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Sunday, August 31, 2003
 
Breaking News: Bush Drops Dog! Best. Picture. Ever.
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Saturday, August 30, 2003
 
I know what I like, but I don't know what it is I'm still watching Dead Like Me, Showtime's series about the afterlife. The problem is, I have no idea what the hell the show is. Is it a Scifi show? Well, I suppose technically, but it really shouldn't be in the same genre as Cleopatra 2525 or Star Trek. Is it a family drama? Well, there is a family in it and they do have a lot of drama, but can you really classify a show by what is for all intensive purposes its B-story? Is it a *gasp* soap opera? Not really. Like a soap opera it is focused on a small group of people and their lives, but unlike a soap opera, nobody fucks someone else and then blows up the beachouse on the same day as their sister's wedding which was invaded by terrorists. The thing is, nothing happens each week, yet everything happens. I know that what I just said is one of those stupid cliche arguments you might get from a guy who studied buddhism by mail, but it's the best I can do. There is no real adventure-of-the-week to carry the show, yet at the same time, the characters are all growing and developing and major changes do happen. I'm hooked on the show, but I know that I'm only pointed toward despair. No way in hell will this show reach a second season. I desperately want to be proven wrong, but I can't imagine how this show will survive. It's way too smart and complicated for syndication and it doesn't splash breasts every two seconds like Showtime's only other successful shows.
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Sometimes sharing can go too far I'm back in Los Angeles right now. I left my dorm room at 5 PM in Berkeley and arrived in Los Angeles at 10 PM. Essentially, I saved one hour by flying to Los Angeles instead of driving down here. I don't want to claim this was some sort of disaster warranting pity; it was afterall merely a minor labor day travel fiasco. Now let us luxuriate in the retelling: I had originally planned to leave my dorm at 4 and get to the airport for my 7:30 flight at something like 5:30. I knew I was giving myself too much time, but I wanted leeway in case I got on the wrong BART train or something like that. I ended up missing a class lecture (which I will watch on a webcast tommorow thanks to the magic of the internet), which turned out to be an uneccesary sacrifice because the flight was then delayed to 8:10. Now let's cut ahead. I've taken the 51 bus to the BART station (I'm lazy and the bus was free). I miss the 5:33 train to Fremont by about 30 seconds. So I then get on the 5:47 train to fremont. This turned out to be one of those fun little Gwyneth Paltrow Sliding Doors moments. My 20 minute bus trip to the Oakland Colliseum took one hour. The train broke down in the middle of a tunnel and we spent the rest of the trip traveling at 10 miles per hour in the dark past scenic downtown Oakland (I actually saw a house where the occupants literally just threw their garbage bags out the nearest window, letting them pile up outside). I especially loved the part where the train went past an open road as cars sped by at 60 mph; I don't think I've ever felt worse taking public transportation than I did watching car after car zoom by the train. I also didn't particularly enjoy the part of this trip where the woman behind me shared some fluids from her throat by coughing them up onto my arm. Finally I got to the station where I could catch the AirBART to the airport. I ended up overpaying by 4 dollars for the AirBART ticket because I absolutely had to catch this bus and didn't have time to get a new 2 dollar BART ticket. Now we all know that two wrongs can't make a right, but apparently two acts of incompetence can make a right. If my flight hadn't been furthered delayed to 8:25, I likely would've missed my check-in and would've died alone in the airport. It should be noted though that this formula isn't entirely correct. Two acts of EQUAL incompetence can make a right, but if one act of incompetence greatly outweighs the other, then you're still shit up a creek. My flight was further delayed to 8:50, which meant I had to sit at the airport for 2 hours overpaying for Roundtable pizza. It also meant that even if I had made my original train ride, I would've just ended up sitting at the airport for 3 hours instead of 2.
Okay. There's a horizontal rule. Let's start again: It's odd to be home. I found myself remarkably well-adjusted to Berkeley; I-dare-say I was already referring to it as home in conversation. I had made a lot of friends, and somehow, having things to do during the day made the internet far less charming. All the sites I used to visit seemed boring and I spent a lot more time just lying around in other people's rooms bothering them. I think this is called having a life, but I'm unsure. Just to be sure I'm gonna get a rubella inoculation. This "having a life" thing also seems to be why I now merely update 3 times as often as Brooke & Scott instead of 8 times as often, as I used to. Please forgive my inattention, but the 8 of you that visit the site just aren't as important to me as walking down the hall and insulting my hallmates' choice of clothing.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
 
