Monday, March 31, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Once a Runner

"In order to write fiction, he needed "big blocks of time. Time to be bored. Liquori said need to be bored to train well, so that your workout becomes the most interesting part of your day.""

Being bored comes easily to me...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Power on Iraq

I liked what she's written with respect to US Foreign Policy. Even though she's gone from the Obama campaign, I think it would be a good sign if she were considered for his Cabinet, should he win the Presidency.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Bill Simmons writes about the Western Conference and it reminds me of the Lakers-Warriors game the other night where the Lakers were up by 9 with 2 minutes to go and the Warriors stormed back to tie only for the Lakers to win in OT.

The Warriors are good. Better than last year because Monta Ellis is incredible. Worth watching is a replay where he takes the ball straight at Kobe on a break and instead of slamming it home, he skies through the air and gently switches to his left hand and you feel how bad Kobe wants to block the shot (or at least foul the guy) and he slips it in the hoop after Kobe long flew past. It was a totally fearless play and from a guy his size - it reminded me of Iverson.

And Simmons mentions it as well...I'd take Baron Davis trading shots with Kobe at the end of the game. Seriously.

For the record, I want to see either the Suns or the Warriors take the Lakers out in this year playoffs.
How Did I Miss This One

On being a utility actor in Hollywood.
Cheap Lunch

It's rare these days to find a cheap lunch, particularly in Santa Monica. But lately, I've been a little burrito crazy and getting the simple bean and cheese with guacamole from Baja Fresh. Not bad and definitely filling. It comes with chips and they got a new, excellent salsa.

$5.35 with tax.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Other Shoe?

It would be nice if the Shiia militias didn't start fighting the central government. Then again, we could bomb Iran's oil facilities until they stopped.

A straight up diss of what New York has become.
Handshake Wuss

My finger is screwed up and everytime I shake hands it hurts like a motherfucker, but I keep shaking because it's polite and I'm sure my grip is weaker than normal and all these random people think I'm weak, fruity, or fey.

Totally unfair.
Being Way Too Rough

VDH and Hitchens both allude to Obama "tossing his grandmother under the bus," in his race speech.

Are they purposely misreading?

I understood his point to be - we all should consider being a little bit easier on one another when it comes to discussing race and not jump to who can be the most offended quickest...the comparison between Ferrarro, Wright, and his grandmother seemed consistent to me with a liberal philosophy of stressing similarities as opposed to difference...particularly when discussing friends, colleagues, and family. Hansen and Hitchens view these various people as either allies or enemies - which I agree is appropriate with respect to Islamic Terrorists and Secular Fascists...but not Wright, and certainly not Ferraro or Obama's grandma.

Wright is wrong but he isn't an enemy.
But, Of Course, Hitchens...

He's harsh on Obama.

"To have accepted Obama's smooth apologetics is to have lowered one's own pre-existing standards for what might constitute a post-racial or a post-racist future. It is to have put that quite sober and realistic hope, meanwhile, into untrustworthy and unscrupulous hands. And it is to have done this, furthermore, in the service of blind faith. Mark my words: This disappointment is only the first of many that are still to come."

Well...this is life, isn't it?
Doesn't Bug Me

The other night, I checked out THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE and was a bit perturbed to find they borrowed exactly a plot sequence from 30 ROCK, when Christine starts dating a much younger guy, is weirded out, then kinda likes him, then goes to his "pad" and ends up meeting his mother who bears an eerie similarity to herself.

But upon reflection, this plotline was pretty funny in both episodes and for some reason, doesn't bug me anymore. Particularly because I re-watched the 30 ROCK last night (if anyone is curious what I do when I'm home alone, in my room, a safe bet is rewatching 30 ROCK pathetic for a grown man...) and the episode is great. All the episodes this season were great. I hope come April they can re-hit their stride.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm Number 1

In my 5 person, $5 per bracket NCAA pool. Hooha.

My tenuous lead at the sweet 16 pretty much ensures I will not win the whole thing. I know this. Unless UCLA wins.

Side note - I think I can develop a better NCAA pool with weighted points, giving an advantage to picking upsets. The point of NCAA pool, in my estimation, is to increase the fun of watching this end, it is awfully boring to watch the Duke games where your heart is rooting deeply for them to lose, but since you picked them to go far, you're head wants them to win.

