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Month: March 2009

The Real Birthday

The Real Birthday

Yesterday Byron and I had pizza from the “New York Pizza” place on my block.  I’d often bragged about how this place made the best pizza ever.  Well, something must have happened, because I was wrong.  This was not the best pizza ever.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.  The sauce was bland and lacking.  The crust was soft and sweet (which is good) but not at all crisped/blackened like one would expect.  Also, whereas over a year ago when I’d ordered it with my parents there was a preponderance of grease, there was no orangy runny grease anywhere.  That absence of grease is good health-wise I’m sure, but bad flavor wise.  My model for this grease level will always be the high school cafeteria pizza that had an underneath crust with zero exposed dry area, the entire bottom was greased with… grease.


After eating pizza Byron presented me with a birthday gift:


click to visit description of book
click to visit description of book

After our pizza we invited Yaw to join us for a trip to Yamashiro.  Apparently Monday is 90s night up there.  And not the good kind of 90s either.  Byron and I tried to have a serious discussion about our artwork to the Night at the Roxbury soundtrack.  It didn’t happen.

The Weirdest birthday. part III

The Weirdest birthday. part III

I opened up my mail today to see two birthday cards from two Aunts (thank you Aunt Alice and Aunt Ruth) and…. a jury duty summons from LA Courts… what a great birthday gift!  Their timing is impeccable (except when you’re waiting in line)!

Saturday alsos

Saturday alsos

The outpouring of birthday love continued on Saturday. Sam baked a dish of potatoes Au Gratin and brought a birthday cake (remembering that my favorite was strawberry shortcake/white cake). 

After eating we went to watch Fuel in Encino.

Fuel didn’t have a lot of new information.  In fact it was kind of annoying, in the way that Inconvenient Truth was annoying when Al Gore started talking about growing up on the (multi-million dollar) “farm” in Tennessee.  Except Josh Tickel is not Al Gore.  I didn’t care that Josh grew up in Australia and then Louisiana.  Guess what buddy, I grew up in a “cancer alley too” – a lot of Americans did.  Oil refineries aren’t the only causes of air pollution.  Switching to biofuels isn’t going to cure the cancer my family members get from living downwind from chemical plants (what an ironic name huh, “plants”).

Of course the film ends with a “total package” of all the ways we can stop pollution.  However, this appeared very thrown together, and in a Q&A with the editor after the film this was a confirmed late addition to the movie.  In fact, all the celebrity interviews were late additions.  Apparently the original film was just this Josh Tickel guys autobiography.

He did show us some interesting things, like the oil producing algea and how no oil company has been held accountable for the damage from millions of gallons of oil that leaked after hurricane Katrina.  However, if you’re going to make allegations like Hurricane Katrina was actually caused by oil companies (warming up the water in the gulf), you’d better spend more than 30 seconds explaining the science behind it.  Also, talking about peak oil and then showing us a schpeel about how we had an oil crisis in the 70s dilutes your point.  When you show someone it happened before if just makes you think “okay, well, it happened before and we still have oil… so nothing to worry about.”

Basically everything in this movie was done better by Zeitgiest II, Inconvenient Truth and Who Killed the Electric Car.  And Josh is confused why his “life’s work” isn’t getting more press/promotion (there were about ten people in the theater with us).

Byron day V

Byron day V

On Friday Byron and I were all set to go to Shamshiri before he hoofed it to Disneyland, but we were alerted via Justin to an impromptu car show unfolding in the previously-known-as-albertson’s parking lot.  Here are some shots:

Really well kept Camaro.

Is this a challenger?  Reminds me of Death Proof.

This funky piece had a camaro or a corvette under it… I forget which.

These morons apparently got wind of the “show” and thought they’d show off.  They drove up and looked around and saw REAL cars and high-tailed it out of there (presumably with their faux-bentley tail between their legs).

the rust and scrubbed paint patterns on this old Ford were great.

and then, finally, with stomachs screaming out….

I convinced Bryon to go against his squeamishness and get the lamb neck.  The soft, sweet oh so delicious lamb neck.  He was a little hesitant at first, but eventually succumbed to the Flavah!

