Thursday, September 4, 2008

Watch...Copy Watch?

So far, my impression of Hong Kong is a positive one. It makes me miss living in a big city (no, I do not consider Hermosa Beach a big city) as I walk down the street. Everywhere you look there is a bar, or a restaurant, or a massage parlor, or a strip club (like I said, my impression is a positive one).
The one thing that is a bit different here than from any US city I've been to (save for Vegas) is the slew of sleazy dudes trying to sell you stuff by getting in your face and mentioning their product.
For instance, I'll be walking down the street, minding my own business, getting dripped on by high rise air conditioners and a gentleman walks up to me and says "Watch? Copy Watch? Rolex? Very nice?"
Now, I don't mind someone scraping a living, everyone has got to get by. The thing I found interesting, though, was that he was promoting a "Copy Watch." He wasn't even trying to sell it as a real watch. I suppose that is more noble approach and I should, therefore, trust this guy more, but something about him told me that I shouldn't start throwing money around.
Another common thing that gets promoted on the street here is a custom tailored suit. That sounds nice doesn't it? Perhaps I would have considered buying a custom tailored suit from a dude on the street had that dude not approached me by saying, "I think you need a tailor my friend." "Thank you," I sarcastically responded. Pffft...I need a tailor. Who does he think he is to judge my t-shirt and jeans fashion sense. I mean...come on, give me a break.
Aside from "The Copy Watch Man" and "The You Need a Tailor Dude," there is also the "Massage-ie Lady" and "The Hashish, Hashish, I Have Hashish Players."
This town is full of characters.

Til Next Time

P.S. If you know me then it's no surprise that I have a beard. I hadn't trimmed my beard for 2 weeks leading up to my trip and made the decision that I wouldn't trim it until I returned to the states. It has become unruly.

States: 30
Countries: 15

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
I like Hong Kong so far.
"Watch? Copy Watch?" he said.
"You need a tailor, my friend," he judged.
"Hashish, hashish, I have hasish," they sang.
I have an unruly beard.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm Leaving the Country...But You're Coming With Me

Well, Barbie duty calls and I'm off to Hong Kong. Technically it is not my first time in the city, but previously I had only driven through it on my way to mainland China. It looked awesome and I'm totally stoked about spending some time there.
How much time will I be spending there? About 3 weeks.
What sort of activities will I participate in? I don't know (perhaps I don't want to know).
Will I blog while I'm there and keep everyone posted? Totally.
So, stay tuned as I cross the Pacific once again and venture on another wild adventure (as wild as a Barbie adventure can be anyways).

Til Next Time

P.S. Last time I was in China I saw a couple of "professional" dancers entertaining the masses during a car show. I took a video. I call it "Bad China Dance." Enjoy.

States: 30
Countries: 15

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
I'm going to Hong Kong.
I'm be there for 3 weeks.
Not sure what I'm going to be doing.
I'll make sure I keep you posted.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

He Was There...But I Didn't Blow Up!

This past week at work, we had some of our Chinese counterparts visiting. This is good for everyone. Not only for the productivity of the collaboration, but also for all of the entertaining.
So, Thursday night we were all invited to a happy hour to celebrate on Mattel's dime. It was a nice place, but I wouldn't say "overly nice." I didn't feel out of place drinking my martini (it was Martini Madness) in my bright yellow t-shirt (it's one of my favorite).
A little while into the evening, a coworker who had come back onto the patio from using the restroom came up to me and said, "Micheal Bay is in there." "WHAT?!" I exclaimed, "SHOW ME!"
For those of you who are not familiar with Micheal Bay, he is the man responsible for such high octane blockbusters as The Rock, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor and he is best satirized in the following clip :
So, you can understand my excitement.
So, there I was on the cusp of my first celebrity sighting. A man who has tainted the summer cinemas so many times in the past 15 years. A man who is sitting in the corner of the restaurant on a date with a lovely Asian lady. A man who... ... ... isn't Micheal Bay.
Nope, it wasn't Micheal Bay. It wasn't him at all. Instead, it was Jerry Bruckheimer! Can you believe it! Freaking Jerry Bruckheimer! For those of you who don't know him, Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer of all of Micheal Bays films and then some (including the amazingly popular CSI series'). Jerry Bruckheimer is also the only Hollywood producer that kind of resembles Skeletor.
So, there you have it. I've finally seen a famous person. I am excited. You can touch me if you want.

Til Next Time

P.S. My sister had a baby girl last weekend. So, now I'm an uncle that works at a toy company. Which, in turn, will make me the best uncle ever. You can touch me again.

States: 29
Countries: 12

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
Our Chinese counterparts were in town this past week.
We drank on Mattel's dime.
I saw Micheal Bay.
No I didn't, it was Jerry Bruckheimer.
You can touch me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Earthquakes...They're Real!