I want to develop a pool which advantages emotional picks (over intellectual picks), so you can go with you heart and thereby increase the overall enjoyment of watching the tourney. But also - you gotta keep it simple - so people can follow the rules...

In theory...every year a single 5 seed beats a 12 the smart bettor, not knowing which 5 will beat which 12, safely picks all the five seeds and will be a 75% winner (generalities, here). But why should such picking be rewarded? Should it not be equal to pick all 12 seeds and get a "weighted" victory equal to picking all 5 seeds? We're talking about odds. I will work on this and by next year have a prototype tournament that I will run for all to enjoy...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Down Before Up

Guess sometimes you have to get down, before you can get up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Points

Sullivan, per usual, brings up good points about what war-supporters got wrong.

His two best points:

1. I became enamored of my own morality and this single moral act. And he was a monster, as we discovered. But what I failed to grasp is that war is also a monster, and that unless one weighs all the possibly evil consequences of an abstractly moral act, one hasn't really engaged in anything much but self-righteousness. I saw war's unknowable consequences far too glibly.

2. I let my hope - the hope that had been vindicated by the fall of the Soviet Union - get the better of my skepticism. There are times when that is a good thing. The Iraq war wasn't one of them.

Let me begin by saying - I will never go again.

Items I found distasteful (in order):

a. For LA, the Hooters waitresses are merely average looking. One was straight up ugly. Totally disappointing.

b. The wings - which is the reason I went - made me sick. Way too greasy.

c. The waitresses flirted with many of the male customers, as is the custom at Hooters. They did not flirt with Phil and I. I found this annoying and puzzling.

d. The bland salad looked like veggies from Albertsons and the dressing came in a little pre-packaged plastic thing. Come on.

e. A bathroom dude. I hate those dudes. This guy was especially annoying because he possessed disgusting colognes, handed you a brown paper towel out the dispenser, made bad jokes AND got mad when I didn't "get" it. Furthermore, he took up one of the two faucets by standing there. God, I really didn't like that guy.

f. The waitresses and kitchen communicated via zip lines running from the bar to the kitchen, sliding their written orders across the restaurant. Beyond being dangerous to those walking by (every time I walked beneath one, I checked both ways before crossing), they were incredibly distracting.

g. Soccer. During the NCAAs. Look - I love soccer. I play soccer. But having a soccer game on during the NCAA tourney is blasphemy. Anyone watching soccer during the NCAA needs to be stripped of their American citizenship and sent to live in former Eastern Bloc country.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Big Reading Weekend

Looking to be a big reading weekend...despite NCAAs...

The Unpossessed City (work) - From a new writer, one of the more talented I've come across at work.

The Harrowing (work) - Looks like a skim job

It's Christmas, Saul Towner - Andy's script update

Comanche Moon - getting re-obsessed with McMurty

Iraqi Perspectives Project - Summary of Saddam's WMD and Terrorist connections based upon documents collected since the fall of his regime - because, yes, I am that weird.

Roughin' It - Mark Twain's blog from his time in Nevada. Been meaning to read for years and started to read last weekend.

Doubt I'll get through everything, but you never know...
Bad, but also REALLY Good

There are a few mistakes I make over and over. One of those is taking a nap when I'm sleepy at around 6:30-7pm and waking up at 9ish. I've repeated this mistake many times in my life and inevitably find myself unable to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning. Last night, this occurred, and I ended up watching 4 of the 5 parts of the CBS mini-series COMANCHE MOON.

First off, it was a TV movie, which meant they couldn't afford A-list actors or directors. It is a adaptation of McMurty's prequel to LONESOME DOVE by McMurty and Diana Ossana. They got Steve Zahn and Val Kilmer and the rest are B and C listers who are pretty unimpressive. There are many awkward scenes and unfunny attempts at humor. In short, it is bad.

But the material and characters are SOOOOO good. How else could I watch so many consecutive episodes? And I'm thinking about the story and characters and people all day. Maybe the mini-series ruins the book...but who cares? The audiences aren't the same. The story is being told, albeit in a clunky, imperfect way. There are some brilliant moments and loads of great characters, poorly performed. Oh well.
Salon Series

Another great article on "What I Got Wrong About Iraq" by Jonah Goldberg.

