30 April 2008

why so angry?

[this is the toughest red panda / firefox I have ever seen. he is going to cuddle with you, but he has to kick your ass first. grrrrrrr!!]

There are all kinds of weird, self-righteous people out there. And there are idiots. And there is some overlap between the two groups. Which is good for me when I need a laugh.

Take Gerard Talbot, for example. I happened across some of Gerards comments on the mozilla website that had a cute picture of a sad little firefox (must be the cousin of the asskicker pictured here). Gerard was so incensed about the sad picture that he LAID DOWN THE LAW.
Here's my favorite excerpt from his (long) comment:

3- “Please don’t hurt the web, use open standards”
should not be referring to mistreated animal, animal cruelty, wildlife animal trembling in fear, anxiety, stress, fearing for his life, etc.. I totally and unequivocally disagree with the use of that image: it sends a wrong message. It misuses the image of animal cruelty to convey badly battered markup code, hacks of all sorts in webpages, etc.. There is a huge difference between the 2.

Gerard, I think I speak for many when I say: Chill out, man. It's a t-shirt. For an internet browser. Also: you're giving me anxiety, and I think your badly battered code (on your website) is cruel to look at. for f's sake.

25 April 2008

nothing to see here

Usually Friday = blog post, but I had a lot to do today. I couldn't even find a decent picture.
I'll reward your return visit with something pithy after the weekend.

Maybe not pithy. Maybe just something.

22 April 2008

earth day reading: Collapse by Jared Diamond

I guess it's earth day, whatever that means. I've been doing some environmental reading lately. Mostly to impress the hippie girls at the coffee shops where I hang out. Except not really, because I don't hang out at coffee shops and the girls are already too intimidated by my good looks.

I recently finished Collapse by Jared Diamond. The book has been out for a while but the last Diamond book I read was wildly overrated and misrepresented - it is about germs, but has very little to do with guns or steel - so I wasn't much interested in Collapse; I ended up borrowing it from my friend's wife. Turns out that collapse is really very good. Meticulously researched, well argued, and intelligent, it's essential reading if you're remotely interested in the long-term future of the blue marble (lower resolution here).

Here's the synopsys: All is not lost, but we need to make some changes or society as we know it will collapse. Diamond spends about 400 inelligently-argued pages explaining why this is so. I recommend it.

19 April 2008

puts it in a blender. ON HIGH.

First there was powerthirst. Then there was powerthirst v2.0. Then someone with a budget decided to hire the powerthirst guys and make a commercial about a videogame. And it was outstanding.


18 April 2008

douchebaggery on parade

I'm late to this. It comes courtesy Gawker.com. I don't read gawker, mostly because I don't live in Manhattan, and also I'm straight.

Some people think they are awesome. I don't mean in an funny, self-deprecating way. They think they are totally bitchin.

This guy is one of those people. Here's an excerpt of his match.com form letter:

What activities do you currently participate in to stay in shape? I work out 4 times a week at LA Fitness. Do you exercise regularly? I am 6 feet tall, 185 pounds - what about yourself? I am truly sorry if that sounds rude, impolite or even downright crass, but I have been deceived before by inaccurate representations so I prefer someone be upfront and honest on initial contact...

Shallow but not terrible. He hides his conceit well. At first.

I do mergers & acquisitions (corporate finance) for Limited Brands (Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, etc). Enjoy any of our stores/divisions?

What? Enjoy our stores/divisions? What the f*ck does that even mean? That's like if I worked at the Taco Bell corporate office and asked people if they liked the food. It's retarded.

So the girl said thanks but no thanks. And then Mr. Super emailed her back:

So next time you meet a guy of my caliber, instead of trying to turn it around, just get to the gym! I will even give you one free training session, so you don't blow it with the next 8.9 on Hot or Not, Ivy League grad, Mensa member, can bench/squat/leg press over 1200 lbs., has had lunch with the secretary of defense, has an MBA from the top school in the country, lives in a Buckhead high rise, drives a Beemer convertible, has been in 14 major motion pictures, was in Jezebel's Best dressed, etc. Oh, that is right, there aren't any more of those!

Actually, there's at least one, and he suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. I was going to break it down line by line, but it's been done. Plus it's so good when you read it all in a row, out loud, in one angry, bitter, rejected breath.

