Thursday, February 28, 2008

Last night I watched Tekkon Kinkreet, the anime based on the phenomenal serialized manga and graphic novel of the same name, by cult mangaka Taiyo Matsumoto. Magnificent!

I first encountered Taiyo Matsumoto on my second trip to Japan in 1998, by way of my friend Kentarou, also an artist. I picked up Matsumoto's first artbook, Hyaku (One Hundred) on Kentarou's recommendation, and then and there I was hooked.

One thing that I find done so well in Japanese manga -- Matsumoto in particular -- is the world through a child's eyes, as well as what one could argue is the ultimate conundrum of the human condition: the line between good and evil, and that blur that makes life so interesting.

Like my famed Japanese instructor in college always said, the Japanese rarely invent things, but take old ideas and make them better. In the characters Kuro (Black) and Shiro (White), Matsumoto takes two old symbols of death and purity (or, used together, the stark lack of grey area), imagines them as orphaned street kids, and drops them into his fantastic scribble-scrabble of narrow, crazed back streets in a Japan forgotten under the neon and noise.

This is a sentimentalist's Japan, laced with old school yakuza drinking in alleyway nomiya while old ladies shop for discounts at the once a month village bazaars. But this Japan is also alive with a childlike sense of wonder, and fear, as well as the impending creep of modern "progress." To me, it's the romanticized, contradictory Japan of my parents' time there -- full of wonders and mystery and knowing, yet innocent, gritty, and full of tired resignation in its promise of what is to come.

The film Tekkon Kinkreet is very true to the original works. Beautifully rendered, with a compelling story full of the importance of fidelity, acceptance, and love -- with a little bit of Zen thrown in for good measure. I was wholly impressed, especially with the successful adaptation to screen of the spirit of the mad, intricate, and dreamlike art of Matsumoto. The attention to detail was amazing. There is a background scene where a mini rocket punctures a large hot-air-type balloon in the shape of an animal head, and the way the balloon careens and then deflates, causing an explosion, is actually breathtaking. Bringing movement to White's vivid imagination is also put to the test, and it is just as phenomenal, whether in its simplicity or its schizophrenia.

Highly and enthusiastically recommended.

Be happy, be happy.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

After the meatfest that was the Sugo Di Carne I made for Oscar night, I was pretty beefed out and in need of vegetarian love. And oi, I made something AMAZING tonight!

Zucchini Rice Gratin with Sauteed Spinach

My tweaks: Being a whole grain nut, I used short grain brown rice and I increased it to 2/3 cup. I also added a shot of half and half to my two medium eggs and substituted a pat of butter for one of the tablespoons of olive oil for the onions, as well as substituting rosemary for thyme. It turned out fab -- so rich and flavorful.

Note: I recommend lightly greasing your casserole or baking dish with a bit of olive oil.

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My friend Todd is is working on opening an izakaya in San Francisco, and he has created a marketing survey with the request to pass it on to any food and booze loving folks I know who might want to help him out -- as well as post it in pertinent places where foodies and boozers congregate.

Your identity and answers will be kept strictly confidential, and what's more you could win a prize, yo!

Click here to take survey

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh glorious article in The Japan Times on the best theme bars in Tokyo.

The Japanese are theme-bar crazy, so culling the list down to these few must have been quite a feat. I've only been to relatively boring theme bars in Japan myself -- chandelier-theme, cafeteria-theme, American liquor only-theme, cabana-theme. I have been to a kickass but outrageously expensive jungle-theme restaurant though (on the same night, BTW, that I went to a three-story techno dance club with no visible windows where everyone was smoking, and imbibed the crappiest Bloody Mary ever known to man). And I have also been (twice!) to a super cool gay underwater-themed disco bar -- which believe me is something not only because of the heavy stigma still attached in Japan to homosexuality, but because as a woman, I'm not even allowed into most Japanese porn shops, much less into a gay bar.

