Sunday, December 31, 2006

January 1st will mark the 118th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. I only live about 3 blocks off the parade route, so this time of year, things start to become really annoying around here. Usually, when I see RVs parked on the street like this, I assume someone is just shooting on location. But campers like these start lining nearby streets an entire week before the parade.

Likewise, risers start showing up as early as Thanksgiving weekend on every open piece of land along Colorado Blvd., so that the owners of the land can net some money off selling tickets to people who would like to have an unobstructed view of the parade.

Additionally, most businesses along the parade route begin chaining and boarding up the fronts of their buildings so that a) people won’t climb up on their property to get a better view, fall and break a neck, and then sue, and b) so that people don’t break in the front windows to steal things.

On the up side, there are Port-a-potties all over Pasadena right now, so you can pretty much relieve yourself on any given street corner.

I went and saw The Departed at the Laemmle’s up the street yesterday. I was too busy working 80 hours a week when it first hit the theatres, so I just finally got around to seeing it. I have nothing but good things to say about it. Scorcese is a great director, and the acting and story telling were superb. I always like Leonardo DiCaprio. I think he’s a very underrated actor who has done a great job of picking good roles for himself over the year. I even liked Matt Damon, who usually sort of makes my skin crawl. It was also good to see Alec Baldwin in a strong role where he didn’t look like a swollen doughnut for once. And Jack...well, as usual, Jack was fantastic. If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend it.

In honor of the New Year, the song of the day is Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne.” It comes from his 1981 album The Innocent Age, and is one of my favorite songs from this time of the year. The lyrics are autobiographical and tell the story of how he went to the grocery store one Christmas Eve and ran into a high school sweetheart. They grabbed a 6-pack and went to his car where they sat in the rain and talked about how their lives turned out. I’ve never much been into Fogelberg’s music, but this song has always struck a chord with me. I hope you all have a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

I finally took some time and went to Chinatown today. I’d been wanting to go on the walking tour drawn out on the Chinatown website (see the History section), and finally had the time. I caught the Gold Line up the street from my house (Slowest. Train. Ever.) and rode into downtown, exiting at the Chinatown station. This is actually a great way to get into downtown since you don’t have to park, and Chinatown is right there within a block.

I walked down to the Central Plaza on Broadway and looked in the curio shops. I bought a new 2007 calendar with a Boar on it. Apparently 2007 is the Year of the Boar. I should have known. I was born in 1971, also a Year of the Boar, so this should be a good year for me. Things have actually been looking up since July of this year when I shed 155 lbs. in the form of my ex-boyfriend. Since then, a lot of good things have happened, including a big promotion which takes effect right after the New Year.

I then wandered down Broadway further to the 700 block and the home of the Saigon Market. I had no idea the market was there. When I entered it and headed down the recesses of the dark alley lined with shops, I was reminded of some of the markets I had visited last summer in Hong Kong. Then I realized there was no one haranguing me to buy anything, it wasn’t nearly as crowded, and the street didn’t reek of Chinese food. I thought it was only one alley, but as I ventured further, I found that it branched out into many alleys and stalls, most selling inexpensive clothes and cheap Chinese trinkets. I was disappointed to see some of the things I had bought in China as “unique” souvenirs were readily available right there in Chinatown.

The only thing I purchased in the market was one of the things I also purchased on the street in Hong Kong, and that was a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars. I’ve always loved these shoes, but since I remember being able to buy them for $15 in the 80s, I have a really hard time shelling out the $40 they regularly go for now. In Hong Kong, I was able to buy a pair for about $13 US dollars. They were $28 in Chinatown Los Angeles, still a pretty good deal.

I watched the DVD of “Miami Vice” this evening and found it rather enjoyable. I knew I’d like it when I heard Michael Mann himself was making it. It’s generally hard for someone to fuck up his own creation (unless that person is George Lucas). It was dark, gritty, and had a good soundtrack, including a remake of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” which was a nice touch. The best thing about this film was Jamie Foxx as Rico Tubbs. He’s such a better actor than Philip Michael Thomas. Colin Farrell did a formidable job as Detective Sonny Crockett, but here’s the thing. When Miami Vice was on TV, I was 13 and just hitting puberty, and when I saw Don Johnson in that role, it was the first time I understood what the phrase “sexy” meant. Johnson absolutely dripped sexiness. Farrell was good, but he wasn’t THAT good.

