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Hateful Notebook.....
I have entirely too much to write about, and very little time to write it in. You'll have to pardon the laziness of it, but I'm going to write this in mega-fast-mode.

1. Went to san francisco for the weekend and hung out with the ol donkey. Had a fantastic time. I immediately broke his camera because I'm an amazingly wonderful and caring friend. had plenty to eat and drink, took plenty of pictures and even got tattooed a bit.

Pictures can be found here,

Which brings me to.....

2. Pretty much most all the photos I've taken have been uploaded here. I'm a complete slave to picasa.

3. Jenny got me a Ruger 10/22 for christmas, and I've been spending some time fixin it up to be a real straight shooter. I just finished it last night and I'm taking it to the range to get it sighted in and make sure I didn't fuck anything up.



4. For valentines day, she also got me this lens I've been really looking forward to getting for my camera, The Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM. I'm doing one or possibly two weddings this year so I'm going to have to start getting better at this photography thing pretty quickly.

All the photos taken in my San Francisco and Ventura galleries were taken with this lens.

5. I got a B in my sociology class, but I just too my first test in my Political Science class and I evidently did the best out of anyone in my Professors 6 classes he teaches. I only got a 91%. I go to school with some dumbasses.

That's all for now.

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Driving to work this morning I was listening to "Morning Edition" on NPR and Steve Inskeep was interviewing Gen. George Casey who is the commander of the multi-national forces in Iraq. Not quite as high up as John Abizaid, but pretty authorative. Inskeep was asking him some pretty tough questions and generally holding his feet to the fire about as much as you can when you're talking to someone who's sole purpose in the interview is to polish the turd that is the war.

Finally at the end of the interview Inskeep mentioned that there are a lot of statistics you can look at from whatever angle you want to make things look good or bad over there, but there are a few statistics that seem about as objective as you can get. He cited a report by Iraq reporter Tom Lasseter of Mcclatchy newspapers that stated these facts:

When L. Paul Bremer, then the top U.S. representative in Iraq, appointed an Iraqi Governing Council in July 2003, insurgent attacks averaged 16 daily. When Saddam Hussein was captured that December, the average was 19. When Bremer signed the hand-over of sovereignty in June 2004, it was 45 attacks daily. When Iraq held its elections for a transitional government in January 2005, it was 61. When Iraqis voted last December for a permanent government, it was 75. When U.S. forces killed terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al Zarqawi in June, it was up to 90.

Clearly a pretty damning indictment upon the people running the war who have consistently said that all those "corners" being turned would bring peace to the country. Right?

For the most part casey just sort of sputtered and didnt really answer the question at all, but when the interview was almost over he said something that I found pretty telling. He said, "You shouldn't be put in a position where your success is judged by enemy actions."

That answer just seemed to open such a window into how the war is going so badly (provided Gen. Casey actually believes it). When the generals running the war have openly decided not to judge their progress by how easily and often the enemy is able to attack them, there's truely no limit to how much they can't fail.

Current Music: NoMeansNo - All roads lead to ausfahrt - 01 - Wake Up

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It was a steal.

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Where to even start.

Two weeks ago Jenny and I decided that we should go out on dates more, so we made an official "Date night" every wednesday. Nothing crazy or elaborate though. We put a limit of 50 bucks on the total amount the date should cost, and we made rules that it couldnt be anything that we normally do anyway like shooting, golfing, going to the movies, dinner at the usual places, etc.

Sounds pretty banal and simple right?

The first date was my turn, and I picked the santa monica pier. I was pretty scientific about my choice too; I knew they would have a time crisis machine in the arcade, which is jennys favorite arcade game, and I knew they had cheap little bullshit games of "skill" that we could have fun at. What I forgot to take into account was the fact that the santa monica pier is actually REALLY fucking weird. From the creepy guy with the high-pitched voice and a mullet working the ferris wheel, to the girl who took 10 minutes to make an iced coffee, (which she fucked up), to the ultra-ridiculous hip hop shit that was blaring out of the speakers, to the strange sense that you get just being there that you're moments away from getting knifed. Thrilling indeed!

I won't go into the gory details, but we both agree'd that it was a fun first date in the sense that it would have been the most awkward and uncomfortable one if it actually WERE our first date.

