Friday, January 31, 2014

Put-Upon Billionaire? COME TO MY SEMINAR!

Man, it's getting tough out there for an unfathomably wealthy plutocrat.  If we're not getting Kristallnachted, some dumpy burg is getting stingy all of the sudden with hosting our yacht race!

That's why I'm offering this special weekend-long seminar for us, entitled "Fun Percent for the One Percent."  Join us at a to-be-disclosed later location, where you'll dine on five-star cuisine, enjoy a relaxing round of golf or polo, hunt the occasional endangered species, and have the opportunity to participate in one of our many course offerings, such as:

Selecting the Right Summer Place This Summer

Aspen, Jackson, Hamptons, Lille?
Which summer house fits the bill?

Do you find yourself perpetually confused about which summer place to go to after a long spring looting pension funds and counting your profits from hedge funding?  In this session, we'll work together to figure out which retreat works best for you.  (It is helpful, but not required, to have at least three options to select from.)

When Your Civic Leader Won't Heel

Is your paid-for mayor, senator, congressperson, or UN delegate not returning your calls immediately?  ARRRRRGH SO FRUSTRATING.  We've all been there.  Let's explore the best ways to correct this annoying behavior, whether it be the rapid application of campaign cash funneled through the children of your employees or the charmingly old-school junket to Hong Kong.  (NOTE: Please have the names of your civic leader's wife and offspring available.)

G4 No More!

Oh no, are you still riding around in a G4? Don't let Ellison catch you in that hooptie!  Let's get you set up in a new ride.  Maybe a Dassault Falcon 7X for those short trips.  When you've got a long haul to Davos, though, it's a Boeing or bust!  Just ask Larry Page.  He doesn't go anywhere without his 767.  Anything less and you might as well be riding the bus!


Spanish for Maids and Gardeners

Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I needed to tell Luis "Careful with that topiary!"  In this brief class, you'll learn a number of useful phrases, such as "Please bring the brie to room temperature," "I spilled some yuan in the study, please clean it up," and "If you're using the leaf blower, direct it towards Benioff's yard."

How to Write an Op-Ed

Need to vent a little bit about how the hyenas and worker drones are insufficiently appreciative of the gifts you lavish upon them?  In this session, we'll learn about how to craft the perfect Mr. Burns-style outrage piece.  You'll learn such phrases as "know their place," "look at all I've done for you" and especially "I'm the real victim here."  Breakout sessions with Greg Gopman and Tom Perkins ("Perkie").

Is That An Art? I Want to Buy An Art

Nothing says fabulously wealthy like having a one-of-a-kind piece of art, but how do you pick?  Stupid Steve Wynn bought all the good stuff already!  Let's look at what kind of unbelievably overpriced not very good art makes a perfect Fuck You World purchase.  If you think spending $75 million for a cantaloupe submerged in a pitcher of Tang makes sense, this is for you!  FEATURED: Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons.

If you get a chance, please stop by the Scion Locator Booth, where we'll help you determine, in case you've forgotten, which boarding school you sent your overprivileged child to.  "Choate!," you'll exclaim, slapping your forehead.  "Of course!"

Oh God, here comes Bill Gates.  He's the worst!  Luckily, you can duck into our Philanthropy Avoidance Chamber for a quick glass of Krug 1928 and a dollop of caviar.  Bonsoir!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Bachelor: C'mon, kids! Let's go to the KOREAN FURNITURE MUSEUM!!!!

LET US MARCH BRAVELY INTO BRIGHT FUTURE WITH DEAR LEADER Whan who is telling Camilla that she is his “everything” but whoops Daddys gotta go on the road for a while so let me amend that to you are my “something.”  One of my things.  Meanwhile CH shows up at Girlhaus to announce that we are GOING TO WORKERS PARADISE OF NORTH KOREA where we will eat wire and construct a yurt from yak dung.  Oh no wait I misheard it’s South Korea.  OK then.  Clare chirps “I don’t even have a kimono!”  That’s OK Clare.  You have time to learn Chinese or Bolivian or whatever they speak there.

Our first group date is an introduction to the exciting world of K-Pop, which, according to Whan is “taking over America!”  I guess.  Apparently the chix are going to do a dance number with “21” (EDIT: it's apparently "2NE1," like what the fuck is that?), a musical or something group that is a living combination of anime and meth.  Kat, who has been “dancing her whole life!” is generally bouncing around like she’s electrified but Rootsy can’t dance so she is SO MAD.  It doesn’t help that they’ve got her dressed up like a defective mannequin from the Juniors section at Sears in 1988.

