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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Tuesday, July 31, 2007  
Chairman of the Bored
Those who have known me for a while know that I have been a professional bachelor for quite a long time. This meant I was relegated to entertaining myself what with my obsessions with TV and movies and other forms of entertainment, feigning a respectable GPA at UCLA and hanging out with the the oft neglected battalion of the olden days. However, now that I'm in a happy relationship with a great girl it seems that I've forgotten how to entertain myself on my own when she leaves for extended periods of time. "Goin' steady" as the kids say (30 years ago) has presented me with new fun things to do...I won't go into what those things are....but I prefer them to being on my own. The point is is that my girlfriend has been traveling for 6 weeks and I have been forced to entertain myself. The trouble is, I've forgotten how.

Most of my friends have found something the natives call a "job" and so aren't as readily available to amuse me as they were in high school so the option of the old dinner and a movie hang out night is usually saved for weekends. On weekdays, however, I'm left to my own musings. I'm left with a class in which the professor proclaimed, "I don't want to lecture you too much because I don't want to force too much information on you. I don't wanna stress you guys out." Translation: don't study. As a result, I must find myself a job for the next year and in the remaining time, do something else. My Netflix and my DVR have been collectively punishing my pupils as I've been watching shitty movies left and right that I've either rented or recorded. I think I'm up to a grand total of 41 movies watched in the past six weeks. These movies range from old classics like Die Hard to modern blockbusters like Die Hard 2. Out of all those movies I'd say about 9 or 10 of them have been actually worth my time, i.e. 4 or 5 stars on Netflix. The rest? You're seeing fewer stars than Lindsay Lohan taking a sleigh ride in the magic white powder. (What does that even mean?) Pathetic? Yes. Deplorable? Yes. Pathetic? Yes.

It seems I've forgotten how to adequately manage my self-entertainment. Too much of a sort of good thing is pretty horrible. The rest of my time has been spent with my old compatriots (shout-out to the BH crew wut wut!) and reading. My eyes are still bloodshot from my Harry Potter binge reading sesh (yeah I say sesh) from a week ago. Now, I've been called and have accepted my status as a momma's boy but have always been able to amuse myself...I'm an only child after all. That's what they're supposed to do right? But I've never been labeled as a dependent relationship guy...mainly because I've...never had a relationship. The high I've felt as a result of being in such a fun relationship has had a chemical effect on my brain that being away from it for so long has caused my brain to go into a sort of withdrawal. The narcotics aren't being injected into the veins anymore, and my body can't remember what to do without it. I don't know if that's a sign of a good thing, a sad thing, a happy thing, a sweet thing, a sappy thing, a lame thing or all of the above.

The point is, I've become a cheesy guy as a result, but it's made me better as well as leaving me with the same personality I've always had, whether you like it or not, just with a few augmentations. All you single guys are probably rolling your eyes right now (I was you for a very long time and I would be rolling my eyes as well) and the single girls are either going "Aaaw"...or rolling your eyes as well.

In any case, I'm going to work on watching and deleting more movies from my DVR until my girl comes back and I have a purpose once again.

6:04 AM


Saturday, July 14, 2007  
Harry Potter and the Swindler's Snare
I, as many people my age, and 10 years younger, have been taken by a fever....a fever caused by that rapscallion Harry Potter. I went to the midnight release party for Half-Blood Prince two years ago, I plan to go to the midnight release once again for Deathly Hallows, I preordered my book, the movie tickets....pretty much everything short of dressing up as a Ravenclaw student, I've done. Harry Potter has brought much joy to the young ones. It is said to have revived reading in the younger generation, albeit with less than challenging literature. It has caused a ruckus in the right-wing Evangelicals which is always fun (see: Jesus Camp). And it is simply a fun book and movie series. But with great power guessed it....great responsibility. Where Harry Potter blesses, it also corrupts.

I bought tickets to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix early last week for the midnight screening this past Tuesday. The movie was playing at two theaters in Westwood, the Mann Village and the Mann Bruin, which happen to be situated right across from each other. Now, the Mann Village is the bigger theater and possesses a digital projector, while the Mann Bruin possesses one dirty LaZBoy and a flashlight. Needless to say, the place to be for any midnight screening is the Mann Village. Since the two theaters are owned by Mann, you can purchase tickets for either theater at both venues. On a hot summer day last week, I lugged textbooks to Textbook Plus on Westwood Blvd., which is indeed the shadiest place on earth next to Course Reader Material, only to find that they decided to close for the day. I lugged my two bags of repulsive Organic Chemistry and Physics books to the Mann Bruin to purchase my, and fellow fan, Ilana's, ticket. Another Potter compatriot, Lauren, was just leaving said venue, having received confusing information from the box office attendant that the movie was playing at both theaters. There was no question for me though. Three letters: DLP, two words: Digital Projection (I don't know what the "L" stands for).

