Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Favorite President


Hahaha, gotcha! Btw, in looking for photos to post for this intro "prank", I came across this photo, of President Bush and his wife participating in a colorful Malaria Awareness Day event in the Rose Garden:


I mean, not to make light of malaria, which is certainly a serious disease that warrants attention and funding, but... am I missing something? This is the leader of the free world. During wartime. Doesn't he have other shit he needs to be dealing with? Like, I don't know, the unending war in Iraq, global warming, guns in schools, the economy... and by the way, can someone explain to me how this little dance party is furthering efforts against malaria?

Sigh. By contrast, think of your favorite president. Maybe it's JFK. Maybe it's Abraham Lincoln. Now look at the photo above. Is this something your favorite president would be doing?

Which brings me to my actual favorite president, who would certainly not be caught messing around with conga drums while there was shit going down in America:


Now, this, this is the type of guy I want leading my country. Theodore Roosevelt is an undeniable badass. Oh, what's that? The Spanish-American War? Oh, I'm not just going to talk about it like some pansy-ass politician - I'm gathering up a group of volunteer soldiers, and we're all going down to Cuba to straighten shit out. Maybe you've heard of the Rough Riders? That was all TR. Probably the only group from the early 1900's to be adopted by the modern-day rap community.

TR was progressive for a Republican, and party members regarded him as a bit of a "loose cannon". But he was popular with The People; he was a war hero. The Republicans thought the best course of action would be to put him on McKinley's ticket as VP, where he could help drum up popular support but couldn't cause too much trouble. So McKinley got elected. And then McKinley got shot. So guess who that made our 26th president? In your face, stodgy 1900's political machinists!

As president, TR really took care of shit. His motto? "Talk softly and carry a big stick." Do you know what that means? It means, yeah motherfucker, I'm not going to threaten you per se, but I think you know and I know that I could totally kick your ass if I wanted to. So don't mess. Inherently, its actually a message of pacifism! Like, I'm not going to start the fight, but if you start one with me I'm going to finish it. What.

My man Teddy was a noted conservationist. Do you enjoy nature? Well guess who is responsible for instituting protection for some of our most treasured national resources? Damn straight, motherfucking TR. He protected more land (designating national parks and nature preserves) than all former U.S. presidents combined, to the tune of 194 million acres. Here he is in a photo with John Muir, first president of the Sierra Club. This was taken in Yosemite, where Muir invited Roosevelt to go on an extensive hiking tour. Thanks to TR and people like John Muir, we have maintained refuges away from places like the Beverly Center, and the 405 freeway.

Remember when you wanted to go from Boston to San Francisco via sea, but the only way to get there was to go ALL the way around the tip of South America? It took FOREVER! But then came a little innovation I like to call "The Panama Canal". And that's what they called it, The Panama Canal! What a brilliant solution! Thanks again, Theodore Roosevelt.

TR read a book a day. He wrote 40 books. He led cabinet members on long, fast-paced hikes. He won a Nobel Peace Prize. He was a teetotaler. He boxed in the state rooms of the White House. During one such boxing bout, he was permanently blinded in his left eye. After serving 8 years as president, he went on a year-long African safari. He was shot by some lunatic but survived - and not only did he give his scheduled speech immediately after just being shot, but the bullet remained in his body until his death. I mean, come ON. The guy was a machine!

And he cared, passionately, about doing good for his country. You may agree or disagree with the specifics of his politics, but this was a leader who genuinely wanted to put the people's interests first. He was engaged and interested in life. He was a great leader. And that's why he is my all-time favorite president. And that's why he's on Mount Rushmore (and you're not, Andrew Jackson, you Native American slaughtering prick).

I hope you enjoyed today's blog. I realize it is essentially a 5th grade history project with a couple cuss words for fun. But I never went to 5th grade. So there! Give it up for TR!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Loretta haikus

Please get better soon
I need you to pass the smog
five bills poorer; shit

No car is no fun
kindness of coworker pals
now I owe favors

Is Midas crooked?
Did they charge me too much scrill?
Note: learn about cars

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

C is for Cookie

I had P.F. Chang's for lunch the other day. Whereupon, I realized. I have a gripe with fortune cookies. First of all, let's get this out of the way: are they delicious? Would I eat them if not for the promise of a mystical fortune inside? My verdict: nay. Without the potential for getting a glimpse into my future, I would much rather opt for some version of dessert that is actually palatable, like say, a lemon bar, or banana cream pie. Not a dry cookie with the consistency of compressed wood. And would it kill the fortune cookie people to mix up the flavor? I don't even know what to call that. Nilla Wafer lite? What benefit do I have in eating this? It is neither healthy nor delicious. What does the cookie part of the fortune cookie do for me?? Nothing.

So, as explicated above, we've concluded that the cookie part of the fortune cookie is essentially worthless. We're getting somewhere! Stop bitching, crack the thing open, take the fortune, leave the cookie. Done. Well, that's all fine and good, but sometime long ago in my youth, someone once informed me that in order for your fortune to come true, you have to eat the entire thing. You leave a crumb, your fortune is void. I still have no idea what they had to gain from this sadistic piece of advice.

So I eat the cookie. For the fortune. And here in lies my real problem with fortune cookies.
My fortune reads:

"You have an open heart of love and acceptance."
Well that's fucking delightful, but where is the fortune in that? This tells me nothing! I mean, that's great about my open heart and all, but what is this telling me? I don't ask for fortune cookies giving me compliments. I don't want to know that I am a person of wisdom and principle. I want to know the future!!

I eat the cookie anyway. I don't want my lame fortune to be renegged and all of a sudden for my heart to become closed-minded and prejudiced. Stupid cookie. I'm annoyed. Emily, my coworker, notices, and gets me another fortune cookie and one for herself. Hers is equally disappointing:

"He who hurries can not walk with dignity."
Thanks for the tip, cookie. Thanks for proffering this important piece of "life advice". Again, if I wanted advice, I would turn to Ann Landers. Know your role! You exist to tell me the future!

I open my second cookie.

"You will make extensive travels and find great prosperity."
Now this is what I'm talking about! Yes! I get to go on a trip AND I get untold riches? I like this fortune. All fortunes should be like this. And it can be bad news too, as long as its like a "heads up". Like, "Be wary of a mysterious gift at this time" or "Call in sick for work tomorrow". I like those too. Because they are fortunes. And now, when I receive said ominous gift, I will know what kind of action to take!

So, in conclusion, I say this to you, fortune cookies. If you would like to improve your status in the cookie and general dessert realm, then I suggest you take heed and follow this fortune. A little more clairvoyance, a little less moralizing, and we should get along fine.

Monday, April 09, 2007

That Guy

Flying blows.

Last night on my way home from SF, I was smushed into a middle seat on a completely full-flight between two strangers circa 10:30 pm. Not ideal, but fine. I can deal. What I was not prepared for, however, was what would ensue.

One row behind me, and one seat over by the aisle, would soon be seated: That Guy.

That Guy struts down the center aisle of the plane talking on his cellphone at about 10 decibels above the customarily acceptable "inside voice". Every captive passenger along his path has no choice but to hear his entire conversation, comprised mainly of him reveling in how trashed he is at this exact moment. He has a trucker hat on. I check my calendar; it is 2007.

After the flight attended informed That Guy that he couldn't use his phone any longer, he got acquainted with his neighbors, the people seated directly behind me. He would not stop for a breath of air until... well, I am not sure when he stopped for air because he was still going strong when I got off the plane in LA. Without the benefit of earphones during takeoff and landing, my brain was exposed to a dangerously unhealthy amount of TG's ramblings.

Some of my favorite quotes from the flight:

"I'm an actor, but my main focus is saving animals and shit"

"I'm on Entourage next week - you should watch!"

"Watch me on Entourage next week!"

"Do you get HBO?"

"So I paid the cab driver ten bucks to smoke weed in the cab. And that's why I don't have any now, because we smoked it all, so I'm like, fuck it, I'll fly home. But I haven't flown in like, 7 years because you can't bring pot on the plane. I got in trouble for that the last time I flew, and they were like, gnarly. And I only had a quarter, you know? I didn't think it was a big deal because it was like, 'dude, it's a quarter'. But I remember when people used to just RAGE on the plane, smoke, get fucked up, nobody gave a fuck"*

"I think she's so hot. I'm going to talk to her when we land. Like, 'hey, I think you're really pretty, I'm really bummed we didn't get to talk more on the flight...'" Re: the stewardess

Stewardess: "Please place your tray tables down if you would like beverage service."
[apparently TG's tray is now down]

TG: "Hahahaha. She said to put my tray down, fuck yeah I want a drink!"

"Hey, are you guys on MySpace?"

"How old are you? Do you guys rage? I bet you just rage!"

"I love you guys. No, really, you saved me, I was a mess. I love you."

Air travel has become untenable. With the delays at security, carry-on restrictions (I bid farewell to my $40 facewash because I was late to the airport and couldn't check my bag), the crowds, the ever-diminishing legroom, threats of terrorism, crying children, and That Guy, is there no more peace?

I miss my friendly skies.

*Because he would not stop talking, I later learned that my fellow passenger was 31 years old, 4 years older than me. That would have made him all of 13 at the height of the 80's, when smoking was banned from commercial flights. And already: an enviable rage-aholic! Party on!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Enjoy the hair

On Saturday, I bid farewell to my hair. 12 inches of my hair. Sigh. Since it was for a good cause, I am fine with it looking less than optimal for a little while. Plus, hair grows, it's good to embrace change, blah blah blah.

So, knowing I was going to go drastically short, I still wanted something a little hip. I showed my hairdresser a couple pictures of modern celebrities such as Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Aniston, even JLo got in there for ideas!

Let the record show my hair looks nothing like any of these people.

Anyway, what this means is that for the moment, I am sporting a classic look you should all be familiar with. No, not that tired "Rachel", but something a shade more timeless and enduring.

Oh, you'd like to see a picture? OK...


I give you: The Hamill!

A little background. The Hamill is of course named for prolific ice skating champion Dorothy Hamill, who won the gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics. However, what took the world by storm, was not only her championship-worthy skating style, but her revolutionary 'do! People were mesmerized at how it managed to stay completely unmussed despite Hamill's execution of challenging double-axles and the like. Upon landing, the hair would whip right back into place! Miraculous!

I certainly hope that my new cut will serve me with the same kind of memory technology this Nasa-like hairstyle seems to employ. While its importance is sometimes downplayed, it is nonetheless crucial for my hair to remain exactly as coiffed amidst my phone-jockeying duties here in the office.

What's that? You want an actual photo? Hm, maybe soon as an update. I just don't know if I am ready, the sting of the haircut is still a bit fresh. Admittedly, it's not quite as short as Dot's, but I am still not sure if I am ready to post online. I salute you, Dorothy, for being braver than I, and bringing this hairstyle to the world.

And hey, hopefully some poor kid will enjoy wearing my old hair sometime soon! I may not be able to bring home the gold from Innsbruck, but I can still try to do my part.

*Update 4/2 8:45pm: fuck it. enjoy.