Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nicknames

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Apparently, the kid pictured above is a big internet hit in China. And his nickname is "Little Fatty."

That's the thing about the Chinese - they usually have or give nicknames that just doesn't mince any words. My sister, though by American standards, who isn't really fat, has been called "Elephant" by my mother half her life. I was a big fat baby when I was about 7 months old, and was called "Piggie" though my mother swears up and down that I was nicknamed "Pearl" (they both sound alike and knowing my parents' humor, it wasn't Pearl).

There used to be a Chinese actor, Sai Guah Pao, "watermelon run?" is a rough translation, whose claim to fame was his protruding teeth. Another Chinese actress, Lydia Sum, was mostly known by her nickname "Sum Fei Fei" which means Fatty Sum.

I never asked my sister how she felt about the nickname growing up, but I guess I don't have to. When she was 16 and came home for a visit (to Singapore) she lost 40 lbs that year, just to make my mother happy. Since then, she's just resigned herself to loving food and being the "fat" one in the family.

I remember how happy she was when I gained weight in college which prompted her to call me the "fat" one. Since I didn't want to compete with her on any level (long story) I quickly went on my very first diet of my life.

Weird cultural customs, eh?

 
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christianity, Christmas and Deportation

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Growing up, one of my favorite hymns was "They'll know We are Christians by Our Love." I never understood missionary work simply because I believed in this song. If being a Christian was right, then our lives would simply show it and people would know that it's the right lifestyle. Yet time and time again, the church would rather lecture and bully people into being Christians, rather by example.

America is supposed to be a Christian nation, or so says those who tell me being gay will send me straight to hell. Then how does America, a Christian nation, justify this? That link is to a story about a nun and a priest who tried to locate a NURSING MOTHER who got caught up in this DHS sweep of illegal immigrants.

First off, the DHS claims that it's not a sweep of illegal immigrants; instead, they're calling it a sweep for identity theft. Hmm, is that why brown-skinned people were roped off? Ah, nah, it's like rounding up a bunch of bank-users to find out who was planning on robbing the bank. See, that's our tax dollars at work. Effective, no?

Hey DHS, if you're so intent on finding identity theivers, why don't you try and find out who broke into UCLA ADMISSIONS database and swiped all those social security numbers?

Boy, just a week and a half before the global celebration of Christ's birthday and we do something like this. My, how very Christian of us. We really know how to show we're a Christian nation.

 
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Welcom Back Doug Gabriel

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Please please please, help the Raiders out.

I am so happy that you're back and you should never have been traded in the first place.

Welcome home to the Raiders, Doug Gabriel.

 
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2006 - What a Year

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I don't usually do end of the year perspectives, simply because usually the years aren't that memorable.

However, I must say that 2006 really stand out.

This was the year that we stabilized our relationship and it went from a bumpy and sometimes tumultous relationship to one that we both rejoice, almost every second (except when our periods are within a week of one another. Then it's usually a week and a half of turbulence). Bratworse and I really learned to listen and hear each other, but not just that. We strove to give each other what the other wanted, even though most times they're unspoken desires. I think the big turning point in our relationship this year was when we decided to actively make the other person's desires our own priority. From that point on, our delight in each other just took off and hasn't landed since.

This was the year we decided to get an exotic pet - the octopus. Ossie wasn't just a pet, she was an event, especially when she gave birth to 50+ babies.

This was the year we got flooded and we were taught that not everyone operates on the same wavelength as us - that there are some out there who will shirk responsibilities . Repeatedly, this year has taught us that in America, those without voices get lawyers; otherwise, no one hears you.

This was also the year that options for Nobody finally panned out and we were able to visit the fruits of our (Writerboy, Charlie Adlard and mine) labor from 10 years ago. May it continue to bear fruit.

This was also the year that I personally found out the pain of losing one beloved cat and the joys of having a cat that has no or few neuroses. Hmm, no wonder my cats have been hated by most of my friends. Gizi, may you bring us as much joy as you have this past month and a half. And thanks for learning how to fetch. You made Bratworse and consequently me, a very proud momma.

 
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Spreading the Love

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Poor Bratworse was sick on her birthday. Not only was she sick, but I was as well, so since Friday, our house has been a cacophony of coughing and sneezing, from both cats and us. I'm surprised our Wii avatars - our Miis aren't coughing as well.

Hopefully, Writerboy and his wife are unscathed in the aftermath of meeting up with us on Saturday to celebrate Bratworse's birthday. We had three celebrations set up this year and had to cancel on two of them. Poor Bratworse.

But, she claims she had a great time, since I took off work yesterday due to a little fever that hung around all day long. In the middle of the night, I felt the fever break. I personally think Bratworse gave me a much better birthday present than I did hers - who could go wrong with a Totoro sweatshirt?


 
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Oooh Oooh Oooh Pick Me!

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I feel like Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter, here goes: "PICK ME! PICK ME PLEASE."

I'm writing about OhGizmo's Holiday give-away and one of the ways they're choosing a winner is from blog entries, so here comes our entry.

You want to know what the really weird thing is?

Out of all the products they're giving away, I think the ONLY thing I really want is the ID Messenger Bag but as a gift for Bratworse (she loves messenger bags).

The Nexus Laser which is a green laser, I want as a gift for Writerboy since he told me yesterday that he is using green as a signature color at his job - he writes all of his notes in green, so Bratworse found him really nice green pens.

The BioHazard watch was another gift I wanted for Writerboy but if I do score this giveaway, I'm thinking of keeping the watch for myself, impractical and HUGE though it'd be on my wrist.

The Neuros I'd probably give to Bryan the Fireman and his wife and two kids - so they can have Dora the Explorer on every one of their mobile devices as possible distractions for fidgety kids.

The Abacus watch would probably go to my best friend, DanceTeach from L.A., with the Ice Jacket going to his boyfriend/husband Picasso Mike.

The HP printing mailbox - hmm... Probably my sister who's too busy teaching and raising two kids to have time to read my emails to the kids. This way, she could print out my emails to my niece and nephew and they could read the mail themselves. Hmm I really should write them soon.

And the IncipioBud? I'd give that to my good friend CommieFisherBowler. She has a shuffle already so I'll keep that lol.

Wow, did I really blog about a giveaway so I could be the recipient, only to give away most of the products? Yup, I sure did. I love giving.

 
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I Want This Book

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I just read about this from Boing Boing and it simply sounds amazing. What a great book to have around, just to remind us women are beautiful in all sizes and shapes.

This man, Frank Cordelle, took nude photos of all types of women - women who are obese, rape survivors, bulimic, anorexic, scarred, missing limbs, etc. I just hopped over to his website and found myself in tears over the words of healing on that site.

In this day and age where models keel over with a heart attack from weighing 88 pounds, I think it's really important that people understand that beauty comes packaged in all sorts of wrapping paper. There are times when both Bratworse and I look at ourselves in the mirror after a shower, just tut-tutting away. And what could we possibly be tut-tutting? We are both attractive women with hardly any scars to show so why should we have this outlook on our bodies?

And you want to know something about Bratworse and me? Neither of us need makeup to look good. I personally believe that make-up begets more makeup. But because neither Bratworse nor I got in the habit of wearing makeup, we don't need it to enhance our looks. We just need to laugh for enhancement.

Get this book. Then improve your outlook on yourself. It's Christmas. You deserve it.

 
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Suite with a View

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Here's the view from our balcony in Vancouver. Vancouver truly is a stunning city.

 
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Scary Mary

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The following proves that good editing can produce anything. Here's Mary Poppins recast as a Horror flick.


h/t BoingBoing who gave the link.

 
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At the Outdoor Location

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Here's Bratworse and I braving the cold where they were shooting an outside scene for Nobody.

Were our grins big enough?

(Picture courtesy of Writerboy and his wife)

 
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nobody is a Porn Star

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*Mental Note*

In future, must do a google search on name for main character in case name belongs to porn star.

Apparently, none of the creators of Nobody, nor the publishers, nor Blueprint Entertainment, nor Kickstart Entertainment are frequent porn watchers. But someone in ABC Family was on the ball(s). Jessica Drake is also the name of a rather prolific porn star.

Therefore, Jessica will have a different last name for the TV series.

(BTW, the porn star's wikipedia entry has her first films from around 2000. I think she got her name from our comic book, meself.)

 
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Monday, December 04, 2006

We're Shooting a Pilot!

