Friday, January 25, 2008

Cheech & Chong Presents

Up until now I've thought of Los Angeles as a plastic culture in cars. Now I suppose I'll have to revise my thinking to a plastic culture in cannabis smelling cars. Only in L.A., where you have eight lane freeways that become parking lots at any given moment of the day, can an idea like this make sense. Maybe a bit of cannabis is just what they need to ease the road rage attacks and such.

I still don't understand it though, why a vending machine? What about privacy? Why not provide a place of calm and leisure in the likes of Oaksterdam (Oakland) up north? Who wants to be seen entering a well lit place with security cameras recording while you stop and cop? Even Bodegas give a sense of wanting to be discreet though everyone and their mama knows never to buy edibles from the place .

And what about the cops? You'd better hope they've got stock in the vending machine business, because if not you can expect a search and seizure that will make the Rodney King beating look like a resuscitation attempt. After all,, you ain't in Amsterdam, your in L.A., remember? Or did you smoke so much weed that you forgot exactly where you lived?

Like I said, I just don't get it. Maybe its the coolest thing to hit the west coast since casinos. Whatever the reasoning is behind it, medicinal or otherwise, I'm sure it won't be long before the thrill of it all is gone, and the first lawsuit claiming "negligence due to unsupervised dispensing" is filed. Until then L.A., smoke ti'l your broke.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1998 Movie "Fallen"

Just from the opening credits I knew this movie was going to be something special. Anytime a movie starts out with a narrator introducing you to bits and pieces of events that have already occurred, buckle your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride.

Below is the opening piece where a madman, made believable by actor Elias Koteas, is on his way to the gas chamber dancing and singing to the tune of "Time is on my side" by the Rolling Stones. Remember that theme, it rears its haunting head when least expected and makes for a creepy outcome.

This movie is intelligently scary to watch. Even with Denzel Washington playing the lead role, you just don't know where it'll take you, until you're there.

Time is on my side, yes it is!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Can G-MEN Clamp Down on SpyGate Parolees?

Welcome to Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. Me being a Native New Yorker and a 2002 "Tuck Rule" Survivor, you know who I'm rooting for.

The Giants have a real good shot at winning this thing and leaving the Pats at 18-1, one game short of a perfect perfect season. It'll take Eli having a great game and pressure on Brady. Hitting receivers hard and good tackling will also be in order. If ever the phrase "Chop off the Head and the Body Dies" fit a situation, this is it. Take Brady out of the game with pressure and the Patriots are a wagon without wheels. Who the hell's their backup quarterback anyway, Steve Grogan?

Don't get me wrong, I like Brady. I think Brady's a great quarterback and wouldn't really want to see him get hurt. But these are drastic and desperate times that call for Tanya Harding-esque measures to be taken. If not before the game then heck, during the damn game. Whatever it takes, someone's gotta get to Brady and put him down. Maybe we can bribe Tony Romo to send Jessica Simpson to Brady's hotel room a night or two before the game. The Romo Jinx is as good as the red sox curse of the 20th century.

Either way Super Bowl XLII should be hyped so much that by kickoff time you're loving one team and hating the other with a passion.

My money and passion is with the Giants, bless their road warrior hearts. Not many gave them a chance on the road against Dallas or Green Bay and yet they're still standing. As for the Brady Bunch, you're head coach is a bum, you were caught cheating and the 1972 Miami Dolphins will always be the undefeated darlings of the NFL. And besides, nobody wants to see quitter Moss holding up a Lombardi Trophy. I'd rather see Eli Manning and Michael Strahan at the podium celebrating. We'll see!

Congratulations New York Giants for winning the NFC Championship in classic non-spying fashion.

Imagine how these Giants fans (pictured before the game) must of felt afterward?

On the road at Lambeau Field, -24 degrees wind-chill factor, Overtime, Brett Favre interception, 47 yard field goal wins it! TRULY PRICELESS!

Pensacola,FL. defeats Puerto Rico

Yes, my boy Roy Jones, Jr. takes out Felix Trinidad in a unanimously decided 10 rounder. A knockdown in the 7th and another in the 10th may have been the deciding factor, I'm not sure since I didn't see it. Who's paying to watch pay-per-view these days when you can see it on HBO the following week? But based on this article at ESPN.Com, my boy Roy won it handily.

Tito has been a great fighter and champion, making Puerto Ricans across the world proud, but Roy's my boy. The Pensacola native keeps it real and very well may have been the best fighter "pound-for-pound" during his reign. Unfortunately, both these fighters best days for boxing may be behind them. Memories of Roy's supine body corpse-like on the canvas after a Glen Johnson knockout punch is still clear in my mind. Maybe Roy should just take this win and step away from the game with a winning image intact.

