Friday, March 25, 2011

900 Rounds & Counting

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, another milestone… as this is the 900th entry into this ridiculous blog. Sigh… imagine if I had focused my energy into something meaningful instead of this… where could I be now? Oh well. Enough of that. Let’s see… last I left was on St Patty’s Day… and Bubbles, her roommates & I had a few pre-drinks and went to The Final Final for some good time having. Not much to say about that… other than I apparently had a pretty good time & spilled a little of my beer on Bubbles handing her mine (fumble!!!) so that I could go get a last round, but that was as good a sign as any that we were good, since we had work in the morning.

Friday morning, wasn’t feeling so hot. Go figure! Still I got up, took a shower & a few advil, got dressed, rode the bus to work, had a little oatmeal… and then just before work started, it hit me. Uh-oh! I discreetly found an unused restroom with nobody around, purged a little, cleaned up & went to work as if nothing happened. The best part is… the only reason anybody knows about this… is because I’m willing to confess to it. Nobody was the wiser… and it’s probably a good thing, because I think it was more of a headache thing than an alcohol thing… but you know how it is, morning after St Patty’s Day, new employee, strapping young buck, people would get the wrong idea about my professionalism… and I expect them to get to know me personally before that becomes an issue. Anyway, not much after that. Went to bed a little early because… well, you just heard. Also, Bubbles was having “cramps” and my new roommates were getting all moved in, so I thought I’d try to help out Nurse and… we’ll call her Pixie get moved into their places… but they had friends help them out too, so I just kinda said howdy & offered but was shut down. One of Pixie’s friends chatted with me for a second because I was watching “The Critic” on the big screen… and she also seems to know that’s one of the greatest shows ever made. I made no move… but one thing I’ve noticed… is my new roommates seem pretty nice (even though we haven’t talked much) and they have some pretty cute friends. I’ll keep you posted when we have our Housewarming Party (and I can hopefully Christen my bed in the new apartment).

Saturday was a dreadfully rainy day. Probably the worst since I moved here… so I basically ran a few errands in the morning, then did some laundry & cleaning while watching more of “The Critic.” I also did a little bit of cooking, because I had time & patience / boredom, so I’m going to try to get more into it… but the thing is, I like spices & meats in my meals… and charring caramelized mammal flesh can live a bit of a lingering smell in the kitchen… and then I have to hear about it from the roommates… but hey, we’ll get used to it… and it’ll force me to cook & eat a little better anyway. I’m all about trying new things (not just addresses either). Anyway, this weekend it was stuff like chicken fried rice & eggplant parmesan (just to see if I could). They turned out pretty well if I say so myself. Also, my friends Jackie D & Filly in Philly & the Big Easy respectively may have found new places to live, so good for them. In family drama news, my brother’s apartment’s almost finished… but he still takes time out of his busy day of… whatever he does to berate my mother & tell her that she’s never going to see the grandkids again… even after all she’s done for him, because he decided to do something stupid to her in a fit of rage… but hey, he’s got to get a job soon… so joke’s on him. Bubbles was still not feeling well, so I took her over some movies so she could rest & be entertained at the same time… and then I decided to just chill at home too… because I’m lame & have no friends. Okay, that’s only half true. It was still pouring outside… and seriously, where was I going to go? A bar? Didn’t need that. A club? Not in a dancing mood… especially by myself. Yeah, I know… gotta get out there more… but hey, it was raining… and I did hang with my new roommates a little.

I also watched “Cyrus” starring John C Reilly, Marisa Tomei & Jonah Hill. Basically it’s the story of a guy (Reilly) who is having a bit of a midlife crisis. He’s been obsessing a little about his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) for about seven years, but she’s getting married… and she wants him to get out there & meet somebody. At a party, in walks a lovely woman (Tomei) who finds Cyrus’ honesty & perspective on life fascinating (this is where I cough bullsh*t) and so they hook up, a few times, but then he notices she’s acting kind of shady… so he stalks her & follows her back to her place… where he meets her 22-year old son Cyrus (Hill) who seems a little touched in the head & needy of his mother. Well, one thing leads to another… and he basically finds that her son is trying to cockblock him… and doing a pretty good job. Will Love prevail? Or the son win? Who knows? I actually really liked this movie… but yeah, it’s like most indie comedies, where it starts out really good & funny… but then gets real. The good thing is… it’s funny for the first 2/3… and Marisa Tomei is still hot throughout its entirety. So I say give it a chance.

Sunday, the rain broke, so I went for a little stroll around the Presidio… and about the time I got to Starbucks, the rain came again… so I chilled there sipping a Caramel Apple Spice & just… I don’t know… thinking? The usual, trying to figure out what to do here & how to get established & grow as a person, what to do with my day, week, month, etc. Going over all the family stuff, the work stuff, the friend stuff, the me stuff, the world stuff, all that craziness… but I was surprisingly chipper about it given what I just typed out. After about a half hour, the rain broke, the sun came out, rainbows & all that jazz, so I went for a walk back home… and then decided to take a stroll down Lovers Lane (alone) and check that out… which was pretty nice… enjoy…
Inspiration Point - About a 3-4 minute walk from my apartment

I did a few more strolls throughout the day when the weather was good… but yeah, didn’t really do much else aside from that. I know, lame once again… but it was restful… and I kinda needed it after the past few months. So then I watched a movie that I hadn’t seen before… and this may shock a lot of you… but that movie was “When Harry Met Sally” starring Billy Crystal & Meg Ryan. Yes, the classic romantic comedy about acquaintances who become friends over random star-crossings and then possibly something more… I had never seen it… but felt like I’ve been there a few times. Anyway, Harry (Crystal) hitches a ride with his girlfriend’s friend Sally (Ryan) to NYC after graduation, they chat along the way, Harry makes a pass & gets turned down. It happens, they go their separate ways. Five years later, they meet up again by chance on an airplane. Harry’s engaged, Sally’s dating this guy. They chat, they go their separate ways. Five years later, they meet up again. Harry’s divorced & Sally’s recently single… so now they become friends… but can men & women REALLY ever be friends? Or is it just men putting up with women’s crap because we want to have sex with them? Or vice versa? Is there always that lingering attraction that at least one party involved wants? The answer is yes… but hey, watch the movie… and then discuss it… and then make out & have lots of incredible sex… or be incredibly disappointed. The point is that you tried. Wait, did I give away the ending? No. You’ve all seen it. You’re probably not even reading this… but yeah, I really liked this movie… and now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to being a cynical douche like Harry because apparently that’s the kind of guy that gets laid.

