Yesterday, Ami took me to the opening of a new Mercedes dealership in San Jose.

I have never otherwise set foot into a Mercedes dealership, not being a millionaire and all. Man, this place was swank though, it had two floors, and there were dozens of these little offices with the dealers' names embossed on the glass doorways. There were various earth-toned vases and reed baskets stuck on pedastels and hidden in little nooks and crannies. I guess when you're selling $100,000 cars you can fford to look more upscale.

The event was pretty swank as well. Ami and I got somewhat gussied up for the event. Ami had brand new shoes, which unfortunately she had to slog through a quarter-mile of dusty gutter since there wasn't enough parking and we had to park along a section of the Capitol Expressway which featured no sidewalks. Even though we had used my mom's invite to the event and were prepared to give fake names and everything, no one bothered to check invites. It appeared to be open to the public, which was surprising considering the amount of effort they had obviously put into it.

It was like ghetto swank, since all the help was wearing tuxedos, and the people there were a mix of people who had invites and people who just noticed a big to-do going on. There was an open bar which was made entirely of ice, I kid you not, and which also did not card us. The gin martinis tasted like olive juice pee, but Ami assured me that they were actually good. I hate martinis, but the bartender was cool, and free liquor is always welcome, even if it is in gross, nasty martini form. They made cosmos, too, but the cosmo had a significantly lower alcohol content. We also snagged some free pasta and bread.

I still can't imagine how I could ever, in any realm of possibility ever consider purchasing a Mercedes. Although they had a really cool opening event with riverdancers and stilk-walkers and meandering card-trick performers and a string quartet and free alchohol, there isn't enough free alcohol in the world to make me consider buying, as one attendee did, a $117,000 sports car which gets 14 miles to the gallon. No that is not a typo. For some reason, every Mercedes on the lot got the shittiest MPG rating I have seen in a long time. SUVs, sports cars, and sedans, none got over 30 MPG tops, and most got less than 20. I drive a 22-year-ols station wagon that gets better mileage than their zippiest sports car. The estimated annual fuel cost on that thing was $2000, and for $2000, I could buy a car that got a better gas rating. To spend that much money on buying and maintaining a car, it would have to have genuine manatee leather seats, a hot tub, and complimentary on-call roadside blowjobs, none of which any of these cars had.

Still, if the average American millionaire becomes more energy conscious and Mercedes goes out of business, their abandoned dealerships will make really hip studio apartment complexes, or great villian secret hideouts. Though I hope they don't come onto financial hard times, because I want to attend more dealership openings.


Officials are saying that the massive power blackout in the North-East is not terror-related, but rather may be due to lightning striking a Niagara power plant. It's obvious that Al-Qaeda now has obtained the ion correlator necessary to complete the Weather Dominator. Let us pray.

I have to admit that it was the casting of Samuel L Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, and LL Cool J which mostly led me into the theatre to see a matinee of S.W.A.T., but I had passed a tolerable hour and a half while in there.

Miss Rodriguez gave her typical "whatchoo lookin' at? you wanna get yer ass kicked by a girl?" sneering performace, which she does so well (I can't wait to see her star in her own action flick). Samuel L Jackson played pretty much the same character from xXx, and LL Cool J played the black guy who wasn't Samuel L Jackson. Oh yeah, it also had that one slutty dude that's in all the movies these days.

Apparently the film portayed realistic Special Weapons and Tactics weapons and ummmm.... tactics. It was indeed an interesting break from the current crop of slo-mo dives in which everyone seems to aim totally 100% accurately while flying upside-down through the air. Seeing folks actually use a weapon properly and efficiently, while spouting department-approved field-use cliches makes one realize just how effective actual highly-trained police units are, as opposed to the typical cannon fodder you see in films.

It was also heart-warming to see all the ethnic steroetypes of Los Angeles work together to free the french drug lord who offers $100 million to the people who bust him out of police custody. That the gangs could throw aside their differences and come together in a multi-cultural assault on the LAPD using the rocket-propelled grenades and M-16s that all gangmembers can apparently get ahold of with a few day's notice, all on the promise that some crazed drug lord said on the TV that they could have a big chunk of money. Oh no wait, that's total bullshit, but it wouldn't have been much of a movie otherwise.

