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Month: November 2006

breaking news!

breaking news!

Snoop Dogg was arrested just down the street from me at 7:35 tonight after performing on the Tonight Show …..which is also down the street from me…. which I guess means big stars are down the street from me all the time…..and I suppose they are at Warner Brothers’ studios a lot….which is across the street from my apartment….

hmm…I guess it isn’t that big a deal after all….

website

website

okay, ALL the images work in the art gallery now. Also – those five phantom images at the bottom are gone. The history page doesn’t have a pop-up anymore and the link to the last version of this site is corrected.

I went to look at the blog’s menu problems… if you guys will load up the site in internet explorer you’ll see that the weird images not loading fiasco only happens in Mozilla…. weird, huh?

yes, I know the links on the blog still don’t work… I’ve already spent three hours fixing this junk today… that is enough for one day.

Still on the checklist – put more links on the links page (send me some if there is anything you think deserves to go there…) and edit/update the “about me” section (I just copied and pasted from the last site).

version #9

version #9

Welcome to version #9 of this site. There are some problems that need fixed (i.e. like the menus to the left that don’t work), but I’m going to call it a day since I’ve been working on this all day now. Time for some sleep! There are about 20 new pieces in the art gallery – check it out!

-oh and this site I updated as well. Not as exciting…but a new look.

where I live

where I live

By the way, anyone not from the west coast – next time you see pulp fiction pay special attention to the car scene in the latter third. The wolf comes to a house. Where is that house? Samuel L. Jackson explains to John Travolta that the house is in Toluca lake and that it is “up the street from Warner Brothers studios.” Toluca Lake is an amorphous mass that bleeds into and through North Hollywood, Burbank, Universal City, etc. Alfonso Robero lives there – although maybe he’ll move now that he’s shown he can be a professional singer (yes I’m being sarcastic, I don’t know how that show was allowed to limp along to a season finale).

Today I’m watching “Free Enterprise.” The scene where the boys find William Shatner takes place in the Iliad bookshop on Lankershim boulevard. This bookshop is about two miles from my current apartment and half a mile from the apartment I used to share with Aaron.

It is becoming very obvious that when east coasters watch a movie and assume it is supposed to take place in a small town – it probably is being shot (and takes place) somewhere in the lower San Fernando Valley.

Now if I could only figure out where they shot the scenes discussing “William Shatner’s Julius Caesar,” it looks like a cool place to hang out.

Sadly this movie is turning out to be another “I’m a screenwriter and I’m going to write a movie that shows how much I know about film and popular culture, being a trekkie is cool if I can write a popular movie where we discuss the episodes as metaphors for life.” “oh – and I’m turning 30 like everyone else in LA and I haven’t made it in the industry yet…time to write my own coming of age story.”

Will there be another one in a few years for when I turn thirty, or was that Clerks 2?

The Fountain

The Fountain

This is the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Darren Aronofsky (who also directed Pi and Requiem for a Dream) used mostly “real” special effects (i.e. no CGI). The story is full of metaphor and open to interpretation and you won’t understand what happened (or interpret it in your own way) until a few minutes, hours, days, or never after you walk out of the theater.

Throughout the movie I was thinking “god this music is great too.” The Mayan scenes were incredibly realistic – reminding me of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto (which ironically has a trailer before this film).

After the film we waited and watched the full credits. They were mostly French names that came up. I was not surprised, knowing that all the major studios balked at Darren Aronofsky’s vision. He had to work for years to convince a studio to make this film. Next up we saw that the staff was filled with Mayan history consultants, Mayan architecture consultants, researchers, psychologists, and other notable intellectuals who added intense realism to the film (one of which actually used to work with Aaron at UCLA). Then came the extensive list of painters, over twenty individual painters were involved. After that it was what we’d really been waiting for – the score composer. To our surprise the screen said Clint Mansell (that wasn’t a surprise as he has composed on every Aronofsky film) and Mogwai. For those who’ve never heard of Mogwai, do a search for them in the search bar to your left for my review of their performance at this year’s Coachella music festival. Mogwai is an incredible post-rock band from Scotland. Technically the soundtrack was a collaboration between Mansell, Mogwai and the Kronos Quartet.

This movie serves as an intelligence test. If you can appreciate it – you’re intelligent. If you get bored, too confused, or write it off as “too weird”…you’re dumb.

Sorry, but you’re dumb.

Yes, I know… most people are dumb, and they are the ones reproducing the most.

The future is hell.

