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Exit ArchiveArchive for August, 2004

Broken, detached rearview mirrorRemember when I hit that guy’s mirror just over a week ago? Well, here it is. Which makes sense, because I didn’t see any glass on the ground around the Impala after I hit it. I thought it strange at the time, but not worth fretting over. Maybe it simply disintegrated or… Who knows?

I noticed yesterday, after over a week of barely driving, that I had tiny, sharp shards of glass in my car from the accident, which made sense because my window had been open. So today at work, where we have a cordless vacuum, I went through my car sucking up the dangerous pieces off the seats and floors.

There, under my driver’s seat, was the entire mirror. I guess it had ricocheted through my car and landed under my seat, since it could not have slid there from the other side. Thankfully, it did not bonk me in the head. I like my head.

This find makes it even more remarkable that my mirror sustained only cosmetic damage. I like to consider it proof that Hondas are well made and Chevys are, well, crap.

Just curious — exactly how long can one person be in Anaheim?

So interviewed at this place right across the street from the federal bldg. If I end up working there, LOOK AT HOW close we’d be !!!

Then I can bend ur ear and talk all the time cause I swear I need to vent right now and even tho you’ll probably get my more upset by playin devils advocate like you always do, usually I always walk a way learning something or taking in a new perspective.

Where are you dude?

oh yeah, anaheim.


Fair and balanced “review” of “THX 1138” based on Thursday’s screening — click on the homepage button. [Nah, click here.]

Did I mention Jeff is leaving his job on Friday and starting a new career in real estate? I’ve no doubt he will succeed, but it is scary like you wouldn’t believe knowing that I will have to carry the mortgage, the monthly bills and the taxes entirely by myself for at least a few months. To say it adds a bit of tension to the relationship is to understate things just a tad.

Give and take. Ebb and flow. Come and go. Little o’ this, little o’ that. It’s the way life works, I guess.

Looking back, I find that many of the “executives” at Disney are among the worst-behaved, least-appreciative, most-demanding people in the industry, a hard-to-swallow fact that’s compounded by the fact that their company seems to be imploding on them and that they are precariously poised at the precipice (alliterative, no?) of obsolescence. Which is not to say Lucas may not cease to matter in a few years — sure, that’s possible. But viewed in the continuum of Hollywood, the Disney needle certainly seems to be moving back to the left, and no one there is willing to admit the mess they’re in. Which only makes their juvenile behavior, especially to those who work “for” them, even less tolerable. You can tell I have quite a high regard for the Mouse House these days. Now watch — I’ll go back. Heh.

I’ve spent most of my own day in a bit of a funk. I take a medication (no “THX 1138” comments, please) on a daily basis and have long done just fine on half of the recommended daily dose. Last night, for no reason whatsoever, I decided to take the full pill. I have regretted it all day, and been in a lazy, somewhat hazy mood, which I hate. The weather up here doesn’t help much, as it only turned sunny at about 3 p.m. We’ve had no summer. Jeff is at work, I’m doing all of our laundry so we can get through the week without worrying about it, and the dogs are bored silly.

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So I got a double dis tonight.

One of them was this: A designer here asked me if I’d included chart designs in our meeting theme on the Mac. I said I included charts up the wazoo. Then he turned and talked to my boss right in front of my face about how it wouldn’t take him any time at all to make them better and more interesting.

Sigh. I think sometimes I try for the wrong people. After getting a great compliment yesterday about my work, today was a little let-down. Yes. Some people don’t deserve my efforts. They just take it and don’t give anything back, or they don’t take it at all though I’ve tried.

But the rest of this week should be good. I promise to post something more fun later on…

I’ve just experienced a dose of double instantaneous karma.

I got back home from running an errand I really wish I hadn’t had to run. A clothing place was re-sewing all the buttons onto a shirt I’d bought because, thanks to some poor worker in Kazakhstan (no kidding!), the buttons didn’t align with the button holes.

So I had to go pick up the shirt before I leave for a week in sunny Anaheim.

On the way to the shop, I ran a red light on Melrose, trying to get through it because I was frustrated with traffic and Matt, who was too lazy to leave his house to meet me for food.

