Monday, November 29, 2010

Mama used to say


If everything that my mom said was in the form of an '80s pop song with an catchy hook, I probably would have listened to her and double checked to make sure I had all of my stuff before I left Sedona on Saturday. Instead, I'm back at school without my Modern Philosophy textbook... oh well.

On another note, Junior was killin' it with those dance moves at the beginning of the video... that was tooooo smooth!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

stuff I drew


























a poem

I was looking through my notebook and I found some stuff that I wrote... it's a commentary on the overabundance dull "thug" personae and unoriginal accounts of criminal activities in current hip-hop music.


Gun talk and drug punch-lines are limitless
-- my Uzi clip does ninja flips, I push rocks like Sisyphus --
But rap like that lacks benefits;
it's planting seeds of ignorance and you reap what you sow.
So read a book,
write a paper,
learn to paint,
do something major,
trite clichés are not your savior;
There's so much more to KNOW!


questions, comments, concerns?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today was a good day



The video above is for Ice Cube's song, "Today Was A Good Day". In this song, Cube describes one of the best days of all time; He is successful at basketball, dice games and courting women. Also, he gets a shout-out from the Goodyear Blimp (It reads, "Ice Cube's a Pimp"). You may be thinking, "Nothing can top this. Ice cube just had the ultimate "good day". While I respect your opinion (that you may or may not actually hold. I'm just assuming that this is your opinion), I must disagree. The reason for my difference in opinion is that I have just experienced a day that was far better than anything Ice Cube rapped about.

The first great part of my day was skipping Ancient Philosophy. That class is boring and I enjoy my day more when I don't attend it. As if my morning wasn't good enough already, shortly after I decided to skip class, I found a banana in my room. Bananas are delicious and it's awesome when you notice them chillin' on your printer. Next, I got dressed and headed to my second (and final) class of the day. Last Tuesday, I wrote a paper for this class and we were supposed to get it back today. At first, I was nervous because I didn't think I submitted a very clear and polished product to my professor. However, this feeling quickly subsided because, to my surprise/delight, I got a frickin' A! How cool is that? After class, I went back to my room and watched PTI on ESPN. That show is awesome and it makes any day good. Later, I went to the barbershop because I was seriously in need of a haircut. The barbershop was easy to find and I got a fresh line-up and shape-up for a good price. This may seem insignificant, but it's important to look good if you want to have a "good day". After the barbershop, I went to Chick-fil-A. My Chicken sandwich and chicken strips were super delicious and there was no line. Later, I watched some college hoops and found another banana in my backpack (I know... two in one day? That's madness!). Finally, I went to Scottsdale Community College and ran the Scottsdale Open Mile. It was the easiest 4:35 mile I've ever run and I got first freakin' place! Take that, Ice-Cube!

p.s. also, I had some strawberry-blueberry cake and a pop-tart.

p.p.s. I know this is probably an ungrammatical, stream-of-consciousness mess, but it is now 12:01 and my good day is over so I probably don't have the mojo to awesomeize (I just made that word up) my post into something that is legible.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sport Science, WTF?

I don't know if you've seen Sport Science on FSN, but it's a pretty stupid show. The concept is good (use science to analyze and compare things in sports), but the execution is terrible. What could have been a fresh and interesting look at the athletic feats we see on television every day has basically become an hour-long orgy of high-speed cameras, computer animation, and people punching, kicking and tackling each other. This would all be extremely interesting for a ten-year-old boy, but it becomes a little boring and repetitive for more mature audiences. Now that I've explained my feelings about the show, here's some video evidence to back me up... enjoy:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stones Throw Records

Recently, I made a post about Aloe Blacc, a talented singer/rapper/instrumentalist who's doing great work in the music industry. After doing some Research on Blacc, I realized that he and many of my other favorite musicians were signed to the influential Stones Throw Records label. Stones Throw was founded in 1996 by DJ/Producer Peanut Butter Wolf as a means to satisfy his desire to promote and record songs and as a way to expose the world to the music of his deceased friend and musical partner, Charizma. According to Peanut Butter Wolf's "History of Stones Throw", the label focuses on signing and promoting acts that match Wolf's own musical tastes rather than those that solely bring popularity and large profits. Some of the many acts signed to Stones Throw are Guilty Simpson, J Dilla, Madlib, Mayer Hawthorne, Percee P and, of course, Charizma.

