Friday, April 1, 2011

First Quarter Report 2011

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen, I know, my entries are few & far between nowadays. I’ve had about a dozen here in the first quarter of 2011 when it’s normally about that every two weeks. Oh well, I try. It’s just been so busy & the internet is sketchy out in the Presidio, but mostly busy & usually fun stuff. Let’s see, over the weekend it continued raining… but broke periodically so that I could get a quick hike in. Saturday, I had dinner & drinks with Bubbles & her roommate who is moving away at the end of the week. We went to a “French” place called SA, which was actually pretty damn good, but very pricey & busy on a Saturday night as you might expect in the Marina. We had a great time though, talking about new adventures & trying new delicacies… and wine always helps. Afterwards, we went to Liverpool Lil’s by the Lombard Gate for a few more drinks & it was much quieter there. A pretty good English pub feel of a place… with rich mahogany and… many leather bound books. It’s kind of a big deal. Sunday, Bubbles wanted to go to brunch, so we went to a nice place in Pacific Heights… but for the life of me I can’t recall the name. It’s on Clement between 8th & 9th Avenue. I remember that though. Anyway, it was pretty good… and we may have convinced them to put pineapple mimosas on the menu after insisting that they make some & try it out. After brunch, we watched “The Black Dahlia” and “Bulletproof” with her roommate, while splitting 3 bottles of wine. It was Sunday & rainy. Don’t judge me. Monday, Bubbles’ brother… we’ll call him Baby Bub… came to town, so after work I met up with them at the Irish Bank, which apparently was stop #3 on their tour of San Francisco bars after a place in the Marina & North Beach… so then we went to The Mix in the Castro (my first visit there) for a few drinks, then another place in the Castro, then back to the Presidio to changed, met up with all of Bubbles’ roommates & went to Naked Fish for some sushi & sake… and then to The Tipsy Pig for a few drinks. It was a lot of fun & I get along with Baby Bub pretty well. He reminds me a LOT of my brother. He’s never really had a job, kinda drifts through life & leaches off other people, but a fun smart kid that’ll probably never grow up. Oh well, who wants to do that anyway? It’s overrated. Anyway, probably the highlight of the night was while Bubbles went to the bathroom, Baby Bub said that he really appreciated that she had a friend like me to watch over her & help her out (apparently he’s heard about the late night pickups & drunken stumbles) and he (like my brother) also talked about moving out here… but yeah, we’ll see how that goes… because first thing he needs is a job. So yeah, great night! Tuesday was yet another Taco Tuesday. This time it was held at Carmen’s new apartment with her friends… so we had a wonderful night of Mexican food, margaritas, Coronas & various ice creams. I was the life of the party, of course, but what else is new? Actually I think it was just that everybody knew me the least… but by the end of the night, they realized that I’m a fairly charming & hilarious man… and not bad on the eyes either. Next Tuesday, I won some tickets to a comedy show at Punchlines (like Jackie D a few weeks back) so a few of us may be meeting up for that. We shall see. All in all, just a fantastic evening. Wednesday was a pretty busy day at work, so afterwards I cooked me some dinner, took care of some things around the house, then sat down and watched “127 Hours” starring James Franco. For those who don’t know, this is about a hiker who goes on a fairly deserted trail in Utah, falls in a crevasse & gets his arm pinned by a boulder (true story) so after 5 days... and no visitors or rescue… he basically has to find a way to survive… which is cutting his arm off with a dull bottle opener on his Swiss army knife. Believe me, I’m not spoiling the ending… everybody knows this. However, the movie itself is pretty fantastic. It’s from director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionairre” & “28 Days Later”) and it’s basically a one-man performance by James Franco (though I did like the cameo of Treat Williams) and it delves into the whole looking back on your life, self-reflection, finding out what’s really important to you, doing what you have to do to survive & then finally… making it work. That’s all I’m really going to say other than I think you should check it out. I still like “Into The Wild” better for this kind of movie… but still, this one’s pretty good too. Here’s some news… Pizza with ALL the Toppings – Have you ever wondered why pizza is so good? Maybe there’s more to it than just the succulent goodness of meat, cheese & veggies on a portable medium. In Toronto last week, police shut down a downtown pizza restaurant after they found more than $1 million of marijuana and other drugs on site. Police say 57-year-old Salvatore Crimi likely ran the dealings at Pizza Gigi, which is near both Central Technical School and a University of Toronto campus (so conveniently located for all your late night party needs). Officers became suspicious when they saw people filing in and out of the restaurant without ever buying food (duh). Besides weed, police found Oxycontin, Oxycocet, ecstasy, and a small amount of crack cocaine, according to CBC. The funny part is… at least 58% of Americans would have been a-ok with Crimi's criminal activities, according to a survey from The Economist/You Gov. One-thousand people took the survey February 5-8, and nearly 60% of participants supported regulating and taxing the drug, according to Seattle Pi. The survey comes at a time when Washington is issuing a statewide initiative that would require the legislature to monitor and possibly sales on pot. To get on the November ballot, the survey needs more than 241,000 signatures; last year, the survey failed by 50,000 votes. If that ruling finally makes it to the ballot and passes, I’m sure a few more people will consider a move to the West coast. At the beginning of February, a 21-year-old Connecticut native Robert Michelson called 911 to ask a question about the law: Could he get arrested for growing marijuana? Of course, the officer assured him that he could go to prison for planting pot, no matter how small the amount, according to the News Tribune. Police officers visited Michelson's home not long after the phone call; they found drug paraphernalia and a tiny bit of marijuana in his home. Michelson was charged with possession but released on bail. What’s the point of these stories? Well, if you’re going to get high, at least be smart about it. If you’re going to run a bodega out of your pizza parlor, then make sure they at least buy their munchies there too. If you’re going to ask a cop about getting arrested, keep it hypothetical. “Hey, how much time would I be put away for with this amount of cocaine on me?” “Hmm, that’s a great question. Let’s go find out. Hands behind your head.” Lastly, it’s going to be there, so just tax it like they were cigarettes. Fine American tobacco will still sell well in other countries… as an alternative to the great marijuana they already produce. There’s a Time & Place for Everything – And it’s called college. You’ve all heard it. Hell, most of you probably lived by it. Binge drinking, recreational drugs, promiscuous sex, experimentation, all of the above simultaneously, but I don’t recall anything like this in my college experience. The president of an American university said on Thursday he was launching an investigation into an on-campus presentation of a live sex act performed for students at an after class event. President Morton Schapiro of Northwestern University, which is of Chicago in Evanston, said he was "troubled and disappointed" after hearing about the use of a sex toy on a naked woman by her fiancé in front of more than 100 students (giggidy). The demonstration was performed as part of an after-class event (extra credit party?) for a popular human sexuality course, at the prestigious private university, according to The Daily Northwestern. The February 21 incident took place in a session which students were not required to attend and they were advised in advance of the explicit nature of the activity (to increase attendance). "I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member," Schapiro said in a statement. "I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary, or in keeping with Northwestern University's academic mission." Schapiro said he has directed that the incident be fully investigated. "Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus," Schapiro said. "So am I." Psychology Prof. J. Michael Bailey, who teaches the class, could not be reached for comment. In an email to his students, published in The Daily Northwestern, he wrote that he organizes optional after-class events which feature speakers addressing interesting aspects of sexuality. Bailey wrote that "some experiences are educational and interesting in non-traditional ways" and that student feedback has been "uniformly positive." He wrote that it was "too early to say" if he had any regrets. I’m thinking if there’s going to be an investigation that will ultimately result in losing your job, your retirement & your tenure, you may have a regret or two. Damn, where was this class when I was in college? Oh yeah, the coeds next door. “Hey $teve, are you going to that demonstration in Human Sexuality class tonight?” “I was thinking about it… but I don’t know if I’m prepared for it. I’ve never seen a girl to town with a vibrator before.” “Really?” “Yeah, I usually just bring my own toy to the party. We should probably study for this… where’s your vibrator?” Like Your Odds? – The next few stories are about technology… and how it may bring about the end of mankind, especially since there haven’t been any good snake stories in the news lately (remember THAT Apocalypse?). A new poll shows young drivers are more likely to use cell phones while driving, and that 30% of them have recently texted from behind the wheel, U.S. transportation officials said. The release of the poll came as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving "a deadly epidemic." The poll comes from the magazine Consumer Reports, which is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation on creating awareness about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Among the findings are that 63% of respondents under 30-years-old reported using a handheld phone while driving in the past 30 days, the Department of Transportation said. And 30% of the drivers texted from behind the wheel in the same time period according to the survey, which had a total of 1,026 respondents. Older drivers were less likely to talk on the phone behind the wheel, and only 9% of those over 30 years-old reported they had recently texted while driving. LaHood, appearing at the Yonkers, New York, headquarters of Consumer Reports, said teens are more likely to drive distracted because of peer pressure. “Come on man, everybody’s doing it. Just send a picture of your junk to your girlfriend while driving your dad’s car in a densely populated area. That’s gangsta!!! Here, let me turn up the music…” Yeah, that’s how it’s going I’m sure. Teenagers are dumb, but I don’t think they’re quite that dumb. Give ‘em a few years. I think it’s just that people don’t know how to communicate anymore. That’s the root of it. The important thing about this is… statistically speaking, if you crunch the number, we’re talking about 15-20% of drivers out there are texting… another 25-30% are talking on the phone while driving… another 30-40% are uninsured… but only 5% or so are drunk or snorting cocaine off a woman’s backside. So who is more likely to rear end your car or kill you with their car? A drunk driver? Nope… probably just an uninsured douche who wasn’t watching where they were going 35 MPH in downtown. Think about it… all I’m saying MADD can still be MADD but just change it up to Mother Against Dipsh*t Drivers. My point – Don’t drink and/or text & drive. Why? Because you don’t want that sh*t on your conscience if something happens, do you? Of course not. Remember me saving that guy last week? Don’t do it!!! Three Year Glitch – Everybody knows about the 7 Year Itch, right? No, not just the timeless comedy starring The Marilyn Monroe. The whole belief that after seven years… everybody starts having 2nd thoughts about their relationship, marriage, whatever. Well now, the "three-year glitch" has apparently replaced the "seven-year itch" as the tipping point where couples start to take each other for granted, according to a new survey. Weight gain, stinginess, toe-nail clippings on the bathroom floor and snoring are a few of the passion-killers that have led to a swifter decline in relationships in the fast-paced 21st century, said the study commissioned by Warner Brothers to promote the release of comedy film "Hall Pass" in UK cinemas. The survey of 2,000 British adults in steady relationships pinpointed the 36-month marker as the time when relationship stress levels peak and points to a new trend of "pink passes" and "solo" holidays away from partners and spouses that many Britons resort to in order to keep romance alive. Hmm… I like the sound of a pink pass. "Longer working hours combined with money worries are clearly taking their toll on modern relationships and we are seeing an increasing trend for solo holidays and weekends away from marriages and relationships in order to revive the romantic spark," said pollster Judi James who oversaw the survey. The poll compared feedback from those in short-term relationships (defined as less than three years) and people who were married or in longer-term partnerships. The findings showed that 67% of all of those surveyed said that small irritations which are seemingly harmless and often endearing during the first flushes of love often expand into major irritations around 36 months. More than half of the Brits surveyed (52%) who were in younger relationships said they enjoyed sexual relations at least three times a week, compared to just 16% of those in relationships older than three years. This suggests that as we get older together, romance gives way to day to day practicalities, supported by the fact that 55% of busy people in longer-term relationships admit that they now have to "schedule" their romantic time (Really? I’m NEVER too busy for some lovin’). The report also said that those in the first flush of love can look forward to an average of three compliments a week from their partners -- a figure which falls to an average of a single weekly compliment at the three-year high tide mark (really?). The prognosis gets worse the longer we stay in relationships, three in 10 of those surveyed that have been in a relationship for five years or more said that they never receive any compliments from their partners. The findings also showed that more than three quarters (76%) of all people surveyed responded that "individual space was important" within a relationship and pointed to a rise of individual activities. A third (34%) of those who have been seeing their partners for longer than three years have at least two evenings a month defined as a "pass" or a "ticket" where it is accepted that they can pursue their own interests and 58% of the same sample group enjoy regular holidays without their partners. The top 10 everyday passion-killers:

  1. Weight gain/lack of exercise - 13%

  2. Money & Spend thriftiness - 11%

  3. Anti-social working hours – 10%

  4. Hygiene issues (personal cleanliness) – 9%

  5. In-Laws/extended family - too much/too little – 9%

  6. Lack of romance (sex, treats etc) – 8%

  7. Alcohol - drinking too much – 7% (usually a pretty good starter though)

  8. Snoring & anti social bedtime habits – 6%

  9. Lapsed fashion-Same old underwear/clothes – 4%

  10. Bathroom habits - Stray nail cuttings etc – 4%


Anyway, that’ll do it for today. It’s been beautiful the past few days… but of course it’s supposed to rain Saturday, so we’ll see how it goes. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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