Honestly, this week hasn’t had a whole lot to it. It’s has been very rainy. I haven’t done a whole lot after work because… well, I’ve been busy outside of my f**king mind, then I just want to get home, relax & listen to the rain on the window as opposed to standing in it getting soaked. Been hanging out a little bit with the roommate Pixie… but really just her & her friend watched a few episodes of Futurama… and then we watched the pilot of “My So-Called Life” starring Claire Danes & Jared Leto back in the early nineties. Favorite part was when the ladies asked me “So… did people really dress like that… with the plaid over bikini tops or whatever that is?” Because I was apparently in 7th grade when this show came out, I was obviously the expert. “Well… there was a lot of plaid… but I thought it was just because I lived in a hick part of town…” and they found that pretty amusing, “but don’t worry… it’ll be back in fashion again before you know it. That twenty year cycle’s about due.”

Oh, I also saved a guy from serious injury yesterday. I was walking to work, in the rain, came to a corner, and it’s basically instinct for me to look four times before crossing a road, especially in bad weather. I’ve been on too many car hoods as a courtesy clerk at a supermarket. Anyway, pretty busy intersection, I noticed the gentleman in front of me stepping off the sidewalk into the intersection because he had the “green man” signal… but there was a douche in a BMW blowing through the red light. So I reached out, grabbed him by the collar of his coat, & pulled him back to the curb. Go-go-gadget arms!!! He was a little startled at first, until the passing car splashed him. The driver was on a cell phone, made a little wave to us like “Excuse me! Sorry!” and kept driving like nothing. The guy that I had saved pulled his headphones out & said a quick, “Thanks man!” So you know how I responded, “No need to thank me, just pay it forward” and we walked across the street & went our separate ways after that. Not a huge story by any means… but hey, it’s a lot better than “So I saw this guy get rolled up on the hood of a Beemer this morning. Leg was broken in 3 places, four broken ribs, punctured lung… and the guy who hit him committed suicide out of grief, compounded with his wife who’s divorcing him on the phone due to financial troubles.” See, I saved somebody. Maybe two somebodys. Better story.

Over this week, I saw “Due Date” starring Robert Downey & Zach Galifinakis. The story is a comedy from director Todd Phillips (“Old School”) and about a man (Downey) whose wife (Michelle Monaghan) is about to have a baby in LA while he’s across the country in Atlanta. Well, due to serious misunderstandings, he’s put on the no-fly list, so now he has to drive cross-country with the guy who got him on the list inadvertently (Galifanikas). Basically, it’s your standard tale of kinda-selfish guy & eccentric well-meaning imbecile Odd Couple kind of story… to an absurd level. It does have a little bit of heart though… and a cameo by Jamie Foxx… and a few REALLY funny parts, so I say give it a shot. I enjoyed it.

Next up was “Unstoppable” starring Denzel Washington & Chris Pine. It’s from director Tony Scott (“Last Boy Scout”, “True Romance” & the like) so you know there’s a lot of explosions & action. Based on a true story about a runaway train in rural Pennsylvania, it’s about two guys that try to run it down at 70 MPH to save the day… if they can make it… or if they can make it out alive themselves. Basically that is the story… but they throw in the whole backstories of the main characters which is okay… but yeah, it’s really one of those really basic movies where there’s good guys, bad guys, people in danger, heroism, tales of redemption, all that stuff that you’d expect in a Tony Scott movie. It was okay, but not fantastic.

Other than that, like I said, just really busy & exhausted, and a little frustrated with my problems with Capital One not being able to just do simple procedures because they don’t understand the words coming out of my mouth. F**k outsourcing! Oooh… but another good thing is that I might have a hookup for WonderCon next weekend. What’s WonderCon, you ask? Well, it’s basically ComicCon… but in San Francisco, so I can nerd out with the likes of comic book geeks, even though I won’t be dressing up or anything, it should be an amazing geeks-perience. Anyway, more on that when / if it happens. Happy 900th entry everybody!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Patrick - Saint of Green Bagels

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY!!! Well, yet again it has been a while. Just been hella busy with roommate interviews, social activities, errands, trips to exotic locations, natural disasters, and the like. Let’s see, last I left off was Monday I think… so about a week ago. We had some more roommate interviews… and long boring & slightly frustrating story short, we have a new roommate… with paperwork signed & she moved in over the weekend. We interviewed four people (including one incredibly energetic girl who was my favorite) on Tuesday, but basically just ended up offering the room like “First one to sign a check & start the paperwork, gets the room” so the student sleeping on a friend’s couch was the first… but she seems okay in the four minutes that I spent chatting with her thus far. I’ll keep you posted. I don’t even have a nickname for her yet… that’s how little we’ve met.

Thursday night, Jackie D, Carmen & I went out to dinner at Pasquale’s near Carmen’s new apartment. We had a fun dinner, just the three of us, some fine Italian food, a bottle of wine & good times. We filled each other in on events like Jackie D’s move to Philly, Carmen’s new apartment, my ongoing roommate search & how it was frustrating me because I was thoroughly convinced that Tracy was trying to sabotage it by being genuinely creepy & pointing out ever flaw in a horrible manner… but yeah, mostly just laughs & then we hung out at Carmen’s place for a bit.

