Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Have already packed up about 25% of my collection with a remaining 40-45% to go. Altogether, I estimate that I'll pack up about 2,500 CDs. It's already having an impact on me. I feel better. It's just weird. I panicked the other day. Decided I couldn't take it anymore. My life had become overrun by CDs. It's a lifestyle change, if you will. No doubt, one day, I'll be looking for those ol' High and Mighty records or Step in the Arena, but it's unnecessary to have it accessible year-round. Put it on the iPod and be done. No vinyl was harmed or displaced in this process. All vinyl stays.
Yanks beat the Sox last night. Oh well. Dice-Pay gave up one to Johnny Damon. Guess he's actually getting playing time again there in New York. That's good. Beckett against Clemens tonight. Another name from the past. Boy, this Yankees squad is a walking baseball musuem. Throw Joe Torre, Mike Mussina and Andy Birthinghips and it's a full-blown history lesson. It'd make a great autograph signing.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm downsizing my "visible" CD collection. I just can't take it anymore. I'm packing up close to 80% of my collection and storing it...somewhere. Not sure where, but it's gotta happen. I have too many I won't listen to for another three or four years. There's probably no reason to have them out and around at all times. Already started the process and have CDs laying everywhere. Better hurry through it or I'm gonna lose my mind looking at all of them.
Angry Tim moved into a house this weekend. Good for Angry Tim. At least he won't have soaring rent to be angry about anymore. Now he'll be angry about mowing his lawn.
Tux crapped on the kitchen floor this morning and I stepped in it. You know you're day is only going to get proportionately better from there. I mean, it gets better every minute after that happens. Right now, I'm on top of the world as I drink the first cup of coffee of the day. Thanks, Tucker.To follow up on a story from a few days ago, yesterday when Jacko and I were downtown shooting, we walked by the Santa Fe building and got a better shot of the tag to give everyone a good idea of how high up this piece is. Check it out.
Cowboy Troy is going to be in town this week to host the Hick Chick USA Semi-Finals at Graham's Central Station. I mention this only to point out how stupid this competition sounds and how much I absolutely despise Cowboy Troy. I'm glad his career's bombing. I'm glad his second record tanked (Black in the Saddle sold only 5,000 first week compared to ten times that much first week on his last record). Maybe we can finally move by this bastardization of music and get onto artists who deserve record deals.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I'll put it this way. Trespassing. Yes. Vandalism? Perhaps. Unlawful? Eh. I mean, if a guy basejumped off the same building, we'd celebrate them. Plus, check out this tag. I mean, if you had to work for a tag, this was doin' work.
I mean, he scaled that entire building, hit it by only the light of the moon and then came back down to safety and, ultimately, his escape into the night. No, Santa Fe didn't ask for it, but man, you gotta think something's up if a dude can make his way all the way up there, do it and split without being noticed. Sleepy lil' cowtown.
I've heard of cops in this town sweethearting drunk drivers. There's more meth to detonate half of Oklahoma moving through this town daily and they couldn't find body that went with a head discovered in a dumpster some two years ago, but this they're gonna take a hard stance on. If I was in law enforcement around here, I'd shake this kid's hand. At least he's not the prick that spray paints a picture of a crudely drawn erection on an exit door in the alley. This took some talent. And while local law enforcement would like to believe that there are three main motivations of a graffiti artist: "It's used for three reasons: to mark territory, to identify membership and to threaten each other." The fourth and, most likely the reason here, is to make the news and brag to his buddies. It's not to threaten, to identify membership or to mark the territory as his own. He's did it because...well...because. I can tell you this, that ain't the work of the local gangs and to infer it is laughable. It's that old school, ya'll.
Hey, he made the news. In fact, until the world's smallest horse made it town, he was the biggest story. It doesn't take much. The next biggest headline this morning was the nursing home added donuts back to their menu. Officer Powers (no kidding) adds, "Tagger crews - sometimes spelled 'krews' - are usually more artistic, and they tend to use big pillow-type letters and colors." Spoken like a dude that's really on top of his street art. Good work. Let me know when you catch him so I can finally sleep at night. In fact, let me know when you also bust the meth house on the corner of Crockett and I-40.
Meanwhile, the new pipsqueak that does the weather around here managed to forecast this morning a sunny, hot and dry day and made no mention of this.
That's quite a lightning storm there, chip. You'd think if a storm was going to blow through and probably end up dropping rain to every town in the panhandle of the largest state in the continental United States, it might be important to work that into the day's forecast. Chump.
Rangers hung 30 runs on the Orioles tonight. Oh well. Still suck. Still in last place by almost nine games. Might wanna save some of those runs for your "run at the pennant." Or not.
Alright...I'm done for the night. Watch CNN. Check Weather.com. Read USA Today. Stay up for Sportscenter. You don't need the local guys.
Speaking of the local guys, Lubbock Little League tomorrow at 2PM against the Maryland squad. Kill 'em. I mean, uh, beat them.