Good parts:

1. If one of my mistakes was to trust men like August Hanning, another larger mistake was to put my trust in the Bush administration, not so much on matters of intelligence—faulty intelligence was a near-universal phenomenon—but on matters of basic competence. I will admit to a prejudice here: I believed—note the tense, please—that Republicans were by nature ruthless, unsentimental, efficient, and, most of all, preoccupied with winning. It simply never occurred to me that Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would allow themselves to lose a war. Which is what they have very nearly done.

2. My Atlantic colleague Andrew Sullivan and I have argued over the notion that travel can actually narrow the mind. I believe in reporting, but I also believe that I was somewhat blinded by my rage at the genocide Saddam perpetrated against Kurdistan. It is difficult to stay neutral on the question of intervention after visiting the survivors of Halabja, Goktapa, and other towns and villages that had been attacked with chemical weapons by Saddam's air force.

Full series is here. These are all liberal hawks...many of whom I've been reading since before the war and who provided the most influential arguments - in my opinion - in favor of the Iraq intervention.
Come Out With It, Obama!

While Andrew Sullivan rails against Hillary for making her tax return public...for me...what I want to see about these candidates is...

...their NCAA brackets.

I'm serious. I will be able to judge a candidate by his/her choices. To prove "experience" I'd like to see whether Hillary chose any 12 seed to upset a 5 seed, which happens just about every year. (One argument to be made AGAINST picking a 12 seed is that while they're may be one upset, it's difficult to predict which one, and therefore safer to pick the 5 seeds. Of course, by this logic, one would simply pick all the favorites and come in the top 10-15% of your pool and almost assuredly not win...or at least be required at the end to make some "real" choices.)

Whereas the claim that Obama is an undercover uber-liberal disguised as a pragmatist will be tested by his final selection. Should he choose UNC or UCLA as a champion, he would be proven pragmatic...but should he pick some crazy-whacked ass team like Washington St. or Western Kentucky, they the critics might well be right.

In fact, I'm open to the idea of McCain, Hillary, and Obama going head to head with their brackets and the winner gets my vote. That's how seriously I take the tourney.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The headline is a bit pathetic: Hundreds Protest the Iraq War.

Most people I know could get more than that to their birthday party.
Once a Runner

" order to write fiction, he needed 'big blocks of time. Time to be bored. Liquori said you need to be bored to train well, so that your workout becomes the most interesting part of your day."
USC Film School

As stupid and vapid as film school was at times...

...with the Kafka-esque bureaucracy

...the poseurs

...the waste of money and time and resources

It more or less mirrors Hollywood.
One Answer: So What?

Look, I'm all in favor of the Iraq war and killing terrorists and all that shit...

But whether the Iraqi people want American troops in Iraq or not - posed in this article - probably isn't the best way to frame the it?

I want to bang Jessica Alba. So what? Who cares? Don't we all. Good luck...Chuck.

No shit most Iraqis want US troops to stay - it's better than the downside - Saddam ruling the place, civil war, or Sunni fundamentalists chopping off heads and stoning people to death. But the question should be - and always be - is it in our best interest to remain and are we achieving our goals?

Oh freakonomics...

Paper vs. Plastic? Used to be paper was enviro-friendly. Turns out, it plastic is better.

Driving vs. walking. You'd be surprised...

Next they'll tell me I should flush the toilet after everytime I go. Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Uh, Okay

Instapundit says, "But it seems to have been a good speech. The question is, how much does that help a guy who's known for giving good speeches, when the real question is whether he means what he says?"

For the record, Obama was not always a good speech giver...he became one. And sure, he isn't he wasn't born to be a good President - no one is. But I'm betting he can become one.
Bringing it Back

This is like sophomore and junior year in college all over again.

Good 'ole PPE.
He Should Be President

Don't know how many times in my life I'll be able to say that honestly.

Read the speech.
If You're Not Who You Are, You Wouldn't Be Who You Are

That seems to me the gist of what Geraldine Ferraro said about Obama.