I'm listing this one in its entirety in case I can't find the article again before my next visit, because I am SO going:


There's a monk in full robes, sitting at an altar chanting. A few yards away, another monk is pouring a Scotch for a customer. Yotsuya San-chome's Vowz is one of three loosely related Vowz bars in Japan (the others are in Osaka and Tokyo's Nakano), each of which was established by Jodo sect Buddhist monks to stir interest in their religion.

If nothing else, Vowz suggests that if you're going to be a Buddhist, you should be a Jodo Buddhist. Bartending monk Yoshinobu Fujioka says that it is "pretty much OK" for his sect to do most of the things that you might think Buddhist monks don't do. Such as drink. Or run a bar. Or eat beef jerky. Or buy wines with reptiles pickling inside.

For less liberal believers, the menu offers hanya, a rice wine that, says Fujioka, is the one form of alcohol that even their pious brethren can drink. There are also numerous idols to worship, and enthusiastic bartenders happy to discuss the faith. Vowz is a true place of prayer, a seat of learning and a pretty good spot for a beverage.

2F 6 Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku; (03) 3353 1032. Open: Mon.-Sat., 7 p.m.-1 a.m.

Righteous! Or, er, not very righteous, but awesome!

I think I'll have to try and hit that Gothic Lolita bar too, if just for drinks called "young Gretel's suffering (vodka and cocoa) and tragic marionette (whisky Cointreau), whose bitterness, claims the menu, is provided by tears."

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Marion Cotillard, you are so deserving of the Best Actress Academy Award for La Vie En Rose, and you were also the best thing about the Oscars last night.

Okay, maybe the second-best thing, next to a swoon-inducing Javier Bardem (in a beautiful four-button suit) picking up Best Supporting Actor and thanking his mother -- who he brought as his date to the Oscars -- in Spanish. All of the women present in the room I was in swooned in unison. Take note, boys.

Anyway, love Marion's Gaultier dress. Love her old-school Hollywood glamour and her humility. Love her!

Also, I squee madly at this sweetness:

James McAvoy is truly sex on a stick, but he and his wife Anne-Marie Duff are so lovey and cute and modest and solid that one feels downright filthy for ogling him so.

So, I'll end this with the fact that he was absolutely robbed of a Best Actor Oscar nom (not win, but nom) for Atonement. That's the brain talking, swear! :)

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Threat to Our Way of Life: Giant Pythons!

The giant snakes are slithering from Florida toward the Bay Area, very slowly to be sure, but inexorably. And they can strangle and eat an entire alligator.

The U.S. Geological Survey released a map Wednesday showing that the Bay Area has comfortable climatic conditions for the python. It also said the reptile, which prefers to swallow its prey in one gulp, is "highly adaptable to new environments" and cannot be stopped.
(emphasis mine)

The snakes weigh up to 250 pounds and slither at a rate of 20 miles per month, according to USGS zoologist Gordon Rodda. They are not staying put. In fact, one of them has already slithered about 100 miles toward San Francisco.


At 20 miles a month, a determined Burmese python from Florida could arrive in San Francisco as early as August 2020.

Oh SF Chron, you rascal -- it's not even April 1st! Though I must admit it is slightly exciting to imagine pythons or anacondas or some other crazy shit in San Joaquin Valley irrigation ditches, eating coyotes and city folk. I suppose to be safe, in 2020 it'll be time to move to Denver.

I feel compelled to say yet again that this is why I don't live in Dixie -- the Australia of the United States.

Completely off the subject, but I dreamt last night that I was in a fast food restaurant where there were live kittens curled up in those flat french fry boxes like you get in a cafeteria or stadium, and then being placed under heat lamps and people were picking them up like rotisserie chickens.

must. stop. being. ill.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I know I said I'd not post one again. So shoot me, I'm a filthy liar, but this is just too brilliant to pass up.