It's almost like Richard's hanging out with David Coverdale because Robert Plant wouldn't return his calls. Like, "Yeah, David will do. In photos, they might mistaken him for Bobby." I particularly like the towel around Richard's neck like his performances are that draining. Awesome stuff.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Lubbock's Little League team rolled again on Sunday against Chandler, AZ, 6-1. Yeah, those boys play some bawl. Ancell struck out 11 and hit a towering home run while Arredondo hit two homers as the Lubbockians (or Lubbockites) pounded a team that hung 16 runs just the day before in a victory over one of those other teams. Betta believe it. These dudes are on fiyah.
Tropical Depression Erin really whooped up on Oklahoma. Once she became depressed, I really thought that she would just hang around and bum everyone out, but not do much damage, but girl took a hard right in Abilene and bee-lined toward Oklahoma and put it down.
The Boston Beard is getting thick. It's thicker than a Dr. J afro at this point. It's like wearing a sweater on my face. The thicker it gets, the more evident my greying becomes. I'm not necessarily scared to go grey, but if it would go grey with some sort of symmetry, it'd be nice. It looks like I missed my mouth with a fork-full of egg, but just on the left hand side. I think it looks like the Virgin Mary, but I'm keeping my mouth shut. I don't want to alarm the papparazzi. Boston trip happens in t-minus 11 days. Oh yeah.
The coolest kids in band belonged to the drum line. They got all the honeys.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Well, it's a proud day to be a Lubbock boy. The Lubbock Little League squad is playing on ESPN as I type this and they're killin' this team from Minnesota. Wait, they're just younguns...they're beating 'em pretty good. Not "killin'" them. Normally, I show moderate interest in the Little League World Series, but this is the first team that Lubbock has ever sent so I have a bit more interest this time around. The beef between the Yellow and Lubbock is evident now more than ever because I haven't heard a peep about it on local news around here.
Earlier, I heard a good ol' West Texas "attaboy!" on ESPN and, at the risk of sounding mad corny, I got goosebumps. Dude, Garrett Williams, the Lubbock pitcher has struck out ten straight batters. Insanity. Damn, there's a hit. Broham Williams is a man amongst mere boys.
The other day, I found myself watching "speed stacking" or "sport stacking" during my brief lunch break. This phenomenon is when kids stack cups in different configurations as fast as they can. Just as an example, check out this cat and think about how many dates he just forfeited in high school. Poor guy.
6-0, Lubbock still rollin'.
The great Max Roach passed away this week. Dukes was a killer drummer. I remember the first time I hear him was on a Thad Jones record and later discovered his remarkable drum skills on Money Jungle--the legendary meeting of Max, Mingus and the great Ellington. It's a fantastic record that I would recommend to anyone who has ears that work.
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Williams ended up striking out 17 batters and they had to pull him before he faced the last hitter because of a pitch limit imposed on lil' leaguers. Every out that was recorded while Williams was pitching was a strikeout. That's how West Texas rolls. Nothing against the friendly land that brought us Prince and Bob Dylan. You know, it's just how gangstas do it.
Tropical Depression Erin brought us nothing but a tad rainfall and blue skies. Whoever said my lovely wife was depressed tropically ain't knowing nothing. Go listen to Katie Couric.
You kids ain't ready for the Percee P record dropping on Stones Throw this month. It's fire.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I really hope this dude gets flattened by a great whale that just took miraculous flight and landed in a mall parking lot ten miles in. He just sounds like a dude begging to have nature put him in his place.
You know, Tropical Storm Erin brings up an interesting point because it works for her because she's a lover and not a fighter, but if you have a hurricane sharing your name, you want some damage. Some destruction. Now, I'm not talking Katrina destruction, but maybe down a bridge or wipe a row of expensive beach houses off the coast like, "Wassup, now?" The last thing you want is to be named Hurricane j3 about 500 miles off the coast and then, when you make landfall, you're a good surfing day. That's like talking mad trash and then coming to the fight with a toothpick and a rolled up copy of Highlights magazine. You want hit the coast like a proclamation, like "blad-dow!"
The pain of hearing Al Roker say, "...reduced to a tropical storm," is enough to justify laying low for a few days while the jokes die down. Tropical Storm Erin, though, looks good on her. She just ain't having it. That's fine. Friday's near. Go blast some Camp Lo today and thank me tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Hip hop shows.
Yeah, maybe I'm just on a bad run right now. Maybe it's just Texas and New Mexico (and Oklahoma and Kansas). I mean, it's not like we're the mecca of hip hop down here. Maybe I'm getting old...too old for this ish. But I'm about to lose my mind up in here. I realize it's how artists make the cash (merch, door, etc.). I understand it's how artists develop careers, but I'm sick of it. Maybe, and just maybe, artists need to step their game up and bring it, f'real.
