Sunday, July 20, 2008

Casino Weirdness

I went to the Sycuan Casino today. After a failed attempt to find a regular casino in San Diego, we went out of our way to go to this one on an Indian reservation (and by Indian I mean Native American). We walked in and it was full of the usual things such as very hospitable staff, free parking, free drinks, and lots and lots of noisy slot machines. It was my kind of casino! So, my friend and I sought out our games of roulette and craps.

After a quick survey of the entire casino, I came to the conclusion that there was one 1 bloody craps table in the entire place, and they going with a $25 minimum. I could've fathomed this concept if it weren't for the fact that absolutely nobody was apporaching the table . I decided that it was too rich for my blood and walked around the floor to see what was available.

It was brought to my attention that things were a little strange at the casino. My friend and I walked over to the roulette table where people played and noticed that there was no spinning wheel nor rolling ball calling the numbers. They instead used a deck of cards with each card representing a number on the table. I was like "WTF?!" There just seemed something wrong about not being able to see the nuances of that white ball bouncing around on the multi-colored, multi-numbered wheel. I asked the floor manager why the were using cards instead and he explained to me that California has a law specifically forbids certain forms of gambling that include the dealing, playing, carrying on, opening or conduct of "roulette.....or any banking or percentage game played with cards, dice, or any device, for money, checks, credit, or other representative value." So, they circumvent this law by remove the "banking" aspect of the games by replace dice and balls with cards. I walked over to the craps table and saw a card sorting machine as well. Nah ah! No way am I playing that game!

There something about the textile versions of these games that makes it much more enjoyable. I feel without it like I should just hand over my money to the gamekeepers when cards are used (granted, the end result of either way is probably the same ). Three cheers for dice!

Currently watching :
No Country for Old Men
Release date: 2008-03-11

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

And The Oscar Goes To...

...anyone but Heath Ledger next go around .

I saw The Dark Night last night with 300 of my closest friends at the theatre in Old Orchard. I picked that theatre, because I was hoping to get away from some of the folks who think that a movie theatre is their own personal living room and constantly talk or text during the movie in order to best ruin the experience for all.

The movie is great. It's fun, dark, mysterious and well acted by all involved in the project. Heath's performance brings out the comic book version of The Joker quiet well and makes him believable without being campy (unlike Tim Burton's version as played by Jack Nicholson). Now, if you ask me if it's an Oscar winning performance, I categorically say no. He was really good. He can act circles around me. However, I wouldn't give him an award for the performance.

Yes, I feel that he's even being talked about because of the hype around how he prepared for the role and his subsequent accidental death (coupled with the fact everyone pretty much loved the first one). He was great and it sucks he won't be coming back to reprise the role somewhere down the line; however, I feel that has clouded people's perception of his performance in the movie.

The most public award I could give him would be like an MTV Movie Award. Not to trivialize his acting by doing so, but rather, that award show is what this film would be better suited for winning awards for than the Academy Awards. Personally, I give him mondo props and gratitude for what he accomplished in the film.

Currently watching :
Batman Gotham Knight [Blu-ray]
Release date: 2008-07-08

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I’ma Bad Fan

I was driving home from South Chicago Heights today when on the radio I hear that the Pumpkins are playing a venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN. I was like "Wait. How come I didn't know about this?!" I then checked and saw that I indeed did know about it. I just chose to ignore the multiple emails about the gig .

I proceeded to go to Ticketmaster to see if I could get some tickets and saw they started at $83 ! WTF?! No way. Sorry Billy. I am not going to pay to see you and Jimmy for $83 + Ticket master fees. That's BS. Not for non-floor, standing room only seats; especially for a non-Chicago show.

So, I'm gonna resort to trying to win tickets in a half-assed manner and patiently await the inevitable Chicago show.

