Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Look, I hate more than anyone to be the party pooper and crap on everyone's parade, but the madness has to stop. I'm here to take the power back. When I was growing up, I was helping my mother out with trick-or-treaters and some punk kids mouthed off to my mother when I was away from the door and left her jack-o-latern smeared across the driveway and, since then, my patience is short with punkass kids. I chased them down around the block in my car and gave them a, uh, rather candid mouthful of colorful and influential language. That being said, Halloween has a deeply personal meaning to me. So Halloween, for me, is a collision of principles and a developed belief system. It's where I impose (although loosely in most cases) those beliefs in others. That's why I'm not very fun to be around on this holiday. I say that, my lovely wife might think I'm quite pleasurable to be around during the course of the evening and, on the outside, maybe so. But inside, I'm just waiting for the circumstances to pop off and chase a punk down the street with a baseball bat.

Okay, maybe not that drastic. But, you get where I'm going. That or I'm coming off as really creepy.

Here are the rules. Remember them. Live by them. And pass them off to your little bunnies when they grow up.

Remember that you're lucky that I turn on that light for you. You come up to my house, you better be respectful, cute and polite to my lovely wife that's handing out the goodies. It's funny because I usually play the dark figure behind my wife carefully watching to make sure there's no foul play. I just stand there ominously like, "Take your candy and get moving," like they're sizing me up, checking out the house like they're gonna rob us blind. It's like a territorial pissing. I just stand there looking as mean as I can. Yeah, I'm real fun at parties.


You show up bathrobe, you better be asking for shampoo. That's what you'll get. You betta damn well be creative before approaching my door. Some kid showed up tonight in a grey sweatsuit. I was like, "Let me guess, you're a thieving jerkoff here to take candy that was bought with our hard-earned money in exchange for your ugly sweatsuit. Get lost." When I was a kid, I got decked out and, at the end of the evening, I hurt from wearing that stupid costume. You're gonna have to go through the same aches and pains that I did. If you're not, stay at home and watch Dancing with the Stars like every other American. Myself included. And my Emmitt Smith-loving father-in-law. Don't tell him I said that.

And you're lucky we're that giving. If you want to go from door to door asking for food, I'll give you canned goods, but I have a feeling you'd just chunk it through my living room window as you flee the premises. Then a chase would commence. That's why you get raisins--because they can't be turned on you as a weapon and they're nutritious.

We all know that America is a glutonous society with an unsatiable appetite for things that are bad for us, but you don't want to hear that speech on Halloween. Please bring a reasonably size bag for candy. A suitcase is the perfect size for a cinder block. That's what you'll get and I'll follow you down the block to make sure you don't use it as a weapon or for vandalistic purposes.

I know it's silly, but it's also tradition. Rules is rules, kid. Some moron came by tonight and said, "I don't really know what I am. I think I'm gonna go home and make me like a dummy." Guess what, kid, you already accomplished that. I saw kids that just ran up panting and I'm like, "Say it, ese!" They look at me with this desperate blank look like, "Please! Candy! Hurry!" Where's the fire, dude? You runnin' from the law man? You trying to set a record?

Hey, look at it this way, I'm a tall guy so it's not as cruel as it might sound. It's not like I'm only four feet tall. Of course, I do bust a nasty sag that makes my waistline about five inches lower than what it should be, but that's a technicality that you're gonna have to live with.

That's why I ate about twelve of them earlier. Look, I'm entitled to judge who gets the best stuff in the bowl. If you come up as a vampire and the only indication that you are, in fact, a vampire is your stupid, 50-cent fangs, then you get a Tootsie Roll--the little ones. If you're gonna take the good stuff from my hands before going into my mouth and into my big belly, you betta give me a good reason.

Hey, you gotta admit, it'd be worth it. I'd give you the entire Beatles catalog if you would burst into "Cold Turkey."

Well, in other news, it's the end of three eras. First, Harold Reynolds from "Baseball Tonight." He reportedly gave an intern a Lewinsky hug and caught wreck from ESPN. Of course, the dude denies it and I give him the benefit of the doubt, but you never know. Sucks. It's like the day I found out that the late Kirby Puckett, my baseball hero growing up, reportedly cornered some lady in the women's restroom and did some rather non-baseball-hero-growing-up things to her.

And Bob Barker's retiring after 35 years of service in network television. Dude paid his dues like a muddah. My wife gasped at the news. I knew she was thinking, "We waited too long." Yeah, I can only dream now of standing on top of the Plinko board with Bob talking about the price of four bars of soap like anyone still uses bar soap. Well, at least we know the Barker Beauties' attorneys will have some time off to spend Barker's money. At least Pasadena got to see him in all of his glory. What does a guy like Bob Barker do in retirement? It's not like's been really working all this time. The dude has the easiest gig in television.

And, I'm finally retiring an old dingy jacket that I swear I've been wearing since 9th grade. Hey, I grew fast as a kid. It still fits. It's the navy-blue-with-brass-button configuration. Ol' blue's finally going to the Army. The Army of Salvation, that is. I wish him well. He's served me well. I replaced him with a slick grey jacket. And, let me tell you, I look gangstafied in that thing.

Yeah, we family.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Yeah, so they give me an hour to sleep in and I wake up at 2 in the morning ready to go to work. What gives?

Yeah, it's now about 5 and I'm on my second cup of coffee. The only reason I haven't downed an entire pot yet is because I was hoping that fatigue would take me over and I'd fall back asleep.

The other night, she caught me sleepwalking for only the second time that she can remember. She said I walked into the bedroom in a panic saying that the "paint is shifting" but "not to worry because it'll only take two days to get the sale POP." She said that she wanted to wake me up but rather decided to enjoy me in my torturous state of sleeplessness. Thanks, honey. I'm lucky I didn't wake up drinking water out of the toilet or peeing in a houseplant.

Don't really understand sleepwalking. I think it's kinda creepy how I could navigate my way through a house that I've only been in for a week while still asleep. Oh well. Only second time in about seven years...I wouldn't consider it an outbreak.

All I gotta say is what in the world happened to overnight television. You would've thought that it improved over the years with cable television becoming so competitive more Americans working later and sleeping less. I mean, let's face it, the 8-hour night of sleep is a thing of the past. I guess no one told my lovely wife though. When I awoke at 2, I could pick from, count 'em, 28 different infomercials (out of 65 active channels), the eighth airing of Children of the Corn in the last two days, deer hunting on ESPN, Matlock, Flight of the Navigator or the 1981 werewolf classic, The Howling. I opted for The Howling where I discovered in my hazy fatigue that Dee Wallace was kinda hot. Dee would be later known as Mary, Elliott's mother in E.T. Let me tell you, in The Howling, Cujo and The Hills Have Eyes and the girl had it going on in that Jane Pauley way. That's all I'm sayin. Here's to you, Dee.

Man, this girl took some crap roles. Remember Critters? Or Popcorn? Frighteners? She's working hard for that money so you betta treat her right, ese. Curiously, the only dude who didn't do so well from himself after the E.T. boom was a kid named Robert MacNaughton who played the older brother, Michael. Man, this dude's career started in 1980 and ended eight roles later in 1987 on "Newhart." Wow, rough. Check him out and tell me if this dude doesn't scream "rockstar drug habit."

Damn, that's kinda cruel of me. It's just suspicious to me how everyone from that cast would launch to to so many more roles except for this cat.

Whoa, just did a search and in 2001, the Enquirer broke a story that he was sorting mail in a post office. Hmm. Yeah...drug habit.

Went to a Halloween/birthday party for the great Rory. Once again, the shakeface phenomenon takes over. The camera starts making its way around so everyone can cement images of their costumes and me, being without a costume, decide to leave a much more entertaining treat on the camera. We're waiting on the images (and may never get them because I have no idea who that dude was), but once I fired mine off, everyone in the room was doing it. Nothing gets the party hopping quicker and more effectively than a good shakeface. B'lee dat.

