Thursday, December 21, 2006

Man in the Box

Well, we're in the home stretch of gifting for the holidays. The gift I've received most this year is the link to "Dick in a Box" on YouTube. I received the link about 15 times in 2 days before I began stopping would-be IM links from happening.

Yes, it's funny. No, it's not THAT funny after the 5th time. But yes, it's still funny.

If you haven't seen it - and I can't imagine how you wouldn't have received this link 15 times already like me - well here ya go. It's probably over on Linkey-loo anyway. Don't say I never got you anything.

Happy Holidaze!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

i Against i

With all this holiday shopping (that would be Christmas shopping in the religion I was raised under, but don't practice anymore), I've noticed the abundance of iThings. You know, stuff that's meant to go with an iPod, but maybe not always.

iPod is meant to work with iTunes. Check. That makes sense. But there's iEverythingunderthefuckingsun these days. iHome, iSkin, and the always easy to remember iH31s. Yeah, go to the Best Buy and ask those oh-so-helpful employees where you can get an iH31s for your iPod. They'll surely tell you "I don't know what that is but I'll go check. I'll be right back." But they won't be right back. They'll be hiding from you in the appliance section, where nobody ever goes.

If you don't get enough iPod in your daily existence, you can go to iLounge and see the accessories you don't have. You can get an iWoofer if your stereo doesn't have enough thump. And when you've dropped your iPod too many times, you can't get any old scratch remover to make it purty again, you have to get iCleaner. Just don't go to Walgreen's to buy it or they'll direct you toward the contact lens solution.

There's iEat if you can't figure out what to make for din-din. And then when din-din is done, use iCarta for... well, I'm not ever gonna touch anybody else's iPod ever again.

If you're looking for the perfect gift to get your favorite person for whatever holiday you were raised under, look no further.

You just can't be away from your iPod for too long, so better strap it to your undies. Well at least until the music really gets you in the mood.
iLee iLee the iMusical iBee

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Hurting

You gotta love the grocery store. It's where we get to experience one of the most mundane aspects of our existence: the food gathering part. Except now it's got all sorts of decisions attached to it which are far more important than HUNGRY NEED FOOD:

- is that brand cheaper than that other brand?
- is that brand more eco-friendly than that other brand?
- am I getting a good deal at this market?
- should I buy the Coppola wine or the Charles Shaw?

HUNGRY NEED FOOD doesn't ask those questions. HUNGRY NEED FOOD finds adequate food and ingests it. When we moved toward having a civilized society, we introduced money into the equation and now HUNGRY NEED FOOD must wait. And HUNGRY NEED FOOD doesn't like to wait.

Waiting happens at the checkout, where all sorts of stuff you expect to happen in places like the bank or the DMV happens: People without their shit ready. Employees not interested in efficiency. Or if you're like me (or if your face happens to look like mine), you get both in a lovely setting just one back from getting rung up at the register.

Got my food. Got cash in hand ready to fork over and begin eating. Senior citizen lady in front of me, her goods on the conveyor belt. She says, "I brought up this burrito box to see if you had any more in back."
Gorilla-sized employee working register glances at me and my food in one hand and cash in the other.
"Let me check for you, ma'am."
(It would be so easy to just throw my cash at him and be on my way, but no, I am a responsible and patient citizen.)

Employee mutters incomprehensible banter over intercom. White guy in turban hurries up to answer call. "What's that you need, T?" (Apparently T is the name of the gorilla-sized gentleman at the register)
"See if there are any more of these." (Points at empty burrito box.)
White turban guy says "I don't think there are any more, but I'll check."

In the meantime, senior lady's (who is very sweet and nice) goods are rung:
"Is it senior discount day today?"
"Senior day is on Tuesday." (This was on Monday)
"Tuesday, huh"
(No reply from employee)

"Do I sign it now?"
"Wait 'til I'm done."

"Can you help me take my groceries out to my car?"
"We'll have somebody do that for you ma'am."

Employee #2 arrives.
"Would you like all these in your canvas bag, ma'am?"
"As many as you can get in there, dear."

Employee #2 crams everything into one bag.
Senior lady stops her "It gets heavy really quickly"
Employee #2 grabs a paper bag and tosses groceries in.

White turban guy comes back empty handed.
"Sorry, we don't have any more of those burritos." He hurries away.

Employee hands senior lady her receipt and she gets her things together at her cart with employee #2.
Employee rings up my food.
I hand him my cash. "I don't need a bag."
He hands me my change and I maneuver around senior lady and employee #2, still at the cart getting organized.
Hungry. Need food.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Actual conversation with somebody at a party recently:

Dude: How you liking SoCal?

Lee: I like it. I didn't think it would get as chilly as it is, but it's that time of year. Who knew it wouldn't be warm and sunny all the time here?

Dude: Yeah! People say there aren't any seasons here, but there are slight variations in the weather. You know what place doesn't have seasons? San Francisco. It's always gray and cold there no matter what time of year it is.

Lee: Well, it does tend to dump buckets of rain in the fall and winter there more often than other times of the year.

Dude: Nah. It's the same all the time there. There's more variation in the weather here. It's subtle, but it's definitely cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

Lee: Yeah.

Dude: It's kind of like AC/DC. You listen to AC/DC?

Lee: A little bit. I don't know too much of their stuff after Back in Black.

Dude: Well, the weather in SoCal is just like AC/DC: People say their stuff all sounds the same, and it sorta does, but if you KNOW AC/DC, you know that The Razors Edge sounds a hell of a lot different than Back in Black.

Lee: Wow. I had no idea.

Who knew the weather in SoCal is like AC/DC? I sure do now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

What the hell are you looking here for? You should be looking for the gravy to slather all over your plate of turkey & mashed potatoes.

Thanks for reading! See you next week.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle

I have the luxury of being able to ride my bike to work. It's 3.5 miles each way, and mostly flat with subtle inclines and declines. And luckily for me, there's a bike lane most of the way. And being that I live in lovely Southern California, where the weather is gorgeous most of the time, I don't have to worry about the elements too much. It's been fun to ride past all the people sitting in their cars in my traffic-free lane meant just for me. That is, until recently.

You'd think with the mornings getting a tad more chilly here, there'd be fewer cyclists on the road. But in fact, the opposite is true. My once-clear bike lane has become congested with other riders. Riders who like to go different speeds than I do. Riders on beach cruisers who aren't attempting to get to work in a timely manner. Riders decked out in racing gear who aren't attempting to race.

And the worst of all: riders who pass me.

The last few weeks I've finally been able to arrange my morning so that I leave my house and get on the road at the same time. Can you believe that? I can't. Anyway, 8:30 it is. Apparently it's the same time this other guy leaves his house every morning too. And he passes me every day. I thought I was fast (certain writers on this website have referred to me as "super-sonic bee" before), but apparently I've slowed in my old age. And the thing that kills me most about this guy is that he looks like Napoleon Dynamite. Huge blonde hair under his helmet, lanky, on a road bike with a huge frame, messenger bag slung over his shoulder. I can almost hear "Tina! Come get some ham!" as he rides away. The worst part about getting passed by the biking Napoleon Dynamite is that it looks so effortless as he goes by. La la la, just in probably the highest gear possible, slowly cranking, but making huge strides forward. La la la. I hate him.

But worse than that, there was a guy who even inspired a bit of road rage recently. I'm just past the first 1/5 of my ride, stopped at a light, and this joker with no helmet meanders past me and runs the red. Fine. If he wants to get run over, fine. So when the light turns green, I start pedaling and eventually catch up to him. I figure he's not going too too slow, so I coast behind for a bit, knowing that I'm gonna zip by him when we reach the next stop light. But after a couple blocks of green lights, another guy blows past both of us. I decide I've had enough, so I pass the red-light-running-guy. A couple lights later, there's a red. I stop and wait, and then I feel something bump against my back tire. I turn around and it's red-light-running-guy. I stare at him for a second, then turn around.

It's at that point, I decide to mess with this guy a little, so I ride the next leg of the trip more slowly than usual. Eventually he passes me, and at the next stop light, he's not running the red. So I do what any good SoCal citizen would do and obey the golden rule of the road: Do unto others as they've done unto you. I bump his tire. He doesn't turn around at all. He looks both ways and runs the red. I'm not gonna let this guy win the race, so I pedal my ass off until I reach him, but he starts veering into the oncoming lanes (there's no cars coming, don't worry about red-light-running-guy) like he's gonna take a left. I ride past him and raise my arms in victory. I haven't seen him since. I sure showed him. That morning, it took me about 20 minutes to catch my breath. I'm gettin too old for this shit.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dress You Up

A couple weeks ago I wore a tie on Friday. First time wearing a tie at the new job. I wasn't wearing a suit, mind you. Tie, dress shirt, slacks. No tennies. Loafers. No jacket. By the looks and remarks I got, you'd think I was wearing a Halloween costume.
"What's the special occasion?"
"You trying to show us up?"
"Isn't that tie thing for Thursdays?"

Which brings me to the point of this weeks post: If the "tie thing" is for Thursdays, why haven't I seen anybody wearing a tie on Thursdays?!?!?!?!!! My apologies to Alan and Brady - who both wear ties on a regular basis. One co-worker saw me and said "Oh, you're starting the tie thing. Isn't that for Thursdays? I'd totally be into doing that." Whew. FINALLY!

The next Thursday rolls around (this was last Thursday), so I get ready for work and put a tie on. Lily hates it when I wear a tie to work. She thinks it's dumb. There was once a time in men's work-wear that men were EXPECTED to wear ties. Not just on Thursday, mind you. Monday through Friday, sucka. No "Casual Fridays" anywhere. Just "put on your suit and tie and look like you're going to work" days. Look like you're going to work. These days, seems the line between looking like you're going to work and looking like you're going to have a drink at the local watering hole has been cleanly erased.

