Derelict Junction

Providing missile launch codes for foreign cryptographers everywhere.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Birthdays!

Wow, can anyone believe that two of the world's most dangerous people, John Freitas and Sean Farrelly were born on the same day? Today, even! So Happy Birthday guys! I was so sure you guys would be ushering in the reign of the Anti-Christ by now, but I'm sure you'll get around to it when ya can. Have fun today!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Heaven Needs More Rap-Metal.


With all the gloom that the death of Hunter S. Thompson has cast over the last week, it's good to see a ray of laughter filtering through.

Korn or Jesus?

Andrew always said that proof that God doesn't exist is that Christian Rock sucks so much, we'll see if that continues. Actually, I knew that band sucked without the help of this latest development. First Dimebag Darrell, now this. How will we ever cope?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Life Lesson #1: LIE!


For anyone who finds themselves unemployed and looking for decent health coverage, here's the first and last rule about the application process:

Lie, Lie, Lie!!!

-And don't feel bad about it! I made the mistake of filling out my Blue Cross application truthfully and included that I took a common drug for anxiety within the last year and they denied my application, saying I was too much of a risk for such comprehensive coverage. I should point out this drug is the same prescribed to help people stop smoking. It's so common, as a society, we're probably only a few months away from having it fortified into our cereal.

After telling this story to Laurel, who's father is a doctor, I was informed it's common practice to apply for insurance like you've never had a problem in you life and then act like any condition you have just sprung up. So there it is, people. When applying for insurance, just keep in mind the company is looking for a way to screw you, don't give them the opportunity.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sports Babble.

ESPN College basketball expert, Jay Bilas, last week was trying to make the point that the Santa Clara win over North Carolina at the beginning of the season was a fluke. He joked, "Hands up, all those who think Santa Clara's better than North Carolina."

In the interest of global harmony, let me introduce Jay to one of those people:

That's Matt, and not only is he a Santa Clara grad and unrepentant Steve Nash fan, but he also does the greatest impression of Warriors television analyst, Jim Barnett. Writing about a dead-on impression would seem useless, but this impression has absolutely nothing to do with the audio quality of the voice. It goes like this:

"A couple of stops and a couple of 3's, and the Warriors are right back in this!"

In the words of Fat Tony, "It's funny, because it's true."
Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

'Roid Rage (Steroids, not Hemorrhoids)


Okay, the steroid situation is almost impossible not to comment on, especially with Jose Canseco's book, Juice, coming out on Monday and his "60 Minutes" interview tonight. So here goes.

It's too bad that Jose is such an unscrupulous opportunist and a shameless ego maniac, because that gives all the steroid-deniers out there an easy way to dismiss his allegations. And it's also too bad he has no concept of subtlety because, from what I've read, while many of his stories are completely plausible, it also seems impossible that they're ALL true. He implicates so many people, he makes it seem like, if you played with him and weren't paying attention, he'd shoot you up with steroids too. It wouldn't surprise me if, as Andrew says, in his book he admits to injecting announcer Joe Garagiola at a press conference when he bent over to pick up a pen.

So where does that leave us? We have a book that seems to confirm pretty much what we all suspected about steroid use, but the alleged frequency seems almost impossible to be true. Does anyone really think that Roger Clemens took steroids? If he did, he should get his money back, 'cuz I've seen him plenty fat, but never beefed up. All this, written by an unapologetic self-promoter. It probably would have been better if Canseco didn't write anything at all, and steroid use continued until a more reputable source came forward.

One very disappointing reaction to Canseco's book has proved an earlier perception of mine quite wrong. When faced with die-hard Barry Bonds supporters, they would invariably bring up the inherent racism involved with criticizing Bonds, while Mark McGwire (another obvious, but white, juicer) was spared such scrutiny. I always denied this claim and said if McGwire was still playing he'd also have to answer such allegations. Just this week, though, after Canseco's book implicated McGwire, I was shocked to hear sportswriters not tear into him. Rather, I was disgusted to hear Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, when asked about McGwire's steroid use say, "Well, look, a lot of players started taking steroids and it began in '88, '89... that's no secret." What a cop out! I understand not wanting to jump on the shaky Canseco bandwagon, but making excuses for anyone taking steroids is just as terrible for McGwire as it is for Bonds. At the very least, he could qualify any criticism by saying, "If these allegations prove to be true... (then, nail him to the cross)."

Finally, in the book there's a chapter titled "Giambi, the Most Obvious Juicer in the Game". According to Canseco, this observation is evidenced by his bloated physique. He writes, "There was no definition to (Giambi's) body at all. You could see the retention of liquids, especially in the neck and face; to those in the know, that was a sure sign of steroid use." Now, without going back on my earlier call to criticize steroid users, I almost feel bad for Giambi. -Not because he used steroids and seems to be the most egregious case. -Not because he testified to a grand jury that he took steroids and then denied it to the press. -Not because his team, the Yankees, are currently trying to find ways to void the remaining $82 million on his contract. But, he seems to suffer from a condition that most professional athletes have no concept of; he wants people to like him.

Unlike Bonds, unlike McGwire, unlike most players who couldn't care less about the consequences of their actions or how they're perceived by the public, Giambi obviously craves acceptance. Last week he called a press conference and profusely apologized to his team, the organization and the New York fans, but never mentioned for what. -Never mentioned steroids. So, why the press conference? Why apologize and then immediately turn evasive? If he still longs for people to like him, it stands to be a very tedious career for Giambi from here on out. If you crave approval and then have your actions sully your reputation, you can't expect people to go easy on you. All his career, Giambi has been in that "likable hero" roll. He may now have to learn to play the "defiant bad-guy". -Maybe Canseco can give him some pointers.