So… later on that night, I got a text message around midnight from my Wingman saying, “Not sure if you’re up but Japan just got seriously pimp handed by Mother Nature! DAMN!!!” of course this was in regards to the 8.9 earthquake that everybody’s talking about on the news. As details started coming in, there was talk of a tsunami… and then it hit me… I live on the coast now. Of course the news reported it with tsunamis being ten meter high waves traveling hundreds of miles an hour and destroying everything in its path… but after my initial thought of “What did that Christmas time tsunami in Indonesia do the West Coast of the US? Nothing, right?” then I thought… “Well damn, should I be packing up Gretchen, waking up the roommates & heading for Tahoe?” I mean… it was around 1 AM when I went to fill up Gretchen’s tank just in case (and I was going on a road trip the next day) but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it would be best for me to stick around. I was in a fairly safe situation anyway, being on the backside of the first MAJOR hill on the coast, but I also have a 4WD vehicle to help get people out if they’re trapped, I’m prepared for such things, and you know me… I just want to be a hero deep down. So the next morning, after getting a few hours of sleep, I went about the day as usual. Told Jackie D about the tsunami as we drove to work, fielded text messages from friends & family as they awoke to the news, but nothing really happened along the coast other than a few boats in Santa Cruz got knocked around apparently. However, it is a tragedy in Japan. Please give donations to help them out… or Godzilla will be a REALITY!!!

The thing that really struck me about the whole incident… was how little I thought about material things when there was an impeding threat. A giant wave could’ve been heading out to wipe out the Bay Area… and maybe the state of California… but the things that were rushing through my head wasn’t “Oh my gosh, I’m going to die… and all of my stuff is going to be underwater.” I was taking a quick inventory of what I really care about. “Let’s see, Bubbles is in Utah so she’s safe. If I head for Tahoe, I’m going to tell my roommates to see if they want to ride… but Brutis has to come with me otherwise Bubbles will literally kill me… and then we’ll have to swing by Carmen’s because she doesn’t have a car… do I have water? Grab a few things from the pantry… med kit… flashlight batteries are charged… got the scotch brite pads so we can start a fire if needed… I’m already packed for clothes… would the bridge be the best way? Definitely. Should I call my mom to let her know that I’m fine? My dad? Should I wait until morning or I’m safe? I don’t want them to worry…” You know, stuff like that. I was even trying to figure out a good way to get Bubbles’ roommates in the Jeep if needs be (even though they all have their own cars). I don’t know, just makes you kind of think about what’s really important to you. Again, if you get the chance, help out Japan. Obviously the community here in San Francisco is affected by it, lots of friends & family across the ocean… and our hearts go out to them.

Friday, went to work as normal, fielded texts & emails from family & friends, then after a half day, picked up Jackie D & headed for SoCal. The drive was pretty uneventful other than we listened to a lot of music… and we both love love LOVE “The Blueprint” through & through… so that was played a few times. CLASSIC!!! I was also educated a little bit on the likes of Drake, Bruno Mars, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj & a whole bunch of others that I hadn’t really heard much of before. Yes, I’m that guy. It was about a five hour drive, we checked into the hotel, & had dinner at Farm of Beverly Hills. FYI – The over roasted chicken breast there… absolutely delicious. Go for it. After dinner, we met up with Lilie in Marina del Rey for some salsa dancing at The Warehouse. It was a lot of fun… and it had been a while since I could show off some of the salsa moves. Sigh… like almost a decade now since I was doing it a lot. Sh*t! Time flies…
Blurry Celebrity Sighting - I think it's Billy Baldwin...

That night, after a few drinks, Jackie D & I were just chatting about this and that… and she said something along the lines of “$teve, I gotta tell you something. You’re a different guy when you’re around different people.” “Well yeah… isn’t everybody kinda that way?” “What I mean is… I’ve seen how you are around me… obviously… and we’re cool, laid back, whatever. I’ve hung out with you & Bubbles… and you guys are best friends & all… but you’re also always checking to make sure she’s doing okay & watching over her and all that stuff. Tonight with Lilie, I noticed that when we were talking, she say you out dancing & having a good time… and it was like… she had never seen that side of you before… and when we were chatting out on the deck having drinks, you were a little more… calm & collected. It just might be the way you are… but yeah, it’s just odd because… I don’t know who you are, ya know?” “Wow… I guess you’ve got a point there. Yeah, I do kind of adapt to my audience & environment a lot… but I like to think it’s still me.” “Yeah, I can see that… I don’t know, just something I noticed… and it was a HUGE difference between the personalities or whatever.” She may have a point. I really adapt to the people I’m around. I know with Bubbles, she’s been sick a lot of the times the three of us have hung out. When we were out on the deck, I didn’t need to yell or anything. Jackie D’s a big girl… and I don’t feel like I need to check to see how she’s doing as much as if… I were hanging with Bubbles (because I’ve let her be her… and ended up carrying her home TOO many times) but yeah… am I really being ME? Who is ME? Great thought-provoking question, right? Who are YOU? Do you know the REAL you? Or just the you that you pretend to be for the sake of others? Deep thoughts… by Dr Love…

Saturday, we had some breakfast burgers at Big Dean’s on Santa Monica Beach, then met up with Lilie again to see the Pier, ride the roller coaster, drive out to Beverly Hills to stalk some celebrities, gander along Rodeo Drive, cruise the Sunset Strip, then up to Griffith Observatory for these pictures…
Hollywood Sign & Griffith Observatory

After that was dinner at House of Blues, checking out Mann’s Chinese Theatre & then surprisingly… no clubbing, but instead we headed down to Laguna Niguel for a few bottles of wine & relaxing. Here are some pictures of that too…
Celebrity Sighting #2 - My inspiration Shrek
Celebrity Sighting #3 - The Foxx & Jackie D
(please disregard the Madame Tussaud in the background)
View from room at Laguna Niguel...

