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April 2002
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June 2002

identity theft, kate rambeau

So yesterday I get a letter from a collection agency telling me I owe Verizon Wireless more than $1000. Turns out someone used my personal info to run up a cell phone bill about a year and a half ago. Turns out the same person ran up a big Pac Bell bill at the same time. First I've heard of it.

On a happier note, Robin is watching Enterprise and Dey Young is a guest star. Might not mean anything to you, but she's famous at our house as Riff Randall's best friend Kate Rambeau in Rock and Roll High School. Well, we must have seen that movie a million times, because I can't remember ever seeing Dey Young in anything else, ever, but the minute she opened her mouth on this Star Trek show, we recognized her voice!

Oh, one more thing ...

Congratulations, Dr. Sandell!!!

neal

father and son
Today is my son Neal's 27th birthday. He and I and his new wife Sonia will be off to Pac Bell Park in a bit to watch the Giants; Neal and I have been going to Giants games together for more than 20 years. Every parent says that their kids are the greatest ... at least, every parent SHOULD say that. This is my turn.

Neal is the greatest.

If you want proof, ask the people who have worked with him over the years. When your workmates sing your praises, that's a v.good sign. It's probably no accident that he met Sonia when they worked together.

I am so proud of my son. I know it's supposed to be the other way around, but facts are facts: he takes care of me. Happy birthday, Neal!


jose canseco

Back in '97, when Jose Canseco returned to play for Oakland, I had a chance to meet his father. One of the all-time A's fans, woman named Lil Bartholo, was a great fan of Jose's, and she made a huge banner that said something like "Welcome Back Jose" and got a bunch of us fans to sign it. (I admit that, while I always liked Canseco, I still held a grudge against him for beating up on my favorite team, the Giants, in the '89 Series, but Lil is v.persuasive, and I signed it, too.) Lil got a luxury box at the Coliseum for a game, brought the banner along, invited her friends to the box, and made arrangements to meet Jose to give him the banner before the game.

Jose was injured at the time, and wasn't able to come out. But his father was in town, along with I think his uncle (father's brother) and a woman who was with one of the gentlemen. Anyway, folks were out bringing food and stuff to the box ... I think Robin and Sean were the only ones in the box ... when the door opened and a middle-aged man said "Hello, I'm Jose Canseco." My wife said "you must be Jose Canseco, Senior!," and indeed he was. He and his brother and their friend had come to spend the game in the box with us, representing Jose Jr.

And so we watched the entire game with Mr. Canseco, who was a very charming man. He had a huge ring on one finger, and when I took a look at it, I realized it was his son's 1989 Championship ring. "That's beautiful" I said in my broken Spanish (although he spoke perfect English, I needed the practice!), "but I'm a Giants fan, so that ring brings back sad memories for me." Mr. Canseco assured me that he understood, you had to root for your team.

Jose Jr. never got into the game that day; he was in the on-deck circle ready to pinch-hit as the final out was made. As we were preparing to leave, Mr. Canseco asked if he could say something to all of us. Speaking for his son, he thanked us for the banner; then he began speaking for himself. He thanked everyone for being good fans of his son ... said Jose Jr. had always had his ups and downs with fans and media, and it made his father glad and proud to know that his son still had good fans like us. By this point, Mr. Canseco's guys were red and a little watery, and I confess mine probably were, too. It was a lovely moment, one that I'm happy to recall once again as Jose retires.


grandma's house

grandma's house
My brother David has put up some current pictures of my grandmother's house, where she and the grandfather I never knew moved more than 80 years ago, where my father and his siblings were born, and where several generations of Rubios spent a lot of time over the years. The old place has changed enough that when I first saw the above picture out of context, I didn't know what it was. Even now, after seeing the other photos, I find the picture confusing. In any event, 904 I Street is a part of our past; thanks to David for putting up the pictures.

waking life

Waking

Sometimes editing, good or bad, draws attention to itself. I think the editing in Memento is good, but you certainly notice it. So I wouldn't necessarily say the best editing is the editing you don't notice. Ali isn't poorly edited; in fact, I'd argue that the opening sequence, with Sam Cooke singing and Cassius Clay beating Sonny Liston, is beautifully edited. The story editing is off, though ... scenes we don't care about go on forever, scenes we want more of are over before they get started (or, at times, aren't in the movie at all).

Of course, most people who know me are aware that I think many, many movies today are too long, so I certainly agree with Sue that Ali could be a lot shorter. I'd rather be watching Booty Call.

