Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
I was sitting here at my desk at work when I suddenly had the urge to get up and be active. I looked at my reflection in the glass window behind my desk that separates me from our conference room and started krumping.
Apparently, I am not the kind of person that should be krumping for simple reason that my lower back now feels like it was stabbed by a mad, Lebanese midget with a really bad attitude.
Imagining that there were actually people in there having a meeting afterwards gave me a small chuckle, as well.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
My mind goes through all kinds of different shit throughout the day. I'm constantly analyzing and reanalyzing different observations, possible scenarios, and just off-the-wall shit like whether or not the fact that my left big toenail is significantly longer than my right big toenail will affect my overall equilibrium.
You know, just complete randomness.
Before I forget, NBC's "My Name Is Earl" is easily my favorite new TV show of this fall season. Jason Lee is one of my personal favorites. Lee, as you may know already, is of Kevin Smith's "View Askewniverse" fame and was in "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy", "Dogma", and "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back". And being that I'm a total Kevin Smith mark, I'm a big fan of Lee. With another Kevin Smith connection, Ethan Suplee, who you may remember from NBC's "Boy Meets World", who also happened to be in "Mallrats" as Willam Black and "Dogma" as the "big rubber poop monster" (aka The Golgatha Monster). Jamie Presley reprises her character seen in David Spade's "Joe Dirt", the country ass trailer park girl.
And if Jamie isn't your cup of tea, "My Name Is Earl" doesn't disappoint the eye candy enthusiasts (aka "pervs") with semi-newcomer Nadine Velazquez, who you may remember from a Maxim photospread she's done, or you may not remember from "The Bold And The Beautiful".
The show is just simply entertaining, and I think the premise is pretty damn original. Good shit. If you're an avid "House" watcher, chances are that you've never seen this show since it runs concurrently during the first half hours of "House". My wife is a big fan of "House". I've seen a few episodes. That's not a bad show either.
But yeah, enough of the shills I guess.
On last note, since I'm all out of gas.
The doctor said the Baby Countdown is down to less than 3 weeks.
This shit is nuts.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
I tried to write something out for you to celebrate your life yesterday when I found out.
I couldn't find the words to articulate what I really wanted to say then.
But now, all I really want to say is "Thank you".
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The first book I have started reading is a book by Joseph L. Graves regarding the social construct that is "race" ("The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America ") When I first got the book, I really had a hard time getting into it. It's not that I didn't enjoy reading it. That wasn't the issue. The issue is that it's hard to set aside time to just sit down and actually read, especially if you haven't done any recreational reading for any significant amount of time. Before, my casual and recreational reading happened on the toilet. Feel me on that?
As I'm reading this book, a lot of strong assertions are made. Some subjective, and some very objective and supported by statistics. But as we've learned, statistics can be skewed and deceiving. So statistical evidence isn't exactly as concrete as we once thought. I couldn't help but step back from the situation and think how skeptical I've become throughout the years. Right now, I'm reading a book and while I'm totally digging what I'm reading, I can't help but take a lot of what I'm reading with a grain of salt, statistically supported or not. It's a pretty far step from where I was 5 or 6 years ago.
5 or 6 years ago, I could read a book or article and take it for fact. I was naive enough to believe that if it were published, it had to be legitimate. There was no need to question anything. 5 years before that, I believed pretty much anything anyone said. My teachers knew everything. There was no need for "proof". If they said it in a classroom, it had to be true. Junior high is afterall a breeding ground for ridiculous rumors and heresay. With little to nothing to refute what is being said (or assumed), anything said was believable. With such a narrow perspective on the world, it was so easy to trust them. Hell, 5 years before that, I believed everything my parents told me. What they said was fact. It was truth. I couldn't dispute it. And quite frankly, were was no reason to. I depended on them for everything. Food, shelter, comfort, etc. My parents were essentially an infomational sieve, filtering out any information they didn't want to get to me. I can't blame them. That's what parents should do. We're not ready for the truth then anyway.
Now you take that and fast forward all that in chronological order. It looks like I grown a lot through out the years. As the world unravels to us as we get older, we become more skeptical and less trusting. What I once considered true was eventually contested and reassessed, resulting in my own personal opinion on these issues and "facts". It's pretty scary, because I only have a mere 26 years of experience under my belt.
What else could be out there? At this point in my adulthood, will the world continue to unravel itself like a ball of yarn? How will my opinions change as I get older? The future is so uncertain. We like to feel like we're in control as humans. It's one of the things that keep us sane. But will what I consider true now eventually be proven false? It's disheartening sometime when you find out that something you held as truth is exposed for what it really is. But at the same time there is room for growth.
As I read through this new book, I'm adding to my bag of tricks. As certain absolutes in my life are proven either true or false, I will at least have several perspectives to take into account that will lessen the blow. Honestly, I don't mind that at all.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
"Where is R. Kelly when you need him?" - Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher", regarding Prussian Blue, a tween-aged musical duo who apparently have no connection to the outside world other than the teachings of their racist parents.
Monday, October 24, 2005
I'm getting bored with my blog. So I've decided to seek the help of all you fantastic people.
Send me a picture of yourself holding a piece of paper telling me how you REALLY feel. It can say anything. "Fuck You Joe", "Bastitch Sucks", "My Balls Itch", anything.
You can host it yourself (tinypic.com or putfile.com rock for stuff like this) or you can send me the actual images at firstname.lastname@example.org
Either way, you'll end up on my blog for all to see.
It's your chance America.
By the way, if you're worried that people will see the picture, don't worry. No one reads my blog anyway.
Now that I think about it, this is pretty lame and attention whore-ish. Oh well, fuck it. Let's run with it.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
At 5:04 on October 17th, 1989 I was leaning over getting ready to press record on the black family 13-channel VCR to record the 3rd game of the World Series. The VCR sat perched on top of our early 80's wooden Zenith television. You know, the kind that in the mid 90's served as the tv stand for your friend's new television? Well, yeah. It was odd because first the quake hit and I saw it on tv before I felt it myself. The reception got blurry and I let out a disappointed "uhh, what?" before the floor started shaking.
I hit up the nearest doorway as per cutomary Bay Area earthquake training at school and the few public service announcements during daytime television. My sisters got under the coffee table, have scared and half amused. After it was over, my sisters and I started laughing the way you laugh after getting off a roller coaster that scared the shit out of you. The fun was shortlived because my dad, who took the day off from work and the hour and half commute that he and my mom drove every workday, brought us all down to earth quickly reminding us that my mom was in rush hour traffic and we didn't know whether or not she was safe.
We stayed close to the television as the stream of news started coming in. Part of the Bay Bridge fell. The 880 Cypress Structure collapsed. The San Francisco Marina district was on fire. The entire Bay Area came to a complete halt. It wasn't until later that I understood the scope of the entire situation.
It turned out that my mom was indeed on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge going East, only half a mile from the portion that collapsed. We didn't hear from her until later that night. I remember because it was already dark and we still didn't hear a thing. Phonelines were busier than ever with people trying to get a hold of their loved ones. I really didn't show my concern initially like my younger sister, who looked noticeably worried. She was only 6 back then. But when she finally did call, I was more than relieved.
