All of 2004
12-30-04 (00:16)
  • more goodness.
  • jerry orbach died today and that's sad. he was a good actor and had a major role in melanie's favorite show - law & order.
  • updated movies list. 520 for the year which means i've officially averaged 10 films a week for an entire calendar year.

  • 12-29-04 (20:39)

  • there are times when i seriously consider putting an end to this journal of mine. i've been doing it for six or seven years now, but i'll run across other "blogs" out there and it pains me to be associated with that same activity so i just feel like pulling out of it altogether. that's not to say that my journal is sophisticated and others' aren't, but...i guess it really comes down to not wanting to be associated with the same thing that displays the stupidity of others so plainly. but if i did or didn't do anything because of what others are doing then i would be doing myself a disservice. it does make me question the point of this whole thing...at this point, for me, it's more about the habit and the archiving of my thoughts than anything else, but i don't need to put it online to continue reaping those benefits. i suppose that some things in life are made easier when you know others will be disappointed if you stop doing them. this way i not only have an obligation to myself to continue writing movie reviews, my thoughts, etc., but i also have an obligation to those who read this on a semi-regular basis.
  • that said, i have been thinking about making the site available only to those who have a password. that, of course, would include everyone who currently reads the site.

  • 12-28-04 (22:13)

  • updated movies list.
  • finally got caught up on some old movie reviews.
  • still working on my top albums/movies of the year. those lists are going to be late.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 12-28-04 (19:03)

  • now that the six day weeks and the holidays are over i can get back to normal, or, more accurately, find a new normal.
  • good.
  • my sister came over on the 26th and we watched the kings lose to the warriors, that was unfortunate. melanie is gone until the fourth. yesterday my aunt and cousins came to visit/pick up sarah. we went out for dinner and hung out for a bit.
  • today was pretty run-of-the-mill.

  • 12-23-04 (19:59)

  • updated movies list.
  • been busy lately at work. when i'm not at work i've been watching movies and sleeping.
  • bought my first xmas present tonight.
  • started working on my top ten movies and albums of the year tonight. hopefully will have that completed near year's end.

  • 12-19-04 (09:41)

  • went to sleep early last night which means i'm up early today.
  • tv will be here by 1pm today. yay.
  • one of the most hurtful things regarding the melanie situation is the fact that she seems like such a different person when she's with her friends. she does the whole drinking, smoking, smoking thing and acts quite differently and it makes me feel like either she hid who she was the time that she was with me or she's turning into someone different. really, though, i think it's more that she changed while she was with me because that lifestyle had gotten out of control and being with me gave her an opportunity to play things straight. now she's gone back to being like that more often because she doesn't have me holding her back anymore. or maybe i'm just giving too much weight to what she does at night. although she doesn't just smoke at night, and it's not just to keep her awake, as she has alluded to. the whole thing makes me worry about her because i know she has an addictive personality and she even gave me the line that she's not addicted to cigarettes because she's been able to stop in the past. i guess that sometimes having control over one's body means being able to destroy it in the way that you see fit. again i think of bob flanagan, supermasochist.
  • the whole thing also makes me wonder about the larger question of what is a person's personality. some people talk about others being fake, but to me if a person acts "fake" all the time that's just who they are. they may appear to act out of character for the sake of others, but if they do that all the time then that becomes their personality. so to me melanie appears different than i have known her to be. she does things that i thought she gave up long ago, and she seems proud to be doing them, so rather than her acting out of character, it's more that her character has changed or that i never got to see her full character. unfortunately, i think it's more that her time with me was a blip on the radar screen.
  • what about if a person just blows their top once a year? some might say that they're not being themselves, that the person just lost it for a moment, that that's not really them. but to me, even though it's an attribute that shows itself but once a year, that's still part of that person. a small part, but it is still a part of that person's personality...for better or worse. that begs the question - at what point can a person be done with what he's done in the past? i'm sure the bible has a concrete answer to this, but i do not. i know that i can be extremely forgiving, but usually i'm not.
  • perhaps i don't have enough perspective, but i usually think of myself as fairly constant. i don't think that i've changed very much in the last seven years. this is both a good and a bad thing. it's good for my friends because they always know what to expect and maybe it's bad for me because there are things i should change about myself. i think that one reason i haven't changed much is that i value my opinion more than anyone else's. i don't think that's true of everyone else. i think that friends change who a person is quite a bit and the more of them that you have the more you're likely to change - for better or worse. and i think that relating to most people requires alcohol and drugs and i think that there's something to be said for all that.
  • perhaps i'm just warping things so that i don't feel inadequate. perhaps i'm making up this whole "she's changed" thing so that i don't feel like i did something wrong. perhaps i did the same thing with sunny. why do i only date girls whose name ends with a long E sound? perhaps sunny didn't really turn into a mormon and perhaps melanie doesn't get drunk to the point of throwing up and doesn't smoke the way i think she does. or perhaps she always did and it never bothered me. or perhaps i'm making it into a big thing so it's easier for me to blame her.
  • when i'm with her none of this stuff generally matters, but when i'm on my own to think then i can't help but face the facts and think about the future. johnny wants me to leave davis and move in with him in berkeley. i feel like that would be running away, but i know that she would do it if she didn't have school. i know that after she's done with school she'll leave davis and no one knows what'll happen between us at that point. sometimes i feel like she just needs to do these things and get them out of her system and that she'll realize later that we're great for each other, that each provides what the other needs and lacks. and sometimes i feel like she's going to find someone else soon and i'll be relegated to the unenviable position of a second tier friend. the "hey how's it going? let's watch a movie and talk about innocuous things" position. and that makes me sad, but that's life and things change and it's time to move on and all the other clichés that sound like you're moving on, but are really completely empty.
  • speaking of empty...in a couple hours i'll have a new tv and i'll be able to forget about all this stuff for a day because i'll have a new toy. i'll be happy for a day because a material thing will distract me from my reality. i look down on myself because of this, but i also welcome the knock on the door from the delivery guy.

  • 12-18-04 (19:39)

  • glad that i get tomorrow off, also glad that i get the tv tomorrow, but being alone just feels so depressing. maybe because i've been told that being by yourself is supposed to be depressing, maybe because melanie is always with someone, maybe because i need companionship more than i used to. i don't know.

  • 12-17-04 (22:31)

  • tonight bill moyer did a great piece on the shoddy journalism from the right, as well as the media consolidation that has allowed it.
  • i've decided that i'm free from all ridicule regarding my consumption of meat, electricity, gas, an all other natural resources. i've pledged to not bring any life into this world so i'm figure that i'm saving the world from far more than even the most avid vegan farmer who chooses to procreate. stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • 12-17-04 (00:03)

  • ted koppel is pretty great which explains why he's on so late.

  • 12-16-04 (20:52)

  • a long time ago i was giving my dad shit about smoking cigarettes and i pointed out that it would lead to an early death. he told me that his grandmother smoked into her 70s. it wasn't until recently that i realized what my retort should have been...i should have pointed out that people who are shot don't always die, but it's still no bonus. that reminds me of the part in kicking and screaming where the girl comes up with a witty retort several minutes afterwards and tries to use it, but the guy says it's too late. i guess you kinda have to have seen the movie to understand.
  • watched the o.c. tonight. it was about as good as i expected. it did make me realize, though, that watching it is a great barometer of pop culture. it also made me horny since the chicks are semi-hot, it's got all sorts of sexual situations and there are victoria's secrets commercials in between acts. melrose place was a better show because it was more clearly tongue-in-cheek. but both recognize, at least somewhat, the vapidity of their respective areas/subjects.
  • bought a tv today, should be delivered on sunday.
  • i eat out too frequently.
  • updated movies list.
  • just saw a kmart commercial that had three red "K"s on the screen. clicK clicK clicK. fucking white supremacists.
  • one of the worst things about not having melanie around is that i have no audience for all my witty anti-TV quips. i just watched about ten seconds of the apprentice and some girl said "i think the good thing about jennifer is that she won't take crap sitting down." which of course sounded to me like jennifer takes dumps while standing, which is sorta odd.

  • 12-14-04 (23:05)

  • i hate being sick.
  • pretty much finished setting up my audio/video equipment. still need a tv and to figure out some way of organizing my video games.
  • updated movies list.
  • it's going to be tough getting used to just being by myself. coming home to an empty place can be pretty sad.

  • 12-13-04 (19:47)

  • called in sick today. i would have only worked a half day (because it's my sixth day), but felt too shitty to even do that.
  • haven't gotten much done today. felt like watching movies all day, but i don't have my speakers set up to my computer and i don't have a tv so...
  • cds are all unpacked.
  • how much of what we do is to please or appease those around us? i think that living on my own will give me a chance to answer at least a bit of that question.
  • my new place is louder that the old place. eighth street is relatively busy so there's usually a car or truck passing by. the walls are also thinner than they were at my old place so i can hear the neighbors playing guitar and watching tv. right now i have my window open and some chick is talking on the phone outside. not sure why. also, my toilet runs at random intervals for some unknown reason and the refrigerator seems to turn on more frequently than most.

  • 12-13-04 (02:27)
  • been busy and tired all week. now i'm sick. good news is that i'm moved in and just need to organize all my shit.
  • tv is broken so i'm looking into getting a new one.

  • 12-8-04 (00:59)

  • updated movies list.
  • been pretty busy lately.
  • tonight i took all my dvds to the new place. 23 boxes of dvds is fucking silly.
  • i don't have work until later tomorrow so i'll probably take another car load of crap over in the morning, and then again after i get off work. i'll rent the truck for the big stuff as soon as i can get melanie, jon or john to help me.
  • i should get some rest in the meantime.

  • 12-7-04 (18:21)

  • pearl harbor was unfortunate.
  • got my new place today. if you need the address let me know. the phone number is the same.
  • i'm going to start moving boxes tonight. not exactly sure when i'm going to rent the truck for the big stuff.

  • 12-6-04 (02:19)

  • updated movies list.
  • pretty busy day, got a lot done.
  • jon came over and we went to best buy to get my dvd player cleaned and fixed, but they said they'd have to send it off and that it would take a couple weeks to get it back. i elected to keep it in my possession and see if the problems persist.
  • after jon left i went to ace and got some mdf cut so i could start building my speaker stands. also picked up some new light bulbs for melanie's tail lights and some cinder blocks for my lo-tech entertainment center.
  • came home, watched some seinfeld, ate some dinner and started working on the speaker stands. watched christmas story, left for sacramento to see another film and went out to dessert afterwards. came back home, watched more seinfeld, completed speaker stand assembly and then stained them. now i'm tired. i'll review my movies from the last couple days at another time.

  • 12-3-04

  • no movies tonight.
  • went to eat sushi with melanie. after that i started working on packing up my stuff. i still haven't heard from the landlady, but packing all my shit should take a couple days and it's better to get a jump on it while i have the chance. i do with, though, that i knew when she is going to let me start moving my stuff.
  • also called my grandparents to see what was new with them. talked with my grandfather for a fairly long time about movies, politics and the like. he's cool guy.
  • listened to autechre all night.
  • updated cdlist.

  • 12-2-04 (20:56)

  • updated movies list.
  • it occurred to me the other day that 50% of my friends are named john, or some variation thereof.
  • un chien andalou is coming to dvd, finally.
  • need to sleep.
  • no six day week this week. my boss always sends me home early and is pretty cool about this whole six day week during the holidays thing. he's a pretty understanding and rational person overall which makes working with him all the better.
  • updated wish list. movies i own list.
  • there's a fear that eventually people will have computer chips inserted in their brains to help them remember things or increase their memory capacity or perform certain motor functions, etc. but it seems to me that it's already happening, at least with me, to a certain extent. i attribute my poor memory to the fact that finding information on the computer has become too easy. if i forget what films philip kaufman directed, i can have the answer in a matter of seconds. if i can't remember a synonym for a certain word i can look it up with equal speed. this leads to atrophy and mental weakness. i have to wean myself away from informational sites to retrain my brain to retain this kind of information. obviously there are times when these sites are helpful, but i have become to reliant on them. no crutches is part of my philosophy and that should extend to computers and reference materials as well.

  • 12-01-04 (00:45)

  • melanie came back from home tonight.
  • i got 26 dvds in the mail today, that was a great christmas present. two i ordered from columbia house and 24 were from a representative from ryko distribution. every once in a while he'll send me a box of screener dvds. ryko distributes all the troma stuff as well as blue underground, disinformation (unprecedented, uncovered, etc.), artsmagic, synapse and some others. a lot of b movies and foreign stuff. needless to say this shipment made my day. now i own more movies that i haven't seen than some people watch in an entire year.
  • i need to get more sleep and drink more water.

  • it's 33 degrees right now. tonight's low will be 31.

    11-30-04 (00:08)

  • i forgot to mention that dustin hoffman said he wanted one of two things on his tombstone: "i'd like to thank my mother and father because without them i wouldn't have gotten this far." and "i knew this was going to happen." he's pretty cool.
  • of all my friends jon is the only one who hasn't moved back in with their parents after high school. and ryan is the only person i know who has lived completely on their own. amongst my friends, living on your own is an unusual situation.
  • while i was watching monday night football i came up with a pretty good design for my speaker stands. the problem with my current speaker stands has always been that they are too flimsy and lightweight. so i decided to make a simple bookshelf style stand using mdf which is denser and heavier than particle board (which comprise the tops and bottoms of my current stands). i'll put all my lps in these two stands which will further weigh them down and it's a convenient place for my lps. it's brilliant because of its simplicity. the idea actually came to me when i was thinking about having to cut down my current stands by about 6" to accommodate the different seating height in my new living room. i came up with an ideal stand height of about 25" which made me think about fitting a couple stacks of LPs in that space.
  • the only thing that would make it cooler would be doors that swing out and could be pushed back into the side panel; that would be awesome. but my woodworking isn't up to that level and i don't have the workspace, or tools, to do that sort of thing. i do plan on staining them black though. anyway it was nice to think about football and woodworking for a change.
  • updated movies list.
  • found out tonight that brett favre's first nfl pass completion was to himself because the ball was tipped into the air and he caught it. pretty funny. i used to hate the packers because of the niner/packer rivalry, but i respect them now because the organization is one of the best in the league and because favre is a stand-up guy. i think what he's been able to do in terms of 200 straight games is more impressive than ripken (baseball) or ac green (basketball) in part because of the sport he plays and in part because he's better than either of those two. too bad gehrig got lou gehrig's disease...but like dustin hoffman says, he shoulda known that was going to happen.
  • it's been very cold here the last couple weeks.
  • speaker stand design
    11-29-04 (00:11)
  • updated movies list.
  • johnny called me today. it was good talking with him. we talked about his relationship troubles and my leaving davis.
  • today i took apart the workbench that i was trying to get rid of. no one (i also posted it on the ucd swap and woodworking newsgroups) showed any sort of interest so i broke it down. first i went at it with a combination of a pry bar, crow bar and screwdriver. it's been reduced to a shadow of its former self and is ready to be thrown in the trash as soon as there's room. it would have made for a good metaphor in a film seeing as it signifies destroying something that was much more fun to build, and something that i used to build melanie's desk and table.
  • tonight there was a nice piece on dustin hoffman on 60 minutes. it made me want to watch the graduate, but i try to save that film for more momentous times. it occurred to me that dustin hoffman brings out the best in the directors he's worked with. i think about nichols, schlesinger, pollack, pakula, levinson, etc. and in each case the film that they worked on with hoffman is the best of their career. so i think that that's saying something. peckinpah did do better than straw dogs (which was the one film he worked on with hoffman), but you get the point.
  • i'd like to get a breakdown of the frequency of each letter appearing in normal texts. for example, "e" is used about one every eight letters and that makes it the most frequently used letter in the english alphabet...i would like to know the entire breakdown. if you know where to get that then let me know. i'm sure there's a breakdown out there on some wheel of fortune or scrabble fan site or something.
  • today i saw one of the worst performances in the history of my nfl viewing. niners vs. dolphins. the niners sucked so bad against a team that's 1-9...man was it pathetic.
  • this thanksgiving holiday has gone by very slowly.

  • 11-27-04 (23:59)

  • updated movies list.
  • today was decent. after work i watched most of the usc/notre dame game. watching usc play is like watching someone play a video game on the rookie level. usc just seems to do whatever they want.

  • 11-26-04 (23:32)

  • it seems that these days i don't like listening to music that might get stuck in my head. so i try to stay away from anything with a chorus, or any pop/rock stuff. mostly i try to listen to new stuff or autechre. for some reason i have a tendency to get things stuck in my head. last night while i was tossing and turning in bed i kept reciting one line from johnny cash's "ring of fire." it's a great song, but i hate having things stuck in my head.
  • today was okay. things at work are sorta stressful. sales are down to an amazingly low level and that doesn't bode well. there's not much i can really do that i haven't already done, but it's still the kind of thing that management gets the blame for, and since i'm management...
  • i think that the most significant achievements in my life over the last few years have been increasing my knowledge of film and music and forming a solid relationship with melanie. the latter seems to have gone in the dumps since i'm not even her best friend anymore. i think that's a major reason that i feel like the last few years have been wasted. so much of that time has been about spending time with melanie, working off my debt and enjoying film. one reason i don't feel guilty about watching so many movies is that it's easy to point to my movies list, or talk about films, and see where that time went; the results are tangible and real. when you invest in something intangible you just have to sort of trust that it's there, and that it is what you think it is.
  • so melanie is leaving for christmas and taking her car with her. and john is going home for the holidays as well. the reason these two items are important is because i have kings/warriors tickets for december 26th and have no way of getting there and have no one to go with. when i bought them i didn't think about the fact that it's the day after xmas. so if you have a car and want to go to the game for free then let me know. the seats aren't great, but arco arena is small so there really aren't any bad seats in the place. unfortunately i don't know anyone who likes basketball or has a car. seven years in davis and i haven't been able to scrounge up any decent friends.
  • i've been whining too much lately. at least that's the way it comes off. i'm not a greedy person. the last time the 49ers won the super bowl was in 1994 and i'm not all that disappointed that they haven't won one since then. i don't need very many friends. having melanie around was pretty much always enough to satisfy me. i guess when it comes to dvds i'm pretty greedy, but not with most things.
  • if anyone wants a work bench let me know...it's sturdy and free.
  • awesome. the lord is truly everywhere.
  • updated movies list. i updated the chart on the list portion of my movies list. it looks a little better and it reflects films i've seen through 11-24-04. when looking at the chart the x-axis represents the sequence number on the "all" worksheet. so the dip at the 1350 mark correlates with the films i watched around october of 2000.
  • eight hitchcock films in less than two weeks.
  • kings beat the lakers tonight and that always makes for a good day.
  • 11-25-04 (23:11)
  • updated movies list.
  • can't sleep.
  • today was okay most of the day. i started watching a hitchcock film, but couldn't stay awake so i went up stairs to sleep since i have to wake up early tomorrow. then i got a phone call and let the machine answer it. after that i couldn't sleep. then i got another phone call. i don't know what i've done the last few years. it feels like i've moved backwards. then again i don't really know what moving forwards is. i've learned a few things, i've watched some movies, i've lost a girlfriend, i've gone around the country, and that's about it. i used to think that life was about the journey, and maybe it is, but even then what have i done? i also used to think that it mattered how i went through life - whether i did drugs or drank or cheated or...but that doesn't really seem to be the truth. it's a nice idea, and i think i thought that in part because i generally do things on my own, without those crutches and without being "weak." but i've increasingly been thinking that it's more about just getting to the finish line in as easy a way as possible. doing things in a moral or righteous way just doesn't seem useful. i've just stopped seeing the point of having high standards since it just makes me sad and lonely.

  • 11-25-04 (00:21)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations.
  • my six day work weeks start this week.
  • not really sure what i'm doing tomorrow. i talked with john today and he invited me to his place to have dinner with brother, girlfriend, and her sister. i don't think i'll do that because i'd feel awkward, being the outsider and such.
  • i was also invited to hang with johnny and my aunt, but melanie's car isn't working so those aren't real options at this point either. i don't mind being by myself, but the fact that everyone else is with someone makes it difficult...that's really the worst part about the holidays. i can't remember the last christmas that i spent with my family. i suppose if everyone stopped buying things around this time of year then there wouldn't be a blackout period and, thus, i would be able to get the time off. so i blame everyone who participates in the buying portion of the holidays.
  • speaking of blame. artest got totally screwed with his most recent trouble with the nba. he's suspended for the rest of the season and i really don't think it was his fault. it's pretty lame. rush limbaugh was talking about it on monday and he called detroit "new fallujah." he said the fight was part of a larger cultural trend of violence (i agree) and went on to label that culture the "hip-hop culture." that was pretty funny because it was so stereotypically limbaugh - twisting a potential reality into an excuse to be a racist. what a guy.
  • bought the seinfeld dvds today.

  • 11-24-04 (00:53)

  • updated movies list.
  • lots of movies updated. i fell behind for a bit there.
  • went to the kings game on sunday. that was a fun time. kings won. they also won tonight which makes five in a row. christie didn't get the player of the game, but he was my mvp. that guy just does all the little things that most players don't bother doing. tipping rebounds out to other teammates, diving on the floor for a loose ball, playing hard defense off the ball, etc. there was one play where wade drove to the basket, christie stayed with him and wade was forced to dump the ball off to a teammate on the baseline. christie then took a step and got a hand on the ball as the teammate was laying it up. defending two players in one play isn't something very many guys do these days, especially on the kings...though i hate to admit that fact.
  • donnie darko special edition 2/15
  • last night could have been better, but today was a new day.
  • tomorrow i get paid and the next day i don't have work.
  • 11-21-04 (01:33)
  • updated movies list.
  • found some video on that pistons/pacers fight from last night. that shit is crazy. things got way out of hand and you can't really blame it on any one person. sure artest and wallace shouldn't have done what they did on the court, but the fans who got involved are just as much to blame as the players. it's a pretty messy situation and it's going to result in huge fines and lengthy suspensions. i'd say artest is looking at at least 10 games. on the one hand i think that fans should never get touched by the players, but on the other hand there are clearly some drunk idiots out there who think they can get away with anything. and in that respect it was nice to see some of the pacers teammates get each others' backs and take down some of those punk ass piston fans down a peg or two. i know that when i was on the track and cross country teams those guys on the team were my boys and if anything had happened to one of them i would have been there to do what needed to be done. i don't think the league will see things the way that i do though. even without the fan participation in this fight artest was looking at a couple game suspension just because of his past.
  • i don't think there's anyone in the league i'd like to get into a fight with less than ben wallace; at least from a self-preservation perspective.

  • 11-20-04 (17:58)

  • "Some great news for film fans with regard to MGM special editions on the way for 2005. Just in time for March Madness, the studio will release a Hoosiers: Special Edition (TBA for 3/8). I've been waiting for that film to get the anamorphic treatment for a while now.

  • Also expected to be released by MGM as special editions in the first half of 2005 are The Graduate and Spaceballs.
    We can also reliably confirm something that's been floating around the Net in the last few days (it was originally reported on the Spaghetti Western Web Board). MGM's remaining Sergio Leone titles, including Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and Duck You Sucker) ARE all currently in production for SE release on DVD. Those can tentatively be expected later in 2005. Great news any way you slice it!"
  • the graduate is one of maybe two or three films that i think i could do a decent commentary for, after a bit of preparation of course. hopefully the special edition does the film justice.

  • 11-20-04 (00:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • in anticipation of my move i've been going through the large stack of promotional cds i've had piling up for a while. in the last week i've listened to some of the worst music of all-time. the scissor sisters aren't as bad as i anticipated, but their cover of comfortably numb is mind numbing. the newest album by the music sucks. the g-unit album is abhorrent. jin's new/first album is just an asian rehash of eminem, and not a very good one. he almost quotes several eminem lines about fame and the like. the newest cure is weak. the newest jay-z/r. kelly collaboration is the usual trash.
  • this new terrell owens controversy is so stupid, actually all of them have been. rush limbaugh and tony dungey said it was insensitive and recalled thoughts of the kobe bryant situation. of course the only reason you would think of the kobe situation after seeing that commercial is if you were the type of person who thought of everything in racial terms. otherwise you would just see it as another example of the media using sex to sell their product; it's nothing more or less than that.
  • today i took home the signed bowling for columbine poster that was on the wall at work for the last year or so. now i have two michael moore autographs - one in dude, where's my country and one on the bfc poster.

  • 11-19-04 (00:42)

  • updated movies list.
  • worked on my webpage a bit tonight. thanks to johnny i was able to make all the links in this frame occupy the entire browser. this'll help for those with smaller screens, and i think it's more what i wanted anyway. i also revamped the movies lists again. i added more information and put them all in one file which makes it easier to go from year to year, and it doesn't take any longer to load. let me know if there's anything that isn't working.
  • excel is the best thing to happen to my movies list since i started keeping one.
  • eventually i'd like to get the lists to link to each review. it would be nice to goto the list page and click on any given film, or year, and be able to bring up all the different reviews for that film and all the different films i've reviewed from that year. or be able to see the best of that particular year. so, if i were to click on the graduate it would link to my review for the film on 8-17-2002, 3-8-2003, 2-6-2004 and 4-22-2004. then if you click on 1967 it would link you to either all the movies i've reviewed/seen from that year (like in the heat of the night which i saw on 11-29-03) or the films i consider best from that year. that would be ideal, but doing all that in an automated way would require a lot more programming than i know how to do.
  • enough geek talk for tonight. i gotta sleep. thanks again to johnny for the html help.

  • 11-18-04 (19:03)

  • "After nearly seven years of doubt and often rancorous debate, the Kyoto Protocol has an official start date:  Feb. 16, 2005, at which point the treaty will become binding.  The 90-day countdown period begins tomorrow, thanks to the handover of official documents from Russia to the U.N. at a ceremony in Nairobi, declaring its ratification.  Only four industrialized countries now remain outside the treaty: the U.S., Australia, and global powerhouses Liechtenstein and Monaco.  The U.S. bailed on the treaty shortly after George W. Bush came to office in 2001, claiming it represented too great a burden on the economy, and that it was unfair, imposing specific targets only on developed countries and not on rapidly developing (and polluting) countries like China and India. Despite U.S. intransigence, many U.S. companies are pushing to meet Kyoto targets anyway, leery of losing their ability to operate factories in signatory countries."
  • had a productive day at work.
  • melanie is in berkeley because of her class. i like moving (because it's a good chance to get rid of stuff and reorganize that which remains), but i don't like what this move represents and what life after the move is going to be like.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 11-18-04 (01:12)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated cd list.
  • i read over my post-eleciton rant and was amused.

  • 11-17-04 (02:27)

  • updated movies list. a couple of long reviews for tonight.
  • there's a good chance that hoop dreams is going to come to dvd thanks to criterion. i want that film on dvd probably more than anything else i can think of. i also want the wiseman catalog on dvd, beau geste, i'm a fugitive from a chain gang, gabriel over the white house, aka don bonus, los olvidados (already on dvd abroad), and some more. but hoop dreams more than the others.
  • obligatory scott peterson reference.
  • i'm listening to the new eminem album right now. this guy keeps getting better. i'm not even half way through it yet, but it's apparent that he knows exactly what he is, where he is, who his fans are, and what people think of him. he's got one song on there called "my first single" which is about him writing a new song, but it turns out to suck. it's a complete piece of crap musically that features farting and whatnot, but it essentially makes fun of the entire process and his fans. it reminds me of the tool song that basically says that they're sell outs and that their fans have bought into the image tool has sold them. great stuff. i like it when people don't take themselves too seriously.

  • 11-15-04 (23:40)

  • updated movies list. i've now seen 18 hitchcock films. i own 14 films by him which i've yet to see. pretty silly.
  • today was a mostly lazy day. i did some moving oriented stuff around the house. if you want a work bench for woodworking let me know. i have a good one that i built, but it's too big to keep.
  • holiday season is right around the corner which means a lot of things. i'll be working six days a week, i'll have to buy presents, and i'll be alone for the holidays again. being alone isn't all that bad until everyone else has someone to be with. i think thanksgiving will bring "planes trains and automobiles" and christmas will bring either "a christmas story" or "die hard."

  • 11-15-04 (01:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • tough loss for the niners today. we suck these days.
  • even tougher loss for the vikings, second week in a row that they've lost on a field goal with 3 seconds left in the game, after coming back to tie the game in the previous drive.
  • watched movies most of the day.
  • also worked on the layout for my new place.
  • went to oakland to visit sarah and my aunt's family. didn't spend much time there, but it was fun.
  • updated movies i own list.

  • 11-13-04 (03:00)

  • i really should be asleep by now.
  • last night i was thinking about some of the undisputed pinnacles of music. beethoven's ode to joy is an obvious choice. but one that i don't think would come to mind immediately, but does belong, is morricone's good, the bad and the ugly main theme. i don't think that many people would dispute its placement on the absolute pantheon of musical moments. also sprach zarathustra would also be on this list.
  • my future apartment has a built in bookshelf in the wall that the futon is currently against. it should be perfect for my film books.
  • i'm definitely going to take a vacation in february.

  • 11-12-04 (23:46)

  • got to see my new apartment tonight. it's closer to downtown, reasonably sized and looks pretty nice overall. i did some figuring based upon the measurements i took and i think i'll be able to fit all of my stuff in there without too much fanfare. possibly best of all it comes with a pretty nice futon for free. it's nice to not have to worry about getting a couch. i also think that i'll be able to pay for the deposit and such without borrowing any money.
  • updated movies list.
  • a few months back i read an interview with michael moore about his latest documentary idea...his plan was to make a film revolving around the healthcare system "in the style of run lola run." in light of bush's reelection, it appears that he's going to work on a sequel to fahrenheit 9/11.
  • today was a pretty good day at work. got a good amount of stuff done. i'm going to leave work early tomorrow so i can visit sarah in oakland.

  • 11-12-04 (00:30)

  • updated movies list.
  • melanie is in the bay area for a few days and i miss her.
  • i was doing okay this past week, but tonight i was straightening up my room in preparation for the move and i decided to look at some old pictures and letters that she sent me. that made me cry. she's more inclined to deal with things by turning away from them and that makes me wonder how much thinking she's going to do about our relationship. at the same time i wonder if it really even matters that we had such amazingly good times together. i know we'll always remember each other, but will she really remember what we were like those first couple years? it feels almost tragic that we would forget those times, it just seems like an injustice to have that happen.
  • it's a pretty typical story and things evolved pretty typically and now i'm having the typical thoughts and feelings. i hate being obvious and typical. so much of me wants to be able to just revert back to that time when the only thing that mattered was the other person, but my head knows that's impossible. i don't have even the faintest belief in fate, which is unfortunate because if i did then i could rest on the "things will turn out for the best" or "god has a plan" credo. as pessimistic and cynical a person as i am, though, i keep coming out of these bouts of sadness and grief with the overwhelming feeling that i've learned my lesson. if she, or another girl, ever gives me a chance again, i won't mess it up. in the meantime, however, i just feel sad.
  • i like moving and so gearing up for that, on one level, has been nice. but i have too good an idea of what i'm like, and i'm too cognizant of the larger picture, to think that everything will be okay once i'm on my own. i know that i'm good at withdrawing from things and isolating myself. i know that not having a car and not having friends in davis will make that easier.
  • i should get some sleep.
  • a refuge for those who want to flee.

  • 11-11-04 (18:38)

  • yesterday i found a buck at work. shortly thereafter i went to lunch, and on my way back to work i found a ten dollar bill on the ground. lucky day.
  • i went to lunch at woodstock's and there was a large contingent of soccer kids and their parents there as well. i sat down while waiting for my order and watched tv. one woman came walking by, turned towards me and asked "did you seen a little boy walk by here?" i smiled, chuckled and said "yeah, about a billion of them." she gave me a disturbed sigh, said something under her breath and frantically continued her search. to my credit her question was a rather silly one considering the abundance of kids in the restaurant at the time.
  • when i was about 13 i was at an overnight ymca camp in the hills of big bear. one night a fellow camper had an asthma attack so a few counselors came to his rescue. one of the counselors who came into the cabin to help him out was standing by the bed talking to him to calm him down. after talking with him a minute or so she turned towards the rest of us and asked "does anyone have any chocolate." to which i replied: "now there's a real emergency." i thought it was a great response, but she shot me down by saying, rather sternly: "chocolate has caffeine and it might help him recover." i felt pretty stupid after that.
  • tomorrow i'm going to check out my potential apartment. it's a one bedroom closer to downtown and a hundred bucks a month more than what i'm paying now. that said, it's still cheap relative to other one bedroom places. monday i'll probably sign the lease.
  • hopefully i can watch a couple movies tonight.

  • 11-11-04 (02:09)

  • i'm up too late.
  • need to watch more early films.
  • updated movies list.

  • 11-10-04 (00:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • been doing pretty well lately, all things considered.
  • work has been interesting. there are all sorts of dumb things going on which keep things from running smoothly. i don't really care though because things are better there than they have been in the past. plus, i'm making a lot more than i used to.
  • webber had a triple double tonight. i love that guy. kings finally won a game and that makes me happy.
  • i work a closing shift tomorrow so i get to sleep in. hope i'm able to do that.
  • microsoft sans serif may be my favorite font.
  • took a long time to update my movies list. i really should review the film right after i'm done watching it.
  • it's raining right now.
  • i'm tired and should get some sleep.

  • 11-9-04 (00:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched three movies today. the first half of my day was mostly boring. i watched a couple movies, ate some lunch and tooled around on the internet for a bit.
  • the second half of my day wasn't exciting, but was definitely more noteworthy. i called john (a guy with whom i used to work) and we went to see a movie in sacramento. afterwards we hung around his place and watched more tv than i usually watch in a week. it was a good time.

  • 11-8-04 (00:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • changed all my movies lists to excel created html files for better viewing. let me know if there are any broken links.

  • 11-7-04 (01:48)

  • johnny, luke and ryan came over today and we played a lot of xbox. that was pretty much all that we did, but it made for good times.

  • 11-6-04 (00:55)

  • updated movies list.
  • today was pretty crazy at work, but it kept me busy and that was good. right after work i went and caught a picture at the cinema. it was good. i'm thinking about saying that "i went to the cinema" instead of "i went to the movies." it makes me sound more like the movie snob i've become, so it's like truth in advertising or something. i'm not really a movie snob. check out these four films that i watched on back to back days:

  • 435. 10-25-04 (339) India  Ray   World Of Apu (1959)
    434. 10-25-04 (338) India  Ray   Aparajito (1957)
    433. 10-24-04 (337) USA  Hamburg   Along Came Polly (2004)
    432. 10-24-04 (336) USA  Greenfield  Girl Next Door (2004)
  • a real film snob wouldn't watch the girl next door and along came polly the day before watching the final two films to satyajit ray's apu trilogy.
  • tomorrow is my friday and that's always a good thing.

  • 11-4-04

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations.
  • now that i have excel i can save my spreadsheets as html files. as a result i've updated my movies and cds i own lists.
  • r. kelly can now add "punk ass bitch" to his resume, along with pedophile and golden shower fetishist.
  • started a fantasy basketball team today. hopefully i won't suck quite as bad at that.
  • today was an okay day for me. i worked about ten hours, but i got a lot done. when i got home i caught up on some email, drafted my basketball team, went shopping, ate and watched a movie.
  • my scalp itches.
  • i've been without a watch for about a month now. that's probably the longest i've been without a watch since sixth grade.
  • i haven't been in the mood to watch movies very much lately. i might be burning out or, more likely, it's because of what's going on in my personal life. i haven't felt like cooking either. i need to get my shit together.
  • johnny and luke might come to davis this weekend to visit.
  • sometimes you don't know how thirsty you are until you start drinking water. i think the same is true of life.

  • 11-3-04 (20:46)

  • i've been sorta contemplating putting my balls in a meat grinder just to keep perspective on the melanie and bush issues. the kings are off to an 0-2 start for, i think, the first time since i've been watching them. this will likely be a bad season for them, one that includes not making to the playoffs.
  • bush got a mandate and there's really no way around that, no matter how much air america radio you listen to. they picked up congressional seats, he won more votes than he did last time, he won the popular and the electoral vote and though it wasn't a resounding victory, it's pretty clear to me that the nation thinks he's done an alright job.
  • he's the first president to see a drop of 50 or more points in the polls over the course of his presidency and win. his father also had a 50 point drop (going from the 80s during gulf war one, to the 30s towards the end of his term), but he lost. so far there doesn't appear to be any real evidence of sweeping fraud or voting machine tampering so i don't consider that an excuse for kerry's showing. that said, i am still against computer voting.
  • "In 96 percent of House races and 91 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day today, the candidate who spent the most money won, according to a post-election analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The findings are based on figures reported Oct. 13 to the Federal Election Commission.

  • The biggest spender was victorious in 413 of 432 decided House races and 31 of 34 decided Senate races. On Election Day 2002, top spenders won 95 percent of House races and 76 percent of Senate races.
    The contests not yet decided include Louisiana's 3rd and 7th House districts and New York's 27th district.
    In the race for the White House, President Bush spent a total of $306.3 million in private and government funds from January 2003. Sen. John Kerry, who faced a tough battle for the Democratic nomination, spent $241.7 million. These figures do not include spending by the political parties or advocacy groups on the presidential election."
    ..."The biggest spender, by far, of personal funds in this election cycle was Blair Hull (D), who invested $28.7 million into his Illinois Senate race. He lost in the primary to the eventual winner of the seat, Barack Obama."
  • so here's why i was able to predict the winner of this election, two things: always follow the money and, in the post 9/11 world, find the most rational choice and choose his/her opponent. four years of being a political science major and i didn't figure out that second part until i saw arnold win in CA. the first part is pretty well known. when predicting political outcomes in the past, my major problem was thinking too logically and using too much information to make my determination. i might look at the latino vote or the possible mobilization of the gay vote or of the soccer moms or look at the endorsements a person got (as i did when i thought howard dean would win the primary) or look at their platform or any number of things. really, though, i should have kept it far more simple. karl rove and karen hughes overstand this point. keep everything simple. it's about money and fear and so long as you employ those you'll be fine. kerry tried to employ fear of losing your job, but that's just not as scary as camel jockeys on a jihad or anti-god homos. needless to say i have no confidence in the american people. that said, a lot of this isn't their fault. they don't know how to read between the lines, they don't know the manipulation of politics, they don't have historical perspective, and they're not getting the facts from the media. so i don't really blame them, but i still don't have confidence in them.
  • i read in the snr that the reelection rate for incumbents is between 96-98% which is pretty silly.
  • so i was depressed most of the day and i'm not looking forward to the next four years without melanie and with bush at the helm. life sucks, but it's great to be alive or whatever.

  • 11-3-04 (11:57)

  • you can thank nader and all the gays for bush winning this election. nader was a selfish prick and so were the gays with their damn "civil union" bs.
  • i hate being right. this may very well be the worst month of my life. it's a good thing i got a raise at work otherwise i'd really be in the dumps.
  • to quote dan rather: "this one is hotter than a times square rolex." and "bush's lead is as thin as turnip soup." also, "if a frog had pockets he'd carry a handgun." not sure what that last one means.
  • i'm surprised kerry conceded already.
  • late for work, gotta go.

  • 11-2-04 (18:21)

  • just got off work and heard that nc and ky are both likely to go to bush. in the last 10 elections the winner of ky was the winner of the election. i had hoped for nc to goto kerry because of edwards.
  • a couple months back i did the 270 to win. actually lemme just find the quote...
  • 7-22-04 (22:56) "i did this and came up with 270 for kerry and 268 for bush. my guesses were based on: current polls, 2000 results, and my gut feeling. basically i had kerry winning the midwest (except IN and OH) because of the outpouring of manufacturing jobs, the northeast because it's kerry/democrat country, and the west because CA and WA generally go to democrats."
  • so obviously that was a long time ago, but in that scenario i had kerry winning NC. should be a fun night. i remember four years ago at this time i was roommates with vern and was chatting with melanie most of the night on the internet.

  • 11-01-04 (22:22)

  • holy crap.
  • getting pretty excited about the election tomorrow.
  • today was mostly a bad day.
  • nba regular season starts tomorrow. kings have a game on wednesday.

  • 11-01-04 (00:19)

  • two more days until the election.
  • i wish my feelings would be more consistent.
  • lately i've been wanting to listen to music a lot more than watch movies.

  • i got a bill for $108 for that visit to the doctor a few months back. i already paid $15 last month. this bill was for the lab work. it's pretty funny because i got sick the next day.

    10-31-04 (22:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • i don't like the fall. it gets dark earlier and it gets cold, wet and windy.
  • melanie got really drunk on friday. that made me worry a bit, but at the same time i don't want to smother her or chide her for doing what she wants to do. this is tough.
  • living with a person is more difficult than just being friends with a person. i think when you're younger you don't really realize that and as a result you think your friends are a lot cooler than your roommates or your siblings or your parents. it's great to go out and get wasted and have a great conversation about all the fun you had that night, but that entails denying the reality that only your roommates see in the aftermath of that party. that's one thing that i really don't like about having "in between" friends. with those people when they ask "how are things?" your answer is always "good" or "okay" despite what may be really happening. to those people a night of drinking is only fun and never entails throwing up in the middle of the night and being completely wasted the next day.
  • i guess everyone is dishonest with each other and it's just a matter of degrees. the further a person is from me the more i seem like a normal person. i think that honesty is one of my relative strengths.
  • i should just watch a movie and stop digging a hole for myself.
  • i think melanie is starting to get a bit tired of me. i figure that won't be as much of a problem when we're only hanging out once every couple weeks, but in the interim it's tough for her because she knows that i do better when she's around. i should try to find some ways to make myself scarce so things don't get too bad.

  • 10-29-04 (00:21)

  • updated movies list.
  • been a slow month for movies, but i hope to finish strong these last few days.
  • pretty blah day overall. there's just a lot of stuff to sort through right now. being strong is supposed to be its own reward, but i don't really see it that way right now. it seems like if i were to get drunk and move on to some other chick that it wouldn't really matter all that much in five years anyway so i may as well do that in order to ease the pain. isn't that what seizing the day is all about? why should i try to be strong when i don't know whether or not it'll be in my benefit down the line anyway? or even if there will be a "down the line." my problem is that i'm too principled. i should learn to be more flexible when it comes to this stuff. no one is really going to give me much grief if i start drinking on a semi-regular basis and it'll certainly help deal with things a bit. it's perfectly normal. of course the problem with all that is that i would give myself grief about it because i'm my biggest critic. i'm pretty sure that's the way it's always been. i suppose i sort of envy melanie in this regard. with me out of the house, if she starts drinking on a more regular basis no one is really going to hold her accountable for it. she's had a lot of loss and so it's understandable. so long as it doesn't affect her studies people will think it's not such a bad thing. she's got too much to lose at this point to allow it to get out of control so that's probably not a concern. it's certainly an attractive idea - to be able to just take a couple nights a week off from the suffering of life, from having to think about the things that haunt a person. films sometimes can do that for me, but it's less repressive and more cathartic. if i watch die hard, for example, i might project my own situation into the that of john mcclane's and thus experience pain through him. in that sense there is a barrier between me and my pain, but i'm also still dealing with it in a sense.
  • james chai wrote in his last email to me that one of our mutual track friends lost his mom and had recently turned to drugs as a way of dealing with it. with him is sorta makes sense since the guy had an ulcer when he was in junior high. so in that case i guess drugs might make sense. i guess a lot of the question becomes "what is coping with pain and what is avoiding it?" i don't really know. if i bury myself in my work then most would construe that as avoiding my problems, but some might say it's a constructive outlet for the negative energy. if i'm sitting at home thinking about my problems all day long is that really coping with it? sure i'm sitting there suffering, but i'm not changing my situation and just thinking about something doesn't mean you're getting over it. perhaps all that gets you through a problem is time. so maybe the trick is just to get to the finish line as unscathed as possible. if that's the case then avoiding the problem by taking nights out on the town drinking, working a lot, watching a lot of movies, etc. might be effective and preferable. for some reason i feel like confronting the problem is important, but when i did that the last time this happened it didn't really benefit me. perhaps i was on the wrong track last time. it seemed like the only thing that healed me was time. so maybe getting through this next year or two as quickly as possible should be my paramount concern. so maybe it's just about finding the right mixture of sleep, drugs, women and movies. it works for some people, why not me? i can't figure that one out.
  • in hindsight i wonder if my beef discussion made melanie want to break up with me even more. of course i didn't know at the time about her smoking, but now that i do that discussion seems kinda mean. what's done is done i guess.
  • i actually wonder about that stuff a lot. i wonder what may have sent her over the edge to the point where she finally said "i think it's time." again, what's done is done and it doesn't help to think about those things, but i'm a curious person so i can't help but explore the possibilities in my head.
  • my fantasy football team is 0-7 this year. it's really stunning how poorly i've done. i looked at the results and i got the worst score 2 out of the 7 weeks which means that, if i was very lucky on the matchups, i could potentially be 5-2, but that would have been extremely unlikely. as it is, my team is the worst in the league with no signs of getting any better.

  • 10-28-04 (15:56)

  • what's most hard about everything right now is that there's an intense contradiction between the past and the present, and the likely future.

  • 10-27-04 (23:58)

  • a couple days ago james chai, an old track buddy, wrote me an email. hadn't heard from him in a couple years or so. my girlfriend at the time was my best friend, but behind her, james was probably the guy who i most liked to hang out with because he and i were really similar. i think i was actually telling melanie a story about him a month or so ago. at any rate, it was nice to hear from him; he's a stand-up guy.
  • updated movies list.
  • it's been getting pretty cold lately.
  • on august 30th i wrote this to my paternal grandmother: "dad told me something about you wanting to vote for bush...? i must inquire as to your motivation behind this decision. is it his vicious pursuit of the death penalty; his haphazard and corrupt foreign policy; his failed economic policies which have led to increases in poverty and our debt load; or his constant catering to industry over the environment through "voluntary" monitoring programs; or is it his hypocritical policies regarding the military - "support" them in war, while slashing veteran's benefits and pension plans; or, being a teacher, is it his failed federally mandated "leave no child behind" program which he has under funded since day one? living in Davis i don't come across many bush supporters so i don't have much perspective in this regard, hopefully you can provide a cogent argument in his support. i honestly do wonder why roughly half the country supports him in spite of his mostly failed policies and the numerous scandals in which his administration is complicit. -Chris"
  • yesterday i got her reply: "hi Chris--thanks for the informational email--I can tell you are a Political Science major!  Bill and i would like to see you over here--miss you!  The Trojans look great this year--Fight On!  hugs NENE"
  • by my count i asked a good seven or eight questions, or maybe just one really long one, yet only got "thanks for the informational email." dammit.
  • my tv has been having some problems lately. it turned off by itself the other day. then, while i was watching die hard, it turned all green and, later, it got really bright for a moment. all these problems are fixed when i turn it off and then back on once or twice.
  • also, my computer has been on the fritz. the screen will be segmented in vertical columns of various colors, but the image that was on the screen will still be sort of visible. the only way to fix that problem, again, is to turn the computer off and then back on. it's not the monitor, but it could be the video card, the new ram i got or the new windows media player i downloaded. it's happened three times in the last month.
  • six more days.
  • saw scott simmon at work today. he's always nice to talk to.
  • it was nice to see the red sox finally break through after 86 years.