So she bought her ticket for the Mann Village and I walked up to the booth prepared to purchase two tickets at the student rate. Pebbles (I shit you not) the box office vendor was less than obliging to my cause to purchase two tickets at the student rate, perhaps still resentful that her parents didn't name her after another Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, and hence was only willing to sell me one at the student rate. Fine, Pebbles. I'll buy your one ticket, but beware for I shall outsmart you by going across the street to purchase the other ticket at the Mann Village! To Pebbles I bid a spiteful farewell, and it was across the street to Victor at the Mann Village box office where I would taste sweet victory. I left Westwood, my heart satisfied that I had defied the system, and bought two movie tickets at the student rate.

On my way down out of Westwood, I gave a ringeroo (that's how I roll) to Ilana to narrate my triumphant story. She asked if it was really possible to buy the ticket for the Mann Village at the Mann Bruin. "Of cooouuurse it is," I smugly replied. As I glanced down at the tickets, which seems dangerous to do while driving but I'm a daredevil, one read "Harry (DLP).....VILLAGE"....and the other "Harry....BRUIN." I did a double-take whilst I was reading the ticket, barren of a "DLP" notation, while at the same time telling Ilana that it was no problem buying the tickets, and making a U-Turn back to Westwood. Now, I should mention that Ilana has no knowledge of my follies regarding this ticket if you're reading this, Ilana...surprise!

I wheeled my way back to Westwood, parking in a "Passenger Loading Zone" right in front of the theater and I dashed to the box office at the Mann Bruin. Thankfully, Pebbles had taken her club and vacated the premises. I hastily told Veronica my sad story as she gazed blankly at me. She then responded, "Our system isn't equipped to return tickets right now...come back tomorrow." I paused, absorbing the large wheelbarrow filled to the top with bullshit she had just plowed my way, and asked, "What...does that mean?" She blinked and replied, "I'm sorry but I can't." She then slammed her finger into the monitor several times as if to demonstrate her system's seeming incapability of giving a refund. I felt defeated, so I left to fight another day.

I returned the following Monday to attempt to reverse my follies...which actually wasn't my folly was that damn Pebbles. PEBBBLEEESSSS!!!!

" I accidentally bought a ticket for Harry Potter screening for the Mann Bruin but I meant to by it for the Mann Village. Can I exchange it?"
"'s sold out."
"What dyou mean it's sold out?"
"It's sold out."
"Is it sold out here?"
"Naw naw....just at the Village."
"...Are you sure?"

What followed was an inhuman amount of juggling phone calls and trying to cover my ass, none of which was known to my friends at the time. I thought my redemption would come in the form of if people haven't gotten their tickets yet, we'd be forced to go to the Bruin, and hence returning tickets wouldn't be a problem. As I spoke to people who were buying their tickets online, I found out that the Mann Village was not sold out of tickets. It dawned on me...the Bruin was trying to swindle me and trying to overthrow the Village's monopoly on Harry Potter. I went back to the box office to seek vengeance. Jason was now working at the booth. How many rotating box office people do they even have at this place?

"Hey Jason. So I was wondering if I could exchange my Mann Bruin Harry Potter ticket for a Mann Village one?"
"The Mann Bruin gonna be great."
"What's that?"
"The Mann Bruin gonna be great!"
"Yeah...ok....but can I exchange my ticket?"
"What for?"
"Beecaauuuse all of my friends got tickets for the Village?" Jason rolled his eyes so profusely that I could almost hear his pupils scraping against his eyelids. He then said something into his Walkie-Talkie and exchanged my ticket. "Next to your friends...."
"Will do man. Thanks."

What kind of scam was the Mann Bruin trying to pull? Just because your theater is inferior to the Village doesn't mean you can swindle innocent, naive customers. Needless to say, at the midnight screening, the Mann Village was not filled to capacity, the digital projection was spectacular, and the film was awesome. And it is to you, Mann Bruin, that I scold and admonish, but am forced to forgive....because Transformers is playing inside of you...and I want to see that.

I can trace this chain of corruption all the way back to Pebbles, who sold me the faulty ticket to begin with. It just shows that people named after Hanna-Barbera characters are always up to no good.... Pebbles..... George.... Jabberjaw.....

3:31 AM


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