Friday, August 31, 2007

3 Is the Magic Number (of links)
- Very funny AT&T commercial with Roger Clemens.
- Moderately funny Simpsons opening credit sequence in a parallel Star Wars universe.
- When did Billy Ocean turn into George Clinton? And where does he get off charging $50 for a concert in the year 2007?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I've been up for 50 minutes, even though I don't have to leave for work for another hour. It's been over a week, and I'm very proud to say I've been keeping to my 2-8 sleep schedule. Proud and surprised. And very very tired. It's getting much harder to get out of bed in the morning when my alarm goes off. And every day around 3pm I get a headache. I may have to rethink my commitment to this after my first follow-up appointment next Wednesday.

For some reason, the owner of The Ryde sent me a bunch of free t-shirts. They are pretty cool designs, and very comfortable. Surf fans would especially like them, but I'm sure there's something for everyone.

I saw Meat Puppets at Knitting Factory last night. Very solid show, with amazing energy from the audience. It's nice to see the Kirkwood brothers playing so well and having such a good time onstage after all that they've been through.

How is it that I still haven't seen Superbad? Or Bourne Supremacy?

Season one of Friday Night Lights is now out on DVD. Please buy it and watch it and get sucked into it and tune into it this season!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Yup, that's me... a certified Jackpot Hopeful. Walking into a random deli last night at 8:30 to buy Mega Millions tickets, I was ambushed by a local CBS2 camera crew, who interviewed me about my lotto-buying habits. They asked if I bought tickets every week, and I said no, only when the jackpot climbs above $100 million, "because otherwise it's not worth it." And sure enough, that's the sound byte they used in their piece. How utterly embarrassing.

And out of 5 tickets, I matched a grand total of 3 numbers.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Some thoughts...

- To give a quick update, after night #2 I'm moderately tired. But more than that, I'm just nervous about how I'll be in a couple weeks. For most people, if they haven't been sleeping well, at least they can look to a day in the future and plan on staying in bed longer than usual to catch up. I can't, and it sucks.

- If I was a newscaster, this would totally happen to me. The laughing, that is... not being in a crash.

- Michael Vick pleaded guilty today (well, he filed his plea agreement... officially he enters his plea in court on Monday). I think he should be banned from the NFL. Not just that... I think any professional athlete convicted of a felony should be banned from his or her league. At least that's my humble opinion.

- Happy Birthday, Steve Guttenberg!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yesterday, something amazing happened...
Back in June, a few days before Morrissey's scheduled concert at Madison Square Garden, I bought a half-price ticket on Craigslist from a guy who was selling his because his firm ended up renting a box for the show. He seemed like a nice normal guy, not a typical scalper. He even invited me to grab a drink with him and his buddies before the show. No reason to be concerned.
The concert ended up getting cancelled due to Morrissey's throat infection (or possibly slow ticket sales... the show wasn't close to a sell-out). When I learned that tickets could be refunded at point-of-purchase, I initially became excited, thinking I could go to the box office at MSG and get the full ticket price back, thus doubling my money. Alas, the guy at MSG told me that I had to get my money back from Ticketmaster, since that's where the ticket was bought. Which meant that the guy's credit card would simply be credited for the cost.
Knowing this was a long shot, I called the guy and asked him if I could get my money back, since he'd be getting his back. He seemed surprised to hear from me, and said he needed to check with Ticketmaster first, but he'd call me back in a day or so.
Of course that didn't happen, and I figured my money was lost... hell, if I was in his position, I would've just pocketed my money. But lo and behold, a couple weeks ago he sent me a text saying he'd finally gotten his refund and would meet up with me to give my money back. That meeting happened yesterday, and he returned my $42. Not only that, but Morrissey has announced a string of shows at Hammerstein, which would be a much better venue in which to see him live.
Nice to know there's still some good in the world.

On another note, last night I began my new sleep schedule. In bed at 2am (actually 2:05 last night), up at 8am. Naturally I didn't actually fall asleep until about 3:30... the last time I looked at the clock was 3:12. I also woke up once around 6:45, but only briefly. So I'm running on about 4 1/2 hours of sleep.
I'm not sure if I'll be keeping a daily diary of this experiment. A few people have asked me to, but it seems a bit silly for me to just complain every day about how tired I am. Especially since going to bed at 2 and waking up at 8 doesn't seem particularly tortuous. I'll see how this plays out, but I'll probably just give status updates once a week or so to describe if it's working according to the doc's plan.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

#360 with a Bullet
As a quick update, Manda Bala (Send a Bullet) made just over $14,000 on its single screen at the Angelika this weekend. According to this Box Office Mojo chart, that makes it the 360th highest-grossing documentary of all time... although with the money earned since Sunday, it's probably even a few places higher than that by now. Felicitaciones!