Man, I love Mondays. This one's gonna rule. It's now about 5:30 and I'm getting tired as I should have been all along, but I'm at the point of no return. Gonna let my wonderful brother bring in the new week. Don't sleepwalk, listen to Lord Finesse, no drinking out of the toilet and enjoy BroBro.

Holla atcha boy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Without question the greatest coach in the history of basketball, Celtics' Red Auerbach died yesterday of a heart attack at 89 years old. He won a record 10 World Championships as coach of the C's which included an EIGHTpeat. Beat that, Coach Jackson. Red was known for lighting a cigar during the game when the Celtics had taken control of the game on way to a certain win. Meaning, if you saw this:

...you were about to find yourself on the losing end of a Celtics ass whooping, whether you knew it or not. Being it was a heart attack, I would suggest that it was too many victory cigars over the years. Here's to good ol' Red and another fantastic year of Celtic basketball. We just gotta find a way of shaking "Golly Gee" Danny Ainge from the helm and get Larry Legend back in charge.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Yeah, that's right--back like cooked crack. Just when you thought it was over. I'm just gonna keep comin and comin and comin. If you knock me down, you better make sure I'm dead. And if I'm dead, you better stack boulders on top of me until you can climb into the clouds. I got nine lives and I ain't even half way through my first. I'm the Rod Stewart of this muddah. I'm up earlier, go to bed later and I sleep with one eye open and a shotgun pointed at the bedroom door. Come find me.


Yep, I'm back up. In my new Boom Boom Room. Hung Rakim. Starting off my morning with Stevie Wonder on vinyl and a nice dark cup of coffee.

Alright, where do you wanna start?

Bought a house. Constructed in 1950. Great home, better neighborhood, friendly people. I walked to work the other day and it's a much longer walk. About twice the length of my old walk. No bird or dog attacks. However, I had to walk by a schoolhouse and you never know how creepy you are until you're around children or the elderly. I think I was the "suspicious man" that you always see news reports about. Certainly, bear-like facial hair doesn't help. It'll wear off. They'll get used to me.

Let's do the abridged version of the house story. If you want the expanded edition, uh, you won't get it from me. I'm actually quite tired of telling it. Here we go.

My lovely wife began looking for new homes. We found a spectacular fix'r up'r in a prestigious neighborhood here in the Yellow. We put in an offer come to find out that the legal owner of the house works for Coldwell Banker so our realtor couldn't sell us the house and we'd have to go to another realtor. Before we could make that decision, the place sold. And, on another note, Jax took a huge crap in their yard the other day on a walk around the park. We found another beautiful home on another really great block. It had two living rooms. We put in an offer and that evening the lady pulled it off the market for family reasons. Not deterred, we marched onward while our house was "showing well" (that's a nice industry term that really means nothing, we find out). We get an offer and also find a house we feel comfortable pursuing. When the papers were on the way, the woman making an offer on our house is diagnosed with cancer. I mean, it was that morning. Again, not deterred, our house went back up on the market and not long thereafter, another offer dropped down. We ended up selling our house and making some good cash that went to the upfront costs of our new house. The new house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gas fireplace, an accessible attic and grass. There you go.

Bob Seger songs make feel alone and somber. I noticed that the other day when "Turn the Page" was playing. I really thought I liked him, but I felt quite lonely and sad at that moment. I'll get back to you on that one.

Found out in the move that I have entirely too much music. I'm getting rid of some crap. Just stuff I have no use for. Clint, I'll certainly try and get you some, but really it's mostly just really bad rock and jazz records that I've been holding onto because I wanted to be cool a party some day like it was something I understood and everyone was a numbnut for not understanding. In short, I don't really get it. In fact, some of this stuff gives me incredible headaches. I committed to getting rid of 15% of my compact discs which I achieved and I'm getting rid of some vinyl only because it almost snapped my back like a twig in the move. The vinyl just needs some downsizing. I just threw away a 12" of Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina."

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. Good for my dad and grandfather. What a poor showing for the American League. Ugh. Oh well. Condolences go out to Bill's Tigers and, my man, the most gangsta manager in the league, Jimmy Leyland. The dude's a straight boss. The only manager in the league that shows up in cleats like he's ready to play. Like he'll sub himself in if that's what it means. The cat's so incredibly gangsta.

And, once again, I'm waiting for someone to tell me who woke up one day and decided that the Cardinal fans are the "classiest fan in baseball" and, more importantly, why? I didn't know there was an award. Did they get trophies for this? I just don't get it. You hear all the baseball announcers say it, even fans of other teams and, yet, not one person has given me enough evidence to prove or disprove the claim. "Classiest fan in baseball"? I'm going to just start something right now and see if it catches on by next season. The Red Sox fans are the sexiest fans in baseball. And this is true. Tell a friend.

Just put on my vinyl copy of Jungle Brothers Straight Out the Jungle. Thanks, Q.

Like an old man, I entered the local weatherman's challenge of guessing the first freeze here in the Yellow. I entered over a month ago and I said it would happen on October 23rd at exactly 2:10 in the morning. On the line was a large flat-screen television. As the day and time approached, I kept a close eye on the atmospheric conditions. That morning, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was steadily creeping down in temperature. The lowest official reading that morning was 34 degrees. Missed it by two degrees. But don't get it twisted, my estimates are sometimes dangerously, freakishly accurate. I'll be back next year. I want a walk-on job as a weatherman. Next year, they'll recognize.

Halloween's here. For the kids, it's all about the candy. For adult women, it's dressing as slutty as possible. Every party I've ever been to, 90% of the ladies are always wearing near nothing and explain that their costume is a "sexy insert character here ." "I'm a sexy cat." "I'm a sexy nurse." "I'm a sexy nun." "I'm a sexy tiger." "I'm a sexy witch." "I'm a sexy bunny." "I'm a sexy librarian." I don't get it. I mean, I do, but ladies need to put some clothes on and respect themselves.

Rory suggested I should show up in Red Sox gear and be a loser. Thanks, Rory. Interesting coming from a Yankee fan.

Just saw on the news that some kid in Abilene crawled into one of those arcade machines where you try and win stupid plush animals with a drop-down claw. Oh, those crazy Texans!

Snoop Dogg was arrested at the Bob Hope airport for possession of a firearm and marijuana. Snoop, did you not know how tight airport security is these days? Not all too coincidently, he has a new record coming out in late November--the same day as Jay-Z and 2Pac. I'm not suggesting anything, but it seems like a very dumb move that common sense would've prevented.

Funniest part of the report was when a reporter referred to his contraband as "the gat and his chronic"--sheesh.

Alright, I gotta get folks. Texas Tech will upset Texas today in Lubbock by the score of 38-34. You heard it here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Seems my post from a week ago was a little too early. Now I'm going to be out, but just until Saturday. Expect some nice updates on the other side of the weekend.

I heard a commercial on the radio today (go figure--an actual commercial on the radio!) claiming, "Take control of your future today and get started on a financially rewarding career in the exciting profitable radio business." Yikes. I can tell you, I worked radio and it sucks. Don't ever do it or you will become a deeply depressed individual isolated in your sadness. It's a horrible business to work in.

Diddy released another album of some sort today. I heard the expectations were pretty big for first week. Here's my prediction as of Wednesday evening: it will sell exactly 212,056 at SoundScan first week. I would say that's about 200,000 too many. You know, as much as I bitch about the industry in its incredible downward spiral, you'd think I'd be happy with a release scanning 200,000+ in one week. That is unless it's Diddy. Yes, I'm a hater. And, yes, he sucks. His music is the poison that kills hip hop. He makes nice slacks, nice suits and a good cologne (so I hear), but his music is terrible. Shaddup, Diddy. Just stop.

On the hip hop tip, the new De La mixtape, The Impossible Mission, is hot to death. Good listen. Better than I've heard from them in a while. I really appreciate what those dudes do, but they've fallen a bit short on the last couple of releases. Just get ol' Prince Paul back in the lab and you're gonna have heat that'll leave a burn for years. The dudes still got it in 'em. They just need a professor to help stir it up. But cop that De La if you see it. Nice listen.

Jackson the Super Beagle is super once again. He's recovering well from his chocolate hangover. Dude parties like a freakin rockstar, seriously. He slept all day and I confronted him about his problems and he just rolled over, called security and had me ushered off the property. I just don't know him anymore. But he ate a full bowl of food today and is well-hydrated. At least, that's what reporters are saying.

Moving tomorrow. I'm unplugging this rig in about three minutes. You all be good, have a splendid weekend and go listen to some De La Soul.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


By the way, meet Brother Todd. Nothing to do with the story.

So, the other evening, I was busy wrapping up biz up at work and I get a call from my wife that says, "Baby, I really need you to come home now. Jax got into a bag of chocolate chips and there's puke and ish everywhere."


So begins my evening.

Somewhat prepared for the horror that awaited me at home, I drove fast but cautiously. No reason to make a big problem bigger. I arrive at the house, swing open the door to the sunroom and, sure enough, there's more puke than I've ever seen come from a dog. And, yes, one horse-sized turd to the right of my right foot. Just to the right.

Okay, think quick. Like Boy Scouts, get a plan, execute. Gotta be quick, gotta be quick, gotta be quick.

My wife asks if we should take him somewhere. I'm thinking, "Yeah, the backyard." She would be referring to some sort of medical treatment facility. Absolutely. For those who do not know, chocolate contains several toxins that are fatally harmful to dogs if ingested in, well, we'll put it this way, if ingested in the amounts that Jax ingested on Monday.

The damage?

1 Ziploc bag of white chocolate chips, 1 Ziploc bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1 Ziploc bag of toffee chips

Barf everwhere. Everywhere. And when I find Jax, he's as you would expect--dehydrated as a muddah, whining for fluids. And, better yet, he's running a mile a minute on account of the incredible portions of caffeine and stimulants flowing through his bloodstream. In fact, I'm convinced he was having hallucinations.

My lovely wife's on the phone trying to track down an open shop so we could have his stomach pumped, but in the continued neglect of the canine population in the Yellow, no surprise, everywhere we were calling works under the assumption that pets only get sick during normal business hours.

Finally, we reach someone about thirty minutes down the road who offered up the following suggestion: give him a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to enduce vomiting once every five minutes until he vomits clear, then an hour later administer a tablespoon of Pepto and then plenty of fluids.

Wow, just another quiet evening at home.

My lovely wife and I go outside and proceed pouring tablespoon number one of hydrogen peroxide down his gully. He walks around the backyard languidly. Nothing. I start chasing him around the backyard to jostle his belly a little. It always worked for me as a kid. Of course, it wasn't hydrogen peroxide I was drinking. C'mon folks, straight up 40 ounces of St. Ides. You know the routine.

So moments later, a second tablespoon down the hatch. This had to do the trick.


More wandering until I notice the "I'm about to projectile vomit" face that dogs do. It kinda looks like a smile. Like, "Hey, I just tooted a little." He works his way into the flower bed (hey, I'm moving outta here on Friday, I don't care) and starts a nervous pacing back and forth. Then, I notice him begin digging a small hole in the ground. "Okay, I have no clue what this is," I said to my lovely wife.

Suddenly, I notice his back arch, his sides begin to puff rapidly and then--boom goes the dynamite--out comes enough belly volume to fill a Wal-Mart bag (let's face it, that's what their product is, really). I run over to check out his product and, wonder of wonders, this dude just puked up literally everything in his body. Yet he has yet to successfully puke clear. One more round.

And, again, please note that this dog is so gangsta that he buries his puke. Dude, you've seen Casino, when you a gangsta like Jax, you bury your problems in a shallow grave in the desert. Or the flower bed as the case may be.

This one took about thirty minutes or so for the second helping to come and, thank God, it was clear. So, now it was time to move onto Pepto. Jax, at this point, is quite leary of us hovering over him so he becomes panicked. I wrestle him up, pry his mouth open and my lovely wife pours a tablespoon down his gully of the Pepto. What happened next, I would have never guessed. Immediately, the dude just spits it up. And I'm not talking like "Oh, it just didn't go down the hatch," no, I'm talking, "If they try and put that pink crap down your throat, just give 'em what they deserve." There was a pink Pepto explosion. It was everywhere. All over me, my wife, the floor, the rug. Disaster.

Anyhow, Jax is recovering still. He's going to be fine, methinks, as we found an exit for all that chocolate, although, things always move faster through the out door. So, here's to me for not properly storing all those freaking goodies so that my dog couldn't access them while I was away at work and here's to Jax for puking into a hole in the ground. Atta boy!

Here's Jax expressing his love for chocolate. That cake is another problem altogether. But make no mistake, it was heavenly.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Okay, I'll admit. I do not belong to the population segment known as "gamers." I don't have the latest system. In fact, I still play the original Nintendo, Genesis and, only occasionally, the original Playstation. That's just how I roll. In fact, I prefer all the games to be less realistic. The more moronic and computer-like, the better. It's just a matter of personal preference. So 16-bit graphics work great for me. You know the deal--real pimps use dot matrix. Well, Bro Bro and I used to stay up all night playing a game for original Nintendo called Baseball Simulator 1.000 (pronouced "one thousand" but really "one point zero zero zero"). It's really Mickey Mouse, but the simplicity of the game made it easy to pick up and, more importantly, put away. You didn't have to commit yourself to hours at a time. One game of nine innings would only take about 30 minutes to play. Now, we're talking about a game that altogether, I've been playing off and on for about 16 or 17 years. It just never gets old. Well, that is until last week.

Seems, that after years of continuous off/on usage, the game's finally make its farewell. And it's going out in grand fashion. It began with odd assortments of characters, numbers, shapes showing up randomly across the screen. I could live with it, I mean, after playing it for years, you can pretty easily focus beyond all the distractive elements popping up on the screen. But a Player by the name of Oooo. That's not a typo.

Here's a screen shot of what a normal Baseball Simulator 1.000 character looks like in the batters box. I know, pretty Mickey Mouse. Bro, all those weird shapes you see is evidence that the game is giving up. There's nothing left for this game to love in this world. He won't be with us much longer.

There's a few variations to the players in width and height, but that's really it. They're all white, they all wear horribly colored uniforms and each has the same follow through to their swings. One day, when getting the game set up to play and getting my lineup readied for the game, I noticed a player whose name I didn't recognize. His name was Oooo. He had a .000 batting average and had hit 00 homeruns. Normally, you don't want this guy anywhere near your team, but with a name like Oooo, I figured I'd let him live out a dream.

When he came up to bat, the mystery man only further confused. Here's what Oooo looked like:

That's him. That weird configuration of geometric shapes and colors. I thought, "Oh hell, this game's had it." And figured I'd go ahead and start digging the shallow grave in the backyard.

That is, until I saw this kid swing the bat.

In fact, he really didn't even swing the bat--the shape just moved. The result everytime, without fail, bet the ranch and throw in the Chevy, was a home run. And I'm not talking just a home run. I'm talking about one that, if to scale, I estimate would chart somewhere around 7000-9500 feet in distance. The ball would just disintegrate. Disappear. The game couldn't even follow it. You'd see it for a fraction of a second and then the word "Homerun" would just pop up on the screen.

How's this for a single game: 9 for 9 with 9 homeruns--5 of them were grand slams. Oooo would finish the night with a total of 29 RBIs in a single game. In fact, he had two grand slams in one inning. The final score of the game was 41-29. I kept having to let the opponent score just because once you take a 10-run lead, it calls the game to run-rule.

And his speed around the base path was nothing short of blinding. I estimate somewhere between 35 and 40 miles per hour.

