Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

  • Movies to See:
    Mission Impossible
    A Dangerous Method

  • TV Shows to Watch:
    The Life & Times of Tim

  • Book to Read:
    Game of Thrones
    by George R.R. Martin

  • Album to Listen to:
    The Black Keys
    El Camino

  • Person to Hate:
    Newt Gingrich

  • Group of People to Despise:
    Fox & Friends


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Friday, January 20, 2006  
Haaaaaave You Met Ted?
The frequenters of this website must know by now that I am fascinated with human behavior. Not necessarily when they do intellignet things but moreso when they do inexplicable, sometimes even stupid things. The case I'm about to propose is not about stupid behavior (unfortunately) just downright strange behavior... to me at least.

Walking across campus, into Young Hall, in an attempt to waste time until my next class, I stumbled upon one of the young freshman from band. This particular person has been a nervous wreck since he set foot on campus so, being the kind person I am, I've taken him under my wing, helping him out when I could. I'm the Paulie to his Rocky. I try to show him the ropes. Anyway, he looked particularly distressed in the hallway. When I asked him if he was ok, he replied, "Yeah yeah I'm just waiting for the professor to this class. I don't know what he looks like though."
"Oh. Why don't you just go in the class and wait there?"
"Cause I'm not enrolled in it."
"Oh. So you want to get into the class?"
"No I just want to sit in on the class this quarter."
"Oh. What class is it?"
"Chemistry 110."
"Oh. And you want to sit in on the class, why?"
"Fair enough."

As I was trying to decipher why he was so anxious to sit in on a chemistry class he wouldn't be graded on, this remarkably short girl walks up to me, approximately 2 centimeters from my stomach, looked up, and said, "HELLO."
"Uh, hi?"
"Umm... how are you?"
"Fine. I'm Cathy."
"Oh how nice."

My apprentice had run off to find the professor so I couldn't ask him for an explanation.

"You're tall."
"I've been told..."
"OOK, I'm going to go... upstairs now."

I didn't have a chance to leave as the young Padawan had finally returned from his, I imagine, awkward conversation with the professor.

"Hi. So I'm going to go into this class."
"Oh ok."
I try to gesture towards the strange, dwarfish girl. He finally realizes that I didn't know who the hell she was and I realized that he did know who she was.
"Oh, this is Pasha."
"K, bye!"
She walks away into her class.
"What the hell was that?"
"Yeah, she's always been weird. I have to go."

Now there's friendly conversations with strangers and then there's awkward conversations with strangers and then there's this. Perhaps she doesn't have much experience in engaging in proper conversations with people she's never met. Although, judging by the way she approached me, I think she's had similar encounters with other victims before. Is it loneliness? Is it just uninhibited friendliness (the worst kind)? Is she out of her mind? Is she going to be one of those people who yells at cars as she walks on the sidewalk?

As always I find myself questions about human's behavior but cannot find a definitive answer. How many times have I found myself in this situation? A cynic's work is never done when an infinite number of specimens are available to analyze and when no explanations for these bizarre people can be found.

Is that what graduate school is for?

3:27 PM


Saturday, January 14, 2006  
Let's Get It Over With
I know, I know. I'm sure you, like myself, are so over 2005. But one bit of business remains lingering from 2005... another top 10 list. I'd let it slide because it's already two weeks into 2006 but I would be doing my faithful readers (all none of you) a disservice if I didn't complete this annual tradition. So... let's get it over with.

Top Ten Worst Movies of 2005


"Whaaa? Wasn't this flick on your top 10 best??" Don't get your panties in a bunch, Mary Sue. While this was an excellent movie for the geek in me, it was a not so hot movie for the movie critic (critique if you're from Canada or are pretentious) in me. Lines like, "Anakin... no...I....," and, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO," merit the number ten slot.


I tend to include a movie on my top ten worst each year that I haven't seen but know it's an awful movie. Perhaps I'm passing judgement too swiftly. Actually, no, I'm not. This movie sucks.