Here's a some music from these great musicians from this great record label:

Guilty Simpson: I haven't listened to that much of this guy's music, but I know that he's from Detroit and he did a lot with of work with the late J Dilla.

J Dilla: Dilla (A.K.A. Jay Dee) was another Detroit Native who died in 2006 due to complications with lupus. Although he was also a skilled rapper, Dilla is best known for his brilliant production work.

Madlib: Like Dilla, this guy is another multi-talented rapper/instrumentalist/producer. Besides his solo work as Madlib and his alter-ego Quasimoto, he has also teamed up with numerous other artists such as J Dilla, and MF Doom for collaborative projects.

Mayer Hawethorne: I just discovered Hawethorne recently, but his music has an old-school vibe to it and his videos are fun and creative. Also, according to Wikipedia, he raps and produces as well.

Percee P: This guy has been in rapping since the first days of hip hop, but he didn't release his first full album until 2007. Still, he has is well-respected in the underground community for his longevity and unique style.

Charizma: Peanut Butter Wolf discovered Charizma when he was just a young kid in San Jose. Wowed by his creativity and energy, Wolf teamed up with Charizma and began recording music. The duo saw minor success until Charizma was tragically shot during a mugging. Three years after his friend and collaborator's death, Peanut Butter Wolf started Stones Throw Records and released the album, Big Shots.


Wendy's, you disappoint me

Usually, I'm a fan of Wendy's. As far as restaurants with drive-thru windows go, they have pretty good food and most of the menu items don't leave me feeling like I owe my arteries an apology. With this in mind, I happily went to the local Wendy's for an evening meal on Tuesday. Since I was in an adventurous (and impulsive) mood, I decided to order the Sweet & Spicy Asian Boneless Wings. In the picture, they looked so saucy and juicy that I couldn't resist. The voice in my head (the metaphorical one... I'm not crazy) told me that I should order the regular 10 piece nuggets because they offered more food for the same price, but tantalizing advertisement and my curiosity about what "Asian" tasted like (seriously, Asia is the biggest continent in the world and I really wanted to know how they could condense all the different tastes and flavors from such a vast area into a sauce that goes on chicken) eventually overpowered my common sense. Anyway, I eventually placed my order and stood contently until I saw the man in the back prepare my food. To my horror, the Sweet & Spicy Asian Boneless Wings were not 100% white meat morsels of goodness that had been thoroughly lathered in a thick coating of "Asian", but instead were slightly deformed chicken nuggets with several squirts of orange-colored sauce on top. When I got home, my fears were verified; the "wings" were actually crusty chicken nuggets with a thin layer of sauce on top. Unlike the advertisement, the sauce did not coat the entire nugget, leaving many portions of breaded chicken naked and exposed to the world. Worst of all, the highly anticipated "Asian" sauce tasted like duck sauce with garlic and hot peppers mixed in. Although that may be sufficient for some cheapo Chinese buffet place in the middle of nowhere, it was far from satisfactory for a nationwide restaurant with a reputation of deliciousness (and square hamburgers). In conclusion, I would like to give Wendy's' Sweet & Spicy Asian Boneless Wings my "Mega FAIL stamp of disapproval". Shame on you Wendy's for false advertising and abusing my blind and unconditional trust in your products. :(

Also, in case you don't believe me, here are the pictures to prove it:


The first picture is the Wendy's advertisement and the second picture is the actual product.





























Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just Curious

I have a few questions...

Why do most washers load from the top, but most dryers load from the front? They should all load at a 45º angle... that would be cool.

Why do people have toenails? They're only really good for scratching people in the pool (I know it's gross, but it's true. Don't worry... I won't scratch you. I cut my toenails). Also, I saw this guy wearing sandals at the airport and his toenails were yellow and gross. If toenails didn't exist, he could happily wear sandals without making me want to vomit.

Why does Gatorade taste so much better when you're actually tired and in need of electrolytes? Seriously, try it. It's definitely true.

Also, speaking of Gatorade, why can't I sweat Gatorade colors like they do in the commercials? That would make me look so much more intense... it would probably make my shirt sticky though.

