Monthly Archives: August 2011

My public service announcement

I’ve been burgled.  Robbed.  Violated, even.

My office key is not attached to the same keychain as my car and home keys.  I like it that way.  I don’t want to have to carry around a pound of keys whenever I leave on coffee breaks, or what have you.  The convenience comes at a price, though.  I lose it — a lot.  Once, I went a month without my key until I finally found it in a jacket pocket shoved in the back of my trunk.
It’s a “big deal” to lose this key.  So I’ve been told by one person, the entire office must be re-keyed.  With eight individual offices, a conference room, four outside doors and dozens with access… it’s “big deal.”  All out of my pocket… so I’ve been told.

Consider that necessary background for the following story.

I leave my office.  Walk down the hall to the bathroom.  There’s no one there.  It’s morning.  It’s summer.  It’s slow on campus.

I place my key with a super cool Chuck high top keychain on a ledge near the mirror.  Proceed into the stall.  While in there, I hear someone else enter. (Sidenote: of all the empty stalls, why plant yourself next to me? sheesh. Well, that ended up being a blessing-in-disguise and I’ll tell you why later.)

Exit stall. Wash hands. Head for key… except. It’s not there! Shit! Ok, maybe I left it hanging in the stall. (I know, I know. That’s obviously not where I left it, but you think of all possibilities in these instances.)  Nada.  I check every nook and cranny in the near-empty bathroom for a good solid minute.

Then I thinkMaybe this lady in the stall took it. Ok, I’ll ask. Except, wait, I definitely don’t want to have a conversation with her in there. I’ll wait.

I fix my hair, as I wait.  I wash my hands again, as I wait.  I’m done waiting.

Think: I’ll head to my office and grab her as she leaves. Luckily, one of the outer doors are open and I can spy from there. Luckily x2, this lady took the stall right next to me and I got a peek at her shoes.

I chill out, all stealth Continental Op-like. I’m chatting with a friend in the office and from my peripheral vision, I see the shoes. Then, I see the whole package — frizzy blonde hair, high-waisted shorts, leather-braided belt, blue polo shirt… UCLA employee.

Think: I’m set. She’s a UCLA facilities employee. She’ll do the right thing and head downstairs to turn it into Lost&Found. Even though it was never lost, but whatever.

Friend says:  “Why don’t you just ask, ‘hey did you happen to see any keys in the bathroom?'”

I say:  “Because that’s not my style. And I’m not going to be as nice as you. Trust me, it’s better to swoop in after and get my keys.”

A minute later, I head for Lost&Found. The guy tells me someone did drop off a bunch of keys.

Me: “any with a shoe keychain?”

Him: “No. Only one has a keychain. This it?” He holds up a ratty yellow-and-blue UCLA keychain. Honestly, the kind that they give out like candy aka worthless.

I see all the keys she dropped off — about eight and none with keychains.  But they look like office keys. I tell him that mine was an office key and that maybe she dropped it off without a keychain.  He checks my number against the ones there, and comes up empty.  He suggests I go to the office down the hall, across from the bathroom.  “Sometimes people drop stuff off there instead.”

Walk upstairs and down the hall and into the second office I go.  Ask this guy if anyone’s dropped off some keys.  Of course not, that would’ve been too easy.

Shit. I start thinking back at how mad this one person would be if I come back without keys. I’m ready to say that it wasn’t my fault. I was burgled, violated. I did not lose them. And just to make sure I had rock-solid evidence, I go back into the bathroom and do a quickie sweep.

Stalls — empty.

Sinks — empty

Mirrors — empty.

Towel dispensers — empty.

Trash bins — empty.

Ledge where I placed my keys to begin with — not empty. Three rolls of paper. I go through the motions of picking each one up just like the last time. Then, I see it.

A lone key. No keychain. Looking like it had always been there.

I quickly grab the key and head to my office because it could either:

A. Be my key without the keychain, or

B. Be someone else’s key in one of the stalls, and at which point I’d be doing the same to them that was done to me.

It’s my key, yes. It opens my office and the office suite. But where’s my keychain, huh?

This beeyotch stole my keychain!!  And didn’t even bother to turn in my naked key with the rest.  Now all those keys made sense.  I’m dealing with a serial keychain-stealer. Hide your keychains, boys and girls. They are not safe. Unless, of course, they’re not that cute.

PHOTO: My fly Chuck high top keychain. How will I ever replace it?

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turkey coma

I haven’t shared this with people… well, because I’m modest.

Ha!

I’ve just been lazy or flighty or deficient in my attention or comatose from the tryptophan.

But here it is and here’s the proof of the matter.  About two weeks ago, I BOWLED A TURKEY!

gobble gobble

I don’t care if it was pure dumb luck or tenacious skills, I did it and I’m owning it.  I ended this game with a total 5 strikes, two splits, one gutter and a personal-best 146.

ON A RELATED NOTE: In league, the amazing, wish-you-were-us SPARE-TA! is finally out of the gutter.  We moved out last place and firmly into second-to-last place.  I’ve gotten my groove back since this climactic moment of bowling life and it’s definitely helped my performance in league.