Standardized Monkey Flip-Flops It's not my intent to turn this blog from the general mish-mash it's been into a "Hi, I'm at UC Berkeley!" blog, but seeing as how starting college and moving away from home is about the biggest damned event in the first 20 years of a person's life, I think I can ask you to forgive any slight consolidation of topics on the blog over the next few weeks. Classes started Monday. All the people on my floor agree that college was better before classes started; frankly, I just don't see why classes are necessary to the college experience. We'd all be a lot better off without them. So far classes are okay. As expected, morning history class is a real snoozer. I feel much better off than my roommates though. They're all in chemistry and math courses and are already loaded down with problem sets. Meanwhile all I have to do is read lengthy history scribes about the meaning of "political systems." I've come up with a few sayings over the last couple of days; here's the only one I wrote down: "Pretty girls are a dime-a-dozen, but I’m all out of change."
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Saturday, August 23, 2003
 
God save my feet I've made fast friends with the people on my college floor. One of them, however, really wanted to go to San Francisco. When I asked what he wanted to do there, he couldn't say. So now I sit here in my dorm, with very tired and upset feet having spent 6 hours traveling to San Francisco, walking around endlessly, and then returning here. I think I've figured out that we walked 6.2+ miles through the city. But before you start talking about how that isn't so bad, please remember that this is San Francisco. At one point we went up to Coit Tower, which as the name might suggest, is really fucking high up. We had to go up a street that was so close to vertical that I'm sure even the slightest push on any one of the dozens of cars parked up the hill would've caused them to flip end over end down the street, destroying everything below. We all agreed this was the steepest hill ever to pressure human feet. Then up on Coit Tower, whose view was so great as to actually merit the walk, my friends all saw off in the distance the famous "Crooked Street" (I argued that it's not really crooked, just dishonest and stupid). Though this was a mile away and up a large hill, it was decided that to truly experience the magic of such a very stupid street, we had to get much closer. So we walked to the crooked street. The hill that this street rests on should truly be called a cliff (which one can assume is the reason the road is designed in a crooked manner because otherwise cars would just fly down and smash into the streets below, Wile E. Coyote style). This was the steepest god damned hill I've ever hard the displeasure of trudging up. Not to mention we had to wade through dozens of tourists, all drawn by the majesty of the crooked street. Once at the top, we decided to take one of those famous San Francisco trolley cars. I can now say with some certainty that they probably garnered most of their fame by killing any pedestrians stupid enough to pay two dollars to get on one as it zipped past at 200 miles per hour. After we paid 2 dollars to travel 100 feet in the most dangerous and frightening trolley you can imagine, I took command and ushered us to Fisherman's Wharf. Whereupon we then traveled two miles along the pier to reach the Emarcadero BART station and head back to berkeley. And now I sit here; it's too late to get to the Dining Commons, so I will head out for some blondie's pizza and then do my laundry. College Life. Aint it grand?
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Friday, August 22, 2003
 
Nothing to say Few things: The Fox News lawsuit against Al Franken was thrown out. Hopefully they don't try to appeal. I used a great deal of public transportation today. It felt weird because in Los Angeles using public transportation means you're poor. There's a talking machine at the BART station that gives you four 5-dollar bills for a 20 and the soothing voice of a middle-aged woman gives you very firm instructions. The machine is very cool but I wondered if there are sexual "preverts" out there bringing dozens of twenties to the BART station just to hear the firm woman's voice boss them around.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003
 