Still, he's an idiot for testifying to a grand jury that he took steroids and then denying it in television interviews immediately thereafter. What's worse, since he was told his testimony would be sealed, he obviously thought he'd get away with it (until his testimony was suspiciously leaked to the media).

I'd also like to point out teammate Gary Sheffield's testimony was just as incriminating, but no one in the Yankees organization is clamoring to void his multi-million dollar contract. Then again, he had a much better year than Giambi last season. Posted by Hello

Why Ad Exects Get Paid So Well.


Have you seen the new television advertisements for the De Niro film Hide and Seek? They truly are a marketing stroke of genius. The new tag line is that trite, ominous voice saying, "Warning: If you haven't seen Hide and Seek, don't let anyone tell you it's secret!"

Here's the secret: It sucks.
Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Theatre of the Absurd


Oh, Sweet Irony! Believe it or not, Rob Schneider last week took out a full page ad in the Hollywood Reporter accusing a film critic of being "unfunny":

Schneider Blasts Critic.

What a strange world we live in.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Greatest Joke of All Time Nominee #1


Dave Attell

"That was such a great party, I said 'No way, Jose!' to a guy named Jose, his head popped open and candy fell out!" Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

Sissy-Boy Slap-Fest.


Ever wonder what the current Hollywood equivalent would be to stealing another man's prostitute in the Old West? Well, here's an account of what happens when one man steals another man's comedy sketch about vaguely the same thing:

http://harpers.org/DontHaveACowMan.html

The only thing missing from this exchange is someone saying, "You'll never write mediocre comedy in this town again!"
Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Funnier than Fiction.


From the Unintentional Humor Department, check out this new handbag line my former company just posted: http://www.zappos.com/n/br/b/936.html

Yes, that's not a misprint. The designer's name is the same as everyone's favorite NBA booze-hound, Vin Baker (pictured above - I have no idea what that's about). Not Vincent Baker, not Vince Baker, but exactly Vin Baker. The only thing that would make this stranger would be if the NBA's Vin Baker was the actual designer. After all, guitar legend Carlos Santana has realized a life-long dream to design women's shoes, why not groggy power forwards? Still, they're merely namesakes.

For those who may not know, here's a little background: Vin Baker was an unanticipated NBA force. He played for a small college and then preceded to make the NBA All-Star team 3 years in a row. Soon after that, his game inexplicable declined dramatically. As it turns out, Vin was an alcoholic, and not one of those lucky "functional alcoholics". He was one of those alcoholics you feel compelled to point out how drunk he is. He drifted around from team to team, taking breaks from the game for every uncontrollable binge he fell into. Former Celtics coach Jim O'Brien once reported smelling booze on his breath during practice. That blows my mind. People play softball hammered all the time, but I can't imagine playing basketball, with all the precision and agility it requires, at a professional level even! Wow, is that delusional!

As Burchard noted on the new unfortunately-named handbag line, "Insert your former NBA All-Star turned alcoholic/wash-up joke here." And Bourdet added, "That's the most unintentionally funny thing I've seen since Northwest Airlines re-painted all their planes to read 'NWA'." I, predictably, will go even further. For every style of shoe (in this case, handbag) on Zappos.com, they allow you to write your own review of the product. A little while back, many of us thought this was the last frontier for subversive comedy. Therefore, I invite you to join me in submitting your own review of Vin Baker handbags. Once they get posted, I'll provide links here for everyone to enjoy.

Good Luck.
Posted by Hello

Friday, February 04, 2005

Rock Star Powers, Activate!!



I've always been a big proponent of public humiliation, and outside the realm of a spotlighted Karaoke stage, the best way to achieve this is going to a concert that you're WAY too old for. I mean too old like you look like you're there to pick up your daughter, and you're prepared to tell people that if they ask.

My first experience with this was going to an Avalanches show at PopScene a few years ago. When my friend mentioned how old she felt, I denied it and tried to prove her wrong by asking a girl I was recently talking to her age. The answer was a simple, high-pitched "Nineteen!" After that moment, I spent the rest of the night lamenting the many years behind me. The only moment that suspended my gloom was running into the opening DJ, Dan the Automator. I stopped to congratulate him on the great set he just had. When our eyes met, I could see a brief glimmer of happiness and that glimmer said, "Thank god there's someone here as old as me!"

So last Monday, thanks to Mac's good-nature, I was treated to the Winterfresh SnoCore Tour at the Fillmore. AND, Mac got us VIP passes to go back-stage to meet the only band on the bill I had heard of, speed-metal forefathers, Helmet. As we were being taken back to meet the band, I warned Mac that I was going to look as excited as I possibly can, but I only had one of their CD's. Luckily, no acting was necessary. For when I walked into that room and shook hands with lead guitarist/vocalist Page Hamilton, I saw it again. That brief glimmer and crooked smile that comes along with the "Hey, you're as old as I am!" look.

And ya know what? He was a really nice, very polite, seemingly subdued guy. Maybe expecting to see dead hookers dipped in cocaine and violent midget knife-fights is too much of a rock 'n roll stereotype, but man was that guy cool! I kept thinking, "Well, I guess we all have to mellow out over time." But when they went on stage, they immediately transformed into the wild sociopaths I expected them to be. That's when I realized, when you reach a certain level of success, it's all a job. Those guys wrapped up our conversation, thanked us for coming back to meet them, and then gave the crowd exactly what they came there to see; loud, pulsating, ear-drum blowing speed metal. Good job, guys.

As for the rest of the show, if not liking bad bands like Chevelle makes me out of touch, then I'm ready to take my rightful place in a nursing home. Still, it's nice to get out there and watch a bunch of kids have a good time.

I'd finally like to relay my roommate's reaction when I told him I was going to the Helmet show. He just smiled and said, "Oooo! You've got dirty little secrets!"
Posted by Hello