Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Her blues spoke volumes to mine
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Chaos theory: verbal diarrhea edition
"If it wasn't for race mixing, there'd be no video girls. Me and most of my friends like mutts a lot. Yeah, in the hood they call 'em mutts." — Kanye West setting us back another 20 years with his color complex to Essence
"I feel really badly for the guy. He was obviously in a state of stress. You don't need to be inebriated to be bent out of shape. But my heart went out to the guy." — Mel Gibson sympathizing with fellow racist Michael "Ku Klux Kramer" Richards
"I may not have the type of voice you like, but I can sing. You can't take that away from me, cause singing is a gift from God, and when people say I can't sing, it's kind of like insulting God." — Fergie's celestial take on when fugly goes holy to Vibe
"In junior high I was fascinated by gangsta rap. I'm hearing all the stories about what was going on in East L.A. and South Central, looking at it from the outside. That's why a lot of people can relate with me, because they lived that, too. Seeing it but not really living it. So there weren't any of the negative consequences to the guns and all of that. It was just interesting and sexy." — Fergie basking in the afterglow of her wiggerdom to Rolling Stone
"When something is so, so sick, it's risiculous. It's sick and ridiculous. Risiculous. See, I have my own dictionary." — Fergie, flexing her vast intellectual vernacular to Rolling Stone
"He's the most gorgeous, powerful, attractive man in the world. So you kind of have to capitulate." — Gwyneth Paltrow still under the influence of heavy sedation on how Jay-Z convinced her to join him onstage for a sing-along during his London concert, to GQ
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The ego has landed
The self-proclaimed "Michael Jordan of recording" still malcontent with sitting on the sidelines fueled endless speculation on whether we'd see him wearing #23 or the #45. Fuck both analogies because the answer is neither. This is a free fall to the depths of Jordan's Birmingham Barons Triple-A tryouts. Rusty as hell, diminished skills, out of shape to compete and with a misplaced flow that now mimics Ben Stein. He could've chugged a few cans of Ensure, set aside his AARP newsletter and focused on hitting mics like Larry King, but instead he dropped the biggest turkey on the eve of Thanksgiving. With a wide open opportunity to put the Big Apple on his shoulders with an epic album, he dumbed down for the dickriders who'll throw up that idiotic pyramid without rationalization. Kinda like that lame kid you used to play with that would swear up and down they could fly. And after asking 'em to show and prove, the cornball's response is "I can, but I just don't want to right now..." Forget getting your grown man on, this is grandfather rap. Old man's taking it slow in the booth so he doesn't break a hip.
The burning question is now he's settled into the cushy life of a middle aged mogul with a trophy ditz on his arm, can Hov rap about anything else? The Brooklyn street hustler angle is shopworn as are the incessant odes to the lifestyles of the nouveau riche and shameless. How many more times can he keep a straight face, rapping about trips to St. Tropez and his Stepford wife-to-be's "Birkin bags"? How about waxing poetic on his trip to Africa? This guy was probably recording poop platters like Anything or the cutting room B'Day reject, Hollywood in the middle of Angola. Nothing he saw there inspired him to write? Really? Apparently not. And if he did write about Africa, he'd just write about how many concert tix he sold and about how he fly he is for loungin' with Kofi Annan. He's too obsessed with himself to step outside his comfort zone to elevate his song craft above much else. When he's not going back to basics about his usual party & bullshit and tries to get "abstract," it just sounds like he's quoting fortune cookies. I suppose the fact that most verses aren't just 14 songs devoted to "moving weight in the 80's" is worthy of some commendation, but rap's elder statesman is clearly out of his element now. He's in Nas territory. Common territory. Lupe territory. Talib territory. And all of these lyricists do random but poignant observations on life far better than this, and for the most part, with better beats. It's never a good look when Coldplay's Chris Martin turns out the best track on your record, but that's exactly the case with Midlife Crisis... er, I mean, Kingdom Came And Went. After wondering aloud What More Can I Say?, Jay proves once and for all, yes, he really has nothing more to say except to state the fact that he's back ("What you want me to do? I'm sorry! I'm back.") So much for clever wordplay. I've got 99 problems and scrapping this disappointment for cab fare ain't one.
I can't believe Nas's joint got pushed back yet again for this fuckery. Cut the bullshit and retire already. And I mean fading to black for real this time, please.
Download this: Beach Chair, Kingdom Come, Do U Wanna Ride
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Hanging chads aren't just for Floridians
It's clearly apparent that more than half of the baseball writers weren't paying attention to the 2006 Major League Baseball season. Maybe they signed a deal with the devil to just collectively drop the ball. Or maybe it's that pesky East Coast bias rearing its ugly head again. Who knows? Who cares? One thing is for sure, they fucked this up big time.
