Friday, October 31, 2008

Regarding all this "spread the wealth" nonsense

I just need to say something. Everyone's talking about Obama's tax policy as "spreading the wealth." The way they talk about it you'd think that as soon as you make more than a quarter million dollars the IRS will show up at your house and give your car to a person on welfare who hasn't had a job in 40 years.

That's not what's happening.

They're not going to take your money and give it to someone else. What happens when you pay taxes is that the government takes the money you just earned. If the lower/middle classes get to keep more of their money, they're not taking anything from the rich people.

It's not like Obama wants to give everyone making less than $100K/year a free Xbox. He wants them to be able to keep a little more of their money, which will go towards them being able to pay their bills on time.

I'm a pretty well educated guy, but I don't make a lot of money. I'm paying my dues as a Hollywood assistant, meaning I make barely above minimum wage despite my Ivy league education. If I were given a bit of a break on my taxes, I wouldn't spend it on luxuries. I'd pay off my credit cards, student loans, and that kind of thing. If I had a particularly good month I might go out to eat a little more (as in CPK, not Spago), and contribute to the economy in other small ways.

Life is expensive, and I'm getting by paycheck to paycheck. I'm working hard, and I'm tired. I'm not taking anyone's money, I'm keeping a bit more of my own. If and when I'm making more someday (hopefully someday soon as a screenwriter) then I understand that I won't be able to keep as much of my money. That's fine. I'll be able to afford it then.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics and my mom

I was talking to my mom this morning on the phone, and since we're a week away from all the election insanity ending, politics was a topic of conversation.

I was telling her about something called Proposition 8 that we have out here in California. Prop 8 is basically the uber-conservative reaction to the state supreme court's decision to allow gays to marry in California. The language of it is "to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry". That's right, eliminate the right. They actually want language saying that they want to take away a right. If you live in California, vote NO on 8, which will allow gay marriage to go along as it has since the California Supreme Court ruled it could.

When I told my mom what Prop 8 was trying to do, she was appalled. She's all for gay marriage. She's pro-choice. She doesn't want religion going anywhere near schools, especially when it comes to creationism in biology class. She used to be a teacher, and was so sickened with public schools in this country that she put my brother, sister, and me in private school as soon as we could afford to.

As I've described her, you'd probably describe her as a pretty liberal person. That's not how she sees herself. She lives in Massachusetts, a very intellectual and very very blue state. In that political climate, she considers herself a conservative. When I explained to her that she'd be viewed as a bleeding heart liberal in other parts of the country, she was surprised. She's not registered for either party, but tends to lean Republican in state elections. Massachusetts is so blue that a Republican has to be pretty moderate to get elected there.

So she aligned herself with one side, not realizing that in doing so she was also putting herself on the same side as the Christian right. She's not a huge fan of Obama, but after we all explained to her what was going on with McCain-Palin, she doesn't think she could vote for them either.

I guess the point of all this is to make sure you look at the whole picture if you pick a side. Don't just go straight down the ballot for your party. Think about every election, and make a real choice. Be skeptical of both sides before you decide who to vote for. Otherwise we all find ourselves getting into the "Rah-Rah Go team go!" mindset with one party or the other and look at bad choices with rose-colored glasses.

That's the real reason there are so many incompetent people in politics.

Don't just vote. THINK, then vote.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trying to think of a good Halloween costume

Trying to come up with a good Halloween costume is tricky when you don't want to spend any money.

I'm going to a party with the new girl I think. She's getting dressed up a beer wench (which i'm somewhat excited to see), but I didn't want to do anything related to that because we only just started seeing each other, and either way, it's a little lame to do that.

She suggested all sorts of stuff that would make me look "so cute" like dressing as a cowboy or something, but I was having none of that.

Instead I think I'm going to get a Spider man t-shirt, and wear that under a regular button-down shirt unbuttoned most of the way so it looks like I'm Peter Parker changing into Spider man. As a nerdy white guy, I think I can pull it off.

