Me and My Nine Iron

May 21, 2010

This week’s top stories

Charlie Sheen. Just another case of America rewarding the undeserving (see Robert Downey Jr.). If you haven’t heard, Sheen received just the contract that he demanded: $2 million per 22-minute episode (not including commercials) for his hit show, Two and a Half Men, times 22 episodes times 2 seasons. (I’ll break down the math for you later.) This after his high-profile, murderous antics on his wife just earlier this year.

The highest-paid TV actor, perhaps of all-time (remember when the Friends cast each got the exorbitant amount of $1 million per episode for the final season or when Ray Romano got $1 million per episode for Everybody Loves Raymond, which he co-wrote, or most recently, Steve Carell commanding $1 million per episode for The Office), gets a significant raise over his previous $825,000 salary per episode. It also comes after production was delayed for two and a half months, ironically, while Sheen went on “preventative rehab.”

The story that I’m inclined to believe, however, is that he walked out on the set, upset that he was lowballed for $1 million an episode in the renewal contract. If anyone should be mad now, it’s Jon Cryer, who shares the exact amount of screen time with Sheen and probably isn’t even seeing half of what Sheen will. But no one on TV will, for that matter.

Who says TV doesn’t pay as well as the movies? Sheen’s $44 million per year is equivalent to the highest-paid actor coming out with two movies in a year. The amount of work put in clearly doesn’t add up, if you ask me. He’ll be making almost $91,000 per minute, which is usually a healthy amount for one to make in an entire episode. More sadly, that’s the minimum amount for an entire screenplay (or months of work).

They should’ve booted his ass like Jason Bay booted Megan Fox from Transformers 3 for her rip on his directing. I know it won’t happen, but I hope it doesn’t do as well as the previous two because of the casting change.

I’ve been staying up a little later lately, and so I’ve been catching some Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week. Things I’ve noticed on this week’s show:

  1. Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland, Zombieland) is weird. He talks fast, almost like he’s nervous, but he’s not. I think he’d be really awkward to talk to.
  2. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) is the same as his geeky character on his show, which is kind of cool. I half-expected him to be nothing like that, just being really good at playing up this stereotypical science nerd. And did you know he’s 37 years old? He pulls off a 20-something-year-old as well as Michael Steger fits in at 90210. Steger turns 30 on Thursday.
  3. Jimmy Fallon has convinced me to watch MacGruber – in the dollar theater. Yeah, he had Will Forte and Kristen Wiig both on his show this week, but the sheer excitement Fallon has for everyone else to watch this funny movie he’s already seen sold me. Plus, I love the SNL sketches. That being said, if this movie isn’t 3-star caliber in my book, I’m never watching his show again.
  4. Jimmy Fallon still sucks as late-night talk show host.

Finally, I feel like Iron Man 2 unofficially kicked off the summer movie season. Without doing any digging, here’s a list of some intriguing blockbuster movies.

Get Him to the Greek (6/4) – In the follow-up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Russell Brand reprises his role as Aldous Snow, the out-of-control British rocker. And this time, he’s not sober. Jonah Hill plays a completely different character, which is a little disappointing to hear he’s not reprising his role as the weirdo infatuated with Snow. Also disappointing is how it appears Jason Segel didn’t write the screenplay; that was credited to director Nicholas Stoller. Judd Apatow‘s only movie this year better not disappoint.

The Karate Kid (6/11) – A remake with Jaden Smith trying to replace Ralph Macchio‘s shoes. No way, right? It actually looks like it came out pretty well. Two things: 1) Jackie Chan‘s character says he’s going to teach Smith’s Kung Fu. Isn’t that completely different from karate? 2) Smith is a cocky son of a bitch when I saw him on Oprah, nothing like his humble dad. I think his big head has already got to him.

The Last Airbender (7/2) – I swear the first time I saw this trailer, I read The Last Arbender, but oh well. M. Night Shyamalan‘s departure from his signature horror to fantasy adventure is an interesting take. The fight scenes look good, M. Maybe, this will give you your first 7.0 film on IMDb since Unbreakable in 2000.

Inception (7/16) – Four words. Christopher Nolan. Leonardo DiCaprio.



May 10, 2010

Marrakesh review

Filed under: Food reviews — BJ @ 4:44 pm

For Mother’s Day dinner, the family took my mom out to Marrakesh in Costa Mesa, a Moroccan restaurant. When I looked at the menu online, it didn’t look all that appealing, especially at those prices. I was told that we would eat with our hands like the spicy food Ben Stiller‘s character ate in Along Came Polly, which sounded pretty cool but ended up not holding entirely true (we were provided forks).

The decor and ambiance resembled that of a Persian restaurant – native music and a belly dancer, who my mom didn’t fail to point out that she had a belly. Leave it to moms, but then again, it was her day. Waiters wore the red hat that one dude in Aladdin wore, and all were in excess of six feet in height, which made me wonder if I should have been eating this stuff during childhood.

The menu’s very simple; there are only five entrees that differentiate the five-course meal served family-style, which are as follows.

  1. Vegetable soup, which was delicious.
  2. Traditional Moroccan salad (cucumbers, tomatoes and potato salad) with bread and eggplant, also very fresh and tasty.
  3. Bastilla Filo dough with chicken, eggs and almonds. The start of the decline of my dining experience. It was a bit too sweet for a meaty dish.
  4. We ordered the Marrakesh Mixed Grilled, which is shrimp, chicken & lamb kabobs over Couscous covered with vegetables and raisins. We each had three pieces of each on three kabobs, the only standout one being the lamb. It was so well-cooked, it wasn’t until after I had eaten it that I mistook it for beef. The shrimp tasted funky and well, who likes Vegan rice?
  5. Dessert was mint tea, which we all described as drinking toothpaste, chocolate covered strawberries and Baklava. The Baklava was a sweet treat, which I’m sure sweets lovers would like.

