Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can Somebody Explain LinkedIn To Me?

Seriously, I've been accepting people on LinkedIn for years now and I don't even know what to call them. On Facebook they're my friends, on Twitter they're my followers, on MySpace they're my Ethiopian spammers... I think they're supposed to be my "connections" on LinkedIn. Maybe? That sounds too similar to a gay dating website though.

I vaguely remember signing up for it a few years ago with promises of revolutionizing my career. So far, the most interaction I've had with the website is accepting people who add me. I don't even have a photo up.

Can anybody tell me what I'm supposed to do on LinkedIn? Maybe it's too functional, and I just don't have the capacity for it. If it's not going to waste my time at work...why would I want to log on anyway?

Books You "Must" Read This Summer

I recall reading a hilarious blog about a year ago where the author took a bunch of classic novels and added quotation marks to a word or two making them ironic and funny. Every couple of months I see a post on Facebook that would warrant a re-post of this original blog, yet for the life of me I can't seem to find it.

Here is my shoddy attempt at remembering some of the funniest titles. Promise me you'll imagine an ironic eye roll or sarcastic side-eye as you read each word in quotations.

The "Great" Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Red Badge of "Courage" by Stephen Crane

Of Mice and "Men" by John Steinbeck

Pilgrim's "Progress" by John Bunyan

"Little" Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Portrait of a "Lady" by Henry James

As I Lay "Dying" by William Faulkner

Crime and "Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The "Good" Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Lady Chatterlay's "Lover" by D.H. Lawrence

"Great" Expectations by Charles Dickens

"Persuasion" by Jane Austen

"Sense" and Sensibility by Jane Austen

::also works the other way::

Sense and "Sensibility" by Jane Austen

Paradise "Lost" by John Milton

The House of "Mirth" by Edith Wharton

As You "Like" It by William Shakespeare

"Beloved" by Toni Morisson

"Common" Sense by Thomas Paine

That's it for now. There are probably hundreds more. Feel free to post your favorites below!



Friday, June 24, 2011

YEAH NEW YORK!!

Nice work today, gang.





Thursday, June 23, 2011

OVERHEARD / Dinner Plans

Just had this lovely textual exchange with a buddy of mine...

ME: "Still on for dinner tonight? What time works for you?"

BUDDY: "Whatever works for you."

ME: "Cool. I'm done with work now. What're you in the mood for?"

BUDDY: "Pussy."

ME: "Excellent. I know a fantastic Chinese place."

Zing.

SUMMER MOVIE HAIKUS / The Tree of Life


1.
Nature of Father
The duality of God
Nurture of Mother

2.
Striking images
Symbolism abundant
Kinda sparse on plot

3.
Jessica Chastain
You're in SEVEN films this year?!
Agent must work hard.

4.
Best Film of the Year
Most audiences will loathe
I happen to LOVE.

5.
One element that
Pulled me out of the film though:
C.G.I. Dinos


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LINKS TO LIKE / Robyn - "Call Your Girlfriend"



1. This song is very.*
2. That outfit looks like something my next door neighbor would've picked out for herself when she was six-years-old...and I LOVE IT!
3. I'm now trying to perfect the dance moves from 1:25 - 1:40.


*If you get that reference, then we must plan a movie night soon.

The CAPTCHA with the Pi


Dear Facebook,

I simply wanted to post a link about Jake Gyllenhaal joining Bear Grylls in Iceland* for the season premiere of Man vs. Wild on my friend's wall. All I have to say is, "WTF, FB?!"

I appreciate your new CAPTCHA system helping to ensure that fewer idiots will click virus spreading links about seeing Osama Bin Laden's dead body or watching the world's fattest baby smoke a cigarette or whatever.** However, isn't this going a little far? I'm pretty adept at producing strange letters with my keyboard. My niece's name is Zoë. That's right, Facebook. We have an umlaut in our family. Also, I sometimes like to mix up emails by throwing in a little Spanglish, "¡See you mañana!"

I'm not trying to brag. I'm merely pointing out that if any Average Joe would be prepared to crack your latest CAPTCHA, it would be me. However, since I'm neither a mathematician nor Darren Aronofsky, I have no earthly idea how to quickly produce the symbol for Pi on my keyboard. Is it possible to stick to letters in the English alphabet and simple, whole numbers...like ones that don't go on for eternity?!

