Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I Lost And Found Me Lucky Charms

n a previous post, I was so proud of the fact I put up a bunch of shelves in the office/studio. I neglected to mention that I didn't know what their maximum holding weight was. Apparently, we exceeded it by putting 400 CDs plus 150 videos on the them cuz it all came crashing down last week.

So, I spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday buying IKEA brackets for the shelves. Gawd, I love that place! It's the only place I can stand 5 hours in line for something that took me 5 minutes to find! It's a bloody madhouse on the weekends. I found some wooden brackets, got them home, spray-painted them black with two uneven coats of paint, then mounted them up into the wall. I think it'll hold everything up now after redoing the hidden brackets and drilling holes for every possible nut possible. If the things fall off the wall again, I give up because apparently my only handyman skills are for cutting grass and putting shingles on roofs.
Currently listening :
Every Man for Himself
By Hoobastank
Release date: By 16 May, 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006

TDVC - A New Acronym for the Millennium

Is it just me or did this entire weekend blow by quickly? I remember when it was just Friday and all the things I planned on procrastinating on seemed like a Monday away! I was care-free, excited, and completely unmotivated to do jack-shizzle for rizzle my nizzle! Now it's Monday and I'm like "Dude, I thought I had more time!"

Friday was cool. I got to see "The Da Vinci Code". I like how the ticket machine printed the movie as "Da Vinci !" as if they had to make the movie more exciting than it really was...that's what the overhyped marketing was for! The thing that fascinates me about TDVC is the amount of controversy surrounding a book/movie that is purely fiction(I was made aware, however, that the author did claim that the fictionalized storyline was based upon true facts, locations, and relationships. That's what I get for not reading the book!). My question is, "Why is there so much controversy from Church-related groups?" Is it because the someone is throwing questions at the long-held beliefs of the Catholic Church? If I know my history, people have been doing that continuously through out history. To me, this is all a true test of faith.


Faith as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is as follows:

  1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
  2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
  3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
  4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
  5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
  6. A set of principles or beliefs.
Lots of great definitions here. I will pick two to make my point. Let's go with ..1 and ..4. Keep those in the back of your mind for now. Now, let's go for the definition of truth:
  1. Conformity to fact or actuality.
  2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
  3. Sincerity; integrity.
  4. Fidelity to an original or standard.
    a. Reality; actuality.
    b. often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

We can take any of these definitions but I will choose ..1 and ..2. In this TDVC context, faith is the acceptance and confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of God and a trusting acceptance of God's will. With that said, if someone lives all the characteristics of their faith, they are now unshakeable from what they believe in. No movie/book/external divergent thought will shake that belief because that person has arrived at the "truth", and that "truth" is universal, i.e., there can only be one truth for any given situation. For example, I believe "love" is a universal truth because when love is truly manifested, we all feel good when we experience it.

The only force that can change faith is the person who holds that faith. And if they make that choice, let them. If one changes their beliefs without self-motivating purposes, then they truly did not have faith in what they believed in. It doesn't negate the "truth" of the object of their former/current faith. It just means that person has essentially found a new truth to pursue and they are still learning and striving to learn the ultimate truth.

That's what perturbs me a bit about these religious groups. Why be so concerned about the portrayals in TDVC if you truly believe in the scripture/teachings? Why try to ban others from being able to read/watch the movie? The answer to me is that it's a reaction of fear they hold and maybe even a sign of a lack of faith.

Based on personal experience, it seems that the Church works more on fear with sprinkles of messages of love and acceptance. However, in practice I've been told I am going to hell more times by clergy than the crazy "Christmas Hell" lady on the Red Line. I am a sinner and must repent for my sins. But, oh, by the way, the only way for me to be forgiven and get in God's good graces is to follow interpretations of the morals of a select set of books detailing lives of many men/women/dieties. No clear instructions are given because that journey is different for each person and if I don't figure out how to acheive this understanding, I will be punished for all eternity. Damn, being put on Earth and living by these rules sure puts a lot of pressure on a person!