Either way, you can take nothing away from these two lion-hearted warriors who've brought excitement and respect back to the Boxing World.

Roy Jones, Jr and Felix Trinidad, we salute you!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Suicide Jumper Spotted Today

Today I put on the face of a hero by running into a residence hotel here in downtown San Francisco to report a man dangling from a third floor window ledge of a building. After my initial yells to the potential jumper to "just go back inside", I realized the man was beyond any reasoning as he was building up the courage to let go of the window frame he was holding onto with one hand.

It was like watching a person hesitating to jump into a cold pool. You could see that he really wanted to but an internal instinct kept just enough tension on his fingertips to prevent the mindless body from falling forward.

After looking around and seeing the half-dozen or so people looking up in tourist like fashion, as if the poor bastard was an entertainment snack, I dashed into the lobby and informed the deskclerk and others that a man was sitting on a window ledge of their building and about to jump. The desk clerk was stunned and appeared in shock as I yelled to him to call 911.

While he was on line with the 911 operator we heard a barrage of sirens indicating someone had probably already called, most likely one of the audience out front who were getting pics and video clips via cellphone to upload to a blog or youtube account no less. Oh well, who am I to judge. I've always liked watching fires for some odd unknown reason. Maybe watching someone jump from a building and splat on the asphalt gives the same sort of dramatic rush.

Police, firefighters, paramedics and just about any and everybody with responsibilities for SF City Health services and rescue were quickly on-site. For a minute I thought I saw the tiger-handler from the SF Zoo pacing nervously behind the area taped off by police. (I know, bad joke).

At one point a guy rides by on a bicycle, looks up, and yells don't do it such and such, just go back inside. It appeared he knew the would be jumper and knew of his unstable condition. But close friends they could not have been, for the bicycle rider said his piece without breaking a stroke in his peddling as he continued riding by the tense scene with nary a concern.

With the yellow tape cordoning off the asphalt below, probably making the area more appealing to the jumper than safer for pedestrians oblivious to the drama unfolding three stories above, a single police officer stepped into the area and began talking up to the guy. The first thing I heard him say was exactly the words I heard come out of my mouth when I first spotted the guy up there, "Just go back inside."

There are times when you stop looking at the main character in a drama and take in the supporting cast and their actions. I did this and found myself pitying the poor guy up on the ledge about to end it all. Again, the crowd, which had been hearded to the other side of the street by police for their own protection, were talking on cell phones, taking pictures/videos with cell phones or struggling to get their cell phones out of their pockets to do one of the aforementioned. The firefighters, with looks of disappointment because their were no hot flames licking at the poor guys ass in the window, had taken a back seat to the police. The police, except for the one negotiating and those who'd gone inside and up to the 3rd floor, were jockeying for positions outside the front of the building. They didn't appear to be getting ready for a rescue as much as not wanting to miss the inevitable human pumpkin smash. I myself was wondering why the fireman didn't pull out some kind of tarp to catch the guy in should he decide to jump or fall. Guess I've seen too much tv as a child.

Around the 20th minute or so of which this episode began, it ended with me not seeing whether he returned back into the room on his own accord or whether rescuers pulled him back in. All I saw was the disappointment in the faces of the crowd below as they quietly dispersed. You'd have thought someone was ready to throw dollar bills out the window and before they got the chance the police stopped them, ending hopes for a jubilant scuffle in the streets by all bystanders. In the eyes of the bystanders was a dull sadness as if they'd wasted their time waiting for nothing. In the time you could count to fifty was about the time it took for the block to return to normal, as if the incident hadn't occurred. Unlike fires where there's water, ash, burned furniture or something, here was nothing but minor gossip about what had happened and who the would be "Jumper" was. Nobody really seemed to know or care. He'd survived and all the pictures and videos taken were worthless.

It felt good to have the desk clerk and another staff member who was in the lobby initially when I ran in, come up to me and thank me for alerting them. I think we all, those who just weren't there to see a show, felt a huge sigh of relief when the police began removing the yellow tape and the firefighters began shuffling onto their trucks for departure.

Suicide attempts occur more than we care to think. Should you one day find yourself faced with a situation where a person is ready to attempt suicide, don't try to be a hero, just be human and offer or get help.

I'd like to commend all the city of San Francisco's Police, Firemen and Health Services persons who arrived in a timely manner and saved one human life today. Though I may have painted the scene as one full of uncaring service people just kind of doing their jobs, I acknowledge that they see these types of incidents and worse everyday and have to deal with the psychological aspects that surely stay with them once its over. I myself could barely watch the dangling legs of the guy much less look him in the eye without shuddering from the thought of falling.

Unfortunately, just another day in a city full of stories.