Update: Literally just as I clicked Publish, a friend IMed me this link: Hot Chicks with Douchebags. What a find!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lots to talk about today...

1) This morning, after many months (years?) of prodding by my mother, I went to a sleep clinic. Specifically, the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Hospital. The goal: to figure out why it takes me at least an hour (and often 2-3) to fall asleep every night. The long subway ride deep into the Bronx (the last stop on the D train) for a 9am appointment sure didn't help my sleep problems. In advance of the appointment I'd filled out a massive booklet full of questions about my sleep habits... and the doctor proceeded to ask me every single question in person, looking at my hand-written answers as she did so. After this interview and a quick checking of weight, blood-pressure, etc., she came up with a plan. And here it is:
Starting tonight, I'm to go to bed at 2am and wake up at 8am. Every night. Regardless of what day it is, or what my schedule is like, or how tired I get. No naps, no sleeping in, no shifting the time. The point is that if I'm still taking a couple hours to fall asleep and therefore only get 4 hours of sleep per night, I'll eventually become so exhausted that I'll start falling asleep shortly after I hit the pillow. Continue to do that and it'll become a habit. And she warned me that I will become miserably exhausted over the next couple of weeks. Can't wait. Eventually, when this becomes my regular sleep pattern, I will slowly expand the hours to give me a longer period of sleep, and then shift the hours so that I'll learn to do it at any time. This better work.
She also wanted me to completely cut out all caffeine and alcohol, at least until my sleeping becomes regimented. But I don't think that's gonna happen.

2) One thing you see on the subway when you're way up in the Bronx that you don't typically see in Manhattan: a homeless beggar with a massive head wound dripping blood down his face.

3) I had my fantasy football draft last night. 3rd pick out of 10. Here's a quick recap of my team:
1. Larry Johnson - RB
2. Steve Smith - WR
3. Marvin Harrison - WR
4. Donovan McNabb - QB
5. Carnell Williams - RB
6. Adrian Peterson - RB
7. Chicago - DEF
8. Mark Clayton - WR
9. Vincent Jackson - WR
10. Tatum Bell - RB
11. Jason Witten - TE
12. Randy McMichael - TE
13. Ben Roethlisberger - QB

14. Eli Manning - QB
15. Jason Elam - K
16. Mike Furrey - WR

I really didn't want to take LJ, but really had no choice. At least he ended his holdout today. I've got great receivers, the top defense, and lots of depth. Running backs are shaky, but if they play to potential, I should be in good shape. I also can't believe I drafted Eli... I hate that guy. Hopefully I can deal him for somebody... and soon.
Also, after deciding to go with Romo Arigato, I had to change my team name since Tony Romo isn't on my squad. So I'm now known as the McNabby-Headed Hos. I don't think it's as good, but I don't have much to work with. Further suggestions will be accepted.

4) Have you people been watching Spike Spends Saturday Night With? That's Spike as in Spike Jonze. Basically he films himself hanging out with random celebrities, just to see what it's like. First up is M.I.A. Check it out.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

new york craigslist > queens > missed connection

Bacon Lover on F Train - m4w (Queens)
Reply to: me@laststopthistown
Date: 2007-08-19, 11:08PM EDT

I don't know your name, and I don't know where you went, but I just had to write. Because nothing turns me on more than trying to relax on a long subway ride from Forest Hills to the Upper West Side and watching the woman sitting across from me eat strips of raw bacon. Especially when that woman was as portly as you. You sure made the trip fly by. I'd love to see you again... maybe next time we can share a cab to JFK during rush-hour gridlock and I can feed you raw ground beef.
Also, if you're going to take your shoes off and put them on an empty seat, you might want to have washed them sometime over the past month.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster for any reason

PostingID: justkidding

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday To...
Monty Python's Life of Brian, which was first released in theaters on this day in1979.

Coincidentally, I, Brian, was also first released into the world on this day in 1979 (I wonder if that's how my parents decided on my name... I've been told it was between that and Zachary). Hopefully my life ends on a better note than my cinematic counterpart.

So I'm 28 today. Sigh. There's no denying I'm now in my upper 20s. Is that a bad thing? I guess not. Everyone gets older, and more mature. And yet many things (roommate, apartment, marital status) are the same as they were last year... and the year before... and the year before that. Then again, I did make a significant change in my life by becoming a true freelance writer, which so far has been a fantastic, although often hectic, experience.

