Quote of the Day: May 30, 2010

This is something I've been meaning to do for a while....so I'm just going to rock it every day.

Seeing Date Night with a friend....we get to the scene where a shirtless Mark Wahlberg flirts with Tina Fey with his Israeli lady-friend upstairs...and my friend whispers...

"This is going to so be Mickey in 10 years..."

Cheers, Mickey.

Night all.


It's President Obama, actually.

In a few weeks it will be both my 20th birthday and the end of year one of the Obama Presidency.

I read something really interesting from the New York Times today.

And it has really stuck with me. Indeed, I've been thinking a lot about Obama the past few weeks.

He's going to come down on the left, if political constraints weren't involved. But, at the first sign of political trouble, he is eager to compromise. I'm not someone necessarily opposed to compromising, but there are two issues I take with how President Obama has handled it.

First. You need to recognize that, let's face it, the Republicans are really, really, really not going to support your policies and initiatives simply because they are your own. They talk about how they want to re-do the Health Care bill and work together from scratch. That is complete bullshit. They have no desire to work on any sort of actual health care reform, and are certainly not going to vote for any bill the President supports. That is a fact.

In that case, it then becomes, 'stop compromising!' Recognize that they aren't going to support you at all. They just want to drag you and your initiatives to the right.

Second. Like I said before, while I am not always opposed to compromising, there are some things where, for gods sake, stand up and take a stand on something! You are the god damn President of the United States, elected with 53% of the vote. You have amazing communication skills. Use them. Stop looking like a complete wimp. Go on National Television and tell the American people this is what you are doing, why it is good for them, and call out the bastards obstructing it. Drag Joe Lieberman into a back room and play hardball. Bring out the LBJ playbook. If Senators ever, ever, want to see something good for their state again, they had better vote for this bill.

I don't care if it isn't pretty. Show some cojones.

Whew. Rant. Sorry. But it needed to be said.


This Winter in Baseball, Part 1

In this series of posts I'll be tackling some offseason moves I've found interesting. I'll do a few transactions at a time, and in a few days I'll get to the Giants and A's, and how they look going into 2010.
So...here we go.

In a three team deal, the Yankees sent prospects to both Arizona and Detroit in exchange for Curtis Granderson. The Tigers recieved CF prospect Austin Jackson from NY, and RHP Max Scherzer and LHP Daniel Schlereth from Arizona. They then sent P Edwin Jackson to Arizona.

Arizona sent the two young pitchers (Scherzer is the obvious key to the deal) in exchange for Jackson from Detroit and RHP Ian Kennedy, a former first round pick out of USC I believe, from New York.

Essentially, the Yankees filled their center field hole with Granderson in exchange for a pitcher (Kennedy) who will end up at the back of a rotation, and a medium-level prospect (Jackson).

The Tigers sent Jackson, who has been overrated for, like, ever, in exchange for a younger, cheaper, and probably better pitcher in Scherzer. They got a cheaper hopeful replacement for Granderson in Jackson. They also got two lefty relievers, hard throwing Schlereth from Arizona, and LHP Phil Coke from the Yankees. They could have perhaps gotten more for Granderson, but did well to get value from the very fungible Jackson.

However, and this is important, they are also counting on Scherzer to stay healthy and remain in the rotation. Scherzer could become apart of, along with Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, a trio of young and hard throwing right handed hurlers to front the Tigers rotation for the 2010s. But he needs to stay healthy, as we'll see in a second.

The team that this deal doesn't make sense for is Arizona. They sent Scherzer and a solid prospect to the Tigers in exchange for Jackson and Kennedy. Jackson has been around forever, and will be a free agent after 2011. More importantly, while showing flashes of brilliance, he has also had years of pointlessness. Kennedy, oft injured, is a strike thrower, without overpowering stuff. While I can appreciate someone who lacks the 'stuff' of an ace, but throws strikes nonetheless, Kennedy is no star. Scherzer will be better than both, and more importantly, will be under club control for much longer than Jackson.

Commentators have pointed out that perhaps Arizona thinks Scherzer will become a reliever. If this is true, it certainly makes more sense. However, I definitely think they shipped upside for two pitchers that certainly are not sure things. As I pointed out earlier, Jackson put up a 5.76 ERA and 88 walks just three years earlier for Tampa Bay.

In short, the Yankees got a good-if-not-great player in Granderson (who was certainly an upgrade on what they had) in exchange for two solid-if-not-spectacular prospects.

The Tigers received one of those prospects, a pair of lefty relievers, and also got the best player in the deal, Scherzer, in exchange for Granderson and an inconsistent Jackson.