I understand how people can also be so quick to take TDVC as truth because of the aforementioned teachings. It's a scapegoat of sorts to allow people to bash the Church instead of trying to understand why the institution has implemented rules and regulations over the years. Also, as I said before, the work is fiction based on some truths. I implore anyone who will see the movie/read the book to do research prior to giving into it whole-heartedly unless, of course, you have faith that it's all true and that the Opus Dei will stop at nothing to make sure word doesn't get out that Jesus threw down with Mary Magdeline

On the converse, I am sure that the same "just believe it" arguement can be said for the Bible. I know that Father O'Reilley most likely won't ask you to go to the library and do research on curcial parts of the Bible prior to you believing the teaches and events as truth.

(Father O'Reilley at the pulpit)
"Now, if ya could please go to the library and make sure that the Earth that was given to us by the Almighty Lord was covered with water for 40 days and 40 nights to drown his own creations and a big boat floated 'round carrying 2 of every species on the planet, I'd sure 'ppreciate it, lad."

So, in conclusion, TDVC to me is a good thing. It has made people think and re-evaluate their beliefs and teachings. It's launched a 1000 ships of thoughts, research, and confirmation of popularly held beliefs while cultivating the craving for acheiving the "truth". It also gave me a lot of speak about on the blog! Rock on!
Currently listening :
Carmina Burana & Great Classical Marches (Box Set)
By Ludwig van Beethoven
Release date: By 06 December, 2000

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Tube Won't Tell Me What To Do!

That's right America. Your American Idol is Taylor Hicks. The 29 year-old, gray-haired, "soul" singer that just happens to be one of the whitest guys to ever rock that show. Have you seen this guys moves on stage?! My favorite is when it took him two of his goofy kicks to knock down the microphone stand in the heat of performing. Apparently, he didn't train with Mr. Miyagi (may he rest in peace along with Matsuo 'Arnold' Takahashi, the owner of the famed Arnold's featured in a Weezer video) cuz even Ralph 'Ponyboy' Maccio could've kicked that pole down with the help of his cousin Vinnie.

Anyway, the annoying part of Taylor isn't his dancing, his singing, or even his appearance. Him shouting "Soul Patrol" every chance he gets does make him appear as pretentious as Eminem taking Tupac's vocals and having him say "G-G-G-Unit" on his 1500th posthemous album. How many times in the next 10 years is he going to get resurrected? Jesus even knew to come back just one more time for the remix then end his career.

(Record producer)
"Awe, sheet! New Orleans is unda wata! We needs a Tupac relief single!"

(Tupac under water)
"Awe, Hell Mareh! *girgle* *girgle* *choke*"

Back to Taylor: Yes, I understand the boy has got an affinity for soul music which is nice and admirable. Yes, the "Soul Patrol" is a fan branding name and isn't meant to be taking too seriously. Maybe I am envious I didn't think of calling my fans by a catchy name. Ok, all of my fans, you are now part of the "Dork Patrol".

I am happy that he succeeded even though he was told he wasn't going to a la Simon's infinite wisdom. But, I find him very pretentious right now and will wait to see what he comes out with after winning AI before I classify him as a "soul" singer. Maybe he reminds me of myself and I don't like what I see...wait, I love what I see! Jump back! Gon' kiss myself! HAY!

VH1 right now is on a metal rock frenzy lately. I get to watch the history of metal and the intricate nature of metal music; flashback to clips of lots of leather, spandex, long hair, and artists that should've invested some of their fortunes in the Maybeline line of cosmetics instead of snorting it up their noses. Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister fame was the only recurring commentator that had something to say that was intelligent and right on the mark concerning it.

However, is VH1 telling me metal is back? It also comes of pretentious for them to do it since they classically don't focus on non-mainstream forms of music. VH1 has been all about hip-hop for the last few years. Are they trying to change it to metal? Or is metal really here and I didn't get my spandex in the mail? Damn it, Mom! I'm going bald and hair is back in! DAMN IT!


