Category Archives: Reviews (music, film, more…)

The Corporation

Finally got the chance to watch The Corporation this weekend and really enjoyed it. It runs a bit long, but is pretty packed with good information. I particularly liked Ray C. Anderson, the Chairman of Interface, Inc. which is the worlds largest commercial carpet manufacturer. He realized how unsustainable his carpet corporation was and how it was destroying the environment. He is now a very eco-friendly leader and I hope he can inspire others.

He really woke up when he read The Ecology of Commerce which is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Unfortunately it looks like both copies in circulation at the SF public library are missing.

Another flick!

Iron Giant - Brad Bird
I first saw a Brad Bird flick when I saw the Incredibles, but I really liked his style and decided finally to check out Iron Giant. Definitely has his signature on it and it’s also quite a nice film. There’s some really neat animation sequences as well as some funny stuff in the extras (see the storyboard guy one). Wish I had seen this in the theather, but at least we have the projector!

Mad Cow Girl

With the SF Independent Film Festival in town, I’ve tried to force myself to see more of the flicks since last year I managed to miss everything completely.

The first film I saw was Initial D which was decent for what I had expected. Nothing too intense but a light fun ride overall. The race scenes did look pretty realistic to someone who doesn’t know crap about driving and racing.

The 2nd flick was Mad Cowgirl. It was the World Premiere so director Gregory Hatanaka and his crew were present. I didn’t know too much about the guy or the film, but apparently his film from 2005 was the worst rated film of the festival.

Well, once it began, I realized the lead character is pretty hot. Played by Sarah Lassez, Therese is quite an enigmatic character. I don’t know what to say without spoiling any of it, but it’s a crazy ride that goes all over the place, but because of that kinetic schizophrenia it makes it a lot of fun.

The last flick I’ll see I just realized the website for it is is which is totally bizarre since that’s the word from a blog post of mine in 2003 that I have only heard of that one time.

Review: Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better

Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better (Domino, 2005)

Franz Ferdinand are confident. They boast that you could have it so much better with them than some other ear trash bands out there. Telling the truth? Or all swagger? Eh, a healthy dollop from column A and a teensy smidge from column B.

If you check out FF’s website, the bio page reveals that the modus operandi of this outfit is to make girls dance. With the follow-up to their outstanding self-titled debut, they’ve succeeded in the making the girls dance part, and for something new, they’ve also managed to get the girls all moony-eyed and wistful with tracks like the Beatle-y “Eleanor Put Your Boots On” and “Fade Together” plus “Walk Away.” “Eleanor…” apparently is about Eleanor from The Fiery Furnaces. I didn’t know frontman Alex K. and Eleanor are/were involved. Well, that just goes to show I’m not hip on my rock band gossip.

The weakness here is that some of the songs aren’t likely to be caramelized into your brain, sweet and getting stuck in the head. Not quite. There’s the forgettable “This Boy” and “Evil and a Heather.” One of my faves is “I’m Your Villain” with the boys doing their best Interpol impression with the thundering groovy bassline. Don’t fret, Alex still croons and dabbles with the man love (infectious first single “Do You Want To”). The bottom line is that You Could Have It So Much Better is somewhat slumpy, but by no means a bad buy. Now all I have to do is see Franz Ferdinand live and then I will be happy.

– by Lisa Hwang

Emotional Spectrum

I’ve always enjoyed the range of human emotions so that’s the only way I could reconcile writing about adoption and Kung Fu Hustle in the same entry.

Anyhow, I just heard a story on NPR about adoption that was a really nice piece of journalism. You can check out the story details and listen to the extended version here. It’s a really touching story and it’s nice when you can get so much emotion from radio.

On the other hand, I saw Kung Fu Hustle which Anka had been raving about for a while. I hadn’t even realized it was a Stephen Chow film until it rolled across the screen. I would definitely say it’s a fun film enhanced by pre-baking.


On my flight up to Winnipeg, I finished reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland and found so many things I could relate to as well as remarkable similarities to my own experiences during the rush and working at MCI to moving to San Francisco and even starting Orange.

I definitely would recommend the book to anyone who experienced that era or even has an interest as it’s definitely spot on in capturing the essence of that time.

Perhaps the weirdest tie-in was the storyline related to Dusty, the female bodybuilder who dates Todd. Strange that the worlds of geeks and muscle would overlap like my own has…

Lisa’s Antics review…

I have always liked my sisters entertainment reviews. She used to review films on her personal website before she got to college but hasn’t done any since. She forwarded me her review of Interpol’s Antics which follows:

Unfailingly so, comparisons between Interpol’s debut Turn on the Bright Lights and their follow-up, Antics, will be made. And I am here to say that it’s perfectly okay to compare the two, and yes, the two are not one and the same!
Turn on the Bright Lights was dark and moody, tense and brooding, dealing with the topic of isolation. Antics lets in a little bit of sunlight and the occasional bout of optimism.

