Brain Of J

The crazed ramblings and semi-rational opinions of a highly sarcastic, 20-something New Jerseyan.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

When Sabrina says so......

When I get a comment from Sabrina_C, who I didn't even think read this anymore, asking "where the fuck" I've been...........well that's when I know I need to update something.

Its been almost 2 months and a lot has gone on. So for my first post since April, here's a few things that have happened/been happening since I posted last.

  • Went to the Hooters in my town to watch the Bernard Hopkins vs. Antonio Tarver fight last weekend. It was on Pay-Per-View which was the only reason I went to Hooters for the fight. Overall the fight was pretty good, Hopkins basically scared the crap out of Tarver and then went on slowly beating him for the length of the fight with a few rounds taken by Tarver here and there. But with about 2 minutes left in the final round of the fight, two idiots decided to start a fight of their own in the middle of Hooters. I know Hooters isn't exactly the classiest restaurant in the world, but its still a restaurant. Of course, there were no bouncers so the fight/arguement went on for a few minutes before eventually being broken up. But it pissed me off because not only did I miss the last 2 minutes of the fight, but in the course of the arguement/fight, I got a beer spilled all over me. Good times.

  • On Thursday June 1st, I saw Pearl Jam at Continental Airlines Arena. Wozzy's Den has the full breakdown of the show. I'll just say that it was probably the best concert I've ever seen. The set list was great and the energy given off by Vedder & company was amazing. I was thrilled with it.


I've been watching a lot of the World Cup and I think I'll do a little write-up of what I've seen either today or later this week.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

First Wedding Plan Post

I've tried to keep most, if not all of the wedding planning stuff out of my blog. I don't think I've mentioned it more than once or twice just in passing. I know that most people don't care about going to look at different DJs or reception halls. I don't blame you. If it wasn't my wedding, I wouldn't care to hear about it either.

But something happened last night that I have to share with you readers. The fiancee and I went to check out a photographer. Seemed simple enough. My mother got the name from someone she works with who said this guy was good and his prices were pretty good too. So we made an appointment for 8pm.

We were good and showed up at 7:30pm figuring we could get everything started a little early. The guy was right in my town so luckily we didn't have to travel far. So we went in to the place and the owner wasn't there yet. But his associate was. And boy was this guy a nut.

He tried to do something as simple as show us a video on a laptop computer. Well he couldn't get the computer to work, mostly because he tried to open the video 4 different times without giving the computer a chance to actually play it. So it got bogged down and I had to help him out to get it working. That took a good 10 minutes. Meanwhile while all that was going on he was talking about how women don't cook anymore because they all work so he was telling me and the fiancee that we should learn how to use a microwave. Mind you, the fiancee is italian and a great cook and we both actually enjoy cooking. But even when we told him this, I believe his exact words were "yeah well, she might cook for the first year but after that you should probably just forget it". So we watched the stupid movie which was just a whole bunch of photographs set to some music.

Then the owner walks in. Sits down and starts talking to us. The guy was unbelievable. Its like a rule that wedding photographers have to be completely goofy with a stupid sense of humor and unprofessional. I wasn't in the mood for it last night.

So the guy finds out that I'm half Italian and that the fiancee is completely Italian so the proceeds to refer to our wedding as a "guinea wedding". I swear, he said it at least 3 times. I was waiting for the fiancee to haul off and hit him. On top of that, he kept saying these stereotypically Italian things in a stupid Godfather-like voice. It was just beyond insulting. On top of that, he kept making a stupid buzzing noise with his mouth that got on my nerves after about 30 seconds.

He also kept trying to convince us that we should see each other before the wedding ceremony on the day of the wedding. Generally its considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the wedding. Yet he kept pushing the issue, telling us that it would allow more time for better pictures. Even after I said "look, you keep bringing it up, and its a good arguement, but its just not going to happen", he kept bringing it up. He even joked around about the fiancee getting annoyed at him for continually bringing it up. Finally she said "I don't want to mislead you at all into thinking that we might consider it. Its absolutely not going to happen so just drop it". That apparently was clear enough for him to understand.

