Saturday, November 15, 2003

Uneventful Day

I got up at around 2:30 pm feeling very groggy because I really didn't get a good night's sleep. I made the mistake of drinking 3 mugs of water before going to bed. A painful toothache also kept me up for a good portion of the night.

I had stacked pancakes with banana and strawberries for brunch. I enjoyed the pancakes quite a bid, but was really weirded out by the serving of orange on my plate. It was served with the top half of the skin peeled, so that the flesh is poking out. As soon as I saw that, I started thinking about that scene in Hannibal in which Anthony Hopkins removed the top part of Ray Liotta's skull and then fed him his own brain.

On the way back to my apartment, I saw an old woman trying to get her pug to move. She tugged on the leash, but the little monstrosity stood its hideous ground and refused to move. God, that dog was ugly, with its scrunched up face and its disproportionately large eyes. "He's not moving because he always gets a grape from the fruit vendor here," She explained. Unfortunately for her, the street vendor doesn't work on weekends. I just don't get the point of having an ugly pet. It's not as if a pet's personality can make up for its ugliness: "I love my dog because he has such a great sense of humor." If I were to get a dog for a pet, I think I would get a golden retriever. They look beautiful, not to mention loyal and friendly.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Quality Entertainment

From WE, the Women's Entertainment network:

Movie name -- "Butterflies are free"
Plot summary -- Hippie frees blind neighbor from mother.

He's Alive

While watching the Rockets-Mavs game, I finally caught a glimpse of Jeff Van Gundy. Wow, he actually looked healthy and lively and energetic, quite a contrast from his ghoulish Knicks days when he looked like a sickly giant panda with those huge black circles underneath his mournful eyes. The first time I saw him on TV, I wondered if he had just been reanimated. He also reminded me of those creepy ghosts in Chinese horror movies with his unnaturally pale skin tone. Maybe he still gives Yao Ming a scare from time to time.


* The other night when I was shaving, I noticed 5 or 6 hair sticking out of the area just above my nose bridge. I am somewhat concerned about this new development as I would rather not have a uni-brow.

* Stupid Time Warner Cable doesn't have Episode 26 of Six Feet Under on my HBO On-Demand channel, even though it's listed on on the schedule. Every other episode is on the system except the season 2 finale of the greatest show ever. Who actually wants to see Mind of the Married Man?

* My Little Brother was AWOL at the gathering yesterday, which is actually not a bad thing because I was 50 minutes late myself as a result of a meeting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

My New Ride

Read about it and drool!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Support The Troops: White House Doublespeak

What's a better gift for POW's who were tortured in the first Gulf War? From MSNBC: "The U.S. government told a federal judge on Tuesday that it did not want to use seized Iraqi funds to compensate 17 Americans held as prisoners of war during the 1991 Gulf War."

Exerpt from White House press briefing:

Q Scott, there are 17 former POWs from the first Gulf War who were tortured and filed suit against the regime of Saddam Hussein. And a judge has ordered that they are entitled to substantial financial damages. What is the administration's position on that? Is it the view of this White House that that money would be better spent rebuilding Iraq rather than going to these former POWs?

MR. [Scott] McCLELLAN [White House Spokesperson]: I don't know that I view it in those terms, David. I think that the United States -- first of all, the United States condemns in the strongest terms the brutal torture to which these Americans were subjected. They bravely and heroically served our nation and made sacrifices during the Gulf War in 1991, and there is simply no amount of money that can truly compensate these brave men and women for the suffering that they went through at the hands of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. That's what our view is.

Q But, so -- but isn't it true that this White House --

Q They think they're is an --

Q Excuse me, Helen -- that this White House is standing in the way of them getting those awards, those financial awards, because it views it that money better spent on rebuilding Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there's simply no amount of money that can truly compensate these brave men and women for the suffering --

Q Why won't you spell out what your position is?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm coming to your question. Believe me, I am. Let me finish. Let me start over again, though. No amount of money can truly compensate these brave men and women for the suffering that they went through at the hands of a very brutal regime, at the hands of Saddam Hussein. It was determined earlier this year by Congress and the administration that those assets were no longer assets of Iraq, but they were resources required for the urgent national security needs of rebuilding Iraq. But again, there is simply no amount of compensation that could ever truly compensate these brave men and women.

Q Just one more. Why would you stand in the way of at least letting them get some of that money?

MR. McCLELLAN: I disagree with the way you characterize it.