OSU vs. UM

OSU vs. UM

Okay, so I turn on the tv this morning to ABC, hoping the local station will be carrying the GameDay feed already. They are not, they are carrying the national ABC news. Each segment ends with a reminder about the game and a shot of times square where “tailgaters” are getting ready for the game. SO FAKE! It was laughable how fake these “tailgaters” were. All white of course. There was a fat “dad” character for each team at the forefront looking at their rival fans and doing things like holding their noses. Everyone had brand new fan clothing. It was weird, I couldn’t decide if it was offensive (like an SNL skit making fun of college football fans) or complimentary (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all). I’m happy that this game is getting the attention it deserves, but what is the point of hiring a bunch of actors to stand on times square in NYC and pretend they are tailgating for a game in Ohio? C’mon!

no, I don’t smoke pot, Dammit!

no, I don’t smoke pot, Dammit!

For the past six weeks or so my eyes have been extraordinarily red. I’ve always struggled with red eyes due to allergies and other sensitivities, however, this was really bad. It was so bad that at an executive council meeting Wednesday several of my peers queried what was wrong with my eyes. Immediately after the meeting I decided to do something about it and scheduled an optometrist appointment for later that day.

The optometrist explained that I had mild allergies, but also a mild infection called blepharitis. Apparently because I’ve been under so much stress lately (and by lately I mean all year long) my oil glands in my eyelids stopped working and infection set in. The infection boiled out and flaked off into my eyes, which is why I always felt like I had something (like a piece of sand) in my eye. The material is full of acid, so in addition to irritating the eye just by being there it burned the eye. So, now I’m putting a dab of medicine in each eyelid twice a day and also putting in Patanol (yes, mom, I remember) drops twice a day.

Two days and $150 later (turns out my insurance covers sight exams, not eye-health exams and medication) my eyes are still red. The treatment is recommended for ten days so I’m holding out hope it just isn’t working yet. The doctor did say the results wouldn’t be immediate. He also said that because this is caused (normally) by stress that he sees it in college students a lot. Which reminded me – I went to the student health services building two or three times when I was in college for eye infections. (see this blog entry from long ago for proof of that) All the exams were short and quick and never returned a diagnosis of blepharitis. Of course, they were also performed by students and not doctors with twenty years of experience. I wonder if I’ve had this condition for ten years and just thought it was allergies the whole time.

Mel Who?

Mel Who?

I don’t have cable tv. I don’t really miss it that much. It has been so long since I’ve had it I honestly forget what I used to watch. What I don’t understand is “trash hour” on network tv. This is the hour after happy hour is over and before prime time begins. The news is done so what do we put on? Every network seems to think celebrity gossip is the answer. Except for the one network that airs Dr. Phil. Now I have never been a regular viewer of the Dr. Phil program. Personally I don’t like the guy. However, occasionally I’ll forget to turn the television off after the news hour ends and (depending on what channel I was watching) Dr. Phil begins. Over the past year I’ve noticed a dramatic change in his programming. Dr. Phil used to explore psychological relationship issues. Now, no doubt to compete with Xtra, he is sliding down the slippery slope into Sally Jessie territory. All this month he is busting cheating husbands and child molesters. He has a running gag called the “Dr. Phil House.” The first incarnation of this House in California was shut down by angry neighbors as the house was used to have angry couples loudly fight out their differences en route to a divorce. The second incarnation – which is the current draw on the show – is to put as many bigots, racists, haters, etc. in the house with the exact person they hate. A skinny girl who hates fat people is rooming with a big fat-ass man who hates skinny people. A black woman who hates white people is rooming with a KKK member. The list goes on.

This got me thinking about our culture of celebrity worship. Our latest little “big story” was Mel Gibson. We are going about this all wrong. Mel Gibson is entitled to his personal beliefs no matter how misguided they are. He is not a politician, he is a private citizen. He said anti-Semitic remarks in the middle of the night where only one other person could hear him. A bigger deal should be made about the fact that he was driving drunk and our penalties for doing such in this country should be much higher. That should have been the real issue. Does knowing he hates Jews make Braveheart not a good movie all of a sudden? Is Mad Max a bigot now? No. Furthermore, Gibson’s attitude is purely a product of environment. Gibson’s father is one of those morons that is convinced the holocaust didn’t happen. Normally when someone is raised in that environment the truth starts to shine in as soon as they move out and go to college. At the age the rest of us went to college Mel Gibson was staring in Mad Max and becoming an international movie star. That star would keep rising and rising. The more money you have the smaller the obligation you feel you have to listen to anybody else, especially the younger you are when the money starts flowing. When this happens the only people who can tell you what to do or how to think are the people who were there for you beforehand; which in this case was Mel’s father, Hutton. This is the same reason Michael Jackson thinks it is okay to climb trees at age 50.

Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic. Is it my problem? No. Will it stop me from watching his movies? No. Is it any of my business what his personal beliefs are? No.