Exactly what does he have to do to get a little recognition of the individual kind? Guarantee handjobs from Jessica Biel to the clueless dipshits at the BBWAA who found a way to make the choice for this year's award even more of a travesty? I could live with him losing the honor to Minnesota's Joe Mauer, who aside from edging out D.J. for the batting title on the last day of the regular season, had one helluva year both at and behind the plate. For a nod to the archenemy that is Dead Sox Nation, it wouldn't have been a too bitter a pill to swallow had it been bestowed to David Ortiz. But Justin Morneau? Are you fucking for real? A Gold Glove/Silver Slugging shortstop that led a team who was racked by injuries to our heaviest hitters in Hideki Matsui & Gary Sheffield losing to a first baseman not even remotely considered top 3 most valuable on his own team (I'd put Mauer, Johan Santana & Torii Hunter all ahead in terms of importance...) and can call the AL batting champion and Cy Young winner teammates?! Sports writers, put down the spliffs and get real. Even more incredulous is the asshat beat writer of the Chicago White Sox, Joe Cowley who ranked Jeter not 2nd. Or even 3rd on his ballot. But 6th. Sixth?!?! Stop the fucking insanity. Aside from raising the ire of avowed Yankee haters like WFAN's Chris Russo, I can take cold comfort in knowing that the uproar this colossal lapse in judgment doesn't have Jeter fazed a bit. This quote from a Newsday editorial crystallizes the worth of a ballplayer whose impact can't be measured solely in HR's and RBI's.
"If it's any consolation to Derek Jeter, in 1980 "Ordinary People" won the Oscar for Best Picture over "Raging Bull." A quarter-century later, people laugh about that one and someday, they'll laugh about this one, too, the year Ordinary Player, otherwise known as Justin Morneau, was named the American League's MVP for 2006." - Wallace Matthews
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Love at first bite
Unlike last year, the scenery shifts from San Francisco to Hollyweird and is mercifully revamped with a new host in former supermodel, Padma Lakshmi. Last year's hostess Katie Lee Joel (b.k.a. Billy's fembot child bride) had all the personality of a doorknob. Thankfully not everything needed to be tweaked and the fabulous Tom Colicchio (he gives White men with baldies a good name) and Food & Wine's Gail Simmons reprise their roles as head judges. I got reeled into the furious pace of simmers and sautés with the memorable cast of season one (loved Lee Anne, Harold, Dave, Lisa & Miguel....loathed Ken & Tiffani) and it's back and as scandalous as ever the second time around. The majority of pros this time around don't seem to be nearly as focused as the inaugural crew, but in the eye candy department, ladies (and gents), we have liftoff!
Behold the tall, chocolaty drink of water that is the brother to the right. Cute, ain't he? Meet Cliff Crooks, executive chef at one of the city's best spots for serious Italian and fan favorites to land in the winner's circle. I mean, he wouldn't have to utter a single word and I'd be already in mid-swoon. But factor in that he's sidestepped (so far) the A.B.M. stereotype with ease (that's Angry Black Male for the acronymically challenged) by being the three H's: humble, hardworking and helpful. His even-tempered approach to some of the wackiest tasks at hand while still remaining in touch with flavors and having the skills to finesse both sushi and comfort food classics (how's that for diverse?) is damn impressive. And all acquired without formal training... oh yeah, and did I mention that he's fucking hot? Check out the interview stream below with Jersey's Restaurant Guys Radio to get to know the brawn behind the chef's coat.
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And while I'm foaming at the mouth in full-on foodie frenzy, can I just weep tears of joy for the long awaited Stateside return of the domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. Finally, finally, FINALLY! After a few years being banished to ungodly hours (and eventual fade-out) on the Style network, the sultry Brit cheftress is finally back where she belongs. Cut from the Catherine Zeta-Jones cloth of bombshell but without the apron strings, Lawson has more sex appeal in her lower lip than all the women on the Food Network combined, and with Nigella Feasts (airs Sunday afternoons @ 1 p.m. EST), it's a welcome retread back to the format of her earlier show, Nigella Bites. And what's not to love? Her food makes you want to lick the TV and she tosses off refreshingly English phrases like "bung it in" that give her show a welcome Eurochic sensibility which stands out in a cookie-cutter lineup of wholesome smiles and caffeinated perkiness. (Here's looking at you, Rachael.)
