The Happy Birthday of Death

I was about to go to sleep Saturday morning when I came across a VH1 documentary on Joe Pantoliano remodeling his house. I stayed up another hour to watch it. VH1 is so addictive.

I saw footage of a recent Bush rally on the news. One supporter had a sign that said "Red Sox Fan for Bush."

How dare this person appropriate my beloved team for electioneering! Was it really necessary to involve the Red Sox in the sign? Consider me a Red Sox Fan for the mutilation of this person's genitals.

Ted Nugent just told me to "vote my conscience" in a Burger King commercial. Not unless I get a prize from the Ted Shed.

<3 VH1.

I've seen commercials this year for several perverse video games based on the Vietnam War.

I can only imagine the gameplay.

Level one: help the American government install Ngo Dinh Diem as a puppet leader. Level ten: assassinate Diem when he proves to be an ineffective puppet leader.

If I remember correctly, America lost the Vietnam War. How do players beat these games? By killing a bunch of commies and then pretending what followed never happened? By returning home belatedly and becoming a crazy homeless person?

A Vietnam War shooter from a Vietcong perspective would make more sense.

My ass is waiting for your boot, Toby Keith.

Religion, Politics and the Great Pumpkin

"Who will cut the wheat?"
"Not I," said the Duck.
"Not I," said the Cat.
"Not I," said the Dog.
"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

Each year, Associated Students UCLA holds a pumpkin carving contest.

I work in the ASUCLA marketing department. Last year, we submitted the whale from Pinocchio and placed second behind Bruce from Finding Nemo. The year before that, we submitted Mike from Monsters, Inc. and placed first. They were both elaborate pumpkins. What do you expect from marketing people?

This year, no one at work seemed to care about the pumpkin carving contest. Josh brought back a pumpkin two weeks ago and it just sat in the office. We halfheartedly brainstormed ideas, but apathy prevailed.

It didn't help that Josh chose a poor pumpkin. It was size of a barrel. One side was flat and the other was parabolic. Josh said he picked said pumpkin because he thought "it would be challenging." Yeah, challenging to make stand upright.

All pumpkins had to be submitted on Friday morning. By Thursday afternoon, I assumed we weren't going to submit a pumpkin this year. I asked my boss Manny about the pumpkin carving and he said my newbie co-worker Tony and I could do it.

I'm absolutely terrible at handiwork, but I figured I'd step up and give our department something to show. Tony will help me, I thought.

Because of time, the concept was simple: one side would have a Dawn of the Dead carving and the other side would have a Shaun of the Dead carving. Pumpkin of the dead.

Tony helped me tape stencils on the pumpkin, carved a little slit and then decided that he would rather work on his Flash advert and bailed, leaving me to carve the pumpkin alone.

The flesh of the pumpkin was at least two-and-a-half inches thick. Even the longest pumpkin carving knife I had couldn't penetrate all the way through. I had to use a kitchen knife and a boxcutter to complete cuts, resulting in a loss of detail due to unclean cuts.

Meanwhile, I heard Manny (who supposedly had a ton of work to do) in his cubicle giggling with Marsha.

I grew frustrated at the uncooperative pumpkin and bitter at my unsupportive co-workers.

When I finished carving the Dawn of the Dead side of the pumpkin, it looked like crap.

—What IS that? Greg asked.

Unidentifiable crap.

I hated the carving. I hated how much I sucked at carving. I hated how hard this pumpkin was to carve. I hated how no one would help me carve it. I hated this stupid pumpkin carving contest.

And then I snapped.

Disgusted with my work, I cut my carving out of the pumpkin with the kitchen knife, creating a large hole on one side of the pumpkin. That would have been enough to end our department's contest prospects, but my unchecked emotions drove me even further.

I started whacking the pumpkin with the kitchen knife like it was jungle brush.

—You stupid…FUCKING…PUMPKIN! I hate you so…FUCKING…MUCH!

Then I dropped the knife and started ripping the pumpkin apart with my hands and throwing pieces of it all over the work table. A minute or so later, I broke down in tears.


