contraband sabbatical

WEEKEND RECAP

FRIDAY

Faye and I needed a break from partying. And besides, a half-Cylon baby was being born on BSG, so we decided to have dinner at Kozak’s followed by a night in. A word to the wise about Kozak’s. I know everything on the menu looks really delicious and that might make you think you should order several different items. You shouldn’t. Each entrée and appetizer is enough food for 2-3 people in and of itself. Just make up your mind to come back many times to try everything on the menu and you’ll be better off.

Since Faye made me watch the “House of Wax” remake (which was a remake in name only) on Thursday, I made her watch “Cursed”. “Cursed” was worse than “House of Wax”. (By the way, Mark, we also watched “Dead Serious” on Thursday.). There were two pretty funny parts in “H o W”. There was nothing funny in “Cursed” except, perhaps, Michael Rosenbaum’s hair.

We finished “Cursed” in time for BSG to start. As Borgia is a relative newcomer to the BSG universe, he had many many questions. You don’t realize how much they DON’T dumb down the script for the audience (as they do on, say, Lost) until you watch it with a virgin. I chose a bottle of wine that, based on the packaging, led me to believe that Cylons might drink it. I know, I’m a dork. It was pretty good wine though, for $8.

I was a little disappointed that the Cylon baby looked totally human (unlike the hybrid baby on V). But maybe it will display some weird characteristics later. Like, maybe when it’s nursing, its spine will glow red. Or maybe it will accidentally hurt some other kid on the playground because it doesn’t know its own strength. Of course, since everything on BSG moves slowly, we won’t get to see this kid grow up. I don’t think the kid will grow up Species fast because it seemed like the gestation period was pretty normal. I’m sure all my speculations are fascinating.

SATURDAY

Having gone to bed pretty early the night before, I woke up bushytailed at 9am. Dom and I set about doing a bit of much needed tidying. Then I met Faye at the bus stop so that we could catch a matinee of “Nightwatch” with Andrew at the Neptune.

Andrew was running late and we were running early so we went into Zanadu to kill time, vowing not to buy ANYTHING. Miraculously, we succeeded in leaving empty handed. It wasn’t easy to say no to the Punisher Valentine’s Day issue. Did I mention I have a crush on the Punisher? I don’t know what it is about the hulking, half-crazy chap with a dubious set of morals, but when he’s written by Garth Ennis, he makes me all tingly. Not so much with the Tom Jayne though.

Anywho, Faye bought $20 worth of snacks for everybody and we settled in to watch “Nightwatch”. There was a Russian couple behind us who was very excited about seeing a Russian movie with English subtitles. I don’t blame them. I think there may have been much lost in the translation, because they laughed heartily at a few moments that came off as only mildly amusing to us Americans. They also laughed at the first appearance of the lead, one Konstantin Khabensky. I assume there is some stigma associated with this actor that made his lead role in a Russian Matrix-style trilogy hilarious. Kinda like Keanu is for us? All I know is that I found the guy kinda hot. I realized later that it’s because he reminded me a bit of Steve Coogan. The movie itself wasn’t that great, but I enjoyed it. Andrew really liked it and Faye hated it. We were like the three bears. I agree with Faye’s complaints about it, but they didn’t bother me as much as they bothered her. We were both extremely annoyed by the liberties they took with the subtitles though. Words turned red, were bolded for emphasis, or disappeared behind furniture. It was very distracting and heavy-handed. I’m not terribly motivated to seek out the other two. But I didn’t feel like it was a waste of time or anything.

After the movie, we planned to eat dinner at Araya, but it was still early. Instead, we wandered down to Bulldog news. It only killed a half an hour. So we decided to go into Flowers and do a round or two of shots. Faye and I started with chocolate cake shots, and Andrew, ever the manly man, got straight tequila. For our second round, Faye and I switched to angel food cake shots (which taste pretty similar to chocolate cake shots, but are lighter in color), and Andrew got another tequila. With a pretty good buzz blaring, we walked to Araya which still doesn’t have a liquor license. Last we heard they were applying for it. The waitress made it sound like a big drama transpired and now it was all hopeless. I knew this was bad news because once you start a buzz, it’s not a good idea to stop drinking, lest the sleepiness overtake you.

As per usual in all vegetarian restaurants, Faye and I freaked out a little bit. We’re not used to having EVERYTHING ON THE MENU at our disposal. We settled on 3 entrées and an appetizer to split. Everything was extremely delicious.

