Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Livin’ large, bodega style

My friend Kelly in NY sent me this video and I thought it was pretty damn funny. Funny enough to share with you fine folks. And given the seemingly inevitable recession we’re barreling towards it might even be instructional for you New Yorkers.

Looking back at my time in New York, I don’t think I ever took full advantage of the many fine bodegas. Oh sure, I visited them all the time but I always went for the $12 six pack or the $10 box of cereal like Daddy Frikkin’ Warbucks. Of course there is a bit of a difference between a Bronx bodega and a Manhattan one, but still.

I suppose part of me always wondered “who in the world buys those Utz chips and $.25 snack cakes anyway?” But then again that may be the reason I’m still working while the people who bought those are probably relaxing somewhere on the Jersey Shore. Or dead from preservatives.

I guess we have “bodegas” here in LA but they’re bigger of course and more Mexican than Korean in heritage. Then again, we also have full-size grocery stores and cars here so my need for quickie shopping at bodegas isn’t what it was there in New York.

I’m gonna go have some pork rinds and some malt liquor now. Barf.

Monday, January 28, 2008

28 is enough


Here's a little something to think about: if you were born on or after January 21, 1981, you’ve never known a White House without a Bush or a Clinton in it. Personally, I caught a little of Ford and all of Carter, but for the past 28 years I’ve lived under some sort of Bush/Clinton control. That feels like just about enough to me.

Here, see for yourself:

George HW Bush – Vice President – 1981-1988

George HW Bush – President – 1988-1992

William J Clinton – President – 1993- 2000

George W Bush – President – 2001 - 2008

There have been kings with shorter reigns.

So, should Billary be elected this year and then somehow serve out a second term, we’d be looking at 36 straight years of Bush/Clinton. That’s thirty-six. Nine terms in a row. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. In a row. Two families. Just so we’re clear.

To put it another way, if I were to live to be seventy years old, I will have spent half my life under the control of two (count 'em) political families.

Don’t even get me started on the frikkin’ nightmare scenario when, following the inevitable Clinton scandal (let’s be honest, those people owe a lot of favors to a lot of less than reputable people—it’s gonna happen), the country swings back to the right and decides the only way to fix the mess we’re in is to elect Jeb Bush. “He has experience and he speaks Spanish” will probably be the argument. That and something like “better yet, he’s against blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, poor people, Jews, immigrants of all sorts, the middle class, the non-oil producing, the environmentally friendly, and pretty much anyone who isn’t white and rich!” Seriously. Watch that guy over the next 4-8 years as he starts jockeying.

Yeah, good luck sleeping tonight with that thought in your head.

I think it’s safe to say by the time that happens I’ll be safely living in another country. And probably having a good chuckle about that election back in 2008 when we could have broken the cycle.

Listen to Ted Kennedy. Listen to Caroline Kennedy. Listen to me. Register to vote and vote Barack. Next week and in November. Your kids and their kids and their kids will all love you for it.

Barack the Vote

We have a winner

It was a rare rainy weekend here in LA so I'm sorry I'm just now getting around to throwin' out some props to Ana who did find several pictures of our hero sans shades. Nice find. Although it turns out our prize department is out of prizes at the moment so please accept this shout-out as a consolation.

For the record, I still stand by the fact Britney may be blind as a bat. And most certainly crazy as its shit.

That was fun. We'll have to do more of it.

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Now it all makes sense

For a long time I used to have a theory that something was up with Mariah Carey's left ear. Every time you see her photographed she's looking to our right. Probably someone told her she has a "good side" and she never forgot it.

But then again she could be missing an ear flap. Or have like cauliflower ear. Or some sort of elephantitis. Or perhaps something terrible happened on the set of Glitter. It's really hard to say. Mainly 'cause we've never seen it.

Go ahead, do a google images search and see for yourself. I'll even save you a step. Here's the first page of image results: She ain't got no ear!
Right? It's frikkin' weird.

Lately, I've started noticing something else. Only this time it's having to do with everyone's favorite train wreck, Britney Spears. Day or night, the chick is always wearing sunglasses. Always. God knows what kind of illicit pharmacy her body has become but how would we know since I honestly can't remember the last time I've seen her eyes. So, a brutha's got to speculate.