Either way, this ain't about the artists. This about the attendents. And this is, furthermore, about how much I hate these cats that crowd these shows anymore. And to be fair, yes, I fall into one of these categories. Let's be real: hip hop heads can be seriously annoying. I mean, it's like hating my own kind, but we get hung up on some really stupid ish sometimes. Listen to some old head talk about how they don't do it like they used to. Listen to some young buck talk about Aesop Rock like he's the second coming of Rakim. Listen to these college kids talk about Wu Tang like they was there! Shaddup, homie. You ain't even knowing. Go comb ya beard. Here's my watch...go pawn it and buy a new Jansport.
But I digress.
I believe I was talking hip hop shows. Let's get to the nitty gritty, shall we?
Let's break it into six different categories. First we have the...
This is fairly typical of this breed. This fella is perfect intent on simply filming the performance and enjoying it later instead of gettin down with his bad self and living in the moment. Nope, one hand holding the camera, the other in his pocket nervously rubbing his thigh. They are like tourists at the zoo who are mere observers. And a simple freestyle or adlib during the show completely throws their universe in an imbalance. "But that's not how it goes!"
The tough guy plays a very important role in the concert experience. Alot of heads completely misunderstand this breed. I'll put it this way. In every show, some dude's gonna act a fool and you'll think to yourself, "I wish someone would put them in their place," and if your show's like any show I've been to recently, the security is sparse at best. Well, tough guy here is your man. And if you're not a total prick (more than them--which is downright impossible), you're on their side. So long as you don't do something that bums everyone out. Just look at them like "security who paid at the door." 10% of the audience is a healthy amount, but it's a delicate balance that needs to be maintained. Anymore than 10% and you're likely to have either one a riot or, two, a massacre on your hands. Their usually quite disconnected from the artists (unless it's a Non Phixion show, of course) and only show up because, well, they like to flex. They're hoping someone will bust a free over the beat from "Deep Cover" so they can bob their head, but that bob is purely for their enjoyment and no one elses. They could care less what you think. They're much more prominent at rock shows, but that's because there's more pricks acting a fool at a rock show. More opportunity. If you gotta problem with these dudes, you might be a humanitarian or, more likely, you've done something stupid at some point that warranted some correctional measures. The tough guy is not to be confused with...
The fly guy is a cross breed, normally. For that reason, he makes up the largest portion of the audience--somewhere between 30-40%. The have both a short history of legal problems (usually misdemeanor) and a short history in hip hop. They're always a fan of the "something new"--something that was played at a house party or strip club and they roll with that. It could be an Atmosphere record or even Mims. Either way, their hand-to-mouth fandom is fairly representative of the majority of listeners out there today. He usually is wearing lots of white. That includes, but not limited to white Yankee caps (tilted of course) and maybe even the white doo rag, white undershirt, white sneakers. Their history would suggest a potential for violence at the show, but it usually is personally served unlike the tough guy who will just beat the snot out of someone because he doesn't like 'em. He's usually quite participative--he "throws his hands in the air" and says, "ho!" He doesn't want to be the life of the party, but he also doesn't want to be the party poops. He genuinely wants to have a good time, but Slim Shady here, at the end of the night, doesn't know a good show from a bad show because if the beat's loud enough, it's dope. I guess I don't really have a problem with these cats, except that generally, they ain't gotta clue about hip hop from more than five years ago.
The head is normally bored by the entire experience of the show. He wants, with everything in him, to enjoy it, but it's "just not like it used to be." This cat normally makes up about 5-7% of the audience but the percentage could change based on your metro. They usually show up with a Cold Chillin' shirt or something as a flag of their righteousness, but no one really cares. They might even get mistaken for someone's pops or, worse, a narc. Rarely will you find them up front, but rather about two thirds of the way back with their arms folded and only slightly bobbing their head and, more often, looking around the crowd for things that will ultimately piss them off. Their jaded, upset, full of discontent and they're usually only taking notes for a blog post where they'll blast the whole scene because they lack the ability to enjoy anything. As pissed off as they normally are, they'll buy some merch on the way out. They enjoy the DJ breaks and hope that someone will mix some "South Bronx" so they can bust their hands in the air and be noticed by the younger concert goers as a real head.
D'ere it is. Happy Wednesday.
Finished the new beat and sent over to Duke for review. I'm calling it "Scotch Man." I'm not that good at making beats, but when you listen to hip hop long enough, you tend to get the idea. Start beat here, stop beat there. Insert sample here and here. Fade here. No longer than three and a half minutes. Yadda yadda. It's more of a continued exercise in creativity for me. Another avenue of expression. Whatever.
Got the trip coming together for Boston and, conveniently, the pennant race is finally starting to take shape. The Spanks are 46-22 since the end of May and putting that twurk. I can't really act surprised. This is fairly typical except we're normally five games back and slipping off into oblivion. The difference is we actually have a lead--four games to be exact. At least when I go to town, I won't be watching a Pawtucket game. All the starters should be in action. Rory and the gang have been relatively quiet during the Yankee march. Probably just holding their breath until the bottom falls out. My not-so professional opinion would suggest, at this point, the bottom won't fall out and we're gonna battle to the bitter end.
