September 26th, 2004


Day of Three Letdowns.

Saturday was the Day of Three Letdowns.


First Letdown. Why I decided to sit and watch the fucking Stanford-USC game is beyond my comprehension. This would've made more sense back in the days when Stanford was actually decent (Our teams beat SC three years in a row from 2000-02.) But as that blowjob joke goes, everybody's got to take their turn in the barrel. And since Willingham bolted to coach Notre Dame, we've been at the bottom of the Pac-10 for two years, outsucking even Cal.

Nevertheless, given how my sports teams have colossally underachieved this year, I've become dead inside, a hollow shell of a fan. So I watched the game, which predictably began with USC scoring the first ten points. Suddenly, Stanford answered with a touchdown. And another. Next thing you know, Stanford's ahead at the end of the half, 28-17. Even my friends from UCLA and Cal were rooting for us. For that one magical moment, everybody in the universe was a Stanford fan, except for USC people and the Antichrist.

As any Pac-10 person will tell you, USC is easily the most hated school in the conference. Not because they're a traditional football powerhouse and sell crack to minorities - it's because their fans are by far the most obnoxious. They spaz about their team as much as the hyper-obsessed fans of Midwestern and Southern schools. People in the Midwest and South have nothing else to live for, so this enthusiasm is understandable. But by laid-back West Coast standards, USC's fanaticism is considered uncool. Also, they habitually rape live chickens.

In the second half, things got predictably bad. It's as if the Stanford players realized, "Oh yeah, we suck." After effortlessly amassing 300 yards in the first half, the offense managed less than 40 yards for the rest of the game, scoring nothing in the process. We lost 31-28, but it was the live chickens who truly suffered, in the post-game Trojan poultry orgies.


Second Letdown. As it turned out, my girlfriend's mom and I share the same Lunar Calendar birthday. Choosing to commit financial suicide, my girlfriend took us both out to dinner at Matsuhisa.

If you'd seen the bill you would've thought that Nobu had sold us his children. But for the first time I'd eaten there, I was disappointed. Everything I'd ordered - the toro tartar with caviar, the uni shooter, the king crab ceviche, Nobu's eldest daughter - they tasted extremely zesty. Overpoweringly so. Don't know why.

Perhaps it's because it was a Saturday (I'd never eaten there on a weekend), and Saturday is Zesty Day. Or perhaps it's because the waiter ran to the kitchen and informed the chefs of my presence, "It is Ed - he whose tongue knows no subtlety!"

Now the only restaurant in LA that hasn't let me down is In-n-Out Burger.


Third Letdown. After dinner we went to a friend's birthday at this karaoke bar called The Brass Monkey. Strangely it's in Koreatown, where you'd only expect to find noraebangs. And despite the fact that it's right in the middle of K-Town, the place was mostly white.

While I like Caucasian-ish bars - as they give you more liquor for less money - I quickly realized why I hated karaoke bars: Drunk people can't sing ... and they do it as loudly as possible. Being forced to listen to a staggering sorority girl scream through "Welcome to the Jungle" was like Abu Ghraib for my ears.

By the time I got to Brass Monkey, all the guys were already shitfaced. It was barely 11 o'clock. They explained to me that they'd finished an entire bottle of Grey Goose for dinner. Without me. And this made me more sad than anything.

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