Friday, July 18, 2003

I Would Rather Have The Girl

New Apartment Pics!!

I finally had time to take pictures of the new apartment and the surrounding areas. Surprisingly, it actually doesn't look too shabby. Too bad I couldn't get near the UN building because it closed at 5. Maybe I'll snap a few pics on the weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Hanging Out

I just came back from dinner with Paola, a friend from Branner that is in NYC this summer for some modelling jobs. I showed her this great Japanese restaurant in St. Mark's Place on the lower east side that had 1.) great food; 2.) reasonable prices; and 3.) enough portions to actually fill me up. I don't usually go to Japanese restaurants often because I find the cuisine a bit "different" and too expensive, but Julia definitely opened my eyes when she took me here. Now, it's one of my favorite restaurants in which to hang out with friends. Actually, that entire area is lined with cool restaurants and shops.

Anyways, we had a lot of catching up to do over dinner because I haven't talked to her in a while. Apparently, she won a $30K modelling contract with Wilhelmina, (not Wilhelmina Scouting Network, the shady company that Tolu had worked for a while ago) and is in town to do some photo shoots with places like Seventeen, YM, Bloomingdale's, etc. I was confused when she told me that her budget is a bit tight. "What about the $30K that you won?" I asked. She explained that the $30K is more like an expense account that she could use for things that would build up her portolio, i.e. getting her pictures taken by a professional photographer, going to the stylist, buying make up, etc. She doesn't actually get to keep that money. It's sort of like a scholarship for people who are endowed with beauty, rather than brains, although she certainly has an abundance of both. Even though she goes to all these photo shoots, she only gets paid if the magazines/stores use her pictures. Her agency also takes a cut. Before she explained all this to me, I didn't know anything about the modeling business since I don't have any other model friends. It's an interesting business model I have to say.

Then I told her all about my boring life and my boring job, with occasionally interesting anecdotes here and there. I'm pretty glad that the restaurant seemed really Americanized because neither of us knows much about Japanese food or even the proper way to eat it. Oh well, we had a great meal. Talking to Paola just made me miss Stanford and all my friends back there even more. I wish they could all move here and hang out with me in this great city.

While we were walking on the street looking for an ice cream shop, we walked by an ordinary-looking movie theatre that had 3 stretch limos and a stretch Navigator parked outside of it, as well as 3 more limos parked around the corner. One of the drivers told us that there were some celebrities at the theatre for a movie premier starring one of the guys from the Sopranos. Neither of us had ever heard of the movie before, which was called This Thing of Ours. Since the movie would be over in 15 minutes, we stuck around and waited to see the celebrities. We saw some guy who was waiting for Steven Tyler to come out and sign an autograph for him. He had been waiting there for more than 3 hours. We chatted with him for about 15 minutes before the photographers arrived. Then people started filtering out of the theatre. I didn't recognize anyone other than Steven Tyler. Man, that guy is old: Dude look like an old shoe. He even walked like Ozzy. When the fan went up to him for an autograph, Steven said something to him that I couldn't hear. It probably wasn't "fuck off" since the guy followed him to the side of the street, along with his entourage of bodyguards and his wife. A couple of minutes later, the fan asked Steve again, but his wife said, "give us a minute please," as he was talking on a cellphone. And then the limo came and he jumped in. His wife turned around and said, "Sorry, but we have to go." They were actually a lot nicer than I had expected, being the celebrities that they are.

Since Paola has a shoot tomorrow she had to go back early. I wish we could have hanged out longer, damn it. One thing that she said before we parted was that people in this city are really friendly. My jaw dropped when I heard of that. "I think that has more to do with you than the attitude of the people here," I replied. She said, "Yeah, I guess it must be harder for guys to make new friends here." I could only smile.

Possible Idea For New Movie?

A week ago I got an audiological screening courtesy of my company and the League for the Hard of Hearing. When I first heard the name, I thought, hey, that sounds like a group of super heroes, except they are all deaf! I bet they can make a movie based on that.

The screening didn't uncover any hearing problems, much to my relief, since I've been listening to my iPod for hours at a time on my thumping, cavity-plugging earbuds.

Greatest movie soundtracks

In no particular order:

* Magnolia (One is indeed the loneliest number and Aimee Mann rocks)
* Dancer in the Dark
* Pi
* Run Lola Run
* Requiem for a Dream (scared the shit out of me)

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Liberation From Comical Ari

Former Iraqi Information Minister's counterpart in the White House, Ari Fleisher, finally stepped down from his post as press secretary yesterday, to the collective relief of rational Americans everywhere. This is the man who has been covering Bush's ass from behind the lectern for the past two and a half years with "a bunch of bull."

Among his greatest hits: "I think the burden is on those people who think he [Saddam Hussein] didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are." Huh?

Sadly, his replacement doesn't seem like much of an improvement. Here's a description of Scott McClellan from the Washington Post: "The 35-year-old Texan is soft-spoken, self-deprecating and so cautious that he makes the man he's replacing, Ari Fleischer, sound like a gangsta rapper."