Incredible. So incredible he had to be documented. I think I found the end of the game. It was like Truman plowing his sailboat through the backwall of his existence. It was a like the "break on through" that Jim Morrison sang about. It was a a simple baseball "simulator" that I've been playing for over half my life. And, finally, I've crossed the line of reason and feasibility. This kid was beyond amazing. He was unreal. I'll stack Oooo up against the greatest baseball players the gaming world has ever seen. Stack 'em up and shoot 'em down.

I've met greatness and his name is Oooo. And, trust me, he has well over 00 homeruns.


Saturday night in the Yellow. Since I'm drawn to movies of the horror variety, I'm usually drawn to a local theater on, perhaps, a weekend. Such was the case last night. In fact, it was the rare occassion that I can actually pull along my lovely wife because she hates sitting through these movies. It was The Grudge 2 on opening weekend.

And it's PG-13.

We're standing in line and there's juveniles everywhere. It was like an idiot epidemic. I can't wait to have one of my own. It's like they were multiplying in front of my eyes (and maybe they were). We were in line and I kept hearing the two kids in front of mentioning to their passing friends that they were going to see The Grudge 2. I'm thinking, at this point, this could be a mess. I'll be damned if I'm going to let anyone tell me I'm not a sport, though.

We enter the theater and it's like that scene in Gremlins when they go to the theater. It's complete pandemonium. There is no control in this theater and the previews have begun to roll so house lights are off and my lovely wife and I are searching for seats in a theater of about 300 unruly kids.

There's literally no stopping a mob of this size. My lovely wife and I spot two seats up front in the handicap section. We grab them. Sit down and begin watching the previews.

While I'm sitting there, I'm hushed in amazement, wonderment at the noise level accomplished by these punk ass kids. Amazing. Behind me was a girl who was cussing to impress her friends. Every time she said a magic word, her friends laughed. Another kid down the aisle from me was on his phone yelling his snack bar order to a buddy outside the theater. He forgot the pacifier. Then there's a girl walking in front of us refusing to actually find a seat yelling, "It's because we're black and loud, girl!" I'm lying to myself, "It'll get quiet once the movie starts."

Movie starts.

Still noisy.

Now I feel like a sitting duck. I feel like standing up and planting a heel in the chest of everyone making more noise than breathing. My lovely wife grabs my hand and asks, "Are you gonna make it?" The correct answer to this question is, "Hell no," yet at this moment, I'm in such a state of bewilderment, I fail to answer with anything.

It was literally like being buried alive in a coffin full of hungry rats.

Then, before I flip my lid and send of these kids flying four rows up with cell phone cramed down his throat, the silhouette of a man carrying a walkie talkie (geez, do they still call 'em that) walks by with a flashlight and now I'm thinking, "Cool, the manager's gonna start plucking these kids from their seats and send them back to their mama's minivan."

"Alright, folks. The movie has begun and we've already received complaints about the noise level in this theater. Now, shut up, find a seat and put the cell phones away or we're gonna start kicking you out of here."

Okay, the dude had no tact, but I kinda felt, at that moment, we could probably get this situation under control. Then, not but two minutes after that, a tall cop comes in and I'm thinking, "Start whackin' 'em with your billy club like baby seals!"

"Kids, shut up right now. People came to watch the movie and not to hear you talk. If I get one more complaint from this theater and have to come back in here, we'll start pulling you out of here. Shut up and watch the movie."

And then he did his one warning pass with the flashlight where he kinda shines it on a slow pan of the audience like, "Don't make me use this flashlight. I ain't afraid to use it."

He leaves, unfortunately for me, with no one in cuffs.

It became quieter, however. Of course, I had to endure the barking of a manager and cop like I was in pre-school again. That was until the first jump of the movie.

You know this kid. His real name is Yuya, but in the movie he plays a ghost boy named Toshio. Yeah, at first site of this kid, the whole place goes up in nothing short of a deafening and totally unnecessary shreik of terror. I mean, creepy? Yes. So scary you wet your pants and belt out of the loudest screeches ever heard to man? No, but they're teenagers and, like my wife mentioned, "It's cool to be loud."

At this point, I begin to boil and, being that I don't really like aggravation (like the woman who came out and complained then went right back into the theater), my wife and I stood up, walked out and asked politely for our money back which we were granted without issue.

Here's the deal, I don't like kids. That's my lovely wife's job. I work in an office. My lovely wife works with juveniles or adults who act like them. I don't have the tolerance for other peoples' kids and that's why I don't work in the corrective field. My lovely wife has a gift for it.

Actually, it's not completely accurate to say that "I don't like kids." I like well-behaved kids, but really, who doesn't? I mean, this was an instant where the parents drop the kids off, they go bananas because their parents aren't there, there's no control, there's no consequence and it's a place just ready to go up. I never was that loud in a theater and I told my lovely wife, "Even if I was twelve years old, I would've been annoyed with that volume level."

So, here's the rule: No more j3 movie expeditions on Friday or Saturday nights, opening weekends and/or Thanksgiving and Christmas. I simply won't do it. If I wanted a babysitting job, I would quit my day gig, adopt twenty kids who crap their pants, sit around and watch "The Price is Right."

Crap, talk about feeling old.

Friday, October 13, 2006


The other day, I'm making my way home from work listening to my shuffle (they make them white because they're like cocaine) and I got Fat Beats Radio (not to be confused with the previously mentioned Fat Laces). They're mixing through a straight-up assault of old ish and they fade out from Black Sheep's "Black With N.V." into 3rd Bass' "Wordz of Wizdom" and I just come alive. It's not that I ever forgot how incredibly dope these dudes were, but when the DJ was screaming over the track, "You don't even know about this! Who don't like this?! Who don't think this is dope?! NOBODY! 3rd Bass! Yikes!!"
One thing about "Wordz of Wizdom" is, without question, it ranks among my top three 3rd Bass songs. It hits so hard. Pete Nice blowing in with "Heart as hard as Chinese arithmetic!" and those drums hit so loud and nasty. Dudes were so fresh and not many people will ever know that. How come? Because no one's got any appreciation for the old ish. It's not a stretch to say that The Cactus Album and Derelicts of Dialect are among the greatest 100 hip hop recordings in the history of time, but, really, who would ever know?
Because the radio stations push nothing but the new stuff, really, as far as hip hop is concerned. They call it "urban" but it's really shoved on you like pop instead--force fed into the market place until, eventually, people are hypnotized into purchase. The power of radio as an advocate to purchase is still there, however, what they're advocating is garbage. I mean, have you heard the Diddy single? It's trash. Horrible. And people are getting mad rich off of radio. With the money in radio, you simply can't trust that they have artists and careers in their best interest. They just spin what they're told. Formats sell audiences to advertisers. Remember that. It's key. With that being said, where does that leave 3rd Bass?
I don't know anywhere in this nation where you can flip on a station and hear what is often referred to as "old school." People talk "old school" but you ask the average urban station listener and they call Dr. Dre's "Still D.R.E." old school. That ain't old school.
Last week on SoundScan, only three rap records landed in the top 50 records sold in the US. And, those three ranked at #6, #37 and #43--possibly the worst showing for the format in recent history. That's terrible. And rap radio is possibly at its very worst state in recent history. Here's my proposition. The old ish is the new ish and the new ish is the old ish.

Two radio tycoons.
You dedicate 95% of your programming to old material and 5% (the lunch hour) to new up and coming artists. An hour is really all they're playing anyway, except that they're spreading that hour over 8-hour day parts. Here's the catch, you gotta play everything in chronological order from 20 years back. So here we are in 1986. In January, you can spin 1987 and 1986 records. We gotta take the power back.
In one hour you hear "Hold It Now Hit It," "Peter Piper," "Freaky Tales," "Ego Trippin'," some Schoolly D, some Stetsasonic. You basically have free reign to anything year, but it has to have released in 1986 or earlier. Sure, pretty slim pickins at first, but before you know it, you're trucking your way through the very foundation of hip hop and you're laying the ground work all over again. If popular music really works on a 20-year cycle, why is hip hop so damned stubborn in following suit? I mean, really, you'd think hip hop just want to forget the past. If it weren't for VH1, ain't no one knowing Melle Mel. Ain't no one caring.
Imagine it, though, you replace your Ludacris with Redman, Jeezy with Big Daddy Kane, Chingy with Fresh Prince, Lupe Fiasco with CL Smooth, the new Ice Cube with the ol' jehri curl Ice Cube, Black Eyed Peas with 3rd Bass, D4L with Digital Underground. Kids wouldn't know what to think, but ultimately, they'd have to listen because it would be all that would available to them. If they want to find new artists, drive them online. That's where they're going anyway. And then you have radioheads coming in to their local record store asking for Boogie Down Productions, K-Solo, Stet because that's all they're listening to.
It's just a thought. I just know the machine doesn't work right now and the charts are evidence of it. Music's is rapidly losing its value no matter what the marketing divisions of various labels and distributors would love you to believe. It's a matter of fact. We'll get how I arrive at that fact in a later discussion. We're heading into the peak season of the industry and the top title on the charts was Rod Stewart with 180,000 units sold nationwide. Pathetic. And, for the record, only five hip hop artists in the top 50 this week. And only 16 in the top 200 altogether. That'd be a whopping 8% of chart positions are rap records. Two years back that was probably closer to about 20-25%. Proof that the system is completely broken. If you could sell more than 75,000 copies of Ludacris in one week with that saturation at radio, you might have a counter-argument, but dude couldn't even crack 75K last week.
Support your old school. Because it doesn't suck.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Because of a sports injury that resulted in multiple fractures in my beautiful face turning it to a bowl of bone jello and scar tissue, I'll be out of commission for a couple of weeks.

Okay, I just wanted to blame a sports injury because it's a more manly story. Truth is that I'm moving into a new house. The Boom Boom Tomb is being relocated and, in the process, I will soon be dismantling the 'puter. Please expect a major updates upon my return on October 23rd. Ya'll ain't ready. You think you is, but you ain't.

Don't eat your veggies.

Monday, October 09, 2006


For the realness on refined and nicely aged hip hop, hit up the iTunes store, search Fat Laces in iTunes and subscribe to this podcast. It's hot to death. A new episode every Sunday hosted by an ensemble of A-Town DJs. Texas representin', word 'em up.

And, thanks to DJ Rodney and others for the shout on the show. It's The now famous Root Down.

Stop frontin and lace up, homie.


I cut off my moustache and kept the beard this weekend. While at Home Depot I kept getting looks from people. Looks of empathy. Looks of sadness. Like, "We're sorry about what happened to your people." Folks, I'm not amish. I'm Texan.

Also, some of you may know the desk I've been hauling around since about 1994 or so. It's a gigantic, all-wood, 5' x 3' dinosaur of a desk. Well, ever since my lovely wife has known me, she's absolutely hated that desk. And she's always insisted that it was way too much desk for me. Well, this weekend, the desk is no more and sitting in a pile out by the trash cans. I decided that, if I couldn't take the desk, I wanted to take a "part" of the desk with me. That part would be the desk top (minus 20 inches off the length). I ripped the inch-thick top off the desk which had about three coats of paint on it, took it out to the garage, grabbed a handsaw and began going to town. The edge was jagged and certainly not a precision cut, but I had committed at this point so I used three stages of stripper to get most of the paint off and spent about three hours sanding it down from there. Let me tell you, it's beautiful. And much smaller. I've ordered four metal legs to attach to the bottom and that will be my desk. As for the remainder of my desk, well, I basically dismantled it, no, I destroyed it in the office and hauled it out the front door in about 25 different pieces. It is no more. The end of an era.

Got rain yesterday and, on the seventh day, meteorologist scored an astounding score of 90. I'm confused. This is an absolute mess. I don't understand.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Joe, remember, that's not the universal sign of choking. How can we save you if you can't use the universal sign of choking? What Mr. Joe Torre is employing here is the universal sign of "What, I actually have to manage?!" Which is, unfortunately, for Joe and the entire Yankees squad something he realized after Kenny Rogers ran by and sprayed champagne in his face to wake him up from his sweet slumber in the Yankee dugout while his team did a tailspin to their ultimate demise. Remember, folks, to a jaded and mean Sox fan, there's only one thing greater than watching the Sox win and that's watching the Spanks lose. Which is something I had the distinct pleasure of watching yesterday as Bill's Detroit Tigers took the Spanks 3-1 in a best of five to advance to the league championship series.

It's important to remember that since my beloved Sox came back from a 0-3 deficit in the 2004 League Championship Series, the Spanks have managed an early exit the last two years--failing to win either of their opening rounds series. I'm not even going to whisper "curse" but, interestingly enough the Spanks haven't gone to the Series since they outspent the Sox for this pansy.

A-Rod managed to pinch off one hit going 1-14 in the series. And, in all of Torre's infinite wisdom, he drops Alexis to the 8-spot in the lineup. Maybe he was trying to inspire great baseball out of him. Maybe he was trying to set a record for highest paid 8-hitter ever. He would've been better off just pulling him all together because in his last 12 playoff games, the kid's only 4-41 with not one RBI. In fact, this Yankee offense that has been referred to as "Murderer's Row" was as scary as Peter Pan as they were held scoreless for 20 straight innings. What's hilarious about all of this is that A-Rod said, "This was probably the toughest year of my career. I stunk. The fans booed. I stunk more, and they booed more. It got pretty ugly.” Dude had a decent year, in fact, he had the sort of year that most teams would empty half a lineup for, but since the Yankees and their fans expect to win it all every year, a guy could have a decent year, but if he has no ring, he sucks. I personally thinks that he sucks because he's got no character, no heart and when it's crunch time, no talent. And this is the stud that everyone was trying to say was the ultimate stake through the Sox's heart in 2004. Guess that didn't pan out. Now the Yanks are looking to dump him for pitching. And Torre. Ha. Good luck. Ain't no one in the league dumb enough to pay those contracts. Therein lies another problem with overpaying dudes--you'll have to pay a portion of those inflated contracts long after their gone.

$198,000,000 is an extraordinary amount of cash. I mean, Eric hates me to bring up the salaries, but really, when the only other team still in the playoffs paying over hundred mill is the New York Mets and they just barely cracked that mark, the Spanks gotta be thinking is horribly wrong. Maybe it's because they've been outplayed the last two years by teams with more character, more of a team structure--the Spanks only have loyalty to their contract and some fantasy "Pinstripe Pride" notion that has gotten the organization nowhere. There's no chemistry, a flat-lining manager and owner and more money most Americans can even imagine. And with that sort of money, you can buy yourself a whole highlight reel, but you won't be able to buy a championship. I often catch myself saying "Yankees suck," and even really believing it, but the truth is they really are a fantastic team. I just hate them. So let's let the hate continue and join in if you know the words.

Jeter went 5-5 in the series opener. Too bad none of those hits were redeemable at game 2-4. Funny hearing the chants of MVP at Yankee Stadium because they really love this guy and anything he does is the best play in the history of baseball. The guy could catch a pop fly just behind the pitcher's mound and people would lose their mind at how amazing a play it was. And, next year, they'll forget about his failure to get the team anywhere near the Series for the third straight year. Jeter, what do you have to say about the Yankees' inability to hit Tiger pitching in the last two games of this series.

For once, this cat ain't got something to say. I don't think I've ever seen him speechless. He usually gives us his typical, "Uh, you know, they were outstanding. Their pitching was as good as we've seen it and we just didn't get the job done today, but we still have a chance and we're gonna have to go out and play the best baseball we can tomorrow." He's Georgie's cute little puppet who, to speak from his heart, would be a breach of contract so he does his conditioned, "I'm-a-good-sport" post-game interviews.