This past Tuesday I was invited to a luncheon to celebrate a fellow engineer's 30th anniversary at Mattel. I felt honored, for I was going to get a free lunch. But, as they say, "There is no such thing as a free lunch," and "they" couldn't have been more right. My life was in danger.
Just after we all finally sat down and started to settle in, anticipating a delicious Mexican meal, the Earth started to shake.
Let me repeat that, "The Earth started to shake."
I understand that the world is a little desensitized to the concept, but if you think of it in the terms that I just mentioned, it is a pretty unsettling notion.
Yes, it was my first earthquake. No, I didn't freak out. Yes, I ate a lot of Mexican food after it calmed down, but in the days afterwards I started to realize the grander scope of what happened: "The Earth started to shake!"
It's a strange thing when you can't even trust the ground you walk on. It feels like Mother Nature is pissed and wants you off the planet. "Fine," I say, "I'll go to Mars. She'll appreciate me. She'll love me more!" Sigh.
Anywho, it was a magnitude of 5.4 and the important thing is that nobody got hurt, and that I ate a lot of Mexican food (but mostly that nobody got hurt)...did I mention the Mexican food?
I like eating.

Til Next Time

P.S. People at work were really surprised that it was my first earthquake. Turns out, though, that the Midwest had an earthquake a month after I moved away. I was jealous. Now I'm in the club.

States: 29
Countries: 12

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
Some people work in one place for a long time.
I experienced my first earthquake
It was a 5.4
I like Mexican food.

Monday, July 28, 2008

2 Girls...No Self Respect

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a fan of the cinema (to sound as snobbish as possible). For those of you who know me best, you know that one of the most common phrases that I may utter is, "No, I haven't seen that yet. I keep meaning to."
This isn't to say that I don't watch movies, because I do (at least 2 a week). What it does say is that I evidently don't watch any movies that other people have interest in (to continue to sound as snobbish as possible).
This isn't because I don't have interest in the blockbusters (I've seen The Dark Knight) or the Oscar contenders (I've seen The Lord of the Rings...a's awesome), I just enjoy sifting through weird, extreme, violent, gorey, disturbing, and generally bad movies in hopes of finding that hidden gem. The vast majority of these movies are absolutely terrible (Snowbeast) with the occasional film being completely unwatchable (Malibu Beach Vampires), but the draw here is their pop culture significance (or lack there of). Where would The Blair Witch Project be if there was no Cannibal Holocaust? Where would the aforementioned Lord of the Rings be without Meet the Feebles or Dead Alive? Where would Oldboy (or Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance or Lady Vengeance) be without the numerous revenge movies of the 1970's (Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave)?
So, when I heard some time ago that there was a video circulating the internet that was both a pop culture phenomenon PLUS it was "the most disgusting video ever seen," I admit that my curiosity got the best of me.
Yes, I have seen "2 Girls 1 Cup," and no I didn't enjoy it, but that's OK. I'm used to the notion that the movies (Note: I understand that a video clip on the internet does not count as a movie) I watch are generally not enjoyable. I accept that. Like I mentioned before, it's the pop culture relevance that I am interested in (plus I don't like being left out).
A strange thing happened with this particular video though. Its relevance was solidified with the invention of "The Reaction Video." These are videos of people who set up their webcam to record themselves as they watch a disgusting and ultimately vile video. For those that cannot or will not watch the actual disturbing video, these reaction videos give you an idea of how other people deal with it (plus it lets your imagination run absolutely wild with the most disgusting things you can ever conceive). These reaction videos are wildly popular as they range from teenagers, to grandmas, to sorority girls, to celebrities, etc.
It was only a natural step then that a couple friends of mine would record their own reaction video to "2 Girls 1 Cup."
Then they felt (against better judgment) that they should record numerous other reactions to videos including:
4 Girls Finger Paint
2 Girls 1 Finger
8 Girls No Cup
and finally, Mousetrap.
So, in the name of pop culture relevance, I hope you appreciate the attempt to be part of a vile, disgusting, downright disturbing, internet phenomena.

Til Next Time

P.S. Yes, I have a puppet. His name is Geoffrey Bananza. He is a compulsive liar and at times very difficult to deal with.

States: 29
Countries: 12

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
I like disgusting movies simple because they exist.
2 Girls 1 Cup is a pop culture phenomena.
So are the reaction videos that resulted.
My friends made some videos.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Why Does the Fire Station Have Two Poles...and Why Do They Not Have Appropriate Fire Fighting Gear On

adj. sas·si·er, sas·si·es
  1. Rude and disrespectful; impudent.
  2. Lively and spirited; jaunty.
  3. Stylish; chic: a sassy little hat


  1. A girl or young woman who is considered pert, flirtatious, or impudent.
  2. Obsolete A promiscuous woman.

The Sassy Minxx
  1. Burlesque group the I saw last night.

