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Archive for February, 2011

I receive an acupuncture treatment every two weeks from my friend and now-new mom Jen. Since I can’t really do stairs anymore, and because her Redwood City treatment center facility called Casa de Gallina has quite a large number of them, she brings her box of needles to me. Who says that house calls are a thing of the past?

For the dual purpose of education and entertainment, I present to you a few photos from my latest acupuncture session with Jen.

Jen makes it her mission each time to make sure that I stay warm, hence the plethora of blankets covering my frame. I heard somewhere that rubbing chili peppers on your feet works well too.

The needles in my ears and the one above my nose were placed there by Jen but the Disney Princess tattoo on my neck was all the doing of Emma and Fehmeen.

Since I'm a music snob who prefers not to listen to the typical new age hippie music that is typically associated with this kind of therapy during my session, Jen allows me to choose my own tunage. This week it was the Zac Brown Band.

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And the Oscar Goes to …

Considering I’ve seen seven of the ten films up for the Best Picture Oscar tonight, one of the following two things must be true:  Either the Academy is selecting movies that are more in the mainstream — it wasn’t all that long ago that I hadn’t even heard of half the films that were nominated, much less seen them — or that I have way way way way way too much time on my hands to see all these movies.

While I am absolutely certain that Natalie Portman and Colin Firth are stone-cold locks to win Best Actress and Best Actor statuettes, the category I’m most looking to seeing who wins is for Best Documentary.  The award typically goes to a predictably worthy endeavor about suffering but this year I hope the Oscar gets awarded to the film about art.

Even though I have no idea what other documentaries are running against it, Exit Through the Gift Shop is my hands down choice to win the golden paperweight this year.  Granted, I just saw it for the first time not even twenty-four hours ago, it’s not like I’m a newbie to the street art scene.  You can ask any of my former students (from around 2003-2008) about the OBEY sticker on the front wall near the ceiling of my classroom for verification if you don’t believe me.

Anyway, I can’t definitively tell if the movie is a hoax or not.  While I’m about 90% certain that it is an epic put-on, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that Mr Brainwash is a legitimate artist.  Click here to figure out who the heck that is and what the movie is all about.

But the main reason I’m pulling for it to win is to see if Banksy shows up to accept the Oscar.  Who will he be wearing and which party will he be attending?

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Idol Chatter

My intention going into to Season 10 of American Idol was to catch an episode or two just to see what it would be like without Simon at the judges table and then move on to some other program deserving the attention of my eyeballs.  This past season was very forgettable — who the heck won*, anyway — so my brand loyalty was at an all-time low heading into the premiere with the auditions a few weeks back.

But a funny thing happened as I tried to have someone change the channel for me (recall that I am a quadriplegic and am unable to do it on my own):  I really liked what I was seeing for several reasons.

The producers did a good job limiting the number of crappy auditions they showed on tv.  Granted, I drank the William Hung flavored Kool-Aid way back when but that was an example of catching flatulence in a bottle.  Subsequent efforts to repeat that phenomenon have been dominating recent seasons without any success, so personally, I’m pretty happy that they focused more on folks with actual talent.

And speaking of talent, most of these people who made it so far this year have some serious skills as musicians.  I find that I prefer to watch someone perform who has either played with a band or on-stage behind a guitar or as part of a theatrical production as opposed to someone who has only ever sung a tune as the lyrics scroll by on a monitor in some bowling alley lounge.

As far as the absence of Simon Cowell as a judge goes, I assumed that I would be missing his criticisms and harsh commentary but I don’t.  So far, the kinder gentler panel of Season 10 has been entertaining mainly because of Steven Tyler.  It cracks me up when he sings along with the contestants during their performances.  JLo has been more insightful than I imagined she would be and even Randy has toned-down the “Dawg” act to the occasional “Arf Arf” every once in awhile (comparatively speaking of course).

Now that they’ve narrowed the field to the top twenty-four, I am looking forward to seeing what happens performance-wise in the weeks to come.  The singing so far has been pretty darned good — especially that dude from Santa Cruz, the guy that played the upright bass while singing during Hollywood Week, and the woman who reminds me a lot of Rachel from Glee.

However it turns out, the Fox network can count on my ass being in front of the flatscreen week in week out.  Emma’s too, as long as it’s on before her bedtime.  But if one of the Real Housewives is on, that show gets priority, of course, AI goes straight to the DVR.  Happy wife, happy life, you know the drill.