So last night was Jenny's turn and she found a burlesque show they're doing at the queen mary, in a place called "Vamp the lounge." Or "Vamp: The Lounge", or "Vamp, The Lounge".

I really have no idea how punctuation works in that name.

Anyway, we both thought it was a pretty good idea being that it's something neither of us have seen, and we're both down to spend a classy night getting drunk and watching girls dance around in their skivvies. So after getting there and an exhaustive walk all over the ship trying to find out where "Vamp......The Lounge" was, we paid our money and entered the room.........

....Full of about 10 people. I'll describe the crowd so you can get a full appreciation of how bad it truly was.

A group of about 3 married couples sitting at center stage who were staying in the hotel on vacation from bakersfield and looked like they'd be more at home marveling at the cleverness of the "I'd rather be golfing!" license plate frames in the gift shop than watching a bunch of girls young enough to be their daughters flashing them the "junk" in their "trunk".

3 guys to the left of the stage in their late 30's to mid 40's who looked like they were trying to have a WILD and CRAZY night out on the town like they did in the 80's, but just looked really sad and pathetic. They probably would have been more at home in the gift shop with the aformentioned crew or at the spearamint rhino where they could just break out the dollar bills and softly cry into their drinks like the men they are. The "polo shirt tucked into khaki shorts" look didn't really help much either.

Jenny and I on the right hand side of the stage.

The strip club DJ who was spinning the records. You know the type, really sinusy voice and typical phrasing of words. "GIVE IT UP FOR THE BEAUTIFUL LADIES! THEY WORK HARD!" etc.

Oh, and there was one elderly couple situated in a booth in the back. Not much to say about them other than the fact that we're pretty sure the lady was getting fingered.

Now that I've explained the amazingly awakward and tiny crowd, also take into consideration that there really isnt a stage. Just a section of floor that's made of hardwood flooring and has some lights around it. With a packed house and more appropriate guests, I'm sure the place has a very intimate feel to it, but with the crowd that was there last night it felt about as intimate as someone watching you take a dump.

So the show starts and Jenny and I are really clapping and trying to be supportive because the girls are really working it and doing their best despite the horrendous crowd. Meanwhile the married couples are split. The women are clearly horrified and are only beginning to realize what they've gotten themselves into, whereas the men are sporting wood from the lower buttcheek they're getting to see, which I'm sure was only making the wives even more uncomfortable. Sure enough they left after about 10 or 15 minutes.

At that point, the guys sitting on the left hand side moved to the center next to us and one of them made some comment that we should really "give it up for the girls" or some shit. A sentiment we completely agreed with, albeit for different reasons. We had no delusions of fucking them in their dressing room afterward.

For the rest of the night, that guy was absolutely engaged with the show. The guy sitting next to him just looked bored, and the third guy (who looked like he should have been cast in the movie "Sexy Beast") actually got so drunk he passed out. Which brought the "Is this dude SLEEPING?!" comment from one of the girls.


So in conclusion, we've decided that date night should forever be a contest to see how bad a date we can actually make it. I'm going to have a hard time beating last night, but lordy I'm gonna try. (PM me with ideas if you have any!). And if you want an incredible people watching experience, I highly reccomend the burlesque show at VAMP! the lounge.
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Since I'm such a huge fan of Picasa from Google, they so kindly offered me into their beta of "Picasaweb".

So far I'm really liking it, to the point where I've been uploading a lot of my more recent pictures there rather than my markmatich.com image galleries.

Some nice features that my own gallery doesnt have:

1. Free up to 250 megs, 25 bucks a year for six gigs. This is a big one.

2. Able to upload full size photos which are then resized in a browser window. No lame resizing that I have to do.

3. Fully integrated with picasa, which I use anyway. Very nice.

4. Able to add dates, tags, descriptions and all that other stuff. And comments are enabled.

The only con that I can think of at the moment is that I can't use the IMG tag to link photos to other sites. So for that sort of stuff I'll still be using markmatich.com

Anyway, if you want to see any of the stuff I'm doing that's a good place to start.


For anyone who gives a shit, here's what's been up with me for the last five months.

Been working at NHI still with Mr Jason Daze.

Got a sweetass Heckler & Koch USP .45. and made a really useful and sweet looking briefcase for it.