After the rain, Lawton and 49th:

(Pic by Trevor -- who not only deserves praise for tolerating my more freaky obsessions, but for not complaining when infected by them himself)


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm so sick with the flu. I only get sick about once a year, so woo-hoo -- here's hoping I've put my time in for the rest of 2008 because this flu has been a royal pain in the ass.

Positive side, I do get a bit of time to catch up with some things. Like this freaky Japanese real doll website my friend sent me. Totally NSFW unless you work in the sex industry or in an office full of horny dudes in a country with no sex harassment laws, but you must check it out if only for the "breasts motion picture" in the Q&A. Creepy, but I suppose someone who is spending upwards of six grand for silicone companionship needs to know these things. Also watch for the explanations of the "marriage hole" options. The Japanese take their craftsmanship very seriously.

In more tame unreal women news, I just picked up Woman's World by Graham Rawle.

From Diesel, A Bookstore:

Painstakingly assembled from 40,000 fragments of text snipped from womens magazines, this strange and wonderful novel moves at the breakneck pace of a pulp thriller. A stunning visual tour de force, "Womans World" is also a powerful reflection on society's definition of what it means to be a woman.

Check it out:

(you really really should click to embiggen)

How cool is that? Even if the story ends up so-so, the book is a piece of art.

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Trevor's been suggesting different ways for me to deal with people who repeatedly interrupt my work to help them with ridiculous things, or who tell me in the course of asking for said ridiculous things that their computer is broken when it is, in fact, off (true, sad, and repeat offender story).

I've culled the list down to:

1) Leave a Bowie knife and a whetstone in my desk drawer. When someone comes in to my office to ask me why their document is "broken," rather than explain page layout for the umpteenth time, instead take the knife and stone out, look them in the eyes, and slowly sharpen while they talk.

2) Any person who has ever had me get up from my work to come over to their desk and explain again that clicking "cancel" instead of "save" is why their document isn't saving (yes, I'm serious) must fight me in a cage match before I will consider any request from them for computer help.

3) Ask every person who comes in my office to talk to me to first close the door, from the other side (thanks IT Crowd!).

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Okay, here's something decidedly not complaint-ridden and more lovely to behold -- my Valentine's Day gift from Trevor of earrings from Favor in Oakland.

I reciprocated with tickets to see Red Sparowes at Bottom of the Hill in March. BTW, we are so the same person -- we placed our gifts to each other on the other's pillow. Silly monkeys.

Also went to Santa Cruz Friday to get massaged and just sit in the sun with an iced coffee and read for a bit. Am currently reading No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy -- the author of one of my top books ever read fame. It's a pageturner, and quite intense; in fact, I almost don't want to watch the film for how intense the book is, save for the bits on Gootube that I have seen with the excellent, Oscar-nominated Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh. Besides being a real gore phobic, I'm so haunted by films lately -- took me forever to get over Atonement.

Anyway, the novel really makes you ponder your own mortality, and how you live, define, and value your life. Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with a friend last night about a class her friend is taking where students are told they have 6 months to live and they are supposed to live just how they would if this were true. So, her friend quit her job and left to backpack through Mexico. The combination of this book and pondering this class has been hitting home for me how quickly life can end and how important it is to have satisfaction in one's life no matter how long one is alive.

Trevor and I were talking about this today. How if we were told we were to die in 6 months both of us would up and quit our jobs and school and everything we've been investing in for our now and our futures and set out to be vagabonds around Europe, making our way any way that we could. But you know, the thing is, we could do that tomorrow if we wanted. And we could do that the day after we sign a mortgage or buy a new car or get a badass promotion. We know this. So the real lesson to learn is that you must keep your dreams alive and vital in one hand while always seeing to it that your life can continue happily in the other. Life can end in a second, but finding the balance between balls-out and everyday life is where you find satisfaction and happiness.

And today I was so happy on a long evening walk, hand in hand with my sweetie-pie, bellies full of Gordo burritos and cumin candied pecan ice cream, talking about just these things.

