Monday, February 22, 2010

All She had

Real receipt from corner deli. So profound.


Real quick:

Been seeing a lot of "kombucha" on the juice market lately. Let me just say that as a Japanist, sweet kombucha sounds about as appetizing as a Monster Iced Chicken Tea.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


In stories, there are forgettable climaxes, and there are memorable non-climaxes. These latter are transitions you can pinpoint to an exact shift in eye contact or a pause in speech. Los Angeles seems to pronounce memorable moments especially well.

Episode 1:
Anne gets menudo at the local Mexican joint on the East Side. Waiting for her order to come out of the kitchen, she notices a lot of Mexican families. It's Sunday. I love the sound of this English. I can't place it, but Baby Boomer Latinos speaking English is soooo lovely. There's a gentlemanly timbre to even their small talk.

I hear it. A woman announces in spanish that my order's ready. She starts asking if I want tortillas with my order, still in Spanish because her head's buried in the plastic bag she's filling with my food.

She sees me. THAT precise moment of "oh, she's not Mexican" was followed with the LOL-equivalent of a facial expression -- she's thinking about how silly that was, but wearing the laughter in a smile on her face. And then THAT precise moment was in turn followed by an "oh right, Asians like tripe too" look.

Episode 2:
Anne plays chatroulette with a group of filmmakers in Los Feliz. We keep "next"ing bald dicks and racist pricks. The nicest people (read: the only ones who'd talk to us for any length of time) were Asian or Middle Eastern. As most of the group of filmmakers are white, I sense some awful race-accident about to happen. And then it does. We meet someone from Saudi Arabia and one of us unconsciously blurts out:

Al Qaeda!

Except...we're typing all our conversations with these newfound chatmates, and our "Al Qaeda!" typer can't seem to spell it right. So while the first iteration of the name was offensive, the next ten were farcical attempts to render it correct. Even I laughed at some of the spellings. The cringe-worthy moment lasted all of a split-second. As if a ball tossed in the air to remain static for just that apex. Laughter and illiteracy took over the rest.

Episode 3:
Anne has dinner with her family to celebrate sister's birthday. We talking about the one person who's not at our table: pater familias. Sister's husband who's recently returned from his own marital sabbatical having ultimately reconciled with what for a moment looked like an "irreconcilable difference" with my sister, tries to give an informed opinion about said father. Judges him for his neglect, commends him for his humility. Sister mentions dad was the first person to make well wishes for her birthday. She shows us his text message, time-stamped at 6 in the morning. There's an "awww" somewhere inside each of us but it won't come out.

My brother-in-law then says with childish envy, "great. I should have woken you up at 5:59am to beat him at wishing you happy birthday then."

My sister and I make nanosecond eye contact. That eye contact acknowledges the fact that her husband's statement was pregnant with irony. Then we looked away.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Last night I went to a corporate karaoke party for a hedge fund in lower Manhattan. I'd heard amazing things about this company, where my friend Daniel (who does hardware development for them) has been working since 2009 Q3 (hehehe). And from what I can tell, the diversity of their workplace spans all spectra, though the diversity was very compartmentalized. HR was composed mostly of women, lawyers all had boring haircuts, and the programmers. Well...


Put them together in a karaoke bar and what do you have? Beauty. Comedy. The meaning of nerd reaffirmed.

Episode 1: Programmer A (somewhat portly, nicely dressed, wire-frame glasses) sings "We Belong to the Night" by Pat Benetar. He finishes, returns to the table where all the programmers are sitting (including myself but only by proxy) and comments to Daniel:

"That song was 10% longer than it should have been."

Episode 2: Programmer B (striped wool sweater, grey kakhis and skater shoes...and still the nerdiest looking dude that night) argues that "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is a false dichotomy, as it implies that unlike girls, boys don't want to have fun, which is not true.

Episode 3: Programmer C (a middle-aged Frenchman who's reputed to be a mathematical genius), "researches" songs on his iPhone to determine what fits the Karaoke Matrix of Entertainment-vs.-Talent best and decides on "Mamma Mia."
He sings the entire song slouched, with one hand stuffed deep in his pocket.

Episode 4: Programmer A has invited a woman he's just met, to the karaoke party. Before she arrived he recited to those around him, the re-appropriation of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" he used to entice her. His version describes the act of singing in public instead of being dumped. All the programmers approve.

The woman never showed up.

Episode 5: Lawyerly looking dude (tall, big, clean haircut, light pink dress shirt, black pants and sports jacket) goes on stage, starts singing...

I Swear

I swear to you he actually sang this song unironically. How do I know he took it seriously? Because a programmer in the audience jokingly crooned along in a falsetto and the lawyerly type said into the mic:

Alright, seriously. Stop that.

Same lawyer sang Michael Bublé later, which set off all the ladies in HR. ("Hello LAdiiiiiies")

Frankly, I'm all about the nerds. I'm in love with each and every one of you. Don't ever let someone shush you from mocking their rendition of All-4-One.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just plain silly

I looked up alternate definitions of the word "tempt" (in Japanese) today.
This is double the fun for anyone who can read Japanese, but worth it for the English alone. I'll let you figure out what it says in Japanese.

(screen shot of dictionary entry)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I apologize to those on my Facebook network that were subject to the chlamydia of some hacker fark. Don't worry. I will find him. And I will go number two into his scrota so I can say he has sh+t for brains.

I'm posting this on my blog because I have a feeling only five of you were really worried about said Chlamydia, while the other 200 people who got spam-ed had already been through this with other people. And I have a feeling you five FB-STD virgins are the same five people who regularly read this blog, since this blog doesn't "get around."

So now, a note about Facebook.

Preamble: I'd been wanting desperately to deactivate my account for a while now, despite, or because of the fact that it would suck up so much of my time (especially late at night when I'm most susceptible to crappy entertainment and self-important postings). Getting hacked was a great lynchpin. Now that I'm off it, I can rant about my FB network's poor etiquette.

What's the funniest thing you've ever seen? I'll give you a minute to think about this.
Now, who do you hate more than anyone else?
Unless the answer to question 2 is the subject of question 1, you should never post embarrassing pictures. Because otherwise you become my answer to question 2, and the answer to question 1 becomes:
I posted pictures of Question 2 acting like a slut at Halloween on Facebook and then she lost her job, and now she's a clown in Atlantic City. A really friggin' hilarious clown.

You seriously can't email me? Nothing is more annoying than writing into a slow-ass ghetto message template when I got five perfectly sophisticated email accounts from which I can write and share more freely. Unless the message directly pertains to the Facebook world, you should use one of the fifty other federally approved tools of communication. A message from "Facebook User John Doe" is a message from someone who depends on Facebook's curation for credibility, and that, my friends, is like adopting a hooker so you can "safely" be a pervert.

Why the hell would I ever play Farm Town or Mafia? Ping me when they make Paid Work.