Archive for December, 2008

December 31, 2008

bg/ish: Out With The Old…

i want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year. 2008 was pretty rugged at times, but like anything, there was of course good with the bad. at the very least, we attempted to get bg/ag publishing back online with varying results. i certainly hope to hit the ground running in 2009 with this site, so we’ll see.

hopefully everyone has a chance to stop and reflect on the year that was, and although i don’t encourage the folly of new year’s resolutions it’s still a good time to evaluate where you have been and where you are going.

it’s winter now, so let’s all huddle up to stay warm…

December 12, 2008

bg/ish: “swimming in copper to smell and pretend like a robot!”

well, this friday turned out to be a little more hectic than i was hoping for as far as work is concerned, but really with the economy quickly morphing into an outhouse it’s hard to complain about having work and getting paid, so i won’t.

apparently something in my brain has instructed my body to consume as much caffeine as humanly possible in one day, perhaps to get myself back to my pre-food poisoning levels. i can’t explain why else i’ve been sucking down Coke’s today like it’s nobody’s business. i’d better stop immediately or i’ll be awake until sunday.

at any rate, it’s friday and so as promised i’m just going to drop a few links on you and disappear for the weekend. there’s just one more thing though…

* * * * *

another fantasy football season has come and gone for me. well, technically, it’s the second round of the playoffs, but as usual, my team has already “gone fishin”, or in other words, i am suffering through the humiliation of yet another losing season. didn’t even make the playoffs…


PLAYOFFS?!?! Don’t talk about… PLAYOFFS?!?!?! You kiddin’ me?!?!? PLAYOFFS?!?

so, here’s a quick rundown of my fantasy football exploits over the years:

(W-L-T)

2008 – SF F.C. (5-8-0)
2006 – Planet Express (5-9-0)
2003 – Diabolica Invenzione (2-13-0)
2002 – Conquering Fools (5-9-0)
2001 – Tripping Billies (3-11-0)

thank the football gods that the equally as humiliating stats from 2000 are unavailable through Yahoo! anymore. as it stands, we’re looking at a combined record of 20-50-0. i clearly lack a winning formula. in fact, the hiatus between 2003 and 2006 was strictly due to the sheer demoralization caused by the 2003 season. (although i did play an NFL.com league in 2004 and did quite well, no records exist of this so i cannot prove it.)

so ya, this season started with a lot of promise, 2 huge wins, and a false sense of accomplishment. now it’s in the toilet along with our economy, my dignity and a host of other parasites and bacterial matter i’ve violently ejected from my body in recent days. meh.

my brother’s team in the same league is still alive though, so i guess i’ll be pulling for him to take it from those other chumps.

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read about this group recently, Los Campesinos!, picked up their albums, and am finding them to be brilliant. well the first album at least. i haven’t delved into the latest one yet.

so here’s my YouTube link for the weekend… do with it what you will.

Death to Los Campesinos!

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also, i wanted to pass along this game i read about on boingboing.net this week. it’s called Minotaur China Shop, and seriously, if the name alone doesn’t make you want to play, then what will? this screen cap perhaps?

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alright kiddies, that’s all i’ve got in me for today. have a safe weekend.

as usual, bg loves you and hates you just the same.

December 12, 2008

bg/ish: Bike Porn: Dual Aerospokes

i love fixed gear bikes. mmmmm. they say good things come in pairs…

thanks to the boys over at the southsea fixed gear fight club for this little gem.

December 12, 2008

bg/ish: back among the living

it’s been an interesting week. i’m pretty sure i started a post exactly the same way last week. oh well, this is a blog after all, can’t put too much thought into swanky intros and pored over discourse. but i digress…

so i spent some time among the undead for a few days. at least that’s certainly how i felt, and to some extent, how i currently look. i’d like to give a big shout out to Darla’s Shitbox, er, Restaurant here in San Francisco for striking me down with the black death. i ate there this last sunday night and got a side order of food poisoning along with my triple cheeseburger. go figure.

food poisoning, apparently, is one of those conditions you may vastly underestimate the ruggedness of until it wines you, dines you, takes your pants off and goes all Zed from Pulp Fiction on your ass.

so today is really my first day back to eating solid food and moving amongst the living as if i were one of them. fools! do they not know that i feed only on the broth of chickens! muahahaha!

