9-28-05 (22:58)
  • i think my boss and i have gotten a little closer since i told him that i was leaving. we talk more and work less. we also take turns making fun of the receiving clerk more often. i don't feel sorry for him though, he's the most hate filled person i've ever met, so he deserves some good-natured ribbing.
  • it rained the other day, but today was hot again.
  • updated movies and cds i own lists. bought the new blackalicious and have listened to it once so far. also got an old amadou and mariam album.
  • the a's are out of the race so that makes me a bit sad. they need to learn to come out of the blocks a little quicker so they don't have so much ground to make up in the second half of the season. they play ball the way that steve(onne) smith used to run the hurdles.
  • i don't think too highly of kate hudson.
  • today was up and down. worked out a bit and that was good. didn't watch a movie.

  • 9-27-05 (22:41)

  • updated movies list.
  • i hate it when athletes, or anyone, really, say "i never imagined that X could have happened." you hear it most often when athletes win a gold medal or something and then they say something like: "i never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined winning a medal. it's just amazing." how hard is it to imagine that you'd win a gold medal? especially if you're in the olympics...people are either lying, have a piss poor imagination or are just repeating what they've heard other gold medal winners say. actually, what made me think of this - and this makes me feel a little bad - was the local news broadcast of a local family who just lost their son in iraq. they said that they never could have imagined he wouldn't come back home alive. obviously i feel bad for them, but it got me thinking about how often people throw around that phrase when they don't really mean it. i guess people just don't think too much. that's the theme of much of what i write on this page.
  • i think i like humanity less and less every day and that's probably a bad thing. i can't get to the point where i isolate myself too much.

  • 9-25-05 (22:15)

  • niners lost a heartbreaker today. i have a $50 bet with my dad that the niners will win at least five games this year and losing a game like that doesn't bode well for me. raiders also lost a tough one. a's also lost. rough day overall. tony parrish had two interceptions and the second one was one of the most amazing that i've ever seen. it was off the hands of one cowboy and one niner and parrish got it while falling out of bounds. it was great.
  • didn't do much today. watched tv pretty much all day. i have work tomorrow because i don't want to use vacation time for the day off i'm taking on saturday. when i leave i'll get paid for all my unused vacation so that'll be nice. unfortunately i don't know if i'll get the bonus that is due to me for last quarter. management gets bonuses for staying under payroll and have an increase in sales. we did both those things last quarter, but it usually takes three to four months to actually get the bonus. my boss said he'll try to figure something out, so that's nice.
  • lately i've been wanting to start packing things up in anticipation of my move. i have too much stuff. there's not much that i really want to get rid of though. i don't want to get rid of my tools or camping supplies. i've already thinned down my music and movies a bit. it would be nice to have a laptop because that would save space. i don't have many clothes. i plan on getting rid of some of my kitchen stuff and maybe my futon, but the truth is that there's not much i can get rid of.

  • 9-24-05 (23:56)

  • updated movies list.

  • 9-24-05 (19:45)

  • scored some great vinyl at work today. there's even more good stuff that i didn't pick up, but i'm on a tight budget these days. the "meet the beatles" and "ascension" albums both book at about $100. all the other davis and coltrane stuff books at probably $20-$75. it's all in damn good shape, no ring wear, lightly used. 21 albums cost me $45.
  • usc just finished beating up on the ducks.
  • people on the radio are still talking about ucd's upset against stanford last week. apparently espn and sports illustrated both picked up the news and s.i. called it the game of the week. some have called it one of the bigger upsets in college football. not so sure about that, but it was a pretty big upset and it was made more interesting because the final score came with 8 seconds left on the clock.


  • 9-23-05 (19:28)
  • yesterday i told my boss that my last day is going to be november 30th. he was disappointed, but said that he understood and would do the same thing if he had he opportunity. he said it would leave big shoes to fill and that was kind of nice. he told me that in ten years of working at tower he's never seen a better product manager and that he thinks i'm the standard by which all product managers should be judged.
  • we did five interviews today because we need to hire another clerk. it's amazing how little people know about music despite "loving it." when we ask the question "why do you want to work at tower?" everyone's response is "because i love music." people generally claim they have a wide range of musical knowledge, yet if you ask them to name a jazz or blues artist they (more often than not) come up blank. five out of the five times we asked them to name a metal band people said "metallica." it's interesting to see the trends. there was one girl who knew a good amount about movies, but she only knew about foreign films. i think that a big part of it is that we're dealing with people who are usually 18-20 years old and just haven't had enough time to really get the breadth and depth of music knowledge that you get in your twenties. the only reason i knew much about jazz when i was that age was because of the kdvs show vern and i were hosting. my sister would be able to do it.
  • extreme home makeover is sort of a nice idea because it's generally a worthwhile charity, but it's so contrived. it's always a contest to see if they can find a more pathetic family for the next show. and all the designers and contractors come off as so fake and their disagreements are hilariously staged. of course the money would be better spent on habitat for humanity because the way they construct the homes is extremely inefficient, from a monetary point of view.

