Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why I love Bristol Palin

NEW YORK - MAY 6:  (NO SALE, NO ARCHIVE) In th...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I should stay away from pop culture.  Sure, I don’t mind reading about the people who are obviously very talented but lately, the pop universe has been filled with no-talent, famous-for-being-famous hacks that drive me absolutely bat-shit crazy. 

I’ll leave the Kardashians alone for a moment.  They’re pretty harmless.  And I won’t even go near the Real Housewives because despite the table flipping, they just seem boring.  And the Jersey Shore crowd?  Haven’t they seen their day already?  I think Snooki is even tired of being Snooki. 

But my crosshairs have lately been focused on the most visible single mother in the United States and that, my friends, is none other than Bristol Palin, the daughter of the Number One Mamma Grizzly herself, Sarah Palin. 

A couple of years ago, we didn’t know anything about Bristol although we were already learning way too much about her mother.  Suddenly all that changed with Bristol's appearance on Dancing With the Stars.  Anyone who thinks that Bristol is a “star” better check their Webster dictionary but those little details didn’t matter to tv executives who were eager to sell their souls for better ratings.  Since Sarah Palin is a love-her-or-hate-her kinda gal, the executives were betting that the same opinions would be formed about her daughter … and of course, they were right, especially when she stayed on the dance floor while much better dancers were eliminated before her.  After she was finally given the boot, I think most of us had hoped that her 15 minutes of primetime fame were over. 

But of course they weren't.  She caused a stir in the press when she showed up at an event looking … well, not like Bristol Palin.  She had replace her chubby double chin with a much more narrow one causing everyone to speculate that she had gone under the knife for a little plastic surgery.  Not so, said Palin, she had jaw re-alignment surgery and the procedure had nothing to do with more shallow desires.  She “doesn’t obsess” over her face even though she now wears more makeup than a cover model.  Clearly, Bristol takes after her momma; it doesn’t matter if you tell the truth as long as you tell lies with conviction. 

And now, because Bristol is a single mother and has to make money somehow, she has recently released a memoir, Not Afraid of Life or more appropriated titled, I made a mistake but now I have  cute baby and my mother and God still love me so it’s all good.  I won’t even comment on how ridiculous it is to write a memoir when you’re 20; plenty of other people have covered that territory so I won’t even go there.  What really drives me crazy is how she doesn’t take any responsibility for her actions.  As was widely quoted in the press, she claims that her virginity was “stolen” during a camping trip after Levi plied her with wine coolers.  First of all, how many wine coolers did this chick drink?  30?  Secondly, how could something be stolen when you give it away?  And thirdly, if you didn’t give it away, you were raped which she adamantly denies.  So which is it, Bristol?  Did you give it away willingly (so take some responsibility for your actions) or were you raped?  It has to be one or the other so make up your mind. 

Bristol has said that she wants people to learn from this book.  Learn from her mistakes.  I’m assuming that she’s talking directly to those 15 or 16 year old girls who have got a special twinkle in their eyes for those hunky classmates who sit at the back of the class and dream about hockey and killing wildlife.  The problem is that she doesn’t exactly put her life up as a warning for others about to go down the same road.  Okay, let’s sit back and think about this for a second.  Camping trip with boyfriend but without parents.  Cool!  Getting drunk on wine coolers.  Sounds like fun.  Having sex for the first time.  Awesome!  Having lots more sex after that?  What’s not to like?  Getting pregnant and having cute baby who turns out to be the love of your life?  Hallelujah!!  If I were a fifteen year old girl, I would be wondering what the supposed drawbacks were.  Of course, you might have that pesky gnat of a boyfriend who says mean things about your mother but that seems like a small price to pay when you have cute baby.  Aaaaaaah.  Cute baby. 

The person I feel most sorry for, of course, is the cute baby who will grow up to be a teenager who reads books.  How would you like to know that your mother sold the story of your conception to the highest bidder?  Thank mom!  Now when the high school bullies are pounding my head into the gym locker, I’ll know whom to blame. 

Do I really care what Bristol Palin writes or thinks or does?  Of course, I do.  How can someone like her be paid over $250,000 by a non profit to be a spokesperson to campaign AGAINST teen pregnancy.  Isn’t she the poster child for ADVOCATING teen pregnancy?  All you have to do is have a controversial mother, a deadbeat boyfriend, be willing to spill your private life all over the pages of a supposed memoir and you too will be rich and famous with a CUTE BABY.   

Will the madness ever end?  I really hope so but I fear that it won’t.  Bristol has signed up for a reality show and will try to come off as a do-gooder while she juggles those tough single mother issues like wondering what lip gloss to wear on Good Morning America. 

