Monday, March 31, 2014

Crash Chorus

Sunday night, dreamed I worked at an airport.

With similar people as the film accounting jobs I've been doing (specifically recall this bitch who did payroll), except now we're working in this airplane hangar with these huge windows.

Something happened and suddenly all these planes start crashing. Start falling from the sky. One after another.

Massive airbuses. One nearly crashes into the building. You could see it full in the window.

Then another crash. And the last one *does* collide into the building, and everyone has to run like hell to avoid the wreckage.

One epic disaster after another.

Tomorrow. April 1st. I've got some shit to do.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Night at the Bar, Part II

After the loss and miraculous recovery of my wallet, I felt I should treat my friend to a drink. You know, for karma. At the bar where I had a curious incident a few months ago.

Everything's relatively normal this time until there's a shift-change and the Sunday night bartender steps up.

Something is clearly up with this bartender. Skinny blonde chick with pierced gums. Parker Posey face. She's either a little drunk or a little high or a little both.

Friend X and I are deep in conversation when she just situates herself in front of us and involves herself in the conversation as if we'd been talking to her the whole time.

We try to humor her.

It seems like that's always the mistake. Trying to humor crazy people.

She keeps on invading our conversation. Not in a calculated way, as an intro to asking us if we wanted another round. She simply forces her way into the conversation. Like a drunk berzerker. Pretending to know what we're talking about and going off on what she thinks about this and that.

After hearing literally two seconds of our conversation: "Who's this Johnny guy? He's sounds GAY! He sounds like he's closeted gay and I just wanna PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE! Is he a douchebag? HE SOUNDS LIKE A DOUCHEBAG."

Appreciate that nothing we were talking about had indicated anything about our friend Johnny's sexual orientation or even whether he was good or bad. We were having a conversation that, from the outside, should have sounded fairly innocuous -- and suddenly this woman's completely hijacked it and flown it into the mountains.

Then she fixates on me and my tattoos.

"I gotta be honest, I've been looking at your tattoos since I got here."

More patterns. It's like my ink is a magnet for drunk/high/crazy girls. Specifically at this one bar.

She handles my arms for a spell before looking up at me and asking, "What's your background?"

I know what this means but, still, I ask her to clarify.

"I mean, are you Korean? Are you Filipino?"

I confirm that I'm Filipino.

"Like my boyfriend!" she says. "You look like my boyfriend. He's a tattoo artist."

I ask where he works.

"All over the place. Mostly New Jersey. Whoa, this one's intense..."

She fixates on another tattoo on my arm. I tell her it was the most painful one to get.

"Oh yeah, I know it. I got one... here..."

Without warning, she lifts up her sweater and flashes us this major tattoo situated right BETWEEN HER BOOBS. (She's wearing a bra but that doesn't make this gesture any less shocking.)

Sometimes, you have to listen to the instinct that tells you someone is fundamentally unsafe.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Reddit Cakeday: March 24

Just a little reminder to myself, for future reference, that March 24 is my reddit cakeday.

That is all.

Labels: ,

Island of Lost Wallets

Sunday I went movie-theater hopping with Friend X, at the [redacted]. Two movies, a very simple sneak, logistically speaking, in terms of theater proximity and movie times. At the conclusion of the second movie, I stood up and gathered my things to leave -- gave myself the old pat-down to make sure everything was in its riiight place...

... and my wallet was missing.

Now, I imagine it's rarely a convenient time for ANYBODY to lose a wallet ever, but allow me to proffer that this was a particularly bad time for me to lose a wallet. Money being tight.

I double checked the seats, whipping out the flashlight app on my phone. (Slight tangent from an increasingly old man: if I'd lost my wallet twenty years ago, I would not have had this magical swiss-army-knife gadget that could act as a phone and alarm clock and email server and encyclopedia and TORCH. Twenty years ago, nobody carried flashlights with them... and now everybody essentially has a flashlight at their disposal... that also serves as a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.)