What is Boxing Day? It's always on my calender, but I've never been motivated enough to actually look it up.

Why do they give me so much water at restaurants? When I see water in front of me at a restaurant, I drink it. If the waiter keeps refilling my glass every time it gets low, I keep drinking water and then I get cold and I have to go to the bathroom. Although I like the fast service, they definitely go overboard sometimes. Filling my bladder with free water doesn't really impress me and it definitely doesn't add anything to the tip (not giving me water would probably detract from the tip though).

Why do people ask me what my favorite color is? Couldn't they ask me about something that I actually spend time thinking about? Unless I'm a gang member or an interior designer, I don't think my favorite color explains much about me or my personality.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pizza!

Yesterday, I made a freaking pizza!!!! it was probably the coolest thing ever. It had pepperoni, pineapple, basil, Cajun seasoning and Cheyenne pepper. I should get my own show on TLC; it would be like Cake Boss, but I could make pizza's instead of cakes... actually, on second thought, maybe I should have my show on Food Network. the show's on TLC always have a lot of fighting and drama (Jon and Kate plus 8, American Chopper, Miami Ink, LA Ink, etc...). On Food Network, they would cater to my needs as a gourmet pizza chef.

Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc is a multi-talented musician with a lot to offer. Although many may know him from his new single, "I Need a Dollar", Blacc is actually a veteran in the music industry with a lot of work under his belt. He got his start in 1995 as a rapper in the group Emanon. Since then, he has expanded his skill set to include singing, guitar and piano. With his newest release Blacc evokes memories of Marvin Gaye in both style and content. However, the relevance and sincerity in his lyrics and delivery make his songs unmistakably unique and genuine.

Here are a few examples of Aloe Blacc's talented work as a rapper, instrumentalist and vocalist:




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good Food

Usually, my diet consists mainly of sandwiches and canned soup because I have little interest/talent in cooking (perhaps I'll expand on that in a later post), but my mom became super awesome (who am I kidding? she's always been super awesome; she's actually super duper awesome now) all of a sudden and started cooking/ baking all types of delicious stuff. Being that I'm the only other person in the house, I've been the main beneficiary of all manner of edible heaven... here are a couple examples:





























Freshly baked blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream... yum.




























The pie before... I ate it




























Scrambled eggs, bacon and coffee cake = best breakfast ever!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The other day, I was watching television and I saw a commercial for Hot Pockets Sideshots Mini Cheeseburgers. Like all Hot Pockets, these were being advertised as some sort of new, convenient form of the food that they were trying to emulate. However, this commercial seemed especially unusual because, unlike ravioli or bacon and eggs, a cheeseburger is already a convenient food. A ground beef patty with cheese melted on top of it and buns at either side has been considered a portable food for as long as I remember. Every day, people drive their cars do their homework, mow their lawns and do countless other activities while eating cheeseburgers. How can Hot Pockets possibly improve on this formula? Sticking meat between two slices of bread has been just fine ever since the Earl of Sandwich first did it in the 18th century. I don't see why we need to change it.


On a slightly different note, here's Jim Gaffigan talking about hot pockets:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lebron

Since Cleveland's defeat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals the other day, the main topic of discussion in the sports world has been where Lebron's playing next year. Although there are numerous available options at the moment, I thought I'd give you my breakdown of five of the most likely teams: New York, Chicago, Miami, New Jersey and Cleveland.

New York:
As much as I love the legacy of Knicks with John Starks and Patrick Ewing bringing the pain to opponents and Spike Lee's courtside antics at the Garden, I think Lebron going to the New York would represent a lot of what's wrong with the NBA today. I have a problem with the idea of a struggling, power-hungry, large market team snatching up frustrated free agents from around the league. Maybe I'm old fashioned, I'd rather see a team rebuild by developing draft pics and making smart trades and adjustments when needed. That being said, I can't really fault the Knicks too much for this approach because it's been proven to work in Boston (remember when the sucky Celtics grabbed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and then won a championship?) and a Knicks team with Lebron and Bosh could be the right mix for a similar title run. And, if the crowd at game six has any say in the matter, Lebron's decision may be made already.

