Monthly Archive for March, 2002

potatoe? try “psychoe”

there’s a hilarious spin on the academy awards, called the billy’s at espn.com. the writer names one award after the todd solondz movie “happiness”. it’s paranthetically titled as the award for the ‘most disorienting sex scene/worst movie to take someone to on a first date’. the funny thing is that i just saw it with a beautiful lady friend over the weekend. strange, but i didn’t feel that uncomfortable. is something wrong with me or have the massive amounts of porn and ultra-violence i’ve taken in over the years desensitized me? also mentioned in part 2 of the awards is “crash”. named after the award for ‘the movie that would have been much better if they just made it a porn flick’. i recently saw that also. it’s a movie about sexual fetishes and car crashes, or more accurately, a sub-culture that gets off on the violence of car crashes. sounds weird? it is.

and as for that amazing scene in “the gift” (“WHOA! Katie! Good golly!”)….i agree with his characterization, but i must give two awards out in that category, the co-winner being halle berry (see “swordfish”). or they can both appear in “wild things 2″ to settle the matter…”yeah”.

what some people will do for attention (and, of course, money). this guy was hanging, literally, on a busy street corner in london’s covent garden.

i’ve decided to go native and drive a car with the steering wheel on the wrong (right) side. i figure why not go all the way since i’m already driving on the wrong (left) side of the road anyway. seriously though, the real reason for this my desire to drive a honda civic type-r. sure, it’s not all that to look at, but it’s a freakin’ rocket on wheels. 200 hp, 2 litre dohc 4-cylinder, 0-60 in 6 seconds. and under 20k. great value even with the pound conversion and as an american citizen, i don’t have to pay their ridiculously high vat (value added tax : 17%). they don’t sell this version in the states, only the more sedate si. i know i can’t bring it back with me, but i have 2 whole years left to drive it, and it shouldn’t be hard to sell here. i’m picking it up in the next few days.
and the color?….guess.
oakland raider silver, baby!

i watched the hbo “infomercial” on america’s blow job queen and i just don’t get it. some (most) of the people in the audience treated her with a kind of weird reverence, actually clapping for her when she appeared. what are they clapping for, i thought. the cigar trick? the thong flashing? keeping the stained blue dress as a memento? when one man bluntly asked her how it feels to be “america’s blow job queen”, many came to her defense. a woman in the audience yelled out, “we’re on your side, monica”. i wish i were there to shout in response, “speak for yourself, lady”. what’s her “side”? that’s bullshit. we’re supposed to feel sorry for her for having an affair with a married man (the president), lying about it, getting caught in the lie, and now making money out of it? she should be saying sorry. even though i seriously dislike hilary, she never apologized to bubba’s family for the distress she caused. lewinsky wouldn’t stop talking about her ‘abuse’ in the plush ritz hotel and pentagon city mall by the fbi. right! that’s what i call torture: five star hotel, going shopping at crate and barrel, etc. maybe cuz they didn’t order the sushi from room service for her? to me, she came across as a little ditzy (about what went through her mind wrt having an affair with the president, “…i just thought it would be kinda cool”). and someone explain to me why so many women support her actions? the only tough questions/comments came from two men. interesting stuff though…we get to see the replay of where bubba gets on tv and self-righteously lies to us all about it, watch him squirm in the starr deposition, hear some of the tripp tapes, and see monica try to reason it all away.

going back to last weekend, i spent the night in london since i needed to pick up a rental car on sunday to use for the work week (i was awaiting a part for my car). i found the best deal down there thru easyrentalcar. thought i’d spend the day checking out stuff that i hadn’t seen yet, mostly in east london. i started off the day looking for a popular bagel place (the 24 hour beigel bake) on brick lane via the brick lane market. when i got there, it was jam packed, so i ended up going to the one next door. pretty good, but not near as good as the ones we have stateside. brick lane, by the way, was interesting. a mixed jewish-indian neighborhood. lots of curry places and store windows with mannequins wearing the latest in asian women garb. and check out this most unique name for a store in that area. next, i walked thru spitalfield’s market. some typical market stuff (various handmade goods), but most go there for the organically grown food. i was grazing all day. later, did a little shopping in covent garden and selfridges and ate at yo! sushi. they claim to have the longest conveyer belt sushi bar in the world. pretty cool. you just grab a plate as it passes and the plate’s color denotes the price. they even have a robotic drinks trolley that rolls around the place. standard, not spectacular sushi, and somewhat overpriced, but efficient and fun.

bullboardhere’s a field report from my southern european operative, gianni:

warning: musical recommendations by gianni are in no way endorsed by fro-boy. after all, this is the same guy that told everyone to rush out and buy shakira’s new album.