The Weirdest Birthday. Part II

The Weirdest Birthday. Part II

Yesterday in the mail came a nondescript manila envelope.  The return address was from my uncle.  It was then I remembered him asking me for my address as he wanted to send me something from my distant past.  I opened up the envelope and in between pieces of cardboard were several drawings and coloring book pages from when I was 5 and 6 years old. 

Now I feel bad, because I know my uncles birthday was in the last two months, but when I went to wish him happy birthday I discovered I didn’t have his phone number or current email address…

I’m not sure how my uncle came to posses these pieces, but he’d kept them for over twenty years in mint condition.  It is kind of strange discovering something that is completely yours, something you made and ought to take ownership of – but can’t remember it at all.  There was even a drawing of the Challenger blowing up, which was quite strange.  I say strange because my generation is the generation that supposedly sat around in school and watched the whole thing happen.  For the longest time I was under the impression that my school (I would have turned five years old and been in kindergarten at Warren Elementary)  did not show the launch because I had no memory of it (I do have other memories from that age).  Perhaps this is still true, but the fact that I made a drawing of it calls that long-held belief into question.  Some other drawings raise some interesting psychological questions, which we’ll explore below.  What I didn’t scan and won’t post were the coloring book pages, which were done very deftly, always within the lines and with watercolor no less.  Leaves me wondering why I never attempted watercolor again in the last 25 years….

In fact, since the Challenger exploded in January 1986 when I was technically four years old, that means many of these drawings were probably made at a younger age than that noted.  The challenger drawing was noted as being done when I was 6.  However, I wouldn’t have been 6 years old until March 1987…. that would have been an eternity at that age and so I’d probably have forgotten all about the Challenger by then.

Scary guy in forest?

I like how there are four astronauts with smiley faces… then an arrow and kaboom!  Perhaps I didn’t quite connect the explosion with their deaths; maybe I thought they were still up there somewhere and the explosion was their jump to hyperspace like the Millenium Falcon. 


A dancing silver dog catching a fisbee… and apparently I placed a value of $ on the piece.  Note the pre-emo dual ear piercings and collar.

At first I thought this was some magical Michael Gondry house, then I realized it was a helicopter.. I even put arrows to show what goes where.

I’m guessing this is a shriner asking for money with his pockets pulled out to show lack of funding…

This is some sort of vehicle.  Not sure if the thing in the front is a pine tree or a giant uncovered engine (tractor pull style).  It sure does pollute though – a young Andrew was obviously very concerned about the environment.

I couldn’t figure out what the heck this was … a “rat-poodle-toad” getting run over by a “six door” school bus?  Byron had the brilliant observation that maybe I was just drawing a license place on a bus.  What is the animal for though?

play-doh acrobat?

the description on this one is pretty accurate (“using snow tube”).

No description on this one because, well, I’m sure they were just as confused as I am now.  Clearly there is a woman with red boots and something else.  A man with a beard?  PacMan?  My contention is that this is an early Zoidbergconcept and I ought to sue the pants off of Matt Groening.

…imagining Matt Groening pantsless… maybe I better rethink that plan!


I have to get my uncle’s information to thank him for this faux nostalgic,  mildly disturbing and thoroughly hilarious birthday gift.

The weirdest birthday. Part 1

The weirdest birthday. Part 1

So this is shaping up to be the weirdest birthday.  Since my birthday technically isn’t for another three days I’m going to chop this up into parts in case anything else strange happens.

Part one involves a rather large styrofoam package being delivered to my office:

Upon opening….

And finally, contents are revealed:

One very large cheese wheel, two “Trail Bologna” packs and two reusable freezer pack things.

Gotta hand it to my mom for always doing something….different.  Now the race is on to devour the bologna before it out dates on May 11th.  I have a feeling I have less time than that as it starts to harden up once the package is opened – and since it hasn’t been properly refrigerated for the past couple days on its journey that probably shortens my time even more.  I think I’m going to have to enlist some help.  The cheese faces similar problems – as mold begins as soon as the package is popped, and a chunk that big would ordinarily take me a month or two to work through.  I’ll have to make some Alfredo pasta or something this weekend….

thanks, mom!