My neighbors across the street weren't as lucky as we were. The father was one of the many that were crushed in the collapse of the Cypress structure, leaving two young children and a wife behind. It wasn't until days later that the mother was called to identify the body.
It was one of those things that I never want to experience again. Just all the uncertainty and fear drove me crazy. Anybody remember the episode of Full House when Stephanie was having problems with her dad going to work after the earthquake? Well, I saw that episode a couple months ago and it brought me all back to when I was 10, not really sure how to process everything that just had happened. It wasn't like now, where the people you love all have cell phones or the Internet and are just a press of a button away. We really had no clue what was going on.
It's been 16 years and the Bay Area has been spared from a major natural disaster since. But I have to admit that it wasn't until this 16th anniversary of the Loma Prieta that the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the recent hurricanes in the South became very "real" to me. I kind of separated myself from the events and my emotions were detatched. It was like a television show that was constantly on every news channel. You get a constant dose of something and you start to become tolerant, you know?
One odd byproduct of the Loma Prieta earthquake was the term "earthquake weather". Before October 17th, the weather was still relatively Summer-like. Typical California weather with fog during the early morning, only to burn away from the relentless power sun. But that day, it was an unusually cloudy and humid day. What could have been chalked up to mere coincidence or seen as an unrelated anomaly has become a way to kind of reflect back on that time.
Monday, October 10, 2005
There were a few moments this past baseball season that I'll never forget. I really have to publicly thank my boy Albert, who was kind enough to take me along to a handful of games with his second season ticket. For that, I am etenally thankful. I went to more games this season then I ever have. For that, you get my Matt Cain "Gamer" award.
The seats are awesome. Section 138, row 21, seats 3 and 4. The bleachers of SBC Park are a throwback to a different time in San Francisco Giants history. They're filled with many of the great fans that were scattered around Candlestick Park, the stadium that served as the Giants' home before PacBell/SBC was built. Now that many of the "good" seats are taken by corporate types and season ticket holders. I'm not complaining about those fans what so ever. They are one of the main reasons this beautiful ballpark even exists. But the people in the left field bleachers are definitely a unique breed and are more "my people" than the fans in other sections. Definitely hardcore fans.
There was a surreal moment on September 15, the first game in a series against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants were down by a few runs and were threatening. On came on "Next Episode", Barry Bonds' music as he is announed to come up to bat. Everybody in the park stood up in anticipation. As the beat hits, everybody in the bleachers has their hands in the air and in unison are bouncing to the beat as Nate Dogg sings "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah..". The anticipation and energy level is so high throughout the park.
During the at bat, Bonds yanks one down the line, well over the stands for what we think is a homerun. The crowd is going nuts and I'm jumping up and down yelling. It slowly quiets down and the cheers turn into a chorus of boos. It was ruled a foulball. I was so disappointed. The Giants went on to lose the game by 6, and it was all for naught.
But I'll be damn if it wasn't worth it. That's the beauty of being a fan of baseball and sports. You are on a mountain one second and be jerked to the bottom floor in half the time. We always have our disappointments, but unless you're a Yankees fan, that will make up for the majority of our time as a sports fan. It is seriously fun and recreation. It's hard to explain to anybody that isn't really a big fan. We ride through a rollercoaster of win and loses, high moments and low moments, but through it all we're honestly enjoying ourselves.
It's great being a fan.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The other day I was here in the office dribbling my basketball during some downtime.
I was watching tv at the same time, not really paying attention. The ball slipped a little bit and bounced off a file drawer, shooting out in a horizontal trajectory and hitting square on my right nut and grazing my left.
Now, I don't know when the last time you got hit in the nuts, but it was easily about 4 or 5 years since I've been hit so squarely. I've had a few grazes here and there, which are arguably worse than a direct shot, but nothing to substantial.
Well, if you're like me before this incident and you've forgotten what it's like, let me tell you: It hurts a whole lot worse than you remember. A lot worse.
The pain immediately shot up towards my kidneys and I fell to the floor. When I get hit in the nuts, I get the urge to crap my pants. And let me tell you, the impact was so hard that the demons of hell were "knocking on the door", ready to put me in a very embarrassing situation (Umm, honey? Can you come to my office and bring me some clean underwear and shorts? I've had an accident...).
It took a while for me to recover, too. Between the rolling around on the floor and the butt-clenching, I was abreaction as hell. Shit, I'm still embarrassed now.
Oh well. At least I didn't shit my pants.
Right now, I suck. I'll probably always suck. But that's okay.
Wow. An obscure "Kids In The Hall" reference. My blog is now complete.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
One of the double-edge swords of the Internet is the ability for people around the world to express themsevles freely with little or no repercussions. It's beautiful to think that literally anyone can have a voice about anything a person can think of, but sometimes people get reckless with this freedom.
One of the only things that keep us civil amongst others in traditional settings such as school, work, and home, is the fact that you have to be held accountable for your actions. If you say that all women are gold digging bitches, chances are that somebody will either make you state your case or punch you in your mouth. But either way, there will be some sort of tangible repercussion.
Unfortunately, the Internet gives people a sense of anonymity, leading to flame wars on message boards, hate-filled emails, and pointlessly negative blog comments. It's all too prevalent to those of us who spend a significant part of their lives on the Internet. It's aggravating, annoying, and simply unnecessary.
But I can't really be mad. These bad apples don't ruin the bunch. For every asshole with nothing intelligent to add, you have a hundred people just going about their business with no intent of inconveniencing anybody. They are courteous, repsectful, and understand Internet etiquette. And that's all you can really ask for on this communication medium. Well, that and coherent writing.
So with that said, thank you. Thank you to all you do-wells on the Internet. You make the place a better place, negating the jerkholes like myself online just trying to fuck it up for everybody else.
Monday, September 19, 2005
It's getting to the point where I dread going to work.
Admittedly, the story is typical. I don't think that I'm properly valued by my company. I don't get paid as much as I should. My skill set is being under-utilized.
But all of that could be easily overlooked if it weren't for the very first thing I stated. I hate my job. It's not hard. At all. We used to joke that monkeys could do our jobs. Okay, well maybe not just monkeys. Talking monkeys? Yeah. They'd actually fit in well. But then again, monkeys are easily bored. But I digress.
I know. I'm still young. My two years at this company is coming up next month. I'm starting to prepare for my yearly request for a raise. Will I get it? Probably not. It's frustrating to say the least. I've seen several job postings for jobs with descriptions that fit my duties spot on with pay that is well above what I was hired at and still above what I make now, with almost two years experience. It looks like the ceiling for this job is near. And I still have plans to move on up in the world, so my days here in this very position are limited. Or I can get complacent and stick around 3, 4, 5 years longer than I should.
