Sunday, February 25, 2007

Excitement in Walnut Creek

It's a cold and rainy Saturday Night, and I am sitting alone in my apartment, working on my latest video. Tedious work, because the program keeps crashing. At about 10:30 PM, I hear two people arguing not far from my window. Then there's a 'BANG!!!'. The unmistakable retort of a hand gun reverberates throughout the courtyard. A scream follows. A door slams. I hear the sounds of someone running over the patter of the heavy rain. A car starts up in the parking lot and speeds away.

Wow. What do I do? DO I pick up my video camera and chase the car leaving the parking lot? Do I pick up the phone? I'm afraid that everyone else is thinking, "somoene else will call 911", and so I go ahead and call.

"Nine One One, May I help you?" A cheery bright voice answers the call. I've called 911 a couple times in my life, and usually the operators are flat and all serious. This one sounded like I was calling a department store.

"I've heard a gun shot just outside my apartment." I tell her.

"Just one?" she replies as if taking my order.

"yes," I go on to describe the yell, the running and the car speeding away.

"Do you want the police officers to visit you?"

Generally speaking, I respect the police, but I wasn't up for any visitors. A few minutes after I put down the phone and get back to work on my video, I hear the heavy boots and the jangling of cuffs, keys and all that other stuff cops wear on their belts go passing swiftly through the breezeway outside my door. There are flashlights outside the window. The police are on scene.

(insert story here about how I almost burn the house down, but that would just be too much information at one time, and will remain for a future story)

A couple hours later, I need to run to the store for some supplies. Pulling out into the parking lot, I have to maneuver my way through the dozen or so police cruisers in my way. They don't park with other cars in mind, and so it is quite the tight squeeze. Fortunately, and rare for a Saturday Night, I am stone cold sober. Walnut Creek PD, Contra Costa Sheriffs, Pleasant Hill PD.. quite the contingent of rollers. Out on the street, I see the K9 unit and a Danville PD cruiser. Danville? Danville is like 15 miles south of here! What's this one doing here? I guess shootings are rare enough in the Diablo Valley that they can act as a mini police convention.

Thinking the excitement is over, I finish up my computer work, and kick myself for the missed opportunity. The camera I use so frequently to satisfy my own vanity could have been of public use, I could have captured evidence, maybe even put a killer behind bars. I realize there were no ambulances amongst the fleet of vehicles clogging our parking lot, so I don't think anyone was hurt. Besides, I further realize that I was looking more for material for my own videos rather than being the good citizen.


There is no answer. I immediately go running out onto the patio, camera rolling. I see half a dozen policemen, guns drawn and pointed at the windows and doors of the dark and quiet apartment across the walkway from mine. They repeat their command. One of the cops notices me and yells, "GO BACK INTO YOUR APARTMENT!". I take two steps backwards and stand, still recording, from the sliding glass door. "IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO OUR COMMAND, WE WILL BREAK OPEN THE DOOR AND RELEASE THE DOGS!!" Officer Dog barks furiously in agreement.

Not out of any fear or desire to do my duty, I move to the bedroom and record from the window there. Better angle. A few moments later, there I hear the SLAM of a door being broken down. I hope my door is the same as theirs, as it took three full whallops before the door burst open. No gunshots. No sounds of struggle. No biker being dragged out hogtied. A light comes on, and then eventually goes off. Kind of anti-climactic.

Perhaps the worst part is that my camera is not all that good in low light... and although I have yet to preview the foottage, I'll put something together. My own episode of Cops: Walnut Creek.

In the meantime, here is the video that I was putting together all the time that the drama was ensuing. It's just another bit of silliness, but if you like Black Sabbath, Karaoke and Ping Pong, check out Joko's Thursday Night at Masse's.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Part II of my open mic performance. Its only half the song because I broke a string right before I was going to transition into the guitar solo.


Add to My Profile | More Videos

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Joko Performs at the Open Mic

As the occasional emcee of TK's open mic, I decided not to perform up until now. That may sound unselfish or something, but really I was just nervous. This last Monday, I actually brought the guitar, signed up an dplayed. Had to introduce myself. Since I was performing, I couldn't film, so this video is just one long shot.

First Of 3. My Open Mic, Addicted To Pain - video powered by Metacafe

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I can actually post them!

Lets see if this works...

Doritos Cashier

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Bud Light Immigrants

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Give a Little Love

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Top Super Bowl Commericals

The game is still going on, but I'm sure none of the sponsors will be saving any more commercial gems into the 4th quarter. I have no rooting interest for either team, so I actually became more interested during the breaks!

My top 3 commericals:

Honorable Mention: Taco Bell... Carrrrrne Asada...Like Ricardo Montalban!

3. Doritos: Flirting with the checker at the supermarket. Who knew snack foods, or BBW cashier ladies, could be so sexy! If I understood the little blurb afterwards correctly, the commercial was an amateur creation which won some kind of contest. Great job by a guy with his video camera and a friend at the supermarket!

2. Bud Light: Carlos Mencia teaches the ESL class. All humor has the potential to offend someone, and I think that South Asians might have been the only group they could have used and gotten away with this, but I'll be laughing for days at "Bud Light.." . . . "Bood Light"..."Bud Light!". . . "Bood Light", I doubt we'll see this commerical after the Super Bowl.

1. Coca Cola: Grand Theft Auto guy goes good. It was sappy, over the top, and maybe just a bit too feel goody, like-to-teach-the-word-to-sing-y, but it was surprising, funny and the best bit of CGI I've seen on TV.

Well, Indianapolis just had a big interception here in the 4th quarter, so back to the game.