at any rate, i’m sure i browsed the web whilst in my zombie like state and saw some things worth passing along, but really, when your body is preoccupied with something as trivial as say, surviving the night, well, your “Internet Cool” filter becomes untrustworthy and at best an afterthought. so all the momentum i felt i’d built with last week’s posts quickly ground to a halt and my bg/ag pub voice fell silent.

oh well, at least ag took a break from writing his book, “The Ways of Us Gays”, long enough to drop some knowledge on the blog in that special way that only he can. relax, it’s been too long since i’ve spewed any hate in ag’s direction and really it’s just my way of saying, “i miss ag/ish and you do too!” so there.

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i find myself in these situations sometimes where you take a lease out on a friendship with someone only to find that what you thought was a handshake agreement becomes riddled with paperwork and conditions. wait, i’m losing myself here. what i’m trying to say is, people who only want to be your friend on their conditions and expectations kind of suck. it’s when you fail to meet one of these conditions, these same childish folks then love to try and push your buttons in ways (passive-aggressive or not) that invite a response. but the response is really all they want.

it’s laughable. seriously, it’s motherfucking laughable.

it’s also stupid and self-centered. it’s like writing in your blog that you hate someone because they didn’t show up to a party, or texting someone at 3 in the morning when you’re shitty drunk. i’m pretty sure my boys AM said it best…


“And you can pour your heart out around three o’clock
When the 2 for 1’s undone the writers block”

but hey, this is san francisco. and along with the high rent, the hipsters and the gays, you just gotta put up with the kids who have only recently left home for the first time and hit the ground running in a frenzy. eventually they will all tire themselves out.

(also, i’m only kidding about having to “put up with the gays”. Prop 8 denies human rights!)

* * * * *

while i’m on the subject of beef, and i smell it cooking, i’d like to once again thank Darla’s Restaurant here in san francisco for their triple cheeseburger of death and plague.

wait…

i had a whole other rant to go into regarding an entirely unrelated and yet totally related situation but the truth is i’m just not in the mood anymore.

it feels good to be getting back to full health, and with a renewal of body can come a renewal of mind so i’m just going to go to my happy place and get rested up for what should be a nice friday and a relaxing weekend. we’ll try and dig up some “fridayish” vids or links or something tomorrow to get the mind right.

until then…

as usual, bg loves you and hates you just the same

December 6, 2008

agIsh: WhoWhatWhenWhereWhy?

Who?
There is no “who”! There never will a “who”! The last time I thought there was a “who” my heart got ripped out! In fact, you can pretty much track me via my bleeding heart since 2006! And of course my writing off of the female species is all due to fear! Who wouldn’t want a nice, warm ass to wake up to every morning? But at what cost?! I digress…I’m wearing out my “!/1” key.

What?
School and archery that’s what. That’s all I think about these days. I have one week left before finals and I’m burning out man. I’m burning out at an exponential rate. Because of the periodic pop quizzes I’m in a constant “state of cat-like readiness”. On the other hand, because of the pop quizzes my inherent laziness doesn’t have a chance to kick in and cause me to fall behind. *shrug*

As for archery, which had brought me so much joy in recent months, has been a source of anxiety in my life. I think I’m going through a mental block; I can’t shoot straight. Alright, alright…get the nasty sex jokes out of your system. Can we grow up now? What, are you in the third grade or something? Anyway, as with all things, the physical is preceded by the mental – if you think it is so, you will do so. Problem is I’m not thinking so. I have no idea how to get over it. It seems as though the more I practice to overcome it the deeper I get into it. It’s a deadly, vicious, pummeling cycle. We have a competition in mid-January and I have a little over a month to become badass. Let’s hope for the best.

When?
That’s a good question. Although I’m enjoying all these things I do, I’m not really living for today. My life is really quite stagnant; nothing to speak of really. I’ve convinced myself that I’m investing in my future, that when this is all done with I’ll start living my life. Wouldn’t it suck if I finish my “preparations” and find zero meaning in anything? At that point, I may have to pack up and randomly relocate and hopefully some meaning finds me.