I still have dreams. Dreams of having a job that I can be happy about. A job that I don't have to dread going to. A job that is actually enjoyable. It's nuts, I know. I became very practical at one point. I was just happy having a job that pays me enough money to not have to live at my parent's house. Now I'm starting to see why people have so many career changes. If you don't continuously pursue that "dream job", your frustrations and overall discontent of your current job just pile up until you want to change career fields.
So I've decided to be persistent. I'm keeping my eyes open. Not because I want to leave this damned place as soon as possible, but because I want to maximize my happiness. Or my paycheck. The former more so than the latter.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I don't believe that I've mentioned it, but I've been dealing with the fact that in about 3 months I will be the father of a baby girl. What I'm having issues with isn't the fact that I'm having another child. Honestly, I would have loved to have the child a year or two ago to keep our children closer together in age. But I guess I never expressed my desire to do so, even though we did a lot of "practicing".
The timing isn't it, though. When the reality that we were actually having another child hit me, I went through a whirlwind of emotions, similar to the ones I experienced before my son was born. Am I ready to take resposibility for another life? Are our finances in place to be able to support an additional person? You know, the typical stuff.
I even had residual feelings of guilt and shame, and it took me a while to even tell my parents. It was weird. I'm a grown ass man, and for some reason I felt almost like I did when I finally admitted to my mom that I, at the age of 20 with little to know education, would be having a child with a 19 year old girl that I wasn't married to. I got over that quickly, though. My life is definitely different than it was 5 years ago. I'm educated, have a steady job, and I have experience. I know what to expect. I'm a father already, right? P.S to that part of my life, I eventually told my mom. Actually, I didn't. I had my son tell her.
Damn, I'm a pussy. But, yeah.
August 18th was the day. My wife marked it on the calendar and would constantly remind me how many days were left until we reached that day. It was the day we would have the ultrasound that would inform us what the gender of our child would be. I wasn't too concerned about the sex, to be quite honest. I was dead set on the baby being a boy. Whenever someone would ask us what gender we'd prefer before that day, we'd both answer "a boy". "I'm supposed to be the mother of all boys," my wife would say. Just before and during the ultrasound, I was just concerned about everything being "normal" with the baby. Normal size, normal development, 5 finger on each hand, and 5 toes on each foot. That's all I really cared about.
Then the technician said it: "You see? She's right there."
At first I though he just mispoke, so I ignored it. My wife completely missed it, so at the end of the ultrasound, she asked, "Well?".
The went on to tell us that the baby was definitely a girl.
I was a little disappointed. My wife could see it on my face. I wanted another boy. And at first I thought it was just because I wanted another boy. But it simply wasn't the case. Confirmation that my next child would be indeed female filled my mind with a plethora of new worries and concerns. Can I take care of a girl? I've never done that before. Should I get a gun now, or should I wait until she starts dating? How am I going to protect her from all the jerkhole guys in this world? And even worse, how am I goin to protect her from jerkhole guys like me?
It's an odd place for me to say the least. I can't wait to meet my new daughter and to do everything in my power to make sure that she realizes her ultimate potential. And I know I'll love her as much as humanly possible plus one. But damn, I'm not sure if I can do all this.
Back to square one.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
I hate to be insensitive to the current event in our country, but got damn. 30 bucks to fill up my tiny Corolla? Damn, fuck, shit. It happened yesterday. My first fill up since the hurricane hit. I was at the Safeway gas station. 6 cents off with the Club Card, yo. So 2.99 became 2.93. Which rocks, I guess.
Honestly, I want to take back the apology for being insensitive. It's been bugging me lately how events like this "put things in perspective". I've heard a handful of times that the majority of people who were stuck in New Orleans and the surrounding areas affected were already in bad shape to begin with. In between catasphrophic events such as the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, there is fucked up shit happening in your own town that should "put things in perspective".
But I'm not going to be a jerk and revoke everybody's right to vent or bitch about anything. Everything is relative. And relative to people living in poverty, I'm doing okay. I'm educated,I have a decent roof over my head, and a reliable means of transportation. But got dammmit, my budget does not allow me to absorb the increasing cost of transportation.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
If it weren't for our insecurity, we probably wouldn't even pay attention. But the our lives aren't always where we want to be, so our reality is easy to forget. Well, maybe it's not easy to forget, just easy to push to the side and ignore. We run from our problems more than we confront them. We tell ourselves that everything is fine, that we're non-confrontational,and that we're peaceful, even.
At the same time an all out war is taking place in our minds. Peace is relative, because "peace of mind" is almost impossible to attain. The battle between what is convenient and what is right is what determines our character. How we handle this battle is how we behave. Whether we like it or not, virtue cannot be taught. But virtuous actions in theory should be easier to come by.
We know what is right and what is wrong. The right thing to do is worry about yourself before you worry about the next person. Approaching and rectifying your own flaws is definitely not the easy thing to do. Although we cannot be sure that we are truly virtuous people, it doesn't hurt to act like one.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Back in high school, it really wasn't that bad. I had 2 pairs of shoes at most. I didn't even buy my first pair of $100 sneakers until my senior year of high school. I remember going to the mall with Erica and buying them. She was like, "Uhhh...nice shoes."
She didn't care for them. I could tell. But it didn't matter. I loved them. Up until that point, I was subjected to the budget restraints determined by the will of my mom. I was a Mervyn's shoe guy. And I really didn't mind it. I wore what my mom bought me and I honestly didn't have much fashion sense. I was popular anyway, right? Well, maybe I wasn't. But I guess thinking I was actually popular was good enough (on a side note, looking back at how much I wanted to be popular in high school always leaves me sheepish and embarassed. I was stupid doo doo dumb).
A year out of high school and I get a job at Foot Locker on a whim. It was funny, because we were just checking out a local mall that had the closest Target to our apartment.
"Hey man, can I help you with something?"
"Yeah, a job."
I was half joking. I didn't really need a job right away. I did just move out of the house, but still had money to keep me afloat for a while. 2 days later, I was in the store, wearing stripes, with a part-time job.
So now I'm around shoes all day. And initially, I didn't care. But then my boy gets a jobs at Champs. And he's always been about shoes, especially Nikes and Jordans. Then he gets me hooked on this Internet website (NikePark RIP)and now I'm in a store all day looking at shoes, then on the Internet all night looking at shoes. With the money I was making, I found a few shoes that had evaded me in high school that were being rereleased by Nike. Next thing you know, my 3 pairs of shoes that I brought with me from home because 5. Then 10. Then eBay finally opens my eyes and I have twenty pairs of sneakers. The complex of attaining shoes that I couldn't afford in high school took over me. eBay was Godsend.
It was official. I was addicted.
Sometime in 2002, I was hovering around 80 pairs. Mostly Nikes. Some Jordans.
In between 2002 and last year, I because very "budget conscious". I started selling a lot of my shoes on ebay. The money was used to pay for a lot of bills we were accumulating because I spent the majority of that time still in school and taking care of my son while my wife was our only source of income. Slowly but surely, I finally get down to around 25-30.
