Monthly Archives: December 2008

Cidade de Deus, but in New York, and the exact opposite

MTV made my day today with the series premiere of The City, a reality-TV-documentary style spin-off of a spin-off (The Hills) of Laguna Beach.

Now, I’ve never really followed Laguna Beach or The Hills, but after watching the first two episodes of The City, I’ve decided that I’m really glad that there are people out there (MTV) devoted to wealthy,-attractive-people-issues. IE, issues that affect those that are both wealthy and attractive.

Whitney Port was an intern with Lauren Conrad at Teen Vogue on the Laguna Beach spin-off, The Hills. In The City, she has moved to New York City to work for fashion label Diane von Furstenburg where cameras follow her. In New York, she and others in the show deal with the following wealthy-and-attractive-people issues:

  1. What type of champagne do I bring to my friend’s dinner party?
  2. How do I handle all of these beautiful members of the opposite/same sex that are interested in me?
  3. When it comes to fashionable sunglasses, how big is too big?
  4. Not knowing any unattractive people, how will I keep my self-esteem up?
  5. How does my heavy dependence on my looks, third grade education, and desire to be “tough” affect my risk tolerance?

Many may think I’m writing another typical Al-style sarcastic blog post. I am not (I don’t even know the definition of “sarcastic”). These are serious issues. And when we become wealthy and attractive (or start living vicariously through characters on TV), we will also have to deal with these issues.

To help you enjoy this series, try doing what I do. Watch the show for about 15 minutes. Notice their apartments, the fancy restaurants they eat at, and how everyone is constantly surrounded by attractive people. Then, think about how you were born around the same time as Whitney Port (this only works if you were born around 1985). Then, look around at your apartment (this only works if you live in an apartment), think about the restaurants you eat at, and then think about the attractiveness of the people who typically surround you.

I don’t know why I enjoy doing that.


Those stupid tests???

You know those stupid tests where they ask you like 50 questions and then tell you what they are? I was just thinking about how stupid they are.

First, if anyone has to ask me 50 questions before they can tell me anything about myself, I will not be impressed. I just sat around answering 50 questions. That’s enough information to write my biography.

Second, the tests usually go like this (my answers and thoughts are in parentheses):


Are you loud or quiet? (Quiet)

Are you outgoing? (No)

Do you prefer talking or thinking? (Thinking)

(Click submit)

You are Introverted. (wait what does this mean?)

Being introverted means that you are likely quiet, not outgoing, and prefer thinking to talking. (oooh how about that.)

Third, you do not need a test to tell if you are introverted or extroverted.

And you know what else bothers me? The movie You Got Served.

Cut to the Chase – Priceless, Happenstance, and Garden Party THREE-FER!

pricelessSally, clear my calendar for tomorrow (Sally’s my secretary). I’m going to go to the crafts store so I can buy 7 white t-shirts (one for each day of the week) and a silk screening kit. I’m going to make 7 t-shirts that say, “I ❤ Audrey Tautou” (it’ll be a variation on the “I ❤ NY” t-shirts.) It’s how I will express my feelings about Audrey Tautou.

Did I always feel like this? No. I was once a Natalie Portman guy (before she got into all of that Star Wars prequel stuff. Yes, there’s lots of themes in it. It’s the Bible in Space). But then I saw Priceless.

I’m not even going to describe the movie. I Netflixed it, rated it 5 stars and fell in love with Audrey Tautou. I think I may also start looking for a Sugar-momma to buy me nice things and use me for my youth.

happenstanceOn my Audrey Tautou high, I decided to see the film Happenstance (also Netflixed). If I had to describe it, I’d describe it as the French version of Twenty Bucks but without the twenty dollar bill tying all of the stories together. Audrey Tautou was still adorable. My only complaint: Audrey Tautou is on the movie poster, but her image on the movie poster looks nothing like what she looks like in the film itself.

Which brings us to Garden Party. This movie was American, and I imagine that if Simple Plan (ooooh high school is sooo hard!) was given the opportunity to make a movie, it’d be this. Actually, no, the movie is actually somewhat more complex and interesting. But not too much more.

gardenparty Just like Happenstance and Twenty Bucks, Garden Party is another variation of the six degrees concept. There’s a bunch of things going on with a bunch of different people, and at some point, they each see each other. One of these stories involves this teenage emo-singer that’s kind of poor but is discovered and immediately gets signed. And as I recall, the rest of the movie was about teenagers having sex and doing drugs.

Oh what? There’s a Ricky Nelson song of the same name? I wonder if that will be involved at all…

So there you have it. Coming up — how to take care of Tyler’s ferrets…

Cut to the Chase – The Terrorist of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is a gothic novel from 1910. In 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber decided, “Broadway doesn’t have enough flashing lights and loud bangs, so I’m going to make this into a musical.” In 2004, Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin, Ice to meet you), directs the film adaptation of the musical adaptation of the 1910 novel.

In this movie, Gerard Butler (300, he was Sparta), is a guy who has trouble dealing with his hideous face, so he terrorizes an opera house. He’s also in ridiculously good shape and somehow has a dungeon hidden under the opera house.

So how does the phantom terrorize the opera house? Well, he makes threats that terrible things will happen unless he is provided:

  1. A stipend
  2. A box seat in the opera
  3. [Insert list of things that just piss people off. For example, make Christine (relatively young and unknown) play the lead role, and make the diva Carlotta (played by Minnie Driver) play the silent page boy.