“if there’s a 3-story bullboard on the side of a highway, you must be in beautiful andalucia this toro was just outside of jerez de la frontera on my way to sevilla. ok, i’ve hyped italia plenty but i must confess to really feeling a connection to espana. and to tortilla – no, not the kind from the new world but the ubiquitous staple that really hits the spot :) it was a little rough and embarassing fighting my way from italian back to spanish but instinct took over by week’s end. also, andalucian radio rocks: the classic and modern flamenco tunes provided a great soundtrack, and i was pleasantly surpised/impressed to hear cool, lesser-known tunes like simple minds’ ‘love song’ and crowded house’s ‘chocolate cake.’ no matter where you live, i highly recommend a trip to southern spain – i know i’ll be back!”

happy 23rd birthday to demi s! (actually saturday, the 9th)

demi and her beautiful friends jenny, leza, shannon, and another girl whose name i forget were the lone ray of sunshine in what’s continuing to be a bad week. i left for the train station on saturday to meet them in london for dinner at the real greek. i finally was able to get reservations there at 6:30 that night, but we had to be out by 8:45, so they could have the table for another large party. it was extremely windy and just after i got to my platform, they announced that all train service was cancelled until further notice. this due to the high winds blowing a tree onto the tracks, which in turn brought down the train powerlines. they announced that they’d be sending buses to shuttle people to the next station south to catch trains to london from there. to make a long story short, i arrived in london five hours later and was a half hour late for the reservation. the girls were running late too, as girls tend to do, but leza was good enough to go ahead of everyone and hold the table. i’m partly to blame for giving them bad directions to the place. we were originally to all meet and go together, but the train fuck-up put a stop to that. dinner itself wasn’t very enjoyable since we were under the gun to order and finish in the allotted time, but the retsina was very good, and the food was unique and tasty. not your typical greek food, nor very large quantities, but i’d go back. maybe just sit and munch at the meze bar.

and did i mention how gorgeous the girls were? and that i was the only guy? i gotta say that these girls make the british girls look like….well….british girls (scary, cuz they were starting to appear attractive to me).

i had one of my worst days in recent memory last wednesday.

first, i had to take the day off work to wait on word about my car’s problems from the honda shop. not so bad, you might say, but i had things to take care of at work. i finally get a call from honda late in the day with the bad news. it’s gonna cost beaucoup bucks to fix the myriad of things that are wrong with it, especially at uk prices.second, they made me pick up my car from the repair shop, since they don’t know what parking lots are in this country. third, the car is not safe to drive for any significant distance, especially the 30 miles to/from work, so i had to rent one. 50 simoleans a day for the smallest car known to man, a fiat seicento. i left my car at the rental agency (my old employer by the way, enterprise) and drove to work in the rental to get my mail and deposit the rent check i was expecting from my virginia tenants. of course, it hadn’t arrived, so now my rent check will bounce. one hour crammed in a sardine can, praying that a lorry wouldn’t cream me or that the wind wouldn’t blow me off the road (believe me, this almost happened), for nothing. i get back home.

now i must go to the rental agency to pick up my honda because, surprise, they have no parking area for customers. i figure i’ll wait til late to ride my bike the mile or so to the place, that way traffic will be light. plus, i have no light on my bike and this is required by law to ride in the street at night. i shopped for one once, but never got around to buying one. so around 11pm, i take off. there were more cars than i expected on the road and i then remembered that pubs close at 11. damn. smashed people taking cabs home or, worse yet, smashed people driving home themselves. so i’m driving on the street for no more than five minutes when i approach a stopped cab that’s half on the curb/sidewalk. i’m guessing he’s waiting to pick someone up or letting someone off. i can’t go too wide as i pass him because a car is passing me and there’s just one traffic lane. i was thinking, “there’s no way that door is gonna open on the street side”. well, the door did open on the street side. just as i pass the cab, the back door swings open and, though i tried my best to brake and avoid it, i was simply too close. i hit the open door mostly with my left leg and knee and tumbled off the bike into the lane of traffic. in those few seconds as i turned my head to look up and see if a car was coming at me, i pictured my head being crushed like a cantaloupe. thank Jesus though, as there was none approaching. the idiot drunk staggers out of the cab mumbling something about the driver having told him no one was coming. why he didn’t get out on the sidewalk side, i don’t know…wait a minute i do know…he was stinkin three sheets to the wind. the driver was cool, though he kept saying, “get yourself a light, mate”. i admit, he was right. he said he didn’t see me due to the glare from the headlights of the car that was passing. his door was dented in from being forced backwards by the impact and wouldn’t close, but he wouldn’t take my insurance info or an offer for money. i eventually got him to take my phone number and we forced the door shut. i kept thinking if this went to a court of law, i’d be responsible because i had no light, even though i’m the one who almost got killed. my knee hurt and swelled up (the same one i bruised snowboarding), but i was ok. oh, and to top it off, i developed a huge zit on my nose to show off to everyone. as if i’m a fucking teenager or something.

things look like they’re improving. received the rent yesterday. not much damage really done. i’ve finally managed to get a reservation at the real greek in london for saturday. and i’ll have beautiful, young ladies to accompany me.

we took a half day off work today and all went to see we were soldiers. i liked it and recommend it, though it was a little heavy handed and cliched at times. the movie is about perhaps the bloodiest battle of the vietnam war, in the ia drang valley (aka death valley), where 234 americans and 1800 north vietnamese were killed. yes, those numbers are correct. the battle scenes were well done, but even they took some dramatic liberties, like when mel gibson and sam elliott(who was excellent and hil-fucking-arious) would be standing in the midst of gunfire while everyone else around was on the ground. and some of the scenes were reminiscent of ‘braveheart’, only with modern weapons, particularly when gibson charges the enemy in slo-mo . the scenes back home, with the wives as their husbands are off fighting, are also sometimes powerful, other times cheesey….and here i must mention madeleine stowe’s comically over-inflated collagen-enhanced lips and long, black wig. what was she thinking? one critic commented that she “looks like she’s auditioning for a new Addams Family movie”. and sorry but i just can’t see that greg kinnear guy as anything but the e! channel talk soup host. he plays a huey pilot. and i really liked the film’s use of a celtic chant in the soundtrack during the more dramatic moments, though it was a little manipulative as well.