Around this time, I finally landed a good paying job. We got our own apartment and were living well within our means. But for the first time in my life, I actually had extra money. But instead of breaking the bank and buying $120 every week, I'd stick to a pair of $40 shoes couple weeks or so. This went on for at good part of this last year.
On Saturday, as I was cleaning up the living room, I was dusting a chest that held about 8 pairs of shoes. I took them out and admired them for a while, since I haven't worn these shoes for a year or so since I put them in that chest. I then had this urge to look at all my shoes. They've never been all in the same room. Just in a closet here, under the bed there, in someone else's closet, on top of a dresser, etc. You know. All over the damn place. So I finally got around to just stacking them in one place.
A little over 60 pairs. Got dammit. That doesn't even include the gang of dress shoes I've been stocking up on, waiting for the time some crazy company decides to put me in an important enough position to wear nice shoes and nice clothes (BTW, if you ever need a cheap pair of dress shoes, I defnintely suggest you hit up the Kohl's clearance section).
It's bad. I'm not addicted or anything. But I'm beginning to feel the itch to start hoarding shoes again. It's kind of lame in the sense that I dont' even wear the majority of my shoes. They've all been worn, but in the grand scheme of things, it's hard justifying having so many unneccesary things that I don't use on a regular basis.
I'm getting older, that's for sure. But this "habit" is a hard one to break. There's always the option of liquidating through eBay again. But I don't think I'll do that unless completely necessary, ie my kids are starving.
Gotta keep my priorities straight, right?
MySpace/Friendster/Blogs that play music and/or video automatically as the page loads are the most annoying pieces of shit on the Internet since unsolicited SPAM emails. People. Please. Make this something to remember if it's the only thing you ever take with you after reading this blog: The more time and effort you invest making your blog/myspace/friendster look "cool", the bigger a tool you make yourself out to be. All the little HTML gadgets in the world can't make up for the gaping hole in your character called "insecurity". I don't want any unexpected pop-ups. I'm not impressed by the little java app you installed on your page. It makes me not want to know who the hell you are.
Thank you, and die.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
What in the fuck happened to children's game shows?
Remember Double Dare? Fun House? Guts? Legends Of The Hidden Temple?
Wait, before I get ahead of myself, JD Roth is a tool. He is a tool in the same way that Ryan Seacrest is a tool. He is a tool in the same way that former MLB pitcher Jeff Juden is a tool.
What brought this on? Well, we now have digital cable. And with digital cable came the Nick GAS(Games and Sports)channel. There are tons of reruns of great gameshows for kids. And I'm trying to think of the equivalent in today's children's television. And you know what? There really isn't anything comparable.
Well, except for Endurance. And guess who hosts that "Survivor For Kids" game show? JD fuckin' Roth. Did I mention that he's a tool? But other than that tool hosted game, there really isn't anything out there.
I know what you're thinking. Why the fuck am I watching game shows for kids? Well, my son loves them. And honestly, I've always had this dream of being on Double Dare. Because let's face it, some of those kids had no business doing anything athletic. And on tv? Sometimes it's just embarrassing.
Now my only hope is for them to revive Family Double Dare and to have another child. We'd kick so much ass on that show it'd be ridiculous. And Nickelodeon? If you do revive Family Double Dare, bring back Marc Summers. He's beginning to annoy me on Unwrapped.
Actually, on second thought, forget it. Marc has moved on from kids gameshows, to adult game shows on the History Channel, and now on to Unwrapped on the food network. He realized that kids would no longer think of him as being "cool". Unfortunately, some tool named JD Roth can't seem to get it. You know, he's probably a bitter asshole by now. Wait, didn't I know that already? Yeah, it looks like I did.
Fuck that tool.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Do I think Hip Hop is a "legitimate" part of what you call "American Culture"?
Hip Hop "culture" has become pop culture. In "Beat Street" there's a line by Kenny that articulates how I feel about these Hip Hop/Pop relationship:
"Y'all are like all the biters. You take a bite and leave the rest."
And that's what it's like. Only parts of the Hip Hop culture are being accepted by American society. The slang, the music,and the dance. And they can't even get the "dance" part right because bboying has been inaccurately defined as some sort of gymnastic exhibition rather than an actual dance in the minds of most people. But the true culture of Hip Hop? The consciousness? The philosophy? Neglected. Even by the people who consider themselves true Hip Hop heads. Even by the people who are out there on rap videos making millions off Hip Hop's infiltration of pop culture.
When will Hip Hop become a legitimate part of American Culture? When the people within Hip Hop take ownership of the culture. You always hear or read about the original Hip Hop heads talking about "foundation". Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew always talks about the "foundation" of bboying. About how even though tricks and power moves have become bigger and better, the foundation of footwork, top rock and brooklyn rock still remains the same. The same analogy can be used for Hip Hop culture as a whole.
There are principles and ideology behind the elements of Hip Hop that have remained the same. The uninhibited and uncensored expression, the elevation of the art through competition (rap battles, bboying battles), the self-awareness and self-preservation of the culture and the art etc. It is getting "American Culture" to buy into those principles that will change the way America looks down and and scoffs at Hip Hop culture.
People need to realize where Hip Hop came from and not be afraid of what it could become. Remember, Hip Hop is only a little more than 30 years old.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Why the fuck are we going into space?
What is our business up there?
How much money is going into shooting people into space?
Can that money be used for more pertinent, terrestrial uses?
I'm still confused.
I mean, it's cool and all.
We're in space.
There's a space station.
But now what?
Monday, August 08, 2005
We were at Old Navy on Saturday taking advantage of the Friends & Family coupon I snagged from one of Gap's Unix Admins I just happened to be taking a class with two weeks ago. 20% off retail and sale price. Not bad, eh?
Well, I'm walking around and I see her excitedly pointing across from the Men's section to the Women's, quitely mouthing,"...Cyn-thi-a. Reeeeeal Woooorld". I turn around, and sure as hell, it's Cynthia from Real World Miami.
Cynthia has always been sort of a local Vallejo celebrity. When the season first aired, everybody talked about how she worked at Applebees, or how on the first episode they said "North of Oakland" instead of "Vallejo" when referring to where she was from.
But it was kind of weird. I'm not used to seeing anybody from television in real life. I don't live in LA or New York, where these celebrity/regular folk run-ins seem to happen on a regular basis. I turned into a goofball. Wanting to look but not wanting to look, ya know?
Goofballs, man. Goofballs.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
I'm not the coolest guy on the Internet, nor am I qualified to decide what is universally cool. But I was over at NancyShmancy.com a) because she's an old friend, and b) because she's so damn cool, and I saw this. And I'll be damned if that isn't one of the coolest features I've ever seen on a blog. Different skins?
Bacardi's 151 Rum may be the most evil substance on the planet.
It's been well over 12 hours since I stopped drinking and every time I burp, I can still taste it. Even after a shower this morning, I can still feel the alcohol seeping though my pores. I could probably put a match to my skin and start a pretty impressive fire. No hangover present, though. That's a good sign. I spent a good portion of last night drinking bottled water and peeing it all out, which might explain my noticeable fatigue. But given my previous experiences with 151, it's safe to say that I'm pretty lucky.
