Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh My Gosh, I'm a Drug Mule

I flew to New York today, and something odd happened while I was going through security.

There was this sketchy-looking guy ahead of me (I think he may have had facial hair) who sent his bags through the metal detector.

As I was getting my bins ready to send down the conveyor belt, he said, "Oh hey, can I put this with your stuff? Just so I don't have to get another container for it."

He handed me this gold chain with a medallion. The medallion was cobra-themed or something. Anyway, it looked like the kind of thing you would pop open and hide a roofie inside...or worse.

I said, "Okay." So he put the chain into my hands (getting my fingerprints all over it, of course).

Fortunately it got through security without incident (he then took it back). But what if it hadn't?

I could just imagine me saying, "Actually, it belongs to that guy over there."

"What guy?"

Pooh Spreaders

Remember when I questioned whether it was appropriate for Winnie the Pooh to endorse baby eczema cream?

Well, this seems far worse.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Urban Etiquette

When I jog down Folsom Street, I always seem to pass these drug dealers who hang out on a certain corner.

They look like bad dudes, so I feel like I should make some friendly gesture. Just to ensure they don't, you know, kill me.

I've had a strong urge to start yelling out, "The Roc Boys in the building tonight. HEY!" as I run past.

That'd be cool, right...I mean, who doesn't like Jay-Z?

Unless maybe:
(a) They're trying to be incognito
(b) It would be awkward since technically they're not in a building
(c) I should pick a more up-to-date lyric?

I'm so bad at these things!

When Will This Crime Spree End?

Today I saw something in Elliot's hand. When I pried it out, I discovered this.



Apparently he pulled it off the underside of our couch.

After this incident and this incident, I'm afraid Elliot is turning into a career criminal.

The really alarming part: He shows no remorse!

Who's the Real Victim Here?

Kelly had sinus surgery today. Everything seemed to go well, though she's still recovering. After admonishing her not to lift heavy weights or do rigorous exercise, the doctor said Kelly also isn't allowed to do any "exaggerated facial expressions" for at least a week.

What? This is terrible. A certain member of our household is obsessed with exaggerated facial expressions!



With Kelly out of the exaggerated-facial-expression game, he's going to think something has gone very wrong.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BuboBlog Reviews 'I Love You, Man'

Elliot's grandmother babysat him last night, allowing us to see our second movie in the theater this year (after "Star Trek"). We saw "I Love You, Man," and I'm happy to report that we're two-for-two in 2009.

In classic Aptovian mold, the film mixes ribald humor with genuine warmth. The two stars, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, have real chemistry. And while some of the jokes fall flat — I'd say any line delivered by Lou Ferrigno had a 50-50 shot of landing (or being understood) — the dialogue was fresh and unpredictable.

I'm not sure it was quite as good as some other recent Apatovian films (I would rank Rudd's last movie, "Role Models," a bit higher — and ditto for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which starred both Rudd and Segel). Still, it's definitely worth seeing.

It also gives viewers the thrill of hearing the film's title spoken by a character. That's always awesome.



I'll tell you one thing, no one in "Star Trek" ever says, "STAR TREK!" (the big disappointment of that film).

BuboBlog Rating: Three asterisks (out of four).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'Fissure' Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

As you may recall, I wrote a screenplay a while back called "Fissure," which was shot in Texas and premiered at the AFI International Film Festival in Dallas.

Now there's news that the "Fissure" DVD is due for an August release. Pretty exciting. The filmmakers also are working on some "Fissure" webisodes. And there's a behind-the-scenes featurette with a brief appearance by me. It's all on this new Fissure TV site.



You're probably thinking, "Why would I want to watch a movie that doesn't have Elliot in it?" I can understand that viewpoint, but hopefully you'll make an exception.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Guest Blog by Elliot: My First Giants Game

Today Mama and Dada took me to my very first baseball game.

At first I was excited about all the people there. I've never had the opportunity to be adored by so many fans at once.



But wait, they weren't even paying attention to me. How odd. They all seemed focused on that field down below.



Suddenly there was a CRACK, and everyone started screaming. How disturbing — I've never heard such a racket. And it didn't appear to have anything whatsoever to do with me. Was this even possible? I decided to cry for the next 10 minutes.

