Friday, July 30, 2004

Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

It’s time to say goodbye my friends.

Say goodbye to the past week, that is! It’s Friday! Yeah! If I didn’t work from home that would mean more to me. C’est la vie. That’s French.

Anyway, it’s been one heck of a week, hasn’t it? No, not really, but I’m desperately looking for something to write about. Let’s recapitulate, shall we?

The Democratic National Convention was this week, ending last night with Senator John Kerry’s nomination acceptance speech. I guess, it’s official, he’s the Democratic candidate. Just once I would like to see someone show up to one of these things and turn down the nomination. It would be fun.

But politics are annoying. Not necessarily because of the politicians, it’s mostly because of the people who talk about that politicians. How many times can we stomach these jokers who come on TV to rebut the other party candidate with the same stupid critique, ”It was just rhetoric?!”

Wow, a rhetorical politician?! What will they think of next?!

Okay, the DNC wasn’t the only thing that went on this last week. Catherine Zeta-Jones was in court this past week to confront the stalker who sent her horrifically threatening letters. This lady, the stalker-lady, Dawnette Knight, sent about a dozen letters to Ms. Jones (have you met Ms. Jones?) and to Cathy’s father in law Kirk Douglas, threatening to do things like “slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs,” and kill her like “Sharon Tate was.” She even was able to describe details of the undisclosed places in which Catherine was staying. Evidentally, Dawnette was obsessed with Michael Douglas.

Now that she’s been arrested and is facing a 19 year prison sentence, Dawnette wants to put the whole mess behind her. No! Really?! Dawnette wants to forget about this entire thing?! Well there you go, Cathy. I think the gauntlet has been tossed to the ground, baby. I mean, if Dawnette’s big enough to just forget about all this and let bygones be bygones, then shouldn’t you? Let’s not be petty Ms Zeta-Jones. She said she was sorry! Come on! Man, I just get so sick of these selfish Hollywood types! And as far as Kirk Douglass is concerned, I mean, if he can endure a horrible crippling stroke, some nasty mail shouldn’t be that big a deal, right?

Dawnette just wants to get on with her life and fulfill her dream of becoming a child psychologist. And since her ultimate dream of slaughtering Catherine Zeta-Jones, feeding her to animals, bathing in her blood, and marrying Michael Douglas didn’t work out, shouldn’t we at least let her have this?

Let’s see, what else happened this week? Well, I wrote synopses for movies such as Rambo: First Blood Part II: Special Edition, Desperately Seeking Susan, the always crowd-pleasing Aa Ab Laut Chalen, and many, many more.

I finished the first personally commissioned song I ever wrote. That went well.

I went to the gym four times. Yeah me.

I watched a lot of television. Yeah me again.

That’s about it. Have a good weekend.

Fun Fact: This past week, I also baked my first blueberry pie. I’ve never really been a huge fan of blueberry pie, but with blueberries being so cheap lately, I decided to bake one.

I have to tell you, it turned out great. Delicious, in fact.

Now, it’s gone. But I have to say that the best thing about blueberry pie is the fact that it turns your teeth a cool novelty-like…well…blue.

If you’ve never had blue teeth, I highly recommend it. Go now and get blue teeth. Go!

Oh, and the new TAM cartoon is up!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

One Great Movie and the Royal Screw Job

Not necessarily in that order.

It’s remarkable that I was just complaining about the gangbangers that own our building. It turns out that they’re in the business of extortion now.

No, not the actual gangbangers, they don’t have the brains for that. I’m talking about Fleck Property Management. Yes, that’s right, the ones who wouldn’t come and fix the smoke detectors. The people who can’t seem to change a light bulb until someone goes toppling down the outside stairs. Those same geniuses who told us that they wouldn’t do anything about our ant problem – even when the ants turned out to be termites. The masterminds who, after a visit from the health inspector, came to fix the termite eaten wall with a piece of decorative wood trim, and then never came back to paint it like they promised. The one-and-the-same folks who let raw sewage pour into my carport for a week before sending anyone to fix it, and even then, they just left the sewage sitting there to dry into a hard cement of toilet paper and poo.

I tell you honestly, if it weren’t for the health inspector, nothing would get done around here. And luckily, the health inspector is a nice guy.

Anyway, the captains of industry at Fleck Property Management have now raised our rent. It seems that doing nothing has gotten more expensive these days. Maybe they just want to add a couple more choices to the ol’ corporate office vending machine? Who am I to question, right?

I knew it was coming. Even here, in this crap-hole. The DHS gave this place a risk-factor of medium.

If you live in LA and want to see what the health inspector said about your place the last time they visited, go here or here (channel 4's link).
(Or go to the DHS main page to see if you can find the same type of thing for your area.)

Anyway, the bastards raised our rent $25.50! But they also did something that I’ve never heard of before, they raised our security deposit! I don’t understand how you could raise the security deposit. Seems to me like we had an agreement. I mean, should I be waiting for a visit from the good people at Ikea, telling me that I now owe an extra hundred bucks for the entertainment center we bought a couple years ago just because the price has gone up now?

On top of all that, they are requiring that we hire professional licensed contractors to clean the apartment when we finally move out. We have to get their credentials in writing and have them approved by Fleck Property Management before they can begin work. Then we have to pay the contractors for their work.

So would someone please explain to me exactly why our security deposit went up?!

It’s not going toward security, I can tell you that. If it were, then someone would stop the annoying phone companies from delivering new phone books every thirty days!

It’s goddamned robbery, I tell you! Well, they better be prepared for a fight! They’re going to fix those smoke detectors if it’s the last thing I do!

Go visit their site and laugh at their “promise” section.


Fun Fact:  On a lighter note. I went and saw one of my favorite movies again last night – on the big screen at Fox.

The Commitments! Yeah! If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do. It has one of the best soundtracks of any movie ever made (I own the soundtrack, volume one and two). And it’s all around entertaining. Especially if you’ve ever been in a band. Marching band doesn’t count.

