Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Get on the Bus!

I did! It's true! This one in fact.

I awoke earlier than usual yesterday morning-- and with determination I marched my way over to Ackerman Union to get the the #6 bus heading towards LAX to work. I got to there on time-- it took me 30 minutes to get to Culver City and I read 15 pages of Virginia Woolf's' The Waves on the way.

The annoyance of traffic was lifted off my shoulders for a mere 75 cents as I relaxed to and from work. I even got a work out walking to the bus stop from my office and home. It's a win win situation and you feel good for doing it. So do it! Get on the bus!!!

and I'm a PC

Friday, January 26, 2007

After Apple Picking

My Favorite Robert Frost Poem to end the week.

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Los Angeles Subway

What would we call it? The Metro? Underground? Tube? Whatever it may be a subway in Los Angeles would be the most exciting thing to happen to Los Angeles since the Dodgers came to town.

The complex subway system, developed by Damien Goodmon (whose initiative Get LA Moving is supposed to have a site launching any second now) is brilliantly laid out and would be a welcome relief to traffic, it would aid LA economy by allowing larger groups of people to move about the city a lot easier-- and of course helping the fight against global climate change. Los Angeles has major reconstruction plans for downtown which would be unrealistic without some sort of plan to accommodate increased traffic and transportation issues.

When I met with Mayor Villaraigosa last year for SNM the idea of a subway was considered, "cost prohibitive" without the help of federal funding. The plan is said to have an estimated cost of 40 billion dollars-- and with the federal deficit being as high as it is, the idea does not seem plausible.

But after the President's SOTU address this week-- and a newly announced commitment to fight global climate change-- and eliminating America's dependence on foreign oil-- the idea of sponsoring the subway system (even a fraction of it) of Los Angeles to some sort of energy efficient and environmentally friendly mass transit system could be a step towards getting the President some needed good press. It would show the American people that he was serious towards his commitment and who knows, maybe he could do something GOOD for the U.S. before he leaves office.

I left the meeting Villaraigosa jaded and underwhelmed with the proposed improvements to our transportation system. I remember him saying, "if everyone would take the bus or any other transit system to work just one day of the week-- it would improve traffic drastically," I also remember thinking to myself, "Do YOU take the bus to work Mr. Mayor?"

I think not.

It would be up to Angelenos to rally behind the Get LA Moving initiative, unless we stand up and demand a public transportation system worthy of our great city we'll have to stick to single passenger vehicles, smog and increasingly congested traffic.

Peter Bjorn and John

You may remember that I had mentioned Peter Bjorn and John in an earlier post. I found the video clip while perusing the "Not-So-Exciting Life of Brian M. Palmer" to read his take on "Zach Braff’s 10 Easy Tips for Writing Films About Twenty-Somethings®" (which is hilarious and if you haven't read it you should).

Below is the music video for Peter Bjorn and John's Young Folks, thought I would share and I hope you enjoy it.


I had the privilege to read Persepolis while at UCLA for a post-colonial, post modernism class and enjoyed the graphic novel very much-- so much so that I bought Marjane Satrapi's second part of the story.

While perusing the New York Times I found out that they have made an animated film from her story and couldn't be happier for her. Not only is it a good story but it'll give perspective towards the life of an Iranian-- one that doesn't involve enriching plutonium and denouncing the Holocaust.

You can read her blog at http://www.marjane-satrapi.com/ in which she discusses the process of making the movie among other things.
If you haven't read the book, you can look at some strips of the novel here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Is it just me or...

Mr. Smithers and Mr. Lieberman bare a striking resemblance?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hillary in 2008

Media outlets are going wild over Hillarys annoucement that she will be running for President in 2008.

Personally I don't know what all the huff is about considering she has been building funds and preparing for a Presidential campaign since 2006.

Boyan immediately asked me if I was going to vote for her, and not to sound like a traitor to the Democratic party, or some sort of anti-feminist-- but I had to reply that I wasn't sure.

At this point in America's history I do believe it's time for a women to be in the white house. I also believe its time for us to have a black president-- but that doesn't mean I'm going to vote for either because of their gender or ethnicity. Voting for either Hillary or Barack in 2008 based solely on these reasons would mean America was placing them in the white house due to the shear novelty of having them there.

