Wednesday, July 28, 2010


it's short so make sure you listen to the end - you won't regret it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Music Video of the Day: That Creepy Cover of "Creep" Set to a Bizarre Montage of Mortgage Industry-Related Images, Courtesy of an Extremely Shady "Foreclosure Assistance" Organization

By now everyone's seen the trailer for The Social Network, which sort of confuses me. I mean it's a David Fincher film, written by Aaron Sorkin, so it's going to be awesome. But then again it's about the Facebook nerds and offers this line -- "I am going to sue you in federal court" -- as an example of its dramatic bona fides. So, a big hmmmm is in order.  (It also has Jason Timberland saying, "A million dollars isn't cool. Do you know what's cool? A billion dollars." So let's add a second hmmmm to the mix.)

In reality though, here's what's cool about the trailer, the haunting cover of "Creep" done by the Belgian girls' choir, Scala. I went to Youtube to find the full version of it, and came across the above video by a group that operates, and which purports to protect people from having their homes foreclosed on.  According to the mission statement for the site, "I am Determined to expose WALL STREET MORTGAGE FRAUD and take back our CONSTITUTION Rights, POWER & DUTIES that is taken from us daily!! (1) Shall not disable any natural or constitutional right without due process of law."

That's all fine and good, I suppose, but then the site links to "a lawyer that gets it." Putting aside the stinging failure of so many English speaking humans to understand who/that distinctions, when you click on this lawyer's site you find out it's suspended for violating the host's terms of service.  The point is as an anonymous commenter put it in an earlier post, fuck all mortgage lending and servicing companies that brought our economy to its knees, but maybe we should be weary too of the "lawyers" who are willing to take up the fight against them. Basically, mankind, Jesus, it's terrible. 

Anyway, enjoy the song.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Whoah, guys.  I watched Inception (trailer above) last night, and my two-word review of it would be this: holy shit. I know these low budget movies with no-name actors can be a hard sell, but you should do yourself a favor, and WATCH THIS MOVIE, with your eyes, and your ears, and your heart. It's so good. Like, there's this part where Zooey Deschanel's boyfriend fights people in ZERO GRAVITY. And this other part where Juno bends entire arrondissements on top of each other. Never mind that the whole movie is premised on a rather glibly explained pro-antitrust philosopy, it's Totes Mcgee Awesome. 

When my mindgrapes recover, maybe I'll go back to real blogging.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

sports break

in honor of baseball hothead lou piniella's retirement, i wanted to post his infamous fight with rob dibble. alas, you really cannot find that video online! believe me, i tried. for at least 5 minutes. yeah, i know that page says "watch this video." well, guess what, you can't. you'll get a weather report instead.

anyway, hope that tiny photo suffices. so long, lou!

ps. here is a good description, if you care:

The Occasion: Bullnecked psycho Rob Dibble didn't care for being taken out of a 1992 game for another pitcher, especially since he thought manager Lou Piniella had been badmouthing him to the media. So he decided to squawk about it in the locker room.

The Meltdown: Unfortunately for Dibble, Piniella has never been a cerebral Joe Maddon type of manager. Instead, he waded in for a fight that degenerated into a wrestling match.

The Fallout: While the incident quickly blew over, Piniella's crack of "I'd treat you like a man, but you don't want to be treated like a man!" helped ensure a lifetime of embarrassment for everyone involved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Are You Professional?

Until E sends me a mashup of De Jong drop kicking into a Zidane headbutt, I will have to content myself with the mash-up above.  Also, I quit my job, and am going to a new place where the people I've interacted with so far don't seem resolutely committed to mispronouncing my name in a variety of ways. Because I have some time in between gigs, this also means no more dudes-only happy hours, and way more blogging. Look out, world. Soon I will share my thoughts on all the many topics I've missed: SB 1070, Lebron James, the iPad, the shocking news that the Israeli Army's internal investigation more or less cleared the IDF for its actions during the flotilla massacre. You will find some classic rants, for sure. Or you might just find stupid videos. Either way, we're all winners here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

superfluous and belated movie review of the month: hot tub time machine

do you know this is our 666th post?!

hot tub time machine - surprisingly enjoyable! ok ok, so it blatantly rips off back to the future. the plot is barely, extremely minimally constructed. craig robinson speaks at a near-whisper the entire time for some reason. 80s neon clothes are kind of a cheap gag. i feel like john cusack agreed to be in this movie solely so that he can make out with lizzy caplan. (party down, RIP).

blahblahblah, anyway. there is no plot to give away, really. the movie begins in kind of morbid fashion: the three 40s-ish main characters are living rather dreary lives, all working in semi-dead end jobs and in terrible/nonexistent relationships. one of them attempts suicide, which brings the three together. they decide to relive their glory (?) days and cheer up the suicidal one at a ski resort they used to frequent in the 80s. one obvious plot twist later, they end up in the 80s, able to retrace their steps and see exactly where and how their lives and youthful dreams went astray. butterfly effect aside, will the main characters be able to resist the temptation to plot their lives differently? oh the suspense!

