Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where are the Sunglasses?

I don't want to say that Yasser Arafat is already dead, but check out this photo, sent by his office to show how healthy he is. The way they're propping him up -- doesn't it look a little "Weekend at Bernie's"? In fact, didn't Bernie wear that same track suit in at least one of the movies?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

TiVo Strikes Again

Last night our TiVo "decided" we would like to see a documentary called "American Eunuchs," which not only interviews a number of castrated males, it shows the procedure! Yowza!! What the hell are you doing TiVo??

What's next -- will it spring up on tiny TiVo legs and kill us in our sleep? [Still, it was better than having to watch David Hasselhoff in "Jekyll & Hyde." -ed.]

Monday, October 25, 2004

Well That Explains It

Now Ashlee's dad is justifying her Saturday Night Live flub by saying she was suffering from acid reflux disease. This is why you should never let your parents speak to the press -- they'll always explain away your actions by citing some embarrassing ailment: "It wasn't her fault -- she suffers from severe flatulence."

Ha Ha...

Over the weekend Kelly and I were watching the new Ashlee Simpson video "Shadow," in which she demonstrates the enormous differences between her and her sister, Jessica. For instance, she is totally rockin' and not concerned about her looks: witness her non-blond hair and non-rhinoplastied nose. (The guys in her backup band also seems determined to show the world how much they rock, despite the fact that they are, uh, Ashlee Simpson's backup band!)

Anyway, so the fact that she's so determined to prove how un-superficial she is makes Saturday's incident all the more humorous. Apparently she was set to perform "Autobiography" on Saturday Night Live, but they accidentally played the vocal track to "Pieces of Me" -- showing the world that she is a superficial lip-syncher just like her sister! Ha, she may as well fix her nose now (it is a little weird-looking, no?).

Friday, October 22, 2004

Prison Lesbianism vs. Witchcraft

Today's Dear Abby is great on so many levels. But it's too bad that Abby doesn't answer the woman's question. All she wanted to know was where to find a spellbook. Damn it, Abby, stay focused!

(The last letter is pretty good too -- in the how-awesome-is-this-guy sense.)

I'm Comin' Out of the BOOOOTH...

Jon and Anh-Minh (aka Jon-Minh) had this cool photo both at their wedding reception Oct. 2. I guess it should have occurred to me that they would do something with the photos (rather than destroy them), because here they are online. Let me just say that the one with Rick was his idea!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's Official

My mom became a U.S. citizen today in a ceremony in San Jose. It's been a long time coming -- 35-40 years -- so I hope it lives up to her expectations (which don't seem very high).

There were definitely times growing up when I resented having a "foreigner" as a mother (the fact that she never baked a Betty Crocker cake seems to be the most egregious offense). But now I look back fondly on our multicultural household. And I hope to pass on certain things to my kids, such as Franglais, Asterix, Tintin, Kinder eggs and squeezing gobs of mayonnaise onto French fries. U.S. citizen or no, my mother has definitely infected her corner of the world with her Frenchness.

Anyway, congratulations Maman!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Misspelled Mural Update

Well, it looks like Maria Alquilar has changed her mind again and will return to Livermore to fix the spelling errors in her mosaic. Apparently city officials assured her that she would be "safe" while she made the fixes (I guess they were afraid spelling vigilantes would be out for blood??).

"People have their First Amendment rights," Jim Piper, Livermore's assistant city manager, is quoted as saying in the Chronicle story. "But people are not allowed to assault others."

They're not?? What kind of police state are they running over there in Livermore?

Item: Gas Prices Are High



I first started taking Caltrain to work back in 2002 when we moved within walking distance of the train station. In the beginning it was an issue of freeing up my time, since I could read/write/whatever on the train instead of being stuck behind the wheel in traffic.

But thanks to the spike in gas prices, Caltrain is also saving me a ton of money! In the old days the cost was roughly equivalent to drive vs. taking the train. Now with gas at $2.39-plus a gallon, it costs about $4.84 each way to commute to work. On the train, it's $3.39. That saves me more than $100 a month! (And I didn't even factor in depreciation and car maintenance.)

Of course, if gas prices stay high, Caltrain will likely have to raise fares. For now, life is good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Barney Shakur

Not sure how old this clip is, but it's the funniest thing I've seen in quite a while (it came courtesy of Bill Stern) -- better even than that Charlie Brown version of "Hey Yeah."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Debate Drinking Game

I pieced together a drinking game for the debate last Friday, and it seemed to work pretty well. (There were already a few debate drinking games online, but none seemed all that great, so I tried to craft my own.) Anyway, there's still one debate left, so give it a whirl:

Drink once if Bush:
Mispronounces/misuses a word
Pauses for an uncomfortably long period
Says “Flip-Flop”
Mentions Texas
Makes joke; only he laughs

Drink twice if Bush:
Says “Nuke-u-leur”
Talks about hard work of being president
Talks about anyone “hating freedom”
Winks at audience

Drink once if Kerry:
Says “Wrong”
Says “American people”
Mentions Halliburton
Uses an awkward hand gesture
Says “Fair Share”
Says “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

Drink twice if Kerry:
Says that “W stands for Wrong”
Alludes to his service in Vietnam
Says “WMDs”
Mentions killing

Drink once if either candidate:
Mentions Sept. 11
Mentions an ordinary American by name
Blames the media
Uses a sports metaphor
Mentions his wife
Looks at the wrong camera
Says that he’s glad a question was asked
Snickers or grunts during the other candidates answer
Uses name of question-asker in his response
Goes well over his time limit
Interrupts the other
Says “brave men and women fighting in...”