Her attempt at plain-speak..."He wouldn't be where he was if he wasn't black." Well...yeah...if he wasn't who he is, he wouldn't be who he is. Obama is black. He is a man. If he wasn't black and a man, he wouldn't be who he is. Just like if I wasn't me, I wouldn't be me. And if she wasn't her, she wouldn't be who she is. You see how this all basically says nothing?

We all know her point - he isn't a presidential candidate based upon merit, but one based upon a form of affirmative action. We all know this is what she meant to say. Of course, by that logic, Hillary married into power and George Bush was born into it, as if any of it matters. I believe they call it an ad hominen argument.

To paraphrase Snoop, "Deserve ain't got nothing to do with it."

Monday, March 17, 2008

No Longer Trendy

Someone identified me as a Hapa today...and I realized something - it's no longer trendy to be Hapa. There were a couple years back there, towards the end of college, 2000-maybe 2003/2004 where Hapa was kinda hip...people knew what it was and for some reason, got excited about it. No more. Hapa is no longer hip. But woe is me...stuck being hapa.
Some Iraq Thoughts

Hitchens on Iraq.

"There is, however, one position that nobody can honestly hold but that many people try their best to hold. And that is what I call the Bishop Berkeley theory of Iraq, whereby if a country collapses and succumbs to trauma, and it's not our immediate fault or direct responsibility, then it doesn't count, and we are not involved...

...The past years have seen us both shamed and threatened by the implications of the Berkeleyan attitude, from Burma to Rwanda to Darfur. Had we decided to attempt the right thing in those cases (you will notice that I say "attempt" rather than "do," which cannot be known in advance), we could as glibly have been accused of embarking on "a war of choice." But the thing to remember about Iraq is that all or most choice had already been forfeited. We were already deeply involved in the life-and-death struggle of that country, and March 2003 happens to mark the only time that we ever decided to intervene, after a protracted and open public debate, on the right side and for the right reasons. This must, and still does, count for something."

By all accounts, there are some really gnarly areas of LA. An LA Times story today about a gang who rolled up on a guy who owed them money, doused him with gasoline and tossed a lighter on him. Nice guys.

It happened on the 3500 block of Cesar Chavez, which sounded close by to my old Silverlake-Echo Park haunts. But a quick google map search show it to be best considerably east and south...east of the 5 and south of the 10 in a weird area I can't say I've ever been to...

It reminded me of the time I thought I'd be clever and use Slauson to get over to Century City from USC. Holy shit! Drive 2-3 miles South on Figueroa and you enter gangland hell, a place scary to drive. It's weird to think about these areas...because sure, we're all used to seeing shit or rough patches of the city...from downtown to echo park, but gang-infested areas such as these seem to me, on a whole other level of awfulness, where no "normal" business would bother setting up shop. Where the tone and architecture of the ares makes the message clear - "human life is not worth as much here."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What Not To Say, Part 2

Who knew abortion is not a joking matter to young Santa Monica women? A rather pleasant conversation lead to a question of who the young lady would be voting for and in total seriousness...because there is nothing to joke about here...she said, "Hillary Clinton."

"That's too bad...we, my friend and I, here...are pro-life."

I figured being in the middle of Santa Monica and drunk off our asses in an Irish bar, the humor would be obvious. But no. She literally grabbed her bag and walked off not to be seen again.

In other news, I saw a movie preview on Friday for "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?" a documentary by Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) which looked pretty awful...despite the eerie resemblance to my 546 documentary on a search for terrorists in Los Angeles.

So on the one hand, our culture is making humor documentaries about a mass murderer who openly declared war on our country and is actively trying to kill our citizens, but one can't even joke about being pro life.

Americans Hate A Loser

What would Patton say today?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Maybe I Am A Republican

Times...they are a come eveything I read by/hear about Newt Gingrich makes a ton of sense and everything I hear, read, observe about Hillary Clinton freaks me out?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stuff White People Like

I've always wondered how White I I'm putting myself to the test.