Passed out. In the car. Pink, chunky throw up on the driver's side door. And the smell. That damned smell. Sound familiar? Well, that's 151 for you. For some it's tequila. For others, it's whiskey. But we all have had that one experience with that one form of alcohol. You're sitting next to the toilet, dry heaving to the point that you think an organ is going to pop out any second now. Then you utter those words. Those words that eventually become a bullshit lie. But at that very moment in time, you mean every letter uttered:
I will never drink again.
151 is that drink. It is evil. And for about 10 minutes in the middle of last night, I thought I was headed down that path all over again. But luckily enough, during my frequently interrupted hours of sleep, the ship was righted. The seas calmed. The sun came out and all was good. Thank you, God.
I will never drink 151 again.
I need some damn water.
Monday, August 01, 2005
These images have made their way around the Internet. Apparently, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas sweats a bunch "down there", or she just got a little too excited on stage. Judge for yourself.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
I'm not even sure why I blog anymore.
It's not like I'll quit.
Or make an announcement that it's all over.
I don't dig that.
I don't feel like I owe anything to the people who happen to read all of this.
Hell, I'm not even sure if people check in regularly to see that I haven't updated in a while.
It's like guys who say, "Bros. over ho's".
I always hear or read about some dude complaining about how his boy dropped everything for a women.
They call him "pussy whipped".
He's no longer a "good friend".
Our main objective in life as men is to fuck.
Do not assume otherwise.
Eating and sleeping?
If you promised me pussy, I'd skip a couple meals or a night of sleep.
So if a man finds a woman who is attractive and willing have sex with him, he will do anything it takes to keep her around.
But some guys don't get that.
They feel betrayed as if the woman took his friend away.
But what's supposed to be great about great friends is the fact that they will always be there when you really need them.
If my boy found a good girl, good for him.
I'm happy for him.
Sure, he doesn't kick it as much.
He's always doing something with his woman.
But I don't mind.
That's his life.
And if I need anything, he'll be there for me.
And vice versa.
Oddly enough, that's how I perceive my relationship with my blog.
My blog is there when I need it.
It doesn't nag me to post when I don't feel like writing.
It doesn't talk shit behind my back.
It's just there.
I used to tell myself that I wrote in my blog to communicate with the people who read it.
When I went through a tough part of my life, my blog was there for me to express myself without worrying about the response and about the backlash.
I look back on what I've written in the past 2 years and I don't regret a single thing I've written.
It feels good.
Not only when the words are written, but when they are read over and over again.
There's something about having a journal or a documentation of your life.
It's almost like an autobiography, not written for others, but for yourself.
It's something you can't measure in inches or in pounds.
Not even in years or in wrinkles on the face.
These blogs are a documentation of personal growth.
But people perceive honesty as vunerability.
Not many people are willing to let the guards down to notice.
It is the beauty of written word.
Reading back on your old blogs, you can still feel the emotion and understand the state of mind.
It's all worth it, no matter how little you put into it.
Tic-toc.... Tic-toc..... Tic-toc....
Friday, July 29, 2005
So we're watching, and there is definitely a lot of entertaining "crap" among the skilled and the corny stories. Out of nowhere, a familiar face with a familiar name appears in the form as a SYTYCD (slowly...now connect the dots). I couldn't believe it. And she did so well. I don't want to jinx her, but she looks like one of the more solid and well-rounded dancers on the show. It was just crazy seeing her on tv.
I can't front like she's a great friend or what not. At one point way back when, she was my younger sister's best friend and her older sister was in my class during elementary school. Oddly enough, their older sister was in the same class as my older sister and at one point THEY were best friends as well. Needless to say, we were over at their place often for parties or just after school to hang out, etc. But now our interaction is strictly online.
But none the less, congrats, Melody. It's been a while since I've spoken to you (sober), but if I don't get to speak to you soon, good luck.
Monday, July 18, 2005
I'm a sports guy.
I can admit it.
I enjoy all sports.
Sure, even NASCAR.
Most people wouldn't consider NASCAR a sport.
That shit is hard.
Others call NASCAR and racecar driving a skill, not an athletic ability.
By the way, "racecar" backwards is "racecar".
And Jason Williams of the Memphis Grizzlies has "WHIT" tattooed on the knuckles of his right hand.
The left hand?
Put his hands together and that shit says "WHITEBOY".
But I'm digressing.
No doubt in my mind.
It really isn't "athletic" per se.
Does it take strength?
Does it take endurance?
Does it take the use of gross and fine motor skills?
So yeah, sport.
And Tiger Woods did it again yesterday.
Hey steady kicked all kinds of ass at the British Open.
And as a sports fan, it was sure something to witness.
I'm not the hugest golf fan.
But I pay attention.
I pay enough attention to know what kind of golf player Tiger is.
And what he accomplished on Sunday was nothing short of amazing.
As kids, we'd hear stories about athletes that have come and gone.
Not just the good ones.
The GREAT ones.
Tiger is definitely of those athletes.
As fans, we get so used to the greats and only truly appreciate them when they're gone.
Michael Jordan's era has come and gone.
We saw it.
With our own eyes.
But we really weren't aware of what we were witnessing until he was gone.
Ken Griffey and Barry Bonds in their prime?
Forget about it.
Those days are gone.
The only "sure thing" out there now is Tiger.
Critics were claiming that he was in a slump.
They said he was distracted by marriage.
They said that he would never achieve the success he had earlier in his career.
He's on top.
And he'll be on top for a while.
So make sure you stop to smell the roses.
Take it in.
And just enjoy it before he's gone.
People like to throw out titles like "The next Michael Jordan", or "The Next Griffey Jr."
Well, there will never be repeat performances.
There will never be another Tiger Woods.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
We were quick to throw labels at him, because that's what high schoolers are really good at. We called him "weird", "white-washed", and "outcast". At the time, our world revolved around stereotypes. Black people are like this and white people are like that. Filipinos had to fit the "Filipino-mold" or else you didn't fit in, weren't accepted, weren't "normal". He was a square peg in a world full of round holes.
Hew went to my church. I got to know him a little. He was genuinely a good guy, and he really didn't let the ridicule get to him, even though I could tell that deep down, he was just like any of us at that age, just searching for acceptance and normalcy in those rough years as a teen. We were never really friends, just friendly. It's kind of weird how things change outside the circus that is high school.
A few years back I heard that he was found dead behind the barracks at the military base where he was stationed. It's always rough to hear that someone you knew had died, no matter how little you knew the person. But this was a little different. I felt bad, not only because of the loss of his life, but because I never had the chance to let him know how much I respected him and what he did while were were in high school
Already over 4 years removed from high school at the time of his death, I had already come to the conclusion that high school was bullshit. I totally respected this man for going completely against was what considered "normal" at the time. Instead of being what everybody expected him to be, he was just himself. It was the exact opposite of what I was at the time.