The D-Backs shipped two young pitchers away in exchange for one pitcher nearing free agency and another who threw just 24 innings in all of 2009.

You make the call.


What is the point..

Of having blue dogs, etc, in the Democratic Party? If they refuse to vote with the Democrats on the Stimulus, on Cap and Trade, on Health Care, on Financial Regulation, and on the Jobs bill, then tell me, please, what is the point in having them in the Democratic fold? They are not democrats. If they vote with the Republican party on these issues they aren't Democrats. And we shouldn't treat them as such.

People say, 'well, there are conservative Democrats, and don't we need a broad and moderate coalition to attract voters? That is what these Congressman are doing.' I disagree. These congressman won elections in 2006 and 2008 as Democrats because those were RUNAWAY elections for the Democratic Party. We should not reward them with the Democratic nomination and Democratic label if they then hamstring the Democratic party at key times. The Democrats are trying to do something about American problems. The Democrats are trying to fix health care, and the environment. Republicans have nearly unanimously opposed all of these. The Democratic party should not be running candidates that claim to be Democrats to get elected, but then vote against every piece of crucial legislation.

I understand the argument that they are running in conservative districts, but again, I don't see this as an excuse. Many of these conservative districts would be the biggest beneficiaries of health care reform. In essence, these Democrats need to support a health care bill that would TRULY help their constituents, and then see that reflected in public opinion/support.

And I'll get to the Senate. And Benedict Joe.


So here is the deal...for the rest of break, every day, I will be blogging. So check back!
And here is the 'Exhilaration' posting.

A few days ago I gave a semi-lecture to Eliot Schain's Psychology class, a class I myself took just two years ago.

We discussed college at first, and then moved on to deeper subjects. I talked to them about resisting unjust authority, resisting the easy path of apathy, and resisting the urge to blindly follow something that may not be true or right.

I have to say, it was very exciting. Yes, I was nervous beforehand. Yes, I had talked to fellow/younger students before, whether it be prospective AP Government students or Seniors curious about college. I had not, however, been given an open slate, a clean agenda with which to work and present my own ideas. I had never created my own lesson plan. I was nervous about keeping these kids entertained. I was nervous about how to avoid talking down to them, seeming above them. Because, as I emphasized, I was just like them. I haven't been gone from Alhambra for long. BUT, I have experienced the joys of higher education and life outside Martinez, and I wanted desperately to show them down that path as well.

These kids have a choice. They can confront the world, form their own opinions, and do the little things to improve our planet, improve our society as a whole. But it's up to them. They need to choose. They need to decide whether to give back to their community, and show compassion to others, and confront global problems like climate change and poverty and conflict. Or they can simply sit on their couches, watch Nascar, enjoy the friday night Bulldog football games, drive their hummers, raise more children destined to never leave Martinez, and drink a lot of Bud-light. To me, that is what makes Martinez fail. Too much of that, and only that.

Anyway, I don't know if I'll become a teacher. But I have to say it was a lot of fun, and I got a very positive response, certainly more positive than I expected. Thanks Schain!


Thoughts, 9/3/09

I'm currently watching Andy Roddick take the lead in the third set at the US Open. This after an hour plus of going through a bunch of old crap from my garage to give away.

Honestly, I'm very surprised at Andy Roddick's improvement and indeed, career turnaround. I was always a guy that of course was awed by his seeming effortless skill and power, yet criticized him for his quite pathetic mental game. He had such monster skill, really second only to Federer, but he consistently lost the mental battle, and thus, the match.

Regrettably, I missed the Federer/Roddick epic at Wimbledon (I was working). And I very much regret that. But I'm very excited looking ahead to see if Roddick can build upon his improvements.  That also is my problem with James Blake: a guy who has a lot of skill, and gets built up, but fails to succeed consistently. 


Anthony Woods and CA-10

Yesterday, I voted for the first time in my new congressional district.

As my permanent residence is not longer in Martinez, George Miller is no longer my congressman. 

And as Ellen Taucher, the Representative of my new district, the 10th, resigned to take a spot at the State Department I believe, a special election was commissioned to fill the seat. The Primary was yesterday, filled with a large amount of Democrats in a Democrat-heavy district.

The district itself is heavily gerrymandered, ranging from Danville all the way north and east to the outskirts of Sacramento. (But somehow bypassing Martinez, which maintains a little pocket for the 7th District to reside in)

Before last night, the only poll I'd seen on the race was one commissioned by Garamendi, which unsurprisingly had him winning. I didn't trust the poll very much. My instincts told me DeSaulnier would win, as I figured Democrats in the area would appreciate that DeSaulnier already represents most of the district in the State Senate, and would disapprove of the fact that not only does Garamendi not live in the district, but he also lied about it. 