You know Jeter dreams of one day being able to grow facial hair, but ownership won't allow it. Well, at least he'll have more time this postseason to dedicate to getting his new Avon product off the ground. It's a stinky cologne called "Driven to Lose."

"Life Without Championships"

Don't know what Johnny "No Arm" Damon will be doing this offseason. Wait, I don't care. Although he sounded like he was going to cry when they were eliminated. He sounded really shook. Maybe it was fear of management. Maybe it was fear of the fans. Maybe it was second thoughts of leaving Boston. Not having fun anymore, Johnny? Welcome to Yankee Baseball!

And, not to take everything away from the Tigers. Man, whatta series they played. I thought it was funny hearing Jim Rome, after Game 1, when the Yankees won in Yankee Stadium 8-4 that the Series belongs to the Yankees and that it was series was "over" after one game. He'd make a better comedian than he would a sportscaster. Bonderman and Rogers were lights out against the Spanks and Tiger hitters just put on an absolute assault. Aggressive baseball. Leyland said early, "We're not afraid to fail." That's what ultimately gave them the edge because if there's one team that is afraid to fail, it's the Spanks. And, once again, they played like they were afraid of something.

Someone forgot to give Georgie his medication. You can always tell because he can't keep his mouth closed except for when he's swallowing. Poor guy. I don't even think he's realized that his team lost even this morning. Just break it to him easy and keep him on suicide watch. There's no telling what a cat might do after flushing another $200,000,000 down the toilet in payroll while shoveling $800,000,000 into a new ballpark that might ultimately kill the Yankee legacy. Why are they tearing down Yankee Stadium? Eric always speaks so highly of it.

I guess that leaves Wrigley and Fenway as the premier ballparks in the league. Fantastic.

My attempts to derail the local meteorologists have almost completely failed. They scored a 92 yesterday in, here, the sixth day of the seven day forecast. Man, it's embarrassing. I feel like I totally got schooled. One day left and we'll tally up their scores, but it looks like they met my challenge. They did say that there would be a hard freeze next Thursday. I predicted October 23rd. That might be my chance for redemption.

Breakfast time: cheesy eggs over bacon and chopped onions, smothered in salsa. Word 'em up.


Alright, I won't spoil it (although, if you're a longtime fan like myself, it almost spoils itself), but I went to see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning last night with Manham and his lovely wife. I'll put it this way, the blood flows like a river. The carnage is almost impossible to keep up with and this man, I'm convinced now, is quite possibly one of the greatest character actors in the game.

For those who don't recognize him, that's the great R. Lee Ermey. From his previous rolls, you might know him as Sgt. Loyce, Gunny, Gny. Sgt. Hartman, Mayor Tilman, Col. Haines, Sgt. Maj. Hafner, Col. Buster Darling, Capt. Phillips, Lt. Ackman, General Kramer, General Bell, Special Agent Landau, Det. Ferguson, General Platt, Sheriff, Judge Clawson, Sgt. Maj. Frank Bougus, Col. Hapablap, Lt. Col. McIntire, Rev. Findley, Preacher Brian, Sgt. Hiles, Sgt. Maj. Sauer, Sen. Pullman T. Fowler, Secretary of the State John Hay, Lt. Fry, Sgt. Goonther, Sherriff Buck, Col. Rosewater, Col. Baker, Sheriff Pike, Gen. Thorton, "Army Sarge," Col. Wilder, Sky Marshall Sanchez, Sarge, Marshall, Coach Norton, Col. O'Malley, Gen. Barnaky, President Benson, Gen. Wallace, Capt. Elias, Sgt. Hobo 678, Col. Thrift, Gen. Sims, Capt. Nichols...but in his contribution to the remake and now the prequel, you know him as Sheriff Hoyt. We'll put it this way, I liked him in the first one, but in the movie I saw him last night, I absolutely fell in love. The dude absolutely murders that role. Sheriff Hoyt is also Leatherface's endearing and caring uncle. You will not find an actor in this day and age who commands the screen better than Ermey. He's a beast.

The movie was bloody, bloody, bloody! It's the prequel that everyone would expect. It's certainly not the greatest movie ever made, but it accomplishes more slash than the 2004 remake, honestly. Timing in at just over 84 minutes, it's the perfect length. It's the theatrical comparitive to a roller coaster: fast, fun and over quick. It's a device used by the producers and directors to reduce the amount of time you have to arrive at the notion that, "Hey, this movie really sucks." With that said, I'm a fan. And this is a true fan piece. I mean, really, you can remake the original, but you can't remake a sequel so you create a prequel and see what more money you can squirrel out of the faithful fans. Well, they didn't get my cash, but that place was packed out and they made some cash money.

Overall, I would score the movie as a "C" and that's only because I'm a fan. I'm compelled to go back and watch the first three from back in the day. I always thought the early Leatherface was much scarier. They since made his chainsaw longer, made him faster, more aggressive. Back in the day, he was a slow, oafy, retarded giant who wore women's faces and chased people around with your typical Sears-Roebuck chainsaw. Dude has a straight up lumberjack chainsaw now and you know Texas ain't got no forests worth cutting down. But oh well, technicality. And the Leatherface from 2004 is like a freaking WWF wrestler. I just know that the thought of something like this chasing me down a road is much more terrifying than the Leatherface they're depicting these days. This is just straight-up creepy.

Funny thing happened at the theater. I received two free passes to the movie from Angry Tim and gave one to Mayhem. I was going to redeem the second one. Remember, it's basically a gift certificate. I had it to the kid in the ticket box and he stares at me like I handed him a cob of corn covered in ketchup and said, "I have a reservation for 154 members of the First Methodist Church to the 10:15 showing of Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The dude stood there and looked at me petrified. I was like, "Crap, did I mistakenly brandish a firearm?! What's the deal?" He walks over to another older cat in the booth and I'm thinking, "He'll know the deal." He looks blankly at the certificate, waves his hands in the air, shakes his head and then goes back to sitting on his stool. After a brief moment, the older cat tosses Youngblood a walkie talkie. They call the manager. I just stand there patient even though the first of the previews are beginning to roll. Five minutes pass and, me, being as patient as I can be finally lean in and say, "My buddy redeemed his for this same showing and apparently had no problems." He mumbled nervously, "It's my first night." Crap. A line begins to form behind me and I really start to unravel. Youngblood notices my shiftiness before I can say anything. "I don't know where she is. I'm sorry." He continues to stare at the gift certificate like, all of the sudden, he'll understand what to do. I'm like, "Stop staring at the thing. If you ain't figured it out yet, you won't."

Finally the manager arrives, looks at the gift certificate, nods, pushes a button on the computer screen and then hands me a ticket and walks off. Once she arrived, it took maybe five seconds at the most. Moments I'll never get back that were spent leaning on a wall, looking at some kid scratch his head on his first night at the movie theater. Oh well. Life is short. Shorter now because of Youngblood.

Bankees go down to the Tigers last night and are now all but eliminated from the Division Series. They play tonight with the Banks on the verge of elimination. Kenny Rogers was en fuego last night striking out eight Spanks on a shut out performance. Incredible. Go Tigers.

Weather update: mild and sunny yesterday. Unfortunately, it was almsot just like predicted, however the difference in the high and low temp resulted in a score of 88. Not bad for the fifth day of the seven day forecast. I'm actually a bit impressed.

Happy Saturday. Go Tigers. Tear 'em apart.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


KRS says, "Cheer up, buddy! You got eight more hard hours of workin for the man."

Yeah, that's right, Friday morning. Another week in the books. Spanks lost yesterday to the Tigers. Johnny Damon (formerly Johnny Nitro) hit a 3-run homer to keep the Spanks in it, but then popped out harmlessly to end the game. Remember, in Yankee land, it's not what you did, it's what you didn't do. Sorry, Johnny. Let's see if the Tigers can pull off a miracle in Detroit and win the next two. Bill, I'm pulling for 'em. You knows I is, main!