The country is so divided and it's foreign relations are so precarious that settling for the "lesser of the evils" as we have done in 2000 and 2004 (well, if you voted Democrat anyways,) or voting based on the reasons outlined above would be completely irresponsible.

Why can't we get a candidate that wants to do what's best for the country. One that will try to unite the country under the banner of bi-partisanship? Hillary's speeches give me the feeling that she is building herself up for fame-- is she too concerned with being the first Woman president that she would forget to be a good President to begin with?

Is Barack playing his cards too safe in trying to placate both sides of party lines? McCain has shown what a lily liver he can be when pressure is placed on him with his bullshit condemnation of Kerry after a joke went awry. Who is going to stand up and be the President the country needs?

I'm not going to vote on novelty, I want a President who will stand up for the country-- give faith to it's citizens and do right by our foreign neighbors. There was a time in history when a President was a man who people felt they could trust, a person who they knew would act in the best interest of the nation. I want to vote for someone like that, and not settle for the leftovers.

Is it just me or...

...is Bindi Sue Irwin, 8-year-old daughter of recently deceased and beloved Croc Hunter Steve Irwin-- turning into the next Jon Benet Ramsey?

While I was an employee at Borders one of my responsibilities was restocking the periodicals section. Just shortly after Steve Irwins death pictures of Bindi Irwin begun appearing on every magazine cover geared towards family life, children, and even People Magazine.

I'd shirk a little bit and blame it on America's obsession of keeping the Crocodile Hunter's memory alive with his daughter...

That was until I found out that Ms. Bindi is planning on attending a gala dinner with Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts, Has a planned appearance on the Letterman show and is performing a concert tribute with her "back up band" the Crocmen for her father.

Among these things she is promoting a new video named, "Bindi Kidfitness" and has a television series coming out this year called, "Bindi, the Jungle Girl," on the Discovery channel.

I'm sure there is a lot of pressure from the Irwin's PR group to push Bindi and capitalize on the situation, but what is her mother thinking? Can't they honor the life of Steve Irwin without exploiting his death?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Gallery of the Absurd

Earlier I posted about my top six sites of the week-- After looking back at Petals archives and happening upon this image I remembered that I had been looking for the Gallery of the Absurd.

True social commentary of our time, please spend some time perusing this site.

If you want to see more visit the Gallery of the Absurd

iMedia News

I got a promotion (and a raise) today!

No longer am I Assistant Editor but Associate Editor and in charge of the Creative Showcase section for the site. Hurrah!

Its said to be the fastest hire-to-promotion in iMedia history. Drinks on me tonight friends!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Top 6 of the Week

Here is my list of Top 6's for the week. Why top 6 you ask? Its a pretty number.

Top 6 Sites:

This is where I get my dose of New York Publishing gossip and delight in the daily mortification of deserving debu and celebutards

If you have yet to hap upon public radio and KCRW in specific it's due time you tune into 89.9fm in the morning and listen to Nic Harcourt's Morning Becomes Eclectic. You can listen to streaming radio or archived shows on their site. They also simulcast their playlists so you can look up any songs you enjoyed.

Another great tool for music junkies. Pandora lets you make playlists with your favorite artists and with which they match other musicians they think you would like in the same musical category. It's free and you get to discover new artists (and skip past others you don't like).

Ah yes, the Whore of all Media. You may remember my personal experience with Ms. PH and my vow to never visit his site again. Alas like crack addict I find myself sneaking it, needing it, craving it. For the most up-to-date celeb gossip PH knows where to get the dirt and I know where to go when I want my fix.

For really cutting edge culture, art, photography, literary and of course sex editorial Nerve is the place to go. Where else could I read my horoscope and the new film at Sundance in which Dakota Fanning gets raped?

An unpretentious and knowledgeable site dedicated to Angelenos-- Everything from UCLA undie run to concerts, theatre and other LA events that would go unnoticed if I did not venture to the site.

Top 6 Tracks:

Postal Service, Such Great Heights

Lily Allen, Littlest Things

The Decemberists, Los Angeles, I'm Yours

Cold War Kids, We Used to Vacation

The Shins, Gone for Good

Peter, Bjorn and John, Young Folks

note: I'll be trying to download a widget which will allow you to listen to these songs on this site. Updates tk.

