Thursday, August 28, 2008

New York Film Academy - WTF?

So the second floor of the building where I'm working is the home of the New York Film Academy. You've seen their ads. You've wondered, what kind of fly-by-night technical college scam is this? Having had the misfortune of having to ride the elevator with its victims for the past four weeks, I think I have an idea.

Full disclosure: I went to NYU Film School, which has always been a bullshit school inside a real university. NYFA is a bullshit school inside an office building. Film school is where you go if you want to waste your higher education smoking cigarettes and traipsing around in weird clothing (I know that's why I did it). When I did it, though, film school was also essentially an expensive film equipment rental facility, so it kind of made sense if you wanted to actually, you know, make movies. But in the age of YouTube, iMovie and the $650 HD camcorder, why does anyone pay for this? These days you can buy better equipment than we used for less than we spent on rentals. Ultimately, I guess NYFA is a place to park your spoiled kid who couldn't get into SVA, Parsons, Pratt, Baruch, Hunter or anywhere else for that matter.

For tearaway rich kids who misspent their high school years getting tattoos and shopping and running away to Europe, it's a logical step in a privileged, wasted life.

It's actually kind of a brilliant business idea. Charge rich parents lots of money to teach their good for nothing kids something that every 14 year old with a computer already knows how to do. It's like rehab but without all that expensive drug intervention staffing.

I think I'm going to start the New York Blogging Academy. Cha-ching!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hallelujah, Hillary!

Thank you Senator Clinton for your unequivocal endorsement of the Democratic nominee Barack Obama throughout your speech at the DNC last night. I was worried that you'd slip in some subtle Clintonian phraseology alluding to a 2012 opening for yourself, but you didn't even touch that.

As Rachel Maddox pointed out, any Hillary people who are still expressing reservations about voting for the Democrat this fall are outside of the mainstream debate at this point. After last night, if you supported Hillary, you either support Obama or you support McCain. It's really that simple.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Okay, I know that the media is probably overcovering these Hillary nuts who are undecided or threatening to vote for McCain or chanting "Hillary 2012" outside the Democratic National Convention, but there is apparently a group of die-hard Hillary supporters who have identified themselves as PUMA or Party Unity My Ass! And I would really like them to shut the fuck up, because they are making complete asses of themselves.

Isn't this a little like when you break up with someone and they threaten to hurt themselves? And doesn't this kind of validate some of the worst stereotypes of women ("hell hath no fury like a woman scorned", over-sensitivity, emotional instability)?

When they interviewed one of these Hillary nuts on NPR and asked her if she would vote for Obama in November, she replied, "he hasn't asked for my vote. He's asked for my money, but not for my vote." Come on, what do you need, an engraved fucking invitation? He's the democratic nominee. If you value women's rights (or for that matter human rights) at all, you fucking vote for him.

Sorry about Hillary. Better luck next time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Okay, I'm officially sick of China

At the risk of enraging 1.4 billion (often sensitive and/or litigious) people, I'd like to say that after 4 months or whatever of the Olympics, I am totally over China. We are constantly told that China feels misunderstood by the West and that we just need to understand them better. Perhaps that is true for some people, but I think I understand China fairly well: it's a big totalitarian dictatorship that has decided it can do capitalism better than everybody else without the need for any messy democracy. And guess what? They are proving to be right.

Why bother with environmental regulations when it's so much cheaper to just fuck up the world? Why bother with unions and workers' rights when you can just exploit your people and create justifications to dismantle those institutions in the West?

China and Russia are proving that capitalism doesn't need democracy and that's a terrible, terrible thing for those of us who grew up in free societies.

As for the Olympics, I haven't caught the fever. A lot of gay people and women I know are totally into it (for obvious reasons) , but it seems to just bring out the worst in everybody. China plays a shell game with its gymnasts' ages. Georgia provokes Russia. Russia invades and stays. Michael Phelps is a celebrity. It sucks.

And can we please have a moratorium on journalists getting sent over there on their companies' dime writing "China is the Future" pieces? Yeah, it's big and there are lots of people and and cool buildings and great dim sum, but you know what? It ain't my future, and your column could be produced a lot cheaper in Beijing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Get past the name

This weekend I was turned onto Death Cab for Cutie's new-ish material by some show on the Ovation channel. Wow. Will says he can't "get past the name" of this band (come on how many great bands have shitty names?). Well, get past it:

Death Cab for Cutie - Cath... (via Hype Machine)

Unwanted Teachings

So I'm sitting in this sushi place I go to around here for lunch, having ordered a fairly reasonably-priced 3 roll combo, looking forward to a quiet meal with the New York Times on my phone. In walks Flora Bashnavi Moonbeam and her lunch companion Idle Flower. Flora is an older woman looking very spiritual/fortune-tellery in a long, light orange wrap and a turban held together with a broach. Idle looks a little less standoutish in her somewhat dated Filene's Basementwear, a simple/ugly look more becoming of a Bhuddist.