Anyway, 2NE1 is so popular that they perform at a mall like a 5th-place American Idol finisher!  Even the NBA Dancer/Trey Mom is phoning it in but Kat is gyrating like Kim Jong Whatever has a dog pointed at her.  The whole thing is awful, of course.

Apparently every rooftop pool, restaurant, bar, lounge, and more interesting museum is taken because the Night Portion finds us at the Korean Furniture Museum.  Not a joke.  Can you imagine the kids who get taken to the Korean Furniture Museum?  Poor bastards.  Anyway, everyone sits on some Korean Furniture and says “Chewbacca!” which I guess is Korean for “This sucks!”  Uh-oh, Kat’s dad was a “severe alcoholic” and that’s why she moved to Arizona?  Makes as much sense as any other reason to move to Arizona, I guess.  Oh boy now everyone’s down on Rootsy.  She’s too “negative.”  COME SIT BY ME SWEETIE.  Anyway, that shit moves units because she gets the rose.

One on Whan ™ Date with Seriousleen, who has the emotional response of a coma patient but hopefully we’ll have fun.  They wander through the oblig outdoor market and sample some Korean food, which appears to be largely pig noses and bright red things.  Later, Whan pressures her into doing some singing and she makes SUCH A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT you know how all performers are DYING to do their little act but they all have to go “OH NO NO I COULDN’T PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME.”  She sings like 3 notes!  BIG FUCKING DEAL.  Then they make out.  Seriousleen will input this valuable information into her data banks.  At the Outdoor Dinner™ Seriousleen has activated her Humanity Chip and there’s something about whether Whan wants more kids or something that I think is supposed to be dramatic but I didn’t follow and she gets a rose.  BLEEP BLOOP.

GROUP DATE.  We’re going to “explore Seoul” which means going to a Karaoke parlor that’s decorated like Manga Barbie’s Dream House.  Then off to Dr. Fish Zone.

Sadly, this is not where Dr. Fish will perform amateur plastic surgery, but instead where REAL FISH EAT DEAD SKIN OFF THEIR FEET.  So far Korea is grossing me out.  Then it’s back to the street food where Clare makes a big show of refusing to eat octopus like of all the disgusting shit they probably have to eat I bet that’s the mildest.  It’s basically calamari.  I mean, if you want to make a stink about it turn down the otter penis or human eyeballs, but octopus?

Group Outdoor Dinner somewhere.  Wait, did Andi just call him “Duwan Pablo”?  I think that’s a rapper, sweets.  Hey, for some reason Whan has now decided that he can no longer kiss anyone because sometimes-interesting daughter Camilla is watching or something.  I don’t get it.


Partially to moderately sleepy.

Oh wait, now he’s kissing Clare? So I guess his no-kissing rule was just for brunettes.  For some reason Andi gets the rose.  Then we’re off to some Korean temple that has a pretty loose BYOB policy and everyone’s mad because Rootsy – who is wearing a purple napkin as a dress – is violating some code by hanging with Whan even though she has a rose.  Whatever.

Rose Cer, finally.  “I love you,” says Whan, to no one in particular.  IN: Mom Renee, ChelsieWOOO, Lazy Eyes, Maybe Black Danielle, NBA Dancer/Neon Wrap Wearer, Really Who the Fuck Is Alison, Sacto Clare, and Kat Who Is Looking Slightly Rough.  Adios to Elise From "Forty Fort" and Lauren S.  Deadweight, both of them.  Good riddance.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Bachelor: This Just In: Soccer Still Boring

Sorry this is so late.  I was busy!  I had a lot on my plate.  It was misplaced.  This was someone else's job.  It was overtaken by events.  I'll do better next time.

Let us begin at the Girlhaus, where - wait, did Rootsy get her roots adjusted?  It looks like it!  Doglvr wants a one on one date.  Maybe Patches is free!  Oh, with Whan.  Anyway, Chris Harrison shows up for the preflight briefing and it appears the first date tonight will be with the oddly lupine Cassandra!  Hey, ever wonder when Cassandra's last first date was?  Soon we will find out.  OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Now we are off to Long Beach where Whan is playing with little Camilla and LONG BEACH, REALLY? What, was San Pedro busy? Geez, ABC.  Here comes C, who "hasn't had a first date since [she] was 18 years old" and apparently managed to get knocked up on that one so LOOK OUT WHAN.  Whan puts her in some buggy car thing and they drive into the water and both drown.  I WISH.  No, they float.  It's some kind of car-boat thing.  They drive around in the water and C squeals like a piglet.  Yacht swimming making out blah blah blah you've seen all this before.  Then back to the Bachelor house to MAKE MORE BABIES I guess and C can't stop saying how it's her first date in 3 years.  Jesus Christ lady, we get it already.  She's sweet but doesn't seem like the sharpest tack in the corkboard.  Let's move on to Looking at Kid Pix.  THIS JUST IN: "Trey" is Perez Hilton.