My household had gotten quite a bit of mail and phone messages from the Garamendi campaign, and more specifically from Al Gore and Bill Clinton. Obviously this is because Garemendi spent time as Secretary of the Interior for Clinton. 

Anyway, Garamendi won the primary, and now will face Harmer (forget the first name) in the General in November. I always thought Harmer's signs were funny as they read, "Harmer for Congress. No More Bailouts!" While I agree that the bailout sucked, basically Harmer was/is trying to push himself as a fiscal conservative, which I find funny because, btw, the stimulus worked. 

I wasn't a big fan of Garamendi, specifically because, although I didn't grow up in the 10th district, it is a district partially in the Bay Area, and currently my permanent residence, and thus I would like someone who actually lives in my district to represent me. Of course it isn't illegal to live outside the district, but it seemed douchy to me. I think Garamendi should have run in his own district, the 3rd, against a right-wing Republican. (Again, I guess those two terms are kind of redundant in our current political climate)

While I wouldn't have been unhappy with Desulnier, I instead voted for Anthony Woods. Woods is a 28 year old black man who was born on Travis Air-force Base and grew up in a single-parent household. He went to West Point, and served two tours in Iraq. Then, it was decided he should teach at West Point, so he went to the JFK school of Government at Harvard. However, last year, he came out, and thus was DADT'd (Don't Ask, Don't Tell..'d)

Should he have started out smaller? Probably, but seriously guys, watch him. I'm very excited for the future, and hopefully his next venture into politics results in a victory. 


The Politics of Health Insurance

Obviously Democrats need to pass a health care reform bill. They've dominated two consecutive elections, and they have made health care a big priority, and to fail at this big priority would effectively tell the country that Democrats fail at getting things done. Not that the Republicans would do it any better, of course.

And, also just as obvious, Republicans need health care to fail. Why would a Republican support a health care bill? Well, obviously it would be good for his/her constituents, but since when did they really care about that more than special interest money? Tactically, they need it to fail, because if it passes even semi-intact it will show the nation that Democrats are more serious than Republicans about fixing the country, and are better at it.

So the Democrats are finally waking up and realizing, 'oh, shit, Republicans aren't going to support a health care bill!' It only took them 8 months. They wanted it to be 'bipartisan.' They wanted to 'compromise.' Republicans didn't give a shit about any of that stuff. They weren't interested in working together for health care reform. They just wanted, and used, every opportunity possible to water down the bill, and water down support. 

Let me just say this: I'm not overly optimistic about Obama passing a health care reform bill. They've lost a lot of public support, (although these stupid ass old white people at town hall meetings are quite small in number) and Obama hasn't defined the debate on his terms. Rather, he's let the GOP do the defining, and he's losing the debate because of it. 

Moving on...I just read on the front page of the SF Chronicle that the Republican National Committee sent out a survey to all registered republicans, and included a question that read..."It has been suggested that the government could use voter registration to determine a person's political affiliation, prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat imposed health care rationing system. Does this possibility concern you?"

Are you serious? Talk about misinformation. I mean, jesus. They really told registered Republicans that they would be discriminated against and given less care because they were Republicans if a health care reform bill was to pass. Its simply garbage, and yet the GOP uses it, and it works. 

Health care is such a tricky subject, and I really think it comes down to greed. People might be socially liberal or progressive, but they don't want others to be able to get health care if they can't afford it. I had a very long discussion with a socially liberal/economically conservative friend who made an argument that she simply didn't want to pay for others to have health care. Even when I told her that it would save us money long term, she didn't want to help people without health insurance acquire the kind of care she gets. 

Now...I have great health coverage. I have never had to pay a co-pay or anything when I go to kaiser. Any and all of my appointments are free, and I never have to pay for a prescription. Would I be willing to sacrifice some of that to help others acquire coverage? Yes, I would. But thats the exception, not the rule. 

I hear arguments about how we shouldn't help people gain coverage if they don't have it, because they 'must have fucked up' somehow. People aren't stupid if they don't have health coverage. People aren't rejects of society because they don't have health coverage. Honest, hard-working, employed, everyday Americans don't have health coverage. And that is unacceptable. 

To relate this to the title, we need to stop making health care a political issue. Health care should not be somewhere for stupid capitalists to make money and screw people. The Government should make sure that each and every one of its citizens receives good and inexpensive coverage. That is its responsibility, and they have disregarded that responsibility for too long.


