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

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    Mission Impossible
    A Dangerous Method

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    The Life & Times of Tim

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    Game of Thrones
    by George R.R. Martin

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    Newt Gingrich

  • Group of People to Despise:
    Fox & Friends


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Thursday, April 27, 2006  
Green Eggs and Spam
From the first time I heard the "Welcome" and "You've got mail" exclamations during the glory days of AOL, which I believe was around 1995 or 1996 for me at least, we've been receiving what has been affectionately termed "spam." I'm not sure as to when it turned to being either extremely explicit offerings of horses and teens doing naughty things or extremely elaborate schemes which are meant to scheme you of your hard-earned cash. I normally delete these emails, if they're not automatically deleted for me already, but one such dirty email made its way through the barriers. It read, and I quote:
get n@ughty wit cum teenS
buy &ialis an via*gra
wh)p you big d^ck out to s!eer your c@r

Now aside from being relatively explicit, the email's proposal is perplexing. Yeah ok, I could buy those pills to enlarge my assets (although why would I want to, given the state of the Union... am I right ladies?) why in the hell would I want to steer my car with it!? Let's forget the logistics about how one's fatboy slim would even be able to grip the steering wheel. Simply take into account what sort of dire situation which would end in your mandingo steering your automobile. I don't think I would ever find myself in a situation in which both my hands, my knee and my chin are occupied while driving at which point I would think to myself, "Time to call the Pentagon, launch the F-15." If anything, if the guided muscle would need to be ejected in a car, it ain't to steer the damn car.

From the downright unprofessional, we come to the convincing, make-you-think-twice spam emails. I would like to preface this by saying, I am indeed now a millionaire and thank you all for your support over the past couple of years. With that said, I shall now reveal to you how I have procured such funds.
BATCH: EGGS-541-623-782:

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Euro millions Spanish Lottery Winners International E-mail programs held on the 4TH OF APRIL,2006 and result where release on the 17TH APRIL,2006. Your E-mail address attached to ticket number 653-908-321-675 with serial main number 345-790-241-671 drew lucky star numbers 34-32-90-43-32 which consequently won in the 2ND category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of Euro.(One Million Euro).

Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some
participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 100,000 company and 50,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world.

This lottery was promoted and sponsored by Spanish European Lottery board in order to enhance and promote the use of Internet Explorer Users and every three year. We hope with part of your winning you will take part in our end of year 50 million Euro International lottery. Microsoft-wares around the globe. This promotional program takes place

To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agent:
TEL: +34-699-752-404
FAX: +34-911-849-901

Remember, all winning must be claimed not later than one month, After this date all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers in all correspondence. Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible.

Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.

Note: Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified.

Sincerely yours,
This message is confidential. It may also be privileged or otherwise protected by work product immunity or other legal rules. If you have received it please let us know by reply it from your system; you should not copy it or disclose its contents to anyone. All messages sent to and from Sanchez Security Company España may be monitored to ensure compliance with internal policies and to protect your winning from the Euro Million Spanish Lottery Award Promotion. The contents of any email addressed to our clients are subject to our usual terms of business; anything which does not relate to the official business of the firm is neither given nor endorsed by it.

Now I don't know about you, but aside from the grammatical errors, heinous as they may be,this email doesn't seem all that scammy. I mean the administrator guy is a Doctor. A Doctor of what, Mr. Sanchez, I don't know. There's a little disclaimer at the bottom to scare you out of doing illegal things which makes you think the email isn't illegal and fake as well. However, here's where you went wrong Dr. Sanchez and Mrs. Carlos. You mentioned something about a "mix-up."That there is a red flag in the spam notebook. Also you say that this is a final notice. To the best of my recollection, there was no first notice, hence the proclamation of this being a final notice is a tip-off that you're full of chili. These sort of slip-ups keep you from playing with the big leagues, Spanish European Lottery/Sanchez Security Company. The Nigerian Prince and Princesses of the world. For now you can only dream, Sanchez.

You dirty, dirty Sanchez.