Chicago
while the fans are chanting New York, most of the sports analysts seem to think Chicago is a better fit for James. This makes sense because it's a storied franchise that has seen success in the last few years, but still needs a little something extra to get them over the hump. Furthermore, the Bulls seem to have a fire and enthusiasm that was evidently lacking from the Cavaliers in this year's playoffs. the extra energy and hustle could be just what Lebron needs to rejuvenate his quest for a ring. Also, Chicago hasn't locked down a coaching situation yet so James may have an opportunity to give some input in that regard. Despite all these pros, I still have one major objection to Lebron in Chicago: do the Bulls really deserve another number 23? throughout the 1990's, he who shall not be named terrorized the NBA. This bald-headed, tongue-showing, Gatorade-drinking freak of nature waltzed into the league and took six championships away from some of the greatest men to ever play the game. If "The Chosen One" really decides to be a Bull, It could be a long time before we see anyone other than him winning titles. So... Don't do it, Lebron!! What about my feelings? It isn't fair!!!

Miami:
Although it might be a long shot, I think Miami presents a rather enticing opportunity. With D-Wade showing signs that he intends to stay where he is, it seems plausible that Lebron would want to join him. Having two players of that caliber on the same team would really be something to see and, unlike Cleveland, Miami has attractions other than its basketball team (the beaches, the food, the Cuban women... what's not to love?). Still, managing two superstar egos could be difficult (remember Shaq and Kobe, Mcnabb and T.O., Jay-Z and Dame Dash?... it doesn't work). Another thing to remember is that, besides Wade, Miami is a mediocre team. That could put Lebron back in the same type of situation he had in Cleveland.

New Jersey:
Honestly, I don't know that much about the Nets other than the fact that they're bad. The only reason they're in this post is because I heard them mentioned on ESPN and I like to make lists of five (it's proven to work... have you ever heard of a top four list? That would be stupid). The only major draws I can see with New Jersey are that they're a smaller market than Miami, Chicago or New York, they have lots of money, and Jay-Z is there to pamper Lebron (he loves to ride on the bandwagon of superstars. Watch the Sebastian Telfair documentary if you don't believe me). Basically, New Jersey is like an east coast version of Cleveland with less talent. Who would want that?

Cleveland:
After what transpired in this year's playoffs, it would seem foolish to return to Cleveland. Seven years of heartbreak have left the fans puzzled and Lebron frustrated. That, coupled with the lack of help from his supporting cast and the alleged curse on Cleveland Sports would suggest that out is the only way to go. Still, I think that it would behoove the superstar to give it another try. As someone who has accepted the name, "The Chosen One", Lebron has an obligation fulfill his destiny. In terms of sports, Cleveland is a one trick pony. With truly sub-par franchises in football and baseball, Lebron is the only thing in Cleveland worth rooting for. Without him, Ohioans might as well forget about professional sports altogether and stick to cheering for their beloved Buckeys. Lebron switching teams is like Spiderman deciding to leave New York in order to fight crime in Canada or Chuck Norris deciding he wanted to be Walker, Maryland Ranger. If Princess Leia were from Cleveland, she would say, "Help us, Lebron James. You're our only hope". In short, although life may not be the best up on the polluted shores of Lake Erie, the fans there love and need Lebron and it would be a tremendous show of class for him to stay in the
"Armpit of the Midwest" where he belongs. True champions finish what they start.

This is how much the people of Ohio want Lebron to stay:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Song of the moment: "The Sun Always Shines On T.V."-a-ha
Although they're most famous for their hit "Take On me", a-ha actually had quite a few good songs on their album, Hunting High and Low. "The Sun Always Shines On T.V." is probably my favorite song off of that album other than "Take On Me" and it's definitely worth listening too. The version I posted is a live performance from 2001. I don't like it as much as the album version from 1985, but I thought it was cool that the band was still together and performing.

Thing that I'm currently anticipating: sleeping. I enjoy sleeping more than I should... I feel like I've already written about this before so I'll just end it here.

Doodle/image of the day:

Random Thoughts: Blogger is really starting to piss me off. Placing an image where you want it shouldn't be that freaking difficult. Maybe I would post more often if it didn't cause me all this stress!

I'm not going to talk about the Super Bowl... I'm going to pretend it never happened.