Anyway, I get to work, grab coffee and the ridicule continues:
"Is it still Halloween?" Yes! And what a unique costume I've come up with!
"Is it dress up day?" Yes! You know how I love to play dress up!
"Is it Thursday?" Ugh.

And my new comrade in tie-wearing forgot about the tie wearing. Or he didn't know it was Thursday. Or something. Whatever the case, I stuck out like a sore thumb because NOBODY KNOWS THAT THURSDAY IS "TIE ONE ON THURSDAY"!

Here's the deal:
As a member of the TNSC, you get to, on Thursday, wear a tie. Then after work (or after whatever you've been doing all day in your neckwear), you go to the TNSC venue and because you're wearing a tie, Alan - who will be wearing a tie - buys you a drink. If your name is Lee and you were his assistant at one point, he might even buy you multiple drinks! So what are you waiting for? Wear a tie and get a drink bought by AC! The end.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cheap Trick

I love Halloween. Who doesn't? I mean, at what age will you stop loving Halloween? When you're a kid you love it because you get to go out Trick or Treating and eat candy for weeks afterward. When you're an adult you love it because you get to go out and party your ass off with a costume on. And eat candy for weeks afterward! But somewhere in the transition from kid to adult, I think the message went awry.

Halloween is traditionally about scary. Not goofy, although some of the best costumes are the goofy ones. But Halloween is definitely NOT ABOUT SEXY. I don't know where the train ran off the rails with the costumes, but how the hell did "sexy" make its way into Halloween? Elvira, fine. She's the exception because she's still trying to keep her cleavage in the Halloween vein, but how did every costume you can think of become skewed toward lust?


"Hey Blanche, what are you going to be for Halloween this year?"

"I dunno, maybe a sexy nurse"

Okay, what the fuck does being a sexy nurse have to do with Halloween? Nothing. Not that we don't like seeing Blanche run around in a short skirt and high heels, but as a nurse? For Halloween?

"How about you, Hildegard?"

"I dunno, maybe Little Red Riding Hood, but Sexy"

Little Red Riding Hood wasn't enough of a costume, huh? You had to go and make it sexy. Ooh, I'm scared!

"And what are you going as, Myrna?"
"I dunno, I was thinking of going as a sexy police officer"

"And you, Doris?"
"A sexy indian, but I dunno."

"What are you going to be this Halloween, Bob?"
"Peter Pan"
"Whew! I was getting worried about all the sexy in Halloween this year, but I knew you wouldn't fall for that old... Bob?"


Which brings to light the real reason why I don't like the whole "sexy" costume idea: There aren't any "sexy" costumes for men. But I know of one. And it's just what I'm gonna be next year. SEXY EDITOR!!! Oh wait, I don't have to wait til next year to wear that costume. I already wear it every day. Aw yeah.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stay Clean

The other day I was cleaning the kitchen, which is what I do every day after
dinner. I tie the apron, put the gloves on and get to work. Wash the
dishes then tackle the grime on the stove. Some nights I'm more meticulous than others, so I take the heating elements off and set them aside before getting into it. And some nights I really go to town and get out the "more-than-daily-cleaning" cleaning supplies for a thorough cleaning. You know, for the stuff that just doesn't come off easily. Monday night was one such night.

Scrubbing the stove can be both a therapeutic and an infuriating experience. Watching the grime come off revealing the beautifully unblemished surface underneath is the therapeutic part. Seeing the grime stick around after scrubbing so hard that little pieces of the sponge break off revealing muscle soreness in your triceps is the infuriating part. I was deep in the infuriating section when my mind started to wander. "That doesn't need to come off. It's fine." So I stopped and looked at the black mark on the stovetop, contemplating whether to go on or to throw in the towel - literally! Not really literally because I wasn't using a towel to scrub. It was a sponge, but to "throw in the sponge" isn't the saying, now is it.

I turned from the stove to put the sponge back in its place, then quickly
turned back and scrubbed the hell out of the mark until it was gone. That's
how it starts: A tiny seed of thought that says that dirt and grime are
welcome in our homes. But no. We won't allow them to take root on in our
kitchens, on our stoves. We will win the battle. With all the fortitude
and relentlessness as the dirt and grime, we will win.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Proteck ya neck

The finale of Project Runway season 3 was last night. I've been watching by osmosis of Lily's watching, but also because I've convinced myself (and others) that the editing is by far the best you'll see on any reality-based TV show. Well that and because Heidi Klum has managed to stay by far the most babe-a-licious of any supermodel in her peer group. By contrast, Tyra banks has managed to show that she's a super ugly hateful bitch on the inside.

Why the judges chose Jeffrey as the winner over Uli was pretty clear: Jeffrey's collection at Bryant Park was far more innovative than Uli's. But the judges should have taken one look at him and tossed him out based on the cardinal sin of fashion: When trying to downplay large physical attributes, YOU DON'T PUT HORIZONTAL FEATURES ON IT!!!

Jeffrey's neck is huge. So much so that you'd think he'd constantly be in a turtleneck to hide that monstrosity. Instead, he has a group of tattoos that amplify its width.

I thought for sure that as Uli and Jeffrey waited to the verdict, Heidi would say "Jeffrey, your designs were brilliant, but you've shown that you have no ideas on how to use fashion to hide your neck. Auf Wiedersehen."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Your kiss is on my list

According to Blogger, this is the 100th post of Lee Lee the Musical Bee. I have no idea whether it is indeed the 100th, because I'm too lazy to go and count the ones I've actually posted. Well, to commemorate and to tie in to the whole number thingy, I've decided to throw a top 10 list together. Yay! (It really makes no sense that 100 posts equals a top 10 list, but go with me on this.)

Everybody out there has an opinion about something and they just have to put a friggin' list together to show how opinionated they are. So here's my opinion and feel free to tell me I'm totally wrong. I've clicked the "allow LLMB readers to comment on this post" button.

Top 10 alt-rock/indie albums of the late 80's/early 90's:

10. Undertow - Tool
Prog rock with a pipsqueak scatological singer. I'm still miffed that I missed it when they played "Prison Sex" on the Lateralus tour.

9. Gish - Smashing Pumpkins
Back when Billy Corgan had hair. And wasn't such a whiner.

8. Rid of Me - PJ Harvey
Who knew that Steve Albini and PJ would make such beautiful music together?

7. Liar - The Jesus Lizard
Proof that the only ingredients you need for a great band are tight musicians and a lunatic frontman. And Steve Albini recording your album.

6. Frizzle Fry - Primus
Okay, maybe I'm the only one to ever put Primus on a top 10 list of anything more than bass playing lists, but you can't deny that "Too Many Puppies" takes control of your head and makes it bang.

5. Surfer Rosa - The Pixies
Duh. Like I was gonna leave this off the list.

4. Nothing's Shocking - Jane's Addiction
Classic. Go ahead, the coast is clear. It's ok to listen to it again.

3. Check Your Head - Beastie Boys
The Beastie Boys can play instruments?

2. Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Flea can play bass without slapping it?

1. Nevermind - Nirvana
What? You were expecting Led Zeppelin 4?
Yes, Nevermind is great and it changed everything. Well, it actually made all the frat boys at UW start liking the music that I liked, so that kinda sucks really.

On that note, thanks for continuing to read Lee Lee the Musical Bee. Maybe 100 more posts, maybe 1 more.

Shameless self-promotion department:
If you don't have anything else going on already, my short film "Wakeup" will be playing at the Mill Valley Film Festival this Saturday at 6:30 pm. Be there or... well, go on doing whatever you were doing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stardog Champion

What the hell happened to rockstars? It used to be some elevated unachievable status by us mortals. Rockstars were people who did the unthinkable by regular worker bee standards: Partying all night. Overdosing on drugs. Engaging in wild crazy threesomes with no protection whatsoever.

Nowadays everybody and their mother is a rockstar: Partying all night. Overdosing on drugs. Engaging in wild crazy threesomes with no protection whatsoever. Except there’s one very significant piece of the puzzle missing: the ROCK.
Sorry, but you need to rock to be a rockstar. You can snort all the lines of blow off a strippers ass you want, but if you play soft music you’re not a rockstar. Rockstars smash guitars. They don’t smash keyboards. They bang their heads or at least nod them on stage in a heroin induced motion. They utter vulgarities at the crowd and sometimes spit on the crowd. Rockstars don’t care.

I found an article that called Ann Coulter the "rock star of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference". Now if that's not a contradiction then.... Coulter might be the most blindly ignorant tool for conservative men who don't really give a shit about women's rights, but rock she doesn't. I'll believe she's a rockstar when she's overdosing on partying all night in a wild crazy threesome with no protection whatsoever. With a smashed guitar in her hand.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Very superstitious

We're superstitious. Maybe not VERY superstitious, but still. We knock on wood or touch wood after talking about something bad happening. Or something good happening too. Lily made me a bracelet with wood beads, which she reaches over and taps from time to time for no apparent reason. Now if I forget to wear my bracelet I get the feeling that I'm gonna die that day. Great. Thanks for the cool wood bracelet, Lily.

Our last apartment was #7. Good number. Lucky number 7. Now we live in apartment #4, and we don't feel very good about that. Number 4 means "death" in some eastern languages. That's why there was never a D4 tape machine. Went from D1 to D2 to D3 to D5. No D4. No Sony exec is gonna make the tape machine of death.

The Seahawks are 6 & 2 since Judah was born. They're 3-0 this season. Which happens to correspond to Judah wearing his Seahawks onesie on game day (and Seahawks bib when he's eating). Undefeated this season thanks to Judah, not counting preseason. Unfortunately, now that I've mentioned it, they'll probably lose. Damn superstition.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I might like you better if we slept together

Well it's the end of the line for my career as a freelance editor. No, I'm not changing careers. I've taken a staff gig! (This is not news to at least 7 of the 10 people who read this blog. Sorry.) No more invoicing or going to the post office to send my reel. No more 1st and 2nd holds and releases and bookings. No more "challenging". Not directly for me anyway.