Wow, KRS One's "Emceez Act Like They Don't Know" just came began on UNDERGROUNDHIPHOP.com's Old School Channel. Beautiful. It might just be a Boogie Down Friday. Speaking of old school, big armfuls of props and praise to the boys at SUPERSTARDJS.org and Fat Laces Radio. Wow, they put on a nice set. I subscribed to their podcast a month or so ago and it's been guaranteed freshness ever since with no expiration date. Dude's do their damn thang, b'lee dat.

A couple of shows ago, they went on the "Is Hip Hop Dead?" discussion. Compelling although I don't think there's much validity to the argument of the artform being dead. It's nearing its 30th birthday. It's getting older, but it's certainly not dead. In fact, I never really get caught up in the personification of an artform (see Common's "i used to love h.e.r."). I mean, I take my preferences serious and I'll argue their greatness until I'm red in the face, but in the end, it's just music. Let's not get wrapped up in the dying artform discussion.

Okay, well, I can't help myself. Here's my perspective. It won't ever die because you'll always have those old records. Hell, almost my entire Top 20 list was comprised of records from ten years ago. The Fat Lace Fellas threw on Leaders of the New School, LL's "Nitro" and Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome" to end their show the other night and all of those records hit so freaking hard that to call them dusty or antiqued would be an absolute abomination. Sometimes I get with the new stuff, the new artists. I walked around signing Smitty's "Diamonds On My Neck" for like a month and have no clue why. But as a whole, I like the old stuff because it has emotional context. The new stuff is more the wrapping than the actual gift. It's something you put on when you're doing something else--stunting at the intersection, stepping to a fine lookin lady at the club, flexin at some dude like you wanna scrap. People like hooks and not verses. People like beats and not songs. People like singles and not albums. People like actors and not emcees. You can blame radio for that. I mean, when I was coming up, stations made it their marketing strategy to resist rap at radio. "We play absolutely no rap!" Then who does in this town? Once I found it, I was locked in for good. Once radio sold out and began spinning hip hop records, artists lined up ready to sell out themselves.

Once it hooked and kids wanted it, they made the labels money, the money paid the artist and the artist done started spending. It wasn't until people really started seeing how much the music industry was a pretty clean hussle that things started going south. It's always been a resource for those in the struggle and that's what made the music so appealing. It was like the blues in that way, but then it went from "making money to get by" to "making enough money for that oceanfront mansion and the jetskis." It was the years of excess much like the hair bands of the eighties. Instead of Ferraris, rappers bought Bentleys. Instead of cocaine, rappers preferred weed. Instead of knocking up groupies, rappers rolled with celebrities. There were too many distractions from the music to actually make quality music.

I'm not gonna sit here and cry "sellout" on all my favorite artists because you put most hip hop artists first records against their latest recordings and the new ish can't hold a match to the old stuff. We can argue artists' repertoires all day, but generally speaking, hip hop artists get worse with age. It's a youthful artform and as you grow old, so does your music and, eventually, you're trapped in a creative wheelchair (or deathbed, as the case with some artists) and to revive your career, you have to start at the absolute bottom. At that age, you'd be lucky to get label that'd want your old, tired ass.

I see hip hop growing old like jazz. You have the standard sound for so long and then a core of certain excelled or priveleged artists grew tired of the "old" way and discovered that names sold the genre and not the music. You got Miles, Coltrane, Getz, Mingus, Roland Kirk, Ornette Coleman--they took it far beyond where conventional jazz and the old rules would allow. There was resistance, but ultimately it caught on and some guys made some pretty money off of it. But jazz would then fizzle out of popularity when other genres would come to the forefront. But we still have Kind of Blue, Blue Train and Shape of Jazz to Come to remember them by. Twenty years from now, we'll be listening to Mike Jones like, "Whoa!" Vanilla Ice is Lawrence Welk.

I just remember it being so much more fun in the early going. Everyone had their own sound, look, signature. Slick Rick and his eye patch. Biz and his dookie-fat gold chains. LL and the Kangols. But now, I swear there's a plant that makes rappers somewhere in Deleware. It's gotta be an incredible facility. Like they have a duplication specialist that can basically replicate any of your favorite rappers in just moments. The labels know what work and, with declining sales, either they stick with the big (old) names (like LL) and see if they can painfully milk one more ten-song album from their tired, worn careers or they look for some kid that looks like, talks like, rolls like, sounds like some other rapper on a competing label. Next thing you know, you have ten cats on ten labels that sound just like Nelly or 50 Cent and, sadly, five of those artists will actually sell some records because the hip hop audience is not only incredibly fickle, but they're dumb as crap.

Unfortunately for the labels, the listeners are starting to smarten up and the labels have failed to realize this. So now, the joker becomes the joked. The table has turned because people have proven that their piles and piles of crappy hip hop records are really worth very little. Sales decline, downloads increase. Albums are reduced to singles because they're easier to sell on iTunes and now you take artist development out of the equation and we're on the heels of a new dawn and it ain't picture perfect. Sad to say that in the end, radio really was good for hip hop because it gave the game structure. To get radio play was the ultimate reward, but now when you can make a hip hop record for a fraction of the cost and basically market and promote it online for hardly anything, you got "emcees" and "producers" popping up on every block. The rap market has become incredibly fragmented. Instead of buying records, people are making records now. You got cats who swear they know the artform because they saw a kid who called himself "Hurricane" rip a show in Billings, Montana to an audience of 15 people--14 of which were two drinks from death and the 15th was his moms. This sort of saturation creates a cancerous effect where fans dismiss the movement, revert to the old stuff and sit around getting fat and saying things like "back then," "back in the day" and "like in 1991" leaving a cavity where the knowledgable fan used to be and filling it with kids who have no context nor investment in the artform. Ultimately, it'll continue to spin out of control until it hits rock bottom and a new movement begin.

Hip hop as we knew it in the early to mid 90s is something we'll never see again. There's too much money involved for people to take the game so lightly. I speak generally because it's easier at this time in the morning. There are exceptions and there are many releases this year that I think have merit--not as much as last year or the year before, but they're there nonetheless. It's just a downward trend that can be attributed to too many elements to really start pointing fingers. However, I tend to blame these guys.

Well, the local meteorologists scored an 86 on Thursday by coming within 2 degrees of the high, but missing the low by 5 degrees. That's an improvement on Wednesday. They gotta tricky weekend ahead of them with a cold front and (gasp) rain blowing through. We'll see how many holes we can poke in their wonderful seven-day forecast this weekend. Should be interesting. Next week, I'm gonna take a shot and see how I fair with no tools, computers or radar maps to aid me.

Alright, gotta get to work. Got tickets to the opening night of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Might have to redeem those this evening for some gruesome, bloody fun. Speaking of gruesome and bloody, go Tigers! Beat the crap out of the Banks.

A-Rod, who had three strikeouts yesterday and went 0-4 for the day said, "My chin is up. My chin isn't going anywhere." So eloquently put. Nothing that an up-and-in heater can't take care of, Alexis.


Wow. Local meteorologists scored horribly yesterday. Predicted high was 85 degrees. The actual was 76 degrees because of a cold front that had blown through. So not only do they lose temperature points, but the inability to accurately predict the arrival of the cold front is a deduction of another 15 points leaving them with a score of 63--a failing grade, essentially.

What the hell is up with "Dancing With the Stars"? I don't get it. Although, with AC Slater competing, I gotta watch. Kid flips it like Travolta. The other night, my wife was watching it and there was a rather striking fella with a shaved head and I said, "That's a good lookin' guy." It was Joey Lawrence. That was a sleepless night. Whoa.

Apparently, it's Kids Awareness Month. I'm aware there are kids. That was easy enough.