We then rushed to a new bar to salvage some of the buzz. Faye was supposed to meet Borg at Big Time, but I convinced everyone to hit Fin McCool’s first because I wasn’t ready to switch to beer. Continuing the evening’s tradition of drinking sorority girl drinks, Faye and I ordered chocolate martinis. I really liked mine, but it was impossible to drink fast. Andrew switched to coffee because he was driving.

Andrew took his leave of us, and Faye and I headed to Big Time. It was too late, however. We had messed up the process and were both tired. Borgia drove us home and I finished out my evening watching Aeon Flux (the cartoon, not the movie), and helping Dom put together a production book.

SUNDAY

Faye, Dom and I interviewed our new set designer for the movie. Then we watched Dom film a bunch of webisodes for his “production diary”. It’s kind of a cheesy motif. Dom is a “mogulsexual” telling people how to dress like a producer, by wearing functional stuff like hoodies and beards. Faye and I were forced to participate in two of the skits.

Then Faye and I headed back to the hill, leaving Dom to his giant pile of work. I stopped briefly at Faye’s to see if her neighbor was out, allowing us to DDR. No such luck. Instead, I went home and made biscuits and gravy, paid some bills, did some mending, and watched some episodes of “American Gothic”. A mellow end to a very mellow weekend. Oh well. It’s good to have those every once in a while. The weird thing is that I’m still just as exhausted today as I am every Monday.

rel ax

I've spent the morning watching the adventures of Arj and Poopy. My favorites are “Long Distance Relationship” wherein Poopy drives a car and “Shpants” which contains several musical numbers. What will they do next?!

This is most modern and safe way not to cover with shame

Last night I finally watched one of the movies that Mark lent me. It’s called “Threads” and it’s about the destruction of society after a nuclear war. I must admit that it did test my desensitization level. There were some pretty damned disturbing images in there. There was a sporadic narrator and a lot of text which at first made me feel like I was watching an educational video with a narrative thru-line. However, after the bomb dropped the use of stock footage and the quick splicing of images lent it a certain documentary feel. There was no music, just the screams of human agony and the sound of nuclear winter. It’s not often that a violent movie stays with me, but I have a feeling this one will for a while, despite the cheesy freeze-frame ending. Actually, I’m kind of grateful for the freeze-frame because it ushered me out of the horrible images and back into reality. Obviously, it’s not a happy-fun-time Sunday afternoon movie, but I recommend watching it. The realism in it could turn any war monger into a flower-sniffing pacifist. Thanks for sharing, Mark!

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smoke my pecan

If you ever considered becoming a tax evader, this would be the year to do it. I did my taxes on Monday and not only am I not getting a refund, but I OWE the government 4X more than I did last year. The only think I can think to attribute this to would be the prosperity of the stock market which brought me good returns on my reinvested dividends. I have a small amount of money invested in ONE mutual fund that did well last year and I accrued pretty close to the EXACT amount of money I now owe to the government in taxes. Whose idea was this? After I pay, I will be right back where I was last year financially. So an entire year of investing is now moot thanks to Bushy’s regime and the expenses of a war I don’t believe in. God bless America.

This has, however, inspired me to open a ROTH IRA. That way I can shield my savings from taxes until I retire, at which time we will either have a nice Democratic president in office and I will be able to spend my money in peace, or else, the government will take it all and I will have to keep working until I drop dead. Call it a fun long-term social experiment!

Or wait mortician

WEEKEND RECAP

FRIDAY

Dom and I met Brugos at the Wild Rose early so that we could secure a table for karaoke. We ordered dinner and, after a while, started to become suspicious about the lack of set-up for the night’s events. Eventually, one of us got the bright idea to actually ASK if karaoke was happening (in accordance with their online schedule). It wasn’t. Wade and Elyse arrived in time for us to deliver the bad news, but we still needed to wait for their friend Alief (sp?) from “the lab” so show up. This gave us time to decide where we would go to satiate our karaoke hunger. We bandied between two choices: China Gate and Bush Garden. But since it was late, and our waitress suggested it, we chose China Gate because we were more likely to get a table and plenty of singing time. Alief arrived, and we all piled into Brugos’ Mustang (which feels a LOT smaller when you’re crammed on top of your boyfriend in the front seat, as I was). But we made it to China Gate without incident.

We had our pick of tables in the bar. After confirming that there was, in fact, karaoke that night, we set about ordering. Alief hadn’t eaten so she got a combo meal for the rest of us to munch on. It was all meaty but it looked pretty good.

We got our mitts on the karaoke books and confirmed what Brugos had told us about the selection being rather weak. Still, there were a few songs for each of us to pick, and since the place was empty, we didn’t have to worry about embarrassing ourselves.

