Wednesday, January 29, 2003


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Tuesday, January 28, 2003

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... turducken?

About a month ago, a friend of mine (I’ll call her “Diana”) was telling me about a new culinary fad called turducken. It’s a turkey, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a chicken. Or vice versa. I’m not sure who’s inside what, but somehow these three birds wind up swallowing each other. It sounded bizarre enough that it would be fun to try, but I realized that I would never actually order it. As it turns out, I was at a party this weekend that served turducken and I didn’t even know it.

One thing you need to know: if you start talking to me about food – whether you’re a waiter listing the daily specials or a gracious host preparing a meal - I’m not listening to you. My eyes will just glaze over and I go into a bit of a trance, because it doesn’t matter what you’re telling me; I’m not going to eat it. I’m going to be looking for some saltines and a piece of baloney.

Everyone was quite excited about the turducken, but I never made the connection about what it was. It sounded different every time someone mentioned it: “We’re having churducken for dinner!” “The burduchan is ready!” “The turchican is delicious!” I knew it was Chinese new year, I knew the hostess was Chinese, so I just assumed chuchican was some sort of exotic Chinese seafood platter. I made sure I stayed far away from it, and just ate some of the meat they set out on the table.

At one point I was asked “did you try the turducken?” and I said “no, I had the turkey.”

I didn’t realize I ate turducken until I read the story about the party.


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Do you believe in Miracles?

Those stupid morons at ABC... They just launched the best show on television and nobody even knew about it. During the Super Bowl, you may have seen commercials for their new show "Veritas: The Quest". You were probably too busy thinking about how stupid that title is that you missed the commercials for their OTHER new show, Miracles. Wow. It's a bizarre blend of Touched By An Angel, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks. It is creepy. It is beautifully filmed. It is, believe it or not, Smart Television. I'm already mourning over the future cancellation of this show, because I know the network is going to screw it over and never give it a chance.

Thanks for nothing ABC. I'll look forward to the unaired episodes on Bravo next year.


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Friday, January 24, 2003

I can ride Choo-Choo all by myself

After literally hours of searching over the past few days, I found my ticket for the expired registration on my car. My court date was set for Monday, January 27. It was too late to mail it in; I had to go to the L.A. courthouse. The past few weeks have been rather stressful, so I thought I would take the train downtown. You may ask yourself "why would you use L.A. mass transit to reduce stress?!" For one thing, driving into downtown during rush hour is no picnic. And I thought that taking the train would be a very New York thing to do (i.e. cool). And at its most basic level, Boys Love Trains.

I drove 2 miles to the Glendale Train Station and got on the Metrolink train. $4.75. A bit pricey, but the train was very smooth and clean, and in 12 minutes I was in Union Station. I got on the subway Red Line and tranferred to the Blue line, which left me off 2 blocks from the courthouse. Waited in line for 45 minutes, paid $10 processing fee, and the nightmare was over.

Instead of going back to Glendale, I decided to take the Subway all the way up to Universal City. It's about a 20 minute ride, very clean. I got back on the surface, waited 5 minutes for a bus which stopped about 1/2 block from my office. I left my house at 7:30 this morning, was at work by 10:15. Not bad at all, and I got to ride lots of trains.


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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I overlooked one thing when I thought I was finished getting my car registered. I still have an outstanding ticket. When I went to the DMV, they put some sort of magic stamp on it certifying that my car is legal. I'm supposed to return the ticket before my scheduled court date. I don't know when my court date is; I remember it was January twenty-something.

I've lost the ticket.

I'm going to jail.

Do they have TiVo in the slammer?


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Sunday, January 19, 2003

Here's a special clip for our friends at

On South Park, Kyle gets a disturbing reading from so-called psychic Jon Edward. Stan tries to prove to Kyle that it's fake, going so far as coming up with his own psychic show where he tries to disprove everything. In 2 scenes (edited together for this clip), Stan confronts Jon Edward directly. Stan puts perfectly into words what we're all thinking.

This is Mister P's Clip Of the Week. (1.7 MB, QuickTime)


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Friday, January 17, 2003

Lady Lipo Liberty

Call me un-American, but I have always had a problem with The Statue Of Liberty.

