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Wednesday, May 26, 2004  

Two Things That Put a Smile On My Face
I've been in a pretty melancholy mood today, what with this being my sixth consecutive day without leaving the house, but two tidbits from the web today made me shed the gloom for a bit.

First, Scientists have recently discovered that my favorite herb, cilantro, contains a compound that kills the salmonella bacteria. There is hope that a new food additive that will help fight food-borne illness. I'm not quite sure why this makes me so happy other than another excuse to put cilantro in everything that I cook. More effective at relieving the cabin fever is this story about a dog and a monkey who have become an inseparable pair in northern India. Take a look at the kick-ass pictures, and then tell me that wouldn't make a great half-hour animated TV show.

posted by JMV | 5/26/2004 06:10:00 PM

Sunday, May 23, 2004  

Day 349
Or at least that's the way I feel... Some serious cabin fever has set in, and I can't wait to get the hell out of the house (though, like the Elephant Man, I may just have to wear a bag on my head when I do.) Between the delirium of Wednesday night to the insanity inducing itch of Friday night, I've pretty much hit all the bases during my "fast forward" chickenpox infection. I'm currently in the "pus-filled and crusting" phase of the illness, which means I should be ready to return to your world by mid week. I'm not really looking forward to starting a new job with a scab-covered mug, but I am looking forward to starting the new job. If any of you loyal readers have somehow escaped this virus so far I urge you to see your health-care provider and get inoculated, as it is no fun at all.

posted by JMV | 5/23/2004 09:43:00 PM

Thursday, May 20, 2004  

A Pox On Me
Um.... Interesting story...
I had a terrible fever last night, and I woke up this morning soaked with sweat and covered in angry red boils. A quick(ish) trip to the urgent care facility confirmed my fears of Pox, chicken that is. I've escaped the "childhood disease" for 26 years only to be struck by it on the day I got a new job.

Thats right, the Universal Karmic System (UKS) shows its sick-o sense of humor by infecting me with the illness, which caused a raging fever delirium the night before what was probably the biggest interview of my life. But I soldiered on this morning and met with the President of The DR Group, a multifunction "media services" business here in lovely H'wood. They, of course, loved me and offered me the job of "Digital Sales Assistant" for more money that I can fully comprehend right now. Suffice to so it is more than I've ever made, and twice what I'm making at my current employer. Not to mention is it actually in the "industry."

I was going to start on Monday, but now I'll have to wait until my, "sores crust over." The MD at Doc-in-a-Box Rxed me some killer anti-viral meds (800mg 5x per day) so they will hopefully help the Pox run their course quicker. Until them I'm quarantined at home, awaiting the imminent itching phase.

posted by JMV | 5/20/2004 01:53:00 PM

Tuesday, May 18, 2004  

New Juice for the BoobTube
It is "Upfront" week in H'wood, and things are in full swing with NBC, ABC and WB already making their announcements for what is in and what is out in the fall. Sadly, all the pinning over the death of the sitcom is coming true as ABC is loosing 2 sitcoms and NBC is only adding 2 (replacing what was lost with Frasier and Friends.) And one of those doesn't even count ("Father of the Pride") as it is an animated show about tiger-trainers (wtf!) There are a couple of interesting new dramas announced including the Jerry Orbach-led L&O spin-off "Trail by Jury" and the James Spader WF Shatner vehicle "Fleet Street." Hopefully FOX (who has already announced, against all sane reasoning, that Arrested Development was picked up for a second season)and (ahem) CBS will have some more compelling shows to announce since the fall season is shaping up to be pretty damn lame...

posted by JMV | 5/18/2004 12:50:00 PM

Sunday, May 16, 2004  

I just finished a 1000 word review of Troy and then obliterated it by accidentally refreshing the Blogger page I was writing it in. I would be jumping around the apartment in a display of unbridled fury and destruction if it wasn't so friggin funny. How many times am I going to be taught that lesson before I start composing all meaty posts in a real text editor.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

So here is the super distilled 10 word version:

Cast, visuals, scope=good. Script, story, camera=bad. Worth seeing.

