Friday, November 30, 2007


A few weeks back, I posted on Okayplayer (and it had been almost a year since I did so) a rather fair, I thought, post about how very few great or even good hip hop albums came out this year. I mean, it's just been dry as hell. Historically, if I may say. I don't know, it could be that because of getting promoted from my former buying position, I'm left off of all the great promo lists (suckas, thanks for nothing) or, perhaps, my tastes are changing as I turned 30. Maybe even, my perception is reality and hip hop really does suck in 2007.

I went on a walk to the store last night and I took Da Pocket Prophet with me--he's getting more travel these days than the j3 Juggernaut (his iPod counterpart). While I was crossing this vast, dark schoolyard and the northern wind whipped the back of my head, Run DMC's "Peter Piper" began blasting through my headphones and, for the first time in ages, I bobbed my head, smiled excitedly and even did some "air-scratching." That rush of satisfaction that took me over as I walked through the neighborhood as it jumped to "Cold Getting Dumb" and "Brooklyn Rocks the Best" and "I'm Bad" and "Paul Revere" struck me.

I decided on my way back that my year-end list this year, instead of pouring through the best or only (as the case might be) hip hop records that came out this year, that I'll be instead ranking the best recordings (full length or 12") to come out during my period of observation. So, if you're scoring at home, I've compiling all the way up to 1987 so I have from 1979 to 1987 to choose from. I'll pick the Dirty Thirty from that era of hip hop and provide it for you as I would normally the best of 2007.

Essentially, what I'm saying, is I would rather write exuberantly on a record that came out in 1987 than reluctantly about a shitty record from 2007 that I'm lying to myself about. I would rather turn a head on to Just-Ice than try to sell them a copy of Jay-Z American Gangster record. There were some great recordings that came out this year (I'll Sleep When You're Dead comes to mind immediately). Maybe it's a boycott of sorts. Heads will accuse me of just hating. Sure, whatever. I'm the only one that's complaining about hip hop this year. Okay, gotcha.

We're turning it back all the way to 1987. If you don't like it, go read Pitchfork Media. They'll keep you abreast on all the recent stuff. And they're really fair with their rating system. Anyone that cares to join me in my venture, I would encourage it. The incredible listens that, just in a week, I've been privelege to enjoy have been reward enough. Just wait until I start loading on 1988 onto Da Pocket Prophet.

Served, for the first time, on a jury this week. It was a DWI case. Not guilty by virtue of the "presumed innocence" system we live under. Dude refused the breathalizer because it was his constitutional right and cleared him of any undisputable evidence of intoxication. Interesting. It was dope, though. I'd serve again in a second if I could. I don't know why people are so reluctant to serve on a jury.

Drew Peterson's guilty. There you have it. It's Friday folks, go high five someone.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Man, I gotta be real with you. I had no idea this Zune was going to be so much dopeness. Again, here's the setup. 30GB of nothing but hip hop and, of that, everything on there has to be 20 years or older. Meaning, right now, I can have everything up to 1987 and, once we turn over into 2008, I'll be permitted to load 1988 albums on there. What it creates, essentially, is a paced and, more importantly, chronological feeding on hip hop's rich history. The hope is that I'll finally provide myself the vehicle to hear all those dope records that I never got to as a kid growing up in Lubbock, Texas. I mean, in 1984, I was playing with Masters of the Universe toys and dreaming of being an alligator. I didn't know anything about Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde's "Genius Rap" or Sugarhill Gang's "8th Wonder." Why would I? And, better yet, why would I ever care? Well, both are valid questions. I mean, I don't really need to hear these old records, but sometimes I feel this completely over-the-top feeling of self-importance that what I'm doing desperately needs to happen and uncovering hip hop's storied past is one such thing. Yeah, I know it's stupid, but I figure my listening needs some structure, some focus. I'll just listen to anything anymore. I'm not discriminate anymore. I need to put my blinders on and just do that damn thing.

What I've found from my brief time with this machine, the Zune, is that out of the 151 songs that I currently have loaded on my Zune from 1979 to 1987, I've become a very big fan of Original Concept's "Can You Feel It?" which was actually a B-side to "Knowledge Me"--both of which were produced by the great Rick Rubin. Released in 1986, "Can You Feel It?" is essentially just a song of breaks, most notably a very recognizable Jackson 5 break from "It's Great to be Here." Dope, dope, dope. Oh, and the greatest thing about the Zune is that the album art comes up beautifully on the large(r) screen and, in the case of Original Concept, there is no cover art because there was no album. Instead, I just use the 12" label like this:

Another observation is Eric B. had the hardest drums. The dude was incredible. Listen to "Paid in Full" (classic) followed by "As the Rhyme Goes On (Pumpin' in Turbo Mix)" and tell me this dude didn't have the best beats back in 1986-87. I didn't even know there was a "Pumpin' in Turbo Mix" for "As the Rhyme Goes On" until yesterday.
I also realized and my listening has confirmed this: the Beastie Boys were just ill. I mean, back then, there were really four records--Paid in Full, Raising Hell, Criminal Minded and Licensed to Ill. Yes, I realize there were more, but these albums I really credit to developing what was, to that point, a 12"-game into fully developed records. Licensed to Ill was just so out there sonically. Those drums, those rock-riffs. Yeah, ill indeed.

