April 2006 Archives

travel tips for the wu

| 1 Comment


The Wu is skipping town for a few days to present a paper at a conference in Western Michigan. Since The Wu has never been to the Midwest, I thought I'd give her some travel tips to aid in her enjoyment of Chicago and Kalamazoo. Sure, I've never actually been to Illinois or Michigan, but I am fairly sure that I was conceived in Wisconsin. I know what I'm talking about here.


Check Out

Jack in the Box:

For as many Sourdough Jacks as you can stomach. Chicago has amazing bacon, since they're the hog butcher of the West, and the Sourdough Jack reflects this culinary tradition.

Deep-dish pizza:

Chicago-style pizza is very famous and delicious, though it's not quite as authentic as what you can get at Zachary's.

Chez Quis:

This is a pretty fancy restaurant, so it might be a little difficult to get a table. If the maitre d' gives you any trouble, simply tell him that you are the sausage queen of Chicago. I can call you at the restaurant if you need someone to back up your alibi.

Steppenwolf Theatre:

Their production of "Magic Carpet Ride" won four regional Tony Awards back in 1968, and they're currently showcasing a revival of "The Pusher". Powerful stuff.

Any place that sells expensive hooded sweatshirts:

This goes without saying.


One-armed men:

As hot as they might be, with their devil-may-care attitudes and missing limbs, you simply cannot trust them.

Elevator rides with Al Capone's bookkeeper:

Again, just not a good idea.

The not-so-Great Lakes:

Lake Illinois, Lake Iroquois, and Lake Saskatchewan are really not very impressive. Do not be tricked, Cassie!

Attending graduate school:

Because what are you going to do after you finish grad school in Chicago? Answer: Keep taking classes and applying to grad programs, for years, but in the Bay Area this time.

Gummy worms:

Even if they're warm and soft from being in someone's pocket all day.



Saying the name "Kalamazoo" as much as possible:

Because it is much more melodious than saying "Richmond Annex". Capitalize on these opportunities.

The Kalamazoo Zoo:

If you get excited about zoos, but hate animals, this is the place for you, Cassie. I repeat, there are absolutely no cats and/or horses at this zoo. The Wu and the zoo in the 'Zoo. How can that possibly miss?

Lyle Lovett:

My sister Molly took a picture with him when he was staying at the same hotel as her soccer team, back in 1996. Don't touch his hat, if he's wearing one.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations:

Downtown Kalamazoo turns into a street fiesta on the 5th of may every year. When you think "authentic Mexican food", you think, Western Michigan. However, don't talk about the Battle of the Puebla in the wrong company. Battle Creek has a lot of Emperor Maximillian sympathizers.

Jokes about Viagra:

You're right by the Pfizer headquarters, and jokes about Viagra never, ever get old.


Carbonated sugary beverages:

Whether you're talking about disappointing U2 albums, or a Diet Coke in Kalamazoo, I am always wary of pop. People have gone to Michigan and had the linguistic changes linger for years. You might never say "soda" again - once you "pop", you can't stop.

South by Southwestern Michigan University:

This school has gotten totally commercial over the past couple of years. Plus, it's overrun with hipsters.


Lipitor is not just a heart disease medication anymore. While the drug itself lowers cholesterol in the body, Pfizer's thugs stalk the streets, slapping fried foods out of people's hands, and scrawling, "Fuck high-density lipoproteins" and "The only good cholesterol is dead cholesterol" on abandoned buildings. It's really quite terrifying.

Bathrooms that lock from the outside:

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with Michigan?

how early is too early? part 2

| 1 Comment

So, there's a time and place for drinking. More important to me is the appropriate time for eating.

Years ago, Bagel Bites ran an ad asserting, "Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime. With pizza on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime." Catchy? Yes. Accurate? I say no.

Pizza in the evening, sure. I think even the lactose-intolerant would agree that, if there's ever a time to eat pizza, it's the evening. Pizza in the morning is acceptable as well - but it really has to be cold pizza. Or re-heated pizza. You can't make new pizza in the morning.

Is it different while watching a sporting event? I'm going to have to say no. A hot dog or hamburger at 9 AM is much less acceptable than a beer, or even a shot of whiskey. If ketchup and mustard are involved, you really have to wait until after noon.

"The earlier he starts eating pizza on a bagel, the more likely he is to abuse it."

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your Bagel Bites abuse:

  • Do you eat Bagel Bites in the morning?
  • Do you eat Bagel Bites alone when you feel angry or sad?
  • Does your Bagel Bites consumption worry your family?
  • Do you ever make Bagel Bites after telling yourself you won't?
  • Do you ever forget what you did while you were eating Bagel Bites?
  • Do you ever borrow money or go without things in order to buy Bagel Bites?
  • Do you ever drink until your supply of Bagel Bites is gone?
  • Have you ever lost friends because of your use of Bagel Bites?

The more of these questions that apply, the more likely it is that you have a problem with Bagel Bites. Set a goal, and resolve to eat Bagel Bites only after 12 PM. If you feel the urge to have Bagel Bites in the morning, make yourself a cocktail instead.

how early is too early? part 1

Spotted on a billboard about teenage drinking:

"The earlier he starts drinking alcohol, the more likely he is to abuse it."

Unfortunately, this billboard doesn't give us a suggested time. What's too early for him? 5:00? 4:30? Earlier?

In my book, it depends on when he finishes work. If you're off the clock for the day, there's nothing wrong with having a beer. But, the cocktail hour is so ingrained in our collective social consciousness, it's tough to imagine that a billboard would claim that happy hours cause alcoholism.

On the weekend, the magic time is 12:00. Various family members have expressed variations on the sentiment, "If it's after noon, I can have a beer without it meaning that I'm an alcoholic." I agree. However, sporting events can wind the acceptable drinking clock further forward. Are you an alcoholic for popping open a beer at 10 AM if there's a football game on? It's a complicated calculus. Did you have anything to eat first? Is this a playoff game? Does the game have postseason implications? Did Joe Ayoob throw an interception on the team's first offensive drive?

The earliest I have had a beer, after waking up, is probably 5 AM. "Sean, you are an alcoholic!" scream my friends/voices in my head. However, this was the World Cup final. If I were in Germany, having just one beer in the first half would have branded me a Mormon. I had a Guiness fairly close to sunrise for last year's FA Cup final, but there were mitigating factors:

1) I was with my parents.
2) I had already eaten a disgusting British pub breakfast minutes earlier.

Drinking during a soccer game seems more acceptable than drinking during a domestic sporting event. I feel like I'm still not a legitimate fan of the beautiful game, so my exuberant drinking is almost ironic - I'm winkingly playing the role of a true soccer hooligan. If this was an NFL game that began at dawn, there would be much less ironic distance between me and a substance dependency issue. Plus, in Europe, it was nearly happy hour.

In conclusion, I do not have a drinking problem. OK, billboard?

blogging unrestrained

| 2 Comments | 1 TrackBack

Last week was the International Film Festival in San Francisco. (For more coverage of the festival, check out Sushi's Reviews.) On Wednesday night, I went to see the film Drawing Restraint 9 by visual artist and Björk consort Matthew Barney.

The film is about a Japanese whaling ship full of vaseline that picks up Matthew Barney and Björk (billed as "Occidental Guests") and takes them on board. There, they bathe and get their eyebrows shaved off, while the crew assembles and disassembles various containers. Eventually they get dressed up in furry costumes with lots of shells on them, drink blubber tea with a Japanese man, and in the film's only spoken section, learn that the whaling ship once got scratched. After this, Matthew Barney and Björk lick each other, hack off pieces of each other's bodies with big knives, and (SPOILER ALERT!!!) turn into whales. This takes 135 minutes.

This is pretty much the worst movie ever made.

