Thursday, July 31, 2008
But those days are over. Under the pressure of fed-up management and a sub-par Manny season, Manny melted and turned into the same cancer that teams like the Red Sox do everything to avoid. The Sox did what they needed to and sent him to a market that he couldn't refuse and took sturdy Jason Bay from Pittsburgh in his place. Greatest move? Nah. Best at this juncture? You bet. We might not win that championship this year, but we weren't really on course to with Manny. Jason doesn't have to be Manny. He just needs to play with heart and hussle. Let everything else fall into place.
Manny, meanwhile, gets a perfect scenario. He's going to a big-market ball club in a big metro with plenty of cameras and microphones to follow him around. He'll get to play for a lazy manager who's soft on players and, also, in retirement mode and, the best part of all, Manny won't have to exert himself to win the division.
Perfect. He can hit two more home runs this season and probably be the hero in LA as the Dodgers win the season 15 games under .500. Welcome to retirement. So long to championship baseball.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My team is about to get no-hit at home by the Angels. They haven't been no-hit at home in 50 years. John Lackey's career ERA at Fenway is over 7.50. How could this be happening? Well, you might remember (or not) that the Sox were almost no-hit out in Oakland by young phenom (and former j3 classmate, yep, CHS baby!) Justin Duchsherer. It's possible.
Not only is it possible, it's happening right in front of my eyes. And family. I'm about to curl up and cry. Jacoby Ellsbury is first up in the ninth. Strikes out. Then steps in Pedroia and, on a 0-1 pitch, he slaps a ground ball past the diving shortstop. That's my boy right there. Then Youkilis steps in and drives a ball over the Green Monster. No-hitter and shutout gone in just two at-bats. I breathe a sigh of relief. Even still, Sox lost 6-2.
So, you guessed it, it's that time of year again. I'm suspending all Sox fandom until, um, until I see the Sox play the Strangers in Arlington on September 6th. As you know, this diet means that I must completely sever my ties to the Red Sox. I can't check the standings. I can't watch them on television. I can't look for the evening's results. I basically become a non-fan for about 36 days. This team has managed to disappoint on multiple levels. Papi hasn't come alive all season. Manny's giving up. Dice-K is forever stuck at 11 wins. The bullpen absolutely blows. Jacoby's gone cold. We ain't got no shortstop. And our captain is the worst batter in the league. All this and ownership is sitting on their hands going into the trade deadline while everyone else is sweeping up the talent. Who knows? Maybe when I pick back up in September, the Sox will have gone out and traded half the team and be leading the AL East by 10 games. Or, maybe they keep this team and then players get hot and we go on a tear, taking over the East by 3.5 games. Maybe we lose 15 straight games and end up in the cellar. It's not that I don't care. It's that I care too much.
And the picture you see above is what happened when a kid asked Yankee outfielder Shelley Duncan for an autograph. As the website read, to loosely paraphrase: "What really sucks is being given a girl's name for your first name. What sucks even more is asking for an opponent's autograph." I agree on both accounts. Youngblood, what in the hell were you doing asking for Shelley Duncan's autograph?
Some lady saw Jesus in her kitten's fur, Mayhem's going to Boston to look at a "new line of hats" (that will have Red Sox players underneath them) and an earthquake hit L.A. Here is a snapshot of the AL East standings as of this morning...
Tampa Bay --
New York 4
Your challenge for the day is locate an Angels fan.
That's the most difficult part of the challenge. But once you do that, slap 'em like you would a mouthy teenager.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
"...it's the pinnacle of human achievement. If the aggregate total of my existence could be anywhere close to how great this one video is, I'd die a very happy man."
Yep, that's Bert and Ernie performing MOP's "Ante Up" and I fully agree. That is truly ill. There is no better way to kick off this week.
Big week. Softball starts back up starting today with my Sunday team, two games in the heat of the day. Then Thursday, the band's getting back together--Roundhouse suits up for the first time of the second season. The Red Sox officially suck after getting stoned by the Yankees yesterday. Here's what they need to do, trade off Varitek to the Pirates for Ryan Doumit, apologize to Hanley Ramirez for not seeing his gift and trade off Lugo, Okajima, Coco and Delcarmen to get him back and then find drop Timlin and find two young arms for that lousy-ass bullpen. I don't even care if they shop out Manny at this point. Go for Berkman or Magglio. Trading Nomar wasn't very popular when we did it, but we got a World Championship out of it. This team sucks. Brother J says, "Yuck."
