene. The explicitly sexual nature of Femen's protests -- young women stripping to the waist, cavorting provocatively and chanting near-obscene slogans -- raises the question of whether its activists are not undermining their own movement's values (hey, don’t f**k this up for everybody). But they themselves see no contradiction. "We started out being dressed but we found nobody took any notice. I'm a big fan of taking off our clothes (giggidy!). It's how we get attention for our views," said Shevchenko. "It's all we've got, our bodies. We are not ashamed of this," said 20-year-old Inna, a journalism student. Hutsol says about 300 young women take part in protests, but Internet and email contacts indicate a support base of about 25,000 people. Financing, she says, comes from businessmen and local entrepreneurs who sympathize with their cause (in dollar donations?). Femen's first topless actions in mid-2009 targeted the sex industry, prostitution and the spread of Internet pornography. Early this year the group widened its agenda when Femen activists, protesting about vote-rigging in the presidential election, staged a topless demonstration at a polling booth as President Viktor Yanukovich himself turned up to vote. Since then it has held about 30 protests in the capital Kiev including one outside the government building. Many of them are short-lived: a flash of skin and a hurriedly-squawked slogan before security men move in to hustle the Femen activists off-stage (BOOOO!!!). When Putin visited in late October, six Femen activists stripped to the waist near the statue of Soviet state founder Lenin and chanted sexually-charged slogans, telling the Russian leader to keep his hands off Ukraine. "Ukraine is not Alina," read one -- a reference to Alina Kabayeva, the Olympic gymnast whom media speculation links romantically to Putin. Hutsol said the Putin action clearly ruffled feathers and police had since questioned many of those who took part. Its small support base, meager resources, limited agenda and a "young-centric" membership suggest Femen has little prospect of broadening into a political movement. But in a country deeply cynical about politics, Femen represents -- albeit on a modest scale -- one of the few regular street protest movements. Asked if Femen had a political agenda for the future. Hutsol said: "We do have some ideas, some plans. We are working on them." So ladies & gentlemen, show your support for women’s rights by donating to Femen… and even better, by flashing at the next round of elections to bring notice to the plight of Americans during these times where the middle class is being twiddled away. Mmm… I’ve never wanted to be part of a Russian political demonstration more than I do right now…

Really? This is a Study? – Speaking of girls that can hold their liquor, some women may be able to do so as well as men do, but there's no equality when it comes to whose health suffers more for it. Excessive alcohol use takes a higher toll on women's bodies, with a greater risk of liver, brain or heart damage, among other devastating conditions. "We are very concerned about the fact that more young women are starting to drink in harmful ways, including binge drinking," said Dr. Deidra Roach of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. A decades-long study of data on more than 500,000 people nationwide indicated women ages 21 to 23 were the only group whose binge drinking has increased (college). The research, reported in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, showed a 30% jump between 1979 and 2006 in women who binge drink (technically, downing at least four alcoholic drinks in rapid succession). The physical differences between the sexes play a significant role in how their bodies metabolize alcohol. Women have more body fat and less water in their systems than men do, as well as lower levels of an enzyme important in the breakdown of alcohol, according to the NIAAA. This means they experience the effects of drinking more quickly and for a longer time than men. Of the estimated 17.6 million Americans who abuse alcohol, 5.3 million of them are female, according to the National Institutes of Health. "Because women are smaller than men . . . the same amount of alcohol will be more concentrated in a woman's body than a man's body," said Roach, a health scientist administrator in the NIAAA's Division of Treatment and Recovery Research. "This means when a man and a woman drink the same amount of alcohol, in general, the woman's internal organs will be exposed to more alcohol than the man's."

For women, the consequences of drinking include damage to organs and increased rates of chronic diseases.
Liver damage: Women develop alcohol-induced liver disease - including hepatitis and cirrhosis - over a shorter period of time and after consuming less alcohol than men, according to the NIAAA. It may be the female hormone estrogen that increases these risks.
Brain damage: MRI scans have shown that certain brain regions are smaller in women alcoholics than in other women and in men who are alcoholics, even after measurements are adjusted for head size, according to the NIAAA.
Heart disease: Many studies have shown a drink or two per day is heart-healthy. However, other research shows similar rates of severe damage to the heart muscle among women and men who are alcoholics, despite the fact that women who are alcoholics consume 60 percent less on average over their lifetimes, according to the NIAAA.
Breast cancer: The risks of developing breast cancer go up dramatically for heavy female drinkers. According to Loyola Marymount University, a large analysis showed the risk of developing the disease jumped 9 percent for each 10-gram increase (0.35 ounces) in daily alcohol consumption, up to 60 grams (2 ounces).
Violent injury: Not only are women put at greater risk of being assaulted, sexually or otherwise physically, by heavy drinking, according to the NIAAA, there has been an increase over the past decade in the proportion of women drivers to men drivers involved in fatal car crashes. So please don’t drink & drive.

Unhealthy drinking habits place women at greater risk for a variety of adverse health and social consequences, including becoming infected with the AIDS virus, Roach said. "We are seeing a growing body of evidence that binge drinking is a major risk factor for acquiring HIV among some groups of women," she said. Even less serious conditions, such as sinus or bladder infections, can be brought on by alcohol abuse. Joyce Rebeta-Burditt of Los Angeles said she had chronic sinus infections when she drank excessively 40 years ago. Rebeta-Burditt has since become a UCLA-certified alcohol recovery expert and the author of two books about recovering alcoholic women. "Alcoholism is very dehydrating," she said. "I didn't appreciate how sick I was physically. I got IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] from alcohol irritation, and I still have bouts." Rebeta-Burditt compared alcoholism to diseases such as diabetes that "sneak up on people," making it difficult to know when the line has been crossed. "The difference is, most people know diabetes is an illness and don't know that alcoholism is, too," she said. Roach said the NIAAA encourages health care professionals to screen women of all ages for problem drinking, because symptoms are so easily overlooked. For example, in older women alcohol may be a "hidden culprit" contributing to depression, frequent falling or heart failure, she said. "Neither health professionals nor patients should ever simply assume that alcohol could not be a problem," Roach said. Sigh… so in short, the study shows that men can handle their booze better than women. Period. Did they really need to study that for a decade to come to that conclusion? Last weekend, I went drinking with Bubbles, a lovely creature who’s maybe pushing a hundred pounds… but she drinks like a fish. She wanted to keep pace with over a hundred kilos of Grade A American beef like myself… but I’m a lightweight when it comes to booze. In the end, I needed a little water in the morning to take care of my headache… and she spent the whole day in bed sleeping it off… and honestly, we’ve drank more together. Case closed. Pocket the rest of the grant towards my own research on how alcohol lowers inhibitions… or at least is a great excuse for being freaky.

