Friday, January 30, 2009

A Slum Is A Slum Of Course, Of Course

It seems that there are Indians not too happy about the portrayal of the poverty in the the movie Slumdog Millionaire.  I have not yet seen the movie but my brother has.  After me telling him of the conditions I saw and documented while being driven around the streets of Dehli, it wasn't until seeing a glimpse of it did he believe me.  The funny thing was that we've both seen and been in the slums of Sao Paulo and Rio De Janiero in Brazil.  We thought those sucked.  When he saw the level of poverty in that movie, he was dumbfounded.

Every country should have a tour highlighting the way the poor live.  I remember when we were at a party in Rio and we met a group of ladies from Atlanta.  In the course of the evenings conversation, they told us they were going on a slum tour to "see the other side of Brazil".  We both thought, "Uhm, other side?  Just look around!  Everybody's poor!

The movie should at least make those watching it grateful for what they have if not entertain them.  In this case, it should also force people to come to terms with the conditions of the poor so that they can move beyond it and hopefully help the poor out.  No offense should be taken in either regard.  It is what it is.



Currently watching:
Gran Torino [Theatrical Release]


Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=16074757&blogId=467603626

Honda Haiku II

Got booted tonight
Pay tickets, fund the city
Gonna hurt Daley!


Currently listening:
Saltimbanco
By Cirque Du Soleil
Release date: 2006-03-14

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fashionistas...UNITE!

I have a photoshoot next week.  I'll be taking care of the various levels of body hair but I want to have a somewhat contemporary, rock-savvy look.  Got any tips on what clothes I should get?



Currently listening:
Fashionista Super Dance Troupe
By Help She Can't Swim
Release date: 2005-01-24


Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=16074757&blogId=467289437

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting (Hanna) Barbaric Without Running Water

The water main outside my building broke due to the weight of all the people celebrating on the streets for President Obama's inauguration - ok, I lied .  It broke due to most likely the chilly weather we've been under the entire week.  Thus, my building has been out of water for practically two days now.  That means no showers, brushing teeth, laundry, cooking, or the most important, duecing. 

That's right folks.  We're on Charter Bus rules in my house right now.  You can go #1 but in no way, shape, or form can you go #2.  If you want to go #2, there is a porch with a ton of snow on it.  You may want to dress warmly while playing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Doodie.  I'll provide paper and a plastic bag so you can scoop it up and take it with you.  

I'm resorting to driving elsewhere to make do (do).  I went to Borders yesterday and today I am thinking of hitting the gym - not to actually work out - but rather to take a shower and take care of bidnez .  This isn't as bad as when my hot water heater died in the middle of winter and I had to take cold showers (brrrrr ).  However, my body has decided to go on strike right now and not even give me the idea of having to go.  I love how evolution has given us this brain which is so powerful!

I went ahead and bought jugs of water so we can at least cook and brush our teeth.  If the necessity for bathing at home comes up, I can do it with a gallon of water. Hell, if the astronauts can do it, so can I. 
Currently listening:
John Henry
By They Might Be Giants
Release date: 1994-09-13

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Run D.M.C. In the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame?

I'm the king of rock, there is none higher
Sucker MC's should call me sire
To burn my kingdom, you must use fire
I won't stop rockin' till I retire!
- Kings of Rock, Run D.M.C.

Some of the best lines ever put on wax came from Run D.M.C.  They are legends in their own right and contributed to the best of what rap has to offer.  They were pioneers in their use of using rock samples in their music and got mainstream acclaim with their rendition of Aerosmith's Walk This Way.  Any hip-hop affectionado will be challenge to dismiss the importance of Run D.M.C.

With that said...

They do not deserve to be in the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame (RnRHoF).  Sorry.  I fail to see their contribution to Rock N' Roll to be great enough to be in the RnRHoF.  Hip-Hop Hall of Fame (HHHoF), yes! They deserve to be there 100 times over.  If their nomination is solely for Walk This Way, then the REALLY don't deserve to be in RnRHoF.  Is there any way I can see the nomination criterion?

You would never see Ozzy Osbourne be inducted into the HHHoF even though he provided the backdrop for Trick Daddy's biggest crunk hit Let's Go.  I'm all for diversity and open-mindedness, but if we're going to throw labels on things we're suppose to revere, then Run D.M.C needs to walk that way...leaving Cleveland empty handed.

Yeah.  It's like that and that's the way it is.  HUH!