 

Soccer boots as art

As the U-20 World Cup continues in Colombia, FIFA gave us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the teams and players. The 80-photo gallery has some great shots of players stretching in tunnels, holding hands with little children, praying/reflecting on the game at hand. There are a handful of photos of impromptu shrines set up in each locker room, such as Mexico’s to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

For me, though, the most visually appealing of these photos focused on shoes. I felt as if I’d walked into a pop art exhibit with all the bright, neon colors on display. Here are a few I liked, but you should check out the full gallery.

Oh, and shout-out to el tri who play Brazil in the semis this Wednesday night 6 p.m. PST.

PHOTOS courtesy of FIFA (from top): The Mexican team’s boots are laid out prior to the round-of-16 game against Cameroon; a nice trio in Ecuador’s locker room; a different day, a different set up of Ecuador’s kits and cleats; close-up of Mexican player’s boots.

Art in the Streets retrospective

No more Art in the Streets. boooo. Los Angeles’ shout-out to graffiti artists, street art and culture was wildly popular. When I went, the line snaked down 1st, past Central and god only knows where else. I made a HUGE mistake when I went. I instinctively went straight to MOCA’s Grand Avenue location. That was HUGE because by the time I walked over to Little Tokyo, I zipped right in front of all those people in the 90-degree heat and waltzed right in with my front-of-the-line pass. Plus, I enjoyed a cucumber mint lemonade for my walk — like a refreshing mojito.  And I bought this beauty as a souvenir.

Here as some pics taken with my shoddy phone camera.  I tried my best… There’s LA-specific stuff, Shepard Fairey and Banksy. Not the best quality, but I repeat… tried my best.

get up and LEARN something

This video is why I do what I do.  Granted, it’s a lot more polished and scintillating.  I don’t see myself doing parkour in front of the Eiffel Tower either, especially since I have yet to master a simple cartwheel.  But I could take a cooking class.  And for all his adventures, I didn’t see him throw some clay on a pottery wheel (my latest escapade).

This is the second of  a three-part series of short films by Australian filmmaker Rick Mereki and friends. The other two tackle MOVEMENT and FOOD and are equally awesome!  Check them out on Mereki’s vimeo page and try something new while you’re at it.

When search terms make you smile


*****

I thought this was amazing and needed to be shared with everyone!  Earlier this week, I logged in and saw this funny duo in my search engine.

First, se la perdio seems to be very popular.  I get a lot of traffic from people who are searching for a translation.  If you search Google, top referral is to my spiffy fluff piece on Univision and the great job the Spanish station does during  fútbol telecasts.  Ironically, I never actually translate se la perdio, but rather equate it to the taunting Airball, Airball in basketball.  So here’s my chance to right this wrong.  For all who stumble on this in search of a translation: Se la perdio means he missed it; he missed; he missed out; failure; massive fail!

But that’s not even the best part of that duo.  It’s the second piece in Arabic and it’s prime because of two things:

  1. I CAN READ IT!!!!! Totally making progress.  Arabic Year 2, I’m coming after you.
  2. Someone out there in the Arabic-speaking world is looking for… are you ready???  Are you??  Looking for… ROBERTO BAGGIO!!!
  3. Talk about the biggest se la perdio moment.


Love it and love whoever was searching for him and his glorious ponytail.  Stuff like this makes me smile because I witness the cross-cultural reach of soccer, football, fút or كرة القدم

Boundaries be damned!

FIFA rankings mean shit… for now

I’ve said before that the FIFA World rankings are more or less meaningless if I don’t like the results.  I also said that I’d praise them as scripture if I like what they report.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m back to firmly thinking they’re worth shit.  I’m not at all happy that I had to crop such a large box so Mexico could be included. Blasphemy!

What follows is my tirade of the Top 3 reasons why this is BS:

N0. 1

Out of the 20 teams listed above, only five5!! — played any games in this period that went toward their ranking.  Those would be the Latin American teams that took part in the Copa America in Argentina last month — Brazil (#4), Uruguay (#5), Argentina (#10), Chile (#11) and Mexico (#20).

The teams that haven’t done anything should move, bitch. Get out the way.  Instead, they rest on their laurels and see their positions basically unmoved for months on end.  Montenegro, for example.  After some very shallow digging, Montenegro has only played TWO games this year and their average ranking is 101.

Which leads me to point No. 2

Many of the teams I was just blazing against have actually played the last month.  One key arena was the U-17 World Cup held in Mexico.  The Netherlands, England, Germany, France were all present and fighting for the title of the best in the world.  But they came up short.  The team who won and the ones that did so in Hollywood-perfect flair was the young, scrappy Mexican team.

These games aren’t counted toward the ranking because they’re kids.  They’re 17 years old or younger.  Of course they wouldn’t count toward the legitimate Grade A team your nation can produce.

I’m making a point here, stick with me for No. 3

And so, if we’re not going to count the kids because they’re not the first-string team, then why should we count Mexico’s disappointing performance in the Copa America?  That wasn’t their A Team.  Mexico was invited, as it usually is, to fill out the competition since CONMEBOL only has 10 teams.  Because the Gold Cup ended literally days before the start of Copa America, Mexico sent a lesser team, made up primarily of lady-of-the-night-loving sub-22s.

Ok, Ok, that last point was a stretch.  I’m trying to make myself feel better.  And I’m still pissed that Argentina — which showed it matters shit if you have the Best Player in the World — is still in 10th place. Arghh!!