Sunday, we slept in a bit, had some lunch at Salt Creek Grille, and then drove back for 7 hours. Again, nothing really eventful other than a lot of music and we made fantastic time. Monday, we met up with Carmen after work for some dinner at an Indian restaurant called Musala & that was pretty good times too. Jackie D was leaving the next morning (like 4 AM) for Philly, so yeah, goodbyes were said… but not before we watched an absolutely horrible movie called “MacGruber” starring Will Forte, Kirsten Wiig & Val Kilmer. Now, when I’m watching a movie based on a pretty lame SNL skit, I tend to give it some leeway. It should go without saying… but yeah, this one was pretty bad… and I think killed any future implications that a “MacGyver” movie franchise would be a good idea. Anyway, it’s the story of a legend in the field of espionage named MacGruber (Forte) who is asked to come out of retirement to get back a nuclear missile from the evil mastermind Cunth (Kilmer… and yes, you know it’s pronounced with a silent H throughout the movie). Well, after accidentally exploding his dream team of soldiers, MacGruber must team up with a new recruit (Ryan Phillippe) & the best friend of his murdered wife (Wiig). Basically, there was a lot of incredibly vulgar stuff going on… and I’m about as desensitized as they come… but yeah, it wasn’t really funny… or coherent… and at times, I realize it was purposely so… but it didn’t matter. I didn’t really care for this movie. Bring on “Hot Rod 2” or something…

Monday was back to the usual busyness of business… and it was also the day that Jackie D left for Philly. Also, the newest roommate has moved in… but still haven’t really got a good name for her yet as we haven’t talked much (odd hours & keeps to herself). Soon I’m sure…and basically this week has been busy with work, running errands & then bad weather on top of it all, so not a lot to report on other than a few movies during the late nights… so here we go with those…

First up was “The Presidio” starring Sir Sean Connery, Mark Harmon & a young Meg Ryan. The story is about a murder at… you guessed it… THE Presidio… as in where I live, but back in the 80’s when it was almost exclusively a military base & federal land (still kind of is… but they rent it out). An SFPD detective who used to be a cadet there (Harmon) is brought in to help with the investigation since a car chase led into the city & teams up with his former commanding officer (Connery) to bring the killers to justice. Along the way, the detective meets the hot daughter (Ryan), past issues become prevalent, shots are fired, people are betrayed, people fall in love, you know the routine. Best part about this movie though… was watching the car chase through the Presidio, then into the streets of Pacific Heights, and then through Chinatown and saying out loud “I know that restaurant!!!” or “I just drove that yesterday to go pick up Carmen!” So what if I’m a nerd, it was an okay movie. Then again, Peter Griffin says Mark Harmon is the greatest actor on planet Earth so… who am I to deny him that distinction?

I followed that up with “Saw: The Final Chapter” starring… well, nobody of real relevance except a brief cameo by Cary Elwes (“Robin Hood: Men in Tights”). This is the 7th (and God willing final) installment of the Saw series which has grossed a sh*t ton of money as most half-ass horror movies do. Basically, there’s the Jigsaw killer who puts people in these horrific trap situations with the choice of do some crazy sh*t & get maimed… but survive… or don’t do it & die a horrible death, the choice is yours. The twist in this one… is there’s a Jigsaw survivor who is out promoting his new book about the experience & trying to help those who have been through traumatic situations… but a secret from his past is going to come back & put him through some serious trials… oh and the cops are still trying to find a killer too. Gore, twists & turns, you know the series. My major concern was that… yes, it was made for 3-D, so there was a lot of parts that just seemed REALLY stupid… because you know, in 3-D it’s stuff flying at you… mostly splatter. It was a horror flick. If you like them, check it out.

Last night was “Ong Bak 3” starring Tony Jaa, who before joining a monastery was going to be the future of martial arts movies. Basically it’s a continuation of Ong Bak 2… which is a completely different story from the original Ong Bak… but hey, Ong Bak had recognition because of the amazing athleticism of the star, so they decided to do a period piece with the same name. I am a huge fan of these movies (even though the stories are often a bit to be desired) but the action sequences are amazing. If you like the first two movies… or have seen “The Protector” and it blew your mind, check this movie out… but then again, I’m a bit of a martial arts nerd.

Anyway, that’s enough shorthand of the past week plus… and now I must go to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Have a great night everybody!!! Drive safely (and sober)!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dr Love's Irritated Voice

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Friday night, Tracy interviewed a potential roommate… and she’s French… but she was also two days off the plane & we were her first stop so we’ll see how that goes. I wasn’t there but she was apparently very nice. That night, Jackie D & I had pulled pork sandwiches for the third time in a week & watched some TV shows on Netflix & drank a few beers. That’s really about it.

Saturday, I woke up pretty early to A) Get a fine haircut, possibly something drastic to break in my San Franciscan existence; B) Get an oil change for Gretchen for our road trip next weekend; C) Get some portraits done for my mom because she’s been hassling me for months to get it done. Normally I would say that I could get ALL THREE done at Walmart and done with it, right? Not this time. First, I was determined to have a real “stylist” look at my hair, my face, my whole package… and then give me some great suggestions on what to go with… because I’ve really never done ANYTHING with my hair other than wash, rinse & occasionally comb (and those highlights last March that few people noticed). So I asked around work… and I was recommended Diva International down by my bus stop. Perfect! Well, Friday night, they didn’t have any openings, so I went Saturday morning. I parked at a meter, with a maximum of one hour allowed. Keep this in mind… as I think you know where this is going later on.

I get to Diva (named after the owner who is a big wig in the industry apparently, as she was just in Singapore on her way to Italy for a show, but this is her home base) and am greeted by a man, who is very nice and offered me an espresso while I waited… as he would do about a dozen times during my tenure there. He asked me if it was my first time… and this might’ve been a bad sign from the get-go, or maybe I take better care of my hair than I lead on. After chit-chat, I’m paired up with a man and I explain my situation, ask his advice on what I should do… and it’s basically “Well, I like what you have going on here already, it’s a very good look for you. Basically I would shorten it up a bit, feather out some of the extra hair, and then maybe some highlights to blend out the grey hairs.” I instantly thought “I should’ve just gone to Wal-Mart if this is your suggestion” but I said let’s go with it. Loooong story short, it was literally one of those things where he would cut 3-4 hairs at a time, then taking a few steps back to look at it from afar, then swoop back in, very time consuming… and comical to me. So two hours later, I’m paying $120 for a haircut & highlights (and made sure to get some free products to try out) and then praying that the meter maids had better things to do on a Saturday. They didn’t… so I got a $65 parking ticket too because I didn’t want to run a few blocks out of the way with a formula burning highlights into my hair. Lesson learned – Don’t believe the hype. Already found another place that does just as good as haircuts for $10 that another coworker’s husband uses… and it makes me wonder what kind of paycheck the coworker who recommended this place is taking home.