Free Breast Exams? – That really works? Again, case closed on the whole inhibitions thanks to alcohol thing. An Idaho judge has set bond at $100,000 for a Boise woman police say posed as a physician and duped at least two other women into having their breasts examined by her at Boise-area nightclubs. Hmm… apparently the key is to be a woman. They wouldn’t possibly want to fondle your breasts for the heck of it. Kristina Ross, 37, remains in Ada County Jail in Boise on two felony counts of practicing medicine without a license. Police say Ross introduced herself to victims -- one at a downtown Boise bar and the other at a nightclub in a Boise suburb -- as a plastic surgeon named Berlyn Aussieahshowna, a name that turned out to be bogus (gasp!!!). The two women told Boise officers they believed Ross was a physician because of her apparent medical knowledge (she used big funny sounding words), and they agreed to undergo what they thought were breast exams, which happened at the bars. As part of her ruse, Ross gave the women the telephone number of a real licensed plastic surgeon in Boise, the state capital, authorities said. Staff at that medical office became alarmed at the number of calls they received from women in recent weeks attempting to confirm appointments or surgeries with a Berlyn Aussieahshowna, according to charging documents. Medical workers on Tuesday alerted Boise police about the pattern, and they later arrested Ross. The suspect's gender is unclear (ugh… what?). Idaho court records show that Ross was arrested for petty theft in the spring and that the arrest warrant was issued to a Kristoffer Jon Ross. GASP!!! The Idaho Statesman website reported that Ross has a previous criminal record as a man but identifies herself as a woman and was booked into Ada County Jail as a female. Ugh… I know a way to clear up the misconception… but do I have to have a medical license before examining? Cosmetic surgical procedures Ross discussed with victims after she / he / it touched their breasts under the guise of a medical evaluation included breast augmentation and liposuction. The court on Wednesday found Ross was eligible for a public defender and set a preliminary hearing on the two felony charges for December 1. If convicted, Ross could face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for each count. So ladies… the next time that you are at a bar… or a nightclub… and a person, male or female or all of the above, offers you a complimentary breast examination… BEWARE… because they may not be a professional. I know, I know, it’s quite unbelievable… as that’s pretty much the perfect place to locate a prospective client, perhaps buy her an adult beverage, gently break her down by pointing out what she may consider physical flaws (emotional erosion), offer her your expertise, give the business card… with cell phone number for “emergency” calls & then a few weeks later she’s upgrading from C to DD. See ladies? Just because I know the game, doesn’t mean I’m going to manipulate you. I tend to rely on my gentlemanly ways… and that may be why I’m spending my nights alone. Oh well, at least now I know that even if I have absolute consent to handle your chesticles, but it’s under slightly false pretenses, I face five years in prison. Do you at least see how it can be frustrating & confusing? Maybe this is why I’m in so many sexual harassment classes at work…

Even Their K-9s are Smaller - Meet Japan's newest police dog -- all 3 kilos (6.6 lb) of her. In what is a first for Japan and perhaps the world, a long-haired Chihuahua named "Momo" (Japanese for Peach) passed exams to become a police dog in the western Japanese prefecture of Nara. The brown-and-white, perky Momo was one of 32 successful candidates out of 70 dogs, passing a search and rescue test by finding a person in five minutes after merely sniffing their cap. "Any breed of dog can be entered to become a police dog in the search and rescue division," said a Nara police spokesman. But he admitted that news a Chihuahua had been entered may still come as a surprise to many. "It's quite unusual," he said. Television footage showed the 7-year-old Momo bounding across grass or sitting proudly, long hair blowing in the breeze. Momo will be used for rescue operations in case of disasters such as earthquakes, in the hope that she may be able to squeeze her tiny frame into places too narrow for more usual rescue dogs, which tend to be German Shepherds (aka REAL dogs). The public response to the news of Momo's selection took police by surprise, the spokesman said, adding: "The phone's been ringing all afternoon." Probably from somebody looking to do a Taco Bell commercial. I just… don’t see this little peach striking fear into the heart of ninjas or anything… but hey, congratulations on being a pocket-sized rescue dog nonetheless. And yes, I could certainly make some kind of stereotypical joke about a dog in Asia… and some timeless Face/Off reference about how “I could eat a Peach for hours” but I think I’m going to take the high road. Wait, if I explain the joke & why I’m not going to make it… does that still count as taking the high road? Eh, ask the referee for a ruling.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Two more days until my mom comes to visit for Thanksgiving!!! Seriously can’t wait… I’ve missed her. Also, to celebrate Black Friday, we may do some Christmas shopping… and then take in the casinos, while Boise State comes to town to play the Nevada Wolfpack. It should make for a great game… and would be two undefeated teams if Nevada hadn’t had to travel to Hawaii to lose there… but oh well, it’s just one less team in the ultra-controversial BCS BS. Also, there’s a weekend coming up where there’s a Cash’d Out concert & Santa Beer Crawl in Reno… and then my work is having an anniversary gala… and I say gala instead of party… because the dress code is “elegant evening attire” so… I may be able to get my ballroom dancing on… ladies? It should make for a great start to the winter season… and I definitely want to get out there and do more and have more fun than last year when I knew nobody and didn’t know where everything was. I’ll make it an early resolution or something. Now that I have a little spending cash (very little) that’s my goal… because honestly, other than my roommates (current & former) I don’t really have anybody else that I can “hang out” with per se. Everybody else has a family or we’re just not that close or anything… but hey, I figure if I get out there, meet people at “things” and just let it be known that I’m not a hermit & am looking for peeps, then that’s a great start. Have a great day everybody!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dark Knight Falls