For starters, I hate the fact that it was a gift from France. I don't specifically hate the French, but how sad is it that the symbol of our country can't even be stamped "Made In America"? Like we couldn't build our own icon?

People think the Statue Of Liberty is gargantuan. Myth. She really ain't all that big. She's about as tall as 20 men standing on top of eachother. Would I want to be the one to have to wash all the pigeon crap off of her? No, but most people think the statue is a lot taller than it really is. If you put her feet on the ground, my balcony window would look over her head. It's the pedestal that makes her look taller.

We've all seen the majestic photos of the Statue Of Liberty taken from a helicopter with the Manhattan Skyline in the background. OK, I admit, she looks pretty good there. But have you ever actually been to Liberty Island? Let me tell you a little secret: You know how you have a few drinks and you look across the bar and see a beautiful woman in the distance, then you get up close and realize "damn, woman, you is UHHGGLY!" That's how it is with our Lady Liberty. Sure, she looks good from the air with perfect lighting, but when you're standing at the base of the pedestal looking up at her feet, she is FAT. It's not a flattering angle.

Wrap yourself in the flag all you want. But if you want to impress me, build an 800 foot statue of Jennifer Garner. Now THAT'S American.


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Car update XIV

I don't have the energy to go into the details:

Replaced car battery Monday. Car worked fine.
Went to DMV Wednesday to take care of Registration (8 months late.) I have the tags, it's all taken care of.
Tried to leave DMV, car was dead.
AAA towed to garage, $700 for new alternator, headlight motors, etc.


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Monday, January 13, 2003

This car will self-destruct in 90 seconds

While driving home Saturday night I noticed that my dashboard lights looked a little dimmer. I went into full denial mode and assumed that it wasn't my car that was having problems, but that I was just getting old and my night vision was going. That seemed like a less stressfull explanation at the time. On Sunday, I drove to the mall (about 1/2 mile away) and watched as the little battery needle went from the happy 13 volt mark down past the smug 8 volt mark. It hit the sad 0 Volt mark right as I got into the parking lot. Dead car.

Some friends came by and we jump started the car. After several attempts of getting the car running smoothly, we basically learned that a jump start would give me about 90 seconds of driving time. We decided to make a run to the Sears automotive shop, 2 blocks away. We knew it was closed (Sunday night), but figured I could leave the car there overnight. We hooked up the batteries, got them charging up, and then when the needle hit 13 volts BAM! We ripped the cables off, slammed the hood shut and I peeled out of the garage, skidded on to Central Avenue and hit a red light. Traffic lights can be remarkably slow as you watch your battery needle slowly tick away the precious seconds. I made it to the Sears shop, but they don't have a parking lot! My car died in the alley way behind the shop.

We thought about pushing the car on to the street and parking it overnight, but of course I still don't have my registration stickers. Bad idea. So my car would have to make it home. Only 4/10 of a mile to go. We figured that instead of taking the main road through the city, I'd take a parallel side street and some other alleys and hopefully avoid some of the traffic and the lights. So we charged up the car again, slammed down the hood and I floored it. It was kind of tricky driving on the side streets, because they don't have street lights. And I certainly couldn't turn on my headlights, because they would drain the battery even more quickly. I was racing along the back streets and narrow alleys of Glendale in the dark. Fortunately, no cops.

Do I have my license? Yes!
Do I have registration? No.
Do I have insurance? Yes!
Does my car run? No.


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Friday, January 10, 2003

Ugly Naked Guy

My condo complex consists of 2 towers with a recreation area (with free toilet paper) between them. I was cleaning my kitchen windows, looked out to the other building and saw a guy standing in front of his kitchen window. He was standing on a chair or step-ladder, and wasn't wearing a shirt. Or pants. Just a pair of tighty-whiteys. I don't have great eyesight, but I could tell he was more Tom Arnold than Tom Cruise. I'm not sure what he was doing, maybe putting things away in his cabinets.