This wasn't a bad movie by any means but I was just expecting way more. Nicole Kidman with a weird African accent and Sean Penn with a morose attitude (i.e, business as usual for Penn) plus an intriguing assassination/conspiracy plot going on should have made for a gripping film. But it didn't. It was boring and convoluted for the most part.


This movie started out great but turned into another explodo-fest where it didn't really need to. And Michael Bay said no when Scarlett Johannson volunteered to do a nude scene. Baystard.


I thought I would enjoy Keanu saying "whoah" to demons instead of machines. I didn't.


This movie is a disgrace to animated movies like Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. It's just so stupid. So, so stupid. The animation wasn't even that impressive. It relies on the big name voices to carry it through the box office and while I enjoy Ali G playing a lemur, not enough.


Another movie that could've been cute or something but turned out to be formulaic and boring. I expect more from you, Mr. Smith. And your spicy Latina co-star cannot act herself out of a corn husk. (To all of you who got that racist joke, I'm really sorry. Please send all complaints to They'll get a real kick out of it.)


2005 was a year which ruined my perception of my ex-finacee, Jennifer Garner. She just kept stabbing and hurting... it's just too much.




I saw this movie despite hating Tom Cruise's guts. I expected aliens, I expected carnage, I expected Dakota Fanning to be creepy. I got all of these things plus some. But the incredible letdown of the last 20-30 minutes destroyed the entire movie for me.


All the success comic book movies were having with the Spider-Man and X-Men movies, as well as under-the-radar comic books made into film like Sin City are all tarnished by this piece of garbage. The excellent talents of FX stars and that Irish guy from King Arthur are wasted with the likes of Jessica Alba playing Invisible GIRL. (She's hot but she can't act herself out of a.... ooh I'm not going there again)

So there you have it. The ritual is nearly complete. To truly seal the deal, here are top 10 most anticipated movies of 2006. The title of each film links to a trailer or other info about the movie. Enjoy.

Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2006

10. LADY IN THE WATER - July 21

9. POSEIDON - May 12

8. V FOR VENDETTA - March 17

7. SIN CITY 2 - August 18

6. CASINO ROYALE - November 17

5. X3 - May 26

4. ERAGON - December 15


2. DA VINCI CODE - May 19


Well that was absolutely exhausting. One roller coaster of a year filled with ridiculously bad movies and awesomely good movies. Something else was there too... what's the word... oh yeah... life. Whatever that means. Here's to a new year with, hopefully, better movies and a better life.

3:34 AM


Friday, January 06, 2006  
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury
Yet more evidence that not only UCLA fans and students hate U$C. Their so-called "band" wracks the nerves of everyone including trojan fans. Can someone tell these people that they're "irritate the opponent" tactics are working but they're irritating their own fans as well? All that university is left with is football....oh wait, that's gone too. How sad.

You can't spell "$uck" without U$C.

8:16 PM


Thursday, January 05, 2006  
Evil Empires Always Fall

Terror struck the Southland, as an 8.3 earthquake struck Pasadena last night. Scientists confirmed that this was the result of millions of (now ex-) Trojan fans simultaneously jumping off the bandwagon. When reached for comment, Nick Lachey replied, "Leinart? I don't know anyone by that name. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some royalty checks from 'Dukes of Hazzard' to sign."


3:33 PM


Monday, January 02, 2006  
The Top Tens of 2005
An end to one year (a particularly shitty one) comes the lists we all look forward to in our superficial world: the top 10 movies and TV shows of the past year. I compiled these lists based on entertainment value, ingenuity and pure quality in story, plot, characterization etc.

The movie list is, in a sense, incomplete because I was not able to see movies like Capote, Cinderella Man, Good Night and Good Luck and A History of Violence, which could have potentially made the list. However, out of the movies that I did see in 2005, these are the movies I enjoyed the most. There was a battle in the top 3 but I did my best to give credit to those movies. It was a year filled with geek-hyped movies and a few made the list partially because I am in fact a geek and also that those movies happen to be awesome. Enough suspense, here is the list.