August 30, 2009. I'm going to UPDATE MORE

Alright everyone-here's the plan.

I'm going to update this blog EVERY DAY for as long as I can...so if you can send me some feedback that will help encourage me to regularly post.

So here we go.

Its August 30th, and the San Francisco Giants have joined Colorado atop the National League Wild Card after sweeping three straight games from the visiting Rockies. 

Somehow the Giants are still in the hunt.

They have only one regular with an OPS over .800 (Pablo Sandoval, duh, at a hearty .953)
Where would they be if he had produced as just a regular old rookie? 

Ishikawa's been terrible, (though slightly better as of late) Winn has been terrible, and Renteria has been a disaster. 

Trading deadline pickup Freddy Sanchez is on the DL, and has only batted 59 times since being traded by Pittsburgh for 20 year old prospect Tim Alderson. Ignore the fact that he is hitting .304. Instead focus on the fact that he is hurt, overpaid, slugging just .375, and was traded for a very good prospect. Great deal, Brian.

Sabean's other deadline pickup was Ryan Garko from the Indians. Brought in because Travis Ishikawa, well, sucks, Garko has hit a most robust .232/.292/.354 since being brought over.

Yes, Juan Uribe has provided some pop at second, and while Nate Schierholtz should most definitely be receiving at-bats, he is receiving them at the expense of the wrong player. Fred Lewis should be starting in left, not Randy Winn. Why? Because Randy Winn absolutely SUCKS. Fred Lewis has an OPS (remember, On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage, a much more valuable statistic than Batting Average) 80 points higher than Randy Winn.

Randy Winn has hit just two homers all season. In 516 at-bats! From a corner outfielder! I'll say again, yes, Brian Sabean is an f'ing moron for not signing Adam Dunn to play left field and Orlando Hudson to play second, but moving on past those decisions, you at least have to play your best hitter at the position where one of your best hitters belongs. (And no, Eugenio Velez, with his .709 OPS, adequate only on the Giants, and terrible defense, is NOT one of your best hitters)

Baseball Prospectus broke down the remaining Giants schedule...and it doesn't look pretty. 15 of their remaining 31 games come against contenders, while the Rockies must only face contenders twice, three game sets with the Dodgers and Cardinals. 

And lets face it, the Rockies are truly a better team. Yes, they don't have the front three that the Giants possess, (especially now that it looks like, hopefully, Barry Zito can be counted on to win games) but they do possess a deeper rotation and an infinitely better lineup. Pablo Sandoval is the only Giants regular truly better than his Rockies counterpart. The Giants do have a better bullpen, yes, but that is the least important of the three. 

I hope the Giants pull it out, but forgetting 'momentum' (which get wayyyyy too much credit), the Rockies are much better positioned to pull out the wild card.


Woeful Offenses Don't Win Wild Cards

And if the San Francisco Giants' offense is anything, its woeful.

For the first time in San Francisco's post Barry Bonds era, they have a chance to play in October. 

I picked them to finish third in the Division, ahead of San Diego and Colorado, and behind Los Angeles and Arizona. If we switched Colorado and Arizona, this prediction might yet well hold true in September.

Unless....The Giants move to improve their offense.

As I discussed in March and April, the Giants pitching is excellent. Lincecum and Cain have been deadly, Zito has been much better (1.38 whip) than his 5-10 record would indicate, and Jonathan Sanchez has shown flashes of brilliance. 

The bullpen has been a solid if unheralded crew, led by Jeremy Affeldt, Brian Wilson, and Justin Miller. 

The staff leads the majors in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and strikeouts per nine innings.

BUT Lincecum, Cain, and the bullpen will fall back to earth. They have been too spectacular to keep their current pace up. 

Ryan Sadowski will not continue to be heaven sent.

Randy Johnson will need to come back from the DL ready to pitch. Jonathan Sanchez will need to find some consistency. Barry Zito will need to start winning ballgames. They also need to continue to get quality bullpen work.

But how does this 50-41 team, fighting desperately for the wild card, get to the playoffs?

By scrapping at least two of the lineup regulars that they currently employ.

Brian Sabean doesn't have to do much math, and he doesn't have to look very hard.

He is getting only quality lineup production from Aaron Rowand and Pablo Sandoval. Thus, he has six other lineup spots where he could, somewhat easily, make a trade to improve. 

Sabean could, yes, improve his lineup at both outfield corners, and every infield spot save third-base and give his team the boost of offense it needs to see October.

