Thursday, September 28, 2006

turkish delight

I just found out about a movie - well, a cinematic movement, really - called "Turkish Star Wars." See, apparently there's been a nice long tradition in Turkey of redoing American films into much lower-budget, much more bizarre movies.

"Turkish Star Wars" is a gem, and by gem I mean "barely watchable string of footage stolen from Star Wars intercut with original film that doesn't make any sense."

Take for instance this scene (here) in which the Turkish Han and Turkish Luke do some training out in the deserts of Tatooine(?) in order to head off and save the world from Turkish Darth Vader. I doubt there's anyone out there who hasn't watched Star Wars and said "Wow. As good as this is, it really needs a physical training sequence much like Rocky where they train by slowly karate chopping rocks." Fear not! Your prayers are answered.

The Turkish version also includes snappy dialogue like:

Ali: It doesn't seem it will finish, they are still coming, let's go over them.
Murat: That's what suit us, we must go beyond the space speed, be ready to welcome arrivers.
Ali: These are too ugly, it would be better if some girls come with mini skirts.

I think I speak for us all when I agree that we must all go beyond the space speed in our lives. This film also taught me that the Turkish words for "Save the World!" apparently sound an awful lot like "Yoko Jackson!" which in and of itself is an awesome name.

And just in case you want more, here's part two of the training movie in which Luke(?) leaps around the desert with boulders tied to his legs to the rousing sounds of the main theme from Indiana Jones.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

contrary to apparently popular belief ...

The wall is not, in fact, a tissue. For at least one disturbed schmuck here at work, though, this realization hasn't quite sunken in yet. I keep noticing that when I go use the urinal, I'm forced to stand there and stare at someone's old, dried boogers while I help to take part in the nitrogen cycle.

It's really fucking gross.

But they don't seem to be limited to simply using the wall. I've noticed that they also like to use the doors to the bathroom stalls. Did they think people wouldn't notice boogers dangling off of everything? It's totally disgusting. And they must know it's gross and shameful 'cuz I never hear anyone do it when I'm in there. They must just wait for some secret private moment when they restroom is all to their own and they can paint the walls with snot.

It's freaking gross.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

completely unprompted by anything else ...

I thought I'd offer 10 reasons why San Mateo is much better than Santa Monica. This in no way has anything to do with the fact that my brother is trying to figure out which city to live in.

1. According to the crime statistics posted at, even though San Mateo has 10,000 more people than San Mateo, Santa Monica is higher in every category of crime than San Mateo. Santa Monica also has twice the national average of arson incidents.

2. San Mateo has two nearby pro-football teams. Santa Monica has none. : (

3. Santa Monica has its own fault line named after it. San Mateo doesn't.

4. Santa Monica has a hotter average temperature each year than San Mateo. Plus, San Mateo has seasons and trees. Santa Monica has ... parking lots and the beach.

5. San Mateo's Sister City is Ribe, Denmark - the city that gave the world Emil Hansen, father of modern day brewing. Santa Monica's Sister City is Fujinomiya, Japan which gave the world ... fried noodles.

6. According to Wikipedia, 10% of Santa Monica's population lives below the poverty line. In San Mateo, the streets are paved with gold and only 6.8% are below the poverty level.

7. Santa Monica gave the world Muscle Beach. San Mateo gave the world YouTube. One of them has entertained me with hours-worth of live TV news bloopers. The other one spawned Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Can you guess which one is which?)

8. Santa Monica is known as "The Homeless Capital Of The World." San Mateo is known as ... San Mateo.

9. The nearest go-karts to Santa Monica are an hour away down the frustrating 405 freeway. The nearest go-karts to San Mateo are 10 minutes away up the breezy 101. Go-Karts are good.

10. Santa Monica forms the highly disturbing anagram "satanic moan." Meanwhile, San Mateo only forms the much more pleasantly mundane "Mona eats."

So in conclusion, Santa Monica can bite me, San Mateo rules, and I live near go-karts. But, you know ... like I said ... not that any of this should have any real bearing on anything ...

Monday, September 25, 2006

4 8 15 16 23 42

If you've seen the show, you know what that string of numbers is. Or rather, I should say "you've seen that string of numbers before and it means a million mysterious things all at once, none of which seem tangible and real, so in the end it ends up meaning nothing at all."