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Speaking of Hendrix, I woke up this morning with the first eight bars of "Manic Depression" reciting in my head, looping over and over. It's weird. Pulled out some Hendrix on vinyl this morning and played through some material. I don't talk alot about Hendrix. I don't think many people do anymore. He's just like one of those guys that people respect as a guitarist, but rarely mention as their favorite ever. And old players never really get the respect they deserve. Like Ty Cobb is without debate the best pure hitter ever. Who knows that? People talk Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose. They can't hold a match to Ty. In fifty years, is anyone going to remember Ty Cobb and Jimi Hendrix? People already forgot Grandmaster Flash, Muddy Waters and Count Basie. They don't mean nothing anymore to anyone. And Mitch Mitchell was one of the sickest drummers there ever was. How long can you go and not hear his name mentioned?
Alright. It's Saturday morning and that means one thing: cut that damn lawn!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
If you're not familiar with the show, it's just like any of these idiotic reality/competition shows where they take some ten or so crews and pen 'em up against each other in a hawdcore throwdown and then three "judges" chime in on what they thought of those performances. The nation votes and then, based on those votes, the bottom two have a face-off. Those two then, based on that performance, are voted on by the "judges" for who stays. What am I sayin'? Don't act like you don't know the show. It's MTV's top rated show and try as you will to avoid the re-runs, you can't. The set-up itself is a corny, Warriors schtick where these different crews with different styles jump off at each other. You got the crew that wears fannypacks. Whatever. You got the breakers. You got the poppers and the lockers. You got the cheerleader girls that just do jumping jacks. You got the crazy acrobatic crews that do backflips off the stage (or "gainers" as I believe they're called). And while, I'm a big fan of backflips and fannypacks, I narrowed it down to six reasons that I love this show. We'll start with the most obvious.
Through empathy, it's impossible to hate this dude. I mean, my heart just emotes all sorts of pity and undescribable admiration for lil' Mario. I don't know, you grow up with a cat, it happens. He's like that dude you went to high school with that just falls off. You see him at the mall and he's all frail and looking like death, gotta drug habit like meth or something. Does time in jail, rehab, whatever. Then you see him a decade later at an Applebee's and he tells you he's getting his life together and he got a job sacking groceries at the supermarket and he's got a girlfriend. He's thinking about taking classes at the community college and you say, "That's great, man. It's so good to see you. I've been wondering what happened to you since Kate told me you got in trouble with the law." That's Mario. And there's really very little that Mario won't do for money. He dances, he watches ferrets jump through hoops of fire, he's on "Hollywood Squares" and now he's wearing tight shirts on MTV working for Randy Jackson. At least the dude's working which is already more than you can say for Lisa Turtle (bless her heart). Just remember, Zack started it, but AC col' ended it.
There's many ways to describe it and it's even easier to just do. When you do something really dope. I mean, truly dope, you just gotta flex it or "pimp it." It's like when Manny hits a ball 450 feet. Dude just stands there like, "What?!" translating to "what are you going to do now?" or "what do you know about that?" On "ABDC," after you finish your set, it's customary to go to the edge of the stage and give the crowd a huge "What?!" and the crowd just eats it up like crazy. Then you walk around in a frenzy like you can't believe how dope you are, bang on your chest again give 'em another "What?!" Check it out as the Boogie Bots finish their round here (the 1:10 mark).
Geez, someone needs to write better material for Mario. Wait, who am I kidding, no one got paid for that. Mario just needs to resist the ad lib. I really wanna do a "What?!" up at the office. Like flip a spreadsheet or come up with a killa macro and then just walk away from the desk flexin' and yelling, "What?! You don't want none of this, homie! What?!"