  • 9-22-05 (23:04)

  • today was okay until i took a nap. napping is nice, but it throws off the day's rhythm. that said, i needed the rest because i haven't been sleeping too well lately. meryl will be here next weekend so that'll change things i'm sure.
  • the miami heat are going to be tough to beat next year. they just signed payton which makes their defense a bit better and gives them a bit more stability at the point guard position, which is nice since jason williams can be sporadic at times.

  • 9-21-05 (00:08)

  • a's took a step backwards tonight. 2.5 games behind the angels, ten games left. it's definitely going to come down to the four game series between the two teams. hopefully they take three of four and then sweep the mariners.
  • updated movies list.
  • watched about 15 minutes of the tarantino penned/directed csi tonight. it seemed to have his writing, and to a lesser extent, directing style. tv is an interesting form. with something like "lost" you can make a picture that's much longer than even the longest feature films; in this way television has the potential to be more free of time constraints. at the same time you have a different kind of temporal constraint: you have to craft the story to fit into chapters of  7-15 minute blocks so you can fit in the commercials. ideally you also want to craft the story to leave some sort of cliffhanger or hook at the end of each of these chapters - an element that isn't at all necessary in filmmaking because each chapter flows from one to the next, without commercial interruption. it would be silly to write off tv altogether - remember that there are some quality tv movies (like brian's song) and some worthwhile tv miniseries like das boot (originally a tv series in germany), decalogue, roots, and heimat.
  • felt tired all day.

  • 9-20-05 (23:15)

  • was just watching an episode of the simpsons wherein bart was calling countries in the southern hemisphere to determine whether or not the water really does flow down the drain in a clockwise direction. one of the countries he called was burkina faso which is in the northern hemisphere. not sure if that was a mistake by the writers or what. he was calling countries while looking at his globe and i don't think there was supposed to be any humor derived from him calling a northern hemisphere country so i think it was a mistake by the writers.
  • the rockies scored 20 runs tonight. matt holiday had 3 runs 8 rbi and 2 hrs. he's on my last place fantasy baseball team and i had him benched so i don't get to reap the benefits of one of the best single game performances of the year. i suck, but not as bad as the padres' pitching i guess.

  • 9-20-05 (20:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • season six of the simpsons is the best one that's been released on dvd so far.
  • updated recommendations.
  • monarchs won the championship tonight. i didn't see it on tv which is unfortunate.

  • 9-19-05 (23:45)

  • you gotta hand it to martha stewart for doing her time and coming back. it seems like the public really respects it when people pay their dues.
  • my boss called me at home today and left a message on my answering machine. meryl did my outgoing message and he recognized the voice. when i called him back he asked whose voice it was and i told him it was meryl's. then he asked "are you guys lovers?" i said "yeah, something like that." he asked "are you really?" and i said "yeah, something like that." he said "oh, okay...i was wondering."
  • i should sleep but i'm not tired.

  • 9-19-05 (17:19)

  • "The feds are digging around for info they could use to blame the flooding of New Orleans on environmentalists. At the request of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Justice Department last week emailed U.S. attorneys' offices in the Gulf Coast region with this question: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps' work on the levees protecting New Orleans?" The inquiry followed on the heels of a Sept. 8 article in the National Review Online that criticized enviro groups for suing in 1996 over the way the Corps was planning to raise Mississippi River levees and suggested that the suit may have contributed to the flooding of New Orleans -- erroneously, because it was a different set of levees that broke during Hurricane Katrina. A Sept. 9 article in the Los Angeles Times also asked whether enviros bore some culpability because in 1977 they sued the Corps over a shoddy environmental impact statement on its plans to build a hurricane barrier to protect New Orleans; the Corps never followed up on the project."
  • dante culpepper has as many turnovers in the last two games as jerry rice had in his 20 year career.

  • 9-18-05 (13:37)

  • was watching a bit of the san diego/denver football game just now and denver was attempting a field goal. the announcer said "and there is no breeze on the field here today." and i said to myself "yes there is - drew brees." johnny would have been proud.
  • almost a third of the people in the world have a cellphone.
  • 15:20
  • mcnabb had one of the best quarterbacking performances i've seen in recent years. granted it was against a pathetic 49er defense which couldn't get any pressure on him and is weak in the secondary, but he still deserves some props for his performance. 23/29, 340+ yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT. he's an amazing quarterback against shitty teams and he's overrated against good teams. overall i think he's good, but i'd rather have michael vick or tom brady. i think that guys like michael vick or steve young are like wilt chamberlin - they change the complexion of the game. the strategies of the game need to catch up with their talent. to me, young was the first guy who was a real double threat. cunningham was okay as a passer and great as a runner, but young was the first guy who could beat you just as easily with his arm as with his legs.
  • i've given up already on my soquel fantasy football league. i wasn't there to do the second draft so i got a bunch of shitty players. luckily i'm in another league with james chai so i'll focus my 15 minutes of effort a week on that league instead.
  • sacramento won today in the wnba finals. i wasn't impressed with either team on the offensive end. defensively, though, sacramento had impressive stretches.
  • good to see peyton manning having a performance more indicative of his talent - 13/28, 122 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.