Before the film, Matthew Barney delivered an introductory speech about his athletic past, and how he believed you must tear down the body in order to let it grow. This is why he used to attach himself to bungee cords and climb ramps in order to do his first paintings, he said. Hence, Drawing Restraint. I started to wonder if I should start wearing a bungee cord harness or ankle weights when I do stand-up. Matthew Barney discussed Japanese Shinto shrines, specifically how they are torn down and rebuilt exactly the same way every twenty years. He also talked about the importance of a "small box" in this Shinto tradition, by which I'm pretty sure he meant Björk's vagina.

Matthew Barney also used the phrase "conversation with my body" at least three times, without adding "Everybody, get ready to see my penis".

In honor of Matthew Barney's artistic principles, I took notes during the film, on a small notebook, in the dark. Here are excerpts from that epic work of art, at least until I fell asleep.

Opening song - tear down eardrums in order to let them grow?

Emalie asks, "you blogging this?" Then she makes a kissyface at me.

Two minutes in, and I am pretty much just looking for Björk.

Shells, boxes, ribbons - is this whole thing going to be about gift-wrapping?

I'm also waiting for the vaseline tanker.

Satisfying to watch things put together, connected, locked. Maybe not for 2 hours.

Gene and Clark would enjoy this film, as so far it's just jarring electronic music and long scenes of putting objects into containers of different sizes.

Björk! She's dressed like...a Björk impersonator.

Emalie is already asleep. My neck is already sore.

Shrimp, pomegranate, vaseline? [ed. note - I have no idea what this means][ed. note II - the note, not the film, though I have no idea what that means either]

Björk hair = Topsy Tail from 22nd century.

Naked Björk + oranges in bath = surprisingly un-hot. Björk sorta old?

Matthew Barney looks like Morgan Spurlock, post-shave. Elaborate shaving ritual lets sideburns remain.

Japanese guy shaves Barney's head, eyebrows while he's asleep - just like chiefing in Santa Barbara

(something something) one eyebrow - Vanilla Ice?

Hey, penis.

Already hoping for ending. 20% of audience asleep.

I laugh inappropriately when MB aks, "Can you tell us something about this vessel?"

Ship is the Nisshin Maru. Meaningful? Who cares? God.

Please end.

Carvings peelings (last word trails off as I fell asleep)

The movie ended. We were the first audience members to exit, exhausted, delirious, and hating hating hating Matthew Barney. A festival volunteer asked what we thought of the movie, and we just laughed maniacally and literally ran down the escalator to get away from the whales, the aubergine, and the endless terrible film. We walked about a mile and a half to get to Cassie's car, while Emalie sang improvised Björk songs about whaling and cutting off your boyfriend's legs with a whaling knife. It was 2:15 AM. Everyone apologized to each other for having bought tickets and we all cursed Matthew Barney one final time, tearing up our commemorative Drawing Restraint 9 MOMA trading cards.

Maybe if we'd seen Drawing Restraint 8 it would have made more sense. Or if we were Japanese whales.

Friends, enemies, casual Google visitors, do yourselves a favor and never, ever see this movie. Ever.

Heads Up 7 Up

Teacher: Heads up, seven up! You can go first, Corinne. Who touched your thumb?

Corinne: I think it was Samuel L. Jackson.

Samuel L. Jackson: Nope.

Corinne: Samuel, I saw your shoes.

Samuel L. Jackson: Bitch, I didn't touch your motherfucking thumb!

Teacher: Class, let's just...read silently at our desks for a while.


Brad: Samuel L. Jackson, you're a doo-doo head.

Samuel L. Jackson: Oh yeah? Well I'm rubber, you're glue. Anything you say bounces off this motherfucker and sticks to you.

Brad: Doo-doo head! Doo-doo head!

Samuel L. Jackson: I know you are, but what the fuck am I? Tell me that, bitch!

Brad: Um...not a doo-doo head.

Knock Knock Jokes

Richard: Samuel L. Jackson, knock knock?

Samuel L. Jackson: Who's there?

Richard: Banana.

Samuel L. Jackson: Banana who?

Richard: Knock knock?

Samuel L. Jackson: I said, who the fuck is it?

Richard: Banana.

Samuel L. Jackson: Banana who?

Richard: Knock knock?

Samuel L. Jackson: Say 'banana' again, motherfucker! I dare you! I double dare you! Say 'banana' one more goddamn time!

Richard: O-o-o-orange you glad I d-d-d-didn't say b-b-b-banana?

Samuel L. Jackson: You're goddamn right I am.

the death of edgar



I have been watching 24 this year. I haven't watched the earlier seasons, but somehow, I am following the plot just fine. Cassie also watches the show, which serves as incentive to stay caught up with new episodes to avoid being inadvertantly spoiled during part of our two-to-three hours of daily conversation.

It's remarkably hard to avoid learning about plot details inadvertantly. It's not quite as bad as the NCAA Tournament, nearly all of which I watched on Tivo delay, and thus drove myself crazy avoiding scores, game summaries and casual conversations that mentioned basketball, the state of Connecticut, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, buzzers, or beatings. I couldn't help getting spoiled about Edgar's death, simply becasue my mom decided to watch only the final five minutes of an episode one week.

The Edgar factor has also kept me watching the show. Once I learned my parents were watching, my sister Kelly and I perfected our impressions of computer nerds Chloe and Edgar. Every time we're both home, we converse as Edgar and Chloe more than we do as Sean and Kelly, much to the delight of our parents.

Sean: Chloe, pleath path the thalt.

Kelly: (scowling) I'm setting up a hard perimeter around the dinner table right now.

Sean: Chloe, how come you didn't tell me you were having thpaghetti? I thought we were friendth.

Kelly: Shut up, Edgar.

When Edgar died in a nerve gas attack on CTU, Mom and Dad thought the Edgar and Chloe fun was over. That is, until I began leaving messages on their answering machine as Edgar, calling from Heaven to discuss Thaint Peter and thecret identities at the pearly gateth.

I know Cassie took Edgar's death a little hard. In fact, when Audrey looked to be bleeding to death a few weeks ago, Cassie and I had this chat:

Cassie: Audrey has to die! Edgar died! So, what, you fuck Jack, you get to live?

Sean: Usually it's the reverse, actually. Jack Bauer's cock is like the angel of death.

What I'm curious about now is how Bierko is going to look after he finally regains consciousness. Cassie has been a fan of the bad boys on 24 this season - first Spenser, the disloyal computer programmer, then Vladimir Bierko, the terrorist arms dealer. The more evil they are, the hotter, which may or may not be a trend in Cassie's real-life, real-time existence. Though she's shown a remarkable lack of interest in Christopher Henderson, I feel it is only a mattter of time before Cassie begins practicing her "First Lady Cassie Logan" signature over and over in her journal.

(Read Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4)

Thanks to my high-level Hollywood connections, I got to tour the lot at the Warner Brothers studio. I ate a Reuben at the commissary (seasoned with movie magic!), saw Will Smith walk by wearing a pink t-shirt, and secretly posted a blog entry from the studio store that triples as a Starbucks/Jamba Juice.

Studio store prices:

Citizen Kane, Special Edition - $13.60
Dukes of Hazzard, Unrated Edition - $14.35

Most exciting to many fans will be my tour of the fictional town of Stars Hollow. It's a huge set, impressive in its extensive size and variety of fake buildings. I tried to contact all of my Gilmore-loving friends to share in the magic by cell phone, but only Michele was available. I think the only way she could have been more jealous of me was if I had been visiting a habitat for tiger cubs staffed exclusively by Japanese teenagers.

Ironically, Luke's has a sign expressly forbidding the use of cell phones.