They sit down at the table next to mine (of course) and proceed to launch into a very intense conversation about various ancient religious theories, healers, teachers, teachings...basically anything that can be demonstrably disproved in a junior high school science class.

"Have you heard of [so and so]? He spent his life working with elevation. He went through the 6 levels of Bagnavashi, but in the end his focus was elevation."

"Was he in a relationship? Or did he practice celibacy?"

"No, he had a wife and 3 children. He felt that the blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah..."

I mean what drives people to this? I'm sure both of these women were raised on Hamburger Helper and crap TV and underage drinking and the rest of it. How do you end up only wanting to talk about appropriated eastern religious hokum over seaweed salad and avocado maki? I mean this stuff was all they talked about the whole time they were there. Guess what ladies? There's a big election happening around November or so. A pretty scary little war just started involving Russia. For chrissake, "The Hills" is back on the air.

Also, the way they laughed was weird. They didn't laugh at things that were funny. They laughed at shared-spiritual-truth moments, very quickly and frantically. Like, "well, you know, if you do too many satvas at one time you can get a little light-headed." "Oh, I know! Tee hee hee hee." "Heh heh hee."

As I was leaving, the more Indian-inspired one was telling the Buddhist some horseshit about how, as a woman, she should cover up some part of her body because it's one of her two something-or-others. Oh, get me the fuck out of here.

But at the same time, what the fuck do I know, with my frequent tirades and bouts of depression and cheap but surprisingly drinkable South American wines?

At least when I laugh, I'm usually doing it at someone else's expense.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cute Overload

Well, I was considering making this blog an all-kitten blog, thinking that there's got to be a market of bored administrative assistants who will forward lots of cute things and drive page views and ad revenue. Like most of my ideas, a better version of it is already online and quite profitable.

I give you:

Cute Overload

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dusty loves water

Not like, drinking water, but rather being in wet places. The kitchen sink. The shower. Next to the dog's water bowl with his head leaning against it or his tail sort of dipped in it. Around the plants after they've been watered. He is kind of a strange kitten, but to him it all seems perfectly natural.

He's about as cute as they come :-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Should I change the blog focus?

Well, since I am technically not laying about at all any more and working from around 9 to around 5 everyday, it kind of doesn't make sense to blog about laying about. I guess I could blog about working, but my job isn't the kind that they make Discovery channel series about (and it seems like they will make a series about practically any job these days - what's that one about lumberjacks?).

So how about a kitten blog? Daily updates on Dusty's pooping habits and the like. I could see a huge market in the bovine "administrative assistant" demographic.

Could be a money maker. Is taken?

Dusty's weird pooping habits

Cherie and I have a theory that the kitten thinks that Cherie is his mommy. Every morning when she is in the shower he uses his toilet-adapted cat box thing (see earlier posts). We thinks that he likes to, ahem, go in her presence. She is sort of freaked out by it, but I think it's hilarious.

He is really sweet to her as well and will sometimes just come up to her spontaneously and cuddle. Me, I am just this big giant who sometimes has food.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dusty is using the toilet

So I got this plastic tray that holds cat litter in the toilet bowl, and damned if Dusty hasn't started using it! He sits at the front of the toilet seat and does his business.

After a while you decrease the amount of litter until it's just a see-through tray. Then you remove the tray, and the cat just...uses the toilet.

Pretty cool, right?

Layabout Bummer

Well, I'm more than half way through the first week,! I forgot what it was like working in an office. You can either look at it as tragedy or farce. I am leaning toward farce just to keep my sanity.

Of course everyone told me when I was interviewing how laid back this place is, and how it's a "ghost town" at by 5:30, etc. I guess they meant the kind of ghost town where everyone is typing into their computers and having meetings. Whatever, I am freelancing. I'm going to come and go when I want. I've been chained to a desk for way too large a portion of my mortal existence.

Fuck it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Laying About at Work

Well, the Layabout Summer has officially turned into the Layabout Bummer. Yes, I am a working man again. I am here at Scholastic, and it's not bad so far, actually. Not as good as deciding what to do with the day being my main activity most days, but it's sort of keeping me out of trouble. And hey, I hear I get paid a week from Friday!

Income. What a concept.

I guess you're just supposed to make enough so that you don't have to work for a while.