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Showing posts from 2009

How I Spent My Winter Vacation

Wow, been a little while, huh?

So I had my wisdom tooth taken out earlier this month. Just one though, in the bottom left slot. Turns out the one on the right doesn't exist and the two on the top are just too puny to be bothered with right now.

I haven't been famously great with decision-making, so it was a tough one when they asked me how I wanted to be sedated. There's general anesthesia, an IV drip, and nitrous. Then, for those of us whose last name is Hulk, first name "The Incredible," there's the novocaine-only option. Wikipedia told me there's a 1 in 350,000 chance of dying under general, so that was out, because I'm pretty sure I'm one in a million, and would hate to have to die three times to prove it. (That's how odds work, right?)

The IV drip had too much in common with Rocky IV, so I had to pass on that too.

Nitrous, on the other hand, is awesome.
1. It makes cars go faster.

2. It makes whipped cream more delicious.

3. It provides key plot…

Budget Cuts

So for those of you who haven't been reading the news, now is not the best time to be reliant on the state of California for anything. Unfortunately, as a student of a public university, I'm currently looking to them to make me a writer.
Not the best idea.
A few weeks ago, SFSU decided that me going to school one day a week was just too much, so there was a furlough day on my one day of school. For people unfamiliar with the term, furlough mean teachers don't work, the school doesn't pay them, and I have 13 days off in a row for no good reason. It's a crazy, debt-ridden world we're living in, people.
Greeting me upon my triumphant return to school was a cat-sized dust bunny in the corner of my classroom.
A fellow student was quick to point out that this was clearly an "F-you" dust bunny, and I'm inclined to agree. If tenured teachers are taking mandatory days off, then imagine what the administration's doing to cut the costs of people who aren'…

Kanye feels the wrath of my Photoshop.

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I discovered how to use Photoshop. Take that, Kanye.

The Class Struggle

I had my first class of the new semester yesterday and one of my professors said something that just floored me:
"Class is the last taboo in America."
And here I was thinking it was bestiality. Once again, I owe a sincere appology to Eddie Munster. And John Travolta. And possibly Catherine the Great.
There's only one way to find out if class is a taboo or not: the comedy test. As Wikipedia tells me:
"When done as a parody or comedy, said or done by comedians, taboo topics and subject matter can induce comical reaction by the general public..."
There were several bestiality jokes in the beginning of this post. I thought they were funny. So it's probably still taboo. And a fun one at that.
So is class still taboo? I've got two reasons to think it isn't.
1. Aren't we all poor now? I mean I guess you can still have bragging rights about the 6-figure job you used to have, but when unemployment runs out, we'll all be in line at Walmart together buying ir…

Yo Joe!

Let me start off by saying that I am not one of the G.I. Joe faithful. Sure, I know what half the battle is (and even more recently, what comprises the other half), and I followed the general story arc of the series (shoot the bad guys). But since my house growing up was NRA unfriendly, the Joes and I always kept our distance.
That being said, G.I. Joe was fun.
I've realized my purpose in life. I am here to separate the two kinds of bad things in the world. To sift out the "so bad it's good" from the "so bad it's bad." I'm happy to report that for me at least, G.I. Joe falls solidly in the former category.
Lemme quickly give you a greatest hits rundown of the movie. Spoilers may follow. 1. Ninja fight. One all in black and one all in white. But get this, the black one is the good one! Welcome to Obama's America, people.
2. Sienna Miller shows her range as being able to play a blonde and an brunnette.
3. There's an underwater playset fortress. And …

Satan's Presidency

As a general rule I don't watch anything on YouTube over 2 minutes long unless it's about a shopping penguin, and it's a rule I don't advise breaking. So to save you time, I'll summarize this video:

If you take a passage from Luke 10:18, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" and translate it back to the Hebrew, which is close enough to the original Aramaic, "lightning" and "heaven" can be translated as Baraq and Bamah!

Some people might say that this means Luke is naming President Baraq Bamah (sp?) as the Antichrist, but that's an easy misinterpretation. The real Antichrist is, and always has been, the Barracks in (Ala)bama.