Unfortunately, neither Tanya nor I won a free DVD of the flick (the manager of Fox Movie Channel was raffling them off), but it was nice to see the film once again.

I got a little depressed when I noticed that The Commitments was originally released in 1991. That long ago? That was the year that I graduated from high school. It’s strange when you get older and reconcile your emotional timeline with the physical one. They never seem to match up right. How sad.

Screw Fleck!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Trouble With Tuesday

I don’t have a problem with Tuesday, do you? Do you?! What has Tuesday ever done to you? Probably nothing. It’s one boring day of the week, I tell ya’.

But enough about Tuesday, let’s talk about today. It’s Tuesday. The new TAM cartoon is up! The DNC was yesterday. I didn’t watch. We went to Costco. There’s nothing democratic about Costco. If there were, then Costco would care about my opinion and would always sell black beans instead of toying with my emotions.

But enough about my emotions, let’s talk about how I feel. Yesterday I thought that I was being original with my Capitol Hill satire. As is always the case, someone already beat me to that one. According to Tanya (who is a dubious source at best anyway) there is a cartoon out there with the exact same idea. She didn’t know what channel it was on and she didn’t know the name of it. I tried to look it up. I couldn’t find it. But she insists that it exists. Suuure it does, Tanya. She’s trying to steal my idea.

But seriously, I get tired of having my ideas snatched out of my head before I even think of them. The Simpsons are gross offenders. They steal everything! Even things that I would never think of! So at least I can rejoice in the fact that they didn’t steal this one.

Here are some ideas that hopefully no one will ever steal.

My Sister Poop

A yuppie woman living the exhausting life of an ambitious executive in Manhattan has her world begin to fall apart when her younger teenaged sister comes to move in with her. But her sister is unique – she’s a piece of poop. Literally. There’s hilarious high jinks aplenty when this smelly odd couple try to share a single apartment in the big city!

This is the Life

Wait, no it isn’t! When twentysomething Norm Crashcart was walking to meet his girlfriend for lunch one cool autumn day, he had only one thing on his mind – marriage! But Norm should have kept his mind on the street he was crossing, because before he could propose, he was run down by a cross town bus! Now Norm is six feet under, slowly decomposing, and reflecting on absolutely nothing – because he’s dead, and we get a front row seat!

Monitor, Monitor!

Chippie MacAmp is the computer monitor with a heart of gold. At least that’s what people say. They have to, you see – Chippie can’t talk! He’s a computer monitor. But that doesn’t stop him from trying to solve high class mysteries…no, wait…yes it does.

There. Steal those you dirty Hollywood bandits! Jerks! I mean, if you’re going to mug me, at least hit me or something. Give me something to tell to someone else’s grandchildren!

Fun Fact:  ¡Cumpleaños felices, eh!

Yes, that’s right it’s Jared’s birthday today. Happy birthday. Here’s a picture of you usted grande da un tirón.

Go to his site and show that you care. No, don’t.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Pimples, Proms, and the Epic Fight For the Right to Party Affiliation

Okay, it’s Monday July 26th for those of you who don’t know. Also, for those of you living under a rock, the Democratic National Convention starts today in Bean Town.

I hate to get all political on you, but it seems appropriate today. It’s inescapable. It’s been all over the morning news (well that and the continuing story about another pretty white woman who went missing, if you only watched the national news you might come to the conclusion that young pretty white women had the monopoly on mysterious disappearances. But that’s for another post…).

So it’s the DNC (abbreviated for extra coolness) and they’ve been interviewing prominent democrats all morning. Of course they had to chat with Massachusetts BMOC Ted Kennedy. Every time I see that man get interviewed I understand exactly why he’s been in the senate for a billion years. He’s a great talker. You see, I like Ted Kennedy, and it’s been a long time since the incident, but if I were interviewing him I think that I would find it hard not to just randomly interject the word “Chappaquiddick.” Just to see what he’d do. Then of course pretend like I hadn’t said it.

So, senator Kennedy, how do feel about Kerry’s prospects for Chappaquiddick?

Excuse me, what!?

I said, that John Kerry is one great chap – and quick too!

Oh, I thought you said…

What? Are you okay Mr. Senator? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.

Man that would be fun.

But they also interviewed Hillary Clinton. Another senator which I like. And she held up pretty well today under the most idiotic questioning.

I can’t remember who was doing the interview, but they pointed out that originally, she wasn’t supposed to be a speaker at the convention. She is speaking now. They were prodding her. They asked her if she felt that she’d been snubbed. "Do you think they're big ol' jerks..." "Are you hurt and mad...etc." She said no. And you know what, she meant it. Good for her. Don’t get trapped.

This is the reason that I don’t approve of home schooling. No that’s not a topic change. I think that a school environment is necessary to build the kind of people that can withstand the professional world. Politics specifically. Capitol hill has turned into some kind of huge high school. That would be fine, if they were up front about their cliquish immaturity. They’re not.

You’ve got the jocks (republicans), the nerds (democrats), the stoners (independents) and the lap dog gossips (the press corp).

The trouble always starts with the gossips. They live for this kind of stuff. I think that they should all just play it like it is:

Matt Lauer:  Hey Hillary, I heard that you weren’t invited to the homecoming kegger out at the sand dunes!

Hillary Clinton:  Yeah I was!

Matt Lauer:  Not at first!

Hillary Clinton:  So, I’m still going!

Matt Lauer:  Well Dick Cheney said that you weren’t invited because you're mean and would be a detriment to John Kerry’s chances at becoming homecoming king.

Hillary Clinton:  Why would he say that?! We used to be bestest bestest friends! He’s just jealous!

Matt Lauer:  You were never friends, but hey, I can help you. If you really want to freak them out - you should go with Ralph Nader!

Hillary Clinton:  No way! My mom would kill me!

I should develop a show!

Fun Fact: This year the DNC will feature a special “Free Speech” cage. You may have seen pictures of it. It’s a fenced in area where the protesters can protest without all that troublesome publicity.