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Thanks Lar!
"Hey, what are you doing this weekend?" Larry Young would nudge me and ask.

Most times, cause it's Lar and we like to bug each other, I'd answer "Just hanging out."

But the way cool and more wondiferous (yes, it's a made up word. Deal.) answer that Larry wanted was the one I could scarcely believe even while it was happening. This surreal and astonishing answer was...

"We're shooting a pilot!"

Larry Young and Mimi Rosenheim are the publishers of AIT PlanetLar, the wonderful people who decided Nobody was worth being their first book besides their own to publish. Oni Press had decided to pass on collecting the four issue mini-series into a trade paperback because honestly, Nobody didn't fit in with their other books. Without AIT PlanetLar, Nobody would've languished; instead, it got a second life as a graphic novel with a foreward by Greg Rucka, a beautiful new cover by Brian Wood and a short story written by Writerboy (Alex Amado) and edited by yours truly, Sharon Cho.

Writerboy reminded me that Charlie Adlard, our artist also added a new page for this collection because the pacing was off in one part and needed one extra page to make the pacing just so. No, Writerboy and I aren't perfectionists when it comes to story-crafting. Nah. Actually, now thinking back, (this was 10 years or so and... well, many brain-cell killing moments ago) it might've been Larry who felt the pacing was off and asked us all to add a new page.

Part of our deal with AIT Publishing was that they would negotiate any options on our behalf. None of us creators had any problems with the deal because it was an extremely fair deal AND we absolutely trusted Mimi would work in the best interest of us all. And boy oh boy, are we glad we handed the reins over to them.

We're shooting a Pilot!"

This past weekend, we were treated oh so wonderfully by the folks over at Blueprint Entertainment and KickStart Entertainment. Jason Netter, one of the executive producers, took time out to take us around, introduce us to everybody and made sure our trip was truly wonderful. Jason's da man.

We got to meet such wonderful and nice people on the cast and crew and though I'm sure we got in the way a lot, everyone made us feel as welcome as could be. We couldn't thank people enough for the hospitality shown to us. The energy and general feeling of camraderie on the set was truly awesome. Everyone was upbeat and not stressed about anything.

The first day was just incredible (I'm quick running out of words here to describe just how wonderful this trip was). As we entered the set, our sense of wonder grew. And it continued throughout the day. If I can, I'll post some picts of the cast, crew and sets later if possible but for now, less said is better I think.

I must say though, we all were just agog at the set design wizardry and elegance performed by Ricardo Spinacé. I know for me, I'd have move in there immediately if it were real.

Getting to watch Jeff Woolnough, the director and Jan Kiesser, the director of photography, work together was like watching two minds work as one. The framing of each take was incredible and both created a nice mellow, but serious atmosphere that permeated the set. Many of the crew said part of the reason for the sense of harmony and upbeat tone on the set is due to those two.

Speaking of upbeatness, I must say that EVERY time I saw Kevin Murphy, the man with the vision, the man who optioned Nobody in the first place, the demi-god of writing (I'm sorry Kevin. Aaron Sorkin is god.), ALWAYS had a smile on his face. It was just incredible. At one point, we were asking Kevin about the hecticness of his life right now, he said, "Boo Hoo, I'm shooting a pilot," and then cracked up. Now that's a man with perspective.

Oh, and the reason he is a demi-god? You should see the mythology that he and Jon Cooksey came up with. Those two managed to give ABC Family what they wanted and yet keep the spirit that Writerboy and I tried to infuse into our comic book. *applause* AND they have a long-term plan for the series if the pilot gets picked up. I am mucho impressed by these two.

One thing? I am NOT an effusive person naturally. It really does take a "something" to catch my eye and there's more than a spark of it in what these guys are doing with Nobody. Writerboy, Charlie and I may have given birth to this, but these guys are true parents - nurturing a concept to a maturity and level that both Writerboy and I are wondering why we didn't take that route.

We also met Noreen Halpern, Ali Matheson and Rose Lam - executive producers and producers of Nobody who all were so nice and wonderful to all six of us - Writerboy's wife and Bratworse went along too and thoroughly had a blast on the set too. I think half of whom we met are Canadians and I wonder if that also contributed to the general niceness.

Last but not least, the cast. We got to meet Dawn Stern, Byron Mann, Nicole Alexander "Marcus" (I don't have your last name, sorry but hey, maybe this way you'll be so identified with Marcus you'll get your spin-off.) and "Owen" (don't have your last name either but I'll get it soon).

We were very impressed by the cast as well. We got to see some of the dailies and it's amazing what all of them had to go through on the outdoors sequence. Mind you, it was shot during the big snow storm and the shots came out simply breathtaking. I commend all of the actors for being in such good moods even after being in a near blizzard.

Okay, that's it for now. I'll post pictures if I can and will divulge more if I can.

[Update] Much gratitude to Anonymous commenter aka Larry Young in the comments below for providing the names for "Marcus" and "Owen" - Ryan Belleville and Steve Boyle respectively.


 
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Magic Words in America - Contact a Lawyer

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At the airport today, we witnessed a scene that really endeared the U.S. to some visitors from Canada.

There was an old couple, I'd say in their 70s. The husband had an oxygen tank which apparently had no problems for the airlines when it left Canada for the United States. But somehow, during the time this couple spent in San Francisco (which I assume to be a fairly short time) the oxygen tank became a suspect item.

As they announced that it was now time to board, people stood in the doorway to prevent these people from getting on the plane, because they hadn't gotten clearance for the tank. The wife was screaming, "But I don't understand, we came down from Canada with this oxygen tank. I looked on the website, I talked with agents. NO ONE SAID IT WAS A PROBLEM!"

The wife was getting more and more agitated. The husband would stand up, run out of breath, and sit back down again mad at himself for needing the oxygen tank, at the airlines preventing them from returning to their home, at the stupid TSA rules, at the inconsistency of information, etc.

Bratworse and I watched with growing anger. The unreasonableness was so unfair and it was clear to everyone around.

Oh yes, these two white haired trembling white people were definite terrorists. NOT!!!

Bratworse leaned over to me and said, "I wish there was something we could do."

I told her that we could so when we went to board the plane, I walked by the husband and said loudly, "Contact a lawyer."

He immediately turned to his wife who was arguing with airline personnel at the counter and shouted, "Contact a lawyer!"

We boarded the plane immediately after, and while I was adjusting my seat belt, Bratworse nudged me and pointed. The old couple were on board and happy, with an airline personnel being extremely nice, making damn sure they were comfortable and weren't going to sue.

America... where the only magic that works consistently are the words "Contact a lawyer." Wish it weren't so, but alas accountability seems to occur here more frequently when lawyers are present. Ain't it a shame?

 
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Difference between 1974 and 2006

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In 1973-1974, I was enrolled in an elementary school here in the United States (Los Angeles) because we were stuck here for a year while my mother applied for her green card (a permanent residency). I was in fourth grade, and I remember my class as being pretty international. It was probably about 60% white and 40% blacks, latinos and asian.

One of the clearest memories I have of that period in my life is being mistaken for a Japanese.

This was during Bruce Lee's ascension into stardom, during Kung-Fu's long reign over the airwaves, during Hanna Barbera's Kung Fu Fooey. How could these people have mistaken me for Japanese?

I remember being very incensed at the ignorance of Americans.

When I attended high school and college here in United States, I still ran into this mistaken identity, but much more rarely. How could ignorance be rampant in a school for higher learning? At U.S.C., we had clubs like the CSA (Chinese Students Association), the HKBSA (Hong Kong Business School Association) etc. Maybe it was because I hung out with "furriners" that I felt the sting of American ignorance so little.

That was then... This is now. Things should be different eh?

But then I read an article like this one: and I realize, maybe not.

So what if Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein? Umm do you remember a guy by the name of Muhammed Ali? Or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

I am SO very tired of the high school cliquishness and stupidity of these pundits who go on television.

As the great Bard once wrote in a play,
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet"

Grow up, pundits, willya?

 
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Killer of Jokes

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It was an email joke, one that had gone several rounds of rimshots - each one-liner slightly worse than the previous one. The joke was dying.

The joke twitched in front of me, asking for life-to-words resuscitation but I looked in its eyes and saw the desperation. "Save me or kill me," the joke pleaded between the lines.