Because she cooks real food, is more concerned that she makes dishes that comfort herself and her guests rather than the phoniness of how pretty the meal is distributed on the plate. And best yet, she's unapologetic in allowing the cameras to keep rolling while clad in satin pajamas to raid the fridge for a late night munch. Now that's my kind of broad. In the age of diet-drink swilling skeletons who look at each bite of food as if it were arsenic laden, she is a testament to real women with curves and a healthy appetite. For that alone that makes her utterly irresistible, but then, I'm just the sort of lazy cook who goes in for maximum pleasure and minimum effort.
And while Giada and Ina are still my go-to girls in the name of everyday gourmet, Nigella remains the undisputed queen of how to look fabulous without breaking a sweat. Bow down and worship at the Manolos, ladies.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Beggars can't be choosers
Running late for work as always, I had to make my pit stop for a quick latte and bagel before slinking into the office on the incognegro tip. In the midst of rummaging through my larger-than-life tote for my wallet, I was accosted at the corner by a girl who appeared no older than 18 for money.
"Excuse me miss, could you spare a few dollars so I can get something to eat? Five or so would really help me out."It took me a second to really process the sheer audacity of this broad to snap back into my usual brusque, impatient demeanor. Five bills or so, huh? Forget taking what you can get, you throw the figure out and I'll just fish for some greenbacks like an ass. Bitch please.
I offered her a $1 to help towards putting something warm in her hands, but she refused on some haughty, nose wrinkling "as if" type shit.
I just walked away dumbfounded. You're hungry but picky? If you're that hungry wouldn't you eat just about anything? Was she expecting an invitation at the Mandarin Oriental? What am I missing here? Since when do panhandlers get carte blanche for champagne wishes and caviar dreams?
This hearkens back to my initial inclination where I treat the majority with the sob story sales pitches as being full of shit. Only in New York, kids.... only in New York.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Desperation: party of one
But here's a hilarious way to bid the merry band of slimeballs, adieu....courtesy of the brilliance that is YouTube.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Surreal Life: Post election hangover
"I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray...America just had its septic system pumped after six years of fascist diarrhea. After abject depression and serious contemplation of escaping into the still sane arms of our neighbors to the North, the smear-drenched depression that has polarized us from one catastrophe to another all converged into the big blue tide that swept many remnants of Newt Gingrich's 1994 conservative coup out to sea. Not even after the votes were officially tallied in Virginia had Donald Rumsfeld been yanked out from the comfort zone of the Pentagon like a $2 ho. Already a week has passed and the aftershocks still seem as if it was all a dream. It's like going to bed with Al Roker and waking up next to Denzel Washington overnight.
But when I woke up this mornin', could have sworn it was judgment day..." — Prince, 1999.
While the change was blowing in the wind for weeks leading up to the day at the polls, this is the Democratic party we're talking about. The political equivalent of the Three Stooges who make snatching defeat from the jaws of victory seem effortless. However, the left wisely got out of the way and let the GOP implode all by their lonesome. Stupidity, corruption and incompetence all made for the perfect storm just before this election to destroy the Bush mafia's carefully laid plans. Were it not for that, the Dems would still be sitting peacefully on the back benches wondering whether to say anything critical of the war in Iraq. And in spite of it all, they've again been given the chance to prove themselves to mainstream voters as a viable alternative in the run-up to the 2008 election. While breathless praise has been given to Rep. Rahm Emanuel and hometown boy Sen. Charles Schumer, the one conspicuously omitted is the blessedly forward thinking, Howard Dean.
Yep, a huge debt is owed to the good ol' Hulkamaniac screamer. Do you think the Dems would have Congress today with that bumbling, cowardly piece of shit, Terry McAuliffe at the helm? Or raised a whopping $50 million in an off-campaign year? Dean is tough, fearless, and pities the fools who won't put in the time to rebuild the infrastructure from the ground up. Just the kind of jolt the DNC desperately needed. Dean and Schumer made the Dems work, and work hard, for the first time in fifteen years - something they'd forgotten how to do once that smooth operator Bill Clinton fell into their laps, so they treated elections as the excuse for more corporate sponsorship and cocktail parties.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." — Mahatma GandhiIt takes a special brand of arrogant douche bag to be blinded to the inevitable defeat Neo-Cons were handed. And that bloated turd of a man we owe gratitude and thanks to the most turns out to be the puppet master himself, Karl Rove. What's that old saying Bush mangled so succinctly? "Fool me once ... won't get fooled again." On his watch, he presided over a regime that made dissent equivalent to treason. Once pompous in victory, he's now humbled in defeat. How sweet it is.