I was a big man on campus. I prided myself on being popular, being one half of a high profile couple, and being the "loud, funny guy of the class". I dressed the part. I talked the part. I live my life hoping to please those around me. And for what? Acceptance? To be considered cool and hip? We all know know that high school superlatives don't mean shit in the real world (Well, most of us, at least). I was such a damn coward. It's embarassing just thinking about it.
I just can fathom how much balls it took to just be yourself in high school. And for that, I respect that guy. I respect that guy for being able to see through the bullshit. He knew back then what took me years to find out. He "got it". It wasnt' "non-conformity for the sake of non-conformity". He was just being himself. I'm just sorry I wasn't able to tell him how much I respected him for what he was able to do, regardless of the harassment and the ridicule.
Much respect, man. RIP.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Thank you to my dad, who has given his life to his family. I use to resent him because he's so much older than most of my friend's dads. He never played catch with me. He wasn't able to teach me how to play sports. We didn't relate much, and I couldnt' understand it until I started learning more about him through my auntie, his older sister.. My auntie told me that he got married so late in his life because he was so afraid that he wouldn't' be able to support the family he so desperately wanted. He's not very demonstrative of his love, but I feel it. I see it. His life is a testament to it. I don't think any words can describe him, but he is the hardest working man I will ever know. Not once have I seen him drunk. Not once have I seen him complain. Not once have I ever seen him quit anything he's started. He's the kind of father that would finish typing your report for you when you fell asleep next to the typewriter. He's the kind of father that would come to your baseball games even after a long day of work and 3 hours in rush hour traffic. He's the perfect example of what hard work gets you. I now see him with my son and I see the traits of a great father. He's kind, loving, caring and compassionate. Most of all, he's patient. Love transcends generations. It's the basis of every family and we have a strong foundation. Thank you, dad. I can only wish to be half the man you are.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
If Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" was any more annoying, I would have put my fist through the tv by now.
I don't know who the creative genius was behind the concept of "Hollaback Girl" and Gwen's image makeover, but I'm assuming it went something like this:
Genius - "We need a hit. A bonafied hit. Gwen, you remember 'Don't Speak'?
Gwen - "Sure do. Holla!"
Genius - "Well, fuck that song. It's way too personal. It's too sad. It's too meaningful. Kids don't buy meaningful."
Gwen - "But I put my heart and soul into that s-"
Genius - "FUCK YOUR HEART AND SOUL! You want to sell records right?"
Gwen - "Well.."
Genius - "RIGHT!?!"
Gwen (defeatedly) - "Right."
Genius - "I've come up with an idea. The world has been looking for the next Toni Basil. You remember Toni Basil, right?"
Gwen - "The 'Hey Mickey' Toni Basil?"
Genius - "Egg-zact-lee. 'The Hey Micky Toni Basil'. We're going to repackage you, Gwen. Forget punk. Forget ska. We're going capitalize on your success with Eve and turn you into an amalgamate of everything that is pop. Your career will reach levels it has never seen before."
Gwen - "But that's not me. I was in a legitimate band that made legitimately good music."
Genius - "FUCK LEGITIMACY! You need catchy hooks that the dumb pop crowd feeds of off. Most of America couldn't hear good music if it fucked them up their asses. You NEED to be Tony Basil. You want to sell records, RIGHT?"
Gwen - "Right."
Genius - "Okay, good. Now wear this skull cap. You're going to need to get used to it."
Monday, May 16, 2005
There were actually several of us sitting at the table including my dad, my wife, and my son. The topic of conversation was casual at first, nothing really too deep. You see, my mom and I (or anybody else in my immediate family) were never close. I could never talk to her about anything. We never shared stories nor did I ever confide in her. It just wasn't how our relationship worked. But the topic quickly shifted to how I look at life now since I have my own family and son.
I admitted to her that my outlook on life has completely changed. As a teenager, I was just a selfish person. I didn't think of what was good for anybody but myself. I lived for the now and didn't save one dime, didn't do anything for the longterm, and didn't think about how my actions at the present time would have lasting effects on my future. But as my son has grown up, I've changed.
Instead of thinking only for myself and my needs and my wants and my desires, I have someone else who I am responsible for. It is now my responsibility to give him a chance to be the best person he can be. And as simple as that sounds, it is such a hard thing to do when you lived your entire life for yourself. I can honestly say that I am driven to make my son's life better.
In the middle of this conversation, I even admitted how appreciative I am for what my parents have done. They didn't spoil me. They didn't buy me the best car. They didn't put me in the best schools. But they gave me a chance. They worked hard as hell to give me the opportunity to succeed. They didn't set goals for my success. They gave me an idea of what success is like and gave me every opportunity to be successful.
That's all I could ask of them. You can only do so much as a parent. "You can lead them to water", you know? My parents gave it their all to give me and my sisters the opportunity to blossom into respectable adults. And I'd like to believe that they succeeded. And I think the biggest testament to their success as parents is manifested in my desire to do the same for my own son.
It sounds corny, but it's so true. Monetarily, we didn't have a lot, but we had enough. But they equipped me with all the tools. I used that conversation to thank them for what they did. I saw it in my mom's eyes. She even asked, "Do you really think like that?" I nodded in affirmation because I knew for sure that I wasn't lying. I truly believe that my only goal in life is to make sure I leave nothing left on the table. My son will get everything I can give him in order for him to be successful.
That is my one and only goal in life. Sure, I can get a little selfish and spend a little more money than I should. I can get a little lazy and let my son watch more tv instead of stimulating his mind in more constructive ways. But I'm trying. Hard.
It's definitely not easy, but I know people who have done more in worse conditions. I witness it with my own eyes.
It was my parents.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
- A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.
For some people, "unreasoning enthusiasm" is just a euphemism for "asshole".
But I can't lie. I admit it. I'm a fan. Warriors basketball. Giants baseball. 49er football. WWE wrestling.
I think there are different stages in the life of a fan.
First, you start off as a casual fan. You give attention to your team when it is convenient. You occaisionally check scores online or in the paper. You have one or two items of fan apparel. All is good in the hood.
The second stage in a little more fanatical. You go to a couple games a year. You check every day for scores. Sometimes you listen to the radio or watch the games on tv. You know all the players by name, but not by face. You openly talk about your team with your friends, and sometimes even with strangers. But never to you openly argue or disagree with fans of other teams or players.
The third stage is the asshole stage. In your mind, your team is the greatest thing in the world. You know the players, their numbers, their faces, their marital status, and the birthdates of their children. What happens, though, is that at this stage, you become your team's worst critic. In front of opposing team's fans, your team can do no wrong. In front of your fellow lunatic fans, your team can do no right.
Armchair quarterbacks and the world's greatest second guessers stay at this stage, sometimes forever. These are the fans that are the hardest to please but consider themselves the most "hardcore". They feel that they are better than your average casual fan (see above) and scoff at anybody who they here whispering "who was that player?" They are the hardest fans to hold a conversation or discussion with because they are always right. Hell, they are smarter than the general managers, coaches, and team executives who get paid thousands, if not millions of dollars to make the decisions that they make day in and day out.