If you don't recognize those numbers, it's probably because you didn't watch all of Lost: Season 1 this weekend on DVD like Amanda and I did. 22 hours of TV capped off by watching the season premiere of ER on our Tivo. That's a lot of TV.

But, you know what? It was pretty good TV. I was a little concerned because of how ape-shit the whole world has gone over Lost. I tend to find that most shows that the general public completely adores I don't find entertaining. CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: Sheboygan, American Idol, The Bachelor, etc. Not shows I like.

But lost is pretty good. When it's slow, it's really slow. But it tends to have enough moments of mind-bending what-the-fuck?isms that it holds my interest. Its biggest strength is in hooking the audience with a puzzle they make you feel you're a clue or two shy of figuring out entirely. The only problem is that those clues never come. Instead, you just get more mysteries. And it leads to some crazy theories.

I don't want to talk about the plot of the show, because I went into it cold and I think anyone watching it should. But, still. It's good and it's been messing with Amanda and I all weekend. Suffice it to say, we have a weird little theory on all of the goings-on on the island and we'll have to wait until next weekend to find out.

'Cause that's when we're gonna' watch all of Season 2.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

grown up life continues

In the form of meetings with - and I never thought I'd say this - our financial advisor. Yep. Amanda and I had a meeting with our financial advisor this morning to discuss the many varied and exciting options in the world of Mutual Funds.


We talked about retirement planning, we talked about debt reduction, we talked about, investment strategies ... Much of which I was struggling to "grock," as my department manager is fond of saying. But we were there and we chatted and we're due back next week for another meeting.

Meanwhile, I just got a request for more sketches.

AND SOMEHOW IT STILL ISN'T FUCKING FRIDAY YET!!!! I dunno what's going on, but I got it into my head that Tuesday was in fact Friday and I've been seriously jonesing for the weekend ever since.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


still. doing. sketches.

never. seems. to end.

not. getting. any feedback.

slowly. driving. me nuts.

beginning. to envy. renaissance patronage system of composition work.

but still. not. their clothes.

Monday, September 18, 2006

now that was a sunday

Did a little artwork, made some progress on wedding issues, played a ton of Lego Star Wars II, hung out in my pajamas almost all day. Good times.

I'm thoroughly enjoying Lego II, even though I've found a couple of audio bugs. But, whatever. The perils of external development, I suppose.

Today it's back to Sketchathon 2006. I'm working on a new, as-yet-unannounced project and we're deep into the process of trying to figure out what the music is going to sound like. So far, I've written almost 10 minutes of music - all in sketches that won't be used. It's proving to be a tough game to nail down the sound for. But, it's extremely interesting and I'm trucking along. Two more sketches to do by EOD tomorrow. Should be good.

Provided I don't fall asleep. I dunno why, but I'm EXHAUSTED today.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

it might not be polite ...

But it sure is hella fun to eavesdrop on people while they fight on the train. Yes, the couple in front of me on the ride home tonight were having a pretty bad time of it. Being the bored commuter that I was, I decided to try and figure out what was going on. I actually got a fair bit of it, due in large part to their needing to yell over the train noise in order to fight with each other.

Interestingly, the two of them are having an affair. He is an older guy and she is his much younger secretary. He's married. She's not. When they got onto the train, she was flirting with him and saying something about "doing that thing where [she] gets ontop of [him]." Unfortunately for her, he didn't take well to that level of open flirting on the train. He scolded her for embarrassing him and she had a complete temper tantrum from there on out.

She ended up crying and Mr. Bossman was doing his best "whatever, girl-I'm-just-sleeping-with" aloof approach to the whole thing. She then complained about how they can "never just buy two tickets anywhere together" and how they're always sneaking around. She then began to "question and rethink every decision she's made in her life." It was totally compelling and the stuff of movies and soap operas.

When the train pulled into the station, he stood up and left while she sat there and gathered her stuff together.

Guess who's not gonna be getting ontop of who tonight?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

absolutely fascinating

I have to admit, I was completely sucked in and suckered. There's apparently been a mystery taking shape on the internet for the last few months, a mystery that I inadvertently stumbled across about a month ago while working in my office through lunch.