Sincerely,

Will

P.S. In a quarter of the time it took me to write and proofread this blog, I Googled Pi and found out that (on a Mac system, at least) you hold down ALT and the letter p simultaneously. That magic combination of keys will produce: π.


*I've had dreams that start out with this scenario.

**Thank God the spammers haven't started "Hunger Games" related spam links. I'd fall for that shit in an instant!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Starbucks Order...and why you should care


This morning I was making eyes with a cute barista when I found myself wishing that I was one of those people who was known by name and regular order at "their" Starbucks. Truth be told, I would be one of those people if I had a Starbucks to call my own. I do order the exact same thing (in the exact same fashion) every time I go. Unfortunately, I'm always on the road between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and my routine isn't quite conducive to loyally frequenting the same location.

As I awaited my order, I pondered Starbucks culture and was hit by a lightning bolt. Everything you ever wanted to know about a person is summed up in their usual Starbucks order. For instance, I always go for the same thing: "Trenta-sized, iced, green tea, not sweetened...and a spinach wrap."

Let's break this down:

Trenta-sized: I lead with the size so that the barista knows I'm getting down to business. A person who orders a "trenta" is a "Go Big or Go Home" type of individual. Right up front they're saying, "I'm freakin' thirsty...and the only thing that can quench that thirst is 31 ounces of whatever delicious liquid I'm about to request..."

Iced*: Certain circles of Starbucks aficionadi would argue that this is a superfluous word in my order. Everyone knows that the trenta size is currently only available for iced drinks at The 'Bucks. However, I'm thorough. Sometimes I give more information than is necessary just so I know that everyone is on the same page. Ask anyone that I've been in a relationship with and they will tell you that I often tend to "overshare" my feelings. I also have a tendency to be a real dick under the banner of "just being totally honest." I allow these characters flaws to manifest themselves in the word "ICED."

Green tea: I am a Zen Master. Zen being the flavor of green tea that Starbucks uses for iced drink orders. It's far superior to their other hot green tea flavor, "China Green Tips," which I believe carries a bit of a soapy taste. While I'm on this tangent, I often wish Starbucks would offer a rice-ier green tea. Something along the lines of a genmaicha flavor.**

Not sweetened: I like a strong, bitter tea. I need full flavor to wake up my taste buds in the morning...no hiding behind a sugary pump of syrup. I'm the kinda guy who likes his whiskey neat, his salsa muy caliente, and his music cranked to eleven. When I make tea at home, I never read the "recommended steeping time." I leave the bag in until I've finished off the whole damn cup. There's nothing quite like that last gulp, which I would describe as a gang of rabid antioxidants having an orgy in your throat.

...and a Spinach Wrap: I can't maintain this svelte figure on pumpkin bread and old fashioned donuts. Clocking in at 280 calories, the Breakfast Wrap (with its spinach, egg whites, and feta cheese) is a surprisingly delicious and nutritious way to kick start a morning. Thank you very much!

So, that pretty much sums up my order. Now the trick is finding a "grande, iced Americano with a veggie, artisan breakfast sandwich" or maybe even a "tall, extra coffee caramel frap, with soy milk and no whip" with whom I can share a lifetime of happiness and jazzy music.

Meh. With my luck, my soul mate probably spends all their time at The Coffee Bean...


*Can I just spend a moment on how much I love the ice chips at Starbucks? By the time the drink is finished, they have melted down to just the right amount of thickness for a totally enjoyable ice crunching experience. That's right. I'm an ice chewer. Always have been and probably always will be. In high school a friend of mine told me that chewing ice is a sign of sexual frustration... Indeed.

**Knocking your socks off with my knowledge of green teas here!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

OVERHEARD / Afternoon Movie Plans

My friend Laurianne is on her cell phone. She said the following:

"Yeah. We're gonna go see 'Bridesmaids' this afternoon."

::Pause::

"Bridesmaids."

::Pause::

"You know...it's that movie about the bridesmaids."

Indeed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

LINKS TO LIKE / Stuck

Wow. I can't say enough good things about this short. I totally know what I'm doing the next time I get stuck in an airport...