So I brought keyboard to my hands, lined up the joke in my sight and *BLAM!!!*

I killed the joke dead with a time-delay pun, one designed to send of waves of disgust over and over again so that the joke would have no chance of resuscitation.

Just call me, Joke Killer.

 
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Lead Has Been Cast!

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The face above is that of Dawn Stern, a Nobody.

Actually, she's not just any nobody, she's the current incarnation of Nobody to be written by Kevin Murphy of Desperate Housewives. Of all places for Nobody to end up, it's ending up on ABC Family - yes, ironic I know. Yes, we have a lead for the pilot and isn't she a looker?

Of course, the first picture of her that I saw wasn't a portrait like above. The first one was sent from Larry Young, one of the publishers to Writerboy, who forwarded it to me.

Get ready, it's a totally boy photo:



Told you.

[Update] I showed Ms. Stern's photo to a number of men (both friends and at work) and the consensus seems to be, "She's smokin' hawt."

I'm gathering that "hawt" is somehow better that just merely "hot."

*sigh* Boys will be boys.

By the way, the Graphic Novel is still available through Amazon if you want:

 
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Monday, November 27, 2006

Wheeeeeee, It's the Wii!

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Miraculously last week, we managed to score a Nintendo Wii and extra controllers. And boy-howdy, is it one sweet machine.

The good news is, yes, you actually have to get off your butt to play some of those games - like bowling and boxing. The bad news is, at times, the sensor won't register some of your movements (At times meaning infrequently).

Our impressions and one paragraph reviews of the Wii games we got:

Wii Sports: a big WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE for this game. It's probably both Bratworse's and my favorite since we get to play with and against each other. We made our friends make little Miis of themselves (Avatars that can travel from console to console) and now when we play baseball, our friends get to be on our team! Yay!

Red Steel: So far, it's our least favorite mainly because neither Bratworse nor I are big FPS (First Person Shooters) players. Our friend Bryan the Fireman really like the controls and how they worked with the weird controllers (shown above) and he's a BIG FPS player, playing SoComm and all those 007 games. Red Steel got his nod of approval.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz: Altogether, this could be much better. It was fun trying out all the party games, but execution was a bit wonky at times. I've a feeling that the other Party Games for the Wii will be better though. Still, we like it enough to have played it two out of the five days we've had the Wii.

Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess: We've only just delved into this game. I never played Legend of Zelda and since we bought the Wii to be a console for both of us to play together, we held off on playing it. A few nights ago, my best friend, DanceTeach from L.A., tried it out and loved it. I've a feeling that's what we're going to be playing tonight. I'll let you know more once I've actually played the game. (I've just watched it being played)

Rayman: Raving Rabbids: Okay, this is too cute for words. So far, it's a good party game, the solo game has been fun (Bratworse and I take turns playing because each "quest" only lasts a few minutes if that and levels only need 4 out of 5 quests completed to move to the next). Basically the premise of the game is, you are in gladitorial combat (of sorts) and you have to get the fans (the rabbids) to root for you. The way to do that is to win the events (quests). Events could be, throwing a cow, milking a cow, turning spotlights on during a dance sequence in time to the music, racing a warthog, etc. Just try it, you'll like it.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion: This is my favorite game so far. You get to operate and defibrillate and oh my, it's just fun. Both Bratworse and I are hooked on this game, taking turns operating and making the other person go first so we don't walk into an operation blindly without knowing any of the procedures (makes you glad we aren't real surgeons eh?). DanceTeach also had fun with this as he proudly announced to his boyfriend/husband that he saved three lives and only killed one person.

If you've been wondering why there's been few posts, this month has been crazy in terms of travel, events and whatnot. And now, with the Wii, there's even less time to post.

Oh, and in case you're wondering? We LOVE LOVE LOVE our Wii.

 
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Agendas and Responsibility

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What is with these people blaming animations for "agendas?"

Here's the latest in buffoonery: Neil Cavuto of Fox News (Y'know, the same network that broadcasts The Simpsons, The Family Guy) is claiming that "Happy Feet" has an agenda that teaches kids about Global Warming.

*gasp*

Why, that's wow... pretty much along the lines of Satan Worship, isn't it?

*faints dead away*

These damn hollywood liberals, how dare they! How dare they teach our youngsters that our actions might have consequences. How dare they teach our young'uns that gee, just because ALL scientists agree that the earth IS warming... (they just might not agree on WHY it's warming) that... that...

Oh, I just can't keep it up. Look, just because I watched Road Runner cartoons, doesn't mean, I'm going to go out, get an anvil, and push it over a canyon cliff.

Just because I watched Scooby Doo cartoons, doesn't mean I'm going to do ANYTHING to get a scooby snack or pizza or any type of food. It also doesn't mean I'm going to shove someone in front of me at the first sign of danger.

IF you have a problem with your children learning such things, then I have a suggestion. You know that thing that sits on your face, and has a huge opening and white ivory dotting the top and bottom? It's called a mouth. We humans use it to communicate.

See your children? They're humans too. Which means, you CAN communicate with them, and if they love and respect you (aha, now therein lies the rub, eh?) they will listen and learn from you, not from any cartoons you may find objectional.

Wow, totally new concept eh? Yes, talking to your children, teaching them (not lecturing them) does actually work. Stop blaming others.

Buffoons!

 
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sadists Who Want Torture Accepted

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I am so pissed after reading what one of Talking Points Memo's reader, CH, had to say about torture.
In fact, I would argue that we've played in these circles [torture] all along and anyone thinking otherwise is only fooling themselves... Americans are not trained to operate within that world and while naive idealists who want to hold Geneva up as something that is not ambiguous or even out-dated are trying to do good by holding people accountable for their morally ambiguous and/or illegal actions...they are only reinforcing the bubble as we know it. The bubble, with Bush's Administration, has been burst. Why do we want to crawl back inside?

I was livid. Here was my response to TPM.
How dare TPM Reader CH assume that for the rest of us, that just because some people in charge think that loopholes are automatically there for someone to climb through, that the act of climbing through loopholes SHOULD be just accepted.

Isn't that similar to the republican party thinking that because they believe government is ineffective, why should they bother to learn about governing in the same place? Both are reinforcing circular ideas.

What I mean is, just because THEY (these people that CH refers to) disregard the Geneva conventions doesn't mean that everyone agrees the Geneva convention should be disregarded. Jeeze, it's like listening to a seven year old saying, "But everyone's doing it."

Grow up and understand this IS a shrinking globe; we are all interconnected. Respect for others, as in allowing human dignity instead of taking human dignity, ISN'T outdated, but rather, it is becoming a necessity for just being able to live peacably within oneself in a shrinking globe.

We are not idealists. We are just people who realize that the golden rule in both its negative and positive form, actually WORKS as a formula for treating your fellow person. And just in case you forgot what the golden rule is, it's do unto others as you would have others do unto you AND do not do unto others as you would not have others do unto you.

I do not want others to torture me. Hence, I will not torture others. It's really that simple, CH. So screw you and your attitude. Go take your sadism away from here.

 
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Amazing Distortions

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So this morning, I was driving to work listening to KCBS the local all news station here in the Bay Area and this is what I hear.. kind of: "A fight to the death between Steny Hoyer and Jack Murtha for Majority Leader of the Congress!"

Okay, I'm exaggerating... a little. Basically, KCBS posited the competition as Democrats are already fighting over the spoils, that this will be a true test of the Democratic Party's unity, etc etc etc.

Hmm, from everything I've been reading, it's been a lot more cordial than all that.

Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are longtime rivals, often at odds with one another. John Murtha has been a close ally of Nancy Pelosi's. When John Murtha announced that he wanted to go after the Majority Leader's position, he asked for Nancy Pelosi's support. Nancy said no problem and wrote a letter to Steny Hoyer saying that because of all the support she's gotten from Murtha, she's going to personally support him.

Then the media comes in and blows it out of proportion... and now Nancy Pelosi's out twisting arms to get support for Murtha, supposedly.

Go uncover some corruption and make yourselves useful, media. Go fact check what Bush said, 'k?

 
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Wow, They Really Believe This

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I normally don't read Howard Kurtz cause I think he's a putz (and the following will illustrate why I think he's a putz) but because the Washington Post is late with the White House Briefing by Dan Froomkin which I read religiously, I decided to see what Kurtz had to say.

And unfailingly, in his fifth paragraph, he writes:
Now the question is whether a press corps that has been openly at odds with the president will hold the newly empowered Democrats to the same tough standards.