Needless to say, Manny relieved me of my pumpkin carving duties.

After I ravaged the pumpkin, the rest of the office came together and tried to salvage what was left of my mess.

—This piece kind of looks like the Hollywood Bowl.
—We could make an Easter basket.
—What about the Rose Bowl? With little seats.

NOW you people decide to work on the pumpkin, I thought. Fuckin' A.

Demoniacally and Seraphically Drunk

Halloween round-up:
me: Purple Tentacle from Day of the Tentacle
Jon: a zombie wearing a "Vote or Die!" shirt with an "I voted!" sticker on it
Jon's brother: Superman in a wheelchair with a tube feeding him "stem cells" (pearl tea/boba)
Kevin and Allie: The Carver (from Nip/Tuck) and one of his victims
Adam Robot: Matthew Lesko

Child to 911 dispatcher: 'My daddy killed me with a butcher knife'

The Day After Tomorrow


Everybody, say it with me now.

"The Boston Red Sox haven't won the World Series since 11:40 pm EDT last night!"

—St. Louis let Scott Stapp sing "God Bless America," which probably really pissed God off.

I want to fly back to Boston for the parade on Saturday so badly. McKern's going. Lucky bastard.

—The Red Sox' gaudy, well-earned rings will be handed out in a ceremony April 11 when the 2004 World Series championship flag is raised above Fenway Park for the [2005] home opener.

—The team in the third-base dugout for that historic event? The New York Yankees.


Toasted Ravioli


One game.

I'm not used to feeling joy. My sports teams usually only lose. This is weird.

One game.

It's no longer a matter of if, but when.

"The Boston Red Sox have won the centennial World Series!"Will it be tonight? Tomorrow? Saturday? Halloween?

All I know is that I'm going to cry when it finally happens.

1918: the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series
1967: the Red Sox lose game 7 of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals
19 years later: the Red Sox lose game 7 of the World Series
18 years after that: the Red Sox win the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals

1918. 19. 18.

86 years ago: the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series
86: the number of season games the Red Sox won in 1918
1986: the last time the Red Sox appeared in the World Series
10.27.86: the Red Sox lose game 7 of the World Series
10.27.04: the Red Sox 86 the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series?

86. 86. 86. 86. 86.

I have nothing against the Cardinals. They seem like good people. They were just put in an unfortunate position.

Almost every baseball fan outside St. Louis (and New York City) wants to see the Red Sox bring a World Series championship back to Boston, and in order for that to happen, the Cardinals must lose for good. There's no way around it.

I'm sorry, Redbirds, but…

Time's up.

Post No Bills

I checked my watch. 10:45.

Shit. Class starts in 15 minutes. But I'm hungry. Fuck. Who schedules class at noon? I'll just stop by the 7-Twelve up the road.

"One Thing" by Finger Twelve played in the background as I grabbed a hot dog and a Coke and hurried out.

I walked into class a few minutes late. The professor was discussing 9/12.

Not again…

As I was walking to my car after class, two twin boys who looked like Ari and Uzi from The Royal Tenenbaums assaulted me halfheartedly with baseball bats.

The gang's all back.


I saw "Tragically, last year hundreds of children didn't wake" on an ad on the side of a Daily Bruin newsstand.

I looked closer and discovered that it was an ad for the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Program.

Cue X-Files theme.

I stumbled onto Emeril Kicks Up Halloween on Food Network.

Dressed up and in full make-up as Dracula, Emeril (with a poor Transylvanian accent) introduced himself dressed up as a mad scientist. Mad scientist Emeril had a retarded deformed hunchback sidekick. Using flasks and beakers instead of cooking equipment, mad scientist Emeril concocted a cocktail with "creepy ice cubes" and a "cherry eyeball" garnish and then laughed maniacally for about a minute. Then he "sent it back" to Dracula Emeril who informed me that after the break, Rachael Ray would show me how to make something called "Yummy Mummy."

