Thursday, September 27, 2007


I really can't finish that title as it relates to the contents of this post. My stepbro is going to absolutely ream me, or never speak to me again for mocking him and his videos. I know his videos are very important and sacred. And I realize it must take an enormous amount of time and energy to spin the records for the background music, edit the video and come up with cool special effects, AND be able to capture circus freak-like talents for use on youtube.

Tim L was my stepbro for nearly 10 years growing up. We lived together in South Lake Tahoe and mostly spent our time vandalizing the neighborhood, competitively injuring ourselves on our non-bmx bikes which we treated as such, and generally causing a great deal of mischief.

He tends to get real mad when I don't watch his videos, which usually consist of montages of him doing backflips off of people's roofs.

But I just think this one of him climbing up a tree is sooo great, it makes me laugh so damn hard every time I watch it and I don't know why.


Upon hearing recently that former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, now-frontrunner in a bid for President of 9/11, had a sweet-ass fundraising dinner in Palo Alto, I was inspired to have one of my own.

Apparently he charged guests nine dollars and eleven cents. Get it? $9.11! How quaint! I think I'll have a dinner party with a super-chic Pearl Harbor theme. We can have a luau with one of those stuffed pigs, and I'll make people wear pearls it'll be fab! OR, I could even have an Oklahoma City Bombing soiree of sorts, where the game is, you have to bring in one bottle of wine or beer that costs $4.19. Why? Because the bombing occured on April 19 silly! Oh Giuliani, your partying spirit is incorrigible! Can't wait to see your next article in Martha Stewart Living!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Exhibit A, this douchebag writes:

$800 New (chill) lawyer in town needs roommates (mission district)

Reply to:
Date: 2007-09-22, 1:39PM PDT

Let's get 2 or 3 cool young professionals/students together and get a place to call home. I'm thinking the Mission, but any cool neighborhood would do. We need: responsible, cool, fun, funny, smart people. Work hard/play hard types. But clean. And financially stable. Do you fit this description?

I just graduated from Wash U. Law School in St. Louis (went to Duke undergrad)and moved out here and took the Cali bar. I'm just starting my job search, but I'm financially stable in the meantime. Let me know if you're interested in assembling a house. Tell me about yourself. Include your myspace.

1. Overuse of the word "cool" is not cool. For all I know, you think wearing a Snoopy "Joe Cool" t-shirt is super-cool. Specify what is meant by cool or risk failing my coolness litmus test.

2. Cool cannot be followed by "young professionals", there, you just failed the test.

3. Don't you ever use the term "work hard/play hard" douchebag! For all I know you enjoy the lifestyle of a Gordon Gekko-type Wall St tycoon and debauch yourself weekly in Vegas on copious amounts of cocaine and underage prostitutes.

4. "(went to Duke undergrad)" Wow, how humble you are Mr.Gekko, using parenthesis to name drop Duke U. Did I fucking ask? Does attending Duke AND getting a law degree mean you will wash your fucking dishes and refrain from bringing underage hookers home?

5. Never use the term "Cali". Only morons who are not from California say Cali. "Cali" is almost acceptable from one person in the whole wide world, and that person is LL Cool J. And he was from New York and it was the 80s and rap stars from New York in the 80s are exempt from any accusations of being uncool.

Don't post craiglist ads like this one, don't be a doucebag.

(Note: these are all actual incidences that occured to me in both Santa Cruz and San Francisco)

--They take the time, while you are contorting your body and placing wooden blocks under your back or your ankles, to recite quotes about embracing pain from Indian mystics.

--While in a downward dog position, they tell you to put your leg above your head, then, realizing they meant something else, giggle uncontrollably.

--They don't have a spare yoga mat, but tell you that you can use a spare pilates mat, which is slippery and seems to be more suited for break dancing than balancing exercizes.

--They ask you to imagine connecting the left cochlea of your ear to your right femur. Or the second row of metatarsal bones on your right foot to your collar bone. Then they single you out and accuse you of failing to do so.

--Ask you if you like how a a position feels, then ask you if you'd like to die in this position.

Just something to think about, as yoga is quite culturally unbiquitous. Here is picture illustrating this fact:

Find more examples of asanas as used in urban life here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Did anyone else catch Slate's "excerpt" from OJ's "new book"? It's probably one of the online mag's most absurdly-prefaced, hilarious articles to date. The intro claims that a rocket will:

...carry O.J.'s book advance to the Andromeda galaxy, where it will be stored in a black hole that is believed to lie outside the jurisdiction of the $33.5 million civil judgment against Simpson in 1997.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


As I was doing research for an article NCLB, I discovered a flood of highly entertaining personal blogs by our nation's finest educators. One such had posted this video of the comedian Zach Galifianakis (a regular on Reno 911! and The Sarah Silverman Program) with an audience of preschoolers. My fav line is: "Preschool is nuts isn't it?" uproarious, manic laughter ensues, proving his point exactly. But the funniest part is when the children themselves deliver the jokes. Watch and discover the funniest joke in the a preschooler.