In the past 6 years I've learned a thing or two about how to manage a freelance life. Guidelines, not tricks of the trade:

- Never take a hold without getting something in writing. E-mails are your best friend here. My favorite way to get it in writing was always "Can you send me an e-mail with the dates? I don't have my calendar in front of me."

- Not that I ever did this, but a fellow freelancer told me: Never give somebody the first hold. You always have a first hold on your calendar - your own free time. The people calling get a 2nd hold until you decide what you want to do. You're a freelancer after all. Free as a bird. Sometimes that bird is a dirty pigeon eating scraps out of a garbage can, but you're free to do what you want until somebody decides to hire your sorry ass.

- NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER take a gig from a startup without getting some money before you start. I got burned. You will too. If they're serious, they'll give you some money to get going. If not, let the next chump get burned. Unless you like working for free. Which leads me to...

- Everybody has a great film that will definitely get bought and of course a killer distribution deal, and they have no money but they need some of your time to make it happen. Read the script. If you like it, then by all means work on it! Unless you're a kid out of school and need some work for your reel, you might be wasting your time. But if you're building client relationships, that's different and you should work with them because you wanna work with them.

- I didn't have the balls to do it, but you're free to ask what the budget is for the position they're calling you for. People always ask what your rate is, and then they freak when you tell them what you want to get paid. Why not cut to the chase and find out how much money they have to offer and then you can decide to take the gig or not?

- Make friends with people in your field. I got so many random recommendations from people I worked with for short periods of time. And don't buy into the competition bullshit. Editors recommended me for edit gigs more often than anybody else in the field.

- Don't freak out over time between gigs. Something will come up and you'll find yourself missing all that free time you wish you'd done something with.

- And lastly, never say never.

It's your business so do what you want with it. If you wanna build a steady stream of clientele, then treat it that way. If you wanna work as little as possible, then go ahead and do that. But don't ever think that somebody will always hire you, because there's plenty of kids coming out of school every year to fill your shoes who are faster and more hungry.
Oh yeah, and don't listen to anybody who gives you advice through a blog. Doy. Like I needed to tell you that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The New Style

We recently went to a restaurant called Meditrina Cafe, and their menu had "Famous Hamburgers" on it. This place isn't famous for anything, certainly not a burger. After eating there (and having a salad) I don't think they'll be famous for anything but being the fastest place to close its doors on Abbot-Kinney.

Every stooge on the planet has a "famous" hamburger. Especially in Los Angeles. It's the official food of Angelinos. You can't throw a rock around here without hitting a burger joint. (I just threw a rock and hit a Hummer, but a dude was eating a burger in it, so that sorta counts.)
So where do all these places get the cred to call their burgers "famous"?

If your burger is famous, wouldn't there be a line out the door? Pink's Hot Dogs is the only famous hot dog I know of and there's one hell of a line there at all hours of the day and night. That probably qualifies as famous. Because only a famous hot dog would make you stand in a line like that for a hot dog.

Tommy's Burgers are supposed to be famous, but has anybody heard of them outside SoCal? Maybe they're famous for having chili on them, but it's not like the burger is that good. Probably the best tasting, least cowschwitz-y burger in San Francisco is at the Metro Caffe on Fillmore and Haight. But they don't call their burgers famous. I guess "Famous" doesn't necessarily mean good. But nobody wants to eat a Notorious Burger.

White Castle is mentioned in a Beastie Boys song, as is Fatburger . That probably qualifies as being famous, but neither of them use that word in their slogans.

In-n-Out Burger is probably the most famous burger of all, but they don't call their burgers famous either. I knew a vegetarian who was broken of her vegetarianism by In-n-Out Burger. That's worthy of fame.

Every time I drive by a sign that says "Famous Hamburgers" I think to myself "I gotta stop in one of these days to give it a try". Like I'm the decider of whether a burger is deserving of the word Famous or not. Now I'm wondering: Why the fuck would you need a sign to advertise your burger if your burger was famous? IT'S FAMOUS!!! IT DOESN'T NEED ADVERTISING.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Like a Prayer


Thank you for the wonderful day.
Please bless all the nice people you've put into my life to help me along the way.

Please make that horrible parking ticket lady get nightmares every night of somebody going road rage on her until she decides to start a new career.

Please give Stephanie and AJ at the Apple Store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica the worst customer service imaginable from their cell phone companies. And any other terrible customer service that you can think of so they might reconsider the meaning of customer service. And please give Nick at Apple Phone Support a personality so he might stop responding with no human emotion whatsoever. Bless John at Apple Phone Support though.

Please make every idiotic Harley and crotch-rocket rider who unnecessarily revs their engine go deaf so they might not hear that bus that hits them and doesn't necessarily kill them, but prevents them from riding motorcycles and revving engines anymore.

Please let every person who drives while talking on their phone realize the error of their ways and stop doing that shit.

Bless Lily and Judah and our families and friends. And make sure Judah stays a good person.

And please let the Seahawks win the superbowl this year.

Amen. G'night.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Smoke Two Joints

My family and I (that sounds like an odd way to say "Lily, Judah, and me") were strolling down the Venice boardwalk the other day and we stopped to get some fries. Not the regular stick-fries. Not those wedge fries. But fries that were discs, like the potatoes were sliced then fried. Damn good.

While we were waiting in line for the fries, the drone of a man speaking loudly boomed behind us.
"Smoke marijuana. It will bring you health and vitaility."
The man's cadence was like a preacher's. Preachin' to the choir out on Venice beach apparently. Between every verse, the man played a few notes on a cheap plastic flute.
"Smoke marijuana. Through bong, pipe or blunt."
A few more flute notes.
"I know I'm not the only chronic smoker out here..."
He stood on a green milk crate while addressing the passers by. None of them seemed to pay attention, but some guys in line next to me were riveted by what the preacher said. As if they'd never heard of this magical marijuana before. The milk crate preacher continued:
"Before I smoked marijuana, I was sick. Now I smoke marijuana daily and I feel better than I have in my entire life."
A few more flute notes.

My fries finally arrived in the pick-up window, and I doused a little corner of the plate with ketchup.
"Smoke marijuana."
I wondered what this guy was hoping to gain by wasting his breath preaching instead of taking major bong loads. Shut up and smoke marijuana, dude!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Can you hear me now? Good.

Hopefully this is the final installment of "LA move bitch-fest 2006". I thought I'd share with you the love that I've received from just about every service vendor in Los Angeles since I've arrived here. If it weren't for the LADWP (utilities), the City of Angles would be 0-fer my move. So hopefully (please hopefully) I won't be writing any more rants about this fucked up situation.

Verizon phone service working when we get here? Nope. Check.
Time Warner Cable working when the technician hooks it up? Nope. Check.
Verizon DSL working when they say it will? Nope. Check.

Well, the latest on the move from hell is that Verizon DSL promised I'd be up and running on August 17th, a speedy 7 days after I ordered. They ship you your DSL modem via UPS, so Brown can do something for you. Well the Verizon phone rep forgot to put my apartment number down, so Brown just turned around and took my modem back down to lovely Gardena california. A little hop, skip and jump down the 405 on a Friday. Yippee. At least the supervisor on the phone was nice enough to give me a month free DSL for my trouble.

I go pick up the modem from UPS, come home and open the box like a 5-year-old on Xmas morning. Since there are no paper instructions and only an installation CD, I pop the CD in. I'm being talked to like a 5-year-old by the voices on the CD about how to install a splitter into my phone jack, then the CD doesn't allow me to progress to the next item: How to install DSL filters. Nice. I know how to do this. I know I can. I've worked with technical stuff once or twice before. Piece of cake.

The phone splitter goes into the outlet. The DSL filter goes on one side, the other side gets plugged into the DSL modem. The ethernet cable gets plugged from the modem into the compter and VOILA! Nada. Well not exactly. There was a flashing light next to the part that said DSL. Probably not a good sign.

Onto call #2 with Verizon DSL, and the tech support guy starts talking to me like a 5-year-old. I cut to the chase and tell him I installed the wiring like I did on my last DSL modem, but the DSL light is flashing and my web browser is telling me I'm not connected to the internet. Long story even longer, I finally get to talk to the supervisor and he tells me that my DSL isn't hooked up yet. Brilliant. Now how the hell did he figure that out? Oh yeah, I called and told him that. Thank god for stellar customer service.

When we finally get our DSL working 3 days later, it seems slow. So slow that I decide to run CNET's speed test on it. Not the 3 MB / sec I ordered, not even 1.5 MB they offer: A snail-like 613 K at best. I should have known better than to order Verizon DSL after LLMB reader #2 told me he tried 'em and got slow speed DSL too. I'd try to get cable internet, but ah shit... I won't go back there again.

Now I'm switching to Earthlink. FUCK VERIZON. Can you hear me now? Good.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rage Against the Machine

Update on the cable situation from last week:

The supervisor comes out on Friday and looks at the box outside and tells me we CAN get cable, but it's a weak signal so we can't get cable internet. I say I don't want cable internet now anyway. He says somebody will come out Saturday to install.

On Saturday two guys come in and plug the set-top boxes in and it sorta works, but channel 2 (CBS) doesn't work. The guy then tells me it's not working and they're gonna have to drill a hole through the wall in Judah's room and run a line of cable throughout the inside of the apartment (real pretty) so we can get a strong signal. I tell him we don't need channel 2 and we'll think about having the pretty inside wiring done later. He leaves, Lily and I are checking out the channels, and then he calls back about 10 minutes later saying he's gotta come back and take the box because his supervisor said he couldn't leave a cable box unless it's fully functioning. I tell him no and that I'm calling his supervisor. The supervisor tells me a bunch of crap about how it's a routing thing and they can't leave an install like that. I tell him we won't make a complaint and I ask him to let us keep it. Lily gets on the phone and sweet talks him into letting us have the cable as-is, and now we get channel 2 and everything works fine with the same wiring we had in the first place. Fucking A.