  • 10-27-04 (00:42)

  • life's tough.
  • melanie's dealing with this whole thing a lot easier than i am and of course that just makes things worse. lately we've been sort of treading water in our relationship. trying to make the coming weeks as good as possible. and lately it's been working well, i know that things will never be the same, but we are still able to enjoy quality time with each other and have fun despite the impending breakup.
  • my mind is my own worst enemy because within a 90 second span i can think, and believe: she loves me and is making things good because there's still a lot between us; or she can't stand me and is going through the motions so that living with each other for the next month or so will be bearable; or she still cares about me, but is really excited about "being on her own" (though not living by herself) and is just with me in the interim because it's convenient; or all sorts of other things.
  • one of my co-workers is going to be getting a new place and so his one bedroom apartment is going to be free at the end of november. i asked him if i might take over his lease for him and right now that's looking like a good possibility. i had some hope that when i told melanie this news she would be a little disappointed by the news, but she wasn't. that's the thing about hope - it's the exact opposite of logic and, thus, usually ends up crushing itself. somehow though, hope is a resilient bastard and always comes back. i'm a pretty logical person and don't give in to hope very frequently (though it's always there).
  • i was thinking about this in regards to the red sox/yankees series. i'm not a real fan of either team, but i like an underdog and so i was rooting for the red sox. now on paper it's easy enough to call the sox the favorite (that's how vegas had the series), but when you take into account last year's series and the last 86 years of red sox history then it's pretty tough to call the red sox the favorite, even, maybe, but not the favorite. then you look at the series after three games when the sox were down 0-3 and no team in the history of baseball had ever come back from that deficit...well, logic should take over at this point, but even i had some glimmer of hope for the sox. only twice in the history of professional sports has a team been down 0-3 in a best of 7 and actually come back to win the series. of course the sox rewrote the course of baseball history and won four in a row, thus winning the series. sometimes hope is worthy of itself, but usually it isn't. hope keeps us going, but when it crushes itself it often makes us want to stop living. hope is funny like that.
  • just a bad night i guess. tomorrow may be different, or it could be the same. it doesn't really matter. part of the hurt derives from the childish desire to have 'hand,' or power. i have no hand. i could tell her that i don't want to ever see her again and cut off our relationship altogether and that would make our relationship easier - there wouldn't be any middle ground any discomfort when we see each other, there wouldn't be any lingering feelings between each other that we had to deal with when we were together. it would be like a band-aid and it would be completely stupid. there's no parity in our relationship right now. she sets the ceiling on our relationship and that's hard on me, but i have to deal with it or i'll probably lose her altogether. so each day i have to deal with whatever mood she's in. if she wants to do her independent thing and shun me then i can feel like crap because the girl i've called my best friend and girlfriend for four years doesn't want to hang out with me. and if she wants to hang out then we can be friends. and i guess i just have to deal with it in that way on an hour by hour basis. maybe it's control that she's after.
  • bob flanagan was the subject of a documentary called "Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist." essentially it's about a guy who has cystic fibrosis and as a result is in constant physical pain. in order to deal with this pain he fetishizes pain and becomes a masochist. he hammers nails through his dick and does all sorts of seemingly crazy shit. really, though, (and he acknowledges this fact) it's about him wanting to have control over some segment of his pain. he talks about being in constant pain throughout his life and the lack of control he has over it. he says that being a masochist is more about controlling his pain than it is about getting off or any pseudo-spiritual motivation. the will to power is a powerful drive, maybe giving up control can be a strong thing to do.
  • or maybe i'm way off base, overanalyzing everything and just trying to find ways to rationalize giving myself up to her. but, then, why would i want to submit to someone who would rather live with a relative stranger and date other people? perhaps i should be strong and take he reins of the relationship and just end it altogether, that would show her. but to what end? i'd be miserable, she'd feel sad and, eventually, we'd both move on to make other fucked up relationships based upon this experience. there's something to be said about the past as prologue, and there's also something to be said about bucking the trend of the last 86 years. there's something to be said about giving yourself up and there's something to be said about standing up for yourself.
  • right now everything is a mixed bag and i just have to learn to roll with things a little better.
  • at work it's pretty funny. tower is on this loan program with the bank that bases their loans on the assets they have in their stores; it's called "assest-based lending." essentially it means that the more product we have in the store, the more money we can borrow from the bank. as a result they send us insane amounts of product (i'm the product manager by the way and that means it's my job to deal with everything the store gets). there are a few ways to stay sane in this situation - maintain perspective (it's only a record store) or treat everything as a game, or a challenge. the people at the main office give us 75,000 units of product and our store only has space for about 60,000 units so the game is finding ways to deal with that overflow. and such is life.

  • 10-25-04 (00:45)

  • "Over the last five years, we've grown the Netflix community to over 2.2 million satisfied members. We appreciate your business, and our goal has always been to provide you great service.

  • Since our price increase in June, some of our members have expressed concerns about the new pricing. We've listened to this feedback and are pleased to inform you that we're lowering the price of your Netflix 3-at-a-time program from $21.99 per month to 17.99 per month.
    You don't need to do anything. Your membership will automatically move to the lower 17.99 price. The lower price will appear on your next bill on or after November 1, 2004. You will still get the same great service and convenience, but now you will pay less for it. So please sit back, relax and enjoy your movies!"
  • that's great news. i had recently been flirting with the idea of canceling the service.
  • updated movies list.
  • lots of ups and downs lately. generally the closer to melanie that i am, the better i feel.
  • today i went to play golf with jon. we did better than last time, but he beat me this time. to my credit, though, i had the sole par for the day. golfing is fun, but pricey.
  • it was nice to talk about my situation with someone other than melanie and myself. also, everything is better when discussed on the golf course.
  • eternal sunshine is coming out with a special edition early next year. i'm holding out for that one.
  • jon brion did the soundtrack to "i love huckabees." he did the fantastic soundtrack for "punch-drunk love" as well.

  • 10-23-04 (01:00)

  • updated movies list.

  • 10-22-04 (20:43)

  • today turned out to be awful. it started sad and stayed that way. i left work about an hour early because i felt like it.
  • i called a couple apartment complexes and they were either student-only or didn't have any vacancies. i don't want to wear out my welcome here. sometimes i want to leave right away and sometimes i don't want to ever leave.
  • i don't feel like eating or watching movies. work is lame but it keeps me busy, however it doesn't keep my mind busy.
  • sometimes i'll feel like i understand where she is coming from and i believe her when she tells me that she still cares about me and doesn't want to hurt me. then other times i feel bitter and untrusting.
  • i started thinking the other night about all the other things that go along with not having her - i won't be able to goto berkeley or sacramento as easily since i won't have a car. not being able to goto sacramento means i can't check out free movies at the tower or crest theaters anymore. not having access to cheap, quick transportation to berkeley means i'm not going to see johnny as frequently. then i started thinking about the really stupid stuff that i'll miss like being able to do my laundry in my own house for free (or at least not having to save quarters). and i thought about all the stuff i'm going to have to get rid of since i'll likely have a much smaller place. and i thought about her not having anyone around to fix her bike for free or fix things around the house. most of all i think about not having anyone to talk with anymore, not having my best friend under the same roof as me, not being able to yell at the tv and have someone laugh or echo my sentiments.
  • i like driving. when i goto la i always prefer to drive even though it's expensive and time consuming. it's a disconcerting feeling to goto the airport, get on the plane, get to cruising altitude, take a nap and be 400 miles away. i like the act of traveling and seeing the landscape change, and putting some time into moving from a to b makes a mental difference. that's a big reason for my choosing to drive to la when melanie's dad died. if i had taken a plane then i would have still been in a davis state of mind.
  • john came into work today. it's always nice to see him. i only worked with him for a few weeks, but he's a good guy and we're very similar. the night before melanie broke up with me i called him to see if he wanted to go see a movie in sacramento (since that's where it was playing and because that's where he lives), but he didn't answer the phone. i ended up going by myself and now i realize that i'm probably not going to have many opportunities in the future to do that sort of thing.
  • i think my voting dilemma is indicative of who i am. obviously it shows my politics, but beyond that it demonstrates how i choose my friends. most people in my position (with my views) would vote for kerry because they agree with him often enough to do so. i, however, am really picky when it comes to choosing friends (and for whom i will vote). let's say i agree with a person (friend or kerry) 70% of the time - for me that's not enough. and really i shouldn't apply a percentage to it because it's too arbitrary, but my point is that, for most people. agreeing with a person 70% of the time is cause enough to be friends, or to vote for them. i, on the other hand, seem to have a standard closer to 95%. the other way of saying all this is that i'm a stubborn, judgmental, elitist and that that's why i don't have any friends and insist on voting for nader.
  • one in a million really isn't all that impressive as far as people go. if you consider that i have maybe a dozen people in my life who i consider close friends or family then that breaks down to (assuming a population of about 6 billion) one in 500 million. so if you're a friend or family member of mine who i consider worthwhile then you're 500 times better than one in a million, at least to me.
  • at one point i cared about how few friends i had, but i realized that it didn't really matter because i had a few really good friends who wouldn't hurt me and who i could probably always count on. i definitely prefer it that way. i think that, for the most part, i keep all poseur friends away. if i can't talk with you about serious things then i'm probably not going to hang out with you. i guess one could say that i don't have friends who are good for just going to a ball game with. i suppose that with me it's all or nothing and that's why i can't bring myself to vote for kerry.

  • 10-22-04 (11:43)

  • today has started out as a sad day.
  • i have work from 12-9 and then i have work tomorrow as well. this week has gone by slowly.
  • updated movies list.

  • 10-21-04 (20:20)

  • kerry has said plenty of things, and is on the wrong side of plenty of issues, for me to vote against him. the question i'm having to deal with right now is how often i need to agree with a candidate. will kerry do a good job? sure. better than bush? of course. could someone else on the ballot do a better job, probably. is there someone else on the ballot with whom i agree more frequently? yes. but how often do i need to agree with kerry to vote for him? i've filled out my ballots completely, except for the presidential category. i feel like sort of a sellout if i vote for kerry, and i don't know enough about the green candidates other than that they have adopted the green platform. then there's nader/camejo and i like both of them and where they stand on most of the issues. so i don't know what to do right now.

  • 10-21-04 (01:16)

  • tonight could have been better.
  • red sox won and that's exciting. i'm happy for them. even though they were favored i would have bet against them at the beginning of the series, i was wrong on that one. i still don't understand why they were favored. i mean, yes they have a better pitching staff overall and yes they have a more solid lineup, but the history is so overwhelming that i can't see them being favored. but i suppose this series changed all that.
  • odds on john kerry winning are +160, bush is at -200. in other words if you bet $200 bucks that bush will win you'll only get 100 and if you bet 100 on kerry then you'll get 160. so the money is definitely on bush right now. i actually kinda expected it to be closer than that. kerry might not be a bad bet with those odds.
  • i should watch ghost dog again. the way of the samurai speaks to me.
  • die hard becomes a better film every day. there's one part in the film where john is talking with al and he's going over his relationship with his wife out loud: "tell her that she's the best thing that ever happened to a bum like me.... she's heard me say i love you a thousand times, but she's never heard me say i'm sorry. and i want you to tell her that, al. i want you to tell her that john said he's sorry." that film has been in my top three since the day i started keeping a mental list of such things.

  • 10-20-04 (18:32)

  • just saw damon hit a grand slam in the top of the second inning, it happened about 30 seconds after i turned on the tv. boston is up 6-0. could be interesting. very fun series. glad to see lowe in instead of wakefield, good choice.
  • melanie and i went out to see a movie last night. to use a cliché - the last few days have been a rollercoaster. going out with her was great, but then i start thinking that this may be the last time i'll ever drive her to the movies or hold her hand in the theater and i start bawling.
  • i think these are the times that define who you are so i'm trying to be what i want myself to become.
  • updated movies list. (will add reviews later.)

  • 10-19-04 (21:21)

  • had work today and that was mostly shitty.
  • sunday was the first real rain of the year. that was fitting. it reminded me of the postal service song "clark gable," only we didn't have to fake it. that album is great.
  • so far there hasn't been a real soundtrack to our break up, but i think the new REM album is the one that i'll always associate with this time.
  • i've done a lot of crying and being sad and feeling sorry for myself. i think we both feel pretty miserable. i'm still very much in love with her and that makes it a lot harder. if we hated each other we could just move out and go our separate ways, but that's not how it is. i see it as a good sign that our relationship had real meaning behind it, not that there was ever any serious doubt.
  • i feel as though she's dying and this is my time to be with her. i know she's going to be around after we move into separate places, and i'm sure we'll see each other, but obviously it will never be the same.

  • 10-18-04 (23:43)

  • i'm extremely sad right now. i can't stop thinking about the good times we had and the ways i screwed up. i guess i've always been hard on myself, but i view this as my greatest screw up of all.

  • 10-18-04 (11:14)

  • it was really hard to sleep last night. i haven't cried in a while so i guess having a good cry is a nice change.
  • my fantasy football team is 0-5 this year and i'm behind by 15 points right now. fortunately i have two players who are in tonight's game so there's a slim chance i could actually win my first game of the year by the end of tonight.
  • i'm glad i don't have work today.
  • the niners game yesterday was a disappointment.
  • i don't know what i'm going to do today.

  • 10-18-04 (00:08)

  • melanie decided she wants to break up with me and today she told me as much. she wants to be free, she wants to be able to date other men and women, she doesn't want to be accountable to me anymore, she said. also, she apparently likes smoking pot and cigarettes which is something she hid from me for i don't know how long. she still cares for me and wants me to be happy. i trusted her more than i've trusted anyone else in my life and that trust was broken and now my heart is broken. i don't know when i'm moving out. i don't know what's going to happen in the next few days/weeks. a few weeks ago i saw this as a possible future. i remembered my old girlfriend going off to college, spreading her wings and breaking off communication with me forever. i realized once melanie's father died that she was going to be in much the same situation mentally and emotionally. of course i can't say i expected it, but it wasn't entirely unexpected either. i'm not feeling too hot right now. billions of people before me have had this same feeling. it seems impossible to ever fully trust anyone again. i got through it before and i'll get through it again. there's undoubtedly going to be a lot of sad times ahead. i wonder if she felt more okay about doing this because i got a raise and will be able to afford a place of my own. there are good and bad things about everything. right now i can't honestly see myself remaining friends with her. it's part of who i am and it's also that way because i feel very betrayed right now. it's amazing how a new perspective on something changes so much. if you suddenly discover that someone wasn't who you thought they were or that they were holding things back (for who knows how long) then suddenly all that has come before is changed. that's the power of a moment. and that's a cliché thought.
  • in other news i finally watched "swept away" and "thx 1138" tonight. both have been on the back burner for a while. thx 1138 was a disappointment and swept away was better than i thought it was going to be. right now i'm in the middle of "alien" so maybe i'll get back to that. breaking up with your girlfriend in the middle of a movie kinda sucks.
  • i've thought about the possibility of breaking up with melanie before. there have been times when i've gotten home and she's not there and it felt like i was single already. then there were times when i'd get home and she'd be home and would greet me nicely and i thought about how nice it is to have someone waiting for you at home and how sometimes i really need that and especially how lucky i was to have someone who was actually willing to put up with me. lately that hasn't been true as much since she goes out a lot with her friends and i stay at home angered by the fact that she prefers to spend time with the people she works with. then i think how much of an advantage friends have over boyfriends since they don't have to live with the person and the level of emotional commitment isn't the same. there hasn't been parity in our relationship and i think that's a lot of what it comes down to. of course there can't be parity without effort and there can't be effort without a reason to expend that effort. i suppose we both slowly lost that reason, her faster than i.
  • i was right about this kind of thing once before as well. in high school i talked with my girlfriend at the time about her moving up to berkeley with one of our mutual friends and the possibility of something happening between them. she assured me nothing would happen and then a few months later it all came true. except i didn't foresee that whole mormon angle coming. that one caught me by surprise.
  • (01:32)
  • finished watching alien. a fine film indeed. i planned on watching aliens afterwards, but things change.
  • i'm glad the red sox won today, but i'm afraid there's no chance in hell they're going to win the series.
  • i had a pretty good, reasonable budget worked out through the end of the year that would have cut my debt down to about $800 by the year's end. i'm thinking that's not going to happen anymore.
  • updated movies list.
  • the idea of being on my own is starting to settle in now that i'm looking for places online. this is a sad process.
  • we had tentative plans to go to england in april. that would have been nice.
  • there's a great scene in office space where ron livingston's character is sleeping on a saturday and lumberg calls him and leaves several messages because livingston is supposed to go into work that day. then livingston's girlfriend calls and is like "what's wrong with you? you're supposed to be at work and yesterday you just sat their when the hypnotist had his heart attack." and livingston basically tells her he just doesn't care about anything anymore. so his girlfriend breaks up with him over the phone and yells "oh yeah, and i've been cheating on you!!!" livingston hangs up the phone, unaffected and goes on with his day. it's a hilarious scene.
  • i wonder how much her father's death has to do with this decision. i can certainly understand the feeling of wanting to start anew after something like that, and that's in part why i thought about this coming to pass. of course i don't think it's a good reason, but then again it's not my decision. for the most part i think i've done a decent job of being there for her in the past. i suppose it makes sense in a circular way though since we got together shortly after the end of her years in gonzaga of living a very different lifestyle. i like to think that i was in part responsible for getting her out of that, but now i am thinking that it didn't really matter. she seems to have a lot of friends so i'm sure she'll be okay without me. she said she can't imagine her life without me, but i can't imagine my life with her as anything but a girlfriend.
  • what makes me most sad right now is when i think of the great times we've had in front of the tv or on the trip or doing whatever. i really feel like crap right now.
  • i guess this is going to be a lame way for people to find out about this, but i don't feel like calling people individually to tell them about it. in fact i don't really feel like talking right now at all.
  • priceless.
  • i'm going to have to stay away from reading adbusters, watching tv and listening to radiohead for a while. those things are all too depressing.
  • the other week i commented to melanie that it seems some people never have problems with money, but then their emotional life is always in shambles. i mentioned that i think i'm the kind of guy who will never quite have my finances in order, i'll always be in debt, but i generally seem to be mentally and emotionally strong. that in mind, it's interesting that all this happens right after i get a raise.
  • at least i don't have work tomorrow.
  • melanie and i "met" on 10-21-2000. just shy of four years ago.
  • i wonder how she's going to tell the story to her friends and family.
  • in theory i'd like to remain friends, but when i think about the reality of it and what kind of person i am it doesn't seem to add up. time will tell. i'm not very good at relationships and it seems that's especially true with women.
  • it's so weird to have four years of your life change so quickly.
  • she assured me that there was nothing that i did, or could have done, to change things. i don't really think that's true though.
  • heidegger said that you only know what you're capable of when you truly become aware of your own mortality. i think this could be applied, in a way, to the death of a relationship as well. only after the end has happened can you really know what feelings you had or what the potential of that relationship was. i don't really know.
  • there's got to be some seinfeldian wisdom regarding breaking up. george once lamented that he didn't get break-up sex after seinfeld told him it was the best kind of sex there is. then there's the coke machine analogy.
  • i'm going to try to sleep now.

  • 10-17-04 (02:41)

  • interesting.
  • updated movies list.
  • there's a guy who works as a ticket broker who came by tower today. he called me yesterday to introduce himself and sounded really slick and full of shit - he said that he "rolls with a lot of green" and likes to spread money around and take care of employees so long as they tried their best to get him good tickets. so this morning he was at tower waiting for tickets to go on sale and once tickets went on sale i tried getting him what i could, but nothing great came up. after a while we talked for a bit and it turned out he's really talkative and a bit of a slickster, but not all that bad of a guy. justin, my boss, was also around and at some point took me aside and said "so david (the ticket guy) gave me a hundred bucks, so we should probably split that at some point." that was pretty cool of justin to offer since he didn't have to and i didn't see david give it to him or anything. later on david ended up buying the crew pizza for lunch. i guess the deal with this guy is that he works for the richest woman in california (this is all according to him) and he used to be a cop, but he likes this more because he still gets to help people out and makes a lot more money in the process. the reason he spreads around so much money is that he feels if he greases the wheels then everyone will give him first class treatment and he'll get more tickets and that'll lead to more profit, etc. apparently he gave some guy at another tower store a $500 tip the other day for getting him good tickets for some event. he has something like 27 people working for him in northern california who buy him tickets (using his money of course) and then he marks them up and makes all sorts of profit selling them to upper class clients who have better things to do than troll ebay for the best deal possible. i was talking with him about how his business works and he got a call and excused himself for a moment. after the call was done he came back to talk with me, extended his hand and said "i just like to help everyone out." so i got $100 for free today from some guy i had known for about one hour. working at tower has opened my eyes a bit in terms of the way commerce really works. you just don't know until you're out there and you get to see all the free shit that gets spread around to try and grease the wheels. promos, clean product for product exchanges, tips from guys like david, etc. the thing that has surprised me the most is that this kind of thing happens all the time with small time stuff. everyone knows about casinos comping big spenders, but that's a different league. i'm talking more about people who are in my tax bracket who do this kind of stuff all the time to get hook ups here and there. i think one reason i don't have more first hand knowledge of this is because i have so few friends. but even johnny has his mac hookup who gets him free ipod batteries or mac monitors. in that case it's not a reciprocation type of setup, but it still illustrates how much free stuff is floating around out there.
  • part of me thinks it's lame that this guy can come in and just spread some money and get special treatment. at some stores he just leaves a couple grand in cash and has people working the ticketmaster drawer pulling the best tickets they can get for him. so he has an informal account at several locations and other people working for him throughout the state and all of this is possible because he spreads money and free food around like crazy. i mean if he's giving someone like me $100 then you know he's spreading a lot around. at any rate, the other part of me thinks it's pretty cool. he's a nice guy, he wasn't pushy at all, he helps out other customers seemingly without an agenda, and he wasn't disappointed when sorta lame tickets came up. plus, i'm not going to do anything special for the guy so i look at as i'm just getting an extremely nice tip for giving good customer service. and, after i got my $100 i bought the girl i was working with an LP, so maybe trickle down economics does work.
  • now that i am making more money i'm considering switching my political affliation. all of a sudden the republican party is looking pretty sweet.
  • i've only seen 18 movies this month, that's not very good. i hope to make up some ground this weekend.

  • 10-16-04 (00:05)

  • watched a good episode of star trek tonight. that show was so good.
  • great stuff.
  • "If it is true that amphibians are, as Conservation International's Russell Mittermeier puts it, "one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health," then we are all in big trouble, because amphibians are having a seriously rough time of it. According to a massive new worldwide study involving more than 500 scientists from over 60 countries, published today in the journal Science, up to 122 species of amphibian have gone extinct since 1980, and up to a third of known remaining species may be rapidly nearing that same fate.  "This has taken the scientific world completely by surprise," said survey leader Simon Stuart. While air and water pollution, habitat loss, overharvesting for food and medicine, and a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis, which may be worsened by climate change, all play a role in the decline of various species, biologists are still baffled by the extent of amphibian disappearances.  They speak of some species experiencing "enigmatic decline," and they're at a loss for how to help them.""
  • ooh ooh, i know the answer...kill all humans and things will be okay again. it's pretty much guaranteed to work.
  • tomorrow is my friday.
  • if i had lots of money i'd invest in gold until after january 21st, when the president is sworn in. gold is always good during uncertain times. $418.398/oz right now. i'll have to check it in a few months to see if i was right.
  • it's funny to think about people who think that it's evil to eat beef. some of these same people have no problem with smoking or drinking on a regular basis. it's funny, in part, because they care more about their perceived impact on the environment through their non-consumption of beef than they do about their own body. surely it's not a health issue since beef in moderation really isn't very bad and acquiring organic or local beef is fairly easy nowadays. i consume maybe 20 pounds of beef a year and i'm sure that has a less detrimental effect on my body than smoking a pack of cigarettes and puts less strain on my liver than a few nights' worth of binge drinking. this may be part of a larger contemporary trend - people caring more about their perceived distant impact on large issues, than their own self. if this is true it could be spun as both a good thing and a bad thing. on the one hand it's nice to see a trend of people caring about their impact on others, on the other hand one could say call it self-hating, at worst, or misguided, at best.
  • in a way you have to respect fundamentalists because they don't dilute their own religion. in a way it's kind of stupid to say you believe in a god who is infallible and whose words are in the bible, but then to say "well i don't agree about this passage or that passage." in a way i kinda look at it as a take it or leave it proposition....otherwise you're not really making sacrifices. if you tailor your religion to suit your needs, wants, and limitations, then what's the point? if there's a christian out their reading this who believes women are equal, marriage is only between a man and a woman and that you can not believe in god and still go to heaven, then email me and justify your beliefs. then again the bible contradicts itself every other passage anyway so i guess god is telling us that it's up to our interpretation.

  • "never question who I am, God knows
    and I know God personally
    in fact he lets me call him me"
    -saul williams
     

  • i have work at 8am tomorrow.

  • 10-15-04 (01:20)

  • updated movies list.
  • so i don't get paid until tomorrow, but the paychecks always come a day early so i got to see whether or not the raise went through. when i looked at it the amount was 300% of what i usually make for a two week period. i figured that there was a lot of retroactive pay or something, but i got a call about 30 minutes later and was told that they paid me salary and hourly wages and that i'd have to sent the check back. damn. i had already spent all the extra money in my head. the good news, though, is that the original raise of 20% is going to be increased by an additional 24% which makes for a total raise of 49% relative to what i was making a month ago. the reason for the second raise before the first raise even went into effect is that state law apparently requires i make over a certain amount in order to ineligible for overtime. that first raise amount wasn't enough to get me over that threshold so they had to raise my salary enough so that i won't accrue overtime come xmas time. i'm not complaining.
  • the kings have a lot of new players this year. matt | barnes, who played for ucla and is from sacramento, is one of them. christie is out for a month with a foot problem similar to the one i have. last year when chris webber had knee trouble my knee had trouble. recently my knee problems have been replaced by my foot problems...and now christie has problems with his foot. this is definitive proof that there is one consciousness and we all effect each other through are thoughts. michael mercury was right.
  • i still haven't settled into my new schedule.

  • 10-14-04 (01:06)

  • busy day at work.
  • watched presidential debate and didn't get much out of it.
  • no movie tonight.
  • feeling pretty blah lately. more happy at work than i am at home.

  • 10-13-04 (00:38)

  • if i were bush i would make the point that the declaration of independence was signed in 1776, yet it wan't until 1787 (11 years later) that the constitution was signed and not until 1791 (15 years later) that the bill of rights was signed. iraq already has a constitution and is scheduled to vote in a couple months. sure the place is still in chaos in several parts of the country and it's still controlled by systems of extremely selfish power (the us and big money in iraq), but it's a statistic that drives home his point ("it's a tough job") more clearly and could be an arguing point for those ignorant enough to be on the fence in this election.
  • watched the red sox lose tonight. they showed some heart, i think this is going to be a classic series.
  • updated movies list.

  • 10-12-04 (01:08)

  • today was lame.
  • updated movies list.
  • watched two bad movies, played video games and did poorly, watched monday night football even though i didn't care about either team. i have work tomorrow.
  • i hope i get a big paycheck on friday.

  • 10-11-04 (12:45)

  • it occurred to me the other day that nascar is the only "sport" in which the major highlight is the ineptitude of its participants. in baseball a homerun is usually considered the most exciting part of the game and though that can be considered ineptitude on the pitcher's part, it's also a demonstration of skill on the part of the hitter. in nascar, though, crashes are the most exciting part of the sport and they are the complete breakdown of skill that every driver strives to avoid. fuck nascar.
  • i watched about 30 seconds of who wants to be a millionaire today. there was some army guy stuck on a $16,000 question, he called a friend and the friend didn't know. then he used his 50/50 and the two left were A and B. when the question originally came up, apparently, his guess was B, but after more thought he started to think the answer was A. so he went with his second choice and chose A as his final answer. meredith (regis part 2) said "well it was very brave of you to do that flip-flop. it's not brave when kerry does it, but it was brave of you to do it....and you got 16,000, congratulations."
  • what the fuck is wrong with the world? i couldn't believe that she said that. getting in her not-so-subtle dig against kerry for absolutely no reason.

  • 10-11-04 (00:40)

  • updated movies list.
  • i've only seen 14 movies this month. of the 14, 5 have been documentaries. i have plans of watching fahrenheit 9/11 again before the month's end.
  • almost 80% of the movies i've seen this year have been new to me.
  • saw most of the niner game today. they looked okay through parts and awful through other parts. i was sure they were going to lose after being down by one and then giving the ball up in the red zone. but you have to give them credit for bouncing back and scoring twice in six (or so) minutes, including two 2-point conversions. then they won it in overtime. what a game. glad they finally got a win.

  • 10-9-04 (18:19)

  • saw the fourth quarter of the usc/cal game. cal came close, but no cigar. i had usc winning by 10 (two scores) and they ended up winning by only six. one play and they would have lost the game. good game.
  • looked at the yankees score in the 7th inning and saw they were down 5-0 so i figured they were goners. but of course they're the yankees which means nothing is impossible. they won 6-5 in the 11th inning. they advance to the next round.
  • today is my friday so that's great news. now that i'm a manager each day goes by really quickly, but the week goes by slowly. i'm not sure why that is. i think it has more to do with the hours and days of the week that i'm working. it wasn't until about two hours before my shift was over today that i remembered it was my friday, but throughout the week i've felt like it should be the weekend already. it's odd how perception of time works.

  • 10-8-04 (01:14)

  • updated movies list.
  • simpsons season five dec. 21.

  • 10-07-04 (19:09)

  • "today was a good day, i didn't have to use my A-K."

  • 10-07-04 (14:49)

  • among the more interesting "misstatements" of cheney during the debate is the fact that he told people to check www.factcheck.com to find out more about his history with halliburton. goto that website, he said, which is run by the university of pennsylvania and you'll see that a lot of the negative reports about me and halliburton are incorrect.
  • a) the website he meant to pitch was www.factcheck.org which is a pretty great fact checking site that i've cited here in the past.
  • b) factcheck.org has published a response to cheney's comments during the debate: "

  • Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals."
    and... "Cheney got our domain name wrong -- calling us "FactCheck.com" -- and wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton.
    In fact, we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right."
  • c) www.factcheck.com was not a real website, but immediately following cheney mentioning it, the site got millions of hits. the people in charge of directing traffic decided, since the site is not owned by anyone, to link the domain to another site. rather than linking to www.factcheck.org, which would have rectified cheney's gaffe, they sent it to www.georgesoros.com. georgesoros.com reads: "Why we must not re-elect president Bush..." it's an anti-bush site! good to see some people have a sense of humor, and justice.

  • 10-7-04 (00:20)

  • had to unexpectedly work a closing shift tonight. to make things worse i closed with one of the dumbest people i've ever met. lame day. open tomorrow.
  • didn't watch a movie tonight, but i should have.

  • 10-6-04 (12:50)

  • lately, i've seen, heard and read a lot of people describing both cheney and bush as "petulant." it's interesting the way people will recycle words like that. all it takes is one person to leak it into the collective consciousness and the next thing you know a person has a rap as being petulant or a flip-flopper. it's interesting because the left is doing the same thing as the right in this case. just as limbaugh, fox news, etc. act as a right wing echo chamber by repeating the flip-flop term, left wing organizations have followed suit with the "petulant" tag. flip-flopper is likely to stick more.

  • 10-6-04 (00:43)

  • updated movies list.
  • i sent noam chomsky an email back in 1997 asking him what a lowly student such as myself could do about all the bullshit going on in the political realm. i wish i still had his response which essentially said that students were responsible for all sorts of great changes in the past and that everyone needs to find their own way of changing the culture. every time i think about that i'm more amazed by the fact that he actually responded to my email.
  • jon came by on sunday and we played golf for about four hours. that was a good time. we sucked equally hard so that made it fun.
  • work went by quickly today. having more responsibility means i generally stay more busy which means the day goes by more quickly.
  • bought fahrenheit 9/11, shawshank redemption 2 disc, battle of algiers and untouchables today.
  • watched the vp debate today. it looked like a draw to me. it got pretty heated, but then the issue of gay marriage came up and i think things simmered down a bit after that. i actually got the impression that cheney isn't an evil bastard during that portion of the debate, it was an odd feeling. both of them threw around some wishy-washy rhetoric and facts - more so than in the kerry/bush debate. it was the first time i got to see edwards talk for an extended period of time and he has buckets full of charisma. i kinda wanted to have sex with the guy. seriously though, he's got a good smile and that southern charm that might help tip some of the women voters. it doesn't hurt. relative to bush, cheney is not only more willing to lie, but better at it and that was the big thing i noticed tonight. again, though, it doesn't matter which side was lying or telling the truth - all that matters is how they presented their version, and i felt that edwards and cheney did it equally well.
  • job numbers come out friday, could be interesting. again, all that matters in this case is the perceived truth - if the number is big then it's good. i don't think spin control will work - "yes, but the jobs that were created are without benefits, pay less and are part-time..."

  • 10-5-04 (00:14)

  • updated movies list.
  • my streak of watching new movies was broken tonight. i watched "the big one," which i've seen several times before, but up until that point i had seen 36 movies in a row that were new to me.
  • only reviewed the last two films of the day. will review the first two tomorrow.
  • so it seems that christopher doyle is a cinematographer to watch. he did 'in the mood for love' and 'hero,' both of which are visually stunning films. actually i've never seen in the mood for love, but from everything i hear it's a visual feast. usually i follow the director, but i've come to find that the cinematographer can be just as fun to follow.
  • blockbuster still has their one month special on their new rental program - 14.95 for two movies out at a time, unlimited per month. i'm going to do it for a month since i work within a block of one of their stores.
  • i have work early tomorrow.

  • 10-3-04 (00:33)

  • updated movies list.
  • bought tickets to two different kings games this season. one versus the bucks and one versus the warriors.
  • working with my new boss has been pretty cool thus far.
  • my most recent paycheck still didn't reflect the pay raise. hopefully the next one will.
  • i wonder if lawyers have ever tried to use the fifteenth amendment to reenfranchise ex-cons. it says: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." obviously it's a stretch, but it's worth a try. people who are in jail are often enlisted as manual laborers for little or no money and they are said to be "serving" their sentence. of course there's also the easy connection to make regarding the inherent racism of many laws and their enforcement - particularly drugs laws. it's a felony, for example, to possess crack, but possession of cocaine is a misdemeanor. i'm not 100% certain on this, it may be that intent to sell crack is a felony and intent to sell cocaine is only a misdemeanor, but i am fairly certain that their is a greater penalty for the crack charge in equal circumstances. when you couple this information with the fact that the cia peddled this stuff in america's ghettos, or the fact that crack is basically the same thing as cocaine, but it's more commonly associated with poor/colored people, then you have something very close to institutionalized slavery; in my opinion. this is all without mention of the fact that disenfranchised people are being taxed without representation when their voting rights are stripped. this, let us not forget, is a primary reason for our revolution against the british. ideally, i think that if you can work (and are thus having your income taxed), you should have the right to vote - regardless of age, color, sanity, or criminal record. if this were the case i think we'd be a more moral nation, we'd elect democrats more often, and voter purges in states like ohio and florida would happen to a lesser degree.
  • "Congress approved $145 billion in tax cuts without figuring out any way to replace the money, which means they essentially decided just to . . . print more! As we move closer to a full- scale crash of the dollar, our only hope will be one of those credit-card counseling services where the first step will be forcing President Bush to take his lunch to work in a brown paper bag." that's from joe bob briggs' webpage.
  • indeed.
  • i don't know why i don't read theonion religiously. more funny shit.
  • yesterday the two theaters in davis changed from signature theaters to regal entertainment. i hope they continue the independent film series.
  • the big one came out on dvd the other day. it's my favorite michael moore film so watch it if you haven't already.

  • 10-1-04 (22:08)

  • there are only about four offensive players i would pick for my all-star team ahead of ichiro. he's exactly the type of player i would want on my team because he plays solid, fundamental ball and i'm glad he's getting so much press right now for what he's done this year.
  • i forgot to mention that i think the debate will give kerry a 3-5 point boost in the polls.
  • i know it's unpopular, but looking over a lot of schwarzenegger's recent bill signings, i think he did a pretty decent job. i still hate the fact that he said he wouldn't bow to the special interests and has since turned around and received more money from special interests than any previous ca governor. and, of course, there are lots of other things about arnold that i don't like, but looking here at his actions i can't fault the guy any more than most governors. so far i can't honestly say that he's turned out to be the colossal failure that i had anticipated.
  • one more month until we find out what the next four years will be like.

  • 10-1-04 (00:00)

  • jon sent me this link. it's fun.
  • "We've got some interesting Blu-ray Disc news to catch you up on. First of all, PC World magazine is reporting that Sony will announce next month that it has developed an 8-layer version of the Blu-ray Disc, capable of storing a whopping 200GB of data. Sony also plans to "commercialize" a 4-layer 100GB version as early as 2007. Standard dual-layered Blu-ray Discs (which are nearly ready for prime time) have a storage capacity of about 54GB, while standard dual-layered HD-DVD discs have about 30GB." more good news for sony.
  • when we got back from the drive i found two boxes of dvds at the front door. i ordered them from columbia house a while back and they finally came.
  • "You may be pleased to learn that film critic Roger Ebert let it slip on Ebert & Roeper this weekend that Criterion might be giving Beyond the Valley of the Dolls special treatment on DVD next year. Ebert apparently recorded an audio commentary for the disc a while back (Ebert wrote the script for the film, which was directed by Russ Meyer who just passed away last week). Thanks to Bits readers Charles L. and "Wilson" for that." there was speculation on the criterion forum about this as well. i also heard about "hoop dreams" coming through criterion next year. hope that comes to pass.
  • "bin laden" was mentioned 11 times and "saddam" was mentioned 16 times during tonight's debate. i'm not going to flip-flop on this...i still think bush will win, but kerry did a good job tonight. i counted 55 minutes won for kerry and 35 for bush. in the split screen bush seemed smaller than kerry because more of the podium was in the frame for him. that was a small, subtle visual advantage for kerry. if i were on the bush team i'd talk with the camera man about that. on the other hand, kerry shifted his weight from side to side a few times and that could be construed by some as a visual echo of his shifty character. bush was definitely on the defensive for most of the debate and that's a good thing for kery. bush was also consistently under time which showed me that his message is simple (which is good for getting votes) and that he was coached not to adlib (also good). i don't think most people notice those things consciously, but they were there and those are the things you notice during a televised debate.
  • unlike gore, i think kerry did a good job of staying strong and calm and differentiating himself from bush. i thought it was pretty clear what kerry thought vs. what bush thought.
  • it's been a hectic couple days. i should sleep.

  • updated movies list.

    9-30-04 (18:00)

  • went to the funeral of melanie's dad yesterday. that was very saddening.
  • presidential debate in a couple minutes. if "bin laden" is mentioned as much or more than "saddam" then kerry will win the election, if not then i'm still going with bush.

  • 9-26-04 (23:51)

  • bad sports day...niners shut out for first time since 1977 and giants lost to dodgers which is big.
  • usc edged out stanford, next game is in two weeks against cal. should be fun.
  • updated movies list. 400 movies so far.
  • this is the most interesting imdb.com reviewer i've read to date. i think his writing style is pedantic and obnoxious, but it's always interesting.
  • holy crap.

  • 9-26-04 (00:26)

  • updated movies list.
  • i've come up with a new film genre: the philosophy film. it's any film whose main axis is philosophy. these films lack conventional plot or storylines, they choose, instead, to focus on the exploration of a certain philosphy(ies). examples would inclue slacker, waking life and my dinner with andre.
  • updated recommendations.
  • yesterday when i was at the theater watching mean creek there was a preview for some film (enduring love) "from the director of notting hill and changing lanes". when i saw that the first thing that popped into my head, without even thinking about it, was "mitchell." then i wondered to myself why i would think that the director's name was mitchell since i've never seen notting hill and i've only seen changing lanes once and, though i thought it was good, can't remember taking any extra special note of the film or its director. so i continued watching the preview and at the end they put up the credit list and the director was listed as roger michell. it was pretty amazing. either it was a crazy coincidence or, for a moment, i tapped into the true potential of my otherwise forgetful mind. either way it was cool even if i was technically off by one letter.

  • 9-24-04 (18:18)

  • "California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) won props from enviros this week as he signed into law more than two dozen pro-environment bills. The measures will (take a deep breath) allow drivers of hybrids getting at least 45 miles per gallon to go solo in highway carpool lanes, require that all cars built since 1976 get emissions checks from now on, establish the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to protect the beloved mountain range, create a cabinet-level Ocean Protection Council, prohibit dumping of so-called "gray water" from sinks and showers by cruise ships, limit bottom trawling along the coast, raise money to replace old buses with cleaner ones, and allow regional air districts to raise vehicle registration fees to fight diesel soot. Many of the bills were opposed by powerful interests; in particular, Schwarzenegger gave the stiff arm to Ford CEO Bill Ford and Tonight Show host Jay Leno, who lobbied against the carpool-lane and emission-testing bills, respectively.  "These bills were not all easy to sign," said Karen Garrison of the Natural Resources Defense Council.  "He did take some risks, and he gets credit for that.""

  • 9-24-04 (03:33)

  • updated movies list.

  • 9-23-04 (14:20)

  • melanie's dad died at about 3am this morning.

  • 9-23-04 (02:33)

  • updated movies list.
  • yesterday i called up new yorker video and first run features and got my name on their mailing lists for dvd screeners. in other words, i'm going to start getting free dvds in the mail from two independent dvd distributors. it's amazing how easy it was, too. i probably didn't even have to give them my work address, but i did.
  • this guy has written over 270 reviews and i've only even heard of maybe a half dozen of the films listed. crazy. he seems obsessed with commenting on the credits of particular films. in several instances he sets the record straight regarding actual cast, writers, etc. i wonder what this guy is like.
  • i don't often disagree with allmusic.com, but they got their review of amethyst rock star completely wrong.
  • this is what happens when 'civility' runs amok. i don't like war, but if you win a war then you make the rules...and if you lose then you get what is given to you.
  • got new black keys and saul williams today. zack de la rocha (formerly of rage against the machine) has a cameo on the latter. that guy's the hardest working man in the music business. 30 seconds worth of work on this album, one song with dj shadow and 20 seconds worth of work with blackalicious...all that in just three years. busy guy.
  • russ meyer died this week. like him or not, he was a pretty influential filmmaker...from john waters to doris wishman.
  • heard a john kerry interview on npr today. they grilled him pretty hard. i thought they'd be throwing him soft balls, but they didn't. that's why npr is cooler than anything else that size.

  • 9-22-04 (01:31)

  • updated movies list.
  • the up series by michael apted is coming to dvd. i think that the only dvd in the series that was available to this point was the last installment (42up).
  • today was hectic.
  • shortly before closing i was flipping through fhm (a stupid magazine) when i came across a q&a session with roger ebert. question: "how many films do you have to watch a year?" answer: "about 400. all up, i've written about 7,000 reviews, so i've probably seen about 12,000 movies in my life." my movie count for this year: 390. it's possible ebert was leaving out the films he watches on the side, outside of his work. at any rate, he probably has averaged 300 movies a year for the last forty years or so. i've come to the conclusion, then, that i'm watching the right number of films...now i just need to learn how to write well.
  • beastie boys setlist for thursday sept. 16th:

  • 1. Mix Master Mike Intro
    2. Sure Shot
    3. Egg Man
    4. We Got The
    5. Hello Brooklyn
    6. Triple Trouble
    7. Shake Your Rump
    8. Sabrosa
    9. In 3's
    10. Lighten Up
    11. An Open Letter To NYC
    12. Right Right Now Now
    13. Posse In Effect
    14. Super Disco Breakin'
    15. All Lifestyles
    16. Paul Revere
    17. Body Movin'
    18. Brass Monkey
    19. Three MC's And One DJ
    20. So What'Cha Want
    21. Ch-Check it Out
    22. Intergalactic
    23. Gratitude
    24. Sabotage

    9-21-04 (01:34)

  • got about 12 hours of sleep last night. that was very nice. i've been needing a good long rest for a while.
  • updated movies list. on pace to see 539 movies this year.
  • weather has started to change a bit. it rained yesterday and it's been getting colder this last week or so.
  • 49ers lost another close game this week. they did this a lot last year too.

  • 9-19-04 (00:47)

  • updated movies list.
  • was able to stay off my feet most of the day. i guess my new position lends itself to that a bit more than i originally thought.
  • updated recommendations. i don't seem to have nearly as much music to recommend as i have films, but today's addition is a musical one.
  • i've been really tired lately. i really need some time off more than anything else.

  • 9-18-04 (00:22)

  • updated movies list.
  • beastie boys concert was really good. the set list was like 20-25 songs long and they had two encores. for the first one they went into the upper level and played (intergalactic) on a small clearing up there. for the second one they played two songs on their instruments - gratitude and sabotage. i think the beastie boys put on a better show than anyone i've seen live, but i haven't seen very many concerts. that said, i think rage against the machine's music is more suited to live performance. they didn't play any of their punk stuff, or any rare stuff which was too bad. they did play paul revere despite the "wiffle ball bat" line, which they changed to "stick ball bat" which doesn't change anything so i don't know why they did that. talib kweli did a good job as an opener.
  • johnny and i played several hours of halo on the xbox. it was fun at first, but that game is excessively repetitive. doom or quake both took a lot longer to get old for me.
  • life has been full of extremes in the last couple weeks.
  • melanie's dad isn't doing well and it seems to be just a matter of time at this point.

  • 9-16-04 (00:27)

  • updated movies list.
  • going to berkeley tomorrow and then onto sf to see the beastie boys.
  • listening to 'open water' soundtrack right now. hadn't fully realized how good it was until now.
  • the first track on the new orbital is really good.
  • "Between the ages of 12 and 30, director and movie buff Peter Bogdanovich created 5,316 three-by-five index cards that held descriptions of every movie he'd seen in those years."  - from allmovie.com 18 years, 5,316 movies=295 movies a year. if he only watched 200 movies a year from ages 12-18, he'd have to average 343 movies a year from the ages of 18-30. that's pretty damn good. this year so far i've seen 384, last year i saw 329, and 245 the year before that. i've only been over 300 movies three years in my life so i have some ground to make up. in the last three years i've watched approximately 1916 hours of film (assuming an average of two hours per movie). that breaks down to about 80 full days worth of movies. for three years of work that doesn't seem like all that much. if an athelete put that much time into training, or a lawyer into studying or...it's just not very much time invested when you break it down in those terms. i suppose if you figure in the amount of time i spend writing reviews and reading about films then it might be a little more impressive, but right now i'm hardly a great study of film.
  • my foot feels a little better, but still definitely not great.

  • 9-15-04 (02:54)

  • updated movies list.
  • found out yesterday that i'll have to work six days a week during december because i'm a member of the management team. that was unexpected and not so great to hear. granted it's only one month, but it still sucks and i don't get overtime. on the other hand i also found out that i'm eligible for quarterly bonuses based upon three factors - keeping costs low (payroll and supplies) and keeping sales up. there's not much that i can, or will, do to affect those factors, but it's likely that i'll get something out of it at least a couple times a year.
  • sounds interesting.
  • npr had a story about sony acquiring mgm today. the expert they had on talked about mgm as the largest (in terms of archive size) movie studio. it's also one of the last independent studios (as in not owned by a major corporate conglomerate like aol-time-warner or sony/columbia). it's pretty sad to see one of the great studios being sold. sony/columbia doesn't generally put out great dvds so that's unfortunate. i was hoping for warner to win the bidding battle just because they take better care of their catalog titles. on the other hand aol-time-warner is evil so there are trade-offs. when the expert was talking about the deal he said that sony was mostly interested in buying the titles in the mgm catalog, titles like wizard of oz, the james bond series, pink panther, etc. there was at least one other title that he mentioned...that title (which i can't remember now) and the wizard of oz, though originally distributed by mgm, are now owned and distributed by warner brothers. so he was kinda wrong there. other than that it was a good story.
  • the other day i talked with tony (he does our posters at work) about hollywood and the film business. it was a pretty enlightening conversation. it was nice to pick the brain of someone who is in the business and knows a bit about how it works.
  • installed my new hard drive today. it's 160gigs which is more than enough at this point. my primary drive is only 60 so it's a big step up. i called the drive "ford" since he was prolific and because my primary hard drive is named kurosawa and it's widely known that kurosawa loved ford's work.
  • i'm just waiting for some indie band to come along and make a record of silence. they should call themselves something pretentious like 'the emperor's clothing is sparse.' just as merzbow is the leader in noise music, the emperor's clothing is sparse will be the leaders of the silence movement in music.