Also, to help in sorting through the 30GB of hip hop that will soon (more later than sooner) occupy Da Pocket Prophet, I have decided to bring in eleven different sub-genres to help sort out the material. They are as follows:

"Backpacking" (late addition)

So you can bring up the "Gangbanging" genre and put it on shuffle and, while right now, you'll only get Ice-T, King Tee and N.W.A., soon Geto Boys will pop up in there. Maybe Above the Law. "Turntabling" features Double Dee and Steinski right now, but next year I'll be adding in "Terminator X to the Edge of Panic." Yeah, hip hop geekdom and snobbery to the fullest. You better believe it. Man, I might need to go ahead and bring in a "Backpacking" sub-genre because you know I'll need it. Make that twelve.

Got jury duty today. Thought it was yesterday and worked Sunday all afternoon because I thought I was going to be out.. I'm a big dummy. Holla.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Please help me in wishing my lovely wife a happy birthday. Yeah, the girl's a year older and, well, in honor of her making it another year (this year not jumping out of a plane, but rather staying warm in bed reading a book), I cooked up a Sock-It-To-Me cake for breakfast. Yeah, you know my steez. Heads don't think my ass can bake. I got mad skills.
It's a bun cake that, in the middle, contains a mixture of crushed pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzled in a sugary glaze. Yeah, it's ill. I'm quite proud of myself. Got up at 5 AM to get this bad boy baked. Best if served with coffee, juice or milk.

Got a new member of the family too. It's a Zune. For those scoring at home, the Zune I purchased is a 30GB animal that is made my Microsoft and has video, audio and picture capabilities. I'll be using it predominantly for music.

He's brown like the one above. Apparently, brown wasn't the most popular color amongst Zune users so it's being closed out to all retailers. I bought mine brand new for about $97. His name is "Da Pocket Prophet" and, true to his name, will only contain hip hop 20 years or older. And, also, Da Pocket Prophet will also have gas faces (shakefaces) stored on it for anyone's enjoyment. So please help me in welcoming Da Prophet to the family. Loaded some Audio Two, Biz Markie, Eric B & Rakim, Beasties, Run DMC and Funky Four this morning. Oh, this is gonna be fun. Still having to go back and get all of the really old stuff like Sugarhill, Kurtis Blow and such, but soon, this thing will be a portable hip hop encyclopedia--complete with cover art or 12" label where applicable.

You ain't ready.

Danny (City Fence) is apparently down in Austin this weekend preparing some of the new tracks for his album. Danny, I only expect greatness. You got the world's two best producers working for you. Failure is not an option.

Celtics are 10-1. It's an old school weekend. Go listen to the Fat Boys, dummy.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I'll be the first to admit, I hate shopping. I hate it with a passion that is unmatched in this world. These are words that my lovely wife can't stand hearing because, well, let's face it, because I can't stand shopping, it might mean that you're getting the crappiest presents. I try to not let that happen, but yes, logic would suggest that you chance of this happening greatly increases between someone who absolutely loves to shop and, well, me.

As I wake up, the local news is staked out at various retail businesses repeating the words, "The doors have just opened. Look at all the people!" Dorks. Some dude just yelled, "Black Friday! Aw, hell yeah!" What in the world? Some guy on CNN just advised to not go out on mornings like this with a significant other because, without a doubt, it will result in some sort of argument. Interesting comment.

Whatever. Here's what we're going to do. To help everyone out this Christmas season, I'm going to list the Top 5 Places that Customer Service Doesn't Exist.

Rare that you'd spend your money anywhere that, first, honesty is completely out the door, secondly, is void of any reason and wisdom, third, adheres to no noticeable price structure and, lastly, the employees most likely more know about your problem that you do. Welcome to the garage. This can be the tire place on the corner, the oil change joint or, worst of all, the do-it-all mechanic that is just waiting to screw you to no end. There are exceptions (Jiffy Lube, whaddup), but they are few and far between. Here, we run into the guy that gives preferential treatment to people he went to school with. Let's face it, that's the cornerstone of poor customer service. It's clouded because it would seem that he's providing excellent service, but he's screwing someone else in the process. And, because I'm the kid that only made ten friends in high school, I'm always going to get screwed. The garage has perfected the "get-together-out-of-earshot-from-the-customer-and-look-to-be-having-a-very-important-conversation" tactic which makes it appear that they are using teamwork to arrive at a suitable solution to the problem. Really, they're just teaming up against you and out of the five guys talking, they developed thirteen ways to get more money out of your stupid ass. I know no one's really thinking of buying a loved one an oil filter for Christmas, but if you are, buyer beware.

If you want to see an unexplainable oddity, do this: go to either Best Buy or Circuit City and count the employees doing absolutely nothing. It's staggering. With few exceptions, I have seen the laziest employees in my life while passing through one of these two retailers. I don't know what it is that makes employees for these two giants move at quarter-speed, but it's reached epidemic levels. And, the second you ask for help, you're met with a sigh, slumped shoulders and maybe even rolled eyes. The only people who are working are the people checking customers out. Even the security cat at Best Buy is just lumped on a stool, nodding his head, saying, "Have a good day." Boy, some security. Don't be fooled by everyone's running shoes (which appear to be standards in their uniform) because they aren't running.