Moved out of the pilot and into an apartment with Jason, then from that apartment into jennys place for reasons that I dont even have the time to type about.

Trying to travel around as much as possible.

Still making sushi.

Did photography for a wedding in reno.

And lots of other stuff. Coming up? I'm getting my sleeve started and I'm super excited about it. The outline should be done in two weeks. Jenny's getting her 9mm. And we're going to chicago in october. Fun fun fun.

Bye, see you again in six months.

Current Mood: who even cares.
Current Music: Jose Gonzalez - Veneer - 03 - lovestain

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Saturday night I had to go to my old bosses sons wedding reception. Which was oddly fun because I got to hang out with everyone and not have to worry about being fired or anything. And we got to see the annoying old secretary get completely hammered and dance like a retarded epileptic amputee. And that was goddamn hilarious.

Anyhoo, it was a good occassion to get all dressed up and go be a "great couple", which is something we end up being called whenever we go out for some reason. I'm still a little unsure whether people mean that they just really like us, or whether they mean we're physically "great". We are pretty tall after all....

Anyway, we took some pictures when we got back cause we were stylin. Enjoy!

Current Music: Jolie Holland - Escondita

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Last night I took some pictures for a few kids looking to put on a play. I've never really done anything like this before, but what the hey. Here's what came out of it. These are just a few that I messed with this morning and shouldnt be indicative of the final result. Click the picture to see more.
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That's the phrase the advertising company hired by the LAPD thought would sell the idea of being a cop the best. But I think something that goes a little deeper and more to the heart of the matter would be appropriate. Why not something like, "The LAPD: Justify your worst character flaws with our badge."

Because in the 4 years I've lived here, one of the things that I'm sure of at this point is that everything you have heard about the LAPD is absolutely true. They're assholes. And not assholes in the way you'd think they are, as if they have such shitty jobs that they end up being in terrible moods all the time and might treat you with a little less respect than you feel you're entitled. No, they're assholes the way that bullies are assholes. Where they'll go out of their way simply to treat other people like shit, apparently for no other reason other than they can. Perhaps because that sort of job just attracts people who have so little self worth that the only way they feel they can gain any back is with an artificial sense of self worth that comes from exercising power over other people that they don't have to earn. I've had quite a few run-ins with them that have bolstered this conclusion, but those arent the reason I'm writing today.

The reason I'm writing today is because of something that I saw two weekends ago that just blew my mind. I was driving over to Jenny's, and as I started to get onto the Vincent Thomas bridge, a cop flew by me doing at least 80mph with his lights and sirens going. So I got behind him and halfway over the bridge he turns his car sideways to block all traffic, he and his partner get out of their car and draw their guns upon.........A homeless guy walking accross the bridge. Not someone holding a hostage, or a guy carrying a bomb. Just a fat homeless guy with a big beard carrying what little posessions he had in two plastic bags.

The cops were both screaming at him, "GET ON THE GROUND! LAY FACE DOWN ON THE GROUND! DROP THE BAGS!" all while pointing their weapons at him. I assume they have recieved the same basic gun safety training that I had, which states pretty clearly that you should "Never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy".

That path of logic would lead me to beleive they were ready to kill that homeless man. And why? For walking over a bridge? To protect themselves in case he tried to kill them with his plastic bags? His beard? His distended sunburned belly?

I was so shocked and bewildered by the whole absurd situation that I completely forgot I had my camera on the passenger seat. But I eventually remembered and was able to snap a picture. The homeless guy is behind the car so you cant see him, and the 2nd cop is on top of him putting handcuffs on after scaring him half to death.

This seems to be the inevitable consequence of all the new construction going on around here. The developers step in to gentrify the area and build overpriced lofts for yuppy shitheads to buy, and the cops do the dirty work of terrorizing all the "lesser" human beings who inhabit this city so those developers are insured a decent return on their investment. Sometimes it comes in the form of threatening the life of a man who wasnt fortunate enough to be able to drive a car accross the bridge like the rest of us. Other times it comes in the form of shutting down harborview house so the mentally ill will not have a legitemate reason to be in the city any more. But the end result is all the same.

Welcome to the new san pedro.


In other news, Check out the pizza I made last night!

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Took a few pictures and went golfing this weekend. They can all be found here.

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.....wonder no more.
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