  • 9-14-04 (02:34)

  • updated movies list.
  • well it's melanie's birthday today.
  • last night melanie woke me up so i could give her a ride to the airport. her dad is in the hospital and things aren't looking so great right now.
  • what a week.

  • 9-13-04 (01:58)

  • updated movies list.
  • went to fleet feet today during my lunch and bought a couple arch support inserts. they seem to help. i'm hoping that in time they will provide enough relief to allow my foot to heal. i knew i would get old and less able with time, but i never expected it to happen this quickly. then again i never expected to work at a place that has concrete floors and requires me to be on my feet for so long each day.
  • my new job title and raise have given me more direction while at work which means my time will go by more quickly and i'll probably have a better time while i'm there. in other words, not only am i going to make more money, but, at least for now, going to work is less of a chore. i like having something new in front of me whenever possible. if i'm learning or being challenged then i'm generally enjoying myself.
  • 1117: number of movies i've rated on netflix.com

  • 9-11-04 (23:52)

  • updated movies list.
  • i always get excited when my reviews are on the front page of a movie on imdb.com.
  • went to a couple websites to do some research on my foot problem. the consensus seems to be that i should rest and wear an arch support.
  • "Port cities in Canada dump thousands of tons of virtually untreated sewage into bodies of water every year, according to a new report compiled by the Sierra Legal Defense Fund on behalf of three enviro groups.  Montreal, it seems, dumps 950 million gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River every year.  If you think that's gross, well ... you're right.  It really is.  But it's not so bad when you consider that Victoria dumps 9 billion gallons of entirely untreated sewage a year into the Pacific Ocean.  Canada's sewage-disposal standards are far behind those in the U.S. and Europe, said Margot Venton of Sierra Legal.  An Environment Canada spokesperson said that Ottawa (the seat of Canada's federal government, for all you clueless yanks) and the provinces are working together to develop a joint wastewater treatment program by 2006, with national standards -- standards that will presumably frown on dumping billions of gallons of untreated poop, along with oil, grease, cyanide, and who knows what else, into waterways."
  • wouldn't have guessed that.
  • patriot day has come and gone. three years ago sucked.
  • i used to have an old almanac that had all sorts of great stuff in it that isn't normally carried in today's almanacs. apparently i got rid of it within the last year or so. that and my baseball encyclopedia. i regret that choice.
  • i invented a diet that i'll call the "hunter gatherer diet." the basic precepts of the diet are: eat throughout the day instead of having proper meals and "trail mix" type food will serve as the base of the diet. lots of fruits and vegetables (dried, fresh or cooked), lots of nuts and seeds, and no grains. three times a week you can eat meat, preferably fish. liquids should include milk and water, with fruit juices on occasion.
  • usc creamed csu today.

  • 9-11-04 (01:55)

  • updated movies list.
  • today is patriot day.
  • mostly a disappointing day as far as movies went. had fun with melanie though.

  • 9-10-04 (02:48)

  • updated movies list.
  • power went out today for a couple hours. as a result i went to see the newest jarmusch film and suspect zero.

  • 9-9-04 (01:32)

  • great website.
  • updated movies list.
  • i was the recipient of the quickest decision in corporate history today. a mere hour after having a sit down with the boss he said "i can't see any reason not to hire you" and "i'm impulsive and you seem thoughtful so i think we'll make a good team." he also informed me that as of friday the wage increase should take effect. even if it isn't reflected immediately in my next paycheck, when it does kick in it will be retroactive to this friday. i've tried not to think about spending money on some of the things i've been wanting because of what happened the last time i was hired for this position, but it's really no use. about 25 hours passed from the time that he scheduled an interview with me regarding the position, to the time he gave me the job. for the last manager that time frame was closer to 25 days.
  • more star wars changes. a comparison of the changes between the 1997 versions and the 2004 versions. the jabba the hutt stuff looks better, the shots at the top of that page look nicer, but the purples and sepia tones of the old version look more like what i remember the original looking like. in his review on digitalbits.com, bill hunt seems to like most of the changes on the disc, but changing the color scheme in those shots is pretty silly. the purple sky makes the landscape look so much more otherworldly. and of course i'll never forgive him for having han shoot second. whatever, this is such a dead horse. tobe hooper didn't digitally enhance leatherface and warner brothers didn't colorize casablanca.
  • i've got ice on my foot right now. while i was washing dishes i decided to test my foot by applying a lot of pressure on it while pressing against the floor. it hurt and now i'm regretting my decision. hopefully two days of rest and ice will fix whatever is wrong with it. it doesn't hurt at all when i'm just sitting around or even just standing, but every once in a while when i'm walking it'll hurt. it's a prickly sort of pain.

  • 9-8-4 (02:38)

  • updated movies list.
  • tomorrow i have a meeting with the boss. he said that "i'm pretty much the guy (for the product manager position)" and "it doesn't make much sense to go hunting for someone else when you're here." should be interesting to see how it pans out this time around.
  • not sure that this link will work for nonsubscribers, but here it is anyway. the gist of the article is that kerry isn't separating himself from bush enough and is doing exactly what i predicted months ago...playing just enough to the left of bush because he knows most of the left of center voters are so mindlessly commited to the "anyone but bush" mantra.
  • "The calculation in the Kerry camp is obviously that the liberal-progressive part of their base will put up with anything, and they seem to be correct in making that assumption. Last weekend one of Kerry's aides took the opportunity, in a debate on CNN, to emphasize that Kerry supported "96 percent" of the Patriot Act and indeed wrote some of the language of the act." zombies for kerry by alexander cockburn.
  • response to bush's rnc speech.
  • i remember bush saying he was against nation building in a 2000 debate with al gore. funny guy.

  • 9-7-04 (03:15)

  • in david cross' latest cd he talks about george bush's famous "they hate our freedom" line and how he uses it to manipulate people into thinking this is all just a cultural war. cross goes on to say that every time he turns on the tv he realizes that he hates our freedom since we do some of the dumbest shit with it. i think this (2) (3) is the kind of thing he might be referring to. i, too, often find myself hating our freedom.
  • updated movies list.
  • today was pretty good. got paid time and a half, plus i got free lunch. day went by quickly enough and tomorrow is my thursday.
  • the tendon that connects my forefoot and heel has been feeling a bit odd lately. i need a vacation.

  • 9-6-04 (01:12)

  • updated movies list.
  • the nba should have an alumni game. retired players versus rookies. guys like barkley, jordan, robinson, etc. against lebron james, carmelo anthony, wade, etc...it would get great ratings and it's a great way for the older guys to pass on some sage advice to the younger players.
  • zell miller's 1990 GA gubernatorial campaign was managed by james carville. i bet carville regrets that.
  • "Two polls show that Mr. Bush received a substantial boost from last week's Republican National Convention. Time magazine, in a poll released Friday, found Mr. Bush up 52 percent to 41 percent over Mr. Kerry. A Newsweek poll, out Saturday, had him up 54 percent to 43 percent. Both polls have a margin of error of four percentage points and were a statistical tie before the convention. "There's never been a challenger that has come back after being down double digits after the convention, after their incumbent's convention. That's never happened," Bush strategist Matthew Dowd told "Fox News Sunday.""
  • "The new strategy includes a negative ad accusing Mr. Bush of being insincere on issues affecting senior citizens and raising Medicare premiums, and Kerry-Edwards campaign officials made the Sunday talk show rounds promoting a list of "143 lies and distortions" they say Mr. Bush has made. "We've actually documented it" Mr. Devine said. "The problem with lying to people is that the truth catches up to you. And I think that's what's going to happen here. I mean, for example, the president, on Thursday night in his acceptance speech, said we owe a moral obligation to our seniors. And the next day his administration leveled the largest Medicare premium increase in our nation's history."

  • 9-5-04 (01:18)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations.
  • ended up not going to the state fair. it was windy as hell and we came to the conclusion that the day would be better spent indoors. watched two movies in the theater.
  • bought two great books the other day from bogey's books. one of my co-workers works there one day a week so i even got a 10% discount. one is "the films of akira kurosawa" by donald ritchie, he's done some commentary tracks for different criterion releases. the other one is even cooler, it's called "how movies work" by bruce kawin and it truly delivers on its title. it reviews just about everything a film does - technically and artistically - in a pretty straightforward way. it seems like the kind of book that you can read several times and get more out of it each time.
  • work early tomorrow again.
  • beastie boys concert on september 16th.
  • jon hooked me up with the political machine game. you get to run a political campaign...you can choose your candidates, the political climate, etc. it's pretty fun if you're a political geek like me. i chose kerry with hillary clinton as the vp and beat george w. fun stuff.
  • i need another hard drive.

  • 9-3-04 (00:39)

  • updated movies list.
  • my co-worker says the next hurricane to hit florida should be called hurricane Karma. awesome.
  • two more months and we should know whether there will be four more years of bush.
  • watched much of the rnc tonight. i don't even want to talk about it. bush was up to his usual "with us or against us" tricks and the sheep applauded. it's all very sad. afterwards the networks decided not to carry kerry's response. i listened to some am talk radio after the speech and they said it was great and complained about sam donaldson's comments during, and after, bush's speech. apparently he was ripping bush's speech apart and the am talk host didn't like it too much. of course, during kerry's speech the talk show host did the exact same thing - he talked over kerry and made sarcastic remarks. it was quite puerile and partisan, but i didn't expect much more. the bush klan really is banking on the stupidity of the american public which is why i still think he'll win. when he puts forth his view of the facts on kerry's voting record, for example...he'll say that kerry voted against humvees and body armor when really kerry voted against a larger bill that included a lot more than body armor. stuff like that annoys me just a bit.
  • it's very windy right now.
  • tomorrow we're going to the state fair.

  • 9-1-04 (01:20)

  • nader on ballot in florida.
  • i love fredrick wiseman's films, but apparently he doesn't want the public to view them.
  • yankees lost 22-0 tonight. that's the worst baseball performance i've ever heard of. the yankees have the biggest payroll in baseball.
  • mike williams won't be returning to usc this year. that's a damn shame. hopefully the niners can snatch him up in the draft next year. he's great.

  • 8-31-04 (01:45)

  • "Alec Baldwin's younger brother actor Stephen Baldwin is throwing his support behind President George W Bush in the forthcoming Presidential election - because his country's leader is "being led by God". The former liberal and now born-again Christian is attending the Republican National Convention in New York to cheer on the current premier, who he deems has more faith than Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry. Baldwin tells gossip site Pagesix.Com, "I'm there to support the man I believe has the most faith. That's who I'm voting for. I believe the next president should be a guy who is being led by God. I believe there is one guy, and that's the guy I want to vote for." As for any disharmony between him and his Democratic-supporting siblings Alec and William, Baldwin comments, "I don't have a perception about that.""
  • updated movies list.
  • tomorrow is my thursday. i like my new schedule. i open two days, then close two days and then work a mid-shift on the fifth day. it also means i don't have to see the boss two out of the five days i work and that means i can take it a bit easier.
  • i hope to watch a lot of movies this weekend and get caught up in that regard. i also need to catch up on some past issues of the nation and adbusters.
  • my dad's mom apparently plans on voting for bush. i sent the following email:
  • "dad told me something about you wanting to vote for bush...? i must inquire as to your motivation behind this decision. is it his vicious pursuit of the death penalty; his haphazard and corrupt foreign policy; his failed economic policies which have led to increases in poverty and our debt load; or his constant catering to industry over the environment through "voluntary" monitoring programs; or is it his hypocritical policies regarding the military - "support" them in war, while slashing veteran's benefits and pension plans; or, being a teacher, is it his failed federally mandated "leave no child behind" program which he has underfunded since day one? living in davis i don't come across many bush supporters so i don't have much perspective in this regard, hopefully you can provide a cogent argument in his support. i honestly do wonder why roughly half the country supports him in spite of his mostly failed policies and the numerous scandals in which his administration is complicit."
  • after i sent i realized that might not go over too well, especially since i haven't talked with her in some time. we'll see.
  • got the new orb album today.
  • need sleep.

  • 8-30-04 (00:15)

  • updated movies list.
  • well the olympics are over. here's my recap of the last few days since i've been too busy to recap them till now.
  • today they had the closing ceremonies some boxing, the marathon and the men's volleyball final. saw bits of all of them.
  • during the marathon the eventual third place finisher was attacked by some crazy irish priest. that was probably the worst thing that happened during the olympics which is awesome. no bombs, no stupid terrorists, nothing. i'm happy about that.
  • we actually came away with a silver in the marathon which is very surprising. our volleyball team was no match against the russians who picked up the bronze. we salvaged one gold medal in the light heavyweight class. the guy who won (andre ward) is from oakland.
  • yesterday we had a disappointing 4x100 relay. the same thing that happened in the women's relay happened in the men's relay, but the men were able to salvage a silver, whereas the women got a dq. the men's race was amazingly close and had the race been a foot longer we would have won...it was really that close. i have a lot of respect for maurice greene as a runner, i think he's one of the modern greats.
  • the 4x400m races were equally exciting, but more satisfying because of the outcome. in the 4x400 the likelihood of a dq is far diminished so it really just came down to stringing the four fastest people we could muster. both the men and women won without much fanfare, but the 4x400 is always fun to watch - even if it isn't very close. wariner is the genuine article so it was great to see the future of the 400m being continued through him.
  • yesterday there was also the 5000m race which was good, but wasn't run very intelligently by the ethiopians. they're much stronger runners than El Guerrouj so it was a surprise to see them running so conservatively in the first couple miles of the race. since there were three of them in the race they should have used that to their advantage. technically you're not allowed to run a team race, but you can get away with it so long as it isn't too obvious. they should have taken turns leading the race and pushing the pace for the first eight laps. bekele just doesn't have the kick that El Guerrouj has so you have to burn him out early on. oh well, it was a great race with great runners. El Guerrouj is officially one of the finest mid-distance runners off all-time. sebastian coe, jim ryun, zatopec, lasse viren, Gebrselassie and El Guerrouj all belong in the pantheon.
  • i was looking over some of the past olympic results....in 1896 the olympic gold medal for the 800m run went to an australian who finished with a time of 2 minutes and 11 seconds...in 1997 my personal record for the 800m was 2 minutes and 7 seconds. i guess i was born 100 years too late. in 2000 the 200m gold went to kenteris of greece with a sluggish time of 20.09 seconds....the slowest time required to win the gold since 1980. tommie smith even ran a faster time (19.83) in 1968. you'll remember tommie smith from the infamous picture of him and john carlos holding their fists in the air on the medal podium. the only reason kenteris won in 2000 was because michael johnson (the world record holder and the best 200/400 runner ever) decided to only run in the 400m that year. tommie smith became a sociology teacher and a track coach at SMC in los angeles.
  • we picked up one and two in the men's pole vault which is always fun to watch.
  • the women's 1500m was exciting. kelly holmes from the uk took it with a strong kick. she also won gold in the 800m.
  • marion jones should have stayed in bed this year. amidst rumors of substance abuse she finished fifth in the long jump and was half of the problem in the women's dq in the 4x100m.
  • we were shut out of the medals in diving which is too bad. the chinese are going to clean up in bejing next time, it'll be crazy. the aussies kicked some ass by doubling their total diving output in a single olympics. they had only three diving medals going into athens and i'm pretty sure they picked up six more medals in these games.
  • speaking of out of nowhere...the winner of the 110m high hurdles was from china. it's fairly rare for someone to do something like that from a country that has almost no history of producing hurdlers or sprinters. it would be the equivalent of a nigerian winning gold in table tennis; it just doesn't happen very often. but his form was flawless - i think he nicked only one or two hurdles and lost very little speed while jumping over them. that's how you win that race because, unlike the 100m dash, it's a technical race. that's not to say that the 100m is entirely without technique because that's untrue, it's just that the hurdles require a good deal more technique and it's even more important than it is in the 100m.
  • of course we also got a bronze in men's basketball which officially marks the end of an era. much like canadian hockey in the 50s, our dominance in basketball has come to an end. there are all sorts of reasons this happened, the first being that the world finally caught onto basketball, it's the second most international sport (behind soccer) and i don't think that was the case 30 years ago. we obviously still have the talent (athletes and coaches) to dominate the world, but the olympic committee in charge just didn't put together a very good team. our weaknesses come in our defense (especially against the three), our shooting and our teamwork. i've said before that i'd like to see the nba champions go to the olympics. i guarantee that the pistons would have beaten argentina because they've played together and they're amazing defenders. clearly we could have used a three point specialist like fred hoiberg on the team, but the committee was more interested in the marketability of the team than anything else. and that's really been our major downfall. because the emphasis is on flash, dunks, and sensationalism our fundamental talent has been diluted. the more i watched the games the more i realized that in 2008 we should just have coach Krzyzewski of duke pick whoever he wants and have that be our team. i don't like coach k, and i hate duke, but that's what's best for the country. the guy knows how to coach and how to get the most out of his players. he has an amazing ability as a motivator and coaches a fundamentally sound, defensively minded game. how many duke players under coach K have been touted as amazing players and gone on to do absolutely nothing? grant hill, christian laettner, j. williams, bobby hurley, etc. most people thing that's a bad thing, but i think it shows that he's able to get more out of his players than they are ever able to give in the future. our team lacked disciplined spacing and team defense, and i think that coach K, assuming he gets to pick the players, will bring an end to that. despite all this i'm glad we were able to pull out with a medal and i think iverson and duncan did a great job. i also came away thinking more of shawn marion and stephon marbury. if i were coach i think i would have played marion, marbury and staudamire more just because they were all on the suns together at one point...perhaps their chemistry would have helped. i don't know. the officiating was as bad as i've ever seen, but it didn't really matter that much since it was equally bad for both teams. also, the international game is a bit different, the key is bigger, offensive goaltending doesn't exist and the three-point line is three feet closer to the basket. that offensive goaltending rule is a joke if you ask me - it just shows that there has yet to be an equivalent to shaq or wilt in the international game. as soon as that happens then they'll change the rule. shaq would have a field day with that rule because he'd just pick up people's trash around the basket and rack up the points.
  • overall the olympics were great fun.
  • just read this article from the greatest three-point shooter of all-time, steve kerr.
  • it's very hot right now.
  • we ended up with 10 more medals than the economist magazine predicted. it always amazes me when a country like south korea (30) or cuba (27) gets so many medals.
  • 8-27-04 (03:31)

  • updated movies list.
  • crawford won the 200m as expected. usa got a sweep in that event. for some reason the greeks were booing before the race and delayed the start of the race for a few minutes. that was bewildering and obnoxious.
  • usa basketball also won today in a high scoring game against the (formerly) undefeated spanish team. hopefully that'll get us back on track. i hope to watch the game tomorrow against argentina. should be tough.
  • we also got 1 and 2 in the long jump.
  • women's 4x100m relay looks very strong and should win barring any kind of disaster during the exchanges.
  • chinese women went 1 and 2 in the 3m springboard. i look for the chinese squad to make a good run at the u.s. in the total medal count in 2008 since it'll be in bejing.
  • if anyone happened to tape the 1500m men's final let me know. everyone has been talking about how great a race it was...unfortunately it's also the only race i've missed so far.
  • haven't been watching many movies lately because of the olympics.

  • 8-26-04 (02:24)

  • updated movies list.
  • saw some of the men's 5k prelims today. bekele and El Guerrouj went head to head. there's another guy that i didn't get to see because he was in the other heat and he's supposed to be in the running for a medal as well. the final should be very fun to watch, but i just don't think that El Guerrouj is strong enough for that distance when going up against the world record holder in bekele.
  • women's 400m hurdles was exciting. greece got a gold there and it's always extra nice when the host nation pick up a medal. however, they were disappointed in men's volleyball when the u.s. took them down in overtime in the fifth game. great match.
  • for the men's 200m i pick crawford to win gold. i don't know that we'll get the sweep in the 200m because obikwelu from portugal is looking very strong. but crawford, from what i've seen in these games, looks impossible to beat right now. he's a very strong runner throughout. he's quick out of the blocks and his form stays solid throughout the race.
  • i liked the steeplechase yesterday. kenya one, two and three. i love it when a country gets a sweep like that.
  • usa basketball has a big test tomorrow - they play an undefeated spanish team. gasol (who plays for memphis) is the best player for spain.
  • want to see this.

  • 8-25-04 (16:47)

  • "U.S. EPA head honcho Mike Leavitt struggled yesterday to put a positive spin on the agency's annual report on fish advisories, despite the grim news that virtually every body of freshwater in the country may be contaminated with mercury, which poses health risks to fetuses and children.  Every state except Alaska and Wyoming issued warnings about mercury-contaminated fish last year.  More than a third of America's lakes and almost a quarter of its miles of rivers are officially covered by fish advisories, but as Leavitt acknowledged, "Mercury is everywhere."  The EPA attributes the increase in advisories to better monitoring, not worse pollution, noting that mercury pollution actually declined between 1990 and 1999 (the last year for which figures were available).  The report is already adding fuel to the debate over the EPA's forthcoming mercury regulations, expected to be based on a cap-and-trade system that enviros say would be weak and too slow to produce results."
  • tennessee republican candidate.

  • 8-25-04 (00:00)

  • tonight i saw one of the most flawed professional hurdles races in my memory. the 100m women's final had the race favorite clipping the first hurdle and taking out the runner next to her. and the two americans who finished one and three clipped a few hurdles on their way to the finish. that said, the times were good.
  • missed the 1500m final which means i missed El Guerrouj's gold medal finish. the times were very close so it looks like i missed a great race. very disappointed by that.

  • 8-24-04 (03:24)

  • the olympics were great again today. saw an american sweep in the men's 400m which was very cool. wariner is a very solid runner, but he seemed to run a different race this time. in his other races he went out fast, in this race he held up a bit and let it go down the stretch. usually people don't change their strategy like that. on the other hand he was running in the 8th lane in the qualifying race so that requires a different approach.
  • i was also very impressed by the greek fans during the men's high bar event. alexei nemov was given a score that was clearly lower than it should have been and the crowd booed in protest, for several minutes. as a result the event was delayed while the head judge convened with the two judges that gave the lowest scores and they revised their scores. it ended up not mattering because nemov still placed fifth, but it was nice to see democracy taking place where it began. some of the judges in this olympics have been pretty bad. paul hamm had to follow nemov which was unfortunate because of the controversy surrounding his gold medal in the all-around. so after hamm received a 9.812 in his routine the crowd was upset that his score was so much better than nemov's. you gotta feel bad for hamm since he just goes out there and competes and the judges seem to make it hard for him at each turn. that said, i think the korean should at least share the gold medal in the all-around since his score was incorrectly graded due to an error on the judges' part. paul hamm tied in the high bar, but because of the tie breaker rule he was given a silver instead of a gold. his brother met the same fate, but was knocked out off the podium despite having the same score as the bronze medal winner.
  • the ethiopians dominated in the 5k race per the usual. they picked up one and three.
  • women's beach volleyball was good as always. may/walsh are really good.
  • the women's 800m showed exactly what i was talking about when i said the 800m is an exciting race to watch....anyone one of them could have taken it at the end, and they all ran a pretty good race.

  • 1.   GBR HOLMES Kelly  1:56.38
    2.   MAR BENHASSI Hasna  1:56.43
    3.   SLO CEPLAK Jolanda  1:56.43
    4.   MOZ MUTOLA Maria De Lurdes  1:56.51
    5.   RUS ANDRIANOVA Tatyana  1:56.88
    6.   USA MILES CLARK Jearl  1:57.27
  • whenever i see the decathlon i am unimpressed by the form and athleticism of the participants. the reason is that my eyes get so used to seeing greatness in each event that when i see someone who isn't great at the high jump, the hurdles or the sprinting events i'm unimpressed. but when you take into account the fact that these guys are very good at everything they do...then it becomes amazing. so you see a winning 100m time of 10.4, which is excellent in high school and about standard in college, but that same guy is doing a high jump of almost seven feet and a long jump of 25+ feet. so even though their form isn't as refined as the athletes who focus solely on the high jump, or the pole vault, or the discus, or whatever, they're amazing athletes nonetheless.
  • i wish they showed a bit more of the lesser known sports like handball or table tennis.
  • no movie tonight.

  • 8-23-04 (01:41)

  • updated movies list.
  • saw most of the olympics again tonight. the men's 100m final was fun. the u.s. got 1, 3 and 4. i was surprised by the winner (gatlin), i thought crawford looked better in the semifinals. maurice greene deserves to be mentioned as one of the greats at that distance, despite what the commentators said. i also thought it was a bit old-fashioned of them to give the runners grief for showboating a bit. they seemed to want the guys to run and nothing else. maybe i've just seen too much of muhammad ali to think negatively of a little showmanship. the top four times were really good. you don't see more than one person under 9.9 very often.
  • other than that there wasn't anything really great on tonight. the high jump was nice, the individual events in gymnastics was good. i feel bad for khorkina, i remember her coming up short in sydney four years ago. she's a great gymnast, but just doesn't seem able to put it together when it matters most. khorkina complained afterwards: "“I’d like to work for the International Gymnastics Federation. These competitions have shown the sport needs a lot of changes,” she said. “It should be judged primarily on grace, elegance and beauty rather than simply on mechanic tumbling.”" it's funny she's says that because i think she often lacks grace. she approaches her events with a fierceness that i like, but isn't at all graceful. just watch her routine on the uneven bars and you'll get a sense of what i mean.
  • i also felt a little bad for gail devers even though she's already gotten her gold medal... she didn't even get to finish her race because of an injury.
  • tired

  • 8-22-04 (01:14)

  • "George (Lucas) recently made a rather ironic comment about Columbia TriStar having colorized episodes of The Three Stooges on DVD: "I am very concerned about our national heritage, and I am very concerned that the films that I watched when I was young and the films that I watched throughout my life are preserved, so that my children can see them.""
  • didn't get to see the game, but the men's basketball team lost again today. i'd like to at least see the games.
  • no movies today. watched the olympics after work and picked up melanie from the airport.
  • today was uneventful.

  • 8-21-04 (1:51)

  • updated movies list.
  • dad and sister came today for a few hours. they didn't plan their vacation very well in that regard. sarah finally gave me the movie she made for her beverly hills rich kid movie class. problem is that as soon as i popped it into the vcr i heard a funny noise and the tape stopped playing. when i ejected the tape there was still a quantity of tape stuck in the vcr. i took it out very carefully, wound the tape up and tried again a couple more times, and again on the other vcr....all with the same result. so i had to transplant the tape into a donor vhs body from a movie screener of "the barbarian invasions." after that the tape played fine.
  • other than hanging out with them for a few hours, i watched a lot of the olympics coverage, and one movie.
  • seeing phelps' comeback in the 100m fly was one of the highlights of today's coverage.
  • i wonder what the medal count would be if we counted all the people going to american colleges as american athletes. i know there's a woman (coventry is her name) who goes to auburn who won three medals in various swimming events, but is swimming for zimbabwe, not the u.s. there's also a croatian swimmer (draganja) who got a silver in the 50m freestyle, and he goes to uc berkeley. i'm guessing we'd have about 50% more medals at this point if the medals went to the country in which you train.
  • i was also impressed by the kid (jeremy wariner) who is being compared to michael johnson...he goes to baylor and trains under the same coach, and of course runs the 400m. at first i thought he was a joke...looking at him you'd never guess it. he's white, skinny, and looks like a poser (he sports sunglasses, earrings and a necklace), but the guy can flat-out run. he got first in the prelims and made a 45 second 400m look way too easy. if he gets more upper body power, like michael johnson had, then you'll be hearing about him for a long time to come. i don't foresee him coming down to run the 200m, or ever coming close to 19.32 in that event, but he could be solid in the 400m for a long time.
  • alan webb failed to even qualify in the 1500m which is unfortunate. i remember hearing about him a little while back being everything that michael stemper was supposed to be while in high school. he's one of the best americans at that distance and he couldn't even qualify. i don't understand why we're so weak at anything over 400m in track. not since the 60s/early 70s, when we had prefontaine and frank shorter have we had anyone (to my knowledge) who was any good at the distance events. shorter was, i think, a 10k specialist, but also ran the 5k and the marathon (just for kicks). prefontaine could have been great, but we know what happened there. oh well. and the last runner i know of to be decent at the mid-distance events (800-3000m) was jim ryun who, like alan webb, was one of the very few american high schoolers to break 4 minutes in the mile.
  • i'm having a fun time watching all the coverage, even if i'm not a huge fan of diving or some of the other events, it's still fun to watch.
  • oh, i also got to see some of the 10k race which is always an amazing spectacle. the ethiopians took 1, 2, and 5, but Gebrselassie was the one who came up fifth. that guy used to be absolutely brilliant. i remember in 96, or thereabouts, when he shattered the 5k record by something like 15 seconds. he ran it in something like 12 minute 43 seconds. he also broke the record in the 10k a couple times. but today he came in fifth. ethiopians are good in that 5-10k range, but the kenyans kill in the marathon (which is 20 miles plus a 10k) and in the 3k/steeplechase (same distance, but one has a hurdle and waterpit). it's weird how that works. when i used to keep track of these things i think that 7 of the top 10 men in the world at the 3k distance were from kenya. what's even more amazing about the guys who run the 3-10k races is how much pure speed they have, despite being string beans. sometimes they'll close out a race with a 50 second 400m which is pretty unreal. i've always wanted to see guys like michael johnson step up to a higher distance, like the 800m, or see guys like Gebrselassie step down to the 800m distance. it would be a really interesting race and fun to watch. you wouldn't get the best times, but it would be great for the spectators. i think that the 800m and the 400m hurdles are the two hardest races in track because the 800m is a short distance, but can't be sprinted the entire way; and the 400m hurdles requires you to be basically sprinting the entire way while hurdling and maintaining your form over that distance.
  • El Guerrouj is another great runner i remember coming up in the mid-90s. he broke the mile and 1500m records around the same time Gebrselassie broke the 5k/10k records. i think i remember El Guerrouj and Gebrselassie battling back and forth a bit in the 5k, they sort of swapped records a couple times. but since then another ethiopian (bekele) has claimed the 5/10k records.
  • i think that of all the track races my two favorites to watch are the 800 and the 4x400m relay. i wish they did a distance medley on the international level. we had it in a few high school meets. it starts with a 1200m leg, followed by the 400m, then the 800m and then a 1600m leg. it's a fun race. i participated in it at the 1200 and 1600m lengths a couple times. it's fun because each squad has their relative strengths so you can't ever really count out a team. it's kind of like the im relay in swimming where each leg is done using a different stroke. unfortunately you rarely see the distance medley in serious track meets.
  • another race that you see even more rarely is a timed event like the hour. you just run as far as you can for an hour. they do the thing in cycling. i know that miguel indurain (5-time tour de france winner) had the record in cycling for a while, but it may have been broken since he did it several years ago. it's not a popular race for some reason. maybe it's the distance that turns people off, coupled with the relative obscurity of the event. the marathon is going to be at least twice as long, but it's got much more history and tradition behind it. as for cycling...they bike the race in a velodrome using time trial bikes which are extremely uncomfortable so it probably doesn't appeal to very many competitors.
  • i get off of work at 6pm the next two days so i'll likely be watching a lot more olympics in the next couple days. i also hope to watch some of the basketball game while i'm on lunch tomorrow.

  • 8-20-04 (03:45)

  • good interview with terry tamminem, secretary of the CA EPA.
  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 8-19-04 (14:35)

  • probably the greatest assembling of basketball talent that will ever occur. the worst player on the team was christian laettner who was great in college, but turned out to be mediocre in the nba. he and michael jordan were the only two players who shot under 50%. even the four coaches on that team are hall of fame calliber.

  • 8-19-04 (03:20)

  • elmer bernstein passed on recently. the great escape features one of the top ten scores of all-time. if he turned out to be a drug-peddling pedophile then i guess he'd come out about even.
  • updated movies list.
  • watched some of the olympics tonight. saw the ladies break the world record in the 200m relay. that was exciting. swimming relays aren't as cool as track relays for at least two reasons - there's less teamwork needed and running is more fun to watch than swimming, but i was a runner so that makes sense. in track the 4X100 requires a great deal of teamwork, but that's not at all true with swimming.
  • i also got to see an amazing comeback by paul hamm in the men's all-around gymnastics event. he was in 12th place after a bad fall, but a couple people at the top also faltered and he had a couple of flawless routines and was able to squeak out the tightest win in the event's history.
  • an iranian judo wrestler decided not to compete against an israeli for political reasons. i'm all for supporting palestinians and whatnot, but i fucking hate bringing politics into the olympics. it was lame when we did it in 1980, it was lame when the russians did it in 1984 and what happened in 1972 was even more lame.
  • also, anyone caught cheating and essentially pissing on the sanctity of the sport should just be killed. i remember when my innocence was shattered in 1988 when that fucking canadian piece of shit (ben johnson) tested positive for steroids. when you ruin the legitimacy of a sport or an event for a billion+ people you should be killed, it's really just that simple. and the same goes for the french/russian judges that pissed on figure skating in 2002 by lowering their ratings to suit each other.
  • i really like the olympics. i like the summer olympics more than the winter olympics, but both are fun. for me they've always been a pure source of fun and national pride. when the american basketball team wins gold it means more to me than the fact that we're an economic and military superpower. some might think that's backwards, and others might think that i shouldn't derive pleasure from any of those things. in a world where everything is sullied in one way or another, the olympics are an area that is less muddied than the rest. i just hope it stays relatively clean.

  • 8-18-04 (01:22)

  • "According to a new study, global warming will leave California either really screwed or just moderately screwed, depending on the choices the world makes in coming years.  Conducted by 19 prominent climate-change scientists, the study -- published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- models two different scenarios.  The first, a "business as usual" scenario involving no substantial change in the burning of fossil fuels or emission of greenhouse gases, would yield a rise in the average temperature of 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Snowpack in the Sierra Mountains, one of the state's primary water sources, would be reduced by 89 percent.  Heat waves would be more severe.  The dairy, wine, and skiing industries could be devastated. Luckily, if substantial moves toward renewable energy are undertaken immediately -- the second scenario -- the average temperature will rise by only 4 to 6 degrees, and though the same effects will ensue, well, at least they'll be less severe."
  • updated movies list.

  • 8-17-04 (03:37)

  • updated movies list.
  • the other night i reviewed "the zero effect" and in my review i said that it would make a good tv show. i was looking around on imdb.com tonight and noticed that the same director actually directed a pilot episode for the zero effect, but it wasn't picked up. guess i was half right and half wrong.
  • time to sleep.

  • 8-16-04 (16:16)

  • updated movies list.
  • seen more movies this year than in any single year in the past.
  • this guy is from woodland.
  • i'm completely embarrassed by the basketball performance against puerto rico. we had a bad shooting night (and as a result couldn't break the zone) and didn't play team defense. pathetic.

  • 8-14-04 (01:52)

  • updated movies list.
  • after i watched the last samurai i put on the good the bad and the ugly for a few minutes. actually i skipped to the shootout sequence at the very end. it was a way of cleansing my cinematic palette. that film is so great.

  • 8-13-04 (03:37)

  • updated movies list.
  • today seemed very long.
  • hope to watch a few movies and relax tomorrow. i only have a one day weekend. my mom is visiting this weekend, and my dad/sister are coming next week some time. between getting used to my new schedule, only having one day off, and all the visitors, it's going to be a long week.
  • i think when i was younger and i saw people who were older than me wearing stupid clothes or acting idiotic i sort of let it slide. in some cases i even figured it was cool and that, since i was younger, i just didn't get it. now i see people of the same age wearing idiotic clothes or doing stupid things and i look down on them. if i were 16 and saw a 20 year old person wearing their jeans really low with a baseball cap off to the side and goofing off like a child, i might think it was cool, or at the very least, not entirely stupid. but now that i'm 25, the same 20 year old just looks like a moron. i guess that's what happens when you get older. i suppose that part of it is that i'm more cynical than before as well.
  • so nader isn't going to be on the CA ballot. democracy takes a step backwards. i guess that's further testament to the degree to which bush has changed our political culture. i've said it before, but i'll say it again - the 'anybody but bush' mentality is out of control. do you know who kerry's FIRST choice for VP was? a republican by the name of john mccain. perhaps you've heard of him. granted he's not a totally insane neo-con like bush and his lackeys, but he's close enough. he votes republican 80% of the time and backed bush bills 90% of the time. those numbers are according to "all things considered," i didn't just make them up. mccain is a guy who is in arizona (a swing state) campaigning for bush. this is who kerry wanted as his vp? you know you would have voted for the ticket too. kerry/mccain is fine by most people, just so long as it gets rid of bush. it's politics. in this current climate all kerry needs to do is present himself as just left of bush and he'll get 48% of the votes. it's scary that kerry's first choice for VP was a republican who toes the party line 80% of the time. i'll grant you that he's tough on campaign finance reform and he's a straight shooter...as far as republicans go he's a relatively okay person. but if there's an unquestioning free pass for kerry, if there's no one to check him on his left, then he can go to the right without consequence.
  • i've heard more negative press about nader than about kerry. that's a function of the news i listen to and the hatchet job people are doing on nader.
  • mccain on the issues.

  • 8-12-04 (02:26)

  • updated movies list.
  • have work at 9am tomorrow. wish i was asleep. my schedule is changing around a bit. in the long term it'll be nice, but in the short term i'll have a one day weekend this week and it'll take time to adjust. my new schedule will have me opening on sat. and sun. closing mon. and tue. and working a middle shift (12-9) on wed. the new manager talked with me today about what my duties at the store are and said that he's going to be opening up the product manager (same as assistant manager) position in a couple months and would like me to submit my resume if i'm interested. deja vu.
  • updated recommendations.
  • i find myself listening to michael jackson's "billie jean" a lot lately. i don't know why. i really wish that guy was sane because his early stuff is really great, as far as pop goes.

  • 8-11-04 (02:35)

  • "At a campaign stop in Arizona's Grand Canyon -- wait, isn't Arizona a swing state? -- John Kerry pledged to renew America's national park system, which he said the Bush administration has left "under stress."  Noting that Bush's budget for next fiscal year contains less money for national parks than this year's, he promised to immediately seek an extra $110 million to make up the difference.  He also pledged to cover what he called the parks' $600 million overall budget shortfall.  Part of the money would come from his repeal of Bush's tax cuts for folks making over $200,000 and part from revisions to an 1872 mining law that allows private companies to buy public land for $5 an acre.  He said he would also consider pay-as-you-go options like higher admission prices or fees, but only as a last resort.  A Bush campaign spokesperson accused Kerry of "playing politics" with the parks -- and really, where does Kerry get off dragging politics into a presidential campaign?"
  • i don't like pay as you go plans when it comes to national and state parks. i think preserving nature should funded by taxes. but i also think taxes could be higher.
  • i do like film comment magazine. i read most of the current issue tonight while i was at work. i had to work overtime because the system was being upgraded so i sat around reading the magazine. there's a really good interview with michael moore and a spot on review of spielberg's "the terminal."

  • 8-10-04 (02:20)

  • "In his 2000 campaign, George W. Bush promised to make coal central to his energy plan, and he was rewarded with millions of dollars in donations from the coal industry and the votes of coal miners in crucial swing states.  Upon taking office, Bush appointed several coal executives and lobbyists to positions overseeing the industry; one, coal executive David Lauriski, was installed as head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.  Under Lauriski, that agency has rescinded more than a half dozen mining safety regulations, and his latest proposal would allow the amount of coal dust in mines to rise substantially and would allow mining companies to equip miners with respirator helmets as a substitute for dust-lowering measures. Breathing coal dust causes "black lung" disease, and the measure is opposed by mine-worker unions, members of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal panel that studied the issue in 1996, senators from both parties, and, no kidding, the company that makes the helmets."
  • updated movies list.

  • 8-9-04 (01:44)

  • in july i watched 51 films. if i watched 50 films a month i would see 600 movies, twice my usual goal.
  • updated movies list.
  • that seinfeld gift set listed below is going to be 119.95, not 199.95. i'm pretty sure it was just a mistake.

  • 8-7-04 (02:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • did the laundry, bought some wood for my new dvd case, cleaned the house a bit, and bought some groceries. also watched three movies. overall a fairly productive day. i plan on building the dvd case tomorrow. wood is too expensive. does yellowstone really need all those trees? i probably could have saved like 20 bucks if the republicans had had control of the white house and congress for the last 10 years or so. vote republican and save me money on wood.

  • 8-6-04 (13:53)

  • "Columbia TriStar will release Seinfeld: Volume 1 and Seinfeld: Volume 2 on 11/23 (SRP $49.95 each), just in time for "Festivus" (as George might say). Each volume will feature some 12 hours of content, including interviews with the cast and creators (Inside Looks), outtakes and bloopers (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That), audio commentaries with the cast members (Yada Yada Yada), deleted scenes (In the Vault), original NBC promotional ads and trailers (Sponsored by Vandelay Industries), behind-the-scenes "scoop" and production notes (Notes About Nothing), and never-before-seen stand-up comedy footage of co-creator and star Jerry Seinfeld (Master of His Domain). Volume 1 will also include the hour-long How It Began documentary along with original Tonight Show footage, while Volume 2 will include the Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo featurette (on the real Kramer). The two volumes together include 40 episodes (Volume 1 will include all 18 episodes of the first and second seasons, while Volume 2 will include all 22 episodes from the third season). There will also be a Seinfeld: Deluxe Holiday Gift Set of both volumes (SRP $199.95), which will also include a limited edition script from co-creator Larry David, Monk's Diner salt-and-pepper shakers and a deck of playing cards. You'll be glad to know that additional seasons are already in production for release on DVD in 2005."
  • usa basketball team won by 18 today. that's good news. from what i read the serbian team decided to play man-on-man defense. italy and germany both used a zone defense which requires better team play and shooting so perhaps our win is more a function of the defense we faced than us finally coming together. at any rate, the story said our intensity was up and our shots were falling so it's a good win.

  • 8-6-04 (02:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • i've filled up my two dvd cases. i think it's time to build a third.
  • after next week my schedule is changing. it looks like i'll work saturday through wednesday instead of sunday through thursday. the upside is that i'll have two opening shifts instead of one.
  • bad news of the day is that peja stojakovic wants to be traded.
  • i had hoped for this sort of thing as soon as i heard of the move towards electronic voting.
  • already addressed this, but it's written better here. my roster only had one guy under 25 and has a strong tilt towards defense. the roster the us basketball organizers put together has a bunch of rookies and second year players, and focuses primarily on offense. it's too bad that so many guys dropped out (kidd and bibby among them). i understand that guys would rather have the time off between nba seasons. perhaps they should start looking into a mix of nba and non-nba players which would allow a greater percentage of the team to have experience playing with each other.

  • 8-5-04 (01:58)

  • updated movies list.
  • i've been pretty tired lately.
  • today was so-so.
  • tomorrow is my friday and that's always a good thing.

  • 8-4-04 (21:17)

  • nice story on senator obama.

  • 8-4-04 (02:13)

  • updated movies list.
  • got some news at work tonight that the new boss is looking to clean house and is looking especially at me because a) i bought promos from an ex-employee and b) because i seem like a sinister character for having not talked to the new boss when he came in. my source on this is pretty reliable and the first concrete evidence i've gotten that they have their eye on me. they've been looking at me hard for a while so i guess it's not really anything new, but the way it was put to me made me think the new guy is eager to clean shop, beginning with me, so he can put in people from other stores and start off fresh.
  • ever since joe became the manager a couple years back i've been really fed up with the way management presents itself. i suppose i should have known that this is the way the (business) world works, but this job was the first real example of the two-faced way in which management conducts itself. i've seen it on so many occasions outside of my own situation and it has always bothered me. on the one face you have the nice manager who pretends that he likes you and that everything is fine and dandy, and then he turns around and tells loss prevention to inform him of anything you do slightly wrong. that's the way it's manifesting itself in this instance, but the same sort of thing manifests itself in all sorts of insidious and fucked up ways. like i said, though, i really shouldn't be that surprised - i've seen people act like this since junior high. i think that one thing that can be said about me is that if i don't like you i'm not going to make it a secret. and even though that gets me in trouble and people occasionally think me anti-social or whatnot, at least i'm a relatively honest person in that regard.
  • more importantly the usa basketball team got destroyed today by italy. that's what happens when ideas of individualism get carried out to their logical conclusion...i've said before that the winner of the nba finals should be our olympic team. i think that the detroit pistons would do better than our "all-star" team because they're more of a team, and it's a team game. i thought the USA sports world learned that after the "miracle on ice," but i guess not. that said, this team has such a glut of talent that i'd be pretty surprised if they didn't get the gold medal this year despite their inferior team play. our individual talent is so much better than that of the international players (even without some of our best players in the league - shaq, kobe, garnett, carter, mcgrady, pierce, etc.) that i think we have enough to get by. but in four or eight years i think we're going to finally learn that we need to put together the best team that we can, rather than just putting out the best players. it's a really easy concept, but we don't seem to have grasped it quite yet, in part because we're a cocky country.
  • if i were making the team my twelve man roster would be: duncan, shaq, kobe, garnett, christie, iverson, james, ben wallace, kidd, bibby, artest, and marion.

  • 8-2-04 (12:53)

  • political game.
  • in the last ten elections the winner of missouri was the winner of the presidency. the same is true for kentucky and tennessee.
  • why?
  • "Universal has also been busy on the TV front with complete first season sets of Night Gallery and The Munsters due on August 24th and the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents planned for later in the fall."

  • 8-2-4 (00:56)

  • updated movies list.

  • 08-01-04 (00:49)

  • went camping yesterday and today. it was a fun little getaway. we went to santa rosa, sonoma, sebastapol, bodega bay and everywhere in between. we camped out just outside of bodega bay, near the russian river. the campsite wasn't crowded, but other people were there and there was a highway about a quarter mile away so it could have been quieter. our specific campsite was secluded enough. we also saw a group of birds that we decided were vultures, but may have been something else. they were pretty big and ugly. we went to the beach and saw a dead jellyfish. that was a first. i'm sure i've seen them at the monterey bay aquarium or something, but never "in the wild." i picked it up and it fell apart in my hand because their bodies are so fragile. while i was at the beach my jeans got wet. after the beach we went looking for a place to eat. all the restaurants in jenner were very expensive. we were at one of the restaurants looking at the menu outside and quickly decided to get back in the car and look for something more reasonable. a couple had just gotten out of their volvo and were coming toward us to go into the restaurant. the guy looked at my face as he we were walking towards each other, then his eyes made their way down to my sneakers and wet jeans. his eyes slowly worked their way up from my feet, back to my eyes, at which point he gave me a disgusted look. i don't think i've ever been looked up and down like that before. it was quite a funny experience. we got back in the mazda and drove to bodega bay where we ate at a mexican restaurant.
  • after waking up today and having brunch in a small town in the hills, we went to santa rosa and caught a double feature at the theater there. i will update movies list later. we walked around santa rosa for a bit and then drove back home. unpacked and watched another movie. overall it was a fun time.

  • i had the idea that one could go across the country to different campsites planting a camper's version of the gideon's bible. someone could draw up a campsite bible of sorts that preaches the importance of taking care of the earth and campsites in particular. then they could leave it in the courtesy food chest or on the picnic table that some campsites provide.

    7-30-04 (02:33)

  • "As Grist revealed yesterday, energy -- or more specifically, the national-security and economic dangers of dependence on foreign oil -- is to be one of John Kerry's top four campaign issues.  Kerry has traditionally sided with the conservation folks against the drill-drill-drill folks, and that has included support for increased fuel-efficiency (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks.  However, CAFE increases are unpopular in the crucial swing state of Michigan, where autoworkers fear the loss of jobs.  So tonight in his speech at the Democratic convention, Kerry is expected to finesse the issue, passing over CAFE to touch on the component of his energy plan that would dedicate $10 billion to job-creating subsidies and tax breaks for automakers and consumers to encourage the manufacture and purchase of fuel-efficient cars.  It remains to be seen whether this tactic will win support in Michigan, but a positive editorial in the Detroit Free Press and the enthusiastic support of the United Autoworkers Union seem to bode well."
  • updated movies list.
  • going camping this weekend.
  • today was the last day that i worked with joe. got to meet the new manager and he seemed gruff.
  • fahrenheit 9/11 has been announced for october 5th. it'll be $28.95
  • bought "to have and to have not" tonight.