Back to Boston, though. We got a slew of things lined up. Going whale watching, pick up some vinyl at Undergroundhiphop.com, take the lovely wife antique shopping in Cambridge, check out some galleries on Newbury Street, drop some cash at Newbury Comics, go check out Harvard, tour Fenway, eat lobster, so on and so on. That doesn't even get us to the intermission.
Lovely wife's alarm is firing off. That means the start of the day. Hollatcha boy.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Travelling like mad these days. Or at least it seems. Despite all of my travels, I've yet to get that one summer tour under my belt and my chance would arise this weekend in the form of the Paid Dues Tour in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Check out this bill. Just nod your head like you recognize some of the names. Not mentioned, but also included in the price of admission is Blueprint. Dope.
After Danny saw the set, he was an automatic. Which I had no doubt he would be. That's why I invite him. He's a trooper, understand. It came down to Paid Dues or Rock the Bells (Wu Tang and friends) in Dallas. Smirnoff. Hot as hell. Miserable. Although to see Wu Tang, Nas, Talib, Pharoahe and more could have been worth it, but I've never left Smirnoff saying, "Wow, I had such a great time. And I don't want my money back" I mean, it has to be one of the very worst venues to see a show. So Paid Dues in Santa Fe, it is.
Left the Yellow for the Land of Disenchantment around noon on Thursday. Enough time (with the gained hour) to make it to Santa Fe, grub and have a couple of beers before the show. Important to have your beers before you go because they don't serve at the venue. It's some sort of indian school/school for the deaf ampitheater or something. So it's basically school grounds. Of course, while you couldn't drink, apparently security would have very little problem with the recreational marijuana use. Whatever. Pretty typical of shows.
We make our way to Tucumcari. Tucumcari is probably as close as you can get to hell without eternal damnation. Drive through the town and look at the expressions of its townspeople. It's one of desperation, loneliness, long-suffered sadness.*
*Dropping knowledge: "Tucumcari" is derived from the Comanche word "tukanukaru" which means to wait for something. Perhaps the grim reaper. And, about Tucumcari Mountain (molehill), from Wikipedia: "Legend has it that Apache Chief Wautonomah was nearing the end of his time on earth and was troubled by the question of who would succeed him as ruler of the tribe. In a classic portrait of love and competition, his two finest braves, Tonopah and Tocom, were not only rivals and sworn enemies of one another, but were both vying for the hand of Kari, Chief Wantonomah's daughter. Kari knew her heart belonged to Tocom. Chief Wautonomah beckened Tonopah and Tocom to his side and announced, "Soon I must die and one of you must succeed me as chief. Tonight you must take your long knives and meet in combat to settle the matter between you. He who survives shall be the Chief and have for his squaw, Kari, my daughter." As ordered, the two braves met, with knives outstretched, in mortal combat. Unknown to either brave was the fact that Kari was hiding nearby. When Tonopah's knife found the heart of Tocom, the young squaw rushed from her hiding place and used a knife to take Tonopah's life, as well as her own. When Chief Wautonomah was shown this tragic scene, heartbreak enveloped him and he buried his daughter's knife deep into his own heart, crying out in agony, "Tocom-Kari"! A slight variation of the Chief's dying words live on today as "Tucumcari," and the mountain which bares this name stands as a stark reminder of unfulfilled love." Awesome. Waiting. Unfulfilled love. This must be the utopia I've been searching for. I'm going to plant a trailer in the pasture and die there.
We bust a stop at the local Sonic after driving through the harshest representation of a "metropolis" I've ever seen. Now I know why I never pull off in Tucumcari. The town is best seen at about 80 miles an hour...to the left...just over hell, I mean, the hill. My burger, though, was tight. Proceed to Clines Corner and then turn northward to Santa Fe.
Pretty uneventful trip into Santa Fe except for some much-welcomed rain. We get to the Sage Inn just off of St. Francis Avenue. No relation to Sage Francis who would be performing that night.
Danny and I decide to drive up the way to get our grub on at Taco Bell. Perfect road food. A man with Arturo with an afro of chest hair flowing from his open collar insisted that Danny get a drink with his meal. "J'you not wanna drink?" Nah, dukes. Get an undershirt, homie. I suggested to Danny that the make chest hair nets for cats like that. Glad he was taking the orders and not making them.
Three soft tacos and a seven layer burrito. For those scoring at home, that's a total of 16 layers.
It's about 6:30 when I finish eating and I told Danny that we should be leaving at about 7:45 for the show. Set orders that I had viewed online had most of the acts we wanted to see going on fourth or fifth. We chill, watch "Lobstermen," and take pictures of ourselves because we're narcissists. I was looking illy in my "Crunk Ain't Dead!" shirt that I received from TVT about a year and a half ago around the new Lil Jon release. A year and a half later, still no Lil Jon album. Oh, the irony!
7:45 arrives and Danny and I head down to the venue. After dropping $5 to park my car (ripoff), we walk through this overgrown, run-down school ground to the nearing thud of bass just off in the distance. Word from David is De La once rocked this place. We keep walking.