The food was nothing excellent, but we were all satisfied in the end. The restaurant denied my $50 gift certificate because it was a “special occasion,” which was pretty weak. Total price including tip and valet service = about $43 per person. They included two $10 vouchers with the bill, either of which, of course, can’t be included with other offers. I don’t see myself going here again, let alone six times, which is the number of gift certificates I now own.

Do I recommend this place? It’s a decent high-end place to try one time or one you can skip. Nothing more.

Rating: 3 stars out of four


May 8, 2010

Hello, neighbor!

Filed under: On the 6 o'clock news — BJ @ 6:50 pm

It’s always exciting when you hear the horrendous sound of tires burning followed by a loud boom you can’t mistake for anything other than a car accident. Unless you’re my mom, in which yesterday’s case, she thought it was a loud sound from the neighbors’ gardeners.

It’s not the first time I heard this from my room, as there have been several speeding accidents in the past year in the slow, one-lane zone just outside my neighborhood. The first thing I did was look out my bedroom window facing the neighborhood not expecting to see the accident, but to my amazement, I saw one of my neighbor’s garage bashed in. I just managed to catch a flying motorcycle helmet come to rest all the way out in the street before the male neighbor came out of the big hole in the garage unhappily like The Incredible Hulk would make an appearance.

Had he driven his motorcycle into his garage in a violent rage? It wasn’t out of the question, given the suspicion me and my neighbors sense from that household. There are a number of question marks with them – the type that I would say, “Yeah, I could totally see that,” if interviewed if there were any looming clues or suspicions after the domestic murder-suicide played out.

First of all, we don’t even know how many people live in that house. There seems to be a couple and another female who’s rarely seen leaving the house, almost held captive like Jaycee Dugard. That would make three. Before anyone drove to the scene and with no extra cars than are usually there, out came another pair, two infants and the grandmother for a total of eight family members. To have eight people live in a house isn’t newsworthy, but the relationship of the members raises questions, to say the least.

It doesn’t seem as though any of them holds a standard job either, as I see them outside during the day. Yet, these Korean neighbors in their 30’s manage to drive a BMW 750iL (over a $100K car), a Lexus RX (one of the pricier SUV’s you can own), an extra car and a virtually unused street motorcycle. And just last week, one of the girls was heard by all of us screaming incoherently like a possessed demon before storming out in her RX. Like I said, very suspicious.

As it turns out, their next-door neighbor backed their Mercedes Benz into their garage. Then, all the discussion switched from the suspicious neighbor to how senile the culprit’s become, as a few of us catch him too frequently driving back to his house a minute or two after he leaves, only to turn back around and leave again. My neighbor said he’s obsessed with his house, but I’ll side with my mom’s theory in that he just checks if he closed his garage that much.

To back out of their garage into their next-door neighbor’s required that car to come out of the corner and make a 45-degree turn before burning rubber. Quite a mistake to hit the accelerator instead of the brake for that long, but then why was the car headed in that direction in the first place?

Over an hour later, a motorcycle officer arrives, and much later after, the fire trucks start pouring in. Not two or three, as if that wasn’t unnecessary already. Five fire trucks in total, including the big one with the multistory-able ladder, whose length can almost cover the entire front of a suburban home. Add the Urban Search and Rescue vehicle and three Fullerton Fire pickup trucks, and you’d think you’d be at the scene of the largest industrial blaze the city’s ever seen. All for a car crashed into a garage.

After all the pizzaz died down, four fire trucks left, and the rest were cutting wood like they were spontaneously determined to have their own version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for this poor family. They built several wooden posts to keep the roof above their heads, as the car took out the central wooden post in the garage and both garage doors like it was a trained terrorist destruction of a house garage gone right.

After all the “rescue” had been done, this was just the beginning. The news stations sent in their cameramen and reporters, and a helicopter hovered overhead for twenty minutes, as they captured their live bit, which you can see here. The Ch.2 and 9 van was said to have been there along with Al Naipo from Fox 11 News. Only after the NBC van packed it in and left at about 11:30p was the hoopla over for the day – almost 11 hours later.

A number of curious assholes made their way to the cul-de-sac today to check out the Mercedes in the door-less garage, which they kept in there for whatever reason.

Oh, and we later found out that the driver was the old man’s wife. No wonder we never see her drive anywhere.


May 3, 2010

Concourse Entertainment Center review

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 3:09 pm

Yesterday, I checked out Concourse Bowling in Anaheim to take advantage of its $15 all-you-can eat-and-bowl breakfast buffet for two hours (I believe). A genius way to pack your bowling place on an early Sunday morning, as up to 30 of the 40 lanes were taken at 9 in the morning.

Just a step down from Lucky Strike, the plasma TVs and couches made for an upscale bowling setting at the lanes. The only thing missing was the waitress asking to take our alcoholic beverage of choice, although things look pretty popping at night with VJ/DJs.

The location is awful, as anyone not intending to go there won’t even see the building. But it seems as though people do know about it, and the breakfast buffet is an awesome deal. The food was quality American breakfast, and I called it quits after four sweaty games of bowling.

I felt like there were several issues with the pins, including ours, where the clearing rack just freezes and the pins don’t show up, but whichever way you look at it, this is a great deal. There’s also an arcade room and a pool room in the place that I would consider for my next bowling outing.


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