Live from UC Berkeley Well, I have my internet up and running and I'm here in my cramped dorm room. I have two roommates but a triple room is basically the same size as a double. So far things are going well. I haven't gone to any latenight parties, but I have met and spoken with pretty much everyone on my floor (let's see how my memory goes: Taryn, Amor, Stephanie, Matt, William, Nicky, Justin, Eric, Paul, Alina, Brendan, Andrew, Arya, Chris, Christopher, and the cast of TV's Make Room for Daddy). I'll make more updates as soon as I have something interesting to say.
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Saturday, August 16, 2003
 
Melodramatic Post I leave tommorow for college. I went through a bit of a data holocaust on this computer. I basically uninstalled anything that wasn't bolted down. It's weird to be leaving, but I think I'll be okay. So long as my new Dell laptop doesn't set the room on fire (and based on the heat it gives off, this is a real possibility), I should be up and posting again within a week.
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Thursday, August 14, 2003
 
Don't worry New York. You're not in this alone.
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Just one more thing to annoy New Yorkers Okay, a couple topics have been brought up to me by today's NorthEastern Power Outage. 1. Wow. The INTERNET (as in requires power) message board I routinely visit had the news of the power outage (complete with a list of states affected) BEFORE all the major news networks. That's right. The message board had the new before all the major networks which are themselves based on New York. 2. I kind of like Dan Rather. While all the other network newsmen were running around with their heads cut-off, old Dan was sitting there calmly making his stupid expressions ("I want the typeface on what I'm saying right now to be bold. There is no evidence that this is related to terrorism."). I found him comforting. He wasn't speculating; all he was doing was just repeating the same basic news over and over again so that anyone flipping through the channels and seeing footage of 20,000 New Yorkers walking across a bridge wouldn't freak out. Thanks, Dan. 3. As I watched the thousands of New Yorkers streaming together into one big moving mass of angry pedestrians, I was reminded of something once written by New York comedian Frank Conniff. This is from his review of the terrible 1950's nuclear holocaust film Rocket Attack USA: "As far as nuclear holocausts go, the atom bomb explosion in Rocket Attack USA was pretty tepid stuff. At the end of the film, the Russkies drop an A-bomb on Manhattan. But according to this film, a nuclear explosion would level only certain parts of midtown. That means that everything above Bloomingdale's and below Macy's would still be left pretty much intact. If you believe this film, the major consequence of a nuclear explosion in New York City would be inconvenience. Buses and subways would have to be rerouted and services would be suspended. It would just be one more thing to annoy New Yorkers."
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Tuesday, August 12, 2003
 
Well done Fox FoxNews's lawsuit against Al Franken has made his book sales shoot through the roof.
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An asshole by any other name... I was just reading about the new virus spreading on the net. It's the one that takes over computers using the new Windows RPC exploit (please patch your shit so you don't get your computer hosed). Within the virus is a message taunting Bill Gates that says why do you let this happen, stop making money and fix this. Okay, seems like a valid enough message if it weren't attached to a virus that deletes people's hard-drives. But then you read more about the virus and you find out that it programs the computers it takes over to attack WindowsUpdate.com, the site that Microsoft uses to give patches to users. That would seem to conflict quite a bit with the virus creator's request that Microsoft "fix this." So I ask you, Mr. Virus Author, why won't you just admit that you're an asshole? Why try to hide things by acting as if your annoying virus is designed to send a message to Microsoft? It always amazes me how many people out there try to turn stupid internet bullshit into a crusade. "I don't steal music because I'm cheap; I do it as a form of silent protest against the music industry!" "I don't crash servers because I'm an asshole; I do it so that server admins will update their software!" No. All you virus writers, server crashers, and cheapskates are merely assholes.
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Monday, August 11, 2003
 