Also, watching other people look at baby pictures is more boring than watching a calculus lecture wrapped in paint drying.  She gets the Please Shut Up About Your First Date in 3 Years Rose.

Then we have a Group Soccer Date at, I shit you not, StubHub Stadium or whatever.  I guess they all had to pay 3 times over face to get in!  I'm kidding, StubHub, I love you.  PLEASE DON'T SHUT ME OUT.  Daddy needs Giants tickets.  Anyway, the chix all play soccer and it's about as interesting as any soccer game which is to say it's boring as fuck.  The only good thing is they appear to be playing without goalies which is actually the best innovation in soccer since hooligans.  Post, there's no rooftop pool? Fuck, ABC.  Between this and Long Beach, you are really cheaping out this episode.  No, nighttime portion is still at StubHub Stadium.  OK, Rootsy gets a hug, makeout with Andi, then The Sharleen takes over.  She's thinking about how "organic" it feels.  Whan clearly doesn't know what "organic" means.  Then they have a VERY WEIRD KISS that looks like he's trying to insert an object into her mouth unsuccessfully.

Whatever.  Free Spirit manages to keep her clothes on, somehow, and Rootsy gets the rose.

One on one date with Chelsie.  Whan plays her some Venezuelan music in the car and she White Girl car dances and they hit up the Venezuelan restaurant for some arepas and tequeno and paco de catillo and maserati or something.  You know what's good after a big meal of unfamiliar cuisine?  TANDEM BUNGEE JUMPING!  Especially when it's conducted by a Guy Fieri impersonator in a visor.  There is an ENDLESS sequence where Chel is wavering about whether to do it and JUST FUCKING JUMP ALREADY OK whew it's over.  

Standard Outdoor Dinner at City Hall.  Chel comes from a family of dentists and is the "black sheep" for becoming a teacher instead.  Holy fuck, if that's black sheep status in her family you'd be the Black 13th Incarnation of the Demon Azeroth for changing the channel when America's Funniest Videos is on.  She gets a rose, of course, and then it's the usual Concert by Mediocre Faux Country Act Who Stole the Guitar Riff in His Song From "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day.  Yuck.

Dawn Breaks at Girlhaus.  Whan arrives to make "Venezuelan breakfast," which I thought was cocaine and a chelada but is apparently some kind of pancake thing.  Whan think "Clare look reely good in piyamas" which I guess so.  Hey, wanna get crazy?  Instead of a cocktail party, let's have a POOL PARTY!  Disrupt the Bachelor!  Fuck.  Anyway, The Sharleen doesn't feel a connection because, you know, SHE'S NORMAL.  Oh, now Clare is freaking out.  Maybe she's normal too!  No, no she is not.  Anyway, Whan does his usual gig and talks everyone down.  He spends a lot of time doing this, actually.

Let's get to the Rose Cer and get the fuck out of Dodge.  Hey, Doglvr's lazy eye is especially sleepy today!


OK, who's in.  Andy, Mom, Doglvr, Seriousleen, Elisa, Kat, Who the Fuck Is Alison, Insecure Clare, Who the Fuck Is Lauren, and Maybe Black Danielle.  We must bid farewell to Free Spirit and Some Blonde Chick Named Christy who I didn't even know was on this show.  "Every person deserves love," Free Spirit says.  Pack another bowl, baby.  We're moving on.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm back

I left The Wife and Beyonce in Ireland LOL.  No, seriously, I did but they're coming back soon.

I'm not sure if it's appropriate to blog about a funeral, so I'll focus on the plane travel instead.  In fact, I'm going to focus on just my flights back yesterday.

Going from SHANNON (Ireland) to NEWARK was such a joy that it made me start to rethink every bad thing I ever said about United Airlines.  I was in a window bulkhead seat and a tiny Indian woman was on the aisle and there was no one in the middle.  It was like having my own private room.

PICTURED: My bulkhead suite on Flight 24, Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine" (more on which later), my legs + kicks.

I watched 2 movies, both of which I had thoughts about.