  • 9-18-05 (00:55)

  • was talking about the roberts appointment with a couple people at work the other day. both think he's crazy and bad for the country. one of them added that it was "unprecedented" to have someone outside of the supreme court be appointed as the chief justice of the court. in reality this is the opposite of unprecedented - about 2/3 of the time there is a vacancy for the seat it is filled by someone not currently in the supreme court. if i hadn't learned that from npr earlier that week i wouldn't have corrected him and that bit of misinformation would have probably spread. i hate false information. if anything i have an unhealthy desire to be as accurate as possible as often as possible.
  • i was thinking about this the other day while i was at the amadou and mariam concert. i was thinking about how, because they are blind, they probably get much of their information from their fellow bandmates and roadies. descriptions of the crowd demographics, crowd participation, etc. are probably relayed to them from those who travel with them. to me that would be a very serious job - to be the eyes of someone who doesn't have eyes. i was thinking about how i'd be as meticulous and accurate as possible. then it occurred to me that i'd probably be a pretty decent reporter because of this trait. i don't have any illusions of pure objectivity, but i do think there are degrees of subjectivity. i do feel it is possible to be less subjective than is our nature. everything is colored by our experiences, but i still think it's possible, and desirable, to be less subjective than is our tendency. it's a trait i value quite a bit in others. people (randi rhodes, bill o'reilly, etc.) who unabashedly color the news are obnoxious to me.
  • naturally, one can make the sensible argument that at least with those people you know where they're coming from (although o'reilly claims to be an objective moderate). when it comes to politics and the news i wish that there was less partisan bickering and partisan line-toeing, but i suppose that's always going to be part of the system. i'm talking more about people in my life. if i can't trust a person's viewpoint then that's annoying. it's hard to trust, and get along with, people who can't see things from an alternate perspective.
  • today notre dame proved that they were overrated. i wish them well, but it was amazing to see them shoot to #10 after just two wins (one being over #5 michigan who basically handed nd the game). the other was over pittsburgh, an unranked team with a new coach.
  • ucla beat up on oklahoma. ok was in the national championship game the last two years and now they totally suck. good to see that.
  • usc destroyed arkansas - 70-17.
  • miami proved me right by beating clemson in 3ot. closer than i thought. seeing them against fsu made me think they have a good shot at a major bowl game victory.
  • a's lost and angels won tonight. that's not good. i've never been that big of a baseball fan. when i first got into baseball it was during the a's run in the late 80s and early 90s. i liked canseco (i'm sorry to admit), the eck and mcgwire, but i never had great loyalty to any team mostly because teams don't stay together and i never had any regional alliances - i hate the dodgers and the angels were always kinda pathetic to me. i liked the giants for a bit mostly because my dad is such a fan, but the whole bonds thing turns me off of them. for some reason that's not true with the 49ers - i've liked them ever since i started watching football and i've liked them since their glory years, up until last year's 2-14 finish i.e., through thick and thin. anyway, the only team in baseball i really care about this year is the a's because of meryl. i like the way they play the game, but i hate that the ownership trades away their great players and doesn't seem willing to write the check that could put them over the top. even though i probably wouldn't like the maloofs as people, i like the fact that they support the kings just about as much as any owners i've seen in pro sports in the modern era. they do what it takes and seem to have more loyalty to their players than most teams. yes, they traded webber and christie, but i know that, objectively speaking, it was probably a good time to make both moves. they're building for the future while getting some value out of their older players. it's a cold calculation, but at least it can be understood. the moves, or lack thereof, from the a's, though, are troubling as someone who could potentially be an a's fan.
  • a pathetic display of two (potential) playoff teams.
  • looking forward to the wnba finals game tomorrow. i'd be willing to bet that 75% of the populous doesn't even know the finals are going on right now.
  • updated movies i own list.
  • it's pretty late so i should sleep.
  • meryl's coming in two weeks for her birthday. that'll be good.

  • 9-16-05 (23:28)

  • woke up last night to the sound of a cat meowing as if it was in a lot of pain. sounded like it was giving birth or something. didn't even remember until just now because i was so out of it.
  • updated movies list.
  • ted turner is on letterman right now saying that the ten worst poverty-related problems in the world can be solved with $62 billion/year. we're spending about $48 billion a year in iraq, granted there's a lot of waste there, but it just doesn't seem possible to solve that many problems with that small an amount of money. i find this far-fetched, but it's piqued my interest. i'll have to look for the book he's pitching (plan b) next time at a bookstore. ted turner is a unique guy.

  • 9-16-05 (00:11)

  • jay leno is such a chode. he's not very funny and he, more often than not, just offers a platform for right wingnuts like donald trump or arnold schwarzenegger. oh, and he's not very funny.
  • well, jim gaffigan is on conan tonight so i'm going to have to stay up late. s.b. cohen (of da ali g show) is on too.
  • some kid came up to me at work the other day and said "i'm looking for midget porn." i said "we don't have any." that was the first time i had gotten that request.
  • updated movies list.
  • i'm pretty certain that the first laugh in early human history was the result of either a fart or someone being hurt.

  • 9-15-05 (00:44)
  • updated movies list.

  • 9-14-05 (01:13)

  • out of water so i'm parched.
  • the amadou and mariam show was great. they put on a great show, it was one of the better ones i've been to.
  • i'm tired.