On the Third Street Promenade, I walked by a ring of people surrounding a black street performer wearing an afro wig and a Lakers jersey. A portable stereo beside him blasted a pre-recorded tape.

This is what I heard: "[music] Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's…Supernigger!"

A few feet away, a bum screamed "CAN YOU FUCKING SEE?" repeatedly at passersby.

Before a screening of Team America, the theatre ran a trailer for the SpongeBob SquarePants movie. At one point in the trailer, SpongeBob introduces his "Patty Wagon."

When the nine-year-old boy sitting next to me heard that, he instinctively blurted out "PUSSY Wagon!"


No worries.

Still four more years left for him to suddenly and mysteriously die.

A banner hung over Bruin Walk informs me that this week is "Conservative Culture Week" at UCLA.

Tuesday is "Flag Day." Wednesday is "Cowboy Hat Day." Thursday is "Support Our Troops Day."

The statement "support our troops" is such a cheap way to garner goodwill. How can anyone disagree with it and not be considered an inhumane asshole?

It occurred to me the other day that I didn't know what Mexico's domain extension was. I don't think I've ever visited a Mexican website.

Cue X-Files theme.

The lowercase "R" is an orthodox jew

I'm not exaggerating when I say that every blogger has posted something about Ashlee Simpson's lip sync fiasco on Saturday Night Live this past week.

I've read a lot of comments that say "I hope Simpson's gaffe results in the end of her dubious career."

First of all, many pop stars have lip synched or sung over themselves on Saturday Night Live before.

Secondly, prior to her appearance on Saturday Night Live, Ashlee Simpson was already culturally irrelevant. The saturation of blogs with Simpson-related posts only serves to give her more publicity.

Negative publicity is still publicity. People started caring about Jessica Simpson only after she let cameras film her being a dumb blond. Bill O'Reilly's sex scandal actually increased the ratings of his show. Also, consider the Paris Hilton sex tape. That which did not kill her only made her (sadly) more popular.

VH1: How, exactly, is Rain Man a "movie that rocks"?

Jesse McCartney needs a good punch in the balls

I saw a half-page advert in the L.A. Weekly for this album:

Everyone, J. Yu would like you to meet J-Me!

Her full name is Jaimie Lee Hoffman, but she goes by J-Me. It's like J. Lo, only it's merely a phonetic reduction of her first name and she uses a star instead of a period because shit like that's cute. says that customers who viewed J-Me's self-titled album also viewed: This Voice by Brooke Hogan (Hulk's daughter), PYT Down With Me by PYT (Pretty Young Teens) and albums by other young female pop "stars" with similarly suspect names: Angel, Nikki Cleary, Shanti, Mikaila and Skye Sweetnam.

Apparently, I'm missing out on a thriving jailbait pop scene.

Basic economics dictate that supply meets demand. Someone must be buying these albums for them all to exist. I assume they're young girls.

When I was growing up, I would see television commercials for baby dolls that ate and peed and I couldn't picture any of my female classmates actually playing with them.

By the same token, I can't picture any young girl rockin' out to J-Me's latest single.

Young girls can't possibly be this taste deficient, can they?

Instead of cracking down on obscenity, I think the FCC should focus its efforts on shutting down Disney Channel and Radio Disney. Regardless of the nature of musical discretion in female youth, the perpetuation of bargain bin pop is more detrimental to our culture than someone saying "fuck" on air.

The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause

Enough baseball updates.

By now, thanks to the internet, pretty much everyone has seen Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire last week during which he verbally sparred with co-host Tucker Carlson.

The video rip I downloaded begins with a text introduction that says: "Dear Jon / Thank you / Love, America."

What is America thanking Jon Stewart for? Angering Tucker Carlson?

I doubt that most of the people who viewed Stewart's appearance on Crossfire had ever seen an episode of Crossfire before. The volume of downloads and streams of the clip outpaced CNN's recent ratings numbers for the actual show.

This clip is not a sensation because Jon Stewart gives TUCKER FUCKIN' CARLSON his comeuppance.