JC CHASEZ GETTING BOOED
The crowd can be really reactive on "ABDC" because it's a hype show. They're always on edge. So when it goes to the judges and they have to give honest constructive comments about the performances, you gotta keep it positive or else you're gonna get clowned by the audience. We saw it most commonly with Simon on "American Idol." I mean, once you say somethink like, "I liked the performance, but..." here comes the roar. I mean, the second you say "but" the crowd takes a collective breath, fills their dingy lungs up with that bad Los Angeles sound stage air and then just let's it fly. Now, the skilled (or just deaf) judges can just walk through it, but not N'Sync's JC. Dude gets rattled. He'd better off just not saying anything. It's not like it makes a difference. He'll be mid-sentence and then get blasted by the crowd and then he can't even finish what he was saying. He just sits there, rolls his eyes and says, "Okay, there you go. There you go." I think he should just play with the crowd. Just make them boo so loud that the place just erupts and then he's lifted into the rafters by a series of invisible cables before the place goes up in a riot. Like after the best performance of the evening, JC just goes off the handle like, "It was the worst thing I've ever seen. Your crew sucks so bad. That chick's overweight and shoudn't even be out here dancing and you all know that. You just can't break it do her. The two dude's on the end are terrible dancers and their style is mad whack. I hate everything about you. Not just your dancing, but you. I want to kill you or just have you killed because you suck so bad." Then (poof!) dude just disappears as the crowd descends on his little stool.
WALKING IT OUT
There's nothing quite crueler than getting booted off of "American Idol" where they make you sing the song that got your ass kicked off while you're in tears wondering what your next career move is going to be. "Well, Shawn, how about taking us out with that loser song you sang last night? We'll play a sappy montage of your failed attempt at glory while you cry through this loser song one last time." Well, "ABDC" has the "your banner must fall" moment while you dance off the stage. Mario says, "I'm sorry Steely Dans, but your banner must fall." It's very Medieval Times. And then, on queue, their stupid nylon banner falls from the rafters to the floor as the losing crew shuffles off of the stage to Unk's "Walk It Out." I think it'd be funny if they breakdanced to "I Had the Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes as they exited. It's fun because sometimes, a dude will go off on the edge of stage in some sort of epileptic state and start "What?!"-ing everybody in the crowd like he's chunking "What?!'s" at them.
I just wish I could request the show only have breakers on the show. I don't really care about anyone else. If you ain't breaking, I don't wanna see you. It's as simple as that. You ain't better than the breakers on this show if you ain't doing windmills and sweeps. You will not win. To me, it's all about this Super Cr3w performance (yeah, they biting the number bit, but it's okay--I can't do what they do). Check out this James Brown set and tell me these dude's aint' the illest. Check out the fourteenth second where dude shuffles out front, pulls up the pant legs and then goes into a James Brown solo. I'm also throwin up one the sickest James Brown videos for reference (and inspiration).
LIL MAMA'S CRITIQUE
Lil Mama who "plays" a judge on "ABDC" is really the Paula Abdul who sits in the middle and merely echoes the comments of her colleagues. Poor girl, though. Her language is so piss poor its actually quite amusing. "Ya'll kill't it tonight." "Ya'll's is so hawd. Ya'll vewy tight." "Your mooments is vewy smoove." I get what she's trying to do and how she's trying to come off, but it's pretty tired. Either way, it's entertaining. There's a drinking game somewhere there for you college kiddies. She really has very little credentials to her name. She just released a record a full year after she topped out at radio with the short-lived "Lip Gloss" and she hasn't even pushed 100K yet. She might dance, but she ain't paid dues like JC. I assume that Shane Sparks has done work, but I'm not big on dancing. I'm betting he's a choreographer er something. Someone let me know. I don't want his name to appear in my Google searches.
It's Friday, folks. And tonight it's Josh and Jabba in Fenway.
Word 'em up.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The new Roundhouse uniforms came in yesterday. They look dope. I'll be spending the next week getting them in the mail and out to you folks that ordered one (or two). Once received, please send check payment to the attached address.
Loaded Harry Nillson and Wu-Tang onto the iPod this morning. That's all I did. I'm tired. Must eat eggs now. I love you.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Alright, not sure what you know about our master bathroom project so let's just bring you up to speed in two sentences or less. Watch this TAKS English mastery: Originally planned to be simply putting in tile into bath and the floors, the scope of the master bathroom project has changed slightly to include putting in a new vanity, relocating some lights, putting in tile on the floors and throwing a new toilet in there with a little more, um, torque. After getting estimates from the outside (one of which drove the price of just the tiling to the tune of $3000), we decided to proceed with only small handfuls of experience between us, but also a great deal of logic and coolheadedness. You dummy, you just can't write sentences that nice.