17 April 2008

it's in the bible - I looked it up

my good friend Jordan suggested I leave the OC for sunny Chico (where he's getting his masters or teaching credential or something). he said:

you should probably come up here and become a lake guy with a kick ass ski boat. you can't escape it, it's in your genes.

I said: I can get a ski boat to impress the co-eds. is it bad if that sounds awesome to me? maybe a little.

he responded: Anything that involves co-eds and ski boats is totally awesome. It's in the bible. I looked it up.

16 April 2008

NYC in Review: day four (part 2) - trip highlight: moonwork in Greenwich Village

The funnest* thing I did in NYC was go to "an evening of original works" in Greenwich. Yeah it didn't sound all that good to me either. I was wrong, because it was hilarious. The moonwork group has a website, but the list of acts I saw will be lost to history unless I transcribe it here:

Andres du Bouchet
Shayna Ferm
John Oliver
Mike Errico
Michael Somerville
Tom Shillue

The comedy acts were surprisingly funny, the music (Errico) was good. The entire thing was well paced, went by quickly. All for $20, plus all the beers I could drink. That's what I call value for money.

My favorite line of the night was from Somerville who said, "I wait forever to do laundry. I plan my entire social schedule around the clothes I have left in my closet. My friend called me last Friday night and asked what I was doing. I told him 'based on what I have in my closet, I can either go swimming or graduate from high school'". I laughed.

As an added bonus I was chatting with some friends of friends and met one of the people who wrote the commercial embedded above. We had some laughs.

After the show we went to the bars. Weird. I hadn't done that since the night before. My personal highlight was the Journey singalong in the wee hours. I'm not sure if it was awesomely cheesy or cheesily awesome. Both?

* most fun? yeah, I went to college.

15 April 2008

NYC in Review: day four (part 1), plus: 3 reasons why visiting NYC is like leaving the country

I spent my last full day in NYC maximizing my tourism: Staten Island Ferry (walked near), South Street Seaport (walked by), Central Park (walked through), Times Square (walked across). Eyeballed the Statue of Liberty from a respectful distance. Got some sun, almost had to buy one of the ugliest hats in the history of haberdashery.

On the whole it was just like on TV, although the chicken-onna-stick in Times Square was surprisingly good. The crush of humanity in Times Square was hectic. Slice of awesome: the rollerskaters getting down in central park. If I'm ever back in summertime I will head to the park b/c I hear they get the turntables out and have a block party. w00t!

3 reasons why visiting NYC is like visiting a foreign country:
  • You don't speak the language - Trust me, you don't. If you think you do, just ask someone on the street (in English) and they will either ignore you, run away, punch you, tell you to go f yourself, or give you an answer in some incomprehensible dialect. They might do all of those things (though not in that order).
  • Your money is no good there - Bring piles of cash; it won't be enough.
  • Diversity - NYC is very cosmopolitan. Although the rest of US claims to be "diverse", the US as a whole is about 13% hispanic, 12% black, some small % asian and everyone else (too lazy to look it up), and the rest is white. That's not New York. The people dress differently than anywhere I've been (although they all seemed to have on the same thing, which I found amusing).

14 April 2008

we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you some movie reviews

My TV is broken. Six months old, so the TV guy is coming by to look at it. Last TV lasted 6 years and no problems. New TV isn't holding up quite as well. Color me disappointed.

As a result I've seen two not-very-good movies in the last 2 days. There's only so much hanging out at the house / reading / guitar playing that I can do.

Flawless w/ Michael Caine & Demi Moore - Formulaic heist film set in 60's London. Don't even bother to rent it unless you need help falling asleep. The ending was a nice twist, though.

Run Fatboy Run w/ Simon Pegg & Thandie Newton - Simon Pegg is funny. Hot Fuzz was hilarious, as was Shaun of the Dead. Unfortunately this movie is directed by David Schwimmer, who was the un-funniest character on a show crowded with annoying idiots. In the movie Pegg plays the Schwimmer douchebag loser role, and it goes on for hours, like a Friends re-run marathon. Dylan Moran does some fine work trying to lighten it up a bit, but he's not enough. This is a crap movie.

13 April 2008

NYC in Review: day three (part 2): Sushi Samba no. 7, bars, plus Sasha and Digweed

Does it feel like I packed two weeks worth of activities into 4 days? It did to me, which is why I'm so burnt out this week.

Why all the detail? So I can review it later. Seriously.