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

As promised yesterday, here’s a quick story about the dream that I had Wednesday night… enjoy…

So it starts out with a newsflash about the escalation of crime in the city, showing some bad footage of bank vault rubble, outlined silhouettes of chalk, interviews with the police commissioner, etc. and then the reporter is talking to Batman. Yes… BATMAN!!! He’s different though, obviously making daytime news interviews. “The mysterious Bat-Man now joins me, Mr. Bat-Man, who is behind this string of robberies and violent attacks?” (bad Christian Bale intimidation voice) “Well Gina, it appears that we have a new supervillain in town… and he goes by the name of… Wolf-Man. I’ve been working with the police department tirelessly to find out who this vigilante is & bring him to justice.” Then it goes to a little back-story, “Yes, it has been a few years of relative peace here in Gotham, thanks to the works of the Bat-Man. Over the years, with the imprisonment and controversial deaths of previous ‘supervillains’, there has only been a few isolated incidences… until the last year when bank robberies, murders, drug trafficking, explosions, all reached nearly epic proportions with no suspect… that is until this footage was discovered of the Bat-Man fighting the newly named Wolf-Man at the scene of a robbery attempt at a chemical goods warehouse last week. If you have any information regarding the true identity of the Wolf-Man, please contact…” “IT’S ALL BULLSH*T!!!”

Cuts to me sitting at a deli, having a sandwich with none other than Bubbles (yeah, calm down just a second, she’s made appearances in my dreams before, don’t be surprised). “Quiet down, $teve! What do you mean it’s bullsh*t?” “Sorry… (whispering now) but Batman’s playing the whole city for fools. He’s the one that’s behind all the crime the past year… and he’s making a f**king killing off it too… and because he weeded out all the competition behind his truth, justice & the American way stuff, he turn a blind eye to him as a suspect.” “What? Batman? Maybe we should cut the mimosas for today…” “Look, I’m… I can’t tell you why or how I know what I know… but please, just believe me. Have I ever lied to you before? Ever? About anything?” “Well… when you do, it’s always to make me feeling better… and you’re HORRIBLE at it so I can tell… but yeah, you’re not lying now. Why would he do it though?” “Because he could. Spoiled rich orphan with the only parental figure is an elderly butler who bends to his every whim, limitless resources, evil mean streak fueled by vengeance, physical prowess, political stature where he can be involved in every level of society, sure he may have started a few years back with the purest of intentions… wanting to avenge his parents death, which I’d like to mention, to this day has not been solved with any suspects, not saying he did it… but I keep an open mind.” “Wait, what are you talking about? Nobody knows who Batman is...” “Please… he’s Bruce f**king Wayne, the paper trail is there, I looked into it… and it’s fairly obvious. Who else can have vehicles like that that isn't military? There's only a few bazillionaires out there. Look, even if that were the case, pure intentions of cleaning the streets, after a while, maybe the anger & vengeance started to take over… or was satisfied and then his intentions turned into greed… or even pride… maybe he realized that he was better than all of these guys that he was putting away. Maybe he saw an easy way to get even richer, by eliminating the competition, and using them as scapegoats for his crimes. See? I first thought of it about four years back… remember when the Riddler was arrested?” “Yeah…”

Cut back to footage of the Riddler (Jim Carrey version) being arrested in handcuffs in the green leotards with question marks on them, and as he’s being carried out to the police van, he’s screaming “I GAVE UP MY LIFE OF CRIME!!! I’M A BUSINESS MAN!!! BATMAN SET ME UP!!! IT’S NOT A (bleep) RIDDLE, JUST SEE WHO STANDS TO GAIN FROM MY DISAPPEARANCE!!!” Reporter: “Convicted felon and billionaire software mogul Edward Nygma a.k.a. the Riddler was arrested today under suspicion of returning to his life of crime that he was acquitted of several years ago, when footage showed a man in the outfit fitting his description robbing the Gotham First Bank (grainy surveillance camera footage).” Back to my voice, “I was curious with how quickly he was convicted after that, declared dangerously insane, and sentenced to serve out his term in solitary confinement at Arkham Asylum, and it got me thinking about it… so I requested to speak with him…” Flash to me walking down a hallway ala Silence of the Lambs… with the Riddler (Frank Gorshin now) doing an uncanny Hannibal Lechter, “Good evening, $teven. How are we this evening?” “Dr. Nygma, thank you for your time. I just wanted to talk with you if I may, about the comments you made while you were being arrested.” “My young lad, don’t you know that I’ve been certified as insane? Anything I say is not to be taken into account by anybody, no matter how based in logic & fact. Besides (he motions me to come closer and whispers) bats may be blind… but they have ears everywhere.” “I see.” “So riddle me this…” “No, please… Doctor, I’m a simple man. Please no riddles. I’m trying to help you clean your good name.” “Good sir, my name is far too soiled for even the kindest of hearts to wash my sins away. I truly was an evil man obsessed with… the mere idea of showing that I was smarter than everybody out there… and could get away with anything, no matter who I hurt along the way. Then… the Bat came along… and I saw the err of my ways. So I focused on my company… and we made BILLIONS!!! I was the toast of the town… but I was cutting into Bruce’s… oops… I meant the Bat’s business. I’m sorry, did I give that away?” “Oh no, I’ve known that Bruce Wayne is Batman for a while now. I’m surprised it’s not common knowledge honestly.” “Oh… well, anyway, he was no longer the prodigal son of Gotham. Even after the ‘mysterious’ deaths of the other villains in this very same prison… or them just moving on to other cities… even though he was the only player left in the crime world, I was still beating the Bat in the business world… and he wasn’t about to lose that game… and so he framed me, using my past and his resources for swift brutal ‘justice’ and I’ve been here ever since. You are the first person to see me since my trial that wasn’t ordered by the court system… and even then, only twice. I’m completely shut off from the society that I can only assume he still is a major figure. Good riddance to the sheeple”

