Halloween Ball At San Francisco City Hall

So I was invited to cover the Halloween Ball at the San Francisco City Hall on Friday (October 27th). I was looking forward to it since renting out City Hall is no small feat so it’s bound to be a big event. The crowd was expected to be several thousand so there would be plenty of photo opportunities. I typically don’t cover party events because party pictures pretty much look the same from one city to another. But a masquerade ball has some photographic value and it’s interesting to to see what people come up with from year to year. If you look back at costumes from past Halloweens, you’ll find that it often reflects the current events of that year. I remember dressing up as an anthrax laden envelope a few years back and once I dress up in a burka covered head to toe with a sash around me that read Miss Taliban.

I got to City Hall an hour after it started and the line was half a block long in both directions. But I’m not here to party but here to work so I go up to security at the front and ask where the press check-in was. As usual, they had no clue and pointed me to a lady holding up a sign that read “questions?”. She directed me to a ticket pickup table that was entirely covered by the people waiting in line. I wonder who the genius was who decided to put that there. I gave them my name and they tell me that they only covered the first half of the alphabet, the second half is inside. Ok, back to the front door. This time I bring along the lady with the question sign and she leads me pass front door security. Now I have to deal with the real security people. These are not rent-a-cops but bona fide San Francisco sheriff officers who handle security for this government building. At the metal detectors, I’m told I have to go around and enter from the side of the building because they don’t have time to check my bag that contained one camera and one flash. OK. Back out the main entrance and around to the side entrance where I find two sheriffs at a an x-ray machine with nothing to do. They scan my bag and everything is fine as far as they are concerned but there is no one there from the party to let me in. After 15 minutes, someone with the party did walk by and she was nice enough to escort me into the party. But wait! That’s not it. We have to go through the party and back out to the front entrance where the 2nd set of check in tables were located. She told them who I was with and they gave me a wrist band to go back into the party.

After all that, everything went really smooth. They did a great job lighting up the place and the place was already packed with party goers. Some of the costumes were really elaborate. As in previous years, girls with wings are really popular and there were more than a few cross dressers. Despite being very sore from carrying two cameras, I did manage to have a good time at the event. There were some notable moments in the night. I thought this was the most original costume. It didn’t look like something he just picked up at the Halloween store. The workmanship looked flawless. The most enthusiastic group was this group of Persians. They were having a great time and partying up a storm. Later, I ran into this woman who obviously wanted a lot more attention than I could have provided because I was busy shooting this little ladybug who for some reason was holding a head shot of Eric Estrada. As the party wrapped down, I took a few shots of this police officer who tells me she wants to get into modeling or acting. Apparently, she has dreams of becoming the next Jessica Alba. The conversation went something like this:

Her: “Do you think I can model?”

Me: “How tall are you?”

Her: “Five feet three.”

Me: “You’re too short. You’re never going to make any real money modeling because no agency will sign you.”

Her: “But I’ve been told I should model.”

Me: “Honey, I’m telling you this as someone whose not trying to get into your pants. You’re too short to model.”

Her: “Are you gay? Because that sounds like something someone gay would say.”

Me: “Listen, I’m not saying you’re not hot. I’m just giving you my professional opinion. Unless you’re willing to do glamor modeling as in taking off your clothes, you’re not going to get hired as a model.”

Her: “But there are photographers who wants to shoot me?”

Me: “Of course there are. If you don’t mind having your picture ending up in their private collection but it’s never going to be published in any magazines and you certainly are not going to get enough photographers to pay you to shoot you to quit your day job.”

It was an interesting exchange and not so unexpected. She’s just another hot chick with a dream. I wish her the best. Among the photography world, there is a derogatory term called ‘GWC’ which stands for Guy With Camera. It is a term used to describe a guy with a camera who promotes himself as a photographer just to meet hot chicks. As in “He’s not a real photographer, he’s just a guy with a camera.” There have been many attempts at coining a similar acronym for girls who have dreams of modeling but just don’t cut it when it comes to qualifications. Some of the terms that have been thrown out are CWS (Chick with snapshot) or CWA (Chick With Aspirations) but none have really taken. The search continues.