Currently listening:
Run-D.M.C. - Greatest Hits
By Run Dmc
Release date: 2002-09-10

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hello Kitty - Goodbye B*tch

When I first moved to Chicago in 1998, I came up here knowing absolutely nobody.  I figured I had enough social skills to make new friends and was determined to find me a suitable girlfriend as soon as possible.

This guy Mark who lived in my building was effectively my wingman on many occasions.  He and I would drive out to the 'burbs to pick up chicks at Woodfield Mall (looking back on, all I ever see there are high school chicks now.  I really hope I wasn't THAT CREEPY OLD GUY trying to pick them )  We decided to go to Olive Garden and grab some food.  While we were there, we were being waited on by a really attractive girl.  Feeling emboldened by having my wingman with me, I flirted with her to see if she was interested (of course she was!) and got enough indicators that asking her out would be okay.  So, after we finished paying our bill and getting up to leave, I went and found her and asked her out.  She gave up the digits and I was flying high on the Love Express! 

She and I talked for a few days off and on the phone and IM.  She seemed to be okay and still interested in going out.  I wanted to take her out to dinner so she gave up the addy to her parent's house.  I got there and was greeted by her mother and father both of whom were very nice and cordial.  I told them where I came from, where I worked, and what we had planned for the evening while she was getting ready.  She then beckoned me down to the basement where her room was. 

I walk down there and I see her on the computer IMing her huge list of friends.   She got up, gave me a hug, thanked me for coming over, and then resumed IMing her friends.  I took a seat across from her and literally watched her IM her friends for a good 20 minutes while we sat in virtual silence the entire time .  I then asked her if she wanted to go ahead and grab a bite to eat and she seemed a bit lukewarm to the idea but relented.  All those good vibes previously were all gone.  Since I had made the trip to the 'burbs, I was determined to see where this situation was going as I had taken a lot of time out my schedule and put some wear and tear on the Tracker .  That was a dumb move.  We ended up going walking around Woodfield Mall.  We walked together and she wouldn't stop talking about her IM friends the whole time.  I was thinking, "Damn it girl, I thought you were 20.  You speak as if you're 16!"  Severely annoyed, I couldn't wait for this stroll to end.  As we re getting ready to leave the mall to go to dinner, she spots a store and yells out "HELLO KITTY!  OH MY GAWD!  Can we PLEASE go there?!!!"  I glanced inside and saw a bunch of cheap looking girlie crap sitting inside.  I said "Sure" and we headed in. She "oohed" and "ahhed" just about everything in that store.  I knew at this point that this girl was absolutely nuts, thus, it wasn't going to work.  I ended up taking her home after she claimed she wasn't really all that hungry (I was starving but was thrilled at the idea of taking her home).


Talk about a case of  "She's just not that into you..."
Currently reading:
Hello Kitty Hello 2009! Wall Calendar: (with stickers)
By Abrams

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Come To My Show!" - The Most Repeated Phrase By Actors

As I look at my bulletins and events calendar on Facebook and seeing the slew of shows people are having this year already, I am excited to see so much activity.  Granted, a lot of them are for Sketchfest but some of them are not including my own.  The funny part is seeing how many people are in 3-4 shows this month and next.  I feel like a slacker in that I'm only in 1 

I recently saw the show "Improviser" in which it was a thoughtful and entertaining look on actors doing improv professionally.  There was a veyr insightful scene where a given actor continuously asks the same group of friends to come see their various shows night after night, week after week.  The friends hate the material, hate being out all night, and wish they would get a break from the invites and the promotion yet the continue to support the girl in her efforts.  I feel like those friends with all of us actors trying to get support from the same group of people which are other actors.   

Why are we so bad at supporting each other?  Is it the nature of the business to not support?  Or are there not enough hours in the day where we can go out to see each of these?  What incentives are there to make people want to see your show other than because you're in it?
Currently listening:
The Art of the Improvisers
By Ornette Coleman
Release date: 2008-04-29

Monday, January 5, 2009

From Computer Hell, I Stab At Thee!

Gawd bless computers and silicon-based technology.  It helps us in so many ways and it also finds ways to drive us bloody insane.  Our generation is lucky because we grew up with a lot of the basics of electronics as kids. After this weekend, I can understand why the older generation doesn't get a lot of it.

A nasty virus hit my laptop hard - hard as in fawked it up .  The last time a virus hijacked my computer was in 2000.  I don't visit messed up websites, download miscellaneous files/porn, install demo software, or install games on my machines.  All of those items mentioned are the quickest ways to get a virus.  Although I have an enterprise strength firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software installed, a virus still managed to embed itself on my hard drive .  It would force my computer to just shutoff at weird times.  It did it so sporadically that I thought I had a bad piece of hardware causing the machine to overheat, thus, shut down.  So, once I figured out I had a virus, the fun began!