(puts on Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch)
It's 9:00 in the morning--the time I designated as "go time" the night before. The plan for the day is to remove the cabinet. That's my only plan. The floor, for the most part, is complete. The toilet stays for now. But the cabinet needs to come out and travel to the alley and into the dumpster. I throw on a little Quest and begin removing doors and drawers. That was pretty simple. Took only five minutes or so. That brings me to the removal of the sink.
At this point, my lovely wife begins walking around asking where she can help. Since, she removed and replaced the sink in the small bathroom, I asked her if there were shut off valves on that sink because there are none visible on the sink I'm working on. Possible for a sink to not have shut-offs? We were soon to answer that. I begin loosening many nuts and mechanisms under the think and, yes, I began toying with the pipes. I loosen a hose and, suddenly, a mist begins to emit. I'm thinking, "Shit, here we go." I remain as visibly calm as I can, but my lovely wife is beginning to freak out. We have no floors to protect from the moisture and, if those floors get wet and then warp, we're screwed. Big time.
The mist becomes a spray.
We grab towels, a bath mat, shirts, anything we can find and put it on the floor under us to protect it from the moisture. I tell my wife to grab the portion spraying so I can go turn off the water out back (insert obvious comment here). I dash out back into the alley and locate the water meter. I toss the lid off and look into the hole crawling with roaches and crickets. Yes, I don't like roaches. Crickets, I can handle. Roaches suck. I see no obvious switch. What the? I begin to panic. I run back inside to see if I can assess the situation while waters spraying my wife and maybe get what I unconnected reconnected. I run in, push her out of the way and take over. Now trying to screw a connection that has water coming out of it is not only difficult, it's damn near impossible. After about two minutes of fiddling with it, I manage to get it back together with very little harm done. Both of us out of breath and with our hearts racing, look at each other, laugh a little nervously and then proceed with a little more caution. But just a little more.
This time, we collectively agree that by disconnecting the hoses that actually hook into the sink, we'll be able to avoid water and then can proceed with removing the cabinet which, if you'll recall, is all I'm looking to do today. My scope is very limited. I'm removing a cabinet. The sink is just a small inconvenience, if you will.
I position myself under the sink on my back looking upwards at the sink. I take the toilet seat cover and put it under my head because it's still a little wet under there. I loosen the hose at the sink and I'm thinking this could go one of two ways: really good or really bad. Actually, either nothing happens or catastrophe. I stop for a second and just think through a few "safety nets." Truth be known, I didn't really have any. I was just hoping for the best. We're hoping for no water. I loosen it to a point that I can just yank it out. I wrap my hand around the hose, adjust my tension and then just yank.
Out of the small quarter-inch opening, water absolutely spews forth at an unfathomable rate. It's coming out at a rate that has the end of the hose whipping uncontrollably. I snag the snake-end of the hose and now realize that we're in seriously deep shit. Seriously. I call to my wife to bring me a plastic trash can so I have somewhere to direct the hose. I fill up the trash can she brings me in about five seconds and then dump it in the nearby bathtub all from a sitting position. I repeat. Fill it. Dump it. Fill it. Dump it. But while I'm dumping it, this hose is hitting everything in site. The bathroom is now officially hosed. I yell at my lovely wife, "Get me something bigger! Get me something much bigger!" I needed a bigger basin to buy me some time so between filling the small one and dumping it. Water continues to spew. I'm now emptying the hot water heater. Scalding water begins to come out of the hose. My glasses fog over. I can't see anything and both hands are working overtime. I hear the vibration of my lovely wife stomping around house. She appears with a large storage tub. I take it and jam it under the sink. Now I have some time. But I look at the tub filling up and I realize that time is only assumed. This thing's filling up really fast. I begin filling the large tub, but trying to empty the large tub by using the smaller trash can to fill from the storage tub and dump into the bathtub. My lovely wife's standing there in complete disbelief. She says, "I don't know what to do!" With obvious fear in her voice. These are really honest moments for a young couple.