The song for today is “I’m An Adult Now” by The Pursuit of Happiness off their 1988 album Love Junk. I don’t remember any other songs that they did, but this one really stuck with me. I was 17-years-old when it came out, and absolutely couldn’t wait to be done with high school and be on with my life. This song is about the irony of growing older and finding yourself as an adult, at that point when you look at people younger than you and think to yourself (as I often do now), “What the hell is that kid wearing?” The lyrics speak for themselves:

Well, I don't hate my parents
I don't get drunk just to spite 'em

I've got my own reasons to drink now

I think I'll call my dad up and invite him

I can sleep in 'til noon anytime I want

Though there's not many days that I do

Gotta get up and take on that world

When you're an adult it's no cliche, it's the truth

'Cause I'm an adult now

I'm an adult now

I've got the problems of an adult

On my head and on my shoulders

I'm an adult now

Well I don't even look at young girls anymore

People will think I'm some kind of pervert

Adult sex is either boring or dirty

Young people they can get away with murder

I don't write songs about girls anymore

I have to write songs about women

No more boy meets girl boy loses girl

More like man tries to understand what the hell went wrong

'Cause I'm an adult now

I'm an adult now

I've got the problems of an adult

On my head and my libido

I'm an adult now

I can't take any more illicit drugs

I can't afford any artificial joy

I'd sure look like a fool lying dead in a ditch somewhere

With a mind full of chemicals like some cheese-eating high school boy

'Cause I'm an adult now

I'm an adult now

I've got the problems of an adult

On my head and on my shoulders

I'm an adult now

Sometimes my head hurts and sometimes my stomach hurts

And I guess that it won't be long

'Til I'm sitting in a room with a bunch of people whose necks and backs are aching

Whose sight and hearing's failing who just can't seem to get it up

Speaking of hearing, I can't take too much loud music

I mean I like to play it, but I sure don't like the racket

Noise, but I can't hear anything

Just guitars screaming, screaming, screaming

Some guy screaming in a leather jacket


'Cause I'm an adult now

I'm an adult now

I've got the problems of an adult

On my head and on my shoulders

I'm an adult now

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I never thought I would be the person to be saying this, but I've been looking forward to having a narcotics free day, and it finally arrived yesterday. I was able to get through a complete day and night without having to take any kind of pain killer. Not that I'm still not in any pain - my throat is still very sore, and god forbid I have to sneeze or yawn. Those both hurt. But at least I can have a clear head about it.

I went and saw the movie "We Are Marshall" yesterday. I liked it. I thought Matthew McConaughey was really good in it, as was Matthew Fox. (Although, between this movie, "Lost" and "Party of Five" I've never seen a guy cry more than Matthew Fox. If you're doing a film and you need an actor who can turn on the waterworks at will, this is your guy.) For those of you unfamiliar with the film, it retells the true story of the football program at Marshall University as they try to rebuild after a tragic plane crash kills all but 4 of its varsity players. The movie definitely pulls at your heart strings, as most sports movies do. I'm always a sucker for them, this one included, and I don't even like football.

For those of you who don't know, the television show I'm working on is extremely behind schedule. We had a bunch of reshoots early in the season, and we're now about 20 days behind. If you work in episodic television, you know that's a lot. We're working more weekends than not, and are still hardly able to finish shows, get them onlined and mixed, before they get on the air. And right before the Christmas break, I heard the network had asked us to do two more episodes this season, for a total of 24. In the meantime, while shows like "Lost," "Heroes" and "Desperate Housewives" get to enjoy the new so-called "mid season hiatus," we're totally behind and get no break whatsoever. I shouldn't be complaining. Two extra episodes this season means I should get another 3-4 weeks of work. But still. We're already burnt out. Wait until you see us at the end of May.