Has one of them gone lazy on us? Is it pink eye? A wandering eye? Double wandering eyes? Are they bloodhsot? Is she so hopped up her pupils are as big as ecstacy tabs? Are they missing altogether? Hard to say.

Or (and just go with me on this, people) has she gone blind?

I know, I know. It may seem like a stretch but think about it. She drives like hell. She dresses like she got dressed in the dark (blindness is quite dark from what I've heard). She always has someone with her and she's often holding on to them/being guided by them. She can't "see" her kids without supervision (again, prolly lots of sharp stuff around that she wouldn't be able to see). Her face looks like she slept on a cheese grater. She's kinda let herself go (can't see herself!). She married K-Fed. She's now dating a total d-bag with that chin hair thing. So you tell me, are these the actions of the sighted?

Exactly.

Verdict: Blindzo!

As a side note, you ever worn sunglasses at night? I don't care how good/expensive they are, it makes things dark! It's no wonder she's running over feet and blowing tires out there on the road. It's the same reason we don't let Stevie Wonder have a driving license! They's both blind!

One man's theory anyway. Discuss.

As an extra credit, if someone can send me a link to a current (and I mean like recent, recent) picture of Britney shades-less, I'll give you some sort of prize. At the very least a shout out in these here pages.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What a difference 7 years makes

I don't want to be yet another grumpy blogger (lord knows there's enough of those) but I read a NY Times article today detailing how things have changed since the 2000 election and thought "sweet Jesus, we're really in a tight spot. How'd this happen?" Consider this:

“Since the Presidential campaign of 2000, the United States has lost 4,400 men and women in wars overseas, and nearly 3,000 people in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Gasoline prices have doubled.

The home foreclosure rate has increased by 55 percent.

The proportion of Americans without health insurance, which was declining at decade’s end, has grown by 2 percentage points.

Both the unemployment and poverty rates are a percentage point higher.

War spending has helped convert a $236 billion federal budget surplus into a $163 billion deficit (reduced from $413 billion in 2004).”

In seven short years! In the goddamn United States of America! And that's just the damage here at home.

Oh yeah, and it turns out tuna has so much goddamn mercury in it, it’s considered dangerous to eat more than 6 pieces a week. What the hell happened?

So, I ask you this:

The worst president ever? Or the worst president ever?

You make the call.

MGMT

Sorry for checking out for a few days or a week or whatever but work's been a bit zany lately and throw in a three day weekend and all that and, well, you understand. Hopefully. I promise to drop more pearls of blog wisdom real soon.

Since I've got nothing better to talk about this morning, I'll talk about a band I just discovered a couple weeks ago but one I think is pretty whoop-ass. They're called MGMT and they rock out of Brooklyn. Their album has a few soft spots but overall it's quite good. They're kind of what Of Montreal could be if they were less weird and a little more structured.

This is a "video" for "Time to Pretend" someone made. But it works for our purposes.

"Yeah, it's overwhelming but what else can we do/
get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jesus in '08!

I don't want this to turn into a bigger discussion but lot of people talk about how my/our generation isn't as religious as perhaps our parents' generation was. I suppose a lot of that is true—at least as far as organized religion goes. And I think a lot of that has to do with that generation's support for people like George W. Bush who—and let's be honest here—could give a crap about God or religion unless of course it's how God and religion can help them get something. It would be one thing if they applied the lessons of—oh I don't know, let's go ahead and just say for the purposes of this conversation, Jesus—to their lives.

But Jesus was like all kinda like considerate of others and stuff. At least from what I read. These people spend more time talking about god but they don't seem to care about anyone (except the following: rich people, crazy rich people, and people who can make them crazy richer) from what I can see. Did I miss something in church that everyone else got? Was I church-punked?

And this may just be the ol' public school education talking, but I feel like I read somewhere something about church and state and some sort of separation. Maybe even something about some people sailing across something or another to escape a place where the church just couldn't keep their grubby paws out of the state's business. We the people...more perfect union....yada, yada, yada.

You'd think we'd be able to move on considering how wonderfully things went the last time we elected one of these evangelicals to the highest office.

