Sunday, December 23, 2007

Top Five UFC fights of '07

I remember renting the first Ultimate Fighting Championship when I was in my early teens. If my mom knew I was watching human cock fighting she would have probably preferred I rented Big Trouble Little China for the umpteenth time. The sport couldn't and wouldn't survive in its raw form, but no one could deny the appeal. Take two guys with distinctive fighting techniques and let them go at it. The Modern version of MMA is the same premise, but with rules that prevent paralysis and death. The sport has gained legitimacy to the point that it hasn't only pushed boxing to the back burner, but is in the same conversation as NASCAR and MLB. Before I start my list, I must admit that I pretty much only watch UFC. Not that I don't enjoy PRIDE, WEC and Strike Force, but UFC has the best fighters, and more often than not, the best fights. So without further ado, here are my favorite fights from 2007.

5. Serra vs. St. Pierre:
Even in the battle of the nice guys someone has to get punched. After winning the Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback, Matt Serra was thought to be poised to be a speed bump for George St. Pierre who had just claimed the welterweight title by showing long time champion Matt Hughes that striking can indeed beat wrestling. To say Serra was an underdog is an understatement. However, the small ball of BJJ excellence unleashed the gates of Hades upon a bewildered George St. Pierre. Muhammad Ali couldn't shock the world as well as Serra did that night. Serra isn't known for his striking, but ask St. Pierre he will verify the guy can throw his hands. The Terror from New York is no slouch, but this fight should serve as a reminder that fights are fought in the ring/cage and not on paper.

"Every man has to figure to get beat sometime"- Joe Louis.

4. Cro Cop vs Gonzaga:
The root of any good sports story is upset. Rocky, the '04 Red Sox and VCU vs Duke in the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament (had to sneak that in) all were great upset stories. The UFC desperately needed more depth in the heavyweight division and signed PRIDE fighter Mirco Cro Cop. "Left leg hospital, Right Leg cemetery" was Cro Cop's catch phrase going into the fight as a heavy favorite. Gonzaga would not feel the wrath of Cro Cop's kicks however...I'll let the video explain the rest. Well what the video was trying to say is that Gonzaga nearly decapitated Cro Cop.

3. Rampage vs. Hendo
Allow me to break down some science behind the idea of title unification. UFC fighter Quinton Rampage Jackson defeated Chuck Lidell to win the light heavyweight title, but was then quickly signed to another super fight with PRIDE light heavyweight and middle weight champion Dan Henderson. The idea behind unifying the titles wasn't as spectacular as much as it was common sense. Zuffa owns both UFC and Pride, so they were in a win/win situation no matter the outcome of the fight. The fight it self was a test of endurance, that challenged both fighters mentally and physically. The rule of thumb in MMA is not to let the fight go the distance and leave it in the hands of the judges. Despite their best efforts the former sparring partners could not out do the other man. Hendo utilized his superior wrestling to take Rampage down in earlier rounds, but Jackson displayed his mastering of the art of putting his fist into people's faces and mid sections. The closest fight I've ever seen came down to a decision and with Hendo not clearly dominating the fight, Jackson won by decision. This fight also yielded the best MMA quote of the year: "I was thinking I better do something or Dan is gonna whup my ass"- Quinton Jackson

2. Couture vs. Sylvia:
Randy Couture is to MMA as Brett Favre is to the NFL. Both are great champions who are loved by opponents and fans alike. With two unspectacular fights against my homey Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia was on top of the heavyweight division without a clear contender for the title. Enter Randy Couture, who came out of retirement to help the UFC when there was a giant with odd facial hair holding the title. This was a classic student versus teacher fight with Couture manning the overhead projector. Sylvia was out classed in all respects. Randy worked his combination of leg kicks to right crosses perfectly and kept the giant off balance for all five rounds. Couture used his head...literally and legally. By keeping his head moving he never allowed Sylvia to land a clear shot and thereby opened several opportunity to counter attack. Its going to be difficult for the UFC to reinvigorate the heavyweight division with the lose of Randy, but they have the talent to produce a great 2008 in the weight class.