“Doctor, I guess my question now is… what do we do? How do we stop him?” “Heroes have little place in this world… and much more to lose. Not just your money, your possessions, your LIFE… but your conscience, your values, your very soul (sniff through the holes in the Plexiglas) and the people that you love. I can smell it on you. He will use her against you, you know. As well as everybody else. I only tell you this because I can sense you’re a good man and people love you in return. I have nobody… nothing… but because I warned you of this, he may take the only thing that I have left. I can only assume since you’ve made it this far that he doesn’t see you as a threat. Just a young man with a curiosity. If people never learn of his misdeeds, then I fear of a future where he has the public completely fooled… and everybody will be bending to his whim, not just under brute strength & political power, but worse yet… they will believe him & the image that he stands for. Good people will be doing unspeakable evils… and not even knowing it. As you know, it wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened. I warn you though… he is an abominable foe. He’s absolutely brilliant, infinitely resourceful, well-connected, charismatic, devious, almost superhuman in every way… but he is not perfect. Sure, he prides himself on witling away any weakness… but he is not a God. At least… not yet perhaps. Go! I’ve already said too much. Please just consider this the rambling of a lunatic. GUARDS!!! Take this moron from my sight. Come back when you’re a broad and want a conjugal visit!”

Back to Bubbles & I at the deli, “He said that?” “Yeah, I thought it was hilarious once I got out to the parking lot… but at the time, I was really creeped out.” “But $teve, don’t you think that somebody else would’ve found out about this if that were the case? You know… the police… the news…” Banging on the table, “F**k the police and F**K THE MEDIA!!! (Look around the deli) Sorry everybody! (back to whispering to her) See, even the good cops are all about protecting justice & safety… and that’s what the Bat-Man stands for. They’re not going to turn on him. He owns the media… and it’s all about public perception anyway… and nobody’s going to go against him now that they have this Wolf-Man scapegoat that he can blame everything on. I’ll bet you that this Wolf-Dude or whatever is just some guy who was trying to get some evidence against him… or catch the Bat-Man redhanded… and then accidentally bumped a light while hanging in the rafters of a ‘chemical warehouse’ where a drug deal was going down and then quickly found himself dodging bullets from drug lords before getting his ass kicked by a spoiled douche in a robotic soldier suit. It could happen to anybody.” “That reminds me, how are your ribs? What did you say it was? A bike accident?” “YEAH! Yeah, I wanted to see the… coastline and… you know, I’ve been trying to stay fit the past few years so… yeah, then that car hit me.” She touches them and I wince at the touch, “Oh sorry, they must still be pretty tender.” She brushes her fingers through my hair and… that always has a positive effect on my whole body. “You’ve got to be more careful out there… and get more sleep. No more late nights out doing your gigolo thing or whatever. I worry about you. What the… is that a bullet hole?” “No, I think that was from… the pedal. Yeah. Sigh… okay, I’ll try… but you know you’re the only girl for me… all these other girls are just for the dough.” “You’re so full of it. I like that I can tell when you’re lying though. You may not want to tell me about how you really hurt yourself… but I love it when you talk about me, because it’s always true. Anyway, okay, I’ve gotta get back to work.” Hug, “Have a great day!” “You too. Call me tonight, alright?” “Always. (to myself) I’d better get a nap in before work too.”

Then all of a sudden, I’m standing on the roof of a twenty-story building in probably the most ridiculous superhero outfit EVER. I’m talking a cap that’s like a plush wolf that’s tore up and has like blood stains or something on it on the head and over the ears, Kato mask, knee & elbow pads, black long sleeve shirt with pads or something under it, grappling hook, some kind of Craftsman utility belt, and my super high tech equipment… are some power tools, a Billy club, tasers, a few knives, a pistol (because I ain’t Batman) and of course… a few grenades… just in case sh*t gets real. And please don’t ask me why I’m dressed like a wolf… because I honestly have no idea… but I assume it was thought out ahead of time as a way to both intimidate… and use as a possible insanity plea at a trial if I were to be arrested. Oh… and of course the key feature of my array of weaponry, my cell phone, which I’m apparently using trying to find where my destination is. “F**king GPS, I’m not on Lincoln, I’m on a rooftop over MLK. That’s it, I’m using Mapquest. Oh good, that’s it right over there.” By the way, I don’t know if you picked up on this a while back… but apparently… I am Wolf-Man. I know, not exactly a huge secret or anything… but that’s why the hesitation and the lying to Bubbles and all that… just in case you were a little lost, there you have it. Also, try to forget the whole metaphor about rich people using fear, manipulation & scapegoats to get people to do ridiculous things and all that… it’s just a dream, not a political statement.

Anyway, moments later (don’t ask me how), I’m hiding on a rooftop across the street from a diamond storage facility. Apparently I’m staking it out… keeping an eye on activity in the area… and then the phone vibrates (cuz I’m a stealthy ninja in wolf’s clothing). “Not now.” It’s Bubbles. I send her a text saying I’m at work, she needs a ride home from the bar and wants her white knight (not Dark Knight), so I give her the number for a cabbie, all via text, so I’m not paying attention for a few moments. I look back to the diamond place, something isn’t right, then I’m picked up by the back of my neck and raised into the air. I hear that horrible Christian Bale voice, now digitized like it’s in auto-tune, behind me, “I never understood texting. Far more distracting than just talking on the cell phone. Nice to meet you again. How are the ribs?” He kidney punches me and the pads do very little in regards to protection. “Still a little tender I see.” He twists me around and now I’m looking at what I can only describe as… picture Batman & Predator’s bastard robot offspring. Like a Predator helmet with red eyes & the Batman ears, black titanium anatomically correct robo-suit, yeah… pretty intimidating and just holding me by the neck with one hand. My right hand’s reaching for my gat, but the holster’s empty. “Don’t worry, that already went over the edge. We weren’t properly introduced the last time we met and you startled my business partners. I’m Batman… and I run this city. And you are?” “The guy who’s going to put you away forever.” “Good luck with that. This is going to sting a little.” There’s a quick pinch in my neck like a needle through his hand. “Hmm… $teven Love… it’s funny how much you can figure out by a quick blood sample when you have the right technology. Let’s see, college graduate, one brother, stepsisters, FOUR parents… aaaaaw… I’m jealous… brings a tear to my eye. A few speeding tickets, blah blah blah… ooh… what’s this? Just became a suspect in the murder of two police officers? Transferred his life savings to the Wayne Orphanage? That’s very noble of you, $teve. Too bad the kids won’t see a nickel of it. Wasn’t that much anyway though.” I can barely breathe but that doesn’t mean I can’t retort, “That’s okay. Money isn’t everything. Besides… I owe you for the damages.” “What damages? You barely winded me the last time we fought.” “Yeah, well, this can’t be good for your suit…” I jam a taser into a gap in the armor in his neck, pull the trigger, sparks fly, he drops me, I gasp for air, as he stumbles I grab a large knife and stab him in the right armpit but it doesn’t go in too far, there’s still some blood though. So I take it out… and basically run like a b**ch swinging down the alley way with my grappling hook… but I left him a little something too. BOOM!!! A grenade goes off on the rooftop where I just was. I get about a block away and look back, can’t really make much out other than there’s a lot of smoke… and then I see a shadowy figure step out of it. “Sheeeeeiiiiiiiiiit…” and I’m off like a prom dress. Not sure exactly how (it was a dream) but I’m kinda glide swinging above the street like Spiderman or something with a pair of grappling hooks.