You can also go into most of the fake stores, since they shoot there and all. I felt like I didn't know enough about the show to truly appreciate sitting in the ice cream parlor, or climbing the steps of the gazebo in the town square. I tried to fake it. "Oh look! That's where Rory kissed Jess!" I'd say, pointing to a random spot on the lawn. "And that's the same place Rory and Lorelai talked about that terrible movie which Lorelai secretly liked and then they got some junk food!" I think my traveling companions were impressed.

Later I almost destroyed the Gilmores' fake mailbox by leaning on it too hard. Leaning on the boat wasn't dangerous at all; just sort of gross and splinter-y and full of filthy water.

The ER set wasn't as exciting, because it really accurately approximated a dirty urban hospital exterior. The main objection I heard from our groups was the distinct lack of Clooney in the area. There were lots of extras walking around in scrub gear, but we didn't try to holler at them. Actually, they could have been lead actors from the show - the last time I saw an episode, Ming-Na Wen was still in the cast, and still using her last name.

I saw the guy who plays Steve the reporter on The West Wing, talking on his phone outside the set. Even though he's not actually famous at all, I didn't want to bug him, so I posed for a photo about twenty-five feet in front of him, with him (hopefully) visible in the background. Unlike Will Smith, he was not wearing a pink t-shirt.

Of course, our visit would not have been complete without a visit to the set's museum, where you can see Balki's and Urkel's costumes in glass cases, though photography is strictly forbidden. They also display Charlie Sheen's "costume" from Two and a Half Men, a show that I've still never watched. I doubt this is the case, but wouldn't it be awesome if the show followed five mutants - all of them half-shark, half-man - and their crazy adventures. Combined, they'd be two-and-a-half men. I would watch that show.

There is an entire floor devoted to Harry Potter. Our group was torn as to whether the scariest thing in the museum was:

a) a highly realistic model of Vanessa Redgrave's bleeding head, complete with blinking eyes, used on an episode of Nip/Tuck, or

b) the be-scarfed guide of the Harry Potter wing, waving maniacally at visitors even when they'd fled down the stairs to escape his endless trove of Potter trivia and thinly-disguised creepy Anglo/pedo-philia.

In case anyone is wondering, the Sorting Hat placed me and Louise in Gryffindor, while Kir and G-Duck ended up in Hufflepuff.

(Read Part 1 Part 2 Part 3)

In the Zemblan tradition of cheap-shotting Central California towns, here's a look at the town of Firebaugh, California. We visited on the way down to LA, because we needed food and gas and sour Skittles. At first, the pit stop looked easy. We'd eat at their fancy sit-down restaurant, The Apricot Tree, get some gas, buy some Sour Skittles for Louise, and be on our way. But things are never that simple when you visit a town of the damned.

First, The Apricot Tree itself. The menu is separated into different sections for entrees, salads, and appetizers. My favorite section was called, "Between the Slices". In case this was unclear to the simple-minded residents of Firebaugh, a note underneath clarified, "That means sandwiches and burgers." Of course, that section also featured "Mama's Chicken Tenders (not a sandwich)".

For me, the highlight of the food selection was the Whatever Platter. Presumably, this is an appetizer assortment for slackers.
"What do you want, Jimmy? Onion rings? Fried zucchini?"
"Whatever, man."
"You eat your mozzarella sticks, and get a haircut, you little punk. And tuck in that flannel shirt!"

Ultimately, we decided that the Apricot Tree would take too long, and we fled the table, guilty about our ill-gotten ice water and fearful of the Apricot Tree's law enforcement connections. This is where our curse began. Due to indecision, poor alternative food options, and an extremely scary road full of potholes and eighteen-wheelers, that we had to cross in order to reach the Taco Bell, our lunch took far longer that the Apricot Tree would have, even with the Whatever Platter.

"Take off those headphones and eat your buffalo wings. I got you ranch dressing, you ungrateful little punk. Why don't you get a job!"

We fled Firebaugh, but somehow, I think we all knew we were fated to return. I imagined we could reverse some of our bad fortune by atoning for our water theft at the Apricot Tree. Waiting for us in the restaurant would be all of our heart's desires: Kir's forgotten shoes, G-Duck's unreadable email, G-Duck's niece (and my future bride) Anya, and for Louise, Mr. George Clooney, who we must have just missed on the WB lot.

It was too late when we got back, and the Apricot Tree had closed. Instead, we stopped at a gas station and mini-mart to collect ourselves and re-supply for the road. The town fascinated us, the town horrified us. We had to know more.

"What do you call this town?", asked G-Duck, and the counter woman told us it was Firebaugh. When he asked what Firebaugh was known for, she told G-Duck it was once a thriving town, "before the plant closed". She went on for a while about the town's woes, and I realized what Firebaugh was really known for was "bringing us down". And for having the only establishment I've seen since the late '90s that sells Pizzeria Pretzel Combos (according to Wikipedia, they're the "official cheese-filled snack of NASCAR).

No one ever busted us for the water, but perhaps the Pizzeria Combos and sour Skittles we ate were punishment enough.

the con of man

| 1 Comment

The official website for the upcoming film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code is one of the worst I've ever seen - http://www.sodarktheconofman.com. I didn't read The Da Vinci Code, so maybe that's a really crucial phrase, and anagrams about Da Vinci painting names prove the Catholic Church's sexism.

Fan #1: I'm really excited about the movie version of the book. What is it - Madonnaontherocks.com?

Fan #2: Come on, the Pope would never allow that. It's all about the con of man, dawg.

It's not as bad as my very favorite awkward movie URL, for Fear.com, which had http://feardotcom.com as its official site. To be fair, Fear.com's chilling tale of a killer website opened the door for movies about killer videotapes and killer video games - it just had an awkward URL. A truly efficient killer website would have a more concise URL. The real-life Fear.com exists "Because we think it's pretty scary that your phone records aren't private." Spooky!

It appears that neither Sony Pictures nor Random House was thwarted by domain name squatters. Thedavincicode.com is the book's official site. Thedavincicode-movie.com takes you to the official movie site, http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thedavincicode. The Con of Man site does the same thing. The marketers consciously decided the con of man was where it was at.

Here are some other options that Ron Howard & Co. may not have considered:

davincicode.net - squatted

thedavincicode.net - squatted

davincicode.org - a site selling DVDs entitled, "The Da Vinci Code Decoded", and "The Da Vinci Code: Totally Decoded".

tomhankshasamullet.com - not taken

Could the Da Vinci Code eventually surpass HTML coding, or even Cold Fusion? Not if the Catholic Church has anything to say about it.

Two Dolla Wednesday kicked off this week in Oakland, at the newly-intimate McAfee Coliseum. To reduce seating capacity and increase demand for tickets, the A's have covered the entire third deck in large green tarpaulins. It looks ridiculous. It certainly didn't seem to boost attendance for this game. The two-dollar section was packed, whereas most of the lower deck was empty. Guess the Attendance claimed there were 18,309 people at the game, which was nothing but a filthy lie. (For more, check out Baseball's War on the Cheap Seats, from Slate.) All I can say is, the Giants would have also sold ad space on the tarps.

As predicted by me, Kenny Rogers dominated the A's on the mound, and batted balls dominated Oakland third baseman Antonio Perez. It ended up being 11-4, and even that score is deceptively close. The A's didn't have a hit between the second and eighth innings. They committed four errors, and with a less generous official scorer, it could have been six. Carlos Guillen of the Tigers did his best to even things up, committing two throwing errors of his own, but it wasn't enough to keep the game competitive. A seven-run loss, seven combined errors for the team, and prominent roles for Brad Halsey, Kirk Saarloos, and Alexis Gomez mean this was far from a classic baseball contest. Still, when the game lets you down, you make your own highlights.