I guess the people at the convention thought tat they would expedite the process. I mean, why wait until these ragamuffins cause a disturbance to throw them in jail?

Thanks to the cage, I’ll bet it’s going to get crowded in the old protest area this year. Usually you’ve got the protesters against the convention and the protesters against the protesters against the convention. But this year they’re going to have to contend with the protesters protesting the place in which they’re protesting.

It’s all very complicated, like politics. You’ve got the jocks (the protesters protesting the convention)…oh forget it.

Here’s my point. No, it has nothing to do with constitutional loopholes that allow our local governments to repress our inalienable rights in the name of public safety. It’s simply this:

With all of those conflicting protesters in one cage, they should take advantage of it. They’re always talking about getting younger people to vote. So why not just add some springy ropes and four turnbuckles? I’d buy a ticket to that.

I might even throw a pro-choicer a folding chair.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Fry Day

That would be a cleaver title if it were hot outside. But it’s not. I should have saved that one.

Well, it’s that time again. It’s Friday and the new TAM cartoon is up!

Other than that, I really have nothing interesting to say. So I won’t say anything. It wouldn’t be fair to you. Really.

Fun Fact:  I saw another disturbing commercial this morning. It had nothing to do with fat kids. It had to do with oranges.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the commercial, but I’m pretty sure you have. I think it’s for Tropicana Orange Juice. It’s the one where the oranges work-out, trying desperately to get into shape so that they can save you from a heart attack.

These oranges have been sent to a training facility in order that they may perform some sort of suicidal jihad against heart disease. Personally, in the wake of September 11th, I find this commercial in poor taste (he, he, get it…poor taste? You know, because the heart-smart orange juice is bland?...forget it).

But that’s not the disturbing part. I’m not even disturbed by the insinuation in the ad that there are male and female oranges. The part that sickens me is the part where the oranges go swimming.

They’re swimming in orange juice!!

The twisted minds at Tropicana (the same people who brought us Tropicana Twisters) have crossed the line this time. They’re worse than the Foster Farms ad people. Sure, those chickens are hell bent on being eaten, they get x-rayed, they wrap themselves in plastic, they’re grotesquely huge in comparison to real live chickens, and they’ve even learned to drive a car – but at least they don’t bathe in their own blood before they attempt suicide.

What is the world going?! To hell in a hand basket, that’s where.

Oh, wait! If you eat fried chicken today, then my title will be cleaver again! I recommend KFC, though; Foster Farms chicken may contain unhealthy levels of puppet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

You’re “It!”

Hey, no tag backs!
So I was looking at that picture of my dumpster that I took yesterday and realized that I’ve never really looked at the hideous thing before. (No, it’s not hideous…book those airline tickets!)
Now, if you took the time to look at the picture, you’d notice that it’s been “tagged” all over. Various gangbangers have visited the novelty vacation spot and left their mark. For those of you who don’t know (Brits, Australians, Canadians…), here in America we have a little problem called gangs. I know, you all say you have gangs, but cheeky roughabouts in jockstraps and bowler hats don’t count, and neither do packs of wild dingoes. And let’s face it, there is nothing even remotely threatening about Canada.
The way gang tagging works is thusly; one gang member acts as an agent for the rest of the gang. This is usually a freelance position. But they roam around their neighborhood scouting out prime real estate. Then they claim that property for themselves. Now they own it.
From the picture (see yesterday’s post) you can see that three separate gangs lay claim to the dumpster (Rapidway Disposal doesn’t count, their name is only included for provenance). I can’t read gang scrawl, so I’m not sure exactly what gangs claim my garbage, but I would really like to know.
I understand that they’re not actually claiming the trash. I’m pretty sure that they’re interested in the whole building.
But, seriously, if there is anyone out there who can translate the hieroglyphs on my dumpster, let me know. Because, as it turns out, gangbangers aren’t the best custodians, and I have a couple bones to pick:
Dear Gangbangers that own the apartment building,
1.  The rent is too high. With the popularity of elicit drugs, do you think that you could offset the cost of rent?
2. Our plumbing sucks. It’s always threatening to back up and the pipes are rusty. I’m tired of drinking lead. Please fix it. If there’s one thing that you crack heads know – it’s pipes, right?
3. Some jerkass scribbled on the dumpster.
The irony is that I would rather have gangbangers running this place than the “paper” owners. Fleck Property Management. Idiots.
Quick story. The smoke detectors in the apartment were beeping every two minutes or so, like they had dead batteries. So I changed the batteries. Nothing. Just really annoying beeping. The detectors, as well as being 9 volt battery powered, are also hardwired into the building’s electrical system. So instead of pulling my hair out about it, I called Fleck maintenance. This was their solution:
Me: My smoke detectors are beeping and I’m going crazy, could you please come by and do something about it?
Maintenance Guy: Sure! We’ll be right over to rip those suckers right out of the wall!
I’m, not kidding. That was their actual response. Oh, yeah, and they never did come over to do anything! What a bunch of morons! Do they want us to die in a fire?! What kind of problem solving is that?!
Since they never came over to fix them, Tanya and I came up with a brilliant solution.
We ripped those suckers right out of the wall.
Those of you who don’t live in an expensive city will never appreciate the euphoric thrill of paying way too much rent just for the opportunity to be cooked in your sleep.
Fun Fact: I saw a disturbing commercial on TV yesterday. There’s this 12-year-old heavy kid running through the woods. While we watch him sweat, he narrates his tragic tale. It seems that the kids at his school pick on him because he’s overweight. They’re really mean bullies.
I’m outraged! I was a fat kid! It’s horrific the way that children treat each other! Question – what can we do about it, commercial?
Just as you’re left wondering, the commercial offers it’s final solution to solve our pudgy compadre’s predicament…Subway’s low fat sandwich menu! 
Hey kids, are you yired of being made fun of for being fat assed fatties?!...Then stop being fat assed fatties!
That’s it, the commercial is over. You know it’s over because Jared comes on and holds up a pair of really huge pants.
If only Jared had this commercial when he was 12 (and if he didn’t eat his weight in Oreos), maybe he wouldn’t have been so damned fat!
All I can say is that it’s about time we started selling diets to preteens. You know, kids wouldn’t be so fat if we still had sweatshops in this country. If they want to diet like adults, they better earn like adults! It’s a fact.
Oh, yeah, thank you all for your comments and support during these trying summer months, except for those of you in Australia, in that case, thank you for your support during these trying winter months.
P.S. This post is late because Blogger went down!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

In Your Face Commies!