I say, "I don't know either! Go call someone! Go ask our neighbor how to turn off our water! Go talk to the marine across the street! Just do something!" She disappears like a flash of lightening. I know, at this point, two things: if I can visibly see my lovely wife, nothing's happening. She needs to be in the alley, at the neighbor's, anywhere, but she needs to be out of my sight. When I couldn't see her, there was hope that the resolution was coming soon. Also, I know I can keep up this fill-and-dump transfer method for another twenty minutes tops. She comes charging back in yelling, "Where are the keys to the alley gate?"
Of all the things...
I know they're in my shorts pocket, but I'm sending with my legs crossed and my pockets are unaccessable. Not to mention, my hands are little busy. I grab throw my right leg under the big tub to wedge it into place and then hold the little bucket with my right hand. I begin digging into my pocket with my left. I couldn't grab it. The water's rising in the tub. Must hurry.
Within probably ten seconds, I snag the little rubber duckie keychain, toss it to my lovely wife and tell her to get lost. She knows what I mean. The sound of the water rushing out at this point is deafening. It's so loud. It's coming out with such brutal force it could strip paint and, you can trust this, it would absolutely ruin a house full of wood floors. I keep filling and dumping. It feels like we're about the five minute mark now. I haven't seen my lovely wife in a couple of minutes which is a good thing. All of the sudden, I feel the pressure begin to dwindle and then, within seconds, the water stops.
I begin yelling, "That's it! That's it! That's it! It's done! It stopped!" I take a deep breath. I'm soaked. I look around me. There's water everywhere. The bathtub's up to about the halfway point because the plug at the drain had dropped in the process.
My lovely wife comes running back in. She recalls her side of the story. She ran next door and was banging on our poor neighbor's front door. She answers the door and my lovely wife yells at her, "Do you know how to turn off the water!?" She says, "Uh, no I don't." My lovely wife then runs back to our house. Grabs the phone, finds the Water Utility department and, thank God someone answers. The old voice at the other end of the line walks her calmly through the shut off from the alley. She said when she opened water meter, the meter was spinning at a rate of about a gallon every four seconds.
We go outside. Even though it's about ten in the morning, I tell her I really want a beer. I'm so rattled at this point. We sit there and walk through possible solutions. The most obvious one to me is that we need to install shut-off valves on those pipes. We go to Home Depot, I have a verbal spat with one of the employees who was attempting to excercise his smart-ass tone with me as we discussed plumbing supplies. His questions were obviously a little over my head. I returned at one point with, "I don't know, dude. I'm not a plumber." To which he responded sarcastically with, "Well, neither am I." I then, said bitingly, "Well, I don't work at Home Depot. I don't know what the hell you're talking about."
It took only $25 to install shut off valves onto the pipes, we turned the water back on successfully and managed to dry out the floors pretty quickly using a series of crafty fan positions. This could've been an absolute disaster. Five minutes of water running into the house at that speed would've flooded not just the bathroom, but probably the living room and two bedrooms as well. Bullet dodged. Lesson learned. Always shut off the water in the alley before proceeding with any plumbing work.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
When we were in Houston watching the Sox set Astros attendance records, the Lil Wayne had just dropped and the song "Milli" was starting to spread hard at radio and this Houston station was playing the remix and it had me open. The bass was so hawd. I mean, this bass is so low and loud that it splits heads in two. Its blockrocking bass, its verses dripping with adoration of money and excess, it's a superficial and shallow bona fied summer anthem.
Thursday, we had a label in to present (among other things) the video to "Milli." We blasted it so the entire building could feel it. While my lovely wife thinks he should just make a "real video like everyone else," she's just hating. She'll even admit it. Alot of cats hate on dudes who can turn dimes into ten dollar bills. That's why people hate hip hop. Whatever.
Without further ado, I present to you the video for Lil Wayne's "Milli."
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Minimum of one year experience as a sports mascot, theme park character or actor. Must have general knowledge of baseball and the Boston Red Sox. Ability to interact with and entertain a crowd. Must be able to withstand high heat in costume and be able to lift 50 pounds.
Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:
1. Yes/No: I live in the Boston area
2. Yes/No: I have experience as a mascot, theme park character or actor
3. Yes/No: I have reliable transportation
4. Yes/No: I am available to work days, nights, weekends and holidays
I have reliable transportation: my feet, my bike and my Honda. And, if in Boston, the subway. I have no experience as a mascot, but I've never punched anyone and don't drink before work. I don't live in the Boston area, but hourly pay for 80+ home games at Fenway might make it worth it. Days, nights, weekends and holidays? Hell yeah! Able to lift 50 pounds? You bet. I can also toss 100-pound kids. Able to withstand high heat in a costume...crap...f'get about it.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
You know I hate going so long without updating The Root Down, but this week was col' brutal. Yeah, I've been bad to my readers. I know this. How can I make it up to you? Let me know and I'll do it. It just needs to be legal. Immoral I can deal with.
Yeah, if it ain't work killing me (I'm almost done planning out Christmas...Christmas), we're remodelling the master bath room at home as an anniversary gift to ourselves. Of course, that also comes with excruciating back pains and the knees that pop when I get up from a sitting position. It'll be nice when it's done, but let me just give you a little tip when doing any kinda of tile work in your house: screw Lowes. Just go directly to the tile guys. Lowes tells you they will hook you up with $4.25 per square foot installation, but what they don't tell you is they basically give the contractor of their choice all the liberty in the world on their estimate (they wanted to charge us $1,900 for the removal of the floor tile and bath tub liner) and then you basically hand over a blank check to the contractor to go on a shopping spree at Lowes without any knowledge of what they're buying (they would show me the list, but wouldn't let me have a copy of it...same with the estimate) and whether or not it'll actually be used in the project. I lost $35 in that deal because they require you to pay for the estimate and if you get the job done, you'll get that $35 rolled into the total bill. Too bad that $35 was only 1% of the total. We're going to get the floor done for only $500 saving about $600 just by going directly to the tile guys. Plus, the moron at Lowes who admittedly was "not too good on computers" charged us twice to the tune of about $700. Whatever.
Elsewhere in loose ends, I got my air conditioning and stereo back in my car about a month later. I ain't pissed. Nice to have air conditioning during July in the Yellow. Better to hear the sounds of Ol' Dirty Bastard blasting through the speakers. Now I'm that dork that takes the face off, puts it in the little carrying case and preps the car for overnight parking. At least I learn a lesson.
Joined LinkedIn this week after hearing all about it. Pretty slick. Found some former employees and was amazed at how some people overstate their qualifications. Beyond my own resume, I haven't read too many, but geez, when you've actually worked with an individual and know all that they did (and didn't do) and then you read their resume, it's like a completely different person. You did what? You were responsible for what? I worked with you for three years and you didn't do anything except talk on the phone. Stop your frontin', homegrown.
Red Sox are a half game back of first place after falling to five and a half back to Tampa Bay (who?!). I guess the Rays are discovering you gotta win a few games on the road if you wanna win a division. Hopefully, after today, everything will be back to normal. And Papi's expected to return shortly. AL East beware.
Went to see Wall E last night with my lovely wife. I think this movie confirmed for me that I'm becoming a softy. I really am. Not because I went to see the movie, but because I became overwhelmed emotionally at a few scenes and really had some difficulty coming to terms with those emotions. It's not that I don't like getting sappy. I can cry. I don't care. But it's a freaking animated robot...what the hell? There was me, probably about ten families so, let's say, 1.3 kids per family...about thirteen kids. I hear 'em talking through the whole movie and I'm slumped over in my chair chewing on my knuckle screaming from my inner self, "I'm experiencing incredible swings in mood and character and I don't know why!!" I even had a hard time with the after-movie discussion with my lovely wife. "Yeah, I thought the choice in direction to really expose the concepts right out of the gate instead of unfolding them gradually was really ballsy, but I got it. It didn't seem to hurt the pace of the movie. It's just unusual that you see that from an animated feature. I also think the...geez...the landscapes were crazy. The animation was...uh...it was, uh...I'm, um, having some difficulty here...please bear with me. Um, I, uh...I almost cried, damn it!" My lovely wife can respect it. I just don't know if I respect myself because of it.
Digable Planets killed. Peep their two records.