The man next to us noticed my tears. Instead of trying to console me, he said I "must be a Braves fan." I don't quite understand you, sir, but I suspect your jests are coming at my expense.



I then decided that the brim of Mama's cap looked delicious and took it upon myself to eat it. Mmm...what fine texture.

Soon enough, Mama said I would have to get home for my nap. Very well. Antelope is probably wondering where I went.

Goodbye, ingrates.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sorry, Elliot



Knowing his tastes, that would have been a dream come true.

Ghetto Chic

I'm not sure if this is a big deal in other places, but the trend in Ess Eff these days is to serve high-end street food out of repurposed Mexican-food trucks.

I guess the idea is to take gourmet food to the people (although the prices are still fairly high, at least compared to buying a hot dog or burrito).

Anyway, the trend has been hugely popular in the Mission district, so a restaurant called Chez Spencer decided to bring the concept to our humble hood. It's not drawing quite the crowds here, but we were definitely excited about being able to buy escargot, frog legs and other French fare without leaving our graffiti-strewn alleyway. (They set up shop in the lot of the oil-change place at the end of Langton Street.)



You can get escargot "popsicles" on sticks for $2 each. Delicious.



I also liked the skate cheeks. The potato-leek soup was a little bland for my tastes, but it did make perfect food for an eight-month-old.



They plan to show up every Thursday through Saturday, so let's hope it works out. There are definitely some detractors, as you can see from these comments (I'm Comment No. 4!).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A House Divided

Kelly and I have waged a long-simmering dispute that Elliot could bring to a boil.

At issue: how to properly pronounce "often." I'm a soft T man: "OFF-en." Saying it with a hard T — "off-TEN" — seems a bit harsh and possibly vulgar. (Like something you might hear at a roadhouse burlesque in Winnipeg.) And yet, this is Kelly's way.

Both pronunciations are included in our family's dictionary of record (Webster's New World, natch). My argument: The soft T version is listed first; therefore, it's preferred. Kelly doesn't buy this.

My concern is for the child. How is Elliot going to react to growing up in a culturally divided household? And more importantly, which side will he choose?

Kelly says we aren't allowed to pressure him. But that doesn't stop me from trying to say soft T often as much as possible during his formative years.

Unfortunately, Kelly got a jump on me after our latest argument: "Elliot, your father is off-TEN a nincompoop."

All Elliot All The Time: Month Eight

Kelly got a little behind in her monthly photo albums (apparently Elliot's seventh month will be a mystery to historians — kind of like Jesus' teenage years). But here's a slideshow of his eighth month. Check it out.

Some of my favorites...

Ball of drool:


Elliot takes a break from book-eating:


Thug life:

I'm Disappointed in All of You

Here we are, almost halfway through 2009. And you're telling me we NEVER came up with a universally accepted name for this decade?

I never dreamed this decade would come and go without us finding a name for it. Sorry, backers of "the aughts" or "the naughts," but you never built any consensus. And calling it the 2000s is confusing — it sounds like you mean the whole century.

For shame.

Let's at least try to get a jump on the next decade. Should it be "the tens" or do we have to wait a couple years and start calling it "the teens"? Get on it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby...Or Not

Does the Walgreen's really need to put birth control right next to the baby products?



Isn't that like putting pet-care products next to the hunting supplies?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

'Learning to Fly'

Elliot is very confused about how human beings get from place to place.



Note: I had some problems putting this video on YouTube, so I'm trying this other site (Funny or Die) — not that the video is all that funny.

Bay to Breakers Innocence Lost

Today was Bay to Breakers, which is billed as the largest footrace in the world (though I think if I fired off a gun in the middle of Jakarta or Mumbai, I might be able to beat that record).



Every year city officials complain that Bay to Breakers is getting out of control and should be reined in.

I never thought it was too bad myself, but I guess that's because every time I've done it, I've actually run the race. If you stay near the front of the pack, it's pretty tame.

This year I didn't do Bay to Breakers, but we did bring Elliot up to Howard Street to watch some of the runners go by.





Later, after Elliot went down for a nap, I decided, what the hell, I'd go run along the course for a bit.

This was almost two hours after the race started, so I figured there would just be a couple stragglers. In fact, the streets were absolutely jammed with beer-swilling revelers. You could barely move, let alone run. It was like Mardi Gras — only with more naked old guys (having never been to Mardi Gras, I can only assume there aren't naked old guys there? Please say there aren't). I was forced to high-five people against my will, got shot with high-powered water guns and was pelted with tortillas.