ALSO!!!! Tune into UCLAradio.com to Listen to Philosopher's Corner, a musical field trip presented by my friend Christina Gubala. It's sure to be super duper.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mostafa Tabatabainejad Sues for Money, I mean Civil Rights

If you were privy to the video of Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a 23-year-old UCLA senior getting tasered last month, or heard anything about it you probably felt the same sense of shame and disapointment in the UCPD as I have-- but recent news of his filing a FEDERAL LAWSUIT against UCLA for "unspecified monetary damages" because they "violated the Americans With Disabilities Act" in regards to his "Bi-polar disorder" have left me...wait...



The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 by Bush I. The act is meant to protect people against discrimination based on disability.

I don't know about you but I think people born with disabilities which severely affect their quality of life would be pissed that Mr. Tabatabainejad is saying he was being discriminated against because of his bi-polarity.

When Tabatabainejad said that he suffered from bipolar disorder, Duren allegedly responded that he "didn't know what bipolar has to do with standing up."

Don't get me wrong I believe that excessive force was used on Mr. Tabatabainejad but do I think it requires a federal case? Do I think his civil rights were infringed upon? No, I don't.

Everybody knows that if you are going to Powell during night hours you have to have your UCLA ID or you will be removed from the library. They do this to protect students studying in the library from robbery, theft and assault. There are signs everywhere making this statement and as a SENIOR Mr. Tabatabainejad would have known this fact. The fact that he refused to produce his ID and remove himself from the library shows arrogance-- who knows, maybe his disability isn't bi-polarity, maybe he is just a jerk.

Tabatabainejad, who is of Iranian descent, was concerned that he was being singled out because of his ethnicity, so he told the guard to make the same request of any other student, the suit alleges. The guard refused.

It's shameful for Mr. Tabatabainejad to make this case about race, which it is so obviously not, at a time when middle-eastern and American relations in the U.S. are at such a fragile state. I haven't seen anything so disgusting since the O.J. Simpson case.

On top of that think about all the student loans, tuition and other funds being drained from UCLA students and Alumni that would go to this guy if he won his case. When an article says, "unspecified monetary damages" it means EXPLOITATION.

Shame on UCPD for using excessive force, you are there to protect the student body. We are not the enemy.

Shame on you
Mostafa Tabatabainejad for exploiting this unfortunate situation to drain UCLA and the community of students who STOOD UP FOR YOU after the incident.

Aaron Sorkin to LATimes, "WAH!"

Apparently Aaron Sorkin, creator of the new show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and previous hit West Wing isn't too pleased with recent articles published about his SNL inspired show.

Just a few pull quotes from these articles:

"While Sorkin accepts the criticism that the show comes off to some viewers as too smug or arrogant – even though he personally doesn't necessarily agree with the assessment - he deems Tinseltown’s major newspaper as shameful for printing such stories." --LA Times

"After watching episode two of STUDIO 60 I must let you in on a little secret. People in television, trust me, are not that smart. Not even close." --Ken Levine on his blog.

"We live in the age of amateurs, and we can all go on the Internet and find people to say mean things about any show, But everybody's voice ought not to be equal."
--Aaron Sorkin

I found this interesting since I had penned my qualms about Studio 60 after it's
first few shows and wasn't aware until now of the backlash Hollywood people and viewers have been having with the show. The "Aaron Sorkin thinks you're stupid," attitude I didn't really get, I personally liked the writing of the show and thought it was witty. I didn't agree with the idealic representations of Hollywood heavy hitters (come on you're fooling yourself if you think THEY are the good guys, or nearly as glamorous as they are depicted on the show), and while I liked the backstage stories I am a little annoyed that we have yet to see any of the sketches, personally I think they couldn't pull them off as successfully as they pretend they do on the show.

Anyways, I found the quote from Ken Levine's blog to be hilarious and from what little experience I have with the hollywood crowd, true. Sorry Mr. Sorkin, you're going to have to get over this idea of living in an "Age of Amateurs," because haven't you read? The Person of the Year was "You." Well, not you but us, Everyman, the people who write blogs and post video, and have myspace profiles. Us "amateurs" are what drove business last year and aren't going to stop anytime soon.

Note to Mr. Sorkin:

Dear Mr. Sorkin,

Your show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is quite funny, I don't mind spending my Monday nights watching the witty repartee between Chandler er... I mean Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford. The show is humorous, and engaging, but please Mr. Sorkin, Get over yourself.

