Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Weekend Review

Caught Jim Carrey's "Bruce Almighty" on Friday. It was a decent movie that provided some good laughs here and there. Not exactly the typical "Dumb and Dumber"/"Ace Ventura"-type comedy we're used to seeing from Carrey, but it was more of an older, more mature comedy with a sappy ending that women around the world will enjoy. It get's the "Thumbs Up" from me.

Saturday morning, we dropped the kid off at my sister's house in San Jose. She was kind enough to watch him for the night because me and the woman had plans for the night, albeit separate. Saturday night I got wasted at a friend's graduation party. It was nice seeing faces I haven't seen in a while. I had a conversation with a guy I haven't seen in a good 5 years that joined the Marines and was runnin' n' gunnin' in Afganistan. I also had the opportunity to have half-coherent talks with people I normally wouldn't talk to when I'm sober. Also, it was the first time I've had more than one shot of Hennessy and didn't throw up. Up until Saturday night, I was batting 0 for 4 against Mr. Henn, but luckily enough I was able to come through in the clutch. I think I've found the trick for this veteran south paw: beer is a no no when drinking Henn. But now that I think about it, beer has no business being around when you have a good bottle of Hennessy at your disposal. I guess that's my bad.

Saturday spilled into Sunday morning. I couldn't drive home, so a good friend took my car to his house and I taxi'ed a ride with two othere friends. Apparently, I failed to remember that they had my keys, so I had no way of getting in the house. I had to wait a good 30 minutes outside for my girlfriend to come home from the bar and finally get in the house. Needless to say, I passed out as soon as the pillow hit my face.

Sunday, Monday, and most of Tuesday was spent trying to get all of my homework for school done. Eh, it could be worse. I could have a job.

Friday, May 23, 2003

It's Been A Long Time...

I haven't had possession of my cell phone for a little over a month. It's been stuck in Sacramento at a friends house and I'm way too lazy to drive up there just to retrieve it. By the looks of it, I think it's safe to say that I haven't died yet so maybe having a cell phone isn't exactly imperative to living your life, is it?

I've added Sahalie to the list of "People I Stalk". How could you not read anybody that loves Dos Coyotes?

I've being doing a good job of getting under Leah's skin lately. Those late night AIM conversations we have always degenerate into some USA/USA Jr. (read:Canada) debate or a one-sided "TMI" sex-related rant from me. I'm still pissed at her because she never felt the urge to want to meet me when I was up in Calgary staying my cousin, who just happens to be one of her old friends. Way to go, Idaho.

I've been feelin' Brother Ali's "Shadows Of The Sun" album lately. His music is so raw and expressive. I guess that's all I really ask, especially from Hip Hop artists. I want somebody that uses their music as a true artform and are honestly expressive. A lot of these cats nowadays fall into the materialistic bullshit, rappin' about nonsense. And just as long as it has a catchy hook or a nice beat, these kids buy into it and make these assholes rich. I don't want to continue putting money into that garbage. Fuck supporting commercial Rap. Fuck supporting underground Hip Hop. Support GOOD music. As long as you know what you're listening to and what it's doing to your mental, you are in control. And I have nothing against that.

A friend's graduation party tomorrow and the rest looks like family time for the tail end of the 3 day weekend. I'll probably be back Tuesday. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I miss regular doses of jennyeahyo.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

True Story. I Swear.

I think it was a Saturday in 1999. I walked through the double glass doors that I usually walked through when going to work at the County Fair Mall in Woodland, California. As I walked through the center of the mall towards my Foot Locker, I noticed that there was some sort of stage set up along with a few rows of chairs. I stopped to read a sign that informed me that Animal Planet's "Zooventure" game show was in town during their cross-country tour and would be in the mall that weekend. Slightly suprised that ANY TV show would make their way through Woodland, a rural but developing suburb of the Sacramento metropolitan area, let alone Animal Planet's "Zooventure".

As I opened the gate to my store and went through the daily store opening procedures, I realized that Zooventure was hosted by no other than the "Master-of-all-Child-Game-Shows-of the-Past-Decade" himself, J.D. Roth. You know J.D. He is currently the host of another Survivor type show for kids called "Endurance", and has done numerous youth directed projects including some w/ Disney. But his current status isn't what got me excited. J.D. Roth was the host of probably the best child game shows ever, "Funhouse". I can remember watching "Funhouse" during the early 90's and loathing the children on the show and dreaming about one day being a contestant. It was the ultimate game show of my time, even better than Nickelodeon's "Double Dare".