  • 9-12-05 (21:39)

  • it's funny to see local news anchors feign sincerity. actually, it's more pathetic and sad, than funny.
  • what is funny, though, is watching infomercials. it's funny to see them employ fuzzy math to sell their crappy products. i was watching some vitamin supplement infomercial and they were talking about vitamin water (and similar products) being a bad alternative to to their product. they talked about the sugar content of such products - say 30g per serving and 2.5 servings per bottle. they, rightly, point out that that means there's 75g of sugar per bottle. but when comparing the two products on vitamin content they only compare on a per serving basis. say it has 30% of the daily recommended vitamin b6 per serving, that would be 75% per bottle. but they say it only has 30% per serving so it makes their product look even better. it's just so funny to see them try to pull this shit off.
  • vlade divac is such a great guy. he's loading up a 25 foot truck full of food and supplies and driving it to katrina victims himself. 30 hours in a truck to help people out. that's pretty impressive when he obviously could have paid someone to do it for him and it's not compulsory - he's not in the nba anymore so he doesn't have to fulfill any community service commitments. i know he's always been very active with helping people from his native serbia and montenegro.
  • another divac highlight: Joins Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar as the only players in NBA history to amass 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots
  • don't know what to do right now. amazingly, i can't think of a movie i really want to watch. the next couple months are going to be tough because i feel like i'm in a transitional phase.
  • bonds came back today an almost hit a hr. that guy's freaking good. i hope he doesn't break ruth's record.
  • monarchs are in the finals. that's pretty cool.
  • i think that mike martz is the worst game day coach in football.
  • updated movies list.
  • going to sf to see amadou and mariam tomorrow. blind Malian singers whose last album is fucking great.
  • one of meryl's high school friends was shot and killed yesterday. this just seems to be a bad few months.

  • 9-12-05 (14:17)

  • "Partisan squabbling effectively killed California's closely watched Million Solar Roofs legislation last week, as the state Assembly session ended on Thursday with no vote on the bill. The measure, which would have dramatically boosted the state's use of solar power by providing incentives for businesses and homeowners to install photovoltaic systems, initially had broad backing from across the political spectrum, but Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a compromise over Democrat-sponsored provisions that would have required workers on large commercial solar installations to be paid union-level prevailing wages. Many Republicans said the provisions would be too costly, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said he'd veto the bill unless they were changed. Now, under Schwarzenegger's direction, the state's Public Utilities Commission is expected to implement some aspects of the Million Solar Roofs plan, but others would still require legislative approval."
  • agassi lost yesterday in four sets, as predicted. that third set tie breaker is what did it. it was amazing to see him just collapse in the fourth set the way he did; you could tell his spirit was broken. it actually made me like him a little less.
  • craziness. yesterday al qaeda said la, melbourne and madrid were next...

  • 9-12-05 (00:20)

  • got another visit from the neighborhood cat tonight. it was meowing outside so i let it in again. she was more timid this time and didn't want me to close the door behind her. she left fairly quickly. later on i heard a cat fight outside my back window so i checked to see what was going on. she was on top of a car just hanging out, so either she wasn't a part of it or i missed the mileau. i made clicking sounds and she ran towards my window meowing. so i went to my front door and made the clicking sounds some more and she came back. pretty smart kitty. i opened some tuna and she sniffed at it, but didn't have any. that was a waste. i took some pictures of her and now she's sleeping on my couch. she has a misshapen left, rear foot which i hadn't noticed before. meryl named her bella, so that's what i'll call her from now on. now i'm not sure whether i should let her stay the night or kick her out when i go to bed.
  • 9-11-05 (12:32)
  • patriot day.
  • i think that the major sports provide a great example of the success of the labor movement. the players' unions in football, basketball, baseball and even hockey are inordinately more powerful than they are in, say, the auto industry. the reason players get paid so much is because there is so much money to be had and the union does a good job of getting a decent share of that money. so, when you hear people say they hate that football players get paid millions of dollars for just playing a game, what they're really saying is either they hate the success of the union or they hate that so many people (like themselves) are willing to pay $8-800 a ticket to be entertained. in other words, don't get mad at the players.

  • 9-10-05 (21:44)

  • notre dame is looking good this year. i think that michigan lost more than notre dame won, but notre dame is still a solid squad. i think you have to give some credit to willingham, though, because he's the one who did the recruiting for this squad.
  • forgot to mention that i was impressed by miami's safety (meriweather), i think he's a talent to watch.
  • ohio state/texas game was good. ohio state is a fun team to watch because they make games interesting. i still remember parts of that miami game for the national championship. ohio state has a good linebacker crew, but their qb situation needs to be figured out and they need to make better decisions with the ball. there were back to back plays when a player could have gone to the endzone if he had broken to the outside instead of the inside. they also missed an easy catch in the endzone in the 4th quarter. good game though. texas is too one-dimensional so i actually think that ohio state is the better team.
  • watched the final game of the women's tennis final. no big surprise there. i'm not a fan of pierce's simply because of her injury timeouts the other day. what a rich person's sport. they need to change that rule. i like agassi, but he'll likely lose in four sets tomorrow. i'll still watch it though. federer is simply dominating over the last couple years, especially on the hard court and grass.
  • al playoff race is heating up. i think that the a's have a tough road to get the wild card: 3 games against the wc leader - cleveland, 4 games against the red sox, 4 games against the angels. i think they have the toughest road of the teams in the thick of it. i think that the a's have a better shot at winning their division than they do at getting the wild card because i think the wild card is going to cleveland. they have the lead now, they're playing better ball than the other teams, and they have an easier schedule. it'll probably come down to the athletics' penultimate series which is against the angels. if they take three of four, they'll probably get in.
  • i've probably watched as many full college football games this year already as i did all of last year (pre-bowl games).