See, for the last two months, I've had a bunch of working lunches. While I eat, I frequently find myself processing audio files on my Mac while watching videos on my PC at YouTube to kill the time. There is a metric ton of bullshit videos on there. Mostly I seem to enjoy watching bloopers of live TV news (don't ask why - I don't know). However, as they're littered all over the place on YouTube, I've also watched a number of lame video blogs by people. Interestingly, YouTube seems to be creating it's own brand of celebrity, Z-list level celebs who blog about their lives and are occasionally picked up by other people. There's stuff from TheKidFromBrooklyn, some grumpy fuck who now does guest spots on radio stations around the country. There's Gary Brolsma, the inadvertent star of the "Numa Numa" crap that went around the internet for a while. Anyway, you get the point. People post personal videos and then those videos get comments from other users and the cycle repeats.

Now, when I started to look at people's videos, I was surprised to see a particular name keep coming up. People would say things like "this is just as dumb as lonelygirl15" or "ur such a poser lonelygirl15 is much betr." So, naturally curious, I searched for the name and found her videos.

Here's the basic premise: lonelygirl15 is apparently some homeschooled 16 year-old girl in the mid-west which overbearing parents, a best friend named Daniel, a myspace page, and a lot of time on her hands to make YouTube videos. She gets TONS of comments from people all of the time as they're all interested in the drama unfolding in her life between her father, her friend Daniel, and some apparent tension surrounding an upcoming "religious ceremony" she needs to take part in.

It's sketchy on most of the details, but the clips looks like any old video blog. But guess what?

It's a complete fake. The Los Angeles Times is running a story today all about how it's the brain child of three Los Angeles filmmakers who are trying to use the medium of YouTube to create a mystery series in pieces that evolves and develops based on the comments left by YouTube users at the end of each "episode."

I find it completely fascinating that someone looked at the video blog/free-distribution nature of YouTube and said "That's the perfect forum for a 21st century thriller/mystery." It's brilliant and so convincingly done. My hat's off the the filmmakers.

What's also completely fascinating is that they did such a good job making this girl seem real that now there's a big angry backlash online of people who are pissed off at being duped. The entire situation is so interesting to watch unfold. Theater mimicked reality TV so much that people bought it hook, line, and sinker, and then felt ripped off when their free entertainment turned out to be scripted.

Just makes me wonder how frequently this happens where it doesn't get outed and goes under the radar as fact instead of extremely well-constructed fiction.

Monday, September 11, 2006

cautiously optimistic

This year, after losing every single shot it's had at a championship sports team for 23 years, Philadelphia has its best shot ever at claiming the title in something.

"Oh really?" I hear you ask. "Which team rox so hardcore that you're putting your complete lack of any credibility with sports on the line, Harlin?" To wit I say: it's not a team. It's a statue.

You see, my brother and I - not ones to jump on the "our city needs a sports curse!" bandwagon - had long ago decided that the reason Philly hasn't won sports championship since 1983 is due entirely to the snooty fucks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For, it was in 1983 that the Art Museum counsel of elders or someshit voted to remove the statue of Rocky Balboa from the Art Museum steps where he belongs to the relative obscurity of hanging out in the shadow of The Spectrum.

Anyway, anyone not from Philly who's reading this is saying "the who? The wha?" about a billion times so far, so I'll wrap this up. Suffice it to say that The Philadelphia 76ers were the last team to win a championship title and they did so in 1983, the same year Rocky left his proper home.

Finally, with the return of another Rocky film, the statue is returning to the art museum where he belongs. So, hopefully this means that we'll have a sports team that decides they'd like to finally win something this year. We'll see what happens. If Ry and I are right and Philly wins something, we rule. If we're wrong, it was a stupid theory anyway.

But if we're right, we so rule.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

wiped. out.

I'm completely exhausted today. In addition to sleeping through the night a regular 8 hours of sleep, I've had about 6 hours of additional sleep throughout the day between two different nap bursts.

I had a LONG week, despite the fact that it was only four days long. Throughout the course of the week, I managed to work on four different projects; and usually while that means that some are less intensive than others, this week it was four different things that all kept yipping and yapping for my attention like a pack of evil dogs. In addition to the project specific work, I had a week jammed full of meetings. And not fun ones, mind you. Not the kind where people photo-copy their butts or ice cream is served. No, these were talking intensive, "why isn't Thing X working" meetings. All told, I pretty much worked until about midnight every night this week.