Anyway, dinner/drinks at Sushi Samba 7 (link has annoying music), lots of drinks at some local bars, and Sasha and Digweed, because I was in New York and WTF.

Dinner was great. No idea why the spot got poor reviews. Drinks were good, service was good, and food was excellent. It was really loud, though. At least they had cachaca; it was the first I'd seen it since I was in Brazil. They're selling atmosphere at that place more than anything, but the food is good.

After visiting local bars for a bit we headed over to see if we could get in and see Sasha and Digweed. Things get a bit fuzzy at this point. Could have been the drinks but I'm not sure. What do they put in those things?

The line at Webster Hall was outrageous, place was packed. My friend Zach doesn't wait in lines, so we pooled our resources and jumped the queue. Got inside, enjoyed a kickass set, went home late (or early, depending on how you approach the morning). Good times.

day three: central park (on a sunny day), times square, chicken onna stick, Moonwork, the wee hours

12 April 2008

NYC in Review: day three (part 1): Harlem, Central Park, and the American Museum of Natural History (in that order)

I devoted my Friday to the American Museum of Natural History. It is an interesting combination of (tired looking) stuffed animal exhibits - aka 'dioramas' - and some of the best paleontology and evolutionary biology exhibits anywhere. As with the MoMA, it's best to start at the top and work your way down, because the good stuff is at the top (with the exception of the Butterfly exhibit).

Before I could get to the museum I had to take the subway. Piece of cake. I got on the correct train heading the right way. Except I got on the express train, so my train sailed right by the stop at 81st street (there's a fun mural of a whale) all the way up to 125th street. Which is where Harlem officially starts. I enjoy cultural tourism as much as the next guy, but Harlem wasn't on my itinerary. So I got back on the train headed downtown. Express train again. Whizzed past 81st street again. Dammit. I decided I'd get out and walk the 20 blocks up Central Park West, take in the sights. Eventually I made it.

The museum is fantastic. They have the largest collection of fossil bones, and the best display, anywhere. Most museums around the world display casts of fossils. The casts are made from the originals on display at the American Museum of Natural History. And the display is extraordinary. They don't have any good pictures of it that I could find, and that's a shame, because it really defies description. Room after room of fossils big and small with explanations and videos for each. I loved it. And that was only one (huge) floor. The others are just as impressive in their own way. The "sea life" floor is kind of a bust w/ the exception of the life-size blue whale.

Get there.

next up: Dinner at Sushi Samba no. 7, bars, and Sasha and Digweed

11 April 2008

NYC in Review: day two (part 4): The Strip House

Went to The Strip House (link here or here) for dinner on Thursday night. Some argue that it's the best Steak House in the city. That's a matter of debate, but this isn't: the food is excellent. Reservations required a month or more in advance. I had the strip steak (it's called the Strip House for a reason), one guy had the filet, and everybody said it was fantastic.
Appetizers: 1 dozen fresh oysters, 1 order shrimp scampi
Entrees: 3 strip steaks, 1 filet
Sides: creamed corn, creamed spinach, goose-fat crusted potatoes
Wine: 2004 Clos du Val cab
Dessert: Tahitian vanilla creme brulee and the Strip House Choc Cake

The desserts were good but not on par with the rest of the meal, which was superb.

I didn't finish my steak and still waddled out of there like a stuffed penguin. (burp)

10 April 2008

NYC in Review: day two (part 3): MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art in NYC was one of the highlights of my visit. It is room after room of some of the finest art in the world. I got a chance to walk it with my friend and that was superb because we could talk about what was good and what was, in my opinion, crap. Most was good, but some of it, enh, not so much.

If you go, I suggest you start at the top and work down. The best stuff is at the top. Words don't really do it justice, but they have some paintings there you may have heard of (pictured adjacent). Every time you turned the corner, there was another amazing work of art.

In no particular order, the collection includes works by: Cezanne, van Gogh, Seurat, Klimt, Jasper Johns, Matisse, Chagall, Pollock, Mondrian, Picasso, de Kooning, the unintentionally funny Ruscha, etc, and so forth. What isn't there: anything from that hack Julian Schnabel. After seeing some of the nonsense they have in there he must be wondering what he has to do to make the cut.

The food in the cafes is good, although (factoid) they don't heat it, because they don't want to endanger the works of art.