By the way, the name of the place is Allan Reider Photography. If you want to be insulted or hear someone use the ethnic slur "guinea" as if it was commonplace, you should stop by. Needless to say, we aren't going to be using him. I'm not real sensitive about words or anything like that, but when you are in a business that depends on you working with clients, I feel its important to be as professional as possible. This guy was anything but.

Oh yeah, he also kept calling "photography" pornography thinking that it was funny. At one point he got a phonecall from an employee and he answered it on speaker and goes "Hey John, I'm with some clients right now. they're putting their clothes back on, can I call you back". What the fuck???

Monday, April 17, 2006

Looking Forward to May 2nd

May 2nd should be a great day.

"Pearl Jam" by Pearl Jam is being released that day. Possibly one of the most anticipated albums in quite some time. I already have it pre-ordered. "Riot Act" was their last album of new material and that came out at the end of 2002. So its been awhile and I'm excited.

"10,000 Days" by Tool is also being released that day. Yet another of the most anticipated albums in awhile. Especially since Tool seems to be releasing albums only every 5 years or so. Their last release was Lateralus on May 15, 2001.

Also, although much less anticipated, the new Thursday album comes out that day.

But I can't remember the last time that two bands that release albums so sporadically, released their new albums on the same day. At least not two bands as musically important or with as large followings as Pearl Jam and Tool. I'm just not sure which album I'm more anxious to hear.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I hate "7th Heaven"

I can't stand this freakin show. I also can't believe its still on TV. I noticed this last night when I saw my sister watching it. So I sat down and talked to her for a few minutes and ended up watching "7th Heaven" for a short time. I forgot how much I just can't stand that show.

The last time I really watched it was when I was dating a girl a few years back. Inexplicably she actually liked the show and watched it pretty religiously. That should've been my first clue that I shouldn't have dated her. But anyways, it had been awhile and I just figured the show was just taken off the air because no one in their right mind could connect to the family on that show. But much to my shagrin, I found out that I was wrong. And that takes me to my first problem with the show.

Its completely unrealistic. But I'm not talking about unrealistic in a funny or entertaining sort of way. I mean, I watch the Sopranos, 24, Simpsons, and a few other television shows and I know you have to suspend reality somewhat in order to watch the show (especially if its 24). But "7th Heaven" goes way beyond that. Its a huge family that pretty much never fights. And when they do have the occassional little spat, they always solve it quickly through peaceful communication. No raised voices, no holding grudges. I've never met anyone in my life that comes from a family like that.

So this show gives an unrealistic expectation of a "perfect" family. And it therefore makes people think that their family is overly dysfunctional. Its just wrong.

The good news is that its finally going off the air. Besides being surprised that its stayed on for so long, I'm also disappointed that there are so many people who are so lonely and unhappy with their own lives that they need to watch an unrealistic "perfect" family instead of trying to connect with their parents or children.

It boggles my mind that a show like "7th Heaven" stays on the air for years and years and years, but a show like "Arrested Development" gets cancelled after 2 seasons. Stuff like that makes me lose faith in the American people's collective intellect.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

iPod frustration

So my beloved iPod is broken. Very upset about it. I bring it into the lab with me and, using iTrips, I'm able to play my music on a little radio we have in the lab. Two weeks ago, things started going wrong.

It would play some songs fine, it took longer to boot up than usual, but then it started freezing for long periods of time and playing like 20 seconds of a song, then freezing for 30 seconds and skipping to the next song. It was pissing me off.

So I figured it was something that I could take care of pretty easily. I did some looking around Apple's website and found a couple ways to take care of the problem. So first I checked to see if the software was updated with the most recent update. It was. So then I just completely restored my iPod. It took all the songs off of it and put it back to the factory settings. Then I went to reload my songs onto it. It froze halfway through putting the songs back onto it. So I restored it again and tried once more. Same thing happened.