I thought I was sooo rad, winning a free lunch for up to ten people at my favorite taqueria downtown. I won by dropping my business card into a drawing box (this is actually the 2nd lunch I've won in the past two weeks). Alas there was a catch, a catch upon many. Basically, it will be sponsored by a financial group, whose rep will bombard us with chin music (look it up people) as we order, and then make us fill out a questionnaire. As my friend Linda pointed out, the email from the rep, in order to invite my "associates", makes the event look like one super fun party lunch time:


1. Amity











21 & over

NO Alcohol

NO Dessert


Have Fun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Italian physician Dr. Umberto Veronesi is predicting a rise in bisexuality in the future, claiming that we will be able to see evidence of this major trend in just three generations time. This, he contends, will be attributed to a massive cultural transition whereby love will be based more upon affection than procreation.

But relax! The Washington Blade reports that, according to Dr. Paula Rodríguez Rust, a lesbian and member of the International Academy of Sex Research, "...that doesn’t mean people who are straight or gay will spontaneously become bisexual."

Whew! For a second there I thought turning bi was the new spontaneous combustion .

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, less than three percent of Americans identify themselves as bisexual. Whether or not these were incidences of spontaneity was not reported.

All paranoia aside, I am glad to know that love is more about affection than "genital needs" these days. Recently, my friend David H came across this great Freud quote from "Civilization and its Discontents":

"People give the name 'love' to the relation between a man and a woman whose genital needs have lead them to found a family" (57).

Sexy (;

I am now imagining a Sandals commercial of the future (three generations time to be exact), where instead of "I've had the time of my life", the backgrond music is Blur's "Girls and Boys":

Streets like a jungle
So call the police
Following the herd
Down to Greece...on holiday
Love in the nineties
Is paranoid
On sunny beaches
Take your chances...looking for
Girls who are boys
Who like boys to be girls
Who do boys like their girls
Who do girls like their boys
Always should be someone you really love

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


At least in Pakistan. A poll by a Virginia-based think tank called "Terror Free Tomorrow" ran a poll asking 1,044 Pakistanis, face-to-face, what they thought of bin Laden, Bush and their own president Pervez Musharraf.

Turns out bin Laden blew the competition out of the water with a whopping 46 percent approval rating, while Musharraf got a 38 percent rating and Bush, surprise surprise was at a pitiful nine percent.

There is a silver lining, however. The Pakistanis admitted their opinion of the U.S. would get better if Americans gave more aid to their country, gave more in business investments, and issued more visas so that they could work in America.

And who knows, maybe, if we treat 'em right, they'll erect a great monument to commemorate the outstanding support we've shown to them. Perhaps like the sarcastic Sarajevans who built a great statue to honor us and show how very much they loved the canned beef they received during the 1992-95 seige of their city.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Every now and again I'll come across a book which moves me to tears. I think this has happened maybe 3 or 4 times in my life. I recently finished Rebecca Solnit's "Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities" and such a moment occurred in the very last chapter.

Rebecca Solnit is a local Bay Area activist and cultural historian. I first came across her in the Guardian's Comment is Free section, enchanted by her ballsiness in writing this entry. Her prose in "Hope in the Dark" shines and dazzles, waxing poetic on subjects that tend not to inspire great nonfiction writers to step outside of basic documentarian posturing.

The book revisits social movements stemming from the '99 WTO protests in Seattle, and traces some truly inspiring moments of activism which, in Solnit's view, have sparked a new breed of political activism across the globe, the Zapatistas in Chiapas often cited as one example of this new model. What's truly stunning is how she manages to connect all the dots, pinpointing the amount of political cross-pollination that has occurred over the past decade through common enemies such as war, global warming, environmental sustainability and labor rights. Linking conservative ranchers to lefty environmentalists fighting for sustainability; Kazakhs and Western Shoshones united against nuclear test sites, Solnit captures the seemingly nebulous state of modern social movements.