Waking Life is too long and too short at the same time. At times while you're watching it, you wish a particular character would shut the hell up, but you're not really antsy, because you know someone else will come along in a minute or two, and maybe you'll find them interesting, and maybe they'll be gone before you've had enough. I usually mistrust films that beg to be seen again, movies that as soon as they're over you need to watch them from the beginning in order to actually understand the fuckers. But Waking Life makes you want to watch it again because it's such an intelligent, heady mix of ideas that you want to hear them again, to mull over the best ones and reconsider the worst ones. The movie is both elitist and populist; actually, it's neither, it just stands those terms on their heads and makes them irrelevant. You have a bunch of people talking about deep philosophical topics, and some of the people are among the elite of their field and some are just average Joes or Janes, and some of them are on target and some are full of shit, but there's no direct correlation between a character's standing in their field and their level of bullshit. Some of the sharpest characters are Joe/Jane Average; some of the most overblown are "professionals." And some pros are sharp, and some Joe-Janes are loony. Categories are worthless in this film.

As for the look of the film, it is one of the best visual approximations I've ever seen of tripping. OK, of dream states ... all I can say is my dreams don't look like Waking Life, but the world under the influence of LSD looks and feels a lot like the imagery in the movie. It gets that "weirder than real yet somehow more real than real" feeling down perfectly.

Read the reviews for this movie and you'll notice the film's fans make a good case, while its detractors don't get much beyond "don't like it." Which is a perfectly valid response, but in this case, the intensity with which the movie's proponents engage its ideas is telling. This is a very smart movie that has the potential for broad appeal. That's a good thing. I give it an 8 on a scale of 10, but I bet if I ever watch it again, I'll give it a different rating, depending on where I'm at then.


i agree!

About Steven's Ali review: "Hi! I agree! Love ya! Sue" :-)

I'll also add that I've never really understood what makes good editing in the movies. I guess that says they must be doing it really well for me not to notice what makes it bad. Ali shows us what bad editing is about. The movie is 2-1/2 hours, and even someone like me who doesn't know about film editing could have cut this one down to under 120 minutes with little effort.

(posted by Sue)


things

Julie just sent me a chain letter of sorts, titled "Things you didn't know and probably never wanted to know about me." Here are my answers:

1. LIVING ARRANGEMENT? I arrange with my lungs to breathe. I live. Seems to work out OK.
2. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING NOW? Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America.
3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? my mouse
4. FAVORITE CARD GAME it's been awhile, let's put it that way
5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Entertainment Weekly
6a. FAVORITE SMELL? cooking wine
6b. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL? this toxic crap my wife puts on her nails
7. FAVORITE SOUND? the hum of my computer
8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? being too chicken to kill myself ... it combines the awful feeling of being suicidal with the awful feeling of inaction
9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? I have to pee
10. FAVORITE COLOR? turquoise or teal or whatever they call it now
11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? no answer
11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? 2
12. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? Future Child
13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? I know I should say love and family, but let's face it, I'd be real happy if the Giants won the World Series
14. FAVORITE FOOD(s)? any non-vegetable that's bad for me
15. VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE? chocolate
16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? don't care, which I suppose means no
17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? there's only room for one of us
18. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY? scary ... I hate nature
19. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Volkswagen
20. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? beer
21. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN? Uranus
22. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? that would imply that I eat broccoli
26. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL? ask me that one more time and I'm gonna break the fucking glass
27. FAVORITE MOVIES? The Godfather Parts I and II, Bonnie and Clyde, The Sorrow and the Pity, Hard-Boiled, Rio Bravo, Run Lola Run
28. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? which ones are the right ones?
29. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? same thing that's over my bed: communists
30. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER? 4
31. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH baseball
32. SAY ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TOO YOU Julie is always surprising ... I bet I'll still be finding stuff out about her when we're both very old
33. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Sue ... she answers every email, even if it's just to say "Hi! I agree! Love ya! Sue"
34. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? one of the many people on the list I don't know from Adam
35. WHAT CD OR TAPE IS IN YOUR CAR STEREO RIGHT NOW? 705 minutes of MP3s ... last three artists heard: Pink, Sleater-Kinney, Mojo Nixon
36. FAVORITE TV SHOWS Buffy, NYPD Blue, Buffy, 24, Buffy, The Shield, Buffy, West Wing, Buffy, Bernie Mac, Buffy, sports, Buffy
37. EARLIEST MEMORY? "LET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!"
38. IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY TODAY. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? nothing ... when you're rich, you don't HAVE to do anything
39. IF YOU AND YOUR VERY FIRST BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND WERE STILL TOGETHER, WHERE WOULD YOU BE NOW? we ARE still together
40. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM VACATION????? watching the Giants win the World Series