I scoured the seats, every popcorn-strewn angle. The rows behind and below ours.

Patted and re-patted myself, my coat.

Combed through every crevice of my backpack.

Fucking nothing.

Mentally retraced my steps.

Bought a movie ticket. Went to movie theater #1. Sneaked into movie theater #2. Ran to the bathroom quickly and returned to movie theater #2. And then, no wallet.

Naturally, movie theater hopping doesn't place you in the best position to seek help from the management. The two employees who'd "cleaned" movie theater #2 hadn't found anything, but that hadn't been particularly thorough. No one had turned anything in to Guest Services.

My mind switched from mild panic to acceptance to damage control. This was a pain. This would cost me. But people lose wallets every day, I rationalized, and there is a process that you go through to replace everything you've lost. I started to make a mental list of everything I'd need to get canceled and/or replaced. Driver's license, credit cards, membership cards.

My friend suggested we wait to go back to movie theater #1. Another show was still playing but we could wait it out and head back in there. We had played a bit of musical chairs in there because the chairs were all busted and leaned way too far back, so it was possible that my wallet could have fallen out during our initial seat-testing session. I was pessimistic about this suggestion. I was ready to go. I'd already unhappily accepted the loss. I figured, I would have noticed if I were missing the wallet in the walk from the first theater to the second one. And if I'd lost it in theater #1, what were the odds it'd still be there after another show had played? After a cleaning and a new audience?

But I waited. Just to make sure.

Twenty minutes, half an hour goes by. People start walking out of the theater. I go in during the closing credits.

It's dark and I wait until the end-credit-watchers start to get up to leave before I switch my phone to flashlight mode. I don't exactly remember where we were sitting but it's not a very big theater and I start sweeping the rows...

... and lo and behold, I find my motherfucking goddamn wallet. Fallen in the crack between chairs. Untouched. Cash intact.

I guess if you have an environment where employees don't give a shit about people theater-hopping, and they're not particularly thorough about cleaning the theaters between shows, it makes sense that something like a wallet hidden between chairs could be missed. And when you sit down in a dark movie theater, you're not necessarily going to double check to see if anyone's left a wallet under the chair before you sit down. And apparently I didn't notice I was missing my wallet in the walk from theater #1 because I was more focused on the sneak into #2. That small, illicit thrill of sneaking a second feature distracted me from realizing that a wallet-sized weight was suddenly missing from my left pocket.

Words cannot adequately describe the sense of relief that overcame me. The sense of gratitude. If I hadn't lost my wallet, I would have taken it for granted and I would have walked out of that second movie without any great sense of accomplishment. But because I lost my wallet and FOUND my wallet... it felt like I had won the lottery. A rather poor lottery, perhaps, but a lottery won nonetheless.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meet Ariane: Ubiquitous Stock Photo Model

This is Ariane. She's a stock photo model.

This is Ariane.

This is Ariane.

Ariane is an omnipresent stock photo model.

This is Ariane as a doctor, happily shaking a money pig.

This is Ariane as a doctor, sadly shaking a money pig.

This is Ariane, completely gobsmacked over something undoubtedly awesome.

This is Ariane gesturing toward something she unreservedly endorses.

This is Ariane prefering a funny guy over an attractive guy.

Brief tangent — excerpt from that "Rappler" article:
MANILA, Philiipines – In choosing a romantic interest, ask a Filipino if he or she would pick one who has a sense of humor or one who has good looks. The Pinoy will choose somebody who makes him or her laugh, hands down.

A survey released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in time for Valentine's Day reveals that almost all Filipino adults – 90% – prefer a person with a good sense of humor even if he or she is unattractive.


A total of 91% of respondents in rural areas and 89% in urban areas chose good sense of humor more than looks.

More women prefer humor over looks, with 94% of women respondents prefering funny guys over the handsome ones.