Interpol is the first band to really want to make me learn how to play bass. See “Evil” and “Narc.” Carlos D’s thumping grooveworthy basswork will make you want to dance around or at least ponder doing so. The group’s other trademark is Paul Banks’s deep monotone voice, still there, a smidgen lighter. After the first listen, you will think that Antics is a huge letdown to the masterful Turn on the Bright Lights, but keep listening. It’ll grow on you, slowly but surely. Different doesn’t always equal “ew, get it away from me as soon as humanly possible.”

The strongest cut, “Slow Hands,” sounds like it could have been a hidden track on Turn on the Bright Lights, but you won’t find an “Obstacle 1” or “Leif Erickson” on Antics.
Not that it’s a horrible thing, but “Obstacle 1” is currently my favorite song of all time, and it was a bit sad to discover no “Obstacle 3” here. There’s shimmery guitar work reminiscent of Coldplay in “Not Even Jail” and “Take You on a Cruise,” while “Narc” has some disco undertones. An awesome bass solo towards the end of “Public Pervert” saves an otherwise average tune. Opener and closer “Next Exit” and “A Time to Be So Small” are basically filler, like wheat bread holding tasty sandwich contents inside. Or to be more sophisticated (Interpol does hail from NYC), a stuffed grape leaf. Try it.
Goodness that grows on you.

In-n-Out Burger Secret Menu archived blog post …

in-n-out burger secret menu

This page brought to you with generous support from orange [photography]

So it’s probably no surprise to anyone that knows me that I’m a huge fan of In-N-Out Burger. In the interest of providing more info about them, I’m posting this stuff up here for everyone’s benefit. The secret menu and bible verses are what’s here and if you want to know anything else, check out the official In-N-Out site.

Below is the Customer Service response from In-n-Out Burger regarding their “secret menu”

Dear Mr. XXXXX:

Thank you for your e-mail, and for your interest in In-N-Out Burger.Ā  In response to your question, we have several commonly requested burger styles, such as Animal style which do not appear on our menu. As you may know, our Animal style burgers come with lettuce, tomato, extra spread, pickles, grilled onions, and mustard fried into the patty. We also offer Protein style burgers, for which we wrap the burger in large leaves of lettuce instead of placing it on a bun.

In addition, we have commonly requested burgers that are not on our menu. These burgers include the Wish burger, the Grilled Cheese burger, the Double-Meat, and the 3×3. The Wish burger is similar to a hamburger but does not contain the meat. The Grilled Cheese burger is similar to the Wish burger, but adds two slices of melted cheese. The Double-Meat is similar to the Double-Double in that it has two meat patties, but it does not have cheese. The 3×3 burger is a burger with three meat patties and three slices of cheese, and you can add meat patties and
slices of cheese to make a 4×4, 5×5, etc.

Again, although these styles and burgers are not on the menu, you can order them at all our locations.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Cristina Minchala

Customer Service Representative

October 14, 2001
click to enlarge

The In-N-Out
Burger in San Francisco is finally open! Here’s my first meal there…

Here’s the listing of how to order like a pro. My personal choice? “Double-DoubleĀ® Animal style, no pickles” (Note: As of 2009, I’ve tried to make a “genex style” = Animal Style, no pickle, but add raw onions)

“Animal Style” – bun is grilled with mustard, sauteed onions instead of raw, pickles, extra “special sauce” – [this can also be applied to fries (Note: I recently tried this on fries, but don’t personally recommend it / Nov. 2, 2003)]
“Wish Burger” – no meat, i.e. veggie burger

“Protein Style” – lettuce wrapped around the burger instead of a bun for all of you who are in “The Zone”

Update 12/23/2003 – there is no such thing as “Old Fashioned Style” – originally I had this listed as “ketchup and mustard instead of the weird special sauce” but that is incorrect as a call from In-n-Out
today revealed.

“Flying Dutchman” – two meat patties with two slices of cheese. that’s it.

“Double Meat” – Double Double without cheese

“4×4” – 4 meat patties with 4 slices of cheese. Are you SURE you can eat that?

“2×4” – 2 meat patties with 4 slices of cheese for the fromage afficionado

“Grilled Cheese” – cheeseburger, sans meat

“Fries – well done” – get your fries extra crispy and brown the way you like them!

“Choco-Vanilla Swirl Shake” – just what it sounds like Note: this is not an official secrent menu
item, but at most In-n-Out Burgers they will make it if asked for… 12/23/2003

“Neopolitan Shake” – a blend of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shakes.

Ever wonder what the little bible quotes sneakily hidden on the In-N-Out paper packaging mean? Ever wonder if they have anything to do with the fact that only blonde children work here? Let’s investigate:

REVELATION 3:20 (burger and cheeseburger wrappers): Behold, Istand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

JOHN 3:16 (soda cups): For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

PROVERBS 3:5 (milkshake cups): Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (thanks to Robin Wright for the correction)

NAHUM 1:7 (Double-Double wrapper): The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.

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