Monday, October 11, 2004

He Does??

Best spam e-mail subject header ever: "My boss thinks you're gay."

(Received today from a guy named Rocco Thorne -- which is a pretty awesome name too -- selling pharmaceuticals.)

Friday, October 08, 2004

Restaurant Saga Continues...

There's this restaurant space in our neighborhood (at 2nd and Brannan) that can't seem to actually become a restaurant. It's too bad because it has an eye-catching rusted-iron exterior and could be kinda cool if it ever opens.

Anyway, in its last incarnation it opened for like a week as TwoB until some internal conflict shut it down. The PlumpJack Group -- Gavin Newsom's old pals -- took over the place and were supposed to be finished redesigning it a few months ago.

But according to this blurb in the Chronicle's "The Inside Scoop" column (fifth item), it was left abandoned for several months and homeless people were living inside. (Hmmm... this sounds like an affordable wedding reception venue!!)

Anyway, construction is now under way again and the place should reopen as "Jack Falstaff" by late November. PlumpJack's James Ormsby will serve as chef.

On Second Thought...

Regarding my posting below about William Schuman, it occurs to me that the name "Schuman" was probably next to the picture of a woman. And that's why it would have to be a misspelled reference to Clara Schumann. (I can't really think of any famous female Schumans with one "n.")

Exciting Update!

So apparently the artist who made the misspelled mosaic now refuses to come fix her work! She claims she's gotten too many hate letters and sees herself as a "sacrificial goat." Hmmm...yes, since she made the errors it does seem unreasonable to blame her for them.

How Do You Spell D-u-m-b-a-s-s?

This is classic. The city of Livermore paid $40,000 to commission a big mosaic art installation for the front of its new library. As part of the piece, the artist integrated the names of 175 great writers, statesmen, artists and thinkers. Unfortunately many of those names are misspelled! (See, it's funny because it's in front of a library.)

So now the city has to pay the artist to fly out from Miami and fix everything (not surprisingly, she was originally from Santa Cruz). For its story, the SF Chron called the woman and got her answering machine, which said that only non-polemic calls would be returned. Good thing she didn't have to spell "non-polemic"!

I do think, though, that the Chron made a potentially erroneous assumption in the graphic that accompanied the story. "Schuman" was one of the names, which the Chron assumed was a misspelled reference to Clara Schumann (why it would be her and not her more gifted husband, Robert, I don't know). But it could refer to 20th century U.S. composer William Schuman (who wrote the Symphony for Strings). Let's give the artist the benefit of the doubt!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Let's Get Retarded -- No, Wait...

Today the Wall Street Journal's "PC Watch" feature (that's PC as in politically correct, not personal computer) takes on the Black Eyed Peas song "Let's Get It Started."

As you may recall, the original song was "Let's Get Retarded" (a 21st Century version of Humpty Hump's call to "Get Stupid"). But it was rerecorded as "Let's Get It Started," and that's the version played on the radio these days. Apparently the Association for Retarded Citizens (which now prefers to go by Arc) complained about the original lyrics.

The article makes a good point in saying that many formerly clinical descriptions for the mentally retarded (moron, idiot, etc.) are now seen as innocuous. But "retarded" is different, the Arc spokesman says. (By the way, I assume their spokesman is mentally retarded himself. But maybe the benefits of trotting out a mentally retarded spokesman are diminished by the fact that he might say something, well, retarded.)

Anyway, I was surprised to see the story neglected one of hip-hop's most famous "retard" lines -- from Salt 'n' Pepa's "Shoop":

They want my bod,
here's the hot rod
Twelve inches to a yard
and have ya soundin' like a retard


I don't remember any protests over that -- though I think they may have bleeped the word on the radio.

Monday, October 04, 2004

So Long, Power 92.7...

Well, it looks like if you want to hear Kanye West's "Jesus Walks With Me" 20 times a day, you'll now have to buy the CD!

Sadly, the Bay Area's newest hip-hop station Power 92.7 "The Beat of the Bay" is no longer playing hip-hop. Yesterday I tuned in and listened in horror as bad dance music spewed from my radio.

It seems the station is now back to being a dance/"energy" format. It's weird because I feel like they were making progress in promoting the hip-hop station (at nightclubs, concerts, etc.). What happened?? The Web site doesn't provide any clues -- only a "stay tuned for more information" message.

Wedding Fever!

We've now been to three weddings in a little over a month, and in order to distract from their celebrations (since I prefer for the spotlight to stay on me), I have my own bit of news: Kelly and I recently became engaged.

No decision on when it will be or anything, but we are in the planning stages. I'm hoping the wedding will reflect my personality; therefore, I'm pushing for it to be gritty, urban and somewhat "gansta." So far, Kelly has only OK'd the idea of it being urban (i.e., within the city and county of San Francisco).

On the topic of weddings, we went to Jon and Anh-Minh's on Saturday and it was great. Let's just say it involved an ice cream sundae bar and the DJ allowed me to experiment with some new breakdance moves. (And now I plan to steal all their ideas for our wedding -- bwahahahahah!)