Non-Scalping Scalping

We had a bunch of extra tickets for this game, so I tried to sell the extras before we went in. I didn't care about turning a profit; I just wanted to make the two dollars back. However, it is strange to sell tickets for face-value in an area full of scalpers, and even stranger when that face value is only two bucks. People were instantly suspicious of such a low price, eyeing me like a wary Woody Harrelson wondering why Robert Redford invited him to play poker.

I found one motley group that bought five of my tickets, though they did not trust me at all, and only one of them spoke. I sold the last one to a lone guy, who paid me with a $50 bill. Luckily, I had $47 in change, and he was cool with that. That will be important later.

Hot Guys

"You should sell the extra seats to hot guys," suggested Cassie.

"I did...the opposite of that," I said.

Jason Kendall's Talents

Catcher Jason Kendall led off for Oakland. I told everyone he was really good at taking pitches and grounding to short (to be fair, he hit a double later). Based on his Jumbotron photo, Meli posited that he was also good at stalking. Jason Kendall has crazy eyes.


The World Baseball Classic

Mike B. attended the final round of the World Baseball Classic, and scored every game. Which game was the toughest to score? Korea-Japan, because Korea has five Lees and three Kims. In other scorecard news, the guy in front of us, who was painstakingly scoring the game, got frustrated and left in the top of the eighth, presumably crumpling his scorecard in rage as he walked out.

Milton Bradley

The A's have a new right fielder, former Dodger Milton Bradley. Bradley has one of the silliest names in sports, but it is deceptively difficult for wisecracks. That is because it requires a dorkish level of attention to the board game industry order so as not to make a mistake, and say he's got a Monopoly on craziness, or that he's among the league leaders in several important offensive Scattergories. Because those are Parker Brothers games, and even though they're both owned by Mattel, screwing this up is a sign of lazy, lazy wisecracking.

Bobby Kielty

Many Two Dolla enthusiasts are big fans of Oakland outfielder Bobby Kielty. He's especially popular among Ginger Kids, because of his pale skin and bright orange hair. Meli thinks he looks like Matt. After Kielty's throw from shallow left field didn't even reach the infield dirt, Meli concluded that Kielty also throws like Matt, which I feel is a little unfair to Matt.

John Olerud's Favorite Ballpark Snacks

Cassie: Hey, they serve ice cream in helmets here.

Sean: Yup. Those mini batting helemts are great.

Cassie: At Dodger Stadium, they serve french fries in the batting helmets, and so after you're done they're all salty and greasy.

Sean: That sucks. Because then it's gross, and you don't even want to bring it home. And then you can't balance the mini-helmet on top of your head and pretend to be a giant.


Sean: Um, not that I ever did that...

Hoisted By My Own Petard

As always, the scoreboard games at Two Dolla Wednesday were marked by heavy One Dolla gambling. I lost at the Cap Dance (we bet on left/center/right before it even starts, so we don't have to bother following the ball), and that was fine. Then, the worthless, lazy Red Dot completely choked down the stretch, and I lost another dollar. I reached into my wallet to pay off the winner, and had a horrible realization.

"Sorry, I don't have a dollar," I said. "All I have is a fifty."

Immediately, everyone turned on me, reciting my own stand-up material back to me:

"Oh, all I have is a fifty? Anyone have $49 in change?"
"Sean, did you bring any gold doubloons to the game?"
"Maybe we can bet a sack of emeralds on 'Guess the Attendance', huh, Sean?"

I was hoisted by my own, hilarious petard. And then Antonio Perez threw the ball into right field.

shameful judging in apples to apples

Apples to Apples is one of the best party games out there. If you're unfamiliar with the game, here's a summary:

There are red cards, and green cards. Red cards have the name of a person, place, thing, or event. Green cards list a characteristic of a person, place, thing, or event. Players start with seven randomly selected red cards. In each round, the "judge" draws a green card, and the other players must play the red card that they feel best fits the green card - or what they think the judge would think was best. The player who plays the winning card wins the green card. The position of judge rotates each round.

The beauty of the game is that judgments are completely subjective, though players are allowed to lobby for what they feel is the best choice. The demo on the game's official site presents a scenario where the judge had the card, "Brilliant", and had to choose between Cell phones, Vincent Van Gogh, Casablanca, Electricity as most brilliant. Ironically, the fake player "Julia" wins with the "Cell phones" card in the demo, while in real life, my friend Julia once tore up the "cell phones" card in her own game because she hated it so much.

Judging only gets uncomfortable when a particular judge decides to ham it up, making elaborate explanations of his or her choices, and taking forever to choose. The judger isn't the star of Apples to Apples; the game is. It only gets tedious when a judge has a little monologue about every single card. Read the cards, choose a winner, and move on, I say!

However, judging does occasionally present a dilemma. In my most recent game of Apples to Apples, I drew the card "Selfish". I wasn't thrilled by the cards submitted. In fact, the only one that really caught my eye was "Anne Frank".

"But Sean," you might be saying. "Anne Frank wasn't selfish! how could you choose that?"

I'll admit I picked that card mainly to be funny. But when I thought about it, the choice began to make a lot of sense. When you hear about Anne Frank, it's always, "I'm going to write in my diary." "I hope the Germans don't find me in this attic." "I don't want to die." Think about someone else occasionally, you know?

Only later did I feel guilty about my choice, or specifically, my retroactive justification of that choice. I apologize to Anne Frank, and to Jason, who played the card that really should have won that round, "Parenting".

ten billion a month

From SF Gate:

War Costs Approach $10 Billion

The war in Iraq is costing $10 billion every month. That's a one followed by 10 zeroes. It's almost impossible to comprehend, so let me give you some perspective. $10 billion a month could...

  • ...pay for an across-the-board 25% reduction in taxes for oil companies.
  • ...house, feed, and torture nearly 6 million prisoners - 7.5 million if those prisoners are in Afghanistan.
  • ...fund nearly 500,000 quail-hunting trips.
  • ...allow for 75,000 additional wiretaps.
  • ...buy over 12 million Medals of Freedom.
  • ...leave 225,000 more minority children behind.

pontius pilates

| 1 Comment

How Easter Would Have Been Different If His Name Was Pontius Pilates

As a Roman governor, Pilates believed in more precise movements, not as many repetitions, dreaming about Galateans, and emphasizing mat work.

Rome might have never succumbed to the invasions of various tribes had his superiors allowed its gladiators access to training facilities 24 hours a day.

One question he posed to the crowd was, "Shouldn't the King of the Jews have better abs?"

The newly-discovered Gospel of Judas reveals that the crucial moment in Christ's trial came when Pilates asked the asembled mob decide who had the best core strength - Barrabbas, or Jesus?

A less-famous execution that Pilates presided over was that of Billius Blancus, a Roman peasant whose small following of tae bo enthusiasts threatened the established fitness aristocracy of Judea. Cardio boxing was considered heresy two thousand years ago. Opponents also felt that the forty-shekel price of the Blancus training program would have been better-served to go to the poor and out-of-shape, rather than toward razor blades and choreographer salaries.

This Easter, I attended a brunch (titled "Christ Is Reborn Muthafuckas") which featured a screening of the Jewison-Lloyd Webber classic Jesus Christ Superstar. As always, the film spoke deeply to me.


When Jesus and Pontius Pilate have their confrontation, it's not a passion play; it's a passion-aggression play:

"Not one of you cares if I come or go."
"To keep you happy, I guess I'll flog Jesus."
"One of you will betray me. One of you will deny me. And, you know, that's fine. Nothing I can do about it now. Just go to sleep guys. See if I care."
"Go ask Herod how Jesus gets punished. I wash my hands off this whole thing."

Post-JCS Careers

According to IMDB, the actor who played King Herod, Josh Mostel, went on to star in Billy Madison, as a wrestler-turned-elementary-school-principal. More interesting is the career path of Paul Thomas, who played Peter, looking very much like a lion. JCS may have been his final job in legitimate films, as his later credits include Furburgers, The Erotic Adventures of Candy, and Swedish Erotica, Parts 1-4, 8, 11-18, 22, 25, 28-29, and 40-43.

