Log in

Mischa's Journal Below are 10 entries, after skipping 10 most recent ones in the "Mischa" journal:

[<< Previous 10 entries -- Next 10 entries >>]

November 17th, 2009
03:42 pm


Hey look, this movie came out!
If you live in San Francisco/Berkeley, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cambridge, or New York (and some other places I guess), please check out this film!

It's called "(Untitled)" and it's hilarious. Especially if you're into art, art criticism, artistic endeavors and performance in general. Or if you just really like Adam Goldberg. I was the dialogue editor.

Review here. ETA: actually, much more comprehensive set of reviews on the Rottentomatoes.com page.

Website with trailer here.

Playing at Embarcadero in SF, Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, AMC Pipers Alley (1608 N. Wells) in Chicago, Uptown in Minneapolis, Kendall Square in Cambridge, and City Cinemas Village East in NY.
ETA: also playing in DC, Philly, Dallas, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, LA, and Monterey.

Ends this Thursday in Chicago. Probably ending other places soon too....
I think I'll go see it on Friday at Shattuck (6:50 pm) since my brother'll be up here to hang out for my birthday.

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

November 11th, 2009
07:16 pm


Finally took my faithful mechanical companion to the dentist...
The good reviews of Art's Automotive aren't wrong, these guys are great! Apart from some new tires back when I first got it, my 1995 Integra hadn't had even a check-up for these three years (and 13,000 miles) I've owned it, aside from routine oil changes (and, perhaps foolishly, I never even had it inspected because I trusted the comprehensive maintenance report provided to me by the former owner, performed 4,000 miles before my purchase). In that time, it's made it up to Tahoe and back at least four times, all up and down the Bay and Marin, survived being stolen from my street and doused in pennies and french fries and rudely abandoned in Hercules, lost its (not legally required) right side mirror, made it through a smog check that also miraculously repaired the jammed ignition, all the while without leaking oil or losing its air conditioning or its nice tight handling. But, lately, some road noise from the wheels in back told me it was time to see the doctor... not to mention I had always wondered if it would be easy to get the splash shield below the front bumper to stop hanging down like that, and whether it would be easy to fix the inoperable lowest two settings of the dashboard fan. The right rear window also gets stuck when being raised by its motor, but at least it's easy to get it back in place by simply reaching back and guiding it up with some hand pressure. All this time I never really bothered to check what the best general maintenance shops were, having gotten my tires at Big-O and my oil at (*shudder*) the local Berkeley Jiffy Lube (the Yelp reviews are accurate, these guys always did a terribly half-assed job for me, though they always did fill my car with oil and put the cap back on, unlike my friend Christian who, like some reviewers, drove away and smelled burning oil and opened his hood to find the cap had never been put back on and half his oil was smoking all over his engine block!). Anyway, imagine my surprise and pleasure to find that Art's, widely respected all over the entire Bay Area, is just a 15 minute walk from my house!

So I bit the bullet and took the little guy in for the 1-hour, $98 bumper to bumper inspection along with my list of noted issues, hoping that the total repairs would come out to around $500 or so but knowing that realistically it might be more like $1,000. With a trusted repair shop, I actually find this sort of thing fascinating and enjoyable, what with all the learning about all the various bits of my car, their condition, their likely lifespan, and so on. Sure enough, I dropped $961 today, which is no chump change but still really quite good after three years of use on an excellent car which is now just shy of 200,000 miles, and which only cost me $2,650 to begin with.

Here's what we did yesterday and today: Read more...Collapse )

(17 comments | Leave a comment)

October 20th, 2009
10:56 am


You're part of the problem, dipshit
Yes, yes, another compelling story about an infant/toddler denied health insurance because of being in the wrong percentile:
Underweight Girl Denied Insurance Coverage

But what really pisses me off about this story is the father's statement:

"We would definitely like to see insurance reform," Rob Bates said. "We are not proponents of universal health care by any means, but what we want to see is that insurance companies have legitimate reasons for denying coverage."