#87 Outdoor Performance Clothes - NEA
#86 Shorts - NEA
#85 The Wire - YEA!
#84 T-Shirts - YEA
#83 Bad Memories of High School - NEA
#82 Hating Corporations - NEA
#81 Graduate School - YEA
#80 The Idea of Soccer - NEA (I do like soccer and play soccer and know about soccer)
#79 Modern Furniture - NEA
#78 Multilingual Children - YEA
#77 Musical Comedy - YEA
#76 Bottles of Water - YEA
#75 Threatening to Move to Canada - NEA
#74 Oscar Parties - YEA
#73 Gentrification - YEA
#72 Study Abroad - YEA
#71 Being the only white person around - YEA
#70 Difficult Breakups - NEA
#69 Mos Def - NEA
#68 Michel Gondry - NEA
#67 Standing Still at Concerts - YEA
#66 Divorce - NEA
#65 Co-Ed Sports - YEA
#64 Recycling - YEA
#63 Expensive Sandwiches - YEA
#62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People - NEA
#61 Bicycles - YEA
#60 Toyota Prius - NEA
#59 Natural Medicine - NEA
#58 Japan - NEA
#57 Juno - YEA
#56 Lawyers - YEA
#55 Apologies - NEA
#54 Kitchen Gadgets - YEA
#53 Dogs - YEA
#52 Sarah Silverman - YEA
#51 Living by the Water - YEA
#50 Irony - YEA!
#49 Vintage - yea
#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops - YEA
#47 Arts Degrees - yea
#46 The Sunday New York Times - yea
#45 Asian Fusion Food - YEA
#44 Public Radio - YEA
#43 Plays - YEA
#42 Sushi - YEA
#41 Indie Music - yea
#40 Apple Products - YEA
#39 Netflix - NEA
#38 Arrested Development - YEA!
#37 Renovations - YEA
#36 Breakfast Places - YEA!
#35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report - YEA
#34 Architecture - NEA
#33 Marijuana - NEA
#32 Vegan/Vegetarianism - NEA!
#31 Snowboarding - NEA
#30 Wrigley Field - YEA
#29 80s Night - NEA
#28 Not having a TV - NEA
#27 Marathons - NEA
#26 Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!) - yea
#25 David Sedaris - YEA
#24 Wine - YEA
#23 Microbreweries - YEA
#22 Having Two Last Names - NEA
#21 Writers Workshops - YEA
#20 Being an expert on YOUR culture - YEA
#19 Traveling - YEA
#18 Awareness - NEA
#17 Hating their Parents - NEA
#16 Gifted Children - YEA
#15 Yoga - NEA
#14 Having Black Friends - YEA
#13 Tea - YEA
#12 Non-Profit Organizations - NEA
#11 Asian Girls - NEA - Being that my mom is an Asian girl...this is a bit weird...and I don't see myself liking the Asian anymore than any other.
#10 Wes Anderson Movies - yea
#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside - YEA
#8 Barack Obama - YEA
#7 Diversity - YEA
#6 Organic Food - NEA
#5 Farmer’s Markets - YEA
#4 Assists - YEA
#3 Film Festivals - YEA
#2 Religions their parents don’t belong to - NEA
#1 Coffee - YEA

YEA's: 55

NEA's: 32

I guess I'm 63% white.
Worst Thing To Say in LA

Last night I was drinking and talking it up with a few ladies. At some point during the conversation, politics came up... I couldn't help but mention I liked John McCain.

"Are you...a...Republican?" As if it were the worst of all possible things.

"You say it like it's a crime."


"Look, I like Obama, Clinton, and McCain."

"Oh, okay."

But I can't let it go...not once it began. Something in my nature...I can't not pick a fight.

"And I think Bush isn't as bad..."


"As everyone would have you believe."

"Let's change the subject...what do you do again?"

"I really admire Reagan as well."

GASP again. (I think the girl is literally thinking at this moment - I kinda like this guy - I just wish he'd take his foot out of his mouth...)

In a condescending tone. "He's the reason why we have all the homeless."

In a satirical tone. "Reagan caused homelessness?"

"Yes, he let all the mental patients out on the street. Do you not care about the homeless? Are you a Republican?"

It's like the Salem Witch Trials out on the Westside of Los Angeles. I can't support the war, express a liking of a Republican candidate, or say anything against the Democrat party line without being accused of...yes, I used the word "accused" of being a Republican. It's like a goddamn loyalty oath at McCarthy hearing.

"Look, you wanna see my bonafides...I watch the fucking Wire all right."

"Oh...I didn't know."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quote of the Day, Indeed

Sullivan's quote of the day.