Yes, I enjoyed a burlesque show last night. A girl at work performed a guest slot with The Sassy Minxx and invited a bunch of coworkers to witness her performance. I figured I'd lend her my support (although it turns out that the show had more than enough...wink) and it was quite an enjoyable evening to say the least. The scantily clad girls aside, it was nice to hob knob with everyone outside the office walls...but the scantily clad girls were nice too.
The highlight of the night, though, was watching the human mating rituals that unfolded before our very eyes. I don't generally attend venues that have the "club" feel to them, but in between acts and after the show, that's exactly what this place turned into. Yes, people were having a great time on the dance floor. No, they were not good dancers, but that's not what interested me the most. Instead, we were witness to a soap opera of she danced with him and then he danced with the next girl and the first girl got mad so tried to win him back and the guy was trying to play both girls and ended up not giving either enough attention and wound up dancing by himself...and he was a bad dancer...but so was everyone else.
Yes, a few coworkers and I thoroughly enjoyed this display and to make things more interesting it seemed to have been some sort of "singles night." I haven't confirmed it, but that is my explanation to the droves of people wearing glow in the dark bracelets that were too eager to talk to everyone...yes, everyone. Needless to say, 75% of those on the dance floor were brandishing the bracelets.
It seemed like everyone had a great time. Well, except for that guy that messed it up with the two girls and had to resort to dancing alone, he probably could have had a better night.

Til Next Time

P.S. Apparently there is a thing here called "June Gloom." That explains why it has been so gloomy this also makes my think of popular children's author Judy kind of rhymes...kind of.

States: 28
Countries: 8

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
The Sassy Minxx is a burlesque group.
A friend performed with them.
I like watching people dance.
People are funny when they dance.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...But Keep Me Away From the Crowd

I had a couple of friends visit me this weekend. The main motivation for this particular weekend? The Cubs were in town playing The we went to two games.
First, we attended the Friday night game. We sat in left field (the cheapest seats at field level) and settled in for a lovely evening at the ballpark. It wasn't long, however, before it became evident that Dodgers fans mean business...nasty, surly, drunken business. Me and my friends are rather soft spoken in public and we don't like to attract much attention to ourselves, but the same can't be said for a select few Cubs fans that were in the crowd. These individuals were not only the subject of much jeering, but also the embarrassing example of how not to act as a respectful fan of the game. The home crowd recognized this, but instead of playing nice the Dodgers fans decided to fight everyone...yes, EVERYONE. By the 5th inning the stadium security had a strong presence in left field. There were lots of "KICK THEM OUT, KICK THEM OUT," cheers and a lot of "CUBS SUCK, BOOOO!" cheers, but nothing that I would classify as "clever." Instead they taunts could most accurately be described as loud.
Like I said, though, me and my friends are soft spoken so we weren't the subject of any retaliation. There was a time when a large Cubs fan (notice I didn't say "huge Cubs fan" because that might be misconstrued to mean that he just really liked the Cubs, when in fact he was a large individual) decided it would be a good idea to stand up right behind us and start yelling at everybody...yes, EVERYBODY. He was calling all Cubs fans to join him and "show their support." It would have been a sweet call to arms if the man was actually a young girl, but nobody wanted anything to do with this guy. The women behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Well, are you not a Cubs fan?" "Yes, I am," I responded, "but that guy is a gigantic idiot." (Note: "gigantic" here is describing both his stature and the size of his idiocy). She laughed, and then that guy got punched in the face (Note: I couldn't really see if he got punched there were too many big people shoving other really big people for me to get a good look). So, that was Friday night.
Oh, and The Cubs were shut out so it was an absolutely dismal game to boot.
Sunday was a different story. For starters we were sitting in right field. Big deal right? Why not just sit in left field again right? They're the same stupid seats just on the other side of the field right? WRONG! The right field seats are located in a section known as "The All You Can Eat Pavilion," which is aptly named for the amount of food that is included with the ticket price...all one can eat. A patron in this section simply walks up to the counter and orders (for instance), "3 hot dogs, a nacho, and a bottle of water,"...for starters. Then may return a little later for, "2 nachos, a bag of peanuts, and a couple of soft drinks," all without laying an extra dollar on the counter. Of course beer was not included, but given Fridays experience, I was a bit grateful.
Aside from the copious amount of junk food that was consumed, there were more low key Cubs fans that were enjoying the game, there were fewer obnoxious Dodgers fans trying to fight them, and the Cubs pulled out a victory. All in all a successful day, even with the drunk dude right in front of us from North Carolina that knew nothing about baseball and only talked about stupid drunk dude stuff the whole game. Yes, even he was tolerable.

Til Next Time

P.S. There were a lot of beach balls that were being tossed around. A highlight of Sunday's game was when a rather confident Cubs fan was bonked in the head with one and proceeded to grab and deflate it. His response to the many boos that came his way was a simple, "Watch the game!" It was awesome.

States: 27
Countries: 8

This Post For Those With Limited Attention Spans:
Dodgers fans can be surly.
Cubs fans can be idiots.
All you can eat is awesome...especially with nachos.
Cubs win...on Sunday.