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And, of course, this Weakend Planner, which exists only as some 0’s and 1’s on the web, magically appears on Friday, and barely takes you through Sunday night, when it disappears. The moral? Enjoy it while you can…because you can’t take it with you. Now c'mon, everybody, let's party like there's no Day After Tomorrow, which opens next week.
A WEAKEND PLANNER THAT PLANS ITS OWN OBSOLESCENCE
Are You Ready for Some Basketball? How About Moneyball? Or Shrek 2, Ellis Hooks, Deadwood, Smarty Jones?
Ya know that feeling you get on Fridays at about 3 in the afternoon, with the entire weekend ahead of you? Sixty or so hours to do whatever you want. No bosses, no deadlines, no hectoring co-workers. And then, all of a sudden, it’s Sunday night, and you’re hunkering down for The Sopranos with the same creeping dread you’ve had since you were in school, and the night before Monday meant Mission: Impossible or The Ed Sullivan Show. With the popcult’s current blockbuster or bust mentality, movies, music, books, politics and food all seem like so many evanescent thrills, here one moment, gone the next… like an MSG-ridden Chinese meal. And, of course, this Weakend Planner, which exists only as some 0’s and 1’s on the web, magically appears on Friday, and barely takes you through Sunday night, when it disappears. The moral? Enjoy it while you can…because you can’t take it with you. Now c'mon, everybody, let's party like there's no Day After Tomorrow, which opens next week.

WILL THE WOLVES SURVIVE?
Oh what a pity.  The T-Pups (aka Timberwolves) robbed Laker Nation of the opportunity to humiliate the Sacramento Kings yet again.  What we have instead is a match-up consisting of The Big 4 vs. The Big 3.   Kevin Garnett has had a season to dream about. The Pups posted the best record in the Western Conference this year and have the home court advantage to prove it. League MVP KG, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell joined forces to form one of the most potent threesomes in the Association.  Like the Spurs, the key to the Pups' attack is their point guard, the cold-blooded assassin Cassell.  He possesses a nasty mid-range game and the ability to get the ball to Garnett and Sprewell in their sweet spots, but there's a big problem. Cassell has been hobbled by a bad back. He will have to find a way through it or L.A. will make him pay.  The Lakers will try to get into Cassell and drive him into the teeth of their D, anchored by Shaq. The most competitive aspect of this series will be the jaw-dropping, trash-talking, head-cocking, non-stop blathering between Cassell and Payton.  The pair are great friends and the NBA's best trash talkers... This will be the world championship of SMACK. Sprewell lacks his old explosiveness but he brings great energy, streaky shooting and the league's best cornrows. For the Lakers, Shaquille should dominate this series. The Olowakandi/Johnson/Madsen frontline will put O'Neal at the line, but is severely lacking and will allow Kobe the little daylight he needs to fill-up the box score and slam the door shut. Karl Malone did a sensational job on Duncan and will attempt to be ultra-physical with Garnett to wear him down. The Spurs woke the Lakers up
and unless something drastically weird happens, the Lakes should make short work of the beaten-up, inexperienced T-Pups.  Lakers in 5. (Joel Amsterdam)

WHAT BE GOIN’ DOWN YO
Well, we are in to our third week of summer blockbusters with the sequel to the hilarious animated movie Shrek. Although I desperately wanted to see it Wednesday, it looks like it will have to wait until the weekend. Last week, I caught the epic Troy and let me tell you right now folks—this one is GREAT. It is true cinematic poetry, with drama, love, action and great visuals. I saw this movie twice and will mostly likely be seeing it for a third time this weekend. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I would put that and Shrek 2 on your to-do list.