Among males, 86% choose funny girls over pretty women.
I'm *pretty* sure those men aren't looking for women to "date". I'd hazard to say these men are just looking for a few laughs with a sassy girl before pairing off with each other when the club shuts down. Just my guess.

Anyway, Ariane is a mixed-race Canadian stock photo model who won't reveal her surname.

This is an Ariane tumblr.

This is an Ariane Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Game of Thrones in an Alternate Universe

This is courtesy of the brilliant RICK & MORTY on Adult Swim. In my humble opinion, the finest new comedy series in years. It is rare for something to come out of the gate so perfectly realized. I enjoyed the pilot but I think it hit genius with its second episode, "Lawnmower Dog". I watched that episode so many times, I thought it might have been a fluke confluence of brilliance. Then in episode 5, "Meeseeks and Destroy", I suddenly found a new high-water mark. The show is devastatingly funny and black and absurd and profound and wrong and righteous. And there's part of me that's a little jealous that someone else has created something that has such an immediately fervent cult. But I'm working on it.

My other favorite show is THE AMERICANS, which is moving confidently through its second season. A show that could have been a campy mess — from the network that brought you the campy, inexplicably-praised AMERICAN HORROR STORY — but instead proved to possess an emotional intelligence beyond its high-concept. The two leads, Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys, are fucking phenomenal. I wasn't too familiar with either of them before this show but they are... forces to be reckoned with. This is a show that could not have existed here in the 80s. A show where you actually sympathize with and root for these Russian spies.

And yes, on the same network JUSTIFIED is as great and criminally under-appreciated as ever.

This is the second week off of that last long gig. I am catching up with a lot of things and reacclimating and recalibrating and reviewing the situation.

Week one was taxes.

Week two is writing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The F-Train Trap

Sunday aft, I went deep into Brooklyn, back to the old neighborhood where I used to live, to have literally one drink.

St. Patrick's Day weekend and the streets were... braced for chaos.

Best part: all Manhattan-bound F-trains were jacked up. Like some sort of classic Brooklyn trap. You can get in but you can't get out.

This is approximately the route I walked trying to find a train back into Manhattan because I didn't want to blow money on a taxi:

The Gowanus Canal is real pretty this time of year.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I know, I know, I know -- that you're gonna be okay, anyway.

After looking through pages of a Google Image search for "buried in paperwork", I've decided to post this picture of a kitten.

Sorry, I originally intended to post blog entries every day this week but I got caught up in trying to get my taxes together. It is always a drag, this time of year. Sorting through the previous year's receipts and all the accompanying memories. There's something sort of cathartic about taking a big chaotic bag of receipts and hammering it all into a kind of order, and then setting this neat stack aside. It's always daunting to begin the process but it feels good when it's done.

Of course, I originally wanted to try to get this done weeks ago.

Just have to drop my documents off at the accountant's office and hope he can save me from myself. Again.

Then I can concentrate on getting real work done.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Babies R' Us

Alec Baldwin at Babies 'R Us at Union Square.

This is what happens when all of your friends are popping out babies and you find yourself waiting on a bench at the Union Square Babies 'R Us. You get to see reluctant celebrities like Alec Baldwin shopping among the filthy commoners.

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Best Gig Ever"

Imagine you've been alone for a year.

Two years.

Three years.

A long dry spell.

Then one day, out of the blue, you meet someone who completely connects with you. Someone who seems to understand you completely.

No more lonely nights. This is the one. This is what you've waited for. This is what you've fought for. This is what you've prayed for.

Next day, you try to call this person... and your soul mate has vanished into thin air.

Instead, you find the website of a prank/improv group that says they wanted to do something *nice* by giving a struggling single person ONE MAGICAL NIGHT, just so that sad lonely person could feel what it's like to be loved. If only for one night.

Would this be considered "cruel"...?