Currently listening :
Stay Hungry
By Twisted Sister
Release date: By 25 October, 1990

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hammers, Drills, and Leprechauns

This weekend I decided to get proactive by installing shelving in the office/studio, bathroom, and living room. The boxes for some of these shelves were sitting around only for 3 months, so, I was right on schedule for getting them up. My wife helped out by finishing up the drywall paint job that was equally on schedule to be finished as well. So, we got our Tim Taylor on and fixed up the house so we could actually have some storage in the home.

Without any overt gay references, I figured out how manly it feels to put holes into the wall, filling them with drywall hangers, and installing something to hang from the wall. I felt so accomplished after doing it. And everything I posted up is somewhat lined up correctly! Too bad the contractor can't make a ceiling that's perfectly level to save his life though :(

I feel pretty lucky to be able to do this kind of improvement even if it takes me months to get motivated to do it. The next expeditious home improvement project is going to be redo the shelving in the closets! Please excuse my clothes being very wrinkly for the next few months.

Currently listening :
Brood
By Clatter
Release date: By 17 December, 1996

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=5&blogDay=21&blogYear=2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Recent Records

I've been staying young by checking out new records that are coming out. Here's a list of stuff I've checked out:

Rebel Meets Rebel - Rebel Meets Rebel
This is the recent collaboration of the Cowboys From Hell minus Phil Anselmo hooking up with country outlaw David Allen Coe, who was the guy who wrote "Take This Job and Shove It", to put a metal twist on some original country songs. It took them about 10 years to finish up all these tracks as wthey were done in between Pantera/DamagePlan sessions.

Overall, a pretty cool record. I like Dime's playing on this since it's a bit more melodic and memorable. The recording is also really good cuz I can actually hear the bass this time instead of guessing it's there like some of the Pantera records. DAC's singing fits the stylings given.the fact he's not "metal". I would recommend this to anybody looking for something fun to listen to. The song that sticks out for me is "Cowboys Do More Dope" cuz it's funny.

Nick Lachey - What's Left of Me
I know what you are thinking: "Nelson, I know you're a puss, but, dude, for real...Nick Lachey?!" Yes. I decided to give it a chance for a few reasons:

1. I know the guy can actually sing thanks to his multiple MTV shows, therefore, he's not a product of the Antares Corporation a la Brittney.
2. Of course I am curious to hear and relate this record to his breakup with Jessica.
3. I was curious how a former Degree would do in a world that has moved on from boy-bands.

The record as a whole well-crafted but every song sounds the same. The record overall is melancholy and a bit depressing. The best track on it is "Outside Looking In" whcih seems to have the most movemt out of all the tracks.

I wouldn't buy this record, but, I can see how fans of Nick could buy it. If you are into getting emotional (read that as "sad") , this record is excellent for that. If you want to hearsome excellent singing, it's also a good record for that as well as he seems to connect very well with the material.

Hoobastank - Every Man For Himself
Hands down an excellent record. From top to bottom, there are things to listen for; from well-sung, catchy choruses to FX driven blips and bloops sprinkled through each track, this record is definitely more adventerous from their last release "The Reason". The record starts off with "The Rules", which has Drill Sargeant Dale Guy barking off a storm of statements and cadences, which sets the mood for the entire record as being hardcore and real. Too many good songs for me to pick just one. Just go out and pick it up.

Ashley Parker Angel - Sountrack To Your Life
I did catch bits and pieces of his MTV show and know nothing of his O-Town participation. The entire record has pop/punk songs with boy-band type singing going on over it. It's well-crafted and recorded, but, it suffers a little bit from having every track sound the same APA can sing and I do respect his rags to riches to rags to normalcy trip and taking everyone along for the ride via MTV. But, this record is a bit too safe for my taste, but it's a good start for him to jump off from and hopefully get a bit more adventurous in future endevours.

Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
Nice to hear them getting into rocking a bit more than their last 2 albums. I wish it was as stellar as their "Yield" record. It stands on its own as they seem to be bringing in a good clash of Vedder's punk tendencies and McCready/Gossard's '70s riffing and noodling. I need to listen to it a bit more since I have been hoping for a follow up to Yield and have been disappointed by their last two studio outings and their live shows as of late. Overall, I'd pick it up if it was on sale.