Now all I have to do is find the t-shirt.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yeah, not so much with the juggling actually

So there I was all convinced I was going to juggle lots of casual dates around all over the place. Then I hit it off with a new girl on a Friday night. I was supposed to hang out with Painter Chick on Saturday night, and was no longer as motivated to do so.

Painter Chick and I had vague plans to hang out that night, to be determined day of. She never called me, and I ended up not calling her, so I guess that ended that. Really I think it's for the best. As fun of an experience as getting to know that girl could have been, I'm really not the "take shrooms and go to Burning Man" type.

Instead I've been spending more time with this new girl, who scored major points with me by having Boddington's beer in her fridge. I also scored major points with her, because her dog who "doesn't like a lot of people" pretty much instantly fell in love with me. I guess dogs can tell dog people.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Learning to juggle

I'm not literally learning how to juggle, although that would be a fun skill to have.

Rather I'm learning how to juggle as it pertains to going out with more than one girl at once. Now before you call me a cheating pig, I'm not talking about sleeping with girls on the side while I'm in a relationship. I'm talking more about scheduling casual dates with multiple girls over the course of a week.

Painter chick and I had one of those "get to know you over coffee" things last week and we're setting up another time to hang out again soon. But in the meantime I'm also pursuing other avenues, including drinks with someone else this past tuesday that led to drinks again for tonight.

I'm also keeping an eye on a couple of those situations in which two heterosexual people of the opposite sex become friends with some flirtation thrown into the mix. It's hard to tell if we're hanging out as friends, or as potentially more than friends. Really you just play it cool and see what happens, and if something does develop you retroactively call those times you hung out "dates."

So I have a bunch of things going on right now, which isn't how I normally work. Usually I find one girl I like, pursue her, and it either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't I start over from square one with someone new.

This method is more just me putting myself out there a lot, to see what develops on its own. There's less pressure on each date that way, which is something I like. And I'm also very aware that I'm only 24 right now. This is the phase of my life when I'm supposed to date around a lot and see what's what.

In a few years I'm sure I'll find someone I actually like with more long term potential, and be more open to things becoming more serious, but for the moment I have no interest in jumping on the road to marriage or anything like that.

All I know is, I'm having some guilt-free fun getting to know people right now. I figure as long as nobody's feelings are getting hurt it's all good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lap dogs and signs of the Apocalypse

So a movie just came out this past weekend, called "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". It grossed $29.3 million for the weekend.

All us Hollywood assistant types heard about this movie months ago. We all hoped it was just a sick joke, but no, there it was: a trailer with 5,000 Taco Bell dogs singing. Surprisingly, we all had the same response to it independent of one another.

We said, "This must be a sign of the Apocalypse."

Cut to this week, when the movie proves that it's not a cruel joke, that it's a real movie, and worst of all, it's the number one movie in the box office that weekend.

Tim Robbins was on the Daily Show last night and got to talking about it. Guess what his analysis of it was: "It's a sign of the Apocalypse."

We have meteors the size of SmartCars crashing into the Earth, the financial markets crashed down so hard that people are starting to stock up on canned goods and are hiding their money in their mattresses. These are also not good signs.

Is the universe trying to warn us that we're going to have a repeat of the William Henry Harrison/John Tyler Presidency if McCain/Palin wins?

For those who need a little refresher, William Henry Harrison was our ninth President. He was known for serving only a month in office because he gave the longest inauguration address in presidential history, with no overcoat, on a very cold day in March (it was years later that they moved inauguration up to January). Since he was the first President to die in office, the line of succession wasn't as clearly defined as it is today. John Tyler, who had been VP for a month, became President. Now he wasn't all that bad I guess as far as Presidents in the 1840's go, but there was still a lot of uproar about it.