Halloween Ball At San Francisco City Hall

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What If Apple Did Public Relations For These Recent Cases

Apple issued a statement on their Web site yesterday regarding the RavMonE.exe worm they introduced into the Video IPod. In their statement, they took a swipe at Windows for not being more “hardy against such viruses”. Specifically, they said: “As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.”

What if Apple issued public relations statements for these recent cases?

Mel Gibson

As you might imagine, I was upset at all the Jews for not being more hardy against such tirades, and even more upset with myself for drinking and speaking.”

President George W. Bush on waterboarding

As you might imagine, I was upset at the American public for not being more hardy against such alleged torture techniques, and even more upset with myself for not being able to explain it. I don’t want to talk about techniques. And — but I do share the American people that we were within the law. And we don’t torture. We — I’ve said all along to the American people we won’t torture, but we need to be in a position where we can interrogate these people.

John Mark Karr

“As you might imagine, I am upset at the Colorado prosecutor for not being more aggressive in charging me in the Jon Benet Ramsey case, and even more upset with myself for getting away with the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Congressman Mark Foley

As you might imagine, I am upset at the teenage pages for not being more hardy against such innocent advances, and even more upset with myself for believing Senator Ted Stevens when he assured me that he had deleted the series of tubes.”

Asian Fetish

Sometimes when I’m trolling the Internet, I come across some real gems. This blog entry has been floating around various blogs on MySpace for a few months and every entry I’ve found so far has started with “NO, I did not write this” so I’m having trouble tracing the original author. The only clue is that it’s written by someone named Genevieve and signed as ‘Gen, the angry Asian girl’. It’s a real crack up and it literally made me laugh out loud.

Asian Fetish

So the other day, I went out on a date with a man. A White Man. THE MAN for my revolutionary brothers and sisters. So anyway, as I’m out on a date this man, he’s telling me about his ex girlfriend, and he prefaces it with saying “so my ex-girlfriend, she’s Korean.” …and so on and so forth. It starts to hit me, and I’m trapped, and I don’t know what to do short of, throw my salad against the wall to cause a diversion and run for the door.

Genevieve, I say to myself, because that’s my name, you’re with a Rice King. Stay Calm and try not to act overtly Asian and inadvertently getting him aroused.

Rice King see Asian Fever, see Yellow Fever, see Asian Fetish, see G.I. Joe.

After he drones on about his car, a new convertible beamer with some type of flecked paint and expensive rims (strike one,) about his job as a radio promo guy for a record label, I’ve got the best job in the world!, (strike two,) about his ex-girlfriend, she’s Korean, if you didn’t already know (strike three) he begins to tell me about his LOVE of Asian culture. YOU’RE OUT!

He then proceeds to tell me that it’s not that he has an Asian Fetish, per se, (Insert image of overly-tanned, beamer-owning, Radio Promo Guy, with Asian Fetish doing the universal sign for quotation marks here.) It’s just that I LOVE Asian culture SO MUCH, I mean, I even bought a 6 hour special on PBS about Chinese History. Do you know the oppression that the Chinese have been through with (so and so) and (so and so) and then (something else) happened. It’s so rich. I just really need to be with someone who understands it. I mean, I probably know more about Asian History than the average Asian American but it’s important to me that Asian history is something the person i’m with wants to learn about.

(Me. Gaping open mouth. Inability to contribute to conversation for the first time in the history of Asian Man.)

Here the clincher. Also I just don’t find your typical American White or European woman attractive. Asian and Latin women are soo.

You guessed it. The E word.


Me: Wow, look at the time. It was nice having dinner with you. Lets talk sometime in say, the year of the dog.

Ok I didn’t really say that, but how great would it be?

So then, I go out on a date with a whole other different guy. Yes, white. Who’s really great so I’ll try to not rip on him so much. He’s a divorcee and he was married to a Japanese woman. They met while he was teaching ESL (English as a Second Language.) Six years later they divorce. Why did they divorce? Because she never bothered to learn English. She always spoke a badly broken form of English.

So I’m trying to figure out if I’m attracting Asian Fetishists because I am Asian or is Asian Fetishists are attracted to me because I am Asian. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Or am I a White Boy fetishist? Or maybe I have Asian Fetishists Fetish. And is it only an Asian Fetish because the man is not Asian himself? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I just really hope this whole Asian-thing is a phase. Like Trucker hats and Ugg Boots.