That's right, I'm talking about Fort Rucker. Is it any coincidence that Fort Rucker, if transposed through a spoonerism, becomes Rort F____r? And as we all know, rort is slang for scam in Australia, a country founded on colonies of criminals. So then rort would be a scammer of criminals, someone w…

God's Gym

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Sarah's been law clerking in Oakland over the summer at the International Institute of the Bay Area, working with undocumented immigrants who've had terrible stuff happened to them, and through the quirks of US immigration policy, are able to parlay those terrible experiences into legal status. Thanks to the U Visa, if you're the victim of a violent crime and help out with the police investigation, you could become a permanent resident. It's like winning the lottery, only worse.

Of course, that's assuming you're in a sanctuary city where the police won't call ICE to report you. If you're not in a sanctuary city, then your reward for being a victim of violence might just be deportation, which by all accounts is a pretty crappy prize.

Anyway, with Sarah's temporary addition to Oakland's workforce, I've become a temporary addition to Oakland's tourists. I don't know what you've heard about Oakland, but there's really only one …

Doing It The Hard Way

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12:00pm, 7/14/09. At the F Street movie theater, there's a line wrapped around the side of the building filled with a group of teen girls (and some boys) dressed up in capes and Gryffindor ties. They have another 12 hours to go before Harry Potter 6 premiers, and the high in Davis today is 103 degrees.

To add to the spectacle, there's a channel 3 news van parked outside, and a reporter with slick hair is putting in an earpierce before reporting on these fans. I think the reporter's either Mike, David, or Brian, but honestly all their hair looks pretty much the same.

Despite anything else you can say about these kids, they definitely care about Harry Potter.

And I bet they're going to enjoy the movie more than anyone else in that theater.

For it is as that famous dead white guy said, "That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly."

I might just be talking out of my ass here, but I think old T-Paine has a point. My life is pretty easy. Running water at…

Jerks on America Day

Here are some things that make guys act like jerks:
Being in the dark Alcohol Being near a girl Being far from girls Other people having a good time Not being the center of attention
By my count I have two sources of child-like wonder left in my life: Pixar movies and fireworks, and I'll be damned if I let jerks ruin either of them for me.
Here are some things I don't need to hear you say while I'm watching fireworks.
"I'm going to pee in this bottle so I don't miss the final countdown."Look guy, I don't know you. Everyone pees, and sometimes, yes, it's necessary to pee in a bottle. But it's almost never necessary to tell 100 strangers that you're about to pee in a bottle. I can think of maybe three situations where it might be important to give this kind of announcement, and one of them involves a magic trick, two of them involve an apple juice factory, and none of them involve marring a majestic fireworks display.
"It's the final countdo…

You Aren't What You Eat

"All you can eat for $9.95! It's the American way!"

I was driving alone last night when I heard this ad on the radio.

I'm not sure when it happened, but consumption seems to be one of our biggest virtues. True, we don't have carte blanche anymore to buy and eat whatever we want (thanks a bunch, recession!), but we are way prouder about what we consume than we have any right to be.

For example:
This summer, it's my goal to watch a movie every three days. That's 60 hours, or 2.5 days of cinematic gluttony. Now, I love movies. In fact, I wrote this after coming back from a bargain showing of Terminator Salvation (spoiler: things blew up). But watching this many movies is no great accomplishment. I'm still just consuming.

Along the same lines, I'm proud whenever I manage to finish the entire massive bowl of udon at a Japanese restaurant. But why? I just ate what they put in front of me and the only lasting effect is that I have to pee out 3 quarts…

My Old Name

A few days ago, Sarah and some of our friends were sitting down to a delicious brunch at Bistro 33, this slightly upscale chain that specializes in Pacific Northwestern cuisine. I think that basically means they serve salmon.

I got the two eggs any style and asked for one of the eggs to be fried and the other scrambled, since there was no stipulation that the "any style" had to be the same for both eggs. Oddly enough, I received two fried eggs... and then another fried egg for good measure. Their thought process was probably, "I know we're giving you a fried egg you didn't want, so to make up for it, here's another fried egg you didn't want."

