birthday shenanigans.

I turned 31 this weekend. Woohoo. Ashley’s birthday was the day before mine, so we decided to have a joint celebratory party on Saturday.. After dinner at Lulu, we headed down to Shine for the main festivities.

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It was an evening filled with fabulous drunkgiggery (yes, I just made up that word).. My friends are the bestest evar. It was SUPER crowded due to the Angels of Bass party, but Trip hooked us up with our very own VIP booth, complete with a fully stocked mini-fridge. Red Bull, Vodka, and Fernet. Woo. Check out the whole set of pictures here — hmm.. I need to get a diffuser or something for that flash.

On Sunday, I celebrated with my family down in the boro. Everyone chipped in to cook up a delicious dinner with all of my favorites.. my grandma’s potato salad, kalbi, clams and oysters, meatloaf muffins, brussels sprouts, and some new dishes that my dad made up that were super tasty as well.

happy birthday to me

Yah, there was way too much food.. but so tasty. Food coma for sure.

I can’t believe another year has passed already… yikes.

hmmm. corn? when did i eat corn?

Ok.. so I’ve been saying for years now to invest in corn futures.. My reasoning was that as global consumption of beef increases, global consumption of corn will increase (since cows eat a lot of corn) — so, corn prices will continue to rise.

So, we just hit a 10-year high for corn prices. And, I think it’ll continue to rise, because of the beef thing, and now — ethanol is taking off, so that’ll exert even more pressure on corn prices..

Damn, if only I had followed my own advice and actually put my money where my mouth is.

The future isn’t plastics, my boy, it’s in CORN.

perfect storm here in vegas..

I’ve been here in Vegas since Friday, and omg, it’s been one of the most insane Vegas trips ever. I mean, yes, Vegas trips are always crazy and insane, but this one, in particular, has been absolutely insane. I’m here with my cousins Stephanie and Chris, their parents, and their family friends. When we got into town Friday night, it took us 2 hours to get from the airport to our hotel — a trip that should usually only take about 10 minutes. Why? Well.. this weekend is the combination of three huge events: NBA All Star Weekend, Chinese New Year, and President’s Day weekend. The result? Crowds like I’ve never seen before… All weekend, it’s been a chore to get anywhere at all, getting a cab takes a few hours, and once you’re in there, driving on the strip is at a standstill. Walking is only slightly better, with huge crowds clogging the sidewalks..

bellagio fountain

But, the annoyance of the crowds aside, it’s been a really, really fun weekend. I came in 2nd place in a poker tournament at the Aladdin. Tons of celebrity sightings. Stephanie played blackjack with Zach Braff yesterday. While we played a round of golf at Shadow Creek yesterday, we saw Tiger warming up at the driving range. Michael Jordan was also there, but we only saw his Ferrari and one of his customized golf carts.

Time really doesn’t exist in Vegas. Nor does sleep, apparently.

Saturday night, we were hooked up with a table at Tryst, the club at the Wynn (we didn’t have to wait in any lines.. woohoo! i hate lines).. The club was packed, LeBron was there, and there were dudes just throwing wads of $1 bills onto the dance floor. Yah, a little crazy.

at the nba all star game

Sunday, we got tickets to the NBA All Star game.. I was really dumb and didn’t bring my dSLR. (dumb, dumb, dumb) I thought for some reason that they wouldn’t let me bring it — but I missed the opportunity to get some great pictures at the game. Then again, I didn’t see anyone with a dSLR at the game, so maybe they didn’t let them in… So, I only had my compact digicam, so that’ll have to do. The game itself was kind of anti-climactic to the weekend. Unlike the MLB All Star game, the NBA All Star doesn’t really play for anything — the players were clearly showboating, so it felt more like an exhibition of dunking and alley-oop skills than anything else. Which made for an entertaining game though. Probably the biggest cheer of the night came when Shaq actually started dribbling the ball and then tried for a jumper, which he missed.



Watching the celebrities interact during the game was amusing too.. Prince and David Chappelle were sitting next to each other, but it was funny cuz they were clearly trying not to sit too close to each other (even though the seats were super tightly packed together). And then, after halftime, Prince left, replaced by Ludacris, which I thought was an interesting swap. Eva Longoria was looking quite lovely, and every time Tony Parker hit a shot, she’d cheer excitedly. Wayne Newton did some of the pregame show. I’ve never seen that dude perform before, but he kind of looks like a Madame Tussad wax museum specimen.

This weekend has been truly a test of Vegas’ ability to handle a huge, unpredictable crowd. In one of the long cab rides home, our cab driver reported to us that he had heard about 22 shootings this weekend and a pedestrian hit-and-run accident.. But, in searching through the local news, I didn’t see anything about the shootings, but the hit-and-run was covered by one of the local outlets.

Anyway — I’m actually still here in Vegas until tomorrow night, maybe the crowds will thin out after today. I’m working from my room here at the Bellagio, so it’s kind of fun ordering room service whilst I do my work. Woo. Vegas, baby.

one of these things is not like the other…

I’m on my way to lunch today with an old CNET colleague — it’s a gorgeous, sunny day out, so I don my bike gear for the short 10 minute bike ride downtown.. And, I find this:

hmm. what's... missing...

Some farking icehole has stolen my front bike wheel off my fixie. From inside my garage. It’s purposely not a fancy bike so that people don’t try and steal stuff off of it. I had one of those “anti-theft” skewers on there (not the quick-release ones). FECK, I’m pissed.