There were throngs of Elvises, Tinkerbells, Pacmen, Ghost Busters, Bay Watch lifeguards and hula girls. A guy dressed as Waldo held a sign saying, "Where the f--- am I?" A middle-aged man in a baby costume had what appeared to be poo smeared across the back of his diaper. Only I really hope it wasn't poo, because he kept reaching down to wipe it and eat it. Two men dressed as bacon scaled the side of Davies Symphony Hall while the crowd cheered on. Also, using the porta-potties appeared to be regarded as strictly optional.

These people clearly had no interest in physical fitness!

When I got back to our street, some people had left behind the detritus of gladiator costumes, along with half-finished drinks. As I was picking them up, I accidentally dropped my keys in a cup of grain-alcohol seabreeze. Gross. At least it wasn't my iPod, I guess.

With that said, am I in favor of new restrictions? Not really. Unless it's a no-nudity-under-age-70 law.

Did Anyone Check Wikipedia?

The SNL skit where Justin Timberlake comes into New York harbor as a 19th century immigrant was one of the funnier parts of last week's episode (aside from this).

But did they really show a shot of the Statue of Liberty next to a title that says, "1883"?



Anachronisms are no laughing matter!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Poor Antelope

Kelly crept up to Elliot's room and snapped this picture of him mauling his best friend in his sleep.



Based on Antelope's facial expression, he appears to be saying, "Uh, I don't think about you that way."

Look Who Wears Grown-Up Pajamas!



Next thing you know he's going to be lounging around in a silk robe with a tumbler of scotch — 1980s James Spader-style.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm Not Special

For a good portion of my life, Cheerios was one of my favorite foods. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And this continued well into my 20s (it might have continued indefinitely if someone hadn't come along).

I would use it as a feel-better-about-yourself cleansing food. Like say, if I ate a giant bag of Sweet Factory during an MST 3000 marathon, I would just top it off with a tumbler of Cheerios and then I'd feel healthy again. So I was disturbed to learn this week that Cheerios isn't as healthy as General Mills claims.

But what really disturbed me was when I read that Cheerios is the most popular cereal in America. Really? Not corn flakes or raisin bran or Wheaties or some kind of oatmeal?

I mean, I always knew Cheerios was up there, but I still thought I was a bit edgy to be eating it. Like it was for cool outsiders.

I had this same feeling when I learned that Snickers is the most popular candy bar in America. I love Snickers, and I always thought it reflected a more sophisticated palette. I mean, wouldn't the everyman go for a Hershey's bar or maybe a Three Musketeers? Surely they wouldn't want to mix nuts, caramel and nougat? That's too classy for Joe Sixpack!

I guess now for consistency's sake I should start drinking Budweiser and driving a Honda Accord (maybe not at the same time).

UPDATE: Apparently the Honda Civic is actually the best-selling car in America — not the Accord.

And the best-selling beer? Bud Light (at least as of 2007).

BuboBlog regrets the errors.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Look, a Bigger Dork Than Me

Remember my quibble about "Star Trek" — that Delta Vega appeared to be a moon of Vulcan, which didn't make any sense.

The same complaint popped up on the IMDB list of goofs (and it wasn't posted by me):
In the movie, Spock watches the destruction of Vulcan from the surface of Delta Vega. However, for Vulcan to be visible at that size, Delta Vega would have to be in Vulcan's orbit. In Trek mythology, Delta Vega is a remote, uninhabited planet; if it were a satellite of Vulcan it would certainly not be regarded as remote, would be affected by the destruction of Vulcan, and it would not be necessary to use warp drive to maroon anyone there.


Vindicated.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

'Elliot's Danger Zone'

Elliot makes a public service announcement...sort of.

Where's My Credit?

Once again, a news pundit compares the number of Starbucks in San Francisco to the number of pot clubs. And yet, do they cite BuboBlog, which first made this comparison? No!



How hard would it be to go onto CNN and say, "Well, as we know from h-t-t-p forward-slash forward-slash colon buboblog dot blogspot dot com, there are more pot clubs in San Francisco than Starbucks. And by the way, have you see Elliot's YouTube videos? So cute."

Not hard at all, CNN pundits. I demand recognition.