Friday, July 9, 2010

depressing article of the day

i know i focus on a lot of bullshit on this blog. i think it's because real life can be a giant bummer sometimes. read this if you want to feel sad.

"victim of scammers now battling bank"
chicago sun-times
january 31, 2010

There's no question that Coleamer Hodges was scammed out of her South Side home.In a 2006 complaint, the Illinois attorney general office used Hodges' tragic situation to illustrate the unlawful business practices at the core of home rescue fraud, in which companies claim to help residents stay in their homes but then actually sell the homes to third parties.

Platinum Investment Group, Advantage Mortgage Consulting, Christopher Bidigare, Suellen Carpenter and First Chicago Real Estate Group were found by a Cook County judge to have "engaged in conduct that violates the Consumer Fraud Act." Hodges, 43, had turned to Platinum for help refinancing her mortgage.Representatives picked her up, served her lunch and, although Hodges is blind, had her sign paperwork that she was told was for a refinancing deal."

A couple of months later, I got a surprise,'' she said.She got a bill for $1,300, which was actually for rent if she wanted to stay in the home because Hodges' home had been transferred to a straw buyer.

All of the entities and individuals who were involved in the transaction are now barred from acting as "distressed property" consultants.

They were also ordered to pay Hodges $50,000 in restitution.But that hasn't helped Hodges.

The guilty parties filed for bankruptcy -- and Hodges' $70,000 in home equity is gone.Wells Fargo, the bank that serviced the fraudulent deal, is now demanding to take possession of the property. Attorneys representing Wells Fargo, Johnson, Blumberg & Associates, declined to comment."Since this is an ongoing case, we cannot discuss the matter," an employee who answered the phone told me Friday.

Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for the Illinois attorney general's office, said the office had conversations with Wells Fargo last week."We were able to successfully prosecute and put these people out of business, but that is not good enough," said Bauer. "The issue today is that Ms. Hodges is in a devastating condition and needs help. Wells Fargo needs to step up and do the right thing."

Hodges is like the "poster child for victims of predatory lending schemes," said her lawyer, Paul Bernstein."Wells Fargo has refused to even talk about refinancing or modification of the loan or anything other than throwing people out on the street," Bernstein charged.

President Obama has argued that since banks have benefitted from bailouts, they should be willing to lend more money to consumers and businesses.

Hodges has been blind since childhood. She gets around with the assistance of a black Lab named Bronte.Decades ago, her five-bedroom brick home in the 9900 block of South Princeton represented a huge step up for working-class African-American families. But today, job losses and the ongoing credit crunch have led to rapid deterioration of this housing stock. I nearly drove past Hodges' home, thinking it was one of the empty bank-owned properties that are burdening a lot of communities.

Hodges alleges that during an altercation with the straw buyer, he hurled a brick through her front window, which is now boarded up.Inside, the house is practically bare of furnishings, paint is peeling, and floor tiles are worn down to the backing.

When Hodges' mother died from cancer, she inherited the house."It is like a lot of situations that you read about in newspapers," Bernstein said. "She ended up in foreclosure, and the mortgage ended up in the hands of Wells Fargo. That's how I got into it."Bernstein said he has not charged Hodges any legal fees."The main thing that is upsetting me is that the banks have refused to even talk about the situation," he said."She does get some disability and has help from her family."If the bank was willing to work out something, she could stay in the home as opposed to having to move."

So far, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has managed to stave off eviction."Our office has been trying to work this out in a way that is good for her," spokesman Steve Patterson said."We've had social workers working on this since April, and we've put too much into this to throw a blind woman and her family out into the street."

Meanwhile, Hodges said she feels like she is on Death Row."This is just a painful struggle. I feel like I have one foot in the chamber."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

things i thought i would miss about new york: part 1

miss new york city not, my child. the lord shall provide.

(view outside my office window yesterday)

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Sad Keanu is sad because he is building a midtown skyscaper in a city that you will one day leave. Supes sad, E, but Happy Canada Day! Keanu is still Canadian! And he knows kung fu.