Eventually, other people did show up. A group of girls sat in front of us and a fratty fellowship sat across from us. No matter. We still got to sing as many songs as we desired. Alief and Wade broke their karaoke cherries. Alief sang “You Can Find Me In The Club” (or whatever that song is called) in her adorable Turkish accent, and then she and Wade shared duties on “La Bamba” and “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). Brugos and Elyse sang several terrific duets and Dom sang “Live and Let Die”. I did “One More Try” by George Michael and “November Rain” (the shortened version…again. I’ve only had the pleasure to sing the long version once). Later, I squeezed in a little Belinda Carlisle. I took a few good pictures, which I will upload later, but my battery died early on, so I didn’t get a picture of the fantastic triple threat of Dom, Wade and Brugos singing “500 Miles”.

I drank a bit more than I’d planned too, but I spaced it out enough so that my magical 3-glasses-of-water hangover prevention worked just dandy.

SATURDAY

I spent the morning resting and pampering myself for the epic evening ahead. I did a few last minute preparations, gathered my decorations and makeup, and headed to Fremont in my new dress to meet Gene and Brugos at American Music. We picked up the MASSIVE stereo system that we’d rented for Gene’s DJing duties and somehow got the whole thing in Brugos’ Mustang. Unfortunately, we had to sacrifice one passenger in the process. Gene was chivalrous enough to volunteer, and he set off to get a bus to Brugos’ house. Meanwhile, Brugos and I drove the gear to his house, unloaded it, gained a Brad, and went to Trader Joe’s for some last minute shopping. I bought some bread and cheese and Brugos bough a case of Two Buck Chuck. Next, we met Gene at the Wayward Café for dinner. I had never been there before, but was very excited about the prospect of a menu that not only contained ALL VEGAN food items (meaning I had free run of the place) but that also received rave reviews from 3 rabid meat eaters. I ordered the Brit Breakfast, which consisted of veggie sausage, beans and an English muffin. Simple yet delicious. I also stole a bite of Gene’s Portobello Mushroom Biscuits and Gravy which were incredible. I definitely must go back there.

Around 7:30, we headed back to Brugos’ to begin decorating, and setting up the DJ equipment. We had a few technical difficulties to start. We didn’t have the right headphone adaptor and the antiquated equipment wouldn’t properly recognize Gene’s burned CDs. However, where old technology fails to adapt to change, new technology thankfully makes concessions for the elderly. Brad was able to hook his lap top up to the stereo and Gene could play his CDs, and run i-tunes through the speakers. Problem solved.

Meanwhile, Brugos whipped up a few batches of Sangria and I lit candles, blew up black balloons, and artfully placed the black paper roses I’d spend the last week making. We were ready!

People began to arrive and everyone looked great. I was really impressed with how accurate and painstaking peoples’ outfits were. There was a lot of attention to detail. I began to chug the way-too-delicious Sangria, forgetting how much rum was actually IN the recipe.

A man who wasn’t in costume, and whom I’d never seen before approached me. He asked me if I was Jessica. I said I was. He said that he was from the Stranger’s Party Crashers and he thanked me for inviting him. I didn’t tell him that I HADN’T invited him and that I was surprised to see him there. (Especially considering how many fundraisers and film screenings we have personally invited the Stranger too in the past that they’ve utterly ignored.) He told me that he loved the idea and he asked me some questions about its conception. I explained to him that Elyse had come up with it, but that she didn’t feel she had the proper Goth background to pull it off, so she called in the experts and that our friend with the biggest house volunteered to let us hold it there. He took a few pictures of me and Faye (one, right in front of our “Dark Deadness” poster from “Snow Day”!) and thanked us again. He spent the evening writing notes furiously in a pad and talking to random people. He seemed pretty cool but since everyone else had dressed up, he looked quite out of place. He became the pet project of the party, as people “gothed him up” throughout the evening. It was cute, and I suppose there is a good chance we might actually get written up this week. Look out for that.

Meanwhile, Gene spun the tunes, and oh how people danced. It was a lot of fun. I only wish the Sangria hadn’t been so deceptively delicious. I tried to dance a bit, but realized I was too drunk to attempt agile movements. So I sat on the couch, causing Gene to reprimand me for my lack of dancing. I felt bad, and vowed to boogie when I felt better. I started drinking water but it was too late. The nausea took hold and I had to leave. It was late enough so that no one noticed, and talking to Brugos the next day, it turns out the party didn’t last much longer anyway. I wish I could have cut more wood floor though.

