Saturday, August 30, 2008

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I've been allowing my fears and insecurities get the best of me over the last couple of weeks. With producing two shows, a baby on the way, house work needing to be done, and work, I'm feeling just as ragged as I did when I was in 4 shows in a month. I took a nap yesterday and was awaken by someone about maybe 50 minutes after I truly fell asleep. I was pretty cranky and felt physically ill.

While the wifey took my dog outside, I laid in my bed committed to being in a bad mood. I had all of these thoughts racing through my mind about my life and where it was going which in turn made me even more agitated. I began surfing the web to prep myself to work on the Recap website when I decided to visit mog.com, a community-based music blogging website. There was a post entitled "Top 10 Funniest Low Budget Rap/R&B Videos" so I watched each of them. I started chucklin' at some of them and then just out right laughing at them.

The funniest one wasn't actually No.1 (that one is more disturbing than anything else) but rather No.2 It's So Cold In The D. The entire production is so awful that it was incredibly difficult to watch but cot damn! was it funny. I was outright just laughing out loud. I then proceeded to watch the responses postes people posted up and started bawling due to all the laughing coming out of me. I must've laughed for a good half hour straight! When the wifey came home, she heard so much noise coming out of my bedroom she thought I was just crying or in a lot of pain (both of which were right because my sides hurt so much from laughing).

After I got control of myself, I felt soooooooo much better. Life didn't seem as impossible as I was making it out to be. I proceeded get stuff set up for Alexander around the house and ate some good food thanks to wifey!

Life is good!

Currently listening :
Nobody Knows
By Reh Dogg
Release date: 2007-03-27

Thursday, August 28, 2008

You (Tube) Trolls

Sean John Combs (Diddy) posted up a clip of him boarding an American Airlines flight. He ranted about how fuel costs are so high that he can't fly his own private jet, thus, is cutting costs by flying like us regular people. I went ahead and posted up an off-the-cuff response while it was fresh in my head. I allowed people to post comments. Here are some of them:

  • P Diddy can go to hell
  • did he just say moped?
  • never seen a beard like that, unique
  • moped? ur a douche!get a real vehicle loser
The last one prompted this blog. The anonymity of the internet allow people to insult other without any fear of true retribution. For some, the feel overempowered to go overboard and allow them to destroy the lives socially and/or financially without a second thought.

Granted, these comments are not to that extreme but it got me thinking of what kind of people these folks are. What are they like away from the computer? Are they as intimidating as their online alter-egos? Would they step to folks in malicious manners offline as they do online? I would think for a majority of them, my answer would be no but I don't honestly know (nor really care to find out).

I'll be adjusting more to the idea of people hating on me "just because". I'll need to be grounded and believe solidly in me and my work to be able to handle it
Currently listening :
We Invented the Remix
By Puff Daddy
Release date: 2002-05-14

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do These Really Work?

During the spring and summer months, Chicagoans get the fun task of looking at street and paper signs thrown up on nearby trees as to when these monstrosities of cleanliness are going to ding their cars clean the streets. It's a fun game because if you decide you're not going to repark the car the night before or get up early, you are almost guaranteed a hefty fine from the city of Chicago since you obstructed their path to sanitation.

The intersting part to me is that I don't understand how these dumb things work. Today I watched one go down the street and just kick up a lot of dirt and push litter to the curb. I didn't see any liquid being sprayed down, no suction of dirt and debris, nor "cleaning" going around. All I saw was a dude talking on his cellular phone driving precariously close to parked cars, ignoring street signs as if they were more like they were traffic safety suggestions, and making me cough with all the crap in the air.

What exactly is my tax money going towards again for the Department of Streets and Sanitation again? Someone please explain!

Currently listening :
Death Magnetic
By Metallica
Release date: 2008-09-12

Note: This originally posted on Myspace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=427606961&Mytoken=19D63302-69AB-4C62-8AF562880407ABDC102086111

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mixtape (Short) Circuit

I'm getting myself ready to drop a "mixtape" on the world. The idea is to just warm myself up to the idea of locking myself into a studio in February 2009 and writing, recording, mixing, mastering, and publishing an entire new Courageous Rue record in 28 days.

The thought of doing a CD in 28 days is daunting since it usually takes me years to put anything out, so, I've decided to drop a free mixtape which allows me to have work that may not be complete, demos, outtakes, etc for the next few months. The mixtape will be the usual mix of Nelson exploring styles of music but most of it will be rock-based.

In order to put out the best mixtape, I'm posting up videos/audio of me freestyling over beats I find on the net. It's improv at its best/worst! If I put myself out like this my hope is that my flow and lyrics will improve. Yes, I am also throwing the funny angle into it too wherever possible. It's going to be a fun ride.

Here's the latest I put together. If you want tto follow the rest of them, go to my YouTube area at http://www.youtube.com/SiouxDude.


Currently listening :
Cars - Complete Greatest Hits
By The Cars
Release date: 2002-02-19

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kidd Video

In the 1980's I watch a lot of cartoons. There was a wealth to watch such as The Smurfs, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Silverhawks, Transformers, He-Man, She-Ra, Dungeons and Dragons, My Little Pony, Danger Mouse, Inspector Gadget, The Gummi Bears, The Get-a-Long Gang, and a slew of others.

Apparently I am the only one in my peer group that also watched Kidd Video. All I remember about it was that it was a group of real kids in a band that get hijacked by an audio terrorist called Master Blaster. Suddenly they're cartoons and doing cool cartoon-like things. I remember not caring much for the cartoon parts of things, and waiting for the live-action portions of the show to come on. I really believed that these guys were singing and playing their own instruments a la The Monkees This was the closest thing to MTV I had since I was kept in the Dark Ages of terrestrial television. They did have some songs that are ingrained in my head and I catch myself singing these songs every once in a while. I ask the wife if she remembers these songs and she looks at me like I'm a contestant in a Michael Phelps swim meet.

This song was one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Currently listening :
Billy Joel Greatest Hits: Vol. 1-2 (2CD)
By Billy Joel
Release date: 1998-10-20

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
< ahref="http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=426233469&Mytoken=19D63302-69AB-4C62-8AF562880407ABDC102086111">http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=426233469&Mytoken=19D63302-69AB-4C62-8AF562880407ABDC102086111

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rawkin’ The Corn Fields

Performing in front of large groups isn't always easy. You never know why all those people have been put together and the reason they're watching you perform. The crowd can be incredibly into what you're doing and or ignoring you incredibly easily. Luckily, I got a crowd that was awesomely supportive and into what my group was doing up on stage. 1200 people cheering and giving standing ovations does a lot for the ego .

The thing I enjoyed about the experience was how comfortable I felt on stage. It was my job as part of the show to break the ice and to warm the crowd up for the rest of the presentation. I stuck pretty closely to the script but ad libbed here and there to draw people into the moments. The whole experience felt like stand-up to me and I realized just how much I missed performing solo and with groups. After a while, I was giving out the proverbial peace signs to people in the crowd and getting them back in respect. SKILLZ! Right after the show we were asked again by the hosts to come out again and take our props. The audience blew up with applause and whistles. It was awesome!

I get to do it again soon. I'll shoot for giving at least the same level of performance and living in those moments.

Currently listening :
The Aeroplane Flies High
By The Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: 1997-01-17

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
< ahref="http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=425570702&Mytoken=19D63302-69AB-4C62-8AF562880407ABDC102086111">http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=425570702&Mytoken=19D63302-69AB-4C62-8AF562880407ABDC102086111

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Done With Phelps

I'm happy for the 8-time gold medal winning, record breaking, almost perfect looking swimmer (he needs to fix his grill a bit ). Yes, he pulled it off. Yes, he's American. Yes, I'm a bit envious . However, the media coverage on him is a bit much. "Let's watch Phelps' triumphant road to 8 medals". Bob Costas, there has got to be more to the Olympics right now, right? I enjoyed watching the ladies running around China yesterday in the marathon. Although extremely uneventful, I liked parts of the equestrian competition. Let's root for the U.S. Men's basketball team to win the gold back from countries that have no right to the title. Anything but swimming.

Currently watching :
The First Olympics - Blood, Honor, and Glory (History Channel)
Release date: 2004-06-29

Saturday, August 16, 2008

True Colors

For most of my youth, I lived in a complex called Ridgecrest Apartments in San Antonio. Ridgecrest was full of lower to middle income working class families. Many of them were Hispanic and like my family, all they wanted was a place to live with access to decent schools for their kids, go to and from work, and spend time with their families when possible. With that said, a lot of parents could not watch over their kids full time, thus, the kids would get into things that probably weren't good for them to be getting into.

I remember one day as a kid (probably 12 years old) I went outside to see who was hanging out. I walked around the different parts of the complex and came across a group of bad kids that my mom would warn me to stay away from. These kids lived in the complex area across the street from me. These kids were constantly getting in trouble at school or at home, and spent most of the day and night on the steet making noise or getting into something. This one particular day they ere all huddle around this one kid's boombox. They were listening to some song over and over again, bobbing their heads up and down to the beat with the hardest looks they could muster . The only thing I could hear was "Colors...cuh cuh cuh colors...colors...cuh cuh cuh colors..." They all were sporting blue bandannas and acting hard. Since I wasn't into being hardcore, I just walked by and kept moving. I just thought of just how ridiculous they all looked.