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium"

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

I feel like all I've been doing is complaining lately, but I just have to post what's currently pissing me off. From this article, in a nutshell, it is namely:

1) State officials say the amount of pesticide applied shouldn't pose severe health risks, but they've also refused to rule out that the spray can affect humans, particularly sensitive people such as children and the elderly.

Or people with lungs, or skin, or eyes. Read on...

2) The U.S. Department of Agriculture obtained an "emergency exemption from registration" from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that allows the agency to use the pesticide in aerial sprays over California cities. Because of that exemption, the spraying program isn't subject to state approval, according to representatives of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Not subject to state approval. That has all kinds of implications for future nastiness.

3) There is no widespread infestation of the light brown apple moth, but U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say they are trying to head off a potential disaster.

Check out this fact sheet about Checkmate -- the pesticide being used -- and the light brown apple moth.

What is laughable is the assurance by the Feds that since the EPA has no concerns about the pesticide and even allows farm workers into the fields after spraying, we shouldn't worry either. This is the same EPA that exempted power plants from new mercury emission rules and needed a Supreme Court order to force them to regulate greenhouse gases. Um, yeah, sure -- I feel better already.

Less important, but still relevant: what happens to organic farms in the area? Also, my inner conspiracy theorist is inevitably suspicious about being used as a guinea pig for other more destructive applications, like biological weapons. This isn't right, and it smells fishy.

To paraphrase Senator William Proxmire – ‘If a foreign government crop dusted our children and our cities with powerful, secret, untested, unwanted pesticides – we would consider it an act of war’

David Dilworth, Nov 2007, HOPE Executive Director

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Also, why we kiss.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I am so glad I graduated from my high school 16 years ago and was not around for this utter shite.

It is Web-based, so [Vice Principal Pat] Chabot looks up the videos on his computer. He can also track people along the cameras as they go from place to place on campus.

"It's digital, we can go back at least a week, possibly two weeks," Chabot said. "What's neat is I can just type in whatever time and date and I can see what happened."

Internet security and privacy issues at the very least aside, again, I thank god I graduated from this godforsaken place in 1992 when all we had to worry about were hapless narcs who looked like 1983 and asked you for weed after talking to you for 15 minutes.

Sorry, the impetus for these cameras does not sound like protecting students, but more like Panopticon shenanigans. Welcome to the real world, kiddies. I'm glad to see that my government's excuses for gross privacy violations in the name of the smallest bit of security are finally filtering down into the redneck high schools of NorCali.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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Oh people, get over yourselves.

The parents also say that the "Juno" line also plays on racist Asian stereotypes in an unacceptable way.

"Could you have made that joke with any other minority?" Scott says. "I don't think so. You'd catch hell."

No, you can't make that joke with any other "minority" (nicely charged word choice there, but sorry to inform you: the issue is China's policies, and native Chinese and their children, not Chinese-Americans) because there is a grain of truth in the line they reference. And racist Asian stereotypes? Where?

I feel silly having to point out that it seems many parents who are complaining sought out China as a place to adopt children because of truths this line references; mainly, the proliferation of available children in China because of their policies and culture, and the relative ease at the time at which one could adopt. Issues, anyone? Nevermind also that this line is said by a smart-alecky teenager who is pregnant. Bitch please, this is why it's funny and also meaningful to the storyline.

Stop projecting your issues around your own whiteness/privilege/guilt and the adoption of your Chinese child from parents who probably couldn't take care of her and/or wanted a better life for her, and stop making your child a victim. Your kid will be happier for it.

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I'm sure many have noticed (ha, how I flatter myself) how I have been ducking the issue of who to endorse for US President in this blog. That's because I had thought I was having a hard time with this upcoming election.

A little background: I turned 18, registered as a Democrat, and began voting around the Persian Gulf War. I re-registered under the Green Party years ago for many reasons -- mainly because I support their platform around social and environmental justice, but almost equally because I think the Democrats have lost their progressive way.