I cringed! Running a red light! Okay, well, I didn’t kill anyone. I turned left onto a street to park. As I slowly trolled for a spot, there was a sudden BAM! *crunch* and I saw pieces of someone’s rear-view mirror shatter past my windshield.

Scared the hell out of me at first, but then that was instantly replaced with “God dammit!” Of course, my mind went through the “leave a note or just run for it?” debate. Finally, knowing that this kind of thing had happened to me before, I pulled over and left a note with my number.

I picked up my shirt, in a foul mood, and thankfully it fit correctly now.

On the way back to my car, I decided I had to record the info on the car I hit, just in case the guy (only guys own Impala SSs) decided to say I’d hit his Bentley. As I finished up making a voice memo on my new cell phone, a guy in a mohawk came up with his stunningly beautiful girlfriend. He was looking at me funny, which was understandable.

After explaining that’d I’d smashed his mirror and was just getting his car info, he said he was so shocked and impressed that I’d stopped that it was no big deal. I could just give him $100 and we’d call it finished.

I walked to an ATM and gave him the cash. The whole time, he was vocal about how cool it was that I’d stopped in the first place, how narrow the streets can be, and how most people just normally scoot when that happens. We chatted for a few minutes, then went to our separate cars.

Instantaneous karma. Run a red light/smash a mirror. Stop to leave a note/get off with only having to pay $100. All within 15 minutes.

And in case you were wondering, my mirror was fine. Just some bad scuff marks. Whew!

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I went on what could only be described as a Costco field trip this afternoon during lunch. I joined Richard, Jackie, and Barry–all of us arriving in three separate vehicles!–at the semi-evil and addicting store in Burbank for purportedly business reasons.

After checkout, both Richard and Jackie were gently attacked by the cashier, who informed them that they could use the Executive Member card instead of their normal Costco Member cards and receive 2% back on all their purchases.

People magically came from off the scene and took both their cards to examine account histories and conclude that, indeed, they could each probably pay for the $100 annual fee in refunds alone, thus getting membership for free!

Richard didn’t believe them, since his spending there was only perhaps nearly enough for the Executive card to pay for itself. Jackie, however, who shops there a lot for work, was a shoo-in for the honor. She accepted and, minutes later, had her newly-pixelated mug happily shining from the back of the snazzy black Executive card.

Little ol’ me, who leeches the benefits of Costco membership off these friends of mine, does not shop there enough to ever warrant a regular membership card, much less a card upgrade of such extravagance. Just like buying a house here in L.A., I’m out of the game entirely.

However, a banner ad on Wired News made me think about how I am, in fact, a winner in the world of 2% returns. The ad was for ING Direct, an online bank. I started an account there over a year ago after Wells Fargo decided that it was okay for them to pay me maybe 0.001% interest on my savings there AND start charging a $3 monthly fee. I dumped them like a bad cable company, joined ING, and have been exhilarated ever since.

The exhilaration partly comes from knowing that I’m banking solely in the ether of the Internet. A certain amount of “money” goes from Disney, through the ether, to ING every week. The non-existent money sits in a virtual space. Sometimes I transfer the air money across another channel of ether to my Wells Fargo checking account if I need extra funds, which tend to go, sans any physical means, to pay bills using online methods.

While technically Wells Fargo works the same way as ING, the fact that I can’t go to a surly teller or an ATM and ask, via my bank card, to visit my ING-housed money in the flesh makes the ING banking experience rather theoretical and, therefore, exhilarating.

The exhilaration also comes from what is now the comparatively astronomically high interest rate I receive for keeping nothing at ING–currently 2.2% annually. My interest each month can actually be expressed in dollars instead of cents!

Which made me think that, while Costco requires me to spend money to make that 2%, at ING all I have to do is not spend it and make even more. I come out ahead. And ING doesn’t require that I buy an 80-pack of fruit chews for the privilege.

I’m coming to L.A.! I’m coming to L.A.!


The dogs have worms.

I just thought I’d share.

So, I guess we will never learn your views on “The Village”?

How about “Open Water”? We saw that one last night. I’m still having bad dreams.

I just received an invitation to a grand gala for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The minimum price is $1,500, or I have the option of paying $10,000 for “Platinum Seating.”