Where?
Here. I kind of like where I am. It’s hard to say if it’s genuine “like” or just complacency, however. I know if I drive a couple hours in any direction I could get away from it all. But like I said, I have things to do before I actually do any of that. You gotta understand: I’m old. I look at it as a make-it-or-break-it point. I’m young enough that I can find something and pursue it fully but old enough that I can’t really afford to eff around anymore. So I’m doing what I need to do before I get to do what I want to do. So, this is where I’m staying for the next couple of years.

Why?
So that my life can start, man! As fun as school has been (it beats working) I don’t want to have school be the excuse anymore. I’m both excited to get it behind me and afraid that it may be like suddenly pulling away crutches. But “sometimes you just gotta race”, Chappelle says. No one truly knows what’s going to happen until it does. Sometimes you just gotta push forward while trying your best. Sometimes you just gotta decide that “something else is more important than fear.”

nv@ag

December 5, 2008

bg/ish: Meeting Sasha

It’s been an interesting week to say the least. Some ups, some downs. “A lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-you’s, a lot of strands to keep in my head, man. Lot of strands in old Duder’s head.” At any rate, I thought I’d end this week on a more personal note. My life changed for the better yesterday, and I feel compelled to share.

Quick back story – A little over 10 years ago I had somewhat of a falling out with certain members of my extended family, so there are some aunts, uncles and cousins of mine that I either haven’t seen in over 10 years or have never met at all. Yesterday I met Sasha, my 11 year old cousin, for the first time.

Sasha was born with Spinal Meningitis. She has been in a wheelchair her entire life, and will never walk. A heavy burden for a child to bear under any circumstances. I’d heard stories of her resilience, courage and maturity from other members of the family. “An amazing little girl”, they would say. Now I know from experience, they were right.

Sasha’s body has developed in such a way that her spinal cord and ribcage are essentially crushing her lungs. It was determined that she would need either an entire titanium rod fused to her spine or individual titanium pieces fused in between several vertebrae in an effort to straighten it out and alleviate the pressure on her lungs. She was brought from Sacramento to the UCSF Children’s Hospital here in San Francisco for the operation.

Several family members came into the city to support her and her parents and siblings, my mother included. I had planned on stopping by the hospital after work and checking in on the family, but around 2 o’clock I received a phone call from her brother, my cousin Christian.

“How come you’re not here?”, he asked.

“I’m at work, but I’ll come by when I get off”.

“Hold on”, he said, “Sasha wants to talk to you.”

I was all at once nervous and excited, unsure of what to expect from a child who was facing such a major surgical procedure.

“Hi!”, she said, “I’ve never met you!”

“I know, but you sound lovely.” And she truly did.

She thanked me and we went on to talk for a few minutes about how much she was enjoying a book she was reading in the waiting area. My mother had found an old Shel Silverstein book that my late grandmother had given to me as a child. She brought it with her to give to me, but had let Sasha read it while she was waiting to go into surgery.

Then she asked me if she could possibly meet me before she went into surgery. They were scheduled to take her in at 2:45. I looked at the time, it was 2 o’clock.

“Yes”, I said without hesitation.

I left work and rode like hell across the city. When I reached the hospital, I saw my mother and sister-in-law waiting outside the main lobby. We said our hellos and I went inside to meet Sasha.

She is an amazing little girl. Her courage was more than evident, her confidence and joy were infectious. You would have never guessed she was facing such a serious, painful procedure. She started right in with the questions…

“How tall are you?”

“What size is your shoe?”

“Why is your hair like that?”

She tried to return the book.

“Sasha, that book is yours” I said. She clutched it to her body and was genuinely excited.

Before they wheeled her upstairs to surgery she asked, “Do you want to take a picture?”

Of course I did.

And that is how I met Sasha, one of the strongest, most inspirational, and beautiful girls I have ever met in my life.

Today, she is recovering in the hospital with her family at her side.

I can’t wait to go and visit.

dw.bg

December 4, 2008

bg/ish: Claymation Craziness

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been in somewhat of a foul mood recently. Going on several weeks now. I’ll save those gory details for another post, perhaps a marathon post where I unleash my anger on the world and those in it who are causing me distress. In fact, that post almost has to happen, lest I go insane. But I digress…

Clearly over the last couple days I’ve basically been aping boingboing.net for worthwhile posts. So what. Hah. I stumbled upon this there and had to pass it on because in these days of distress it made me incredibly happy. 😀 See. That’s a smiley fo’ sho.