Okay, enough with the bitching about the cable, phone and internet companies. At least until next week anyway.

Shortly after we moved in, our apartment manager informed us that there's no recycling for the building. So we set out to get some recycling for the building. We called the number on the side of the neighbors' recycling bins. The people on the phone told us they were gonna find out how much it costs and call us back. We still haven't received a call.

After having unpacked about 2/3 of our boxes, we found ourselves swimming in a sea of crumpled newspaper (for the dishes), scraps of cardboard (from the flimsy boxes we used for clothing), and broken down boxes. This pile of paper products was taking over our apartment and wasn't allowing us any room to unpack more.

So we called the number on the side of our garbage dumpster, and they said it would cost 30 bucks a month to get recycling. Until we get on the phone and ask our landlord to foot the bill to save a tree or three, we decided to throw our mountain of paper into our neighbors recycling bins. The apartment manager assured us that the neighbors like that sort of thing, because it's good to see people recycling. Yeah. Our neighbors across the street have a house that belongs in Architectural Digest. I'm sure they want random people throwing their crap/recycling into their bins.

After missing last Tuesday morning's recycling collection, I informed Lily that this Monday night was the night for stealth guerilla recycling mode. I grabbed 6 paper grocery bags filled with crumpled SF Weeklies and Guardians (for the dishes) and headed down the steps onto Grand Boulevard. Luckily at that time of night, there isn't much traffic so I had no problem walking across the street and finding some space to cram the bags in.

I came back home to get another load of bags. Then another load of cardboard. I put our stuff in about 8 different bins that all had just enough space to include our recycling. I couldn't help but feel like I was doing something wrong by using the neighbors recycling bins, but Lily convinced me that we're trying to do the right thing. That kept me going for the last big haul: A clear plastic bag about the size of Santa's Xmas gift bag, but full of crumpled newspaper instead of toys. Ho ho ho.

On the way back from my fourth trip, I found a large blue bin that was nearly empty. I slung the huge plastic bag full of crumpled newspaper over my shoulder and headed for the empty bin. I walked down the sidewalk feeling pretty good about being done with this stealth guerilla recycling mission until I saw a Volvo station wagon heading down the street pull a u-turn and come back toward me. The criminal feeling came back and I propped the bag against a nearby bush. I walked away from it and stood on the curb, tapping my foot like I was waiting for somebody.

A woman got out of the car with her dog. They were right across the street from the empty bin. I acted like I knew nothing about the bag and waited. The dog sniffed around the sidewalk and grass, then peed. I was ready to bust them if the dog pooped. But they jogged across the street and out of sight into the darkness. I quickly made my way to the blue bin and crammed the papers in. Man, if it's gonna take that kind of covert action every week to recycle, I'm gonna pay the 30 bucks myself.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Power of You

Well it's day 10 of no internet or cable TV in my new SoCal home. I can just hear it now: "Cry me a fuckin river, Lee" or "Holy shit! How have you survived, Lee?" Let me tell you, if it weren't for Project Runway (Lily) and SportsCenter (me), I think we could do without the TV part for a while longer. But when football season starts, I'm gonna be climbing on the roof installing a satellite dish.

In our last apartment, I plugged the cable into the TV and it worked. Free cable for four years. In fact, the cable worked just by plugging it in (for a short while anyway) in 3 out of the last 5 places I lived. I highly recommend trying it out before calling your local cable company, so's to avoid any experiences like the one had by yours truly.

The Time Warner cable guy came over on Tuesday, arriving an astonishing 1 hour into the 1/2 day window they gave me over the phone. I pointed him at the outlet nearest to the TV and started him moving forward on getting the hell out of my apartment. After about 15 minutes, he asked for another outlet, and being that there are 4 outlets in my little living room, I pointed him at the next one. He drilled and poked and prodded, went outside and did something at the box outside, came back in and poked and prodded at the outlet some more.

He came back in and asked for another outlet. I asked "What seems to be the problem?" The cable guy said "I'm not getting enough signal. There's nothing strong enough to give you both cable and internet, so I'm looking for the main outlet." I showed him the outlet in our room. He drilled and poked and prodded some more. It was at this point that I began to wonder if he knew what the hell he was doing.

10 minutes later he asked if there was an outlet in Judah's room. Judah was taking a much needed nap in there. I reluctantly said yes and we went in. In accordance with Murphy's Law, the outlet was behind a dresser. We move the dresser and Judah wakes up and starts crying. The cable guy drills and pokes and prods at the outlet. Nothing but a "weak signal".

He asked me if there was a splitter box or a panel inside the apartment. "Like this one?" I ask as I point to the electric switchbox. He told me yeah but not really. Judah was still crying and I was really getting tired of his making me do more work than he was doing, so I said I don't know where the box was, nor did we have any more outlets for him to play around with. I stood there like a dipshit and he soon realized he had to do more than just stick a cable into an outlet and check for a signal. He went outside to call his supervisor, and I could hear every word of his ineptitude.

A few more minutes later he comes into my living room with his gear slung over his shoulder and he tells me I have to get the cable company to come back another time. Right. I tell him he needs to hook up my cable and not just give me an hour of his time and then bail. That seemed to get his attention because his line of bullshit turned to the questioning line of bullshit: "What you want me to do?" "You think I'm not doing my job?" "How am I supposed to hook your cable up if I can't find a strong signal?" Um, I've slung a few cables in my day and I think it's pretty basic: If you can't find the signal - you trace the goddman line back to its source. He told me that was impossible and left.

I called his supervisor and basically got the same line of bullshit. I'll spare you the details.
Now I'm in the market for a satellite dish. If you can't beat 'em, ...go climb on the roof.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Movin' out

Due to the massive amount of packing happening this week, time has slipped away and there will be not much to read (other than this) on LLMB this week. Tune in next week for another exciting episode. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Because of our impending move to the Southern part of California, we were forced to get a new phone number. Not that our current phone number is so great. But you always want a memorable phone number. Maybe one that spells something. My phone number two apartments ago was okay. It spelled VAN-VISA. You don't get a lot of choices for numbers when you get new phone service, and VAN-VISA was the best they offered.

Apparently VAN-VISA wasn't that memorable because some of my friends would tell me "Oh dude, I was gonna call you last night because we were at the most awesome party ever! But I thought your number spelled VIS-VISA or something. I couldn't remember what the first part was." Yeah, VAN and VISA don't really connect in the mind too well.

Having a phone number that has a 1 or a 0 in it kind of hinders spelling anything good because there aren't any letters associated with those numbers. Unless you put the 1 or 0 at the end, like if I had a number that spelled LEE-BEE1 or LEE-BEE0. That would be somewhat memorable.

Mr. Steve Magg told me he worked with a guy whose number spelled the most awesome thing ever: CASHBAG. Nobody forgets when your number spells CASHBAG. My new phone number only contains the word SUCK. Great. Go to to find out if your number SUCKs too.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I Can't Drive 55

We've been living out of our car lately. On top of driving up to Washington and down to Los Angeles, we attended a wedding in Kirkwood (South Lake Tahoe) last weekend. To get to Kirkwood, you drive 80 to 580 to 205 to I5 to 4 to 99 to 88. The bulk of the driving is on 88, where you get to tailgate campers, tour buses, or folks who are generally scared shitless of driving on mountain roads and who are going to go under the speed limit and drive using the "Fuck You" driving rules.

The "Fuck You" driving rules are as follows:

1. Assume a "Fuck You" attitude
2. Drive at or under the speed limit
3. Stay in the passing lane (aka the fast lane) if there is one available
4. If you drive a camper or tour bus, do not use the Turnout lanes to let faster traffic pass
5. Do not under any circumstances change lanes
6. Most importantly, if any vehicle attempts to pass on the right, speed up and do not allow it

Now the "Fuck You" driving rules aren't just for mountain roads. They can be applied on any highway where there are two or more lanes, thus creating an opportunity for the left most lane (in the US anyway) to be used as a passing lane. The most frequent uses of the "Fuck You" driving rules can be found on any stretch of I5 in the state of California.

Sometimes a "Fuck You" driver isn't necessarily attempting to be a "Fuck You" driver. This "Fuck You" driver is usually on their cell phone, chatting away and not paying attention to the other drivers on the road. These drivers assume that staying in the left/passing lane is the safest place for them, as it requires no lane changes and forces the other drivers to pass on the right, enabling them to efficiently use their driving time for talk time as well. But make no mistake, the phone driver is a "Fuck You" driver to the core.

"Fuck You" drivers can also be found on any freeway in Southern California. This type of driver can sometimes be found carrying a gun, so any glancing at a car or its occupants whilst passing on the right is unadvisable.

I'm going to be driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles so much in the next few weeks that it's gonna seem like my goddamn commute. Good thing we're moving to a place where you don't have to use your car very often. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Fuck.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Car trouble, oh yeah

We have 2 cars. One is a newer Passat Wagon. For the kid, ya know. We also have the car that Lily had before we met: a 1990 Honda Civic hatchback. We call it 'Lil Brown. It's worth about 500 bucks, but that wasn't enough money for us to use it as a trade-in for the new car. Much better to have a spare car lying around if you need it. And if you have a bunch of spare cash for repairs lying around that you don't need either.

'Lil Brown has become nothing more than a parking space taker in our neighborhood and a weekly taker of my time when I have to move it for street cleaning every Thursday morning. I have fun making it into a game where I try to park in the same spot in front of our house so we don't have huge trucks and SUVs in that spot preventing the cars speeding down Sanchez Street from seeing us backing out of our driveway.

When we went to the Northwest the other week, I parked 'Lil Brown in the garage, since we drove the Passat up. Upon returning, I saw a spot for 'Lil Brown on the street and put the Passat back in the garage. The next Thursday when I got in to drive 'Lil Brown back in the spot in front of the house after street cleaning, I put the key in the ignition, turned it and CLICK. Click. Turn, click. Oy.