After that, I felt light as a feather (thanks to my wallet’s contents being lifted from me) so I drove to Oakland to get an oil change & hopefully take some portraits… but alas, there is no portrait studio at that Wal-Mart, so I basically went all the way out to Oakland for an oil change & Quizno’s. Awesome. When I got back home, Bubbles said that she wasn’t feeling well (sick, not hung over this time) and she wanted to get some pho… with me… because apparently I’m her pho buddy as well as drinking buddy and any other kind of buddy out there. So we went to Pho Garden, a new place, and it was delicious. After pho, she started having a migraine, so I offered her to stay at my place (the roommates were gone) and watch a movie in a dark place and pop some E (Excedrin Migraine, but it has an E on the tablet). We watched “No Country for Old Men” which was Bubbles’ first time seeing it. As usual, luckily she had me there to explain what was going on & the intricacies of each scene. Musicals, relationship dramas, comedies in general, she’s usually all over that stuff because you don’t really have to be paying attention… and you can kind of draw your own conclusions. However, thrillers and movies where you have to pay attention, that’s why she has me around. “Who’s that guy?” “He’s the guy trying to find the money that the hunter took.” “Why is he killing everybody? And what’s the deal with the oxygen tank?” “Patience, all answers will be revealed in time.” “You know I don’t like patience or surprises.” “Okay fine, spoiler alert, he’s been dead the whole time & nobody puts Baby in the corner.” “Don’t be a smart ass.” “But it’s how I make such amazing popcorn.” “That doesn’t even make sense.” “Why not?” “You’re so stupid.” “Oh, so when I ask questions… I see how it is. You know what they say… when in Rome…” “Ah! What just happened? Did somebody else die?” “Yup. Oh… and turn away because it’s going to show a dog & you won’t want to see why.” “What?” “Just trust me.” See? When you’ve known somebody for a few years like we have… and you know what’s going to trigger certain reactions, you can kind of anticipate what will immediately cause somebody to dislike a movie (or really any other situation) regardless of how amazing it is. Sure, it’s a little like telling a kid to put on earmuffs before somebody says the S-word on “Back to the Future” or something, but hey, if the only thing she remembers about this movie at the end is that they shot a dog, I don’t believe I’ve done my part to enhance her experience. It’s just what I do. No need to thank me, just pay it forward.

So afterwards, Bubbles went home to get some sleep & I had the entire apartment to myself. Tracy went to hang with family in the South Bay, Jackie D was on the East Bay doing her thing, & Carmen was in New York City, but she moved out anyway. What does that mean? I danced around to some R. Kelly bucky naked on Chat Roulette. No, of course not. What it meant was… I was feeling kind of lonely for about three seconds… and then I decided that I was going to watch a horrible movie that just came on Netflix… and that movie was… “Resident Evil: Afterlife” starring my baby’s mamma Milla Jovovich & Ali Larter (“Heroes”). This is the 4th installment of the movie franchise based on a video game… so you know it has to be good. Let’s see, a little back-story, when we left from the 3rd installment, Alice (Jovovich) was apparently some kind of human-zombie superhybrid who inexplicably obtained the Force and could pretty much do anything she wanted in a post-apocalyptic world… and they were dozens if not hundreds of copies of her. Well, this movie starts off with her trying to bring down the evil corporation that brought on this zombie apocalypse (again) but apparently she got a vaccine that took all of her superpowers away… yet survived a head-on helicopter crash complete with massive explosion seconds later. Throw in a story about a refuge for the few humans left, a few call-backs from the 3rd movie, saving humans from a building surrounded by zombies, same story different edition. I didn’t really care for it… and you know how I like Milla. Oh… and Resident Evil 5 is already in production I guess. Does this movie franchise REALLY make money? It must. So yeah… I would say pass.

Sunday was another kind of a lazy day. Cleaned up around the apartment, then went with Bubbles to the pharmacy & Safeway to get some things. Had an interesting situation there. Bubbles was picking out a dessert for a dinner party she was going to, and as usual she asked me for my opinion. “"I don't know, what kind of dinner is it?" "Asian." "Hmm... well, what were you thinking about getting?" "I don't know, that's why I asked you. What's an Asian dessert?" "Well, funny thing is... dessert isn't really a big thing in poverty stricken countries, and I doubt this Safeway has some sweet Tai Pai or anything, so I say go with an American dessert that you like... like a pie or something." "How about cookies?" "Fortune cookies? I mean… this is San Francisco (being a smartass)" "No, chocolate chip." "But you don't like chocolate." "They might." "I'm sure that they might... but do you think chocolate chip cookies go well with Asian dinner?" "Sigh... how about a pie?" "Fantastic idea. What kind of pie looks good?" "How about a cheesecake?" This was about the time my mom called so I stepped away for a second, then come back. "Why were you using your irritated voice? Was that your brother?" "No, it was my mom." "So I'm the one irritating you." "Not really. Did you decide on a dessert?" "No, you stepped away." "Lemon meringue pie. Go with that." "Why?" "Why not?" "Sigh... I do like lemon meringue pie." "I know you do... and that way, no matter what happens, at least ONE person will get the dessert they want... even if they have room after a large Asian potluck meal like it sounds like you're having, right? You're welcome." I really wasn’t that irritated which is the weird thing… but I just don’t like when people will ask me for my opinion, and then don’t make a decision for themselves. It’s like they want to start a little mini-argument, except I don’t care who wins. If I would’ve just said lemon meringue pie right at the beginning, it still would’ve turned into “Well, what about this?” “That’s good too.” “You’re not helping.” “Are you asking me to pick a dessert or contrast and compare the options? Because no matter which way this conversation goes, it’s going to end up the same way, you getting what you want to get with or without my approval, so why bother? I won’t be at the dinner.” I don’t know why I feel that way about it… because it’s really not irritating. I don’t care one way or another, I just like to be heard if you ask me what essentially is a rhetorical question… and not disregarded as bullsh*t or whatever.