UPDATE: I just found a snipped of the conclusion from the long review, so I figured I would post that as well:

"It is ironic that the entire [film] industry is built upon the teachings of the ancient Greeks and yet it cannot produce a compelling film from ancient Greek source material."

posted by JMV | 5/16/2004 02:06:00 PM

Saturday, May 15, 2004  

Trunk Monkey Needs No Introduction
I would SO buy one of these. Who wouldn't want a club-wielding monkey (chimp, whatever) ready to dispense vigilante style justice upon the unwitting? (Also see him issue a beat-down with a tire-iron.)

posted by JMV | 5/15/2004 10:54:00 PM

Now that I'm a resident of Los Angeles I feel compelled to watch the last half of game 6... I usually don't get into Basketball, but I suppose if I'm going to watch, there are certainly worse times to choose to do it (and this way I'll at least be able to join the never-ending Bball-centric water-cooler talk.) I don't think you can be labeled a "poser" (the ultimate scorn) in this town.

Sure, the Lakers have Shaq and Kobe, and Malone, but for the past couple of years, I've been telling everybody who would listen that Derek Fisher, on any other team, would be THE star player. Fisher had a few things going against him, first he is a team-player. He passes, which isn't something you always see the guys in gold do. Second, he isn't huge, flashy, or thuggish, which doesn't help him escape the shadow of Shaq, Kobe, or Fox. But he can sink 'em downtown like nobodies business!

Maybe NOW people will listen to me. Maybe Fisher's at-the-buzzer shot, which Marv Albert called "one of the greatest shots in franchise history," will get him some very well deserved recognition.

posted by JMV | 5/15/2004 10:16:00 PM

Friday, May 14, 2004  

Science Used For Good, Not Evil
Via /.

A physics student at Case University is working on a down-right brilliant invention: The Keg Cooler. The idea is to use a thermo-electric wrap that is powered by a standard AC outlet or a 9v DC cigarette lighter. Sounds like funky black magik to me. But regardless, this would kick ass for obvious reasons.

posted by JMV | 5/14/2004 12:13:00 PM

Wednesday, May 12, 2004  

Pop Quiz
Here is a quick quiz to wile away the Wednesday afternoon.

What do you call:

Violent resistance to an illegal invasion force
A) insurgents
B) Terrorists
C) Freedom Fighters

Physical and psychological pain inflicted on political prisoners
A) Abuse
B) Interrogation
C) Torture

Non-governement paramilitary forces fighting for money
A) Independant security contractors
B) Mercinaries

A government that flaunts the laws of the global society, the Geneva Convention, and Amnesty International
A) A rogue nation
B) America

C) America

posted by JMV | 5/12/2004 12:46:00 PM

Monday, May 10, 2004  

Who Knew Hot Lead Was Kosher?
A woman from my Hometown of Irvine got more than she asked for at CostCo when she quite literally bit the bullet while eating a hotdog. Or bit INTO a bullet at least. She later went to the hospital and discovered she had a second live 9mm round in her stomach, which the doctors told her would pass harmlessly. The wieners served up at the CostCo counter are Hebrew National brand kosher franks, which I guess means that she are a blessed and kosher bullet. Oy Vey, there are just too many jokes I could make here. And if I had a live FMJ handgun round sitting in my stomach I would not be satisfied with the doctors assurance that it would pass harmlessly. That is something that would keep me up at night (eating prunes and Cracklin' OatBran.)

posted by JMV | 5/10/2004 12:10:00 PM

Sunday, May 09, 2004  

Whaa! It's Ought-Four??
File under "snookered again," Blogger catches up to the state-of-the-art circa 2002 and now supports native comments, post-by-mail, and all sorts of other goodies that every other CMS has had for years! I'd be more excited, but I've got a touch of the Sunday-night Blues (an illness related to "The Mondays" but more melancholic.)

Actually, to show my utter geekery, the new feature I'm most excited about is the new blog templates by web-guru Jeffery Zeldman. Though the Post-by-email feature will be quite useful for bypassing the friggin firewall at work.

In other news, Pastrami. Specifically, I ate some of the best pastrami I've ever had last night at Canter's Deli in the Fairfax district of H'Wood. I swear the beast was 5-inches high, but there wasn't a shred of fat to been seen. Just lean, mean, sweet-cured 'strami on Rye so good we bought a loaf to go. I also ordered a bowl of matzo ball soup, and, on first glance, I thought there was a softball floating in the broth. Turns out it was just a big-ass ball o' the matzo. And damn-fine soup it was.

I'm about 30 pages into the first "phase" of my re-write, and though it has been slow going, I think I'm making some real improvements. The proof will be in the pudding though, and we'll see what happens with my self-imposed May 31st deadline rolls around.

posted by JMV | 5/09/2004 10:30:00 PM

Saturday, May 08, 2004  

Three in One Day
I know the procrastination has reached a head when, after cleaning the kitchen and living-room, I reorganize my bookmarks.