Why anyone would go the mall and expect to be the recipient of any customer service completely boggles my mind. The average age of a mall employee is 22 years old. Knowing that, the instance of poor customer service skyrockets on that alone. Sure, in college communities, your chances might fair a tad better, but more likely you're gonna get met by some punk who thinks he has it made because he's not waiting tables or dipping potatoes in scorching grease. He's riding a high (and occasionally he might actually be high) because he went from the worst job on the planet to working in a highly stimulating retail environment with, among other things, plenty of places to lean and, better yet, countless candidates from the opposite sex to stare at as they walk by. I can rather confidently say that the males are the main offenders here. Male mall employees are among the very worst on the planet. They just don't want to work. It's like church camp to these kids. Case in point: find the Hot Topic in your mall and spend five minutes in there.

And then, add to the whole experience those damn kiosks that litter the walking space and it's a freaking battlefield of poor customer service. I know the design is to simulate some sort of European street market, but I almost have to stiff-arm the guy selling the some eyeglass cleaning product. You have some moron selling floormats for your car, another dude selling skins for your cell phone and then the damned Dipping Dots stand. Who still eats Dipping Dots? Whatever. The point is this. Like the carnival that sets up in a parking lot, these are rides you don't wanna ride. They're not even bolted to the ground. There's no accountability in commerce with these people. They're not approved by the Better Business Bureau because they don't even have a front door to put the little sticker on. Doing business with these hounds is like just throwing your money away. Think about it. Count how many people you've heard say the following line with any level of positivity: "Yeah, I bought it off one of those little booths in the mall!"

Let's face it, like all that glitters ain't gold--all those lab coats don't mean they're doctors of any sort. This is like a place where a bunch of kids from the drama club act like optometrists. They don't know what they're doing. They have a "lab on site" which I found from personal experience really only means, they take your crappy glasses to a little room in the back and completely eff them up. And then they bring them out, kinda shrug their shoulders and say, "Sorry, but it'll be another ten working days before we'll get them back." And then, in the end, they never call you. I'm still waiting for a call for the third go-round from about three weeks ago. These kids are complete nincompoops and they lie without hesitation. I'd swing at one of them if I wasn't worried about destroying a nearby display of expensive glasses.

Do not ever go here to get your glasses because they will inevitably blow it and then try and give you upgrades to keep you happy. You know what would make me happy? Doing your damn job and not having to worry every time I come in about being deceived and lied to. That'd be a start.

Yeah, the granddaddy of them all. You act surprised. The Wal-Mart way is to make the most money by spending the least. And what that means to customer service is basically staffing the very lowest common denominator to accomodate you during your shopping experience. I hate to bag on the dudes that work there because, like a co-worker once said, "They're just trying to make a living." Okay, that might be true. But you know what, I'm commenting on customer service and Wal-Mart is the very worst because they cut a very important corner in the commerce paradigm--quality personnel and that's why they land as number one on this list. I'd shop there more often if I didn't have idiot store employees in my way. I can find it myself. And the answer to, "Do I need help?" is "Not the type you're offering." Yeah, I know that sucks of me, but I'm willing to be the jerk here. I can't stand this place.

I think that in all retail or glasses store/lemonade stands, they should only let people over 21 work. If you're under 21, you get to do a stint bussing tables and flipping frozen hamburger patties. It's good for your character and, trust me, you'll really appreciate that nice retail job once you get there and, maybe, I'll take your help then. Until then, if you approach me, watch for the hook.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


You know, people spend their Thanksgivings many different ways. Perhaps it's watching the Dallas Cowboys. Or planning their Black Friday purchases. Or maybe, like me, it's giving thanks for all the great things in the world and then shoving miraculous helpings of food into my belly.
I'm thankful for a lot of things. My lovely wife, my awesome family, my new nephew (whaddup, homie), my health, powdered sugar, baseball. I've got a great life. But that's not the purpose of this post. That's the purpose of what I'll do all day tomorrow. For now, I'll talk about some observations I've made over the last couple of days.