Little did I know what the future held for most of them. Each of those kids got girls pregnant as teens, got into drugs, crime, and jail time . I always wonder if songs like "Colors" helped glorify street life enough for these kids to try the stuff they talked about or if the music they were into was actually a symptom of a lifestyle they were getting into already due to other circumstances.

I was bumpin' the song today in my car and remembered this little anecdote. As an adult, when I hear this song, I understand much better what Ice-T was trying to convey (at least to me) about the mentality of gang life. Then I thought about how gang life destroyed many lives at that complex. Kinda sad to know that these kids could've been so much more.

For your viewing pleasure, I provided the video for the song. I'd like to point out that the commentary between verses in the video are not on the original song. I wonder if Ice was asked to add it by MTV for airtime to definitively convey the message that he wasn't glorifying gang life. I just think the deepness of the song is now compromised with all the social commentary in it and turns it into a confused public service announcement.

Currently listening :
Colors
By Ice-T
Release date: 1990-11-21

Bote: This was originally posted on Myspace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=424894994&Mytoken=E7CFB89F-D5B3-487D-89557762C84A9AA31350450

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3...2...1...CONTACT!

I had an epiphany just right now. I am involved with groups that like to discuss/argue lots of trivial things! Apparently I gravitate towards groups like these because of an overpowering sense of proving people wrong . Damn you ego!

The other night I was with the band and we were discussing the finer points of recording a batch of songs. Questions came up such as:

  • Should we make an E.P. out of these?
  • How many songs should be on it?
  • How should they be recorded?
  • What does "to the best of our ability" really mean?
  • Do we have the know how/equipment to do it?
  • Who finally says "It's good"?

  • After arguing these finer points for an hour, I realized that I am on the far left with the level of diligence and patience that I feel is needed to make an E.P. Other guys were happy with as a polished live-ish demo. I tried to assert a level of definitiveness ot the process that the band as a whole wasn't really ready to commit to. I kept rehashig the same points over and over again and went nowhere fast.

    I quickly realized that I was being that guy who I loath and despise when talking about touchy subjects in a group - the self-righteous, know-it-all, bullheaded arguer who needs to listen more than talk . Fawk!

    These are the phrases I use a lot when talking about those types of people:

  • Shut the fawk up!
  • Take a note!
  • You're wasting a lot of time talking about a lot of nothing!
  • Why are you being so difficult?!

  • Even with all that negativity, I did learn that I am slowly learning how to recognize where in the decision-making process my peers are at and letting go even more now. Essentially, I am allowing myself to take a back-seat to the production/engineering process and seeing how it goes. If the batch of songs are E.P. worthy, cool. If not, that's fine and I reserve the right to say, "Well, I told you so" later.

    Now...if I could just learn to let go of the "I told you so's"...

    Currently listening :
    Why Can’t We Be Friends?
    By Smash Mouth
    Release date: 1998-04-07


    Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=423729390&Mytoken=E7CFB89F-D5B3-487D-89557762C84A9AA31350450

    Saturday, August 9, 2008

    Babblin’ Like a Baby

    The wifey and I went to what I call "baby wrappin'" class, i.e., cloth diapering class, this week. It was held a cute boutique baby store on the northside after hours. I was actually looking forward to it as I wanted to justify our decision to go cloth and not disposable for other than just economic reasons.

    Once we got there and sat down, I noticed our instructor was a bit odd. She seemed to be hurrying through getting ready for the class as if she had never taught it before. Just by her tight, stiff body language I could tell that this lady was going to either know too little or too much about the subject and hold the class to it. Wifey told me that the class was supposed to be an hour and a half long but all students were warned that it may run over by a half hour. What about diapering a baby is going to take 2 hours to explain?!

    The instructor started and within the first two minutes, I already knew that time was going to slow down to a crawl. She was incredibly informative and she was really nice and tried to make the presentation as short as she could, but she kept getting off-topic on different points about child care and diapering. She also continued to preface almost point she was making with, "We're going to talk about that later..." and then proceed to talk about future subject immediately in depth. Along with the uncomfortable chairs, the experience was diriving me nuts. I prayed that no one would ask any questions because each 1-2 minute question in real time would become 10-15 in her quantum universe. So, two and a half hours later, we were out of there.