Eh. Enjoy.

December 3, 2008

bg/ish: I Made This. You Play This. We Are Enemies

Good lord. Sometimes even I can’t figure out why certain things hold my attention for more than 5 minutes. Take this game, “i made this. you play this. we are enemies” for example. It’s described by it’s creator as “an artwork/game/digital poem/world of scribbles and ideas from the back of my brain, way-way back in a storage room for contextual whims.”

Um… OK.

Just play it.

December 3, 2008

bg/ish: The Tilt-Shift Work of Keith Loutit

I first read about tilt-shift photography and using it to fake shots of miniatures a couple years ago from this boingboing.net post. You can also find a fairly technical explanation on how the technique works here.

Some filmmakers have been combining tilt-shift videography with time lapse effects to create some really superb short films. boingboing.net featured this one called Metal Heart by Keith Loutit a couple days ago, and seriously, what is there not to like about this?

Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

December 1, 2008

bg/ish: “Passing Time, Got To Get Outside The City”

Used to be one of my favorite songs to play on a road trip was “Happy Alone” by Kings of Leon. So, as I set off yesterday on what was supposed to be a routine bike ride I had the tune running through my head once again. Unfortunately it wasn’t on my iPod. But that is neither here nor there.

For the past 4 months or so, I’ve been riding a bike around San Francisco, and it’s quickly become an addiction. But that’s for another post. Recently I’ve been on a few rides with some friends, and yesterday was to be our most ambitious journey yet.

The plan was to roll out from the Mission, go through the park, across the Golden Gate bridge, descend down into Sausalito, and head into Tiburon, where we would eat at Sam’s Cafe and have a few beers and take the last ferry across the water and back to The City. By car this is about a 17 mile trip one way, but going by bike is not nearly as direct a route, so it’s probably closer to 20.

View Larger Map

Everything went according to plan until the “take the last ferry across the water” part. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

It was really a gorgeous day yesterday, hotter than it should be for this time of year. The ride out of The City through Golden Gate park was easy and relaxing. We got across the bridge with little trouble and took our first real break of the day. I got the best pictures I could of the bridge with the crappy camera I’m currently limited to using. We got going again and breezed into Saulsalito and after a brief detour (got lost) into Tiburon.

We were greeted in Tiburon by an 8 year old girl and her father selling lemonade for 50 cents a cup. This was clearly a deal we could not pass up! After refueling on lemonade we made our way down by the docks, sat by the water for a bit and then made our way to Sam’s Cafe for food and drinks.

We had finished by 4:30 but the last ferry didn’t leave until 6:20, so we had some time to kill. We walked around town for a while and finally settled on sitting at a coffee shop for a while. At 6 p.m. we returned to the ferry dock to unlock our bikes and have a quick smoke before the boat arrived.

Only the boat never arrived.

Turns out that 6:20 boat doesn’t run on Sunday’s. There’s not a lot you can say when you realize you’re stuck 20 miles from home after sundown with only your bike to get you back. A cab was out of the question (4 dudes with 4 bikes) and none of us were familiar enough with the Golden Gate Transit system enough to put a plan together that would have got us back by bus. Even then the chances of the bus having room for 4 bikes were not good.

It had taken us nearly 3 hours to get to Tiburon, and a big part of that was a pretty big descent into Saulsalito, which meant that there was a BIG hill to climb to get back up to the bridge. We knew what we had to do, and although not a single one of us was looking forward to it…

We rode.

We also managed to get lost. Thanks to some kind local residents and Jericho’s iPhone equipped with GPS we managed to get back on track. We finally reached the Golden Gate bridge, only to find it closed. Well, sort of. Turns out bikes can go across after hours. We pushed this red button, and after a moment or two the gate opened up and we were off.

It was one of those weird rewards you don’t expect, and after a long day and plenty of mishaps the 4 of us having the pathway on the Golden Gate bridge to ourselves on a clear night was something pretty amazing.

Needless to say, we made it home OK (well 3 of us for sure, you OK Brian?). The pain in my legs today is fairly intense, but when it was time to go to work this morning, I weighed my options and couldn’t resist. I rode.

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