Maybe Mary Magdalene wasn't the one Judas should have been worried about. Of course, the end sequence (which Louise described as "the Power Exchange portion of the movie") where Jesus is flogged by muscular, half-naked men, while King Herod squirms ecstatically, might have influenced Peter's later career choices.


Jesus gets really upset when the temple is turned into a bazaar early in the film. We see people selling things ranging from guns and grenades to disturbingly-green vegetables, but Christ doesn't freak out and start overturning the tables until just after someone is seen buying...a cash register. This might have been a reference to ridding the temple of "money-changers", but I think He thought it was just too meta for Him to deal with.

I used to be fascinated by the idea of bazaars growing up, possibly at the same time I was voraciously reading the Bible (age 7 or 8). (In retrospect, the Bible's focus on begetting foreshadowed my later fondess for the Lord of the Rings series and its emphasis on elven genealogy.) There was a stretch of two weeks or so when I tried to work the word "bazaar" into casual conversation:

"Mom, I was sowta thinking we could go down to the bazaaw today."
"You know, the mawket with all the goods. And gwocewies."
"Do you mean Safeway?"


If I was in Jesus Christ Superstar, I would want to play one of the priests. I'm not particular. I know Caiaphas, the low-voiced priest, is the glamour priest role, but I would also be willing to play the lispy-voiced priest. Ideally, I'd do my makeup, half as Caiaphas, half as the effeminate priest, and simply turn to the appropriate profile for each verse. In my mind, that constitutes a more permanent solution to our problem.

sean keane at 50 mason, april 21st

Fresh off the triumph that was Iron Comic III, I'll be headlining at 50 Mason this Friday, April 21st. Yes, the magical date of 4/21, which is one louder than 4/20, just in case your 4/20 celebration needed a little extra push over the cliff. You see, it goes up to 21 - that's one more than 4/20. However, be warned - 50 Mason has a liquor license, but not a snack bar. Plan your choice of funny-inducing substance accordingly.

According to the organizer, "the frothy funniness is flowing", presumably like the adult beverages now available at the bar. He says, "We finally got a liquor license." I say, "50 Mason finally stopped discriminating against the Irish."

Luckily, with great alcohol-serving power has come great price restraint, as 50 Mason has declined to add a drink minimum to the $10 admission fee. Wisely, they also have not enforced a drink maximum, which bodes well for my audience reaction and poorly for the livers of audience members. When I'm playing a club that can serve booze, I am 75% funnier and 32% more attractive. That's not just me talking there: It's science.

The show starts at 8, doors open at 7:30, meaning you can get home just in time to see who's crowned Miss USA 2006. I promise not to spoil the surprise in my act, though I reserve the right to perform wearing a tiara and/or evening gown, and to deliver an impassioned speech entitled, "What's The Deal With Putting Vaseline On Your Teeth?"

Hope to see you there. The official promotional info is after the jump:

what jesus don't know won't hurt him

Reprinted from New Wye

Today is Holy Saturday, a special day even if you don't happen to have been raised Catholic. Here's the timeline: Jesus has the Last Supper on Thursday. Friday, He's crucified. On Easter Sunday, He rises again. But what about Saturday?

Saturday was the day Jesus chilled out in the tomb. Easter was gonna be a big deal, so he rested up. That means Jesus is not around, and as I understand it, moral law is pretty much suspended that day. Do what you like. What Jesus don't know won't hurt him.

Churches seem to feel the same way. You can't get married on Holy Saturday, or have a funeral that day. It's the Pope's way of making sure everyone has the day off, and can do what they like. Even the altar in church is stripped bare, as if the vestments themselves are taking a day off. We've all left early when the boss is on vacation, so why should a tabernacle be any different?

It's important not to abuse the privilege. If your parents leave for the weekend and you throw a party, you better clean things up before they return. In the same way, make sure whatever sinful debauchery you engage in on Holy Saturday is out of your system by Sunday, or else Jesus is going to be pissed. Jesus thinks you're mature enough that he can spend one single Saturday away, so don't violate His trust and ruin it for everyone else. Even three betrayals of the Lord before the cock crows are OK - provided the betrayals don't get out of hand and stretch into early Sunday morning.

So use the Lord's name in vain, dishonor your parents, and covet everything you see today. Who's gonna say anything? But when the clock strikes twelve, your sins turn back into pumpkins, so clean up that language before it's time to hunt eggs. I'm looking at you, Simon Peter.

The A's have a scoreboard promotion that they like to do on Two Dolla Wednesday. Because BART sponsors the evening of discount baseball (it's officially known as "Double Play Wednesday"), there's one inning break where the announcer implores the crowd to stand up and wave their BART tickets, in hopes of winning an unspecified prize. It never fails to get the crowd on their feet, shaking their flimsy paper tickets like Polaroid pictures.

(What's cooler than being cool? Not waving your BART ticket in the air like a jackass. Alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright.)

The Giants have a very similar promotion, but with one subtle deviation. I feel this difference illustrates the fundamental distinction between a crowd at AT&T née Pac Bell Park and a crowd at the McAfee née Oakland Coliseum. In San Francisco, fans don't wave BART tickets; they wave VISA cards.

let's play one

I went to my first Giants game of the year today, as the Astros visited "AT&T Park". All of the signs still say "SBC Park", and all the fans still say "Pac Bell Park", so I can't get too worked up over the constant name changes. It was one thing when Candlestick Park became "3Com Park", because there was still a sense of anti-corporate indignation among the fans. No nickname has emerged for the ballpark at China Basin, and it's hard to feel righteous about using a different corporate name for the stadium. When we pay bills at work, we still use "Pacific Bell" as AT&T's vendor ID, but that's out of laziness, not protest.

The park has undergone some changes since last year. There is an extremely high-tech scoreboard along the bottom of the second deck on the third-base side. Presumably there's also one on the first-base side, but I was sitting just above where that would have been, and thus cannot confirm or deny its existence. The scoreboard was mostly used to display fancy advertisements and implore fans to make noise. Apparently Seinfeld reruns are lucrative enough to justify a permanent stadium ad. There's also a Spanish-language TV station called KTNC 42 Azteca America (which my notes incorrectly call "King 42"), which I may have never learned about without the magic of stadium advertising.

Another big change comes in right field, where the Old Navy Splash Landing has been replaced by the Levi's Landing. It's a fascinating reversal in Bay Area denim fortunes. The Fisher family, former Giants part-owners, bought a 90% stake in the A's last year. The A's in turn were once owned by the Haas family, the owners of Levi Strauss & Co. For baseball fans, the main changes are that the "Splash Hits" counter in right field is now a digital display, and the A's will be adding five additional pockets to their uniform pants.

You might notice I haven't dealt with the actual baseball on the field much. That's because the game was depressingly one-sided. Our game was actually a makeup of the rainout two nights earlier, played as part of a split doubleheader. "Split doubleheader" means the team plays two games in a row, but charges a separate admission to each game. As a result, the stands were half-empty, and so was the Giants lineup. Barry Bonds, Moises Alou, Omar Vizquel, and Mike Matheny all sat for the second game, leading to the discouraging sight of Mark Sweeney hitting cleanup. Our helpful stadium graphics informed us that Sweeney has "the third-most pinch-hits since 1974", which is kind of like being third in your class at a continuation high school. His walkup music is Prodigy's "Firestarter", a song that, coincidentally, came out the last year Sweeney was considered a prospect.