Wait. Stop laughing. That's it, breathe.... breathe...

You read that correctly. Kurtz thinks that allowing the President to openly admit he lied before the elections and giving him a go on that, is TOUGH STANDARDS. Kurtz thinks that not calling the President on his demonizing of the Democratic Party... is TOUGH STANDARDS. Let's not even go back to before the 2000 elections when they would go combing through every word of Al Gore's but thought it delightful when Bush mangled phrases.

So umm Howie Kurtz? Your tough standards are about as tough as... wet sponge.

 
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lazy Goat

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Lazy Goat
Caption the Picture!

I saw this goat at the petting zoo part of the San Francisco Zoo and just had to have a picture of it. Man, what a life, eh? Oh, to be a lazy goat, being fed food by little hands and groomed all day long. Yes, I'm envious.

 
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Fantasies and Predictions

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So on the way to work this morning, I was telling Bratworse about how Pelosi is now the 3rd most powerful person in this country.

"In fact, if we impeach Bush, give a vote of no confidence to Cheney, why... why... why..." I indulged further in my little daydream/fantasy, "Why, we might even get President Pelosi!"

Now, 5 hours later, as I'm watching the pieces of the chess game change faces and positions, two realizations hit me.

1) Rove/Cheney's influence is waning.
2) Poppy Bush's influence is gaining.

Thus this is what I predict, based on a few predictions/moves I've seen and read about.

I agree with the Left Coaster that Cheney will have "health problems" and will need to step down. But here's what I'll think will happen. Steve Soto was smart enough not to make any predictions. I'm not so smart, so here goes.

Jeb Bush leaves the governorship of Florida in January. After a month, Cheney will step down and George will nominate Jeb to be Vice-President. Why? This way, Poppy will be ensured that HIS chess moves will remain intact.

I really should look up some of my old predictions to see how I've fared. Probably 0 for 15 lol.

 
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Yes! Takeover!

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*DANCES AROUND THE ROOM WITH GLEE*

I told my good friend's sister, a corporate lawyer who hobnobbed with the likes of Feinstein, about two months ago that we would take over the house and Senate. She looked at me dubiously like I had been dousing myself with gasoline.

"House and the Senate, eh? You really think we can take both? The House maybe," she scoffed.

I said to her, "Yes, the time is right. The disgust is palpable and voters want change."

She just smirked with a condescending smile, as if I had no idea what I was talking about.

Well, Ms. Corporate Lawyer and V.P., may I have my "You were right" now?

Burns can only get a recount if the difference is less than 1/4 of one percent and the difference is above 1/4 of one percent of total votes. Therefore Jon Tester is the new Senator from Montana.

And Webb has a lead of 7,000 over "Macaca" Allen, who not only lost his senatorial career but his presidential aspirations as well. Thank Goodness for that.

So, we have 51 senators to 49, if we count ol' backstabbing Joe Lieberman in as a democrat. Who here wants to bet that Cheney will pull in some chips and Lieberman flips to a Republican before the year is out? But y'know, ol' Joe is a consummate politician which means he keeps close tabs on the weathervane, and all of a sudden, the wind ain't blowing towards the Rethugs anymore. So Joe sees his Sec'y of Defense hopes dashed today; (Thanks Poppy Bush) and now he's got to go kiss Harry Reid's ass.

Anyway, it's a good day today.

 
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Update on Escalating Descent

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Well, Chapter 2 is finally done. Whew! Is 4700 words too much for a single chapter?

Anyway, those of you wanting to read a novel in the works, here is Chapter 1 and here is Chapter 2. Enjoy!

 
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We Voted Today

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As we headed towards the freeway to drop Bratworse off at school, we saw someone waving a sign for Aimee Allison outside the firehouse where our polling place is.

SCREEEEECH, went my brakes as I shouted out, "OMG! We have to vote!"

Laughing at ourselves, we yelled out our thanks to the volunteer waving the sign. "Glad you were here, we almost forgot to vote!"

"No problem!" came the wave back.

It took us 15 minutes, with little hiccups. As we walked back to the car, Bratworse said, "I love voting."

I just smiled at her, because for me, voting is a privelege, not a right. I was born a British Subject, subject to Britain's laws and taxes, but not representation. I wish voting rights are given to U.S. Virgin residents and Guam residents. Yes, did you know that there are American Subjects? Weird huh? Some land of the free we are, free to take their money, but they're not free to vote out bastards.

Anyway, I'm glad I voted. Did you vote today?

 
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Hiccups

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Stuck at around 6,000 words... hate hiccups like this when I'm writing. Maybe I should just skip this part and write what I know.

BTW, I'm still waiting to get some cute photos of Gizi to show here. Hopefully I can load up some within the next week.

 
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Part 1 - Pre 2/28, Chapter 2b

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Whoops! Meant to post this here.

 
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Boxing with Herself

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It is the cutest thing.

There is a full-length mirror in our room just behind the door. We have it about a foot and a half above the floor, which means that when Gizi our kitten is standing, she can see just over the edge. And she'll see herself.

She'll run up to the mirror and paw at it, and then seeing a full room just beyond, she'll try to jump through the mirror and of course, bonk her head/nose.

She is really pissed at her mirror self, cause she thinks that it's the image that's been bonking her on the nose and she'll go up to the mirror after and box with herself. I'll try and get a photo soon.

 
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Possible Ad

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I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this earlier when it could be used, but given that this year's elections (next tuesday, folks, you all ready to vote?) is a referendum on those dummies in office, maybe the Democratics should've run an ad that basically says, yes, US against them in the Administration.

The ad would go something like this.

Show gays holding hands. Show illegal immigrants. Then a voiceover comes on and says, "Hate us? Think we need taking care of?"

Then cut to scenes of Iraq, Bush strumming on a guitar while New Orleans drowns, Congress coming back together just to influence the life of ONE person - Terri Schiavo. The voice over continues, "If you think these people need taking care of too, then join us for this election. In two more years, you can go back to getting rid of us."

Tagline: Together, we can declaw these people.

 
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Stinky Distractions

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Oh man, this new kitten stinks. Gizi is asleep beside me, between me and Bratworse and something about her smells like aging cabbage. She is so cute, and she seems smart so far. She also seems to be fearless which may not be a good thing. She's very comfortable in her own skin and she knows what she wants and what she doesn't want.

The older cat is already intimidated. Ayla just viewed her from a distance of a foot and a half, not backing away the entire time Gizi approached but as soon as Gizi lost interest in Ayla, she fled to a safer distance. I think I hear Ayla pushing the door open to come inside the room right now.

I finally got out close to 1700 words tonight but it took some doing, due to this kitty playing for almost 4 hours straight.

It's great how this story is spilling out of me right now. 1700 words for Chapter 2 and I'm only halfway done with that chapter. I suppose I could break it up, but I was all ready to continue with Corey's viewpoint.

Okay, I'll cheat here and put a summary of what's going on.

Chapter 1: You are introduced to Drew, an ex-Zingball player; Stace, a long-time fan; and Corey, the Liaison to Fans. Drew deplores the progress of the team he used to play for. He sees them as money-grubbing show-offs now and wishes for a return to the old days where there was more honor and less in-your-face. Stace is more of an observer - she's been watching the Raydars team for so many years and watches so many ownerships warp the ideal to their own image that she's not shocked. Corey is Drew's son and feels totally inadequate due to his sister Raqi who is an EMT but could be a pro Zingball player if they let in women, and to his father, the greatest Center Defender who ever lived. You also meet Raqi and her partner Franklin, but you know little about them. And of course, you get introduced to the concept of Zingball. The Raydars, the team Drew used to play for, is the Major Zingball League's most prominent team. Not only do they buy the best talent, they have the best staff money can buy, the best equipment, the best stadium, and of course, the most lucrative merchandising deals, the best marketing, and more ways to hook a customer than a squid hook.

Chapter 2: The story so far: Corey has to report to his bosses: Tsunglei Tong, Dirk Haverhill and Eugene Braun. Corey has been given the job of introducing a new beer by the Raydars, the Zingball Team, and ensuring sales.

 
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Macs Must be Doing Well...

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It seems most of the listings on Craigslist for IT support now advertises experience with the Macs. Back about 2 years ago, most of them still were exclusively PC.

Vehrrrry interesting, as Arte Johnson would say.