Partway through the meal, a girl interrupted our friend James by calling out to him, "Jimmy? Oh my god, Jimmy!"

They had been best friends in undergrad, three years ago. In the intervening years he had gone to work and has gotten people to call him James. People don't call him Jimmy any more.

My…

The Hulk Beats Up A Monk

"Don't you walk away from me, John!" screamed the comically short blonde in the Raiders jersey. "John!" But John had already turned the corner and entered into the side-door of the building. He was taller than her with close cut salt and pepper hair and a slight slouch. He said nothing.

I crossed the street to be closer to them and hear the fight continue, a rubbernecker to this accident in progress. I caught snippets of the squat woman's tirade, as John emerged from the other side of the building:

"What have I ever done to you?! ... You have deceived me again! ... Get in my truck! Get in my truck and make me believe your lies!"
She mentioned something about Charlie also that I couldn't catch.
John got in the truck, in the driver's seat, surprisingly, and the woman continued yelling as she closed the cabin door, muffling her rage.
I walked past the parking lot to see a mentally disabled man on a bicycle riding away from the building, appro…

... And The Living's E-Z

Welcome to summertime, people.

Now I know for some of you that are 1) on the quarter system, 2) in the real world, or 3) knowledgeable of how seasons work on this planet, I might be jumping the gun a bit. So be it. It's summer because I'm once again freed from my one meager responsibility of attending SFSU classes one day a week. Without it I'm now adrift in a sea of possibilities, much like I was two years ago after graduating from college, and one year ago after being unleashed on Southeast Asia.

Not wanting a repeat performance of trying to finish the Internet, I've decided to make real goals for myself this summer.

1. Read 100 pages a day (or 9,000 pages total). At this point I'm not making judgments on content, but it probably shouldn't be entirely Goosebumps... again.

2. Write 500 words a day. Preferably in English. Preferably real words. Preferably in sentences that morke sense.

3. See 30 movies. Hopefully good ones, but if I can make fun of them, all…

Fascist Hippies

It's easy to hate on hippies, and for the longest time I had a hard time figuring out why. What are the main hippie ideals?

1. Love. Nothing wrong there.
2. Peace. Also largely sensible.
3. Drugs. Not necessarily my pot of tea, but nothing wrong with that if you like it.
4. Drum circles. Hmmm... I'm not the biggest fan. I don't like that you can't get out.
5. Natural things. This casts a pretty wide net. I'm going to reserve judgment for a bit.

Last weekend I was at a crazy hippie-fest known as the "Whole Earth Festival" and I wanted to like it. By and large, the hippie message has a pretty sound foundation, since at least the first two of the five pillars of hippie are generally fine things to have. So why did I feel such an overwhelming distaste for the hippies?

Three things you will find at a hippie-fest:
1. Raw food that costs as much as real food. Shouldn't they give you a discount if they're not going to cook it for you?

2. Expensive crafts bo…

Five Reasons the Swine Flu Isn't Going to Kill Everyone

1. Swine Flu is a wimpy name. In non-Muslim countries, swine hasn't been a cutting-edge insult for a long, long time. Douche Bag Flu would be more current. As a result, I just can't get that worked up about such a weak name. And thus it has been throughout history. Examples:

The Black Death - Rating: 10/10
Cool color + what will happen to you = devastation of 2/3rds of Europe's population.

Whooping Cough - Rating 2/10
Silly crowd noise + excuse to get codeine laced cough syrup = future of over-the-counter drug abuse... but no death. Plus the fact that it has a very effective vaccine has cut down the number of annual deaths from 10,000 to about 30, kinda makes it seem lame.

2. As far as I can tell, the only real effect it has in the US is to turn Republican senators into Democrats, and to get everyone's mind off of the terrible economy. I'm pretty okay with both of those things.

3. As my friend Alex said on Facebook, "If malaria was as inefficient at killing pe…

Desert Dwellers

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Part 2: More Death, More Valley

While walking through Golden Canyon, Sarah and I were passed by two French girls in a dead sprint yelling, "C'est trop beau! C'est trop beau!" (It's too beautiful). I thought Sarah and I were doing a good job of enjoying the effects of lots of wind and lots of time on lots of rocks, but our reaction in comparison was woefully inadequate. It's a beautiful thing to see utter joy and realize, "Oh! That's how you're supposed to live!" I hope one day I can find something so beautiful I have to run.