It made me think of when I was a kid, 5th grade maybe, and my dad was called in one day by my teacher to have a little conference with me & her. I didn’t know what it was about. My dad had worked a 12-hour shift as a police officer the night before, so he was a little bent out of shape about it. The teacher started out, “Mr. Love, we have reason to believe that your son has been cheating on his math tests.” We both simultaneously said, “WHAT???” “You see, on your son’s tests here, these are fairly complex equations for a student of his age, and he’s simply writing down the answers without any proof of his work. So we think that he’s somehow getting the answers from another source.” My dad being a cop & knowing that I’m pretty damn good at math said, “Where could he get the answers from? Do you have an answer key or something?” “Yes.” “And where is this key hidden? You know what, don’t answer that. Is it in a safe place? Under lock & key?” “Why yes.” “So the real problem based on the reasons that you’ve explain isn’t that my son is a cheater, but that my son hasn’t been showing every basic step to reach the solution in the problems.” “Mr. Love, like I said, these are fairly complex equations for a student…” “Excuse me, just one moment. Steve, did you cheat on any of these tests?” “F**k no.” “Watch your mouth boy. If I don’t get to swear, neither do you. Miss, would you be satisfied of my son’s innocence if he were to take another test, right here, right now?” “Well sure, I guess I could find one that he hasn’t taken yet.” “Actually, why don’t you pick ten random equations out of a test, the book, your head, wherever you can find ‘em, put them on a piece of paper, and watch him solve them before your very eyes?” So she did… and I was telling her the answers as she was finishing writing them down. “X equals 3… X-intercept is 4, Y-intercept is -2… C equals 3 and two-sevenths or 3.285714 repeating” and so on. By the time she was done, she was convinced that I wasn’t cheating. So my dad, a little sleep deprived, said “Look, if you want my son to show every single step on his work, just ask him. He’s a brilliant young man and he’s usually pretty good about doing what is asked of him… even if he’s a bit of a wise ass about it sometimes. However, please don’t drag me out of bed after I’ve spent my evening protecting good people like yourself from gang bangers & rapists when I’d much rather be tucking my children into bed… and then accuse my first born son of lying & cheating on a pointless test… and only because he doesn’t need a f**king answer key to get the right answers. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get some rest before I go back to work and I believe you have some children to teach, have a great safe f**king day. Son, I love you… and I’m proud of you, but please show your work when your doing these tests so that your teacher can figure out how to get the answers too, okay?” “Okay daddy.”

There are two points to that story. One, my dad was a great father… and basically a bad ass… even with his flawed character traits at times that would become more evident later on. Damn, I just realized that he was pretty much my age in that story, maybe a year or two older. Anyway, number two, I oftentimes think in lengthy ballads but speak in shorthand. If you want to know the what, why, when, where & how of my answer, then just ask for it, I’m usually more than happy to give you my train of thought (even it’s a little “out there” sometimes). What’s the square root of 69? Eight something. What dessert should you get? I may want to know what kind of dinner it is… but ultimately, I’m gonna say go with your gut… because that’s who you’re aiming to please. Like I said, I’m not really irritated, I just don’t know what you’re looking for out of me… and please don’t disregard it as bullsh*t. If it’s bullsh*t, I’ll usually tell you…or just laugh at the end of whatever I’m saying. That’s my tell.

Anyway, after that, I went back to the apartment to watch movies on a dreary day with Jackie D. First up was “New York I Love You” which starred, well, it seemed to be pretty much most of the actors in Hollywood that I don’t particularly care for – Hayden Christensen, Ethan Hawke, Rachel Bilson, Shia LaBeouf, Anton Yelchin, & Orlando Bloom, but it’s balanced out by the likes of Andy Garcia, Chris Cooper, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Christina Ricci, Cloris Leachman and THE James Caan. So yeah, pretty good ensemble cast for a small-time movie. Basically it’s the story of a bunch of very different love stories set in New York City and directed by a bunch of different people… from high school kids to call girls to old people to pick-up artists to thieves to artists to jewelers to Jews and so much more. All in all, it shows how different people from completely different backgrounds come together to live… because EVERYBODY has a story. You may think that you don’t have a story… but you do. Granted it may not involve anything that made the news or will have a movie made about it… but everybody has a story, full of love, pain, intrigue, adventure, passion, pleasure, anger, betrayal, all those peaks & valleys that make life worth living. Then again, I wouldn’t particular say this is the greatest movie ever made… but hey, if you’re into independent movies & like NYC, give it a shot.

Then Jackie D & I cooked up some LARGE steaks with various colored pepper slivers on them along with season potatoes. It was delicious… and plentiful. We chased it with a bottle of Castle Rock cabernet sauvignon while watching a sexual thriller “Chloe” starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore & Amanda Seyfried. Basically, it’s the story of a woman (Moore) who is convinced that her husband (Neeson) is cheating on her, so she hires a call girl (Seyfried) to seduce him and report back to her. This can only work out in a positive way, right? Well, she agrees, because she doesn’t have to blow anybody and she still gets paid… but then the seduction takes an intriguing turn. I’m not going to spoil it because I think you may want to actually go see this movie if you’re into these erotic thrillers, which you know I am. I would recommend it, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself going “Wait… what? What is happening right now?” a few times during this movie. It has some… awkward turns… and I know that only intrigues you more, you dirty minx.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. I’m sure you enjoy my ramblings about my own character flaws… as you surely do if you still read this thing. Hope you enjoy it. Another roommate interview tomorrow… so wish me luck. Have a great day everybody!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Okay, ONE Roommate Found

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Let’s see… Taco Tuesday involved a lunch of chicken tacos at work, dinner at Gaylord, a Thai restaurant in the Embarcadero Mall which was pretty good. I highly recommend it. Then we followed that up with a comedy show at Punchline with me, Jackie D, Tracy & Tracy’s cousin J. The show was actually pretty hilarious… and I don’t even think it required the two drink minimum… but you never know.