 
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An Interesting Question

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One of my more annoying habits when I call my friends is, when they answer the phone with their name, I answer, "Prove it."

Most of my friends are good-humored and will either laugh and just ignore my demand, or some will play along and give me a proof of who they are, by citing an incident that only the two of us would know.

But some will just harumph. (I don't call these folks too often)

But it's an interesting question - and the way people respond shows me pretty much whether I want them to be a friend, AND whether they can stand me as a friend.

 
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Exceeding Expectations

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Yup, definitely exceeded expectations today on the story. A whopping 1919 words!

And it's shaping up quite nicely. The family dynamics are sorting themselves out and (here's the part I love about writing) I have no idea what's going on. The MC's daughter apparently is ultra talented and her brother desperately craves the same attention she gets from their father. I wasn't expecting that particular tension. I also didn't expect Nik's obvious but subtle disgust at the excesses of the Raydars. He's a total Company man, but he can't help his own visceral reactions to what's going on before his eyes. And the character of ther Raydars is shaping up nicely. They don't play fair, they don't play nice but they're constant winners, so they're ultra popular.

It's almost as if I'm trying to say... the longer a particular thing stays around, the more corrupted and the more like a mockery/parody of its once self it becomes.

 
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Are You Ready for Some Writing!

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Part 1, Chapter 1 is slowly being ekked out today. I'm so glad I did preliminary outlining and therefore have a clear direction on where the story is going in the first chapter. I put fingers to keyboard this morning and the beginning crept into being on the screen.

This was the fastest beginning I've had so far to any Nanowrimo; I guess prep work pays off, even in writing.

In the meantime, Bratworse came with me to work today, and is sitting behind me, blissfully typing away as she tries to tuck 1,667 words under her belt while I work. I know what this is about: she's hoping we're bringing home the new kitty tonight so she can play with the kitty while I write. Actually, I'm hoping for this too. I won't feel bad if I get so absorbed in what I'm writing that the real world fades away from me.

 
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On The Field Training

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Good for Art Shell! He's keeping Andrew Walters in as QB even though Aaron Brooks has healed up. While Brooks was a much better QB than our last one (at least Brooks knew how to avoid a sack) he's nowhere near the caliber we need. Walter is the future and needs as much experience as he can get. This is the perfect year for him to find his feet (since we don't have much of an O-line) and find his rhythm. It's also time for Moss to remember how to catch something that falls into reach.

 
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Disdainment

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Digby, as usual, is as articulate and precise as ever.
If you have to personally experience something before you have compassion for it or understand it you are an immature, shallow person.
This is the disdainment I have for a lot of people, among whom some are neighbors of mine. Having compassion is a sign of maturity, and just plain decency.

This quote was in response to some pundits considering the Michael J. Fox ads about stem cell research as attack ads. Excuse me? How do those qualify as attack ads? The only way, is Digby's analysis that this is somehow unseemly, using a person with obvious disabilities as an advocate.

Bratworse has been bugging me to explain how someone watching those ads could think differently from how she and I think - I guess Digby nailed it. They have a different response because they are immature, shallow and might I add, indecent human beings.

 
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Google Bombing The Republicans

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I haven't had much time to do anything else but blog, so here's me trying to help out in this election cycle.

A quick look at some of these links will tell you what kind of sleazebags these Republicans are and what they're doing to this wonderful country of ours:

-AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle
--CA-11: Richard Pombo
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali
--IL-06: Peter Roskam
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun
--KY-03: Anne Northup
--KY-04: Geoff Davis
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
--PA-10: Don Sherwood
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
--WA-08: Dave Reichert

*Warning* You might need a tourniquet for your eyes after, they'll be bleeding that much.

 
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Another Press Release

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Found yet another press release today about ABC Family filming a pilot based on Nobody by me, Writerboy and the most wonderful and talented Charlie Adlard.

This one gives out more details about the pilot, guaranteeing more WTF? from fans of the comic book. LOL!

You want to know the irony of all this? I had approached Writerboy about a story similar to the direction of the TV show but Writerboy nixed it, saying it was too girly/emotional something or another. So instead we settled on the dark dark story that is Nobody the comic book.

Anyway, if you hop over to Amazon.com or any local comic book store and get your copy of Nobody, contact me here and I'll sign it for you, for what it's worth lol.

And, if Writerboy, Charlie Adlard and I gather on the set of Nobody, I'll get them to sign your copy too, if you want. I'm sure Charlie's signature is worth 1,000 times mine. Hmm, make that a million times.

 
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Chance to Read Up on Republicans in '06 Races

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A quick look at some of these links will tell you what kind of sleazebags these Republicans are and what they're doing to this wonderful country of ours:

-AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle
--CA-11: Richard Pombo
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali
--IL-06: Peter Roskam
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun
--KY-03: Anne Northup
--KY-04: Geoff Davis
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
--PA-10: Don Sherwood
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
--WA-08: Dave Reichert

*Warning* You might need a tourniquet for your eyes after, they'll be bleeding that much.

 
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Censorship, What Is It Good For?

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This is the biggest reason why I didn't want to go back to Singapore to live. Censorship is alive and well there; in addition, I could be locked up for life just for loving Bratworse. And this is why I fight repression here in America, because I see Singapore as a fake, lifeless artificial city where the worker bees just happily hum and do their dronish jobs. America is messy, full of life, and just beautiful.

 
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Monday, October 23, 2006

There Goes the Record Books

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Well, the Raiders went and did it - they went and won one game and dashed all my hopes for it being the only 0-16 team ever in the NFL.

It was a decent win - tho I do feel bad for the Arizonal Cardinals. They came close to winning on Monday night and I think that defeat kept the wind from ever filling their sails again yesterday. They just weren't the same team that had shown up on Monday night. Guess they figured playing the Raiders would be an easy game.

As LaMont Jordan said last week, 11-5 is still a possibility and this is the first step in that direction. Forgive me if I'm a realist and think that 3-12 is more likely for this year's incarnation of the Raiders.

 
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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Now I Can Talk About It

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I guess Variety is pretty much the real deal so now I can talk about it.

This is very exciting news. ABC Family has decided to shoot a pilot based on the comic book that Writerboy and I wrote. And if it's well received, well then there will be a series about it.

Based on the synopsis this little article gives out, even though it's "based" on our comic book, enough details have been tweaked that if you're a fan of the comic, you'll be scratching your head going "huh?"

Writerboy and I were going to write a sequel, with some details correlating to the pilot that ABC Family will shoot but we shall see. Writerboy isn't just a success as a writer; he's successful as well in his secret identity, so much so that he can't devote any time for such frivolous activities such as writing.

I've realized that if I write this Nanowrimo novel just right, it might get picked up as well, following the success of Nobody. But, that's a big if. Writerboy was a large part of Nobody's success. We complement each other well as writers. Believe it or not, I tend to get too terse when I write comics.

 
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Slight Changes

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The sidebar now contains word counters for both Bratworse and I. Yes, you read that correctly, Bratworse has decided to share the misery with me. Wheeeeeeee!

Unlike me, she has decided to just write on the computer instead of putting it in blog-form.

November may see a reduced number of entries here - I'm just sayin'.

 
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0-16 anyone?

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At this point, I'm actually looking forward to an 0-16 season for the Oakland Raiders. Why? Because as a fan, hitting rock bottom can produce the true words, "It can't get any worse."

Besides, there doesn't seem to be a team in the NFL that's had an 0-16 season.

It's ONE way to get into the record books.

 
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Important Things...

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... are taking a day off work without pay, just because your 2 year old friend and her 7 month old sister are going to the zoo.

 
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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gelling

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Sometimes, a story just fits together like a well made erector set. I am very happy with how the components of the story, with the characters are seemingly falling into place, without much nudging from me at all.

It is building into a neatly complex story, with two older people and now I think I might throw in a young'un, as the heroes and the others as people who are doing their jobs as they see it. It's paralleling today nicely as well.

This should be fun to write.

I've created the new sports which this story is centered on, created characters, and somewhat of a plot. The main premise of the story is, what will the new owner of the largest Zingball team do in retaliation for an attack on its property against the fanbase?

In answering this question, the story will focus on five characters: an ex-Zingball player, his son who works for the Raydars, the largest Zingball team; his daughter whose live is directly affected by the events of 2/28; a Zingball reporter; and the fan who has season tickets next to the ex-Zingball player.

Come share this ride with me.