Of course, you know the dilemma: should you watch? Obviously this is not something you want to see, yet at the same time you just HAVE to know how long he is gonna to stay there. These are big windows. He HAD to know that people could see him, right? Is that what he wanted? Or did it never occur to him that glass is transparent in both directions? And what would happen if he happened to look over and caught me looking back?! Oh, the horror that would be. I did what any normal person would do and lowered my blinds so I could peek through the slats. I couldn't stare for too long at any one time for fear of retina damage, so I would take a quick glance, wash some dishes, then check again. I'd say he was on full display for at least 5 minutes.

Part of me wants to slip a note under his door that says "dude, put on some pants" but I think I'm better off just leaving my blinds down.


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Thursday, January 09, 2003

I submitted a story to ticketstubs... It's an odd website where people send in scans of old ticketstubs and tell the story behind them. My story isn't great, but the image is kind of surreal.

My ticket


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Monday, January 06, 2003

Not in Kansas any more

I have two stories to tell. The first is the story I sat down about 90 minutes ago to write. The second is the story that describes the events that have occured since then.

Let's start with the first story. I love the Santa Anas. For those of you who don't live in Southern California, we basically have no weather. Every day is sunny with partial smog. But once a year in January, we get hit with some magnificent winds from the Santa Ana mountains. I love watching the winds blow leaves off of palm trees. I love hearing the whistling of the winds through tiny window gaps. I love the smell of the fresh air that is so rare in California. I went down to the outdoor recreation level of my building, which is still 9 stories up, and just stood on the deck overlooking the city and feeling the wind race over me. It was wonderful.

I went back to my condo to watch TV. It's too noisy to leave the sliding patio door open, but I wanted to let as much fresh air in as possible so I just opened the kitchen window. I sat on the couch watching Alias, smelling the fresh air coming into my home. Life is good.

Now for story number two.

Oh dear God do I hate the Santa Anas. My satellite dish isn't very secure, but it stayed stable up to shortly after 10:00 before the winds started shaking it enough that I was losing signal. I had already seen all the shows I needed to watch for the night, so I went over to the computer. Since I didn't have to worry about hearing the TV any more, I opened up the sliding door to the balcony and started surfing, enjoying breathing in the fresh clean air.

This is a good time to stop for a quick lesson in aerodynamics and weather. Winds are basically caused by changes in air pressure, as air moves from areas of high pressure, to low pressure. Even though your home is not airtight, during a windstorm the air pressure outside is less than that inside. So if you open a single window, the winds can't blow too far into your home. There is no place for the air already in your house to go, so the pressure keeps the weather neatly outside.

A funny thing happens if you open up a second window, such as an 8 foot sliding glass door 16 stories up. Because now, the air in your home DOES have a place to escape if a gust a wind were to come by. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I do remember that one minute I was checking the yeast status at and the next minute I had an F4 tornado tearing through my living room.

The stack of 30-40 sheets of blank paper sitting next to my printer? They turned into my own personal ticker-tape parade. The outside floor mats on the balcony became indoor floor mats, and they brought one of their previously "outdoor" flower pots with them. The strange thing is that the plant itself stayed outside, but the pot came in. I then heard a huge crash from the kitchen. It seems that I thought it was a good idea to store an extra 36" fluorecent light bulb on top of my kitchen cabinets. Do you have any idea how many pieces of glass you get when one of those bulbs smashes on to your (brand new) hardwood floor? And then do you know how far an indoor F4 tornado will carry those pieces?

I'd say I had the door closed within 10-15 seconds, but spent the next hour-and-a-half cleaning up. I wanted to sweep the kitchen floor, but as soon as I moved the broom I heard SCCRREEEEEECCCCHHH as hundreds of shards of glass scraped against the wood. The floor is 2 weeks old, I'm not ready to do that to it yet. So everything has to be done slowly and gently.

The good news is that I saw 2 explosions as power lines went down and I watched parts of the city go dark, but I never lost electricity. Suckers.


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Sunday, January 05, 2003

OK, gotta love The Simpsons...

But FOX must have some serious inferiority issues... check out this clip when Bart announces the family gets a free trip to Orlando. Where are we going? (704k, .mov)

Also, check out their new Enron Ride (408k .mov)


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