1. Guida vs Huerta:
There is one more UFC event left in the year, but I doubt the super fight between Lidell and Silva can beat the excitement of Guida vs Huerta. The main event of the Ultimate Fighter Finale looked attractive at first and was well marketed, especially towards the latin public after Mexican fighter Roger Huerta made the cover of Sports Illustrated. His opponent Clay Guida is often regarded as one of the most intense fighters in the lightweight division. I was watching the fight with my friends and MMA spectator partners Ashton and Chuck. We were expecting a good fight, but received nothing short of a fireworks display. These guys went at it like their lives were on the line. Huerta being the favorite had to endure a pounding in the first two rounds, although Guida did not have an easy time dealing with Huerta striking and ground defense. Coming out in the third round Guida looked like the grunge rock version of Bruce Banner during one of his temper tantrums. The 155 lbs Incredible Hulk was on a mission, but no one told Huerta who caught Guida with a devastating blow, putting him on his knees. Guida tried for the take down, but was just too dazed. Huerta quickly sunk in a rear naked choke and that was it. Fight of the year by far and once again the UFC gives it away for free.

Top five fighters of 2007:
5. Dan Henderson
4. Matt Serra
3. Anderson Silva
2. Randy Couture
1. Quinton Jackson


Corrections and Apologies 12/30/07: "There is one more UFC event left in the year, but I doubt the super fight between Lidell and Silva can beat the excitement of Guida vs Huerta" . Okay, I hereby revoke my MMA nerd membership pass for making that ludicrous statement above. Lidell vs. Silva was hyped beyond belief and managed to exceed the hype en route to becoming a runner-up for fight of the year. After the first 2 minutes of feeling out their opponent the bombs started to drop. How neither of these two guys got knocked out baffles the mind. One of the best MMA fights I've ever had the chance to witness. Lidell proved to be a little too cage savy for Silva who did nothing to lose the fight, but by far took the most damage during combat. Lidell got the decision, but it's difficult to say that anyone lost that fight. My guess is within 2 years we see a rematch and I'll be waiting.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Top Five Drug Related Sports Stories of 2007

2007 was a great year for sports and drugs. Has there ever been a year so marred with drug scandals. Tour de France, The Olympics, MLB, NFL, MMA, NPR and the NRA all seem to be looking to the pharmaceutical industry for a little help. The following is the first installment of several "Best of '07" lists. In my opinion these were the top five sports stories involving illegal drugs. So sit back, rub on your creme and clear and get ready to get ripped.

5. RIIIICCCKKKEEYYYY Williams!!!(NFL Miami Dolphins, Running Back): I can't really explain my infatuation with Ricky Williams. I just know that when they announced he had returned to the Miami Dolphins after serving his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, a small tear of joy rolled down my cheek. However all did not go well for Ricky. He had the misfortune of returning to the NFL on one of the worst teams, playing on one of the worst fields ever. Constant rain had turned Heinz Field in Pittsburg into sloppy joe meat. After fumbling early in the game a nearby defender used Ricky's pectoral muscle as a doormat. He will finish the season on injured reserve, but the bigger story will be Miami going down as possibly the worst NFL team of all time.

4. Travis Henry(NFL Denver Broncos, Running Back): Fantasy football brings out the worst in people. Long story short: Henry has violated the league's no hippy lettuce policy twice before and this season he violated the policy for a third time, which calls for a one year suspension. As a fantasy football dork and owner of Selvin Young (Henry's backup) I felt comfortable, for my foresight had provided me a much needed running back. Sure, Henry was appealing the test, but so does everyone else and they always lose. That is until I needed for a drug test to come back positive (very rare). Henry actually won his appeal, by providing a hair sample and blaming second hand smoke. I wanted to second hand smack him across his lips.

3. Sean (The Muscle Shark) Sherk (Former UFC lightweight champion): 2007 was a great year for mixed martial arts. The UFC continued to appeal to the masses while upstarts such as WEC, Strikeforce and Elite also started to gain notoriety. MMA may be the new boxing, but that doesn't always have positive connotations. After defending his title this summer, Sherk tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone, as did his opponent Hermes Franca. Since the fight his title has been stripped and will be up for grabs in January. If you go by the name "Muscle Shark" you need to be prepared to defend yourself against steroid accusations. We all need to learn from Darrell "Crack Cod" Strawberry.