As most of you probably already know, 35 years ago today the first man (an American) set foot on the surface of the moon.
It was an elaborate, and expensive, plan to stick it to the Russians during the cold war. And I have to say, it was a pretty cool plan. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins became instant heroes and America delivered the first decisive blow in the battle of “we’re cooler than you.”
Now don’t think that I’m bitter about any of this. I’m not. I actually think that it was a completely valid reason for going to the moon. We weren’t going to get there just because of curiosity. Humans need a real reason to put their lives on the line. Usually, that has some connection to commercialism.
Even the international space station has some sort of commercial attachment. We’re not just building the thing to finally find out if ants get diarrhea in zero gravity. Not that I’m not immensely curious. But it’s sad really. There’s just no real money in space exploration when it’s done for exploration’s sake.
In fact, most of the recent spacecraft launched have been so because people down here need things like the reality TV network (new from FOX, ask your local cable provider for details). The military also likes to launch things into space, but I have no idea what those things are.
Okay, actually, I have no real idea if they do launch things into space, I’m guessing. But c’mon…
I think that space exploration is critically important. And I think that we shouldn’t have to wait until MTV wants to stage their next Rockin’ Spring Break in the Sea of Tranquility before we make the effort to get back to the moon. I just don’t understand it.
But that’s the way of the world, isn’t it. Something good usually comes from corporate greed. If it weren’t for money, Lewis and Clark would have never made their western expedition. If they hadn’t gone on that expedition and seen all that beautiful land, we would have never herded all those pesky Indians onto reservations. If we had never herded the Indians on to reservations, we wouldn’t have Indian Casinos. And if we didn’t have Indian Casinos, older women everywhere would be exponentially more bored.
See. I destroyed my own argument. Damn. Well, congrats anyway Neil, Buzz, and Michael.
It’s the middle of summer and everyone is going on vacation. I can already tell that the tourists have hit this town pretty hard. But the down side is that my readership has gone down greatly. It seems that people would rather go outside and enjoy the stupid sunshine than sit at home and read this super-cool blog.
But I’m here to tell you that you can do both! I mean, I have time to enjoy my summer and still write!
Enough of that. I’m not complaining, really. You are all uber-cool and stuff. Thanks for reading.
I thought that I would share with you some of the neato places that I have frequented during this fine summer season. Here is the first installment:
TAM’s Summer Destinations Part One.
My Dumpster

If you’re looking for an inexpensive summer sensory experience, you should visit my dumpster. This fine aromatic receptacle is strategically placed in the center of many of Los Angeles’s finest West Side communities and sits just seconds from the I10 freeway and I405, making it easy to travel to and from (except during rush hour). During the hot summer season, the dumpster’s pungent aroma really comes into its own, sometimes allowing for it to be enjoyed from a block away!
But be sure to plan your visit early, as traffic to the vessel picks up around the warmer months. The Hughes Ave. Dumpster is a perfect destination for the small-scale entrepreneur, and receives visits from the grocery cart wielding businessmen sometimes as much as twice a day, rendering the refuse container completely “glass and aluminum free!” Plus, they leave the lid open and the garbage strewn about, allowing for easier viewing!
However, the receptacle isn’t just for the transient population. Many of the indigenous population also make a daily trek to the prominently placed garbage eater. If you enjoy dog owners carrying little plastic bags of poo, then book your vacation to the Hughes Ave. Dumpster today!
This summer, say “yes” to bums and poo! When the kids ask “where are we going this year?” Don’t say “Disneyland.” You tell them you’re going to the Hughes Avenue Dumpster!
*Paid for by the Hughes Ave Dumpster Board of Tourism
Fun Fact: More than 8500 objects which could be classified as "space debris" can be detected through ground-based surveillance and radar detection systems.
And they’re all recyclable! Looks like it’s time to call in the “Bumstronauts!” 
And the new TAM cartoon is up!!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Saturday Morning Bored

So I woke up too early again this morning and I decided to do what I usually do when I wake up too early, I got on the internet.
It’s hard for me to pass the time on the internet. I never really know where to go. So I end up just searching for random things or people. Of course, like most people, my favorite thing to search for is me. Pretty sad really. Why don’t more people write about me on the internet?! I need more search results! It’s how I validate my existence! Please help me.
No, don’t. I need to quash my ego-search habit. Don’t encourage me.
But searching for this blog isn’t egotistical, right? Good, ‘cause that’s what I did. It’s a good thing too because I found a really interesting site. Some of you may have already heard about it, it’s called
BlogShares. It’s sort of like a fantasy stock market site. It’s pretty damned involved. Someone put a lot of time and energy into it.
It’s all based on links. The more links to a certain site, the more value that site has. (e.g. Blogger is rated the hottest stock, because everyone that has a blogger [Blog*Spot] page, i.e. everyone in North America, has a link to
You can trade stock with other players, etc…The Anthropomorphic Male’s estimated value is about B$1,331. That’s not bad. But James Lileks has a value of B$110,849.28!
So, if you find the stock market interesting (or Blogging) you should go and check it out. Here’s the
link again. And if you are reading this and have your own blog, link to me, I want to beat Fark.
Then I will rule the world!!
Fun Fact: We went to see i, Robot last night at FOX. You should go see it; it’s a pretty well put together film. I’m not just talking about the look of it. The script is actually well crafted, smart and economical. You’ll especially like it if you’re a fan of Asimov, sci-fi, Will Smith, FOX movies (*shudder*), or film noir mysteries (especially film noir mysteries).
I was nervous when I heard that the script was written before they attached Asimov’s i, Robot title. I was worried that they’d try to hard to be Asimov (not that I really know what that is, but you can always tell when movies are trying too hard). But now I realize that it’s just a detective story that really doesn’t need to have anything to do with Asimov. I highly recommend it.
If you go see it and don’t like it, don’t come crying to me! Just because it was worth my money, doesn’t mean it will be worth yours. Remember, I saw the movie for free.