I look behind me… and of course Robo-Bat can apparently fly with a jet pack or something, though obviously damaged because he’s all over the place. His mask is off though, which I guess is a start. He’s catching up fast. I’m trying to think of what I’m going to do when he gets close… and nothing’s coming to mind. I mean… the grenade didn’t do much, right? Okay, head is exposed, that’s going to be the focus, oh sh*t!!! He just caught up and slammed into me. I squirm about a bit and he’s flying on his back with me on top as I try to punch him with the grappling hook in my hand. He’s blocking with his forearm. We struggle for a bit… and then I realize the streets getting close, so I try to jump away but he’s got a hold of my shirt or something. SLAM!!! He hit into a cab driving down the road, taking the roof off, he keeps flying down the road a bit and I fall into the back seat of the recent drop-top. There’s screaming and the cab is swerving and horns are blaring. “AGH!!! F**K!!! These pads do nothing (holding my ribs)…” “$teve?” What the hell? I glance over… and there’s Bubbles in the back seat. “How are you… look, ma’am… please remain calm and stay down.” “You’re the Wolf-Man?” “There’s a perfectly good explanation for all of this at the appropriate time… but I’ve gotta get out of here. Don’t call me, I’ll call…” THUNK!!! Robo-Bat lands on the trunk, wraps both arms around me, and then we fly off upwards (apparently I didn’t hurt his arm enough to render it useless). As we fly off I hear a scream from the cab, “$TEEEVE!!!”

I hear him laughing as we fly off, “Sounds like somebody recognized you… don’t worry, I’ll deal with her after I’m finished with you.” I’m trying to get an arm loose or something but he’s really crushing on the ribs at this point… and we’re halfway to the moon from what I can tell. “Gorgeous girl… too bad she hangs out with the wrong crowd.” I’m trying to tell him to stay the f**k away from her… but I can’t really breathe (pillow maybe). I’m searching my pockets for anything that I could use… and then I find it… a grenade. Okay, one thing’s in my favor, just don’t drop it. I’m trying to say something, “Pl… plee… please…” “What’s that? Are you begging already?” He loosens his grip a bit. “Please… please shut the f**k up!” I reach my arm up throw the grenade down his collar, poke him in the eyes, and he let’s go of me as he’s trying to reach down into his suit to get the grenade… and now I’m free falling. BOOM!!! Okay, at least he’s gone now… but I’m looking down at a city a few miles below me and approaching fast. Why didn’t I pack a parachute? Oh yeah… I needed space for the baseball bat & didn’t think I was going to be at a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet. Well… needless to say… the dream ends about half way through the free fall… ta-da!!!

So what do you think? Does it have the makings of a Hollywood movie or what? Yeah, there are a few inexplicable things… but what do you expect? Feel free to analyze all you want… but while you do that, have a great weekend!!! I’ll be in a blizzard for the next few days. Winter is officially here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sexiest Man Alive Snub

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

So… this weekend is the one year anniversary of my moving out here to Lake Tahoe… and man, did it fly by? I’ve been kind of looking back and seeing how things have changed since then… as I often do. I love it out here. But is it home? Not yet. Obviously I miss all my family & friends… and I haven’t met a whole lot of people here… but hey, these things take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why should Home be any different. I’ve seen many beautiful things and have had wonderful experiences in the past year… and luckily I’ve been able to share them with a lot of the people that I care about, even if just for little spurts. Anyway, maybe more on this a little later… but then again, maybe it’ll pass once my mom comes to visit for Thanksgiving next week. Who knows? My mind is kind of that way. Easily distracted at times, yet always going a hundred miles an hour at least.

Last night, I finally watched “Predators” starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo. It starts off with people literally falling from the sky… reaching terminal velocity… and they have no idea where they are. They just wake up and their free falling with a parachute on them. They wake up and just before impact, the chute opens and they land. Where are they? A jungle somewhere… maybe the Amazon… or Afrika. They meet each other… and try to find out what’s going on. Last they remembered, they were in jail, in a war, operating, drinking at the bar, whatever… then there was a flash of light… and they woke up free falling. Well, as the previews kind of gave away, they were dropped into basically what is a gaming reserve for a race of aliens who pride themselves on their hunting skills… and they aren’t the only prey either. Oh… and the gaming reserve is on an alien planet… so now they have to find a way to get off the planet… and not be turned into a trophies by these supreme hunter aliens. Now, you know that I’m a big fan of the previous Predator movies… and this one is actually pretty damn good. Sure, there are a few cheesy lines, plot holes, predictable twists, etc. but for the most part, it’s great action, pretty good suspense, and I really enjoyed this movie. I highly recommend it to anybody who can stand giant blood splatters and the sight of a spinal cord and skull being ripped completely off a human in one swift motion… and don’t worry, it’s in the dark, so not as gory as you might think. It’s also from director Nimrod Antal (“Pathfinder”) so it’s pretty good for that genre.