WTF?  This may not be the worst Woody Allen movie, but it may be the weirdest.  It's ostensibly set in San Francisco, but the SF depicted bears no resemblance to any actual San Francisco.  There are two or three male characters who are total Brooklyn goombah types who somehow wandered into this film and are totally unlike anyone else I've ever met in 23 years of living here.  If you want immediately identifiable New Yorkers in your movie, Woody, fucking SET IT IN NEW YORK.  Also, there is an unintentionally HILARIOUS scene at a daytime party in Marin in which a bunch of white people in coats and ties dance awkwardly to disco music.  It's beyond bizarre.  Cate Blanchett acts OK, but the whole thing was just so unbelievable that it didn't work.  It's like he just randomly decided to set a movie here and wrote a regular script set in New York and then just filmed it here.  The only believable character was Louis CK playing a philandering sound engineer.  It's also not funny.


AKA James Gandolfini's Last Movie.  It's a little, sweet romantic semi-comedy about some olds who go on some dates.  I generally like Nicole Holofcener movies, as long as you realize that nothing really happens in them.  I wouldn't go out of my way to see it, but it was fine when you're flying over endless ice sheets.

We landed in Newark in a TOTAL FUCKING BLIZZARD and that's where shit went south a little.  Since this was United, they FREAKED OUT AND CANCELLED EVERYONE'S FLIGHTS.  United is like an autistic kid who rolls on the ground screaming if anyone touches his dinosaurs.  Planes could take off but United was decompensating in the corner.  Anyway, they put me on another flight to Chicago and then to San Francisco.  Now, I'm 6'4" and I always pay extra for the Special Legroom seats because I can't fit in the regular seats.  I'm not trying to be dramatic or exaggerate about this; I mean, my femurs are literally longer than the space between the seat and the seat in front.  And since this was a backup flight, NO SPECIAL SEATS FOR TK.  Not to bore you with details, but the 4-hour flight to SF included me having to ask the guy in front of me not to put his seat back, to which he replied "Should have bought a seat in first class."  PRICK.

That's about it.  I'll watch the Bachelor tonight and do the recap tomorrow.  We'll get back on some kind of schedule here.

P.S. I also watched ELYSIUM from Chicago to SF and it was a little long but OK I guess.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

There Will Be An Interruption In Your Service

Unfortunately, there has been a death in the family, so we spent all day booking flights and getting a passport for a 9 month old baby.  You can get an emergency passport in 6 hours!  So there, people who say the government doesn't work.  It works FINE.

Anyway, we're off to Ireland tomorrow.  There should be some good stories!  They love the craic. Look it up.

So your Bachelor recap may not be until Thursday or Friday is what I'm saying.  You leeches.  You don't care about me, you only care about Bachelor recaps.  I'm kidding.  I know you care about recycling poachers too.

My kid looks like "I can't believe a 9 month old baby needs a passport," right?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Bachelor: It's Victoria O'Clock Somewhere!

This episode will be full of surprising departures.  Beginning with the fucking dog, who has decided to swim to safety and abandon this shitshow.

Swim, dog!  SWIM TO FREEDOM!!!!

Hairstylist Clare gets the first date apparently.  WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DATE CARD.  Getting a little free with the editing, huh ABC?  We need our establishing shit.  Anyway, Whan blindfolds her and puts her in a car.  That's how the Cali Cartel does it too!  This date will apparently end with a burning tire around Clare's neck.  The Abduction Limo delivers W & C to - what, a Christmas tree lot?  A ski resort?  ABC is so completely out of date idea now that anything some PA drunkenly mumbles gets made into a date.  "Winter wonderland! That's a date!" Whatever.  It's no winter wonderland for girlfriend's hair, I'll tell you that much.  MEOW.  Wait, what did he say?  "Looking at her smiling is better than living in a box?"  Oh, a "million bucks."  A ploos on the English Whan. 

Following some ice moving, it's over to the Hot Spring TM spa for some relaxing and WHOA CLARE GOT HER DADDY ISSUES ALL OVER THE SPA. That's gonna leave a stain.  Basically Clare's Dad cured cancer on his way to the Moon carrying an orphan and a puppy on his back and if you can't do that, you will not get far with Clare. After some lightweight kissing ("You taste like snow" she says - CALI CARTEL I'M TELLING YOU) they are treated to some sensitive guitar playing by a fat guy with a beard. HOTT.