The Party Crasher dude was still there when we left. He seemed to be enjoying himself immensely. All in all, I’d say the party was quite the success. Thanks to Brugos for returning that behemoth of a stereo by himself.

Pictures!
And more Pictures!

SUNDAY

Whenever I feel nauseous from drinking, I need to sleep on the couch. So there I slept, much to the chagrin of my back. I was only able to transport myself to my bed around 7am. I knew I needed to sleep as long as possible, so I didn’t get up till about 11.

Once I got up and had a nice greasy plate of hashbrowns, I felt well enough to DO something with my day. But what? I called Faye and she had no ideas. Eventually, she came up with a (perhaps ill-conceived) trip to Half-Price Books and the drug store. But first: DDR at her house! I hope her downstairs neighbor is gone every Sunday because I’m really enjoying my high-impact aerobic Sundays.

I got lucky because Faye got to the Graphic Novels section before me so she saved me from spending money on all the good stuff. I instead bought a few single issues from the bin that looked interesting, bringing my splurge total in under $20. Thanks, Faye.

After that, we decided to return to my house to pick a movie to watch, and to order Thai food. We ordered from Samui on 15th, which had VERY delicious food. Unfortunately, the guy that owns the place is a total prick, so I don’t think I can ever order delivery from them again. Faye heard me give him my address, apartment number and phone number correctly. He said it would be there in 35 minutes. An hour and a half later, we still had no food, so we decided to call and check on it. The guy sounded really pissed off. “I went to your apartment” he said. “I buzzed apartment 302 and no one answered. Then I tried calling your number and it was a wrong number”. I said that my apartment number was 203 and that is what I had given him. He told me that I had definitely told him 302. He read me back my phone number and he had inverted two numbers. I gave him my correct number. I should have had him read those numbers back to me because he had read my credit card number back to me and had inverted two of those numbers as well. He said he could bring me the food again, but that “I’m really busy now and so I won’t be able to come for a while. You will just have to be patient”. After hanging up, I told Faye what had happened, and she pointed out the fact that I had also given the man my first and last name which are printed on the buzzer RIGHT NEXT to my apartment number. I don’t know why he didn’t want to bring us our food (we’d ordered well over the minimum order amount, they OFFER delivery, and we only live two blocks away). 40 minutes later, he showed up with our reheated food. I didn’t give him a tip. I knew this would seal my fate with the guy and I could never order from them again, but damnit, I was not going to let him be a prick to me for the numerous mistakes that he made. As we ate the food, I began to regret the lack of tip a little bit. Even reheated, it was REALLY FUCKING DELICIOUS. So if anyone wants to order Thai food delivery in Capital Hill, can I come over?

While we waited for our food, we watched Wedding Crashers which was so bad in so many ways. Bad horror movies are usually awesome. Bad dramas can be awesome. Bad TEEN comedies can also be awesome. But bad adult comedies are pretty much just not funny and therefore not at all enjoyable. Bummer. My boss had lent me the DVD because he thought it was hilarious. I’m pretty sure he finds it hilarious because the Vince Vaughn character talks JUST LIKE my boss. He told me that if I liked ZoolanderI would like Wedding Crashers. I have no idea where he got that comparison, besides the presence of Owen Wilson. Oh, Owen…you used to be so talented. But I feel some hacks coming on.

X3 Preview

One of the blogs I frequent is this guy's comics blog. He pretty much knows EVERYTHING there is to know about the medium so much of the time I don't know what he's talking about, but I learn a lot. He also makes some pretty funny web comics of his own. Here's one he did using pictures from the upcoming Roger Corman-looking X3:

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If only he were writing the script, I would actually be kind of excited to see the thing.

receptive jubilant remand

WEEKEND RECAP

FRIDAY

Dom and I strolled down to The Superbig Collective to see the premiere of Alesia’s short “Future Syn”. The space was pretty weird inside. I guess it’s kind of an artist’s co-op so there are a lot of different rooms for different types of art, and they’re all off of a narrow hallway type-area (where the most of the party was). So there was a lot of standing and moving out of people’s way so they could get past. Still, there was free food (cheese and meat) and an open bar (run by Alesia’s dad, who I know…so I couldn’t go back to the bar as often as I wanted to). The movie itself: it’s very distracting to watch a movie full of people you know and hang out with all the time. I wonder if Hollywood people have the same problem.