Aslo: Blogger has changed its "post creator." That's why the blog looks different these days. I've been trying to find a font that I'm happy with, so I'll be testing a few out over the next couple posts. I hate change. Where's my old font!?

Friday, July 16, 2004

I Know Why the Caged Bird Hates Nicole Kidman Movies

Okay, that’s just a blatant mixed metaphor. Come on; don’t pretend you don’t know the old adage, “Nicole Kidman movies suck lately.” It’s as true today as when it was first coined…today.
We rented Cold Mountain last weekend. Didn’t get around to watching it until last night. I have to tell you, it made me wish I was watching the last season of “Friends.” And them’s strong words coming from me.
What a waste of human resources that film was! Sure, I’ll bet that there are some of you out there who disagree with me, but I’ll bet that there are more of you who haven’t seen it. Don’t waste your money. Even on a rental.
You may be asking, “what the heck does TAM have against this Oscar winning history pic?!” Well, the first thing I have against it is that it sucked. But the list goes on from there. Jude Law was fine, he didn’t really have to do much, so he was fine. Renee Zellweger was fine, not worthy of her Oscar, but fine. All in all, the acting was fine. With, of course, the grand exception of Nicole Kidman. All I have to say is; Nicci, if you’re so damned bored with making movies, why keep torturing us?!
I used to be a fan of Nicole Kidman, she used to have something to offer, not anymore. I would have rather seen Ashton Kutcher in her role. He would have at least been interesting. And probably a bit funnier.
Overall, the major reason you shouldn’t waste your time with this movie is that it’s just the same old crap with the same old “moral.” War is hell.
Really? So I shouldn’t enlist? Damnit.
This film had a really, unintentional I’m sure, bizarre counter message. War is horrific, needless, and wasteful. Okay, I can dig it, but should you have really used the American Civil War as the backdrop for this message? I mean, a few good things did come out of that war, didn’t they?
The most insulting thing about the film, beside the fact that it stars a couple non-Americans in the lead roles and that it was shot in Europe, was that it used every sordid theatrical trick in the book. You want to show how evil people can be? Have them torture a sick baby. You want to foreshadow a man’s impending death from illness? Have him cough a couple times early on in the movie. You want us to feel sorry for a preacher-turned-lecher and murderer? Give him constipation.
I’m tired of the constipation convention. Overused.
Long rant short – I hated this stupid movie and you should too.
In Other News:

Martha Stewart was sentenced today. She got 5 months in prison, 5 months of house arrest, and 2 years of supervised probation. Man, what a waste. Guilty or not, this whole thing is just plain stupid.
I think that if we’re angry with the assholes at Enron then we should go after Enron.
Don’t get me wrong, what Martha did was wrong and she should have to pay, but really, what would you do if you got an unsolicited phone call telling you that your stock was about to tank? Go broke?!
The court system isn’t just punishing Martha, they’re punishing everyone that works for her – except her trial lawyers. Lame, just lame.
Let’s just be honest about the whole thing, Martha is being punished for being a bitch, not because she committed a heinous crime. The actual criminal activity seems to simply be a loophole that allows certain people to castigate her for being unapologetically opportunistic. That’s the real crime isn’t it?
Martha, jailed for being a bitch on a technicality. Elliot Ness would have been proud.
Fun Fact: If Nicole Kidman, Sean Young, and Melanie Griffith made a movie together – uhhgh! I can’t finish that. I’m shaking with terror!
The new TAM cartoon is up!!! Huzzah!!!
Sorry about the huzzah.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Happy “Americans Kick Ass” Day

That’s right, another Bastille Day has come. Already? Man, it seems like only yesterday that I took down the Bastille Tree from last year!

As you can see from the headline, I’ve decided to rename the French holiday a-la Capitol Hill. Sure, I’ve got nothing against the French personally. But as any good ol’ by-gum-American can tell you, there’s always a good reason to take offense with the French.

A “thank you for WWII” would be appropriate, you cowardly frogs! Stupid French!

Man, they just get on my nerves with their pretentious bistro pastries and nurturing of jazz music.

It’s one of those days again today. I’ve really have nothing interesting to say. So, in proper blog tradition, I thought that I would just complain:

Complaint #1: The Gym.

If anyone’s looking for a nice cheap gym, just come to mine. It’s here in Culver City. You don’t have to pay any dues, there’s never anyone working the counter at 6:30am. Just waltz right on in. Actually, no, don’t waltz, it may draw unwanted attention. Just walk in like you belong there. If there is someone working the desk, just walk in anyway. They get annoyed if they have to scan your membership card, so you’ll be doing them a favor.

But don’t expect much from the music or the complimentary televisions. They only play either gangsta’ rap or easy listening R&B. If you can handle that, then you’re a better person than I. (Hell, that’s not saying much, if you change your gym clothes every once in a while you’re a better person than me.)

But here’s the most annoying part about the gym. They have three TVs placed in the front of the cardio equipment at every station. The problem is that one of them never works, and the others usually play infomercials and MTV.

MTV!? On closed captions!? Not very interesting. The only good thing about it is that you get to see just how stupid song lyrics have gotten.

Case in point, Usher’s “Confessions Part 2.” Evidently, the man carries around so much guilt he needed two songs to get everything off his creepily sculptured and waxed chest.

It’s been on “Buzzworthy” for about ten years now. Buzz Worthy? It’s still “Buzz?” I wonder when the jerks at MTV will finally give Usher credit for having a fully established song?