Maybe I’m taking the wrong approach here.  If there is anything that we should learn from the Palin family, it’s that they seem to become stronger the more insults are thrown their way.  Tough skin has never been so tough.  In fact, I think their skins are more like goddamn moose leather.  Keeping this in mind, I should take the opposite tact.  I should praise Bristol for being such a positive role model for all those teenage girls thinking about getting drunk and ohmygod, lying to their mothers.  And that plastic surgery has really given her a confident glow.  And I do hope she runs for President one day.  She is such a strong, courageous woman who is willing to share her wisdom for the benefit of the ignorant masses.  God bless her. 

And that's why I love her.  

Please buy her book.  She’s a struggling single mother, dontchaknow?  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My thought for the day

Well, it's not my thought ... it comes from a song called Airplanes by the artist B.o.b.  I just really like it.  And the song is great too.  

Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)
Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's official!

I recently adopted a beautiful cream dog from the Lange Foundation and he's a real pain in the ass.

He has to pee every and poop every day since I feel obligated to give him food and water.  He gives kisses that are cold, wet and sloppy.  He distracts me when I'm trying to write because I have to go over and snuggle with him.  And he snores.  He snores sooooo LOUDLY.  The reason for this is because he prefers to sleep upsidedown.  

He's snoring right now.  I think I have to go over and snuggle with him.

Okay, I'm back.

Anyhoo, after I acquired him, I had the chance to find out what type of dog breed he is at a discounted rate.  He certainly looks like a Pekingese but he's really big and much smarter than what I was used to with my previous pekes.  There was a chance he could have been an impostor and for the cost of a good meal in Los Angeles, I was going to find out.

So I submitted a blood sample to http://www.wisdompanelpro.com/ and waited for a couple of weeks.

Lo and behold, he came back as a purebred Pekingese all the way back to his grandparents and probably beyond.  Probably right back to his descendants who were the favorite toy dogs of the Forbidden Palace in Peking, China.

If you have a mixed breed dog (or you're wondering if you really have a purebred), then this wisdom panel is a pretty cool thing to do.  I don't recommend the cheek swab test.  If you're going to do it, then do the blood test through your veterinarian.  The cost varies but it could set you back $100 to $150 depending on how much your vet wants to rip you off.

And it's just not for fun.  It can give you a lot of information about what type of medical or behavioural issues your dog might have in the future.  I recently submitted a sample for a puppy and it came back as a Rottweiler mixed with an American Bulldog.  With those breeds in the pot, the owners were going to make sure they put it in some good obedience classes where it could be socialized and they were planning on switching over to a higher quality puppy food to help avoid hip dysplasia.

With Chan, now that he knows that he is a purebred, he holds his head higher and gets really mad at those mutts that cross his royal path.  I can't blame him.  He is one special dog.

At least in my eyes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Children's Hospital at Adult Swim

I can't tell you how much I love Children's Hospital.

Yes, it's crude, politically incorrect and just plain wrong but it's also damn funny.

This clip has two doctors comparing their sex organs so that a hermaphrodite child can decide what sex "it" wants to be. Uh huh. You gotta watch.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A day at the movies

Ah, there's nothing like Southern California ...

The beaches!
The sunshine!
The fake body parts!

And of course, don't forget the overpriced tacky tourist attractions like Universal Studios!

Universal Studios isn't far from where I live and it's one of my guilty pleasures.  I bought a ticket at the beginning of the year so I have an annual pass for free.  I don't think I would want to spend all my weekends tramping around the park, but every so often it's fun to pretend that I'm part of the movies.  

Universal Studios is a fully functioning studio but a large area is dedicated to being an amusement park.  All the rides are based on films or tv shows.  

Like any amusement park, there are certain rules that must be followed ...

Thankfully, I just met the height requirements for this one.  Phew!

Before the Simpson's ride, there was the Back to the Future ride.  Both rides put you inside a car and you are bounced and jerked around in front of a massive screen.  I loved the Back to the Future ride but it was sadly dismantled a couple of years ago.  

The Simpson's ride?  Don't feel the same type of love.  There is too much happening on the damn screen and I come out feeling as if I had just experienced a really bad acid trip.  An acid trip starring the Simpsons.  It's as scary as it sounds.  

If you're lucky, you might get to see your favorite movie stars.  On my most recent visit, I was very fortunate to hang out with Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster, the stars of the Fast and the Furious movies.  They didn't say a lot but when you're looking this hot, nobody expects you to open your mouth.  

Vin Diesel was driving his car in a neon outer space.  He is way too cool to be driving around city streets like the rest of us mortals.  

By the way, if you haven't seen Fast Five, you should see it.  Pretty fun movie.  Completely ridiculous but still pretty fun.  