The next day we left the Death Valley (note: I saw very little death on the whole. 40 mph Wind Valley, Dehydration Valley, and Ecstatic French Girl Valley are all more appropriate names for it) for the surprising lushness of Joshua Tree. In retrospect, I shouldn't have been too surprised about the relative abundance of life in JT. "Tree" is, after all, a living thing and that's right there in the n…

Jesus take the wheel... of the RV... and crash it.

On my way to buy a camping stove from a stranger in Vacaville (from Craigslist, and they threw in a pound of free bison meat), I passed a church marquee that said "No one can ignore Jesus forever."

I don't know about you, but that sure sounded like a challenge to me. So far I have successfully ignored Paris Hilton, the economic crisis, and that piece of food stuck in my teeth, none of which I plan to acknowledge any time soon. Now granted, forever is an awfully long time to do anything, but the way I figure it, I only really have to ignore Jesus until I die since he's probably not going to resurrect a guy that's been brushing him off for such a long time.

Unless of course, Jesus likes people to play hard to get, and then I might've just clinched my own salvation, so suck it.

This slogan is kind of weird though, right? I mean, since when did Jesus become the nerdy kid in high school trying to wear down the defenses of the popular girl so he can ask her to prom…

Thanks, AIG!

A lot of people have been upset about AIG getting $165 million in bonuses from hardworking American tax payers like... well, not like me, but like people who actually have to pay taxes. Like my parents. And other people whose main source of income isn't from making sandwiches for an octogenarian every other week.

As much as I like a good outrage (and I do love 'em), I'm just going to go ahead and say that everyone's missing the point on this one. We shouldn't be pissed that AIG executives have been rewarded with fat sacks of cash for breaking the economy-- we should be grateful that we finally know where all that money is so we can go get our share!

Allow me to explain.

Now, if we were to put that same $165 mil towards something boring like public schools or healthcare, it'd barely make a dent. My share of that money as 1/300 millionth of America is 55 cents. Nothing to write home about, unless you can buy an envelope and a piece of paper for 13 cents to go along …

Cracker Fail

It has recently come to my attention that there might be more than one type of person in the world. Shocking, I know.

First there are people like me who, if given a dollar for food, will find the most calorically rich and nutritionally-balanced offering the market has and settle on something wholesome, like a loaf of bread. (In fact, I think there were people at my high school who thought that one of my hands was made out of a baguette.)

Then there are the other people who I will call the Snackers. Or maybe... the Snack Pack? Snackasaurus Snacks? Or perhaps just Sarah, as she is an epic snacker. Snacking is a strange concept to me now. If you're hungry, my mind reasons, you eat a meal, preferably a sandwich. If you are less hungry, you eat a smaller meal, preferably half a sandwich. And if you're not hungry at all, you make a sandwich, and stare at it until you have the desire to eat it.

The principle applies to restaurants. If you're hungry, you order a meal, if not,…

You Gotta Fight... For Your Right... To Organize!

Last Wednesday while I was at SFSU, packing a week's worth of classes into one day, I saw this great flier that went a little something like this:

"10,000 Students have already been turned away from CSUs!
Student fees have raised 135%!

All around the world, students are rioting in protest!
What are we going to do about it?

Come attend an organizing meeting!"
Now that's a battlecry I can get behind. In fact, it's been shown through the ages that asking people to attend organizing meetings is by far the quickest route to revolution.

In fact, some of you might be reminded of this Margaret Mead quotation:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens, (arguing over what to do next and falling asleep in a boring meeting) can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Truly inspirational. And most people don't realize that Paul Revere's real message was:
"The British are coming! Let's hold an organizing meeting…

Best. Holiday. Ever.

So, Valentine's Day, right?

I can appreciate that it might not be everyone's favorite holiday. It's pretty easy to take some pot shots at it:

1. The Hippie Purist angle: "It's supposed to be about the love, man. Hallmark just commercialized it. Which is why I build my valentine cards out of hemp that I weave myself."