Don't get me wrong, though. If we begin with the establishment bleh of Al Gore and John Kerry, I can say I am regularly in awe of how far the United States has come Democratic candidate-wise during the cold and dark grip of 8 years of Bush/Cheney. I've been reading voraciously about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- a black man and a woman! Both of whom have credible chances of effectively leading the most powerful country in the world (for now). But funny that therein was part of my so-called difficulty.

As much as I would like a woman or black president for the US, it seems unconscionable to me to vote for a candidate based solely on gender or race. But then, here's this article from the Economist last month about how the rest of the world would see the election of a black man or a woman to the American presidency as an act of atonement.

It is striking that many Europeans skate over the political views of Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama and instead treat their fight as a simple Rorschach test of the health of the American dream.

So, yes, unconscionable or not, it's the truth of our human struggle and the reality of global relations. I suppose it's a good thing it's these two running and not catch-all Condi!

But who are they beyond color, gender, liberal soundbites? Obama is young, and -- relative to Clinton -- politically green, but also educated and motivated, and a long-time progressive activist. He's also a born-again who seems to take Thomas Jefferson's separation of church and state to heart. Clinton is more establishment, but she's also a social liberal, and has got the political know-how and experience in Washington as well as internationally.

As someone with a distrust of the old boy network, and with a perpetual optimism that grassroots can always kiss it and make it better, I definitely leaned toward Obama from the beginning. But nagging me was the stark reality that no matter how much political idealism one has, one must remember that cronyism is the way the political game works. Detested as she is by the far right, Hillary has connections in spades, and she's a hell of a lot better than the Republican alternatives. But something still just wasn't right for me with Hillary.

Yesterday, I read a simple and short article by Christopher Hayes in the current issue of The Nation about the fundamental difference between Obama and Clinton. My answer was there all along, but I needed a look at it laid out plain for me to realize it: it really comes down to Clinton's foolish, rash, and cowardly initial 2002 vote authorizing the use of preemptive force against Iraq vs. the unpopular vocalization against it by Obama (joining the brave and consistent anti-war stance of my own US Representative, the admirable Barbara Lee). Another truth: After the catastrophe of the last 8 years, America -- and the rest of the world, for that matter -- needs an American president who will lead us with a voting history of consistent integrity around the health and well-being of our global community. Therein lies the promise of real progressive change that can conceivably translate into reality. So the answer is Barack Obama. And it seems I'm not the only one who thinks so.

It is true that I will support Hillary if she is the candidate who is chosen to lead the Democratic charge -- it is imperative to oust the greater of the two evils if we're to salvage any shred of dignity we have as a nation and contribute to global affairs in any constructive way. But a Democratic ticket with Barack Obama as president, now that would make me proud to vote Democrat again.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Just got the the new Xiu Xiu.

Yet again I understand why Xiu Xiu shows have a gaggle of eager Jamie Stewart groupies standing at attention, rapt, at the foot of the stage. The man lays his heart bare, disregarding the fact that it resembles the scene of a high speed multiple car wreck where all the occupants are ejected to varying degrees upon impact. We can't look away, even though we want to throw up. Meanwhile, the multiple mangled car stereos are all still cranking out their last dirges, punctuating clanging metal, sputtering hoses, or episodes of eerie silence -- creating a cacophonous yet strangely melodic soundtrack to the carnage.

There is the magic.

Every adjective that I have used in the past to describe this band and their work is the same for this album as well. And yet each new album is completely unique. You know the action movies where someone is caught in a room with a ticking time bomb? And the camera pans to their frantic eyes while they watch the clock? Women as Lovers listens like what I imagine it feels like to personally watch those last few seconds before the

Love of beauty is Taste; the creation of beauty is Art

Ralph Waldo Emerson

(I totally stole that line from the cover of the lovely March issue of Vanity Fair. But I merely have Taste, you know?)

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Marvel Zombies fan trailer!