SATURDAY

Meep and I decided to go shopping on Broadway to find her an outfit for the My Bloody Valentine’s Day party next Saturday (if you’re not coming, it better be because you live in another state, because it’s going to be AWESOME). Anyway, we went to Crossroads, and perused the massive costume section of Red Light. Of course, I found a dress because I, of all people, needed something new to wear to a gothic-themed party. Meep found a cute top. We were good to go. Next stop, back to Meep’s house to pick up the ghetto Lemongrass Lime Rikis I made and then off to the Meridian to watch “Final Destination 3”.

FD3 was cool. We knew there was no way it was going to be as awesome as FD2, but it still had potential, just based on the fact that it features a lot of teenagers getting killed. Sure, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is no A.J. Cook, and Ryan Merriman is no Poor Man’s Wes Bentley, but it was extremely enjoyable nonetheless. I think the Death’s Design franchise works so well because there are no cheesy-looking monsters to ruin the mood. Just lots of bloody, goopy teenage slaughter. I won’t spoil any of the specific death scenes, but I will say that there were some pretty cool effects involving many sharp objects.

The audience was refreshing for a horror movie. At least, one group was. Meep and I were relieved, for once, to not be the only people taking delight in Death’s Design. There was also a couple (who sat right in front of us in a ¾ empty theatre). The guy seemed to be enjoying himself. The verdict is still out on his girlfriend. Some dumb shits did, however, BRING A KID TO FINAL DESTINATION 3. I don’t care if you can’t get a babysitter or if the kid swears up and down they won’t be frightened when they inevitably see brains flying everywhere. Both you and the kid can rent the damned movie in 5 years.

After the movie, Meep and I had a little time to kill and I was hungry, so we went to Gameworks to first, split a “Really Big Quesadilla”, a house salad and two Zombies (which were horrible, by the way. Don’t order the Zombie unless you are able to eat spoonfuls of sugar without flinching. I felt like I was becoming instantly diabetic after every sip). We still had about half an hour after our meal before we had to catch the bus to the U-District, so we bought $7 Gameworks cards and ran around to try and find where they’d put DDR. They replaced the two DDR stations in the front with two House of the Dead 4 stations. HotD4 looked pretty awesome, but Meep said she didn’t have $40 to spend on beating it. We found ONE DDR station, but it looked like the guy was in it for the long haul. So we checked the two air hockey tables, but they were overrun with kids also. We waited as long as we could, but we had to catch the bus. So now we have $14 worth of Gameworks fun at a future date when the place isn’t doubling as a day care.

Off to the U, where we got to Café Allegro just in time for the Tangents to start their set. We had to squeeze in right in the front row, which was a little weird, (probably more for Elyse and Rene than for us). Luckily, we know them well enough to be all up in their face while they play. They sounded awesome, as usual. Elyse rocked the cello and the egg maraca.

After the show, we headed downstairs to the College Inn, and hung out till almost closing. I really like the College Inn, but I wish to hell they’d turn the juke box up. If I put in $5 worth of songs, I want to be able to hear them over the chitter chatter of college students.

SUNDAY

My day began with breakfast with Charlie’s with Gene and Sherwood. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm day, so we decided to walk around a little bit after. We wandered down to That’s Atomic, which I’ve never been inside of…and still haven’t. It was closed. Then we walked back up to Easy Street, where I bought Killer Rats and Wicked City. I have never heard of either of these movies, but I had to get Killer Rats because of Ron Perlman and the hilarious picture on the back (which I couldn't find on the internet anywhere). And Wicked City just looked kind of cool. They were both $6, so what the hell.

Gene had to get home and Sherwood had to run to his office to check on his poor fish who may or may not have survived a power outage. I paid Meep a surprise visit which was fortuitous for me, as her neighbor wasn’t home. This means…DDR marathon! We played DDR till we couldn’t be upright anymore, and then proceeded with the evening’s plans which involved an organic vegetarian spaghetti-o’s feast and Blade: Trinity. Blade: Trinity is every bit as awful as I’ve heard. Even Ryan Reynolds’ bulging pecs and sardonic demeanor couldn’t save it. Even PATTON OSWALT couldn’t save it. Jesus, it was bad. The script felt like a first draft by a 12-year old. The special effects were hackneyed. When the dialogue wasn’t being painful to listen to, it was just boring. Do NOT waste your time in this one. No redeeming value. None.

But no matter. I had a lot of fun this weekend. I saw some great music, lots of violent head injuries and played DDR with my BFF. Wesley Snipes would have to make another 5 Blade movies to put a damper on that. And from what I hear, he may never get work in Hollywood again.

NEXT WEEKEND: Lesbian karaoke and My Bloody Valentine’s Day!