Really though, I am a big fan of the music in Phantom and the fad Phantom Workout which became popular after the film adaptation came out (you too can look like Gerard Butler!) I sometimes wonder though if the Gerard Butler’s role in this film had adverse affects on history. IE, Xerxes found out that Gerard Butler went around singing about his problems, giving Xerxes the confidence that his immortals could take on the Spartans.

Cut to the Chase – Searching for Bobby Fischer’s Keys

This is a very good movie. It is about a man who has a car but needs keys to get into it. However, on his way out the door, he realizes that he doesn’t know where his keys are, and he’s on a time constraint so he has to find them soon!

To find them, he tries the following:

  • He checks his pockets
  • He asks his wife if she had taken them
  • He retraces his steps
  • He stresses out about being late
  • He checks on top of the kitchen table

At a key moment late in the movie, he uses deductive reasoning:

  • the car was parked in his drive way
  • he definitely drove home last night
  • his keys must be somewhere in the house

He then checks on top of the kitchen table again and finds them. He then drives off to the urologist.

This is the second great movie I’ve seen about a man who cannot find his keys.

More Vintage Al – September 30, 2003

Kyle Jiang:
al: yeah i’ve seen this before
al: nice
al: ‘cept don’t scroll yourself to hell
Kyle Jiang: there’s a freaking secret badger
Kyle Jiang: omg
al: wait where’s the secret badger?
Kyle Jiang: or BATCH
Kyle Jiang: BATCH=female badger
al: ?
al: oh
al: one that isn’t always thehre?
Kyle Jiang: ya
al: hahahaha
al: it’s nice that you caught that
al: is there anything you can do?
al: or does it just sorta repeat
Kyle Jiang: keep watching
al: dude
al: i watched for like
Kyle Jiang: no
Kyle Jiang: I WATCHED FOR 20 MIN
al: hahahahahahaha
al: then what happened?
Kyle Jiang: NOTHING
Kyle Jiang: I WENT NUTS

Vintage Al – April 9, 2003

The following is a post from my old blog

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Physics 2AP, Period 3, Monday

Mo asks Karishma for the packet on Reimann sums. Karishma says no.

“Why don’t you ask Al for help on it?” asks Karishma. Mo looks at me and starts giggling.

“Because he’s mean!” he replies, continuing to giggle. “He’s surly about work!”

Al’s sense of satisfaction manifests itself in the form of a grin on his face.

Cum Laude Rehearsal, 7th period, Monday.

Teresa and I discuss college dorms.

“I tried to sign up for a dorm room at Barnard, but they wouldn’t let me,” I said.

“Well that’s for the best. If you did get a room at Barnard, you’d never get any work done. You’d just giggle all day,” Teresa replies. I start giggling. “I know you! It’s true!” I continue giggling.

Every kiss begins with Kay…

After further examination, I have concluded that every kiss begins with ‘e’.

The Adventures of Zelda and her Poor Leadership Skills

zelda The Adventures of Zelda was originally a part of The Super Mario Brothers Supershow… sorta… The Super Mario Brothers Super Show would be shown Monday through Thursday, and on Friday, the Adventures of Zelda would be shown in its time slot.

It’s a cartoon series about an elf princess Zelda and a hero Link that defend the kingdom of Hyrule and the Triforce of Wisdom from an evil wizard named Ganon. Ganon already has the triforce of power, and if he controls both, he will somehow rule the world.

On a side note: What’s the deal with people making things with all these powers that don’t seem to do any good but have the potential for terrible evil? Like in the Lord of the Rings…

Anyhow, evil Ganon found a terrible hole in Link and Zelda’s security which Zelda has yet to discover: the Triforce, stationary in a tower in the castle of Hyrule, and Zelda are both only being protected by one hero: Link. And Link has the fatal flaw of only being able to be in one place at any given time.

In the first and second episodes, Ganon somehow gets into the castle of Hyrule and creates a giant monster to attack Zelda. Link then jumps out of the tower to fight the monster while Ganon sneaks into the tower to take the triforce. By the time Link destroys the monster to save the princess, Ganon is usually on his way out of the castle with the triforce, and the princess then blames Link for not protecting the triforce.

Meanwhile, in every episode, there’s also a love triangle. Link likes Zelda while Sprite, a fairy-princess, likes Sprite. Zelda likes playing with Link’s emotions.

Here’s a couple ideas I had that may help Zelda:

  1. Hire more guards. Perhaps one to follow the princess around and one for the triforce? Don’t people with castles generally have armies anyway? And who built the castle in the first place? There’s nobody in it!
  2. Stop letting people in your castle. There seems to be some open door policy because it seems like Ganon never meets any resistance getting into the castle. He just waltzes in with a disguise.
  3. Stop reassigning the only guy protecting both you and the triforce to menial tasks. I don’t care if it’s springtime. Link should probably be protecting the triforce, not cleaning your bedroom.

Progressive insurance’s NP-complete problem

I’ve recently been seeing commercials for Progressive (the insurance company) where you choose how much you want to pay and they come up with an insurance plan for you. It reminded me of this XKCD:

And on a completely unrelated note, one of my favorite moments in The Simpsons occurs in the episode “Fat Man and Little Boy” (season 16, episode 5) when the Sea Captain recites the last two lines of a Robert Frost poem as he passes by on his boat:

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.