OK next up is Kat who is V V V EXCITED.  Kat open mouth laughs a lot and I bet she's a good drunk.  They board a private plane and are whisked to - wait for it - SALT LAKE CITY!!!!  Nothing says fun like Salt Lake City.  I guess Cleveland was busy.  Anyway, K is furnished with a neon raver outfit and they're going to something called the Electric Run which is a real thing?  Oh, it's the "World's Premier Nighttime 5k run/walk experience."  What it looks like is the World's Premier Exercise Rave For Idiots.

Anyway, he gives her a rose onstage and the only thing that would make this bearable is about 3 tabs of X which you probably can't get in Utah anyway.  Utah.

Let's move on.  Group Date!  Hey, guess what? In a first for the Bachelor, Doglvr Kelly has not one but TWO lazy eyes!

Maybe "Science Educator" Chelsie can explain this anomaly once she comes down from whatever the fuck she's on.  Anyway, they are going to some kind of photo shoot when a man with a neon blue beard appears and tells them they have all been dosed with 100 micrograms of blotter acid and to find a buddy quick because the next 8 hours are going to be super intense.  Oh wait, PUPPIES!!!!  It's a "sexy photoshoot with the dogs."  This requires costuming.  Kelly dresses up as What Happens When a Meth Lab Explodes Onto Someone Wearing Blackface.

The 1st Grade Teacher is assigned Getting Naked With a Cardboard Sign but she smartly switches with Free Spirit Lucy, who would get buck for half a Bud Light and a handful of M&Ms.  Lady Lawyer Andi isn't so sure about the naked thing either but Whan talks her down and they pose with Free Spirit who seems to think this is Hustler and not Dog Rescue.

The Afterparty finds us all in sparkly dresses at the Usual Bachelor LA Rooftop Pool.  TIME FOR SOME FUCKING DRINKS.  Former NBA Dancer Cassandra has to come out as a parent.  She has a kid named Trey because of course.  Dad?

OK let's get to my girl Victoria.  Girlfriend is on the champagne like a lab rat on the cocaine switch.  She is dancing around in her bikini and spring breaking all over the rooftop and she is SO ALIVE.  Here she comes creeping on Whan and Pediatric Nurse.


Then it's off to the bathroom for a good cry & decompensating.  Mom Renee tries to comfort her as she weeps next to the toilet.  Oh, now she tells Bon Iver she's going home!  ENOUGH OF YOUR SHIT BACHELOR SHOW!!!  So Whan gives the Rooftop Pool Rose to Lazy Eyes, for some reason.  The fuck did she do?  WHY ISN'T VICTORIA GETTING THAT ROSE?

Dawn breaks at the Ladies House.  Everyone is already bikini'd and discussing Vicky Cristina Barfelona.  Oh, she got to stay in a hotel last night!  JP goes to see her and I think she's still drunk and she's all "Sorry about last night" but he fires her and what I want more than anything is for ABC to send out a camera crew to follow Vicks around.  THAT'S THE SHOW I WANT TO SEE.

Pre Rose Cer.  Newshound Amy does a painful faux reporter thing.  HERE'S WHAT WE DO KNOW.  YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT.  Wait, who's coming apart at the seams now?  Cassandra?  What is the fucking problem?  Good thing Mom Renee is here to gently stroke anyone's hair who needs it.  Anyway, now Whan has to talk her down too.  Here's my advice, Whan: pick one of the chicks who doesn't need to be talked off a ledge every 5 minutes.

OK, Rose Cer.  You're right, Whan!  It has been a berry good week.  OK, who's in.  NBA dancer, Brown Roots Nikki, The Lawyer Who Hates Being Naked, Too Smiley Elise, Don't Really Care Opera Singer, Everyone's Mom, Maybe Black Danielle, Free Spirit, Who the Fuck Is Alison, Turned Up to 1000 Chelsie, Somebody Named Lauren I Think and Kristie the Stripper.  Sorry Black Chantel and News Team 7 Amy!  OUR LEAD STORY TONIGHT: YOU ARE DUMPED.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

What's going on with the Top 3 songs in the country right now?

As you may or may not know, from time to time the Music Department here at 40goingon28 likes to take a moment and sample the Top 3 songs in the country, as judged by our Content Partners at Billboard magazine.  Sometimes this little adventure is fun; sometimes it's sad; today's it's just painful.

The Number One song in the country right now is called "Timber" and it's by either Pitbull and Ke$ha or it's Ke$ha featuring Pitbull or it's Pitbull featuring Ke$ha.  Whatever it is, it's the Worst Thing I've Ever Heard.  I'm not kidding this time.  I would listen to one hundred million Train songs before I would ever willingly listen to this again.