Dead battery. I immediately looked at the headlight switch. On. I wondered if one of the homeless people who regularly breaks into 'Lil Brown turned the switch to spite me. Or if it was one of the neighbors who's tired of me parking in the same spot in front of my house all the time. Lily thinks it was me who left the lights on when I backed out of the garage and forgot the lights were on because it was broad daylight outside. I think it was Gremlins.

So I grab the Passat, and jump start 'Lil Brown and drive her into the regular spot in front of our house. I have a week to get a new battery, but do I? Hell no. I decide that next time I'm gonna push start 'Lil Brown to move it.

I once had 'Lil Brown down in Los Angeles at my old roommate Luke's place in Hollywood and when I was heading out for home the battery was dead. Luckily he lives on a hill, so I just coasted into a pop start and drove until I almost ran out of gas somewhere in the middle of nowhere on I5. I had just enough gas to drive to a station and fuel up, then I push started 'Lil Brown out of there, called LLMB reader #5 and he was gracious enough to drive to meet me at my mechanic's garage near Potrero Hill and pick me up.

Back to present day battery dead story: I'm trying to rock 'Lil Brown out of the little pothole she's in, and I look down the street to see that the garbage collection is happening on the other end of the block. Perfect, I have just enough time to get 'er going and move. I finally get enough momentum to get 'Lil Brown out of the pothole and turn the wheel so we're heading away from the garbage truck. I hop in and shut the door and attempt the pop start. Nuthin. I get out and push again and hop in again and try the pop start again. Nuthin. At this point I'm at the stop sign on 14th & Sanchez.

I look up and notice a black and white police SUV pull up at the intersection on my right. He stares me down as he drives by. Thanks for the help. I look in my rearview and see a green Subaru wagon behind me, so I motion for him to go around. The driver pokes his head out the window and yells "want a push?" I nod yes and reach for the passenger door and unlock it, thinking he's gonna hand push it with me. Then I notice in the rearview that his car is pulling up so close to 'Lil Brown that I realize he's gonna push it with his car. I close my door and we go left through the intersection and he gives me enough momentum that I coast into the right lane and I give him the thumbs up as he passes me on the left. This time I wait long enough to get serious speed going before I try to do the pop start. Nuthin. I try again. Nuthin. I look ahead and realize I'm about to coast into the very busy intersection of 14th, Church and Market.

Then the clouds open and a ray of light shines on an open parking spot to my right. I coast right into it. Whew. I get out of 'Lil Brown and look for the street cleaning sign. Tuesday. And Tuesday was the 4th of July, so NO STREET CLEANING!!! I am so golden. So I have two weeks to get a new battery, but will I? Hell no.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hollywood freaks on the Hollywood scene

Last weekend was my 2nd annual birthday/bachelor party trip. For those of you who haven't heard me mention this annual spectacle before, it's basically a bachelor party which happens to coincide with my birthday. In 2005 it was Las Vegas. This year: Los Angeles. And by Los Angeles, I mean Hollywood. What a bunch of freaks.

We started by driving down I-5 at the convenient hour of 6:30 pm because the bachelor, Cory, had a tough time getting off work in time to start drinking in the car. We picked him up from the Fruitvale BART station where we had a half-rack of Heineken mini-kegs waiting. I felt like a commando in the passenger seat handing out cans like I was loading ammunition into imaginary machine guns (our non-toned bellies, really); handing a fresh silver mini-keg to the back seat when they would hand me an empty shell.

It's never a good idea to drink in the car on a road trip unless you don't mind stopping every few yards to piss. Especially with 3 guys whose bladders aren't in sync. LLMB Reader #6 was driving, not drinking, so he didn't have the bladder issues the rest of us were having. But he was kind enough to oblige us our piss stops. That is until we reached Los Angeles. His patience having worn thin, he started pushing the bathroom stops to the exit AFTER we'd said we gotta go NOW.

Okay, enough with the pissing stories. For the actual bachelor party, we stayed at The Standard in West Hollywood. Hipster central. When we pulled up to valet park the car, the guy who took the keys looked like straight out of the Sabotage (Beastie Boys) video, complete with 70's moustache, shaggy hair and cop sunglasses. I thought it was a costume, but I soon realized I'm not hip enough to understand the fashion in Hollywood.

We went out for sushi at Miyagi's which included several sake bombs, more sake and more beer. Then more beer and beer. Our local Hollywood tourguide Luke met up with us and took us to Cahuenga, where we bludgeoned Cory with shots of Tequila, Jack Daniels ,and Jaegermeister (pause to vomit here). He ended up having to leave our second bar and wound up puking in the cab while his 22-year old brother tried to cover up the puking sounds with chit-chat about where to go for fun in LA.

LLMB Reader #9 and I got into a fight using the rubberbands that two hired hotties were handing out to promote some new phone service. I earned a pretty intense laceration on my upper arm that made me look like an S&M aficionado, while he managed a series of welts up and down his arm that he's probably having a fun time explaining to the clients he's in town to see this week.

After tucking the bachelor in his bed of pillows next to the toilet, the rest of us went to the lounge in The Standard. It was like a visit to India in there. I inadvertently told some women that it was my birthday and we got into the "how old are you/how old do you think I am" game. I wound up telling one of them I thought she was 34. She was 30. Ouch. I suck at that game.

We spent most of the next day hanging out by the pool. The real freaks started filing in at around 2 pm. A couple of guys looked like they were trying to sport Beck's hairstyle. One guy was bold enough to have a look that reminded you of Michael Jackson. Lots of kids drinking champagne. The buffed look is definitely out. You absolutely must look like a rockstar, moviestar, pornstar, or a hollywood player to hang by the pool at The Standard. If you look like you're gonna swim in the pool, you're invisible.

I won't get into the details of the rest of that evening, but I'll leave it to your imagination as to what goes on at a bachelor party.

To top off the weekend, at Sunday breakfast I had my most hugest star sighting ever: Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake snuggling over toast and eggs. How cool is that? I guess the Justin part isn't so cool. I should have shown him the moves I learned a while back from his boy band's music video while working as assistant editor with LLMB Reader #1. Well hopefully next year I won't see anybody from a boy band anywhere near my birthday. That is, if I'm lucky enough to have another friend get married next year. If you know anybody who intends on having their bachelor party the fourth weekend of June 2007, send 'em my way. Third time's the charm.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shinin' Star

We road tripped up to The Great Northwest last week. It was all fine and dandy until my first caffeine-deprived headache of the journey. I never thought I'd say this, but: Thank God for Starbucks Coffee.

Normally I try to keep my distance from Starbucks. Not that the coffee isn't good, it's because they're a little like Wal-Mart in their blanketing the block mentality. But the problem with being nowhere near a major city is that the coffee is almost guaranteed to taste like swill. You can tell it's swill when you're:

a. In a hotel and the coffee carafe displays the sign "coffee".
b. Standing there with a styrofoam cup in your hand and considering using the non-dairy creamer packets in front of you.

So Starbucks is the old standby. You're assured of at least the same non-swill because it's a chain. But as I found in Roseburg, Oregon, even Starbucks can be bad. How? I have no friggin' idea. But they can do that at Safeway in Roseburg.

I guess I haven't spent enough time working on my specialty coffee lingo, since I always order a house drip coffee. Because when I went into the Starbucks near my sister's house in Kent, Washington, I had a brain-cramp trying to figure out what those folks were ordering.

Kent, Washington is a little like... well it's not a little like anything. In fact, there isn't anything there but strip malls and houses. And trees. As we were driving into town, we saw a Kent City Center exit sign from the freeway. Lily and I looked at each other in amazement that we'd never checked it out before, so we looked from the freeway for the downtown. We saw a huge pile of dirt. We kept scanning. Nope, just a huge pile of dirt. There's Kent, Washington for ya.

Anyway, back to the Starbucks near my sister's. As I stood in line, I overheard a man ask for a vanilla double latte, sugar free with an extra shot of decaf. Even the cashier was confused. He said it again, like he says it every day in rote memorization. I stepped up to the counter and ordered my tall drip. The barista handed the man his drink and said "I didn't really know what to call it, but I guess you do." He giggled and said "The extra shot of decaf puts some of the flavor back in." I grabbed my coffee and headed toward the sugar station, and I overheard another man tell the cashier "vanilla double latte, sugar free with an extra shot of decaf." Lily assured me it must have been some frat prank. Yeah, a fraternity of 47 year old men. Thank God for Starbucks Coffee.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mr. Mom

My wife left me on Saturday. Okay, it's not really as dramatic as that. She had an all-day outing with the girls up in the wine country. So I became Mr. Mom. Because we've taken Judah in his stroller through our surrounding neighborhoods so many times that I could do it blindfolded, I decided to take Judah down to the Embarcadero to check out the farmer's market, and then to the Giants ballpark.

I grabbed the stroller, the diaper bag, my backpack, and of course Judah and headed toward the F-car line (for you non-public transpo types, it runs down Market street). When we got to Market, the F car pulled up across the street from us. I briefly considered jaywalking, but I'm sure Judah wouldn't appreciate it, given the amount of cars racing by. So we waited, and luckily the streetcar didn't make the light so I asked the driver if I could get on.

He opened the door and I fumbled to quickly get Judah and the diaper bag out of the stroller and fold it up. The driver was nice enough to grab the stroller and put it on board so I could handle the rest. I reached into my pocket and grabbed the buck fifty fare. The streetcar began moving. I lost my balance and had to take a step sideways so's not to drop Judah, then I was able to get the money into the coin box. Whew.

Not 5 seconds later, the streetcar made a lurch forward and I lost my balance again, nearly putting Judah on the floor. Luckily for him I have decent balance, so I just absorbed the motion with my knees and crouched for a sec and then made for the nearest seat.