So this sunday I had some time so I went to the Apple Store in Short Hills Mall. I got there around 12:30pm. I wait for about 20 minutes before realizing that I needed to make an appointment. So I made an appointment (which I could've done from home) at 3:15pm which was the earliest appointment I could get. Left and went back around 3. Wait and wait til finally they called my name. I went up to the guy and explained what happened and what I already did. So right off the bat he said it sounds like a "hardware problem" which is kind of what I figured. So he takes my iPod, takes one look at it and goes "ok I've got some bad news. It sounds like a hardware issue. But the probelm is is that this iPod has the HP (hewlitt-packard) symbol on it which means we're legally not allowed to service them at Apple stores. You need to call HP Tech Support about it. Sorry." So I wasted all that time for the guy to give me the HP tech support phone number.

Fast forward to today. I call HP's technical support which I hate. They suck, are rarely helpful, and rarely speak in an accent that I can understand easily. But I was in luck today because the guy I talked to spoke fine. Unfortunately he sucked and wasn't helpful. He told me that it was a hardware problem most likely, which I already knew. And that he could give me telephone support for $45 since my warranty was up but that it most likely wouldn't help since I already had restored it and there's not much more they would tell me to do. Now that pissed me off already. Now if I didn't look for myself about restoring the iPod, they would've charged me $45 to tell me how to do something that is public knowledge and can be found relatively easily on the internet. Anyways. So I didn't do that obviously. But he said that the only other thing they could do was to replace my iPod for $260. I definitely said no thanks to that one too. But he told me that since iPod's are an Apple product, HP isn't allowed to open them up to fix hardware problems.

So in the end Apple told me they couldn't service it because it had an HP logo on the back. And HP told me they couldn't fix it because its an Apple product. So now I'm stuck going to a place like Circuit City or Best Buy to see if they can fix it for me. Can't wait to see how much that's gonna cost.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hypocrite Howard Hoo Hoo

Disclaimer: I am an XM radio subscriber and have been listening to Opie & Anthony since 2001.

Well Howard Stern is in the news once again after an interview with Sean Hannity where he finally admits to having Infinity Broadcasting censor Opie & Anthony. Let me make one comment about Hannity. I don't necessarily like his views about some things because he's way more conservative than I am with anything. But the guy sticks to his guns and asks questions that are different and not those soft, easy questions people like Larry King ask. So my hat's off to him in that regard. Plus he's from NJ so that's kind cool.

So here's the background to this story. O&A and Stern worked for the same company (Infinity Broadcasting) on different FM stations. Stern for some reason viewed O&A as competition even though they worked for the same company and Stern was on in the morning and O&A were on in the afternoon. But he did, so he had an executive at Infinity place a gag order on O&A where they couldn't mention Stern's name or they risked getting fired. Here's the whole story about it.

My favorite quotes are when Stern, the self-proclaimed Champion of Free Speech said "That's right. I believe in censoring anyone who is my enemy" and "I believe in censorship when it benefits me". Apparently he's never heard the famous freedom of speech quote "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it". So Hypocrite Howard finally admits and in the process, show's that he's not a champion of free speech, he's simply a champion of not paying FCC fines and saving his own ass.

I also like the underhanded move of telling guests scheduled to appear on O&A that if they appeared on that show, they would never be welcomed back to do the Howard Stern show. Now this is something that happens in the radio business between two different broadcasting companies. Say Infinity tells someone that if they go and do an interview with a ClearChannel radio show that they will never be invited to do an interview with anyone employed by Infinity; that kind of stuff happens. But in this instance, they both worked for the same company. It was personal.