The song for the day is "Beat's So Lonely" by Charlie Sexton. This one was a bit of an underground song. You're probably more familiar with it if you were in college in the mid-80s. It came off Sexton's 1985 album Pictures For Pleasure, recorded when he was only 16 years old. Sexton, a child prodigy, went on to record many other albums, and eventually ended up playing backup in Bob Dylan's band. He also owent on to produce several albums, including one by Edie Brickell.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

This is the last week of the holiday break, and it feels like I've been sick and on the mend for months. Yesterday, for the first time, I was able to sit down and actually do some work. I have a couple of projects that I told people I would try to finish over the break, and I'd like to get them done before it's over so I don't have to worry about it in the New Year when things REALLY get busy. I've had a lot of problems motivating myself to start working on these projects, but I finally got off my ass yesterday, and it felt good to sit in front of the computer for a couple of hours and actually accomplish something.

Last night, I went to see The Good Shepard with some friends. I didn't know what the film was about before I showed up, which for me, is the best way to see a film. I enjoyed it well enough, although I thought it was WAY too long (2 hrs 40 min), and there was so much going on it was at times very hard to follow. Like I said, it was an enjoyable experience, but I'm not sure I can truly "like" a film when I had no idea what was going on for most of the first act. Today, another friend and I are going to see We Are Marshall. Hopefully, it will be much easier to follow. I don't like having to think that much when I go to the theatre.

So, my cell phone is not working. Well, the phone itself is working fine, but after having it for only 2 months, the Bluetooth is not activating. Since I paid a lot of money for the phone, I think it would be swell if ALL of it worked, so I set about trying to get it replaced or fixed yesterday. You would think since it's so new, T-Mobile would just replace it. But no. Not that simple. I had to call T-Mobile, not just go into the store. They, in turn, told me I had to contact Samsung, the manufacturer. I spent a total of about an hour on the phone with Samsung and talked to literally 5 people before I was able to arrange for repair of my phone. As they were finalizing my repair documents, the guy said, "And they told you it would be 14-21 days to get it repaired, right?" Um, no. They most certainly had not told me that. So, I had to mail my phone in yesterday, and am praying they will get it fixed and back to me in a reasonable amount of time. I think next time, I'm getting the $30 phone. I've found that no matter how much you pay for them, they're broken or obsolete within a year, so why bother paying extra for a stylish phone?

I forgot again that it's Wally Wednesday. It's hard to know what day it is when you're not working. Here he is playing in Big Bear lake to cool off after a 5 mile hike we had taken. Boy, did he smell when he got out of that lake! I had to take him back to the cabin and hose him down before letting him into the house.

The song for today is "Baby Jane" by Rod Stewart. Again, I'm not particularly a Rod Stewart fan, especially all the crap he released in the 70s. But I did like some of the stuff he released in the 80s, including this song, from his 1983 album "Body Wishes." Remember when saxaphones were cool? This is one of those songs that MADE them cool, with the great riff at the beginning of the song. Stewart sings on this piece with energy and emotion. This is no "Maggie May." And you've got to see the video. It is so completely 80s, from the hot pinks to the makeup, to Rod's big blue sports jacket with shoulder pads. Here it is:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm on puppy patrol again today, so I don't have too much time to write. I would like to say that I DID have a great Christmas. Even though I live by myself and have no family here in Los Anegeles, I'm lucky enough to live in a place where my neighbors are all pretty good friends. I went to a neighbor's for breakfast, then spent some time in the afternoon at the dog park with Wally and some other friends who have a Great Dane. There were a TON of people at the dog park! I guess everyone was working off that Christmas dinner! And then in the evening, I spent more time at the same neighbor's house having dinner. Rather, THEY were having dinner, and I had some mashed potatoes.