On the music tip, Owen and I are working on a mix using Serrato. It's the dopest program ever. I wasn't familiar with it except the name until I went over to his house to gander at the setup. Basically, it perfectly replicates the sensation of scratching off of two turntables onto the digital file of your choice. That's the basic function of it, but it has so much more. Afer first discovering some of the capabilities, I started building a mix for us to work with. The theme of the mix is to dive right into the greatest Gangsta Rap tracks (man, it's been years since I've said that) from 1986-1991 and weave it together with a backdrop of original breaks, related movie/TV soundbytes to create a 360-degree, all-out blazing gangsta soundspectrum. It's like a quilt or a goulash, if you will. Included are Ice-T, Ice Cube, Geto Boys, Pink Floyd, Royal Flush, Gary Numan, NWA, Cypress Hill, Parliament, Dr. Dre, Cream, Scarface, Chuck Cornish, MC Twist, Def IV, Above the Law, Curtis Mayfield, 2Pac, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Deniro, Isaac Hayes, the Isley Brothers and more. Yeah, tell me that don't sound dope. Still working on a title. Any suggestions, holler at me.
Also piecing together a mix that's all about money. Yeah.
I'm sorry for leaving you for so long. I love you. You're beautiful. Happy Sunday.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Went to Canadian, Texas this morning for their parade. You might recall that Tucker the Beagle hails from Canadian and, well, they had turtle races (with 144 entries). Interesting how such ridiculously cool customs become tradition on national holidays. Nathan's Famous celebrates unrivaled glutony and then we race the slowest animals on the planet. Onlookers were encouraged not to place any wagers on the races. Damn, you're hard up if your dropping cash on the turtle races.
Canadian was interesting, to say the least. I like the community. Everytime I'm there, I'm reminded that I really wouldn't mind living in the middle of nowhere. There's a ton of white trash in Canadian though. And they have a lot of white trash kiddies. They were everywhere. One mother of, geez, I'd guess twelve, had a tattoo on the back of her calf. It was a memorial of sorts reading "Heath: 12-03-77 - 03-15-07...He has become comfortably numb." What the hell is that? I mean, I don't need the story. I'm just wondering when is it appropriate to quote Pink Floyd on a memorial piece? And, apparently, ankle tattoos finally made it up in the panhandle. Everyone was rocking an ankle tattoo. You know: the ying yang, the skull, the rose, the frog, the Pink Floyd quote, the Misfits logo, the Nascar tribute.
Apparently, some time between today and the last time I was at a July 4th parade, floats began turning lame and it's really only an excuse to overhand hard candy at people in the crowd. Most people didn't even wave, they just took fistfuls of candy and chunked it at the crowd. And if you weren't dodging the local little league team trying to break skin with Jolly Ranchers, you had others that would just come around the corner and blast the crowd with Super Soakers. What happened to the "wavers." Now I gotta worry about missles flying at me. White trash got most of the candy anyway as they positioned themselves about five feet off the curb. C'mon, what else are they gonna eat for dinner?
Jax left a huge dump on the courthouse lawn and I didn't pick it up. For whoever is smelling the bottom of their Nikes tonight wondering what died, I'm sorry.
I came home, ate barbecue and passed out face down in front of the TV. Woke up to find that the Red Sox beat the Yankees (second day in the row) and that we were heading down to the big city park to see the fireworks tonight. None of which were to be launched out of some kids mouth thankfully. We took our place for the fireworks, in all places (shoot me in the face), the Wal-Mart parking lot and they were launching them some hundred yards from our chairs. We had front-row view of the fireworks while thousands of cats were trapped at the park and had the back-row perspective. So maybe the Wal-Mart parking lot wasn't such a bad idea.
White trash love them some fireworks. And, apparently, drinking in a Wal-Mart parking lot is not too far-fetched for them. They just lined up and took it in. Of course, I did too. What can I say, there's a little white trash in all of us. But I still don't know a single Nascar star except for Jeff Gordon (only because we share the same name) and Dale, Jr.
Sox and Yanks tomorrow and Sunday--both televised. Classically American. Keep chillin.