But for you Asian Fetishists out there, here are some guidelines:

1) Don’t blow your entire knowledge of the (Insert appropriate Asian dialect or language here) on us. We are not impressed that you know how to say “Hi, I Love you and you’re beautiful” in Cantonese or Tagalog or Japanese. Those are the phrases you need to know if you’re propositioning a prostitute in their country or origin. Guess what guys, we speak PERFECT English. In fact, we speak Engrish BEDDY GOOD. PLEASE TO TALK TO US IN ENGRISH.

2) Don’t tell me you love (reading of menu from a Chinese restaurant here) but give me the only American-friendly options like: Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Won Ton. We have a lot more than three dishes guys. And no, I won’t cook for your ass. So don’t ask.

3) Don’t give me a history lesson on my culture. I don’t go around telling you about the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence.

4) Please don’t call us EXOTIC. I’ll hurt you. I swear I will.

5) Please don’t get tattoos of our words and phrases on your body. If you want to eternally communicate Strong Bold Persevere or what have you on your body, Old English letters and cursive is so nice. Plus half the time, SURPRISE! You’ve actually just tattooed something stupid on yourself like HARD LARGE or SUSTAIN. ALSO, guess what? YOU’RE NOT CHINESE!

6) Its not special that you know how to use chop sticks. Over 1 billion people in one country alone know how to use chopsticks and they learned them at about the time you were using a sippy cup.

7) Don’t advertise your Asian Fetish by telling us about your Asian exs. We WANT to date you, but it makes it hard when we can’t help but feel were taking part of your geisha girl fantasies. It’s a free country, you can have your Asian Fetish, and I can have my choking fetish and we can all live together side by side. Just don’t tell me about it. If you do we can’t help but be conflicted. Does he like me cos I’m Asian? Or does he like me because of me? Does he like me because of my slanty eyes? Or does he like me because of ME? Is he trying to figure out if my slit is sideways? Or is it ME? Guess what guys, if I’m out with you, chances are you’re well on your way to laidville. Half the battle is already won. You don’t need to make me feel special by expressing your love of my culture. And you’ll increase your chances of me and you doing the funky monkey dance ten-fold if you keep your Asian Fetish where it belongs. In the closet.

Gen the Angry Asian Girl.

Apple Takes Cheap Shot At Windows For A Virus Apple Introduced Into The IPod

Toward the end of September 2006, Video IPod users started to report problems with the W32/RJump worm showing up on their PCs after installing the IPod. The infection occurs when a removable storage device or a mapped drive hosting a copy of W32/Rjump.worm is accessed and the user agrees to the auto run prompt for execution of the worm. W32/Rjump.worm creates a port exception for its backdoor component to bypass the built-in firewall of WinXp by executing the following netsh command.

%Windir%\%Sysdir%\cmd.exe /c netsh firewall add portopening TCP 16942 NortonAV

Today, Apple Computer announced on their Web site that they discovered that a limited number of the Video IPods sold after September 12, 2006 were infected with the RavMonE.exe virus (aka W32/RJump) at the manufacturing stage. They issued this statement on their Web site which included a cheap shot at Windows for not being more “hardy against such viruses” even though they were the ones to introduce the virus in the first place. That’s just a cheap shot and they should own up to their mistake without trying to shift blame on someone else. Aside from taking a swipe at Microsoft, they did little to explain how this worm got into the IPod to begin with. Just in case they remove it from their site, here is an excerpt of their statement:

“We recently discovered that a small number – less than 1% – of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006, left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus. This known virus affects only Windows computers, and up to date anti-virus software which is included with most Windows computers should detect and remove it. So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.”

Because this worm propagates via mass storage devices, users who encountered this problem should scan all their removable storage devices like CF cards, flash drive, and removable hard drives in addition to scanning their PCs.

Fleet Week San Francisco 2006

Fleet Week returns to San Francisco on October 5 starting with practice runs for the Red Bull Air Races and Blue Angels survey runs. The Blue Angels will perform Friday and Saturday but the weather forecast calls for rain on Thursday and partly cloudy on Friday so plans may change. Muni Pier will be admitted by paid tickets only. Other good spots include Marina Green and the Pier 39 area.