But then yesterday I read this from our old pal, the formerly fat-assed Mike Huckabee:

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

Oh that's right, because part of the requirement for being an American is being a Christian. I totally forgot that.

You know, the Mike Huckabees of the world seem to me to treat Christianity like some kind of pyramid scheme or Amway or something where God gives you reward points for how many people you convert. Is that really at the top of God's list? Numbers? What, is God like a CEO now? Does he have a weekly conference call with these guys and say "ok, you've got some good hate and division going on but I wanna see NUMBERS, people!"

What's worse, people keep encouraging assholes like him by voting for them. "Well, he's a Christian," they'll say.

Which we all know is a ticket to do whatever you want. If nothing else, it's just another way to be right.

Then again we could all just vote Democrat in 2008. Only they're apparently now racists and sexists. Fantastic!

Meet our best and brightest, America! Let's all pick a winner!

[Editor's side note: would it kill us to have an option for president that wasn't a recovering alcoholic (Bush) or formerly obese person (Huckabee) who thinks everyone needs saving? Just because Jesus or whoever saved you from doom doesn't mean we're in the same place as you. Some of us, after all, aren't full of shit and sleep just fine at night. Just a thought.]

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hmm, watch the national championship game or go to the "27 Dresses" premiere?


I don't wanna talk about it so let's just move on shall we? Nothing to see here.

So last night Whitney was kind enough to take me to the big premiere of the new Katherine Heigl movie "27 Dresses." While I obviously went more for the fanfare than the chicktasticness of the movie, it ended up being way more fun than I expected. But then that seems to be the way things go for me lately.

It was my first big premiere so that was certainly fun even though we were routed around the red carpet which I felt was completely unfair. Mainly to the readers of Perez Hilton who this morning had no idea how great Whitney and I looked after having fought LA traffic from our respective jobs in order to get there by 7:30. Or how great my hair looked since it hasn't been cut since before Thanksgiving. Or how ragged I look considering I feel like it's been one long party since the last time I cut my hair as well.

Or maybe we were like those stars that are so huge they don't even do the carpet but rather somehow magically backdoor it to their seats.

But on to the fun stuff: the movie!

It was a cute story about a smart, loving and caring friend-to-everyone kind of girl who is quite literally as the expression goes, always a bridesmaid, never the bride. Thus she's been in 27 weddings, none of which her own obviously. Simple enough, right?

Well, see she's in love with her boss played by Ed Burns but of course has done nothing about it aside from agonize over how perfect he is (seven-summiter climber, environmentally-conscious business owner, etc.) . Enter her more attractive younger sister who comes to town and immediately lands him and rapidly goes about getting engaged to him. Throw in the nice, funny guy who cares about her (thank god I have no experience in that area) despitethe fact she's totally blowing him off but still pursues her before later writing an inflammatory newspaper story about her and you've got quite the conundrum on a couple of levels.

Anyhoo, it was a cute movie that I only had one problem with.

Why not just tell your little sister who just waltzed in from out of town and immediately began to mack on Ed Burns "yo, step with pep straight out da picture, girl, 'cause I've done been workin' dis man for quite some time now." Boom, problem solved before it ever is one. But of course then there's no movie. So there's that.

And of course most nice girls don't talk like that.

But I'd totally recommend seeing it when it comes out. Particularly if you fit into one of the following two categories:

• You're female

• You're dating a female

Thirty four

I had a great little birthday get together Friday night desptite the tempest that descended on our fair city for the night. Fortunately, people braved the elements to rock it with me at a cool little place called Arsenal that I'd never been before despite the fact it's like a mile from my house.

The crew: Craig, Aline, Katy, Scott, Adrea, Whitney, me and Justin.

Here's one of Whitney and me on our best behavior...

...and one of me not exactly on my best behavior.

It seeemed like a good idea that night.

If you missed it, don't fret. We're having a larger party for me and Scott and Katy this weekend.

And a huge thank you to everyone who called, emailed, posted comments and otherwise wished me a happy birthday, Ya'lls the best.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The best birthday present I could ask for


About a month ago I read a fascinating story in The Atlantic about why an Obama presidency would be good for America. Beyond the obvious “anything’s better than the dickheads we got in there now” argument, of course.