  • 7-29-04 (02:15)

  • through the end of june i had seen 11 films made in the 1940s. in july, so far, i've seen 10 films from the 40s. that's what a film-noir marathon will do.
  • updated movies list. i've watched a lot of really great films this month so my recommendations list is on the long side.
  • "MGM, being wooed by Sony and Time Warner, now appears to be leaning toward the latter, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The wire service quoted one source with knowledge of the talks as saying, "Time Warner has caught up and gone beyond Sony in terms of due diligence." Each media conglomerate is waving an offer of about $5 billion in cash and stock at MGM. NBC Universal, which for a time had also been considered a possible suitor, reportedly has dropped out of the courtship, after concluding that the $5-billion pricetag is too high."
  • i've been following the progress of that story for a while now. from a film-lover's perspective you'd like mgm to be purchased by warner because they know what they're doing with films and their dvd releases are consistently better than that of columbia. also, warner owns a bunch of mgm titles already, so they may as well get the rest. the bad thing about this kind of stuff, from a film-lover's point of view, is that warner isn't likely to invest in much extra staff to produce more dvds for the increase in their catalog product. ideally you'd have a warner executive who is also a film lover take stock of all the mgm titles that have yet to be released and aggressively get those to market. i hope they keep the mgm pricing schedules because mgm is pretty good about keeping prices reasonable.
  • "Fox TV's syndication unit, Twentieth Television, abruptly canceled American Idol host Ryan Seacrest's talk show On-Air With Ryan Seacrest one day after a broadcast group of 20 stations, Sinclair Broadcasting, dropped it. The show debuted in January, and has rarely risen above a 1.0 rating. In a statement, the syndicator said, "It was our desire that the program would appeal to a wide array of viewers, but unfortunately, the marketplace's response was not as strong as we had hoped.""
  • a renewed faith in humanity washes over my mind.

  • 7-28-04 (02:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • quite by accident i've seen three films in a row by three undisputed american greats - hitchcock, ford and kubrick. the two movies i have from netflix right now are also by great american directors - one is by orson welles and the other is by howard hawks. technically hitchcock started in the UK and moved to the US, while kubrick did the opposite so you could make the argument that those guys aren't "american greats" as i labeled them.
  • 2002 was an awful year for the academy awards.
  • my fantasy baseball team sucks.

  • 7-27-04 (03:03)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched the killing because it's kubrick's birthday.
  • it's very hot these days.
  • nothing has been happening of any note.
  • i applied for a couple more jobs last week.
  • somehow my cold has been able to cling to my body for a lot longer than i thought. it's just this lame post-nasal drip thing that bothers me mostly in the morning and at night. it doesn't affect me most of the time, but it does annoy me that i've been unable to get completely rid of the bug by now.
  • sports-wise ricky williams retiring at age 27 is the big news. most people seem to be upset by his decision because they see it as a self-centered move. i don't really care. even if i liked the guy i wouldn't be that broken up about it. when someone leaves on their own volition it doesn't bother me that much. i wish barry sanders had stuck around a bit longer to break the rushing record, but it's not that big a deal. it does bother me when a guy like jerry rice is pushed out of san francisco because of money. or when a player's career is ended prematurely because of an injury.
  • politics-wise the dnc is under way. lately i've been getting the feeling that there's been a cultural shift against bush. it's not a pro-kerry move so much as it is an anti-bush move. i've even found myself thinking that kerry has a good shot at pulling this thing off. i guess i have to stick with my prediction that bush will win though. he does have more money, is willing to be more dirty, and may have an october surprise up his sleeve.
  • i think p.t. anderson is my favorite contemporary director. his visual style and storytelling ability is more compelling than anyone else who is currently making movies. you could say that wes anderson is more entertaining or that the coen brothers are better filmmakers (i'd disagree in both instances, but it could be argued...), but for my money p.t. anderson is the most compelling and interesting filmmaker of my time.

  • 7-26-04 (02:40)

  • updated movies list.
  • ren and stimpy season one coming october 12th.
  • today (the 26th) is stanley kubrick's birthday. i don't think i really need to rehash the myriad accomplishments of kubrick as a filmmaker or gush about my love of his work. it should mostly go without saying.

  • 7-25-04

  • went to vacaville today. went shopping with melanie and watched dodgeball at the cheap theater out there. also went to digger's deli which is where jon, vern and i would eat most of the time when we were painting in the area. good times.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-24-04 (03:12)

  • went to sleep at about 4 last night. nothing unusual about that, but at 8am this morning there were some tree trimming people in front of the house making a silly amount of noise. that went on for an hour or so. noise pollution is always the last form of pollution a person hears about (pun intended), but it's the one that i experience most consciously most frequently. obviously other forms of pollution are more detrimental to one's longterm health, but noise pollution is the most annoying. one more reason that i want to live in the country.
  • i've been watching a lot of films that deserve "B" ratings lately. it makes my grading look too easy, but the films that have been getting "B"s really do deserve that grade.
  • updated movies list. watched three movies in the theater today. melanie paid for one, which turned into two. and i saw the other for free at the tower theater. i'm spoiled.

  • 7-23-04 (02:19)

  • updated movies list.
  • my wrist hurts.

  • 7-22-04 (22:56)

  • i did this and came up with 270 for kerry and 268 for bush. my guesses were based on: current polls, 2000 results, and my gut feeling. basically i had kerry winning the midwest (except IN and OH) because of the outpouring of manufacturing jobs, the northeast because it's kerry/democrat country, and the west because CA and WA generally go to democrats, OR was a little tight last time, but i gave it to kerry. i had everything else going to bush.
  • here's a similar site. on that site they have a quiz that asks "Which state is most over-represented in the Electoral College? CA, MA, WY, or TN" here's the answer (which, i can happily report, i got right):
  • "Every state has Electoral Votes equal to the number of Senators plus the number of Representatives. (These Congressional and Electoral totals, by the way, are adjusted with each ten-year Census). Since every state has 2 Senators, and at least 1 Representative, the minimum number of Electoral votes any state can have is 3. Therefore, Wyoming with the lowest population (493,782 in 2000 Census) has the greatest number of Electoral Votes relative to its population.

  • Conversely, even though it has 55 Electoral Votes, California is the most under-represented state. With 12% of the U.S. now residing there, California would have about 65 Electoral votes if it was just based on population. The other two states that you could choose from, Tennessee and Massachusetts, are actually the two states that are closest to having the "correct" number of Electoral Votes based on their population. "

    7-22-04 (16:25)

  • what lance armstrong is doing right now is just as incredible as what tiger woods did a few years ago.

  • 7-22-04 (00:48)

  • updated movies list. reached 300 movies today. also, there was one movie that i watched on sunday that i forgot about and added to the list.
  • last year i didn't watch 300 movies until december 9th. the only other time i watched 300 movies in a year was in 2000 (the first year i kept track). i watched my 300th movie on december 30th that year.
  • i think my cold is pretty much gone at this point.
  • tomorrow is my friday.
  • if it weren't for that whole pedaphilia thing michael jackson would be a poster boy for all the people who laud those who question gender roles. not only does he question gender, he even questions race which puts him like 20 years ahead of his time.
  • "Convicted perjurer Martha Stewart has received a pardon from People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA), just months after declaring her one of the world's worst dressed celebrities. The animal rights group was incensed when Stewart - who faces five months in prison followed by five months under home arrest following her trial earlier this year - wore what appeared to be a fur scarf when she appeared in court. In a recent interview with ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters, Stewart insisted, "That was faux fur. My daughter doesn't allow me to wear fur, Barbara. We don't wear fur. Maligned, maligned, maligned. Soft and cuddly, that's all it was." PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has now written to Stewart to apologize saying, "We're writing today to say we've taken you off the worst-dressed list and are advising our members that you, like your vegetarian daughter, believe that fur looks best on its original owner.""
  • peta really does make itself look stupid sometimes.
  • i took all my movie reviews for the year and pasted them into a word document. the resulting document was 77 pages long.

  • 7-21-04 (01:41)

  • "Also coming from Columbia TriStar in November (finally) are the first two seasons of TV's Seinfeld, complete with extras featuring all of the show's cast members."
  • updated movies list.
  • "Criterion's edition of Edward Cline's comedy classic The Bank Dick, starring W.C. Fields, will be available only through August 31, 2004. This title will be out of print and unavailable come September 2004." i think that this is going to be offered as part of a w.c. fields boxset later down the line, but through universal instead of criterion.

  • 7-20-04 (02:14)

  • updated movies list. a lot of updates since i've watched a lot of films and haven't had the energy to update until now.
  • hopefully today was the worst my cold had to offer. i called in sick and felt crappy most of the day. i think tomorrow will be a bit better.
  • added a couple movies to the recommendations list. i've been trying to keep the list on the short side, but i've seen a lot of great stuff this month. some of it most people have probably already seen anyway.

  • 7-18-04 (01:10)

  • thursday joe told me that the supervisors are going to have their schedules changed so that we "don't have to work the same shifts all the time." i knew it was coming, but i figured it would happen after he left.
  • updated movies list.
  • melanie was sick the last few days and just yesterday i went to the doctor and happily reported that i hadn't gotten a cold all year. well, today i started feeling the rumblings of a cold. tomorrow it should be full blown. i hate being sick.

  • 7-17-04 (16:23)

  • updated movies list.

  • 7-17-04 (03:13)

  • learned today (here) that dick cheney actually had presidential powers for about a day on june 29 2002 because "george w. bush declared himself incapcitated while undergoing colonscopy."
  • went to the doctor today. not much actually happened...they took my blood, weighed me, took my bp and that was about it. i talked with the doctor about the problem with my arm last week and mentioned the fact that my legs are always tired. basically she reaffirmed my belief that it's a combination of not working out and having to stand for 7 hours a day. i told her that i lack the motivation to work out and she said that i need to find my passion in life.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-16-04 (03:31)

  • updated movies list.
  • going to the doctor tomorrow. i have all sorts of small problems with my body. hopefully i can start taking an assortment of drugs that will introduce new problems because i'm tired of these old ones.

  • 7-15-04 (03:07)

  • updated movies list.
  • forgot to mention yesterday that my boss is going to another store so i'll be getting a new boss sometime in the near future. we don't know who it is yet. even though i don't really like joe all that much, he's generally a decent person and i know what to expect from him. a new person could come in and fuck up my schedule (like joe did when he came) or cut my hours (joe did this for a brief time by converting to 7 hour shifts) or who knows what. in other words, i think more bad could come from this than good.

  • 7-14-04 (02:22)

  • "The U.S. EPA has announced it will levy a substantial fine -- perhaps the largest environmental fine in U.S. history -- against chemical giant DuPont, charging the company with illegally concealing evidence that a chemical used to make Teflon endangered its employees and the public.  The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has caused developmental and other problems in animal studies, something DuPont was allegedly aware of as early as March 1981.  PFOA was found in the blood of almost all of the 1,500 Americans recently tested for it. Scientists believe exposure comes not through cooking with Teflon but through a manufacturing process that leaves traces of the chemical in soil and groundwater.  The EPA was spurred to action by complaints from the Environmental Working Group and will negotiate the exact amount of the fine -- potentially hundreds of millions of dollars -- in the coming months."
  • updated movies list. at my current rate i'll have likely reached 300 movies by the end of july.
  • so apparently the phillipines had only 61 troops in iraq so that was even lower than my guess of 100. pretty pathetic "coalition of the willing" if you ask me. but we already knew that.
  • "Also today, the great B-movies-on-DVD website DVD Drive-In is reporting that MGM's August batch of Midnight Movies double-feature discs will be Best Buy exclusive titles. Yes, that's right... you'll ONLY be able to buy them at Best Buy stores, which is certain to piss lots of people off. Check the website for the complete list."

  • 7-13-04 (02:14)

  • updated movies list.
  • i think the rule changes for the tour de france are pretty blatantly anti-lance armstrong. there are more mountain stages (jan ulrich, his closest competitor last year is good in the mountains), there's only one individual time trial (he excels at the time trials), and in the team time trials there is a maximum amount of time a team can lose. so if his team gets first place by 1:30 they can only gain 20 seconds on the second place team, 30 on the third, 40 on the fourth and so on. in previous tours this was not the case. it's pretty lame. no one has ever won six tour de frances, much less six in a row. miguel indurain is the only other person to have won five in a row.
  • i've seen a trend in shirt designs lately towards being more upfront and direct. in the past you'd see a shirt that had a picture of bob marley on it and it might say "bob marley" under the picture. the implication of the shirt is that i like bob marley and you should too. or i like marley's music so check him out. now i see shirts that say simply "listen to bob marley." i've seen a lot of shirts that are quite skimpy and say stuff like "if you're cute, i'm single." i think it's an interesting trend to be more honest about the intentions of the person wearing the shirt. in this instance i think a person a few years ago might have worn a skimpy shirt that shows off their stomach with the implication being - i'm attractive and looking for a mate. now the shirts just come right out and say it explicitly. i think it's funny and i also think it's cool because it acknowledges what a lot of shirts have become - billboards for a person's musical, sexual, political thoughts/feelings/etc. i like it because it's honest, not because i like bob marley or want to hit on some chick.
  • speaking of shirts...i saw a great one the other day that said "property of no one." i thought that was also a good idea since i see far too many shirts that saw "property of abercrombie and fitch." or "property of gap swim team" or something equally inane. then i looked closer at the shirt and saw that underneath the "property of no one" text there was a nike swoosh. if i was in charge of shirt design for nike and some underling said "hey let's make a shirt like this" i'd fire them because i'd think it was the dumbest idea ever. no one's going to buy a shirt that says property of no one, but then has a nike swoosh underneath - everyone will understand the contradiction and will therefore opt to not purchase the shirt. i guess i would have been wrong.
  • Philippines are getting their troops out of iraq. i suppose it looks bad for the administration, but how many troops do they have there anyway? 100? 200? no more than a couple hundred i'm sure. the reason it gets publicity is because the terrorists are using the threat of beheading, in this case, effectively.
  • some time last year the rolling stones struck up an exclusive deal with best buy to sell a dvd of theirs. it meant that no other retailer could sell the dvd without going through best buy which effectively gave them a monopoly on this particular item in the rolling stones catalog. everyone in the music industry whom i talked with had an adverse reaction to this for obvious reasons. in response to this several independent chains pulled all rolling stones product and let their customers know why they were doing this. recently lenny kravitz has decided to do a similar thing with target. his new album is available in a limited edition through target only. tower decided to stop selling his new album as a result of this decision. i'm pleasantly surprised by tower's initiative on this issue.
  • "Video Store is reporting that Warner is indeed quietly phasing out its much-derided Snapper packaging. This is due to internal research conducted by the studio that discovered (surprise!) "a portion of consumers do prefer the Amaray-style packaging." Amazing that it only took, what... SEVEN years to figure this out? You just have to scratch your head sometimes."
  • apparently moore's "the big one" will retail for 19.95, guess i was wrong.

  • 7-12-04 (01:01)

  • johnny got me excel the other day and i've been messing around with that for a little while. i've never really used spreadsheets because i've never seen any reason to, but excel is fucking crazy.
  • updated movies list.
  • allmusic.com is getting upgraded and it looks pretty nice. the upgraded version is not available to the public yet, but it will be pretty soon and i think people will like it.

  • 7-11-04 (03:04)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 7-9-04 (02:20)

  • updated movies list.

  • 7-8-04 (16:05)

  • well i don't have to go to work tomorrow because we finished inventory early. yay.
  • here's a website dedicated to highlighting some of the more awful reviews of great art (books, cds, films). most of it's really funny and all of it makes me quite sad because it's one more indicator of the level of ignorance and stupidity in the world... here are some of my favorites:
  • re: lawrence of arabia "I bought this DVD as a way to show off my new DVD player to my family. I had seen the movie several times in the theater, and knew its bright colors would be beautiful on my TV screen. To my horror, I saw that Columbia had seen fit to alter a masterpiece. Yes, the film came complete with those horrific black bars at the top and bottom of my screen, which obscured about half of the picture. I've seen those bars on the "artsy" videos on TV, and I sometimes enjoy them. But this is a classic work of art! You don't try to make it "hip" and "relevant" with modern touches. It would be like adding a moustache to the Mona Lisa. Until Columbia drops the act and releases "Lawrence of Arabia" without those bars, letting us see all of the picture, stay away. "
  • re: Seven Samurai "Save your money and time by not watching this badly made kung-fu movie. The guys in this movie do not know martial arts at all."
  • "This movie seems to be a scene-by-scene copy of one of my favorite movies-"Magnificent Seven". Magnificent seven is a classic movie that has been copied many times, but I didn't know westerns were popular enough in japan to be copied."
  • "no special effects at all. This movie could learn some tricks from the recent movie "The haunting"."
  • re: Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon "Britney will be criticized now, but she will be around forever and follow the path of the total musical genius Madonna."
  • re: Schindler's List "we watch this every christmas eve before we put the children to sleep. it is a wonderful family oriented comedy."
  • "I'de Rather Die than watch that boring movie again, A shame for a Steven Speilberg Movie."
  • "Oh the poor jews and those awful, evil white people. Where's my violin? Oh, I don't need one: Itzak Perlman plays his for the score. This movie is another pathetic, boring, piece of propaganda about those 6 million (a grossly exaggerated figure) deaths during WW2."
  • "I cant believe that Spielberg is so sick that he actualy tried to make a comedy out of the Holocaust. I'll admit I laughed but I wasn't proud of myself for laughing. "
  • re: Casablanca "I'm pretty sure I will enjoy it a lot more when Warner Bros finally gets around to releasing the colorized version, the way this movie needs to be seen - the world is not black and white, why should our movies be?"
  • okay that's enough. it's getting depressing.

  • 7-8-04 (00:06)

  • tomorrow would normally be my friday, but this week we have inventory so i have to work tomorrow and the next day. what's worse is that i have to be at work by 5:45am.
  • i won't be able to sleep for at least another hour so that means less than five hours of sleep tonight.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-7-04 (02:00)

  • this is from www.thedigitalbits.com which is one of the bigger (and better) dvd websites out there: "Finally, we've got a little information on those Michael Moore DVDs we mentioned yesterday as well. According to the latest issues of Video Business and Video Store, it's still unknown who will be distributing the DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11 (apparently, Lions Gate does NOT have the DVD release rights which will likely go to one of the major studios, possibly even Buena Vista). However, word is Moore's production company has already completed many of the special features for the disc. In addition, Bits reader Chris M. recently had the chance to speak with Moore in person, and learned that the director has recorded a new commentary for The Big One, due from Miramax on 9/28. Chris also learned that the DVD rights for Moore's only other unreleased project, TV Nation, belong to Sony, but the studio is sitting on the title at the moment (we'll keep you up to date on plans if and when they develop)."
  • that's me with the insider info. pretty cool.
  • got three noam chomsky albums today. also got a five disc film noir set (out of the past, asphalt jungle, murder my sweet, gun crazy, and the set-up) for only 35 bucks.
  • i've glanced at a couple of reviews for fahrenheit 9/11 and found some people claiming that moore isn't a good filmmaker. no matter what you think of his politics, you must acknowledge his skill as a filmmaker. it's just beyond me.
  • updated movies list.

  • 7-6-04 (03:55)

  • updated movies list.
  • the big one is coming to dvd on 9/28. finally! when i talked with michael moore he said there would be a commentary track for this film. it's through miramax so i'd expect it to be 29.99.

  • 7-3-04 (02:17)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations list.

  • 7-2-04 (02:45)

  • updated movies list.
  • a few days ago i said that june went by quickly. i take that back. june took forever. it feels like it's been a long time since the nba finals, for example.

  • useful information: "Teen star Mary-Kate Olsen is furious two magazines have refused to retract claims she is being treated in rehab for cocaine addiction not anorexia. American tabloids Star and the National Enquirer published front page stories about Mary-Kate's reported drug problem this week, with photographs apparently showing the 18-year-old checking into Utah's Cirque Lodge clinic. Representatives for Olsen and her company Dualstar have threatened legal action - but American Media, who own both magazines, remain unmoved. Spokesman Stu Zakim says, "If they were going to sue us, they would have done it already. Nothing has come forward and that only reinforces the validity of our reporting. We knew how explosive this story would be, and it's been fact-checked and fact-checked and fact-checked. We have all the confidence in the world that our reporting is on the money." Olsen's representative Michael Pagnotta argues, "If (the Enquirer) is the same kind of reporting as in the Star, which we consider to be false, then it would likewise be evaluated by our attorneys. The bottom line is that Mary-Kate was not admitted for drugs, period.""

    6-30-04 (02:47)

  • updated movies list.
  • also made some changes to the best of movies page. added best soundtracks/scores and best film characters. also added an index of best films by year for easier/quicker navigating.
  • my arm didn't hurt much today until about 7pm. right now it hurts, but not as badly as it did 24 hours ago. don't know what's wrong.
  • two days of work and then a few days off.

  • 6-29-04 (00:44)

  • so fahrenheit 9/11 did almost as much in a weekend (21 million) as bowling for columbine did in its entire run (22 million). this is impressive for several reasons...it's a documentary so that's huge for a documentary, it's the first time a documentary opened at as the number one movie, and it's rated R. films with an R rating don't generally do as well as the PG and PG-13 movies. in fact a lot of films edit the content down to get a pg-13 rating. so congratulations to michael moore and his new movie. i have to be honest though, i have mixed feelings in seeing his movie blow up the way it has. it's like seeing an indie band you really like put out an album that becomes huge. maybe green day fans felt this way when "dookie" came out. i'm sure there are better comparisons, but that's the first independent band with a huge breakout album that i thought of.
  • i have tomorrow off.
  • "Just FYI, according to Moore (speaking to the USA Today) the film will be available on DVD by September and will include new footage and commentary not in the theatrical release. "Among scenes being considered: additional footage of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and man-in-the-street interviews Moore commissioned in 30 countries in which participants are asked what they love - and hate - about the USA.""
  • that's even quicker than i anticipated. good stuff.
  • for some reason my left arm hurts quite a bit when i raise it in front of me. if i reach to grab something i feel a sharp pain from my elbow to my shoulder. it feels like a nerve problem rather than a muscle issue. i don't know what's wrong with my body.
  • "Market research leading up to the weekend had shown that the documentary would rank second or third at the box office after the two mainstream comedies. But "White Chicks" took in $19.6 million for the weekend on 2,726 screens, while "DodgeBall" took in $18.5 million on 3,020. "Fahrenheit 9/11," rated R, was released on 868 screens."
  • i'm trying to think of great landmarks in documentary history. nanook of the north is certainly the biggest because it's generally considered the first and it was a big success at the time. triumph of the will for obvious reasons. gimme shelter/don't look back are big ones. and now bowling for columbine, which is the film that made movies like "supersize me" and "fahrenheit 9/11" possible. there are probably a couple others i'm forgetting. those aren't necessarily the best, i'm just thinking of landmark documentaries in terms of what they did for the form.
  • ah yeah!

  • 6-28-04 (01:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • tracking democracies.
  • why do we continue to redesign our currency as often as we do? they say it's because counterfeiting is easier now because of readily available technology like scanners and high quality printers. but if i was a counterfeiter i wouldn't try to counterfeit new currency, i'd just counterfeit the old stuff. everyone honors the old currency and there enough of it out there that it doesn't raise any eyebrows. if someone tried to pass me a bill from 1910 then i'd be suspicious, but people don't generally think anything when they see a bill that's 20 years old, and those are relatively easy to counterfeit. i suppose it's a long-term strategy, but if that's the case then trying to stay ahead of the curve is impossible. people who want to counterfeit bills will figure out ways within a year and you can't pull old bills off the market anywhere near that quickly. it just seems like they're doing it to say they're doing something. though admittedly it's an uphill battle so i'm not knocking the treasury for the actions they've taken, it's just that there seems to be a notion that new bills equals better protection from counterfeits and that's not the case at all.

  • 6-27-04 (20:34)

  • heard a story on the radio about a study that found that 43% of the people polled felt they had "common sense." there were a bunch of other figures separated by geography, gender, etc. the study found that when given a test, only 7% of the people actually had common sense. there are so many things wrong with this i don't know where to start. first, if it's common sense and it's not common (only 7% of people have it) then it's a paradox. secondly, it's common sense that common sense is relative. for example, somebody from the hood knows it's common sense to bring some heat when going out to acquire drugs from a new source. for some rich guy it's common sense to have a tax-sheltered offshore account in case he divorces his wife... how does one measure "common sense"? i think what they really mean by it is logic, which of course could be deconstructed as well, but i'd have to use logic and that would, again, be a paradox. how can you defeat the validity of logic by using logic? the ability of logic to defeat itself would be testament to its power which would then revalidate itself. at least that's my thinking.
  • i like the word "pedantic." it's the only word i can think of off the top of my head that makes a person it just by using it. that is, in using the word you become it. i suppose that's a matter of opinion because some might consider the word common place...at any rate, it's a good word.

  • 6-27-04 (02:29)

  • updated movies list.
  • this month has gone by pretty quickly.
  • i have two days of work, then a day off, then two days of work then three days off.
  • today i didn't do much of anything. i cleaned up a bit and did some laundry, but i slept more than i should have and watched three movies.

  • 6-26-04 (03:47)

  • updated movies list.
  • i don't know why i'm still awake.
  • if i'm michael moore i'm gunning for october 19th as a dvd release date for fahrenheit 9/11.

  • 6-25-04 (01:28)

  • fahrenheit 9/11 has 2,203 votes on imdb.com (6.4 rating) and it hasn't been released yet. i don't think i can wait to watch it so i'm planning on waking up early tomorrow and catching the first show of the day before i have work. i wouldn't doubt a 10 million dollar opening week for 9/11. relative to spiderman or something similar $10 million is pretty weak, but for a documentary it's great.
  • "the big one" is the film that is most strictly a documentary, the other films are more along the line of film essays. the big one is also the least popular of his films.
  • bowling for columbine had a price reduction lately, it's now only 14.99 so pick it up if you haven't already.
  • updated movies list.
  • this is fucking hilarious.

  • 6-24-04 (01:04)

  • updated movies list.
  • Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
  • the last few days have been pretty nice. on sunday luke stopped by and we had lunch and a nice chat. on monday jon stopped by work and gave me a bomb ass birthday present. on tuesday i got a free subway sandwich for filling out some credit card applications (i faked all my information so i don't have to worry about actually getting them). and today i got free pizza at work and found out that i got my birthday off. i also got eight free dvds in the mail from one of the product representatives who comes by work on occasion. i'm looking forward to checking them out.
  • found a book on amazon called "one stop shopping: the west's love affair with laziness." seems like a good idea for a book. it details who obsessed with a one-stop lifestyle we westerners are...from religion to walmart to vegas style weddings (where you get a tux, a cake, and a certificate all in one neat package).
  • actually i just made that book up, but it seems like a viable enough topic on which to write a book.
  • i saw a commercial on tv yesterday (not kidding this time) that had some prison worker talking about getting beaten by out of control (black) prisoners because (this was her reasoning) our budget for state prisons is too low. more prison guards means fewer riot-like outbreaks, so the logic goes. my first thought was: why don't we start treating drug users and other non-violent offenders like human beings? fewer people of this ilk being caged like animals means less strain on the prison system. that's the short term solution. the long term solution is spending more money on education so people have a greater range of options later in life. i fucking hate stupid people.
  • "as governor, bush came to oversee, in molly ivins' words, "the largest prison system on the planet earth." according to a study published in august 2000 by the justice policy institute in washington d.c., texas - population 20 million - has over 163,000 of its citizens in jail, with well over 700,000 under some form of juridical control. with one out of every twenty of the state's adults in prison, on parole, or on probation, texas can account for one fifth of all the people jailed throughout the nation in the 1990s. for every 100,000 of its citizens, texas has 700 behind bars - 248 more than the national average. if texas were a separate country, the jpi concluded, 'it would have a higher incarceration rate than russia, china, the u.s. , and the rest of the industrialized and nonindustrialized world.' such are the results, in texas, of the nation's 'drug war' - which is in fact a race war waged by legal means. although 72 percent of all illicit drug users are white and only 15 percent black, african-americans account for 36.8 of those arrested on drug charges, constituting 42 percent of those held in federal prisons for narcotics and nearly 60 percent of those held in state jails." pages 228-9, bush dyslexicon.
  • the hot topic in sacramento these days is the proposed downtown arena. arco arena (where the kings and monarchs play) is outdated and in disrepair so the team owners, and plenty others, want a new arena. the problem becomes one of funding. who is going to pay and what kind of plan are they going to adopt. the plans range from 200 -500 million bucks depending on how big the facility and surrounding areas are. the better plans seem to incorporate more rebuilding of the downtown area in general, with the new arena being its center. use fees (raising ticket prices) make sense, but won't fund the entire project and would make for a lame crowd (just look at the lakers games). i personally have never been a fan of raising ticket prices above, say, 15 bucks for the cheap seats (right now they're about 12, i think). i just think that sports teams should be accessible to all community members. these days there is much more emphasis on raising money from corporate interests (3com park, target center, pac bell park, arco arena etc.) which is unfortunate, but necessary. in the best cases the owners pay about 25% of the cost and the maloofs have consistently said they would pay whatever the going rate is. i hope that it becomes part of a greater revitalization effort in downtown and gets funding from corporate interests, the maloofs, the public, use fees and various taxes (i've heard suggestions like hotel taxes and other tourism-related activities).
  • Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
  • i like the sound of japanese and persian.
  • "The U.S. EPA reports that the volume of toxic pollutants released into the atmosphere increased by 5 percent in 2002 -- only the second increase since 1988, when the EPA started keeping track, and the largest -- but according to enviro groups, even that grim figure is a gross underestimation.  Immediately preceding the release of the EPA's annual Toxic Release Inventory, two groups, the Environmental Integrity Project and the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention, released a report alleging that last year's TRI (covering 2001) underestimated the amount of 10 toxic pollutants by some 330 million pounds.  The groups criticized the EPA for allowing industrial plants to estimate emissions, using what the report calls outmoded formulas, rather than actually measuring them.  "The bottom line here," said Kelly Haragan of the EIP, "is that the public is being exposed to far more toxic air pollution than the EPA acknowledges.""

  • 6-22-04 (03:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • jon came by tower today on his way back from tahoe. he dropped off a birthday present from him and monique - a copy of "project hollywood" which looks like a pretty great book.
  • i need to finally get around to finishing the bush dyslexicon so i can get started on project hollywood.
  • updated wish list and recommendations.

  • 6-21-04 (00:25)

  • seven of the last eleven films i've seen have been foreign features.
  • need to watch more movies in the theater. 25 so far this year which is pretty good in absolute terms, but as a percentage of the total films i've seen this year (251), it's not that hot. i enjoy going to the theater, especially independent theaters...not because the movies are necessarily better, rather it's because the low budget chairs and theaters bring back good memories. plus, the trailers are for films that don't generally get press so they're almost always new to me.
  • updated movies list.
  • luke and i had lunch today. after work he came by to pick up a dvd. we talked about film and other things. it was a good time. i can't remember the last time i had a friend over, which makes me pretty lame.
  • at work we have these plastic cages around cds so that people can't open the cd case and steal the cd; we call them "keepers," which isn't a very thoughtful title. at any rate, one of the keepers was behind the counter with a post-it note on it that said "broke." under that, in a different color ink, someone else had written "as a joke." under that, again with a different pen and different handwriting, someone wrote "so throw it away!" i thought that was funny, and pathetic. i threw it away.
  • it seems a contradiction that american society is supposed to be so much about the individual and doing things for yourself, yet businesses, which are thought to be great american institutions (by republicans at least), emphasize a dedication to the company above all. perhaps i'm misreading things, but it seems that they would have us be great individuals who, at the same time, sacrifice everything for the benefit of the company. it seems like a form of communism, without the "everyone gets an equal slice" part. i'm simplifying things a bit for the sake of brevity. i think that the whole "rugged individualism" thing only goes up to the point where you get a job, after that you should become useful for the company. in theory the company has to spread the wealth based upon merits in order to keep the good employees, or as a further carrot in front of the mule. but, in my experience anyway, most of the people in america work more to not get fired than they do to try to attain a raise or a bonus. also, i think the job market is such that companies don't worry too much about losing the vast majority of their employees. a few reasons for that 1) jobs have shifted more and more toward the service sector and are thus low skill jobs. 2) tasks are more specialized (especially in manufacturing) so replacing a worker is far easier. 3) again, the job market is such that there is always a fresh supply of labor. this last point is what makes unions so weak. the most powerful tool a union has is a strike, but what good is a strike when there are plenty of scabs willing to cross the lines for fewer benefits or lower wages?
  • bill moyers was on radio parallax the other day. he had a couple good quotes. one was actually him quoting someone else whose answer to the question "what is good news?" was: "good news is what information we need to keep our freedoms." the other quote from moyers himself was "news is what they don't want us to know...everything else is publicity." which makes me think of the documentary "control room." reporters are more likely repeaters than anything else.

  • 6-20-04 (02:02)

  • updated movies list.
  • back to work in seven hours. weekends go by too quickly.

  • 06-17-04 (03:31)

  • updated movies list.

  • 6-17-04 (02:15)

  • updated movies list.
  • i heard that the democratic national convention is five million dollars over budget and part of the problem is that labor costs more in boston than in la (which is where it was held last time) and that some of the unions are going to strike. in the spirit of objectivity i mentioned how funny that liberal guilt commercial was, so i gotta point out the obvious stereotype here as well...if i were a republican i would love this news. what, democrats overbudget? never! what, labor a pain in the ass? never! i don't think the story is all that significant (relative to the 9/11 commission and such), but a story like this is still a PR nightmare for the democrats. they just can't seem to lose the image as overspenders and union sympathizers.
  • i'm going to mention this for hopefully the last time...regarding celebrities and politics...people like john mccain and others say stuff like "i don't try to make movies so why are you (speaking of barbra streisand, alec baldwin and others) trying to tell me what to do in politics?" this argument is made all the time by various ignoramuses. you may find it annoying that streisand and others have differing opinions, but it is their right and their duty to inform politicians, and anyone who will listen, what their political views are. this is integral to a democratic society. part of being a politician is listening to your constituents and the american people in general. it's our job to tell politicians what we think they should do. you can criticize the media for giving her opinions more than their due attention, but that's a different issue. so hopefully you don't misdirect your anger the next time you hear some celebrity's uninformed opinion.
  • saw a broken egg in my patio today. it was on the edge of the planting box which is right up against the fence so the only way someone could have thrown it there was if they threw it at an 80 degree angle or something. it also seemed like a small egg, as evidenced by the small amount of shell that was present. i quickly figured out that it must have been a bird's egg that had fallen from the branches above the patio. it made me sad. this coming from a guy who had this remedy to our overpopulation/energy problems.
  • updated my wish list.

  • 6-16-04 (02:03)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched letterman tonight and saw the beastie boys' performance. they started out in the street and made their way into the studio. it was pretty cool. bought their cd today. watched the video and wasn't too blown away. it was pretty similar to their shake your rump (i think) video...the one from paul's boutique where there are three cameras on a rooftop and they take turns doing their thing in front of the various cameras.
  • saw a trailer for fahrenheit 911 tonight, also on the letterman show. obviously looking forward to that.
  • getting pretty fucking hot lately. it's impairing my ability to think right now.
  • the biggest news today was actually the pistons win. i heard some people (kobe and phil jackson among them) making excuses for the lakers because malone and grant were injured or fisher was playing hurt. when the kings lost chris webber in the mavs series two years ago and we pushed it to seven games, with the seventh game being a close loss, then we had plenty of reason to make excuses. webber was our number one scorer, passer and rebounder (yes he led the team in all three categories) so there was a valid excuse. but when a team like the lakers lose a couple of secondary players and get outplayed in 90% of the minutes played in the series there just aren't any excuses. if i were a lakers fan i'd be really fucking embarrassed by bryant and jackson and the other excuse-makers out there.
  • let me also make it clear that it wasn't that the lakers lost, it's that the pistons won. it's not that the lakers didn't show up or try, it's that the pistons took them out of their game in almost every conceivable way. i've never seen a defense (in the nba) that was as consistently tenacious as theirs was in this series. on most of the possessions they used at least a 3/4 press to challenged the ballhandler up the court which ate up time on the shot clock which made it tough for the lakers to run their offense. people kept asking why they weren't getting the ball into shaq more frequently - they just didn't have the time to get the ball up the court, dump it into shaq, create a weak side play and pass the ball around. occasionally the lakers were able to exploit weaknesses in the pistons defense, but they only had one significant run in the entire series. the pistons defense was relentless, methodical and consistent.
  • billups deserved the mvp, but i, like doc rivers (who i really have come to like by the way), think that everything on the defensive end starts with ben wallace. he sets the tone, he grabs important defensive rebounds, and interior defense is almost as important as pressuring the ball. wallace had more offensive rebounds (10) than shaq had total rebounds (8). shaq is four inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than ben wallace and yet wallace grabbed 22 rebounds while shaq grabbed only 8. shaq also went 6-16 from the free throw line. shaq has long maintained that he would make his free throws when it mattered. i'd like to point out that this was an elimination game, he missed ten free points and they lost by 13...in other words, if he had made his free throws then the lakers would have been only one possession behind. i'll grant you that in trash time the lead dwindled a bit, but i just wanted to rub it in his face a bit. al michaels asked the question "when was the last time there was a player who had a sense of where the rebound was going to go like ben wallace?" doc rivers, rightly, pointed out that dennis rodman had this same ability. the first time i watched wallace play i made this same comparison. he has a similar rebounding style. there are just some players who dedicate themselves to rebounding the ball and, in my lifetime, rodman and wallace have been the best in that category. and no one in the last fifteen years, in my memory, comes all that close to either of them. al michaels is a decent announcer, but i like bob costas more for basketball. i also like bob costas and joe morgan as a team for baseball.
  • if we had ben wallace on the kings then we'd win the title. no doubt. he brings exactly what we lack - interior defense, interior athleticism, and solid rebounding. i wish we used the press more, it can be very effective. i think adelman is hesitant to use it because it makes it harder to settle into a set defense in the half court, and i suppose he knows his team better than i, but i still think we should employ it more often.
  • detroit literally schooled the rest of the nba during these last five games. i think everyone in the nba who watched that game learned a few things - 1) teamwork is more important than individual play (something the last few nba champs [bulls had jordan, lakers had kobe/shaq, spurs had duncan] haven't shown), 2) defense not only wins championships, but embarrasses your opponents and 3) the lakers are beatable (not that it matters anymore because the lakers will be a completely different team next year).
  • if i was phil jackson i would have started derek fisher the last couple games. payton is a whiner and hasn't gotten shit done. fisher runs the triangle better and, at this point in their careers, fisher's defense is just as good.
  • politics are just great.

  • 6-15-04 (01:42)

  • "Radical enviros are turning their attention from forests and wilderness areas to the nation's sprawling suburbs, prompting growing concern among law-enforcement agencies and the developers and homeowners whose money is invested in said sprawl.  The Earth Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for more than a dozen acts of sabotage and vandalism in the past year, with damage totaling more than $60 million; most of the damage was done to houses and SUVs in areas where forests were cleared or wetlands filled to make room for suburban development.  Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars of reward money and intensified efforts by the FBI to infiltrate the group, few arrests have been made and fewer convictions secured.  The ELF is comprised of loosely affiliated cells and has no top-down hierarchy of the sort that enabled law-enforcement agents to penetrate and take down traditional criminal enterprises like the mafia.  The ELF website strongly discourages any harm to people or animals."
  • updated movies list.
  • there's this great stereotypical left wing commercial that i hear a lot on air america radio. it has this really light, fluffy harp (or something similar) music and it's a woman narrating the actions of a person's dog. "she wags her tale at you with her tongue out and you rub her belly...blah blah blah" the first part of the commercial goes like that and then it comes to the part where the narrator says "she runs to the door and barks hoping you'll run after her and play outside." then the music stops and turns really heavy "but you can't because you're a paraplegic. you didn't know that most car accidents occur close to home so you didn't buckle up that one time, and now you can't play with your dog anymore." it's pretty funny. they have a whole slew of commercials like that on air america. stuff that preys on the fears of not being prepared or "not doing your part." other than that i like the station.
  • the "under god" case was thrown out today because the father apparently didn't have the right sue because of custody issues. pretty lame. i don't see the purpose of a pledge at all. forget the "under god" part of the pledge....secularism is its own form of religion so i think we should just get rid of the pledge of allegiance altogether. the same way i think we should just get rid of the benefits we bestow upon people who get married.
  • on the majority report they had a guest who is the founder of some gay parenting magazine and she was talking about the level of hate mail she got. she said that "two percent of the e-mails i get are hate e-mails." i was astonished at how low that number is. she seemed upset by it (somewhat understandably), but i think that if only two percent of the people out there hate what you're doing then you're doing pretty well. a lot more than two percent of my e-mails are negative.
  • got rejected from the last job i applied for.

  • 6-14-04 (00:06)

  • i'm absolutely stunned by the outcome of today's game. i've known for some time now that the pistons are a great team, and i picked them to come out of the east, but i didn't really feel that any team in the east had a shot against the big three in the west...not in a seven game series. i'm pleased that i was wrong. the lakers certainly were flat and didn't make the timely shots that they are used to making. instead it was detroit making timely shots and protecting the ball well down the stretch. the lakers have still only made one notable run in the entire series, and that's the 11-0 (something like that) run that won them the second game. i'm very impressed by the mental toughness of detroit, and that's coming from a guy who knew this was a tough team. that said, the series isn't over. i was very pleased to see that, in the waning moments (and aftermath) of the game, none of the detroit players were smiling. this is a good sign because it shows me that they're not pleased with a commanding 3-1 lead. since no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals there might be an inclination to think that you have the series finished up. detroit knows this is not the case.
  • heard the new beastie boys album today. it's their worst album to date, but i knew that was going to be the case. that said, i thought it was pretty decent. hip-hop isn't a genre that is kind to the elderly, and that's what the b-boys are now. the album is different from most of their other stuff and that's good. i'm just happy it doesn't suck.
  • updated movies list.

  • 6-13-04 (02:10)

  • updated movies list.
  • eight movies this weekend. i should write my reviews right after i've seen the movie because writing them all at once is tiring.
  • got a good amount of stuff done this weekend.
  • johnny's birthday was today. my grandfather turns 75 tomorrow.

  • 6-11-04 (02:07)

  • updated movies list.
  • got to see most of the game tonight and was pleased. if you told me that rasheed wallace was going to score only three points and the pistons were going to win by 20 i'd tell you that you were crazy. tonight was the best er, worst, drubbing of the lakers i've ever seen. the only game that came close to this one was the last kings/lakers game of the season when the kings won by about 17 and dominated kobe and the lakers the entire game. this game was even better though because the lakers were completely shut down. two players barely in double-digits, no one with double digit rebounds, they couldn't shoot threes, they didn't get to the line, their defense was piss poor, everything about the lakers looked bad. there's really no way you can explain away a loss like this - you can't say it was because malone was (sorta) injured or shaq's big toe was hurting or anything - they just got beat and they got beat badly.
  • the lakers need to win the next game because if they don't they'll be down 3-1 and that's a very difficult spot to be in. tonight it was clear that detroit wanted to win more than the lakers, but that's not going to be true on sunday so that game will be the most interesting game of the series. will detroit be able to take the best the lakers have to offer, or will the lakers make it a three game series, with two of the three being in LA? every bit of knowledge i have says that the lakers will win the next game and, again, if i were a betting man i'd bet my speakers that they'll win on sunday. but detroit has proven to me that they're a tough team and the lakers have only had one significant run in the three games they've played so far....detroit's defense has been that good. so, in other words, anything could happen.
  • losing a game like this is humiliating and that's one reason why i think the lakers will have plenty of reason to come out on sunday and give detroit their best shot.
  • last night some detroit fans were outside the hotel in which the lakers were staying causing all sorts of noise - yelling, honking horns, etc. in an attempt to keep the players awake. i heard some guy on the radio the night of the second game telling fellow detroit fans to do this sort of thing...i guess it worked. i think it's great when a city gets behind its team on and off the court like that. the celtics used to turn up the heat in the opposing team's locker room. i'm sure there are all sorts of examples like this.
  • kobe bryant isn't as good as michael jordan and i'd fight anyone who says otherwise. rip hamilton, who played with jordan the last year or two of his career, had 31 points tonight and his team won. kobe had 11. then again kobe has three championships. then again kobe has shaq and phil jackson. then again....debating sports is fun.
  • in the long view the bigger news of the day was the passing of a real hero - ray charles. unlike ronald reagan, the guy was good at what he did and had a positive impact on the world.
  • if anyone ever finds a copy of "aka don bonus" on vhs (it's not made on dvd) please let me know. i want to buy it.
  • today was my friday so that's good.
  • i've heard rumors2 about a remake of the graduate. i'd watch it, but only out of morbid curiosity.
  • an interesting chart. my favorite is number 75 which shows that overall between 1989-2004 world com. contributed fairly equally to dems and republicans, but in 03/04 they contributed overwhelmingly to republicans.

  • 6-10-04 (02:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • realized today that my birthday is less than a month away. time has gone by quickly lately.

  • 6-9-04 (01:30)

  • i really like the part in the second installment of the matrix films where the "creator" talks about the most human of emotions - "hope." hope, in the case of neo, is precipitated by love and causes him to feel as though he can beat the matrix despite being told that all his predecessors have failed. i mention this because my hope has consistently led me to bouts of depression in regards to the lakers. i watched part of the game tonight and with two minutes left detroit was up by six. i had hope that the lakers would finally lose a critical game. i had hope that i would be wrong when i said that "i'd bet my speakers that the lakers are going to win the next game." but i wasn't. and it was like watching a movie whose outcome i know because i've seen it a dozen times before, but still hoped that things would turn out differently. i had this same hope when they were down 2-0 against the spurs. i had the same hope when, with a couple seconds left, the divac tapped a rebound out of the lane to a waiting robert horry whose shot meant the difference between the lakers being down 3-1 and being tied 2-2. i had the same hope when the blazers had the lakers against the wall four (or so) years ago when they entered the fourth quarter up by 15 points. i've seen this before several times and every time i am inextricably drawn to hope that things will go my team's way, but they never do. rationality should win out eventually. eventually i will realize that hope is a futile enterprise and become a soulless person. when that happens i will have only the lakers to thank.
  • most writers who don't have a vested interest in the series will say "hey the pistons lost, but they still got a split on the road and that's what they wanted." anyone who writes that should cease to write sports columns because they haven't yet (and probably never will) picked up on the subtleties of the game. losing a game like that in a situation like that is almost a series-ender. it happened to the kings in the second game when they were up by ten with four minutes left and it happened today with the pistons. you can't look at it as a split on the road, you have to look at as "they were this close to going up 2-0 on the road." because that's the truth. and every time the pistons let the lakers get a little run in they're going to start thinking "uh-oh here it comes again." and that's what comes with being champions. and that's what happens when you are playing against the best clutch shooter in the game today. at this point it looks almost certain that the lakers will win the series (probably in six games). the only x-factor for me is larry brown's post game interview. he said "we're crushed" but he said it in this very subtly sarcastic way as if to hint that his team is stronger than anyone thinks. so, for now, that post game interview is the hope that i am once again foolishly holding onto.
  • updated movies list.
  • i was thinking today about the fact that i've never been stung by a bee or a wasp and how strange that is considering how often i used to fuck with bees. i used to be pretty mean to bees. at any rate, i was thinking about the fact that bees die once they sting something and how strange of a defense mechanism that is. it's like me ripping out my heart and hitting you over the head with it...or something. it hurts the victim a bit, but kills me...that doesn't seem very darwinian at first. then i came to the conclusion that, for would-be attackers, it becomes about the threat of being stung. even though a few bees will die as a result of their defense mechanism, most bees won't be harmed because predators know not to fuck with bees. so nature has built in this idea that the betterment of the whole is more important than the individual. it even goes to the extent of killing off the defender to prove this point. the fact that bees as a species (actually probably genus) have survived using this defense mechanism (not to mention their social structure) is testament to the power of the group (and the threat of pain as a deterrence). of course it's also possible that they don't have very many predators or that they breed so quickly that they out populate their predators. that would make their defense mechanism less integral...in that case it would just be(e) about breeding faster than they are killed. it's also possible that i've been misinformed my entire life and that bees don't actually die after losing their stinger. in which case my whole treatise on bee defense mechanisms, and their greater implications, would be for naught.
  • reality check.
  • i have ten cents in my checking account right now. get paid friday.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 6-8-04 (02:16)

  • updated movies list.
  • tampa bay won the stanley cup. i predicted that, but not because i know much about either team. with hockey i always go with the goalie. the goalie is like a pitcher in baseball or a quarterback in football - one person who can, in special circumstances, be all the team needs to stay in the game. obviously a goalie can't score, and, in the AL, a pitcher can't score either, but those positions are such that they can single-handedly take over a game. so i went with khabibulin since i know he's pretty great. wish i could have seen the game.
  • i did get to see the lakers game yesterday. it was fun seeing them lose. detroit just came out and did what they wanted. i'd bet my speakers that the lakers are going to win the next game. i hope they don't, but in hating them all these years i've come to know them as well as many of their fans and i know they'll show up tomorrow. i think detroit really had to win one of the first two because of the 2-3-2 schedule, but i mentioned that already. doc rivers mentioned the same thing on the broadcast - it's very difficult for the road team (by definition the team with a worse record) to win three in a row at this point in the year. so assuming they lose one of those middle three they'll still need to win another game in LA if they want to win the series. very difficult.
  • noam chomsky made an(other) interesting point on the majority report last week. he didn't phrase it in this way because there was a larger context, but i'll simplify it here...what would people think of germany if they had missiles called "jews" or "faggot" helicopters, or something similar? naming missiles after the very people you tried to eliminate from the earth is a pretty fucked up and arrogant thing to do. punchline here and here.
  • greg palast on reagan. ouch.
  • impressive thesis charting various rationale for going to war. check out page 19, 160-170, and 175-178.