  • 9-10-05 (01:20)

  • one thing that interests me in life is understanding how a person experiences the world. i often feel like my odd memory makes me experience life in an unusual way. because my memory is so bad i can experience the exact same revelation more than once. here's one example that i remember, though it's not really earth shattering: the discovery that stevonne smith, my old trackmate, plays for the carolina panthers. i wrote about this once in 2001 (9/26) and then again in 2004 (1/3). both times it was a complete surprise to me that this guy was in the nfl. and it's not really a small thing - here's a guy i talked with in the past and now he's on a national stage; that's worthy of remembering. melanie was actually the one who brought it to my attention. i wonder how many other things i think i'm experiencing for the first time, when i've really already experienced them before.
  • my memory makes my experience like a longer version of memento. instead of my memory being wiped every hour or so, it gets wiped every year. it also depends upon what it is that i'm experiencing. some things (my hitchhiking trip) are vivid in my memories years later. but small interactions are wiped clean within the matter of a minute or two. if i try to remember them i might be able to, but they almost instantly go from the front of my mind to the back. i can be thinking about something very seriously while i'm at the co-op on my way home, but by the time i get home (a five minute walk) i'll have completely forgotten it. it's a nice thing because i think it makes me partially immune to media bombardment. it's also a nice thing because i think if i remembered 80% of what i've learned i'd have committed suicide by now....to have the memory of all the injustices and all the instances of human stupidity stored in my brain would overwhelm me. on that same note, if i remember 80% of what i've learned i'd probably be three times more knowledgeable than i am right now. it would be great to be able to remember who did the score to laura without having to look it up or to remember what films claire trevor has been in or to remember the population of nigeria relative to the total population of africa (1/7th, but at one point i mistakenly remembered it being 1/5th ).
  • it's one thing to know what a person has done in their life, but it's a far more interesting thing to know how they experience the world. how they see things, what they take out of a piece of art or life or an experience, etc. i think i do a pretty decent job of documenting that here. sure a lot of it is i did a, b and c today, but more of it, i hope, is i saw a, b and c and it made me think x, y and z. i think that's a part of good storytelling and characterization - putting the audience inside a character's head. plot is just a prop for developing the motivations and experiences of a character.

  • 9-9-05 (23:45)

  • funny.

  • 9-9-05 (20:48)

  • updated movies list. finally caught up.
  • went to physical therapy and that was good. she said i was flexible and couldn't understand why i injured myself. also, both my doctor and the therapist said i have a long torso. never knew that about myself. i know that i have short arms, but i didn't know that i have a long torso. i try not to look at myself too much. going back on monday to do some strengthening exercises.
  • other than that today was relatively normal.
  • updated movies i own list.
  • updated cds i own list.
  • how much can one relate to the experiences of another? as humans we have similar experiences of pain, happiness, alienation, etc. but it is often said that unless you're black or female or gay or fat that you can't know what it is to be those things. i agree with that to a degree, but it also has to go the other way. a black person can't know what it's like to be white, a female can't know what it's like to be male, etc. it may be easier since our culture generally relays the experiences of white, right handed, straight, in shape, good looking, middle-income males more often than that of a fat, ugly, left-handed, handicapped, short, poor, native-american lesbians. i do think, though, that i can relate to some of the experiences of people who aren't of the same income, race, sex, etc. as me. maybe that's hubris, maybe it's wishful thinking, but i think that it's possible enough to not get the "you don't know what it's like" type of response some are want to give.
  • like anything, though, it's a matter of degree. one can never know what it's like to be another person - it's just that simple. at the same time, i was a teenager and i know what it's like to be stared at because someone thinks you're going to steal something and i know what it's like to be a minority (because i was one in high school). at the same time short people don't know that being tall sometimes sucks because you have to bend to wash your hands or open a door . maybe it sucks less than not being able to reach something on the top shelf of a cupboard. i don't know and i don't care. trying to quantify suffering is inane because eventually you get the point where you have nothing to complain about unless you were in the holocaust. getting in those discussions is ridiculous and counter-productive. clearly there is a difference between race and height or sexual preference or attractiveness, but i use it to highlight the suffering of us tall people. seriously though, being in the minority is actually a well-documented experience. but being in the majority in the sense of being looked at as an oppressive white male devil, doesn't seem well-documented at all. probably because it's taboo to say that it sucks to feel like an oppressor because of how you were born. after all, you're in the majority, so what's the big deal? being a white male sometimes feels like it means that i either have no culture or have no culture that i'm allowed to be proud of. black/brown pride is beautiful and white pride is ed furlong in american history x (he plays a KKK member). i'm not really saying i have much to complain about, but this sort of perspective is one that, ironically, is in the vast minority in our culture.
  • oh, and if you know any fat, ugly, left-handed, mentally retarded, short, poor, handicapped, native-american lesbians, send them my condolences because it sucks to be at the bottom of the totum pole. which reminds me of the seinfeld episode where he's dating a native-american an talks about getting tickets from a scalper, etc.
  • finally figured out what song they use as the lead in to the world's geo quiz on npr. i'm pretty sure it's "kaira" by toumani diabate. there's an updated version of it that he does with ali farka toure on their new album together.