Because not since “It’s My Party” and “My Boyfriend’s Back” has there been a more complete lyrical story line. “Part 1” was all about this chick he had on the side and how he feels just awful about lying to his girlfriend, sneaking around behind her back. In “Part 2” we learn that Usher has gotten the chick pregnant, and he just can’t handle the responsibilities of fatherhood. Oh, and he still feels guilty about cheating on his girlfriend.

Here’s an excerpt:

I'm so throwed and I don't know what to do
But to give you part 2 of my confessions

Fantastic! My computer’s trying to get me to correct the word “throwed.” Stupid computer. It’s art! Skip to…

This ain't about my career
This ain't about my life
It's about us

Suuuurreee, Ush. You just wanted to tell the uninhibited truth right? It comes from the heart, right? I could buy that – if you ended the song with, “and I’m gay.”

We’ll just have to wait for “Part 3.”

Complaint #2: Abstinence Rings.

You may have seen people wearing these things. Not likely, but maybe. It’s usually just something that Jr. High churchie kids wear.

They did a story about them on Good Morning America today. According to the “ring leader” of this movement, the rings are supposed to remind kids of the promise that they made to wait for sex until they’re married.

Because, at 14 or 15, kids aren’t old enough to have sex. But they’re sure old enough to make decisions that will affect them for the next ten years!

Stupid. I’m all for waiting, if that’s your thing, but do it because you want to, not because of a promise you made to Pastor Steve when you were 10. Don’t have sex too young, sure. But come on, at 25 it’s time to let the ring thing go.

The only practical purpose for the ring would be for use by closeted gay Christians. “Sorry buttercup, my body says ‘yes,’ but the ring says ‘no.’” “Right now, I’m married to Jesus…I mean…Not that I would ever marry a dude…oh, you know what I mean, right?” “Right?!”

Man, am I glad to get that off my chest. But both of those stories somehow came back around to gay people. Believe me, I’m not gay. Really! I’ll prove it. I’ll have sex with a woman right now! I mean it! And I’ll LIKE it!

I’m secure in my sexuality. So secure in fact, that I’ll tell you that Tanya and I (yeah, Tanya, my GIRLfriend) went to see De-Lovely last night. I recommend it. Especially if you’re a fan of Cole Porter. Who…damnit…was bisexual. Although I could have done without Alanis Morissette’s version of “Let’s Do It.”

And why does Diana Krall Sneer all the time? She always looks like she just accidentally ate a little poop or something. But she’s one hell of a singer! Go see the film, but take a date and some tissue — and leave your abstinence ring at home.

Fun Fact: Bastille Day started on July 14th 1789 with the storming of the Bastille at the beginning of the French Revolution. If it weren’t for Bastille Day, France would still be ruled by a monarchy – and the British wouldn’t have the Scarlet Pimpernel.

So celebrate Bastille Day by going to Beverly Hills and chopping off rich peoples head’s with a guillotine.

No, don’t do that. Celebrate responsibly.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I mean…sick.

I’m not feeling well today so I will just tell you all that the latest TAM cartoon is up, and talk to you later.


Fun Fact: Here’s an anecdote from, yup, you guessed it, It’s a tribute to my illness’ most bothersome symptom. Plus, for all of you who love bebop jazz, like me, it also answers one of this incredible genre’s most asked questions. For those of you who don’t like bebop…who cares? It's not funny but...who cares?

During the Depression Dizzy Gillespie's specialty, the "snake hips," earned him much praise (and showers of coins) on local dance floors. Moreover, his love of dancing later earned him a nickname:

One day, while Dizzy was fooling around on the piano during a rehearsal, a trumpet player named Fats Palmer looked at his empty trumpet chair and said, "Where's that dizzy cat?" The band cracked up, and the name stuck.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Movies Can Change the World

You better believe it buster. They’ve changed mine.

I hope everybody had a good weekend.

I mostly sat around. I did get a couple things done. Okay, one thing. I got one thing done. I started working on next year’s Christmas album.

I know what you’re saying, “it’s still only July!” Yeah, well, so what? I want to do a better job with the album this year, so I figured that I had better start early. It takes most “established” rock stars years sometimes to finish an album. I don’t have that kind of time (or money) and, granted, their albums are usually better... So, the way I see it, July is the perfect time to start. Besides, I still have to think up all the songs. And since I don’t just want a repeat of last year’s album, I better get going on this thing.

Enough about that.

I saw a few movies this weekend too. And I have to say that I learned a few things:

I saw Saved at Fox on Friday. Good movie. Good acting. And beside the obvious fact that born again Christians can be the most annoying things ever to inherit the earth, I learned that 17 year-olds are perfectly capable of raising babies. We just never gave them the chance before. Open your minds people!

I also saw Troy at Fox on Saturday. I enjoyed it. There wasn’t much of a movie there, but it did drive its point home. Its message was loud and clear: If you ever feel guilty about not reading classic literature, just wait for the movie. I’ve never read the Iliad (I did read the Odyssey) but I’m sure that the movie did the book justice and that Brad Pitt would have been Homer’s first choice for Achilles. However, that whole “heel” thing…can you say Deus Ex Machina? I’ve injured my Achilles tendon before…obviously I didn’t die….or did I…?

Tanya and I rented the “Special Edition” of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life yesterday. I didn’t learn much there. But it did renew my faith in the humor of Monty Python.

I learned the most from a thought-provoking tour de force starring a brilliant little man named Ashton Kutcher. The Butterfly Effect. Through the audio commentary and behind the scenes featurettes, so generously provided by Infinifilm, I learned that a weirdo and a soundman can come together, and if they work hard enough for seven years, some up-and-coming ragamuffin will give them a break. But mostly I learned that a man’s life is what he makes of it. Our past controls our present and future. Our fate is in our hands…And, if we had the power to go back and change things, even the smallest deviation will alter the future of the world.

However, some things are written in the stars. No matter how much you change the past, in the future you will always be a bad actor, have the same haircut, and attend the same university.

Kinda’ makes you feel small, don’t it?

Fun Fact: If Ashton Kutcher and Tom Cruise had a baby – it would be a medical miracle.