Needless to say, this was a lineup of scrubs. Steve Finley thinks he's fly and is also known as a buster. Jose Vizcaino's game is weak and he's looking like trash. After the game, I saw backup catcher Todd Greene hanging out the passenger side of his best friend's ride, trying to holler at some girls.

Scrub Giants lineup + Roy Oswalt pitching for Houston = 8-0 defeat. We really should have left in the eighth inning when Felipe Alou brought in reliever Tyler Walker, AKA "The White Flag". It got so bad that my dad admitted to missing J.T. Snow, after replacement first baseman Lance Niekro missed two easy pop-ups. Dad pining for J.T. Snow is like Paul McCartney saying he really misses Pete Best's drumming.

The game was pretty much a disaster, as was the infield grass after two days of being under a tarp. There was a tiny moral victory when a semi-rally in the ninth inning ruined Oswalt's chance at the complete-game shutout, but the reliever needed only two pitches to get the final two outs, and everyone walked out to the strains of "That's Life". My dad was disappointed by the loss, but he still doesn't think Craig Biggio's a Hall of Famer.

two dolla wednesday: the countdown

| 1 Comment

Spring is in the air. Birds are singing, the sun is shining for two hours a day, and the leather daddies in my neighborhood are taking the assless chaps out of storage. Still, it's not officially spring until the Oakland Athletics are playing baseball, and the fans are watching for just two dollars. The waiting ends next Wednesday, April 19th.

One quirk of the discount baseball plan is that not every Wednesday is a Two Dolla Wednesday. Games against the Giants, Yankees, and Red Sox are always full price, regardless of what weekday they happen to occur. This is because, unlike the A's, these teams have an actual fan base outside of the immediate area, though I like to think the refusal to give discounts is Oakland's tribute to the salary excesses of Boston and New York. A mediocre seat at the Plaza Outfield level might not be worth $14, but Jason Giambi's not worth $20 million per year either.

The second Wednesday game of the season, and first Two Dolla Wednesday, features the visiting Detroit Tigers, a team whose mascot is far more fearsome than its players. The cameraman-shoving, non-chicken-roasting Kenny Rogers takes the hill for Detroit, in a stadium where he has been nearly unbeatable. Rogers has a career record of 23-4 when he pitches in Oakland. Maybe the ugliness of the ballpark appeals to the ugliness in Kenny's soul. Or maybe it's an even deeper connection between Kenny and the McAfee Coliseum.

Kenny Rogers:

Baby, when I met you I was on the Rangers
The Oakland A's lineup was fraught with danger
When I stood on that mound, there was something going on

McAfee Coliseum:

You do something in here that I can't explain
The way you throw that changeup makes right-handers insane
Every single start, you got something going on

Kenny Rogers:

I once had a rib removed to improve my circulation

McAfee Coliseum:

If someone takes your picture, there'll be an altercation


And we ride it together, uh huh
Making A's hitters suffer, uh huh

Islands in the stream, that is what we are
23 and 4, how can we be wrong?
Sail away with me
To the West Side Club
And we rely on each other, uh huh
A jackass and a concrete structure, uh huh

Game time is 7:05, the hot dogs are a dollar, and the rendezvous point is the pedestrian ramp from BART. This could be the year for the real thing, so don't miss it.

unsexy descriptions of sex

Reprinted from New Wye

(Inspired by this Laurell K. Hamilton comment)

"Wait," he whispered, caressing her bound hands with a light touch. Pierre sensually lifted the remote control and with a dextrous yet gentle finger, unpaused the DVD of "The Lion King".

He returned to Desiree, his warm breath on her trembling neck making her loins vibrate.

Pierre hesitated before commencing with his ravishment of her. "I just have a question," he said, as Desiree strained against her bonds. "Can you feel the love tonight?"

* * *

Antonio looked across the table. Graciela stared back at him, big blue eyes brimming over with liquid eye lust.

"Did you enjoy the expensive and elegant meal?" asked Antonio.

"Yes," answered Gabriela, in a totally hot way.

"We have dessert," began Antonio, but Gabriela shushed him with just a look and a shushing gesture. What she said next totally gave Antonio a boner.

"I want your thingy," she said. "I want to touch that thingy, and look at that thingy. All of that thingy. That's what my girl-thingy wants."

Antonio swept the styrofoam cartons aside. He kissed Gabriela with his lips and tongue. "Baby, I want to, you know," he said.

"Yes," she whispered. "I do know."

Then they were totally doing sex.

* * *

Karen broke away from her passionate embrace with Stephen. "I have to ask you something," she said. "What is lembas?"

"Lembas?" he asked. "Why, it's an Elvish waybread invented by Melian, the queen of Doriath. Elves often used it for sustenance during an extended journey."

"So, why do all the girls call you that?"

Stephen blushed. "I didn't know you had heard that nickname. They call me that because I'm very satisfying, and if wrapped in magical leaves, I last a long, long time."

Karen smiled and beckoned to Stephen. He attacked her lips like Beren, son of Barahir, assaulted Angband in his attempt to snatch a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth, which was later stolen by dwarves after they sacked the fair land of Doriath.

"O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!" he cried, as he entered her. She felt as soft as the banks of the Brandywine, as rare as mithril.

"Steven," Karen gasped. "Talk Elvish to me."

He smiled. "High-Elven, or Grey-Elven?"

(Read Part 1 Part 2)

G-Duck's nephew had a bar mitzvah. The bar mitzvah had a reception. The reception had a great band. Nathan and I, we had a danceoff. Some might argue that it was more of a duet than a battle of the bands, more of a partnership than a rivalry, but I'll let you look at the photos and judge for yourself.






After the issue of setting a date for the wedding, there was another pressing question for the couple-to-be. Would they get married in a church? My parents are Catholic, but don't really attend church. The bride- and groom-to-be are much less Catholic, and never go to church. I say that opens the door for a fully-licensed, reasonably-priced minister to step in.

Thanks to the Universal Life Church, I am an ordained minister, legally empowered to perform wedding ceremonies in the state of California. Some licensed ministers officiate weddings, but I perform them. I did a wedding last year, and the happy couple is not divorced at all! Not one bit divorced! Clearly I am an excellent minister.

In a way, I feel like I have been moving toward ministerial ordination my whole life. Even before I ever heard of the Universal Life Church, I could see myself standing in front of an audience, talking and talking, forcing them to listen, and not letting them kiss until I was done talking. It's fate. I'm basically a pre-ordained minister.

But being a licensed minister is not all online registration and weddings. With minor power comes great responsibility. For example, if I say, "Bless you" after someone sneezes, it means that they are literally, legally bound for heaven. I have to watch my language so I don't accidentally consecrate excrement. I am allowed to hold a baby-naming ceremony, and I can also rename babies who already have names, if I think their existing names are ill-fitting. I get to say, "By the power vested in me", which is a phrase only available to members of the clergy and managers at the North Face Outlet.

To answer questions and eliminate confusion, here is a guide to what a licensed minister can and cannot do:

Bless us Oh Lord in these thy gifts which we are about to receive

from thy bounty through Christ our Lord

Good veggies, good meat, Good God, let's eat Yes
Performing a wedding Yes
Performing magic No
Performing black magic No
Performing at Ozzfest as Minister of War No
Naming babies Yes
Naming puppies and kittens Yes
Naming the US Presidents in order Yes
Straight marriage Yes
Gay marriages Yes
Marriages to the sea No
The marriage of a man to his fruit salad No

My older sister got engaged about a month ago. The engagement story was very sweet, as she was surprised with an engagement ring at her book club meeting. I won't go into the details, but suffice to say, it's the most romantic engagement story ever to prominently involve The Satanic Verses.

They wanted to get married in September or October, but didn't set a specific date for a while. The decision hinged on many complicated factors, including Chinese lucky days, rental availability, and the Cal home football schedule. I have my own idea for the perfect wedding date: September 11th, 2006.

