Life Lessons in San Francisco: Pie Shakes are Good, Babies are Difficult, Humping Can be Effective

Here’s a random list of things I learned over my 53 hours in San Francisco last weekend:

1). You can always count on your friends to give great advice when you’re having a major dilemma. Here’s the problem I approached my friends with on Friday night as we were crushing beers: Recently at the local dog park, our female dog has been approached and mounted by some male dogs. It gets to the point where the male dog’s red rocket is definitely alert and ready to go, but there hasn’t been any penetration yet. Sometimes the male dog’s owner has been quick to correct his dog, and sometimes the owner isn’t paying much attention so no action is taken. When I ran this scenario by my friends, there was an immediate consensus: next time a male dog is trying to hump Molly and the owner just sits by watching, I should slowly inch closer and closer to the owner until I’m close enough to hump his leg. And then, if the person still doesn’t get uncomfortable and start to pay attention to the situation, I’m supposed to start humping his leg and asking him “if he likes that” as I hump over and over until he gets it. I’m sure this won’t get me and my dog ostracized from the park.

2). Pies taste good, milkshakes taste great. Pie Shakes may be the world’s greatest food combination invention. A place called Chile Pies (& Ice Cream) in San Francisco makes homemade pies, and one of the menu options is for them to put a slice of pie into a blender with milkshake ingredients and make a pie shake. Just like it sounds. And because this is the smartest food operation going, they give you a straw that’s thick enough to allow you to suck up chunks of pie crust. Priority one for me when I returned to LA on Monday was doing a google search for “Pie Shakes in Los Angeles.”

3). In THIS POST a while back I discussed how raising a puppy is harder than raising a baby. I’m now willing to admit in some instances I may be wrong. For example, when I want to watch 10 straight hours of football on Sunday, I simply leave the dog in her crate for a few hours at a time, then take her for a super-quick walk so she can go to the bathroom, and then I feed her a couple times by putting food into a bowl and leaving it for her. As I got to experience this past Sunday, a baby can be a bit more complicated: During that 10-hour football-watching period, you may have to change a baby’s diaper four or five times; you probably have to put more effort into feeding it than just leaving food on the ground and letting it eat when it’s hungry. And you probably have to deal with a nap gone poorly where the baby is screaming bloody murder in its crib for 45 minutes. If I need Molly to sleep, I toss her in the crate and she sleeps purely out of boredom. Easy peasy.

4). Drinking heavily two days in a row used to be as easy as this: Drink heavily until I pass out on night one, then wake up and drink heavily until I pass out on night two. Now if I wanna binge, I have to make sure I’m equipped with Advil, Tums, a toilet to puke in and an updated will. Life’s so complicated these days.

5). When you’re at an airport bar watching football & baseball, and you’re surrounded by all guys except for one woman, do NOT be the guy to acknowledge that woman when she awkwardly says to no one in particular, “This is so weird that we’re all sitting here in silence not talking to one another.” I should have been as much of a dick as the guy to her left and turned my chair to face away from her. Unfortunately I took the bait and got stuck in a very strange conversation. It’s a learning experience that taught me to always have headphones in my ears even if I’m not listening to anything.

6). I’m mature enough at this point to consider washing my friend’s bedsheets after I stay in his bed for two nights without his knowledge. But only mature enough to consider it, not actually do it.

7). Now that I’m a writer-in-training, there are plenty of people who want to help me generate story ideas. Over the weekend, these ideas ranged from a blatant rip off of Inception called Perception to a story about me staging my own disappearance on an Alaskan cruise and then blogging from a mystery location. With helpful ideas like that, I can’t believe I’m not already a famous writer.

Oscar Week Movie Review

Don't tell me Brad Pitt can't age 20 years in a movie...

So the Oscars are happening this Sunday.  And as a diehard movie buff, I did what I always do the week leading up to the big event: I watch 1 of the Best Picture nominees and convince myself that it’s the best movie of all the nominees.  This year it was Moneyball.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I was disappointed by 3 main things:

1). Scott Hatteberg’s character was played by the same actor who plays Andy Dwyer on Parks & Recreation so I was extremely disappointed when Scott wasn’t saying things like, “If you rearrange the letters in Peru, you get Europe,” or “I hit my head…or, brain helmet.”  By the way, if you don’t watch this TV show, you’re missing out big time.

2). I kept expecting Jonah Hill’s character, the assistant GM of the A’s, to be drawing dicks all over his spreadsheets and documents.  Watching Super Bad again this past Saturday probably played a major role in this particular expectation.

3). This final one really threw me off the whole time: In the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt plays a character ranging in age from 30 to 85 (rough estimate).  The actor–combined with make up and visual effects–is able to play a character over a period of 50-60 years.  In Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, GM of the A’s, at the age of 40 in 2002.  But when the movie does flashbacks to show a younger Billy at ages 18-29, they use a completely different actor.  So in one movie, Brad Pitt can span half a century, but in another movie, they can’t make him play the same character over a 20 year span?  Was this only confusing to me?  Totally bugged me the entire time.  For those of you who watch How I Met Your Mother, this is similar to the weirdness in that show where the main character is an adult, but when they flash forward to him narrating the stories to his kids (presumably 20 years later), it’s Bob Saget’s voice.  At what point in this guy’s adulthood is he going to turn from his current self to Bob Saget?  Why couldn’t the actor who plays the main character in present time also provide the voice for the flash forwards??  Just makes no sense.

And while we’re speaking of the Oscars, I’m begging the Academy not to give the Best Picture to The Artist.  It’s probably a great movie, but you’re setting movies back 75 years by voting for this film.  The Oscars are constantly concerned by lack of viewers, especially younger viewers.  And yet, here we are, days away from seeing a silent movie win the big prize.  Here’s one simple question the voters should ask themselves to decide what is really the Best Picture: “which movie am I likely to watch more than 1 time?”  Or put another way, “which movie will most likely cause me to put the remote control down if I’m channel surfing and stumble upon it playing on HBO?”  Isn’t that the right way to judge the best movie?  Don’t we only watch the best movies multiple times?

For example, last year I saw The King’s Speech in the theaters about 2 weeks before the Oscars.  Good movie for sure, but will I ever stop to watch it if it’s on TV?  Not a chance.  Nominated against The King’s Speech last year was Inception.  Also saw it in the theaters….but also have watched it 15 times over the last year whenever it comes on TV.  That, to me, makes it the better movie.

So there’s my two big opinions on movies leading up to the Oscars: if Brad Pitt can age 50 years in one movie, he can do it in another movie, and the Best Picture Award should be turned into the Most Watchable Movie  Award.