STUCK from Joe Ayala on Vimeo.

SUMMER MOVIE HAIKUS / Bridesmaids

1.
Bridesmaids
, oh, BRIDESMAIDS!!
You are a breath of fresh air!
Laugh so hard you'll pee.

2.
It's not a sequel?!
God bless Mumolo and Wiig's
ORIGINAL script!!

3.
Hey Maya Rudolph,
You deserve an Oscar for
Shitting in the street.

4.
One minor complaint:
Less baking montages, please.
More girls having fun!

5.
Comedic Goddess
Wendi McLendon-Covey
I love love LOVE YOU!!*


*Like, for real. Every single one of your lines cracked me up. You are the only reason I will endure an "extended cut" on Blu-Ray...cuz you know Paul Feig and Judd Apatow just can't resist shoving another 35 minutes onto an already lengthy running time for that release. At least five of those minutes better be focused you...I'm fine if the rest are all Melissa McCarthy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eek!

Currently at a short film festival. When a director finishes introducing his short "experimental" film and says, "I'm gonna go pee," it's a BAD SIGN.

SUMMER MOVIE HAIKUS / The Hangover Part II

1.
A spoiler alert:
This flick wreaks like spoiled meat
Hangover Part Ewww!!

2.
Hangover sequel
Felt more like the Saw franchise
Groan more than you laugh.

3.
A severed finger?
Death by cocaine overdose?
Who thinks this is fun?!

4.
Galifianakis*
Much funnier in Due Date
And that flick was shit.

5.
Drug dealing monkey
Best performance in the film
Yet he phones it in.


*Ugh...could your name have any more syllables...or random vowels?!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SUMMER MOVIE HAIKUS / X-Men: First Class

1.
Mutants in mod clothes
Can't help that they're born this way.
Mad Men meets Gaga?

2.
Comic book movie
Set against the Bay of Pigs
Brings home the Bacon*.

3.
Hey James McAvoy,
You'll win your Oscar one day.
Keep up the good work.

4.
With two editors
This should have a lot more cuts.
Two hours ten minutes?!?!

5.
January Jones
You are a freakin' fembot.
Acting lessons soon?



*Kevin Bacon, that is.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Beep beep!

Dear West Hollywood AIDSMobile,

I totally respect the work that you do. Your centralized location in the heart of the Santa Monica Blvd bar scene reminds everyone to stop and think for just a moment before stumbling home with a random stranger picked up at a 2:00 AM "sidewalk sale" when the bars start kicking people out. Furthermore, your proximity to Millions of Milk Shakes is perfect for anyone who steps out of your cab less a pint of blood and needs to raise their sugar levels. You are a West Hollywood icon*.

However, I gotta admit that this recently snapped image isn't doing anything positive for your image. Anyone would be skeptical to step inside, much less allow a needle anywhere near a major vein considering this shoddy setup:


Here's hoping you get your act together, West Hollywood AIDSMobile. Otherwise you may have to relocate somewhere south of downtown.

Sincerely,

Will


*Just like dodgeball on Tuesdays, marijuana dispensaries, and WeHo Jesus.

"You on candid camera!!"

Dear Sir with the Insatiable Hunger for Pinkberry,

You thought I was so wrapped up in my Scrabble app that I wouldn't notice as you "stealthily" breezed past me in line last night. You misinterpreted my focus on my iPhone as a "lack of interest" in the BRAND NEW flavors unveiled for the summer. You, sir, were wrong in this assumption. After waiting behind eight other people, I was just as anxious as you were to sample both WATERMELON and SALTED CARAMEL.* You're fortunate your sneak move was so unabashedly comical. Under normal circumstances, I would have simply cut back in front of you, reclaiming my rightful place in line. However, your obviously sloppy attempt at "butting" prompted me to test a skill I've been meaning to develop: the "Sneak Attack" iPhone Photo of an Unaware Stranger.

This, sir, is the true definition of stealth:


Sincerely,

Will

P.S. As someone who frequents crowded theme parks, I suggest that in the future you don't turn around to stare at the person you're cutting seven times. Most people aren't as forgiving as me. It's better to keep your eyes on the prize and let them stare at the back of your head while working up the nerve to call you out on your social faux pas.