3:16 AM


Saturday, April 22, 2006  
Act Now, Supplies are Limited
When Tom Brokaw was still the anchor of NBC Nightly News, he had a segment called "The Fleecing of America" in which he would chronicle how everyday Americans were being defrauded or taken advantage of in some way, shape or form. Anyone who watches cable television or stumbles upon the "Paid Programming" infomercials that are on at 2 am on practically every channel is a victim of an attempted fleecing. Cable television, namely channels like Comedy Central, CNN and digital cable channels, run ads that implore to call an 800 number in order to purchase whatever ground-breaking product they're pushing. From erectile dysfunction meds (we've all heard about "Bob's" impressive package) to a revolutionary vacuum cleaner (god damn you David Oreck) to get-rich-quick schemes, these ads permeate the bowels of cable television.

One such ad which has been aired countless times on my digital cable channels is another get-rich-quick product which we've all seen. However, this particular ad for Bruce A. Berman's book and cd obviously tracked actors out of the James Lipton's graduating class and has the equivalent production values as The Sex Spa starring Dale Dabone. Think I'm being harsh and it's just a stupid commercial that I shouldn't get too worked up about? See for yourself (thanks to the folks at You Tube):

This ad borders on slapstick, cheesy comedy. When you first see it, you think it's gonna be another spoof-based ad for Geico or something. But it's not! It's real! Bruce A. Berman's people hired these phenomenal actors to push his product onto us, the consumers. Now, I can't vouch for the effectiveness of Berman's methods which he apparently talks about in his book and cd, but is this really the way you want to present your product? First off, the fake boss in the ad shouldn't exactly be promoting a method to get rich judging by the outstanding decor of his office, with the wall clock at eye level. Second, the guy who's quitting his job or whatever is just a giant goober. Third, Berman thanks "the guys" as if they're helping his cause, which they're not. Again, if this was a satirical ad, it would be perfect but the fact that it's trying to be legitimate is... ahem.... PUH-TETICK!!

5:47 PM


Friday, April 14, 2006  
Repeat Offender
Not one day after posting my tirade about the grammatical infractions that the American public has perpetrated time and time again did the L.A. Times run a comic-strip by Steve Moore in the Comics section which simply enhanced my view that this country's citizens don't know how to talk right.

Not only does a publication such as the Los Angeles Times publish subpar comic-strips such as this one (In the Bleachers CAN be funny but it's mostly a meh situation), but it does not even make the effort to tell Mr. Moore that is grammar skills are deplorable. It's not like it would've been a hard fix. The entire comic is barely 2 sentences over 2 panels. In any case, it is my conclusion based on the Lost incident, this comic and past experiences with the matter that it is, for the most part, our country's elders who do not know how to properly form a sentence. That is, excluding the Kurt Vonneguts and Gore Vidals, of course. It is in us, the young, virile denizens who see the world in a more enlightened fashion, compared to our older counterparts, who may continue the pursuit of proper grammatical skills. I mean, face it, the adults aren't going to change their ways now if they haven't already so there's no use trying to correct them. We are their replacements. Act like it.


7:01 PM


Sunday, April 09, 2006  
Merely Wires and Lights in a Box
This blog recently reached its 300th post, as well as its 13,000th visit and while I'm not sure that these statistics are that groundbreaking, I'm proud of them. It's also occured to me that a good amount of those 300 or so posts have been spent being "emo," namely in the early inception of this website, doing mindless surveys, posting things that I thought would revolutionize the way I and others blog (remember the "Revelations of the Night" that lasted about 2 weeks) and other random two-line posts which in retrospect were completely pointless. Over the past year or so I've been posting more about how ridiculous certain things are in this world and why they piss me off. In addition, the topics of technology and television have been explored. I remember the glory days of worshipping the M3 Power Razor, even though I hated shaving. Now while technology has provided me with endless joys over the years, it has also provided me with numerous hardships. I'm sure many can sympathize with the ongoing war with Apple and the iPod and how their shoddy craftsmanship of their product has led to much suffering. Nevertheless, I have put aside my disdain for their corporation as my current iPod is fully functional (knock wood).... that is until I saw this product:

At first glance, perhaps you'd think, "Oh, how innovative," or, "Oh, how cute and practical." Well, my friend, you'd be gravely mistaken on both counts. Did the head honchos at Apple who authorized this hygenically disastrous product think that people would buy a separate iPod for the specific purpose of lavatory-usage or did they think that people would bring the same one into the bathroom and then walk around with it all day? I mean you can't exactly clean the thing. The damn thing breaks if you look at it in the wrong way so god knows what some water would do to it. Just despicable. Deplorable. Disgusting. Doutrageous.