EDIT: Awww, it's been removed. Will repost the video here if a) it gets reposted and b) I remember to look for it.

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Just reading in the San Francisco Chronicle Travel section about the demise of the postcard.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, or simply enamored of a romanticism of the early twentieth century -- which includes the dawn of world travel within the reach of the masses -- but I love postcards, and the handwritten letter. As I sit in front of a computer and diligently blog about my life and what interests me, I am still of the belief that information and correspondence has in some ways become useless because of its easy proximity; thus, we often do not value or really ingest anything that is conveyed. Hand-letter-writing and receiving is so tangible and grounding, and I believe it tames that go-go-go, scan and discard mentality so prevalent with email and MySpace and such.

So, besides my egalitarian leanings and love of jeans and Vans (oi, and my wicked wicked iPhone), I think I sometimes do belong in my romantic version of 1940s Paris or London (a Blitz-free London, of course). Ha, but even then I'd probably be pining away for the times before the proliferation of the telephone yet declaring I am also anti-corset but pro-penicillin, as well as wanting to opt out from the Black Death or dying from cholera. Even though hardship is part of the romanticization, long live my hyper-romanticized Victorian era or Wild Wild West!

Things change, for better and for worse, and in the end you've just got to be mindful.

But I digress: I love collecting postcards from friends and their travels; in fact, that's the only thing I ask for when someone offers to pick up a souvenir up for me. It's true what the article states, though: they take time, people are lazy, and the new technology allows us instant gratification. I guess that's why I love them so much though -- it really demonstrates someone was thinking about you wherever they were.

Some of my favorites -- definitely for the locations, but most for the stories contained on the flipsides:

The studio portrait was mailed to me as a postcard from my best friend while she was traveling through India. She wrote a whole story on the back about finding it and haggling for it. Apparently once the shopkeeper got wind of the fact that she was actually into buying one of the myriad 70s discarded portraits he had in a dusty box, he began to regale her with stories about how popular they were with hotels as decorations, and thus were far far more valuable than she had previously thought. :)

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday was the day that happens every couple of months or so when I take a mammoth thrifting trip to San Francisco and hit the flagship Goodwill in SoMa and then coast along through the Mission, stopping in at Thrift Town, on my way to the Ocean and Mission Goodwill in the Excelsior District.

Sorry about the non-scenic view of the last link -- it seems StreetView isn't quite down yet with the Excelsior District. Pity, because besides being a home for tons of ethnic restaurants and shops, there are always some cool things to see there.

Like today, for instance:

BTW, have I told y'all lately that I am loving my iPhone? I love having internet, email, texting, mobile, and a frikken camera yo!

I know, I know --I quote Mr. Lynch: "It's such a sadness, that you think you've [taken a photograph] with your fucking telephone!"

I am so riding the train to douchedom.

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Drunken truths:

1) Zombies are the most blue collar of all the monsters.

2) "Raised by Women" would be a kickass band name.

3) The Knights Who Say "Nerd": 20 Pop-Cultural Obsessions Even Geekier Than Monty Python

Yes, I know someone who knows what "Next time we run MC, sheep one of the core hounds while I rush in and pull aggro. Damn, I wish they hadn't nerfed paladins" means. I sleep with him. Proudly.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Haha, check out these Star Wars action figures that unintentionally look like celebrities.

Slave Leia/Christian Bale = eerie. I'm slightly uncomfortable.

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My sweetie-pie is co-teaching a Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu basics seminar on Saturday in San Francisco. Be there or be square.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I have a burning desire for Oscar nominee Marion Cotillard's dress. Perfection!

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Oh great.

San Francisco Targets Artery-Clogging Trans Fats

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to begin a City Hall push to get artery-clogging trans fats out of the food served in San Francisco restaurants.