It's the five-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. What better way to show how America has recovered than to celebrate the union of the Megan and Nevin, the Twin Towers of Romance? Who would be opposed to that? The Taliban?

Instead of the Mendelssohn's "Wedding March", they'll walk down the aisle to Paul McCartney's "Freedom" - Nevin dressed as a fireman, Megan as a police officer. Instead of exchanging rings, they will award each other medals. And after, "You may kiss the bride", the priest will solemnly tell the newly-wedded couple, "Let's roll!" In your face, Bin Laden!

Best of all, using September 11th would really cement their long-term future. After all, no matter how badly the marriage gets screwed up, no matter how much lying and deception comes to light, and no matter how low their approval ratings for one another might plunge, September 11th will guarantee they'll have at least seven more years in the Oval Office marital bliss.

After all, if they get divorced, it means the terrorists have won.

iron comic 3 recap


Iron Comic III was, by all accounts, a huge success. It's the first time I've done a comedy show that actually had to turn people away at the door, thanks in part to this article in the San Francisco Chronicle. We had a crowd of about 200, which probably isn't a surprise to anyone who crammed into the Make-Out Room for the big event. The very funny Nico Santos won the title. Should Nico be unable to fulfill his duties as Iron Comic, due to a cockfighting scandal or a layout in Playgirl, runner-up Brent Weinbach will inherit the crown.

Thanks to everyone who came out, especially my mom. She was sitting at the judge's table, between me and Nato's mom, and took every opportunity to lean over and tell me how she thought I was the funniest performer. Mom also shouted, "Change the subject" at Rusty Mahakian when he started talking about vaginas. Good times.

I thought the show was very high-energy, possibly because everyone was standing and the mixed drinks were extremely strong. It was also my first chance to tell my Wynton Marsalis jokes since the initial Iron Comic show. The success of that bit just goes to show that Jay Leno was right in thinking Branford Marsalis had a lot of comedic potential.

For reference, here are the secret ingredients for the Iron Comic shows to date:

Iron Comic I

1. Wynton Marsalis
2. Excuses for missing work
3. Ethnic food

Iron Comic II

1. Man-purses
2. The movies of Shirley Temple
3. New Mexico

Iron Comic III

1. Suspenders
2. Cockfighting
3. Republicans in San Francisco

One downside of a topic like "cockfighting" is that you end up with five comedians telling penis jokes. Ideally, you don't want a topic that's funny in its own right. I would even venture that the funniest semi-improvised jokes come when the topics are bland, or seem impossible. The audience really expects nothing when the topic is Wynton Marsalis, so if an Iron Contestant says anything beyond, "Who the fuck is Wynton Marsalis?" or "This topic sucks", you're already gambling with house money. House comedy money.

If I ever were to feature at an Iron Comic show again, I would do more material from my Iron Comic appearance. In addition, I think it would be great if the feature comics (who perform while the Iron Comics are frantically writing for the next round) threw in at least one quick joke about the previous ingredients. I didn't think of this until I was stepping off stage, of course. Therefore, in the spirit of Iron Comedy, I now present some jokes about suspenders.


Not a lot of people wear suspenders these days. One group that does is the Amish. I never understood why the Amish were so big on suspenders, because to me, a pair of suspenders seems infinitely more high-tech than a belt. What's up with that, Mennonites?

I think the biggest advocates of suspenders would have to be kids with abusive dads. Getting whacked with a belt, that's a terrifying thing. But with suspenders, they're just so boingy. I think it would really frustrate an angry dad, as no matter how hard he winds up, the resulting impact is a big elastic "Sproing!" (This is where I would pantomine, hilariously, the ineffectual suspender beating.) And you know some dads would still try to act all scary about it. "Second time you missed curfew this week. Looks like you're gonna get suspended, young man. If it happens again, I'm getting out the buttonhook."

Suspenders also come in handy if you are a cartoon character who loses all your money during the Great Depression, because that wooden barrel you're wearing instead of clothes is not going to stay up with a belt, no matter how tight it is.


(Read Part 1)

Saturday night, our traveling party went from four to three, as my man G-Duck was obligated to attend Friday evening religious services. Suddenly, the boys club was no more. I had to stop spitting, cussing, fighting and fussing, for the ladies had the majority in the car. How would the new dynamic work, we all wondered.

A test came as we were discussing the previous night's karaoke outing. A girl at the bar did a phenomenally awful rendition of Weezer's "Beverly Hills". First of all, that song is not difficult; it's all talk-singing, Rex Harrison by way of Rivers Cuomo. You should be able to karaoke-talk your way though "Beverly Hills".

Performance issues aside, the song choice seemed questionable. Can you sing a song about Beverly Hills in a karaoke bar in Century City? Beverly Hills is only a few miles away. It reminded me of wearing a band's t-shirt to their concert. If she wasn't repping her hometown, then the ambition it represents is far too minor. "That's where I want to be" = One town over. I couldn't see myself ever singing an anthem about Danville or Blackhawk, let alone Millbrae. She could ahve at least sung "Santa Monica", or that other Everclear song about having a black girlfriend.

Those might be the same song., I dunno.

Regardless of Karaoke Girl's questionable choices, I found her strangely endearing. I told Louise, "I think it's because she had such great boots."

Louise, perhaps expecting my conversation to become more boorish and sexualized without the check of an older alpha male figure in the car, thought I was about to say I liked Karaoke Girl's boobs. Instead, with the addition of one extra letter, "boots" instead of "boobs", my comment went from being the crassest heterosexual comment possible to the gayest comment possible.

Louise and Kir relaxed. We continued driving through West Hollywood, in search of a store that had an inexpensive pair of black heels and just the right shade of MAC foundation makeup, and right then, everything felt perfect.

notreknip reezew

| 1 Comment

Cassie has a Weezer CD, one which combines Pinkerton and the self-titled "Blue" album. (RIAA, please do not arrest Cassie.) The quirk of this CD is that the songs ended up on the CD in reverse order, from "Butterfly" to "My Name is Jonas".

What I like about Cassie's CD is the different story you get listening to the music combined, and in reverse. Rivers Cuomo drops out of Harvard, his left leg shortens, he falls out of love with a lesbian and gets really interested in sex again. The Peter Criss posters remain in the garage in this reverse combo record, but Rivers keeps his head in the sand, so the half-Japanese girl takes bacon back to the grocery store where she got it. And, best of all, Rivers urges listeners to hold a pair of knitting needles in their hands, slowly walk towards him, and knit together the unraveled threads of a sweater.

As we left the LAX Hilton, on our way to Century City for dinner, I experienced an odd sense of familiarity. I hadn't been to Los Angeles in years, aside from driving through, en route to San Diego. Still, the false sense of recognition was quite strong, because the prominence of Los Angeles in pop culture, and specifically because I have seen Troop Beverly Hills fifteen times. Those Culver City Red Feathers are so darn smug!

Due to poor directions and poorer navigation skills, we made it all the way to Watts before heading north. At the same time we turned onto the 110, Dre and 2Pac's "California Love" came up on our mix CD. It got me thinking: Where would the rap world be if Compton was not actually a city, but rather an unincorporated territory?

Fuck Tha LA County Sheriff's Department, N.W.A.

Ice Cube will swarm
On any muthafucka in a blue uniform
Just cuz I'm from an unincorporated territory
Municipal government ain't got jurisdiction over me

Nothin But A G Thang, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg

So Dre
(What up, Dogg?)
Gotta give 'em what they want
(What's that, G?)
We gotta break em off somethin'
(Hell yeah!)
Like services equivalent to those provided by an incorporated municipality
(Minor Civil Division of Compton!)