Hmm. Let me consult the Quicken oracle…

Shucks. Guess I’m not going.

Never one to doubt the veracity of honest science, I post the following link in response to the past posting regarding how smart Mac users are. I am not without a sense of fairness…

iPod vs. The Cassette

Round Table PizzaThe pepperoni pizza we had at lunch today said the Google IPO was a good investment, and a slice of Hawaiian-style told me I looked not a day over 25. Honest, my tuckus! Sounds like they got this slogan from a street vendor in Encino.

A decidedly non-scientific and very questionable study by LinuxInsider columnist Paul Murphy has shown that Mac users are smarter than users of other operating systems. Or, at least, we use better English. Including stylish employment of sentence fragments.

The Cult of Mac summary is here.

The original article is here.

I’m leaving this afternoon to go to San Diego. Tomorrow is my 20th high school reunion. I’ve never felt more uncertain about anything in my life. Twenty years? Well, at least I’ll get my fill of Berlin, Laura Branigan, Lionel Richie and INXS.

Manga peopleI feel very sorry for Manga characters. I have been reading some samples of the kind of Manga I normally avoid, the books having been acquired for free at Comic-Con the other weekend, and my heart goes out to all those poor characters who suddenly lose facial features when they are drawn smaller than normal.

It’s bad enough, I imagine, for these characters to constantly be sweating raindrops when nervous, or for a Reich star to appear somewhere on their faces when angry, but that must be nothing compared to the embarrassment of suddenly losing their detailed eyes, noses, and mouths to more easily-drawn geometric shapes, like ovals and half-moons. Their bodies, too, often undergo amazing simplification, and the long, supple limbs they may have had on page 45 suddenly shrink to Mario Bros. proportions on page 46.

When these tortured ink people are drawn so tiny, it is often while they are showing most of their emotion, meaning these odd manifestations of themselves are contorted into wacky, cartoony positions. They also have to dodge the tiny spirals or hearts or flowers that have been spawned within close proximity. How rough for them all!

It’s the real tough-guy characters who must find all this the most distressing. They might be moving along quite comfortably in a violent fantasy world where people are sliced and maimed with bloody abandon, only to find themselves shrunk and Hello Kittied in the middle panel. How are they to be menacing and deadly when they have saucer eyes and a Lucky Charms mouth? Impossible!

Thanks to this over-reliance on artistic übersimplification, the artist might also visit some more horrors upon his or her characters by describing everything they do using cute little text asides. Instead of being trusted to convey action and emotion, the poor Manga people are left to move about through a maze of quips and throw-aways which explain to the obviously moronic reader that, in fact, Mitsuo is ignoring Mitsuru and, in addition, thinks he is an ugly poopy-pants.

Then there’s the final insult: The non-emotive “animal” sidekicks. Our poor abused Manga friends might have to share their limited space with some kind of creature that resembles an animal the same way a ping pong ball resembles Hamlet’s friend Yorick. Eyes of simple punctuation, limbs of simple ova forms, creepiness of simple simplicity, these often-floating fauna add the cherry to the genuine Manga experience.

I know this is all cultural, that the Japanese love cute things, but I prefer to stick to titles like Akira and Lone Wolf and Cub, which, while enjoying their own artistic liberties, don’t go in for any of that bloopy bopsy giggle tee hee hee aesthetic. A few of the newer titles I’ve been reading, like Vagabond and Planetes, are serious works that, nevertheless, stoop to the occasional Manga iconification of their characters. It’s distracting. I’m not getting used to it after hundreds of pages of reading. It is out of place to me!

But then again, so is raw fish.

Where are your oft-promised reviews, oh Lord of the ROTS?

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Thanks to Matt Lum, I now know about being able to listen to the speeches I missed at the Democratic National Convention. Just like the 9/11 Commission hearings, iTunes now has the Democratic speeches for free!

If you haven’t heard Barack Obama’s speech, that’s the one to hear. If this man is not President someday, I’ll eat my stylish head covering.

This link will work for Mac folks, but, as Matt said, no idea what PC iTunes users will get…

PS: I went to college with a Wren. Wren Mifflin. She was a bitch from Mufreesboro, Tenn. I loved her!! Go Wrens!