Ivorywire - Notables and Nobody's
Ivorywire's latest and last record N&N is excellently crafted. It's a "happier" record than their "The World Is Flat" record and the songwriting reflects a lot of thought placed into those songs. The production on the record is inspiring due to good tracking, mixing, and mastering. Too bad it's their last record (for now). The best track on it for me right now is "Wearing a Wire". Good job, Chuck.

Currently listening :
Rebel Meets Rebel
By Rebel Meets Rebel
Release date: By 02 May, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dumbass Moment of the Evening

I decided yesterday to go put the bin of Christmas decorations along with the fake white Christmas tree into storage to free up some space in the home for the studio stuff. After watching people get pelted by hail while standing under a skinny fir tree yesterday afternoon, I loaded up the Tracker with the goods and headed over to the Public Storage. I unloaded the goods and nicely placed those items into my storage room without incident!

I went to go work out shortly thereafter to get "all buff a la BeefCake". I swam a few laps in the over-chlorinated pool, let the over-chlorinated hottub massage my tight legs, and then left the over-populated club about 1.5 hours later. I went to Borders across the street to skim through under-impressive recording magazines for about another half hour. I then hit up the uber-sheek Sprint store to check out their ultra-new phones so I can plan for my replacement. That took another 20 minutes. I then decided to return to jalopolized Tracker and headed back to the very Public Storage to pick up the studio items and head home.

I got to the gate at Public Storage, dialed in my code, and watched the gate slide open. I briskly jumped into the tracker and got it set up to load some equipment. Normally there are a few dollies laying around I can use but I noticed something strange. They were all chained to the fence together. "Hmmm, that's strange" I thought to myself, but I didn't make it of any consequence, so, I continued to my storage locker. I grabbed all my equipment and headed down and loaded up the Tracker quickly.

I headed to the back of the facility, got out to type my code again, and I get "Ehh ehh" from the panel with an "Area closed" message on the display. I dialed the code again a few times thinking I fat-thumbed the code and got the same results each time. "Hmmm, that's strange" I thought to myself. So, I got back into the Tracker and headed to the entrance, which has the panel on the other side of the fence. So, I got out and stuck my arm out through the fence to get to the keypad, and through the miracles of abstract thinking, punche the code in blindly. I got the same "Ehh ehh" from the panel with an assured "Area closed" message on the display.

FAWK!

I stood there thinking, "They couldn't have locked me in here, could they? It is a 24-hour facility after all!" I then went around to the front of the gate to actually see the panel and inputted the information. I was denied access again.

FAWK!

"This sux!" I exclaimed! I had a Tracker full of gear and no way of getting it out. So, I pull up my trusty PS card with the code on it and flip it over. It read:

"Gate hours: 6AM - 9 PM"

The time was 9:15 PM.

FAWK!

So, I walked over to the gas station to call for a ride (I didn't have my cellphone since I let my wife borrow it). After some wooing, I secured my ride home and sat in the car thinking, "Man, I am embarrassed." It takes a lot for me to get embarrassed, but this occasion was in the front of the line to commemorate this feeling. I logically thought about it.

"C'mon Nelson. It's ok. You thought it was 24-hour access and it wasn't. It was an honest mistake."

I guess I felt guilty for putting myself into the situation and having to conjure up someone to come and get me. I also was afraid of what they thought of me, hence, why I made such a big deal out of it my head.

So, I got to listen the Cubs game, Sean Hannity espouse his hatred towards Mexicans, and the news report that Paul McCartney's wife left him. So, in hindsight, I created this reality for myself just so I can spend Nelson time with my Tracker! Excellent!

I'm going to pick up my Tracker now. I hope it had a nice evening at Public Storage.

Currently listening :
Help!
By The Beatles
Release date: By 20 July, 2004

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Are Jew Habby To Be Back Frome Bacashone?!