  • 9-8-05 (18:18)

  • i know that lust of money is the root of all evil, but if it weren't for money the u.s. would probably hate china. as is, though, we're on pretty good terms because of economics.
  • football tonight, that's exciting.
  • went to the doctor and she said i have a thoracolumbar strain i.e., a hurt back. so i'm going to get some physical therapy. i'll set that up tomorrow.
  • after that i went to work for about 4.5 hours. my back is a little tired, but good overall. movement is still limited, but i'm far better than i was on sunday.
  • physical therapy people just called so i can cross that off my list. going tomorrow.
  • i like randy moss. that said, i'm going to miss jerry rice.
  • bob barker is supposed to be some sort of pimp (because he's an old guy who supposedly gets a lot of play), but i find it an ironic juxtaposition that his "cause" is to spay and neuter pets.
  • watched venus and serena williams play each other the other day. it was disappointing because they didn't get any rallies going. they're both very powerful and both had trouble with their first serves. there seemed to be a lot of unforced errors and power seemed to dominate the match. history actually proves me correct...up to that point they had played each other 14 times, serena winning eight of those matches, but only four had gone to a third set. not as competitive as i had imagined. i suppose everyone else already knew this, but i don't have espn and i'm not a tennis fan so i didn't know that their matches were generally anticlimactic. oh well.
  • last night i did watch agassi beat blake and was excited by that match. there was a lot of back and forth, they had some good rallies and it was just a good match. agassi is a great returner and blake is powerful and athletic, but couldn't quite place it as well as agassi. agassi had a second serve ace that was only 108mph (compare this to venus williams who has a high of about 122mph, serena gets it up to about 118mph), but his serve was all about placement. great to watch. he has an efficient stroke and just seems to place the ball extremely well. the crowd was really into it and the match was going on until 1:15am local time so it was good to see a packed house in spite of that fact.
  • also saw some college football over the weekend. west virginia vs. syracuse was a defensive battle. both had crappy offenses.
  • miami and fsu was pretty much the same. miami has a good qb in bryant, but they couldn't put it together until later. fsu won 10-7. miami was clearly the better team to me, though, because their defense was just as good and their offense was better. bryant's a freshman so i think that this game was more about him learning than anything else. they'll be a good team down the stretch, but i don't see as much potential in fsu.
  • 12:27
  • there's some kid (Alex Reimer) on jay leno who's ripping the shit out of larry the cable guy right now. pretty sweet. he's a 12 year old sports blogger. he knows sports, but doesn't know how to spell, or how to run a spell check. on leno he appeared to be quite the precocious little brat, but lovable enough.
  • reviewed eight films and i still have three to go. jeesh.
  • updated movies list.
  • updated movies i own list.
  • gotta gloat over this one: tournament of champions rerun on jeopardy. final answer was in law and society and two (including ken jennings) got this one wrong, i got it right: "This Hollywood legend who died January 21, 1959 supported placing monuments that have since brought legal challenges" jennings put gary cooper, jerome put dean and brad got the right question: demille. first i thought of an old school hollywood legend and then i thought about what monuments have brought legal challenges. since cecil b. demille did two versions of the ten commandments it seemed like the logical choice. i get pretty psyched whenever i get something that ken jennings doesn't.

  • 9-8-05 (12:26)

  • good idea.

  • 9-7-05 (12:15)

  • made an appt. with a doctor for tomorrow. hopefully i'll get some physical therapy and it'll help me heal correctly.
  • forgot to write about my ride to work last thursday. i was on my bike going to work in the morning and i was daydreaming about the arrival of my digital camera. i was riding without my hands on the handlebars as i usually do. i approached the fifth of six stop signs along the way, looked for approaching cars, and ran the stop sign. as soon as i did this i saw a bike cop start up after me. i put my hands on the handlebars and pulled over. he asked if i knew why he stopped me and i said yes. he asked if i had ID and i said no. he asked for my information and i gave it to him. he asked if i knew my id number and i told it to him. he asked where i was going and i told him i was going to work. he asked if i biked to work everyday and i said "yes, and i run that stop sign every single day." he laughed and said "at least you're honest." as he relayed my information back to the station he said that running a stop sign is $122 fine (last time i got one, about four years ago, i think, it was about $30-40) and since i didn't have my hands on the handlebars it's another $122, for a total of $244. then he said that if the background check came back without any warrants he'd let me off with a warning. sure enough my record was clear, he said goodbye, and i said thanks.

  • 9-6-05 (12:21)

  • you don't know how much you use your back until it hurts with every strain. it's getting better now. i'll probably take another day off because i still can't bend, but i can look down at my feet again and getting off the couch doesn't hurt like it used to. i've watched a good number of movies, but not an insane number. sitting in this chair hurts so i haven't reviewed any of them yet.