Some 50-something tourist ladies in the nearby bench seat chuckled and one of them said something of which I could only make out "Britney Spears", and they laughed again. Ha ha very funny muthafucka. Judah and I settled into our seat and he seemed to enjoy the ride (as much as a 5 month old can anyway), and the tourist ladies gushed about how cute he is.

We had the same sort of adventure getting off the streetcar, except with no assistance from the driver this time. Same thing getting on and off the N going home. If I was a woman with a child, people would be tripping over themselves trying to help out. Man!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (part 2)

Because we aren't going to be seeing each other before Tuesday.

And keep going on this one, you'll get there eventually.

"We've got nothin' better to do, than watch TV and have a couple of brews."

Musical-bee robot - LLMB

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Been Caught Stealing

Going shopping for groceries has got to be one of the most dreaded experiences in anyone's routine. It is in mine anyway. I'd consider some delivery service, but I wanna squeeze the buns before I purchase them. I wanna sniff the peaches before I buy them. I wanna... well, you get the point.

In this town, you gotta go to at least 3 different markets to get what you need: A good fresh fruit/veggies market, a huge corporate market for cheap stuff you buy at grocery stores but don't eat (garbage bags, toilet paper, etc.) and Trader Joe's for boxed-type-throw-it-in-the-toaster-oven-for-a-few-and-it's-ready-to-eat food. I loathe every single market.

I frequented the Safeway on Market Street for the longest time because it was the closest thing to one-stop-shopping nearby. But their lack of bagging help, seriously limp produce, and abundance of weirdo shoplifting meth-heads (or people who look like them) forced me to search elsewhere for groceries.

That led me to Trader Joe's, which has to be the most infuriating shopping experience start to finish. The parking lot is a fistfight waiting to happen, and getting through the door can be tougher than cramming on BART at rush hour. Even then you've only just entered the insanity.

The inside of Trader Joe's holds the biggest collection of intelli-righteous fucks in the world. You can almost hear their collective mantra in unison: "I'm saving the earth. I'm saving the earth. I'm saving the earth."
No, you're buying broccoli in a plastic tray wrapped in plastic. Go to Rainbow if you want to save the earth like the rest of the walking dead in there. And move your damn cart over please. I need to get some of that free coffee and hummus.

There are three types of people at Trader Joe's:

1. The tourist: Sips coffee while meandering through picking up an item here or there. No list, just grabs what appeals to him or her. Grocery shopping is less of a necessity than an all day event.

2. The racecart driver: Pushes cart at mach speed through every opening, list in a tight grip. Eyes locked ahead, misses your hip by about 5 centimeters while muttering the next item on the list.

3. The completely clueless one: Stands in the center of the aisle while slowly scanning every can of soup. Meanwhile their cart is in the middle of the aisle in cockeyed fashion as to block anything but a 3 year old from getting by. Doesn't look up when you stand patiently and "ahem" a few times hoping to pass.

I love it when you're checking out of Trader Joe's and the register/bagger person doesn't even attempt to bag your groceries. So you're forced to stare off into the distance or mess with your phone until they realize that it's their job. I play that game now after bagging my groceries dozens of times and not even getting a simple "thanks" from the employees. Luckily, Trader Joe's food lasts forever in the freezer so you don't have to go there very often.

I've already covered Rainbow Grocery, right? The walking dead? Yeah.

Now I just go to another big market chain that at least has decent parking (validated even), baggers who actually seem like they don't mind it, and decent produce. I'm not telling anybody where it is because I don't want it overrun with weirdo shoplifting meth-heads (or people who look like them).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Takin' it to the streets

I'm sure it's happened to you countless times. You go to the store to buy some cereal and you get something like this:

Looks tasty, no? Your mouth starts watering as you grab a bowl, a spoon and the milk. You open the box and pour the cereal into the bowl and then you realize: You've been duped again. No fruit.

How does that make you feel? I know how it makes me feel: PISSED OFFF!!! (with an extra F I'm so pissed offf!) Nobody's about to go down to the grocery store in their bathrobe or jammies or nude or whatever to get that fruit that the cereal box promised but neglected to include.

The cereal companies are getting away with the most heinous false advertising there is: Showing fruit on the box, but knowing full well they're not going to put any inside. It would be like buying Lucky Charms and finding no charms inside at all. Not very lucky if you ask me. Or opening a box of Raisin Bran and finding only flakes inside. We wouldn't stand for that would we?

Why don't they just put a picture of a cut of filet mignon on top of the flakes to get people to buy more? Or for that matter, why stop there? Why not put 100 dollar bills, or Rolex watches, or diamonds on top?!?!?!!!!

I for one am fed up with the false advertising, and I know you feel the same. So I'm organizing a march on Washington D.C. to let our voices be heard. Power to the people!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

I've been working at a place where the employees are all about 10 years younger than I am. Therefore they didn't actually live the embarrassment that was the 80's, they were too busy sucking on pacifiers and crawling on black and while tile floors to know what the fashion and music was all about.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty impressed to see what kinds of music they have on their shared music libraries. Stuff that I forgot about until these kids dug it out of the grave it should have been left in:

The Politics of Dancing by Re-Flex
19 by Paul Hardcastle
Send Me An Angel - Real Life
I Like Boys - Missing Persons

At least my coworkers aren't wearing Members Only jackets. I'd hate to inform them that back then they were worn mostly by middle aged men.


Thursday, April 27, 2006


At about 4:45 pm last Friday the lights flickered at the place I was working. I heard somebody shout "SAVE SAVE SAVE!" I quickly pressed Apple (Command) + S (that's Control [not Windows] + S for you PC-based folks) and saw the beach ball spin for a few and then went away. Whew!

Around an hour later I got a phone call from Lily. She was wondering when I was gonna head out and she told me that the power was out at home. I decided to go home right then to perfrom my husbandly duty of protecting the house from marauders, thieves and villains during the unlikely event of a power outage.

I grabbed my bike and shouted "SAVE SAVE SAVE" to the remaining worker bees. "My wife just told me the power went out in our neighborhood, which isn't far from here." Somebody shouted "THANKS THANKS THANKS!"

Being that this place is on the 2nd floor and has an awkwardly winding staircase, I take my bike up and down in the elevator. I pressed the down button, then I remembered Lily telling me the power was out. I turned toward the awkwardly winding staircase, lifted my bike onto my right shoulder and walked down. About two thirds of the way down the power went out.

Think about that the next time you want to take the elevator for a flight or two.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Monsters of sock

Actual conversation I had at Walgreen's while looking for sterile Q-tips:

I look over and see a man mumbling to himself while scooping through a bin of white tube socks.

Man: Are these all the socks they have?

He sees that I look over, and I quickly turn back to the Q-tip selection.

Man: These don't seem like very good quality.

LLMB: Nope.

Man: They're pretty cheap though. Must not be very good.


Man: You know which socks are good? Adidas. I bought a pair of those, lasted me four months.

Wow. (Only four months?)

Man: Those socks were expensive though. I bet these don't last too long.


Man: Maybe there's some different socks at the bottom of this pile.


I left and went to Safeway where I saw a man standing in the entrance area who had a white surgical face mask pulled down from his mouth. He was coughing incessantly without covering his mouth. I had to take a serious detour to get around his coughing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hot Diggety

One thing I never realized before I had a kid was that when you have a baby, you lose your ability to take the time to savor a good meal. It's scarf-ville from here on out. Well at least until Judah's old enough to have parties and raid my liquor cabinet. I chow my food as quickly as possible so Lily can eat, or vice-versa. The sands in the hourglass are always almost out when you've got a baby nearby. One false move and it's WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Time to put the fork down.

Having mastered this little food bingeing activity, I went to the Giants home opener at AT&T&S&B&C park on Tuesday. There was a hot dog eating contest sponsored by Hot Dog on a Stick, and I knew this was my time to shine. The problem was the fact that I can't eat hot dogs. Can't stand 'em. But a corn dog, well that's a whole different story. Especially those Trader Joe's meatless corn dogs. Tastes like the real thing with less guilt (except for the sodium part. Mmm... sodium).

I looked over the competition and I knew I didn't have a chance when I saw hot dog eating champ Takeru Kobayashi of Japan doing warm-up stretches in the wings. So I went over to the officiant with a proposal. "If I eat corn dogs instead of hot dogs, but still wrapped in a bun like a hot dog, will I be declared champion if I come in 2nd?"
The official looked at me quizzically and asked "Why would we do that?"
"Because there's all that extra bread with a corn dog."
The official leaned over to the other official and whispered.
I waited.
They nodded in agreement. "We'll allow it."
"Woo hoo!"

Lily stood nearby holding Judah, who hadn't eaten in 2.5 hours and would imminently be crying, thus proving the fuel for my corn dog inhalation.
"Go!" they shouted and the gun went off.
I chewed as fast as I could, frequently glancing over at Judah to push me along further. He started wailing and I ate even faster. A few minutes later the jock-ish guy to my left puked on my new blue Pumas. I kept on chowing. Kobayashi was downing wieners at a record pace. I ate faster and felt good about my chances of getting 2nd place. I ate faster and felt bad about my chances of ever eating another dog of any kind, corn or otherwise.

"BANG!" The gun went off again. "TIME!" yelled the official. I slumped over and saw Lily give Judah a bottle. Kobayashi finished 1st with 51 wieners in 12 minutes. Just shy of his personal best of 53.5 dogs in 12 minutes. I waddled over to the podium. "And 2nd place goes to... Jenna Jamison!" It was a devastating blow (pun intended). Beaten by a porn queen. How humiliating.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This is the end, beautiful friend

Well, this is the final installment of "Lee Lee the Musical Bee". I want to thank the TNSC robots for giving me a forum to blather on about anything I wanted to. And personal thanks to the probably three people who read "Lee Lee the Musical Bee" on a somewhat regular basis. I especially enjoyed it whenever somebody would e-mail or IM me and tell me that they almost peed their pants. Nothing is as magical as the ability to make somebody laugh so hard as to pee their pants. If that were a superpower, I think that's the one I would choose. And then the ability to magically make their pants clean again. Because people would get mad at me and not want to hang out with me as much. Anyways, I hope y'all have enjoyed at least one of my rants/blogs/whatevers.