I'm really hungry right now, but I don't feel like getting something to eat. I'm probably going to go to sleep and then eat a lot for breakfast tomorrow morning. Is that bad?

I have an ipod, but no headphones... that kind of sucks.

Why do I clean my room? I'm the only person who's ever in there... it's not like people hang out in my room. I should let it get completely filthy. that would be cool... for a while.

I don't really have much to say today (sorry :'( ... I'll make it up to you in some other post). I think my hunger and sleepiness is overriding my desire to express myself.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Disillusioned vs. Jaded

Sometime last semester, I found myself in the middle of an argument about the subtleties of the English language. While I don't claim to be any sort of authority on these issues, I try to dispense my knowledge when it seems appropriate and this issue seemed like it required my attention. The argument started when one of my friends claimed that the two words had the same meaning. I claimed the opposite and drama ensued. Afterwords, I was dissatisfied because I felt as I hadn't accurately conveyed my point. Now that I have an open forum to express my views, I think I'll settle this issue once and for all.

To the best of my knowledge, disillusionment arises when a person has seen through the hype and mystique regarding a particular subject and therefore begins to reject the subject altogether.

One becomes jaded when they grow familiar with a particular subject to the point that they are unresponsive to things which were once shocking.

After I checked with Dictionary,com, I realized that I'm sort of right (their definitions were relatively simple and lead to multiple interpretations)... but I seriously need to get a life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy moment

Last night, I was eating a meatball sub from Subway and it reminded me of something. The last time I had a meatball sub was last spring when I went to watch Michigan State in the Final Four with my mother. Although it all seemed rather mundane at the time, I now realize that this was one of my favorite moments of 2009. More so than graduation, my senior prom, my birthday or any other event of the year, going to the Final Four with my mother made me feel a certain happiness that enveloped every part of the evening. When I tried to find a reason behind this, my thoughts always drifted to three main aspects of the night: Detroit, Michigan State University and my mother. It was my love and admiration for these things that made the night special. Since it's difficult to understand these things without knowing how they relate to me, I'll try to explain their importance and why they're special.

Detroit: Although I've never actually lived in Detroit, I have numerous connections to the "Motor City" through friends, family and the fact that it is the largest and most famous city in Michigan. Also, my mother was very involved in Detroit and its issues and often acts as an informal ambassador to people who aren't familiar with the area. For all of these reasons, I have developed a fondness for the city of Detroit and everything that it represents. Still, despite all of my warm feelings, Detroit has developed a negative image in the eyes of the media and the country as a whole. Detroit hosting the Final Four was an opportunity to oppose some of these negative viewpoints, and I think the city succeeded in that regard.

Michigan State: Growing up in the Lansing area, there was one college team that reigned supreme (It doesn't hurt that my mother is an alumna). In my house, rooting for Michigan State was as necessary as eating, sleeping and breathing. However, when I went to high school, I found myself surrounded by supporters of that dreadful school in Ann Arbor with the tacky colors and an overgrown badger as their mascot. To see Michigan State in the Final Four was a chance to sing the Spartan fight song with pride in the midst of a sea of wolverines. Also, on a more deeper level, seeing my team in the Final Four was a testament to the power of faith, will power and positive thinking. throughout the tournament, I believed that, even when victory seemed out of reach, Michigan State would somehow continue to win. Although it may sound silly to expend so much energy cheering and screaming at the television when my actions have no logical or measurable impact on the outcome of the game, seeing Michigan State play at Ford Field gave me a glimmer of hope that I was somehow willing the team to succeed.

My mother: Truthfully, words cannot accurately describe what my mother means to me. Apart from the fact that she is responsible for my existence, I love her because she has raised me, cared for me and helped make me who I am. Although it seems insignificant, the simple gesture of asking me to go to the Final Four with her is something that I greatly appreciate. Furthermore, as a major influence in my life, my mother planted the seeds of love and admiration for both the city of Detroit and Michigan State University. Her passion for these things have left an indelible mark on me, and the chance to enjoy them with a person who shares this love and passion is one of the greatest gifts of all.

Although Detroit is still looked down upon and Michigan State eventually lost in the National Championship game, the 2009 Final Four at Ford Field will remain as one of my fondest memories of last year. If I can experience one moment that is even half as good as this one in 2010, I think I'll be able to call it a good year.