So today, I'm what the British call "a yank." Oh, wait. No. Not that. I mean "completely knackered."

And to top it all off, I'm completely grumpy and a miserable sonuvabitch to be around today. It sucks.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I'm busy.

I'll write more later.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

it forgot "The Wiggles"

Well, small improvements over yesterday. Tivo seems to have fixed itself. I was able to watch a new episode of The Contender that it taped for me last night. I don't know what kind of magic happened to get it to work, but for now I've decided not to breath on it or look at it funny for fear that it might go back to being dumb.

And, now that it works, I'm starting to see what people mean when they say that Tivo's suggestions that it tapes for you are completely retahded. So far, after telling it that I want to watch The Contender, Dungeons & Dragons, and Medium, it's taped for me Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and Sex in the City. No, no and no.

It's kinda' like Pandora, the online music suggestion messathon. If I type in an artist that I like, Pandora tries to tell me other artists that I might like. Problem is, every time I get suggestions from Pandora that I recognize, I find myself thinking "Ew. Shit ... No, I can't stand that stuff. How'd you get that from what I like?"

Still, Tivo's stupid suggestions are a small price to pay for not having to watch commercials anymore and for being able to take a phone call in the middle of something I'm watching without missing anything. Good times. Tivo is going to quickly spoil me, I can already tell.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

yay!!! I mean ... boo!!!

Lots of fun things going on!

We got Tivo and set it up this weekend. Yay!!! One small snag.

It's broken.

The audio stutters when we watch live TV, when we record anything - pretty much when we do anything. It sucks.

Not to mention, the only thing it doesn't seem to record is the only show I really want to record right now. At about 3:00 AM, the old 80s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon is played on one of the high number channels (100 something) and when Tivo records it, all I get is a half hour full of black nothingness. As Nitchean as that is and all, I want my cartoon dagnabit.

Also, here's the update on my car. After getting a parking ticket for it due to street sweeping bullshit, I took it in to get it smogged. Just to remind you, the hope was that it would fail smog and I'd be able to surrender it to the state. Well, no dice. No, it didn't pass. It was leaking coolant so badly that they couldn't smog it for safety reasons. They told me I have to get the cracked pipe welded back together before they can smog it.

When I called the garage to see if they could weld the pipe back together, they told me that they can't weld a pipe that's as badly rusted as mine is. It will punch a hole right through the pipe if they try. So, I'd have to replace the whole pipe. That means, I'm back at the beginning of the whole problem where it's too expensive to fix the pipe so I was hoping to just surrender it to the state pending a failed Smog Test. Yay! I've come full circle!!

And to cap off to the bummerathon, Amanda, is out of town on business for the next few days in Phoenix, AZ.

Monday, September 04, 2006

there's a lesson here somewhere ...

Steve Irwin - the world's favorite mullet-headed nature poker - has died. Super sad for his wife and child, super sad for Australia, super sad for the ratings of the Discovery channel.

But unexpected?

Not really. I have a hard time feeling like this is some kind of tragedy. Yes, he seemed like an incredibly nice guy. But he made his living poking Nature with a stick. Eventually Nature is going to poke back. And it apparently did so with deadly accuracy.

Yes, it's sad and I feel for the guy's family most of all. But maybe this will serve as a lesson to people that exploiting nature by taunting it for TV isn't the best career choice to make. If anything, hopefully it serves as the means to stop Jeff Corwin from his ridiculous uber-Nature-poking that he does. Steve Irwin's nature taunting always seemed somewhat compassionate. Jeff Corwin just seems like a tool. I think the stingray stung the wrong guy.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

holy wow!

Hello, 1998!

Amanda and I just networked our computers together so that we can use the World Wide Interweb simultaneously from both of our computers. Cuz guess what? Before a minute ago, neither of us could. A frequent question around here was "Do you have the Internet?" at which point we'd bargain for the ability to connect to the internet and jockey cables around in the modem itself.

This is a truly a great day. Now we can both waste time on Yahoo! Games simultaneously ...

Friday, September 01, 2006


I can't wait for this nice long weekend. Not that I have any particular in terms of special plans. It's just ... you know ... three days off in a row. That's always nice.

I haven't played any games in a while. Maybe I'll play something this weekend. I don't know what game.

You know what I do know, though? That this post sucks. It's dull and lifeless.


Um ... here.