All the Best,

Some People Get It


My anti-Apple rants have not always made me popular amongst my iPod worshipping, Mac totting compadres-- and with the announcement of the new iPhone, the entire world seems to have turned into drooling, bonobo mac addicts and I felt like the little kid walking through the cafeteria desperately searching for someone to sit next to.

Finally it seems as if the cool kids are asking me to sit at their table.

The NY times wrote an article
on Sunday about apple's new iPhone titled, "Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs." It seems as if Randall Stross has touched upon the reasons I have for so long been an anti-apple advocate.

First off, the phone is astronomically expensive. Secondly, Cingular (which is soon to be known solely as AT&T--say goodbye to Cingular you'll never hear that name muttered in profesional media outlets again,) has signed on as the sole provider for the phone (screw that). Lastly after going through great pains to find a phone (that I liked) that played music I ran into a conundrum, nearly the same conundrum which led Melanie Tucker of NorCal to sue Apple this year. Apple's "Fairplay" copyright standards inhibit me to play music -- which I paid for legally -- on my MP3 player because it is in a un-convertable M4A format.

Here is how FairPlay works: When you buy songs at the iTunes Music Store, you can play them on one — and only one — line of portable player, the iPod. And when you buy an iPod, you can play copy-protected songs bought from one — and only one — online music store, the iTunes Music Store.

Imagine how pissed off I became when I realized the album I had just payed for (which is a huge step for someone coming from the Napster generation,) and that I now legally owned was worthless to be because I wouldn't be able to listen to it on my chosen music player. After adding this onto the litany of reasons why I hate apple (faulty battery in brand new iPod, refusal of apple to replace it because I don't have a receipt, overpriced laptops or dare I say 'consoles' since they are nearly impossible to fix yourself), I quickly removed iTunes from my computer and shoved my battered and defective iPod under my bed.

Apple defends itself stating that the DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), is enforced by record companies and not by Apple themselves. I have to agree once more with Mr. Stross when he says

This claim requires willful blindness to the presence of online music stores that eschew copy protection.
Its also interesting to note:

Apple’s statement is a detailed treatise on the subject, compared with what I received when I asked the company last week whether it would offer tracks without copy protection if the publisher did not insist on it: the Apple spokesman took my query and never got back to me.

You'd be kidding yourself if you thought it wasn't all about the money. Apple is creating a Monopoly on music downloads and the portable music playing market by refusing to work towards the best interests of it's consumers-- all consumers, including us PC users.

So if anyone knows a good online music store that doesn't impose totalitarian infringements on their files, let me know.

In the Year 2000

Apologies for the delay in posting anything in the past week(s). I have actually uploaded posts only to delete them or take them down.

I would like to make some predictions for myself, In the Year 2000...

I will go on a diet only to realize "treating" myself to a little desert after starving myself all day will result in adult diabetes.

In the Year 2000...
I will abdicate my role as the biggest bitch in the world to other more deserving candidates.

In the Year 2000...
After well-meaning attempts to learn Bulgarian have taken up most of my time between January and August, I will meet Boyan's family for the first time and inevitably embarrass myself by speaking like a two-year-old caveman, "I like food."

In the Year 2000...
Freelancing will become second nature as thousands will read witty and well punned articles that don't have sentences like, "It’s fun to use, cute to carry and cool to just have it!" in them.

In the Year 2000...
After buying our tenth bookcase, Boyan and I will decide the couch to be more useful in the kitchen.

In the Year 2000...
I along with the help of Boyan will convince the world that Steve Jobs is running a communist organization and the iPhone has new and unknown brainwashing technology. All of this after finding/creating a music download system that rivals iTunes.

In the Year 2000...
I'll begin baking bread, which would inevitably end my diet.

In the Year 2000...
After going to the doctor to have my allergies checked I'll find out I'm allergic to: wine, chamomile and work among other things.

In the Year 2000...
I will train for some sort of athletically superior sporting event, and have to take out a loan to cover my hospital visits afterwards.

There are many more things I could predict I am sure. Leave your predictions for The Year 2000 below.

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's Her Birthday

Happy Birthday Janea!

If you were here I would force you to eat some sort of
high caloric and fatty desert.
Then I would force Apple Smirnoff down your throat,
and hold your hair back as you vomit.

That's how much I love you.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

To my Best Friend

Happy Birthday Joanish
Lots of Love