So look at today. John McCain has wanted to be President for so long he's willing to throw out all of his principles and scruples to get it, so if he wins, you know he's going to savor the moment like crazy. This time the inauguration will be in January. It can get cold in Washington. He's 72. While we do have much better doctors today than William Henry Harrison had in 1845, common sense tells you not to leave an old man out in the cold that long. McCain might go all out, and jeopardize his health. If he died in office, we'd have President Palin. How frightening is that?

We have all these signs of the Apocalypse, and an important election coming up. Take it as a warning and please vote everybody.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dell is awesome, Microsoft sucks

I recently had some computer drama. Like an idiot, I went to Microsoft to try to fix the problem. I spent 6 and a half hours on tech support chat (thank god I had my work laptop next to me so I could have the two computer thing going) and that didn't fix anything. The guy admitted that it was Microsoft's fault that Service Pack 3 killed my computer, and said he was sorry we weren't able to fix it. He said that they would have their guys work on it for two days, then call me back Monday night at 7 and tell me how to fix my computer.

Well Microsoft is full of shit. I get called at 9pm tonight by a guy who tries to start the whole troubleshooting process with me again, as if I hadn't already gone through it for 6 hours two days ago. I was expecting a guy to tell me how to fix it. Instead I got nothing, just a guy trying to pass the buck to Dell because they hadn't done jack shit to figure out how Service Pack 3 killed my computer. So I politely express my displeasure, get the phone number to call back a manager later if I need to, and hang up the phone. Once I hung up I let out a nice healthy "FUCK YOU" to Microsoft.

Then I called Dell. Within a couple minutes the guy (who could speak perfectly unaccented English) got remote control of my computer, which means you just sit there and watch while some magic person thousands of miles away takes control of your laptop right in front of you and fixes it himself instead of trying to talk you through it. Within 10 minutes of dealing with drivers and whatnot the guy comes to the conclusion that whatever happened killed my video card. Huge bummer right? But no, turns out I'm covered under warranty. They're gonna send a new part to a technician in LA who will come to my office and install the new video card right then and there. And not only that, the guy said "Shh, but I'm going to get you a 512 video card instead of a 256". That's right, not only are they fixing the problem as fast as is humanly possible, they're actually doubling the power of my videocard for FREE.

Dell, I fucking love you. I was wrong to go to the Microfuckers first. I'll never do it again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do NOT install Service Pack 3

If you have Windows XP, do NOT install Service Pack 3. Their "helpful" updates just totally fucked my computer like crazy. It won't even boot up correctly now unless I'm in safe mode. And it's not that I'm an idiot English major who doesn't know a thing about computers (I call myself an idiot but I guess compared to John McCain I'm like Bill Gates) because I was on the online tech support chat thing with a Microsoft guy for about 6 and a half hours and the problem still isn't fixed. All he was able to figure out was that the problem was with a driver in my computer that had worked perfectly fine for two years. Why was it broken? Because their stupid service pack updates don't actually help, they just take your perfectly normal computer and fuck it up. They don't care if it breaks your computer, because some people will be ignorant enough about computers to assume that their PC is just broken, so they go buy a new one loaded with Windows Vista.

Microsoft, I've been a very loyal PC guy, but I'm writing this post on a Macbook because you just screwed me. Fuck you. Fix it, now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I hired a maid service for the office, and she turned out to be insanely hot

Our office was starting to get a little dingy and cluttered, so I was given the task of finding a maid service to come by a couple times a month. So I jumped on and typed in "maid" and the first hit there seemed like a pretty legit company, so I got a quote from them and set up service.

The next day when the maid arrived I was out of the office, but my co-worker sent me a frantic message telling me that she was "super-model hot." Apparently he was worried that I'd accidentally hired some kind of "naughty" maid service.

I got to the office and she was still there, and he was right. She was an incredibly beautiful Brazilian woman, and let's just say she wasn't dressed modestly. She wasn't actively trying to be provocative, you just got the sense that she didn't really care that much. I guess Brazil is a pretty liberated place.

Luckily no women work in our office, because we're pretty sure that they would have been offended, even though nothing was intentional. Instead the guys all congratulated me on a job well done.