Top Ten Movies of 2005


At number 10 is one of those geekified, hyped movies of the year I mentioned above. It's not Shakespeare, that's for certain, but we're not seeing this movie for the profound commentaries on society. We're seeing it for the action, the lightsabers, the spaceships and what the hell, let's see the birth of Darth Vader and the twins. It was just a fun time at the movies.


Peter Jackson's accomplishments up until this movie are astounding enough but what he does with the giant ape who had a heart is pretty breathtaking. Not only are the special effects alone astounding, but how the audience actually feels for the poor monkey, the monkey created by a mouse and a keyboard, is an accomplishment on its own.


This is one of those great movies that no one, except fanboys, sees in theaters but may find an audience on DVD. It combines great sci-fi themes with western themes. No matter if you're familiar with Joss Whedon's Firefly television series (thanks Fox) or not, this is just great entertainment.


Say what you will about cutting a lot of material from the book, this is a fantastic adaptation of yet another Harry Potter book. This happens to be my favorite book in the series, but the movie is not only so much fun but is a great cinematic experience with emotion, action and a storyline derived from great source material backing it up.


Some people have said that Bill Murray's other movie Lost in Translation had no plot. For those looking for a slap you upside the head storyline to follow for an hour and half, no it didn't. It was about people and the dead lives they lead and the people they meet who eventually revitalize their lost selves. This film, also with Bill Murray, shows a man in similar circumstances but with a wholly different journey that is pretty funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Broken Flowers and Lost in Translation both display the eccentricities and subtleties of human behavior and deviate from the formulaic Hollywood narrative, which should be reason enough to see them and love them.


A handful of people have known that Steve Carrell was a genius since his days on The Daily Show, but with his debut on The Office and this film, hopefully more people will realize it. This movie utilizes some crude humor a la Old School but doesn't rely on it. At it's core is a sweet love story that doesn't alienate every male in the audience.


Yeah it has a complicated plot and yeah it's political, but if you're awake enough to actually pay attention to the dialogue and the intersecting storylines, you find a very intricate story that is not only fascinating but a little revealing about our own world. Oh wait, it is a fictional film...


Here's another one of those "thinkin'" movies. Crash could've turned into a one-dimensional, blacks vs. whites race movie but it didn't. It is a movie about prejudice and the prejudice that exists in everyone's lives from whites to blacks to latinos to middle-easterners and to people separated by sexual orientation, money and appearance. When a movie leaves you as a, hopefully, somewhat better person, it's a damn good film.


All right, in any other self-respecting movie watcher's list, the last two movies on this list would be in these top two spots. I'm not self-respecting though so my top two are going to be uber-geek films...damn good ones though. Batman Begins is not by any means a comic book movie. It is a superhero film but one that transcends the likes of Spider-Man and X-Men. Batman doesn't have any superpowers of any sort. He uses psychology and fear against his enemies and it's pretty scary. By going to Batman's dark roots, the story transcends the typical superhero movie formula. Plus, no more bat nipples. Thanks for revitalizing this franchise, guys.


You would be hard-pressed to find a more unique looking film than Sin City in the past decade. However, if the movie relied solely on the look, it would've failed. With that look come extraordinarily dark stories portrayed by the talents of Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Bruce Willis. I never thought I'd be praising Bruce Willis for his performance but I am. The movie just begs you to watch it with its insanely beautiful visuals and even with its sometimes gruesome scenes of violence. For its story, its characters and its groundbreaking visual style, Sin City earned the top spot on my list.

Honorable Mentions


The movie was just damn cute (yeah, I said it) and was a great documentary about a few kids doing something they'd never thought they'd be doing.


Another documentary, this time following four comedians as they go on tour, focusing on how they formulate their style of off-beat stand-up.


Pacino just belongs on every year's best movie lists in some form. Hoo-aaaah!

For the next list, more time was taken to consider potential candidates because, by their nature, television shows linger for much longer than movies. One episode can make or break any given show. There are several shows that couldn't make the list but they are not any lesser shows, this was just a good year for TV. To those naysayers who may guffaw at the top spot on this list, have an open mind and try the show. It is not a sci-fi show but is a solid drama with great characters, plot, suspense and action that happens to be set in a sci-fi background. And with that, here it is.