In a short series, the Lincecum-Cain-Johnson trio would be one of the most feared...but they won't get the chance if they can't start scoring runs now.

So far, the Giants are last in the Majors in on-base percentage and walks, and near the bottom in runs scored, OPS, and extra-base hits. 

San Fran's catcher, Bengie Molina, has walked five times all season. 
First-bagger Travis Ishikawa is hitting just .263/.316/.419, helping to make SF First-basemen 23rd in OPS (On-base plus slugging percentage) and 29th in extra base hits. 

Snagging Nick Johnson (.305/.416/.424 in 321 at-bats) would give the Giants an actual hitter for the position where your best hitter should be.

Cleveland's C/1B Victor Martinez (.286/.365/.486) would upgrade either position.

Lyle Overbay of the Jays or Aubrey Huff of the O's would help the lineup.

Scrapping the appalling Edgar Renteria in favor of a shortstop who could get on base OR play defense OR hit for power, like Oakland's Orlando Cabrera, Washington's Christian Guzman, and Cleveland's Johnny Peralta, respectively, would eliminate another lineup hole.

And finally, acquiring a corner outfielder that hits like a corner outfielder, and not like, say, Fred Lewis, Randy Winn, or any of the quartet of men they have run out there this season, would provide the Giants the power needed to avoid finishing 29th in the Majors in home-runs. 

Potential acquisitions? Try Matt Holliday of the A's or Jermaine Dye of the White Sox (depending on if they become buyers or sellers).

Two final points to wrap up.

First. The Giants do need to make sure that they don't sacrifice the key cogs of their future, namely future Ace Madison Bumgarner and his Matt Cain, Tim Alderson. The Giant's #1 pick in 2008, and the 5th overall, Catcher Buster Posey, just skipped AA after dominating the California League, and is poised to take over for the horrendous Molina next spring.

Prospects like these must not be touched. The Giants have depth, and that is what they must deal from.

They must protect their top youngsters, which is what rebuilding teams will covet. Do not pull the trigger on a Lincecum for Alexis Rios-like deal.

And finally, although it would be easy to sit pat, to rely on the 'chemistry' justification, they must in fact do something to improve their squad. 4.1 runs per game, a half run below the major league average, is not going to cut it.

Second...Colorado has gone crazy since Jim Tracy took over, and is poised for a wild card run. They lie just a half game back of SF.
Luckily, they might not have the pitching to hold up down the stretch, but their offense and defense is above average, and their rotation is respectable. A trade for one or two bullpen and/or rotation arms could give them the edge.

Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Louis all have problems. One will win the division, my guess being the Cardinals, while the other two will battle for the Wild Card. St. Louis has made moves to upgrade where they needed help, and their rotation is excellent. They also have that one hitter, gosh-darn, I forget his name.

The Cubs have stumbled badly, and need their offense to pick up to respectability if they want a shot at the wild card.

They do, however, have Aramis Ramirez returning from an injury, and it makes statistical sense that last year's Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto, who hit .285/.364/.504 with 23 homers will improve on his current .230/.336/.396 'performance.' 

The Brewers lack the rotation to compete down the stretch, unless GM Doug Melvin makes another Sabathia-sized deal.

In the east, the Braves and Marlins are hoping to make a run, though, again, both offenses remain ineffective.

So...to conclude, finally, Colorado is the biggest threat, with Chicago, Atlanta, and company also threatening. 

To protect their precarious playoff berth, GM Brian Sabean must be creative and thrifty, while also making a significant acquisition to ensure his team reaches October. 

(500) Days of Summer

Romantic comedies nowadays just about always consist of a pretty boy-usually Patrick Dempsey, Ryan Reynolds, or Zac Efron-falling heads over heels for, breaking up with, and then living happily after in the company of their dame-usually Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl, or Kate Hudson. 

It is a formula, tried and true, but also tired and unimaginative. 

These films usually employ pathetic puns as titles and utilize cliched jokes. 

The enemy of their protagonist is evil, simple minded, and easily routed.

The plot line is simple, and the latter part of the film seems to function on auto-pilot.

500 Days of Summer doesn't play by these rules. 

Its protagonist, Tom Hanson, is believable in his role, which is perhaps the most crucial element of his character's success. Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is boyish, optimistic, and genuinely funny. He writes greeting cards for a living, and always seems to be wearing a skinny tie. (This is perhaps the part of the film that tries too hard to be 'indie')

Meanwhile, the object of Tom's attraction, Summer, is played by Zooey Deschanel, a woman who doesn't believe love exists, and absolutely does not want to be 'held down' by a relationship. 