I thought I'd share an interesting movie I saw the other day on DVD. I picked it up on a whim at the video store because it was about hockey, and as it turns out, it wasn't too bad. It's called "Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story." It's a film about Wayne Gretzky's dad who had a stroke in 1993 when Wayne was already a hockey phenom playing in the NHL. After the stroke, Walter, who had taught Wayne everything he knew, could barely remember who Wayne even was, let alone who he was in the world of hockey. The movie is a big sophomoric, and sort of plays like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie, but I found it interesting and touching nonetheless. If you're interested in hockey at all, or in seeing how someone recovers from a debilitating stroke (Hey! Who ISN'T interested in THAT?) you should get out and rent this movie.

The song for today is "Your Love" by The Outfield. I really liked this band when they came out. They had a distinctive sound that I didn't hear much in the states at the time. They had a couple of hit songs, like this one, off their 1985 album Play Deep. I saw them open for Journey in a huge arena venue, and they put on a really good show. I especially liked them because their guitar riffs were simple and my band was able to play this song, along with some of their others, though we had to bring the songs down like 2 steps so someone could hit the vocals. I saw them play at a big 80s concert several years ago, and it was interesting. They still had their main two frontmen, Tony Lewis and John Spinks. But it was a little odd in that lead singer Tony Lewis, has totally gone in the reggae direction and now has big long dreadlocks and wears reggae colors all the time. (Did I mention he's a little white british guy?) At any rate, this is a great song and a good album, and if you're not familiar with the band, you should check them out.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to everyone from myself and Wally! We hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season this year.

I had a reader suggest yesterday that I make a list of the top 5 books I have read in the past 2 years. I’ve always had a hard time making lists of favorite anythings, including songs, books, movies, etc. Everything I enjoy is just so good in its own way. So, it would be hard for me to make the list he suggested. However, I have tried to make a list of Top 5 Books From Recent Memory, and here they are, in no particular order:

On Gold Mountain by Lisa See. This book is part memoir, part family history and tells the story of See’s family from its beginnings in China to its success in the import/export business of Los Angeles. It gives a great picture of live in China at the beginning of the 20th century, and helped me to understand the trend at that time for men to leave their families (as my grandfather did) to seek their fortune on the Gold Mountain (America). This book is particularly interesting if you have ever been curious about the early days of Los Angeles’ China Town, and how it grew into the community it is today.

Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I’ll make the point right now that I generally read these books long before anyone ever gets the idea to turn them into movies. If you’re lucky, you read the book LONG before the film came out, and you aren’t so disappointed by what finally manifests on the silver screen. I absolutely loved Dan Brown’s book. I’m totally taken by the suggestions of corruption in the Catholic church that would suppress knowledge of certain information from the world at large when it comes to Jesus Christ. I also enjoy Brown’s character, Dr. Robert Langdon (though I probably wouldn’t have cast Tom Hanks). If you have any interest in the idea of the Holy Grail and ideas you may not have thought of when it comes to Christianity, I highly recommend this book. (In case you’re one of the 2% of people who still haven’t read it or seen the movie).

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I’ve always been a great fan of time travel stories, and this is by far one of the most original ones I have ever read. I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t read it because it’s a great story. It’s about a guy who spontaneously travels through time at random moments and with no warning, only to show up within the span of his own life at some other time. He meets a girl at several different ages in both hers and his lifes, and they fall in love. If you haven’t, you should read it. And do it BEFORE they shoot the film.

The Pleasure Of My Company by Steve Martin. I thoroughly enjoyed Martin’s earlier literary work, Shop Girl, but enjoyed Pleasure so much more. It is the story of Daniel, the narrator, a young man living within the constraints of a severely obsessive compulsive life. He can only cross the street under certain circumstances, and he must have a set amount of watts shining in his house, no matter what the combination of bulbs. Daniel is a very endearing character, and it’s amazing to see how he deals with his life, and the social interactions he stumbles into. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before someone buys the rights to make this into a movie.

Out by Natsuo Kirino. I believe this is an English translation of Kirino’s work as a popular suspense writer in Japan. It centers around 4 women who work in a food factory and lead pretty dull lives. That is, until one of them inadvertently kills her husband, and the others help her to cover it up. It changes the ideas most people have about what life is like in Japan, and is an interesting window into another culture.