  • 6-06-04 (02:20)

  • updated movies list.
  • neighbors have apparently moved out so now i can play music loud even at this hour. not so loud that it bounces off the opposite wall, which annoy the other neighbors, but loud enough to feel the bass.
  • i was really depressed last night and then early this morning. went to sleep last night at 5pm after watching part of american history x on tv. they showed the anal rape scene in the prison shower, but they bleeped out "shit" and "fuck," doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. woke up around noon today and still felt bad. didn't know what i wanted to do with my day. nothing seemed to excite me so i just laid around. eventually resolved to watch a movie so i turned on the tv and found out that ronald reagan had finally died. last night i was looking at my chart of presidents which i have above my computer. i wondered who lived the longest and three names were in the running - reagan, hoover and adams I. reagan was the oldest. so that was a weird coincidence. at any rate, i was happy after hearing about his death so the rest of the day went well.
  • i don't think he was completely evil, few people are, but i never liked the guy. i don't think he was very intelligent, i think he got away with too much stuff because of his charm, his economic policies were a joke and he waged a sly and insidious war on the poor and non-white of this country that we still haven't recovered from. but he told a good joke or two once in a while so it's okay.
  • in other important news, j. lo is married again.
  • watched the nhl stanley cup finals game today. it was a good one. ended within the first minute of the second OT. game seven should be fun. i have work.

  • 6-04-04 (02:17)

  • agree with the goal, but not the organization.
  • if the nba finals go seven games i'll get to watch three of them. i don't like the 2-3-2 format, i think it gives the team with home advantage even more of an advantage. in the playoffs it's very difficult to win three in a row so, in the case of detroit, it's very unlikely they will win all three home games in a row. that would mean that they'd need to win two games on the road in order to win the series. i don't know why they switch from H(ome)-H-R(oad)-R-H-R-H to the H-H-R-R-R-H-H format in the final round of the playoffs. i heard today that the pistons averaged 98 points against the lakers during the regular season.
  • i like this q&a session with coach adelman. i like it because it shows adelman as a balanced thinker. he seems like a good guy.
  • ever since i lost my high school track coach i've missed having that sort of mentor presence in my life. i'd like to learn a trade from someone like that.
  • so tenet is the first of hopefully many dominoes to fall in the administration. at first i thought bush would use this as an opportunity to say the problem is gone, but instead "Bush said at the White House. "I told him I'm sorry he's leaving. He's done a superb job."" one second bush blames failures on intelligence, the next he says the director of the central intelligence agency "has done a superb job." hmmm.
  • "Tenet also has faced tough questioning from Congress about the CIA's prewar claims that Iraq possessed large caches of chemical and biological weapons. At a meeting Dec. 21, 2002, Tenet told Bush there was a "slam-dunk" case that Iraq had doomsday weapons, according to author Bob Woodward. But no weapons have yet to be discovered by U.S.-led forces more than a year after the invasion ended."
  • tenet isn't actually one of the close bushies since he was cia director under clinton as well, but it may be a sign that other dominoes will fall (rumsfeld would be the next logical person to "resign").

  • 6-03-04 (03:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations list so it includes quick links to my reviews for the individual films.
  • i'm excited about the lakers/pistons series. i've liked the pistons ever since they got rasheed wallace because i felt that was the missing piece, and a really good fit, for them. i also think they have a better chance against the lakers than anyone else in the east. it should go six or seven games. hopefully prince and r. wallace will be aggressive offensively. i'd love to see larry brown take phil jackson down a peg.
  • tomorrow is my friday.
  • called regarding a driving position today and they said that i needed to show two years of on the job driving experience as required by their insurance company. i don't understand what the difference is between driving on the job for two years and driving for myself for seven years. it doesn't make sense to exclude me just because i wasn't driving a company car the whole time.
  • i seem to get one good job lead a month. one that is good for me (money, location and schedule-wise) and one that i think i could reasonably do well in.

  • 6-02-04 (01:16)

  • "Rounding out today's news is MGM Home Entertainment's September slate of catalog announcements, which will focus on some of Hollywood's most acclaimed classics. Streeting on September 7th are: Judgment at Nuremberg, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, the 1946 version of Great Expectations, In Which We Serve, Madeleine, 1948's Oliver Twist, The Passionate Friends and This Happy Breed."
  • that news may mean that the criterion releases of great expectations and oliver twist will go out of print. fyi.
  • i was listening to autechre's "incunabula" again and got to thinking...that album, as i've said before, is transcendent, but what i didn't realize, or put into words, is that the album actually has the feel of an alternate nature. sometimes when i listen to it i get the sense that what booth and brown did with "incunabula" was to create something with all the power and sense of rightness of nature. by rightness i mean that the album seems like it belongs in the world. it feels as though it was meant to be. it's like nature because, to me, it seems to create its own language, texts, rules...its own world. that said, the album is not perfect (the b side of abbey road is the only continuous musical moment that approaches perfection), but it does belong. i'm also not saying that it's the only thing, before or since, to sound the way it does, but somehow "incunabula" stands out as a unique vision of an alternate nature with autechre as its God.
  • no, i didn't smoke anything tonight.
  • been listening to a lot of air america while at work lately. pretty good stuff. it's clearly leftist reporting, but we can't rush limbaugh (and his ilk) be the only force on am radio. my only potential problem with it is that it feeds the fire of division that seems to be growing every week. that is, more and more there seems to be those for bush and those against bush (his fault since he put it in those terms) and the radio is now one more arena that is divided. i suppose that's just the way things work.
  • no movie today.
  • it's hot again.
  • good idea, but it needs more flexibility.

  • 6-01-04 (02:29)

  • updated movies list.
  • lakers won tonight which wasn't at all surprising. i was a little surprised to see the series go six games, and to minnesota's credit they did a good job without cassell, but they're just not that great a team. it hurts to see minnesota lose to the lakers because it really should have been the kings taking down the lakers in a western conference finals rematch.
  • today was uneventful. memorial day so most people had the day off. i got paid time and a half which is nice.
  • the majority report was a rerun today, but they i hadn't heard any of it before. in one segment they talked to a representative for diebold and an activist who is trying to get rid of electronic voting machines, or at least make a paper trail mandatory. it was informative. they also talked about the differences between our campaign cycles and those of the british. ours seem to start earlier every cycle...this time major coverage began about a year and a half before the actual election. granted, most of that was for the primary, but since then election coverage has gotten considerable coverage. of course along with that comes campaigning by both sides - for money and for votes. in england candidates can't buy broadcast ads - they can buy ads in newspapers and magazines or on billboards and the like, but they can't buy tv ads like we do here. for at least the last couple months bush has been buying ads in key states that attack kerry. so we're talking an active campaigning of at least six months. in the uk it's apparently more like six weeks. over there they also allot a certain amount of free television time for each party. one problem with our system is that so much money is required to run a campaign in large part because of the broadcast fees. of course now that the flood gates are open it wouldn't really matter if we prohibited broadcasting of political ads because that money would just get spent elsewhere. in the uk they have limits on the amount of money that can be spent on non-federal campaigns so that's one way they deal with the problem. i'm not sure what other limits they have on federal campaigns, but it seems that money is less of a factor in their system.
  • it seems to me that there are lot of changes that need to happen in our system and you can't just choose one or two reforms. if, for example, we were to prohibit the broadcast of political ads, but not place a cap on the amount of money a campaign could spend then the big money would still be raised and it would still get spent elsewhere. i think a lot of these problems of ours stem from our ideology that people should be able to spend their money in the marketplace as freely as possible. most people seem to think that there isn't much of a problem with this ideology spilling into the political realm.
  • i'm tired.
  • today i reached my maximum queue size on netflix. apparently you can't have more than 500 films in your queue at a time.
  • so recently i've been thinking about two of the world's major problems (energy and over-population) and potential remedies. i've come up with two ideas: 1) round up all the kids under five years old, throw them in a furnace, and use them as fuel in power plants. 2) round up all the kids under seven years old and put them on bikes hooked up to generators. the kids who can survive the 12 hour days are freed after 12 months of service. being proactive is essential.

  • 5-31-04 (02:05)

  • listened to a bit of the majority report on air america today. they had a guest on who was talking about his new book (operation hollywood). essentially it makes the argument that the pentagon has a great deal of influence in the shaping of hollywood movies. any films that seek to use military weaponry (tanks, ships, planes, etc.) must submit the screenplay to the pentagon for approval. if the pentagon likes what they see (i.e., if it makes for good propaganda) then they will aid the studio in their production. if not then the studio has to either change the film or find another way to get the necessary equipment. saving private ryan, for example was filmed in england and wouldn't have been approved because the pentagon doesn't like any depiction, true or not, of american war crimes. in svp there is a scene where american soldiers kill unarmed german soldiers. none of kubrick's films were aided by the pentagon. apocalypse now was filmed in the Philippines because the pentagon didn't like that the film used the word "assassination" when referring to martin sheen's mission to kill brando's character. apparently they don't like the "assassination" to be associated with the military. it's going to make me think twice about any war films i see in the future. it's a pretty perfect book for me since it combines my two greatest interests. i'd like to check it out one of these days when i'm rich.
  • updated movies list.

  • 5-29-04 (02:36)

  • updated movies list.
  • jello biafra is so quotable.
  • today was good, but went by too quickly. watched four movies, including three non-usa pictures, and two criterion films.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 5-28-04 (01:50)

  • no movie tonight.
  • bought three jello biafra spoken word albums today. now i have six of his eight spoken word albums. i have two of noam chomsky's ten albums. i'd also like to get some howard zinn.
  • lately i've only been listening to spoken word albums and old stand-bys like autechre, orbital or led zeppelin.
  • lately i've been thinking about getting a DVD writer. it would be useful for archiving and anything that i get through netflix, but don't necessarily want to buy, could also be copied. i've seen double layer writers for under $100.
  • it's raining.
  • applied for another job a couple days ago.
  • in other bad news the lakers won tonight.
  • average year of release on films i own: 1981.83

  • 5-27-04 (01:15)

  • updated movies list.
  • it should be interesting to see how/if the media coverage of iraq changes after the official turnover date (june 30th). after the "end of major combat" the media coverage didn't seem to change much (and i'm happy about that), but i have a feeling that once it's "in their hands" there will be less coverage about it. this should hold especially true once they have an army of their own that is sustaining some of the casualties.
  • the bushies got rid of the inheritance and dividend taxes because they are "double taxes" right? it seems to me, though, that a lot of income is taxed at least twice. if someone buys a CD at tower using their taxed income then they pay (a local) sales tax on that item. the money then goes to the record store as income and they get taxed. then they pay their workers and they get taxed. i've obviously never run my own business so i'm not sure how it works...perhaps payroll funds of a business are not taxed as income for that business, and are thus only taxed as income for the employee? i don't think that's how it works, but if it is then i suppose it wouldn't be double tax in that instance. i think that the essence of the issue, though, is when do you start adding on multipliers to the taxation. in my example the customer has already had their income taxed and then that money is eventually taxed again - at the point of sale as a sales tax and as a federal income tax when it trickles down to the business or employee. obviously we wouldn't refer to that as a double-taxation since a different person is being taxed for that income. it seems that bush looks at the money being taxed twice, not the person, and that's not very intelligent. then again, i'm not an economist so i may be missing something. now that i think about it i'm not entirely sure what the status of the inheritance tax is...i'm pretty sure there was a move to eliminate it to "save family farms," but i don't know if it was eased or eliminated. either way his rationale wasn't very good.
  • bryce, an ex-coworker, came by the other day. it was good to see him.
  • for the last 6 months or so i've been listening to autechre's "incunabula" a lot and just about every time i put it on i'm absolutely floored by how amazingly good it is. i've always liked it and held it in high regard, but in the recent past it's gone from a very good album to a top five album of all-time. there are some albums or moments in music that seem to transcend music, that transcend human achievement and become something of their own. incunabula is one of those very few albums.

  • 5-26-04 (01:29)

  • "The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled in favor of biotech giant Monsanto in a case widely thought to be pivotal for the biotech industry.  The court determined late last week that Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser had violated a Monsanto patent by growing the company's herbicide-resistant canola without paying a licensing fee. Schmeiser contended that he didn't plant the GM crop deliberately but rather that his fields were "polluted" by the crop, possibly by pollen blown in from a neighboring farm.  Monsanto hailed the court for setting "a world standard in intellectual property protection." GM opponents the world over were troubled by the court's decision, which they fear will set a disturbing precedent.  The only plus for Schmeiser was that the high court overturned a lower-court ruling requiring him to pay more than $100,000 in damages and court costs."
  • updated movies list.
  • read an article a little while back about online role playing game sites creating mini-economies of their own. it described how people would spend time building up a character that started as a peasant and would sometimes sell their character for real money on ebay. people who were new to the game and didn't want to spend time working their way into the game, would just buy characters that other people had worked on. apparently there are entire economies based on this kind of trade. it's some pretty crazy stuff. at any rate, it got me wondering what might happen if a rogue employee for one of these websites got into the program and created a couple of really nice characters with all sorts of upgrades and then pawned them off for himself. it seems like an easy thing to do, and an unlikely thing to trace. even if he was caught i don't think there would be any real damage to the company overall so the worst that could happen is that he would get fired. i mean, it's not technically stealing...right? he's just creating something that wasn't there before and then selling it. i could see that the company might make an argument that this type of thing brings down the relative worth of other players or brings harm to the integrity of the overall game, but it's sort of a stretch and it would likely have such an inconsequential effect that it wouldn't be measurable. in some cases these game sites have started selling prepackaged players so in those instances there would be a more measurable theft, but if one worked for a site that didn't offer this option then i'd think you'd be home free.
  • recommendations page is up. it's pretty slim, but i think it'll be more effective that way. if i recommend too much stuff then people will probably just tune out.
  • i think this is what i have.

  • 5-25-04 (01:54)

  • updated movies list.
  • not very intelligent.

  • 5-24-04 (01:54)

  • "Director Quentin Tarantino has lashed out at reports he awarded Michael Moore the prestigious Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for political reasons. Tarantino headed the jury at the annual movie event on the French Riviera and presented the Oscar-winning filmmaker with the festival's highest honor on Saturday, for his anti-George W Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore's film criticize the Bush administration and the White House foreign policy since the September 11th attacks. Tarantino says, "When I was on stage with Michael Moore, I knew all this politics crap would be brought up. I just whispered in his ear and said, 'I just want you to know it was not because of the politics that you won this award. You won it because we thought it was the best film that we saw.'" Disney, who financed the making of the film under their Miramax studio, have refused to distribute it in America. Although Moore has been looking for a new distributor over the past few weeks, he now expects to have a distributor "within the next 24 hours", since picking up the Palme d'Or."
  • updated movies list.

  • 05-23-04 (02:43)

  • updated movies list.
  • i wish the kings had won.

  • 5-22-04 (02:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • went on campus today and saw several short films. most of them were pretty bad. they're part of the ann arbor film festival which is touring the country right now. glad i went despite the fact that most of the films were uninteresting.
  • lakers won tonight on the road. no big surprise there.

  • 5-21-04 (01:57)

  • updated movies list.
  • wrote a long review for "elephant." i didn't like it all that much when i first saw it, but the more i got thinking about it, the more i saw. i still don't think it's very good, but it is an interesting film and that can be hard to find.
  • this guy's over the hill..."Comedian Bill Cosby embarrassed the National Association For Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP) at a gala on Monday - by attacking lower class African-Americans. The legendary star was speaking in Washington DC to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling - which eradicated segregated schooling in America - but shocked organizers by using the platform to unfavorably compare sixties civil rights activists with today's youth. He said, "These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids - $500 sneakers for what? I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!" Cosby then added his thoughts that petty criminals who are shot dead should not be a source of sorrow. He explained, "These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, saying, 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?""
  • more fact check goodness.
  • sonny sharrock is brilliant. i wish i could find a copy of "ask the ages" on cd for under 20 bucks.
  • add the term "untimely death" to the long list of nonsensical phrases.
  • jason kidd is over the hill.
  • i'm very depressed because of last night's game. i'm not really ready to even talk about it. i just feel bad.
  • 5-20-04 (01:02)
    5-19-04 (01:12)
  • updated movies list.
  • tomorrow has the potential of being a big day. the kings play in game seven. winner faces the lakers and loser goes home until next season.
  • also, there's a chance that i could get a call from the last job i interviewed for...i called to follow up on monday and the guy said they'd have a decision in the next few days.
  • my philosophy on jobs lately has been to try and get into as many fields as i can before i settle into a career some years into my future. i'm really not that eager to settle into a career right now. if i had my druthers i'd be a waiter for a while and then i'd get into carpentry for a while then move onto something completely different, but equally interesting and so on for a while. it seems that when i talk with older people about their lives they have interesting job histories. i would feel like i cheated myself if i came out of college and got into a career right away. that said, i'm more than ready to get away from working at tower, but if there was a decent position working in film or the dvd business then i'd definitely consider it. i'm very happy with the fact that i was a painter, if only for a few months. that kind of experience is pretty valuable...not only because i'd be confident in helping friends/family paint their homes (which i've done), but also because i can say that i know what it's like to be a blue collar worker, or i know what it's like working outdoors in 100 degree heat. in the same way i'm happy that i worked at the theater because it makes me more self-conscious about what i do with my popcorn bag when the movie is over. essentially, the more time i spend in other peoples' shoes, the better.
  • my legs and feet are sore.
  • as many films as i've seen, i still feel very limited in my ability to discuss film in a serious way across its history. i need more free time.
  • afi top 100 films i still haven't seen:
  • 10. Singin' In The Rain (1952)

  • 16. All About Eve (1950)
    43. King Kong (1933)
    52. From Here To Eternity (1953)
    62. Tootsie (1982)
    68. An American In Paris (1951)
    73. Wuthering Heights (1939)
    90. The Jazz Singer (1927)
    92. A Place In The Sun (1951)
    100. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

    5-17-04 (00:57)

  • for some reason when i edit my movies lists in notepad things look lined up, but when i view them online the columns are out of line.
  • chomsky rightly points out the irony of the title (enduring freedom) we have assigned our mission in iraq. endure also means to suffer... iraqis are certainly learning to endure our brand of freedom.
  • he also points out that even though we may say we are interested in multilateral action, our actions elsewhere belie our rhetoric. for example, why didn't we go to the UN security council when looking to take action in afghanistan. surely we would have gotten the go ahead, and yet we didn't make any attempt towards this. he thinks (and i agree) that asking for permission would go against our unilateral policy. in other words, if we ask for permission this time, even if we know it'll be granted, it will set the precedent that permission is needed...and that isn't useful when you want to wage a war in iraq for specious reasons.
  • updated movies list.
  • my knees are tired. my back is mostly healed up now, but after just one day back on the job my knees are sore and tired again. i need a couple months off of my feet. i need lots of time in the bathtub too.
  • mark borchardt hasn't updated his journal in several months. wonder what the deal is. hope he's okay.
  • detroit won tonight. they'll have a game seven as well.
  • looking forward to the new two lone swordsmen album.
  • bought fog of war and season two of law and order today.

  • 5-16-04 (18:35)

  • kings game on friday was sad.
  • kings game today was happy. won't be able to watch game seven because i have work and don't have cable anyway. i could have watched it at woodstock's, but work will get in the way of that. we played pretty well today. our threes were falling and, except for the first quarter, we played good defense. we rebounded the ball well, moved the ball well, and made our open shots. a solid game. now we need to see the same flow offensively and the same effort defensively on wednesday. bibby has been playing very well on a consistent basis.
  • the lakers are looking scary good again, but the kings can still beat them. if the timberwolves beat the kings then the lakers will win another championship. i'd put money on that. actually i wouldn't because it would make me feel dirty - like putting money on how many suicide bombings there are going to be in the gaza strip this week, or something to that effect.
  • "i wonder if bush's daddy engineered this scheme in an attempt to peg blame on iraq and thus have his son finish what he left undone after the gulf war." 9-11-01, 21:23.
  • updated movies list.
  • it's interesting that the stanford prison experiment led to all sorts of sweeping changs in the psychological community. from what i have heard, there were lots of self-imposed rules on what kinds of experiments would be allowed and what participants would be required to know before entering into the experiment (for example, that the could leave at any time). but these sorts of experiments are still taking place, and in fact, are encouraged and profitable within the free market. stuff like joe millionaire is one example of an experiment that could qualify as pretty cruel, but is seen as good entertainment. luckily i have a bad memory when it comes to these shows, but there are a few others where the participants are humiliated in front of millions of people under false pretenses, and though that doesn't equate to the sort of abuse that took place in the standford prison experiment, i'm sure it would be shady, at best, if taken within a lab context. because it's entertainment, though, it's okay.

  • 5-15-04 (01:32)

  • okay, so i'm taking the movies lists to their final level...now i'm adding a column for director which will take a couple days of plugging away in front of the computer, but i've noticed that my computer chair is pretty good for my back so it'll be worth it.
  • my memory was pretty good today. i started putting in some of the directors whose names i could remember off the top of my head and i was able to get probably about 70% of the films knocked out without having to look them up on imdb.com (except to confirm their spelling).
  • updated movies list.
  • i also wanted to get some sort recommended viewing list going...just a sort of way of highlighting some good films i've seen recently for people who have more reasonable movie viewing habits. not sure if i should do it at the beginning of each month...give a brief list of films from the previous month that are worth watching, or if i should just put the review in bold typeface on the reviews page. i'd like to stay away from making whole other page though.

  • 5-14-04 (14:07)

  • had fun with spreadsheets today. put all my movies lists (2000-2003) into spreadsheet format. with each column nicely separated and in spreadsheet format i can do neat things like quickly calculate the average year of release on the movies i saw that year. so for 2000 it was 1977.5, for 2001 it was 1989.5, for 2002 it was 1993.1, and for 2003 it was 1989.6. so far this year the average is 1985.1. in the year 2000 i was taking the first half of the history of film class so that's one reason the average for that year is so much lower than the other years. another bonus is that i can sort the films by country of origin to see that breakdown. it didn't take that long and it's a nice feature to have. for instance, i can easily see that, of the films i've seen this year (192), 48 were made outside of the US. or, there are 75 films that fall below the average of 1985.1 which gives me an idea of what the curve might look like if i were to graph the distribution of films by year of release. i wonder if my program can do that. i found out that the standard deviation is 20, which (i think) means that the meat of the curve would be about 20 years wide. it's too bad my program doesn't figure out median or mode, as well as average.
  • i also added breakdowns (by year of release and month watched) to each movies reviewed list.
  • my back still hurts.

  • 5-13-04 (01:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • a day before i have an interview for a driving position i read this: "Driving too much may not just be bad for the planet -- it may be bad for your heart as well.  According to new research by the U.S. EPA, tiny particulates that pollute the air inside cars can aggravate existing heart conditions.  Rolling your windows up and closing your vents won't help -- some of the particulates in question are 1/800th the width of a human hair and can squeak in past filters.  The particulates come from industrial facilities, vehicles -- all the usual suspects.  It's not clear exactly how they increase heart-rate variability and spawn blood-clot-promoting proteins, but they do, and it's bad news for those with existing heart or lung conditions.  "I wouldn't tell a healthy person not to drive when they need to," said EPA researcher Robert Devlin, "but if someone has a heart condition, I would stay off busy roads.""
  • kings came up big tonight and evened the series. now they need to win two of the next three to advance. peja and christie had bad games, but webber and miller did not. it was a stressful game, i'm glad we pulled it out.
  • if i were a woman i could sell my eggs for thousands of dollars or be a surrogate mother for $20,000. saw this in an ad: "Alternative Conceptions is looking for suitable California surrogates for loving couples. Perfect surrogates would be women, age 35 or younger, who have enjoyed pregnancy and giving birth. It is essential that you maintain a healthy lifestyle, enjoying good nutrition and free from nicotine, alcohol, or drugs. Compensation is $20,000 plus benefits and professional support. For more details, please visit our website at...."

  • 5-12-04 (17:10)

  • hurt my back while i was at work today. left early and have tried to make the most of it. setup an interview for tomorrow morning also went to the dmv. took a pill and my back doesn't hurt very much anymore. it wasn't awful while i was at work, but i figure i'm better safe than sorry. plus, this means i'll be able to watch the kings game.
  • funny.
  • not so funny.

  • 5-12-04 (01:35)

  • "With little fanfare, biotech-food giant Monsanto announced yesterday that it would abandon plans to introduce genetically modified wheat to the market.  Anti-GM activists, who have fought Monsanto's plans for some five years, celebrated the announcement as a major victory. However, the impetus for the shift was likely not the moral and ecological concerns raised by enviros, but the financial concerns of farmers.  Some 50 percent of U.S. wheat is exported, and Japanese and European wheat millers -- the biggest purchasers -- had made it very clear they would not buy GM wheat.  This led U.S. and Canadian farmers, who have embraced other GM crops, to lobby against GM wheat. While the three core GM crops developed by Monsanto -- cotton, soy, and corn -- are used in clothes and pressed into oils that end up in processed foods, wheat has a more direct and symbolically loaded connection to culture and the food on our plates."
  • updated movies list.
  • last night i was listening to the kings game on the radio while i was at work. with about 1:30 left in the game we were down by 8 so i turned the radio off in disgust. today i saw the headline of the sacramento bee "kings lose 114-113 in OT." i was amazed, and very depressed. apparently we went on a tear and tied the game up with 2 seconds left which pushed it to overtime. in overtime we lost by one point largely because a last second shot by peja was either partially blocked or he was fouled. i didn't see it so i don't know. the paper seemed to indicate that it should have been called a foul, but it wasn't. he missed the shot by about five feet so it was one or the other - it wasn't a bad shot, peja hasn't missed a shot by that much in his life. it doesn't really matter though because we lost the game. reading that headline today was like losing the game all over again.
  • lakers and nets pulled even in their series. yahoo poll has the lakers winning the series in seven which is pretty surprising. i think spurs will pull it out in seven. we've got a tough road ahead. we need to win three of the next four, two of which are on the road. i'm pretty certain we'll win the next game which mean it'll be a best of three at that point. no matter how you slice it, things are getting interesting.
  • have to goto the dmv to get a printout of my driving record so i can apply to jobs that require that. the dmv is pretty lame.

  • 5-11-04 (04:02)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings lost tonight and that was tragic. the next game is a must win.

  • 5-10-04 (00:16)

  • updated movies list.
  • the first five led zeppelin albums are their best and of those, zoso is generally considered the pinnacle. but to me zoso didn't really do anything new. the first one was the first one, the second one found them defining their sound more...getting away from blues a bit and more into hard rock, the third incorporated folk and the fifth has, to me, always sounded almost completely different from the other four. the fourth took the first three and brought everything together at a higher level, but i don't think it really broke new ground for them. i just think it's interesting because the fourth is almost always considered their best despite the fact that it didn't break much new ground for their sound.
  • i'm really upset by the nba's decision to go to basic cable more often. i wanted to see the detroit/new jersey game tonight and wasn't able to. it's a playoff game on a sunday and it wasn't on network television. that's pretty damn lame. i guess they think two things - no one on the west coast cares about the east coast games and everyone who cares about basketball has basic cable. i wish i was rich.

  • 5-9-04 (02:34)

  • i should be asleep by now.
  • updated movies list.
  • kings lost a game they should have won. you're always happy when you get a split on the road, but being up by 10 with three and a half minutes left...they should have won tonight. we really need to figure out a way to consistently close games out. our defense is normally very good in the 4th quarter. i saw a stat that showed our defensive fg% is the lowest in the league among playoff teams which is remarkable, but our offense seems to tighten up too much and that's exactly what happened tonight. bibby needs the ball in the fourth and we need to attack the basket.
  • allergies are killing me.

  • 5-8-04 (02:44)

  • updated movies list.
  • today was shitty. i don't seem to have any good luck these days. a lot of things are beginning to work against me and that's a bummer. but luck is a residue of design so i must be doing something wrong.
  • i've been considering voting for bush for the same reason most people i know want to vote against him - he is the presidential candidate most likely to lead us into nuclear war. at this point i think that the world might be a lot better if a few billion people perished quickly.

  • 5-7-04 (01:40)

  • i learned a new word today (no it's not "atom bomb") that i find rather applicable to many of us working class people - hardscrabble.
  • "Controversy is again swirling around provocative documentary filmmaker Michael Moore (Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine) following Miramax's announcement on Wednesday that it will not be distributing Moore's latest film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Earlier, the Walt Disney Co. said that it would prevent Miramax, which it owns, from releasing it, even though Miramax had financed it. Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for the company (herself a former adviser to New York Republican politicos George Pataki and Alfonse D'Amato), said that "it was not appropriate for Disney ... to be the distributor of a politically charged movie in an election year." Critics immediately pointed out that some of Disney's ABC radio stations present a daily barrage of politically charged programming, generally reflecting conservative opinion. "All I can say is, thank God for [Miramax Co-chairman] Harvey Weinstein, who stood by me during the entire production of this movie," Moore said in a statement posted on his website on Wednesday. The film is due to compete at the Cannes Film Festival next week for the festival's Palme d'Or award. Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, which released the controversial Oscar-winning The Fog of War, told today's (Thursday) San Francisco Chronicle that he expects to see Moore's picture at Cannes and that he might be interested in distributing it "if Miramax pitches it to us and it's anything like The Fog of War." Likewise a Lions Gate spokesman told the Toronto Star that his company would also consider releasing the film, adding: "We tend not to be frightened off the controversial projects." Ironically, the title of Moore's film derives from the 1953 Ray Bradbury sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451 about a society that burns controversial books, forcing a group of dissidents to memorize the classics in order to preserve them. The ads for Fahrenheit 9/11 bear the tagline: "The Temperature Where Freedom Burns.""
  • "(Ty) Cobb would always bristle at any suggestion that he was not every bit of the ball player that Ruth was, and even insisted that he was a better hitter. To prove his point, he told reporters one day he would show them that he could, if he chose to, smack balls out of the park just like Ruth did. Cobb proceeded to go 6 for 6, with three home runs and two doubles. The next day, he hit two more home runs. In the third game of the series, he missed a sixth home run by a few inches. His record of 25 bases in two consecutive games still stands to this day."
  • that was written in the mid-90s so it may not stand anymore. i know that shawn green had a monster game a couple years ago wherein he got 19 bases, but i don't know what he did in the game before or after.
  • i've never been a big fan of network news programs, but i do think that ted koppel does a better than average job and all the flak he's getting lately is ridiculous. people are attacking him for reading the names of the dead soldiers on the air. it's gotten so ridiculous that some stations have even pulled his show, effectively censoring him.
  • some girl was at work today talking with a co-worker of mine. they were discussing an american history class they are both currently taking. the girl said to my co-worker something along these lines: "i'm a product of the california public school system so i've taken u.s. history like eight times. so when professor smith starts talking about the brown bill and civil rights and stuff i just sort of tune out. i mean i've learned that stuff already and he doesn't make it any more interesting so it completely bores me." two things - the brown "bill" was a court case, not a bill passed by congress so despite her taking u.s. history "like eight times" she has yet to fully grasp the difference. also, not only did she seem to indicate that mentioning brown vs. board of education was redundant, she also seemed to question why he would mention it in the first place. there are two answers to that - it changed the country to a great extent is the obvious one and the other is that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the decision.
  • i heard on the news today that some congressman has proposed a bill that would dock the salary of congressmen if they didn't balance the budget. the story (which was actually done relatively well considering it was a local news bit) went on to detail the proposal...there would be a 5% decrease of pay if they couldn't balance the budget the first year and a 10% decrease for the second year. the bill would also allow for an increase in salary under some conditions. i can't think of a better recent example of lame-brained reactionary legislation. i agree that spending is out of control...that's one reason i want bush out of office, but a) docking a congressman 5% of their salary isn't going to do crap and b) there are times when deficit spending is necessary for our economic health.
  • i wouldn't mind giving legislators a 100% raise if it meant they couldn't get any private funding to help their election campaigns.
  • updated movies list.

  • 5-6-04 (02:02)

  • "Film studio Disney are refusing to release Michael Moore's latest documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 - according to the controversial director himself. The Dude, Where's My Country author, who won an Oscar for his 2002 picture Bowling For Columbine, announced on his official website yesterday Disney has banned the film's producer Miramax from distributing the movie, which criticizes American President George W. Bush. Moore says, "Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, Fahrenheit 9/11. The reason? According to today's New York Times, it might 'endanger' millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will 'anger' the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush." Despite his upset at Disney's decision, Moore is adamant the film will be screened. Moore continues, "Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show. But there's nothing they can do about it now because it's done, it's awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you'll see it this summer because, after all, it is a free country." Fahrenheit 9/11 links the U.S. Premier with powerful families in Saudi Arabia, including terror chief Osama Bin Laden, and criticizes Bush's actions prior to the September 11 tragedy. Miramax spokesman Matthew Hilzik told the New York Times, "We are discussing the issues with Disney. We're looking at our options and look forward to resolving this amicably." However, an adamant Disney spokesperson Zenia Mucha remarks, "We advised both Moore's agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed. That decision stands." Fahrenheit 9/11 is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month."
  • nothing new there. the publisher of "stupid white men" tried to get moore to heavily edit that book after the 9-11 attacks. fortunately some librarians made a ruckus and put an end to that.
  • updated movies list.
  • i've been sort of flirting with the idea of ranking movies using a number system. one to ten in (about) five categories. cinematography, acting, direction, screenplay, and misc. it would mean slightly more work and would mess with all the previous rankings, but would also provide more information on why it got the grade it got. one problem with it is that there might be some films that i really like but don't have great cinematography or something else and that would bring down their score to a lower level than i might like. then there's the problem b films or experimental films. b films are bad in lots of ways, but are still fun to watch, so they might receive a good score in the misc. category, but low scores elsewhere. koyaanisqatsi, an experimental film, wouldn't get any score for acting or screenplay so what would i do then? the system clearly has its limitations so it's probably better to just continue with my current method while trying to give ample reason for my grading.
  • speaking of all that, my reviews list for this year is officially larger than the list from 2003. so in only four months i've written more than in all 12 months of 2003.
  • in 2001 (the year of the trip) i didn't watch 179 movies until late october.
  • one of the nice things about working at tower is that on occasion i'll run into someone who i can talk with about movies or music. there are a couple people who are sort of regular customers who will chat with me about movies or music. one of those guys came in today and we talked about good films. he seems to know a good amount of stuff and that makes the conversation good. if i talk with a guy like scott simmon about film then i mostly listen. or if i talk with most of my co-workers then i do most of the talking. each level of involvement has its merits.
  • read over some more of my old reviews. i have some pretty good ones mixed in with mostly average write-ups. the one for blood simple was pretty cool and i had already forgotten most of the stuff i mentioned.
  • i was thinking about "meet the parents" today and what a great film it is. in some ways it's almost a better screenplay than planes trains and automobiles. the skeleton of the film is good enough and most hollywood producers/filmmakers would have been happy with the uncomfortable situation comedy of a son in-law-to-be spending time with his future in-laws. clearly, though, the film was re-written several times...each time acquiring another layer of comedy. the tiny additions from naming him greg focker and playing on that repeatedly to the whole thing with the cat or the lost baggage or the ex-boyfriend (owen wilson) or the speedos greg has to wear as a result of his lost baggage or any number of things. everything works so well together and it's such a well-constructed film. it's tough to write comedy that well. it's easy to set up one-liners, but to have plot turns reap the benefits that they did in meet the parents is pretty hard to do. i like that movie a lot.
  • tarantino said that he thinks the benchmark for a director is whether they can do an action film well. i agree that action is a tough genre to direct well, though i'm not sure it's the benchmark...i just haven't thought about it very much. but i think that comedy may be the benchmark for writers. for me anyway, comedy is tough to get just right. getting a few laughs isn't all that hard, but to get gut-wrenching laughs from varied sources (fart jokes to verbal puns to sight gags) is damn tough. i haven't really thought about it much...it just occurred to me, but (in my book) there aren't very many really great comedies and that may be because it's so hard to write effective comedy. i'd have to give it more thought.
  • i'm not sure what's wrong with the lakers these days. phil jackson has a huge problem on his hands because they need to win the next two games or else they're goners, and right now they're playing without any fire. what a bunch of under-achievers. the one time i want them to win so we can face them in the next round and they play like a high school team.
  • about half the job opportunities out there look something like this:

  • "Requirements:
    Proven leadership qualities.
    Clear thinker.
    High and quality achiever.
    We are seeking highly talented sales builders.
    We will provide challenges in marketing and sales to suite your talent and gain experience for future goals and positions.
    You will be provided with projects and are required to be producive and demonstrate results.
    Willing and able to perform without much supervision.
    Applicants please complete the following BIO questions and include with resume.
    BIO QUESTIONS:
    1. LIST YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, IN AN ORDER OF BEST TO GOOD.
    2. LIST WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH AND WHY?
    3. HOW MUCH TIME, EFFORT AND FRUSTRATION YOU WANT TO BEAR TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOAL?
    4. THREE SPORTS YOU PLAYED?
    5. WHICH SPORT YOU DID NOT LIKE? WHY?
    6. WHEN YOU FIND A REAL INSIGHT INTO A PROBLEM AND FOUND A TRUE AND SIMPLE SOLUTION WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
    7. NAME 5 PROCESSES THAT YOU HAVE SIMPLIFIED IN LIFE.
    8. UNFORTUNATE AS IT MAY BE, YOU HAPPEN TO FALL IN TO A 1 MILE DEEP DITCH, HOW WOULD YOU GET OUT?"

    5-5-04 (01:44)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings game wasn't televised tonight. that's pretty silly. got to listen to some of it at work and was pleased with the way we played. when you have a guy who steps up in a big way, like bibby did tonight, it's really important to get the win. it's a shame when you have a player have a great game and the team still loses. i'm glad we took one from minnesota early because they're a less experienced team in the playoffs and losing right off the bat might hurt their confidence a bit later in the series. i think we had a good game overall, but especially in the last few minutes of the game. the two previous games were a bit disheartening because, even though we won, we couldn't close out the games strong. in the last game against dallas we didn't score at all in the last three minutes and had to rely on a last second missed shot by nowitski to win (or, more accurately, not lose) the game. tonight, on the other hand, we hit some big jumpers (including a three by christie) and made free throws to close out the game. that's what winning teams do well. we also got the defensive rebounds when it mattered and that's very important down the stretch - especially for us since it's one of our few weak points. very pleased, but we still need to win three more games to move on to the next round.
  • work didn't go so well today. last night alex (who used to work at tower as a loss prevention agent) came in to sell some cds because he needed cash to make a car payment. so i bought a bunch of cds off him which may be considered a no-no since he used to work at tower and probably got some of the cds for free while working there. today i noticed that all the cds i purchased from him were missing as if they had been taken into evidence. there were also a couple loss prevention guys talking with joe throughout the day behind closed doors. they may be plotting my departure. i don't think i did anything really wrong, but it doesn't matter either way since they don't need a real reason to let me go anyway. so all day i was expecting to get called into the principal's office where i would find out that my parents were going to have to come and pick me up. it's so retarded.
  • woody allen has the most nominations for an academy award in the original screenplay category with 13. the next person behind him has only 6, who is it?
  • there's going to be a renoir boxset coming out through criterion in july. fun.
  • frederico fellini has six academy award nominations and is number two behind woody allen in the original screenplay category.

  • 5-4-04 (03:08)
  • updated movies list.

  • 5-3-04 (12:19)

  • on saturday we went up to grass valley/nevada city to get away for the day. we visited the empire gold mine and downtown nevada city. apparently grass valley/nevada city are one of only three "book towns" in the entire united states. there's something like 22 independent bookstores within their limits which is pretty impressive considering the combined population is probably under 10,000. we went into one of the bookstores and they had a small, but impressive collection. it was mostly on california related stuff, but they also had some nice sets like a complete works of mark twain or sets of presidential correspondence which had all the letters and speechs of every president. nevada city is also home of the oldest theater building in california. the empire mine is 11,000 feet long and almost a mile underground, which brings it about 2,000-2,500 feet below sea level. the empire mine state park was smallish, but it had some good exhibits. they had all sorts of cool rocks...some very interesting calcites and some really nicely colored rocks from zaire and some gold and even a martian rock.
  • that trip made me want to go on a real road trip again.

  • 5-3-4 (00:30)

  • "The actors who voice Homer and Bart on The Simpsons are delighted with a huge pay rise which see them earning millions of dollars for their work on the hit animation show. Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright - who voice Homer and Bart respectively - are thrilled with their new contract following their battle with TV bosses at 20th Century Fox Television for a pay rise to $8 million each for the 22-episode 2004-05 season. The series producer explains, "We couldn't be happier to have reached a multi- year deal with the enormously talented cast of The Simpsons." The loss of even a few episodes of the animated hit show - a bulwark of Fox TV's schedule - would be financially painful for the network. The actors were earning $125,000 an episode before their contract dispute."
  • that's about a 300% raise.
  • it's getting really fucking hot these days.
  • updated movies list.
  • into my second wave of sports films.
  • lakers lost today. usually that's a good thing, but i kinda want them to win so we can face them in the next round of the playoffs. two reasons for that - victory won't be quite as sweet if we don't go through the lakers and i think we have a better chance against the lakers in a series than against the spurs. if the spurs win i'll be fine with that because going through the defending champions is also a worthy way of getting to the nba finals. the final four in the western conference are all very tough teams. in the east i think that indiana and detroit are the best teams. i think detroit is underrated, but only time will tell.
  • there are two good reasons for writing my reviews...it keeps me writing and therefore keeps my mind sharper than it would be if i didn't write about the films i watch. and it's nice to be able to read one of my reviews and remember what i thought about a particular film. my memory isn't very good so it's a useful resource.

  • 11-23-03
  • Winged Migration - it's not an amazing film, but it is good. the cinematography looks good, but i wish they had used better cameras or film because the images weren't as crisp as they could have been and the color wasn't as vibrant as i would have liked. i may be nit-picking there, but for this kind of film paying attention to the technical details is pretty damn important. they used a good combination of capuring techniques - some of the shots were from one person aircrafts that flew alongside the birds, some of the shots were from boats, or from the ground - and they did a good job of drawing the viewer into the life of the birds. the movie itself is a cross between baraka and microcosmos...it doesn't have quite the socio/political commentary of baraka and doesn't have as high a quality of photography as microcosmos. unlike either film, winged migration chooses to have some narration and information. this was nice, but ultimately not very informative. it gave statistics on how far a certain species of bird migrates, but didn't go much beyond that. an overrated movie, but hopefully it'll draw attention to films like it. certainly there were nice things about the film...one can't watch birds for an hour and a half and not be intrigued at least a little bit, but that's testament to the subject matter, not the film. C+.
  • it's really hot.
  • four more stores in the tower chain are closing.

  • 5-1-04 (01:47)

  • updated movies list.
  • the new !!! single is called "pardon my freedom." that's a good song title.
  • miracle is coming to dvd on may 18th...been looking forward to that one for a while. when it was in the theaters i didn't hear very much press about it which is too bad because it was a really good film. here's a review of the dvd. and my review of the film.
  • "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that you? For even sinners do the same." Luke 6:32-33
  • went to kdvs today to give them my check and pickup my premiums for pledging during their fundraiser. they did well this year and that's good to hear.

  • 4-30-04 (02:21)

  • ncaa tightens academic requirements. the article isn't very specific, but i assume there are some plans to increase the minimum SAT score or some such step to "ensure athletes are better prepared when they enter college." i have no problem with steps that encourage colleges to graduate more of their atheletes...i've always respected for bobby knight because, despite his temper, he makes sure his athletes graduate at a much higher than average rate. but ever since i saw "hoop dreams" i've felt that academic requirements for atheletes should be kept lower than non-athletes. there are a few reasons for my opinion on this. 1) college is about preparing high school graduates for the next level in whatever career they desire. some people want to become senators, others basketball players. currently there are more nba players than there are senators, yet people would more likely refer to being in the nba as a pipe dream; not sure why that is. there are a good deal of opportunities in sports - coaching at all levels and playing here and abroad are just the most popular ones. 2) we don't require kids with a 1600 on their SAT to take physicals, so why would we require atheletes to meet stricter academic standards? should their be some sort of standard? sure, but i don't think raising it is necessary or preferable which bring me to number 3) raising standards doesn't mean that atheletes are going to do better, it means that more atheletes are going to be denied the opportunity to go to college. for basketball this means that more will enter the draft out of high school which means there will be less talent in college and more undeveloped talent in the nba. that won't benefit the ncaa or the nba, but it will benefit the few kids who make it to the nba out of high school since they'll be getting paid at least six figures. and though there will be more people trying to make the jump, many won't make it and some of those who do make it won't have had the many opportunities that college provides. finally, i don't think it hurts other students, or the college at large, all that much to have a handful of atheletes, who are less qualified academically, be part of the college. i understand that it's a zero sum situation, meaning that for every underqualified athlete who makes it, there will be a qualified non-athlete who doesn't. but, personally, i don't have a problem with that. them's the breaks. so that's my ethical argument for keeping the standards where they are. of course there's the economic argument which is pretty overwhelming and obvious, but really shouldn't factor into the decision as much as it does, so i won't adopt it here.
  • the big news of the day is also sports related...the kings won tonight and made it to the second round of the playoffs. our offense had its shit together again and that was encouraging. in three of the four games that we won in this series, though, we had scoring droughts down the stretch and that's cause for concern. overall it was a strong series and it got our confidence back. tonight's game was a fun one to watch. bibby was on fire which was good because webber had a bad game. the officiating was poor and mostly to our detriment, but we still pulled it out so that was good. our rebounding was bad again and that's going to be a concern against a team like minnesota. i like the fact that we were down by as much as 16 and still were able to come back through a combination of defense and good shooting. we also won three of the four quarters so that's a positive sign. songaila did a really good job this series. not as much as bobby jackson would have done off the bench, but good nonetheless. we're going to really miss bobby jackson against minnesota. hopefully he gets better soon.
  • while i was at work today i was training a new girl on the ticketmaster machine and showing her how to get tickets for various events at various price levels. as an example i pulled up tonight's kings game since the prices vary from 900 to 12 bucks. out of pure luck i was able to find a couple tickets at the 27.50 price. that's pretty crazy since those games sell out in the first few minutes that they go on sale. what must have happened is either they released more tickets or there was a refund. unfortunately i couldn't go to the game so i asked the guys at armadillo (music store across the street) and one of them snagged the tickets. lucky guy.
  • tonight was also the pixies concert. ryan and luke came from berkeley....ryan to see the concert and luke to tag along. luke visited me at tower which was nice, but i was pretty concerned at the time because the kings were down 17-3 at the time. maybe it was 14-3, either way it was looking very bad.
  • no movie tonight. the other night i watched the first 19 minutes of grease 2 and just couldn't bring myself to watch the rest of the movie. it's such an awful piece of crap. at least when i watched gigli i was watching it with someone and had a sort of morbid curiousity of how bad it would get. grease 2 compelled me in no way other than to press eject.
  • after the nhl and nba playoffs i'll be able to focus on my fantasy baseball team.
  • called the city of davis to follow up on one of the many positions for which i've applied lately...the guy said he didn't have any positions open, but that i should continue to call. that wasn't a total rejection so i guess that's good. also applied for two jobs at uc davis. looked into jobs at sac city and didn't find anything. i look at the classifieds almost daily. i also look at the sacbee classfieds frequently. i also look for jobs on craigslist.org. in other words, contrary to popular belief, i'm still actively looking.
  • got the money from the coachella tickets today. also got a bill for car insurance.