2. The Mitchell Report: One report to rule them all. This week George Mitchell presented the findings of his 21 month investigation into Major League Baseball's drug culture. If you've paid attention to baseball over the last decade or so, you knew this report was gonna be bad, but damn! Roger Clemens and Andy Petite were the two major names to come out. However several names from my childhood and teenage years were in the report as well. Lenny Dykstra , Mo Vaughn, Chuck Knoblauch and even my beloved former Oriole Miguel Tejada. Excluded from the list was stolen television...errr... stolen base king Tim Raines. Hopefully talk of this report won't span over the '08 season, because some of us still really love baseball and love watching people like Ichuro Suzuki and Josh Beckett do what they do so well.

1. Barry Bonds (future DH, MLB): I got home from work a little early, sat down on my bed, fired up my labtop and turned of the television. The first thing I saw is a ball going over the wall at PetCo. Barry had finally done it....he had made the top of this list. More importantly he had just become baseball's new home run king. As Big Brother a.k.a Henry Aaron tried his best to not jump out of the Jumbotron and bludgeon Barry with a king size Oh Henry bar, I thought to myself "It's all down hill from here". If you haven't been paying attention, Barry Bonds has been accused of using flax seed oil and arthritis creme to enhance his performance. This is all well and good, but he also (allegedly) used a masking agent called antibiotic steroids. To make matters worse Barry is a black-hole. That is to say, a black asshole. I more than anyone hate to play the race card, but the venomous accusations and speculations aren't just due to the fact that Barry is a horrible teammate and a colossal jerk. Bonds made his pedestal and now he and his gargantuan head are poised to take a terrific fall, especially since he is being brought up on perjury charges. Which is a shame, because Bonds was Hall of Fame material without the home runs. Now he and many others from this era are probably looking in from the outside.

"Cheating is Winning. Lying is Noble. Controversy is Legacy"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why I love Lil' Wayne

Sam: You need to get back on your blog game son.
Me: The podcast or the blog?
Sam: The blog?
Sam: Here's your first topic...
Sam: Why I love Lil' Wayne.

Though they may not be easy to conjure there are several good reasons to love Lil' Wayne. I would like to share one of my favorites.

Invention of the phrase "Bling Bling":

It is rumored that in early 1998 during a Cash Money Records field trip to the Audubon Zoo, Lil' Wayne accidentally dropped a small satchel containing all his talent in the panda exhibit. His life partner, Birdman, lowered down Wayne on a rope made of chains and medallions in order to fetch the parcel. However a nearby Panda noticed Wayne and quickly snatched the sack away. Infuriated, Lil' Wayne attempted to choke the panda with the luxury rope. The panda quickly countered and Lil Wayne was quickly escorted out of the Zoo by authorities. While being dragged away from the exhibit, Wayne pointed at the panda, who was still entangled in the many gold and platinum chains, and asked the security guard what was the bear's name. The guard sternly replied: "That's Bling Bling".

The rest my history.

waka waka!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

5 Reasons why Texas Chainsaw Massacre is still the best horror movie ever.

So it's Halloween time yet again and AMC has come to the rescue, offering a buffet of horror movies. As a former horror film buff I love seeing all the classics, which got my think bone a goin'. I've always considered the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be my favorite horror movie, but I had never realized why. The following is long overdue praise for a diamond amongst a sea of hacks, remakes and flat out lazy efforts in the genre. Here are five reasons why I love this movie so much.

1. Believable Plot: Before every horror movie became a chain of "Wouldn't it suck to die like this" events, people had to actually think of a realistic situation. TCM puts five teenagers on a road trip to the abandoned house of one of their grandparents. Remember back in the 70's teenagers only source of entertainment were road trips, gas lines and hard drugs...thank god for video games. Have you ever gotten lost in the country? It can be pretty damn scary, especially if you run out of gas. This would have been an excellent commercial for Exxon had they cut it to thirty seconds.

2. Simple Yet Gory and Terrifying Deaths: Two bludgeonings via hammer, a chainsaw massage, a meat hook and no puzzles. Nothing too fancy just gruesome death plain and simple. Let's face it, if someone is considering killing you I doubt they are going to let you play a game of Tetris to determine the outcome.

3. Concern for the Victims: Other than High Tension I can't remember the last time a movie made me care if someone died or not. The audience is left with one survivor that you will cheer for as she tries to escape. This movie probably started the trend of yelling at the screen. Oh she can't hear you, but she feels your's something like home field advantage.