"People at the top need a relaxed perspective, which gives judgment and balance. Workaholism is an introspection-killing disease, the anxious disability of tunnel-vision middle managers,"

Charming Bastard


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Wire Awards...

1. Best Moment for Unsympathetic Character. Rawls comforting McNulty after Kima is shot in season 1. Herc giving up the cell number in season 5 is great...but I think it's debatable whether Herc is sympathetic or not.

2. Most Missed Character in the Finale...Avon Barksdale. Runner-up, but not very close...Clay Davis.

3. Best saying. "Sheeeeeeeaaat." After season 1, it would've been "What the fuck did I do?" but Clay got so crazy with the "Sheeeeaaaat" and there were so many callbacks by other characters of the Sheeeeaaaaaat...this one is easy.

4. Best futile F--- you to the world moment. Gotta give the shout out to Sabotka in season 2 when he decides to cleanse himself with a day of hard work. Runner up - when Alma shows Gus the empty notebook and Gus goes to the editor's office.

5. Best Wire Coverage. There's been so many great articles on the Wire from the New Yorker to Salon to the Atlantic, but my favorite material is on the Freaknomics blog, the series on "What Real Thugs Think of the Wire." A must read.

6. Worst Directed Episode. Dominic West gets a cameo directing gig in season 5 and has the worst two shots in the entire series - the final shot of Kima doing a version of goodnight moon with a huge pull back shot similar to those in Working Girl or Once...and a scene shot in uber close up with Bunk and Amy Adams in the same episode. Awful.

7. Biggest Badass - Chris Partlow. I know this is a weird call with Omar, Brother Mouzone, Avon, Snoop, Wee-Bay, Marlo etc... But let's put it this way - Omar got the best of Brother Mouzone in their dual. Partlow was a Batman moment away from getting Omar. He trained Michael, who got the better of Snoop. He was a "cunt hair" away from killing Avon himself. He didn't shake when Marlo almost lost his mind in jail. No one ever got a gun on him. He killed 20 + in the vacants plus several more on screen. If I'm going to war on the street, I draft Partlow #1.

8. Best Drunk. Jimmy is fun, but destructive; Lester brilliantly channels an old negro bluesman; Landsman becomes eloquent...if not elegant; but no one can top the Bunk...setting fire to his own clothes to get the smell of pussy out. THE BUNK!

9. Best Parallel. Structurally, the Wire uses a lot of parallels between characters to hammer home similar problems of bureaucracy and staleness within institutions whether it be the police force or drug dealing culture. The series starts out with the parallel experiences of McNulty and DeAngelo in their respective fields. By the end, Dookie-as-Bubbles, Michael-as-Omar, Carcetti-as-Burrell, are a reoccurring favorite, ultimately, was Gus Haynes and the young reporter Fletcher who he's taught the craft of reporting underneath all the corruption and ugliness of other things happening at the paper. The hope in the show comes down to how characters behave within the void of institutions...and the intrinsic value of good, hard-nosed, local journalism shines through.

10. Best "Friends-turning on one another" - Hats off to Bunk and McNulty in season five, but this one is no contest - Stringer v. Avon in season 3.
Wire Awards

1. Scariest character - Snoop. Without a doubt. Even scarier when I later learned she actually did murder someone when she was 14 years old.

2. Best opening sequence - McNulty on a legendary bender. There are several honorable mentions...Snoop buying the nail gun, Clay Davis finding an attorney, and even the last episode - with Carcetti literally unable to speak and Norman laughing his ass off.

3. Saddest Moment - Prop Joe RIP. So many honorable mentions...Kima getting shot, Michael leaving Dookie, DeAngelo going to jail...but that line, "I treated you like a son." "I wasn't meant to play the son." Ouch.

4. Hottest Women - Teri D. Honorable mentions - McNulty's ex-wife and Nerese Campbell.

5. Most Hated - Levy. At different points, you can severely hate Rawls, Valcheck, Marlo, Kenard, Templeton, but no one is consistently as unlikeable as Levy.

6. Best Music Montage - Season 2 - Feeling Alright, Steve Earle.

7. Best Version of opening song - Season 5, Steve Earle.

8. Best Celebrity Guest Spot - Steve Earle. Runner up - Method Man.

9. Best Sex Moment - Although it's tough to vote against McNulty getting caught by patrol cops bending over a bar slut on the car...Herc walking in on Mayor Royce getting a BJ takes the cake.