It's entertaining watching the castrated bullies cannibalize themselves in the wake of this "thumpin'." The prospect of the Bolton appointment being rejected has foaming at the mouth, positively beside themselves.
"Whaddya mean King George isn't gonna have free reign? Where's the rubber stamp for Christ's sake? What the hell is this? Al-Qaeda is rejoicing. Good Lord, we're all sitting ducks. Raise the Crayola terror alert!"
After twelve years of listening to heartbreaking election nights full of asshole Rethuglican goons pledging bipartisanship while twisting the knife in our backs, I just want to send a heartfelt "fuck you" shout out to all my right-wing acquaintances. Nancy Pelosi, the supposed she-wolf from Sodom, is about to make U.S. history as the madam of the House. The country hates you, I hate you, and even Jesus hates you. Fuck you all for bringing us a child emperor who's long on political pedigree, short on any semblance of intellect. Fuck you for starting an illegal, immoral war, creating generations of terrorists who have even more reasons to "hate us for our freedom," alienating our foreign allies, wiping your ass with the Bill of Rights and jizzing over the entire concept of habeas corpus. Fuck you for marginalizing everyone from gays to the middle class and most of all, the poor in your bloodthirsty quest to retain a stranglehold on absolute power. And ultimately fuck you for championing the cause of self-righteous, hypocritical sheep.
But let it never be said that Americans have lost the ability to self-correct. It only took six years, but finally blinders are being taken off and the masses are coming around to what a precious few knew from the very beginning.
Maybe we're actually going to be able to get this country realigned on a course worth traveling. Maybe social security won't be printed on Monopoly money in my lifetime.
Let freedom finally reign.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Back to life, back to reality
Well, not singing really. And definitely not at sunrise.
All right, see what had happened was... it never occurred to me just how much I'd suffer through web withdrawal until my access on both PC's ground to a halt just prior to Memorial Day rolling around. First the battery on my regular notebook succumbed to that scrap heap in the sky due to all the power-sapping abuse I inflicted after months of all-night Limewire downloading sessions. $390 later for servicing that did nothing and untold levels of anger later, I was onto plan B. Use my emergency source to tide me over until I could sort things out. Then dark clouds of bad luck centered itself on my backup laptop I had set aside for business & travel purposes only. That too went the way of Christina Milian's record deal and I was officially assed out. It got so bad that this little slacker was reduced to staying late at the office till the witching hours of 8-9:00 p.m. just to do online banking, check MLB standings and keep my lines of credit up to date with constant account monitoring since I had the bright idea that going paperless from now on would make my life easier. A bitch was lingering in the electronics section at Circuit City just to sneak a peek at the e-mail inbox for crying out loud. Pathetic shit, ain't it?
Tumbleweeds have been blowing through for the past 6 months and for a blogger, that's a goddamn eternity. It's almost embarrassing admitting this shit as I type. Trust. I know. I'm aware. To say my online resources have been limited is an understatement of monumental proportions and your girl don't have the IT hookups like she used to at the corporate plantation. Sucks to accept my days of underachieving web surfs from 9 to 5 are effectively over. Compounding the fact that venturing into the world of computer repair would just turn into a slippery slope of excuses, aggravation and bullshit between the powers that be (Comp USA & Sony Support can both blow me), I was beginning to think that save forking over another thou for a new system, just updating my iPod would be a mission impossible.
So in my super-extended absence, it may have seemed as if I administered last rites to this joint. And for a split second, I gave a plug pull serious contemplation. On the rare occasions when I did try to kick start some random thoughts here and there while Massa was on his lunch hour, Blogger would conveniently have their heads up their asses with another program update. Faster than you can say, "scheduled system outage," paragraphs went up in smoke. It's at this point when I had middle fingers hoisted ready to move on. But then to my surprise, I began getting e-mails from inquiring minds wanting to know whether something new would be coming down the pike anytime soon. Folks checking for moi? You don't say... I suppose navigating through life with an off-balance compass doesn't ring hollow to myself alone.
So what have you missed during the latest off-air hiatus of the sitcom I call life? Oh, just the usual storylines interweaving itself day and day out. I've been working, drinking, sleeping, shopping, smoking, crying, fucking, rushing, plotting, stressing, pondering, waiting, daydreaming.... there's so much to cover that I don't have to time name check the vast span of current events that have zoomed by. Luckily for me, I went back to basics with the trusty Mead composition book to jot down a few thoughts while I was living in the land of the unplugged. So expect to see some woefully outdated shit float to the surface as I get my bearings for the umpteenth time.
In other words, ain't shit changed but the date on the range. So shall I proceed to give you what you don't really need? Yes indeed.
Let's get it.