I've come to some revelations or rather eye-opening observations about food. I don't know what sparked it. Maybe long walks to work did it. Maybe it was turning in carbonated drinks for healthier substitutes (although I really question if two bottles of wine a night is much healthier). Maybe it was the weight loss that I experienced over the last year and a half or however long it's been. I know one of these observations came to me about twenty minutes ago when I couldn't sleep. Odd how the mind works at those long, sleepless hours of the night.
Firstly, I really like lemonade. I mean, I didn't know this until I had to find alternatives for cola, but lemonade is probably one of the greatest drinks known to man. I have started developing my favorites (of which I'll probably go through in a different post), but really I can get with almost any brand whether out of a bottle, jug or fountain machine. I like it mixed from a powder or fresh with extra pulp. Lemonade's fantastic. I probably consumed more lemonade in the last two weeks than I ever have in my thirty years in this world. I think a dietician might suggest that level of consumption is not quite healthy, but I can't help it. I love it that much.
Secondly, I don't know the difference between marinara, spaghetti sauce and ketchup sometimes. Furthermore, I don't know the difference between good and bad marinara. I mean, if you put tomato paste down in front of me and sprinkled some oregano on it and called it dinner, I'd eat it all the same. I'm not sure if I went to a really great Italian restaurant and someone said, "Our sauce is the best this side of the Mississippi," that I wouldn't say, "Well, so long as it's red and made with tomatoes." It's not that I don't like it, I just don't know the difference. And, I'm not sure if people talk about marinara in terms of "best this side of the Mississippi." You can put white wine, garlic, oregano, spit, onion, lemon zest, fennel in it and it's gonna go down the same way--topped in parmasean, a dash of pepper and sprinkling of salt.
Lastly, I've found in my years that I don't like bread as much as I like butter. I mean, I like bread for its traditional purposes in sandwiches and hot dogs, but if you had me a piece of warm bread and say, "Enjoy some bread," I will not until I have a tub of butter. Maybe that means I don't really enjoy bread. It's probably some sort of notion like, "Oh, you cheapen the experience with your butter, you silly American," but I can't do it. In fact, safe to say that I only eat bread because it gives me license to consume more butter than is allowed on grounds of decency and lawfulness. Sometimes at a meal, I'll see some butter and I'll think to myself, "I really need some bread so I can eat that butter right there." The bread becomes only a vehicle for the butter to me. Just know that if I'm over for dinner and you offer me bread, it better come with butter. Otherwise, I'll openly admit that I have no appreciation for food and would rather see everything drenched in butter or A1 Sauce. There, I cracked.
Everyone have a great Thanksgiving. Working on my year-end list, yep, don't worry. Texas Tech knocked off #6 in the nation in Lubbock. Sooners should know better coming into Lubbock as a top-10 team. Had a killer weekend in Taos with the lovely wife. Ate chorizo and couldn't find an alpaca hat. Man, talk about non-discriminate dining...chorizo? Damn, I'll eat anything.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Look, it's not like I don't have anything better to do, but...


I recognized something a long time ago about one of if not the very best Country and Western plucker the world has ever seen. I'm speaking of the one, the only George Strait. Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate George Strait. Wait, yeah whatever, I meant that. I hate him. And I have good reason to.

Well, maybe it's not that good of a reason, but it's a reason nonetheless and any reason to hate George Strait is a good reason. Here's my reason and, hang with me because it's on the math tip. I don't really have any strong grounds, I mean, it wouldn't hold water in court, but whatever, check it out.

Since 1981, this duke's released over 30 records. That's a rate that is unmatched except for Willie's whoring self trying to pay back the IRS. The difference between George and, uh, good and credible and believable Country and Western singers like Willie is that George is only going to give you ten songs at a time. I mean, you'd think that eventually dude would get a wild hair on his ass and he'd say, "You know what? I think this time I'm gonna give my fans who buy every piece of crap record I release one additional song for being so faithful." But, no. He doesn't do that. You get ten songs, you moron George Strait fan. Now go listen. You'll get ten more next year. It's funny because Led Zeppelin IV is one of the greatest records ever recorded and the thing was only eight songs. But that's all it takes. Then Zep turn around and release Houses of the Holy and it, too, was also eight songs, but then Physical Graffiti dropped and it was fifteen songs. And it was fifteen songs because, damn it, that's the way it had to be because it was Physical Graffiti--the very best Zeppelin record ever made, in fact, it was the best rock album ever recorded and any more would've spoiled it and any less would left you unfulfilled. But George Strait and his punk ass is giving you ten songs. Even if you might have only wanted six, you're gonna get ten. There's no artistic reasoning. There's no fantastic vision behind this decision. He just insists.

Here, check it. In 1981, it all began with the appropriately (and egomanically) titled Strait Country. It had ten songs. Little did we know what was to come. Next year, Strait From the Heart released and it too was only ten songs. Right or Wrong was also ten songs. Right or wrong, it was the formula and it worked. Then, there was Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind in 1984--ten songs. I can think of another classic record that came out in 1984, oh yeah, 1984. But George just crapped out ten more songs. Dude was so cocky that he titled his next year's release, Something Special, but let's be realistic, it was still only ten songs--it wasn't that special. Then, he got as tired naming albums as he did writing songs so he just called his next record #7 and, yes, you guessed it--ten songs. Then, because when you're as dope as George Strait, you have to release hits packages mid-career, but he still only gave you ten songs on his 1986 release, Greatest Hits. That same year he released a Christmas record, but dude was such a stingy Scrooge that duke only gave ten songs on Merry Christmas Strait to You. Next year, he released another ten song greatest hits package called Greatest Hits Vol. 2. Dude's a genius. Ocean Front Property--ten songs, If You Ain't Loving--ten songs, Beyond the Blue Neon--ten songs, Livin It Up (and although he was, you still are only getting...)--ten songs. And then, dude just ain't hiding it anymore. He actually names his next hits package Ten Strait Hits. Yes, that's the third hits package in five years. He wouldn't have to release so many if he'd just step out to fifteen a hits package. Chill of an Early Fall--ten songs, Holding My Own--ten songs. And, even though Strait's camp would contend that Pure Country (a soundtrack) was eleven songs, the last song was actually the theme from the main title sequence in the movie. Sorry, that doesn't count. That's another ten song album. Easy Come, Easy Go--ten songs, Lead On--ten songs, Blue Clear Sky--ten songs, Carrying Your Love With Me--ten songs, One Step at a Time (and ten songs an album because I'm George Strait, damn it!)--ten songs. Interesting thing happened in 1998 when he released The Very Best of George Strait in two separate volumes. Both were twenty songs a piece. A bargain by George Strait standards, but remember that twenty is divisible by ten. Still counts. Always Never the Same, ha, who are you kidding George? Always Never the Same? How are you gonna say that when for the last twenty years you've been releasing ten-song albums? Always Never the Same had ten songs. Another Christmas collection called Merry Christmas Wherever You Are in 1999 still only ten songs. How about a self-titled release in 2000? Yep, you guessed it, ten songs. Road Less Traveled--ten songs. Greatest Collection came out in 2004 and, in terms of volume, it certainly was. Forty songs in all, but yes, still divisible by ten. An unprecedented third seasonal record titled Christmas Collection released in 2005--twenty songs, divisible by ten. Then, in 2006, The Ultimate Collection dropped in two different versions. There was a two-disc version and a three-disc version. Guess what, they contained twenty and thirty songs respectively.