Oh, and I just scared the hell out myself. I’m really getting old. I pushed “play” on my CD player, but for some reason, jumped ten feet in the air when music started coming out of it.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Nothing Funny About Friday

I’m not kidding. I have nothing funny to say. So, everything’s normal. You can be happy about that.

Here are some jokes I stole off the internet. They’re not funny either:

Where do one legged people work?


Yo mama is so poor, she had to get a part-time job painting skittles.

Yo mama's breath stink so bad when she burps, her teeth duck.

Yo mamma is so short you can see her feet in her driver’s license picture.

Fun Fact: In keeping with the unfunny theme of this post, I stole this from I post it in loving memory of my grandfather who was, inexplicably, a Victor Borge Fan. In fact, the most joy I ever drew from Victor Borge was making Tanya sit through one of his videos.

He he he, that was a good time.

Pianist [and “comedian”] Victor Borge was once asked why the keys on his piano were so yellow. Borge insisted that, notwithstanding the evidence, the piano was not very old. His explanation?

“The elephant,” he declared, “smoked too much.”

Oh, and the new TAM cartoon is up! I see a pattern developing here…

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Mike Tyson Summer Camp!

Wanna go?! Wanna go?! What could be better than cooking a hot dog over a campfire using the same stick you just beat a prostitute with?

Nothing, that’s what.

Actually, I’m not really trying to sell you on Mike Tyson Summer Camp. Sorry. It doesn’t exist…yet. But I saw a really disturbing story on the Today Show this morning. It was all about these new summer camps with features that allow parents to watch their kids on the internet while they do summer camp stuff. Row boats, sing songs, get stalked by a hockey mask-wearing psychopath, stuff like that. (By the way, has anyone else noticed that Katie Couric’s got old lady lips? Soft, supple, old lady lips…gross!)

Honestly, what the hell is the world coming to?! Why send the damn kids to summer camp if you’re just going to watch them the entire time?! What’s the freaking point!?

Now, I never went to summer camp. My “summer camp” was visiting my dad every year in West Virginia. We did all that West Virginia summer camp stuff, rowed boats, sang songs, married our relatives. Okay, not really. She wouldn’t accept my proposal. I’m joking; I hate to perpetuate a stupid stereotype. Not everyone from the WV is a hillbilly weirdo, they’re just all criminals.

So, I just tried to look up the article. Couldn’t find it – again! I hate those freaking sites! I used to surf the internet for a living and I can’t find one stupid article that aired today?! Maybe I should try searching for more than a minute. Really, though, it should be on the first freaking page!

Enough of that.

There was this lady on the show touting the importance of this new summer camp technology. Referring to her daughter at camp, I think her exact quote was, “I can wake up every morning, turn on the computer, and there she is…”

Lady, if you can’t live one month without you daughter, perhaps you should have kept her home, locked in her room and tied to a chair where she belongs. This little girl, the lady’s daughter, was about ten, I’d say; much too old for this woman to still be suffering from postpartum stress disorder.

This summer camp thing is just symptomatic of society, though. All of us are suffering from human contact overload aren’t we? With cell phones and high speed internet (those of you lucky enough to have high speed internet) we’re in a constant state of contact with our friends and family and stuff (although my mom will tell you different, I promise, mom, I’m going to call soon).

How did we ever survive without all this technology? According to cell phone companies, we didn’t. For those who are reading this and are too young to remember when no one had cell phones, I promise, we weren’t all being abducted all the time. We still managed to receive important phone calls. We survived.

Cars were cars, not just rolling phone booths. And people actually used phone booths, real people, not just drug dealers.

Now, we expect that we can just talk to anyone we please, whenever we please. I do it too, I get pissed when someone doesn’t answer their cell phone. But unless you’re a doctor or something you shouldn’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

Now, intrusive technology is invading the last bastion of isolation. Summer camps are supposed to be a place where you can go to get away from your parents, where you feel comfortable to behave like you really want to without being afraid that your mom is going to call your stupid counselor just because you wore the same shirt two days in a row!

Man, if my mom could see how many days I go without changing my shirt, I’d get one hell of a grounding.

Fun Fact: Now to the Mike Tyson portion of the blog. The poor guy’s broke. According to him, he’s living on the street. Don’t you feel bad for him? Don King stole all his money! That part’s probably true, but how can you feel bad for the guy? I can understand going into debt, but that’s only because I only make $300 a week. If I buy a Big Mac, I go into debt. But Mike, c’mon man. You’re a moron. Have you heard of a bank?

Mike, I have to confess, I giggle to myself when I think about the fact that you’ll now have to pick up hookers with just your personality.

Good luck with that.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Called Out

It happened again, I got threatened at the gym. But this time I wasn’t threatened by the gym itself.

I was officially “called out.”

Here’s the story. Tanya and I were driving through the gym parking lot, trying to find a space that’s actually closer to the gym than our apartment, and this guy is walking in the middle of the road (the little parking lot road). I didn’t see him. Tanya did. She yells. I stop.

Then I get called out. I get the classic “you want a piece of me” pose.

Okay, it’s not like I got close to him or anything. I was driving about two miles an hour. I stopped about ten feet from him. Evidently, that wasn’t far enough for this genius. He got all bent out of shape.

I think that he was embarrassed about flinching.

I apologized. After all, it was my fault for not seeing him. But, Jesus, he just wouldn’t let it go. He just kept standing there with his arms out and an angry betrayed look on his face.

I don’t really know what he was thinking. I mean, I’ve got a car! All he had was a gym towel and about a 3 inch reach advantage. I’ll never understand pedestrians. I apologized! What more did he want?! My first born? He’ll have to fight it away from my mother. I said sorry about 12 times, I’m not exaggerating.

So, after we sat there staring at him for a few more seconds, he finally gave up. He laughed and walked away. I guess he thought I was a pussy or something? Asshole.

I should have gotten out of the car and had a fight right there in the parking lot. I didn’t really want to go to the gym in the first place. Besides, there’s nothing like going to jail on a Tuesday morning to get the blood pumping.