Other highlights should be tonight’s clash between MVP Kevin Garnett and the Lakers. KG willed his team into the finals and now he’s ready to take the next step. This match up pits the #1 seed against the #2. Minnesota had the best record in the regular season, beat the Lakers in the season series 3-1 and have the best player in the league. On the other side, you have four certain hall of famers, two of whom are trying desperately to win their first ring. I am really excited about this match-up because I love KG and I want to see just how good he can be. Earlier this year, at a Clippers game, I got into a discussion about who was the most dominant player in the league. The guy next to me said Yao; I said Garnett. Sorry folks, but if there are any of you that feel this way, perhaps the game on Wednesday was a wake-up call. The man is amazing; at one point he played point guard, and he scored every basket for the T-wolves in the fourth quarter. It is too bad Troy Hudson is out for the year because they could use him. Good luck, Wolves!!!

Meanwhile, my Dodgers have finally come down from Cloud 9 and have started playing like they were supposed to. Just when you start to get your hopes up, they go and lose six in a row and drop into a first place tie. Guess it was nice while it lasted. (Je-C)

POPCULT TOP 10
1. Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (W.W. Norton): The fascinating tale of how Oakland GM Billy Beane built his "small market" team into a perennial contender shows the way old-school baseball assumptions are being challenged by a new breed of Ivy League computer geeks. As a Mets fan, I particularly enjoyed the parts about how Beane came up through the farm system as a "can’t-miss" prospect alongside soon-to-be major-league superstars Darryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra, only to be too intense and high-strung to succeed at that level. There’s also a section on the "Sabermetrics" system of statistical analysis developed by hardball metaphysician Bill James which places a premium on walking and on-base percentage. Of course, for all of Beane’s iconoclasm, his A’s have yet to make it to the World Series, let alone win one, and for sheer results, you can’t top Yankee boss George Steinbrenner’s time-honored system of simply throwing money at top free agents. Still, for an inside look at the hidden truths of a game where numbers don’t lie, but must be interpreted correctly, this book hits a home run…or should I say draws a base on balls? (Roy Trakin)

2. Ellis Hooks, Uncomplicated (Artemis): Old-school rhythm & blues, torn from the Mississippi cotton fields, cracked and faded two-lane blacktop highways bobbing and weaving under the burning sun, bars that let in no light and hearts that’ve been battered by life’s circumstances. But Hooks—whose voice recalls a less-ravaged Otis Redding—serves up a fair amount of redemption and desire on his American debut, including the rafter-raising "The Hand of God" and the title track. A certified "organic recording"—that uses no Pro Tools, sweeteners, correctors or pitch-shifters, Uncomplicated harks back to a day when soul came from within and wasn’t manufactured or synthesized to give the illusion of feeling. Wanna know how real life feels? It’s pretty Uncomplicated—listen to Ellis Hooks’ witness. (Holly Gleason)

3. Mikel Jollett, "The Strokes & Lou Reed, Art, Advertising and the Myth of Marketing," Filter magazine Winter ’04: The most brilliant analysis of rock and roll aesthetic and artistic degeneration I’ve read. Juxtaposing the ultimate cool/underground band—the Velvet Underground—with today’s all-but-focus-grouped acolytes and pseudo-outsiders, Jollett raises all the important questions about marketing over music, selling the illusion of rebellion, the reality of mass media’s impact and Lou Reed’s own response to the "Kinda now! Kinda wow!" brokering that is as much the Strokes zeitgeist as the revelatory or groundbreaking quality of their music. Plus the Andy Warhol factor that cloaks both of them in different ways. (HG)

4. Deadwood (HBO): This 19th century version of The Sopranos transplanted to the lawless, gold-rush happy Dakotas just prior to it being annexed by the U.S. has taken on a momentum all its own, its seemingly anachronistic epithets rising to the absurd heights of Coen brothers colloquial eloquence. NYPD Blue co-creator David Milch has constructed a parallel universe with its own set of rules, where the dead are consumed by hogs and the living try to stay above ground to see a new day. Reminiscent of Scorsese’s Gangs of New York in its depiction of how violence forged America, it features Ian McShane’s towering performance as saloon-keeper Al Swearengen, who has gone from an evil, malignant force to someone who comes to realize his reliance on aggression must be tempered if he is to survive. And while the misogyny is sometimes difficult to watch, there are elegant performances by Molly Parker as the aristocratic Alma Garret, Paula Malcolmson as the beleaguered, drug-addicted hooker Trixie and Robin Weigert, who plays the alcoholic, but indefatigable Calamity Jane. (RT)