10. Worst Moment for Awesome Character - Omar turning into Batman.

In words of Daniels..."to be continued..."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Smart Money Buys Oil

I drove buy a gas station today charging 3.75 a gallon for basic, non-premium gas. Holy shit, I thought, I wish I was cashing in somehow.

Just kidding. I actually thought - I'm never driving out to Silverlake again. But I wish I was deeply invested in oil. Here's why:

In a normal gas/oil market, the business is straight forward and simple. Pull it out of the ground for $1, process it, and sell it to the customer for $2. No mystery, no big chance of a demand shortage, just straight forward business. Everyone gets their 10% profits from the drillers to refiners to truckers to the pumps. No tech bubble, no housing bubble, no recession...people still will always need (and pay for) gas.

But in times like these - with oil prices high - comes the real racket. See, when oil prices jump, all other prices have a corresponding jump. Every business that depends on transportation, which is to say, every business has increased costs. Which makes them less profitable. Which makes them less valuable.

So while the cost and profits on gas/oil increase, the value of ALL other commodities decreases. Which means the flush-with-cash beneficiaries of oil revenue can make corresponding investments in depressed industries. It's like getting a windfall of money when all other investments are on sale.

Which is why Exxon Mobil is probably a better stock over the past 50 years than Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, or Apple.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Looks Awesome!

The Dark Knight.

Would you ever be able to say that about the Clinton's?
SNL for Hillary

Will they? Could they? Sway the Dem nomination?

Regardless, this bit is really funny.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mad Scrilla

Golden Compass is making mad money overseas. It may take in a total of $400 mil, despite a weak $70 mil domestic. Odd.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Hot Frog with a Nice Dress

Marion Cotillard uturns on her stupid 9/11 comments. I'd shag her straight.
Post Mortem on Format War

Freakonomics experts on the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray war.

Seems to be consensus Sony didn't "lose," but also didn't necessarily "win." New technology is right around the corner - specifically - On Demand technology and Sony will have to recoup profit from massive expenditures before the new technology overtakes Blu-Ray. They may or may not be able to do this.

PS - Sony calculates that Blu Ray will be a win-win...getting consumers to invest in Sony players, Sony Blu-Ray discs, and Sony content. Typical Sony business practice, trying to get everything integrated...

PSS - Sony is an interesting company. They seem to be about 50/50 with successes and failures. They are a company with more notable failures than most - Beta Max, losing out to ipod and itunes on music, losing out the Panasonic on the prosumer digital camera - and yet every so often they bust out with great new products - Playstation, High End and Low End Digital Film, etc.
Most Admired Companies

Apple. Followed by Warren Buffet's shop and General Electric.
Bill Gates

Slams Google apps.

I love the idea of Google Apps and being able to access all my work from any computer, anytime, and share any document I want. But using the applications is frustrating and without the usability and keyboard short cuts of Office. The other issue is how I use software - particularly Final Draft Pro - and to a lesser extent Final Cut Pro.

Also an issue is working with larger and weird files over internet connections which can still crash or get bogged down for technical reasons.

Ironically, the Google applications which work best are gmail and blogger (both of which do have bugs - as does Office), and I end up using them for different than intended purposes. In particular - I take lots of notes using gmail and saving as draft emails.
Harvard Getting Bent Over

Would you take 20 mil to kick out dudes from one rec center for an hour a day so Muslim women could work out comfortably?

Are we a society that is basically willing to "just negotiate the price?"
So What Now?

Like an annoying and scappy opponent, Hillary Clinton will not go away.

If she ends up winning, it'll be a pretty incredible story. But will she still want to be President knowing that the Barak left didn't support (or like) her and the right...well, we know how the right feels about her.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Question

Was Saddam Hussein the Marlo Stanfield of the Middle East? And does that make George Bush McNulty?
Cost of Iraq

A new book on the cost of Iraq.

Money can be a terribly confusing thing...everytime we see a great deal or a rip off, clearly someone else sees it completely differently.
The Only Good Thing...

about this article is that kids will often not listen to their parents.

Let's hope.