With the approval of the city's leading restaurateurs' association, the board voted unanimously to institute a voluntary program in which restaurants that pledge to cook without trans fats will receive a decal that can be displayed to let customers know their food is being prepared without partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

The legislation's author, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, said the next step is to make the ban mandatory
. (emphasis mine)

I was totally behind the ban on styrofoam, as well as the ban on petroleum-based shopping bags. I recognize the logic in having to force people to do the right thing for the planet because it's here for everyone, and also because there are a hell of a lot of selfish and smug good for nothings in the Bay Area -- SF in particular -- who will not walk the walk when it really comes down to it.

I hate trans fats and find it disconcerting when they are used when there are better alternatives out there. I don't even mind the voluntary decal -- I think that's great. But c'mon! A mandatory ban? Education is fine, but after that people should be responsible for their own individual health. If someone still eats a donut after being told it will make them fat and clog their arteries (like I do*) well, that's their choice.

*only when I can't find The People's Donut. So good.

Hey San Francisco Board of Supervisors: isn't there a path of potholes on Duboce or a homeless crack addict robbing a tourist or someone defecating in the Civic Center BART station that needs attending to?

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Monday, February 04, 2008

My sweetie-pie, Trevor Calvert, has new poetry in the February issue of The Scrambler. They are from his ongoing series (one of my favorites) about Punch, of Punch and Judy fame.

Click to read or listen.


(Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: your ass got saaaacked)

I'm really not into American football at all. But I love myself some Super Bowl party action, especially this year when one could see someone by the name of Manning either in the stands or on the field.

And I don't even understand all the rules, but today's game was fantastic, a real nail-biter. Those Giants -- what a team. A real testament to hard work and perseverance and respect for just playing ball with all you've got, no grandstanding. So, being able to say this is just gravy: in your face, Tom Brady! ;)

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

It seems I may have dismounted from the low-tech high-horse for good.

Wait for it...

I now have an iPhone. Me, of all people. And yes, it is so insanely cool I don't think I quite know what to do with it, or myself.

It's the end of the world as I know it, and I feel fine. I think.

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Bits about things from across the pond...

Wonderful article about my favorite jefe y capitán, Patrick Stewart, in the New York Times (linked via SFGate because those bastards at the NYT make you register).

About his latest role in Macbeth:

So charismatic is Stewart as an actor that he can make the simple act of preparing a ham sandwich one of the scariest things you've ever seen



You know, San Francisco was hailed as both a commie nanny state and environmental savior for banning plastic bags. Oakland is being taken to court over it. But it seems Ireland had successfully and quietly implemented a more comprehensive ban, in 2002. Spoilt and entitled Americans, take note, and read about some serious results. Another sad realization that the US is no longer a leader in even the most simple of things.


Apparently there are New Fears Over Boozy Britain. But come now -- is the UK really so different than any Westernized country? I mean, really, aren't we all the same kind of miserable and medicated?

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Most people who know me know I have no love for the Croc. I have no problem with them as, say, shoes for gardening or nursing or anything else where you might be slogging through bits of wet filth. I am even okay with them as beach shoes, again, with the wet filth and all. But when did these become acceptable as everyday footwear? It's like sweatpants when you're not at the gym or cleaning your house -- it's akin to giving up on life.

I was at a workshop the other day where the moderator wore these infernal things. In bright orange. At a workshop. With a dress shirt! I could hardly concentrate. Unacceptable!

But now, now I've seen it all. I saw these in person. Made me throw up in my mouth, just a little.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

My good friend John gave me and the hubby the full collection of the excellent Japanese anime, Death Note, in Japanese with English subtitles. I haven't read the manga, but the anime is so well-done -- I'm addicted! These little gems are beautifully rendered, classic cat and mouse game vignettes, punctuated with the Japanese obsession with oddball, preternaturally intelligent, ennui-inflicted teenagers and crazy ancient gods.

And of course, there are the requisite ubiquitous J-pop anthems by bands with names like Maximum the Hormone. Righteous!

Check out the trailers on the official website, see some bits of English dubbed episodes on Adult Swim, or you know, get it how you can. Highly recommended!

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