Alright genius, if insurance companies are still allowed to deny coverage and operate for-profit, what would be a legitimate reason, if not a perfectly grounded statistical cost-benefit analysis that your daughter, like many other applicants, is likely to cost the company more money than she would generate for it? You want insurance companies to come up with "legitimate reasons" for denying coverage, well, this is what you get.

Americans and their goddamn individualistic "not my problem!" hoarding, and they can't even see it when it directly endangers their own family.

(40 comments | Leave a comment)

August 31st, 2009
12:17 pm


Oh this is just too amazing
"One letter is missing" -- what a fantastic hook! Now wait for the punchline :-)

And don't even bother trying to make sense of the nonsense he's thrown together to make the "word". Yes this is the Glenn Beck whose job is secure because of his phenomenal, and I fear, 100% non-ironic ratings. I've seen colleagues of my Alaskan sister comment on her FB status updates, with drooling back-and-forth high-fives rejecting healthcare reform and all things Obama and devolving into mutual "we love Glenn Beck" chirrups (evidently a useful group-call for determining friendly status amid a forest of potentially rational people).

via gmonkey42

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

August 30th, 2009
01:19 pm


August movies
This was a weird summer for film. Maybe the year in general too? The last couple weeks though, things have really exploded in the "worth watching" department. I've been getting up every day and just banging out pages of my chapters as fast as I can, but now and then I've taken a quick break:

- District 9: Really enjoyed it. Read more...Collapse )

- The Hurt Locker: Not only the best film about Iraq I've seen (this isn't really saying much, I suppose), but just a fantastically tense, unpredictable, well-balanced, well acted film by any measure. Read more...Collapse )

- Ponyo: Kind of a return to Totoro-like sensibilities. Read more...Collapse )

- Inglourious Basterds: haven't seen it yet! Going to!

- World's Greatest Dad: Pretty skillful black comedy. Read more...Collapse )

- The Fast and the Furious (1955): the Pacific Film Archive played this the other night in a free outdoor screen projected against a big cement wall in the Berkeley Art Museum sculpture garden (not a great "screen", but it served well enough I guess). Pure B-movie comedy gold! (This is a Roger Corman film, after all). There was also free popcorn and lemonade. (Spoilers ahead). Read more...Collapse )

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

August 26th, 2009
07:22 pm


Cheeseboard tonight involves grilled peaches
and arugula and Dutch bleu cheese and mozzarella and lemon vinaigrette. Just sayin'.

You now have 38 minutes to take advantage of this.

via jholomorphic

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

August 13th, 2009
01:54 am


Flipnote "hambaaga!"
In case you've been feeling safe from Ronald McDonald lately, this should make all those serene feelings go away :D

It's an example of what you can do with the amazing *free* animation utility on the Nintendo DSi. "I'm lovin' it!"

(Leave a comment)

August 10th, 2009
03:20 pm


Brief dental update
Well, I had pretty much given up on this ridiculous "SafeGuard" insurance of mine. Sure, $8 a month is a steal, but not if every single dentist in the Bay Area that takes their insurance is some kind of freakshow that will ruin your face! I even drafted my cancelation letter today and have it ready to mail, but I called my old dentist only to learn that even with their discount for the uninsured, a simple exam + cleaning + a couple of X-rays (not even a full set) will run about $200. Their receptionist helpfully suggested the UCSF School of Dentistry student clinics, where you can apparently get decent care at about half of normal cost, as long as you're willing to have very long appointments while the student's work is monitored and evaluated by their faculty supervisor. Still, if I have to go all the way into the City, I figured, might as well check some of their SafeGuard dentists. I got the usual horrifying set (think overtones of Russian Mafia, and plenty more stories of dishonest diagnoses and unnecessary work), but I think I may actually try this guy, Edward Zhao, who is seriously the *only* dentist I was able to select under my plan, who does not have absolutely horrifying reviews written by multiple people who registered for Yelp specifically to share their bad experience and save other people from misery.