  • 4-29-04 (02:01)

  • updated movies list.
  • "Also today, there's a story up over at CNN.com on a new DVD player from RCA that uses ClearPlay software to censor "objectionable" material out of movies on disc. So, you know... if you're just dying to show your underage kids movies like (for example) Dawn of the Dead, Last Tango in Paris or Natural Born Killers, but don't want them to see any naughty bits, this $70 piece of poo is right up your alley. MMmmmmm... makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and safe inside! Any guesses as to where you can buy this player? Yep... Wal-Mart, that retail bastion of moral decency which, to this day, still sells guns and ammo in its stores (Low Prices on Brands You Trust... like Beretta, Ruger and Savage!). I have nothing against guns - it's the hypocrisy that drives me crazy. Personally, I'd rather just wait until my kids were old enough to see a movie the way it was MEANT to be seen. Ah well. It's a truly puzzling world." - thedigitalbits.com
  • today was pretty lame. my bike fell while it was locked up and apparently banged up against the metal pole to which it was locked. as a result the big cog attached to the crank is bent out of shape a bit and makes the chain rub against the front derailer with each rotation.
  • some customer left their doggie bag at the front counter at work today. after we closed i looked inside and there was some leftover sushi. i took it home and ate it. there's not much i wouldn't do for sushi. i'm also poor so free food can't be wasted.
  • i wish i had cable so i could watch the nhl and nba playoffs. there are only two or three channels i'd be interested in if i got cable so paying 50 bucks a month just doesn't seem worth it.
  • the "progress" of our country has been marked by (among other things) the increased difficulty to separate oneself from society. 200 years ago it would have been rather easy to have a family and live on a farm with very minimal human contact. i wish it were easier to subsist on your own labor these days. i understand that the system we have now allows me to have a dvd player and go downtown to buy a dvd and eat a lunch someone else prepared for me, etc. but i often wish i could trade all that for the ability to work my own land and not have to deal with stupid drunk people trying to pick fights with other stupid drunk people in the middle of the street, or stupid drivers turning left in front of my bike, or people in general or go to work for a boss so i can earn a piece of paper that becomes a number on a screen that gets smaller as i pay for electricity, a place to sleep, hot water, a phone line, interest on past debts, car insurance and food. we're the wealthiest nation in the world, but we also have such a great deal of overhead as individuals. i wonder how many people actually own their homes now. i don't know anyone who owns their home. people call themselves home owners, but they still have to pay for their homes. once you actually own your home outright you become very rich because all that money you were spending on space to sleep, now is disposable income. it's pretty depressing when you start thinking about it. i'm about two steps away from living like ted.
  • tomorrow is my friday and that's good.

  • 4-28-04 (02:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • orbital are splitting up after their next album comes out.
  • setting the facts straight about kerry's record. there's also a good article in the march 27th issue of the economist regarding kerry as a supposed flip-flopper. it puts his votes in their proper context and points out that "flip-flopping" isn't always a bad thing. for example, bush, pre-9/11, would have been against a department of homeland security or how about his claims to be pro free trade, but later deciding to impose a tariff on imported steel.
  • "The claim that Kerry voted against body armor is based similarly on Kerry's vote last year against an $87 billion emergency supplemental appropriation bill to finance military operations and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It included $300 million for the latest, ceramic-plate type of body armor for troops who had been sent to war without it. The body-armor funds amounted to about 1/3 of one percent of the total."
  • if i were a politician i would write all sorts of bills that allocated 99% of their funds to wars on cheese or boots, or something equally inane, while having the other 1% of the money go towards helping the homeless or giving a tax refund to the middle class or something. then, come election time, i could tell the american people that my opponent, senator x, voted against middle class tax relief and helping the homeless - what an evil guy. the scary thing is that if i had almost 200 million bucks to spend on my campaign (like bush), people would start to believe my accusations about my opponent.
  • i'm interested in finding out what will happen regarding campaign finance reform. the mccain/feingold bill doesn't seem to be doing very much. now we have independent organizations campaigning for/against candidates under the guise of free speech. they could try to shut down all "partisan" campaigning from organizations, but i don't know how successful that will be. i think that if that happens it benefits the left because there's nothing wrong with informing people of their rights as voters or putting money into getting people to register to vote...both are leftist tactics to mobilize the poor and disenfranchised.
  • who is kerry's VP going to be?

  • 4-27-04 (02:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • big win tonight for the kings. happy that went well. we should have closed out the game a bit better, but i like the outcome. darius songaila made a bad rookie mistake and webber got an offensive rebound while on the out of bounds line...the replay i saw made it look like he was actually inbounds, but it got called as a turnover. the mavs missed a bunch of free throws and they'll point to that as the reason for their loss. it's a tough loss for them because there's a huge difference between being down 3-1 and being tied 2-2. at any rate we won the game and now we only have to win one game out of the next three.
  • of the "big four" american sports i like basketball the most. each of the four is interesting in its own way. in baseball the defense has the ball, in basketball, hockey and football the offense has the ball. basketball and hockey are the most fluid of the two. football is the only sport of the four that allows people to play on only one side of the game (except for the american league in baseball, but that's another debate...) hockey is neat because even though there is so much back and forth and so many substitutions, it's a low scoring game so all goals are big goals. in basketball one play in the middle of the game has very little bearing on the outcome of the game (unless it's an injury), but in a hockey game one breakaway goal can be the difference. i think that football is the most intensely strategic of the four. it's also the worst sport to watch on tv since you see the smallest percentage of the field. since baseball is so slow they have time to show tv viewers when the outfield shifts or if the first baseman is playing the line or any number of things outside of the usual pitcher-batter shot. in football showing a play develop downfield isn't much of an option. they can show you a replay, but that's not as good. basketball and hockey are almost always confined to one end of the court/ice so you can see pretty much all the action within the screen. i'm not sure why i like basketball the most. perhaps it's because basketball is the sport that develops the most complete athletes (in my opinion). there are only five people on the court at any given time (the least of the four sports) and each must play well on both sides of the court. any disadvantage a player may have on defense will be exploited so everyone needs to develop both sides of their game. despite having the smallest playable area, basketball (like all sports) is still a very strategic game. and because it's so fluid it is never boring to watch. i could go on analyzing the differences between the sports, but most of it is self-evident. suffice it to say that i like all of them, but for different reasons.
  • "Criterion’s upcoming release of Gillo Pontecorvo’s landmark 1965 film The Battle of Algiers will be a three DVD set. This special edition will include a new transfer supervised by cinematographer Marcello Gatti and a number of features created specifically for the Criterion release, including new interviews with writer/director Gillo Pontecorvo, producer/actor Saadi Yacef, actor Jean Martin, Marcello Gatti, composer Ennio Morricone, and historians Benjamin Stora and Alistair Horne. Also featured will be filmmakers speaking to the film's importance, including directors Steven Soderbergh, Julian Schnabel, and Spike Lee. Look for Criterion’s The Battle of Algiers this autumn."

  • 4-26-04 (01:29)

  • updated movies list.
  • hmmm.
  • lakers won a close one today. i hate the lakers. i like jeff van gundy and yao ming. houston is my second favorite team.

  • 4-24-04 (22:37)

  • added a country of origin column on my movies lists. it's going to take a while, and i'm not check every single title, but it'll be nice to have once it's completed.

  • 4-23-04 (03:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • one reason that being a runner was so cool is that after every workout you knew you had made yourself better. it was easy to see an improvement on a weekly basis. every day built on the next and that's nice. it seems that much of the rest of life isn't like that. with other things that you may want to change about yourself the slate gets wiped clean every morning. at least that's how it seems with me. if you do some good things today that doesn't have any bearing on what's going to happen tomorrow.
  • had to train new people at work today and didn't get to leave until 10:40. i usually get out by 10:10. joe told me the other day that i have to stay until 10:30 everyday rather than just leaving after the closing duties are done. no one wants me to get a new job more than i do.
  • so when bush got that authorization from congress to do what he wanted in iraq (what were they thinking, by the way?) he had to show congress two things: 1) that there was no diplomatic avenues left available AND 2) he had to show that action in iraq was consistent with the war on terrorism. i hadn't heard of these stipulations until just this month. i listen to the news fairly frequently and yet i never heard that there were stipulations regarding his movements in iraq. i always heard it was more or less a blank check handing over military power to bush. so i'm sort of happy to hear that congress made him meet certain (ambiguous) guidelines but i'm also disheartened that 1) i didn't hear about them until recently and 2) that they weren't enforced.
  • melanie got my !!! (chk chk chk) cd signed by one of the band members today. he was down at kdvs for the fundraiser and she went down there to get her premium. that was nice of her.

  • 4-22-04 (01:47)

  • we decided that we're not going to go to coachella. it's just going to be a pain and we could get pretty good money for the tickets.
  • today was shitty in almost every possible way.
  • updated movies list.
  • saw scott simmons in tower today and talked with him for a few minutes. that was the highlight of my day.
  • listening to haunted dancehall by sabres of paradise. not sure why i haven't listened to that more often.
  • william hung's album is number seven on our top 25 at tower.

  • 4-21-04 (02:10)

  • KDVS fundraiser is going on right now. do your part here.
  • updated movies list.
  • kings won a big game tonight. webber came up big (despite missing two big free throws down the stretch) and looked as good as he has all year. bibby turned it on late in the game and christie had another good effort. our defensive rebounding still needs work. overall we looked good and got good shots (unfortunately they weren't falling), so i'm happy.
  • "On 7/6, look for the film noir classics The Big Clock, Black Angel, Criss Cross, Double Indemnity, This Gun for Hire (1942) and Touch of Evil (all SRP $14.98)" on dvd.
  • the celebration is coming to dvd on 7/27. finally.
  • soundgarden are good.

  • 4-19-04 (02:08)

  • updated movies list.
  • "Madonna has ditched her best friend Debi Mazar - because she doesn't follow the teachings of the Kabbalah. The revelation comes just days after the singer reportedly refused to schedule performances for her upcoming world tour on Friday nights, because the mystical offshoot of Judaism forbids it. An insider tells New York website Page Six, "They are no longer best friends. Debi is very hurt and confused, but Madonna has made up her mind. These women have been friends for 20 years and now, nothing." The Material Girl has donated huge sums of money to the religion - including all proceeds from her children's books - and will reportedly give the Kabbalah Center earnings from her upcoming Re-invention Tour. The insider adds, "Madonna is doing everything for Kabbalah she and hubby Guy Ritchie are its biggest cash cows - they make a lot of money for the Kabbalah Center.""
  • picnic day was yesterday and that was fun. we didn't do all that much, and it rained while we were biking to and from the fesitivities, but it was still a good day. most of the time we were there it wasn't raining at all. the weather has been odd the last couple days. saw some funny short films, the j band, a fashion show, and a bunch of other stuff.
  • on friday we watched kill bill volume one and two and ate out.
  • i had a good weekend, but it went by too quickly.
  • the kings won today and i got to see most of the game so that made me happy. christie came up big. peja got going early and webber was as aggressive as i've seen him this year, though his numbers were only average for him. divac opened up the game early. not having jackson hurt us defensively because peeler isn't as quick to recover or help on rotation. also, brad miller wasn't able to get much going because of the matchup problems that dallas presents. we shut them down when we needed to and that's what counts. we played a good game, but it wasn't as great as the announcers made it out to be. the intensity was there and that's what was lacking the last few weeks, so that may have contributed to people thinking it was a really good game. the next game will be tougher and we'll have to find a way to consistently slow them down.
  • still not sure whether i'll be able to go to coachella or not.

  • 04-16-04 (03:37)

  • interesting interview.
  • updated movies list.
  • i have the shins album stuck in my head. fuck the shins.
  • "according to the latest issue of Video Business, director Quentin Tarantino has big plans for both Kill Bill, Volume 1 and Volume 2 on DVD. The director has been quoted as saying that he cut an alternate version of Kill Bill, Volume 1 for release in Japan, that will be released in the States eventually. This version contains both new footage and omissions. He also plans to assemble a complete 4-hour version of both films together for art house theatrical screenings. Look for a multi-disc "major special edition" of both films on DVD, which may include significant deleted scenes (including the original introduction to the character of Bill, who originally fought Michael Jai White, as well as the original scene at the wedding chapel). Tarantino is also reportedly considering releasing additional stand-alone supplemental discs after the main DVD release."
  • netflix is raising their prices by 10%.

  • 04-15-04 (00:42)

  • this is what i'm talking about.
  • "Federal policies favorable to renewable energy could yield up to 240,000 jobs by 2020 nationwide, whereas continued focus on new fossil-fuel development would yield only some 80,000 jobs, according to a new study by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley.  The research was released yesterday at a Seattle press conference that highlighted the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of enviros, politicians, labor activists, and deep thinkers that is promoting a national effort on renewable energy commensurate with the single-minded pursuit of space travel under President Kennedy's Apollo Project.  The Alliance's goal is to have renewables providing 15 percent of the nation's energy by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020. The Alliance sees hope for its agenda in the current troubles besetting Bush's fossil-fuel-centric energy plan, which is mired both in the Senate and, the group says, the 20th century."
  • no movie tonight.
  • today was a really bad day.
  • kings lost, lakers won in double ot with a last second shot from kobe. that means the kings are fourth in the west and the lakers are second. that's just silly. we've totally tanked it lately and my conclusion is that it's a mental thing. either way, if we go out in the first round then adelman will have to look for another job. not having bobby jackson sucks, but isn't excuse enough for the way we've played lately.
  • work was awful and i almost quit.
  • "The U.K. is stuck with nearly 500,000 tons of nuclear waste, which will be dangerous for 250,000 years, and it is flummoxed about what to do with it.  A government commission assigned to study the problem is considering a range of options including, we kid you not, firing the stuff into the sun, burying it underneath the ocean, placing it on Antarctica where it would melt its way down to bedrock, and tunneling it down under the Earth's crust -- an idea that's already been tried (!) by the U.S. and Russia.  There's also the old-fashioned option of storing it above ground in concrete bunkers, but those things need upgrading every 100 years or so, and by our math, that's 2,500 upgrades before the waste becomes safe.  A report to the commission states, with tragic-comic British dryness, that 50 years of experience dealing with nuclear waste shows "the pursuit of 'the best' in the long-term management of radioactive waste to be an illusory concept," and that success, in this grim context, means "the identification of 'the acceptable.'""
  • i have 472 movies in my netflix queue.

  • 4-14-04 (01:11)

  • updated movies list.
  • was searching through more job ads today and came across a counselor position at a shelter like the one i used to work at in woodland. they're offering $9/hr to work with "severely emotionally disturbed adolescent boys, ages 7-14." right below that ad there was another ad for the same shelter that had an opening for a cook position. for that position they were offering $10.50/hr.
  • i've been looking for a job just about every day now for the last few months and still haven't found anything as promising as the city of davis job.
  • i like westerns more than i realized.
  • big kings game tomorrow. doug christie is officially my favorite kings player.
  • i thought about possibly quitting my job and getting a few part time jobs instead of one full time job. if i worked for the theater, had a paper route and cleaned houses for old ladies that would mean just as much money as i make now and i'd have a slightly more flexible schedule and wouldn't have to deal with one boss as much. a paper route would mean i'd basically work on my own the whole time, cleaning/doing yard work would be physical and would be an as needed type of job and the theater thing would mean free movies and easy work. i wouldn't get any benefits and i'd probably end up working more hours, but it's an idea.
  • there's a decent chance that joe won't let me have may 1st and 2nd off because we have two more people quitting before then. that would mean that i wouldn't be able to goto coachella despite asking for the days off over a month ago. two other people want to go to the music festival as well, so that poses a problem. hopefully i get the time off. if i don't then i don't know what i'll end up doing. i've seriously contemplated just quitting.
  • max beesley is my least favorite actor of all-time.
  • david mcnally may be the worst director ever.
  • after tower filed for bankruptcy joe said "business will run as usual, there won't be any store closures, everyone still has a job." but then in march i read this article which said "“We don’t anticipate any layoffs at all,” said spokesperson Kevin Cassidy. “We’ve gone down that road for the last two years.” Tower said it would shutter two undisclosed store locations." i heard yesterday (from a customer) that the berkeley store is closing in may. i heard from another customer that there are two other stores that might be closing. this is the kind of thing that makes working for a major company a major pain in the ass.

  • 4-13-04 (01:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings lost tonight. i actually don't mind the loss that much. we need to win the next, and final, game in order to secure a second place finish in the west. being second would give us a first round matchup against houston who we shouldn't have much trouble with.
  • anyone who keeps abreast of the news on a semi-regular basis should be well aware of how inept george bush is and yet 45% of the people still plan on voting for him. every time i think of that it bewilders me. regardless of your ideology you have to see his policies as pretty insidious and evil. it just blows my mind.
  • work was mostly lame today. i stayed busy, which was good, but joe was on his period so that made things lame.

  • 4-12-04 (00:40)

  • another good site.
  • updated movies list. five days in a row that i've watched at least two movies. that streak will likely end tomorrow.
  • "California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger turned into a real-life action hero last week - by saving a swimmer from drowning. The 56-year-old was holidaying with his family in Maui, Hawaii, when he helped the struggling swimmer by diving into the sea and bringing him back to the beach. An onlooker says, "Arnold sat with this guy for quite a while as he had cramps, was breathless and a bit shaken up. He was also overawed by having just been rescued by the Terminator. It's not every day one of the world's most famous movie heroes saves you from drowning. I'm sure he'll be telling all his friends although they might not believe him.""
  • i'm happy that the kings won today.
  • my feet are sore. people just aren't meant to be on their feet for 6-8 hours a day.

  • 4-11-04 (18:08)

  • listened to most of the first half, and watched the entire second half of the kings game today. that was the kings basketball. all this talk about webber holding the kings back or adelman needing to switch up the line-up was proven false today. we played defense both on and off the ball, we rebounded well on both sides of the court, and our offense moved without the ball. today's game was a thing of beauty. after the game shaq said (on live tv) he was "not fucking impressed" and will likely be fined for that. despite what he says none of the lakers fouled out and the lakers only had three more fouls than the kings. kobe shot the ball only once in the first half in part because our defense was that good and in part because the zen master has allowed the lakers to sort of fall apart in the last four or five games. they'll get it back together for the playoffs, i'm sure. but the fact remains that when the kings play as hard as they played tonight they can beat anyone in the world. that's not an overstatement. we didn't shoot the lights out (only 42%), peja only scored 13 points, we made just as many three-pointers as the lakers (8), had fewer offensive rebounds (13 vs. 16) and equalled them in overall rebounds (47, which is good since we usually get out rebounded)...all this is to point out that we didn't actually have that great of a game - i've seen our offense play a lot better - but we played hard and that is what made the difference. if we play this hard and we have a good shooting night or peja is having a good night then we have the potential to score 130 points and/or hold teams to under 80 points. that's not going to happen in the playoffs because of the level of competition, but the potential is there, we just need to play as hard as we can for the entire 48 minutes. my favorite stat of the game was the combined point total of shaq and kobe - 18.
  • congratulations to phil mickelson for finally winning a major. maybe that means chris webber will finally win a championship.

  • 4-11-04 (01:14)

  • nice site.
  • updated movies list. according to my latest calculations i'm on pace to watch about 530 movies this year.
  • have work early tomorrow. feels like the first day back to school. i was wrong earlier when i said that i hadn't worked at all this month. i worked last sunday for a few hours.
  • blinds are difficult to clean.
  • i'm trying to think of a way to build a pull out surface under my desktop that would be suitable for writing on.
  • i'm not very tired right now which is unfortunate.
  • i don't seem to listen to very much music these days...especially new stuff. i'm sort of out of the loop. i think a lot of it comes down to the fact that i only have so much time and money and most of those resources go towards movies these days. also, there doesn't seem to be very much worth checking out lately.

  • 4-10-04 (16:18)

  • i've started looking for the original star wars films on dvd. it turns out to be easier than i thought. i always assumed that dvd transfers of the laserdisc versions would be hard to find through the normal channels (ebay, etc.), but i was wrong.
  • i've never had an allergic reactions until i moved into my current apartment. there are some trees around here that spew their pollen all over the place and it makes my eyes itch like crazy.

  • 4-10-04 (12:27)

  • watched about half an hour of godard's "in praise of love" today. what a piece of crap. totally incoherent and not nearly as beautiful as reviewers made it out to be.
  • as much as roger ebert phones in some of his reviews for blockbuster films, i do respect his reviews for the independent films. i think that he gives the big movies a thumbs up sometimes just so people will think he's a critic that is in touch with the masses, so to speak. by doing this he may persuade people to go out on a limb once in a while when it comes to a film they've never heard of. i don't always agree with him, but i respect his opinion. i mention this because after laboring through the first 30-40 minutes of "in praise of love" i went to metacritic to see what i was missing by not finishing the film. here's part of what ebert said: "Yes, I praised the film in an article from the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, but have now seen it again, and no longer agree with those words.....Defenses of the film are tortured rhetorical exercises in which critics assemble Godard's materials and try to paraphrase them to make sense. Few ordinary audience members, however experienced, can hope to emerge from this film with a coherent view of what Godard was attempting....I see so little there: It is all remembered rote work, used to conceal old tricks, facile name-calling, the loss of hope, and emptiness." he gave it a 25/100.
  • will probably watch a couple more movies today. might play some basketball. not feeling very good right now. the kings suck, i'm tired, i want a new job and my stomach hurts.
  • saw an article that brought to my attention something i should have thought about before...the fact that china is growing so quickly (in industrial terms, not population-wise) means that the price of raw materials and consumables like oil is only going to continue to rise at greater than expected rates. a while back i heard a story on npr about the decision to ban bicycles in shanghai in order to make room for cars which more and more chinese people are starting to buy because of the growing middle class population in china. the same thing has been happening in parts of india for a while now, but to a lesser extent. if those two countries start to consume at anywhere near the same rate as the U.S. then the world is in big trouble. of course this isn't to say that they shouldn't try to become more affluent as nations, rather i'm trying to point out the obvious - that consumption at our current rate is barely sustainable right now, just imagine what happens if the two most populous nations in the world (each having three times the number of people that we have) start consuming at the rate of western nations.

  • 4-10-04 (02:07)

  • i've had zero days of work in april. that's pretty nice.
  • "Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has just suspended -- pending further study and review -- the massive hydroelectric dam system planned for the Nu River, which runs through an unspoiled, richly biodiverse area in western China dubbed a World Heritage Site by the U.N.  The dam was opposed by China's nascent environmental movement, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the State Environmental Protection Agency, but few observers held out much hope that the project could be stopped.  Wen's move seemed to signal a new concern for environmental protection on the part of the Communist government.  In a written order, Wen said, "We should carefully consider and make a scientific decision about major hydroelectric projects like this that have aroused a high level of concern in society, and with which the environmental protection side disagrees."  Chinese enviros and scientists were shocked and pleased. Said professor and dam opponent He Daming, "I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this ever happening before.""
  • the kings lost another game tonight. they've gone from first place in the west to third in just two games.
  • updated movies list.
  • "Speaking before a crowd in Michigan, Marc Racicot, chair of President Bush's reelection campaign, characterized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry as "incredibly environmentally green" and an environmental extremist; it was unclear whether he saw any distinction between the two.  Racicot criticized Kerry's support for a plan to raise the average fuel efficiency of America's car and light-truck fleet to 36 miles per gallon by 2015.  Claiming the plan would cost the nation 450,000 jobs and Michigan alone 105,000 jobs, Racicot said, "Environmental extremism is not something that the people of Michigan are going to support."  Kerry spokesperson Bill Burton dismissed the criticism and pointed out that the state has lost 300,000 jobs since Bush became president.  Michigan, home of the Big Three automakers and thousands of autoworkers, is a crucial swing state whose electoral votes went to Al Gore in 2000."
  • i'm really psyched about a couple of criterion dvds that are coming out in the next couple months. stray dog (kurosawa) and the lower depths (both kurosawa and renoir versions). i also want to check out tin drum and the testament of dr. mabuse.
  • i was supposed to be at work yesterday, but i wasn't on the schedule so i didn't show up. talked with joe about it today and he acknowledged it was his fault. he didn't say anything about my showing up late on sunday.
  • melanie is going home for easter.
  • while i've had this time off i've done a pretty good job of staying active and watching movies. i've seen 17 movies and either played catch or basketball all but one day of the month. i've watched a lot of bad movies this month. i've also watched or listened to a lot of kings games lately.
  • there's a film festival in davis tomorrow that i may check out. i really should, but i just paid a bunch of bills and started up a subscription to the nation, so i'm broke again.
  • i've yet to see a perfect film, but the graduate is as close as i've ever seen. i was thinking about this because i've been seeing so many really really awful movies lately and it got me thinking about whether it's possible to make a film that is flawed in every single possible way. so i thought about the opposite of that - the perfect film. and i came to the conclusion that it's damn near impossible to make a perfect film, but just as hard to make a film that is completely bad. even gigli, which right now heads up my list of worst films of all-time, has moments that aren't painful. i guess it just comes down to how much you are willing to slice up a film. if you look at a film scene by scene or shot by shot then it is possible to find something right/wrong in all films. for better or worse, i often break down films in shorter time intervals. i actually used to be the exact opposite. i used to judge a film based upon the majority of its offering. in other words, if a film was more than 50% good then it was a good movie. or if a film had a really good ending then it was a good film, despite what may have come before it. it wasn't that cut and dry, really, but my inclination was more towards the work as a whole outweighing any micro moments of good that a bad film may have had, or bad that a good film may have had.
  • i need sleep.

  • 4-9-04 (12:58)

  • updated movies list.
  • sarah leaves this afternoon.
  • last night melanie and i went to roundtable pizza and watched the kings blow a good lead in the fourth quarter. i'm very sad about that loss because we played really really well for the first three quarters and then we missed free throws and open shots which led to our losing the game. it was ours to win, but we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, as the saying goes. a poor outcome to what was otherwise a solid game. i'm pretty depressed about the whole thing.
  • condoleezza rice's testimony was pretty much what we expected. she backed bush and blamed the intelligence. on the one hand the administration clearly had information that should have been acted upon, on the other hand that kind of intelligence is always vague and in a pre-9/11 era it's hard to justify shutting things down for unclear threats. in other words, i don't think much will come from the 9/11 commission...there will be a lot of finger pointing, but i don't think it will hurt bush very much. besides, there have been a lot of changes since 9/11 and the commission will likely site that as a positive for the bush administration. of course a lot of the changes have eroded our civil rights, but on the surface it looks like bush has done a lot of good things to prevent terror attacks in the future. my sense is that this will more or less blow over by the time the elections come because nothing big was revealed. i actually think that the stuff that happened immediately after 9/11 is more intriguing and damning than the stuff that happened before. things like the fact that the bin laden family was given a free pass to fly immediately following the attacks, or that within days the administration was thinking about using this as an excuse to finish business in iraq, or that bush used the attacks to author the patriot act and shove in all sorts of insidious legislation and "relief" for corporations...
  • the ncaa final turned out to be pretty lame.

  • 4-8-04 (13:26)

  • updated movies list.
  • sarah is in oakland today. i'm going to watch movies.

  • 4-4-04 (14:27)

  • forgot about the time change so i was an hour late for work today. that was bad and may get me in trouble when joe finds out.
  • sarah is in town.
  • went to berkeley/oakland on friday. sarah got to see berkeley (the city and the campus) for the first time. i got to see johnny, luke and ryan. after spending time with them in berkeley we went to oakland to see the family. my uncle tried to convince me to vote against bush, rather than for nader. we had a nice debate that most construed as him lecturing me.
  • saw baaba maal in concert last night after the basketball games were over. we were a little late because of the uconn/duke game, but that was okay. the concert was great...the best performance i've seen at the mondavi center since its inception. if you want an introduction to african music him, fela kuti, salif keita, and youssou n'dour are the people with which to start.
  • both basketball games were good. i actually wanted ok state to win, but georgia tech looked strong all around so they'll pose a better threat to uconn. most of the tournament i thought that uconn would get to the final, but about 10 minutes before the game against duke started i changed my mind and thought that duke would pull it out. duke just has an aura surrounding them...coach K finds a way to make his teams win in big games so i thought they would pull it out. thankfully i was wrong.
  • in between games i went to the basketball courts across the road and played for 15 minutes or so. i like playing basketball.
  • don't know what we're going to do for the rest of the week. i haven't watching movies lately so we should do that and hopefully, since sarah is around, we can play some catch or something active. generally i don't have anyone to play ball with. er, i don't have anyone with which to play ball.

  • 4-2-4 (09:01)

  • updated movies list.

  • 4-1-04 (15:59)

  • "Yum! Brands, Inc. -- the Fortune 500 company that operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and several other restaurant chains worldwide -- has turned over a new environmental leaf.  In a statement released yesterday, CEO David Novak said, "We take our slogan -- 'alone we're delicious, together we're Yum!' -- seriously.  All earth's creatures are in this together.  Our executives, employees, and shareholders believe that we have a responsibility to care for our planet."  The company promised a range of eco-friendly changes to be phased in over the next five years:  All restaurant chains will use exclusively organic meat, include post-consumer recycled content in their packaging, and provide public-transportation subsidies to employees. The move came as a surprise to industry analysts and competitors in the fast-food business.  James Cantalupo, CEO of McDonald's Corp., said, "Frankly, I think it's unwise.  We're here to feed customers, not change the world.""
  • "Just when you thought the SUV craze couldn't get any more overheated, General Motors has upped the ante.  Yesterday, at the annual Copenhagen auto show, the company unveiled a prototype for a "DUV," or dual utility vehicle, dubbed the Kangaroo.  Not only would the vehicle be the largest SUV on the market -- 31 feet long, and weighing half again as much as a Hummer H2 -- it would be the first personal vehicle ever designed as both a means of transport and a garage.  Hard to believe, but the Kangaroo is designed to carry a spare vehicle inside it:  a small, nimble two-seater electric car called the Joey, which is loaded and unloaded via a retractable ramp. On vacations, the company said, the Joey could be used for navigating narrow city streets or "sport driving," while the Kangaroo could carry the luggage for the long haul.  According to GM, the Kangaroo and Joey would be "an unbeatable one-two punch for families that want the luxury of a large car with the convenience of a small one.""
  • april fools' day.
  • last year i saw 23 movies in the theater, this year i've seen 17.

  • 4-1-04 (02:44)

  • "Record-high gas prices are fueling the already-raging fire of this year's presidential race.  John Kerry has come out swinging in favor of lower fuel prices, prompting the Bushies to remind voters via TV attack ads that the Massachusetts senator has supported higher gasoline taxes in the past.  Kerry may be backpedaling on the gas tax, but he's not backing down from his support for higher auto fuel-economy standards.  For this he's drawing heat from Michigan Democrats worried about the automotive industry, despite poll results showing that Michiganders and even auto workers overwhelmingly support higher CAFE standards."
  • i don't mind the cost of oil being high. i know it raises the cost of everything...not just because most things need to be transported by means of oil burning devices (trucks, planes, etc), but also because it means less money is available to be spent on other things.
  • i don't know what the laws are regarding indian reservations. obviously there is some ruling that allows them to have casinos in states that normally don't allow such gaming. to me, this is just the tip of the iceberg...unless there is some built-in restrictions on the sovereignty of the reservations. depending on the limits, we may one day see reservations that act as pockets of third world nation-like cheap labor. if minimum wage doesn't apply then you could feasibly see wages that would compete with mexico and other nations, but wouldn't require factories moving as far. other possibilities would include lower health/envrionmental standards for factories, prostitution, etc. i assume there are some regulations on what sorts of things the reservations can do...maybe they are bound to federal regulations, but not state ones, or something like that. i wonder if they have the power to tax people/businesses on their territory. i'd like to know more about how the whole thing is structured; politically and economically.
  • great article about kubrick. thanks to vern for that. if i had more time and money i think i would live like kubrick. unfortunately living like that doesn't make you a genius.
  • kings lost again tonight. things are getting bad. granted miller and jackson didn't play, but we've been playing really poorly regardless of who is/not in the game. i haven't gotten to see enough of our games to really know, but it mostly looks like a lack of consistent effort. i think we're only one game ahead of the lakers now. that's pathetic.
  • http://www.nofragrance.org/ i'm not an mcs sufferer, but i can certainly empathize with the desire to flee a room because of someone's cologne/perfume. there are few things i dislike more than someone doused in perfume.
  • "I think sufficient proof must now exist that over-priced movie stars do little besides leaving an insufficient amount of money to make the film properly, or cause an unnecessarily high picture cost. A recent 'Variety' study, published during the past year, showed the domestic grosses of the last four films by a group of top stars were not sufficient to return even the star's salary, computed at a recoupment rate of 2.5 to 1. On the other hand, films like 'Dr. Zhivago', '2001', 'The Graduate' and many others show that people go to see good films that they enjoy, and that the main impetus of going to the movies is word-of-mouth recommendations from friends."
  • that's from kubrick's screenplay of "napolean" which he had been working on for many years, but abandoned.
  • hope this catches on.
  • heard a story on npr the other day about a proposal from santa monica that would ban smoking on the beaches. they had some lady on who told a story about the her days as a fourteen year old growing up in santa monica and sneaking onto the beach to smoke on abandoned lifeguard towers. she went on to say that she understood the ban for smoking indoors, but that the beach is the last bit of the frontier and should be free from such regulations. i like santa monica. they were one of the first cities to fine people for talking on their cellphones while driving and i think this ban on smoking at the beach is a good idea as well. cigarette butts in the ocean and in sand castles is fucking lame. as for rafkin's rationale that the 14 year olds won't be allowed to sneak around on the beach to smoke anymore...wtf? what kind of rationale is that? i must have missed something because if breaking one law doesn't stop a 14 year old, then i doubt another one will. her whole story sounded pretty half-baked.
  • i don't have a problem with a foreigner being our president, but instead of 20 years of residency/citizenship, i think a candidate should have spent 50% or more of their life in america.
  • i saw maria shriver on some crappy magazine show like 20/20 the other night. she was talking about how the kennedy dynasty is great, but that the shriver dynasty is also great and often over-looked. the fact that she has even thought about that, or thought of her family in "dynasty" terms, tells a lot about what kind of person she is.
  • recently i checked out some of michel gondry's videos (again) and was blown away (again) by some of the stuff he has done. that guy is some kind of genius. i mean chris cunningham and spike jonze are brilliant, but gondry is working at an even higher level. not only does he have amazing ideas, but he's able to organize his thoughts in such a way that he is able to make them translate to film remarkably well. when i watch his stuff i think two main things - i wish i knew a lot more about the technique of filmmaking, and it's true that our only limitation is our imagination. check out some of these videos to see what i'm talking about: chemical brothers - let forever be; cibo matto - sugar water; foo fighters - everlong; kylie minogue - come into my world; and white stripes - the hardest button to button.
  • sarah gets in later today. it's 425am and i still haven't written my movie review yet. had a lot to do tonight.
  • updated movies list.

  • 3-31-04 (01:26)

  • lakers won again tonight. i think that makes eight in a row. kings play tomorrow and the next day on the road. the next three games are going to be big.
  • updated movies list.
  • have had a full day's work the last couple days. tomorrow is my friday and then i get a good vacation. i have to work on sunday, but i'll only work a short day. sarah comes up on thursday.

  • 3-30-04 (01:51)

  • updated movies list.
  • melanie's back.

  • 3-28-04 (22:25)

  • feel pretty tired. last night it took a long time to get to sleep and then i had to wake up early this morning. i don't like waking up early because i always feel tired later in the day. on the other hand it's nice because there's so much more day to work with. the few hours i was at work this morning feel like so long ago.
  • after work i came home, got dressed and watched the last few minutes of the first half of the g.tech/kansas game. listened to the rest on the radio while on the way to SF. it went into overtime and georgia tech won. i'm surprised that kansas lost, but i don't care about either team so the outcome didn't matter to me. got to see most of the second half of the duke/xavier game while at monique's parents' place. everyone who was watching the game hated duke so that was good. one guy said "bin laden and duke are in the same category." another guy added "yeah, redick (duke's leading scorer) needs to die." sadly, duke won and now the field is down to four. i'll get to see the rest of the games without interruption...except for my sister who will probably give me shit for watching the games while she's in town. i'll throw a stick across the room from time to time to keep her occupied.
  • lakers won another game tonight. the kings also won. they allowed 92 and won by 8. i was hoping for a 10+ point win and for the kings to hold washington to under 90, but this will suffice. plus, divac was out with some stomach ailment so that's sort of an excuse. reading over the game summary it seems that we got our asses kicked on the boards (again, divac may have helped there) and allowed a 13 point lead to drop to 8 by the end of the game. still, i'm happy we won. the next three games in texas will be a good test.
  • the wedding get together thing was pretty good as far as those types of things go. they're always awkward for me since i have social anxiety disorder, which generally leaves me shivering and shaking in some corner. but once the combination of expensive white wine and zoloft kicked in, i was the life of the party. in all seriousness, it went fine and i actually wasn't the first one to leave. some of the speeches touching, some were not. they had an artist who was drawing caricatures of people during the festivities. that was a nice touch. at any rate, i'm glad that i went.
  • on the way home it occurred to me how much of a pain in the ass it is getting in and out of cities like SF. i tried thinking of solutions to this problem, but reached one major impasse no matter what solution i dreamt up - there are just too many people in this world. the only way i could see getting around the problem would be to just pave the entire country, but that's neither desirable, nor practicable.
  • i'm going to watch a movie and go to bed.
  • updated movies list.

  • 3-28-04 (00:40)

  • i guess i'm not watching a movie tonight. got off of work at 1130 and have to open tomorrow so watching a movie would be a squeeze. march first was the last day that i didn't watch a movie. kinda sucks to break the streak.
  • tomorrow i'm going to SF to see jon and monique. they got married and are having a get together.
  • i got to see bits of both games today. saw most of the first half of the connecticut/alabama game. alabama couldn't get anything going. connecticut looks like the genuine article. also saw a good portion of the st. joe's/ok state game during my lunch break. both teams looked good and it just came down to who could make the shots down the stretch. i took a ten minute break and went to woodstock's pizza to watch the last 1:31 of the game. it turned out to be quite exciting. i'm glad woodstock's is so close.
  • two more games tomorrow. i think kansas and duke will win. i think kansas and connecticut will play in the finals. and, given the options, that seems like the most entertaining possible match-up. i hope xavier wins tomorrow, but i doubt that will happen. i look forward to simien matching up against okafor.
  • dial-up internet is so lame.
  • ELO is not.
  • i wish there was some way to get old games on dvd or tape. i'd like to get the cal/stanford game with "they play," i'd like to get all the games in the LMU run back in the early 90s, i'd like to get all the 49ers super bowl wins, i'd like to get the last three games of the yankees/diamondbacks series, i'd like to get the michigan/unc championship game (1993) which marked the final showing of the fab five, i'd like to get all the games in the ucla run of (1995), i'd like to see the nc state/house game of 1983, the villanova/georgetown game of 1985, i'd like to get games 1-7 of the lakers/kings matchup two years ago....in other words, there are a lot of games i'd like to see again. if you know of any way i can acquire any/all of these games then let me know.
  • kings play tomorrow. word on the street is that bobby jackson will return. we play washington so there is no excuse for us losing that game. actually, not only should we win, but we should win by ten or more and hopefully hold them to under 90 points.
  • i haven't seen enough of lebron james to really comment, but looking at his numbers is enough to impress me. 41 points, 13 assists and a game winning shot tonight in overtime. that's just silly for a 18/19 year old rookie. the next question to be answered is how he'll do at the next level - the playoffs. there's still a chance the cavs can make the playoffs this year and i hope they do just so i can see the guy play.

  • 3-27-04 (01:11)

  • i'm not sure if i wrote this before, but i thought it. phil jackson (coach of the lakers) fancies himself the best coach in nba history, but really he's just a shrink. tex winter is the x's and o's genius behind jackson, and those who know about jackson's run with the bulls and lakers know that winter is the one who developed and refined the triangle offense that has led to nine championships with phil jackson. my point here isn't to diminish phil jackson's accomplishments as a coach, but to point out that his strength lies in his ability to make personalities fit into the system. the lakers' seven game winning streak isn't all that surprising to me. actually it is in that i expected it earlier, but malone was injured for a while so i guess that slowed their progress. if jackson can't take four hall of fame basketball players (shaq, kobe, malone and payton) and get a ring then, to me, he isn't nearly the coach that he thinks he is. they all know how to play the game, they all know the offense inside and out, they all have more than enough talent, so what i'm saying is this: anything less than a ring for the lakers this year and jackson will forever be (at best) the second best coach in nba history (behind red auerbach, of course).
  • for a while i was deluding myself into thinking that the lakers wouldn't flip the switch, but now they have and i think the season is pretty much over at this point. they can match up with anyone in the west, they can play defense and offense equally well, they have the experience and they have more seasoned playmakers than any other team. there are three teams that match up at all. minnesota is good, but doesn't have the experience or as many big playmakers. san antonio is good and disciplined on both sides of the ball, but they have one playmaker and no answer for shaq. sacramento has shown they can defend shaq relatively well, but we still have a weak interior defense and our rebounding is ridiculous, especially when compared to shaq/malone. when bobby jackson is healthy we'll have the best bench of the four teams and that's why i think we have the best chance against the lakers, but if they're clicking in the playoff like they are now, then no one will be able to catch the lakers.
  • uab and nevada both lost tonight. that was unfortunate. duke won and that's always unfortunate. i still haven't gotten a chance to see connecticut play so i don't have a great feel for what to expect out of the final eight, but kansas looked real good today against a tough team to play. georgia tech looked strong, but they're probably going to be without their best player for the rest of the tourney so i don't like their chances against KS. duke is always good, but don't seem as strong inside as CT or KS, lucky for them they play xavier next. xavier is good, but duke is better. alabama is tough because they had the strongest schedule of the year so they know how to play with the big boys. but everything i hear about CT tells me that bama is going to run into a brick wall tomorrow. i don't know anything about OK State and st. joseph's hasn't impressed me very much, but they're proven winners so i don't know what to expect from that match-up.
  • i like terrell owens and think he'll do well in philly. i wish him well. i also wish the niners had their old owner...the one who cared about winning. oh well, those days are gone.
  • updated movies list. watched three very different movies today.
  • as bad as mcclintock or mccain are, i much prefer them to republicans like bush because at least they're straight shooters who are well-informed and intelligent.
  • one thing i dislike about the internet is that you have to register to be a part of all these different services. not the majority, of course, but enough to be annoying. i suppose it says something about human nature that even with a medium as free and open as the internet is supposed to be, we still have all these little cliques and clubs that exclude people.
  • i'm tired.

  • 3-26-04 (01:43)

  • updated movies list.
  • thanks to a jerry-rigged tv antenna (which is actually no more than a pin (actually some lame bands promotional button) inserted into the antenna input on the back of the tv at work) i was able to catch part of the alabama/syracuse and st. joseph's/wake forest games despite being at work. naturally the pin doesn't do as good a job at receiving a signal as a real antenna, but it works well enough.
  • today was a pretty good day. it's my friday and that's always good. i get one day off and that's too bad, but it does mean that next week i get a three day weekend. actually since i'm only working a few hours on sunday i might work a few hours on thursday, thus negating the three day weekend thing, but i need the money.
  • looking forward to tomorrow's games.
  • listening to non-prophets right now. good shit.

  • 3-25-04 (00:45)

  • for the last three years or so there have been three people who have consistently made my most-hated list. george w. bush, kobe bryant and shaquille o'neal.
  • tonight's game was very depressing. most of our problems of late seemed to stem from not getting "up" for the games, but that should never be a problem against the lakers. so tonight's loss showed me that our problems are more than just motivational, they're systemic. we've always been an average rebounding and defensive team, but with webber trying to work his way into the lineup, the rest of the team is really suffering. if they don't start to really gel in the next ten games then, i think he'll have to come off the bench during the playoffs. i think that right now, more than anything, they need someone to yell at them a little. i don't know how adelman runs his practices or what goes on in the locker room, but he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who gets very angry at his players. sometimes people just need to get their ass kicked a bit.
  • in other basketball news...i have to work tomorrow so i'll miss four games, then friday i have off so i can catch four games, then i have to close on saturday so i'll miss two games and sunday i'll be in SF so i'll miss another two games. basically i'll miss half of the sweet 16 and all of the elite 8 rounds. i'm happy that i get to see uab and nevada play, but i'll miss the alabama/syracuse game which should be good. actually i think they'll all be good.
  • updated movies list.

  • 3-24-04 (00:56)

  • one of the worst things about having a bad memory is that when i say something like "george bush has probably the worst environmental record in our history," i strain to come up with examples. there's the stuff about him rolling back all the last minute regulations that clinton signed into law...like the arsenic in the water issue. but, despite there being a glut of evidence to back up the previous statement, i would be hard pressed to come up with examples off the top of my head. this didn't happen recently or anything, but i know that it could if i ever got into a discussion with someone foolish enough to ask how bush has been bad for the environment. and, of course, this extends to other things as well....i may know that a certain thing is true, but have very little to back it up at the time.
  • updated movies list.
  • the grey album is testament to the power of technology. not only could it not have been made without a computer (although perrey and kingsley might disagree with me there), it wouldn't have been as wildly popular as it is without file sharing.

  • 3-23-04 (01:55)

  • updated movies list.
  • today was pretty lame overall.
  • the last couple weeks have been nice and warm, but it's supposed to cool down this week. maybe even rain.
  • the assistant manager's last day is tomorrow. he didn't last very long. as a result there may be scheduling problems around the corner. my plan to take off early on sunday so i could visit jon might not happen. also, my plan to goto coachella might not happen. i'm not very pleased.
  • i've been searching the help wanted ads for weeks and nothing looks very good. it's depressing.
  • mr. lif's two albums from 2002 are sort of like ralph ellison's "invisible man."
  • " the Das Boot: The Original Uncut Version will be a 2-disc set featuring the original mini-series version that was produced for German TV broadcast in 1981 (running time: 293 minutes). The video will be anamorphic widescreen, with audio in English and German Dolby Digital (note that you'll get the restored original stereo audio as well as a newly created 5.1 mix - in GERMAN we hope). A behind-the-scenes featurette is also included."
  • i just picked up the superbit version of the film. so if i get this new mini-series version that's coming out in june, then i'll have three versions of the same basic thing. life's tough.