The main arguments went something like this.

An Obama presidency would finally break us of this ridiculous Vietnam-era quarreling we’ve been mired in as the baby-boomer generation has divided this country and refused to move past their “we went/you didn’t” mentality. We’ve bickered long enough, don’t you think? And sadly gotten very little done as a result.

An Obama presidency would send a clear message to the world we’re changing our tune. It would say “we’re aware of how reckless we’ve been and we’re ready to start making it better, not just the 90’s again,” if you know what I’m saying. To quote the man himself, not talking to the world doesn’t make us look strong, it makes us look arrogant. And judging from some of the conversations I had in Canada this past week, people are willing to give us one more chance. What say we not waste it on Clinton II, eh?

Lastly, an Obama presidency would in one day, with one simple image being blasted to televisions in the far corners of the world, without the hindrance of language barriers or translation, say to the young and the disenchanted that yes, we as Americans elected a black man whose middle name is Hussein, who studied in their neck of the woods, and who most importantly is not a white guy in his 50’s or 60’s. Like it or not, that’s something.


I think Bill Clinton was a good president. I think the 90’s were a pretty good decade for us. But it’s 2008 now and I have no interest in going back there and letting yet another baby-boomer try to tell me yet again who's to blame, or who's out to get me, or who I should be scared of, or that the other party aren’t Americans and therefore don’t deserve a voice.

This is a great country. It deserves a leader that is as well.

So thank you, Iowa. Thank you for taking the chance. For “rolling the dice” as the Clinton camp would have us believe. For, as the media this morning kept saying, “showing that some cracker-ass Midwesterners can vote for a black man.” That’s insulting to Iowans, that’s insulting to black people, that’s insulting to America. What about “for voting for the best man for the job?”

Hate something, change something.

It'a long road from here, but consider this Fascination Streak’s official endorsement of Barack Obama.

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Yeppers, today's the old birthday. 34 frikkin' years old. What the hell happened? But of course Mom and Dad softened the blow with some delicious cupcakes they sent.

Ya'lls the best. Almost as good as the cupcakes themselves.

And I don't even like icing!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Let's make this one count

Well folks, Happy New Year first of all. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

I myself had a wonderful trip home to Austin for Christmas. My brother got engaged, I got a lot of cool stuff and I generally ate myself silly. Now if that ain't a good time, I don't know what is. We even took a really nice little family photo.

Ahhh.

I briefly flew back to LA for a night before jetting up to meet the old Portfolio Center boyz in Whistler, BC, for a little skiing and New Year's revelry. It was awesome to see them all at the same time again and I'm still not sure whether I'm more sore from skiing or laughing.

I'll also say of all the places I've skied, Whistler takes the cake by a mile. Or 1.609 kilometers, I should say. It's got a stellar village, its run by the nicest people in the world who love their mountain and their way of life in a way we could all learn from, it dumps copious amounts of snow, the ski mountain frikkin' defies words (8000 acres, a full mile of vertical!), and it's all in a setting that's downright otherworldly. It's no wonder there were literally people from all four corners of the world spending their holiday with us. And no wonder why they'll be hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Fortunately, they haven't started the full-on Olympic construction projects just yet. Unfortunately, the US dollar's currently in the toilet or we could have lived a little larger.

Oh yeah, and I took some pictures.

This the view from our place of Whistler Mountain.

And to the left, Blackcomb Mountain.

Btw, I felt Blackcomb was the way better of the two. But then Whistler did have some super dope bowl skiing and the epic 5,280 foot vertical Peak to Creek trail. It'll make your legs hate you.

There was loads of skiing. Personally, I shredded that thing down for 3 full days. Here's the crew all together on the first day: Matt, me, Matt, Josh and Kevin.






Given my exceptional skill, the gold was really never in question.

Much to Josh and Matt's chagrin.

Did I mention the mountain was stunningly beautiful?





And of course there were apres drinks.

Sometimes two at a time.

And bars.


And silliness.


And I lost a bet. It's a long story but involved a steakhouse that for some reason had hair gel in their bathroom.

And of course a New Years blowout to welcome this bad boy in.

All of the pics are on my flickr page there to the right if you wanna check 'em.