Because it's Christmas, I'll break out of the 80s mold for the song of the day and go with my favorite Christmas song. It's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band. I have always loved this song, despite the fact that Yoko Ono sings on it. As far as I can tell, the song was released in 1969. There's not much I can say about this song, other than I've always loved it. And you have all heard it, and either love it or hate it yourselves.

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun

The near and the dear one

The old and the young

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white

For yellow and red ones

Let's stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done

Another year over

And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one

The old and the young

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

War is over over
If you want it

War is over


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yesterday, I finished reading Amy Tan’s novel “Saving Fish From Drowing.” The book tells the story of 12 Americans on vacation in Burma who are hijacked by local tribesmen. The story is narrated by a friend of the 12 travelers, who organized the trip but died suddenly right before they embarked. It’s a fun story, and explains much detail of the human rights violations in Burma. I found it both entertaining and educational, as I really didn’t know anything about Burma before I opened this book up.

I’ve read several of Tan’s books, and in the last year, this is perhaps the 6th novel I’ve read that’s dealt with Chinese-American history and society. I started getting interested in this a couple of years ago when I began to try to research the geneaology and history of my grandfather, a Chinaman who came to the United States in 1921, leaving behind a family in China to start anew in America. My web site is seriously under construction, but you can read more about this here. I even took my mother to China last summer so that she could see the area her father came from. It was an interesting trip, and luckily, we were NOT hijacked as were the travelers in Tan’s novel. Here's a photo of my mom and I in front of our family temple in Shawan:

Oh. My. God. As I was writing this, I sneezed for the first time since my surgery. My eyes are still tearing. Christ! I’m glad that didn’t happen a week ago!

I wonder how many of you (who are not from Down Under) will recognize the song for the day. It’s called “Solid Rock (Sacred Ground)” by the band Goanna. It comes from their 1982 album entitled Spirit Of Place. The sound of the music is decidedly Australian, from its didgeridoo open to its discussion of Aboriginal rights. To be honest, I have no idea how I know this song. I think one of my older sisters must have been playing it, as I neither remember hearing it on the radio or seeing it on MTV. I couldn’t even find the single on iTunes, and I have no idea how much success this band had outside of the States. If you’re interested, check out frontman Shane Howard’s web site. And if you’re curious to see if you remember the song, here’s the video:

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I must be going completely puppy crazy, it's hard not to when the puppy looks like this! Here are a couple of photos my neighbor took the other day when I was playing with Stryder out in the driveway.
I felt so decent yesterday that I was actually able to eat some regular food, so I made myself a German Pancake for dinner. Alright...not your usual dinner fare, but when you're sick, I think it's totally acceptable. For those of you who haven't had one, they are really good. You can serve them with fruit, but I like to drizzle mine with lemon juice and powdered sugar and top with syrup.

I have a small pile of presents sitting on my kitchen table from some relatives back home in the Northwest. Since I'm single this year, I'm not really doing Christmas, per se. No tree, no lights, etc. At any rate, I got these presents in the mail about a week ago and they're just sitting here, begging to be opened. If I was in my early 20s, I would have opened them when I got them in the mail and not said anything about it until Christmas day. It's not like anyone would KNOW, right? Unfortunately, now I have a bit more of a conscience. Plus, Wally would give me the guilty stare and make me feel it.

The song for today is "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2. It comes off their 1983 release War. I loved everything about U2 when I first saw them on MTV in the early 80s. They were cool looking, they were full of angst, they were Irish...what's not to like? Who did't wish they could be Bono marching out on stage waving a flag as he sang this song? One thing I will tell you - I never would have foreseen U2 to have the staying power they've had, or that Bono would still be so politically involved in everything (I love the guy, but I wish sometimes he'd just shut it and be a rock star). In fact, for his efforts, he is this week reciving the honor of the British Knighthood.

Like I said, I always loved U2 - until they got to about Atchung Baby, and started playing dance music. I kind of tuned them out for several years while they did that, along with the subliminam messaging of the Zooropa videos. I only came back to appriciate them after 2000 when they reinvented themselves with All That You Can't Leave Behind - reinvented meaning they sounded like the OLD U2! I had a friend staying at a place on an island in Thailand for several weeks where they turned the power off every night and turned it back on in the morning. The way everyone knew the power was back on would be to hear "Beautiful Day" blaring up the beach. It seems like the perfect song to hear in paradise to signal that you can go get your smoothie now.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sorry for the late post. I'm on puppy watch, as my neighbor got called for jury duty today and couldn't leave young Stryder alone. It's a good thing Wally and I had the test run with Stryder yesterday...we knew everything would work out. I have to hand it to Stryder - he's the best puppy I've ever met. Even Wally was a handful, always chewing on something. You had to watch him all the time. But Stryder has been a very mellow pup, and very playful with his big uncle, Wally. Here are some photos from yesterday's get together:

I went to check in with the ENT doctor yesterday to make sure everything was going fine with my tonsil removal since the surgery. I was worried because I was still in a lot of pain, 10 days after the fact. As it turns out, the doctor says my throat looks fine and I'm right on schedule as far as getting your tonsils removed in your 30s goes. He sprayed a bunch of stuff in my throat - some novocaine to numb it, then some peroxide and such to clean it out, and had me gargle with some foul smelling stuff. It all deadened the pain for awhile, and later in the day, I felt MUCH better. In fact, I was actually able to sleep through most of the night last night, and didn't have to use the pain killers quite so often after my visit. I guess there is hope for a recovery afterall!

As you know, since I've been off work and recovering from surgery, I've been watching a ton of DVDs and TV. This morning, I watched "The Lady In The Water" by M. Night Shyamalan. I had heard nothing but bad things about this movie, and just two days ago, a friend in the industry told me he had watched it and hated it. I wish I had seen it earlier - I try to watch films before I've heard any buzz on them. I like to go in with a fresh perspective and get to make up my own mind about whether or not I liked the film. The truth is, I think people sometimes put too much thought into it. I know it sounds kind of basic and naive, especially for someone who works in the business, but for me, I can only rate a movie on whether I liked it or not, whether it moved me or not. I don't try to read into them for symbolism, and try not to have opinions on the directing, lighting, editing, etc. In fact, I tend not to notice those things at all unless they are extraordinarily good or bad.

Granted, I may not be the best judge of films or television. I often find myself interested in TV shows that will soon get cancelled, and often like films that few people have even seen. But I have to say, in general, I sort of liked this movie. I liked the IDEA of the movie, that a small community of people could be so like minded and willing to believe in something good that they could band together to make something miraculous happen, simply based on faith. It was a pretty fantastic movie in that sense - it seems so unlikely that would happen in this world of "I didn't see anything" society. But in general, I enjoyed the film. Once I got past the fact that M. Night was in it WAY too much.

The song for today is "I'm On Fire" by Bruce Springsteen. The song came off his famous 1984 album Born In The USA. I was in the 7th grade when this album came out, and I really didn't know who Springsteen was. I had sisters who were 6 years older than me, but they weren't the Springsteen types. I wasn't one of those people who went off my nut crazy for Springsteen, but this was a great album. And after I heard this one, and learned that the guy had actually been around for awhile, I started to go backwards and listen to his older stuff. I wouldn't grow to appreciate things like the river until I was well into my 20s. "I'm On Fire" was a great ballad, very simple and emotional, and though it was short (I think about 2:30 in duration) it seemed like the perfect length for the song.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I finally got tired of watching old sitcom reruns on TV and waiting for new DVDs to come in the mail, so I went out yesterday and rented a bunch of movies to watch during the day. So far, I watched The Great New Wonderful (OK), and You, Me and Dupree (acceptable). I also bought Little Miss Wonderful, since it was one of my favorite movies of the year and I’d like to watch it again and again. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend going out and renting it. Steve Carrell is great, as usual, and does a fine job with the more dramatic role he took on in this film. Also, I thought the kids were really good in this movie, which often makes a big difference in the quality of a movie like this. Paul Dano ("Dwayne") may be someone to watch. I noticed him several years ago in a Lifetime movie and have sort of followed his career, so it’s nice to see him in something so successful.