Boycott George Strait and listen to Nina Simone instead.

Monday, November 12, 2007


So, Saturday night, my lovely wife and I joined some of her friends from work for some "drinks" and dinner at a local Mexican eatery. Now, I haven't really been challenged at all on my "no carbonation" rule up to this point. I guess I'm entering the third week. Remember, it's no colas and no beer. So, when it comes to alcoholic drinks, it presents some rather unique limitations--especially for a beer drinker like myself.

We sit down and chatter for a bit and then the waiter bounces up to take the drink orders. I explain to him that I'm not drinking beer and would like something in place of. He looks at me baffled. Yeah, I know, it's hard to believe. He makes a few margarita suggestions, all of which, don't sound that spectacular, but I figure, "When in Rome, have a margarita."

With the help of one of my lovely wife's friends, I place an order for a blue margarita. I even called it by name: "Blue Rita." Upon saying this aloud, my manhood completely disappeared. All that I had worked for my entire life was wiped away in three syllables. It's as if I reached in my pocket, pulled out two marbles and said, "I'd like to exchange these for a blue coconut drink, please."

This "no beer" crap was starting to really become painful. And, like a sitting duck, I was sitting on the outside of the booth--exposed to everyone in the immediate dining room. The chatter continues as we wait for our drinks to arrive. I was starting to become really nervous. It was like jitters before a blind date. I mean, I've never been on a blind date, but I imagine this is what it's like. I wait patiently for my drink to arrive and, as time passes, I become less interested in the conversation and more attentive to the movement of waiters and the drinks they're carrying--following each of them with one eye as they pass.

Then, I see my date.

The waiter starts walking directly toward our table and there's no mistaking which one is mine--a towering blue martini glass filled with ice with an orange sliver on the lip and a large shaker which, by my observation, must contain the contents of my drink. I begin to slide down in my seat. She sits down in front of me. I don't have the nerve to tell her how ugly she is. I just smile instead.

And, it's not her fault. I mean, she's a blue drink. And, I'm sure on most Saturday nights, she's the life of the party, but I'm just not feeling her at all. I begin to feel like everyone in the room is looking at me. I kinda leave it out in front of me for a few minutes like, "Oh, this is clearly a mistake. I didn't order this crap. Someone must be playing a nasty prank on me." The damn thing had a straw sticking out of the top. Put me in a skirt and call me "Michelle."

With a few more moments of hesitation, I just jump right into it. I deliver my lame trademark, "Hey, well at least it ain't heroin." I pour it in the glass. Crap, it really is blue. I use the straw to stir it and then toss the straw aside. Here goes nothing.

The first sip was really strong. It was the kinda drink that would knock your date on her tail end. Sad reality was, I was that date. I didn't like the salt around the rim. I know it's customary, but it was kinda gross. I didn't like the coconut taste because, well, I hate coconuts. The tequila was pretty good, but I'm sure it was the cheap stuff. I just don't really know the difference. I didn't really sip the drink because I figured sipping it would only worsen my circumstances. So I just begin taking it back like a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. Thing goes straight to my head--not like a beer. Clearly, not like a beer.

I wasn't trashed at the end of it, but I felt like trash--maybe of the "white" origin. I felt like some teenage girl that crossed the border to Mexico and got drugged by a local. Whatever I felt like, I didn't feel good.

I figure that guys need a margarita they can feel comfortable drinking. I brainstormed a few moments at the table. I developed a drink called the "manarita" which is delivered in the same stupid martini glass, but contains nothing but whiskey and scotch. And no straw.

Here's to beer and March 8th.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

BEST PART OF WAKING UP... seeing your Celtics are off to a 5-0 start.
The Celtics are back, my friends. And I'll agree that it's pretty hard not to be with the talent of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and, my man, Paul Pierce. Last night, we improved to 5-0 by beating the Nets. Yeah, I know, it's the Atlantic Division, but the way this team is playing, you can't help but get those Christmas-morning bumblebees. It's been a long road back for the C's. I mean, the franchise was lucky to survive those horrid Dino Radja-Dee Brown days. Moreover, I'm lucky Red made it through those days. Those were the seasons following Reggie Lewis' death which I would contend was where it all fell apart. Reggie was the future. Dude sprinted the court, stop and shoot with more accuracy than anyone in the league. He had the poise and confidence of players with twice the league experience. Then, in the summer of 1993, he fell dead on the court with an irregular heartbeat. The season before, Reggie, the team's new scoring leader, led the young Celtics to a 48-34 record as McHale and Parish rode into the sunset. The season following his passing, the Celtics went 32-50. The next season, even with the help of an aged Dominique Wilkins, the Celtics only won three more games and finished 35-47. Then, the tailspin. The next year, we fell to 33-49. In 1996-97, even with the addition of rookie Antoine Walker, we posted our worst record in the history of the franchise. We pinched off 15 turds and called them "wins," but we were fortunate the league even let us play. Horrible. The next season was better, but still far from a winning season. Even though, young players like (now World Champions) Bruce Bowen and Chauncey Billups would help improve the team, front office would eventually trade them off. They'd never look back.