Of course, the real threat to the evil frenchman's (they constantly remind us in the film of how french the dude is, with such classic lines as "Let's get this frog in the bird.". Sign of the times I suppose.) custody comes from real, professional ex-SWAT members, but the sequence with the gangsters running around shooting all crazy-like makes the ex-SWAT members assault seem more tactical, I suppose.

Does france even have drug lords? Maybe they got tired of using Colombian/Cuban ones.

So, of course the underdogs defy everyone's expectations and come out on top. A helicopter, a few cars, and an airplane get blown up in the process. Thankfully, the film leaves the relationship between the lead and the tough girl completely platonic. S.W.A.T. is no more and no less than another throwaway action film. If you dig such things, you'll probably not regret seeing it.


If you are a Kung-Fu movie enthusiast, you've no doubt encountered films based upon the legends of Wong Fei Hung several times, either as a stoic healer/martial arts master in the masterpiece Once Upon a Time in China series, or as a younger rebel/martial arts master in the amazing Drunken Master series (Wong Fei Hungover?), or perhaps as a precocious kid/martial arts master in Iron Monkey. Despite these radically different portrayals of the man, he was a seriously real-live actual person who, while maybe not at the and did invent and master many powerful Kung-Fu techniques, including the famous "Shadowless Kick". He is widely celebrated in Chinese folklore, and over 100 films, despite only having lived about 100 years ago.

Despite being an academic and a medical doctor, Wong Fei Hung is also the most ass-kickengest folk hero in history. While many of the stories surrounding his accomplishments are of dubios veracity, and his cinematic portrayals are usually greatly exaggerated, his real story is still very impressive, and if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have some of the greatest martial-arts films ever created. You can find out more about his actual life at the links below:

The Man and the Legend
The Real Wong Fei Hung


Unwritten screenplays:

Split Fighter - Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in this story of heroism, dedication, and revenge. When he hears of his brother's tragic demise in a brutal Swedish split fighting tournament, JCVD breaks his parole to travel to Sweden, where he is introduced to his uncle, a wizened old split-fighting trainer. At first, his uncle is reluctant to train him, after what happened to his brother, but after witnessing JCVD save a sassy reoprter (who came to Sweden to expose the brutal nature of the country's splitfighting tournaments), he agrees to make him into a splitfighting chamiopn. Thus follows about an hour of JCVD doing the splits while suspended from ropes, on top of sawhorses, atop barrels, in his boxers, upside down, suspending himself in hallways, atop ruined ancient temples, on a motorcycle, and in bamboo-torture-forced-split machines, JCVD enters the tournament to challenge the splitfighting master who killed his brother. In order to win, JCVD must challenge the master in the "ancient style", wherein neither can stop doing the splits for even one second.

Shower Chase - American scientists have developed the first shower which can exceed speeds of 140 mph. Powered only by sexy soapy washing, it can be driven only by the world's hottest supermodels. A foreign supermodel/catburglar steals the production model and immediately sheds her clothes, sexily soaping up and piloting the shower out of the facility. Fortunately, the hot supermodel scientist who developed the shower is able to strip and chase after her in the protype model. The rest of the movie is just intercut scenes of the supermodels washign themselves and the showers yowling down city streets and crashing through plate-glass windows, oh and cars exploding.

Punk Fu (or maybe MoonStomp) - An exaggerated retelling of the punks/mods/skinheads/whatever culture clash of the 70's, the mods and skinheads conflict with one another in grandiose martial-arts street battles, but then find reason to work together to defeat the National Front, who are trying to stop the asian immigration. Naturally, a few Shaolin monks who are coming to the country teach the real skinheads some high-flying kung fu, and awesomeness ensues. Features include not only deadly sharpened liberty spikes, but ninja button-throwing action, and radical scooter chases. Needs some fleshing out plot-wise, but it's really a high-concept piece. You can't go wrong with mods and punks kung-fu fighting, not to mention the awesome soundtrack it's gonna have.


I was a little taken aback when I noticed that today's word of the day was "cum", until I remembered that it was latin for "with".