I have another appointment to see the ENT doctor today. It’s been 10 days now, and I still am in enough pain to be on a constant dose of narcotics. I thought I would be well enough to be off the pain killers by now, and am worried that I won’t be recovered well enough by the time I have to return to work at the beginning of January. At any rate, I thought it would be a good thing to go in just to be reassured that everything is healing properly and that I have nothing to worry about.

I found a cool little application for the Macintosh on the web yesterday. It’s called Lab Tick. Have you ever been annoyed because your Powerbook or Macbook is supposed to have a backlit keypad, but the non-adjustable function doesn’t work properly, and you can hardly see your keys AT ALL when it’s dark? This little freeware application allows you to manually adjust the brightness of your key backlight. It’s one of those stupid little things that just makes your life so much easier.

I'm babysitting my neighbor's Bulldog puppy, Stryder, today, so I'm sure there will be a few photos of the cute little guy tomorrow, with his big buddy Wally.

My friend, KingsFan, mentioned yesterday in the comments section that I should be picking more obscure 80s music for the song of the day. The truth is that in the 80s, I didn't listen to much obscure music. I was in junior high for the most part, and listened to whatever I was spoon fed by the local pop station, and the only remotely obscure stuff I ever saw was because of MTV. My goal in the song for the day has never actually been to pick the most obscure thing. It has actually been to pick something I remembered for one reason or another, regardless of what it was, just because of the memory attached. The song for today is John Cougar's "Pink Houses." The song comes from his 1983 release Uh-Huh, which was BEFORE he decided to revert to his given name, Mellencamp. Mellencamp was well known for the feel-good American rock he performed, and this album is a great example of that.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yesterday was officially my 50th blog post, and I had a record of 22 unique visitors to this site, including a high of 16 return visitors! That's way more people than just my mom and dad, so if you come to the site often, especially if you're not a direct friend, let me know who you are, where you're from, and how you found the blog.

I realized last night that you can actually watch the Kings play ON TV (I usually just go to the game if I want to watch), so I tuned in to see them lose to Calgary at the Staples Center. Goalie, Cloutier, was just coming off the IR and let in two goals right away in the 1st period, giving the Kings a deficit they would never overcome. This loss came despite the two goals scored by young NHL newcomer Anze Kopitar. I tell you, with every game I watch, I see Kopitar repeatedly in the right place at the right time. I think he’s one of the guys to watch in the NHL right now.

Speaking of hockey, I have another film to recommend. It’s a documentary called The Chiefs. Remember the team with the same name in the movie Slapshot? This documentary is about the actual Chiefs, a minor league team outside Montreal. The film follows the season of 5 players as they live at the rink and get in first fight after fist fight, most of them known for being thugs. It’s an interesting look at hockey, and some players who are in their 30s, much too old to ever make it to the NHL, who just can’t let go of that hockey bug.

Once again, it’s Wally Wednesday. For our Christmas card this year, I wanted to get a photo of him chewing up one of my hockey gloves (which he has done before), and caption it along the lines of, “Santa, Wait! This isn’t what it looks like!” One pair of used gloves, half a jar of peanut butter, and about 100 photos later, I got the shot that I put on my card. Here are some that DIDN’T make the card this year.

The song for today is "Always Something There To Remind Me" by Naked Eyes. I used to really like this song, until I heard it about a gazillion times. For once, this isn't the only hit Naked Eyes had, but it's arguably their most popular. It was also a pretty classic music video, which you can see here. This song, a cover, was released on their 1983 self-titled album. I'm going to assume the LP is probably out of print and hard to get in its original form, as it was nearly impossible for me to even find the correct album art on the internet. I can't remember who did the original version of the song, though I want to say the Supremes. I once heard this was one of the most covered songs ever recorded.