Wednesday, Splits let us know that she’s probably backing out of the roommate situation for another month… so yay, more interviews over the weekend. WTF? Not too worried though, because it’s a great situation for anybody who REALLY wants in. Rumor has it… we may even be interviewing another French woman… so $teve doesn’t mind at all. At this point, I think I’m about ready to just remove myself completely from the equation, so it can’t be blamed on me later on when Tracy loses her sh*t, because she already is a little… but she hasn’t done much except show up to the interviews half the time so… yeah.

One of the things about have three female roommates… is you’re going to watch a few chick flicks (as you may have noticed). Wednesday night’s edition was “Letters to Juliet” starring Amanda Seyfried & the timeless Vanessa Redgrave. Story goes… a young writer (Seyfried) & her fiancĂ© go to Verona, Italy for a pre-honeymoon, but the fiancĂ© is a bit of an idiot & spends the whole time checking out vineyards and cheese masons and all this other stuff for his restaurant… instead of hanging with his girl. Well, she wanders… and stumbles upon Juliet’s balcony (you know, from that Billy Shakespeare play) and sees all these crazy ass girls from around the world writing letters to Juliet asking love advice. BTW, does this REALLY happen? I grew out of writing to Santa Claus when I was eight… but then again, it’s not like Juliet’s a fictional character. Oh wait, yeah, I guess she is. Anyway, she follows this beautiful busty Italian woman (best part of the flick was watching her walk) who scoops up these letters & take them to a bunch of Italian ladies who write letters back to these chicks. I know, right? Well, she finds an old one behind a brick dated 50+ years earlier, so she writes back to it… and the next day (literally, the mail system in Europe must be AMAZING!!!) the lady that wrote the letter (Redgrave) is in town looking for her… along with her grandson, who’s a douche by the way, so obviously he’s getting laid later on in the movie (spoiler alert) and he had a sad story to boot. Apparently that’s all it takes. Be a condescending prick… then show a little vulnerability… or just be a pretty boy with an irritating accent. I’m not cynical. Do the research. That’s what movies are saying. Anyway, for some creepy reason, they go on a search for her long-lost beloved… and apparently Lorenzo Bertoloni is the John Smith of the Tuscan region so they have to find DOZENS of them only to find they’re not the same one… but again, young girl (who’s engaged by the way), douchy guy with a British accent, Tuscany, old lady playing matchmaker while searching for some guy she hasn’t seen since the Baby Boom, you can go from here. It’s a total chick flick… but not an entirely horrible one. I just don’t enjoy them… except for how easily mockable they are… and yes, I get the point behind them & the “morals” and all that… but really, I’m gonna say my piece and be good with it.

Or watch whatever I want once they go to bed too (i.e. “Cyborg 2” a few weeks ago). Last night, I did just that… and watched a horror flick that I had heard a LOT about the past year called “Paranormal Activity” which I remembered for a few very important reasons. Reason number one, the marketing campaign on it was pretty much viral… up until reason number two. What is reason number two? It was made for a few thousand dollars (like $30,000 I think) and it made MILLIONS its opening weekend at select theatres… and then MILLIONS more when it was nationally released. The profits were astronomical. Why? Was it the greatest horror movie ever made? Not at all. Why the astronomical profits? Because it was a horror movie… and they always have a great opening weekend… because people want to be scared… and it had a budget of a few thousand dollars. You don’t watch horror flicks for the acting or cinematography or anything. Reason number three, before leaving Tahoe, I watched this thing on a cable channel about the 13 Scariest movies of the last decade… and this one was #2 on the list. Really? Yeah… it just fell short of “The Ring” which I didn’t find that creepy. Anyway, that’s why I wanted to watch it on Netflix. The story is about a couple who are in their new house in San Diego… and strange things are happening… so they try to document it & get some answers. Long story short, there’s something, a ghost or a demon or the Devil himself, that’s been following the girl her whole life… and it’s found her once again. Throw in a Ouija board & tell it all from a Blair Witch / Cloverfield / Quarantine perspective… and boom, you’ve got a movie. So… I feel like I could make a fantastic horror movie… because it’s ALL about how you tell the story, not how much gore & whatever there is, but truly bone chilling horror has some very specific rules. This movie has a few of them…

  1. Lack of a soundtrack - Works great in setting a realistic context… but then again, with the right eery tones, it can make or break a big budget horror flick.

  2. No big stars – Sure, no one minds seeing some full frontal nudity of a Hollywood starlet… but it’s pretty much a dead giveaway that the big star is going to make it through the movie… because sequels are essential. The star of this movie… is probably also the director, writer, cameraman, caterer, whatever.

  3. Tease the Audience – Think about some of the great horror movies of all time. At what point did you actually SEE the “Monster”? Alien, Predator, Poltergeist, Jaws, Friday the 13th, Halloween, sure you’ve heard some of the back-story maybe… or seen the trail of destruction left in their wake… but you have no idea who or what is doing this… or even if it’s human. Sure, it may seem REALLY slow if you’re out with your friends, got a good buzz going, and all you hear about is lame ass back-story about the main characters… and some legend about a guy a long time ago that blah blah blah… but if you’re able to make it past all that & attention is properly maintained throughout… then about ¾ of the way through the movie, introduce the Monster. BOOM!!! Granted, this doesn’t work for sequels, because once the Monster has been introduced… then that’s pretty much the reason you’ve come to see it… and there’s no reason surprise… or IS THERE??? (Dun dun duuuuuuuh…)

There are of course other rules for an effective horror flick… but these are the key ones that this movie brought out. Perhaps I will share more with you later on… or maybe you can just wait until my horror flick comes out & you can repay me with $12 a pop on a fantastic movie that cost me a few paychecks to make & leaves me laughing all the way to the bank… I mean, shivering all the way to the bank… with a trail of urine… because it’ll be THAT scary. Anyway, here’s some news…