5. Abdel Wright (Weapons of Mass Entertainment/Interscope): No less than U2’s Bono has called this 27-year-old singer/songwriter "the most important Jamaican artist since Bob Marley," even though he mostly eschews toasting and dancehall for reggae’s roots as an acoustic protest music. Brought to Jimmy Iovine’s attention by Bono and Dave Stewart, who executive-produced this debut album, Wright was invited to take part in last November’s 46664 Nelson Mandela AIDS concert in Cape Town, South Africa, where he wowed more than 40,000 fans with "Loose We Now." Citing influences like Tracy Chapman and Bob Dylan, Wright’s story is something out of The Harder They Come, having been raised in a Montego Bay foster home run by the government and partially funded by Johnny Cash. He spent five years in prison for gun possession, where he wrote politically charged songs like "Quicksilver," a litany of ills that not only plague his native land, but the world. With a sweet falsetto and an acoustic guitar, augmented by a mouth harp, steel guitar and strings on some tracks, Wright deceptively skewers government oppression, the high cost of health care, the lack of suitable housing and education and the hypocrisy of the political and religious establishments. (RT)

6. Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves: Both Haylie Duff, sister of Hilary, and Ashlee Simpson, sister of Jessica, are making strides in the music world on the heels of their more-famous (so far) siblings. Haylie, the older one, joined Hilary, to rock L.A.’s Wango Tango with a cover of the Go-Go’s "Our Lips Are Sealed" last Saturday. And Ashlee, who appeared with her older sis to promote the Breakers’ Liquid Ice Breath Mints, saw her first single, "Pieces of Me," spun on N.Y.’s Z100, dropped into MTV’s TRL. She then dyed her hair brunette a la Nicky Hilton, who attempted to distance herself from sister Paris after the latter’s sex tape hit the Web. Being sisters to a celeb has certainly paid off for lil’ Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney’s 13-year-old sidekick, and hasn’t hurt Lynda Lopez, entertainment reporter sister of Jennifer. (Valerie Nome)

7. www.wholelattelove.com: David Grissom, an educated man, completely refined soul and witch of the first order on guitar, turned me on to this site, which is Ground Zero and nirvana for anyone requiring javanation. Name the brand, the quirk, the kink, the nuance—and this site has it. Need an espresso machine? No problem. Looking for a certain kind of bean? Here you go. Wanna read articles about the wonders of coffee? Right on. In a world of rush-rush, hurry-hurry, here’s the jet fuel and the turbo-pump system to keep you rocking! And it has nothing to do with Starbucks. (HG)

8. Upstairs at Larry’s, Lawrence Welk Uncorked (Vanguard): We quote the press release: "A 15-track CD featuring standards by the Lawrence Welk Orchestra remixed by some of today’s hottest DJs… [Its] mission was to tastefully update timeless songs and to pay tribute, yet strive to circumvent the generational barrier that often looms… The title pays homage to the 1982 release Upstairs at Eric’s by synth-dance duo Yaz." Don’t know about you, but we can’t wait until August 10, when it comes out. (RT)