The problem is that in this country we aren’t taught to think, we are only taught to follow. We become outraged about something a celebrity said without stopping to question if we should even care at all about what he says. Now, if a politician said “Jews suck” then we should perk up and listen (which is ironic because we obviously don’t…even when they molest children); but Mel Gibson is not in any power of authority over the American people. His opinions don’t matter. I remember when Entertainment Tonight used to report on movies, and not just the people starring in them.

working behind the scenes

working behind the scenes

I’ve been quietly amassing new artwork for my next update for this website. Expect a new site up for this and LongImage by January 2007. For this site I’ll be using photo-realism techniques for the main layout for the first time. On LongImage I’ll have a much more extensive portfolio. I have between 10 and 15 new pieces for the gallery on this site as well.

I’ve quickly run out of space to store all of this – so last week I bought a 500 Gigabyte external hard drive. 500 Gigs can now be had for under $300; a whole Terabyte is only $445. You can probably find it even cheaper than that – but I’m talking about Maxtor drives, which many consider the gold standard in hard disc storage.

At the same time I knew I had to do a complete reinstall of windows as my computer had been getting extremely slow and actually freezing up about twice every hour. I moved all my files to the external drive, reinstalled XP, and everything runs smoothly now. Finding all the install discs for everything was a bitch – but I was able to locate them all within a few days (there aren’t a lot of places to hide in a 450 square foot studio).

Ma and Pa made their travel reservations last week. They’ll be visiting me from December 22nd to 26th. For some reason everyone here in So Cal (at work anyway) is amazed that I’m not flying “home” for thanksgiving. I didn’t last year and nobody seemed to care, maybe I’ve just made new friends since a certain wicked witch of the west can’t insist I avoid coworkers at all costs any more.

Begs the question though – what WILL I do next Thursday? In years past I either spent it with my family or a certain girl’s family. Now I fear I’ll be sitting in my apartment alone eating microwave fish sticks. I wonder if the book store will be open.

This reminds me of something. Why is thanksgiving always considered a “white people” (and also “black people”) holiday? Immigrants seem to think it isn’t something they should incorporate. The spirit of the holiday is bereft of religion, politics, etc. so people of all races, nationalities, and religions should be able to celebrate it …unless they have something against eating a lot of food with your family… Yes, I know the origins of the holiday are slightly flawed, but today the holiday is purely a time to “give thanks.” Who could find fault with that? Chinese Americans don’t celebrate it because they…don’t want to give thanks?

as much as I hate the state patrol – Ice Cube was wrong

as much as I hate the state patrol – Ice Cube was wrong

From time to time in a slow news season things like this tend to pop up.

I have to weigh in on this. Anyone who takes the side of the “victim” in this incident (and thousands like it) should be committed. Yes, police brutality is wrong. However, every time this happens the victim coincidentally isn’t exactly a Stanford Alumnus on his way to give blood at the local Red Cross before going to work and performing brain surgery at Cedar Sinai.

Let’s look at this latest incident in question. I’ll put some choice quotes up. With them OUT of context maybe you’ll start to see my point.

“gang member William Cardenas”

“only a fraction of what transpired”

“Cardenas was resisting”

“wanted on charges of receiving stolen property”

“Cardenas ran”

“he was resisting”

Everyone who is protesting for this man – get a clue! You want to know how you avoid police brutality? Here is a tip sheet for you:

#1 Don’t break the law

#2 Don’t break parole

#3 Don’t run from the police

#4 Don’t threaten the police

#5 Don’t resist arrest

#6 Speak clearly, concisely, and quietly to police or not at all

#7 Do exactly what law enforcement officers tell you to do at all times

A similar “outrageous” police incident happened a short while ago here when police shot and killed a man holding a baby.

What Jessie Jackson and family members of the “victim” won’t tell you is that the police were summoned originally because the man was already shooting at random people on the street before police showed up. They also make light of the fact that the man verbally threatened to kill the child (his own) if the police didn’t leave and then proceeded to use the child as a human shield. Oh – and never mind the fact that while holding a baby in his arm he used his other arm to point and fire a gun at the police officers that were trying to convince him to put down the baby.

What is it these people want? Don’t you want criminals to fear the police? If a gang banger thought he’d get shot if he runs from the police don’t you think that would be a more effective deterrent than “don’t worry, there will be an extensive internal investigation if those cops lay a finger on you while you resist arrest.” Never mind once these criminals ARE arrested they get free housing, food, legal representation and health care – which trust me in Los Angeles is not cheap. Maybe fewer cars would get stolen by teenagers if the kids knew they’d get the shit beat out of them when the cops finally pull them over. Getting your jaw broken by a 300 pound LAPD officer is scarier to a young punk than getting six months of probation.

I want a brutal police force, don’t you?