As we grow closer, Danny and I can clearly recognize the voice of Sage Francis performing "Sea Lion." Danny looks at me in incredible anger and frustration. Obviously, my time estimates were a little off. We rush inside to see a wide hole dug into the ground brimmed with humans--all with their hands in the air while Sage performed and ran from stage right to stage left to stage right. We find a place to chill on stage right. Sage then says, "Good night, Santa Fe." Danny whips around to me again. At this point, I have nothing to say. Apologies are not well received by Danny. And he's taking jiu-jitsu again. This could get ugly.
I lean back to assess where we are, exactly, in the order of the program. "Who has gone on already?" Dude says, "Uh, Cage, Blueprint, Brother Ali, Mr. Lif, Akrobatik. Pretty much everyone except for Felt and Living Legends." That'd be pretty much everyone that Danny and I wanted to see. I mean, Felt (Slug and Murs), we knew, would be an entertaining set, but neither of us really had any interest in Living Legends. It was 8:00.
"What time did it start?"
"They started at 5:00."
Awesome. I mean, I've always been the first dude at the show. I'm never late. I'll end up watching a dude mic test and play old Boogie Down Production records for three hours before anything happens. And, the one night I decide to show up on time really (three hours late for hip hop), they start at 5:00. I explain to Danny that, considering our history with always being the first ones there, this was an easy mistake to make. He agrees. I buy him a tour shirt to make up for it. We were on the guest list so, up to this point, the concert experience had only cost us $5 for parking.
Felt comes on. Slug and Murs were entertaining as always. Danny met Ant from Atmosphere somewhere in the crowd. Living Legends went on. I guess there's now something like 15 dudes in Living Legends. It rained near the end of their set. Blueprint, Slug and Brother Ali came out for a cipher at the end. It would be little concilation for missing their entire respective sets, but whatever, I'll take it on my shoulders. My fault.
I'm walking through the crowd and some dude walking towards me thumps me on the shirt and says, "Crunk is dead, dude!" Ah, elitist underground heads. They're just too good for some varieties of rap. These are the dudes that still have the "rap versus hip hop" discussions late into the evening just to hear themselves talk. Young bucks need to grow up and recognize. I should've sonned him in front of his friends--just slap him on the back of the head and walk away.
Uncerimoniously, we retreat like N2Deep. Have a few more Sammies and then go to bed.
Felt awesome the next morning, maybe because we were back at the hotel at about 11:30. Found out later that the school has a restriction on shows that you have to be out by midnight. That doesn't mean done with your show, it means done, cleaned up and loaded out. That's why they started at 5:00. Might be helpful for them to put on their website so people will know that shows start during rush hour. Got about a gallon of coffee in my belly and watched the tourists in the lobby of the hotel. There's a lot of tourists in Santa Fe and I've always known this to be true, but going to the town, I can't really see why it's the destination most say it is. Anyhow, lots of socks being worn with sandals in the tourist groups. Oh, and tons of fanny packs in the front.
We venture down to Albuquerque that next day to visit the heads at LA Underground. Maybe pick up some vinyl. We arrive and I find Ken working on the computer in the corner and they've done some major work on the place to expand into the back portion. They've added quite a number of shirts, graffiti goods and such to their offering. The place looked nice and knew they'd need the financials to keep it up. Danny paid for his room by picking me up some Madlib, Joey Beats and Peanut Butter Wolf.
In a conversation with Ken, he asked me if I was going to the Santa Fe Muzik Festival. I asked who was playing. He said that today (Friday) was all the hip hop and it included Wu Tang, Public Enemy, Hieroglyphics and others.
How am I going to be anywhere within 500 miles of a Public Enemy show and not know about it? And Wu Tang? This was my perfect opportunity to make up for the botched concert experience the night before. Unfortunately, I'm not a hippie and I have responsibilities. Danny as well. We committed to getting back to the Yellow on Friday. It just sucks. How are you going to have that kinda line up and not let anyone know. I explained to Ken that I can't imagine how I heard nothing of that at all. Other performers during the weekend included George Clinton and War. Dope. Not dope enough though to sweat for three straight days. Ken told me too that Sole from Anticon moved from Oakland to Spain and is now an organic farmer in Flagstaff. And Sage is on Epitaph and touring the world. Interesting.
On the way back, Danny and I thumbed through the iPod for samples to be set aside for the new City Fence record. We're thinking about two separate EPs. One called "Love" and the other "Hate." Notable recordings we tabbed for sampling: Robert Jay's "Alcohol," Threshold's "Oats and Barley," Mighty Imperials' "Jody's Walk" and LAPD's "LAPD." Yeah, already started work on the first track. Looking to put together about four or five beats for the November studio session down at Duke's in Austin.