*I originally went in thinking I'd order a salted caramel after sampling the flavors. Surprisingly, watermelon completely won me over. I'm almost ready to declare it the flavor of the summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bradley Cooper is NOT what the French call "les incompetents"



I love how serious Bradley Cooper looks when he's speaking French. Someone should remind him that he's promoting a movie where Zach Galifianakis tricks a monkey into simulating fellatio on a wrinkled Asian man.

Also, I love that The Hangover Part II translates into Very Bad Trip 2. I haven't seen it yet, but if the Rotten Tomatoes score is any indicator, the "French title" is more accurate.

Stole this link from friend Isaac's blog. He's funnier and more prolific in his posts. Check out He Who Laughs, or The Complete Idiot's Guide to Intimacy post haste!

GILTy Until Proven Innocent

I have a little problem with online shopping. I won't go into specifics, but let's just say that my U.P.S. guy visits approximately three times a week and knows more about my life than most of the people I consider friends. One week, he delivered me four new pairs of shoes.*

When it comes to apparel, online retailers are the Blofeld to my James Bond. Or maybe it's the other way around since the online retailers always seem to win. Either way...we're archnemeses.** After a couple years in the struggle to spare both my bank account and the fortitude of my closet, I think I've pinpointed how they attack my psyche. It's not just clearance rack prices and free shipping (both ways!!) that get me. It's the freakin' models!

When I go to a department store, I'm supposed to look at the headless/faceless mannequin and imagine that article of clothing looking fantastic on my body. Sorry, Macy's. It doesn't work like that for me. HOWEVER, when I'm clicking around GILT Group and see a handsome model with a worked out body wearing a new t-shirt from Penguin, I immediately think to myself, "I'm positive my jawline will look just as defined if I'm wearing that same shirt." Click. Click. Click.


Since coming to this realization, I've actually curbed my online purchases. And by curbed, I mean Rob in the Big Brown Truck of Happiness only visits once a week now...typically to deliver "essential items." Now every time I'm about to throw a pair of jeans in my virtual cart, I remind myself that they will not inflate my biceps. I was practically tasting my victory over online purchases. Until...

Amazon introduced MYHABIT.com

Don't get too excited. It's pretty much GILT Group except you log in with your Amazon account. But they've upped the ante. When you click on a potential item of clothing, a model steps forward and shows off the clothes for you. That's right. They've added video.


I'd share a link, but you have to be a member to access the site. I'd invite you, but I'd hate to risk creating other addicts (even though they'd probably give me $10 off my next purchase for signing you up).

Now, you savvy shoppers are probably saying, "Big flippin' deal! Zappos has had video for months now."

And, you're correct. Except on Zappos you have to search for the video and let it load. Here the model greets you at the front door. I can practically hear him saying, "Hey there, Will. You think these jeans make my eyes sparkle? They do. But that's not all. Watch what happens when I put my hands in the pockets. BAM! Instant triceps. You like that? Wait. There's more. Watch how fun it is to turn around in a circle. Yeah. You'd really enjoy walking in circles...if you were wearing these jeans."

Thank God Abercrombie wasn't the first to think of this because the next step would have the model taking the shirt off and placing it in your virtual cart if you click to purchase it.

Oh, shit. I'm giving them ideas.



*Dear Zappos and GILTGroup, Can we space out the deals on my favorite brands a little better? Thanks to you, the only way I can justify my shoe budget is if I sell my car and move to New York City.

**I just had to Google "archnemesis plural" to spell that word. It reminded of a scene with Greg Kinnear in Mystery Men. Which just reminded me that Geoffrey Rush was fantastic as the villain in Mystery Men. Actually, Geoffrey Rush is always fantastic...especially as a villain. I still need to finish that blog post about how he's the unsung hero of the Pirates of the Caribean franchise. Yes, I think Captain Barbossa is a better character than Captain Jack Sparrow. No, I'm not crazy. Jack Sparrow isn't fun without an equally compelling foil to play off...***

***Shit. I just stream-of-consciousness'ed my footnote. I also footnoted a footnote. Is that like incepting a footnote? Can you do that? Is that grammatically correct? Will my footnote get lost in purgatory?