The ending of this book was so beautiful, and made me oh so very proud to be a San Franciscan:

The future is dark, but begin in the present, at the Pacific where it fronts my city, where western civilization comes to an end in a strip of sand and the realm of whales and sharks begins. Fish populations are plummeting in this and other oceans, but if you go down the coast a ways you'll come to where the sea otters hunted nearly into extinction have come back to the kelp beds; if you go either north or south, you'll come to the beaches where the elephant seals who were likewise nearly exterminated return every winter to fight, mate, and nurse their young. Take a third Pacific species, though--the brown pelican, which also nearly disappeared, then came back--and imagine one pelican's trajectory from Ocean Beach, the western edge of my city and our continent.

Imagine it soaring with the heavy prehistoric grace of a pterodactyl down Fulton Street, the long street that starts at the beach, parallels the north side of Golden Gate Park, and carries on after the park ends to run east through the old African-American neighborhood, past surviving gospel churches and extinct barbershops to the little formal garden between the War Memorial Building and the Opera House, then straight into City Hall, whose great gilded dome straddles the street. Let that pelican soar through the echoing central atrium where in 1961 students who protested the anticommunist purges were washed down the marble stairs with fire hoses, let the bird float out the other side, going on east, to United Nations Plaza, where Fulton dead-ends into Market Street, the city's main artery. This is the place where stories come together, one of the countless centers of the world.

...From the west, California as a fierce goddess confronts you; at her feet stands the California grizzly, extinct everywhere but in art and on the state flag. Dedicated on Thanksgiving 1894, the monument survived the 1906 earthquake while all the buildings around it crumbled and burned...a few Native Americans denounced one of its life-size sculptural groupings, the one that shows a Mexican vaquero and padre looming ominously over a prone and apparently conquered Indian. They didn't succeed...but they stirred up a furious public conversation about California history, and they won an addition, a bronze plaque below the sculptural group that speaks of genocide and colonialism, a small rewriting of history, a small measure of change.

...This is what the world looks like to me, like U.N. Plaza, full of half-forgotten victories and new catastrophes, of farmers and junkies, of mountains of apples and of people trying to change the world and tell the truth. Someday all of this may be ruins, but for now it is a place where history is still unfolding. Today is also the day of creation.

We need more books like this to read in conjunction with bleak morning newspapers. We need something.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hawke Book Spreads Abject Mediocrity, Drags Feist Down with It

Oh crappy Ethan Hawke book, I thought I'd erased all memories of you when I threw you in the trash at age 16, perhaps, if memory serves, even spitting on your shitty hardbound cover. But now you've been made into a feature film, effectively making me wish for the days when Garden State, the worst Wes Anderson/Mike Nichols knock-off film ever, was just the worst pseudo-pretentious peice of trash I'd ever seen. But now I've become saddened by the knowledge that even Zach Braff just isn't at the bottom of the barrel any more.

I think it was the line, "And the day made love to the night" that threw me into a fit of nausea-tinged anger as a youth--I mean, at 16 I was no lit expert, but c'mon, I wrote more compelling stories at age 10 (a story I wrote about a tennis ball and his journey of self-discovery was published in a collection of short fiction by Nevada elementary school children one year). The plot goes something like this: boy meets girl, boy looses girl, boy goes off the deep end of an olympic-sized pool of his own self-loathing and pitifully lame self-indulgence expressed through banal cliches masquerading as expressions of profound heartbreak.

Hawke's new movie looks so bad, it's even got steely-hearted film critics embarrassed. This review was my favorite:

He’s a certifiable pseudo-pretentious windbag who wants so goddamn badly to be Gus Van Sant that it makes my spleen ache like a saxophone inside a sick tooth. And the biggest problem I have with it is not an outright dislike for his work, but a queasy brand of pity I feel for a writer/director who seems almost all too aware of just how third-rate he is comparatively. It’s like … like … Jewel showing up to a poetry reading at Maya Angelou’s house. She’s gotta know just how badly she’s going to embarrass herself, but you feel equal parts shame and reverence for the brazen audacity it takes to get up there and avail her grade-school level vulnerabilities in front of a poet laureate.

What's more, Hawke hired this schmuck Jessie Harris to score the soundtrack. This Harris character used his wannabe-indie sensibilities to write all the songs and hand-pick the musicians "fortunate" enough to cover them. Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Emmylou Harris and Feist are sadly among them. I was excited about the idea of discovering a new Feist song, so I downloaded and almost enjoyed it enough...but then..."like roses on the sea"? Wtf? Ethan? Did you write these lyrics?

Unchained unchained
We drift away
Like roses on the sea

Stars in the sky
They’re always alone
They’re on their own
But you know they’ll always shine
And I know they’ll always shine
All the time

Bwwahh, brrwahhargh, blarghwaagh

(I'm such a great writer, I can capture the essence of barfing so very well. Try that Hawke...more like...chicken.)