Monday, May 11, 2009

BuboBlog Reviews 'Star Trek'

We got to see "Star Trek" today, thanks to Elliot's grandparents watching him for a few hours. Since we only go to the movies once a quarter these days, there's extra pressure for it not to totally suck.

Fortunately, "Star Trek" did not suck. In fact, it's probably the best movie in the franchise. At the very least, it only ranks behind "The Wrath of Khan" and "The Voyage Home" (and the latter is really only a sentimental favorite for me since it contains both San Francisco and whales).

Director J.J. Abrams manages to stay faithful to the characters while giving the series a clean slate. And unlike other reboots (e.g., "Batman Begins"), it doesn't pretend that the original story never happened — it's more clever than that.

The movie has the perfect mix of humor, emotion and action. And the in-jokes for fans of the series are handled deftly (for instance, when Sulu brings up his fencing skills).

In one sequence, we find Scotty marooned on an icy planet with an alien helper. The alien, Keenser, has no lines — and yet Abrams conveys the attachment Keenser has for Scotty in a touching way. (Side question: Is he part of an established alien race in the Star Trek mythology? Also: Who thought the outpost looked like one of the "Lost" Dharma stations?)

Some quibbles:
—Apparently the Nokia brand and ring tone are still going strong in the 23rd century. I guess that's more likely than Motorola surviving until then (since that company is already hemorrhaging cash), but it's maybe a little sad since Motorola's flip phones were inspired by Star Trek.
—Odd that the young James T. Kirk uses the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" as his rebellious-youth anthem. Since this would be the 2240s (right?), that would be equivalent to a kid today rocking out to 1760s Haydn.
—Every Starfleet cadet that Kirk meets early in the film winds up on the Enterprise?
—I really liked what John Cho did with the Sulu character, making him more bad-ass. But apparently he opted to dial down Sulu's gayness, so the new movie loses diversity points. (It does have a graphic depiction of a tattooed guy drilling the people of San Francisco, which at least sounds pretty gay.)
—Too many Good God man's from McCoy, or just the right amount? I'm not sure.
—San Francisco has buildings that are thousands of feet tall, and yet, we never build another bridge? (At least it seems clear that Starfleet is in the Presidio, so that settles that.)
—The red matter...(spoiler warning): One drop can destroy a planet. And yet, when an entire payload of it explodes inside the Romulan ship, they have time to run around and taunt the captain a few more times on the communicator before finally getting pulled into a black hole? Also, I'm a little confused about Delta Vega — where Kirk finds the older Spock. It looked like Vulcan was so big in the sky that Delta Vega would have to be a moon of Vulcan — or at least a very close planet. And yet, its orbit wasn't disturbed by the black hole?

I don't want to oversell the movie, since it doesn't break a ton of new ground. It mainly manages to be a tightly woven, well paced story that brings new life to a tired franchise. And that's more than good enough for me. BuboBlog's rating: **** asterisks (out of four).

Friday, May 08, 2009

Elliot Fever Spreads!

The Social Security Administration released their 2008 baby-name statistics, and it looks like Elliot is getting more popular.

It moved up from No. 357 to No. 332 among boys' names. Watch out, Jacob, Michael and Ethan — we're gunning for you!

A tribute to famous Elliots:

Ours


Ness


Gould

Bad-ass dudes.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Elliot: Literary Star

Elliot's latest film, "The Voracious Reader," was featured on the Amazon book blog Omnivoracious earlier this week:
Between the bookshelf pan shot in the opening and the title, how could we resist posting this darling bit of baby exploitation? As they say, any way you establish a connection with books at a young age can lead to a lifetime of reading...



I'm nearly obsessive enough to keep pausing the video and link to all the books on their shelves (some nice ones on there!), but I'll just include one, in case...Dad...needs a replacement copy of that last victim: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea.


Way to identify the book that Elliot was reading/eating. (They also complimented my bookshelf — score!)

Apparently, Omnivoracious has more visitors than BuboBlog, because the view count on my YouTube page has exploded.

The clip also popped up on a French book site. Their commentary:
Combien de fois l'a-t-on entendu, en acquiesçant du chef, d'un air entendu et désolé. « Ah, les jeunes, y'a pus d'respect, et en pus, ils lisent pu... » Catastrophe.