Oh Jesus. What the fuck. It's like some kind of demented square dance crossed with Black Eyed Peas crossed with terrible rapping.  I can't understand most of what Pitbull is saying but I heard the words "Miley Cyrus," "booty," and "oil spill," so I guess that's all you need to know.  This is the #1 song in the country.  Obviously the war in Afghanistan is not protecting our freedoms very well.

The #2 song is better because it's not "Timber."

It's by OneRepublic, which I thought was a mall clothing store up until just now. Let me reiterate: compared to "Timber" by Pitbull, this is the White Album and Exile on Main Street combined. But on its own merits, it's bad. Not bad in the sense of offensive, just boring and bland. If you like this, it's like having an opinion on lawns or Toyota Corollas. Why would you care?

The third most popular song in America is by Eminem. We know Eminem! He's actually produced some good songs in the past. This is called "The Monster" and is f/Rihanna. We can tell this is going to be Very Serious because the first minute of the video references "Fame" and "Addiction." These are Serious Things. I think this is one of those songs that all artists do at that stage in their careers about how hard it is to be famous.

I don't know, maybe it is hard to be famous. It's still boring and trite to complain about it. Given Rihanna's well-documented history, it is kinda weird to hear her sing "I'm friends with the monster who's under my bed," because that's apparently LITERALLY TRUE.

It's OK, I guess. It's just disappointing because Eminem is a pretty talented dude and this is so phoned-in for him. He could, and probably did, just roll out of bed and knock off a rap like this. Just retire instead of this.

That's it!  Have a good weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Amazon could stand to tighten up their search algorithms

I recently found myself in need of a 16" x 26" frame (because I did the Kickstarter for this cool poster which is actually 16 x 26 1/2 but good luck finding a 16 x 26 1/2 frame; I'll just shave 1/4" off each edge instead) and so turned to Amazon, my trusty go-to for Things I Need in the World.

So in the search box I typed in "16x26 frame".  Here's the first problem with Amazon's search results: I got 33,650 results.

Let's say you're the most obsessive frame shopper in the world.  That choosing a frame is the greatest pleasure you get in life.  You STILL would never, ever have the patience to choose from one of 33,650 frames.

That's assuming, of course, that the search actually returned 33,650 16x26 frames.  Obviously it did not.  Which brings us to Problem #2 with Amazon's search results: They are wildly inaccurate.  You have to wade through pages and pages of shit you're not looking for.

To Amazon's credit, result #1 was an example of what I was looking for: a simple 16x26 frame.  So good on you, Amazon.  Then shit started to go south.  The next result was a 16x24 frame, which is good, because it's a frame, but bad because it's not the size I was SPECIFICALLY searching for.

Results 3-8 were other frames in various sizes, mostly not 16x26.  Result #9, hilariously, was a windshield wiper.

It would be fun to ask Dopey Search Engine how this 22" windshield wiper is like a 16x26 frame.  "Ummmm, they're both over 20 inches?  They come in units of 1? You could tape your art to the windshield wiper and hang it on the wall?"  BAD SEARCH ENGINE, BAD.

Result #16 was a Heavy Duty Wedding Party Tent.

While not remotely related to what I needed, I can at least understand; the dimensions "26 x 16" appear not far from the word "frame," so I can see how Dopey Search Engine gave me this.

Result #32 was tragic.

Jesus Christ.  What kind of lunatic puts Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Graveyard Front & Rear Car Truck SUV Seat PlastiClear Floor Mats in their car truck SUV?  Also, you'll note, these things, whatever the fuck they are, are decidedly NOT 16x26 frames.

I could go on, but you get the point.  Dopey Search Engine served up anything with a "16" or a "26" in the description. THANKS, THAT'S HELPFUL.  It was still giving me actual 16x26 frames on page 5, but you have to dig through so much extraneous shit by that point you're like oh fuck it.  There's gotta be a better way, Amazon.

Although I am kinda tempted:

That'll look good hanging in my Wedding Party Tent Canopy Carport White!  THANKS AMAZON.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Bachelor: No Me Gusta or Something Something Spanish Whatever

The dream of America is real, a powerful idea that we can all become our finest selves, create our own identities, become who we were meant to be.  In Juan Pablo's case, the dream is to run shirtless on the beach in Miami and do "consulting for sports and entertainment" which is what coke dealers say they do.  HELLO EVERYBODY IT'S BACHELOR AGAIN.