I have returned from my whirlwind romance in Cancun. Mr. V now has a Mrs. V. Whoo hoo! Suckas! I gots mines and I plan to continue to dig for my plateenum and dimez until the end of time! A big thanks to all the folks that were able to help us plan, execute, and celebrate a great wedding. Sorry ladies and queens...your time has come and gone and now it's time to move onto someone less qualified for your love

I ended up moving Courageous Studios out of its home and into storage for a while. I will be setting up a very small home studio to continue recording and pumping out the hits. I'm kinda sad to have moved out, but, it's worth it until I get some more substantial work coming my way. Plus, I get a Murano out of the whole deal, so, that's cool. I love the Tracker but we've gots to get a new carro!

On the comedy side, I have a lot of new material to write about (Cancun, restorts, weddings, accidental drownings) and plan to spend at least a half hour a day to write something down. I've got SCC on Sundays and have been approached from two different areas about taking on roles (and they pay).

On the musical side, I'm going to make an effort to get the EP mastered soon. I also need to start up the solo acoustic tour to support the release as well as hopefully find some more like-minded musicians that want to hook up. I've been listening to Ivorywire's latest Notables and Nobody's and drawing inspiration from it to continue writing and recording. Thanks to Chuck and the crew for crafting fun songs to sing to as well as setting some production standards I will be striving for.

That's all for now. My friends...I am habby to be back frawm bacashone!

Currently listening :
The Aeroplane Flies High
By The Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: By 17 January, 1997

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

R.I.P-Hop

Lots of people out there are getting themselves into a dangerous profession lately; more dangerous than being a cop in Inglewood; more dangerous than being the only black guy on the Real World:Little Rock, AK; it's being a famous rap artist.

I keep reading stories about mofos getting shot and killed for stupid stuff. Like Eminem's hypeman Proof. He got shot outside a nightclub in Detroit over a game of pool. He must've sucked so bad at shooting pool to die over it.

"Yo, Proof. You hit the 8-ball in again one more time I swear to Run-DMC I'ma kill you!"

To all the aspiring artists out there, pick a good stage name. Em's hypeman didn't have some street smarts. Most cats out there got hardcore, gangsta names like "N*ggas With Attitiudes"...or "Ice Cube w/Da Lynch Mob"...or...."Ghostface Killa". Don't fawk with anyone sporting a name where you need GhostBusters to dust him off. With a name like that, I gotta cross the streams to smoke his az!

Like, how is a guy with a name like "Proof" supposed to go to the grocery store and rob the place?

*click* "Code Red. Code Red. Aisle 5. Proof is in the pudding...I repeat...the Proof is in the pudding!"

Now I hear about T.I.'s entourage getting shot up on the highway after a show held at Club Ritz in Cincinnati. Now you know problems are bound to pop up if you name a hip-hop club after a corporate brand that can be used as a racial slur.

*On the phone* "Hey, Toof-Pick. Was you at that T.I. show last week? Damn. We was up in that club...crackers everywhere! Yeah...they had saltines..."

Based on the facts presented, I'm going to with Sno-Cone Ice as my stage name. It pays homage to my Latino roots while carving out a niche in the street vendor market. I'ma be peforming at the Rooster's Cock N' Barrel over off of Rappers and Delight, 300 miles west of 8 Mile on the west-side. Bring your fighting farm animals and shotguns. Grita at your boy when you see me (I'm out of grape, so, don't ask).

Currently listening :
Urban Legend
By T.I.
Release date: By 30 November, 2004

Monday, May 1, 2006

The Beginning Is The End Is the Beginning

Yesterday was the last day of The Fanta Menace's run at the Gallery Metzli with Salsation Theatre Company. A big THANK YOU to all the peeps that came to the show and supported me and my cast/crew by laughing, crying, cheering, applauding, and enjoying themselves each night! Y'all made it a lot of fun for us to act out our crazy ideas of Latino stereotypes and preconceptions.

With that off my plate, I can look forward to making changes in my personal life, Second City Conservatory classes, auditioning for more roles, mastering and releasing the Courageous Rue EP, writing and performing my stand-up material, and being happy! I have had a few bites on the line for some more theatre work, so, we'll see if how much of it comes to fruition :)

More to come!

Currently listening :
The End Is The Beginning Is The End: The Remixes
By Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: By 28 November, 1997