We arrived back in the Yellow at 7:30. Called up some pizza. Apparently, there are cats in the Yellow that haven't seen a H2 Hummer before. We drive up to Hungry Howie's Pizza on the corner and the girls line up at the window and twirl their hair like we're Motley Crue in 1982. Then this young bloke walks up to the window and asks, "What kinda gas mileage does that get?" I smartly reply, "About two miles to the gallon."
Last night, we had a get-together for some friends and my lovely wife served up a batch of Sangria that's been fermenting for about six weeks. Apparently, I was misquoted somewhere saying that it had been fermenting for four years. Don't know if you wanna drink that batch. A whole gang of kiddies came over. Had a good time. Finished the evening drinking a Dos Equis on the back porch listening to MC Shan. Today was a good day.
So where in the world is Richard Marx now? Well, he's hanging with Prince William, of course. Oh wait, that's actually hockey great Wayne Gretsky. Boy, these cats are chummy, ain't they?
Well, that about does it for me. Gotta get to some other business today before heading back to the mill tomorrow. Working on a breakdown of the seven known species left at the typical independent hip hop experience. Hopefully have that up by tomorrow evening.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Some people are actually mixed species--the jackalopes of the office. By adding together their damage ratings, you'll see that while alone as a overattentive custodial figure, they might have very little damage potential, if they told jokes, their damage rating would drastically increase. If they have a loud laugh, even higher. If they're a combination of all twenty (which I fail to believe is actually possible simply because there are dynamic differences between the species that would prevent it), they have no place in the office and should become a horse and run out in the sunny meadow. And now, without further delay, I present to you to my findings. While not purely scientific, it might be the surface of further research.
THE JOKE TELLER (humorous stupidanus)
Damage Rating: 8.5
The Joke Teller is a fairly common office breed. His interruptive nature is something that should not be taken lightly. His ability to simply walk up and begin a joke with no introduction or setup is his biggest danger. The Joke Teller also strikes electronically in the form of forwarded emails. If you open one of these emails, you've committed to a minimum of three minutes as you scroll through the multiple recipients and ">" marks. Your best defense against an attack is to not laugh. I usually go the extra mile and tell them, "That was really stupid." Also effective is the sigh with, "Wow, too funny."
THE OVERATTENTIVE/BORED CUSTODIAL (custodius detailus)
Damage Rating: 2.1
Not especially distractive. My run-ins are normally in the form of a canister at the coffee station that is absolutely jammed full of creamers and sugars that it's difficult to even retrieve one without sending about 200 packets flying onto the counter. Other times, it's the feather duster moving by the cubicle for the third or fourth time. Sometimes I mistaken it for a rare bird that has nested somewhere in our office.
THE FORWARDER (emailus gulliblea)
Damage Rating: 4.6 - 7.9
Like the Joke Teller, the Forwarder cannot resist forwarding emails. They might have even taken steps to making the process more efficient by creating different distribution lists titled: "work from home," "warnings" and "humor" for the different classifications of emails. Their damage rating depends almost solely on the content of the forward. If it's another email about the greenhouse effect, they might range from 3-5, whereas, if the email is one of those stupid forwards with different colors, moving objects, a rooster jumping on a trampoline or a gorilla hailing a cab, it might range more from 6-8. You will end up making changes to your email security to prevent getting emails from this person. Additionally, when you see this person in the hallway, sometimes they'll just laugh like you got and read the email. So you're almost obligated to reading the emails so you know what the hell their laughing about.
THE UTOPIAN (realitus disconnectus)
Damage Rating: 3.2
Look for the jungles of succulant plants and countless pictures of family members. They might even spend the day listening to horrible new age music to help them relax within the hectic office environ. Oddly, these are the people who are least effected by the panicked office pace, but it still feels so jarring and alienating for them so, to cope, they surround themselves with a jungle...just without the dangerous predatorial animals and with nearby bathroom facilities.
THE SPORTS FACT GUY (sportus factolea)
Damage Rating: 8.1
This guy's like a walking almanac. And, being that sports occur year round, you can always rely for a drive-by from this guy. This knowledge is wide even including transactions within the farm systems and salaries. He'll be waiting by your desk when you arrive to ask, "Did you know the guy that caught Barry's 755th homer was a plumber from Oakland named Mike Wiggins?" Tell them you're gay and they probably will never try it again.
THE MINUTE MAN (salarus slackea)
Damage Rating: 5.6
This dude shaves as much off the work day that he possibly can. He shows up at 8:05 and leaves at 4:57. He does not enjoy being confronted on such and, sometimes, might even take offense and become vocal with a host of specific excuses which normally channel right back to some lame "I'm just that busy in the evening," or "I got things in the evening." Like work is their inconvenience. It's not extremely damaging unless you need something at, say, 5:02 and they're already on their way home to a 5:30 dinner date. Have you ever been to a restaurant at 5:30? Yeah right.