  • 9-5-05 (14:50)

  • back feels a little better and my cold has gotten a little worse. told my boss i wouldn't be in tomorrow and he was very understanding.

  • 9-4-05(11:51)

  • i'm in more pain right now than i think i've ever been in before. i'm sick and yesterday my back was feeling sore so i did some light stretching. apparently i did something pretty bad because my back started to feel progressively worse and worse. i soaked in the tub with some epsom salts hoping it would relax my back, but it just made it worse. there aren't any comfortable positions. moving hurts all the time. sleeping was awful. i feel like shit. this is definitely the worst my back has ever been. sitting here typing hurts so i'm going to lay down.

  • 9-3-05 (13:45)

  • feel like i'm coming down with a cold. that's pretty funny since i called in sick yesterday and have been thinking quite a bit lately about the fact that i haven't been sick all year. it's possible that it's just allergies starting to kick in. we'll see.
  • so, i've decided that i'm leaving davis in a few months and i'll help my grandmother sell off the 30,000 books that are left from the book business. after doing that for a month i'm going to move to austin and live with meryl for a few months. after that i'll move back to california, probably the bay area. this plan, in various forms, has been on my mind for about two months now. meryl got a good offer in austin and i got a good offer in la so it seems to work out all around.
  • i think that i'll tell my boss about my departure in a month or two, giving him at least one month's notice. sorta sucks for tower because i'll be gone during the month that brings in more than 50% of the year's profits. i feel a little bad about that. at the same time, tower treats its employees like they're replaceable so i don't feel that bad about it. i also feel bad that i'll be leaving john because he's become a pretty good friend over the last 9 months or so. for all my other friends the move won't mean much since i don't really see them regularly anyway.

  • 9-2-05 (23:57)

  • i wonder if, 150 years from now, people will look back on a custom of ours and view it the same way that we view duels. maybe by then war will be as antiquated as personal duels are now. har har. that's a good one.
  • my digital camera arrived today. it's pretty freaking cool. it'll be nice to have some time off this weekend to get to try it out a bit.
  • didn't do much today. watched a couple movies and slept. also drank a lot of water.
  • updated movies list.
  • meryl amazes me more and more every day, she's just fantastic.
  • i wonder why humanity seems so eager to look for signs of the end of the world. it seems that there's always a sizable contingent of people who are looking for signs that the end is nigh. i'll admit that it sometimes seems like we're teetering on the edge of civilization (potential water supply problems, global warming, nuclear proliferation, growing gulf between rich and poor, fossil fuels running low, etc.), but i don't think any of those things mean the end of our civilization or the world. i suppose that we're technically closer to the end than we ever have been, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's actually going to happen. but what do i know?
  • ""If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican."

  • 9-2-05 (11:56)

  • called into work sick today. i'm not really sick, but i really didn't feel like going to work. i have a lot of stuff that i want to do and i've just been tired lately. i'm pretty sure this is the first time i've called in sick this year so i don't feel too bad about it.
  • drafted my fantasy football team last night. at the last minute my arch nemesis (marc) attempted to change the scoring system. this is completely unfair because people likely had their draft picks ordered according to the original rules and also because the sanders brothers were out of town so their pre-draft rankings would have been worthless as a result of such a change. marc tries to do this kind of stuff all the time, though, so i shouldn't be surprised. his karl rovian attempt at rule changes was thwarted thanks in large part to my threat to delete my team (which would have canceled the draft altogether). fucking politics.
  • after the little brother show john and i were in my parking lot loading my speakers into his car (i gave him my two big speakers because i don't use them very often and his speakers are crappy). while we were outside talking i heard someone walking behind me (at this point it was about 01:00) and john was looking over my shoulder sort of oddly. i turned around and saw some girl stumbling through the parking lot. she had a very uneven, wobbly gait and it was pretty clear that she was either very drunk or very very tired. i looked at john and commented on the fact that she looked fucked up. then i asked "she's not going to drive, is she?" sure enough she got into her car and started up the car (after one failed attempt). i asked john if we should do something and he said "i don't know. i'm staying away from that one." i think we both felt as though we should intervene, but neither of us is very forward and so we didn't. she backed out of her spot further than she needed to and brushed up against a bush near the apartment wall. then she pulled out of the parking lot with her headlights off and we didn't see her after that. i think i should have done something about it, but i'm not very confrontational. calling the cops wouldn't have done any good either. ideally i would have run after her before she got into her car, stolen her keys and just run off. that would have been funny and would have avoided the unpleasantness of dealing with a drunk stranger. so far as i can tell from the davis enterprise website, no one was injured recently as a result of a drunk driving accident, so that's good.
  • i asked john what it was like to be drunk - are you aware of the fact that you shouldn't be driving and you just don't care? do you feel in complete control? essentially he restated what i've heard before - it emboldens you to do something, which you know in the back of your mind, you shouldn't be doing.
  • so it seems that poker has increased in popularity the last couple years because of the televised tournaments. poker is a fine game, but i find it funny that so many people start getting into it after it's on television. to me, it reinforces the idea that our culture is largely shaped from the top-down. we got a bunch of poker supplies (chips and cards mostly) at tower the other day. almost all of them said "perfect for texas hold em." chips and cards can be used for fucking anything, but they're marketing it for texas hold em because that's the most popular poker game these days. it just makes me feel like we're all sheep and i don't like that. again, though, poker is a fine game and there's nothing wrong with being interested in it. it's simple, but infinitely interesting, that's what makes it so cool. it's just the top-down aspect of it that i hate. it's like janet jackson's nipple jewelry which sold thousands of units after the super bowl fiasco. monkey see, monkey do.
  • getting into the fourth season of curb your enthusiasm. came out on dvd on tuesday. it's not as good as seinfeld largely because the cast isn't as diverse and because the plotlines are so similar, but it's a very funny show with humor that ranges from the subtle to the absurd from the politically incorrect to the cerebral. good shit.