Amusingly, the first review is by another Berkeley resident who states right in her review that he's the only dentist in the Bay Area that both accepted her insurance and didn't have terrifyingly bad reviews, so I guess I've arrived at the same destination!

(Leave a comment)

August 5th, 2009
02:46 pm


Thinkin' about canceling this "SafeGuard" dental insurance...
Well, it was quite useful in getting me a cheap eye exam and 20% off on my glasses with Dr. Kiyomoto, a perfectly fine optometrist over at San Pablo and University.

But I still haven't been to a dentist. I haven't been able to find a single dentist with great reviews that accepts their insurance. Instead, looking through their provider network, I keep running into results like this guy, who sounds like a real-life Dr. Nick (an analogy requiring no exaggeration at all, apparently).

The one I'm officially assigned is University Dental, but I'm afraid their yelp page kind of spectacularly fails the smell test. Another possibility is Guolin Yu up on Telegraph but I haven't been able to find a single review anywhere online. So far Madelyn Ballard seems like the best bet, with lots of satisfied customers, but the one person who mentions fillings also makes it very clear that she doesn't really know how to do resin fillings. I've got resin composites in the couple of cavities I've had, and though I don't really think I have any cavities right now, it would suck if I had to head to a different dentist just because I don't want silver fillings (I worry about the look as well as the possibility of temperature sensitivity).
She's not actually in my provider network anyway. Stupid badly designed website giving me false results.

Is it worth $8 a month for cheaper cleanings even with a chance of needing to go back to my old (beloved!) dentist Dr. Assael, and have him do a filling without insurance? Perhaps, perhaps....

It may be worth mentioning that I generally have extremely healthy teeth and gums (it's a family thing... my mother and brother have had no cavities at all, in their entire lives, and they aren't exactly superheroes when it comes to proper brushing and flossing). I think I've had 3 cavities total, which were discovered in places where my (possibly ill-advised?) childhood sealants had partially broken off (leaving little traps), upon my return from a summer in China... during which I used locally purchased "Colgate" toothpaste that may have been made with melamine instead of fluoride.

I might try Lavorini Dental Care. Downside is, though the reviews are reassuring, the fact they do well on Yelp (and are a "sponsored result") means they are completely swamped with patients.
Why would you come up in my provider search results provided by my own insurance, if "this provider does not accept patients for this plan"?

More humorously ALARMINGLY bad ideas in my provider network. In fact, this is my entire provider network!
- Gentle Dental: "When all was said and done, my back teeth had been mysteriously sharpened and now there are so many weird gaps between my teeth I need a toothpick every time I eat so much as a bowl of ice cream."
- Western Dental: "My teeth are ruined and i will probably have to have them pulled."
- Oakland Dental: "I hate this dump with all my heart. People, you don't have to suffer through this."
- Ronald Bullard: "The office is disgusting and smells worse than a truck stop men's room."
- Andrew Cheung: "He told me I had 17 cavities... he then put some blue stain on my teeth, saying that would show me where the cavities were. Then he said if he could scrape the blue stain off, it was only plaque that needed cleaning, not a cavity. He started scraping, and it all started to come off. When he noticed that, he stopped and started pointing instead of scraping, saying it was all cavities."

The only slight possibility seems to be Franklin Dental. But at this point I'm starting to seriously think I should just bail. The SafeGuard dental network appears to be the Dr. Nick Network in disguise.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

July 27th, 2009
11:20 pm


How is Bloo-ray formed?????
how factory get pragnent?

Well, here it is. This gallery is basically pornography. Did you know that the polycarbonate disc material is first sent through the factory in granule form, through a series of tubes?

Current Mood: enthralledenthralled

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[<< Previous 10 entries -- Next 10 entries >>]

Powered by LiveJournal.com