America (and all the people who sent me a link to the clip, and all the bloggers who linked it) thank Stewart for calling a belligerent conservative a "dick" on live television. Score one for liberals!

By supporting this clip, you play into the partisanship that Stewart implores the hosts of Crossfire to stop in the clip.

I believe that's called "irony."

hyspace | what do you think?

Like a Phoenix Ignition


Bucky Dent? Assholes.


Is it really happening? No… Wait until the 8th…


Remember game 6 of the '02 World Series. The Giants' 8th inning collapse. Game 6 of the '03 NLCS. 8th inning. Bartman. Game 7 of the '03 ALCS. Pedro's 8th inning nightmare. Wait until the 8th…


Goddammit, Pedro! Fuck. Here it comes…


Petey escaped. Yankees still trail 8-3. Bellhorn just homered.


"The Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series!"


When the postseason began, I wished for a Red Sox vs. Cardinals World Series, and now that it's almost a reality, I think I'd prefer to see the Red Sox face the Astros. Yankees. Clemens. World Series title drought. How sweet would it be if the Red Sox eliminated all their enemies in one fell swoop like Michael Corleone?


4:00 pm: undefeated patriots vs. undefeated jets at foxboro
8:00 pm: world series game 2 at fenway

It's a good time to be a New England sports fan.

Seven Up

Thomas Boswell in today's Washington Post:
—This time […] the weight of baseball history may finally be reversed. After all, it is the Yankees, not the "cursed" Red Sox, who have a chance for the worst October collapse in history.

When Aaron Boone hit that home run to win game 7 of last year's ALCS, I literally became catatonic.

God knows what condition I'll be in tonight at the conclusion of what Peter Gammons calls "the most anticipated game in the history of baseball."

Win one for baseball history, boys.

A totally different Hulk that we made up

Joe Buck doesn't seem human. He's like a Stepford announcer.

Also: he has a large forehead.

Pop quiz!

Is it a hairstyle of a Boston Red Sox player or Christina Aguilera?
answers: (left to right, top to bottom) 1. bosox, 2. xtina, 3. bosox, 4. bosox, 5. xtina, 6. xtina, 7. bosox

One of these things is not like the others:
a. Bob Costas
b. Greg Gumbel
c. Jeanne Zelasko

Jon frequently refers to Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez as:
a. Pedro Ramirez
b. Pedro Rodriguez
c. Pedro Hernandez
d. Pedro Gonzalez
e. all of the above

ed. note: Fuck you, Hornblower. Martinez, Ramirez, Rodriguez — they all fit behind a name like "Pedro"!

Fill in the blank:
one, two, three, _____
a. four
b. fourteen

Disintegration is the best album ever

On September 17, MTV Europe paid tribute to The Cure in London.

Hosted by lifelong Cure fan Marilyn Manson, MTV Icon: The Cure featured celebrity shout-outs and live Cure covers by fellow Cure fans AFI, Blink 182, Razorlight and The Deftones.

"Just Like Heaven" by AFI
"A Letter to Elise" by Blink 182
"Boys Don't Cry" by Razorlight
"If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" by The Deftones

The performances are surprisingly good. MTV should release them as an EP. Blink 182's cover is my favorite of the bunch, partly because Mark Hoppus is the only singer who doesn't try to sound like Robert Smith.

You can watch the performances here (Windows Media Player required).

You had me at "dicks fuck assholes"

I saw a sneak preview of Team America: World Police on Saturday.

Paramount sent audio and video crews to the Village to gather material for a national Team America television and radio ad campaign.

A cameraman videotaped a bunch of us in line screaming "Team America!" and an audio crew stuck a boom mic in my face and asked me why I chose to attend this Team America sneak preview.

—I have a buddy in Montana who's obsessed with everything Trey and Matt do, and I'm here to spite him. Adam [Robot]'s been looking forward to this film for the longest time, and the podunk he lives in sure ain't getting one of the 800 sneak preview prints. Sucka!