  • 3-21-04 (18:49)

  • left work early today to watch some of the ncaa games. glad i did. uab beat kentucky, that was a good game. in the first round there were only four lower ranked teams to win, in the second round there were seven upsets, but with half as many games played. overall some good games. i like the way uab plays. i also thought that nevada played really well in the game i saw. the west coast is taking a beating.
  • the kings won against the pacers the other day and that was another great game. bibby hit a last second jumper coming off a double screen. good playcall, better execution. big win on the road.
  • the kings just won the game after trailing almost the entire game. i was pretty confident that we would win since we've been closing games fairly well the second half of the year. unfortunately we don't seem to start games very well these days so we play from behind a lot.
  • updated movies list.

  • 3-19-04 (00:32)

  • "Love Canal is clean and will be removed from the Superfund list, said the U.S. EPA yesterday.  Extensive pollution in the working-class area of Niagara Falls, N.Y., prompted President Carter to declare environmental emergencies in 1978 and 1980, and led Congress to pass the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act -- subsequently known as Superfund.  The neighborhood was built on a 19th century canal filled with a toxic mix of 80 industrial chemicals, which seeped into homes, burning children and causing a panoply of long-term ailments.  Cleaning the site took 21 years and $400 million.  The de-listing is largely symbolic, since most of the work on the site was completed several years ago and the EPA will continue monitoring it for years to come, but it has prompted reflection on the oft-troubled program.  "While Love Canal marked the beginning of the Superfund, its successful cleanup should by no means mark its demise," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in a statement.  "We still have a long way to go.""
  • forgot to upload last night's update last night.
  • updated movies list.
  • i always mistook the part in pink floyd's "another brick in the wall" when waters sings "no dark sarcasm in the classroom." for "no thoughts of chasm in the classroom." i think my line is better.
  • i was thinking about having my next themed week of movie watching center around the worst movies of all-time. so far i have glitter, gigli, ishtar and grease on the list. if you have any suggestions let me know. the idea came when i thought about the paucity of bad reviews i seem to write.
  • i'd like to be a director or coach a basketball team. in both instances you get to be a teacher in a way that involves both mind and body. combining psychology, strategy, technique and art would be interesting. also, unlike being a parent, you get time off. plus you still get something to show for your efforts at the end of the day.
  • i don't understand why "capturing the friedmans" seemed to get so much more attention than a similar documentary called "stevie" which is directed by a more well known person (steve james who also did hoop dreams). they both deal with the same topic, were released within a week of each other, and are good. actually 'stevie' is the better of the two and, other than a few sundance nods, didn't get very much recognition at all. weak.
  • it's funny how solipsistic people can be when it comes to global warming. i saw a rerun of the letterman show tonight that reminded me of this. he made a joke about al gore being in nyc to talk about global warming, but pointed out that it was nine degrees outside. i don't know when the episode first aired, but suffice it to say nine degrees (so the joke implied) was not the norm for the time. this thinking is echoed all over the place. on the radio today i heard jt "the brick" (he's an a.m. sports radio host) talking about al gore being right about global warming since it's 85 in los angeles in march. i don't think that people seriously understand what global warming is, or what the difference is between weather and climate. just because there's a forty degree day in july doesn't mean that global warming is a bunch of crap. global warming is about long-term shifts in climate as a result of human intervention. these shifts are, globally, only measure in a couple degrees....but that's enough to tip the current balance. i guess it's good that letterman and j.t. understand that global warming is real, but if this is the kind of logic they employ then their thinking may change one day in july when it drops below 50. you get my point.
  • from the 1870s to the present, only 16 thousand men have played in a major league baseball game. that's pretty elite company.
  • onto the kings. i've been really disappointed by their defense the last couple games. this road trip has been pretty awful altogether. but, unlike many of the people i hear calling in on the late night radio shows, i don't think this is the end of our season. there are a couple things to consider...first, webber is still trying to find his legs and the team is till adjusting to his presence. it's going to take at least a couple weeks for this to happen. second, we've lost four of the last ten, but minnesota has done even worse and as long as we do better than they do we can maintain home court throughout the playoffs. third, the most important time of the year is the playoffs - everything else is just training. as long as we are able to maintain a first place ranking in the west (currently we have a three game cushion) it's okay to lose a game here or there. learning from those loses is the important thing at this stage of the game. that's why good coaches will get themselves kicked out of a game or two in the preseason...in case it happens in the postseason, the players won't have to adjust to a new situation at such a critical time. good teams like adversity from time to time - it keeps you sharp. so, if the kings are learning from their lack of defensive intensity then there's nothing wrong with the losses they have sustained in the last two games. if not, then we're in trouble.
  • i'm looking forward to the indiana/kings game tomorrow.
  • i'm looking forward to all the nationally televised ncaa hoops games that will be on tomorrow.
  • i'm looking forward to seeing the remake of dawn of the dead, hopefully this weekend.
  • i'm looking forward to the fantasy baseball season that began today. well, the draft was today. i got a-rod and a lot of good pitchers so i should do better than last place this year.
  • i'm going to play some video football.
  • if you know of any good comedy albums let me know.

  • 3-18-04 (00:43)

  • "Two reports released this week document severe underfunding of U.S. national parks and warn that drastic budget shortfalls will affect park safety and visitor enjoyment.  Two parks advocacy organizations -- the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of Concerned National Park Retirees -- criticize the Bush administration's parks policies.  The NPCA report says $290 million in additional federal funding for the National Park Service is needed beyond what the administration has proposed for fiscal year 2005. The parks have been hit particularly hard of late by natural disasters and homeland security measures -- an orange terror alert costs the NPS roughly $1 million a month in increased security around national monuments.  Visitor numbers continue to rise and funding is not keeping pace. ''We're on the verge of crossing the line to where the public will notice'' service cuts, said NPS spokesperson David Barna."
  • based on my experience, the national parks are one of the most valuable federally funded programs in the nation.
  • if anyone finds a good sized map (probably 100K or more) of the continental U.S. that includes major highways and cities, please email it to me. i want to highlight the road we took during our trip around the country and add it to the trip page.
  • i was talking with erin (from work) the other day about the situation in spain and the decision of their new leader to pull troops out of iraq. here's what i said "yeah i think that's good for them, but you know what bush is going to say: 'we must show resolve in these difficult times. freedom is not free.'" ...here's what he said today... ""They have not only killed in Spain, they've killed in the United States, they've killed in Turkey, they've killed in Saudi Arabia. They kill wherever they can. And it's essential that the free world remain strong and resolute and determined."" that guy's rhetoric is so predictable.
  • i watched about 7 minutes of news tonight after i got home. they had a 15 second story on halliburton overcharging the government for services overseas. they had a 20 second story on clinton's childhood home being up for sale on ebay. p.s. the times are estimated, but the clinton home story was at least as long as the halliburton story.
  • this is just ridiculous. i'm surprised that cbs called rummy out on this one. rare kudos to them.
  • just looking at the structure of my webpage, and the writings therein, you could probably tell a lot about me. that is, based upon the way i write and the way my site is laid out, one could probably ascertain all sorts of things. the page layout is simple and effective. i have very few graphics which speaks to the fact that i still use a dial-up connection and that i'm more about content than presentation. and, as i've pointed out before, i use a lot of "but"s in my writing. that, to me, shows that i see two sides to most stories. there are probably all sorts of other things one could learn about me from examining merely the structure of my writings here. the content, of course, shows even more.
  • who's the boss is coming to dvd on june 8th. i think i actually used to watch that show.
  • a good local record label.
  • i think i learn something new about film, in general, every week. of course every time i watch a movie i learn something about that specific film (what it looks like, what its plot is, what its themes are, etc.), but every week i think i also discover new ways of viewing films. i find something new to look for or hear something interesting about filmmaking in a commentary track or... if i watch something by seijun suzuki on sunday then monday through friday i might look at the way the films i'm watching deal with time/space. my point is that watching a lot of movies the way i do these days gets me thinking on all sorts of different levels about what a film is trying to do and how it is trying to do it. i'm not saying i'm very good at it, but i do have a lot of practice under my belt. i'd like to thank dvds for this. if not for dvds i wouldn't know nearly as much about film. 1) they're small and lightweight which makes them cheap to send in the mail, thus making it possible for netflix to exist. 2) they have the ability to have numerous audio tracks which means sometimes four or five audio commentaries which provide all sorts of interesting information.
  • i always get john frankenheimer and william friedkin mixed up. frankenheimer did french connection II and friedkin did the first one. i'll try to remember that frankenheimer has more letters in his last name and has done more good films.

  • 3-17-04 (01:23)

  • "A new report from the U.S. EPA's inspector general slams the agency for systematically exaggerating its progress in cleaning up the nation's drinking water, basing its declarations on faulty or incomplete data.  The EPA claimed that 94 percent of U.S. residents drank water that met EPA health standards in 2002, and that number was parroted by the media, but the real figure is more like 81 percent. "
  • updated movies list. on pace to see approximately 480 movies this year. i watched the 1978 version of 'invasion of the body snatchers' tonight. i've watched all three versions in the past four days. it's interesting to watch three versions of the same film made during three very different times. it's not only interesting to see how each director (siegel, kaufman, and ferrara - all are at least decent) approaches the same story, but also to see what sort of societal issues work their way into the story. i think that the last one was good because it had the most interesting setting of the three, but had weak acting. the second one had the best ending, but was longish. and the first one did the best job all-around, but is a little dated.
  • i'm tired. my feet are tired. my knee hurts.
  • there seems to be a lot of stupidity (or at the very least, lack of thought) built into our culture. like when people say "i could care less"...you mean "couldn't" right? or, when looking for a lost item, they ask the question "why is it that it's always the last place you look?" the answer being - because once you find it you stop looking. then there's the usual stuff like pet rocks or...you get the point.

  • 3-16-04 (02:07)

  • updated movies list.
  • michael mercury was talking about how sometimes he'll take a book and put it under his pillow when he sleeps, or at the base of his spine when he's going for a walk, in order to soak up some of the "essence" of the book. he finds it works quite well. i guess that explains why i know so much about cotton and goose feathers.
  • listened to a few jerky boys albums last night. they crack me up.
  • a couple kids (probably around 16 years old) came into work today and stole some stuff. one came up to me to distract me while the other walked near the security gate to see if the alarm would go off. it did and so he ran away. i told his friend to come to the back with me so we could call the cops and he could give them his friends name. he (rightly) pointed out that i couldn't keep him there so he started walking out the door. the alarm went off and so i took chase. after running a couple blocks he ditched a cd player and i walked it back to work.
  • i'm out of shape. in the old days i would have caught him within 50 yards and wouldn't have been tired at all from running a couple blocks. i was able to keep up with him and that was good, but i wasn't able to catch him and if the chase went on much longer i think he would have gotten away. granted, he's younger than me, had a head start, and had more of a reason to get away, but it's very disappointing to be so out of shape. i wish i had a race every week to make me stay in shape. i can't stay in shape for the sake of staying in shape. there has to be something to look forward to on a weekly basis.
  • march madness upon us. makes me wish i had cable and more free time to watch the games.

  • 3-14-04 (23:22)

  • updated movies list.
  • kings won today against the spurs. they didn't have duncan and it was in sacramento so we should have won, but there's no sure thing in basketball. brad miller brings a lot of fire to our team and i like that. he's like the new and improved scot pollard.
  • i felt really sleepy earlier tonight, but now i don't.
  • my sister is coming up to davis to visit in a couple weeks. around the same time i'm going to the bay area to visit jonique. then a month after that melanie and i are going to coachella. it's good to have things to look forward to.

  • 3-13-04 (00:17)

  • updated movies list.
  • i want to start watching more of the movies i already own, but haven't seen yet. surprisingly there are about ten movies that i own, but haven't gotten around to watching yet.
  • i'd like to get more comedy cds. i'd like to explore some of the classics like richar pryor, bill cosby, george carlin, etc. all i have right now is some firesign theater, bill hicks, seinfeld, jerky boys, adam sandler, david cross, mitch hedberg and denis leary. slim pickens. he was funny too. har har.
  • the kings lost tonight in a close game. we played poorly in the second and third quarters which was expected because of the back to back game situation and because we were playing on the road. still, we could have won and it was unfortunate that we didn't. songalia should have gotten more minutes and i would have liked to see a few minutes from massenburg. can't wait until bobby jackson gets healthy.
  • today i reached the one hundred film mark. last year i got to one hundred films on may 10th, that was the fastest since 2000 when i started keeping track of my movie viewing. at this rate i'll watch over 400 movies this year. a step in the right direction.
  • On March 12, 1868, the Senate began Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial.
  • i saw a flyer that read "yes on prop 57. arnold schwarzenegger says that if we don't pass prop 57 we ill have 'armageddon cuts' and 'fiscal chaos' use doublethink! creat bond debt to settle the deficit. all members of the Party [chris' note: notice the capitalization] support this doubleplusgood meaure. this is the only way!  - students for an orwellian society. because 2004 is 20 years too late." i thought it was an awesome satirical approach. then i read this. that made me think they were actually serious, and seriously pathetic. then i went to their website, and faith in humanity was restored to former levels.

  • 3-12-04 (01:19)

  • "Scientists in the U.S. have developed a method to convert raw human waste -- or as the scientists call it, "number two" -- into electricity, putting a brown spin on the green-power movement.  Oops, did we say "movement"?  Okay, okay, we'll try to be serious:  The process works by feeding the ... material ... into a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that uses bacteria to break it down -- much as the human body does -- but diverts the resulting electrons, which would normally power respiratory reactions in the bacteria, into a power generator.  Even better, harmful organic matter is broken down in the process, so the MFC can serve as a kind of sewage treatment plant. The technology promises extraordinary benefits, particularly to developing nations that desperately need both sewage treatment and inexpensive energy.  But, says microbiologist Derek Lovley, large-scale use is a ways off:  "One way to think of this technology is that it is currently at the state of development that solar power was 20 to 30 years ago -- the principle has been shown, but there is a lot of work to do before this is widely used.""
  • updated movies list.
  • kings had a big win tonight. the kings are 13-0 when christie gets nine or more assists.
  • george lucas has talked about releasing howard the duck on dvd with a digital version of howard in the movie. it's a good thing lucas decided to be a filmmaker instead of a historian. people like that try and tell us that the holocaust never happened or that christopher columbus was a great guy, instead of a mass murderer, that thomas jefferson never had slaves or that FDR ran five miles a day well into his fifties. fuck george lucas and his revisionist efforts.

  • 3-11-04 (02:04)

  • updated movies list.
  • tomorrow is my friday.
  • this week went by a lot more quickly than last week.
  • the steroid issue in baseball is upsetting. i've never loved bonds, but a few years ago i came to have a great respect for what he's been able to do in his career. if memory serves, he was only the second person to have a 40/40 season, he eclipsed the single season homerun mark, he has a great obp, a great work ethic and a great eye. i liked the fact that he stayed with the giants despite knowing he could have gone to another team, possibly for more money. i value that kind of loyalty. but now it seems that he took steroids and the union is covering for him and a few others. the union is doing a disservice to the game by shielding the players in this way. what it does (in my mind) is add a question mark to every stat in baseball over the last ten years. surely some of the increased numbers come from changes in how umpires call the game or the "juiced" (more tightly woven) ball, but that doesn't account for everything.
  • as for the bertuzzi hockey incident...the guy should get the same penalty that mcsorely got a few years back when he attacked a guy with his stick. i think they suspended him for the remainder of the year.
  • tracy mcgrady scored 62 points tonight. would have been nice to see that happen. i remember when the admiral scored 71 points several years back. i was in high school and i think he won mvp that year. that guy was a beast in his heyday.
  • my philosophy on documentary filmmaking...there are some documentaries that simply take the fly on the wall approach in both filming and editing (chronologically, few voice-overs, juxtaposition is thematic rather than dramatic...). others acknowledge the author (filmmaker) unabashedly. some people think of the latter as being propaganda or not in keeping with the spirit of documentary filmmaking. my expert opinion is that there's nothing wrong with the latter category. i think it's an act of honesty to edit things the way michael moore or others might. in my vast experience i've found that it's often the "objective" views that you have to be most critical of.
  • by the way, i don't really consider myself a documentary expert.

  • 3-10-04 (01:18)

  • updated movies list.
  • from warner brothers: "There are plans to do a 2 Disc SE on BULLITT, STREETCAR and BONNIE AND CLYDE in the future."
  • "Coming in new transfers this July are OUT OF THE PAST, THE SET-UP, ASPHALT JUNGLE, GUN CRAZY, and MURDER, MY SWEET. We're very excited about this new series! all of these have commentaries, and the SET-UP has Robert Wise and Martin Scorsese!"
  • the cover of "kindergarten cop" is ripe for a political cartoon satire. all the kids hanging on arnold could be different special interests or state problems. wonder if it's been done already.
  • kings won tonight. chris webber went 2/21 which makes me look like a genius since i said he'd have a few good games and then tank it for a while. anyone who has ever had to come back to basketball after a long lay off - whether it was because of an injury or something else - knows that the first couple games feel good, but the few after that suck. it'll take another couple weeks before he's back to playing consistent ball.
  • things are very average lately.
  • this is so lame..."The daughter of Citizen Kane Oscar winner Orson Welles has vowed to sell his Best Screenplay Academy Award - after being declared the award's rightful owner by a judge. Beatrice Welles has been fighting the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences over the ownership of the award, which was presented to her late father in 1941. However, after the ruling - made in Los Angeles District Court on Monday - the Academy vowed to appeal the case, insisting that in order to prevent the statuettes becoming "articles of commerce" they must have first refusal for a mere $1 on any planned sale. But Judge Dean Pregerson told the court, "Welles has unrestricted property rights in the original Oscar, which she may dispose of however she sees fit.""

  • 3-9-04 (01:24)

  • "expect Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One to arrive on DVD in the 3rd Quarter of this year."
  • "And Buena Vista is expected to announce the DVD release of Miracle for May 18th. Extras on the 2-disc set will include featurettes with the real hockey players and actors, outtakes, director's audio commentary and a tribute to coach Herb Brooks (who was killed last year in a car crash in Minnesota)."
  • i'm happy that miracle is going to get the 2-disc treatment.
  • updated movies list.
  • it was nice outside today.
  • bought my tickets to the coachella festival today.

  • 3-7-04 (23:58)

  • updated movies list.
  • yesterday was less than fantastic.
  • changed the oil on the car. that turned out to be more difficult than usual. the last time melanie had the oil changed was by a professional and, apparently, they tightened the drain plug using a powered wrench gun. i used my biggest socket wrench and wasn't able to make it budge at all. what i ended up doing was lifting up the car (with melanie's help) and put a brick underneath the wrench. then i sat on the front of the car and let the weight of the car push the wrench against the brick just enough to loosen the nut. i was proud of myself after that. today my arms are sore because of how hard i tried to loosen that damn thing. and all it took was melanie sitting in the car and seeing the front end sag a bit to spark the idea that solved the problem.
  • went to see "the statement" at the tower theater, but got lost along the way and missed it. that was unfortunate.
  • kings lost yesterday and so did ucla. ucla won't even make the pac-10 tourney. that's sad. the kings won today and that was good. webber didn't play because they wanted to rest him and back to back games are tough even when you're not coming off an injury. i think that's a good decision, but if i was in charge i would have played him for 10-12 minutes because i know he wants to be out there.
  • stanford lost and that's good.
  • “When there is peace, the warlike man attacks himself.” -nietzsche
  • criterion is pulling lang's M, but will rerelease it later this year with a better transfer and special features. also the samurai trilogy will be available as a boxed set.
  • curb your enthusiasm season two is coming out june 15th.

  • 3-6-4 (04:04)

  • a couple things...watched a bit of the mclaughlin group tonight and they talked about nader a bit since mclaughlin had an interview with nader recently. they mentioned a couple things about nader's decision to run. 1) it helps keep kerry sharp. as i mentioned before - this whole 'anyone but bush' mentality from the leftists is lazy, scary and doesn't help motivate voters. 2) it keeps things interesting. nader will help mobilize the left by keeping kerry on his toes and keeping the debate lively and full. 3) nader has said he will focus primarily on the shortcomings of bush. 4) kerry is, by most standards, a liberal and needs to choose a moderate running mate to bring the ticket to the center. nader provides a visible true leftist stance to the national debate. in other words, if you think kery is liberal, check this guy out. the same way that i once thought i could say "well at least bush isn't as crazy as pat buchanan or pat robertson." hmmm. 5) in many ways nader will just be filling the shoes of guys who have bowed out like kucinich or dean. dean mobilized the left way more than kerry or edwards did. and kucinich also brings a certain fire and vision to the race that kerry doesn't have...though, to his credit, he has adopted a bit of this technique in recent weeks. nader will serve the same function, but outside of the party. 6) as i've said before, i think that turnout will be a huge factor in this race. if the left is motivated then we can defeat bush because there are quite simply more of us. but if there is no mobilization of the poor, disenfranchised and disillusioned of the nation then i think bush will win again. i think nader can help in this cause. 7) let us not forget about the congressional races that will be decided on the same day as the president. in those races turnout, mobilization and informing the polity are especially important. again, i think that nader can help in this cause because of his fresh voice.
  • on a more personal note - if anyone is afraid that my one vote for nader will make california go to bush instead of kerry (yeah right) then let this calm you: from now on if ralph nader or a green party candidate is not on the ballot i just won't vote. that way you can rest-assured that my vote isn't being stolen by nader. if he, or someone like him, is not on the ballot i just won't bother voting. that's one thing i never understood about the whole "nader gave florida to bush" argument. why get mad at the few thousand people who voted for nader when there were millions of people who didn't vote at all? why not get mad at them?
  • i'm interested to see who kerry picks as his running mate. gephart and edwards seem to head up the list.
  • "When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" -from Pat Robertson's "The New World Order," page 218.
  • "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."--Pat Robertson, 1993 interview with Molly Ivins
  • (talking about Planned Parenthood) "It is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism-everything that the Bible condemns."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 4/9/91
  • "I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."-- George Bush
  • fuck it i'll just give you the link. priceless.
  • updated movies list.

  • 3-5-4 (01:50)

  • updated movies list.
  • ran out of space on one of my dvd shelves. so i moved all the criterion dvds from that case to the other case. having all the criterion stuff together looks nice. so, not that anyone cares, but i have my documentaries, tv, music and criterion dvds on one side (of the tv) and the remaining feature films on the other.
  • with all the press that 'the passion of the christ' has gotten, you gotta wonder why more attention hasn't been paid to this little tidbit. never have i been closer to believing in god than after hearing about this story.
  • according to gubernatorial candidate tom mcclintock, the interest we will end up paying on that 15 billion dollar bond is going to be in the neighborhood of 6 billion dollars. that's just silly. did anyone even read the proposition? did people know what they were voting for? do people know what a bond is?
  • jon stopped by tower today. that was unexpected since he lives in SF, but nice. we chatted about lame it is working for other people, married life, and stupid people.
  • i've been hearing increasing news about fox putting 'family guy' back on the air because of how well the dvds have sold. that would be nice.
  • i've viewed 19 movies from netflix in the last 30 days. that breaks down to just over a dollar per movie.

  • 3-4-4 (01:31)

  • updated movies list.
  • this is an interesting story, mainly for it's last two paragraphs. doesn't shuttering a store mean it's going to be closed down? wouldn't that entail layoffs/firings? all the official news i've gotten from joe has been of the "everything is fine, nothing's going to change" kind. and then i read a stuff like this. i have to figure out a way of going into business for myself.
  • ever since the first publishing of 'fast food nation' it seems that mcdonalds' has started getting some of its shit together. in the paperback edition of the book the author addresses some of the advances they made in between the first printing and the printing of the paperback. and since the paperback printing i've heard of a few more positive moves by the company. they're still not a model organization, but they have started to use their clout to influence the meatpacking industry in positive ways and, more recently, the decision to eliminate the supersize option from their menu. as much as i dislike mcdonald's, i do have to give them credit for what they've done recently.
  • holy shit.
  • there is a feature empire magazine this month that lists the top 100 films of all-time. i'm always drawn to lists like that because, on occasion, i'll find a really good one or some gems that are overlooked. this was the worst one i'd ever seen. the highest ranked black and white film was raging bull at somewhere around number 18. pirates of the caribbean was also somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 or 18, which is to say that, according to them, pirates of the caribbean is better than every black and white film ever made. the highest ranked foreign film was seven samurai, it was number 47. there weren't any films on the list with charlie chaplin, buster keaton, or katherine hepburn, to name a few. there were all sorts of other things wrong with the list, but i don't want to waste any more time with it because it just makes me upset. to their credit, the list was compiled, i think, by votes from their readers.

  • 3-3-4 (02:08)

  • i'm really pissed off about the election results. props 57 and 58 passed which means we're going to go into greater debt. people don't understand something. they either don't understand how debt works or what the difference is between the deficit and the debt. deficit is yearly, debt is the sum of deficits and surpluses from the past. the bond will give us money now, but give us more of a deficit in the future, thereby increasing our debt. unless the governor has some brilliant way to spend this money that will increase our tax base or generate other revenue streams then the bonds will only help us in the short term and hurt us a great deal in the long term. it was infinitely stupid to vote for 58. if i were arnold i'd let the voters know that because they voted for morons (governors AND congressmen) in the past they're going to pay for it. i'd go after the energy giants that bilked the state out of billions, i'd reinstitute the car tax, though i'd probably cut it a bit, i'd raise property taxes for the ultra-rich and tie this tax in with income taxes so that retired people and farmers who happen to have highly valued homes wouldn't lose their property, i'd raise income taxes for the top one percent of income earners, i'd have my people start looking into prisoners who have been in prison for a long time for petty crimes or people who are over a certain age (let's say 60) and who have been in prison for more than (let's say) five years in an effort to reduce our outlay for the enormously bloated prison system, and i'd institute a temporary half cent tax on high sugar content items like candy and soda. i've heard that a half cent tax on each can of soda alone, would bring in a couple billion dollars a year. all of the above would bring us out of the deficit we currently face without putting us further into debt or eliminating any critical programs. the rich would grumble and i wouldn't get reelected, but it would be the right thing to do. it combines the cutting of a bloated and unethical prison system, slight temporary taxes on sweets, and more equitable long-term taxing of the super-rich.
  • which brings me to the next topic....willie horton and john kerry.
  • "contrary to the bush/quayle propaganda, the infamous furlough program had not been started by "the democratic governor of massachusetts" but by governor francis sargent, a republican, in 1972. nor was it dukakis who "let convicted first-degree murderers out on weekend passes" but the massachusetts supreem court, which had rules in 1973 that such prisoners must be included in the furlough program. moreover - and more important - prison furloughs had dramtically reduced recidivism. such effectiveness explains why thirty-five states were using similar programs (i.e., extending furloughs to first-degree murderers) by the time the bush/qualye team had started to attack dukakis/horton. the furlough system also helped reduce escape attempts. when horton fled to maryland (which occurred on his tenth furlough), the escape rate for lifers ho had comitted murder was .0008 percent - a rate considerably lower than it was before the program started." - from the "bush dyslexicon" by mark crispin miller
  • i mention that because i've heard that a similar case as the willie horton case happened on john kerry's watch and that it may be used by the bush team in the coming months. not that it matters because there is apparently plenty of fodder for republicans to use against kerry. it'll start to come out now that the primaries are pretty much over.
  • i'm also disappointed that the one bond (the school bond) that i felt was worth the long term headache doesn't look like it'll get the 55% needed to pass. i wish there had been some organized opposition to props 57 and 58. anyone who has ever played simcity knows that bonds are not the way to get yourself out of the hole.
  • "In a Washington Post column, Steven Pearlstein speculates that recent comments made by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were politically motivated.  Unlikely to seek another stint at the helm of the central bank, the nation's top economist instead has used his final months there to stump for what Pearlstein calls "a radically conservative agenda while serving as a cheerleader for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign."  Greenspan in recent weeks has shrugged off concerns about burgeoning household debt, the falling U.S. dollar, and the prospect of a housing bubble; and, most recently, declared that 30-year, fixed mortgages are too costly when compared to adjustable-rate loans.  He also has lobbied lawmakers to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--ironic, writes Pearlstein, considering that the central bank chairman previously has supported government efforts to help financially troubled banks and showed no concern over their rampant growth but n ow believes the rapid expansion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is too risky.  Greenspan also wants lawmakers to slash Medicare and Social Security benefits to shrink the federal budget deficit, but he opposes hiking taxes as a means of balancing the budget--all of which speak to his support of the Bush-Cheney reelection."
  • updated movies list.
  • beastie boys' new album rumors have been confirmed..."I know, you're like "what's up fool? where's the record!!??!!?........." well, we are in the studio finishing it now, so ease up already and don't call me fool, fool. we're putting the final touches on the mixes right now and it will be out beginning of june. so we'll be seeing you in a hot new york minute...... until then cool your jets, step back, relax and ease off the throttle. the shit's on it's way, no delay..... and always remember when things get hot -- it's not the heat, it's the humidity......."
  • other good news comes from the kings. they played poor defense and that concerns me, but chris webber played his first nba game in 10 months and we got a win. he had a really good game with 26 points (12-18) (team high), 12 rebounds (team high) and 4 assists in only 30 minutes played. miller actually played more minutes off the bench than webber did so his return didn't shake up the lineup all that much for the regular starters, but guys like massenburg and songalia, who had been getting a lot of minutes in webber and miller's absence, didn't even play today. i'm very happy that he is back in the lineup. once we get bobby jackson back we'll have our real team for the first time this year. despite having not played one game with all of our top seven players healthy we are still the best team in the nation...at least we have the best record. that's encouraging. hopefully we've gotten all our injuries out of the way and we can stay healthy through the end of the season. as well as webber played tonight i think it's sort of a fluke. my experience is that the first game back is usually better than you expect, but then the next few games are tough because of stamina issues. that being said, his game today was way better than i would have expected. i look for him to have a drop off while we go on the road because of the aforementioned stamina issues that arise after not playing a real game for so long.
  • the lakers lost tonight because kobe didn't play and they shot under 60% from the line. i fucking hate the lakers.
  • i'm looking forward to seeing the new coen brothers film 'ladykillers.'
  • i was listening to npr yesterday and heard a "the following programing is brought to you in part by the support of..." type message. nothing unusual about that, but this time it was walmart that was the sponsor. that made me sad.

  • 03-02-04 (00:43)

  • no movie tonight.
  • criterion stuff for may includes "Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum, Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard and Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog." also fog of war is coming out on may 11th.
  • if i were writing a book about film noir i would sum up the philosophy of a noir protagonist like this: "i don't believe in god, but i do believe he has it in for me."
  • "Hotel heiress Paris Hilton embarrassed herself spectacularly on Saturday when she gatecrashed a pre-Oscar bash and fell into a pool. The reality TV star waltzed into the Lord Of The Rings pre-Academy Awards dinner at New Line Cinema boss Bob Shaye's hilltop estate in Beverly Hills, California. Hilton screamed, "Oh my God," as she splashed into a Japanese pool carpeted in rose blossoms. After climbing out of the pond, Hilton lamented, "God, I didn't see the pool. Why does he have a pool there? At least I didn't go in the big pool." The sexy socialite - who hit the headlines last year when a video tape of her having sex with former beau Rick Solomon surfaced on the internet - managed to avoid damaging her glitzy outfit, although she did get her Louis Vuitton shoes wet. She was then overheard telling her sister Nicky on the phone, "Guess what? I just fell into a little pond! It's soooo embarrassing." A bemused Shaye was more baffled by Hilton's attendance, saying, "She wasn't even invited.""
  • here's more "news..."
  • "Superstar Jennifer Lopez has delayed the release of her latest single "Baby I Love You" so she can remove any reference to former fiance Ben Affleck. After 18 months of public declarations of love, embarrassed J.Lo is reportedly dropping her the song in the fear it will spark ridicule. Lopez's fourth track from her hit album This Is Me, Then, which the Latina devoted to Affleck with songs such as "Dear Ben, You Belong To Me," was originally due for a Valentine's Day release. After Lopez and Affleck ended their romance in January, the sexy singer has been forced to make changes to forthcoming releases, according to Britain's New! magazine. The song, which features controversial rapper R Kelly, was originally recorded as a personal message to Affleck and the CD sleeve was set to a feature a photo of the famous couple, with a love message written by Lopez across the image. After the pair split, Lopez demanded the whole batch of CDs be reprinted without any reference to the Hollywood heart-throb. Bosses at Sony are re-working the video for J.Lo's 2002 hit "Jenny From The Block" and removing the shots of Affleck in time for a forthcoming Greatest Hits DVD. However, Lopez can be still seen wearing her pink diamond engagement ring in the advertisements for her new perfume Still."
  • r. kelly isn't a rapper. and no one should care about any of the people mentioned in that blurb.
  • i sent a message to the davis enterprise telling them that they should create a dvd reviews section and have me write for it...they have a cd reviews section and a film review section so it seems to make sense to me. dvd is a burgeoning business and i'm sure there's as much of a demand for dvd reviews in davis as there is for cd/film/book reviews in their paper.

  • 03-01-04 (01:42)

  • overall i was happy with the way the oscars turned out. there was a contest with the davis enterprise for who could predict the most winners (out of eight categories - director, picture, supporting actor/actress, best actor/actress, best foreign film, and best song). i got seven out of the eight so i probably won't win. the prize was $150 and that would have been nice. i missed the best actor winner because i picked bill murray. i was pleased to see lotr get its due as well as errol morris' film "fog of war," which, if you read my page or my movie reviews, you know i have been pimping quite a bit. i've been a fan of his ever since i saw thin blue line. i'm disappointed that bill murray didn't win, but mostly because i wanted the chance at the $150. i think that depp's career has had greater performances than the other actors he was up against (though i still haven't seen gandhi which features kingsley), but the performance for which he was nominated wasn't as strong as penn's. overall i think the academy did a reasonable job this year. i'm not sure why the matrix movies didn't get nominated for the special effects categories...lotr may have been better, but the matrix reloaded was at least worth a nomination. the score for house of sand and fog was actually quite poor, and i believe i made note of that in my review so its nomination in that category was surprising. cinematography seemed to be a tough category this year...some of the films that didn't make it include: lotr, northfork, matchstick men, thirteen, big fish and house of sand and fog. in a weaker year some of those could have slipped in. it was sort of funny that they said the films from the "foreign language film" came from all over the world when, in fact, they came entirely from the northern hemisphere. sure japan, czech republic and canada are far apart, but i wish there were more films in the mainstream from africa and south america (though city of god did get a few nominations). and, as far as other categories go, one might point out that theron is from south africa and most of the crew for lotr is from new zealand. but in general, and in the foreign language film category in particular, there is an absence of films from the southern hemisphere. it's too bad that sophia coppola had to be the first american woman to be nominated for best director.
  • updated movies list.

  • 02-28-04 (01:46)

  • updated movies list.
  • been having lots of ups and downs lately.
  • har har.
  • har har 2.

  • 2-27-04 (01:10)

  • my first reaction to this story was "jesus fucking christ." my second reaction was "god damn."
  • updated movies list.
  • here's a great review for errol morris' "thin blue line" i especially like that last line...
  • "The Thin Blue Line has good motives. It attempts to retell the tragic death of a police officer and the intricate web that was spun around the suspects. It tries to make a statement about the downfall of the American Justice System. Those are the ingredients for a great film, right? Wrong. The style in which Errol Morris presents the material lingers in tedium. Why did he feel it was necessary to juxtapose almost every word with a picture? Someone will say the word "pistol". All of a sudden an image of a pistol appears on the screen. A woman is described as dropping her milk shake. Suddenly, Morris flashes upon the screen the image of a milk shake being dropped. Did he think his viewers were not aware of what those objects looked like? Here is how this movie could have been good: take all the interview footage and turn it into a screenplay. You can only depend on spontaneity for so long. I would have enjoyed this a lot more if it had been a segment on a TV journalism show."
  • some people should just not watch movies.
  • fantastic...
  • "Coal, for decades the reviled stepchild of the U.S. energy family, is about to become the prodigal son.  Stoked by easy availability, the rising costs of other fuels, and a growing desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil and gas, coal is roaring back:  Plans are in the works to build some 94 new coal-fired power plants in 36 states.  Because most plants are still in the private planning phase, not yet open for public comment, the impending coal rush has thus far come in under the radar of most environmental groups and state officials.  The burning of coal produces more airborne mercury and greenhouse gases than any other single source, and those levels could increase dramatically when the new plants come online.  Says Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's energy program, "I think most Americans would be shocked that utilities are dragging the 19th century into the 21st century.""
  • looked for some jobs tonight. there are a couple good leads that i might follow up on tomorrow. looking for jobs puts me in a bad mood.
  • my movies review list is already over 100K. that's half the size of last years reviews and bigger than any year prior to 2003. in other words, i'm reviewing a lot of movies (76 so far this year) and doing so at great length.
  • the kings had a huge win tonight over the lakers. the facts: the lakers had won five straight and 8 of their last 10. they have four future hall of famers plus arguably the best coach of all-time. karl malone was injured, but other than that they were healthy and playing at home. the kings, on the other hand, were without bobby jackson (sixth man of the year), chris webber (our mvp) and brad miller (an all-star). i figured we'd lose by about ten. but we pulled out the win on the road and i was very pleased. i was listening to the game on the radio while i was at work. with about three and a half minutes left in the game i was done closing, but it was a close game so i thought that if i really booked i could make it home in time to hear the last few seconds on the radio (it wasn't televised for some reason). by the time i got home and turned on the radio there was just over a minute left in the game and i got to hear bibby hit a key three pointer. bibby and peja really turned it on tonight. wish i could have seen the game.
  • sherman's march is coming to dvd on march 23rd.

  • 2-26-04 (00:43)

  • trainspotting, enter the dragon, and saving private ryan are both going to have special edition dvds later this year...may/june.
  • it rained like crazy last night and then again tonight. actually it hailed pretty hard tonight. that was cool.
  • "The legendary Edith Head was nominated for at least one Academy Award for costume design every year from 1948, when the category was created, until 1967, when her streak was broken."
  • never even heard of her.
  • today was pretty good.
  • read one of my MAD spy vs. spy books last night. there was a time when the only reading i did was MAD books and comic books (for some reason i was really into richie rich). the greatest thing about spy vs. spy is how one spy will always make the other spy kill himself in his attempts to kill the other. they go through the most elaborate plans to set up a situation in which one spy's desire to kill the other, backfires. in one strip we see black planes that are parachuting down munitions to the black spy. the black spy then uses these missiles and whatnot to try and kill the white spy. the white spy sees this happening so he concocts a plan. he builds a special missile and paints it, and his plane, black. then he flies over the black spy and parachutes the missile down to the black spy. the black spy, thinking it's a normal missile, fires it towards the white spy's base. but in midair the black missile separates and a smaller, white missile is released which then turns around, in midcourse, and flies back to kill the black spy. when i was younger i thought it was hilarious because it was unexpected and death is always funny when it's drawn. but now i see it for more than that. the books i have were written in the sixties and are clear commentaries on cold war conditions. our spying and desire to destroy the other side will ultimately be our own undoing. as a side note - there doesn't seem to be any preference to which spy dies most frequently. they both act foolishly and die with equal frequency.

  • 2-25-04 (02:33)

  • regarding nader's bid for the presidency...i still think that the two party system in america is a sham. i think the argument that nader stole the presidency from gore is ridiculous. i think that alternative parties need to be encouraged in this country, even in the face of four more years of bush - and i hate bush as much as just about anyone else. i think it's sad that our political climate is such that even left wingers feel the need to bash nader for his decision to keep fighting the good fight. it shows you how truly scared the nation is. once again the powers that be have framed the issue in such a way that Right is on the defensive. that is, only in a truly fucked up world would the debate be structured in such a way as to put naderites on the defensive about his decision to vote. only in this political climate does the decision of one consumer activist to run for public office become something to rally against. am i the only one who sees how twisted that is? they're winning because they're framing the way we talk about fundamental issues such as this, and that's the most scary thing that i can think of.
  • regarding gay "marriage"... i don't care what they call it, i think that people should be allowed to bond with each other and have equal rights under the law. is it a state issue? a federal issue? i don't know. so far it seems to have been a state issue since i guess the states issue marriage licenses, but if it becomes a civil rights issue then that would make it federal, right? on the other hand there is precedent for the limitation of such things. we don't generally think that brothers and sisters should be allowed to get married and no one seems to be all that upset about it. to some people the thought of gay marriage is the same as the marriage of two siblings (or marriage between multiple partners) - it's unnatural and morally reprehensible. this is also seen in the anti-sodomy laws that some states have. they feel it's simply an extension of the states' right to limit other deviant sexual acts such as incest, polygamy and bestiality. my point to all this is this - there does seem to be adequate legal precedent for the government to limit certain marriages and sexual acts. this is, unfortunately, especially true in particular states where there is an actual mandate to limit said activities/bonds. that's a common theme of mine - the tyranny of democracy - most people think i'm insane when i use that term, but i think there's an element of truth to it (though i do recognize its necessity). but back to the subject at hand... president bush's plan to amend the constitution to limit the meaning of marriage seems pretty absurd. just mulling over the amendments in my head i can't remember any amendments (other than prohibition, which was later repealed) that limit the freedom of people. most of them are about granting suffrage to blacks, women, people 18 and older or giving the people the rights against government tyranny - like all that boring stuff in the bill of rights about freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to a jury, etc.. bush is fucking evil. at any rate, since there is precedent to limit marriage in certain instances, i think it'll probably stay a state issue and will come to votes on a state by state basis. i don't think that bush's planned amendment will pass by the needed margin. and having it work on a state by state basis is about as much as one can realistically expect, in which case the only limitation will be when couples move or something like that because in those situations the other states won't be forced to recognize their marriage. but as soon as california allows gay marriage i guarantee you there's going to be some crackpot brother/sister couple that demand their constitutional right to get married.
  • also, what benefits do people get from marriage? tax breaks, they can't be forced to testify against each other, and a slew of benefits that come when they have kids - like the right to custody of the child if the other parent dies... things like that. what, historically, is the reasoning behind granting benefits to any two people who want to marry? in its origin i suppose it was religious and a matter of wanting to help those people who are advancing the race. if procreation was the major reasoning behind giving certain benefits to married people then i propose not an expanding of marriage, but a contraction of it...actually an elimination of it. if its major purpose is to provide benefits to those who procreate then i think we should get rid of it altogether. we have too many people as it is. in conjunction with this we'd have to change a few other laws...for example any rules that say only blood relatives and spouses can do certain things should be changed, adoption/parenting rights laws would have to be changed, stuff like that. i guess the question becomes this: why should any people entering into a bond be allowed certain special rights? and then, what should the limits be? what number/sex/species of animal should be allowed to enter into this bond? once you start deconstructing it, the whole thing seems utterly absurd. to draw the line where we have, for as long as we have, is completely arbitrary.
  • my problem is i don't believe in God or Truth.
  • i wish "who wants to marry a millionaire" was still on fox. maybe next season.
  • on to less heavy issues...
  • updated movies list.
  • i'd like to see a (short) movie that takes the philosophy behind hip-hop or the mix-tape and applies it to film. manipulation of found images in a creative way. if done by the right person i think it could be pretty cool.
  • johnny got some new speakers. that was quick.
  • discovered today that scott simmons, my old film teacher, lives one door away from me. that's pretty awesome. now if i could only find a way to break the ice and start borrowing some of his dvds and getting free lessons. seriously though, i'd really like to talk with that guy because he knows far too much about film to keep it to his paying students.
  • i'd like to view the movie "idiots" again in the context of pushing boundaries. from what i remember the movie was only so-so in its execution, but left itself open to some interesting readings. perhaps it would have been better if they pretended to be a group of monkeys instead of mentally retarded people. then it would have been pushing the boundaries of human/animal much in the same way that drag queens push the boundaries of male/female. i'd like to see more people acting like monkeys for this purpose. i think it's a very valid point that needs to be made - we are, after all, 98.5% identical to chimps. just as there are many people who don't fit into "female" or "male" categories, i've met an equal number of people who don't quite fit into the "human" or "chimpanzee" categories. to categorize things in such rigid ways, i think, is a bit fascist and dogmatic. unfortunately, almost by definition, these people are largely unaware of, and unable to defend, their place in society. because they lack the intellectual capacity for this sort of thought they cannot organize in a meaningful way (as gay, bi, and transgender people have). as a result they have yet to establish any sort of social or political groups capable of reforming the public's view, or treatment of, their kind. i may have just found my calling.
  • i forget who it was, but someone once said that people like you and i are closer to apes than we are to great philosophers like plato or nietzsche. i might agree.

  • 2-24-04 (02:37)

  • "Universal will release Law & Order: The Second Year on May 4th."
  • updated movies list.

  • 2-23-04 (02:17)

  • updated movies list.
  • last night we watched two movies in the theater. on the way back from sacramento the car broke down. the streak of bad luck continues. who knows what's wrong or how much it's going to cost. we'll find out tomorrow.
  • got a rare autechre ep in the mail the other day. there are only three eps/singles left.
  • my academy predictions: picture/director - lotr/jackson. actress - theron. actor - murray. s. actress - zellwegger. s. actor - robbins.
  • supporting actor is a tough one. robbins didn't have as good a performance, but sometimes the academy likes to give awards to people who have gotten the shaft in the past. i think del toro did a better job in 21 grams than robbins in mystic river, but robbins hasn't been nominated before (as an actor) and probably should have.
  • looking over past nominees and winners can be depressing. forrest gump? jeesh. only three films have won all the major categories - director, picture, actor, actress and screenplay. it happened one night, one flew over the cuckoo's nest, and silence of the lambs.
  • how about this set...1967 best actor:

  • Bonnie and Clyde Warren Beatty
    Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman
    Graduate, The Dustin Hoffman
    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Spencer Tracy
    In the Heat of the Night Rod Steiger (won)
  • if you know of a tougher category in any year then let me know. i know that 1939 was a tough year for picture, but i think that 67 for actor has the edge.
  • all i can listen to lately is ambient music. good thing i have plenty of it.
  • updated movies i own list.