We did, however, hold on to a kid named "Pervis" for five seasons too long. God bless him.

When Paul joined the team, the impact wasn't immediate, but after four years of building, Celtics fans would finally see a team at full throttle. Paul and Antoine helped the Celtics post a 49-33 record in 2001-02 with the stout play of great role players like Eric Williams, Tony Battie (from Texas Tech), Tony Delk, Walter McCarty. A few playoff appearances, but no championships and the hiring of Danny "Franchise Killah" Ainge would lead to the mysterious release of Antoine Walker to the Dallas Mavericks. It was the kinda "dark days" that brought back the stinging memory of the future of the franchise dying in the off-season. Danny Ainge ("et tu, Brute?"), former beloved Celtic was now wrecking the team from the front office. Meanwhile, Celtic greats Kevin McHale and Larry Legend were successful GM's in Minnesota and Indiana respectively?! Why in the hell do we get Ainge?!

Last season in the wake of Red's death, Paul Pierce, as captain, couldn't drive his team to more than 24 victories--a mark that was only out-embarrassed by the 15-win season of 1996-97. The franchise was about to shrivel up and die. Paul would've jumped ship if given the chance. But then, Danny Ainge grew a pair of marbles and actually went out and got his players.

After being a sure-shot for the number one draft pick, the ping-pong lottery was mean as hell to us when we had more balls than anyone (ping-pong) but got out balled by four other teams. We got the fifth pick. So freaking awesome. Greg Oden would've been nice. Durant, although young and frail, would've also been a great addition. Our future was going to come in the form of kid named Jeff Green. We'd forfeit the draft rights to Green as well as two players to Seattle for Ray Allen. And, in what would otherwise be considered an assanine move, we'd trade off of our young core of Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes along with, uh, an entire second team to Kevin McHale's Timberwolves for disgruntled all-star Kevin Garnett.

Meanwhile in the league, Durant's not fooling anyone and Oden's will sit out his first year to surgery on this balky knee. Thanks, Jeff Green.

Sure, the stacking of the Celtics recalls the Yankees of the last four years, but make no mistake, unlike the Yankees, a championship is not necessarily a sure thing. You got some stout teams in the West--the Suns, the Spurs, the Mavericks, the Jazz, the Nuggets, the Rockets. Nope, it ain't guaranteed, but I gotta like my chances. Go Celtics.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


And one is not this awesome picture that Clint sent to me without any caption today. Clint, thank you. At 4:35 PM, this is all I needed to make right of a wrong world and see me on my way home.

I don't know. I guess I need a HATE post because, well, I don't know. Maybe I don't need a reason. It's Thursday? Is that a good enough reason? F'get it. Here we go.

Today, I hate the kids that paintballed my car, my house and my front bushes. If I was at home when it happened, I would've hunted you down like the cowardly moron you are, ask that you turn the paintball gun on yourself and shoot yourself in the forehead from six inches away until you were left with a nasty headwound that just wouldn't stop bleeding. I'd then follow you home and when your mommy answered the door, I'd have you say to her, "I was a little punk today and got what I deserved. I shouldn't play paintball anymore. In fact, I shouldn't be allowed to hang with my punk ass friends anymore either. I would enjoy a long, sad life of solitude. I think that I would like to take up stamp collecting. Please help me get started on my stamp collection today, Mommy." Stay away from my house and my car or you might catch a bad one.

Today, I also hate cowboy hats. I find that not only are they completely impractical as headwear, but their also freaking ugly. And, I don't know how it is in your neighborhood, but the cowboy hat around here is a license to talk like a jobless dropout and drive like a idiot on meth. Maybe that's just the Yellow. Then again, maybe not.

Today, this otherwise glorious day, I also hate my next door neighbor who just put a blue lightbulb in the lamp out in his front yard. I'm not sure why he did. Maybe the blue is soothing. Maybe he's just publicly proclaiming his undying love for the Cowboys. I dunno. He's a great guy, but just does some odd things sometimes. This one's up there. Of course, he seems to have a problem with me mowing the lawn in a thong. Whatta party pooper.

Today, I hate Wal-Mart. Wait, that's everyday. But today I really hate Wal-Mart. I went in there for some business earlier today and I almost fainted. There must be some sort of retard gas that's emitted into the air ducts. I swear I almost panicked and ran out of there screaming. I look at an endcap and I see 55 little kids in Indonesia whimpering, "I wish my daddy could come home this month from the toy factory, but it's Christmastime in America and Wal-Mart needs more toys to sell." Then, one kid in the back murmurs, "I haven't eaten for weeks. I'm hungry." Then, I'm struck by the smell of sorta-potatoes deep frying in the kitchen of the attached McDonalds at the front of the aircraft carrier. Ah, Wal-Mart and McDonalds--one starves the world while another bovines it. That's a tag team you don't wanna play with.