I have been in this stage before, and looking back it disgusts me. What was a recreational activity and hobby turned into an obsession. It was no longer enjoyable. You get to a point where you know too much about one person, one teams, one league that you think you know everything that will and should happen. So I've taken a step back. From everything.
I understand the roll sports play in my life. I can regress into that semi-fanatical, more casual fan. Regardless of what happens, I will still enjoy watching and supporting the teams I consider myself a fan of. It's the right thing to do, and frankly, the most enjoyable.
Sometimes people have a hard time putting things in perspective and became such hardcore fans that they lose sight of why they became fans in the first place.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The collective nature of Eastern culture is completely different than the independent style seen in the West. Asians prefer not to stand up and go against the grain. This cultural preference stems from the "family" structure seen in the East. In Western cultures, business is business. It is never personal. In the East, business is always personal. Business relationships are family relationships, and vice versa. Everything is done as a group, for the group, and by the group.
So how does this affect the way Asians manifest themsevles in the American society? Well, for one, they are readily accepted. I think this is due to a few things. One of which is due to the collective nature of Asian cultures. Asians are seen as docile and passive. They accept their position within social and racial classes and seem content with what they have. They don't post a threat to what most perceive as "everyday America". Do they speak their own language? Yes. But they do so mostly within their own communities (i.e. Chinatown, Japantown, etc.).
When outside of these communities, Asians find themselves almost too eager and too ready to amalgamate into American society. They quickly latch onto Pop culture. While they shed their accents, they also shed ways of life. They tolerate blatant acts of hate and prejudice within school systems, the job market, and in the media for the sake of "being down". While layers and years of rich culture and heritage are stripped from their minds, the collective nature of Asians keep them at bay.
But there is now a resurgence of awareness among the younger, more Americanized Asians. Never before have cultural clubs within high schools and colleges become so popular. And they do a very good job opening eyes and minds. They identify issues very pertinent within our society, such as our misrepresentation in the media, the accepted forms of descrimiation, unfair immigration policies, etc. I've seen it in action. The knowledge shared is so empowering among the people who previously had nothing to be proud of, nowhere tangible to be from or the product of. It wasn't just word of mouth from older family members. It's in books and documentaries. There is this fight for Asians to be respected within American society, and all previous ills will no longer be tolerated. How beautiful is that?
But within all this celebration of our cultures and heritage, there is the dark underbelly that rarely is discussed. There is a self-loathing that not many people want to admit. We shout our cultural pride from the top of the mountains, yet we still make fun of people who have accents. We call them "FOBS", as if we are better than them. We make fun of their living conditions and their inability to mix into American culture. We make fun of how dark they are, how course their hair is, how chicky their eyes are. Even after we want to believe we have come full circle within white American society, we are still trying to rid ourselves of the thousands of years our cultures have been contaminated by Western belief structures.
Look. I'm not saying there is a right or wrong way to live your life. Western, Eastern, etc. One is not better than the other. But there are some realities in our world that have affected the way things are. I don't have any answers, because I think these issues are larger than any one person.
Whatever. At least I got it off my chest.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Click this (Real Player needed) and scroll to about 48:50. Talk about not fully understanding all possible reprecussions. I almost felt sorry for the guy. I mean, think about what he's going through as that professor annouced the laundry list of things that were on that computer. First, his heart starts to race. Then he breaks out in a cold, nervous sweat. Too bad he didn't have a piece of coal handy. He probably could have put it up his ass and squeezed it so hard that a diamond would pop out.
Okay, I take back the comment about almost feeling sorry for the guy. Fuck him.
Speaking about feeling sorry for someone, we have the King of Crunk himself, Lil John. Look at this dude.
Now, I don't really feel sorry for him. Shit, the guy is a fuckin' millionaire. He's one of the most popular people in Rap. But you know what? Unless he's already married, that dude knows that the women he fucks aren't there because they're attracted to him. But I can dig some of his music, so he gets a free pass from me. Nah, fuck it. He looks like a fuckin' guppie. Next.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
To us outside of New York, we just see it as stereotypical big city arrogance. We know how "they" can be like, so we don't think much of it. It's all they know. But in their little jabs at a place outside of NYC, you can see the little hints of fear. Fear of the unknown. Not the exactly your every day brand of fear. It's the fear of having to admit that there is a world outside your one's personal view. Fear of knowing that one's way of life, as great as it may seem, is not the ultimate way of life. Happiness and contentment is not uniform, and knowing that your lifestyle is the best is a hard pill to swallow. And it is from this fear that develops hate.
Now I know that this is as silly, almost meaningless example, but it really doesn't stop there. Think about how ignorance manifests itself among the way people perceive other countries, languages, and ethnic groups. It's hard accepting that how you life your life, while working perfectly fine for yourself, maybe isn't the perfect way for another person to live their life.
As basic as this sounds, it really is difficult. Think about individual relationships that you have with friends and family. Ever get frustrated how your friend or your spouse can't seem to approach certain things in life the same way you do? Ever have your parents tell you that your passions and your desires are meaningless compared to the goals they have personally set for you?
Now multiply that by millions and think how Western thinking countries have done the same to other countries and cultures around the world. Think about how the "Western" stardand of beauty has invaded even the most remote regions, forcing women to straighten their hair, lighten their skin, and shrink their waists. Think about how foreign accents are laughed at and looked down upon within our supposed "Melting Pot" US society. We celebrate it in front of everybody yet laugh at it when no one is looking.
We as a society are fearful through ignorance. We are scared that maybe our way of life isn't the "perfect" way for everybody around the world. So naturally, we shut it out. We get our little kicks by going to ethnic restaraunts and watching ethnic parades. We brag about our Vietnamese friends who brought Pho to the office. We keep it within viewing distance, but not too close to our lives because we are so set in our American ways. We hide our hate behind our patriotism and our pride as a advanced society. We remain ignorant to what is really going on in the world around us outside of our gated communities.
You know, I forgot where I was going with this, but I refuse to delete it. Oh well. Who's the Prime Minister of Canada? I don't know. But I had Canadian bacon on my pizza the other day. I'm CULTURED!
Monday, March 14, 2005
We all go on a hike every now and then. Sometimes it's involuntary. We don't initially intend on taking such a long walk, but we get caught up sight seeing and amazed by what we encounter. Other times, we take walks and end up looking down corridors and alleys that scare us, frighten us, and leave us wishing we never left the house. For most, this is enough to keep someone from ever taking a walk again.
But what makes some of these walks so scary? Is it the uncertainty? Is it the possibility of getting lost? Certainly.
You ever feel like you planned a walk and determined that your path was the correct way to go? You had the walked planned so perfectly. First, a stroll through the garden to look at the budding trees, welcoming the oncoming Spring. Then you want to make it up the small grassy hill, that most of the year brown and dry from the hot sun, but now is soft and green from the Winter rain. You want to complete the journey by watching the sun reflect off the water in the creek as it runs behind the horizon, first turning yellow, then orange, then red as it sets. Your trip goes as planned, but somewhere in between your destination and home you veer off the trail and end up in an unfamiliar canyon.