Also, my roommate got home about half way through the movie, so I offered to fill him in on what was going on… and I basically gave him a spiel like I just gave you with the basic plot… and of course, trying to keep the mystery & mystique that the movie was going for. He basically looked at me and said, “Dude, you should make movies?” Now, I have never really told him about the past scripts and ideas that I’ve written down here and there or anything like that. “Why do you say that?” “Well, I know that you like movies… and you always tell me these stories about your past or just random stories about whatever when we’re watching TV and… I don’t know, you seem to really like them… and so I figured that you might like the idea of making them, you know?” He was a little drunk, I’m not going to lie… but still. “Well, maybe you’re right man. I had thought about it before… even wrote a few quick stories down.” “Yeah, I figured you might have. That’s cool man. Well hey, let’s watch this one and we’ll talk about this another time. I’m kinda tired right now.” So yeah… maybe that’s my calling or something… and I just haven’t done it. I have an odd interpretation of the world… a view askew if you will (shout out to Kevin Smith) but it’s not exactly easy to get into the movie business… and even then, it’s basically a circle jerk of ideas and your idea for a great film may get studio-ized into something that makes “Speed 2” look like “Citizen Kane”. So yeah… we’ll see how that all works out. The funny thing is… when I went to bed… I had another dream… that played out like a pretty interesting movie. Do you want to hear about it? No? Well, I’m gonna tell it anyway… but because it was a bit of a story, and it’s taking a while to type up, I’ll have to feature it tomorrow. I thought it was pretty interesting… so feel free to analyze my many issues… tomorrow…

Sexiest Man Alive - Can life get much better for Ryan Reynolds? After all, he's married to Scarlett Johansson (featured last week). Oh, apparently it can. People magazine has bestowed its "sexiest man alive" title on the 34-year-old actor. Reynolds is about to star on-screen as the Green Lantern. The Canadian native told People: "The sexiest thing about Canadians is that there's an inherent ability to be self-deprecating. That has served me well in my career and personal life." It's the 25th anniversary of People's first sexiest man — Mel Gibson (oh how times have changed). Others given the title include John F. Kennedy Jr., Harrison Ford and Richard Gere. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp have won it twice. People announced its 2010 list on Wednesday… and in case you were wondering why I was yet again left off the list… it’s because I don’t have a good publicist. I am accepting applications for the position though. Seriously, Ryan Reynolds got a part for a character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” who doesn’t even speak… but they adapted it so that he (and Hugh Jackman) could spit out a couple bad one-liners. That’s what a good publicist can do for your career. Like a good Wingman… or a Chick-n-Wing. Anyway, congratulations Ryan… and I still remember “Two Guys, a Girl & a Pizza Place” glad that you could overcome it.

Flirting Study - There is a lot more to flirting than fun, according to a new research study that says finding success in romance depends in part on understanding your own personal "flirting style." Whether or not you prefer sidling up to a stranger in a bar or you'd rather sit back and wait for an object of attraction to approach are distinctions that once recognized can help people navigate the rocky seas of relationships, according to Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas. Hall recently completed a study into styles of flirting among dating adults, surveying more than 5,100 people regarding their methods of communicating romantic interest. "Knowing something about the way you communicate attraction says something about challenges you might have had in your past dating life," Hall said. "Hopefully, this awareness can help people avoid those mistakes and succeed in courtship." Hall said there are essentially five styles of flirting: physical, traditional, polite, sincere and playful. In physical flirting, people express their sexual interest in a potential partner and, he says, often quickly can develop the relationships, have more sexual chemistry and have a greater emotional connection to their partners. Traditional flirts tend to believe that men should make the first moves, with women assuming more passive roles. Both sexes comfortable with this style seem to prefer more "intimate" dating scenes, he said. There are many people whose flirting styles fall into the category of "playful" and are aimed largely at enhancing their own self-esteem, Hall said. These people are less likely to have lasting and meaningful relationships, he added. "In some ways, the very early part of developing relationships is important to the success of long-term relationships, including marriages," he said. Hall co-authored the article with Steve Carter, senior director of research and product development at online dating site eHarmony.com; and other researchers. Interesting, right? Know what I found interesting? Did you notice that polite & sincere weren’t even mentioned or elaborated upon? Now… many of you who have witnessed me at work know that I’m all about the playful flirting with ladies… who let’s say are a little out of my age demographic… and that’s more for their self-esteem than mine (though it doesn’t hurt). Yet I wonder… does that seem to carry over into my sincere or traditional flirtation when I’m really looking to build a relationship? God knows I’ve steered away from Physical (except maybe dancing on the rare occasion while intoxicated) thanks to what seems like constant sexual harassment training… and I’m always polite… but yeah, I wonder if it’s my flirtation style that has led to my “cold streak” rather than geographical movement and… just plain sh*tty luck with dating… or partner selection. Who knows? I sure the f**k don’t… but gotta keep out there and trying, right? Maybe there’s more to this study… I’ll have to investigate and let you know. Who knows? Down the road… maybe I’ll pull one of these out on somebody…