Currently listening :
The Very Best of En Vogue
By En Vogue
Release date: 2001-08-21

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Recovering After A Night of Rawk

I must admit that I didn't have a really good idea of how last night's Static Republic show was gonna go. It could've been an incredibly good show or an awful show; no in-betweens would've been acceptable. Luckily, it was an awesome show! We played a good 45 minute set and had a good crowd of folks there. the crowd went from grumpy old men into a decent crowd of 20-30 somethings in a couple of hours. The show went so well, we got payed and we got invited back.

It's nice to be surprised even when I'm a little jaded by the music biz.

Currently watching :
Battlestar Galactica - Season Three
Release date: 2008-03-18

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nobody Puts Baby In the Corner

"Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner" is one the most memorable and quoted suggestions given to me by an audience when I ask for a phrase they may have heard that day or advice that their mother had given them (weirdly enough, if you're mom gives you that kind of advice at age 35, you're probably living in her basement and need to move out ). I didn't know until recently it was a Grease reference; however, I now know what that really means.

In the last few days, I've been trying to procrastinate with the baby related items such as fixing up the house, getting rid of stuff, fixing the floors, putting new paint up, etc. I've determined that I can't do that very well. I think about why I would procrastinate and it's because I am scared of what my life is gong to be like once Alex is here. Alternatively, I then think about how much better my life is going to be, thus, I get motivated to do stuff for him.

Nobody put (my) baby in the corner (since he's the first thing on my mind).

Currently listening :
Always on My Mind
By Willie Nelson
Release date: 2008-02-01

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Friday, July 4, 2008

USA! USA! An Alternative To The Olympics!

Yes, the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest winner is an American named Joey Chestnut (they should've called him Joey "Bustagut" ). He defended his title from the former champion Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi of Japan. Nice to know that gluttony is America's now to own!

I watched an MTV True Life documentary on competative food eating and watched Kobayashi-san train. It made me sick watching it. The dude ate something like 11-12 pounds of food to stretch his stomach out in time for the competition. Gross! It made me want to fast just so I could even attempt to eat again.

Currently reading :
Good Calories, Bad Calories
By Gary Taubes
Release date: 2007-09-25

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Guitar Hero

When I first started playing guitar, I had no clue how to play it. I was making rap songs with a drum machine and getting bored with the sounds on it. So, I decided to write a song called Rockin' The Microphone and put some guitar on it. We had some P.O.S. Korean-made guitar that was some kind of Fender Mustang knock-off. My best friend Ricky got it as a present from his Dad. It had the original, rusted strings on it and was completely out of tune. Yet, we made it work. I barred the first fret and slid it up and down on the neck in a semi-melodic fashion. I thought that would be the end of my guitar interaction as rap was the way to go; then the idea of a forming a band came along.

I started learning guitar initially to meet chicks as a direct result of seeing the girls' reaction at a 7th grade talent show. When this kid played the opening riff to Guns 'N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine, the girls screamed and squealed in delight. After seeing that reaction, I was like, "Dude, if I can play guitar, chicks will like me!" Granted, it took about 5 more years after that incident to finally getting around to doing it, but that was the seed!

My band had learned a bunch of covers to play at my friend Heather's house for her brithday. we were on the bill another band whose guitarist/singer Robert was best-friends with my girlfriend at the time. His band had much better equipment than we did so we convinced him to come out and do the show. In the process of learning song, I ran across tab for a song called "Today". I played the intro and recollected that I had heard this song on the radio. I wasn't a Pumpkins fan at all thanks to my friend Ray's infautation with them during the Gish era; he would play them constantly while I clung to the "fact" that rap was a much better music style, thus, all others suck. I decided to check out their record to better learn the song, and, thus, started my love affair with the Smashing Pumpkins.

Around 1996, I started hitting up Fender about coming out with a Billy Corgan Signature Stratocaster. They would reply and say they had no plans for one (even though at the time the Pumpkins were the biggest band on the planet) and would give me a rough idea of what Strats they had that I could buy because Billy played a Strat. Lo and behold, 12 years later, they finally came out with one!

Yes, I want one but I will definitely play a bunch of them before I decide to get one. It'll be a while though. It's cool!

Currently listening :
By Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: 1994-10-04

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at: