Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 Halftime Report


































Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,






Well... believe it or not, 2011 is basically halfway done. Yes, I know... tragic. How time flies when you're having fun & all that jazz. Basically, the first half of the year... lots of change. From scenery to roommates to jobs to the ever growing family and everything in between... except the waistline remains steady thanks to plenty of walking opportunities here in The City. Enough about all that though... you want to hear about my trip back to Utah this weekend, right? Of course you do.






Thursday






Well... basically I worked worked worked for the week prior until the absolute moment that I had to catch a shuttle to Oakland Airport. The shuttle was a little late... but luckily so was my flight (about 20 minutes) so it worked out perfectly. Thursday night, my dad picked me up... and it was the first time that he looked REALLY skinny to me. You know... like old guys do... when they work out... but even when he worked out before, he had muscle. Not so much this time... but I missed him terribly... and gave him a great Father's Day present. What was it you ask? The first two seasons of "Castle" starring Nathan Fillion. Trust me... he loves it.






That night, I met up with JL Clyde and had sushi & a few drinks while listening to the worst garage band I've heard in years at Gracie's. Good times. She also got me a birthday present. What was it you ask? Hot Bitch on the Beach! It's hot sauce... apparently... but has a nice charicature on the bottle.






Friday





Started off the day by meeting up with K-Fish for a road trip out to Taggart (about 45 minutes East of SLC) to a grill for some lunch. I believe it was called Taggart's Grill... but the food is fantastic. There was a ham & apple wrap (yes, I know it sounds weird, but it was great) and I had a chicken, bacon, pesto, etc. Pit-za... which is basically a mini-pizza on pita bread. Fantastic. I highly recommend it. We also caught up on going-ons in each other lives... as you might expect from a lunch. Then we drove along the river. See, it's been in the 90's for a few weeks in Utah... and compounded with record snowfall... leads to some pretty threatening flood possibilities for this altitude. Observe...




The bouncer at the restaurant

"I'M A PEACOCK! I NEED TO FLY!!!"




After that, I went to my brother's to meet up with him & my niece Kairi & nephew Vinny. Sigh... Kairi is going to start school next year... and Vinny's well over 3 years old now. They grow so fast... but we watched "X-Men: First Class" during their nap. Now, if you haven't seen this movie... it's pretty campy at some points as most comic adaptations are... but pretty damn good actually. It's the origin story of the X-Men with Dr. Charles Xavier (Chris McAvoy of "Wanted") and his "sister" Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence of "Winter's Bone") and how they cross paths with a Nazi assassin named Magneto (Michael Fassbender of "Inglorious Basterds") and how they join forces to save the world in the 60's from an evil man named Sebastian Shaw (THE Kevin Bacon) and his own gang of mutants with super powers. You all know the story... but yeah, definitely check it out. The cast is pretty good... even a cameo by Hugh Jackman... but hey, like I said, campy... but not half bad.




After playing with the kids for a bit, taking them up to grandma's (my mom's), we returned to my brother's newly remodeled bachelor pad to watch "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" starring Michael Cena. Another comic adaptation... but this one was more nerdy Nintendo feel to it... and was about a kid (Cena) who falls for a girl & tries to win her over... but first, he must fight her seven evil exes... or DIE!!! The best part about this movie... was the nerdy humor... and the distinctly new visual style... not necessarily the story or anything... but I highly recommend it if you also still have your Nintendo hooked up to the TV in your bedroom.




Saturday




This was the day of Spitso's wedding... and I got to meet up with some of the "other" family... as Spitso & his brother Isaiah have been my brothers from another mother for well over 20 years now. Anway... the pictures tell it best... the setting was Union Station on historic 25th Street in beautiful Ogden, Utah... aka where the $teve was born.




Oh yes... my brother is a nerd...



My brother, Isaiah, Spitso & Nate Dogg


The new family...

That night, I went up to my mom's after the wedding... so around midnight. Lo & behold, somebody was awake and excited to see me... my nephew Vinny. Long story short, he wasn't tired. That quickly changed when I said, "Hey buddy, wanna take a nap with me here under the fan?" "YEAH!!!" Within a few seconds of getting our makeshift bed set up with a few blankets & pillows on the floor, we lied down (lay down?) and he threw his arm over my arm in a little hug... and dozed off to sleep. It was really quiet cute as you could imagine.


Sunday




I awoke in the morning to my mom & my niece Kairi discovering that I was there on the floor sleeping. My mom asked her, "Kairi, do you want to snuggle with Uncle $teve?" "Yeah!" She hopped right down on the ground... and basically just chatted away for about 15 minutes before I decided that it was futile to resist... I was getting up.


I spent the day hanging out with them, going into the hot tub (but my mom didn't know how to turn on the heat... so it was rather cool... about 60 degrees when we started & warmed up to about 70 when we were done), chilled on the porch, played games, all kinds of fun. Even my Aunt Pat & cousin Alicia were there. Good times.

Aren't they just adorable?


Evil smile...


Confused...


Ecstatic...




That night though... was a bit of a surprise. See, the night that I came into town... my dad asked me if I liked Ted Nugent. "The Motor City Madman? Of course!" Well, he was having a concert at The Depot... and even in his mid 60's, the man is a showman... as these pictures don't quite do justice... but still...



Great White Buffalo...

It was just my dad & I... and we had a few beers, listening to most of the greatest hits from Uncle Ted... and good times were had by all. We even went to Sconecutters afterwards for some greasy food. Great day with the families.




Monday



Around noon, I met up with K-Fish again for some lunch at WilDhoG Grill (formerly the Chubby Toad) and had a damn fine bleu bacon burger. Mmm mmm mmm... afterwards, we went around town doing errands, mostly me looking for treats & trinkets to take back to the ladies at work covering for me. Then after that, I basically just chilled at my dad's place for a while watching TV & catching up on current events.




Then, that evening, my dad, stepmom, brother & I went to see "The Green Lantern" starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively & Mark Strong. Yes, another comic book adaptation... but tis the season... and a pretty standard genre for anything Hollywood. This one is about a pilot (Reynolds) who basically is chosen to be an intergalactic guardian of the Milky Way and has this ring that converts his Willpower into whatever he wants. Enter super-powerful cosmic force, love story, blah blah blah... and it wasn't horrible or anything, but basically what you would expect. I enjoyed it. The thing that caught me though was... okay... his "mentor" in this movie is named Sinestro (Strong). Now, reading the comics, you know he becomes the main bad guy... but the guy's name... is Sinestro. Sinestro! You can't trust a man named Sinestro! I don't care how you package it. Let's see... you applied to be our babysitter. What was your name again? Ted Bundy! Hmm... thank you for your application... have a nice day. What was your pastor's name again? Lou Cypher! I've seen that movie before. It just... doesn't work.




We followed that up with "The Hangover Part 2" starring the guys from the original (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifinikas, Ed Helms, etc) and this time it's in Bangkok... and similar stuff happens... and it's hilarious. There's really all you need to hear about the movie. The rest just wouldn't be worth your time. If you liked the first one, this one's pretty good too. Check it out at a theatre near you... or wait for the DVD, I don't care, your choice.




Tuesday



Before my flight back to SF, I chilled at my dad's watching "Game of Thrones" on Xfinity... and it's a kick-ass show that I definitely recommend. Starring Sean Bean & set in a medieval realm of mystery... dragons, savages, swordplay, betrayal, etc. Check it out! You may remember the throne of swords from my visit to Wondercon in April. My dad also stopped by for some lunch... but mostly this was just a day of rest before I started back to work on Wednesday... and boy was it waiting for me. I had a fantastic weekend with the family... and I wish I could've spent more time... but I gotta make that mother f**kin' money, you know what I'm sayin? Not a bad place to do it though...


Thanks for listening to me ramble... and don't worry, the tears have passed since I left so I'm back on my gangsta thug level now, back on my grind in The City. Holla! Have a great 4th of July weekend everybody!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TECH N9NE!!!










Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Saturday was a day of running around town in the mornings, working out at the gym for about an hour or so, kicking back & relaxing in the afternoon, then going out for a few drinks & pool at The Final Final. Not a whole lot to brag about by any means. Although I did watch the first few episodes of the HBO series “Treme” starring Steve Zahn & John Goodman. The story centers around the people who came back to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina… mainly musicians. It’s actually quite gripping and really gets into the heart & soul of the people of New Orleans… and how they were basically f**ked over (and still so) by the government. My favorite character thus far is the English Professor at Tulane (Goodman) who is basically saying everything that the people of the city are thinking… which I suggest you visit the city a few times & watch the show to get the full impact of it. There’s of course drama infused into the story… as there’s a lot of drama in real life… and a tale of corruption… and on & on… but I’m only a few episodes in so I obviously don’t have the full story yet. I can’t wait to check it out though. The show also just reinstills in me that I love the music, the food & the people of that city… and it makes me want to go back (probably not to move though)… but they really need help in setting their infrastructure back up… and not just in the touristy French Quarter. Come on! You did it for New York when they had a major disaster. That’s all I’m saying.

I also watched “Jackass 3.5” which is more of the same… basically the extra stuff from Jackass 3 that I watched a few days ago that didn’t make the movie… but then I read that one of the stars passed away. "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn, who along with his cast mates made Americans cringe and snicker through vulgar stunts in their multimillion-dollar TV and movie franchise, was killed early Monday in a fiery car crash. He was 34. Dunn, a daredevil who gained notoriety for diving into a sewage tank and performing other unsavory stunts, was driving his 2007 Porsche in suburban Philadelphia when it careered off the road, flipped over a guardrail and crashed into the woods before bursting into flames. A passenger was also killed, and speed may have been a factor in the crash, West Goshen Township police said. The force of impact shattered the vehicle into several twisted and blackened pieces, leaving the Porsche 911 GT3 unrecognizable except for a door that was thrown from the crash and not incinerated. A 100-foot-long tire skid marked where the car left the roadway. Both Dunn and his passenger were severely burned. Police said they were able to identify Dunn through his tattoos and hair, but the identity of his passenger was still unknown. Dunn appeared on MTV shows "Jackass" and "Viva La Bam" and the three "Jackass" big-screen adaptations. He also was the star of his own MTV show, "Homewrecker," and just began hosting the show "Proving Ground" on the G4 cable network. G4 spokesman Dave Welch said "Proving Ground," which premiered June 11 with the second episode slated to air Tuesday, was being pulled for now until the network can discuss the show's future. Dunn's longtime friend and fellow "Jackass" daredevil Johnny Knoxville tweeted on Monday afternoon, "Today I lost my brother Ryan Dunn. My heart goes out to his family and his beloved Angie. RIP Ryan, I love you buddy." Dunn also starred in the yet-to-be-released film "Living Will." The film's website describes Dunn's character as a "party bum slacker (who) returns from the dead as a mischievous and perverted ghost." In a statement, MTV praised Dunn's humor and enthusiasm and said he would be missed. "We are devastated by the tragic loss of Ryan Dunn — a beloved member of the MTV family for more than a decade," said Van Toffler, resident of MTV Networks Music/Films Group. "The Jackass brotherhood will never be the same." Dunn was born in Ohio and moved at age 15 to Pennsylvania, where he met Bam Margera on his first day of high school, according to a biography posted on his website. Dunn, Margera, Christopher Raab (known as Raab Himself) and Brandon DiCamillo, under the moniker CKY for "Camp Kill Yourself," started making videos that featured them skateboarding and performing stunts. Dunn was working as a welder and at a gas station when Knoxville, a friend of Margera's through the skateboarding circuit, asked the crew to allow their videos to be part of the series "Jackass," which became a hit on MTV and ran from 2000 to 2002. Perhaps his most famous stunt, in 2002's "Jackass: The Movie," involved inserting a toy car into his rectum and going to an emergency room, where he made up a story that he was in mysterious pain after passing out at a fraternity party (oh yeah… this is the kind of stuff you’d see if you watched these movies… it’s basically snuff but without the sexy edge to it). Dunn's X-ray from the hospital became a popular T-shirt for "Jackass" fans. That first movie, filmed on a budget of just $5 million, went on to make more than $60 million in the United States alone. The most recent installment, released in 3-D in 2010, brought in $50 million on its opening weekend alone (yes, that’s why they’re still being made… because it costs almost nothing to do something really dangerous & stupid… but people will pay to see it). In a 2000 stunt, he dived into a tank at a raw sewage plant wearing flippers, a mask and a snorkel. A few hours before the 3 a.m. crash, Dunn tweeted a picture of himself drinking with two friends (hmm… still think it was just speed that had something to do with the crash?). The photo has since been removed. Autopsies were to be conducted Monday, though it was unclear when the results would be released. Even when a man like Mr. Dunn lived his life to the fullest, was surrounded by friends, gained wealth & fame while having fun with his buddies, had a loving family, it’s still a tragic story in the end… as it usually is. He will truly be missed. The really messed up thing is… even though it was a horrible gruesome death… going out in a blaze of glory in a fiery car crash like James Dean or Dale Sr or something… you kind of expected something more elaborate than just another drunk driver given how he lived. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it literally hundreds of times on this blog and thousands in real life – Don’t Drink and Drive!!! I don’t care if doing stupid, dangerous sh*t is what got you famous! You have family & friends that care about you. Think about them every time you reach for your keys… especially if one of them is in the passenger seat next to you. Tragic tale of caution we should all learn from. Sorry for the bummer story… but it’s important to know.

Sunday, I did laundry, cleaning up around the house, finally putting up a few pictures that the roommates approve of (James Dean & Norma Jean), worked out for a few hours, then met up with Bubbles to go see TECH N9NE!!! LIVE & IN CONCERT!!! For those of you who are not familiar with the #1 Independent Hip-Hop Artist of all time, his sound is pretty unique. It’s a mix of hip-hop with a little rock & roll edge to it… kinda gritty at some times… great dance club / pop appeal with others… but always pretty good, even if it’s not my particular cup of tea… or rather at most times… but there’s definitely times when I just want to throw on some Tech, say f**k the world & rock out with my cock out. That’s just how it is. You may have heard a few singles like “I’m a Playa” (set to Falco’s “Amadeus”) and “Jellysicle” with E-40 but the VAST majority of his stuff is not exactly radio friendly… and like I said, he’s independent. Anyway, check him out on iTunes or something.

The concert was AMAZING!!! There were three hours of concert & six opening acts… BEFORE Tech even hit the stage. Most of the opening acts were even pretty good. First up was Kung Fu Vampire… more than a pretty name. They were kind of a rock/rap mix as well. Next was Stevie Stone, who often accompanies on a lot of Tech’s tracks, so most hip-hop. Third was Mayday, the first band signed by Tech’s label Strange Records. They were pretty good rock / techno music with a little hip-hop & bongos thrown in. Fourth was Jay Rock, who was an LA rapper… and the best part of his act was the references to other LA rappers. Fifth & sixth were Kutt Calhoun & Kriss Kaliko who accompany many of Tech’s tracks too. Like I said, they were all pretty good… but they’re not why we showed up…

TECH N9NE finally came onto the stage & rocked the house for about an hour… and his light setup was a lot better than previous concerts in Utah… but that’s what happens when you’re independent & get all the money yourself, you can reinvest in your shows & not those of future prospects that you won’t see a dime of, it just makes business sense. Anyway, the show as amazing!!! Headed home with a bit of a buzz (beer & mysterious fog in the air) and woke up Monday morning with my head ringing… but probably just from the four hours of audio bombardment more than anything. Great show! Would definitely do it again… and highly recommend to others when he comes to your town. Best part… it’s actually affordable. Best part… I DIDN’T drink & drive!!! Anyway, now for some more… uplifting news…

Super Condom - A British medical company has had its erection-enhancing condom recommended for European approval. That’s right… an erection ENHANCING condom. Got your attention yet? Futura Medical said its CSD500 condom -- licensed to pharmaceutical firm Reckitt Benckiser for sale under its Durex brand has gel in its tip that dilates the arteries and increases blood flow to the penis, resulting in a firmer and bigger erection (and possible lose of blood flow to the extremities like the brain… but that’s what’ll be tested). Futura said on Monday products usually took about a month to receive CE mark certification after recommendation. The mark would enable the condom to be sold in 29 European territories and a number of other non-European countries. Futura said on its website that the CSD500 will be a condom used by healthy men to help maintain a firmer erection during intercourse whilst wearing a condom. In a double blind clinical study (how the f**k do I get to be a guinea pig in that experiment?) comparing CSD500 against a standard condom co-sponsored by Futura, of those who expressed a preference, a significant proportion of both men and women reported improvements in the firmness of the man's erection during intercourse when using CSD500, compared against a standard condom, the company said. Furthermore, of those who expressed a preference, a significant proportion of both men and women also felt that CSD500 increased the penis size and a significant proportion of women reported a longer lasting sexual experience. That’s right, ladies & gentlemen… the game just changed… and it’s coming to a store near you. Better start doing some stretches, ladies… by the way... it's been a while since I had a good sexbot update, hasn't it? I'd better check the trade journals.

Is It Sexist? – From time to time… I like to look at a controversial topic… and ask “Is it sexist? Racist? Or some other kind of –ist?” For example, would anybody really give two sh*ts about Casey Anthony’s crazy ass if she wasn’t an attractive woman? Hell no, she would’ve fried a long time ago like the hundreds of crazy mothers who killed their kids over the years… but she gets to show her pouty lips and soulless eyes on constant streaming television as they await the execution date. Anyway, that’s just one example. Next up - Badminton's controversial 'skirt rule' has not been scrapped but is merely in limbo while officials wait for more consultation after initial feedback deemed it sexist, the governing body told Reuters Thursday. A new Badminton World Federation (BWF) code had required all female players to wear skirts or dresses in major tournaments in order to "to ensure attractive presentation of badminton," but the rule has not been implemented after an outcry. That’s right… that was a QUOTE about “attractive presentation” for a sport. Usually they’re a LOT better at covering the language or BS’ing a reason than saying that they want the players to be hot. This week's Singapore Open had been slated as the first tournament to implement the rule, but marketing manager for the BWF's Super Series S.Selvam said a decision was in limbo. "The rule has been deferred until we get another proposal from the women's commission," Selvam said at the city state's Indoor Stadium. "There was a lot of feedback from players. But a lot of the feedback actually came from the public saying that it was too sexist," he continued… probably from the female public is my guess… wait, is THAT sexist? Even if it’s still true? The legislation -- that stipulates female players must wear a skirt during competition even if they also wear shorts -- is to be reassessed in December. "What was decided was to get the women's commission and the ethnic scholarship to gather feedback from manufacturers, players and other interested parties, and to come up with another proposal for the best dress code for female and male players," Selvam added.




So now I ask you… is requiring female badminton players to wear skirts sexist? Now… I encourage you to think it through before you respond. Who am I kidding? You’re not going to respond. Nobody reads this dribble… but I’ll just say it like this… Sex sells. Period. Studies, books, even my silly ass blog, everybody’s written about it and knows it to the deepest, most instinctual center of their core. It’s just the way it is. Even in sports. Name five female tennis players. Even all time. Go for it. I’ll bet you one of them is Anna Kournikova… and she’s never been in the top 5 at any given time. God knows I watch women’s tennis for the sounds more than anything. Giggidy! If Danica Patrick were Daniel Patrick… and Dan hadn’t won anything ever… would he even have a job as a professional driver? Probably not. Is that sexist? Yeah. Is it wrong that the average benchwarmer’s salary in the NBA could easily finance SEVERAL TEAMS in the WNBA? That’s the market. Is anybody even REALLY watching women’s badminton? I don’t even see that on ESPN2 midday Wednesday and I’ve seen poker, spelling bees & scrabble on that channel posed off as sports. Okay… so what’s my point? Who knows? I’m just appalled that they worded it that way. I know I’ve been in jobs where there were guidelines about personal appearance, appropriate attire / uniforms, adornment & from an HR standpoint, it wasn’t sexist… at least that’s what the documents said. Maybe it was just lost in translation or worded badly… but is it sexist? Probably… but who really cares? I’d play badminton all natural if the price was right. Brings a whole new meaning to the term “shuttlecock” now doesn’t it?

Marilyn Update - The Marilyn Monroe dress that flirted revealingly with a gust of New York subway air in "The Seven Year Itch" fetched $4.6 million at an auction of film memorabilia. A more sedate outfit worn by Audrey Hepburn in the Ascot race scene of "My Fair Lady" drew a $3.7 million bid at the sale of nearly 600 Hollywood costumes and props collected by film star Debbie Reynolds. The buyers, who were not identified, also paid a sum to the auction house and other fees, according to auction publicity firm Nancy Seltzer & Associates. That brought the total price to more than $5.6 million for the Monroe costume and $4.5 million for the black-and-white gown worn by Hepburn. The auction house, Profiles in History, was calculating the sale's final tally Monday. In filmmaker Billy Wilder's "The Seven Year Itch," Monroe's character cooled off by standing over a subway grate to catch the breeze as a train sped underneath — which sent her dress north and exposed a shocking amount of leg and undergarment for a 1955 movie (or a disappointing amount by today’s standards). Modest but still impressive bids at Saturday's auction in Beverly Hills and online included $140,000 for a guitar used by Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music" and $100,000 for a "Cleopatra" headdress that adorned Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds, 79, started collecting four decades ago at auctions held by major film studios, including MGM and Fox, and eventually acquired 3,500-plus items. The auction meant the end of a dream for Reynolds, who starred as a teenager with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" and was an Oscar nominee for "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Reynolds' combined casino-hotel and memorabilia museum in Las Vegas closed and she had planned to relocate the museum to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. That’s right… there was a museum like that in Vegas the WHOLE TIME and you didn’t know about it either. Last year, Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, said the project had to file for bankruptcy protection and the collection would be sold to satisfy creditors. Reynolds, who still performs in nightclubs and theaters and remains the petite, pretty blonde who captured Kelly's heart in their 1952 musical, expressed regret in an interview last week. But she looked on the bright side as well. "I won't have so many children to take care of," she said, "so I won't have quite so much responsibility and I can rest a little more." More items are to be auctioned in December… so get your wallets ready. Mmm… what could possibly take my mind off Marilyn Monroe in that dress?

WONDER WOMAN!!! – So why haven’t they made a Wonder Woman movie yet? Many reasons… mostly involving my earlier discussion about women’s badminton, I’m sure… but seriously, who knows? The latest gossip is that "Drive" and "Bronson" director Nicolas Winding Refn has previously spoken about his desire to direct a "Wonder Woman" movie. Now, he is reportedly keen on getting "Mad Men" actress Christina Hendricks to play the role (mmm… LOVE a curvy full-figured woman). "If I get to do it, she's going to be it" Refn told Vulture this week (and pretty much eliminating any slim chance he had at being director of the film). Hendricks herself last year indicated she'd be game, telling Rachel Ray "I've been wanting to wear that outfit my whole life (really? Why wait?)! I'd love to [do it]. That would be such fun!." The chances of such a film being made however remain super slim though… allegedly because of the disappointing results for "Green Lantern" and the failed David E. Kelley "Wonder Woman" pilot that nobody saw. How so? Was anybody really expecting those to be the greatest movie & TV series ever made? I doubt it… but hey, we are in a recession… and I’d hate for her “Mad Men” character to be written out because of a movie deal. Then again… if I had to take seeing her occasionally in a tight-fitting conservative 1960’s office dress… or gold-guilded panties, corset, tiara & bracelets with thigh high boots… I think you know which I would pick… every time. Now… it’s showtime…

Whew… after that… I’m just really excited that in less than 48 hours… I will be in Utah will my family & friends there. It’s going to be an EPIC weekend!!! You have a great weekend as well!!! Maybe I’ll see ya during it…

Friday, June 17, 2011

Slap It Up, Flip It, Rub It Down






Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, the roommate interviews went splendidly. We were slated for five on Wednesday, two actually showed up, both took about five minutes each tops, both were pretty easy-going chicks from what I could tell (not even time for nicknames really), and within a few hours of the interview… one of them started signing checks… and she’ll be moving in on Tuesday. How sweet is that? Now let’s just hope she’s not a secret creeper. I’m sure she’s fine though. I’ll let you know her nom de plume just as soon as I get one for her. Other than that, just been a busy week with work & a little working out, but still not as much as I should be. I could blame interviews… but it’s just me mostly, especially when the sun’s going down & I’ve been up since early. Oh well, the weekend should reinvigorate my sense of wonder. Sunday night… TECH N9NE!!! Stay tuned…

Earlier this week, I watched “The Next Three Days” starring Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson & Elizabeth Banks (and an eclectic ensemble cast that included Olivia Wilde, Brian Dennehy, the RZA & Daniel Stern among others). Okay, the story is about an apparently brilliant man (Crowe) whose wife (Banks, who is probably too pretty to ever really be considered a great actress, just saying) is arrested & convicted for murdering a coworker. The man spends his fortune trying to defend her, retrial, almost to the Supreme Court… to no avail. The evidence is staggering… but he believes she didn’t do it. So now… he’s convinced that he’s going to break her out of jail… and they’re going to run away to some far off country. He even asks an expert criminal (Neeson in a two minute scene) to find out how to do it & not get caught. Oh… and there’s a 9-year old son involved too. The premise may be a little on the edge of reason… but the movie itself is actually pretty good. It’s even fairly realistic… whereas the odds are REALLY stacked against you in trying to break somebody out of jail… and have enough money to get away & stay away undetected… and trusting people in an untrustworthy industry like forfeiting, robbing, stealing & prison. Go figure. So yeah… it’s pretty good. I would recommend it… but it’s going to take a little disbelief in a few spots.

A few days ago, I sat and watched a movie with Nurse again… and this time, it was “Easy A” starring Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Stanley Tucci, Thomas Haden Church & Lisa Kudrow. They say it’s a modern retelling of “The Scarlet Letter” but… it’s really just about rumors spreading like wildfire through high school and teenage drama mostly. There’s this girl that (inexplicably) nobody notices (Stone) who makes a little white lie to cover spending an entire weekend singing “Pocket Full of Sunshine” by saying that she went on a date… and her ditzy friend starts saying that she’s been banging this imaginary guy… and it goes from there. She starts being ridiculed by the stuck-up church girl (Bynes), and seeks advise from her favorite teacher (Church) but the lies just kind of go from there because she likes that people actually notice her… even if it’s because they think she’s a tramp. That being said though… it was actually pretty damn funny. I almost feel bad saying it given my usual stance on chick flicks AND teenage drama… but yeah, it was actually pretty funny on many levels… and I might even watch it again.

Later that night… it was time for “The Green Hornet” starring Seth Rogen & Christophe Waltz. Now, this movie has been gestating for a looooong time with Kevin Smith in & out as the writer / director… but that apparently wasn’t meant to be. Regardless, I really liked this movie… but obviously more for the comedy of Seth Rogen & the writers who brought you half of the good comedies since “40 Year Old Virgin” than the superhero storyline. Anyway, the story is about a young man (Rogen) who inherits a newspaper fortune… and basically, while drunk one night with his chauffeur / mechanic / barista Kato, they decide to become crime fighters… but by disguising themselves as criminals. Why? Because superheroes get their asses kicked. So with the help of his own newspaper giving this new mysterious “bad guy” press, the baddest guy in all of LA (Waltz) decides that he’s had enough of competition… and conspires to eliminate this Green Hornet... who honestly is causing more destruction than he's preventing... but hey, that's not for me to say. Okay, I’d recommend watching this movie… but basically only because it’s pretty hilarious… and some of the special effects are okay (not all). The director Michel Gondry is the guy who did “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” & “Science of Sleep” so it has it moments where you question it… but since it’s a big budget blockbuster they had plenty of guys making sure it made sense & if you’re a fan of Rogen’s dialogue… then you’ll like this movie. There’s even a cameo from James Franco, ladies. There. Now go see it. Here’s the news…

Children’s Book Update – As you know, I’ve been interested in the idea of making children’s books for some time… but have no artistic ability so the illustrations would be crudely drawn creatures (probably with humongous breasts) and I’d probably work a few phrases into the story just to picture the parents reading them the first time. “Wait… did I just say reach around while talking about Santa’s elves helping one another? That can’t be right.” Regardless, it’s refreshing to see that being borderline crazy (human) won’t play too much of a role, because I’m just like everybody else in the industry. A New York children's author who used a curse word in exasperation during a plane delay at a U.S. airport was ejected from the aircraft for disruptive behavior. Robert Sayegh, 37, said Atlantic Southeast Airlines overreacted to his salty language when it summoned police aboard to escort him off the Sunday evening flight at Detroit Metro Airport (there’s a reason right there… he was in Detroit). "The f-word is not a nice word to use," he acknowledged in a telephone interview, adding he was complaining to himself rather than snapping at anyone in particular. "I really didn't think I was being that loud." Sayegh, who is also a television producer, was catching a connecting flight home after attending a relative's wedding in Kansas City, Missouri. He was, by his own account, feeling tired. The plane was not taking off. The explanation that there was a problem with the overhead compartments did little to soothe his irritation, he said. And so, to no one in particular, he wondered aloud, using coarse language, what was taking so long. "I said the f-word," Sayegh said. Perhaps, he recalled, he said it twice. A flight attendant seated near Sayegh took offense. Soon he was being led off the plane by police. "I didn't direct it at him," Sayegh said, referring to the flight attendant. "The only reason he heard me was he was sitting in his seat behind me." Atlantic Southeast Airlines said in a statement that it was investigating the incident aboard Flight 5136, and declined to offer further details. The airline confirmed that a passenger was removed and then booked onto another flight back to New York a couple of hours later. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused," the airline statement said. Typical response. Sayegh apologized for offending anyone with his language. "I asked the people around me if I was being rude and they said 'No.' If I was this loud disruptive passenger then I'm sure everyone would have been aware of it." Sayegh said he would complain to the airline. "The ironic part is I'm putting a children's book out in August so this wasn't the kind of press I was looking for," he added, saying there are no obscenities in the book. I’ll admit it. I’ve used the f-word more than thrice on a flight… and those are ones without delays. “I’m just saying the city that I’m going to in Thailand. What’s the big f**king deal?” “It’s pronounced pu-ket.” “Then why is it spelled Phuket???” Anyway, that’s a future discussion. He must have REALLY offended somebody on that flight… but hey, he’ll get compensated with a free flight or something… and a little publicity for his book.

Bank Robbing Update – I should seriously make a monthly magazine about bank robbing or something. I still think it would be an interesting idea… but the subscription membership would be… questionable at best. Probably big on the militia crowd. Anyway, a woman robbed a Colorado bank by passing a note saying she would infect a teller with AIDS if the clerk didn't hand over money, police said on Friday. Jeff Satur, spokesman for the Longmont, Colorado police department, said detectives are searching for a pale woman between the ages of 55 and 75 with a "boney build." Satur said a woman, who was wearing a train conductor's cap and a gray sweat shirt, walked into a Wells Fargo bank inside a Safeway grocery store on Thursday night and handed a note to a teller. "She indicated she had AIDS and would give it to a teller if she didn't cooperate," Satur said. The woman coughed frequently into a blue bandana during the robbery, and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Satur said. Police and the FBI released still photographs of the robbery and are reviewing additional photographs and surveillance video from the bank's parking lot to try and identify the suspect. She is described as about 5-feet 6 inches tall, and weighing between 130 and 150 pounds. No weapon was displayed during the robbery and no one was injured, police said. So to recap… a frail looking grandma type threatened the bank teller to give them a disease if they didn’t hand over the cash. I know banks are insured… but that’s kind of like threatening to exist. I’m not one for confrontation… but if an old lady threatens my life at my place of work, she is making a horrible life choice at that point, especially if there’s a blunt object anywhere within arm’s length & I don’t think she’s spry enough to defend herself. Okay, honestly I would’ve just given her the money too… but only because it was insured. If it were my pocket, first off, I could outrun her. Secondly, I could taze her if I didn’t want to worry about the blood splatter from my foot breaking off in her backside. Thirdly, she’s an old lady, she’s already ripe with disease. She’s probably robbing a bank just to pay for medication anyway (thank you corporate America). So my grade for this robbery – C+. Why? It worked for the moment… nobody got hurt… and the money probably went for a good cause. However, in the wrong set of circumstances, she could’ve been put down by just about anybody in the place who wanted to be a hero. Just saying…

Tarantino Update - Darren Aronofsky is reportedly in talks with Christian Bale about possibly starring in his $130 million take on "Noah's Ark" reports Vulture. The locking down of Bale would help secure studio backing for the project assuming Aronofsky wants Bale for the lead. At present a trio of studios (Paramount, Summit, and Fox) considering co-financing the movie with New Regency where it is set up. However, this isn’t a Bale Update… this is a Tarantino Update, so why do I even mention it. I thought it was interesting. A Noah’s Ark movie? Okay. Meanwhile Showbiz 411 reports that Jamie Foxx (“Ray”, “Miami Vice” & “Booty Call”) may be joining Quentin Tarantino‘s “Django Unchained” in the titular role. There is also a rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio is also "definitely signed" according to the report. For those who don’t know, this is Tarantino’s Western film that he’s been talking about for YEARS, more like decades. Oh… and for you naysayers thinking that Leonardo DiCaprio can’t do a Western… go check out “The Quick & the Dead” and get back to me. That was twenty years ago. He’s damn near an Eastwood by now. And Jamie Foxx can definitely be a black sheriff a la Blazing Saddles… or whatever part he may be. I’m excited. Too bad it’ll probably be another 2-3 years before we get to see the end product. Damn Tarantino for being a perfectionist!!! Oh well, it should be worth the wait.

That’ll do it for this evening. Got some shopping to do for birthdays & Father’s Day tomorrow and then TECH N9NE Sunday night with Bubbles. It should be fun… plus plenty of sunshine from what I’m told. Thursday, I leave for Utah for the weekend & Spitso’s wedding. Should make for a good time… as 4th of July is after that. Fun fun fun!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mama's First Visit to San Francisco




























Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, a fantastic weekend was had. Thursday night after work, I met up with my mom & aunt at Fisherman’s Wharf and we had a delicious dinner at Deli Market… which marks my third time eating there (went with Bubbles twice). Pretty good seafood and I had crab cakes and a grilled salmon sandwich. Then we wandered around a bit and checked out some shops (will be a theme), they bought some of those pearls out of the shell, then we went to my apartment and they rested from their big day of shopping.