  • 02-21-04 (02:10)

  • great
  • "Mel Gibson's father Hutton has launched a blistering attack on the Jewish religion - just days before his son's controversial film The Passion Of The Christ is released in America. Catholic extremist Hutton, 85, claims the Holocaust never happened and accuses Jews of conspiring to take over the world. According to British tabloid The Daily Express, Hutton ranted to an American radio station, "They are after one world religion and one world government." Mad Max star Mel has faced uproar from the Jewish community amidst claims his film - about the last few hours of Jesus Christ's life - is anti-Semitic. Christian Mel has always denied the film is racist towards Jewish people and says he hold great respect towards the religion."
  • that movie has gotten an amazing amount of press.
  • my sister turned 17 today. crazy.
  • here's an excerpt from my journal 03-11-2000:
  • "At eleven o'clock tonight I randomly picked names from the student directory and called people up. It was really fun, but it further proves the level of sadness my situation has gotten to. I would say something to the effect of "Hey this is Chris did you want to go out for a quick bite to eat?"...then they'd either ask who i was or just pretend to know me and say they're tired or something. then i'd say "remember Chris from English class, etc."...then they'd be completely perplexed and say i have no idea who you are or something to that effect. then i'd say "this is give name here right?" they'd say yes, then i'd say "hmmm, didn't you tell me to call you in english class yesterday?"...or something to that effect. they might say something like i don't take english or you must have the wrong number or something to that effect. then i'd say "hmmm, that's really bizarre. you must think i'm really weird or something. i'm really sorry, i guess i have the wrong number" then they'd either be silent or, if they are cool, say oh no - don't worry about it ha ha ha. then i'd say "well did you want to go out and get something to eat anyway?" then they'd either be really silent and i'd say "ha ha, just kidding don't worry about it, sorry bye." or they'd laugh and say no i'm fine. then i'd say "ha ha, okay, sorry about that again." the best one was the first one, but i didn't ask her out because i hadn't gotten it down yet.
  • the most interesting one was the last one which went something like this:

  • me "raquel?"
    her "yes"
    me "hey, it's chris. i was wondering if you wanted to grab a quick bite to eat."
    her silence "uhm, who is this?"
    me "it's chris. you know, from english class"
    her long pause "uh"
    me "trying to piece it together? chris. english class. you told me to call you tonight. i'm sorry if this is too late."
    her pause "uhm, hmmm."
    me "i'm sorry. you're raquel, right?"
    her "yea that's me. i'm sorry, i'm just trying to get oriented here. i'm raquel, but i don't think i know you"
    me "really?"
    her "describe me"
    me holy shit, what do i do now "uhm you're 5'7" with dark hair..." pause
    her "anything else?"
    me "i'm not really good at description"
    her "what length is my hair?"
    me "medium length, about to the shoulders"
    her "oh, that's not me" duh "i have really long hair"
    me "hmmm, this is 555-1515, right?"
    her "yes, and i'm raquel. which really isn't a..."
    me "yea it's not a common name, that's really weird"
    her laugh "no it's not common at all, that's strange. well good luck finding her"
    me "yea thanks. hey you wouldn't want to go out anyway would you?"
    her short pause and uncomfortable chuckle
    me "i'm just kidding, don't worry about it. well, sorry."
    her "yea, well i hope you find her"
    me "yea, thanks."
    her "well, give me a call if you find her or something to tell me how it works out."
    me laugh "okay, thanks, and sorry again. bye."
  • her "bye""
  • i think i was a more funny person back then. at least on my webpage i was.
  • here's another one from 07-30-2000:
  • "parties are definitely not for me. the party we were supposed to go to was canceled so we went to some stupid one in davis which featured a keg, lots of stupid guys, and few decent girls. vern walked home. i drove kim (jon's sister) and jon to jack in the crack. while we were there we saw two girls who couldn't get inside because only the drive thru is open after 1am. i told them they could get in the car and order something with us. then we drove them home. meanwhile we all talked about the weather or something.
  • after we dropped them off jon and i decided that we should turn around and knock on their door in order to acquire their phone numbers. we are dorks. so we went back to the apartment where we dropped them off and rang the doorbell three times. no answer. then we went to another apartment they said they were going to rent starting in september. jon rang the doorbell, again no answer. we saw a jack in the box bag in front of the door so we knew we were close. then kim saw them walking up ahead. we drove up to them and asked for their numbers. they didn't really seem too taken aback by it even though we had dropped them off 5 minutes ago and were now almost aimlessly wandering through arlington apartments trying to find them. it was borderline stalking, but it worked. they don't have phones yet since they're just moving into these apartments so they gave us the apartment numbers were they would be staying and asked for our numbers.
  • all in all it was an interesting ride, but i highly doubt anything will come of it. this is what i call the game. the game is retarded. i don't think i'll ever meet a person like me at a party. being different is sometimes a liability. such is life."
  • updated movies list.
  • time to sleep.
  • my webpage provider upgraded their terms so now i get more webspace. i've decided to take advantage by creating yearly archive pages. the archive pull down menu at the top of the page should now include those. e.g. 2002.
  • it's 5:45 right now. i spent a few hours cutting and pasting old updates onto the yearly pages. i'm not tired. i woke up too late this morning and it screwed me up. dammit.
  • one thing i noticed as a result of doing this, though, is that i was most prolific in 2000. 2001, 2002, 2003, 1999, and 1998 complete the order from most updates to fewest. i've been pretty good about updating my webpage so far this year. also, my movie reviews have gotten much longer in the last six months so that sort of evens things out in terms of total writing output.
  • forgot to mention that jorgay dropped by tower yesterday. he's in town to play some music off his cd. he came in to drop off some more of his cds because he expects some people to come by to buy the album.

  • 2-20-04 (02:01)

  • the first season of quantum leap is coming to dvd in june. some people say i look like scott bakula...i always took that as an affront, but that's just me. quantum leap was a decent show though.
  • updated movies list.
  • i'm pretty tired.
  • tomorrow i plan on selling off some cds that i don't listen to anymore.
  • kings lost tonight. that was expected since it was a road game without webber or miller and they were playing minnesota who has been playing very well this year. kg should be mvp this year.
  • going to look for another job tomorrow. i fucking hate doing that.
  • i think luke was right about imdb versus allmovie.com there are some things i like more about allmovie.com, but imdb seems to have more information more readily available. one thing i like more about allmovie.com is that if you look up an actor or director you can see which movies have been released on dvd because there is a disc icon next to those with a dvd release. they also tend to give good information on the dvd releases. imdb separates a person's roles in a film so it's easier, for example, to group all the films that kurosawa wrote, edited or directed. but enough on that.
  • i'm glad it's my weekend. time to sleep.

  • 2-19-04 (01:42)

  • today i asked myself who might comprise the pantheon of documentary film directors. i came up with the following: flaherty, the maysles brothers, wiseman, and morris. to me those would be the fords and kurosawas of the genre. those aren't my favorite documentary film directors, but i feel they have done the most for the genre. one could make an argument for a ken burns or michael moore, but burns doesn't make feature documentaries and moore only has a few films under his belt...so far. it's academic.
  • kurosawa's 'stray dog' is coming to dvd this summer...thanks to criterion, of course.
  • updated movies list.

  • 2-18-04 (01:36)

  • there are no typos in my transcription of the following quote...
  • "i understand this is a unconventional war. it's a different kind of war. it's not the kind of war that we're used to in america. the greatest generation was used to storming beachheads. baby boomers such as myself was used to getting caught in a quagmire of vietnam, where politics made decisions more than - more than the military sometimes. generation x was able to watch technology right in front of their tv screens, you know, burrow into - into concrete bunkers in iraq and blow them up. this is a different kind of war that requires a different type of approach and a different type of mentality." george w. bush, october 11, 2001.
  • the last month hasn't been very good.
  • my super bowl team lost, there's been trouble on the home front, chris webber was suspended for eight games, brad miller sprained his ankle (despite that the kings did win today), i'm really broke, and i didn't get the job for the city of davis.
  • updated movies list.
  • it's going to rain all week.
  • i must say it again...i think it was an egregious error on the part of the AFI to list travis bickle (deniro in taxi driver) as a villain, rather than a hero. maybe there are two types of people in the world - those wo view travis bickle as a villain and those who view him as a hero. i guess i'm in the sick minority on this one.

  • 2-13-4 (01:46)

  • public's trust in bush is at an all-time low. i still think he'll win in november, and here's why...our exit from iraq is still planned for june, but all that really matters for bush is that we get out before the election. also, he's probably going to spend as much as 200 million on his election campaign which will surely iron out any bumps along the way. i think i've finally gotten a grasp of political forecasting - go with the money and never "misunderestimate" the stupidity of the people.
  • updated movies list.
  • i use a lot of "but"s in my writing. especially when i review a movie. the positive spin on that might be to say that i look at both sides of an issue, but, then again, maybe i'm wrong about that.
  • going to visit johnny, vern and luke tomorrow.

  • 02-12-04 (02:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • still no word. every morning i wake up dreading the mail as if i were expecting a letter from the draft board.
  • i fucking hate george lucas. even speilberg released both versions of e.t. when the dvd came out. the alien quadrilogy included both directors' cuts and theatrical versions of each film. lucas' attempt at revisionist history shows what kind of respect he has for the fans, truth, and cinema. fuck him.
  • the new black heart procession album is pretty good.
  • "It is said that we live in a free society because we have a certain number of constitutionally guaranteed rights. But these are not as important as they seem. The degree of personal freedom that exists in a society is determined more by the economic and technological structure of the society than by its laws or its form of government. Most of the Indian nations of New England were monarchies, and many of the cities of the Italian Renaissance were controlled by dictators. But in reading about these societies one gets the impression that they allowed far more personal freedom than our society does. In part this was because they lacked efficient mechanisms for enforcing the ruler's will: There were no modern, well-organized police forces, no rapid long-distance communications, no surveillance cameras, no dossiers of information about the lives of average citizens. Hence it was relatively easy to evade control." - ted

  • 2-11-04 (00:35)

  • today was a strange day.
  • just before i left for work i got a call. i was hoping it was from the city regarding my job, but it wasn't. it was james - my boss before joe. he told me that the city had called him asking about me. we chatted for a couple minutes and he said that he might come into tower to see the store and whatnot. later in the day he stopped by and it was good to see him since he's a pretty cool guy.
  • so the day started out well, but didn't finish as well. there were an unusual number of stupid and/or annoying customers who wanted tickets to the "disney on ice" show that is coming to arco arena this week. their kids ran around the store causing all sorts of annoyances and just being a general nuisance.
  • also, since yesterday's bankruptcy announcement there has been a sort of surreal feeling at the store. i'm sure it's just my own perception, rather than a real change in anything, but things just feel weird.
  • "The most requested films for the DVD format will finally become a reality this September as Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox present the eagerly-awaited Star Wars Trilogy for the ultimate home entertainment format. The four-disc collection will be released on September 21 in the U.S. and Canada, with international release dates following closely." unfortunately they will be released in the 1997 "special edition" versions. that's pretty fucked up.
  • setting the record straight.
  • i think i may have made doc mad because he hasn't replied to my last email. i told him god was dead. that may have ruffled his feathers.
  • fog of war comes out on friday.
  • this weekend i plan on visiting vern in berkeley or some place.
  • life hasn't been too exciting lately. every day i wake up and check the mail in the hope that i haven't gotten a rejection letter from the city. most nights i watch a movie after work. eating has become a chore.
  • i can't believe how much the media has focused on the super bowl halftime show bullshit. i also can't believe that johnny thought the game was boring.
  • february hasn't been a very good month.
  • there was a good article on justin frankel in last month's rolling stone magazine. he's the creator of winamp and a bunch of other nifty software. i remember reading about him trashing a geo metro just for the hell of it back in the day when they weren't owned by aol.

  • 2-10-04 (01:39)

  • updated movies list.
  • tower records officially filed for bankruptcy today. they say it's just a restructuring thing and that everything will be okay.
  • i've been reading the bush dylexicon lately. it's not as good a read as the last few books i've read.

  • 2-9-04 (01:41)

  • updated movies list.

  • 2-7-04 (00:43)

  • updated movies list.
  • two of my five favorite five films of all-time begin with a plane landing in los angeles.
  • didn't get a call from anyone at the city of davis. at this point it looks pretty grim. this hasn't been a very good week.

  • 2-6-4 (00:20)

  • listening to some sonny sharrock right now. that guy was great. how about this for a song title: "portrait of linda in three colors, all black."
  • not watching a movie tonight. i think i'll watch some south park episodes that i downloaded a while back.
  • the new moby album is truly awful. actually it's not a moby album since he put it out under his "voodoo child" pseudonym.
  • this seems to be similar to what's happening to dean....especially after the incident right after the NH primary where he supposedly shed a tear. i never saw it, but i heard letterman making fun of it.
  • "Soft drinks made in India by PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. contain levels of toxic pesticides -- including lindane, DDT, malathion, and chlorpyrifos -- high enough to cause cancer or immune-system failure over time.  Such was the conclusion of an Indian parliamentary report released yesterday, confirming similar findings by the Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment released last summer. Tests showed that Pepsi's fizzy drinks contained 36 times the pesticide levels allowed under European Union standards, Coke's 30.  Although the companies denied that their drinks are unsafe, the report is widely expected to hurt the $1.6 billion Indian market for soda and lead to more stringent public-safety regulations in the world's most populous democracy.  Says CSE head Sunita Narain, "Their report is historic and reads almost like a manifesto for environmental action in the country.""
  • "Both The Force.net and Rebel Scum have today posted a rumor that Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox will be making their official Star Wars DVD announcement next week, likely on Tuesday. Their information again confirms that the films will be released in a 4-disc set, like the Indiana Jones DVDs, and that the street date is set for 9/21/04."
  • sherman's march is coming to dvd march 23rd.
  • i got an email at work today from our manager that said something like "i don't know what the story is, but there are rumors going around. just remember that cameras aren't allowed in the store and direct all questions to me." i guess he was referring to this. the sac bee historically isn't very kind to tower, but they do provide me with more information about my employment than my employers, so i'm thankful for that.
  • here's the latest one...type in "unelectable" in a google search and then click on "i'm feeling lucky."

  • 2-5-4 (01:40)

  • "Voters generally turned out in large numbers in the states holding Democratic primaries or caucuses Tuesday, with only Missouri and Oklahoma officials reporting lower than expected turnout.  In Arizona, there was unprecedented turnout for the state's primary as more than 225,000 voters -- or roughly one-quarter of the state's registered Democrats -- cast ballots, far exceeding previous records. In New Mexico, officials estimated the total number of ballots cast in the state's Democratic caucus at about 100,000. North Dakota saw its caucuses attract almost five times as many Democratic voters as a similar presidential preference caucus in March 2000. Democratic National Committee Terry McAuliffe said the numbers show there's excitement among Democrats about the chances of beating President Bush in the general election. Several Republicans take issue with that assessment, arguing that primary results don't correlate to turnout in a general election. In South Carolina, for example, Democratic officials said the 300,000 votes cast Tuesday was high considering they came in a heavily Republican state. But Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for Bush-Cheney 2004, said more than 560,000 Republican voters turned out in 2000 when President Bush was running against Arizona Sen. John McCain."
  • i think that is mostly good good news. but this is not.
  • i think i heard that dean is still second in total delegates, even though he didn't get second in any of the races yesterday. but, at this point, i think it's pretty clear that kerry is going to be the guy. even if dean has a strong showing in the industrial states and the western states (and he should do better than he has in those states), he still probably won't be able to catch up to kerry.
  • updated movies list.
  • "Starting this fall, seafood sold in the U.S. will be labeled with information about where it was caught, the country where it was processed, and whether it was wild or farmed, thanks to a provision in a spending bill recently passed by Congress.  Seafood will be the first food group subject to "country of origin" labeling, something the beef and pork industries have avoided through heavy lobbying. The provision was welcomed by enviro and consumer groups, who point to recent news that farmed salmon contains high levels of pesticides as one of many reasons consumers need more complete information.  It was also welcomed by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and muscular advocate for Alaska's wild salmon fishers.  The rest of the seafood industry was pretty ticked off, claiming that the labeling requirements would produce a logistical nightmare.  Consumer groups say it's only a matter of time before beef and pork are labeled as well."
  • this is next story is really troubling. i think they recently outlawed bikes in shanghai, and i know that cars are becoming more and more popular in china in general. the last thing the world needs is another america (in terms of consumption).
  • "Last year, China became the world's second-largest importer of oil (take a wild guess who's No. 1), struggling to keep up with the energy demands of an economy expanding at a rate of 9.9 percent annually.  Having recently concluded, like other oil-thirsty countries, that the volatile Middle East might not be a stable, long-term source of black gold, China has begun jostling with other global energy consumers -- notably the U.S., Japan, and Europe -- to find oil in more out-of-the-way locations.  Recent months have seen Chinese President Hu Jintao visit the African nations of Gabon and Algeria, not exactly high-profile diplomatic allies, but lucrative sources for oil contracts.  China's ballooning energy demands are helping to fuel an oil boom in West Africa."

  • 2-4-4 (02:27)

  • updated movies list.
  • i wish there were more errol morris and frederick wiseman films on dvd.
  • "After being unavailable for nearly three years, Criterion's DVD of Stanley Donen's classic spy thriller Charade is coming back in print this spring. The Charade re-release will feature an all-new 16x9-enhanced high-definition digital transfer, in addition to all the supplements featured on the original release. Look for Charade in April of this year."
  • where did the tradition of a dead man's hand in poker being aces over eights start? there are lots of references in westerns to it, but i don't know how it all started.
  • my obsession with movies is becoming almost insane. every movie i watch opens up a new list of movies that i want to check out or buy. one would think that every movie i watch would be one less for me to watch later, but what ends up happening is that every movie i watch makes me add another couple movies to my netflix queue or my dvd wish list. right now i have 311 movies and that's a lot. but i could double that within a week if i had the money. i've already seen 48 movies this year, but if i had the time and resources i probably would have seen twice that number by now. i suppose there are worse obsessions to have.
  • in the last week i've seen two dvds with quotes from peter travers (of rolling stone magazine), both read "there's magic in it!" if i had access to lexis-nexis i'd do a search for peter travers and "there's magic in it!" i wonder how many times he's used that one. rolling stone magazine is just plain bad.
  • my interview with a real canadian.
  • time to sleep.

  • 2-3-4 (02:04)

  • updated movies list. on my list i've decided to start keeping track
  • i'm still mad about the super bowl.
  • "Shawshank Redemption: Special Edition is planned for September DVD release by Warner Bros. to celebrate the film's 10th anniversary."

  • 2-2-4 (02:58)

  • updated movies list.
  • need some sleep.
  • by the end of the week i should know about the job.
  • by the end of tuesday we will probably have a clearer picture of who will lose to george bush in november. i don't understand a political culture that, nine months before the actual election, has already lost interest in voting their conscience. so many people have already flopped over to kerry, even if he wasn't their first choice, because he appears to be more "electable."
  • i was very sad to see the panthers lose today. we should and could have won, but we didn't and i don't want to dwell on all the things we did wrong or could have done differently. stevonne smith got a touchdown and that was exciting. the panthers are better than people gave them credit for and they proved that today. i knew they'd do well. the only surprise for me was that it turned out to be a high scoring game.

  • 2-1-4 (01:36)

  • "A recent flurry of announcements from the Bush administration about proposed funding increases for environmental projects -- including salmon restoration and brush clearing in the Northwest, Everglades protection in Florida, and cleanup of the Great Lakes -- has some enviros suspicious.  Not that they aren't glad to have a bit more money going to good causes.  But they point out that the funding increases have several things in common:  they are for programs the administration pushed to cut as recently as last year; they represent a fraction of the money requested by the affected parties; they were announced with fanfare in an election year; and, most significantly, they funnel money to crucial electoral battleground states.  "God help you if you're waiting for EPA to clean up a toxic waste site outside of a swing state," said Phil Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust.  The White House rejected the contention that its announcements were politically motivated."

  • updated movies list. 44 movies in one month.

    1-30-04 (23:49)

  • interview was decent, we'll see how decent next week.
  • this story is interesting for more than a strictly historical reason. it's about a black guy named white who played for the greys and went to brown university. wow.

  • 1-30-04 (00:52)

  • elo's "el dorado" is a pretty fucking great record.
  • some background for the following excerpt from michael moore's website....recently moore decided to officially back clark for president. in a speech in NH, moore said he looked forward to clark debating bush, describing it as "the general versus the deserter." he said this many times before (including in santa cruz and davis), but for some reason the media (peter jennings in particular) picked up on it this time. here's an excerpt from an interview jennings had with clark:
  • Jennings: Now, that's a reckless charge not supported by the facts. And I was curious to know why you didn't contradict him . . .

  • Clark:  Well, I think Michael Moore has the right to say whatever he feels about this.I don't know whether this is supported by the facts or not. I've never looked at it. I've seen this charge bandied about a lot. But to me it wasn't material . . .
    Jennings: Since this question and answer in which you and Mr. Moore was involved in, you've had a chance to look at the facts. Do you still feel comfortable with the fact that someone should be standing up in your presence and calling the president of the United States a deserter?
    Clark: To be honest with you, I did not look at the facts, Peter. You know, that's Michael Moore's opinion. He's entitled to say that. I've seen -- he's not the only person who's said that. I've not followed up on those facts. And frankly, it's not relevant to me and why I'm in this campaign.
  • and michael moore's response...

  • "Well, I'm glad they have gone nuts over it. Because here we have a Commander in Chief --who just took off while in uniform to go work for some Republican friend of his dad's -- now sending our kids over to Iraq to die while billions are promised to Halliburton and the oil companies. Twenty percent of them are National Guard and Reserves (and that number is expected to double during the year). They have been kept in Iraq much longer than promised, and they have not been given the proper protection. They are sitting ducks.
    What if any of them chose to do what Bush did back in the early 70s -- just not show up? I've seen Republican defenders of Bush this week say, “Yeah, but he made up the time later.” So, can today's National Guardsmen do the same thing -- just say, when called up to go to Iraq, "Um, I'm not going to show up, I'll make up the time later!"? Can you imagine what would happen? Of course, none of them are the son of a Congressman, like young Lt. Bush was back in 1972.
    Today, MoveOn.org has put together its response to this issue, and I would love to reprint it here. It lays out all the facts about Bush and the remaining unanswered questions about where he went for many, many months:
    Here are what appear to be the known facts, laid out recently in considerable detail and documentation by retired pilot and Air National Guard First Lt. Robert A. Rogers, and in a 2003 book, “The Lies of George W. Bush,” by David Corn.
    1. George W. Bush graduated from Yale in 1968 when the war in Vietnam was at its most deadly and the military draft was in effect. Like many of his social class and age, he sought to enter the National Guard, which made Vietnam service unlikely, and fulfill his military obligation. Competition for slots was intense; there was a long waiting list. Bush took the Air Force officer and pilot qualification tests on Jan. 17, 1968, and scored the lowest allowed passing grade on the pilot aptitude portion.
    2. He, nevertheless, was sworn in on May 27, 1968, for a six-year commitment. After a few weeks of basic training, Bush received an appointment as a second lieutenant – a rank usually reserved for those completing four years of ROTC or 18 months active duty service. Bush then went to flight school and trained on the F-102 interceptor fighter jet. Fighter pilots were in great demand in Vietnam at the time, but Bush wound up serving as a “weekend warrior” in Houston, where his father’s congressional district was centered.
    A Houston Chronicle story published in 1994, quoted in Corn’s book, has Bush saying: “I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.”
    3. Sometime after May 1971, young Lt. Bush stopped participating regularly in Guard activities. According to Texas Air National Guard records, he had fewer than the required flight duty days and was short of the minimum service owed the Guard. Records indicate that Bush never flew after May 1972, despite his expensive training and even though he still owed the National Guard two more years.
    4. On May 24, 1972, Bush asked to be transferred to an inactive reserve unit in Alabama, where he also would be working on a Republican senate candidate’s campaign. The request was denied. For months, Bush apparently put in no time at all in Guard service. In August 1972, Bush was grounded -- suspended from flying duties -- for failing to submit to an annual physical exam. (Why wouldn't he take this exam from a doctor?)
    5. During his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush’s staff said he recalled doing duty in Alabama and then returning to Houston for still more duty. But the commander of the Montgomery, AL, unit where Bush said he served told the Boston Globe that he had no recollection of Bush – son of a congressman – ever reporting, nor are there records, as there should be, supporting Bush’s claim. Asked at a press conference in Alabama on June 23, 2000 what duties he had performed as a Guardsman in that state, Bush said he could not recall, “but I was there.”
    6. In May, June and July, 1973, Bush suddenly started participating in Guard activities back in Houston again – pulling 36 days at Ellington Air Base in that short period. On Oct. 1, 1973, eight months short of his six-year service obligation and scheduled discharge, Bush apparently was discharged with honors from the Texas Air National Guard (eight months short of his six-year commitment). He then went to Harvard Business School.
    Documents supporting these reports, released under Freedom of Information Act requests, appear along with Rogers’ article on the web at http://democrats.com/display.cfm?id=154.
    In the absence of full disclosure by the President or his supporters, only the President and perhaps a few family or other close associates know the whole truth. And they’re not talking.
    Bush was apparently absent without official leave from his assigned military service for as little as seven months (New York Times) or as much as 17 months (Boston Globe) during a time when 500,000 American troops were fighting the Vietnam War. The Army defines a “deserter” -- also known as a DFR, for “dropped from rolls” – as one who is AWOL 31 days or more: www-ari.army.mil/pdf/s51.pdf."
  • fyi: in 1992 clinton got third in the IA caucus and second in the NH primary (just like dean) and still ended up winning the election (obviously). i hope this serves as a bit of a reality check since it seems that people are counting dean out already. you need 2160 delegates to win the primaries so far kerry has 13 and dean has 9. so chill out. on the other hand, you might point out (rightly) that clinton was more moderate than dean is and thus was able to do better in the south and midwest, whereas dean is more liberal than kerry and really should be winning the relatively more liberal states.
  • there's a right wing think tank (called project for the new american century) that drafted a report called "rebuilding america's defenses" which called for the invasions of afghanistan and iraq as a way of securing future oil reserves. this report was issued sometime late in the clinton administration. it goes on to say that because the american government lacks the will to invade two countries and topple their government, we need a galvanizing incident on the order of pearl harbor. within 24 hours of that event (9/11) cheney and wolfowitz were calling for an invasion of iraq. i've heard other accounts that say a war in iraq was in the planning stages prior to 9/11. related information. primary source. i originally got word of this from john buchanan who is running for president on the republican ticket.
  • a good website.
  • updated movies list.
  • kings won another close road game today. that made me happy.
  • finished franken's "rush limbaugh is a big fat idiot and other observations" yesterday.

  • 1-29-04 (02:37)

  • updated movies list.
  • these days it seems that kerry is the guy for the democrats. a month ago i would have picked dean, for better or worse (i like him more, but i think he doesn't have as good a chance against bush), because he had more momentum, money and support (grassroots as well as gore and others). but now kerry has support and now is all that matters. he polls better with moderates and conservatives which means he'll have a better chance against bush. hopefully he doesn't totally sell out if he does get elected. for the record, i still think bush will win.
  • fascists.
  • "The State Treasurer has estimated that Governor Schwarzenegger’s bond will burden every California family with a $3000 tax burden over a 30-year period, compared to a cost of about $1100 for the five-year revenue bond approved earlier this year.
  • The governor would set a dangerous precedent by funding the ongoing cost of California government with general obligation bonds. California has traditionally used general obligation bonds to pay for long-term capital improvements such as construction of schools, roads and bridges, but not for day-to-day costs of providing services.
  • The Consumer Federation of California recommends that the legislature adopt better alternatives for funding the 2003-2004 shortfall. California could increase its revenue by as much as three billion dollars a year by closing corporate tax loopholes that provide no benefit to the California people. We could raise as much as two to three billion a year with a temporary income tax surcharge on the very highest income earners (a surcharge of 0.7% on individuals earning over $137,500 a year and families earning over $275,000, and a surcharge of 1.7% on individuals earning over $275,000 and families earning over $550,000 a year).
  • Increasing marginal tax brackets on the top two percent of income earners is a matter of fairness. While real income stagnated during the 1990s for most Californians, those at the top benefited disproportionately. From 1993 to 2000 inflation adjusted earning for the middle quintile of Californians (those in the 40th to 60th percent of earners) rose by only 8.5%, while those in the top five percent increased their incomes by 113% and the top one percent boosted their earnings by 181%. Clearly these top earners have more than an ample ability to make a modest contribution to preserve our education, health and public safety services.
  • dean got rid of his campaign manager. i don't see that as that much of a problem. i think that the last guy did a great job of getting dean into the race and this next guy (who i think ran the gore campaign) will hopefully help him win the campaign. there are different strategies for each stage of a campaign so, to me, it makes perfect sense to change at this stage. the bigger problem is that he's broke already. that's just pathetic.
  • like i said, i'm not all that interested in who wins the primary...unless it's kucinich or someone really progressive like that. my major concern, like many people, is what happens in november against bush. possibly even more important than who wins the primary and their merits relative to bush, is the turnout levels that we can get in the primaries. i think that if there is a healthy increase in voter turnout, especially in swing states, the democrats have a good chance of unseating bush. if the increase is minimal or stagnant relative to 2000s primaries then we're in big trouble. if i were in charge of the democratic party i'd push voter turnout programs more than anything else...more than anti-bush campaigning or pro-kerry or whatever. i don't have any data on this, but if i'm really organized and i remember then maybe in november i will revisit the question.
  • once in a while i'll check out some reviews from metacritic.com to see what people are writing about movies. all the worst reviews for return of the king mentioned the length. i don't know what's wrong with people.
  • i'd like to get more comedy cds.
  • it's interesting that customers "patronize" a store...meaning they give the store their business. interesting because as a customer service person i feel "patronized" all the time by the customers.

  • 1-28-04 (01:19)

  • more program-related activities.
  • updated movies list.

  • 1-27-04 (02:20)

  • updated movies list. 36 already.
  • busy watching movies and working.
  • "Already, the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations." - george bush in the state of the union address. i love that, "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities." that's politico-speak if i've ever heard it. it makes me laugh, it makes me cry. sorta like when lacy (ex co-worker and super-psycho republican chick) said she thought led zeppelin reminded her of dashboard confessional.
  • i also liked this part "Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year. (Applause.)" i guess there were a few real democrats in the crowd, that's partially encouraging.

  • 1-26-04 (02:50)

  • ner.
  • updated movies list.
  • up too late. had to update my movies list and that takes a long time these days.

  • 1-24-04 (03:59)

  • updated movies list.

  • 1-23-04 (01:18)

  • i need more bookshelf space.

  • 1-22-04 (22:31)

  • "Democratic Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) would be the best environmental president the United States has ever seen, argues Denis Hayes in an opinion piece in Grist.  Hayes, national coordinator of the first Earth Day and now chair of the international Earth Day Network, says Kerry is the only candidate who mentions the environment in every speech -- and he's earned a 96 percent career environmental voting record.  Plus, Kerry's proven to be a resilient and resourceful campaigner.  Hayes is troubled by the environmental movement's failure to support a true friend."
  • to tell you the truth i don't know much about any of the candidates right now. i've listened to a couple debates and i listen to npr on a regular basis, but i don't think that i know enough to know who to vote for. but the bigger truth is that i'm not voting for any of them. i'm still registered green party so i can't vote for them in the primaries. and so far dean is the only one with a shot who has piqued my interest at all because of the fire he has. i think that's a turnoff for most voters though. the important thing about dean, even if he doesn't get the nomination (and i think he will), is that he showed the other front runners what the people wanted. his angry schtick and internet grassroots campaigning raised a few eyebrows and it seems that nowadays kerry is talking more like dean. the big difference being that kerry was the frontrunner in the early stages and he has more experience, especially having served in vietnam. i think edwards is the clear vice president choice for whoever does get the nomination since clark and the others don't seem willing to be vice presidents and also because edwards helps with the southern vote. i haven't really studied the new electoral college breakdown, but i know that while CA gained a vote (55) NY and PA lost a couple and florida and texas gained a couple. so it'll be all the more necessary to gain votes outside of the NE and west.

  • 1-22-04 (01:13)

  • i officially have 300 dvds now.
  • updated movies i own list.
  • updated cd list. by year.
  • just listened to autechre's "chiastic slide." i've heard the album plenty of times, but not recently. other than the first song it was like experiencing it for the first time. great stuff.
  • i noticed just a couple months ago that autechre's "incunabula" actually has a picture of booth and brown on the cover. it's very tiny and it's in the upper left hand corner.
  • rediscovered this article. worth reading again.
  • interview tomorrow. nervous.
  • i was utterly unimpressed by the state of the union speech, but to be fair i only heard about a quarter of it, maybe the other three fourths were fucking great.
  • "In a State of the Union speech that found time to discuss the evils of steroid use among athletes -- an issue entirely outside the purview of the federal government -- President Bush did not mention the environment, or the environmental challenges facing the country, a single time.  Foreign policy loomed large, dominating the first half of the speech.  The latter half, which focused on domestic policy, was bereft of new proposals and any mention of clean air, clean water, threatened species, or public lands.  (In contrast, in his 2003 SOTU address, Bush lauded his "Healthy Forests" and "Clear Skies" initiatives, as well as his support for hydrogen-fueled cars.) The Democratic response to the speech, delivered by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), addressed Bush's conspicuous omission by ... also failing to mention the environment."
  • i put that here to call attention to how blinded some people are by their pet causes. i mean really, who cares about the environment in times like these? the environment is going to be there tomorrow. who cares if there are a few thousand trees missing? or rivers are a little polluted? have you ever been to yellowstone, or montana/wyoming in general? i have. there are a lot of trees and rivers and stuff there. trees are all over the place. there's one in my backyard that keeps dropping leaves onto my patio. you can have it. jeesh.

  • 1-21-04 (02:39)

  • updated movies list.
  • wish i could watch more of the kings games. we lost a tough one tonight. we shot only 32.9% and still only lost by 5 in OT. we had only 19 assists (we had twice as many in the win against the clippers last night). christie had a bad night.
  • interview on thursday. hope that goes well.

  • 1-19-04 (23:56)

  • listening to godspeed you black emperor! right now. it fits my mood.
  • watched a couple episodes of curb your enthusiasm tonight instead of a movie. i was thinking about watching requiem for a dream, but that's a depressing movie so i opted for larry david instead.

  • 1-19-04 (01:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched the carolina game today. that was the most dominating 11 point win i think i've ever seen. donovan mcnabb also took a big step down in my book. stevonne smith didn't do anything spectacular, but he didn't really need to either. philly had more total yards, more first downs, and a higher average per rush, but carolina had five sacks and four interceptions, philly had zeros in both those categories. carolina is a solid team. i've watched them more than any team this year (that's pretty sad) and they don't have any real weaknesses. their front five are solid on both ends, their secondary proved their strength today, their offense is more balanced than they get credit for (look at what they did to dallas), and their special teams are also good. their quarterback (delhomme) doesn't make very many mistakes, and in the super bowl that can be more valuable than a guy like peyton manning (the new john elway, or worse, the new dan marino) who can give you six touchdowns on any given day, but also chokes (4 interceptions today) in big games. in other words, this guy doesn't seem like the kind of guy who is going to take you out of a game. granted he can't win a game for you like michael vick can, but he'll keep you in it. i think it'll be a good game and i think that carolina has a real decent shot at it considering how brady plays on the road.
  • today went by fairly quickly. i don't like waking up early, but once i'm awake it's worth it. i got off work a bit early so i could watch the game. it's the first time in months that i've gotten off of work while it was still light outside.
  • i recommended 'ikiru' to someone today and they bought it. that always feels good.
  • i've done well with my movie watching this year so far. i've seen a relatively good number of films in the theater, a good number of pre-1960 films and a good number of total films. i honestly think that i could watch over 365 movies this year, and that is exciting.

  • 1-18-04 (00:42)

  • updated movies list.

  • 1-17-04 (02:00)

  • updated movies list.
  • i forgot to write that i heard back from the city of davis yesterday. i have an interview for next thursday. i haven't wanted anything in a while as much as i want this job.
  • i'm only happy about a couple things in my life these days - my film viewing and the amount i've been reading lately.
  • politically i think bush's immigration and mars/moon proposals will work to his advantage. this of course assumes that people don't see right through them and that the media does the usual. the immigration thing probably won't get through congress and he has said that the proposed space program will need an additional $12 billion in funding, yet he's only proposed a $1 billion increase. that's kind of funny.
  • vanishing point is finally coming to dvd. february 3rd.

  • 1-16-4 (02:37)

  • "Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is throwing his weight behind Howard Dean, making Babbitt the first top environmental official from the Clinton administration to publicly back a candidate in this year's presidential campaign.  Babbitt joined three prominent environmental activists and writers -- Paul Hawken, Terry Tempest Williams, and Bill McKibben -- in penning an impassioned endorsement of the former Vermont governor."
  • updated movies list.
  • what's the difference between deer nuts and beer nuts? beer nuts are a dollar seventy-eight at the liquor store and deer nuts are still under a buck.
  • under the three strikes law, as of 1996, the number of convictions for third offenses of rape and murder has been 65, and the number of third offenses for petty theft and drug charges has been over 5,900. in other words 65 people have gone to prison for life because their third offense was either rape or murder and 5,900 have gone to jail for life because their third offense was either petty theft or drug-related. radio parallax is my source on this, and the joke above.

  • 1-15-4 (02:13)

  • kill bill vol. 2 isn't coming out until april 16th. i had heard earlier that it was coming out in february.
  • two of these guys (zack and lucky) worked at tower with me for a little while.

  • 1-14-4 (01:12)

  • apparently in ten commandments when charleton heston raises his right hand to part the red sea you can see his rolex on his left hand.
  • updated movies list.
  • "As of next year, Subaru's Outback sedan will be classified as a "light truck," thanks to some technical modifications to its ground clearance and back bumper position.  The revised classification will place the car ... er, truck in a category requiring (as of 2005) 21.2 miles per gallon; in contrast, each automaker's fleet of standard passenger cars must average 27.5 mpg.  More than semantics are at stake:  Since the regulatory categories were put in place in the 1970s, the automotive industry has developed the minivan and the SUV, both wildly popular and both classified as light trucks, meaning that well over half of all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. are held to less stringent fuel economy standards.  As a result of this loophole, average fuel economy is lower than it was two decades ago, despite a variety of advances in fuel-saving technology.  The move is particularly ironic for Subaru, whose vehicles are popular among SUV-disdaining enviros in college towns across the U.S."
  • doc came into tower today to say high. he was in washington d.c. for a while and is back in davis. that was unexpected. we had a pleasant conversation about our ex-roommates and bush being a fucking mentally retarded fascist. doc, as usual, was more reserved in his anger.
  • luke and his crew also stopped by tower today.
  • overall a decent day.

  • 1-13-4 (01:26)

  • "Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Volume 1 will street on 4/13 (SRP $29.99). The disc will include anamorphic widescreen video (2.35:1), both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, a Behind the Scenes with Quentin Tarantino documentary and additional extras TBA."
  • updated movies list.
  • dawn of the dead special edition march 9th. psyched about that one.
  • an older lady came into work today and asked me where elvis presley was located. i politely pointed to the rock section and told her to look under "P." the first blackalicious album was playing on the overhead since i had put it in earlier. blackalicious are a sacramento hip-hop group who rhyme about spirituality, the interconnectedness of humanity, empowerment and other positive themes. the lady came back up to the counter and asked "what's this music that's playing?" "oh it's blackalcious, they're from sacramento," i said. she paused and then said "i guess i should go rob a bank then." i felt like tearing her racist head off, but felt that would have just fed her beliefs that people who listen to hip-hop are violent by nature. so i just gave her her bag and wished her well. it made me very mad. my hope is that people will educate themselves about hip-hop. it's such a misunderstood genre. there are a lot of people out there who claim it isn't music or that it's all about bitches and hoes and robbing banks. i don't like people.
  • started reading the older al franken book: rush limbaugh is a big fat idiot, and other observations.

  • 01-12-04 (00:12)

  • updated movies list.
  • day went by quickly enough.
  • kings won their game. webber still isn't back which is concerning.
  • for years there was a law on the german books that prohibited beer anything besides water, hops and grain in beer. yet, until recently, there was no such law regarding their meat. the same sort of inconsistencies occur here. we're allowed to force companies to recall toys and dozens of other products, but our government still lacks the power to force a recall of beef.

  • 01-11-04 (01:04)

  • updated movies list. two movies today, four yesterday. fifteen on the year.
  • watched the best football game i've seen since ohio state won the national championship over a year ago...granted i've only seen five or six full football games in that time, but it was still a great game. st. lous versus carolina. i don't care about either team, though i do hate st. louis. but the reason for my watching it wasn't to root for st. louis to lose or even just for the love of the game, rather i was rooting for my old high school track team member steve (stevonne) smith who plays wide receiver for carolina. what a fucking game it turned out to be. already up by 11, we (carolina) hit the goal post with six minutes left in the game. they got the ball and scored a touchdown, converted the two point play, and got back the ball on an onside kick. they drove down to the 15 or thereabouts only to squander away their time instead of going for the touchdown. they kicked the field goal and went into OT. we got the ball, made a field goal and won the game. but wait, five yard delay of game penalty - replay the down. so we run the ball a couple times and only get two of those yards back. try another field goal and miss, by a couple feet at most. they get the ball march down the field and miss their field goal. we get the ball back. twenty yard play and we're just a couple yards away from field goal range. we get sacked a couple times, and get a penalty and are back in our own territory. they get the ball back. they drive down easily again and are really close to field goal range (about the 40) when we get an interception. we get the ball. we can't move it for shit though. first overtime is over. the second overtime starts and we still have the ball. i kept yelling at the tv for them to throw it to stevonne. after all i've seen the guy work his magic in the conference and city finals. no one could catch this guy in the 300m hurdles. get him on a slant or a post and he's gone. after all, the rams have been blitzing quite a bit which means fewer guys in the secondary. even daryl "moose" johnston who was the color man in the booth said they were going to either need a big play from their defense or a long play because trying to move the ball methodically down the field wasn't working for shit. so what do they do with their first play of the second overtime? they throw it to fucking stevonne smith who's running a post. he catches it, outruns everyone (including jason sehorn who always wins those super athelete contests they hold in hawaii) in the stadium and scores the game winning touchdown. 69 yard game winning touchdown catch - the longest game winning catch in nfl playoff history. he's got a big paycheck coming next year and, despite being only 5'9", he outplayed both terry holt and isaac bruce in today's game.
  • i'm going to write him a letter.
  • here's a funny little anti-bush ad.
  • work early tomorrow. i should be asleep now, but i know i won't be able to sleep if i get in bed already.
  • for a long time i've felt pessimistic about change. i've been pessimistic about the ability for real change to happen and i've been pessimistic about the changes people try to make. people have their little causes like planting trees or getting people to sign a petition or such and i've felt in the past that that stuff has such an insignificant influence that trying is borderline laughable and mostly selfish (like giving a dollar to a homeless person so you don't have to feel guilty for a while). i guess i'm a pretty pessimistic guy in a lot of ways. i know that a lot of people doing little things like planting trees or getting petitions signed is what makes for real change, but it's always felt so petty to me...like a half-committment. it doesn't really make sense, but it's more of an emotional response than an intellectual one.

  • 01-09-04 (02:55)

  • updated movies list.

  • 01-08-04 (10:35)

  • woke up early yesterday and only got about two hours of sleep. woke up early and got about seven hours of sleep. we finished up inventory early today so i have the rest of the day to myself. i'll probably take a nap, watch some movies and play some video games. wish i had someone to play basketball with.
  • i finished fast food nation the other night. good stuff. i think it's less of a partisan book than some have said. it offers both conservative and liberal solutions to the problems he presents. although he indicates that most of the problems seem to stem from the unchecked workings of market forces - which is a liberal assertion. at any rate, it's a fine piece of investigative journalism that should be read by anyone who eats meat or at fast food chains. i'd say the biggest problem with it is that it has too much information; and that's only a problem because now i feel obliged to read it again since it has so much to offer, a lot of which i've already forgotten.
  • updated movies list.
  • i'm pretty tired now so i'm going to take a nap.

  • 01-06-04 (23:43)

  • have inventory at work tomorrow. going to wake up at 530am tomorrow. inventory days are awful.
  • expect a doctor strangelove anniversary edition dvd in the near future.
  • in the spirit of fairness...i think the bush administration did a good thing in sending aid to iran after the earthquake.

  • 01-06-04 (02:32)

  • harsh.
  • a good 30 second bush ad.
  • i don't know how true this is, but i'll throw it out there anyway...i think that in the last 20 years it's become more and more difficult to track how much is being spent to get a particular candidate elected. sure there are pretty good figures on how much the candidate spends for his/her campaign, but the wildcard is the special interests. it seems that more and more often there are individuals and groups who are paying for anti-bush or anti-democrat ads. it goes way beyond just giving money to candidates or their party. recently there was an ad that attacked howard dean and, according to npr, we won't know who funded the ad until after the primaries in new hampshire are over because the law says the information isn't available for a certain time period, or doesn't have to be disclosed until a certain time - i forget the specifics. regardless, it is one more example of ads that are being funded by someone or some group (in this case we don't know who) that further a political goal. i've only noticed this kind of thing more recently. maybe it existed before. maybe it was as bad before. maybe it's a recent phenomenon that has come about because of campaign finance reforms (mccain-feingold perhaps?), i honestly don't know. info is appreciated.
  • it's scary because it's the kind of thing that strengthens the bonds between big business and government.

  • 01-05-04 (01:19)

  • updated movies list.
  • the grass outside was frosted over when i left for work today. if there had been rain clouds it might have snowed.
  • i'm going to try to get some sleep tonight.

  • 01-03-04 (23:47)

  • watched some of the carolina/dallas football game tonight. i expected dallas to win, but only because of the coach. in the playoffs i usually go with the coach unless i've followed the team and know more about them. at any rate, what's interesting is that i switched back to the game right after steve smith caught his touchdown pass. they showed him on the sidelines and i recognized his face. i haven't watched very much football this year and i knew i recognized him from something more personal. i figured it out pretty quickly. he's really stevonne smith, born in los angeles, went to university high school and was on our track team (as well as our football team). he ran the 100m and 300m hurdles and was one of only a few runners on our team to make it to the state finals. pretty cool to see a guy from my high school on tv catching a touchdown pass, even if we only talked once or twice very briefly. after seeing him i looked at my yearbook from our senior year just to make sure i wasn't crazy. i'm not. i remember him being a pretty fiery guy, but he seemed to have his shit together a bit more than most of the other guys on our team. anyway, i'm pretty happy he made it.
  • updated movies list. only watched one movie today.
  • special editions of goodfellas and heat are coming in july.
  • getting down to 29 degrees tonight.

  • 01-03-04 (01:18)

  • updated movies list.
  • big news for today is that grapes of wrath is finally coming to dvd. april 6th of this year.
  • seinfeld season one will probably be out in december, another season or two of south park, another season of simpsons, curb your enthusiasm. new records from the beastie boys, boards of canada, hella, maybe zach de la rocha. star wars on dvd, return of the king, michael moore's 'the big one,' and plenty more. it's going to be a good year for dvd and music releases.
  • finished the top ten albums/films of 2003 list.
  • it's been pretty damn cold lately.
  • osu beat ksu today. ksu beat oklahoma. osu lost to michigan which lost usc. so, if you follow bcs logic, usc is better than michigan (obviously), osu, ksu and oklahoma. also florida (the only team to beat lsu 19-7) lost big in their bowl game 37-17 which makes lsu look worse. also cal won their bowl game so all of a sudden usc is looking pretty fucking good, at least to me. i think it's more important how a team finishes the year than how they start the year. thus i think that oklahoma's loss in the penultimate game of the season should count against them more than the loss usc had early in the year. i think this because if college football had a playoff system like most sports do the last few games would be most important. personally i hope that oklahoma beats lsu 3-0 in the sloppiest game of the year. then it would be pretty clear, even to bcs lovers, that usc is the best team in the nation.

  • 01-02-04 (02:34)

  • i'm pretty psyched about watching the new errol morris (fast, cheap and out of control, and thin blue line) film - fog of war. he's one of the better documentary film makers today and philip glass is scoring it (he also scored thin blue line) so it should be good.
  • elvis mitchell's film reviews kinda suck.
  • usc came up big today. the win was bigger than just 14 points. they allowed a lot of yardage, but it was all in the middle of the field. i think they're the national champs, unless LSU wins by a few touchdowns in which case you probably have to give it to them.
  • updated movies list. new year, new lists.
  • watched my first movie the year on the big screen, for free. went to the tower theater in sacramento. since i work at tower records i get into the theater for free. i plan to exploit that frequently this year.
  • last year i watched 329 films.
  • breakdown by month: jan-16 feb-31 mar-27 apr-19 may-15 jun-16 jul-17 aug-31 sep-26 oct-56 nov-33 dec-42
  • breakdown by decade of film's release: 10s-(1) 20s-(3) 30s-(6) 40s-(8) 50s-(8) 60s-(19) 70s-(22) 80s-(44) 90s-(81) 00s-(137)
  • this year i'd like to watch another 300+ films and watch both more films in the theater and more pre-1960 films.
  • i hope to have the top ten albums completed by tomorrow.
  • two colds last year. pretty good.
  • my one prediction for this year is that bush will win the presidency. this time he'll win for real.

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