Friday, March 20, 2015

Court Jester to the Gods (Arthur Rock/Baseball Edition)

This is Arthur Rock. He is considered one of the first venture capitalists. He was an early investor in Apple, a member of the board of directors, and may have been responsible, directly or indirectly, for Steve Jobs' ouster from Apple, depending on which blog you read.

In 2013 I purchased a ticket for the SF Giants Home Opener through and discovered he was my seat mate. We didn't talk much.

In 2014 I again purchased a ticket for the SF Giants Home Opener, again through, and got this:

An amazing coincidence given he's a season ticket holder who sits behind the Giants dugout whenever he wants, and i'm a schmuck with an internet connection and a credit card randomly punching buttons on the interweb. We chatted a bit and early in the first inning Arthur wanted to buy a hot dog. As i was sitting between him and the isle (and the roving "Premium Field Club Waiters"), i played the part of 'middleman" (lots of negotiation surrounding condiments and colas and arbitrage on some grilled onions... it was pretty complex). After it was all done Arthur said "Thank You", and I replied, "No, Thank You! Now I'll be able to tell people that I assisted Arthur Rock with a financial transaction." He stared at me for a long moment and then gave me a big smile which, according to my calculations, was worth about a million bucks.

Today I decided to see if I could purchase a ticket to the 2015 SF Giants Home Opener and again went to MLB, chose the April 13 game, clicked on the "Best Available - All Price Levels" button and this is the ticket the system chose for me.

But of course you knew that was going to happen (and in my heart, so did I.)

Don't tell me the universe doesn't have a sense of humor.



Saturday, March 07, 2015

3AM Movie Review®: "Whiplash"

this morning's insomnia lead to renting and watching "Whiplash", the 2014 drama about a sadist and his protege that's not "Fifty Shades of Grey", and which earned J.K. Simmons (Juno, Spider-Man, Farmers Insurance) an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Florida Film Critics Circle Award.

this is a deeply disturbing film about a music school teacher with no redeeming qualities, who taunts, berates and physically abuses his students to no discernible end... into this tableau we drop Miles Teller (no relation to the silent half of Penn &) who is Owl Jolson of Warner Brothers cartoon fame, come to life, except drumming instead of singing, and a WHOLE lot more blood... Miles is a freshman at the country's most elite music college where none of the other first year students seem to be able to play an instrument... Prof. Fritz Owl, in the form of Simmons (who confuses making the veins in his neck bulge with acting) takes Teller under his wing (see what i did there) to mentor him (?) humiliate him (?) teach him (?) ... no idea... and, truth be told, i don't care... being constantly on guard while waiting for the next episode of explosive rage isn't entertainment, its a flashback to my childhood... we're not given any reason to believe that being successful in the eye of this R. Lee Ermey wannabe leads to anything other than suicide (oops... spoiler alert...), plus he directs with the cat-like movements of Bubba Watson sinking a birdie (and who knows if he's a great drummer, let alone a good musician... we only get a tiny glimpse of his own playing, and its uninspired and uninspiring)... 

the film ends with the glee club getting to go to regionals (or something... it was close to 4:30AM by that point) and with Miles giving a drum solo that goes on and on and on and on until the screen goes black and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" plays over the credits (or something... it was close to dawn by that point)... 

you don't need to see this film. if the only way you can see to become really good at something is to tie your identity and self worth to an abusive asshole, you may want to think about trying to be really good at something else (maybe conducting?)... save the time, the money and the emotional abuse and watch this cartoon, instead... you'll thank me!
Classic Merry Melodies cartoon, "Owl Jolson" featuring the song, "I Love to Singa." It's a surprisingly great story about parents learning to love their chil...