As I finally got my store open and another employee came in to work, I noticed J.D. walking around the mall just scoping it out. I decided to track him down and let him know how much I appreciated his work. I finally caught him infront of "Sports Station" a sports fan gear store and all I could say was "Yo, man. I loved "Funhouse". He thanked me and went on his way.

For maybe 3 minutes, I felt as if I met somebody important. I was practically star-struck and didn't know how to react to what just happened. Then I started to think "Damn he's is only a B-grade star." Fuck that. He's a C or D-grade star. His popularity couldn't even get him a square on Hollywood Squares. But regardless, I met somebody that I see on TV, and I guess that says something (unless I saw a person from Cops on the wrong side of an ass whoopin'). Anyway, that's a story.

Interesting post script to that story, J.D. came into my store the very next day to watch the Lakers game on the store television. I got him a stool to sit on an placed it directly in front of the tv. He kept having to shoo away little kids that wanted his autograph or wanted him to pick them for the next game. I noticed that he got rather PISSED at some kids bordering on just being straight mean. I found it pretty funny that someone that has made a career on children's programing could be so impatient with bothersome kids. Another funny thing is when we were talking about the Lakers and he even pointed out to me where his season tickets were. He went on to tell me that he did interviews with Dream Team 2 for Disney and that Shaq "is a dick". Funny shit.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

The "Shit-That-Tastes-Like-Shit-But-I-Can't-Stop-Eating" List

  • Chinese Mustard
  • Sauerkraut
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Bittermelon
  • Vagina
  • Wednesday, May 14, 2003

    First Drafts Rule Because It's Okay To Suck

    Purposely incomplete because a) I wasnt' sure what the teacher wanted and b) I was too lazy to even revise it. I mean, it is the first draft, right? Anyway, I'm supposed to be making a case of the perfect "Adult" learning environment in contrast to traditional aged (17-22) education.

    As the old saying goes, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But apparently, times have changed. With the economy sagging in recent years and employers requiring higher levels of education for open jobs, an influx of new adult students have flooded educational institutions. With this new adult student, we can’t expect traditional methods of teaching that are used with younger students to be sufficient. So what adjustments can instructors make to accommodate these older and more experienced student to create the ideal adult learning environment? An instructor can create the ideal adult learning environment if he/she can find the perfect balance of conceptual learning, experiential reflection and the pursuit of short-term and long-term goals. A nine-month Microsoft training course was the closest I have ever been experiencing this ideal adult learning environment and the instructor did her best to find this perfect balance.

    Having the ability to relate concepts taught in class to personal experiences and to reflect on them is crucial in the ideal adult learning environment. Adults have an advantage over traditional aged students because they have more experience gained from on-the-job experiences and personal history. My Microsoft training course had students with varying ages and experience levels in the computer field. Those with more experience where given the opportunity to relate the concepts learned in class, giving the concepts more punch. Often times, there would be conflicts between the concepts taught in class and the “real life” experiences of other students, sparking discussion and enhancing what was taught in class. This is an advantage because it gives book-taught concepts a personal touch from peers, a characteristic that those in a traditional setting would not have.

    Determining short-term and long-term goals in an adult learning environment is imperative for an instructor to maintain drive and motivation. Having over forty years experience in the computer industry, our instructor of the training course not only identified the class grades and certifications as short-term goals, but she also identified future job status and the increased earning potential in the long-term.

    Although having a goal-oriented learning environment may not be any different from K-12 learning environments, it is the identification of both long-term and short-term goals that will cater to the adult learners. Younger students will take things as they get it and not see the “bigger picture” An older, more adult student will want to see the immediate results of their efforts (short-term) because there is a financial investment and a personal investment. At the same time, they will have a larger perspective and understand the long-term benefits of education (long-term) creating a desire for achievement and success throughout all members of the class. Having both long-term and short-term goals clearly defined are key to having the idea adult learning environment, even if they vary by student.

    The perfect balance of conceptual learning and experiential reflection and the pursuit of short-term and long-term goals are crucial to producing the ideal adult learning environment. The Microsoft training course I attended was a perfect example of this balance. The need of adult students is very different than those of traditional aged students. Although my training course was structured specifically for technical adult students, I believe that this method would be effective for all adult students in the sense that experiential reflection is a benefit where adult students can learn from each other, rather than from only the instructor. I feel that I am very lucky in the sense that I was fortunate to be part of such an ideal learning environment.

    Dispelling Any and All Rumors...

    I shall call him "Mini-Me".

    Monday, May 12, 2003

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    Sunday, May 11, 2003

    Because My Writing Is Shitty....

    I have two short first draft essays due on Tuesday and I busted one out tonight in about two hours. I have about zero confidence in my writing so I'll do a test run here. I ask that you please critque and let me have it. This is the first essay I've written in about two years. Any help or criticism would be helpful.