 
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Friday, October 13, 2006

How Much You Wanna Bet...

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That if they get rid of social security, we're going to see more of this: a 63 year man robs a bank so he can get 3 years in prison because he can't find a job to support himself. The teller hands him FOUR $20 bills while pushing a silent alarm. Instead of walking off, he walks over to the security guard and hands him the moolah, then sits down and waits for the cops to show up.

What does this say about us?

 
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Cursive

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A few days ago, the Washington Post had an interesting feature about the decline of cursive writing. And Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo asked people for their own experiences and whether they still use cursive.

Here was my reply:

I am 42 years old with my primary education from Singapore and my secondary and collegiate education from the United States.

I learned cursive writing in Singapore and because paper was scarce during the mid-70’s in Singapore, we learned to write very very small.

When I got to America, my first “shock” was learning that cursive wasn’t called cursive here, at least not colloquially. Everyone around me called it “handwriting” and how that distinguished cursive from block, I have no idea since both are written by hand. I gave up trying to understand Americans and just went with the flow.

In college, I still used cursive for nearly everything but as I entered the workforce and had people complain about the size of my “handwriting”, I developed an almost comic book type of printing, using all caps but making the first letter of every word slightly larger (just in case my printing was so small people couldn’t tell the spaces).

I do not use small letters in my printing because I see my printing as looking childish. I never spent much time practing printing as a child and it shows.

To sum up, I use cursive writing when I write in my journal, or when I’m writing notes for myself and know that no one else needs to “decipher” it. (Honestly, sometimes when writing fast, I have a hard time deciphering my own). When I write and there’s a chance others need to read it, I print all caps.

 
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Good Start

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I'm off to a good start on ideas for the new story, all thanks to this great little program Jer's Novel Writer. It's a great way to keep track of all these little ideas that pop up as you're finishing up one idea that led to five others.

I'm getting ambitious for this year. So far I've got 15 characters and not sure which ones will become prominent.

There seems to be two stories emerging from all this - one told from the fans' perspective and one from the corporation's. Hmm, that makes about 8 chars per story and to be honest, that's not really a lot.

I'm thinking that the family that acts as the go-between the two stories will be the main focus.

It's jelling together much better than I thought it would - so much so I'm actually excited about it.

I wonder if I could kick off the 1st at Midnight?

 
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Have to Remember...

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that just cause I'm excited about something doesn't mean anyone else would be, nor should I expect them to be supportive. Sheesh! You'd think growing up in a family like mine, I'd have this lesson drilled into me, but no, ever the friggin idealist; I actually want someone to share my enthusiasm.

When oh when will I learn this lesson?

Update: The source of my disappointment just apologized for her lack of support. I'm glad she did; it showed me how much she DOES care about me - but apparently now this post has majorly pissed her off.

I'm sorry this post pissed her off but damnit, I got hurt at the moment.

This wasn't just about this incident. I get excited about promoting other people's ideas, artwork, etc. And I constantly put them here. Do my friends reciprocate? My best friend bought a copy of my story and has he told anyone about it or recommended that they go and get it? No.

I NEED to learn that others will not reciprocate my level of enthusiasm. That is why I was an agent and they weren't. It's not a slam on my friends; it's just what they're capable and incapable of.

 
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Heaven, I'm in Heaven

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So I googled for a Mac Outline program to help out with NaNoWriMo and this is what I found.

OMFG!

I am in heaven! This outline tool/word processor is fantastic! (Okay, if I'm using that many exclamation points, I MUST be excited because I think the exclamation point is one of the most overused and overrated punctuation there ever existed. And yes, I AM that weird in that I actually have my favorite punctuation - the semi-colon. Versatile and underused.)

Jer's Novel Writer is a word processor/outliner designed specifically for writing AND the programmer is a participant of NaNoWriMo as well so he knows the importance of not having the momentum gummed up. There's a margin for you to jot notes on, there's a database for you to keep your characters, plot developments, etc in track and there's an outline of course.

Anyone who writes, knows the importance of notes and margins and databases. You introduce a throwaway character in Chapter 2, only to find out in Chapter 15 that he/she would make a great drive-by character again. Only, what was the name you gave that char? And where in the 20 odd pages of Chapter 2 did you insert him/her?

I am taking Bratworse's advice and starting on a whole new story instead of working on a previous one. At first, I thought I didn't have a story, but one's been germinating in my brain for the past year and I am just starting to commit the ideas to paper.

The new story is going to be called Escalation or Descent? (Yes, I know it's a fancy way to say Ups or Downs but I'm a writer for goodness sake) This is going to be an Alternate Earth type story - kinda happening in today's world but different enough that you know it's somewhere else. And it'll be a sports analogy to what's happening in the world today - Iraq, U.S., terrorism, our reactions, etc.

Ambitious eh? Yeah, well, writing is the ONLY place I've actually harbored ambitions.

 
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dropping the Bomb

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Lately, I've been hearing people around me say, "Why don't we just drop the bomb on them?" "We" being Americans and "them" being Koreans, Iraqis, Muslims, etc.

I was incredulous. The person who said it to me, prided herself as being a loving Christian.

To me, the most important reason for not bombing people is the Golden Rule. You don't want to do unto people that which you don't want done to you. Do you want to be bombed because your government is pissing off others? Do you want to be bombed because someone in your neighborhood went crazy and shot someone?

Bombing is indiscriminant. When it goes off, it doesn't check to see if civilians are around, nor little children. The only intent for a bomb is to cause massive destruction with a small device.

This person kept telling me that those people should be killed. I didn't have a chance to ask, but I wanted to know, how can we know who are the ones who want to harm others, and who are innocent bystanders?

I used to be a Christian and I remember that I was taught (not very well for this is the lesson every sunday school teacher glosses over) to judge not less ye be judged yourself. I hated being judged, so I would never judge anyone. Maybe that's why so many people told me about their affairs and such, cause I would never look at such actions with severe judgements.

Anyway, I just don't understand why Americans, supposedly a Christian country, wants blood so badly.

 
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Monday, October 09, 2006

Half a Blast

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So, you panicked over the thought of North Korea having nuclear capabilities?

No wonder, if you've been watching the American Media.

Well did you know that the seismologists are saying that the test struck 3.4 on the Richter scale and that translates to a .55 kT (half a kiloton) blast which MEANS that the test was a failure?

Did you also know that the furthest any North Korean missile has been able to fire, has been halfway between it and Japan?

So, go ahead and panic away and give into your fear. That's what the republicans want because they think you'll vote for them if you're scared enough.

 
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Losers yes, But We've Still Got Team Spirit

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I wore a Raiders hat to work this morning. It was to show my co-workers that despite our dismal, bleak immediate future (0-4 season so far), we members of the Raider Nation aren't like our fair-weather counterparts across the Bay.

We do not need a winning team to wear team colors.

But as of yesterday, I hung up my hopes, despite not hanging up the hat.

Update: One person at work just walked in, mocking the Raiders but you know, it was precisely this type of attitude that made me a Raider fan to begin with. The disdain and the glee with which people Raider-bashed just made me a more fervent fan.

Yes, I see the same type of people who are Bush fans, but gimme a break. I can afford to be this fanatical over the Raiders because the Raiders DON'T MAKE DECISIONS THAT IMPACT THE EVERY DAY LIVES OF MILLIONS. GWB makes decisions every day that impact my life and therefore, to be a rabid unthinking loyal fan of him just defies reason. Therefore, GWB fans (unrepenting fans) are unreasonable.

 
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Authentic Shanghai Food

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There's a little tiny hole in the wall here in Oakland, California that serves up authentic Shanghai food, otherwise known as comfort food for me.

It's called The Shanghai Restaurant located at 930 Webster Street in the Oakland Chinatown district. (510) 465-6878

Man, is the food good there. You won't find the standard fare that you get at other hole in the wall places, simply because Shanghai food was never really imported to the U.S. until fairly recently.

In L.A. my family frequented the Mandarin Shanghai restaurant now named the Mandarin something or another, since 1976 simply because it was one of the few successful Shanghai restaurants there. I've often run into distant relatives dining there.

If you go to The Shanghai Restaurant, try out their little dragon dumplings. It's an explosion of heaven in your mouth, when you bite into one. Also try out their braised pork leg. It's a huge hunk of meat that's falling off the bone and it's oh so wonderful. Only $8.95 for such a large hunk of meat that will last at least 3 meals (if there's two of you).