One final quote from Henry Adams:

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Recipe for disaster


- 1 Bad work week
- 0 Meals since breakfast
- 2 Fights with significant other
- 1 Weeknight, with work the next morning
- 1 High school/college pal in town, preferably having just broken up with/divorced their significant other
- 3 Transfers on public transportation
- 3 Hours until last call
- 1 Utter disdain for the rule of "liquor before beer, never fear; beer before liquor, never sicker"
- 10 or more alcoholic beverages
- 3 Massive bong hits
- 1 Call time earlier than 8 am
- 0 Aspirin in the house


Using as little foresight as possible, prepare the Bad work week, Weeknight, Fights, Transfers on public transportation and nonexistent Meals in a bowl. Stir until blended thoroughly. Simmer over low heat in a large stock pot.

Add the High school/college pal and turn heat to high. Pour in the Utter disdain for rule and 10 or more alcoholic beverages. Cook uncovered for the 3 hours until last call.

Turn heat to simmer and top with 3 Massive bong hits. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle with the Earlier than 8 am call time and 0 Aspirin.

Serve on a porcelain altar. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Star is Born

Sitting in this week for Lee Lee the Musical Bee is Judah on his 3-month old birthday. Thanks Judah!

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nnfreeef2333334er20dddsqqq hj uuuuuuuuuiammmmkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkmmmmmmmm< z l,..;... EFFFFEWDSSSS ;.';/../.D2W a ,,,,,,,,, ,.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Tonight I went to see Agents del Futuro at Madrone on Fell & Divisadero. As I was walking home I found this bike sitting between trash cans on Fell:

Why would somebody want to throw a perfectly good bike away? Both tires were flat. The handlebars were off-kilter. The handbrake didn't work. I hopped on it and immediately ran it into a trough surrounding a tree. I tried again. I ended up riding it home. The fact that it was so small made my legs burn. When I arrived at my destination, I set it next to some trash cans near my house, so somebody else could get one last ride out of it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I went to a dinner party not too long ago, and one of the readers of Lee Lee the Musical Bee asked someone if they'd read it. She said no. The reader then said something to the effect of "It's great, but IT'S ALL LIES." She asked me "Like the one where you're riding your bike and you spank the homeless guy on the ass?" I informed her that that was the truth.

In some installments of Lee Lee the Musical Bee, I have fabricated stories. In writing, this is referred to as "fiction". It is not called lying. Can you imagine? "We went to see the Matrix and that shit was dope! But it was all a LIE!" No. We all agree that that story is far too fantastical to be reality, and we don't treat it as such.

I realize that some of the writings in this space seem so similar to the truth that they could be fact, in fact. Several readers routinely contact me to inquire whether the story they'd read really happened. So I've made the decision to never again tell lies in LLMB. Everything you (the reader) read here will forever be the truth:

The other day I woke up refreshed and well-rested. I went upstairs and pressed the power button on our Dell Dimension as I walked by on my way to make a pot of decaf. I sat down and began reading the headlines on the Fox News website. Suddenly a hummingbird burst through our screen door and hovered 2 feet away from my coffee mug.

"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope" the hummingbird pleaded in a female voice. I gagged and accidentally spit my coffee on the hummingbird from laughing so hard. "You've gotta be shitting me" I said. The hummingbird said it again "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope". I took another swig of decaf and turned back to the monitor to read.

"Musical Bee, you are the only one who can save the earth" the hummingbird said.
I almost spit my coffee out again. "You gotta be shitting me." I replied.
The hummingbird continued, "You must fly to galaxy G12 and stop your evil twin - the mastermind Rondel - from sending a massive asteroid which will destroy the earth. Take this pill."
The hummingbird gagged up a worm that landed on my desk.
"I'm not eating that." I told the bird.
The hummingbird pleaded "You must in order to save our earth. Please?"
"That's not a pill, it's a worm."
"It is a pill."
"Um. No, pills don't writhe and squirm like that."
"This one does."
I thought about it for a second and said "Okay." I downed the worm pill, and it tasted like tequila. "You fucker" I said to the hummingbird as it flew away.

I went outside to our deck and - still in my pajamas and slippers - I pointed my right arm to the sky a la Superman and suddenly monkeys flew out of my butt and propelled me into the air. I barely missed an AirFrance commercial jet as I surged into the atmosphere.

Soon I found myself at galaxy G12. I landed and took in my surroundings. Exactly the same as earth except all the people were characters from movies and television.
Hummingbirds surrounded me, picked me up by my pajamas and flew me toward a huge mansion that looked eerily similar to the one on the TV show "Joe Millionaire".

A guy who looked exactly like me walked out of an upper balcony in his pajamas. Except the pajama colors were the inverse of mine. He was sipping from a coffee mug that had the Final Cut Pro icon on the side of it. I realized this must be the evil mastermind Rondel. He turned his gaze from the distance and onto me.
"What the hell are you doing? Where's my breakfast?"
I looked down at my clothing and it had changed into a chef's uniform.

"Yes sir, breakfast comin' right up!" I hustled into the mansion's kitchen and started making a meal. I made what I knew he'd like because I hated it: Eggplant Parmigiana with cilantro and dill. I served it to the evil mastermind Rondel and he gobbled it right up. He started choking and tore his fork through his food. I had hidden a chunk of my favorite desert (key lime pie) in the middle. His head exploded all over the dining room.

I pointed my right arm toward the sky again and monkeys flew out of my butt again, propelling me into the blah blah blah. I landed at home at precisely one minute after I had left. I grabbed all the cash growing on my money tree and went down to BALCO labs to try to buy some "clear" to stop any more monkeys from flying out.

And that's the truth.

Under Six Feet

Under Six Feet

We've been watching the hit HBO series "Six Feet Under" via Netflix. I know, we're way behind the times, but we don't have HBO.

Lily thinks I look like Federico. I say no way.
What do you think?



Thursday, February 23, 2006


I use the timer on the microwave for almost everything at home. Can't possibly leave it up to looking at the clock. I'll miss the mark every single time. I time my french press coffee brew. I time the rice cooking. I time the warmer for Judah's bottles. I even used the timer to see how long it takes for him to down 2 oz.: 10 minutes last time I checked.

Lately I've been using timer widgets on the computer. I still haven't found a nice interface yet. But I like the one called "Simple Timer". It has a little cartoon clock face that comes up with the words of whatever I typed in for it to say when the timer goes off. Like "eat!". Or "call!" Or "go!"

No freakin idea why the time is so important to be right on the dot. Lily does things without the timer and they turn out fine, if not better than my timer'd method. I guess it has to do with my need for efficiency: So I can figure out exactly how long it will take any given event to happen, so I can factor that into the day's master plan.

Good thing I don't wear a watch. Especially one with a second hand or a timer on it. Because then I could take my obsession with timing everywhere. I hope at least one of you out in LLMB readership land will time how long it took to read this week's entry. I'll be timing how long it takes for somebody to get back to me with the result.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chutes Too Narrow

We have a spiral staircase in our house. Black iron. It's the second straight house I've lived in that has had a spiral staircase. But this one is much more narrow than the last one. So much so that it can be a truly treacherous experience if you're carrying anything. Or if you have a J.Lo size booty.

Well, now that we have another body in the house, I find myself regularly carrying Judah up and down the spiral staircase. Seriously dangerous. Squirming baby in both arms while ascending or descending. Unable to hold the handrail. The changing table is downstairs, so every time the diaper needs to be changed we need to go downstairs.

For whatever reason: clumsiness or fatigue or whatever, I've banged my right shin on the bottom step of the spiral staircase almost every time since December. It's resulted in my right shin becoming bruised in about a 4 inch by 4 inch area on the lower part of my leg. I guess it's holding a baby and trying to ensure that I don't miss the bottom step as I go up, I inadvertently feel my way for that step and end up slamming my shin against it.

The first couple of times it hurt so bad that I wanted to yell "MOTHERFUCKER", but I also didn't want to stress Judah out or wake him up if he was asleep. So I wound up mouthing "MOTHERFUCKER" and biting my lip. It didn't take long for the right shin to become sort of numb to the injury. Later I'd hear the clang of my shin hitting the iron step and wonder what it was. Then the tingle of what I suppose was pain would remind me that my shin hit the step.

And then I noticed something. One day I had to clean up some used coffee grounds that I'd spilled on the rug while trying to make decaf for Lily, so I went for the dustbuster which is behind the bottom step of the spiral staircase. The step had a dent in it. I felt the dent with my hand and it was about 4 inches wide in a angled shape. I knew what it was so I put my right shin against the curve. Perfect fit. I reached down for my shin and it felt as hard as the iron step. And the bruise was now just as black.

I was horrified. Should I go to the doctor? Should I call the landlord? I decided I'd better go to the medicine aisle at Safeway and look at my immediate options. As I hurried down 14th street, I wondered how much a new iron step for a spiral staircase would cost. Would I have to buy a whole new staircase? My landlord would probably think so.

The light at Church and 14th seemed like it took forever. The J Church pulled up to the intersection and let a few people off, then moseyed through Market street. The crosswalk finally said walk. I neglected to notice the SUV behind the train trying to run the red light. It came to a screeching halt, but I was already hastily stepping off the curb. My shin hit the Porsche Cayenne with a loud thud.