One more post, then I gotta get cracking on the rewrite... Heavy Little Objects is the brilliant blog of a pack-rate junkphile who is documenting all of the flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a lifetime of junk-drawers and tool boxes.

I too am a pack rat and have always found a strange enjoyment in looking through the crap that has collected in cupboard or storage-box. The details of experiences-past that can be brought to the forefront of the mind as my fingers play over forgotten treasures has a magic akin to reading old journal entries.

Mack, the "curator" of the site, makes each object precious as he gives meaning to the randomness of his collection. I simultaneously think of the found-object sculpture of the AI of Gibson's Sprawl book and events from my own life, recollection sparked by Mack's poetic descriptions.

Sometimes I get bored with the WWW. Then something like Heavy Little Objects convinces me that all of the juicy chunks of meat haven't been picked out of the cyber-soup yet.

posted by JMV | 5/08/2004 03:36:00 PM

And Their Numbers Dwindled Like Dew Drops in the Noonday Sun...
Somehow I neglected to mention the pending nuptials of one of my oldest friends, Cameron, and his long-time girl friend Julie. The announcement was a long-time coming, and they are shooting for an end-of-summer (yes, THIS summer) wedding. I can fondly recall summer days spent in Cameron's pool discussing the pros and cons of acetone for use as a fire accelerant, devising plans for ill-fated rocketry experiments, or playing pool on the fill-sized table in the too-small game room. Those time don't at all seem like they are so far behind us, and now he is starting the "next-phase" with a wonderful woman.

As if that weren't enough, I get a call this morning from Andrew to inform me he has finally cleared all of the logistic hurdles and proposed to his long-time GF, Jodi. I've known Andrew since the very beginning of my time spent in Santa Cruz, but the funny thing is we spent 2 years as neighbors before we realized, (and only through his then roommate Jason) that we were kindred spirits. After he joined the on-going Deadlands RPG campaign in the fall of 1998 we became fast friends and have had many adventures since. I've actually known Jodi longer, and if you had told me, 5 years ago, that the two would be getting married I would have stopped mixing you drinks. But now I see that there is really no better match for the two of them, and I couldn't be happier!

So, to the four of you, I raise my glass of eChampaign and propose a toast:

True love is a rare and splendid thing, and though marriage in America has become the butt of jokes and the battle-ground for fundamentalists, the wedding is a sacred and powerful rite, even in the most secular examples. It will forever change your life and your perceptions of the world, and I hope that you all find the love, support, comfort, and adventure that I have found. Put on some comfortable shoes, cuz you've got a long and marvelous journey ahead of you!


posted by JMV | 5/08/2004 02:32:00 PM

Well, I'll Be Snookered
Did you know that I love the internet?

I do as much as possible on-line... Bills, travel arrangements, shopping, all the good stuff that people use the net for. I was so very excited when we moved to the big city because it meant being able to order pizza on-line.

But, did you know you can now go to Traffic School on-line?

Hell yeah! From what I hear it only takes about 2 hours to burn through the course and take the test. The only downside is you miss the comedic stylings of wannabe stand-ups working the captive audience in a sweaty room at the courthouse. Oh wait...

What is next? Serving 8-10 in #attica from the comfort of your iBook?
Let the crime wave (or at least bad-driving rash) begin!

posted by JMV | 5/08/2004 01:33:00 PM

Tuesday, May 04, 2004  

Now We're Cool Too!!
Long time hip Manhattan blog Gawker launched the Los Angeles version, entitled Defamer, today. Defamer promises all the gossip and none of the glamour of those OTHER Hollywood rags. I look forward to seeing what will come out of the newest endeavors of Blog-mogul (bloggul?) Nick Denton (of Gizmodo, Kinja, and Fleshbot fame,) and so far my favorite aspect of Defamer is the reader-submitted celeb sightings.

posted by JMV | 5/04/2004 12:20:00 PM

Monday, May 03, 2004  

Another Year
Had a fun-filled weekend as we celebrated my beuatiful wife's birthday, including a (small) party on Saturday and a wonderful meal that the Cat and Fiddle yesterday. I was worried that we wouldn't get enough people to achive
critical mass" at the party but we just got there and I'm very happy with the way things turned out. Jules and I are not really used to catering to smaller crowds since we spent so many years throwing increasingly large bashes in Santa Cruz.

But now it is back to the litigation support game for me this morning. I've got moer to say, but I'm afraid the corporate fire-wall will eat my post if I take too long, so the rest will have to wait.

posted by JMV | 5/03/2004 08:29:00 AM
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