California Love, 2Pac & Dr. Dre

In the citaaay of L.A.
In the citaaay of good ol' Watts
In the census-designated plaaaace, the census-designated plaaaace of Compton
We keep it rockin
We keep it rockin

Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good
Don't try to annex this shit, muthafucuka

UPDATE: Louise has an excellent recap of the trip up, along with an extremely handsome photo from Stars Hollow.


I am back from a harrowing-yet-magical, exhausting-yet-entertaining, trafficky-yet-trafficky trip to the City of Angels. Many thanks to the wonderful guest bloggers and their excellent guest blogs in my absence. I will be addressing some of the bar mitzvah-related questions in the near future, and now that I'm back near my muse, the blogging should flow like traffic on the 210.

In honor of my return to San Francisco and the end of a vacation that saw me average roughly seven hours a day in the car, I thought I'd give an update to how things are going in the world of public transportation, specifically the graffiti in the Castro Street MUNI station.

I usually enjoy the graffiti, though I don't necessarily care about the drawings. I like graffiti that is the equivalent of sarcastic comments made at the back of a classroom, like drawing a mustache on The Rock's movie poster image. The exchange I saw this morning stood out, both for its homophobia and wit.

The advertisement for HIV research features an interracial gay couple holding hands. Next to the picture, someone scrawled "FAGETS", with an arrow pointing to the guys, in case any commuters were confused and thought they meant the phone number and email address were gay.

Underneath, a second, wittier graffitist has scrawled, "BIGGOTS", with an arrow pointing to the first message. You got served, homophobic guy with a sharpie!

Light Flame

| 3 Comments | 1 TrackBack

While trying to decide what to post here in Sean’s absence, I started reading through the list of posts on his computer in draft form. I found the following truly stellar work of poetry and thought I, living as I do with him, would be best suited to annotate it for you.

1 I was the shadow of the moon in rain
  falling gently against the windowpane
  I was the running of rivulets—and I
  Drained on, fell on, in the moonpooled light.
5 And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
  Myself, my pen, my post-its on a crate;
  Penetrating the night, I’d write reviews
  of events sporting and old emcee blues
  until at last I find my hidden muse

Lines 1-4: I was the shadow of the moon in rain, etc.

The image in the opening lines evidently refers to rain running in miniature rivers down a plate of glass. During the last six months of his life, I have been privileged enough to note this phenomenon on numerous occasions on Sean’s very window, since his window is visible from mine. Through this very window I have sometimes glimpsed him writing until the wee small hours of the morning, perchance dozing on the keyboard between drafts.

Line 6: post-its on a crate

An allusion to his creative process, no doubt. To those of you who have long known the Sean Keane, as I have, it will not come as a surprise that he composes most of his highly comedic prose on post-it notes he carried in his wallet or pockets. Lately, he told me, he has made the switch to small wire-bound notebooks, and once while strolling genially to the corner store for his favorite spirits, he swore to me he would never go back. The crate is a reference to his near complete dearth of storage for said post-its. I said once while lingering in his doorway that I had some extra filing crates he might use, and he gladly accepted. His mention of them here is clearly a reference to the great depth of our friendship. Also in his room, Sean has several other exciting articles of furniture. There are, of course, the two bookshelves, filled with only the most exceptional works of the 20th century. In the corner stands a dresser filled with his most personal effects, a sanctuary one might never violate. There is also a rather large, soft bed, covered completely in flannel and smelling of the freshest spring day (Oh to breathe such a scent daily!). In the corner is his most inviolate refuge: the writing desk. Sitting here it is apparent what spark of brilliance must ignite all his writing, inspiration from the surroundings being deficient as it is.

Line 9: until at last I find my hidden muse

Clearly the use of the word ‘hidden’ here is for poetic meter. It could also be to create a sense of mystery and drama, however he cannot truly have found any difficulty in finding his muse. He has long known my willingness to go to any length to animate his gift. What greater pleasure could there be than to arouse the sleeping giant of his talent. When he returns, he shall not be disappointed by my performance in stewardship of this blog. Indeed, he shall return to find me here—admiring, protecting, and waiting.

Wu Who?


When Sean asked if I'd be interested in guest blogging on Zembla this weekend, I jumped at the chance. It's a ballsy move on his part, bringing on an unknown, younger female writer from a competing network. Perhaps that's why he scheduled my spot in between those of Michele and Christine, two more experienced in-house writers. I'm like the fledgling show that gets the 8:30 time slot in NBC's Must See TV lineup; I'm The Single Guy to Michele's Friends and Christine's Seinfeld. You may have heard my name thrown around Zembla before, but you don't really know what I'm about, if I'm going to be very funny, or if I have any hot co-stars. Or perhaps you've caught brief glimpses of some of my guest appearances in the Cementhorizon photo gallery, but you didn't know who I was, or you thought I was somebody else. Usually, I try to correct these mistakes, but every once in a while I'll choose to let it go, either because the conversation becomes too complicated, or because I realize that my life-as-imagined-by-others is much more exciting than my actual life. Take the following two conversations as examples:

At Work
Cassie: (on phone) Good morning, sir. This is Cassie Wu from the auction gallery, and I just wanted to let you know about one of the paintings in our upcoming sale.
Customer: Hi Kathy, thanks for calling. I actually wanted to talk to you about some paintings I was thinking of selling.
Cassie: Oh, I think you might have me confused with Kathy Wong, our Fine Art Coordinator.
Customer: I thought you said you were Kathy?
Cassie: No, I'm Cassie.
Customer: (pause) You're not the Asian one?
Cassie: (pause) Well, um, I am Asian, but I'm not Kathy.
Cassie: Sorry, I mean, there are two of us here named Kathy. I'm the Kathy that's in charge of marketing. You want to speak to the Kathy who's in charge of the fine art. It gets a little confusing.
Customer: So, you're not the young Chinese-American one? From Berkeley? Who studied Art History?
Cassie: (pause) No. No, I'm not.
At Sean's House
Man at Party: Right, I remember now! You're Mark's girlfriend!
Cassie: No...we just know each other from CalSO.
MaP: Oh, ok. Wait, wait, I got it. You live with Dave D.!
Cassie: Yes! That's me! Except we actually don't live together anymore.
MaP: (uncomfortable) Oh, I'm sorry... I didn't know...
Cassie: Oh, no no! It wasn't like that! No, we were just roommates. I mean, apartment-mates.
MaP: Ah, ok. So wait, you're Sean's girlfriend, then, right?
Cassie: No.
MaP: But I saw you two disappear into his room earlier.
Cassie: Oh, well, we were just talking about books.
MaP: That's all?
Cassie: Well, I guess not... I think we might have gotten started on March Madness...
MaP: (throws up hands) Hey, hey, that's ok if you don't want to admit anything... I gotcha. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.
Cassie: Wha-- No, no, it's not like tha--
MaP: It's cool, it's cool! Hell, if I were getting laid, I'd tell the whole world!
Cassie: Heh. Ok. Yeah. Wait, I mean, yeah!!! Of course I'm getting laid!

As you can see, my pride, along with a strong desire to avoid awkward conversations, does nothing to help clear the confusion surrounding my identity. Unfortunately, I fear the blog execs at Zembla will pre-empt me next weekend in favor of an Iron Comic recap, so it's unlikely that I'll get enough airtime to really set the record straight. Unless somebody else decides to pick me up, if you catch my drift, gentlemen. Or ladies. But that plot point won't be explored until Season 2, at the earliest. Until then, please stay tuned for Zembla's last guest blog post of the weekend, brought to you by Christine. Don't touch that mouse!

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

About This Site

Sean Keane on Tumblr

Sean Keane Comedy Dot Com
Short posts, better name-branding

Backup Blog

Friends and Associates

San Francisco Comedy

Fine Sporting Websites

Local Bands


Sean Keane's Internet Famousness

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2006 is the previous archive.

May 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04