Also, if you want to discover one of the sources for Spaghetti, ask for their Tsah Tsiang noodles. We call it Chinese spaghetti in this household.

You will love their food.

 
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To Kill a Mockingbird in Long Beach

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Our friend Alison Frazier is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.

Not only is she incredibly beautiful, but she is just talented beyond belief. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the U.C. Berkeley Theatre Department. Following that, she managed to secure a job as a sculptor for Disney's Imagineering and created a lot of the tools and objects for Roger Rabbit's Toon Ride at Disneyland. During her many years at Disney, she also did a number of plays in small community productions, homing her comedic timing.

Disney laid off a number of Imagineers in recent times and she was among the casualties. So, she decided to take the plunge in her mid-30's and try to eke out a living as an actress. We missed the first play she was in, but we caught her on the Cingular commercial she was in as well as when she had one line in Chris Rock's Everybody Hate Chris.

We just got word from her that she will be appearing in Long Beach's To Kill a Mockingbird, playing at the Long Beach Convention Center between October 17th through November 12th. This will mark the first time that I'll be seeing Alison in a serious role.

I'm hoping we can fit in a trip down south before November and the launch of NaNoWriMo.

 
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

NaNoWriMo Time Again

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I need to sign up for NaNoWriMo again. Ugh.

I was about to write that the good news is, I have no plans for November this year, but I think I'm wrong. My best friend and his husband will be showing up to spend Thanksgiving with me and that's in November.

For those of you who weren't reading from last year, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It's an organization that encourages people to sign up, and then attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel within the month. It's crazy especially if you have a life or need to be inspired to write (like me) but its great excercise.

Two years now, I've participated and the results so far are The Three H Foundation, a work in progress but may soon be morphed into another tale and An Act of Balance another work in progress.

Instead of starting yet another novel (I've actually got another on the shelves, just never used it for NaNoWriMo), I think I'm going to go back to Act of Balance. It's a work of love and tribute to my mother and my family. The thing is, I need to be not pissed at them. Last year, my mother pissed me off so much on my birthday that I couldn't even think of her without ugly thoughts for months. But recently, my mother is different. It may be because of my sister's hospitalization; it may be other things. I think I can write generously of her again; I'll leave my grumblings of her to this blog.

The first year, I was able to achieve about 20,000 words before I gave up. Last year, only 7,000, partially because I had no idea where the story was going since I literally remembered NaNoWriMo on November 1st. The year before, I signed up around October 20th. This year, I have enough time, AND I have an outline program that I can use to organize thoughts. The next few days will be spent in organizing each chapter and the character/plot developments within.

It's so strange. I can easily write over 50,000 words on this blog in a month. But these are all separate thoughts, tied together by literally nothing. A novel however, you have to focus on characters, settings, tone, voice, rhythm, believability, development, conflicts, sub-plots, loose strings, etc.

Hokay then! Time to roll up the sleeves and get the mental fires going. With any luck, I won't get angry at my family during the month and will actually have a workable first draft by the end of the month.

 
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Invention Needed

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Desperately needed:

A voice activated translator that translates all PMS'ing language into nice soothing non-judgemental words.

Examples: A shrill voice: "Why do you HAVE to leave clothes all over the house?" translates to "Honey, please pick up your clothing."

A shrill voice: "Why does the alarm have to be on YOUR side of the bed when you don't set it?" translates to "Baby, I know you have a problem with me hitting the snooze button too many times, but if you forget to set the alarm, perhaps it'd be better if the alarm was on my side of the bed?"

Will pay good money for such a device.

 
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Bad Moods

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Both Bratworse and I woke up in bad moods. Who wants to create a pool to see how many times we yell at each other today? So far the count is: one by her and three by me. Guess which of us has a better grip on her temper? Sure isn't the idealistic one.

 
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Goodbye Pretty Cat

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Yesterday, I took my cat of 16-17 years to be put down. (The picture isn't of Ashley but it's the closest I could find to how beautiful she was)

Ashley was a very beautiful cat, with siamese type markings and a bit of tortoiseshell in her. She had the softest fur and the meanest attitude. I loved her to bits.

She had certain rules on how to deal with her. Break those rules and get scratched. Most of my friends have been scratched by her, and they call her devil cat from hell.

Rule #1: Never scratch behind the shoulders. She hated being scratched below the shoulders.
Rule #2: Never pet her near her private parts. I think she had a hard time after being neutered so the slightest move towards her lower body resulted in a scratch.
Rule #3: Never pay her attention for too long. She could only stand attention for about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes, but any longer, she'd scratch you.
Rule #4: Never ever forget that she's a lady.

Rule #4 was the one I broke constantly. But she had a long memory. If I laughed at her in the morning because she fell off the bed, sometime later, I'd get scratched, a little bit as if to say I didn't forget.

Nonetheless, she had the most wonderful fur and the loveliest face of all cats I've ever known. She'd lie on my chest on weekends, purring away in my face, and sniffing my lips when I'd make kissy sounds.

How I got her was kinda weird. At the time, I had a cat named Apollo and Apollo and I didn't get along at all. However, my then-roommate LOVED Apollo and since we had one cat already, when my roommate's sister had to get rid of Ashley, we took her in. Well, that roommate HATED Ashley from the start but I loved her. So, when we broke up the household, I asked if I could keep Ash and she keep Apollo. The rest is history. Ashley lived through four moves with me.

Goodbye my old friend. Keep a spot warm for me when I arrive in Hell, okay?

 
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Gay Does Not Equal Pedophile!

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Being away from the internets, I had known about the Mark Foley emails before the weekend but had missed all the hoopla and developments.

As in, umm Mr. Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert? Please note that it is political suicide to lie about the knowledge of icky emails 5 weeks before an election. Feel all your colleagues and fellow Republicans throwing you under the bus? Welcome to the minority sir. We minority folk get this sort of behavior from you politicians all the time.

But there's a disturbing trend now happening among Republicans as they heap excuse upon excuse as to why no one did anything when the emails were first reported.

This trend? They're saying that they didn't want to report Mark Foley because they were respectful of gay rights.

Wait... stop laughing. Yes, you heard that right. Do I need to repeat it? Yes, it's the SAME DAMN EXCUSE they used for Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert.

Okay - for the record. Being gay doesn't mean you're attracted to CHILDREN/TEENS of the same sex; it means you're attracted to ADULTS of the same sex.

Also, - for the record. Being gay doesn't mean you take money for sex. That defines a PROSTITUTE, which Jeff Gannon was.

Sheesh folks. Next you'll think being gay means you're attracted to animals of the same sex. Get a grip will ya? And make sure it's not some teen's penis.

UPDATE: This is the mentality we're dealing with folks - courtesy of Paul Farhi of the Washington Post
Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured.
WTF?!? Seriously, WTF?!?

AGAIN, I REITERATE: Being Gay or Liberal doesn't mean we are PEDOPHILES. We do not agree with going after children. Nor does it mean that we are open to NON-CONSENSUAL sex. If one person says no, THAT'S IT! We respect the No! Sheesh folks.

Just cause YOUR fantasy image of Gays/Liberals is that we allow ANYTHING, doesn't mean that's reality. I know some gays who are SOOOOO prudish, they need the lights out in their bathrooms to change into clothes!

 
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekend Without Internet

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A friend needed some company and help looking after the two above, so I took Friday off to be with them. Oh man, how can two kids, one that only sits there like a grinning statue and the other a 20 lb adorable munchkin, wear two adults out like that?

This was the PERFECT weekend to be accidentally without internet for we were both extremely busy on Friday, then had a "White" party to attend on Saturday. Of course, Sunday was taken up by watching both Bay Area football teams lose, but all in all, we had a great weekend.

The two kids are unbelievably wonderful. The younger one just catches your eye and grins. Occasionally, she'd break out in adorable giggles. The older one is also fantastic. She does, on occasion, get jealous and that's when you see her sidle up to the baby and she does just enough of a push to knock the other over (in slow motion). Aside from that, she's wonderfully articulate and well behaved. She does love pushing the limits but given her parents, that was a given. *smirk*

The following evening, we again joined the kids' parents for a night out with our other friend who turned 40 last week. That friend told his lover he wanted a "White" party and so of course, his lover threw him a GIGANTIC party. Bratworse and I had bought new outfits for the occasion; our friends, the parents of the two above, showed up in white painter overalls.