Parody is dead One of these days the Federal Courts needs to stand up and reassert the strength of parody laws. Fox News is now suing Al Franken because his new book is titled: "Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them: A Fair and Balanced look at the Right." I'm also interested in the fact that rather than just going after Franken on the trademark claim, they also decided to throw in some comments such as these: "His views lack any serious depth or insight." They also complain that the book cover "mimics the look and style" of two books written by Bill O'Reilly. Well, gee, do you think that maybe Al Franken is making a parody of Bill O'Reilly and Anne 'mussolini-had-the-right-idea" Coulter? I hope that Penguin books doesn't knuckle under and that they fight this. Corporations have become such fucking bastards. They have so much money that they threaten to sue anytime you even come close to their copyrights, regardless of how you're using it. No one is going to see Al Franken's book and think that it was written by Fox News. The title is an obvious satire. I just think it's really disgusting that parody/satire laws have been so degraded in recent years.
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Chuckles sadly I thought this was pretty funny: That image link may fail me soon due to copyright reasons, but hopefully it stays up. I won't go into detail about what's wrong with this political cartoon, since I hope the problems will be obvious to anyone under the age of 70.
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Update your shit Just a reminder. There's a new Windows 2000/XP exploit out there that is supposedly quite nasty. By nasty I mean if you're not running a firewall someone can just take over your PC. So head on over to http://www.windowsupdate.com if you're a Win2000/XP user and get all the critical updates.
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Sunday, August 10, 2003
 
DrudgeReport The following is a picture taken of http://www.drudgereport.com 10 minutes before Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he was running for Governor of California: Way to go, Drudge!
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A Star is born This link requires Windows Media Player 9: A Star Search Audition. Pretty damned funny.
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Friday, August 08, 2003
 
Silly Ashcroft. Porn is for kids ...err, mature adults Well, it's very behind schedule, but he finally did it. Ashcroft is going after the porn industry. I don't know what the hell he plans to accomplish. Every Republican administration does this. They go after a few fringe porn companies that sell particularly distasteful videos (ie, rape and murder fantasy stuff) and then they use out-of-date laws to shut a few places down. Meanwhile the bulk of the 8 billion dollar porn will roll on. I've heard some say that they don't mind this so long as he's just going after fake rape and murder stuff, but where do you draw the line? If a movie like Freddy vs. Jason is okay where everybody gets killed in horribly grotesque ways for an hour and a half, then why isn't it okay for some shitty porn flick to show a really unconvincing murder mixed in with the sex? Clearly Ashcroft would prefer if all that stuff (from Freddy vs. Jason to Extreme Teens #24) were illegal, so I don't want to trust him to draw the lines.
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Title change I liked how pretentious the title "Le Blog" was, but after seeing it in a link on Scott's site, I realize that I'm probably scaring off visitors. Hence, the new title.
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Incompetence and anti-semitism: It's a winning combination! No, I'm not talking about the palestinian leadership. I'm talking about one of the men behind french sewer-water company Vivendi. There's a new article about his claims that Vivendi failed because Hollywood jews wouldn't play ball. Sure, the anti-semitism is annoying, but what really bugs me is that Vivendi is one of the worst run and stupidest companies on this earth, and this schmuck is acting like they're a victim of circumstance. They were a french sewer works company that tried to become a media conglomerate; I haven't heard of a more tortured attempt at company-wide transformation since Philip-Morris bought Kraft foods and became Altria. What bugs me is that as someone who plays videogames, I had to deal directly with their bullshit. Most major companies like your Microsofts, GEs, and to a lesser extent, your AOLs, generally understand that when you have very different businesses operating inside one company, a certain level of autonomy is necessary so that your division in charge of greeting cards isn't setting policy for your division in charge birth-control products. Vivendi didn't believe in that. Much like the French government, they believed in authoritarian bureacracy, hence when videogame programmers would ask for bonuses in their contracts upon completion of a best-selling game, they'd be told, "We don't give our sewer workers bonuses for patching up pipes, so why should we give bonuses to you?" Truly an awful company, and I really wish they'd sell their videogame assets so that I never have to purchase anything with their name on it ever again.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2003
 
I'll be AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I changed channels. I was flipping through them quickly. I landed on Fox. There was Arnold Schwartzeneggeggeggetzer. It said "Candidate for Governor" under his name. I screamed. I'm not lying; I let out a womany yelp. When he ended the press conference, he put out a thumbs up sign and said "I'll be Back!" There's only one question to ask: Why has God forsaken me? The only comfort I have is the knowledge that no matter who is elected Governor of California, he or she will be a big failure. Our state lets the voters amend the constitution every election, and we've done that. So now our state has so many stupid laws and restrictions on the way it spends money and how much money it has to spend where that you could reanimate George Washington and he'd fail just as badly. Before I scream once more, I'd like to tell Matt Drudge, "Fuck you." Thanks for getting my hopes up by telling me Ahnold wasn't running. Now once more: AHHHHHHHH!!!!!
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That's how we do it in the OC! The Fox network just makes me sad. Perhaps you've heard of their new show, The O.C. (pronounced "THE OH-SEE!!!!"). When I think of Orange County, I think of aging Republicans, not hip young teens fucking each other on the beach. What's most pathetic is that Fox's concept is so obvious: "Beverly Hills, 90210 was a success; it had the location in its name. Melrose Place was a success; it had the location in its name." I hope to god that The O.C. is a spectacular failure, because if it isn't, we can all expect a new show desperately trying to make Delaware hip before the end of the year.
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Sunday, August 03, 2003
 
A swollen warning I must warn you. Since I'm going off to college and leaving home in the next two weeks, I feel a wave of sad nostalgia coming on so we'll see how that effects my posting. Right now I can't think about that though because my left arm is covered with swollen welts. It's been really hot at night here and I've been sleeping with my arms outside of the covers. I think something (perhaps a mosquito, perhaps something else), made a midnight snack out of my damned arm. So I'm loaded up on benadryl and fighting the urge to scratch with all my power. I ordered my new Dell laptop. I waited too long so now I'll probably get it with only a day to spare before going off to college.
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Saturday, August 02, 2003
 
Everyone moves to a different beat, but some of those beats are fucked up Don't ask me how, but I got into an internet argument with piercing fetishists online. Today I got a meningitis vaccination shot. It didn't really hurt too much and it was over in a second, but it still pissed me off to be paying someone to poke me with a needle. And yet the people I was talking to (or rather, typing to), pay people to stick them with needles all the time, and those needles don't immunize you against anything but attractiveness. It's ugly. Obviously some people disagree, maybe even people reading this right now, but when I see someone with piercings in their eyebrows, tongue, ear cartilage (left and right), belly-button, eyelids, lips, and various other unmentionable places, my first thought isn't, "Boy! That piece of metal he's shoved through his head has really accented his best features!" No. I think to myself "Can you really hate your parents that much?" Though that's not the thought I have for every piercing I see. If I see a girl with a tongue piercing my first thought is "slut." I know that's not fair, but it's the only thing I can think of when I see one except of course for "Blech." If you disagree, please feel free to make use of the comments section. I suppose you'll have to contact me that way since you've probably already reached orgasm reading my list of piercable items above and are likely stapling your tongue with whatever rusty nails you could find nearby. edit: Okay, from further discussions with the pierce fetishists, I've determined that I'll never understand this. The two people still awake were talking about getting pleasure from feeling the foreign body forced into their skin. Then one talked about sticking safety pins through his eyebrows and said it was probably related to the fact that he generally doesn't truly "feel" much and piercing made him feel alive. In conclusion, I plan to use the same strategy that society used when dealing with gay people a century ago, since I don't understand them, I'm content to label them crazy and be done with it.
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