This is the story of IMPROV EVERYWHERE and their infamous "Best Gig Ever" prank:

"Pick a struggling rock band and turn their small gig into the best show of their lives."

I recommend following the link above and reading the whole story.

The band members, in the aftermath, seemed to take it all in stride and harbored no ill will toward the prank-group. Though this semi-facetious (?) comment from the lead singer seemed to speak to a lingering effect: "I have since been sent reeling into a paranoia questioning every person that I see..."

So, the next time they have a really great gig, are they left to question the honesty of the crowd? Is this all just some fucking pity fuck?

This happened a number of years ago now. And Improv Everywhere seem to be content with the fact that -- despite legitimate criticism they've weathered -- the actual band itself seem pretty cool about the whole thing.

That doesn't make it right.

That doesn't make it less of a cruel joke. And to what end? To give these people a taste of something they'll never have?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Selena Gomez Hidalgo

Friday, March 07, 2014

Knick End Date

For future reference, today marks the last day of the latest gig.

August 7, 2013 to March 7, 2014. Se7en months.

What does this mean for YOU, O Constant Lurker...?

An uptick in blog entries, probably. Hopefully, more promising developments.

In the short term, a tightening of belts.


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Three Days in Siberia

Sometime this past Saturday, I noticed that my LG Lucid 2 -- a stop-gap phone I'd procured back in June -- wasn't charging. Long story short: after getting some run-around between two different Verizon stores from Saturday night into Sunday morning, I finally got them to place an order for a replacement LG Lucid 2 since the thing was within the warranty period.

Paid extra for an overnight... but since the order was placed on a Sunday, "overnight" became "two days".

I ended up being without a phone for about three days in total. That's the longest I've been without a working phone in YEARS.

The replacement they sent me didn't include a new battery or even a back cover. A label on the phone exclaimed, "REFURBISHED - LIKE NEW".

For now, it's working. We'll see how long this lasts.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

How to find your phone when you've lost it and it's in Silent Mode

Just a reminder to myself.

Search "Android Device Manager". It's a Google thing.

If you're in the habit of keeping your phone in silent mode while in an office setting and you forget to turn up the volume when you're out.

Android Device Manager can remotely max out the ringtone volume on your phone and ring you until you can track it down.

A two hour phone-hunt, resolved with a simple Google search.

Now, don't you love being a slave to your phone?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Why "The Snow Queen" is called "Frozen" in the U.S.

Finally got around to seeing Disney's box office sensation "FROZEN", which is a lot better than I expected, mainly because the U.S. posters and trailers and the title itself made it look and sound like "ICE AGE". Just some whacky frolic in the snow! I had no idea what the movie was about going in except a talking snowman and, I don't know, snowball fights maybe.

Turns out, this is because marketing needs to be DUMBED THE HELL DOWN for the U.S. market.

I loathe the naming convention trend for these new Disney animated movies.

First, "Rapunzel" gets released as "Tangled".

Then, "The Snow Queen" gets released as "Frozen".

Iffin you're curious, I highly recommend reading this blog post detailing how TANGLED and FROZEN got their (U.S.) names. Excerpt:
Disney believed the word "princess" in the title of The Princess and the Frog made little boys not want to see the movie, therefore making it less money than it could have made. They decided to change the title from "Rapunzel" to "Tangled" to get the biggest audience possible. "Tangled" made $590,721,936 dollars and was the company's biggest hit since "The Lion King", believe it or not. It also brought back Disney animation and more impressively Disney CG animation, after a rough decade of flops like Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Dinosaur and Bolt.
Imagine if "Snow White and the Se7en Dwarves" were called "Hunted"!

"Cinderella"? "Glassed"!

"The Little Mermaid"? "Overboard"!

Because of risk-averse corporate logic, DISNEY is renaming all their animated films so that they sound like generic, 80s Goldie Hawn comedies.

In the U.S. only, of course. The rest of the world gets movies with classic names. We get the dummy versions.