    "Life is just a series of moments." These words, written by Kevin Smith and performed by Matt Damon in the Miramax movie "Dogma" as he explains life to a doubtful nun, speak truths about the development of the average adult human and his/her character. Regardless of if they are positive or negative experiences, it is these moments that shape and develop our character as we live our lives. For some it may be a marriage. For others, it may be their first career change. For many like myself, the birth of a child is one of these life-altering moments. The birth of my son has allowed me to reprioritize my values, to focus on attaining a Bachelor’s degree and to understand the concept of unconditional responsibility.

    The birth of my very first child at the young age of 20 has forced me to reprioritize my values in a positive way. As a teen, I was very irresponsible with money. I was more concerned with socializing and having fun than I was with completing my education, managing my time and money management. As soon as my son was born, I immediately began budgeting my money to ensure that all of his necessities were met. I cut back on socializing and opted to spend more time caring for and raising my son. This additional responsibility of raising my son also created the need to manage my free time more effectively, forcing me to allot time for specific activities. But the largest priority other than my son became my education.

    The sudden responsibility of fatherhood has also focused my efforts in attaining a Bachelor's Degree. During my first three years of college education, before my son was born, I lacked motivation and perspective on the future. I chose classes based on how easy I would pass them, not whether or not they fulfilled requirements. I was skating with my education until the birth of my son made me come to the realization that attaining a degree is the most important end of higher education. As obvious as high school counselors and my parents had made it in the past, it never came to me that my education was not only important to myself, but my future wife and children as well. I was very fortunate that this realization occurred. Some people realize the importance of education immediately. Some like myself come to the realization a little late. What makes me lucky is the fact that a lot of people never even come to this realization. They are something you just have to take responsibility for.

    The life of my son is something that I have to take responsibility of unconditionally. Before he was born, I wasn’t responsible for anybody else but myself. The concept of being responsible for something or someone else wasn't a foreign concept at all. I did have a girlfriend and family members that I felt some sort of responsibility to, but it isn't the same. What makes fatherhood different is the fact that I cannot brush of this responsibility nor can I postpone it. My son is something that I must take care of at all times. For the very first time, somebody’s needs and wants became more important than my own. That type of responsibility is unconditional. This type of responsibility encompasses my daily life. Not one hour goes by where I don’t think about my responsibility to my son. I have learned though, that even if this responsibility may be difficult at time, it is also the most rewarding.

    From my perspective, life really is just a series of moments. The birth of my son is proof positive that whether or not these moments shape a person's character is based specifically on how that person learns and grows from each situation. As far as I am concerned, I am still a work in progress. There will be numerous experiences, positive and negative, that I will encounter in my life. Only now do I have the maturity to identify these moments and grow from them. I think we all are "works in progress" because the process of experiencing and learning from these moments never ends.

    I read this and I'm really forcing myself not to edit this from my blog. Oh well. My writing is shitty.

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    Thanks, Steven Wright

    "I once dreamt that I had insomnia. I woke up exhausted, but too well rested to go back to sleep."

    Thursday, May 08, 2003

    "...of course we gotta pay bills, so the money connects/

    but uh..I'd rather be broke and have a whole lotta respect..."
    - OC in "Time's Up"

    There following are a series of posts that I wrote in response to the discussion topic of "Would u rather blow up and sell like Em n Jigga or...Get as much respect as Big L and remain underground? Why?"



    (5/6/03 3:00:16 pm)

    ^^^It's not so cut and dry. The financial gap between being signed to a huge label and being an independent artist is closing rapidly.

    I would rather have complete control of my music, marketing and distribution and be independent than be signed to a huge label making more money for people who really don't give a damn about my music than I do for myself.

    I see it like owning a restaurant: You can either be part of a franchise and get all the benefits of being part of a larger group but have to do it the way someone else tells you to, or you can be "mon 'n pop" and make the food that YOU want, the way YOU want to and not have to pay any fees for using the company name, marketing and advertising, etc.

    People know that the BEST restaurants are independently owned and run.

    But that's only the tip of the iceberg. As an emcee, you are an artist. You live off of expressing yourself through your lyrics. If you write rhymes with the only motivation to make money, you're in this for the all the wrong reasons. You are no longer just expressing yourself. You are writing rhymes thinking "Will this song allow me to cross over to white suburbia and in turn go Platinum?" If that's the case, consider yourself the true essence of a "Sell-Out". You are pretty much bent over, pants down and takin' it like a pro.

    Sellin' out your art for dough? That ain't Hip Hop dawg.....thats "Hip-Pop".