In case you are interested, here is an excellent piece on the top twenty-four contestants.  It breaks each one down very succinctly and in some cases hilariously.

*And for the record, I knew that Lee DeWyze won last year but still …

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Stop the Presses & Hold the Phone

If you ever considered attending a meeting of the Thursday Afternoon Movie Club, tomorrow would be the day to do it.  Here are several compelling reasons why you should:

Seeing a movie in the theater on a weekday afternoon is an awful lot like playing hooky on real life for a couple hours.  The crowds are minimal at best, save for the hordes of blue haired senior citizens clamoring to catch that new Justin Beiber flick.

You will have the opportunity to meet my new movie partner slash caregiver Juliano.  A nicer guy you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere.

We will be seeing the new Liam Neeson thriller Unknown in Redwood City at 11:40.  If you are looking for a little escapist fun for a couple hours while playing hooky, then please join us.

But the biggest and bestest reason to attend the show on the morrow is to hang out with the lovely and affable Fehmeen.  This courageous lady is willing to step out of her romantic comedy comfort zone for the good of the TAM Club and I hope that you will be able to, too.

Cya 2moro @ 11:40 in RWC.

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Change of Heart

Initially this post was supposed to chronicle all the gory details of Emma’s first experience with throwing up two Friday nights ago.  I was going to describe how absolutely terrible I felt just laying there in bed unable to move, much less actually being there to provide a modicum of comfort to my barfing bambina.  Fehmeen told me the next day of her own feelings of helplessness as she sat right next to the Bug while she tossed her cookies into the toilet.

And then I had a change of heart.

Why sensationalize an event in words when the pictures I have would do a much better job of capturing the essence of our beautiful Emma.

Scroll down please to look at the photos.

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Now did you really think that I would actually post pictures of my daughter puking on my blog?   Fehmeen and Maheen would have my head.

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Weekend Update

For your reading and commenting pleasure, a condensed and boiled down version of my thoughts and activities of the weekend so far.

A sampling of the songs played from my Spotify library during the time it took to type this:  You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi, she – elvis Costello, east bound and down – jerry reed, pressure drop – toots and the maytals, wheel in the sky – journey, The heart of the matter – india.arie, you make my pants want to get up and dance – dr hook, just the guy to do it – toby keith, summer in the city – regina spektor, lucky – jason mraz.

Sunday marks the completion of exactly three weeks since I last ate food the old fashioned way:  Orally.  You would think that I miss it but I don’t.  The six or seven spoonfuls of mush that I was barely choking down at mealtime took way too long to shovel into my pie hole that it was not worth continuing the practice for everyone involved.  Considering that I get 2100 calories from the six Boosts that they pour in the tube, one could argue that I am getting all that I need.  And I agree.  Have you seen my gut lately?  Maybe it’s time for Boost Zero!!

I think this question every year but this time I need to know so I am “verbalizing” it here in print.  I know that the Chinese New Year’s parade took place in San Francisco last night, but I’ve been hearing about Chinese New Year for about the past two weeks.  Exactly how long does Chinese New Years last?  It seems to go on as long as the NHL and NBA playoffs combined.

Because the wife was living it up in LA yesterday, I decided to lose myself in cinema.  Here is my quadruple feature from Saturday: Enchanted, Machete, some horrible zombie movie, and Unstoppable.  Machete had some serious star power attached to it like Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, and Lindsay Lohan and it featured the most creative use of someone’s intestines ever captured on film.  A must see for fans of the grindhouse movie genre.

Thursday Afternoon Movie Club is back on with my new caregiver Juliano.  We will be seeing the new Liam Neeson film Unknown.  Check the top of my blog midweek for the time.  You know you want to see it.

There is no feeling quite as emasculating as purchasing a Justin Beiber cd from a store.  Compounding that with my inability to explain to the clerk that it was a last minute gift for my wife’s birthday and you can begin to feel my pain.  Seriously.

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For Fehmeen with Love

At our first dance together (as chaperones),

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You swept me off my feet,

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Who knew where we would go together,

NYE in Disneyland

Steamy and Donna's wedding in Tahoe

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

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Or how much we enjoyed trying on hats in gift shops,

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Along the way, we picked up The Bug to share the good times,

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And life has never looked so good.

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Happy Birthday, Babe!!  I love you too too.

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