2. The Eleanor Rigby angle: "This holiday is dedicated to making me feel terrible for being alone. (Ah, look at all the lonely people)"

3. Bugs Moran's angle: "All of my men were killed in a massacre. I'm also very lonely."

4. The Pink M&M hating angle: "These pink M&Ms are ruining the sanctity of marriage."

But here at Ezra Not in Malaysia, we prefer to take the alternative view of things, regardless of whether or not it's sensible. With that in mind, I give you 8 reasons why Valentine's Day is a fantastic holiday.

1. It's pedophile-friendly. This might not seem like a great selling poi…

I shot a man in Folsom (while he was cheating on his wife)

(My thanks to the Man in Black for the title)

I was looking for a way to make some extra cash (still waiting to hear about that Australian island caretaker gig) when I stumbled across this Craigslist ad:

"Need someone with a camera and transportation
Suspect cheating fiance. Need you to go to three locations in Folsom, find his car, take photos and email them to me. Minimum pay $50. More depending on extent of job. Prefer someone that lives in Folsom for short notice calls. I hope you find nothing but either way, I need the truth because I fear STDs and need to be able to trust him."

Where to begin? First of all, I decided not to apply after a fair bit of deliberation, as there are some hefty pros and cons to weigh:

Pro:
I have a camera. Low start-up costs!

Con:
If I find the cheating fiance and he sees me, he might break the camera.

Pro:
$50 is equal to approximately 10 sandwiches.

Con:
$50 seems pretty cheap for potentially life-altering, future crushing information. I think she…

So Happy Together

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You know what's great? Happiness.

And you know what sucks? Boredom.

I've been on a break for the last 6 weeks and the lesson I've taken away from it is I don't much like being bored. The problem that goes along with this, though, is that I don't much like work. Work, it turns out, can be the antidote to being bored. This came as a substantial surprise to me, as I had long been under the impression that the antidote to boredom was Facebook. But under closer scrutiny, my experience on Facebook, or on most of the Internets in general, is basically just a low-level state of boredom.

Think about it: sure, there are some juicy pieces of gossip on FB, but in reality they are few and far between. For every engagement announcement or "relationship has ended" item on the news feed thee are 20 photo albums or status updates from that weird guy you had one class with sophomore year. Yes, Kurt, I'm sure your "LOLZ ugly sweater party!!!" was fun, but right…

The Sweet Escape

So it has recently come to my attention that I still don't have a job. I could've sworn I already got one, but apparently being a weekly blogger and daily sandwich-eater doesn't count.

Imagine my delight when I found a posting for a job that combines travel with infrequent blogging.... and pays $100,000.

Turns out you if you want to take care of an island in Australia for 6 months, you can make a nice pile of change.

I was getting really excited about this idea: beautiful beaches, fun accents, fresh seafood, and occasional travel writing... what could be better? But then I remembered: I already did this in Malaysia. And while I would never say I hated the experience, it's fair to say we had our issues. And I'd need to do some serious soul-searching before I put myself in another situation where fish was the default food for every meal.

But most people have never left their lives for 6 months for a tropical paradise, so they can't think of any possible problems…

Engage!

First thing's first: Sarah and I are engaged!

It seems that after all these years of living in sin, Sarah's finally going to make an honest woman out of me. I'm super happy.

But Sarah and I had a hard time properly expressing this happiness in written form. Observe:

1. Sarah and I are engaged.
While with a simple period, there is no one who doubts the fact that I'm now betrothed to my beloved, but there's also no doubt that I am a likely candidate for suicide watch. Not the right way to announce a new life. Pass.

2. Sarah and I are engaged!!!!!!!!!!! True, you get the sense that I'm very happy to be getting married, but you also get the sense that Sarah should be less happy, since she's going to tie the knot with an excitable pre-teen girl.

3. Sarah and I are engaged :)
Yes, there should be a smile, but honestly, just a closed parenthetical? That's the smile you give when someone gets a free doughnut at work, not when he announces one of the biggest decis…