Zombie Update - If you thought “House of 1000 Corpses”, "The Devil's Rejects" and "Halloween" remake director Rob Zombie couldn't get darker, think again. Hitting the UK for a round of interviews, Zombie told Empire that his upcoming film "Lords of Salem" is set to be "the bleakest of all my films." The story follows ancient witches who unleash havoc on modern day Salem. Zombie elaborates: "There were twenty people that everyone knows about - obviously all innocent - executed as witches in Salem. The basic premise of the film is that there were a further four who actually were witches, who were killed secretly, and vowed one day to return to wreak havoc on Salem's descendants. That's when the movie jumps ahead to the present day and things start to go wrong." Shooting is slated to kick off April 18th. In the same interview he also confirmed he's opted out of the remake of "The Blob". So… I’ve seen Rob Zombie’s work… and I like it a lot. He builds more on the fear brought upon by the pure lack of emotions like compassion, mercy, etc. whether it’s a gang of insane rednecks or an unstoppable killing machine. The pure randomness of the attacks from these forces are enough to cause anybody to lock the door at night. Now, for him to say that his new one is the bleakest may just be a marketing ploy to make sure his loyal fans go to opening weekend… but bleaker than the other movies would definitely be an accomplishment… because yeah, sh*t is crazy. Now to switch it up a bit…

Operation Lion Ark - Twenty-five Bolivian circus lions rescued from poor conditions arrived safely in the United States, bound for a Colorado wildlife refuge. Dubbed "Operation Lion Ark," the 14 males and 11 female cats arrived at Denver International Airport last week on a jet chartered by Animal Defenders International (ADI), a British-American venture that advocates circus animal rights. "This has been a dream for so long, to empty a whole country of its circus animals," ADI president Jan Creamer told a crowd of about 100 who assembled at a United Airlines hangar to watch the event. Former game show host Bob Barker, a longtime animal-rights activist who funded the relocation, was on hand to welcome the cats alongside actress Jorja Fox of TV's CSI franchise. Workers unloaded the animals in individual crates amid applause from animal-rights advocates in attendance. Veterinarian Mel Richardson, who accompanied the animals on the 11-hour flight from Bolivia, pronounced them in relatively good health ahead of their move to The Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, about 40 miles northeast of Denver. The sanctuary is constructing a biosphere on the 80-acre site so the lions can weather the cold Colorado winters (since I know that was your first thought too). Their long-term care will be paid for by ADI. The cats were taken from eight circuses after Bolivia passed a law in 2009 outlawing use of animals in circuses. Many were found emaciated and in poor health, and the animals underwent rehabilitation in Bolivia before the trip. After passing the law, Bolivian government officials gave circus owners one year to cease using animals, even domesticated ones, in their acts or face criminal penalties. ADI rounded up the animals from the circuses, effectively shutting down the industry in South America's poorest nation (so now they can get back to focusing on making cocaine). The cats will be kept in four prides to keep them close to family members as they adjust to the new climate and altitude. Cute story, right? See, I still have a soft furry side… don’t judge me because I despise ridiculous romantic comedies.

Most Paused Movie Moments – Now this is more like it though. Sharon Stone's infamous leg-crossing scene in "Basic Instinct" has been named the most-paused moment in movies in a poll from movie subscription service Lovefilm. Nudity was a big draw on the list Jennifer Lopez's naked bottom in 2010's "The Back-Up" coming in at No. 2, Jamie Lee Curtis flashing her breasts in "Trading Places" at No. 4, a flash of a penis in "Fight Club" at No. 6, and Nicole Kidman naked in "Eyes Wide Shut" at No. 10. Geek moments also ranked high including a Stormtrooper whacking his head on a door in "Star Wars" at No. 3, Captain America's shield appearing on Tony Stark's desk in "Iron Man 2" at No. 7, and a brief appearance by Pacman in the original "Tron" at No. 9. Rounding out the top ten are two subliminally sexual animated film moments - Jessica Rabbit's dress flapping up in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" at No. 5, and the shot where the letters 'S.E.X.' appear in the sky in a scene from "The Lion King". So what does this list tell you? People who enjoy films & the internet are sexually frustrated geeks. SURPRISE!!! So wait, J-Lo went bare-ass in a movie last year? How did I not get the memo? Also, the Pacman in the original Tron was news to me… but I fell asleep halfway through it when I finally watched it a few months ago. My bad. So what’s your favorite pause moment? Anybody? I kinda like the ghost girl in “Three Man & a Baby” myself.

Tarantino Update – Basically any moment in a Quentin Tarantino movie is pretty good too… and rumor has it, another one is on the way. Talking with Deadline at the Weinstein Company Oscar after party, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino confirmed that his new Western project is moving along nicely with a draft already complete. At present he's aiming to deliver the script within two months and get the film in front of cameras later this year. Unlike his "Inglourious Basterds" and "Kill Bill" screenplays, this one "came together much quicker and just flowed out of him". According to /Film, Tarantino previously hinted that the film's setting wouldn't be the American West but rather the American South which would allow the inclusion of slavery as a topic (and a role for Samuel L. Jackson?). Being a big fan of Westerns, I’m obviously a little excited about this one… but time will tell. I know it usually take QT about four years to hash out a movie… and last year was “Inglorious Basterds” so I’ve got some time to fester & wait. No need to rush, good sir.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. You’ll never guess who called me in the middle of the night last evening & was pretty much too drunk to tell me where she was at… and then I basically had to drag her into her bedroom. I’ll give you a hint… you’ve heard this story many times before. That’s right, four-time DBOY Bubbles… who apparently had a bad day at work (for some reason) but she got home safely, which is what’s important. So with that in mind, I might be turning in a little early tonight… but it’s okay, because we’re doing pulled pork sandwiches, Coronas & a Movie Night with the roommates. Also, did I tell you about my road trip next weekend? Jackie D has never seen LA… so she & I are going down to LA to meet up with Lilie, do that thing, then Laguna Niguel for some R&R… and Carmen may be joining us too… so yes, another epic road trip is well in the works. I know you’re jealous… as well you should be. So this weekend will be preparations such as oil change & tune-up… as well as I’m hoping to get a GOOD haircut & take some portrait pictures for my lovely mother, who has been bugging me for some pictures of me from this Millennium that don’t involve a drink in my hand (like on Facebook). So yeah, I’m willing to really step my game up for her… because she’s worth it… and I’m worth it. Anyway, have a great weekend everybody!!!

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