I like basketball and baseball. That's American. I like Montell Williams. He's American. I like tornadoes. Are there ever tornadoes anywhere else in the world? I like chili dogs. I like Eazy-E, the blues, Dunkin Donuts, watching high school theater students drink too much coffee at the local coffee shop, Bobby Knight, New Balances, Sportscenter and the sound of aluminum bats hitting fastballs. I like Oliver Stone. I like Starbucks even though they supposedly "burn their beans." I don't really care. I like the smell of freshly cut grass and gasoline. Specifically when together. I like fighting. I mean, I really like fighting. Fighting is pretty American. I like funk. I like Donny Hathaway. I like Val Kilmer. I might need to make sure Val's American. Yep, from California. Led Zeppelin's not American, but Bob Dylan is. I like Sam Adams when it's in a chilled glass, but truth be known, I can drink it at room temp too. I root for the underdog and enjoy documentaries. I don't know if those things are specifically American, but I like to think so.
Do you ever get the idea that those firework safety videos are less about firework safety and more about just blowing up mannequins? I mean, who puts an ignited Roman candle in their jeans pocket? Or who holds an M-80 in their hand waiting for it to explode? Who sits at a school desk with a firecraker powerful enough to split metal in two exploding in their face? I mean, those aren't fireworks. Those are explosives.
I guess we have a legacy in blowing up things. It's just the way we are. Don't put any bottle rockets in your mouth and have a great July 4th, you col' patriot.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Dearest Astro fans,
Thank you so much for allowing me into your beautiful city and even nicer new ballpark. Looks like you've struggled to keep it full at times. Thank goodness for a little interleague play to fill it up with the Red Sox and Yankees come to town. I know it's not easy when you build a ballpark that holds more asses than your team has in fans, but you did well this last weekend.
With all due respect, however, I found your interest in the sport, its history, your team and its players to be quite questionable. As I've found in my travels and my particular fandom for my beloved Red Sox, it's normal for fans to show the greatest interest in their team and their players and also have a level of conversational knowledge of the game, the current stars of the league and, maybe, for the advanced fan, some historical context. It was disconcerting that only images of Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio were inspiring enough to deserve an applaud. I realize your team hasn't been around since the turn of the century, but you've had some phenomenal players come through (one, even, that the Sox let you have in Jeff Bagwell). Craig Biggio was decent, but by no means the greatest ever to play. How does Nolan Ryan get outshined by Biggio? But, hey, it's your house. I wouldn't come over to play dominos and re-write the rules so whatever.
I had a hard time understanding your hate much in the same way that I found Rockies fans to be a bit abrasive when discussing the ethnicity of the players. Turns out that, again, I'd hear a few racially insensitive comments ricochet about Sox pitcher Matsuzaka and star outfielder Manny Ramirez. Makes me wonder if it's something with the National League. Could be just some good ol' Texas racehate. I mean, this is the town where a dude shot and killed two Mexicans with a shotgun while witnessing them burgularize his neighbors house yelling, "Boom! You're dead!" Not to mention Jasper, Texas is just over an hour away. Not saying the town has an outbreak and, I should be fair in saying that I know not all Astro fans got race issues, but check out this gem that was taken from outside Minute Maid.I wonder if it has anything to do with that stupid jackalope mascot you have. In a way, the mixed-breed jackalope might be an desperate attempt by management to build racial and social tolerance amongst the Astro fans both toward themselves, their team and opponents.
Of course, it could be that no one had any ideas of how the hell you make an "astro" into a furry mascot. Hey, you can't do it with a red sock either. We got Wally the Green Monster. I know how it feels.
Especially troubling was the early exit after going down 4-0 in the seventh inning on Friday night. I wonder if there's still some residual sadness left over from when they got swept by the White Sox in the series. I guess 4-0 might translate into "time to go home" in Houston. By the middle of the eighth inning, Minute Maid had become a full-on Red Sox Nation convention. I wouldn't think the home team would let that happen. Deafening were the cheers for the Red Sox and, while I felt quite welcome (except for the $7.25 beers), I'm concerned about your defeatist disposition and what the long-term effects are. Trust me, I'm a Red Sox fan. I understand. So Houston, pick yourself up. You gotta fantastic team (as evident by the next two games where the Sox dropped both) and you should be proud of it.
I'll offer up Tucker to replace your stupid jackalope if you would like him for the rest of the season. He's very responsive to a piano and could lead the crowd in a rousing version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" much better than a mute jackalope. My offer stands.