    It's not often where I get put into a situation of learning only to walk out of it thinking, "Gawd, I could've taught that more quickly and succinctly." This was one of those situations. Granted, I don't have the experience behind diapering that she did, however, the mechanics and facts she kept giving could've been expressed in roughly 40-45 minutes. There was no hands-on playing with the dolls and diapers, thus, that wouldn't've been an issue. The other reason I feel this went longer than it should've was because has been teaching this stuff for about 3 years two times a week. You would think by now she would be able to get the info out quickly and then field questions later

    She did her best and I thank her for it. I'll suggest a Cliff Notes summary sheet for her future classes prior to showing up.

    Currently listening :
    The Ronettes: Ultimate Collection; Greatest Hits

    Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=422585979&Mytoken=E7CFB89F-D5B3-487D-89557762C84A9AA31350450

    Sunday, August 3, 2008

    Got a Crush?

    Man, I lamented a little bit that I didn't get Lolla tickets to be able to see Rage. I'm so glad I was nowhere near Grant Park today. It seems that the crowd acted a fool and forced the show to be stopped three times due to people being crushed, security lines being breached, and people getting hurt. Not only does it suck that people can't enjoy a good rawk concert sensibly but people got hurt as well. I wonder how many people ran like bulls on parade?

    Currently listening :
    Evil Empire
    By Rage Against the Machine
    Release date: 1996-04-16

    Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=420903543&Mytoken=E7CFB89F-D5B3-487D-89557762C84A9AA31350450

    Saturday, August 2, 2008

    An Aye For An Eye!

    Last night I was giddy as can be after coming off an impromptu improv show where we totally rawked it. In happy spirits, I was at the mirror getting ready for bed and attempted to take out my right eye's contact lens. Right as I got a hold of it, it tore! I pulled out the remains of the lens and saw that about half of it was gone! The other half was nowhere to be found; it wasn't on the floor, the counter nor from what I could see in my eye. However, there was something definitely in my eye.

    So for about an hour, I struggled with trying to figure out what could be done. The wifey and I saw that an eyelash was in my eye as well. I eventually worked it out but still couldn't help feeling that the contact was in there . If you didn't know about this, eye care is one of my top priorities. I wash my hands everytime I deal with my eyes. Rarely have I slept with contacts on. I keep my lenses hydrated and clean. It's a big deal to me. So, to have this thing in my eye that could totally scratch my cornea and get infected was a big deal.

    I started thinking of what I might have to do to resolve this issue. Emergency room, here we come! Book an eye doctor's appointment in the morning. *sigh* I started to breathe heavy and was scared as hell as to how I am going to resolve this.

    After resting a few minutes, I asked the wifey to swing by one more time and look for it. She finally saw a sliver of the contact in the back upper right side of my eye. Great. She washed her hands, dried them and went after it. We finally got it out. We both looked at the piece and it was completely flat; no contours on it to allow it to bunch of when being taken out. That's why it was able to get away from me. Zom-bitch!

    I'm wearing glasses today as I am out of contacs and that scenario spooked me a bit. Id rather be out of focus than completely blind .

    Currently listening :
    Diorama
    By Silverchair
    Release date: 2002-08-27

    Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=420489140&Mytoken=E7CFB89F-D5B3-487D-89557762C84A9AA31350450

    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Excercising to Surf

    Ever since I got back from San Diego, I've been unable to get to the gym. It fookin' sucks! Somehow I've managed to find things more important to me than working out such as finding measurements of the house for our remodeling projects, getting ready for the baby shower, rehearsing for various projects, shows, pooping, sleeping, and other things . I've got to keep my physique up from a week of fantastic rides on waves.

    Surfing requires a lot of core and upper body strength. I found out I lack a lot of it. It also requires endurance as you have to paddle out for a good 10-15 minutes to get to a spot where you can ride decent waves (or in my case, paddle out, fight 6-8' waves, get knocked off the board 20 times along the way in the hopes to maybe catch one 20 minutes later ). By the time you get out there you are so exhausted you can't muster the strength to pop up on the board for a while.

    I'm going to hit the gym with a paddle board under me and just practice that very motion for 20 minutes. If I do that 3 times a day, I should be able to maintain a level of readiness for next year I'm also going to work on *sigh* my core, i.e., stomach and back muscles, to get that strong. It's always been weak and my back is starting to suffer strains as a result . To be candid, I hate doing all these exercises but I sure love the benefits. I know I have to change my attitude if I want to make exercising a part of my lifestyle. No more sippin' Crystal, riding in extended H2s, and late night party binges for me .

    Currently listening :
    The Extremist
    By Joe Satriani
    Release date: 1997-06-03

    Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments a:
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=420198283&Mytoken=E7CFB89F-D5B3-487D-89557762C84A9AA31350450