THE ELEVEN O'CLOCK LUNCHER (appetitus overdrivius)
Damage Rating: 5.7
Like above, they simply refuse to work on a calendar that's sensible. Believe it or not, there are steps that can be taken to diffuse early hunger like, say, a good diet consisting of breakfast and mid-morning snack like, say, a granola bar. The leave every day at 11:00 like they haven't eaten in nearly two weeks. Slightly more damaging simply because it's more likely to happen when you have a pressing project that needs completion at mid-day.
THE HORDER (propertus scavengus)
Damage Rating: 1.5
Every office has that guy who will not pass up an opportunity at free goods. Whether it's paper clips, rubber bands, box cutters, keyboards, hard candy, magazines, staplers, staples, ball point pens, replacement lead for mechanical pencils. They're desk area is more like a supply store than an actual desk. Their damage rating is low because you know, eventually, you'll employ their services. I, most commonly, for the hard candy.
THE CRIER (unexplainedus somberus)
Damage Rating: 8.3
Wow, is there anything more distractive than a crier? Well, of course. When it happens every week. There's a rare breed that lives on the edge of crying 7 days a week. Chances are, when you see them even when smiling, they are deathly close to absolutely losing it and balling. It could be depression. It could be bad upbringing. It could be stress or it could be, simply, they like the attention. Even more spectacular is they will sometimes go home after crying like it's a reasonable excuse for taking the day off. I've always had the hardest time understanding this phenomenon because I rarely cry. It's because my heart is blackened and I've become emotionally detached.
THE LAUGHER (the white-tailed High Plains paint stripper)
Damage Rating: 9.6
The office space is a low murmur of papers being shuffled, muted conversations on the phone and then, k'boom! A laugh that matches the decibel level of a passing train. If you're like me, even at a distance, it makes you tear up in sheer pain. It envokes a physical pain comparable to that of an indian sunburn. It's damage rating is unmatched because it interrupts brain activity required to work your vitals like breathing, pumping blood and movement. I experience a period of suspended animation and then have to spend a moment remembering where I was. You just hope that, wherever this guy is, there's no aftershocks. But, unfortunately, it rarely happens just once. It is usually followed with longer, sustained laughter. Even worse, when a crowd gathers around the Laugher and the recruits begin laughing in unison. Some offices will take 15 minutes to recover from these sessions.
THE UNCOMORTABLE PHYSICAL REWARDER (sterneus backslapperus)
Damage Rating: 7.1
His attacks are rare, unannounced and sometimes even inappropriate. In a world that has drawn so many lines on what's appropriate or what's out of line, the backslap has unfairly become an oddity in modern office life. Thus making an instance where a back is slapped very distractive. If done correctly, you lose your breath for a moment or even something you were eating last night becomes dislodged and magically appears in your mouth. Simply say to them that you would prefer a less violating and harmful form of reward like, say, a pay raise or additional vacation days. Butt slapping was outlawed back in the days of Lonnie Anderson and WKRP in Cincinnati.
THE MANDATORY 15-MINUTE BREAKER (class-actionus potentialea)
Damage Rating: 3.7
Apparently in this day and age of record profits, increased efficiency and doing whatever a company can to be number one, people still believe in labor laws. In fact, some people have them memorized. I'm talking of the "child labor law" variety, but rather the mandatory 15-minute break for all four hours worked. I probably don't even have that right. That's because I don't believe in them. They're stupid. Look, if you're looking for a reason not to work, perhaps influenza or maybe a broken hip. I can give you both. Ironically, these are the people that work at 3/4 speed, so essentially, they take a 15 minute break every hour.
THE COMPLIANCE CRUSHER (regulationus adherea)
Damage Rating: 4.8
Not necessarily a supervisor, this species talent is noticing details. More importantly, the details that could get your happy ass fired. Look, don't ignore them because if they're not your supervisor, they know the quickest route to his/her desk. Sometimes its not recycling your paper goods or parking in Visitor Parking or using the wrong color of highlighter used to correct documents. This one will do damage if you don't look out. They're necessary to keeping the office in order, but sometimes takes the job unnecessarily serious. Don't take it lightly.
THE YOU'RE ACTUALLY WORKING?-ER (constantus slackerus)
Damage Rating: 9.3
This splendidly awesome species exudes a confidence in their protection that, not only are they reluctant to actually do work, but they make a point to glare as to be confused why you show any ambition, concern and/or urgency. Here's how it goes: "Hey, ya'll. Did you get the email that just came across?" Reply: "Uh, dude, we're talking." They're defense tactics are remarkable and very sly. Because, in packs, they can convince you that you really shouldn't be working. They're deadly in packs. They might even cost you your job. Keep working is your best action.
THE TOO-MUCH-INFORMATION DISCLOSER (boundus oversteppea)
Damage Rating: 9.1
Tuesday, it was an aunt with an infection on her foot that might require removal. Wednesday, it was a 20-minute monologue about a botched oil change. Thursday, it was the color of their vomit after eating at the Mexican buffet. Friday's news might ruin your weekend. There's no crafty getaway from these sorts of situations. I usually just black out and nod my head. Others employ the really awkward just-turn-your-back-to-'em move. I've never been a fan of this technique because then it makes you the asshole. I like to come out pretty clean, but maybe that's why I give it a damage rating of 9.1--because I can't help but listen. It's one of my more endearing qualities.