The goal of the film is not about getting the viewer from beginning to end. Its about showing how the characters got there. Perhaps its method of presenting the day is a tad distracting, but it serves its purpose. Right off the bat the viewer is told how their relationship ends, it's day 488. The film then, in a non-linear, unconventional, and wholly creative style, explains how Summer and Tom meet, how they interact, and how they effect one another. 

We identify with Tom, with his elation and depression. But we also don't hate Summer. She is honest with Tom, and she's too intelligent, funny, cute, and strong to hate. 

The movie has memorable scenes, absorbing characters, and, wait for it, truly funny lines. 

Summer and Tom just view the world differently. (Explained through how they interpret the meaning of "The Graduate").

Its soundtrack engages the viewer from beginning to finish, as does director Marc Webb's alternative methods. 

In short, it is the best movie of its genre, and one of the best movies, period, that I have seen in quite a while.


Fridayyyy, and some music

Well last night I got confirmed to the External Affairs Commission. So that was exciting. 

And today...I'm cleaning my room up a little, chilling, and waiting for Kate and Bethany. Happy times.

I have a few song updates...

1. Jesus the Mexican Boy by Iron Wine.
Sam Beam just does these freakin' metaphorical songs that are wonderful and confusing. So check it out.
2. Tambourine by The Happy Hollows.
I got this off of I think it was like noisetrade.com or something...I've talked about it on here in the past. So yeah, I like it...but live its not as good...or at least in this youtube one. But on noisetrade you can download it for free...
3. Be Still My Heart by The Postal Service
Come out with more damn CDs !!!

I cannot believe I'm moving out of my dorm in 6 days. Its...crazy.

Eva and Becky needed some muscle (do not laugh!) upstairs moving some stuff around...and when I got up there they had totally dismantled their once awesome room. So it makes me sad. Hopefully I can get a pic up here of what it used to look like.

Anyway, happy friday.




So if you look at the picture of me in the top of this blog...well lets just say that my hair is quite short.

And that is what most of you are used to.

WELLL...my hair is getting quite long (for me, for me people). Perhaps I'll post some recent pics soon.

I cannot believe that I have 3, count em, 3 classes left for this year. And then I will be done with my first year in college. That is...just crazy. 

And thennnn I have finals tuesday/wednesday/thursday...and I move the rest of my stuff home in my beautiful 'new' car, a 1986 blue Toyota Camry. As some of you may know, my old car was an '89 white Camry...so I've got some experience with those guys. (Pics soon)

To finish up...I just watched a movie I've been hearing about for nearly 2 years, Fanboys. Set in 1998, its about a group of friends that set out across the country to steal a copy of Star Wars, Episode 1 from the Lucas Ranch in California. Well...the movie was alright. It certainly had its moments, and I loved a lot of the Star Wars references, as well as the Star Trek subplot. I guess the biggest problem was that the movie had been so hyped for so long I had some unrealistic expectations that failed to be met. Anyway, I'd still recommend checking it out.

And p.s...coming out in a few weeks is Year One, with Jack Black and Michael Cera. As Lauren nearly cried at the preview last night, it should be something worth seeing.



Good lord...Music of the Month??!?!?

I cannot believe it has been over ONE MONTH since I posted last.

Please all forgive me. I was deathly sick for about two weeks, and otherwise I've just been consumed with activities and homework and friends.

But this afternoon I'm seriously coming back and blogging my heart out (and indeed, over the next few days as well). 

Here is a short little "Music of the Month" to get some people caught up on what I've been listening to.

1. I Try by Ben Taylor---It sounds so familiar, and I guess its a cover...but I really like his version.

2. All My Days by Alexi Murdoch..seen the new Jim from the Office movie coming out? Well this is the song. This and Orange Sky are two great ones from Murdoch. 

3. No Other Way by Jack Johnson. Seriously...I guess its May time that just brings me back around to JJ. Because, honestly, I haven't been crazed about him that much this year. Rather I've been discovering all this other music.

4. Upward Over the Mountain by Iron and Wine. It is just consistently awesome...and has that great line...'so may the sunrise bring hope where it was once forgotten.'

5. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. Yes, I will try to get more original next time, but this is a classic, and thus it comes in at the end of my reboot of the blog.


Goodnight, and good luck: World Commentary

So...what is the deal with Iran and like, the rest of the world?

We are also discussing this in my Pol 3, International Relations class. For that class, our big-ass paper is on whether or not we think Iran should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. 
My answer...a resounding "NO!"

