Drunk Driving 
Saturday, November 25, 2006, 01:31 PM
Maybe I'm just making assumptions, but this appears to be yet another reason against driving drunk. Somehow, I'm guessing that isn't why the good Rev. Al Sharpton is interested.
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Holiday Madness 
Thursday, November 23, 2006, 10:40 PM
I just returned from a delightful Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. The streets and highways, which were eerily deserted when I drove to Albany at 5:30 p.m. were packed with fellow Thanksgiving-returnees. I quickly realized that many of them were, unlike me, most likely drunk; an accident I passed in the center lane on the freeway deepened my suspicions. The toll plaza was back up clear to the split (quite a ways and significantly worse than the morning commute, for those of your not familiar with the Bay Bridge), which made me glad that I wasn't heading back to San Francisco. It took me a while to figure out why the traffic was so much heavier heading into the city, but I'm guessing that since people's homes are more expensive in SF people opted to have Thanksgiving at their East Bay friends' larger houses.

When I pulled into the shopping center parking lot behind my apartment building, the formerly empty parking stalls were now packed with cars. CompUSA, it appears, decided to kick off the holiday shopping maddness a little early; the store was packed with customers.
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For Your Consideration 
Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 06:22 PM
For Your Consideration, which I'm not even going to link to here because it's so horrible. I will never get those two hours of my life back. It's really hard to think of something that would have been less productive that watching that movie. It's a movie about a movie that has a lot of bad acting in it. Bad acting can be funny up to a point (very little of this is), but when 60% of your screen time is horrible acting, it can be difficult to salvage.

I've found that if I see a movie on the big screen, I usually enjoy it. Whether it's simply the atmosphere or the awesome picture, I'm easily seduced by movies in movie theaters. With movies going for $10 a pop, and with downloading them off the internet a very real possibility to me, Babel and For Your Consideration have really shaken my faith and my desire to attend the theater.
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New Theme 
Saturday, November 18, 2006, 03:12 PM
Yes, there is a new theme. I updated my blogging software and switched over to the "modern" theme from what I believe was called "classic" or something. The default color schemes are remarkably bland, even to my design-oblivious eye. I want a clear design that's as cool as the ones they have over on Blogger, but I don't want to give up the freedom of running my own domain.

At the time of writing there is a lot of sky blue on this page. Hopefully it will be gone by the time you read this.
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My Peers and I 
Thursday, November 16, 2006, 06:01 PM
From David Brooks' column on Borat today:
Thereís also that distinct style of young personís snobbery. Young people havenít accomplished much yet so they can only elevate themselves by endlessly celebrating their own superior sensibilities.
Actually, I find myself agreeing with him.
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Monday, November 13, 2006, 11:06 AM
I saw Babel last night with high expectations: it received good ratings on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. The cinematography was excellent, the soundtrack was moving, the dialogue was convincing, and the acting was quite decent; unfortunately none could salvage an absolutely horrible script.

Apparently someone sat down and said, what we really need is a movie with a disjointed collection of characters who we don't get the opportunity to know or care about, who have a series of horrible things happen to them. The movie was like a slow motion human train wreck. Very quickly the audience is able to figure out that every pleasant moment is only placed there so that when the writer smashes the characters' lives to pieces their pain is all the more jarring. All this havoc is wreaked through a combination of callous indifference, negligent incompetence, bureaucratic indifference, and foolish decisions on the part of the characters as well as outside forces. Nobody in the movie deserves what happens to them, and I suppose that's supposed to form some "deep though" that is part of the point of the movie. In reality, though, Babel is simply a two hour saga of human misery that tosses out some cheap commentaries regarding language barriers and global connections as if they're supposed to excuse the film for lacking anything regarding a coherent storyline.
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Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 11:06 PM
From the NYT:

Anyone out of high school forced to watch more than an hour of ďLaguna BeachĒ might possibly feel the urge to beat themselves about the head with a large stick.
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Torpedo is in the Water 
Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 02:08 PM
The launch was not as smartly executed on my part as I would have liked, but there is sufficient information for it to reach its destination.
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The Price Being Paid 
Monday, November 6, 2006, 10:48 AM
Burials at Arlington National Cemetery took on a grim regularity in October, when at least 103 American troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, the toll had reached 99 by Saturday, making October the deadliest month since January 2005.

Military officials attributed the high number of deaths to a spike in violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in late September and ended last week. They also pointed to a three-month campaign to win control of Baghdad from death squads that led to increased attacks on American troops.

But such explanations were little comfort to a 6-year-old girl weeping at the grave of her father, a mother clutching the flag from her sonís coffin, or a widow walking slowly through the rain behind her husbandís honor guard.

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Saturday, November 4, 2006, 02:42 PM
I just realized that all my links open up in a new window. I absolutely hate it when people force you to open a new window, as I always use CTRL-click to open a new tab if I want to stay at their web site. I'm not saying I'm going to go through all the old entries and change the links, but I will try and change things for future entries.
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