BTW, if you're ever throwing a party in Atherton, CA, be aware that on a Saturday Night, cops will be called at 10:30 pm. Can you believe that?!? 10:30!

Of course, this was also the weekend that another friend had a signing over at Comic Relief in Berkeley. Why oh why, do people plan outings all in the same weekend? We couldn't attend of course, but here's the Entertainment Weekly review for his book, Stagger Lee: Go buy it right now - There's already rumors of this being picked up to be a movie.

 
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Studio 60 - Aaron Sorkin is God Once More

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Rejoice, one and all. Sorkin the writing God has arisen from the plumes of pot smoke and bestowed upon us all the gift of Studio 60, a series that on one level, mocks TV studios, on another his own network, on yet others his own failures, his own demons of addiction, the "liberalism" of networks, etc.

Can you tell I'm ecstatic?

Well, yes and no.

After watching the pilot, I broke out in sobs (it doesn't help that I'm pms'ing right now) because once again, Aaron Sorkin has taken the bleakness of reality and given it a beacon of hope within fiction. These characters that Aaron Sorkin has created, have zest, idealism, and passion. I want these people to be my friends, my coworkers. Why do all my heroes have to be fictions?

I watched two pilots last night: Studio 60 and Heroes and only one left me jumping up and down in excitement, roaring with laughter at some places, wincing at how true it reflected reality at others. The dialogue crackled (as with ANY Sorkin piece) and the pace was propelling. Heroes on the other hand, dragged.

Guess what is going to be my... hmm, I'm looking forward to Battlestar Galactica as well. But dang it, Aaron Sorkin IS God. And I will worship no other God (but I MIGHT buy some Battlestar Galactica accessories) :)

 
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Naked Guys

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Apparently, one of my neighbors across the street walked out of his house/apartment onto the street and waved at my mother-in-law who presumably was out on the balcony smoking a cigarette.

This neighbor happened to walk out with no clothes on.

My mother-in-law is kind of freaked out about it (from what Bratworse tells me because I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet).

My response? "Have your mom take a photo and we can post it here!"

I don't think my humor is much appreciated at times.

But I have to wonder, why does seeing a naked guy freak people out? To me, as long as the guy isn't trying to come after me, or whacking off in public (which I really don't care to witness), or trying to break into my house, what's the problem?

I just don't understand this viewpoint that nudity equates perversion and I guess I never will.

Update: Apparently, the guy walked out... INTO HIS LIVING ROOM. He just didn't have the drapes drawn. I had thought he walked out into the street.

Oh, this makes the story so much less interesting. Dang!

 
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Eastern Concept?

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Jet Li:
But if we are strong and believe in ourselves, it doesn't matter what people call us.

My mother calls me stupid and dumb all the time, but it's never affected me in the least because I've always known I was smart. She'll be really pissed off at me, and start telling me how stupid I am, and I just agree with her until she laughs.

My sister and friends are horrified when they either hear of it or witness it. "How can you let her say those things to you?" I shrug and answer, "Because I know it isn't true. So why not let her have her fun?"

Mom forgets that not everyone is like me; she gets in deep trouble when she calls other people stupid. I remember (always with a laugh) when my nephew asked her why she'd accuse him of being stupid and she denied it only to call him stupid in Chinese within 5 minutes of the question. He got hurt; she got flustered because all she was looking to do was let off steam and a wall would rise up.

Is this an Eastern concept? Or just an ego concept?

It might be an ego thing because I know coaches often tell their charges that they're weak or inadequate or something, just to rile them up into performing better. But that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about having such confidence in an area that no matter what is said or done, it's considered as ludicrous.

Remember Kung Fu, the TV show? It's sorta like how Caine saw the world around him. But gimme a break, Caine just acted like he was mentally retarded. I loved the fight scenes and the philosophy scenes in that series, but Caine himself? I wanted to whack him in the head and say, talk faster!

It's that philosophy I'm talking about. The philosophy of why should I bother to correct you when 1) correcting you is time-consuming, 2) you uttering such nonsense just goes to show the world what an idiot you are, and 3) besides, correcting you is bad manners cause no one wants their mistakes pointed out in public.

Is this purely an Eastern concept?

 
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To Be Honest...

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...When I read the transcript of Clinton being interviewed by Chris Wallace, I thought Clinton was a bit too much when he described Chris Wallace as smug, and then I watched the clip and understood the comment.

...I got Chris Wallace mixed up with Chris Matthews and was surprised when I saw the clip that Chris had turned brunette.

...I thought someone who had Mike Wallace as a father would have more integrity.

...I never realized someone could embody "smarmy" so well, the way Chris Wallace embodies it.

...I didn't realize how much of a smug asshole Chris Wallace is, until I read about his appearance on The Daily Show, where he tried to sandbag Jon Stewart.

Dude! Get some ethics. Learn to smile without smarminess! Stop sandbagging cool people just cause you're not.

 
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Monday, September 25, 2006

What It's Like to Have a Screaming Neighbor

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So I'm sitting here, quietly working.

There are few people around, and therefore, silence for the most part, reigns.

Then slowly, a disembodied voice, full of pain and anguish start its crescendoing ascent.

I look around to see if anyone else has heard, then realize I'm alone.

Alone with this disembodied voice that is now raging against the silence.

And all I can do is sit here, and wish the voice some path out or away from the pain that's causing the anguish.

BTW, I work above a therapist. That's where the voice is coming from.

 
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Why Americans are Ignorant of World Affairs

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Attaturk, in this post, shows the covers of Newsweek all over the world.

On the American cover, is a picture of Annie Liebowitz. Who is she, you ask? Why, she takes photographs of famous people, like John Lennon.

Now, this complaint isn't to detract from Ms. Liebowitz's talents or her recognition. Rather, this complaint is about what America focuses on.

Guess what the other Newsweek covers (The European edition, the Asian edition and the Latin America edition) are about: Losing Afghanistan.

So basically, Newsweek has figured out that to sell its magazine to U.S. consumers, it has to feature fluff. Yes, Ms. Liebowitz, no matter HOW talented you are, you are just a photographer of celebrities. You are NOT a matter of life and death.

No wonder people here think Arnold Schwartzneggar and Ronald Reagan would make good politicians.

 
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

An Analogy

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You're the owner of a football team. There's been incidents in the parking lot of hoodlums attacking fans, and you've been sending out the security team looking for these hoodlums that are mugging your fans.

Unfortunately, before your security team has found these hoodlums, your team has been sold to another owner.

This new owner has problems with these hoodlums, but some of these hoodlums got lucky, and blew a hole in one of the luxury boxes, and killed off some of your fans.

This new owner at first, starts looking for the hoodlums in a minor league team's parking lot, where they were last seen. But for some strange reason, this new owner drops the search in that parking lot, goes to yet another minor league team's parking lot, and not just attack the hoodlums there, but attacks the other team and its owners.

Now this minor league team - the thing that people didn't understand about it was, it was a hastily put together team made of three other teams that the league threw together, just to get a full team. And none of these three teams liked each other and are actively trying to hurt the others even when they're not playing a game.

So when the big league team went in and dismissed the owner of that hastily put together team, there was enough disruption of security that the hoodlums saw a better place to recruit other rowdies.

Given all this, why is it the first owner's fault?

Yes, I'm talking about Clinton and Bush here.

 
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

God! How Could You NOT Be In Love with This Man

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I'm watching a Tivo'd The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from last night and it's Bill Clinton on.

He's talking about his Clinton Global Initiative and its obvious he's loving being able to say that he brought Rupert Murdoch and Barbra Streisand together on the same project. Oh that Bill, he's such a triangulator.

He's loving matching wits with Jon Stewart, matching charm. The smile that spread over his face as he heard Jon Stewart's question to him while he sat on the Seat of Heat... was just unbelievably mischievious as he realized the trap Jon was setting.

It's no wonder the world loves Bill Clinton and our cache in the world soared while he was our president.

For this lovable rogue, you neo-cons inflicted us with GWB? Why? Because a man shouldn't have good looks, intelligence, charm and roguish qualities all wrapped in one package?

Every time I hear Clinton speak, I am beside myself with pride, nodding and pointing to him saying, Yup, I voted for him. I can only growl out I didn't vote for him whenever GWB speaks.

I am glad that America has term limits. America would have re-elected Bill if it could, over and over again. I know I would've.

 
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