You feel lost. The trees don't seem as friendly. The sun has taken cover behind a flurry of dark clouds on the horizon. You no longer have your sense of direction. What's North is South. Or was it West? Every turn you make feels like the right way to go, but as you take a few steps in that direction, you realize that you're wrong. Do you stop, turn around, and head home? Or do you keep walking?
Well, I choose to keep walking. We sometimes plan as if we are impervious to change and outside forces. We can choose our destination. That is for certain. But we can't steer clear of obstacles and setbacks 100% of the time. We veer of our paths almost 10 out of 10 times, and we tend to see nothing but failure. So I might not see the sunset. That's okay. I'll try my hardest to find my way to the top of the hill so I can catch the last seconds of the sunset. But if I don't, I know I will run into something that I never have before. I will see the frogs emerge from the creek as the sky darkens. I will see the first stars in the sky skyly emerge from the increasingly dark sky. The journey to our destinations is what build our character and strengthen our souls, and the magnitude is multiplied ten fold when our walks don't go as planned.
I am no longer scared of what might happen should I get lost on my walk. I will just put extra effort into reaching my destination, making reaching my destination sweet and fulfilling. And if I can't reach my destination, I will learn from it, gain new experience, and be happy that I will be alive one more day to maybe witness the sunset,first turning yellow, then orange, then red as it disappears in the horizon.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Some say he's the greatest rapper of all time.
But Biggie's impact as an emcee is not as wide felt as some make it out to be. People have to face it. Biggie sold an image just as much as he sold his rhymes. Tupac did it. NWA did it. They were all larger than life rappers and heads bought into that as being "real". The image adds legitimacy to the rhymes. Why do people call him "Frank White"? Because he's the "King of New York", right? Well, that says nothing about his ability as a rapper. It was his ability to sell his IMAGE that made that work. Puffy had A LOT to do with that.
I'm not knocking BIG. Don't get it twisted. "Ready To Die" could be released tomorrow and blow heads away in today's market because it was so ahead of its time. I love his music. There's no doubt about it. But I still don't see him as the "Greatest To Get On The Mic", because he just isn't.
You take into consideration all the things that make emcees dope like wordplay, alliteration, cadence, breath control, timing, rhyme pattern, conviction, etc. There are emcees that had and have those skills and do it as well or even better than BIG ever did.
But "Bastitch" actually started off as a joke between me and one of my good friends. It's a combination of "bastard" and "bitch", a two pronged attack against one's ego. So we'd go back and forth shooting "bastitch" at eat other followed by chuckles, and about half the time a "fuck you".
So one day I'm chatting with that same friend online and he links me to a message board. He tells me he already made me a user account and I should be receiving the email soon. Next thing you know, my user name on http://talk.to/niketalk is "Bastitch".
Initially, I was like "Hey, fuck this. I'm making my own user name." But I got lazy and put it off for a couple days. Then a couple days became a week. Then it eventually turned into a month. By then, I was already known as "Bastitch", so the desire to change it eventually wore off. Now, I AM "Bastitch". I've meet a good amount of people in person from that message board, some of which even call me "Bastitch" in person, even after they have learned my real name (which really irks the fuck out of me).
Nicknames such as "Bas", or "Bassy" have even popped up. It's kind of funny because in the virtual world of the Internet, you really become your screen name to some people. If I were to ever meet some one like Kool Keith in person, I'd be compelled to call him just that: "Kool Keith". Fuck, I don't even KNOW his real name. Maybe it's Keith. Who knows?
But I'd like to think that I'm a little more grounded in reality to think like that. The Internet causes a lot of people to act in ways they normally wouldn't in their personal lives. This reprecussionless nature of the World Wide Web has caused a lot of people to put out personalities not of their true selves, but of people they wish they were. Or maybe of people they think they are.
I can't lie. I am aware that there is some hypocrisy in my criticism. I'm guilty of putting out a facade to a certain extent. But I honestly do make an effort to be true to who I really am. Does it lead to a little self-censorship and slightly limit my ability to freely express myself? Sure.
But demonstrating restraint of any nature is a true form of power.
I like how that sounds. I love how that feels.
Monday, March 07, 2005
I'll admit it. I'm a fan. They played that tribute special they aired on one of the major networks a couple years ago on VH1 recently. My wife and I sat down and watched as some of today's stars took their shot at honoring MJ by singing his classics. The culmination of the ceremony happened when Michael performed a medley of his songs on stage for the crowd. I couldn't help but get goosebumps thinking about how magnificent an entertainer he was, and to a lesser extent is.
When talking about Michael Jackson and the molestation convictions during last HBO Comedy special "Never Scared", Chris Rock asked, "Remember when we used to ask who was better, Michael Jackson or Prince? Prince WON!". It's sad, but true.
Michael Jackson's legacy will be forever tarnished by this accusations, whether they are true or not. But I still listen to and enjoy his music. And interestingly enough, so has my son. He's 4 now, and is begining to develop a taste in music. "Beat it" is his favorite. He also enjoys "Smooth Criminal", since he knows that it is my favorite. He requests it when I'm picking him up from school or dropping him off at his grandparents' house. He knows nothing about the molestation charges. He knows nothing about the rampant rumors that have circulated in the past 20 years. No Elephant Man remains. No skin bleaching. No sleeping in hyperbaric chambers. Just the music.
And that's how you know that American Society is hung up on celebrity. The music is forgotten. Video killed the radio star, and in turn badly injured music. We're so caught up in how someone looks, what they wear, what they eat, who they are married to, who they're fucking while being married to someone else, etc. And I love music. I don't care if you're retarded with three fingers and a banjo. If it sounds good, I'm going to listen to it. Unfortunately, I'm in the minority. People want the total package. They demand perfection, but not musically. They want artists to be more than they are. They aren't gods, they are musicians.
My son, with zero notion of celebrity understands this. It's cool, innocent, and refreshing. But the day is inevitable. The day when he asks "Why did you let me listen to that FREAKS music when I was young?" But that day is still off in the horizon. I'll let him enjoy it for now. No need to.
It's kind of fucked up that I'd let him listen to his music, but wouldn't let him meet Michael. Hell naw. Fuck THAT.
Interesting post script to this story, my son asked me the other day, "Daddy, is Michael Jackson a boy or a girl." I had to hold back the laughter and compose myself before I simply answered, "He's a boy." Little does HE know how literal my answer was.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
And I can dig it. Tons of movies. Tons of slip ups. Check out your favorite movie. I'm sure someone fucked up.
GoogleFight.com ain't no joke...
Round 1 - Bastitch vs. Muscle 68
Yeah, no upsets here.
Round 2 - Bing's Bangs vs. Leah's Boobs
No upsets here, either.
Ryan having sex with a middle-aged Brazilian chick vs Drinking the sweat off of Kool Keith's balls
You heard it here folks. The upset of the century.