9. Andy Kaufman: Dead Or Alive? at L.A.’s House of Blues: It was a bittersweet evening, as Andy Kaufman didn’t show up 20 years after his death as promised, leaving his Bosworth, Bob Zmuda, along with the likes of comedic influencees Andy Dick, Bob Oederkirk, Rich Voss and Zack Galifianakis to pay tribute to the late Dada prankster. Only the perpetually stoned-on-something Galifianakis, who had a short-lived late night talk show on VH1, showed the ability to completely turn the crowd against him, with a rambling Steve Wright-on-ludes set that didn’t stint on the politically incorrect. Zmuda came on as obnoxious lounge crooner (and Kaufman alter ego) Tony Clifton, who spritzed water on hapless crowd participants and cavorted with some shapely chorines, managing to actually evince some feeling with a closing rendition of R.E.M.’s "Man on the Moon." Then it was off to the Comic Store across Sunset for Act II, Famous Amos cookies and milk, in tribute to Andy’s legendary Carnegie Hall show, and a wrestling ring where one-time nemesis Jerry Lawler took on all comers. Then it was Act III, a candlelight vigil in front of Kaufman’s home on the corner of La Cienega and Fountain before an announced Act IV the next morning at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, where Andy once wrestled, then made love to the working girls. An intrepid 100 people showed up with their ticket stubs for a free roll in the hay, including Clifton. Andy would’ve been proud. (RT)

10. Smarty Jones: Talk about your Cinderella story. Everything about this horse screams Seabiscuit redux—and the notion of a little stallion who could, by way of Philly and Arkansas, is as great an outsider victory lap as Rocky. Sure, it’s unorthodox, but it also gives anyone with a dream, heart—and the four little hooves to pound turf into roses. And with the Triple Crown in the balance at the Belmont in two weeks, it’s a reason to watch horse racing with your pulse elevated. (HG)

DEFLOWERED CHILDREN
T.C. Boyle, Drop City (Penguin paperback):
If you’ve ever fantasized about what a kick it must’ve been to participate in the colorful lifestyle of the original hippies, dosing yourself on free love, endless drugs and rock & roll, Boyle’s grittily realistic and frequently hilarious novel will permanently disabuse you of that notion. It’s 1970, at the icky tail end of the Age of Aquarius, and Boyle’s vividly detailed Northern California commune is about to be bulldozed by the authorities as a health hazard (the hippies never got around to putting in a septic tank), forcing Star, Pan, Marco and the other stoned and tie-dyed members of Drop City to head north to Alaska—their greatest concern being how to smuggle their dope across two border checkpoints. The arrival of the magic bus in remote Boynton on the Yukon River sets up a yarn that’s one part culture clash—the locals, including rugged trapper Sess and his mail-order bride, are as wackily three-dimensional as the hippies—another part survival drama and wholly a page-turner. Bring it on your vacation in the tropics—Boyle’s description of the Alaskan winter will keep you cooler than Evian Mist. (Bud Scoppa)

JILL’S WEEKLY 9 (BECAUSE 10 IS SO OBVIOUS)

SHOW MY TIVO IS CONVINCED I LOVE THIS WEEK: The Drew Carey Show (I didn’t like it the first time around either)

TV SHOW I ACTUALLY LOVE THIS WEEK: The Daily Show

SEEN/HEARD THIS WEEK: (My Beverly Hills doctor to me mid-appt.): "You do comedy, Jill. Do you know my good friend Kelsey Grammar?"

FAVORITE PICK ON A MENU THIS WEEK: Rigatoni with butternut squash (La Pergola)

FAVORITE TRADER JOE’S PRODUCT THIS WEEK: Frozen chocolate-covered bananas (insert phallic joke here)

SONG I KEEP LISTENING TO THIS WEEK: The Killers, "Somebody Told Me"

DRINK I KEEP DRINKING THIS WEEK: I can’t stop chugging Stella (especially at Cat & Fiddle)

COMMERCIAL I AUDITIONED FOR THAT’S AIRING (W/O ME) THIS WEEK: Hewlett Packard/DreamWorks Shrek 2 spot with the donkey (yes, the donkey)

CONCLUSION FOR THIS WEEK: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen say they don’t want to be thought of as the Olsen twins anymore. They want to be two separate individuals. One of them has gone so far as to dye her hair to prove it. I don’t know which one. Dudes, unless one of you gets a buzz cut with, "I’m NOT with her" razor-ed into the side of your head… You’re the Olsen twins…