Also, there is audio of Stern on his own show denying ever having a gag order placed on O&A. Now he admits it. Not very bright. There is also a great audio clip of Stern saying that its important to do 5 solid days of good radio and that that is a radio personalities job. Well guess who's been taking an awful lot of Friday's off since he inked his big $500-million contract? That's right Hypocrite Howard. I guess all those legal problems are starting to weigh on his.


Now I know a lot of my friends are big Howard Stern fans, but I don't see how the hypocrisy can be denied. I mean, if you still like him than fine. But censoring someone for your own benefit and than 4 years later make yourself out to be a free speech fighter because you got fined is just indefensible.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

UAE, Italy, Gumble2Gumble, my wrist

This post is for tomjoad, who's recent comment convinced me to write a new post. Who may or may not be sitting down here by the campfire light with Rage Against The Machine and Bruce Springsteen. We may never know.



UAE and our ports

When I first heard the news reports I can honestly say I thought that the news was being a bit Arab-phobic. Considering most of what I hear about the UAE has to do with Dubai and how its fucking beautiful and holds golf and tennis tournaments and has an island in the shape of a palm tree and another island being created in the shape of the world. Pretty cool. But then I started reading about the ties to terrorists. But that's not even what made me most angry. What made me the angriest are these "facts" coming out of the White House and Congress and other outlets:

#1-Bush didn't know about the sale until outrage started in the media. This means that the leader of our country didn't know that entrance points into the country were about to be controlled by a foreign company who may or may not have ties to terrorists. Anyone can understand the importance of this point. I honestly think the point of whether or not the UAE has ties to terrorists is secondary to the fact that the PRESIDENT is saying he had no idea about this deal until it was reported to the rest of the country. This is a problem.

#2-Congress had absolutely no clue about the deal either. This means that the part of government in charge of oversight was left out of a major deal that has to do with a possible problem of national security. This is another obvious problem.

#3-That Bush has strong ties to people involved or people who were at some point involved with the company planning on taking over the ports. In particular, David Sanborn who was the company's Head of Ops in Latin America and is now Bush's nominee for Administrator of Maritime Administration. Interesting connection huh?

#4-The fact that Bush immediately said he would veto a bill disallowing the sale if Congress passed such a bill even though Bush said he didn't know about the deal until everyone got upset about it.

#5-The fact that the White House PR guy, Scott McClellan, is giving extremely shady answers (which seems to be his real job lately) about this. Saying "this is a deal that is supposed to have been scrutinized" by a national security review process. Sort of like how this Administration is SUPPOSED to have the national security interests in mind before the interests of friends.



Italy

Italy passed one of the most insane laws in current day in a civilized country. Their high court (the equivalent of our supreme court) has ruled that sexual crimes are not as serious a crime if the victim is not a virgin. Mean that rape is not as bad if the girl isn't a virgin. To me, that's completely crazy. And the court is dealing with some serious backlash due to its verdict, and it damn well should have to deal with it.



Gumble2Gumble

Besides being part of the plot of a hilarious Family Guy episode, Bryant Gumble has caught my attention recently as stated in the comments by tomjoad. He said that he doesn't get very into the Winter Olympics because there are not many black athletes. Get a good visual picture of Bryant Gumble in your head and then let that statement sink in. Besides the fact that sports aren't supposed to be a competition of which race shouldn't be an issue, the Olympics are sports based mostly on good natured competition and national pride. Next thing we'll see Bryant Gumble complaining that the Summer Olympics don't have enough black swimmers. His comment is just ignorant.



My wrist

So I had a hockey game on Monday night. Unfortunately we lost. But I also hurt my wrist. I'm not entirely sure what is wrong but I can't really rotate my hand at all. I'm actually leaving work in 15 minutes to go get an x-ray to see if there is a fracture or if its just sprained. I'm hoping for just a sprain but I want to know for sure. Hockey is actually going pretty well though. I think we are 4-2 which puts us about 3rd in our division. Its not the cleanest brand of hockey, at times our play could be called "extremely sloppy" but I have fun and its a decent workout.