Top Ten TV Shows of 2005


Last year, this show was at the top spot on my list. This year, Nip/Tuck went kinda nuts and become sorta predictable but it doesn't change the fact that this is fantastic escapist entertainment which never fails to shock and awe.


HBO just knows how to make great shows. This time it concurs the realm of period pieces. With rich characters, great pacing and plotting and tight dialogue, Rome doesn't turn into some PBS documentary but becomes a great storytelling device that tells the story we all know about Caesar and the going-ons of the ancient Romans.


A chunk of guys want the life of Vince Chase, the main character in Entourage. He's a successful actor who's got the girls, the money and the life. But really, the other chunk of guys want to be Vince's entourage. This show follows what Vince's cronies do with Vince's money and how they use his life to improve their own, to hilarious conclusions.


This show could've been one-note. A suburban mom, down on her luck, resorts to selling pot to support her family. But when she encounters rival dealers, a snoopy housekeeper, and has to deal with her terrorist 8-year old son and her horny 15 year-old son AND her stoned brother-in-law, it is anything but one-note.


Dr. House is a guy you love to watch but would never want to be treated by. Some people criticize the show for having a standard formula but the show doesn't use the formula of "sick patient ---> weird symptoms ---> wrong treatment---> revelation ---> right treatment" as a crutch. It uses it as a backboard for the main characters to develop and to show us just how crazy House really is.


Fans of the show knew that this would be its last season and were eager to see how it would end. It ended by leaving grown men degraded into weeping, blubbering children. It resolved all loose ends in a somewhat clean way which is all we ask for when a show has to end.


Dennis Leary's Tommy Gavin is a heroic asshole. He's an all-star firefighter and saves people's lives everyday but he can barely save his own. When he finally gets a hold on things and brings his family back together, something else tears him apart, which is where we found him at the end of this season.


On this week's episode, Ron Howard, the show's narrator, repeated numerous times, "Please, tell your friend's about this show." In any other circumstance, this would be pathetic self-promotion but in the case of this brilliant show, Mr. Howard and the writers are right. WATCH THIS SHOW AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!! You will not find a funnier show on television, cable or non. I pray to the Showtime Gods to pick this fantastic show up.


No other show frustrates you more but pulls you back in episode after episode, cliffhanger after cliffhanger. Right when the show answers a couple questions, it raises twenty more. You look for clues in every flashback and in every leaf on the beach. And that's what makes the show so damn watchable and wonderful.


Before you sound the geek alarms, just, for the love of all that is good in this world, have an open mind. This is a strong drama at its core, with it bringing a great sci-fi backdrop. You find yourself caring about what happens to each of the characters and what motivates each of them. (Dr. Baltar: is he completely insane or is he actually an instrument of god?) This show is not just a piece of entertainment but is a piece of art, as many movies and television dramas strive to be. I may be overhyping it but that's how much I love it.

Honorable Mentions

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER- for reviving the traditional sitcom genre,

EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS - for bringing respect to UPN

THE OFFICE - for successfully bringing the spirit of the British version and creating its own spirit

GREY'S ANATOMY - for being so trashy and yet so utterly watchable

CARNIVALE - for being such a great show that no one watched

THE 4400 - I wasn't able to watch season 2 which aired this year, but it's a damn good show

FAMILY GUY- for coming back

In any case, it must be said, especially for myself, that these objects of entertainment should be used for only that: entertainment. However, you must understand that these objects, especially the TV shows, are very dear to some of us and so when one is urged to at least try to watch one episode of one of these epic shows, one should at least entertain the proposition for the greatest of care has been taken in selecting these shows into one's seasonal roster.

I'm a bit long-winded, I know... I'm being semi-ironic you see. These things aren't important... at all, but dag nabbit, I love them.

The second half of season 2 of Battlestar Galactica premieres this Friday at 10 on Sci-Fi Channel.

1:58 AM


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