PS: Why does Starry Night get all the love? I thought The Olive Trees was much better. MoMA even uses it as the centerpiece on their Collection page.

09 April 2008

NYC in Review: day two (part 2): St. Patrick's Cathedral

Not much to say about St. Patrick's Cathedral. Words don't really do it justice. It's worth the visit if you're in NYC. I thought it was more impressive than Notre Dame (though nowhere near as old), not quite as grand as Westminster Abbey. It is beautiful. Also big.

The view of the cathedral from the top of Rockefeller Center is excellent. I should have taken a picture. dur.

Photo copyright/courtesy this person on flickr.

08 April 2008

NYC in Review: day two (part 1): Rockefeller Center and Planetarius

[I did not take or edit this photo. It's copyrighted by this guy on flickr.]

After a long night out on Wednesday (see prev. post) and very little sleep I rallied and dragged myself to breakfast at the Noho Star. I recommend it. After that I got on the subway and made my way uptown. Except first I got on the subway going the wrong way. Had a little trouble figuring out what was uptown and what was downtown. I didn't have any trouble with the subway after that, except when I accidentally went to Harlem the very next day.

Anyway, I had sights to see: Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the MoMA. Fortunately I had a friend to help me navigate a bit. I could have worked it out on my own but it was easier to let someone else make suggestions.

First stop: Rockefeller Center. Imagine an interesting mix of awed tourists and busy-looking locals in suits and you get the idea. It's similar to the Transamerica Pyramid in that it's a tourist attraction but it's also working offices. And it's a lot bigger. And there's a fun sightseeing thing at the top. And an ice-skating rink. I didn't take any pictures but it turns out that some other people took advantage of the photo ops. You can find a ton of great pictures on Flickr.

My friend and I walked around inside the building proper for a few minutes to figure out how to get to the top. Eventually we asked for directions, but at one point I said, "we could just go up those stairs, I think that's where we need to be". But we were afraid of getting yelled at, so instead we paid $20 (each), went down, around, through the metal detector, up an escalator, and were right back where I had pointed, with no security staff in sight. So that was funny.

The top of Rockefeller Center has a panoramic view of all of NYC, plus parts of Jersey. It really is a great tourist stop, although if it's crowded you will be miserable. Then it was back downstairs to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, right across the street. On the way out we passed Atlas (photo above). My friend asked what the name of it was, and I thought she was asking me who created the sculpture. It turns out I was giving both of us way too much credit, because she actually wanted to know the name of the subject. She said, "isn't it, you know, Planetarius or something?" I said, "umm, this isn't my town, but it looks like Atlas to me." And then I kept saying Planetarius every time I looked at a sculpture the rest of the afternoon. Which was often.

07 April 2008

NYC in review: brick by brick

I wanted to do a lot more posting while I was in Manhattan but didn't get a chance. I was busy doing stuff. One thing I wasn't busy doing was taking pictures. I took exactly zero photos during my trip. That was dumb of me but I'm working through it. I got this picture of 57th street from flickr. Many thanks to the person that posted it.

I'll post highlights about my trip once a day for the rest of the week. Get excited.

First night out was fun. We went to the meatpacking district, which used to be a slum but is now where the rich people hang out, or so I'm told. It was spelled 'MEETPACKING DISTRICT' on the map that I brought with me (true story). Went out with some peeps, drank a lot. A good start because I got no sleep and went sightseeing the following day.

At one point I was doing some dancing and had to quickly (and I do mean quickly) step away from the hotly contested b-boy danceoff that broke out (get it? broke out? honk!) right next to me. Handstands and headspins all over the place. I did the running man (see video embedded above), just to show them how I hold it down.

Comment from Jeff: New York is great if you like brunettes in black.

Tomorrow I'll post about: Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, MoMA, The Strip House (dinner)

02 April 2008

early feedback from NYC

it's late. I'm tired.
anyway, early thoughts from the big apple.
  • people are the same everywhere. I've been all over the world but the similarities btwn people are more remarkable than the differences.
  • lots of brunettes here. coming from the OC, it's noteworthy.
  • people tend to dress up more here. overall, I think it's an improvement.
  • weather here is cold. and windy.
  • definitely threw a thick girl at the bar the heisman. there was no amount of ketel/sodas she could feed me that would make me make out with her. but I appreciate the effort. you care.

way past my bedtime.

more tomorrow. xoxo -c-