The man driving the Porsche quickly flung his door open. "Oh Jesus. Hang on... wait, no, I'm gonna have to call you back. Bye." He flipped his cell phone closed. I looked down at the point where the car hit my shin and there was a small but noticeable dent. "Oh my god. Are you ok?" he asked as he came toward me. He wasn't really looking me in the eye, but scanning the Porsche. I wondered if he was talking to me or the car. I was stunned, but not in shock. "Yeah. I'm fine. Look I gotta go..." The man spotted the dent and immediately became outraged. "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO MY CAR YOU FUCKING FREAK?!?!?!!!!" He became exasperated and flipped open his phone and said "LAWYER", I suppose to voice dial. I looked at the dent and then my shin and started laughing. I ran off to Safeway and I could hear the Porsche man yelling "HEY!! GET BACK HERE YOU FREAK!!!!" People behind him were honking. I know what my superpower is now: IronShin.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

One for the thumb

If you don't want to hear any more whining about the SuperBowl, stop reading now.

I've read too many articles this week about how the referees in SuperBowl XL affected the course of the game. If you saw it, you know they did. I won't go over the specific plays (It would make me vomit for the 10th time this week if I did), but again, if you saw the game you know what they were.

There are enough journalists on ESPN and Fox Sports who are speaking out to the effect of "THE REFS COMPLETELY FUCKED UP AND SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO DO ANYTHING BUT WIPE THE ASSES OF MIKE HOLMGREN AND EVERY OTHER SEAHAWK ON THE SQUAD AT SUPERBOWL XL UNTIL THEY DIE." Well, the sports writers didn't exactly say anything resembling that, but they did cop to the fact that the refs played a deciding factor in the game. And that shouldn't happen.

Basically, if as many bad calls went against the Steelers, then the Seahawks win. Simple as that. I'm really tired of hearing "The Steelers won the game. That's it!" Well no shit. Seems that the media (and everybody else who doesn't see how the wrong team won the game) now believes that the definition of a champion is not only one who overcomes the foe, but that also overcomes whatever other adversity is there too (i.e. the referees). So why don't we just start the next championship game with one team down 20 points? If the down team were able to overcome that, then they'd truly be a champion.

Even the writers who previously thought the Seahawks didn't belong in the same room with the Steelers now agree that Seattle was robbed.

The Steelers fans probably wish the refs didn't play such a big role either. They probably want to know that they won fair and square. Or maybe not. They have the trophy.
Whining stops here.
Go [Whoever The Refs Fuck Over the Least]!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chilean Toilet About Celia

Look at your domain details
Irena, on Tracy disturbance
and bring so distinguish trefoil
He do of unroll lecherous peek

Sexy baby and bad erection?
We'll like our apartment better if we get this started.
Rollick in the hay like when you were young. seedling
Make your wife remember the good old days. capitoline
Shock resistance Lap Timer

it Hailee, it's suck
the Dolf, see perpendicular
You fit no packer
Aldous, the destruct mollie
or Vale, Ole the transference
her fly no imagination
his wait no alphabetical ministry

Atlanta, may sorrel guam
Pogrom, and grandstand
are make muscle finery
as shut as tourist rockbound renaissance
Eliminate all weakness and become the king!

Motorola is alginate with Domingo
Try Jamie a barbituate
anti de-pressants
Canadian Pharmaciy
Unique offers on the top health goods, huge discounts!
More telephone numbers than you can shake a stick at

Oyster yellow gold
it's Aubery but gabon
am proud of you, my dear. So far, so good. Now, Trot and Agnes,
on finish of antler
Cease being green-eyed and sport a new gift set.
It's all yours -- Beautify your wrist with a chic style.

The preceding was composed entirely of some of the subject lines of the more than 200 spam e-mails I received in the last week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


My son Judah was born on a Thursday. He asked me a funny question about TNSC the other day:

Judah: "Old man? Where do I find the venue announcement for Thursday Night Social Club?"
Lee: "Aren't you on the e-mail list?"
Judah: "I'm too little for e-mail. And you haven't signed me up for an e-mail account yet."
Lee: "Oh. It's:"
Judah: "Got it. I went to and got some 'site under construction' thing. Then I went to and got some 'site is currently being revised' thing.
Then I went to and found 'The Network Support Company'. I knew that couldn't be it because there wasn't any talk about drinking or anything."
Lee: "Right. It's"
Judah: "Got it."
Lee: "Great. Where is it tonight?"
Judah: "Hang on. Why do I have to click through a couple o' sites that have nothing but another link to the real site? I don't even understand what those dancers mean."
Lee: "Um... Go ask your mother."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cut the crap

Apparently we in San Francisco are the 11th meanest to the homeless in the nation. This has nothing to do with the general public's meanness, but instead the meanness of the policies that work against the homeless. We were 8th in 2004. Now we're 11th. Sarasota, Florida is number 1. I'm sure that a lot of San Franciscans don't like the thought of even being #11.

Just the other day in my neighborhood I walked past a bunch of somebody's crap in a shopping cart (pretty standard), then walked by a pile of somebody's crap. Definitely not dog crap. I know what that stuff looks like, I live right near Duboce Park - the Paris of San Francisco in terms of dogshit per square foot on the sidewalk.

Back to the human shit on the sidewalk. I'm sure we've all seen it in one place or another in our fair City. Probably next to some plastic bag or whatever they used to wipe their asses afterwards (another clue that it's not a huge dogshit). Seems like whichever person without a home and thus a bathroom to crap in doesn't really take his neighbors into consideration when squatting. It might even be seen as being mean to subject the surrounding neighborhood to his or her feces. Probably doesn't have happy thoughts about The City in general while taking a dump on the street.

San Francisco is #11 in the "mean to homeless" category. On its face, that sounds like we really ought to be nicer to them. And invite more of them here. And more of their shit.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Should I stay or should I go?

Ever get a nosebleed in the shower? It's the most odd place to get a nosebleed (not that getting a nosebleed in any other place is common) because there's always this sense of "should I get out of the shower now or should I just stand here and plug my nose until it goes away?"

Getting a nosebleed in the shower always reminds me of the shower scene in Psycho. But in color. And without the scary knife coming through the shower curtain. But the blood thing all over the place, that reminds me of Psycho. And then I usually wonder if Hitchcock got a nosebleed in the shower and that's where he came up with the idea for one of the most famous and memorable scenes in all of cinema.

Once the nosebleed starts, it's kind of too late to stop it from getting more than a few drops all over the place. Can't really get tissue paper to plug the nostril because it will get all wet and fall out anyway. Don't really want to get blood all over the towels. So invariably I press my finger on the outside of the bleeding nostril and press it against the septum.

Standing there in the shower wondering when it's safe to get out.
Ah, what a conundrum.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Apple store adventures - part 4

(This is really Apple store adventures - part 5, but I didn't report part 4 when it happened, so this is part 4. Not the actual part 4, but this one is part 5 which will be called part 4.)

I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't let Lee Lee the Musical Bee turn into a parent column, now that I've added "parent" to the list of roles I fill. So I'll keep the references to consistency of baby poop to a minimum.

On top of learning to deal with life as a sleep-deprived zombie, last week my desktop computer monitor went on the fritz, my cell phone died, and I found a new infestation of ants in my home. All on the same day. Perfect.

On Wednesday, we noticed a blue line on the left third of our monitor. Phoned AppleCare and went through the standard "turn it off, unplug peripherals, turn it on, zap PRAM" rigamarole with the Apple customer service rep on the phone. (Are they called Geniuses too?) Finally after exhausting the myriad of possibilities that always includes starting up from the OS install disk (which I already did), she finally tells me to bring it into the Apple Store. Brilliant! That's what I could have done an hour earlier if they gave their customers the benefit of the doubt and believed that I really need my monitor repaired, even though I sit on the wrong side of the Genius bar.

I decided to go down to the Stonestown Mall Apple Store instead of the downtown Apple Store simply because there's no place to park downtown and I didn't want to carry a huge 30" display box down Stockton street. I made my "appointment" for the Genius Bar online, and drove down to Stonestown. God forbid I should be able to make a real appointment with my AppleCare purchase, Steve Jobs wants me to buy Apple PRO now for another fistful of dollars.

After driving around the Stonestown Mall 3 times to look for the big white Apple logo, I decide that the only way I'm gonna find the store is to go inside. I park, grab the huge box and find the nearest mall directory. Then I realize I couldn't have parked further away from the Apple Store than I did.

I don't know if you've ever carried a 30" display box, but it's a great way to throw out your back. There's a little plastic handle on the top that makes you think that you're gonna carry it that way. After about 29 steps, I realized that just heaving the thing up into my arms and carrying it like a bundle of lumber was the way to go. I picked up the pace as my arms began to burn. "What an interesting way to dump this monitor" I thought, "on the way to getting the damn thing looked at". I picked up the pace more. The looks I got were interesting: Mall-goers glared at my armful with a mix of wanting it and then realizing that it would be fucked to have to carry that monitor anywhere including back to the Apple Store for repair.

I ran into people. People ran into me. I finally made it into the Apple Store and some geek smiled widely and beamed "nice monitor!" as I trudged in. I set the huge box down next to the Genius Bar. I was next in line on the screen, followed by a person named "Lee B". The people behind the Genius Bar wear black shirts that say "Genius" in white type in the middle of the chest. I want a similar shirt that says "Idiot" for my next trip in, which at my current rate will be in another 4 months.

People with iPods waited at the counter. I realized I left my car door unlocked. The nearest Genius was doing something on his PowerBook and I was convinced he was only checking his e-mail and surfing the web. They called my name. I cut through the regular crap of explaining and gave the guy my case number. He went over to his PowerBook and probably looked through the latest iMixes to appear in iTunes, then got to the tedium of entering my case number. He took my monitor out of the box and set it up on the counter. He gave me a sheet of paper with my repair order and sent me on my way with the empty display box. Much lighter.

I'd get into the whole ordeal of getting my cell phone fixed, but you don't want to know. You do not want to know. But know this: that repair insurance stuff where you pay 5 bucks a month so you can break your phone and get a new one is a scam. It doesn't take a Genius to figure that out.