TIPS AS A RESULT OF WHATEVER DOCTOR APPOINTMENT I HAD THIS WEEK (includes touching up roots, but not mani/pedis): My doctor did some some routine blood work for me this week. I asked him, "So this will just test my cholesterol, liver functions… stuff like that, right?" He said, "That’s right. Unless you’d like something extra." And he held my gaze for a minute. And I’m fairly certain he winked at me, too. When he said, "Something extra" was that my signal to ask for a happy ending? Obviously, he’s not gonna ask me! What if I’m a cop??! He can’t risk that. I always mess up opportunities like this. (Jill Kushner)

THE POVERTY JET SET WEAKEND GETAWAY

Austin, TX

Itching for some great live music or just some southern loving’… head over to Austin, TX, and hit up some of these hotspots:

1. Casino El Camino: (6th at Red River) Stop by for the best burger ever! This dark, punk-rock bar not only serves up the best burgers, but the twin TVs play cult movies at all times. Keep an eye out for the pierced Mr. Lifto, who’s been bartending there for years.

2. Emos: Austin's best small venue for live music. http://www.emosaustin.com/

3. Ego’s: Hidden just off Congress and Riverside. This old school gem is well worth the hunt to find. Housing a dark, smoke-filled atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to chill and have a few drinks with friends.

4. Barton Springs: Beat the heat at the three acres-size pool. Fed from underground springs, it runs an average 68 degrees year round. You can actually go topless there, too!

5. Magnolia Cafe: Hip late nightspot on Congress, open 24hr.

6. Thundercloud: Best sandwich shop in Austin.

7. Alamo Draft House: Catch a flick at the Alamo draft house.

8. Lake Town: Take a jog around Lake Town. Not only is it exercise, but also a good pick-up spot for singles. The 8.5-mile Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail is one of the most popular in Austin. (Stephanie)

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Shrek 2 (DreamWorks)
Premise:
Picks up where the last movie left off, in the kingdom of Far, Far Away (which looks suspiciously like Beverly Hills), where Shrek and Fiona return to her homeland to tell her parents, the King and Queen (John Cleese and Julie Andrews) the good news. Meanwhile, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett), who thought he was supposed to be the one to lift Fiona’s curse, isn’t pleased. There’s also a mysterious Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) and a bar called the Poison Apple, where fairy tale villains hang, including the great ogre-slayer, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas).
Stars: Mike Myers
, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Larry King as the Ugly Stepsister.
Director: Kelly Asbury (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) and Conrad Vernon
Thumbs Up:
All the elements that made the first one of the most successful animated features ever are back, and the trailers looked just as slyly comic as ever.
Thumbs Down: It can’t possibly be as good as the first, can it?
Soundtrack: DreamWorks album includes "Accidentally in Love," the first single from Counting Crows along with Frou Frou, Butterly Boucher/David Bowie, Dashboard Confessional, Lipps, Inc., Eels, Pete Yorn, Tom Waits, Joseph Arthur, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and Eddie Murphy/Antonio Banderas version of "La Vida Loca."
Website: www.shrek2.com

www.craigslist.com "POST OF THE WEEK"
Trade for Wine! Need Infant &Toddler car seats for next weekend!
Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2004-05-16, 12:50PM PDT
WINE IMPORTER NEEDS 2 CAR SEATS FOR WEEKEND (May 21, 22, 23)!
My best friend & her kids are coming for the weekend and I am trying to find an infant car seat as well as a toddler (3 yrs old) car seat to use for the weekend. I am a wine importer and am willing to trade wine for the use of your car seats! Would like to pick up on Thursday and drop off Monday. In return, I will trade six bottles of assorted fine wines (up to $100 value!).
Please call 415-377-7030 and ask for Nina.
This is in or around San Francisco

Thanks to Roy Trakin, Je-C, Holly Gleason, Joel Amsterdam, Valerie Nome, Bud ScoppaJill Kushner and Stephanie for allowing this Weakend Planner to be all that it can be.

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