    (5/6/03 6:34:57 pm)



    all these underground heads want money, they just failed because their music isn't up to par or they weren't properly recorded


    That probably would have been a true statement say, 15 years ago. That is no longer true. The difference between a 64-track and a 128-track is not noticable to the untrained ear. The difference between a platinum artist and a wood artist is whether or not they can cross over and get on MTV. It's definitely NOT based on the quality of music.

    The amount of people who actually know the difference between good and bad Hip Hop music is very small relative to the size of the Hip Hop music market. Let's forget about race and try to understand the concept: You will not move Em or Jigga type units unless you can convince people outside of the Hip Hop community to buy your album.

    Right now, more people than ever are profiting from Hip Hop music because it has become a part of popular culture. But you must remember that pop culture is fickle and will eat these artists up and spit them out as soon as American society becomes sick of Hip Hop and moves on to the next "big thing". Remember, they did it to "B-Boying" back in the early 80's and they will do the same thing to Hip Hop Music. There is precedence for this type of thing.

    Except for a very minute percentage, not many big label artists are in control right now. Commercial Hip Hop music is not in the hands of people who care about whether or not what they are doing is for the good of the culture. We have record excecutives that are literally signing every artist that even resembles what is currently "hot" just to milk every cent from this "Fad".

    Damn, I digressed and now I don't know where I was going. Oh well, find the holes and create discussion. I have to leave for school....I'll brb later tonight.

    Monday, May 05, 2003

    Home Sweet Home

    My weekend was as eventful as my weekends can get. Saturday morning we went shopping (again). I picked up another pair of shoes, a new Giants hat to match my new authentic grey road jersey (that my fantastic fiance picked up for me Friday afternoon), and a Barry Bonds t-shirt. We also met up with my sister and her husband to see their new house that is under construction in suburban Sacramento. Their soon to be house is no more than 3 miles away from Arco Arena, the home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. With Bay Area homes soaring in price along with the Prime Interest Rate lower than it's been in years, the time was just right for them to move to the Sacramento Valley. I'm happy for them.

    All this "new-house" talk has created a lot of dialogue between my fiance and I about purchasing a new home. With our horrible credit accumulated when we first lived on our own, we were barely able to purchase our new car just one year ago. The prospects of purchasing a house are still out of our reach, but we have decided to go on a "5-year plan". We are giving ourselves 5 years to save up money, rebuild our credit, and purchase our first house. My mom and dad have also been talking about helping us purchase a house, whether if that means co-signing for it or helping gather money for a down payment. I'm begining to think that my parents are tired about worrying about me and want to make sure that everything is stable in my life before they start worrying about my younger sister. They know that I am horrible with money (and I guess horrible with just responsibility in general) so I understand their concern.

    Well, back to my Saturday...

    Saturday night was capped off with a trip to the movies with my boys to watch X-Men 2. We purchase the tickets for the 9:50 show on to make sure we got the tickets before we headed over there at 9:30. We got there and walked in the theatre only to find out that there weren't 5 contiguous free seats for us to sit in except for the first 2 front rows. We decided to go to the box office and exchange our tickets for the later (and what we thought was the last) show at 10:30. We were told that the 10:30 show was sold out, but they had added an 11:00 showing to accomodate those shut out of the last two shows.. With about half an hour to kill, we all piled into my Corolla and headed to Applebee's for a quick drink then shot back to the theatre.

    As far as the movie was concerned, I thought it was entertaining an fun. It was somewhat predictable, but then again what comic books aren't? I did, though, feel sorry for all those who aren't familiar with the X-Men saga, because I don't think it would have been anywhere near as fun coming into the movie with zero comicbook knowledge. I mean, one of the most exciting parts was a brief cameo by Colossus, a part of the movie where me, my boys and a few others in the theatre nearly pissed ourselves. But something like that would definitely zoom by the head of your average movie-goer. You add the very end of the movie with the sillouette of the phoenix in the water and you have what I call a "movie cock-tease" for comic geeks like myself. I haven't been this excited to see another sequel in a while.

    With a bunch of chick-flicks littering the movie landscape, this movie was definitely "for the boys". I mean, Storm (Halle Berry), Jean Gray(Famke Janssen), Mystique(Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), and Lady Death Strike (Kelly Hu)? Damn, all they have to do is bring Psylocke back for X3 and I'm going to watch it....TWICE on opening day.

    Maybe I should start that petition to get them to cast Aria Giovannia as Psylocke now.....

    Damn, with all these comic book pictures I feel like Kool Keith up in this bitch.

    Thursday, May 01, 2003

    Well Said

    I asked my son today what his cereal tasted like. He responded with "Umm.......cereal."