Expensive Rock - A rare pink diamond fetched 45.44 million Swiss francs on Tuesday. Don’t worry, you know how conversion is… and it sounds like a lot of money, but that’s only about $45.75 million, which virtually doubled the previous record to become the most expensive stone ever sold at auction and underline the strength of the international jewelry market. The rectangular step-cut pink diamond, which weighs 24.78 carats and is about the size of a pinball (bling BLAUW!!!), was the star lot among nearly 500 on the block at Sotheby's semi-annual jewelry sales in Geneva. Top diamond dealer Laurence Graff, bidding by telephone, was the buyer of the diamond which is mounted in a platinum ring, the auction house said in a statement. "It is the most fabulous diamond I've seen in the history of my career and I'm delighted to have bought it," said Graff, a Briton who began his career as a teenager in London's East End and now resides in the Swiss resort of Gstaad. "It is a world record price for a jewel at auction," said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewelry department in Europe and the Middle East, as he brought down the hammer to applause in the packed sales room. "It's like pink champagne," he told Reuters before the sale. The stone, purchased from American jeweler Harry Winston 60 years ago by the anonymous owner who consigned it for auction in the Swiss city, had a pre-sale estimate of $27-38 million. Previously, the world's most expensive jewel sold at auction was the historic "Wittelsbach" blue diamond, a 17th century stone of 35.56 carats that fetched $24.3 million in December 2008 at rival Christie's. That was also purchased by Graff of Graff Diamonds, who later had it repolished, making it smaller at 31.06 carats, and renaming it the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond. He is the controlling shareholder in the South African Diamond Corporation, a diamond wholesaler and manufacturer based in Johannesburg and a major shareholder in Gem Diamonds Ltd, according to his website. Gem Diamonds earlier this month said it had found a 185-carat rough white diamond at its Letseng mine in Lesotho. "Laurence Graff is a great connoisseur of gem stones. He certainly now owns two of the greatest stones in the world," Bennett told reporters on Tuesday night. "There were four active bidders for the diamond, which at that level is quite extraordinary," he added. "It tells you a lot about the health of the market." Bennett, noting that pure diamonds and vintage pieces by French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels commanded high prices, said: "The market for fine gemstones and fine jewelry is as good as it has ever been, it is very, very strong." A pair of fancy blue diamond and diamond pendant ear clips by French jeweler Alexandre Reza soared to $1.79 million, tripling the low end of its pre-sale estimate. It went to a New York-based dealer, according to the auction house. The sale netted $105.05 million, a world record for a jewelry sale, exceeding the previous record of $68.5 million also set by Sotheby's in Geneva in 1993, its statement said. In all, 397 of the 487 lots on offer found new owners, for a sell through rate of nearly 82 percent by lot. Christie's holds its Geneva jewelry sale on Wednesday. Eric Valdieu, a former Christie's jewel expert in Geneva now of Valdieu Fine Arts, told Reuters as he left the Sotheby's sale: "The prices were stronger than in 2007-2008, that's why everyone has a smile on his face." "The reason is the bad performance of the stock market in the last year or two. Nobody knows what they are buying with stocks, but here they are buying something solid and tangible. The top quality jewels are even more expensive than they should be," the Frenchman added. So there’s some financial advice for you straight from Dr. Love. Don’t invest in stocks (fool me once, shame on you…) but rather, invest more than a hundred times what you’ll ever see in your lifetime even if you visit the U.S. mint in a rock about the size of a Cheerio. It makes perfect sense… because it’s hard and tangible. Look, the best investment you can make with regards to a diamond… is to give it to somebody that you love and want to spend the rest of your miserable life with. That’s the best advice that I can give you. Invest in who wears the diamond.

Priceless Rubble – As you know, I really like Pompeii. I’ve been there twice… and it was a dream of mine to write a movie about in high school with a buddy of mine in AP Literature (think “Last Days of Pompeii” meets “Gladiator” with “Avatar” style CGI for volcanoes). Unfortunately, the incredibly preserved ruins of Pompeii are falling to the elements now that they are exposed for the world to see. More buildings inside the ancient Roman city of Pompeii could collapse, Italy's culture minister said last week, a day after a 2,000-year-old house once used by gladiators disintegrated into rubble. The collapse at one of Italy's main tourist attractions was a source of embarrassment for the government and the country. President Giorgio Napolitano (you HAVE to say it with the accent) said it was a "disgrace for Italy" and demanded an explanation. Culture Minister Sandro Bondi, who went to Pompeii to survey the damage on Sunday, warned that other buildings could also fall, according to Italian news agencies. Given the number of buildings that need restoration, further damage is virtually "inevitable," said Daniela Leone, a spokeswoman for Pompeii's archaeological superintendence. "This is a vast area that requires maintenance, resources," she said. The house that collapsed on Saturday was used by gladiators to train before going to fight in a nearby amphitheater, as well as by other athletes. It was also a storehouse for weapons and armor. It was believed to have been built not long before Pompeii was destroyed in A.D. 79 by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which killed thousands of people and buried the city in 20 feet (six meters) of volcanic ash. The house was also partially destroyed during World War II, and the roof and some of the walls had been rebuilt. Bondi suggested that water infiltration following heavy rains and the heavy roof added during the postwar restoration were to blame. However, he said some frescoes on the lower parts of the walls may be saved, and urged more government funds for Pompeii. My solution – Make my movie with 10% of gross (not net) income going to the preservation of the city of Pompeii. What’s that Hollywood? Too much? Consider it this guy’s tithing towards a worthy cause. Oh, you need a script? Gimme the word and I’ll have a blockbuster storyboard by the end of the week… and don’t worry, I’ll explain the stick figures. I’m not that kind of an artist… besides you’ll just cast whoever you want in there anyway.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll have that dream typed up for ya… because I thought it was kind of cool… and patent pending as I see a pretty good SyFy TV movie out of it at least… which is ironic given my roommates comments last night. Have a great night everybody!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Legend of the Fall

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, it’s been almost a week… and what a busy week it has been. Let’s see, when last I left you, I was expecting visitors & my prediction of Michael Vick being the MVP of the NFL was a crazy man’s fantasy. Let me catch you up on what has happened since then. First off, unfortunately JL Clyde couldn’t make it out here for the weekend… so Friday I caught up on errands during banker’s hours (vehicle registration, insurance, etc) and then decided that I would spend about an hour at my favorite spot watching the sun set… and catch up with my mom and brother after his stint in jail. Oh… yeah, didn’t give you the details about that one, right? Well, let’s just say that it’s a good thing that I was two states away, they’re not talking to one another (so as usual I’m the mediator), he’s living with my buddy Isaiah for the time being, each time I’ve talked to him since he’s asked me for money (which I don’t have), and he’s pretty much being a douche… but that’s the usual. Anyway, here are some pictures of the sunset during my reflection on my life & current state of things (yes, apparently it’s that time of year again).