Let's meet Whan.  Oh, he has a daughter, Camilla Valentina who was born on Valentine's Day and is admittedly pretty cute.  See what having a daughter did to me?  Now I'm soft.  ANYWAY Mrs. Camilla is obvi out of the picture because Whan is here to meet Camilla's New Mommy and also he's brought along his whole family to take reality show backdrop jobs away from Real Americans.  Oh look, here comes Big Dumb Sean to drop some knowledge.  Whan's worried because he "can't remember names."  Just call them all "Kelsey" or "Kristen" and you'll be fine.  Sean doesn't really have any useful advice but there was something about a skunk and 2 a.m. in Burbank that was probably more exciting than it sounded.

OK here's Chris Harrison.  "Juan Pablo fever has reached epidemic proportions," he says.  It's like Avian Flu but more waxed!  Let's see some chix in their native environments.  Renee looks good in a bikini and has an 8-year-old son who is "very athletic" and plays chess.  He could be a good mentor for Sean, actually!  Amy is a "massage therapist" in LA and she is really, really, really into massage therapy.

I predict a bright future in the Massage Therapy industry for Amy.  Nikki is a pediatric nurse who could use a doctor for her terrible roots and her anorexia.  Lauren, 35 but claiming 25, got dumped at some point and has more baggage than a Japanese tourist at a Louis Vuitton store.  Lacy comes from a family with 9 special needs kids and opened her own elderly care home at 20 and wants to find her own special someone to feed Jell-O to.  Claire actually admits to being 32 but could pass for 31 easily.  Her Dad had brain cancer and he made a DVD for her future husband to watch.  Too bad it's just random Animaniacs episodes!

L I M O  T I M E !!!!  CH is about to blow our minds because there are 27 chicks this time!  No, 50!  No,100!  No, a million chicks!  Everyone's a winner!  Oh, no, it's just 27, calm down.  Here they come.  Amy L. is a "local news reporter" who is the type you might recognize from such stories as Opening Of The Northridge Mall or Rain Wettens Local Roadways.  Christine is a "police support specialist," whatever that means.  Hold on, did she just say "I know your daughter is a huge partier" so that's why I brought her this glow stick?  Oh, "huge part of your life," got it.  This season's Black Chick is Chantel, who thinks people will have trouble pronouncing "Chantel" for some reason.  Lucy's job is listed as "Free Spirit" and you can tell she's a Free Spirit because she's wearing some kind of bouquet headdress and no shoes, gross.  Danielle is ambiguously ethnic so we might have 1.5 black chicks this season.  Then some girl rides up on a bicycle slash piano like it's Burning Man.  The fuck.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.  Claire is a hairstylist from Sacramento who shows up, for some reason, with a fake pregnancy bulge because you know being visibly pregnant with someone else's child is the best way to land a mate.  Maggie the Personal Banker has a gift for Whan!  It's a "fishin hook."  OK then.  Kelly's job is "Dog Lover" which might be a job in Georgia but is totally illegal in California.  Alexis turns on the Spanish.  PREDICTION: We are going to hear a lot of bad Spanish this season.  El espanol es muy malo.  Muy muy malo.

OK so Whan wades into the Chickicane and let's get this party started.  Hey look a photobooth.  Nothing says fun like forced frivolity.  Time to chat up some ladies.  The Free Spirit has dead eyes and might be the kind of girl who drives around the country killing 7-Eleven clerks.

You know who else was a "free spirit"? HITLER.

Oh good, Whan has a First Impression Rose to give out.  "It's not just a rose," says Fishin Hook.  "It's my future."  Jesus Christ, Hook, slow the fuck down.  Actually it is just a rose.  Personal Banking is your future.  Do you have goals? Visualize your goals.  You are in control.  Awkward talk with Elise!  Her Mom just passed away.  WAY TO HARSH OUR MELLOW ELISE.  Geez, why you gotta bring the stench of death into the proceedings?  Lauren35 is STILL fucking broken up about being left at the altar.  Lauren. Honey. Therapy FIRST, then National TV.  TFTNT, I always say.  Easy to remember!  LEARN IT LAUREN35.  Anyway, good way to break the ice with JP.  I'M SUPER GOOD AT GETTING DUMPED.  PLEASE HOLD ME.  

Whan seems to like the Opera Singer who lives in Germany.  Oddly, she seems normal.  He proffers the First Impression Rose and she's like what the fuh!  DAMMIT GIRL DO YOU NOT KNOW HOW THIS WORKS.  Listen bitch do you want to be on TV or not.  Finally she caves and takes it.  They always take it.

Our first Rose Ceremony!  This is a Special Time for us, you guys.  I love being on The Journey again.  Jesus what am I saying I'm scaring myself now.  OK.  OK.  Here are my favorite contestants so far.