Paramount also hired unemployed aspiring actors (or so it seemed) to distribute Team America swag. I got Team America posters, Team America buttons, Team America ringed t-shirts, Team America bumper stickers, Team America sweat wristbands and Team America condoms. I wanted a Team America ballcap and a Team America jumpsuit (which one swag lady was wearing), but they weren't giving those away.

While waiting in line, I saw a white teenager walk by with a "Bush/Cheney '04" button on his shirt. I thought maybe the button was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but then my friend Elizabeth pointed out that he came to see the movie with his father, so he was probably an actual Bush/Cheney supporter.

the packaging for passes to the Team America premiere

Team America: World Police Hit List:

[+] all but one of the original songs and song parodies
[+] star wars references
[+] kill bill: volume one reference
[+] the "panthers"
[+] art direction
[+] graphic deaths of liberal actors (poor janeane garofalo)
[+] "dicks, pussies and assholes" monologue (instant classic)
[+] edited-down puppet sex scene (will still make prudes blush)
[+] the greatest vomiting scene in cinema history

[-] uneven
[-] squandered opportunity with michael moore puppet
[-] weak "pearl harbor/i miss you" song
[-] girls will probably not enjoy it

I should emphasize how fuckin' good the vomiting scene is. I'm talking sustained lollering. It's on par with Will Ferrell's ribbon twirling scene in Old School.

Before the screening, Paramount representatives recruited "enthusiastic" audience members to record testimonials afterward. I couldn't resist.

My mouth issued bullshit like it was carbon dioxide.

Team America is the best R-rated puppet movie of the year!
—Where do I enlist?
—I haven't seen such extraordinary wooden acting since Denise Richards in The World Is Not Enough!
—Did I like the movie? Depends…are what I need to wear the next time I see it!

In addition, a crew member fed me a line to say.

—I'm glad this movie is just a work!

Strange thing to ask me to say, I thought.

Later at dinner, I overheard a conversation at the table besides ours between two frat boy types and three sorority girl types. The two boys were discussing the alternate ending of a movie when one of the girls asked: "What's an alternate ending?"

Small World

I have never met Adam Riff™. I corresponded with him via e-mail a couple of times a few years ago, but that's the extent of our relationship. He's a friend of Seth's whose name I appropriated.

So now then.

—i met adam riff™'s mom the other day
—my sister got married
—and she was invited to the wedding
—turns out adam riff™'s mom works w/ my sister… or used to rather
—she said she's been to your website before
—she said she googled her son once
—and you were #1

—how did you two get into discussing my website?
—well… she asked about my involvement w/ the Oracle [we were both on the staff of our high school newspaper]
—and how can one talk about the Oracle and not talk about you?
—this development makes me a little uncomfortable

—she seemed nice enough
—didn't seem "easily offended" or anything

—ok ok

Making out with my brother

—What did you do for your birthday, Jon?

I turned 22

on Wednesday.

As a welcome birthday present, I got into an English seminar despite being last on the waiting list.

English 182.2: Crime

The professor wrote a book called Serial Killers: Death and Life in America's Wound Culture. When he's not teaching, he spends time in Germany.

He's not very dynamic. He speaks low and softly and as if his mouth is wired shut.


During our first session, he referenced: CSI, ER, Fear Factor, Monty Python, the movie Cellular, Robocop, Shaun of the Dead and The Terminator.

These are his required texts:
Emile Zola, Therese Raquin
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley
Philip K. Dick, "Minority Report"
Ruth Rendell, A Judgement [sic] in Stone
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
J.G. Ballard, Cocaine Nights

Our class will only meet once a week (for three hours, 20 minutes of which is break time) for nine weeks, and he's letting me skip one session to go see Green Day.

The only assignments all quarter long are two (about 7-page) papers. No midterm. No final.

Who cares if the professor's not dynamic? Can I get an "amen"?

He had no idea of the impression he was making and cared less

Chimp attends Washington University in St. Louis.

—In light of the presidential debate going on over here on Friday, a campus group is selling pink t-shirts for a dollar that read "John Kerry give Bush the pink slip." If you wear your shirt in the quad this Friday, you will get free pizza.