I mean, seriously, that’s really, really annoying… I was nearly late for lunch, so I run upstairs to grab the front wheel off my other bike, and then I realize that it’s at the shop for a tune-up. Double Feck. And of course, I can’t ride my mountain bike either. So yah, I drive downtown instead, incur like $18 in parking expenses, and am like half an hour late to lunch. ARGH.

Coincidentally, the Guardian has a story this week about my friend Max’s recovery of his stolen bike. Apparently, bike theft is a thriving industry here in San Francisco. There’s TONS of bikes around, and lots of rich people that buy super expensive bikes. And, the police doesn’t seem to care about bike thefts when there are like shootings going on (uh.. yah, that shooting was at Grove & Laguna, like 3 blocks from my house, hooray. (Aside: interesting that when you talk about a shooting, my hood is “Western Addition,” but when you talk about shopping, it’s “Hayes Valley”)

So yah.. what’s up with the recent rise in crime in the City? That’s not cool, yo. Car 54, Where are You?

pillow fight recap and i'm in the news again..

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Ali and I headed down to the Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight yesterday — along with 1,000 other pillow-wielding people.. It was pretty fun, kind of silly, and very, very feathery. On the Muni ride over, I looked around, and like half of the people heading down to the Embarcadero were holding pillows. C’mon people, you’re supposed to at least try and hide it a little, no? I got there a few minutes before 6, and people were milling about.. At 6pm precisely, the entire plaza erupted into a huge pillow fight, and after about 5 minutes of pillow pummeling, feathers started flying. Feathers were everywhere, it was insane.

So, anyway… my PR folks must be working overtime, cuz I’m in the news again. And, they say that I’m “incredibly attractive.” Well, they said that everyone that went was “incredibly attractive,” but I’ll take it anyway.

i choo choo choose you.

i choo choo choose you

Yah, so I guess it’s Valentine’s day or something around these here parts. Hooray, I suppose.

So, if you’re looking for a card, this guy made eps versions of the v-day cards that were on that Simpsons episode — you know, the one where Ralph gives Lisa the “I Choo Choo Choose You” card, and Lisa gives him the “Let’s Bee Friends” card.
Ouch. Yah. Ralph is on the friend ladder. Get used to it brah. It sucks. His cat’s breath also smells like cat food.

You shouldn’t be downloading and printing free cards off the interweb, you should be buying them from American Greetings (shoutout to Dan in Ohio — hope you’re enjoying the snow).. Hmm, that reminds me.. remember “Print Shop” on the old Apple II? Man, those cards were awesome.. you’d print them out on your dot-matrix printer and then you’d fold them up in 4 and they’d be a sweet little card. Someone’s had to have made a web version of that, no? Hmmm… Anyone? Anyone?

Uh.. I digress. Just remember, shit bitch you is fine.

tibet house benefit… and music thoughts..

Ooo… so, if you’re in New York on February 26th, you should definitely check this show out — 17th Annual Carnegie Hall Benefit Concert.. Philip Glass, Sigur Ros, Debbie Harry, Ben Harper and Lou Reed are all playing, so I bet it will be a really cool show. That’s the Monday after my birthday weekend here in SF, so.. hmm.. maybe if I can somehow hop on the redeye Sunday night, I can make it, but I don’t think it’s in the cards, unfortunately… poop. But anyway, NYC peeps, go check it out.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Philip Glass lately, in particular, his Tirol Concerto (mp3 sample). So good. Also been really into Explosions in the Sky — a post-rock group out of Austin, Texas.. The track “Your Hand in Mine” (mp3) is rock solid. I actually was turned onto them due to my recent fascination with the show Friday Night Lights — whose fascination, in part, is due to my unexplainable fascination with West Texas, in which it’s set. Anyway, EitS has a new CD coming out on the 20th, which I’m looking forward to, and then is coming here to SF on May 1st, which I have yet to get tickets for. (hmm. crap, they’re already sold out online, I guess I’ll go to Slim’s and get tix. grr.)

Hmmm… I suppose I’ve been in a decidely mellow mood lately with my music tastes. Uh.. Hmmm. Yah.. so here’s a nice little electro track from Simian Mobile Disco to liven things up a bit.. It’s charmingly titled: Tit’s & Acid. And if you like that, def check out their video “Hustler”.. Yah, hottt.

long bet: personal flying transportation

The drive down from SF to our Sunnyvale office today took almost 2 hours (thank god I only have to drive down once in awhile).. Ugh.

So, inspired by the insipid traffic this morning, Masnick and I started discussing the viability of personal air transport.. I don’t think that it’s practically feasible to have personal air transport, in the way that we currently use cars. I just don’t see it. Sure, it’s been in plenty of movies and tv shows, but.. hmm.. just seems too impractical for me. Masnick disagrees.. Yes, I know about the Moller SkyCar, but it’s juuust a little expensive for me right now.

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So, we decided to make a long bet (well, not an “official” one, like on the site — our bet is for 1 can of Coke.)..

The bet I initially proposed:
“Personal flying vehicles will be a standard way of transportation within our lifetime.”

But.. then I realized, that in order for this bet to be settled, we would have to be dead — at which point, neither of us would be able to pay the 1 can of Coke. So, that’s kind of silly, so, I revised it to a 50 year bet.

The bet, revised:
“Personal flying vehicles will be a standard way of transportation by February 9, 2057”

Masnick is taking the YES side, and I’m taking the NO.

There. It’s now part of official record.

And yes, this is really, really, really geeky.

Really geeky.

And I wonder why I’m still single.