  • 9-2-05 (00:00)

  • updated movies i own list.
  • bought that movie blow today because it was cheap and i remember liking it. i was checking who the director was and read his bio on imdb.com. i started reading about how he died after played a basketball game, he was less than forty years old and left two young kids behind. it made me understandably sad. then i read this: "Coroners announce that a small amount of cocaine found in Demme's body may have caused his fatal thrombotic heart attack and have ruled the death accidental." if you've seen Blow you know that the end makes it pretty clear what the human impact of living fast is. Depp loses his daughter because of cocaine and it seems that the same happened to demme. it's still sad, but it's sad for a different reason now. to me, knowing that makes it sad because demme obviously had a good deal of information on the real consequences of drug use and still persisted in his use. i know from intimate experience that kicking this sort of habit is difficult, to say the least. but i also just can't shake the strong convictions i have regarding your responsibility as a parent. to me, when you have kids you lose a large chunk of your freedom. you're not living just for yourself anymore, you're living for them; and as a result you have to consider the consequences of your actions relative to them.
  • a lot of times i write things on here as if people actually think about their impact on the world and as if the world were pure and held the potential for perfection. none of those things are true, though. most people barely even think about the impact of their actions on themselves, much less those around them. the world is anything but pure. and the world rejects aspirations of perfection. living with those realities is often difficult for me.
  • money isn't all that bad. after all, if it weren't for money the u.s. and china would probably be at each other's necks.
  • updated movies list.
  • i have a lot to write about, but it's already 1:24 so i need to sleep.
  • new orleans is so fucked up right now. i gotta say, though, that city officials there completely dropped the ball. that said, part of the problem down there comes from a lack of federal funds over the years to prepare for the inevitable.
  • just discovered that they added a bunch of kurosawa films on netflix. must be multi-region discs or something because these films aren't available in the u.s. i'm going to have to get them all.
  • i think that there needs to be a lot more unity and a lot less division when it comes to ideology in all realms. i think that i'm guilty of this at times, but i try to refrain from us/them rhetoric. it bothers me that even intelligent and kind people have gotten to the point where they're blaming one group of people for all the ills of the world. it's easy to do, especially when you're in like-minded company, but i also think it's detrimental. blaming all the country's problems on republicans, for example, though mostly true, isn't helpful and doesn't do what is most necessary in politics: find a common ground. this is one thing that right wingers do very well. they find a common thread of values and campaign together on those values. i think it's one reason that there's a perception of inconsistency with the right. you have evangelicals and right to lifers joining nra members and  hawks and pro-death penalty people, and it seems like there's a contradiction there, but really they all hate gays so it works out pretty well for them. politics makes strange bedfellows, they say. this might be a bad example, but it's the kind of thing that needs to happen more often, though hopefully for a more worthy cause. left wingers are often too puritanical (myself included) and as a result we aren't able to find a common, unifying cause. that said, i still support people who choose to vote their hopes, rather than their fears and i still would rather vote green than democrat.
  • i think that some of this stems from being tired of bush's america. we're just so split right now and it's as bad as it's ever been in my lifetime. and division pisses me off - whether it comes from louis farrakhan or randi rhodes or george bush - i just think it needs to stop. i'm not saying we should live in a blameless society, rather, that we should be selective in our derision. i guess i'm just tired of people blindly attacking someone who is perceived to be on the opposite side. bush is a fuck up, a big one, but not everything he's done has been negative (when i think of an example i'll try to let you know). people just seem to get caught up in bashing their enemy and none of that seems to be conducive to progress, if anything it seems to slow it. that's all i'm trying to say.
  • it's late, i'm tired and rambling.
  • tomorrow i'll comment on poker and tell the sad story of a random drunk girl i saw outside my apartment last night.

  • 9-1-05 (01:13)

  • just got back from the little brother show in SF. went with john. pretty good show overall, though it wasn't great. josh davis (aka dj shadow) was in the crowd. i was about 10 yards from him. that was novel.
  • talked to john about music, the music industry, moving, popular culture, meryl, hot celebrities, race relations and other stuff. i can't think of many famous (to the average american) asians off the top of my head right now, but the ones that come to mind (bruce lee, william hung, lucy liu and jackie chan) are all stereotypes and i find that to be rather disappointing. asian culture is amazingly diverse and storied and yet of the four asian celebrities that first come to mind (granted, i have a bad memory) three have been in kung fu films and one is a stereotype: a short, geeky, non-enunciating, engineering student who is infamous for his poor singing.
  • just thought of yao ming, but you get the point.

  • i'm tired and should get some rest.