Today, I hate lazy people. You know, the cats that like it'll all get done by someone somewhere and they're just on this planet to get in the way of progress and opportunity. No, I'm serious. There are actually people in this world that act like they're owed money for absolutely no work. I don't hate them everyday, but today I do.

Today, I hate people who park their cars in their yards. I think I ranted about this before, but I can't stand this. When you have a perfectly good driveway, you are not allowed to park in your yard. Even if you're yard is dirt, you cannot park on it. Even if it's paved and has a sign that reads, "For residence parking only. And you can't tell me what to do," you still cannot park there. Morons like you are the reason it's safer to rent. I mean, please don't do me any favors if I'm ever trying to sell my house down the block. I know everyone wants to live just down the way from white trash who thinks they still live on the meth farm. Park in the driveway or just ride a bike instead.

Today, I hate pencil beards. If you can't grow a real werewolfian beard that goes from your chin to your upper-chest hair, I would suggest just going through life without one (and playing for the Yankees--they're such class acts there). The pencil look is just lame and tired. It just screams, "I like Vanilla Ice and sympathize with Howie's visit to rehab." Actually, is there anyone that can still pull off this look?

Today, I hate race haters. Most specifically, the people who are passive aggressive in their hate. You know, the ones that will just ride that fence without saying anything too definitive, but in their avoidance of using the "n-word" (reminding me that I need to come up with a new word for the "n-word") they say even more bigoted things. Look, as hard as it would be for me to respect anyone for being a bigot and a racist, I'd probably have more respect if you'd just admit it. Stop acting like I don't know what you're talking about when you say, "Their baggy clothes just make them look stupid and uneducated." Oh and that goes for dudes like Glenn Beck who harp on and on about the war at our Mexican border. I hear you, homie, loud and clear. You don't like Mexicans. There's nothing political about it. There's nothing that you need to involve the senate about. You just don't like Mexicans.
Today, I hate the Eagles. Again, I always hate them, but today, I have unwavering hate for them. Everything Don Henley says from here on in is totally suspect. Once the hero for the common man, supporting earth-friendly initiatives and the little man, now serves only Wal-Mart. The Eagles signed an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart tabbing them as the only retailer for their new record Long Road Out of Eden. Apparently, the deal involved 3 million records and $20 million in cash to the Eagles. "Whore" is a word that I rarely use. Not only that, the Eagles still suck as musicians. Luckily for the world, Led Zeppelin's releasing a definitive three-disc package this month. Just so you can be reminded of what real music sounds like. However, it doesn't include "Gallow's Pole" or "Misty Mountain Hop." I ain't hating though.
I hate those stupid Colorado Rockies fans. I was remembered today when some Rockies fans at Coors Field accused me of being a "fairweatherer." Pretty hard accusation coming from a Rockies fan. Yeah, not a fairweather fan in that city!
Today, I hate hospital dramas. Maybe this strike will mean less hospital dramas like ER, House, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. I know I might be in the minority here, but I just don't find much entertaining about spending hours in a hospital watching people in distress while nurses and doctors hook up. I'd rather be patrolling the streets (and trailer parks) with the COPS crew.
Lastly, today I hate contemporary jazz. Everytime I hear it, I want to projectile vomit. That's not jazz. It's not even music. It hardly even qualifies as sound. I'm talking about the Manhattan Transfer, Kenny G, the Rippingtons and Fourplay. You're a disgrace to all that preceeded you. You have misrepresented the music to millions and it's time for you to finally stop. Your music is that which is played in a dirty bathroom in a Wal-Mart in some suburb in the eighth chamber of hell. It seriously makes me ill. If you're reading this and your a fan of contemporary or smooth jazz, please please please go buy Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage and John Coltrane's A Love Surpreme then melt down all of those crappy contemporary jazz CDs into one large, massive plastic ball and bury it twenty feet under the earth's surface.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I'm not going to get into a discussion of right or wrong, the N-word (although I'm looking for a new word to call "the word" because the "N-word" just isn't working for me anymore) or anything else not about the show. This is all about paying homage to what was one of the greater cop-ish shows on television. I mean, for me it was the best of both worlds because it was the "hunt and kill" thriller like COPS, but it features a score of trashy bounty hunters wearing leis. It was like Magnum P.I. meets Boba Fett. So, as it's on its way out da door (until some cable network loosens its morals and principles and adds it back into rotation), here's my SIX THINGS I'M GOING TO MISS WITH THE CANCELLATION OF DOG: BOUNTY HUNTER.

I have no explanation for this stuff. I mean, it's like whipped cream, but it stings like a muddah. And if you catch it in the face like this cat above, you will hate your life. It looks like dessert, but hurts like hell. And, because Dog is a man of the law, he uses the most humane form of apprehension--by shooting dessert at them. I only wish that Dog, in his time on A&E, started integrating the taser into his apprehensions. I mean, that's at least two good tasings an episode and the thrill of seeing Dog on the giving end of a taser--oh, the joy. Don't get me wrong, though, I liked the foam. Gonna miss it, actually.