And now we come to Wisteria Lane.  If you're a fan of Desperate Housewives, this house may look familiar.  

If this house were really in Los Angeles, I'm sure it would be worth over a million dollars.  Living expenses are a little ridiculous here.  

This is my favorite part of the studio tour:  The destroyed neighborhood that was used as the set in War of the Worlds.  

If you've seen the movie, you'll remember that the neighborhood was flattened when a jumbo jet crash landed.  I'm not sure which is worse; getting abducted by freaky aliens or finding part of a fuselage in your bedroom.  

This exhibit is part of the studio tour.  These are dancing cars.  Yes, they dance to the music of Daddy Yankee.  

And there are explosions.  

And water is sprayed.  

And not much else.  

It's very exciting if you're a nine year old boy.  

This is a reproduction of a quaint Mexican village that just happens to have a tsunami of water running through it.  There are no screaming villagers which is comforting but still somewhat disappointing.   

Does this look familiar?  It's a miniature that was used in the recent King Kong movie.  


Beware, there are giant apes lurking around that have a blonde woman fetish.  

Jurassic Park is another great ride at the park.  You're in a boat and you start off cruising by the nice, friendly dinosaurs.  You know, the ones that have long outstretched necks and eat grass and look like they could be giant pets.  

But then you see a car that was tossed around and ripped fences and ominous flashing red lights and all hell breaks loose.  The last thing you see before a giant drop is this ... 


Here's King Kong again.  He is just hanging around looking for Fay Ray.  

For those people who are dying for a Transformers ride--they said that it won't be open till next year.  If the ride is anything like the movies, it will be loud, have lots of explosions and feature good looking actors who have no acting skills whatsoever.  

I can't wait.  

Universal Studios is located in Universal City which is just north of Hollywood, California.   It's open all year around.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Psychotic Pekingese

I think my Pekingese sees dead people.  

Without any warning, he will bark when nobody is there and there aren't any sounds.  

Because of this I have deducted that he sees ghosts and he isn't very happy when they are wandering around unannounced.  I'm not sure his bark is ferocious enough to scare them away but perhaps he feels like he should do something.  After all, this is his apartment and supernatural entities should respect that fact.  

Or maybe he's crazy and he hears voices.  Or barking.  Which he might understand better than voices.  

I hope he's not mentally unstable.  That would just suck.     

Does my dog look nuts to you?    Go ahead.  Tell me the truth.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

An example of a displacement map

What is a displacement map, you might ask?  

A technique used in photoshop that took me hours to figure out!  

Here are two pictures that are put together.  The top is a photo of the Cambodian flag and the bottom is a photo of a stone face from the Bayon temple in Cambodia.  

Hmmm, the effect isn't too bad ... 

Friday, June 3, 2011

The rocks of Vasquez

If you drive about an hour north of Los Angeles, you'll come to a park which may seem a little familiar, even if you've never been there before.  

The reason?

Vasquez Rocks Park has been used as a filming backdrop in many movies and tv shows including the Lone Ranger, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Blazing Saddles and The Flintstones.  It has some very unique stone formations and it's no wonder why Hollywood has decided to film there to make a scene look like anything from a distant planet to prehistoric times.  

Once you get out there, it's hard to even believe that you're so close to a big city.  It's a great place to get away and hike and enjoy the smog-free air.  Bring some hiking shoes if you want to climb up the big rock formations--my beat-up running shoes just didn't cut it.  

Here are some of the photos I took.  But I'm giving you a heads-up.  I recently purchased Photoshop cs5 at GREAT EXPENSE.  It's an awesome program, of course, but damnit I want to get my money's worth so I'm gonna photoshop every damn picture that I take from now on.  For better or for worse.  

And I'm learning.  So most of these are "for worse".  

This is a photo of the main rock formation that has a poster effect applied to it. Kinda cool.  I like it.  

Another view.  I think I just played around with the sharpening tools in this one.  

Doesn't the lens flare look awesome?  Okay, I'll give photoshop the credit.  

This one is completely untouched.  I just waited a really long time for the sky to turn a groovy type of purple.  I truly suffer for my art.  

For this one, I wanted to give the illusion that a large head was invading Vasquez Rocks.  I think I succeeded beautifully.  

This photo has a texture filter applied to it.  The best thing about digital photos is that you can take some incredibly crappy pictures and they don't cost you a thing.    

I'm learning more about duotones and I really like the effect.  Not necessarily for this photo but  for the right photo, I'm sure they're great.  

And finally, I'm experimenting with frames.  Hmmm, I think I need a lot more experimenting ... 

Vasquez Rocks Park is a beautiful place to visit which you can hopefully appreciate despite the photoshopcraptacular presentation.  Check it out if you're ever in the area.