THE WALKING HEADLINE (MSN.com homepagea)
Damage Rating: 7.3
This species believes firmly that, despite it taking up valuable time during the workday, it's their "right to the know the news...to be informed." Perhaps, but it's your obligation to work. Nonetheless, this cat's not above just flying over to your desk and hitting you with about five to seven news stories all at once transitioned only with, "And then, did you hear..." It's almost indicative of mild retardation. I'm somewhat insulted with this cat because, over the last fifteen years or so, I've crafted myself to be as close to the news as possible. Yet, despite that, I get this cat always barking on some new bull. Yeah, Katrina. Yeah, NASA. Yeah, food poisoning. I get it. Every night. Sometimes three times a night. I'm talking about the news. Go away. I don't put my head down and think, "Man, I wonder what incredible news story Teddy's gonna tell me tomorrow! He's always full of such great news! And it's always so relevant!"
THE CRAZY WARDROBE GUY/GAL (clothea flamboyitica)
Damage Rating: 6.5
More likely going to be a "gal," but not altogether uncommon to spot a male in this species. It's usually florescents or even Don Johnson white pants. You never know. Normally, things are worn not for their comfort, but so these lil' pips can finally own their space in the world as something to someone. "If I have to be the moron who dresses like I'm Swedish and dons an accent, so be it!" It could be a printed shirt that reads, "I hate black people." Oh, that crazy Bobby! Always up to something!" Now I know why they make dress codes. It's to avoid collisions with this freakish species.
THE WEATHERMAN (meterologica aspirus)
Damage Rating: 7.8
If it's hailing, they'll let you know. Not like you can do anything about the beating your car might be taking, but they're gonna say, "Hey, it's hailing." Or they might report a tornado that touched down three hundred miles away. They're understanding of the weather, apparently, doesn't also include nature like, "Hey, tornados will eventually strike somewhere. Relax." I only want to know when the wall cloud has appeared and it's about two miles away. Nah, make that two and a half. I might need to drop by the store for Q-tips or milk. Again, they're just trying to carve out their niche. Unfortunately, weather.com already took care of that. Like Bob Dylan said, "You don't need a weatherman to blah blah blah." I can walk out and tell you it's hot. I don't need to know the record or even the current temperature. It's hot enough to cause chaffing. That's all I need to know. Not that I have to worry about that, but I look over my neighbors. Again, an endearing quality.
THE ANTIBACTERIALIST (Lysolus constantus)
Damage Rating: 4.2
You'll hear them coming by the sound of a Lysol can being deployed. Hopefully, you'll never get the treatment I received at a former job where the receptionist actually sprayed me at close range like I was the bacteria. The damage rating would double if that was the case. It's Lysol or it's a box of Kleenex to make sure you're blowing your nose into something and not into the floor. You can also spot this species by the cannon of antibacterial hand gel at their desk. It can get annoying (especially because I'm a germaphobe, but still might not wash my hands before dining--I ride the fence), but these people are, again, very vital in the office space.
THE ALWAYS-SOMETHINGIST (vacationis maximus)
Damage Rating: 8.7
It's always something. This species is quite efficient at making themselves look uber-important because it's always something. It's a concert, it's a death in someone else's family (like they're the President or something), it's a charity event, it's a dinner, it's a gala. Whatever. This person always has a reason to take off work. You'd think they don't really need a job except to pay for their numerous excursions. You know the one, though. You go by their desk for maybe an entire week and you don't see anyone and then someone lets you know that they went for a month long kayaking trip in Canada. Obvious man says, "And they're able to keep their job?!" There's always something. My something is dinner and I usually make a point to leave by then.
Off to Santa Fe for Slug, Murs, Cage, Sage Francis, Brother Ali, Living Legends and City Fence from Lubbock, TX (da original Fiddy Cent). Check out my brotha below. Don't fake the funk on broham's mangled teeths and mulletude hair-due. I pick him for a fan of Neil Schon of Journey. When I say "brotha," I mean "brotha" not "brother."
Have a rad Thursday and Friday. Keep rockin, Cru Jones.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
A huge post on the marvels of office life forthcoming--most likely tomorrow morning. Happy Tuesday.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I gotta drop a serious mention to one of the better sites I've been to in a very long time. My man D-Nice (yeah, "Call me D-Nice") has a killa site. Seems like between the picture below and now, dude developed some hardcore photo skills and, with that as the foundation, has over the last three years or so put together a superdope site--especially for cats like me and Wil.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tonight, I finished Jesus Camp and now am on Bonds Watch. So, with all of my four movies viewed, I'm going to review them for you. These four films run the gammut of topics. One about international travel, another about theological warfare, one about the gentrification and homosexuality and one about a short-lived volitile musical movement. We'll start with the gem about tourism.
Have a super-fresh weekend, everyone.