There's many things in this world that I have no explanation for. Why the sky is blue? What makes Biz Markie so damn dope? And how in the hell does Beth Chapman stand upright carrying those things on her frontside? I mean, these things are not only unnatural, they're almost cruel. Sometimes, I'd feel empathy for Beth because, man, I get upset at a couple of inches of fat on my hips. I can't comprehend having to spend an entire life giving side-hugs and sleeping on my back. It'd be empathy until, of course, I saw her in action. Girl gets props like mad for what she could do with those things attached. My lovely wife and I would get into brief discussions of whether or not they were real. She debated that they were fake and I would reply, "But why would any human do that to themselves?" I guess we'll never know. Word 'em up, Beth. Steady rockin'.


Completely unashamed (and maybe totally unknowingly), Dog rocked that mullet like no one else. I mean, his mullet was like a Bachman Turner Overdrive reunion tour. When you saw it at first, you were like, "Aw!" But then when you saw it in action, you were like, "Aw, hell yeah!" As a bond jumper, though, if you saw that mop coming around the corner, you knew it was on. I'd run like a muddah, too, if I saw that thing coming. And how he worked the top into a reversed shark fin--whoa. Dude's game was tight. I must say though that the mullet had some sad days. Especially when it was under the duress of constant hairspray drenching. Then, he'd jam feathers and roach clips into it like a Christmas tree. Dude should've just kept it real. I'll forever remember it from it's golden years.


Leland was like that kid on the come-up just waiting for his chance to shine. He was like 2Pac in the Digital Underground days saying, "Just give me the mic, Shock." Then, dude just blew up. My lovely wife was a big fan of Leland because she thought he was cute. I was a fan because I thought he was cute and he kicked major ass. I ain't ashamed. He was like that cat in high school that came back after one summer spent in the gym studying hand-to-hand combat, gets in a fight one day in the parking lot and works a kid until his face looks like someone punched a cherry pie for twenty minutes. Then he walked with the respect of every twerp in school. He carried the foam only because his pops required him to. Otherwise, he would've just apprehended every cat by flying at 'em with a kick to the face. Leland, you're the future. Do yo damn thing.


So they get their guy (or gal), he's talking trash all the way into the truck and then Dog sits down to talk to him. All the sudden, Dog goes into crazy Dr. Phil-Barbara Walters-Roy Firestone mode and unleashes an assault of pathos on the subject and then offers them a cigarette (which is usually taken). Seconds later, we have tears. He works his way into your psyche using words like, "Brotherman, you need to get off that ice. It's bad stuff. You need to worry about your family." Offers smoke, tears begin to surface and then, before you know it, dude's crying like a two year old. Sometimes even, Dog begins to cry. These are the moments you savor. To see such a strong man in tears (and not when he has to cry like on national television admitting that using the N-word was wrong), wiping them away with his strong index finger that, with the help of his opposable thumb, could crush your skull like an eggshell. And when Beth cries, later days, I'm sobbing. Maybe not outwardly, but inside, I'm crying.


Dog did for the black Yukon what Condorman did for the black Porsche. I mean, I would have never thought about purchasing a black Yukon until I saw them perform on the show. These vehicles are large, inefficient (and sometimes slow) earthcrushers that are the stuff that Al Gore's nightmares are made of, but they seat up to four bounty hunters and two fugitives. Not only that, despite their large frame, they come with a stealth mode that allow for silent, undetected movement on a subject. And, if you get into too much trouble with a fugitive's family, you can just mow them over under the daunting front bumper. This is a bounty machine. Long live the black Yukon. I actually find myself saluting when I see them on my morning walk to work. It's Wednesday. A perfect day for Pharcyde's first record. Do yourself a favor.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I almost wanted to post about Duane just so I could use this awesome tribute to Dog that I found online. It was created in a touching moment of reflection when Dog was locked up last year for suspicion of illegal detention. Check it out, the eagle is crying. So, pretty awesome, huh? Dog's a racist? Wow. I can't say I would've seen that coming at all. I love the rationale of, "But he's spent time in prison and on the streets." Okay. Gotcha. Imus is getting his job back. I guess morality and principles have expiration dates. Whatever.

My tire was ruined. I dropped off my car and said, "Yeah, the flat's in the trunk. Do you think it'll be ready by noon?" Dude said, "We'll call you." I tried to make it sound like it's just a flat and nothing more than that, but if you saw the pics below, you know it was more than that. I just didn't want to replace every tire. He called me fifteen minutes later saying, "Dude, that tire's roasted." I asked if he could find evidence of a puncture or gash and he said, "I didn't even look that close because the tire is useless." I went ahead and replaced all tires and got a deal.

I'm giving up beer and soda until my birthday in March. Yeah, it'll be a feat for sure. I just found that somewhere between Denver and Midland that I wanted to take on a new test. At first, it was just soda. Then, I started thinking, what if I attempted to give up beer as well? Now, soda I've done before, but I've never done beer. I'm a big beer fan. I like my pale ales. I guess I figure that if I don't challenge and push myself, who will? I want to lose a little weight. I want see what cutting both out of my life does to my energy levels. It's more a science experiment than anything. I can drink lemonade, teas, coffee (oh yeah), juices and, of course, water. So far, I've been most reliant on coffee and water. Nothing else. Five days in and I feel fantastic.

Enjoy your Friday. Don't be a racist. Even if it's private conversations with your son who is dating a black girl. Go listen to Bob Dylan.