That’s right pal, you won. Feel better? You sure showed me. And in front of my girlfriend no less. And you only had me by about 30 pounds and 4 inches. Wow.

It amazes me the number of people out there just looking for an excuse to fight someone. Why the pretense? Don’t wait for someone to start some “shit,” just start fighting. If they ask you why, just tell them it’s because you’re an idiot. They’ll have to understand because if they don’t, you can just punch a little harder.

Now, this may be hard to believe, but I’ve been beat up a few time in my life. Every time was in West Virginia (except the time that my ex-step brother beat me up. But I sort of deserved that. I told the entire Mead Junior High baseball team that he Playgirls under his bed. In my defense, he was an asshole to me – and he did have Playgirls under his bed). I became a pro at how to get beaten up. I was punched in the face a couple of times, but apart from one black eye, I’ve never been seriously injured.

The problem with my fighting style is that I’m a pacifist. I’ve never fought back. You can’t win many fights that way. So I don’t have any cool stories about beating up the school bully.

But I did make fun of a lot of school bullies.

Oh…wait…now I get it! Don’t make fun of people who can beat you up!

Man, that’s one life lesson I learned a little late.

So, to sum up. If an ill-tempered, roid raging, Neanderthal pedestrian steps out in front of you while you’re driving, don’t try to play the hero and spare them from death – just don’t stop. Run their stupid jay-walking ass over. Really, it’ll save you a lot of aggravation in the long run.

Fun Fact Arms open, chest out. This is the universal sign for “let’s go, mother@#$%!”

I was trying to trace this gestures origins and I think I have a lead:

Somehow, it seems a lot less threatening when Jesus makes the pose. I can’t tell if it’s because Jesus is equated with peace and love, or if he just didn’t pump his chest enough while he was doing it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Back From Oblivion!

Hello there. So, as you can see, I’m back! I suppose you can see that either one of two ways, huh?

I had a lot of things on my plate last week. And by that, I mean that I ate too much. My Dad was visiting from West Virginia. It’s always tough to stick to a diet when relatives are constantly taking you out to eat.

But it wasn’t all just touristy fun and games. I had more to do than just visit the minimalism exhibit over at the Museum of Contemporary Art, or the new Disney Concert Hall. (You like that hidden exposition?)

I was working on the music for that new short series for that “As Yet Undisclosed (by me anyway) New Television Network.” Well it’s all done. I finished it on Friday, and my dad left yesterday. So now things are back to normal.

How’s this for instant gratification? You can see the short over to He has a link to the “new network” in case you’re dying to know what it is. I would post it here, but I don’t want them to have me fired. Just click on the link for “That’s Classified.” As I said, it features soundtrack music by yours truly, and a TAM original song (performed by me) called “Jobby Job.”

All in all, not a bad job for my first soundtrack, if I do say so myself (I’m not counting the soundtrack that I did for “Chute, Shoot, Chut,” a movie I made in college, because this time I was really composing the soundtrack into the movie instead of just throwing some of my own tunes on to the flick.)

Okay, let’s see, what else? Oh, I got a new preamp. A nice and inexpensive, but it did the job, so who cares if I’m cheap. Bought a new lamp, a magazine rack, and hung some new curtains, all from IKEA (except for the curtains that Tanya made for the bedroom out of an old duvet cover).

It’s funny, but you would think that something as inconsequential as a magazine rack would be a simple purchase, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a big deal. It makes a statement, I mean other than the fact that we have too many magazines. It seems sort of permanent in a way. It’s the last piece in the domestic puzzle. Because, unless you’re a dentist, you don’t really need a magazine rack, do you? Think back to all of the other people you know who have a magazine rack. How old are they? My grandparents all had them. I think my mom has one. I guess this is what it feels like to come to the magazine rack stage of your life?

I like the magazine rack, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am displaying the fact that we read Cosmo.

At least we put it far enough away from the bathroom as not to be too obvious about it.

I tell you, here’s why old people have these things, it’s because just when you thought you had every staple of a functional household, there’s always a magazine rack.

But enough about my glorious rack, I have some sad news to share with you. Meow Meow, the cat that I wrote about not too long ago, the one we housesit with, has passed away. It’s too bad; Meow Meow was a good cat. He looked grumpy, but he had a heart of gold. It’s just too bad that he didn’t have the lungs and a digestive system of gold, maybe he would have lived longer. We’ll miss you buddy, who will keep my lap warm while I watch Mythbusters?

The feline world will never be the same again. In fact “unofficially,” famous cartoon cat Garfield released this statement:

Meow Meow, or Meow as I like to call him, was an exceptional feline. It’s too bad that he’s not with us anymore, I could have used him on my recently released movie, he could have written a better script with three paws tied behind his back than those hack “writers” that scribbled out that tripe of a screenplay which the idiot producers at FOX tried to sell to the American public! What a bunch of morons, those #%^@& producers! They killed my movie! Killed it! And thanks for nothing Jim Davis! Jennifer Love Hewitt?! I mean, Jennifer Love Hewitt?! Geeze…! Look, you can take a piece of $%^# and buff it to a high gloss, but what you’re left with is still just a shiny piece of $%^#!...

…Well it goes on like that.

Fun Fact: The new TAM cartoon is up! A new one! It’s not funny though. A lot like this Fun Fact.


Friday, July 02, 2004

And Now Here’s Something I Hope You’ll Really Like

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

Okay, here’s the deal. I’m under a time crunch to get this music done, so I won’t be posting anything interesting today.

But I have reached deep into the vaults to find a very special CLASSIC TAM cartoon!

I hope you all enjoy this glimpse into America’s past. Man, times have changed since then! You know, you can tell a lot about a culture by looking at their fine art.

So I wonder what you can tell by looking at this cartoon?

Fun Fact: Since I started drawing these cartoons, I have never missed a deadline. Well, that is, until now. No! Wait! I didn’t miss any deadline! I CHOOSE to post a classic TAM! Yeah…CHOOSE!