Q But if the law that Congress passed entitles them to access frozen assets of the former regime, then why isn't that money, per a judge's order, available to these victims?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's why I pointed out that that was an issue that was addressed earlier this year. But make no mistake about it, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the torture that these brave individuals went through --

Q -- you don't think they should get money?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- at the hands of Saddam Hussein. There is simply no amount of money that can truly compensate those men and women who heroically served --

Q That's not the issue --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- who heroically served our nation.

Q Are you opposed to them getting some of the money?

MR. McCLELLAN: And, again, I just said that that had been addressed earlier this year.

Q No, but it hasn't been addressed. They're entitled to the money under the law. The question is, is this administration blocking their effort to access some of that money, and why?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't view it that way at all. I view it the way that I stated it, that this issue was --

Q But you are opposed to them getting the money.

MR. McCLELLAN: This issue was addressed earlier this year, and we believe that there's simply no amount of money that could truly compensate these brave men and women for what they went through and for the suffering that they went through at the hands of Saddam Hussein --

Q So no money.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and that's my answer.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Dear Mama

I have never been a huge Tupac song, but today I heard "Dear Mama" again on an MTV special. That song gives me chills every time I hear it. Such a beautiful, heart-felt song. Here's the lyrics. Everyone should download, ahem I meant buy, a copy.

You are appreciated

Verse One: 2Pac

When I was young me and my mama had beef
Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool
with the big boys, breakin all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister
Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama
When things went wrong we'd blame mama
I reminice on the stress I caused, it was hell
Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
And who'd think in elementary?
Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
And runnin from the police, that's right
Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, mama
You always was a black queen, mama
I finally understand
for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
There's no way I can pay you back
But the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

Chorus: Reggie Green & "Sweet Franklin" w/ 2Pac *

Don't cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
Dear mama
Place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated
Don't cha know we love ya?

* second and third chorus, "And dear mama" instead of "Dear mama"

Verse Two: 2Pac

Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair
No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger
wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along
I was lookin for a father he was gone
I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs
They showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin
I needed money of my own so I started slangin
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks
It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
I love payin rent when the rent's due
I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
Cause when I was low you was there for me
And never left me alone because you cared for me
And I could see you comin home after work late
You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
Ya just workin with the scraps you was given
And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
But now the road got rough, you're alone
You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


Verse Three: 2Pac

Pour out some liquor and I reminsce, cause through the drama
I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I'm hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act craaazy
I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me
And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away
If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on
It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


Sweet lady
And dear mama

Dear mama
Lady (3X)

Matrix 3

Saturday night I went to dinner with this guy Phil, who is actually working for another company that is doing some consulting for us, and some of his buddies. Phil told me this funny story about how when he first started working on site at our company, he caused quite a stir among the group of gay guys working around him, who were bitterly disappointed to find out that he was in fact not gay (he found out about this from a hot lesbian girl he was hoping to date. I can't believe I never realized that there are so many homosexuals working at this company, but then again I only interact with 4 people on a day-to-day basis). I told him that I was also unsure about his sexuality initially because no hetero guy I know has ever called me "Mr. Gary" and speak with such deliberacy (I don't ever remember hearing anyone using the word "apropos" in a conversation with me). Then he told me about going to a gay bar with a couple of gay guys because he thought their hot, straight female friend was going as well. The bad news was that she didn't go. The good news was that he actually made out with a straight girl in the bar. Some guys just have a way with women I guess.

Anyways, the movie. I came. I saw. I left. That's all there is to it. I think I like it better than the second one, mainly because all the bad reviews had drastically tempered my expectations. It could have been so much more. But that was not to be. I have to admit that seeing the progressive deterioration of the Matrix trilogy is akin to watching the most brilliant, promising, perfect prodigy one has ever seen grow up to be a raging alcoholic, heroin addict, manwhore who shoots himself to end the misery that has become his life. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but then again here's Phil's analogy: it's like watching a goldfish swimming in an aquarium with a trail of shit behind it; the goldfish is the first movie while the shit is the rest of the trilogy.

Afterwards we went out to a bar, had some drinks and watched Phil make a fool of himself singing "New York New York" on Karaoke. When I left at 1:30 feeling tipsy from my White Russian and one other drink (Stoli Vanilla with Diet Coke I think ), he was talking to a cute girl who apparently enjoyed his singing.

It felt good just hanging out with a group of guys, even if I didn't really know two of them all that well. It was so much less taxing than having dinner one-on-one with a girl friend. I should do this more often. It's a good thing that Phil lives only 10 blocks away.