I was able through the use of Ubuntu Linux to backup a lot of my files.  I then made the decision to try to rebuild my machine.  Guess what.  My company doesn't make it easy to do so !  Thanks to "security", I got locked out of my voicemail, VPN software, the company intranet, and access to the ISO image I needed to rebuild the machine over the network!  Of course, the Foreign Legion, a.k.a. tech support, couldn't easily give me passwords to anything.  So, I spent half the night getting someone local to help me.  After multiple downloads, I finally got the disk I needed and a quick call to my boss got me far enough along to rebuild the machine. 

The funny thing is that 4 other people I know right now have massive computer problems as well.  It seems that there's an infection goin' on!

Well, I'm back enough to write this blog.  Onto the fun task of software installs!
Currently listening:
OK Computer
By Radiohead
Release date: 1997-07-01

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nelson’s 5 Top Picks for Best Albums of 2008

The List Bandwagon is loading up and I'm on it!  Here's my list of best albums of 2008.  These were not necessarily the best in music but rather just of the ones I bought or downloaded:

Girl Talk - Feed The Animals5.  Girl Talk - Feed The Animals
Greg Gillis is back slicin' and dicin' up some of your well known and not-so-well-known tracks and making a collage of music that stops about an hour later.  Granted, his particular brand of mash-ups are unique, however, this record still doesn't eclipse his artistry on "Night Ripper".  This record is fun to cruise to or bump at parties as it has something in it for everybody to jam to.

Smashing Pumpkins - American Gothic4.  Smashing Pumpkins - American Gothic E.P.
Yes, I'm a die-hard pumpkins fan, however, this E.P. is completely different from other Pumpkin releases.  It's the most organic/earthy batch of songs that really let me feel what Billy Corgan was singing about in a very long time.  Most of these songs were written during the Ashville, NC and  San Francisco, CA residencies, thus, are mostly unaulterated from their initial visions.  The Pumpkins were almost going to be predictable with their comeback release of Zeitgeist, but luckily they went down a more uncharted (and welcomed) course with this release.

Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things3.  Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
The Wifey bought this record and listened to it non-stop, thus, I get to include it in my top 5.  I must come to grips with the fact that this is an album I wish I had made as it's a perfect blend of pop, rap, folk, disco, and barrels of good times.  Definitely one of the strongest releases of his career and of 2008.  Don't be surprised when I pay homage to him (read that as STEAL) with some song in the future.


Presidents of the United States - These Are Good Times People2.  Presidents of the United States of America - These Are Good Times People
This record marks the introduction of touring now formal member of PUSA Andrew McKeag on guitbass.  The songs bear the traditional PUSA silliness and goofiness lyrically with the bit and punch of a rock n' roll band fusing everything together. 



Flobots - Fight With Tools1.  Flobots - Fight with Tools
In this day and age of digital music players, it's easy to buy a record, put it on the machine, and fast forward through all of the songs.  I bought this record based on the strength of the single "Handlebars" which gave me a vibe of Cake meets Eminem.  The record at first sounded a bit monotonous and uninspired production-wise.  I decided to go ahead and leave it in the Ho-Ho's CD player as a "last resort" musical choice.  Since the Ho-Ho's radio no longer allows me to plug my iPod into it (stupid Japanese Sony radios) and I detest using an FM transmitter, I decided to just bump the CD while I drove around during the summer.  Lucky for me I did that because I found many gifts this CD had to offer.

The biggest gifts are the messages these guys are conveying.  Although politically charged in nature, they basically are calling out all the ills of the USA and asking them to reevaluate what they're doing and themselves.  I haven't seen them live but I feel that these guys are New Mod hippies carrying a torch for love, peace, unity, and respect for one another.  The approach they use in the songs are novel in the sense of how they blend them together.  James Laurie a.k.a. Jonny 5 has the lead voice for the group and shares rhymes with his cohort Brer Rabbit.  Depending on what message is being given, each MC has a delivery of his own to make the lyrics punch out over the fantastic rhythm section of Andy Guerrero (drums) and Jesse Walker (bassist).  What pushes the songs over the top are the additional eclectic sounds from violist Mackenzie Roberts and trumpet player Joe Ferrone (hence the Cake reference).

I definitely recommend this record to anyone looking for something to move them.

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=16074757&blogId=460721684