I hardly ever make big plans for my birthday... not sure why. Maybe it's laziness, or maybe it's the fact that I still feel awkward when I bring together my various groups of friends. Either way, this year will be another calm one... steak dinner tonight, drinks after that, no big blowout. I am finally breaking down and buying a laptop today... and a Mac, no less. Being a freelancer, I really need to have a laptop, and after years of sitting in the PC camp, I've come to realize that Macs really are easier to use. I just wish they weren't so friggin' expensive. Tommy Himself (whose site has been on fire lately... how does he not have a reality show?) has volunteered to accompany me to the Apple store for guidance and moral support, which I appreciate. Maybe getting the new computer will motivate me to spruce up this site a bit... but I doubt it.

Anyway, I guess this is an appropriate way to end this post...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A couple of quick plugs...

1) Watch Cash Cab After Dark tonight (and every Wednesday night) at 10pm on Discovery Channel. Or if you don't want to interrupt Rescue Me, I think it repeats around 2am.

2) My friend's movie Manda Bala is opening this weekend at Angelika, and will be opening around the country over the next few months. It won Best Documentary (and Best Documentary Cinematography) at Sundance this year, and has been getting really great reviews. I saw a rough cut if it many months ago and loved it, and I'm sure it's even better now that it's finished. Please go see it this weekend... it's very important for it to have a strong first-weekend gross.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Big Girls Write Pathetic Lyrics
I know this is not very timely, but Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" has the worst unintentionally-awful simile I've ever come across:
"I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket"
Seriously Fergie, what's the deal? That's the best you could come up with? Are we all Peanuts characters? And then you don't even rhyme anything with blanket! You could've used anything there! I'm just sad for you.
Despite this, I'm embarrassed to admit I kinda like the song. It's catchy! Damn her...

And on the subject of catchy songs, if you haven't seen Let's Go To Prison (and based on its box office performance, not many of you have), you should at least watch this clip of Will Arnett trying to sing along to Technotronic. As the description says, it's by far the best part of the movie.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oh Canada
Back from a relaxing family vacation in Whistler to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday. Just my type of trip: cool weather, lots of hiking, nature, good food... and my folks paid for it all! I also hear I missed out on the Brooklyn tornado and the subway flood. Dang.
Here are some photos taken from the top of Whistler Mountain:

And one from a horse-riding excursion:

That's me on my trusty horse, Archie, and my mom on Merlin. Poor mom, all she wanted was a beautiful brown horse... and she ended up with the only white one. We both also ended up with literally dozens of mosquito bites, from nasty little fuckers that bit through shirts and jeans. Totally worth it, though.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tonight I'm off on a week-long family vacation to the Canadian Rockies. So no updated until I get back. To tide you over, here are some things that have really been getting on my nerves lately... or that have always bugged me and I just haven't gotten around to writing about them until now...
- People who take the elevator down in my building from anything lower than the 5th floor. I can understand taking it going up, but unless you're old or injured or are carrying something bulky, use your fucking legs. You're working with gravity anyway. And it's probably faster than waiting for the elevator. Why inconvenience the rest of us just because you're a lazy slug?
- When people write a full message in MySpace / Friendster* comment sections. Comments are supposed to be short... along the lines of "Happy Birthday" or "Great seeing you last night" or "Dude, what's up with your new haircut?" Don't write me a fucking e-mail... that's why they have an entirely separate message section.
- The subway. I know this is not a new complaint, but why can't there be one fucking day when all the subway lines are running normally, without bypassing stations, running at half-speed, stopping in-between stations, etc.?
- The jackhammering outside my apartment. They're building a luxury high-rise, which means they have to dig the world's biggest hole for the foundation. I get that, but why do they start work at 7am? How is this allowed by the city? Instead of having construction hours of 7am-6pm, make it 8am-7pm. That lets us sleep an extra hour... and I'd bet the construction workers wouldn't mind the extra hour of sleep in the morning either.
- People who applaud at movies. Performers on the big screen can't see or hear your applause, so why do it? Naturally you applaud at a concert or at the theater... do you do it when you're watching TV or listening to a CD? Of course not. Don't do it at movie theaters either.

* Note: This probably happens on Facebook as well, but no matter how many people want me to, I refuse to sign up for that site. Enough is enough already.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A good friend of mine passed this link along to me today. It's from NBA star Gilbert Arenas's blog. Scroll down to There Are No Such Things as Shark Attacks. I'm assuming he's watching Shark Week on Discovery Channel to be inspired to write such a post. Then again, given the stupidity of the entry, I'm amazed that he's got the mental capacity to turn on a television.