Mowing the lawn for the last time tonight before moving out on the 20th. Won't miss it. Not that I don't have a lawn at the new place, but it's actually grass and not dirt, twigs and a few tall weeds.

I got home last night to find my lovely wife watching some Tori Spelling movie on LifeTime. A girl stole her embryo, had her baby and then was moving in on her man before she actually killed her. And she killed her by accident when the villain rolled over on top of a knife in a struggle. Tori Spelling plays wonderful victim roles. In "90210," she was always catching a beatdown from a cokehead boyfriend, being stalked by psycho clown, held hostage--you name it. You'd think that her father, being the producer, would land her more empowered roles, but no, he always had her running for her life, cheating death, crawling to safety. And I didn't mean to suggest that killing a person was the only way to solve a problem, but in LifeTime movies, 70% of the time it'll end in death while 30% of the time they'll call the cops. Now that's the values I've come to expect from LifeTime. Now you have legions of housewives (and not all too coincidently also fearful Oprah fans) sleeping with pistols under their pillows, spending all night staring at the ceiling wondering if their man is seeing the girl from the donut shop.

Stop snitchin.

And go listen to Wu Tang.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


You know him, fellas. It's the guy that takes uncomfortable social circumstances to a whole new level. If you're really familiar with him, the below picture haunts you like it does me.

It's Mr. Always in the Urinal Right Next Door guy. Yeah, you take the corner stall (let's say far left in the picture above) and instead of taking far right, he saddles up right next to you. Even worse, sometimes he comes with something to talk about. Look, when I'm in that situation, I can only do one thing at a time and when my zippers down, there's only one thing I intend on doing and it's not talking. And even worse than that, during his enchanting tale that you're not even listening to at this point, he keeps turning his head and attempts to make eye contact which is the absolute end-all in public restroom no-nos.

To me, it's like the guy who didn't learn how to pee with his pants up. You come, turn the corner toward the urinals and bam! there he is with his pants and undies around his ankles. It's that alienating. Don't crowd me at the stalls. I need my elbow room. I need to breathe. I need to pee, so step!

There's a slight variation on this and that's when Mr. Middle Stall beats you there and he's locking down the middle instead of leaning to one side or the other. Usually, I just opt for the sitters, but this cat is basically hogging three urinals by standing in the middle. That's why they don't just put in two urinals. They always allow for that standard "one in the middle" because they know how cats are about that middle stall. There are a few bathrooms I've been in that have three sitters and two urinals--that's just messed up. The ratio there is just backwards.

I present to you Exhibit A:

Notice how, by occupying the two corner stalls, the middle stall is rendered useless because you can't operate a urinal with someone right next to you. This proverbial "man in the middle" will wait until his goofball buddies complete. Please, for the sake of the example, just pretend the middle stall is at regular heighth.

So, do yo boys a favor, and stay away from that middle stall. It's essentially the "no-man's land" of the public restroom. And just because you got there first and don't think anyone's coming in behind you, pod'ner, step to the left because if I come in a 10-cup panic, there better be a trough for me or I'm going to use my punting foot to find me one.

The local NBC affiliate scored a 94 yesterday on Sunday's seven-day forecast. I think today is when it'll get hairy because Sunday's forecast didn't allow much for the "cool" front that's making its way through. Tuesday's score marks a 2-point improvement from Monday's score of 92. The predicted high of 89 degrees was exceeded at 91 degrees. Yuk.

October 23rd. First freeze, folks. B'lee dat. Don't truss dem meteorologists--they don't even know.

Bankees put all $200,000,000 to use last night beating Detroit, 8-4. Then again, Detroit's total payroll is only $82,500,000--about 40% of the Yankees. Either one of the Bankees' second-round opponent will boast a total payroll of about $20,000,000 less than that at around $62,000,000 or 31% of the Bankees.

And Bankee fans, if you're wanting to play the Sox salary card on me, we topped out at $120,000,000 in payroll this year which marks the second year of decreases in payroll. Of the top 25 players in cash, seven of them belong to the Bankees. Only one belongs to the Sox and that'd be Mr. Manny's 50-year contract.

So, here's to even playing fields and Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Watched "Intervention" the other night and because it's rare that I watch a television show with any regularity, I feel it's worth mentioning. Sunday night, the intervention was to be performed on Three Dog Night's lead singer Chuck Negron's son, Chuckie. Only a heroin addict named Chuck would name his kid, "Chuckie." Anyhow, the kid was really bad--he's been using for ten years plus. Sad story, indeed. Because his parents were using when he was conceived, he was essentially born already in a state of withdrawl. Wow. Talk about born under a bad sign.

This is really stupid because I'm going nowhere with this story at all. I just wanted to point out the uncanny resemblance between Chuckie Negron and Jane's Addiction's lead singer Perry Farrell. I figured I won't waste any more of you time.

Chuck yelling at Chuckie. Probably yelling, "Get off the dope, homie."

Another famous drug addict--just richer--Perry Farrell.

Certainly not my intent to make light of addiction, but it's Tuesday morning and I'm not in the mood to have a serious talk on heroin. Wish I could've found a better picture of Chuckie for the purpose of the comparison, but it's the best I could do.

The results from Monday are in and the local NBC affiliate scored a 92 on the weather predictions from Sunday evening with a total of 4 degrees difference for the day. The southwesterly wind was as predicted--steady and sometimes gusty. Supposed to be a carbon copy today. Average for this time of year is 77 degrees. We cracked 91 yesterday.

The madness has to stop. I want my winter this year.

And it's hard for us to get anything straight when you have two weathermen from the same station giving you different forecasts, but Matt Hines, the young whippersnapper in the mornings is insistant of leaving a chance of rain (or the raining icon) in for Wednesday as a cold front blows through. It wasn't there Sunday evening, but appeared on Monday morning then disappeared again for the Monday evening forecast then reappeared this morning. Man, Matt's straight gangsta.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the first freeze will be October 23rd at 2:10 in the morning. There's a big screen TV on the line. You heard it here first.

"The Bachelor" started last night. Had I been a single man, I would've never watched this, but since I'm not...I did. It's sad how women lose control of themselves when forced into these sort of situations. I realize they do not represent all women (and certainly not my lovely wife), but to see these women giggle like children and then, it's inevitable, they turn from kitten to catty and the claws come out. People need to get a grip. The dude ain't even that nice, I mean, he makes me look like Matt Lauer. Don't people think Matt Lauer's good looking?

Baseball playoffs begin tonight. Oh sunny day! Looks like Giambi's all juiced and ready to go.

Bill's Tigers will make the miracle run against the Banks. Here's to another early exit from the playoffs.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Let me just clarify something before I get too far into this. I don't have it out for weathermen/weatherwomen (wow "weatherwoman" almost sounds like a superhero name). I know their job can be difficult--why else does every news station have three of them doing the same job? Let's just call what I'm doing an "audit on reality." I just want to make sure I'm not being fed constantly inaccurate data from my local news sources. I think it's only fair. So every morning, you'll have the local NBC affiliate's forecast for the day as predicted in Sunday's 7-day outlook, WEATHER.COM's same forecast (although, technically, their forecast goes 10 days out) and lastly you'll have the actual weather.

I'm gonna get to the bottom of this once and for all.

In other news, an accused cop killer on the run was shot 68 times by Florida SWAT team members. 110 shots were fired. In grade school, they would have scored an "F." Pretty sad that so many rounds missed being that he was probably dead and motionless after the tenth round. Either way, I found it particularly disturbing that a SWAT team would act so rash. I mean, by no means am I siding with criminals, but this is not the behavior I would expect of those in charge of keeping the community safe--loading rounds into a human like its target practice. Get this, when asked by the local paper about the incident, the sheriff said, “That’s all the bullets we had, or we would have shot him more.” What an awesomely derranged world we live in.

And with that uplifting story, go have yourself a Monday.