D'un autre côté, la lecture, on l'a vu, peut être nocive si l'on jouer au rat de bibliothèque. D'ailleurs, ces dernières ont connu quelques problèmes avec leurs jeunes lecteurs, qui risquaient des maladies à force de trop dévorer les livres justement.

Celui, du jour, qu'a repéré Book Patrol, ne manque pas d'humour et s'avère plutôt rassurant : il avale littéralement tout ce qui lui passe par la main. Livres, journaux, magazines... Quel appétit... de culture! [See comments for shoddy translation.]


Now if only the French BuboBlog would post it!

UPDATE: Noticed it on a few more sites: Book Patrol (hope they didn't think it was really a BBC clip) and a
SpanishPortuguese site.

Can anyone translate?
Nunca é cedo demais para criar uma ligação com as letras. Esperemos é que, depois de crescido, este bebé deixe de devorar livros e afins de forma literal e o passe a fazer de forma figurada :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

So Confusing

Wait a minute: Pavarotti died two years ago, Dom DeLuise just died, and Paul Prudhomme is still alive?

Does this mean they're not the same guy?

I'm still unsure.



What Da Heck Did I Tell You People?

Okay, remember when I complained about a 40-something character in a TV show being named Conner? (By the way, that show was canceled. America clearly wouldn't put up with such an unrealistic scenario.)

And yet, here we go again. In Matthew McConaughey's new movie, "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," his character's first name is Connor. The man turns 40 this year.

Connor didn't exist as a first name before the 1980s. Look it up, people!

No wonder this film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 29 percent. An outlandish premise.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fairy Tales Revisited

As part of our bedtime routine, I've been reading stories to Elliot. He mostly writhes around, trying to eat the pages. But the idea was that he'd start to enjoy the story sooner or later.

Now, after reacquainting myself with children's books, I wonder if I want him to be able to follow the stories. Some of them are MESSED UP.

I won't even go into "Goodnight Moon," which was clearly written to talk people down from bad PCP trips. What surprised me most are the plain old fairly tales.

Exhibit A: "The Princess and the Pea." What on earth is the message here?

Here's how it ends:
The next morning the Queen asked the guest how she had slept.
"Very badly indeed!" groaned the young lady. "I hardly had a wink of sleep all night. I was lying on something so hard that I must be black and blue all over."
At that the Queen smiled happily. "Here at last is your real Princess," she whispered to her son. "Nobody but a real Princess could have such a tender skin as that!"
The Prince, who had fallen in love with her the night before, begged her to marry him, and the Princess liked the Prince so much that she was pleased to marry him and so they lived happily ever after.


The moral? Marry a high-maintenance bitch lady. (There also appear to be some innuendos here that don't seem appropriate for a child.)

Even worse is Exhibit B: "The Frog Prince."

As you may recall, the frog helps the princess recover her golden ball — on the condition that she be his friend and let him stay with her afterwards. After the frog retrieves the ball, she tries to renege on their deal and generally treats him like crap.

It ends like this:
The Princess had to carry the frog up to her room, but she laid him in a corner of the room. He soon jumped away from there.
"I want to sleep in your comfortable bed or I will tell your father," he croaked, unkindly.
At that the Princess was so cross that she picked up the poor frog and threw him across the room.
"Be quiet, you ugly old frog!" she cried.
But as he fell the poor frog changed into a handsome young Prince with a face and form not at all like that of a frog.
"I was bewitched and I had to stay in the shape of a frog until a kind Princess became my true friend," he told her.
"I was not kind," said the Princess, feeling ashamed.
But the Prince already loved her very much indeed and that was why they married and lived happily ever afterwards."


What a Monday-to-Friday princess! And again, what's the message here? Use violence and people will love you?

The last paragraph feels tacked on to save the story from becoming a bleak death-match. Kind of like that last chapter Anthony Burgess added to "Clockwork Orange."

(I also seem to recall that the princess kisses the frog. But maybe interspecies romance was too risque for this edition. Even so, they've managed to make the frog seem pretty pervy.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Stop, That's Not a Toy...OR IS IT?: Part 2

Since babies only seem to be interested in things that AREN'T toys, why not turn the tables on them?

I've developed a line of baby-toy products based on Elliot's favorite things. If Fisher-Price had any sense, they would pay me millions of dollars.