That night, I got a text message from Bubbles to go visit in San Francisco… and so the next morning I was there. Why not? I had a feeling it was going to be the last weekend of the fall (and apparently was right because we’re expecting 5-6 FEET of snow this weekend). Besides, I didn’t have any plans really. So we (she, myself & her friend Andy) met up, got some pho (Vietnamese food), a few bottles of wine, watched an episode of “Twin Peaks” which I don’t believe I had ever seen before… but apparently Bubbles said that she thinks of me every time she watches it… probably because she knows how I love cheesy soap opera acting, scene transition & story loopholes. She even tried to convince me that next Halloween we should dress up as Agent Carter (Kyle McLachlan’s character) & Log Lady. After that, we took a walk down to Crissy Fields to watch the sun set… and holy crap, it was just about the most romantic setting ever. Honestly, I couldn’t think of anybody better to share it with either… since you know, I’ve been livin’ la vida solo for a few years now. Anyway, enjoy the pictures…
Here is Andy & Micah

After the sun went down, we all went out to get some sushi in the area known as the Marina (along with a few bottles of warm sake… which is incredibly effective) and then went to a bar called Delaney’s for a few. Needless to say, Bubbles had the guys hanging all over her… but yeah, she was buying ME drinks so… take that bar douches. Witness the Gentleman Doctor. After that, we wanted to dance, dance, dance… and we were wearing all our favorite brands, brands, brands… so we went to Ruby Skye to get our dance on. The thing is… apparently I was the only one that was willing to shake my groove thing… so after about an hour & a few drinks, we headed back kind of early… like midnight, which is odd given some of our epic Vegas nights together.

The next morning, I was up bright & early so I was nominated to walk Brutis & Micah (roommate’s dog) while Bubbles slept in. Apparently she tried to keep up with the big boy drinking wise (since we finally had a DD that wasn’t me) and she forgot that I’m more than twice the body mass that she is. Oh… and I finally got to see her new crib & roommates. Nice place in the Presidio, which is exactly where I would live in San Francisco… because it’s not “city” and the roommates seem cool as hell. After she woke up, we & her roommate Swapna went out to have brunch (of course with mimosas by the pitcher) and had a great time. I had lobster mac & cheese, as well as the world’s driest turkey club sandwich, along with enough champagne with a splash of OJ to… well, apparently put a pair of gorgeous lightweights into a stumbling manner. It’s not every day that a man like myself gets to enjoy a fabulous meal with two beautiful women… and then carry their drunk asses home for nap time. Sigh… don’t judge. I like the fantasy world that I live in.

After that, I took a power nap while the ladies passed the f**k out and then said my goodbyes around sundown (5:30 PM) or rather “when the lights… go doooown… in the city.” I drove back taking the scenic route through the Golden Gate Bridge and was home just before 9 PM. Great weekend. Then again, I always seem to enjoy my time playing with Bubbles (save the day in the ER last July). She knows that I miss hanging out with her… but yeah, we get to meet up every so often and have a lot of fun. She was even going to visit this weekend… except again, we’re expecting 5-6 FEET of precipitation… and I’m pretty sure that Gretchen may have problems, less her Sylvie. Oh well, I’m sure she’ll visit and enjoy this winter wonderland in the near future. Worst-case, we’ll meet up again in Slick City for Christmas drinks.

Let’s see, what happened Monday? Oh yeah, busy busy at work as usual… and the Eagles destroyed the Racists… and Michael Vick is now the leading candidate for MVP (as foretold in the Prophecy) and then I went to bed to try and catch up on sleep missed over the weekend or something.

Tuesday, after work, I was invited on a special tour of the Thunderbird Lodge. Now, I had been so close to the lodge before when I stumbled upon the nude beach one summer stroll… but had I known this place was so amazing, I would’ve visited it much sooner. Basically, it was a lakefront mansion built by a man back in the 1930’s and it is just awesome! There’s a lighthouse, a rustic lodge area, card room overlooking the lake, secret tunnels, a giant fountain (awaiting refurbishment moneys) and is the nation’s only mansion / meeting center preserved on a national park, so any donations are tax deductible (hint hint). There’s also plenty of splendid open areas for receptions, wine socials, dancing, relaxing, and as we did… enjoying a glass of zinfandel at sunset with a wonderful host (the owner) telling us about the colorful history of the Lodge including lions, tigers & ghosts… oh my! Truly an awe-inspiring place. Definitely the kind of place I’m looking to retire to… but yeah, enjoy these pictures of it…
Thunderbird - Powered by two jet engines

After that, I met up with some coworkers for a little team outing at Bowl Incline. I’ve been here almost a full year to the day… and this was the first time that we were able to head out as a team and have a good time because we’ve been so busy (and budget allowed us $10 for two games, shoes & a couple Blue Moon ales). We really needed it too. There was definitely a bit of gruffness coming over the department the past few months with a lot of changes, confusion, challenges, overworked & understaffed… and my guess… probably a little bit to do with the end of summer weather too. Did I mention the 5-6 FEET of snow this weekend? Probably a few times… but it’s kind of important. Anyway, bowling was awesome, we had a great time, I bowled a 153 (followed by 108 when the beers started to kick in & my attention shifted to other things), and it was a great time spent with coworkers. Hopefully the first of many to come!!!

Also, on that note, we took a team photo on Monday… and the first mistake was they wanted me to wear a sweater & a scarf… apparently forgetting that I’m a heterosexual male, so I don’t do scarves. Anyway, I borrowed one… and the pictures turned out pretty well… but apparently I’m not the most photogenic guy in the world… but it REALLY doesn’t help when I apparently work with a bunch of supermodels. Seriously. It’s like an Abercrombie & Fitch ad… where Lurch from the Addams Family kinda stumbled onto the shoot. Oh well, it does make me feel a little sexier knowing that I blended somewhat well in the team photo (just stand out for obvious height reasons).

Anyway, that’s catching you up for the past week or so. Hope you all enjoyed it… and still no New Orleans pictures to share with you… but they’re on their way allegedly. Have a great day everybody!!!

Where Should I Go Next?