In addition to the wrongdoings of technology, television, my sweet love, has wronged us as well. I'm not exactly sure what proportion of my postings have been about television but I'm willing to bet that a good amount have been spent either promoting a show, talking about how much I love a show, saying not to watch a certain show etc. The offenses by television which have been perpetrated aren't merely crappy shows (do NOT watch Teachers) but are more subtle. Take for example this ad for the masterwork of television, 24, which my compatriots have explored oh so many moons ago.

Now I see that they're trying to appeal to a wider audience outside of testosteroney (the San Francisco Treat!) men. The bright colors and lighting and his purple sweater-vest are all meant to appeal to viewers of this television station, WGN, presumably for women. I've never heard of this station. I'm not even sure what it might stand for. Women's Global Network? Wacky Gynecological Network? Too redundant. In any case, this ad, while trying to accomplish something greater, completely sacrifices the integrity of our boy Kiefer and 24. Is he trying to sell me Tampons? Trying to talk to me about incontinence? Or just staring straight into my soul? I don't think I want to find out.

Television offenses stretch out into the actual TV as well. The new show Sons & Daughters (which I recommend) is a comedy/drama in which some of the dialogue is improvised. Those who have watched other shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? and Significant Others are familiar with this concept. However, the folks at ABC feel that this wild concept of improvisation may rock the foundation of society itself, so they warn us before each episode:

Um, ok. I'll... batten down the hatches? I'm not sure what you want me to do with that information before my show, ABC. Is it a warning? Is it just a factoid? Is it one of those "The More You Know" things a la NBC? The show isn't even completely improvised. It's partially improvised, which makes the enigma of this warning even more.... enigmatic. For the record, Whose Line is it Anyway? is completely improvised and used to air on ABC and currently airs on ABC Family and has never gotten a smidgen of a "Viewer Discretion Advised." Can we get someone on this please, ABC? An unpaid intern could clear it up in 15-20 minutes tops.

The malfeasances commited by ABC only get worse. What's one of my biggest pet peeves, folks? Say it with me: "Grammatical errors." Very good. These unforgivable errors carry over into one of my favoritest-est shows in the whole wide world, Lost, which is one of the top-rated dramas in the country right now, and rightfully so. The show influences how drugs are transported around the world, for Jesus' sake:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men suspected of helping smuggle cocaine to New York from Mexico inside statues of the Virgin Mary were arrested Thursday, U.S. authorities said.

Peter Matheis, 52, and Rafael Serrano, 36, both Mexican nationals, were indicted in New York and Houston respectively on money-laundering and narcotics charges along with six others arrested previously in the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

Five 3-foot-tall statues of the Virgin Mary, filled with 242 pounds of cocaine, were seized in a Brooklyn warehouse as part of the police operation.

The drug ring used the statues to smuggle cocaine worth millions of dollars, FBI agent John Gilbride said in a statement.

(Those who don't watch Lost, shame on you, but there is a ongoing plot point about a plane which "crashed" on the island which is filled with Virgin Mary statues containing heroine.) In Lost, there is a good amount of subtitles used. In the past the subtitles were used for characters speaking Arabic, French but most often Korean since two of the main characters are Korean. You would think that a large television network like ABC would have someone read over the subtitles prior to the airing of each episode to make sure nothing... went wrong. You would THINK...

Alright, doing well so far... looks like clear sailing from here...