We watched… sigh… “Revenge of the Bridesmaids” starring Raven Symone. You remember, from the Cosby Show, I think… and That’s So Raven. Only she’s grown up now… and stars in B movies. Well, this one, as you might have guessed… is about revenge being exacted from bridesmaids… and really, I just couldn’t get into it. I know it’s a comedy… but it’s really just snobby b**ches being snobby b**ches… and I’m just saying there are better ways to get back at people… and they’ll never trace it back to you. That’s all I have to say. Don’t f**k with me! Okay, the story is… there’s these girls who grew up as “friends” with this snobby rich girl… but then they grew up & grew apart… and now snobby rich girl is getting married… but with different girls for bridesmaids… and marrying the ex-boyfriend of one of the “friends” or something. Yeah… and it just gets worse from there. I believe this movie shouldn’t be screened near an open flame… but hey, it’s a chick flick kind of thing… because my mom liked it. My aunt slept through it. So that’s three reviews, I guess… one thumb up, two thumbs down.

Friday, I took them to Golden Gate Park to enjoy the scenic beauty… and we went to the DeYoung Museum of Art, which I had yet to experience. It was an amazing collection of art that I actually found interesting. Which basically means… there wasn’t a whole lot of modern art… but that which was there… was pretty interesting. Observe…

Just a refresher, my mom's the one on the right...


Princess Leia?


Notre Dame with shells... nice!


"Hell yeah it's art..."


Atop the DeYoung Tower


Then we went to the Tea Gardens… my third time there… but first with my mama…

After that, we did some shopping in Chinatown… by which I mean, they did some shopping in Chinatown… but they really enjoyed it… and I found a few things that I might have bought had I more room for useless crap. Speaking of which, my roommate Tracy is moving out at the end of the month… so I get to do more roommate interviews this week. YAY!!! I’m sure it’ll be better for her. I was kind of expecting it as she hasn’t really spoken to me for a while now… but hey, maybe the new roommate will be a little more social. One can only hope. Anyway, Chinatown was fun… we had dinner at Far East CafĂ© & it was pretty darn good… then we went to Safeway for snacks & food… and watched movies & TV shows.

The movie this night… was “Children of a Lesser God” starring William Hurt & Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin. The story is about an energetic & controversial teacher (Hurt) who goes to a school for the hearing impaired… and falls for a former student / custodian (Matlin). She’s beautiful, brilliant, knows when to keep her mouth shut (ba-da-tish) and he’s smitten. Well, of course, drama comes into play because… well, it just always does. It’s a great movie if you’re into dramas… and there were even a few funny moments… and don’t worry about having to know sign language or reading subtitles… because they took care of that with all of the signing being spoken by the characters, primarily the teacher. I enjoyed it… but a lot of drama. You know how I deal with drama.

Saturday, we drove out to Half Moon Bay and did some shopping on their Main Street, mostly antiques & shiny things. It was pretty cloudy… but overall not too bad. We were there for four hours, then went to eat at Miramar Beach Restaurant… which had a live pianist and some great food. I had an ahi tuna steak with mango & avocado salsa. Pretty good time… and then we stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay… because I’m a hustlaaa, baaaby! It’s a beautiful resort (as seen in “American Pie Wedding” but much classier in real life) and there was even a bagpiper in the sunset hours, combined with the ocean mist, for a very Scottish highlands feel. There was a wedding going on… complimentary wine at check-in… just an overall good, relaxing time.

Once again... in case you didn't know...

my mom LOVES cocks


I don't think they REALLY want to know

what's in MY drawers?


Sunday, we slept in… and then headed back towards San Francisco, stopping along the way at La Nebbia Winery to check out the glass blowing & flowers… and then back to the Presidio for a walk around the Palace of Fine Arts… and then home to do some cooking. Oh yes, $teve cooked… and pretty damn well. My mom and I (she cut, I cooked) made Danish Pork… which is basically lightly breaded pork tenderloin medallions simmered with mushroom in a special mystery sauce over rice… and then my aunt Pat wanted to show me how to make an apple pie from scratch… so I did. Still don’t have the creasing of the edges down… but everything else went pretty smoothly… and the pie wasn’t bad for apple (more of a pumpkin pie guy myself).

Afterwards, we watched the first few episode of the HBO series “Hung” starring Thomas Jane. We really liked it. For those who don’t know, the story is about a high school history teacher (Jane) who has fallen on hard times when his house burned down… and his ex-wife (Anne Heche) has remarried and is trying to take his kids… and so to make money & get his life back on track, he goes to an entrepreneur seminar that tells him to find his “tool” that he has to offer the world… and his “tool” is his massive member… so he becomes a gigolo. I know, already sounds like my kind of show, right? You’d be correct. I’m only a few episodes in… but it’s pretty good… and I just have to say, he’s a horrible bottom b**ch. Somebody needs to teach this guy The Game… but that’s what a good Pimp is for. Let’s hope he finds one & gets that mother f**king money. Oh, by the way, I loaned my mom “Pimpology” to read on the plane back to Utah… for two reasons. One, it’s the only book that I don’t have in a box in a closet somewhere. Two, because she needs to know. Anyway, I’m sure she’ll read it… and ask me what certain things mean. That’s what a good son is for.

Anyway, that was my weekend with the family… and in less than two weeks, I’ll be in Utah with the rest of the family too. I can’t wait. Good times!!! Until then though, I’ve got to interview for a new roommate. It should be fun. Have a great day everybody!!!

Where Should I Go Next?