IMO...we simply should stop, whenever and wherever we can, any and all nuclear development. (And that includes our own)
Especially Iranian nuclear development. 

Kudos to Obama for actually wanting to negotiate with this nation. That is how you get things done, peacefully. Simply hating them just leads to more hate, and more violence...and if we continue to act as we have for the past eight years, we are simply HELPING build a whole new generation of people that want to kill us. 

So, we do need to negotiate. We need to try to work things out between our nations. Thank god Bush is gone from the hot seat. 

However, and its a big however, Iran still is pretty crazy.
They arrest this woman on charges of spying for the United States. This, simply, is unacceptable. Yes, I understand that we have arrested many of their citizens, and many of those have been without just cause. And I also feel that that is unacceptable. But we need to get this woman out. We cannot allow her to suffer at the hands of this regime.

While I agree that yes, we need to have better ties with Iran, we certainly don't need to be their friend. (And that same holds true with Saudi Arabia.)
What is this deal with the Iranian President in front of all these other countries? Spewing hatred and venom at Israel, at the West, at everybody. I have a friend in my dorm who speaks the language, and she told me that, well...the translation we were hearing wasn't totally accurate. The translators....cleaned up the language a little bit. How can he say these things and then asked to be taken seriously?

Four months ago, I would have been a hypocrite for saying such a thing, as we had a similar leader in office. Luckily, America, we've cleaned up our act in this recent election.

We need to negotiate with these nations, and have better ties with them, if only to avoid bloody violence. But we do not need to accept their actions. Once we have done more to fix our moral credibility internationally, we will be able to say and do more. And we must say and do more.

Saudi Arabia is just as terrible as Iran, and yet they are considered a 'friend.' Not ok. They beat women, they hate women. The religious police has control, complete control. The royal family has complete control. Both nations are not good, and while I do agree that we need to have a better and different relationship with them then we have had, we need to do more. 

That is our moral responsibility.

So, everyone, goodnight, and good luck. 


A New Birth of Freedom

Well. I'm not even sure where or how to begin this.

A few things have happened recently regarding gays that I want to talk about.

First. This whole "A Storm is Gathering" nonsense actually makes me laugh. I mean, seriously...'a rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color are coming together in love?"

I mean, its ridiculous. The only message it serves is that "homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain dead." (Plus, its totally racist...I love that the hispanic man can barely say his four english words...and they get away with this.)

It just is stupid and disgusting to see people like this. In four states we now have equal rights for gays, and the homophobia is going to mount. I don't understand how people can get away with this. When you see these people, you need to stand up to them. Be gentle if possible...but if they are obnoxious and hateful, well, then stand up and verbally kick the shit out of them. People like Dr. Laura cannot call homosexuality a "biological error" and get away with it. (Even if now she has "improved.") 
Be more intelligent, be more articulate, and be tougher than them. 
On picnic day I had a conversation with a UC Davis third year about her opposition to gay marriage. She said it whittled down to...wait for it...the bible. She couldn't get over a point I was making that the church and religion should have nothing to do with these decisions. "We cannot be run by the Christian bible."
But, she responded, "We're a Christian nation."
"But we don't have a national religion. No religion can impose its values on others."
But, she responded, "We're a Christian nation."

The argument ended up about women's roles. I told her that she is telling gay people that their relationships, and their lives, matter less than heterosexual's. "Traditional marriage" does not exist anymore. Traditional marriage consists of whites marrying whites, and women acting as slaves for their husbands. 

She then said that her future husband, and all husbands, should have the final say in decisions. Her opinion was not as important as his.
At that point, I simply turned and walked away. Here it was, where a WOMAN was arguing that men should be in control..and a MAN was arguing that, maybe, just maybe, women were not subject to their husbands.

You cannot reason with that. 

I've been told off, and criticized harshly for responding very bluntly to prop 8...a vote that I simply consider to be one made in favor of homophobia. 

I'm sorry, but you don't win by backing down. It has been asserted that "being kind, and gentle with the opposition will bring them over to our side." 

No. Sorry, but no. I'm not going to convince the right-wing homophobes to change position. But by being tough and forceful we can swing the middle...and thats how we win.

So. For fun, call or mail the National Organization for Marriage at (609) 688-0450 or send mail to the

National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542

And tell them how you feel about them. 

It is HELLZA hot

Look above


Music of the Week: Am I ridiculously joyous right now or what?

As promised, more love.

1. Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine
And here begins the parade of Iron and Wine songs through this weeks music. Perhaps I'm just really depressed over not being able to see them in SF, as both shows are already sold out, or perhaps I just really like them. Or both. Anyway, to get this song, I went to subpop.com, found Iron and Wine, and downloaded the song. If you can't figure it out, I suggest you avoid this blog.
2. Upward Over the Mountain by Iron and Wine
And thus continues the parade. Perhaps it is this line "So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten..." that forces me to enjoy this song.
3. If I Had Eyes by Jack Johnson
Yes, it was a slightly disappointing cd by JJ. It lacked that Bubble Toes, or Flake, or Taylor, or Sitting, Waiting, Wishing. It lacked that truly awesome upbeat and happy love song. "If I Had Eyes" was supposed to be that albums song. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite make it to the level of those JJ favorites...but it is quite the solid song in its own right.
4. Spaceman by The Killers
You cannot hate it. Yes, they are a little crazy and wild, but they continue to produce new and creative things. 
5. Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens
I, stupidly, did not listen to this song for several weeks. That is over. Eva Rendle, bless your hippie heart. 
6. Jezebel by Iron and Wine 
Again, an Eva Rendle to Brendan discovery transfer. The beauty, oh the beauty.
7. Promising Light by Iron and Wine
Another back to back Iron and Wine decision. This lovely song by Sam Beam is making its MOTW debut...so enjoy.
8. Do You Remember by Jack Johnson
No, it is not fall...but Davis is the cycling town...so the bike references to have quite the relevance (And Davis and SB are both UCs..) 
9. Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel
The melody is simply, beautiful. I wish the song was longer. 
10. Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch
Hmm...another song about a warm, orange sun. Springtime in Davis. 
11. Other Side of the World by KT Tunstall
Its a little older, but still a goodie. 

ANYway. Enjoy. 

Lets play BIG TIME catch up: Part 3

Wow. It has been 13 days since I last blogged. 
And for that I am truly sorry. A lot of stuff's been going on. Last week I was SUPER sick. It was quite awful. And then this weekend, obviously, was Picnic Day, (more on that later though) so suffice it to say that I have had other things on my mind.

Lets recap.

I grew out a really bad-ass beard from almost three weeks. Yes, some people argued I looked Amish. Some even argued I looked bad. Most argued I looked A LOT older. (like I needed that)
Anyway, the beard is now gone. 
Last thursday the Sereno Serenogades won our first IM soccer match of the spring season...and we are looking to dominate some beazies now...every thursday night. 

Friday was the first day in Davis it was TRULY hot. Michael and I played a few hours of pick up soccer and then headed down to Jamba...beautiful weather. (mark the date, 4/17) ...and guess what, it is not going to stop being hot until like, October. Oh snap. 

I went downtown with JR, Mickey, Alex, and Stacey for some Sushi...my first ever...and the experience was pretty epic, I have to admit. (Though I'm very disappointed freakin gelato was closed when we got there for desert.)

I decided that I needed to purchase my yearly string of progressive/liberal/awesome shirts on cafepress.com . So...I've narrowed the options down to 8 or 9...and I'm taking volunteers to help me choose...so hit me up if you are interested. KK has already helped narrow it down...but I need a few others to vote or something on the final chioces (You know the qualifications...liberal, awesome, and blunt).

And I'm going to wrap this up quickly. Saturday was picnic day, and lemme tell you, it was pretty epic. Music, events, Woodstocks, friends, Battle of the Bands...Picnic Day '09 rocked. 

Alright...I'll have some more later.


Lets play catch up: Part 2

Hola everyone. (I know, I'm totally a big fat gringo, so what am I doing saying hello in spanish?)

Answer: I have no idea.

Well, its raining in Davis. And bloody freakin cold.

Also, I'm trying to be an IM Soccer Ref this quarter. So I could reallyyyyyyy really use that job. I've already spent like 8 hours at clinics and stuff over the past 2-3 days, and tonight is the last one, so lets hope that I get this job. 

I also am considering rushing the fraternity Sigma Chi, thanks to a few brothers that are urging me down that road. I'm not really sure. Most (if not all) people would definitely NOT peg me as a brother...in fact, most would say that my charm (haha) lies in the fact that I try to avoid the mainstream. (Don't laugh. lol) Um, so we'll see.

I also am considering applying for an internship at one of my favorite websites, baseball prospectus . But, the letter of inquiry is due tomorrow, and I really don't have any idea of what to write about. So.....I'm not sure.

And, yeah, I'm in class a lot this quarter. So, it looks like these next 9 weeks are shaping up to be some busy ones.