ARGH!!! BLACH!!! BLARFFGGHH!!! Good grief. Every time the words "your" and "you're" are misused, an angel explodes. Come on. You got it right in the previous scene. Less than 3 seconds before. WHY didn't you used it properly!?! YOUR signifies something that belongs to a person. It modifies a noun. YOU'RE is YOU ARE. As in, "YOU ARE a mental defect who can't tell their dangling modifiers from their dangling participles." (That's what she said.)

Television is a gift that we sometimes abuse. I am certainly guilty of such acts. And since we as the viewers watch everything and anything that is projected into our homes everyday, the people behind the scenes of these shows become complacent and think they can take advantage of us by wasting our time with an inane warning or interchanging "your" and "you're" whenever they damn well please. If we accept these atrocities, they will continue. And to what end? Edward R. Murrow once spoke about the future of television in the 50s.
"[If] this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box."
Fifty years later, he turns out to be right. The damn thing really is just a shiny box. It is up to us humans to make it worth something. It can entertain, yes, but has it inspired? How can it when those behind its production don't give a damn about what they're sending into our homes every night? And so it rests with us, the loyal viewers, to choose what will and will not be subjected to by our magic cube. In truth, the majority of Americans will accept whatever is fed to them. Wife Swap, The Simple Life, Fox News. But those of us who are wiser than others can choose and by our superior choices, the box will turn into a tool of inspiration, as well as entertainment.

1:16 AM


Tuesday, April 04, 2006  
Looking Ahead
The journey the UCLA Men's Basketball Team took this season to be able to give us the above sight on campus yesterday is priceless. It's the journey that matters, not the destination. And as painful as it was to lose to a bloody red state, a red state that may have single-handedly caused the inception of the notoriously incompetent Bush regime... it doesn't matter. Yesterday, they were the better team but it doesn't change how much our team accomplished this year and how proud each and every UCLA student and fan is of them.

And even when that revolting school across town isn't involved in the basketball tournament...cause they suck... they involve themselves anyway. From the Daily Bruin:
USC fan, and 98 Degrees performer Nick Lachey flips off the UCLA band during a pre-game concert performance outside of the Stadium.
He finds the need to be disrespectful and assholey even though he didn't even go to the damn school. I dunno, maybe flipping off our freakin' band makes him feel better about himself. Maybe that wife that he goes home to every night....oh wait....

Aaaww...spousal support? This pseudo-trojan has low self-esteem (per his need to shoot the bird to a college marching band), financial problems and was dumped by Airhead McGee. Sympathy, anyone? I didn't think so. By the way...
The UCLA Marching Band wins the 'Mascot Contest' at the Battle of the Bands at NCAA Hoop City.

In other news, while some of you may remember me making fun of a few months back, last night became my favorite internet company. Courtesy of the Associated Press:
College basketball fans may have been surprised to turn on their computers Monday morning and find an e-mail from Inc. proclaiming, "UCLA Wins."

The online retailer mistakenly sent the e-mail to customers ahead of the NCAA championship game Monday night between the Florida Gators and the UCLA Bruins.

The body of the e-mail included the message "Congratulations (placeholder for winning team)," and went on to offer customers the chance to purchase an NCAA cap and other goods.

"I don't know if we had some Bruins who were wishful thinking," spokeswoman Patty Smith said, adding, "Clearly, it was a mistake."

Perhaps this is a premonition of next season, when UCLA will indeed be the national champs once again. And for one last time this basketball season...


7:14 PM


Saturday, April 01, 2006  
For those of you sick of me posting about UCLA basketball.... screw you. And also, rest assured that it'll be over soon because this weekend is the NCAA Final Four. Two semi-finals today, Florida vs. George Mason and UCLA vs. LSU and the championship game on Monday. While I'll naturally be rooting for my UCLA Bruins, it's awfully tough to root against the guys from LSU. For all they've done for the people of their home state, a few games of basketball are completely insignificant. But for now, college basketball is where it's at, as the kids say.

And now a sweet, sweet reminder of the tremendous win against Gonzaga, this time from the band's perspective.

Does it get any better than that?

For now, enjoy this time off and enjoy some televised sporting events, cause next week is week one of Spring quarter.


5:01 PM


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