Look at the way she's looking at us.  You know she wants it.  She wouldn't wear that jaunty scarf if she didn't want it.  OK, here come the roses.  Renee, Claire, Andi, Chantel, the Dog, the other Possibly Black chick, some other girl, Free Spirit Highway Killer, Nelly Furtado, another blonde chick, another blonde chick, whatever.  Fishin Hook and Lauren35 both get cut.  That's too bad.  Oh, and Massage Chick.  Guess it's back to outcalls for her.

COMING UP THIS SEASON everything will be a lot like every other season.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I guess I've changed my mind

For the most part, I've stayed kind of neutral in the Great Tech Wars so far.  At some points, I thought the anger directed at the new techie types in SF was misguided and that it was just part of the natural evolution of the city; I even wrote a satirical piece making fun of Change Hysteria.  At the same time, I had no problem making fun of the boorish, awful demeanor of some of the tech people.

But this article is the last straw.  I'm not sure I can see the POV of an industry with people like this as its leaders any more.

To be fair, it wasn't just Bryan Goldberg's hamfisted, deeply unfunny, dripping-with-condescension, hateful piece that did it.  There's one of those every week!  Fuck, Bryan Goldberg writes one almost every week!  That's more the culmination than the only reason.

So let me back up for a minute.  I am not against tech companies, per se.  And I am not against tech companies establishing themselves in San Francisco.  I am not against tech workers.  What I am concerned about is the frightening pace at which San Francisco is giving itself over to a narrow slice of the economy; what I am against is the massively entitled, almost sociopathic lack of empathy shown by the new residents, typified by Goldberg's piece.

To some extent, I'm a hypocrite.  I wasn't born here.  I moved here in 1990, so maybe I displaced someone, although I doubt it.  Rents were high by the standards of the day, but nothing like today.  And I doubt that I kept some worthy long-time resident from getting the very low-paying job at a bookstore I got.  But I'm just saying.

I'm gonna sound like a total tool now, but here goes.  San Francisco was a much different place in the early-to-mid 90's.  There was a sort of wild feeling, like anything could happen.  You could take over an abandoned building (I know, right?) and throw a party.  I went to see a one-off play in a building where AT&T Park now sits.  Everyone was up to something creative, it seemed like.  Like I said, rents were higher than, say, Chicago, but you could split a 3-bedroom flat with 2 other people on what you'd make at a restaurant or cafe and have most of your time free to paint or, God forbid, play in a thrash funk band.  I don't think that's possible any more, and that kind of makes me sad.

(I know, I know, lawn, kids, etc. Old-timer wishes things wouldn't change is the hoariest cliche of all.  I am at least self-aware enough to know what I'm doing.)

What I guess I'm really afraid of is the city becoming boring.  A monoculture is boring, and if everyone works in tech, because they forced everyone else out, the net result is going to be a more boring city.  That's what I'm afraid of.

(Of course I don't believe that ALL 850,000 RESIDENTS will eventually work in tech.  But if enough tech people move here and force out the people who were doing [admittedly, subjectively] Cool Things, same diff?)

So what's the solution? Build more housing, at least, and see if that helps.  Personally, I have no problem with the Google busses; I imagine they probably do a net good by keeping cars off the road, but they should probably pay for using the Muni stops.  Build more housing.  BUILD MORE HOUSING.

The biggest part of the solution is something you can't legislate or regulate: Attitude.  Admittedly, I don't spend a whole lot of time around tech workers, but anecdotally I am informed that they are only loosely connected to the city, in the sense that they live here and maybe go out to restaurants here, but connection to a city means the city becomes important to you.  You join groups, you give back in some way.  Maybe it's volunteering, maybe it's just joining a band or putting on an art show or forming a neighborhood group.  There are a thousand ways to do it.

So when I say I'm no longer neutral, I don't mean I'm going to throw bricks at Google busses or that I even dislike tech people personally.  I mean that I've changed my mind.  I no longer think it's just the city naturally progressing.  Now I think there's something actively worrying going on here, and we need to do something about it.  I'm not going to pretend that I know all the answers, but hopefully we figure something out.

WHEW.  That was heavy.  Back to jokes.  The Bachelor is starting soon!

[UPDATE: ONE OTHER THING I just remembered Jesus why am I yelling. Um.  I was just talking about this to someone.  I remember seeing a little piece in SF Weekly written by someone who was fed up with SF's high rents and how boring and bland it was getting and so was moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas, which apparently has a vibrant arts scene or something.  This was in 1991 or 1992. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.]