4. Cinematography: When you hear directors like Rob Zombie and Wes Craven refer to Texas Chainsaw Massacre; they always talk about the way the movie was shot. The cold grainy hue that covers the entire movie provides an uncomfortable, almost depressing atmosphere. Sometimes the way a movie is shot can make the film (see Space Jam).

5. Leatherface: Loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein, Leatherface is in a virtual tie with Jason Vorhees for best movie killer ever. A mountain of a man, who never says a word and is obviously suffering from mental illness. The duality of his nature is what makes him so freaking cool. One moment he is carving up an invalid like a chubby turkey, the next he is forced into submission by his smaller and weaker older brother. Jigsaw is just a cancer patient with too much time on his hands. By the way, I would like to thank the American public for supporting the Saw series. If you it weren't for you some unoriginal, talentless, money grubbers would be out of work.

So there you have it. Some justification for why the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is still the best horror movie ever made and proof that I need to find employment very soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Open Wide for an advertising take!

This is what I want to do:

If you somehow got to the page without knowing me, then let me explain. I'm currently seeking a career in advertising and I know what I want to do, but its not very easy to put it in words. It's all very simple in my head, but sometimes when I try to express my intentions I sound like a belligerent drunk...and I assure you I'm just belligerent. Long story short; I want to contribute to the greater good. Whether it means making the world notice a crises, helping a non-profit gain awareness or just make someone think differently for a split second. I don't actually want to make good ads, I want to help develop the idea that drives a good ad. Its a shame this is a commercial from ze Germans and will probably never be seen by the masses in the states. The positive is that there are people out there like me, doing what I want to I have a reason to keep pressing on.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Back at it.

"Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement" - C.S. Lewis

You may want to refer back to my previous post entitled "Things I want to steal from people's yards pt. 3". There I state "Also in regards to Dinosaur Kingdom let me assure you that this isn't over...I'll get there come hell or high water." Oh hell came, bringing with it a rising tide of boiling hot dog seemed bleak, but Dave and I finally got a piece of the pie. I'm not a superstitious man, but something went horribly wrong this summer. Evidence: I'm still in Richmond. On my way to Dino Kingdom the first time I though I was on my way out. It was to be one last adventure to cap off my first 25 years in Virginia. The octopus-like tentacles of Richmond had other plans for me though, as I ended up embarking on a arduous and frustrating journey in the country for the rest of the summer. Super natural forces were obviously at play. I realized that maybe it was our failure to find Dino Kingdom that bought us a triceratop sized curse. The following is an account of are attempt to break the curse. In order to reverse fate and save our future Dave and I had to....ESCAPE FROM DINOSAUR KINGDOM!!! (Sound the war drums, battle trumpets and skirmish spoons).

Foamhenge: A full size replica of Stonehenge constructed of foam. If you are ever driving on Interstate 81 and you get to exit 180A S. Lee HWY you need to get off and go visit this. This is another Mark Cline creation along with Dino Kingdom. Notice that the stuctures are exactly three Cambodians tall, but what does this all mean?

Feedin' Time: Though known for its razor sharp claws, dagger teeth and hilariously useless arms; the T-Rex could also run a mean trap line.

Apebraham Lincoln: You may have everything below the Mason-Dixon line, but I have your pants.

I'll post more pics as soon as Blogger gets their stuff together and stops sending me error message.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Side Projects

No I haven't given up this blog already, just trying to make it through this summer in one piece while trying to find a job out-of-state. I have been keeping busy however, as Madden 08' comes out next week I know I will be trapped in my room for weeks, only to emerge for food, bathroom and actually football. Before I relapse back into my addiction, I will be opening up my own shop on, check out some of my first shirts I've been working on. If you remember Robocop, you should remember this robot, though he was too busy killing intruders to dream about ice cream in the movie. The second is another spin-off from my War Pig stencils...this time with some different colors. Let me know what you think.

I have also been helping my friend's record label gain awareness. What do I know about the music business? Nothing, but that won't stop me from foolishly charging into battle. We decided to make a podcast that not only exposes the public to the label, but also provides a range of music and humor. If you have ever heard one of my mix-tapes it sounds similar to those, but with Detrick and I talking during the breaks. Now we just need to get people to listen to the damn thing. Here you can download or stream our podcast. Laugh Tracks is only one episode now, but we are throwing down the second installment this weekend.

So there, I have blogged and I feel better, more important, and less lazy.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Things I want to steal from people's lawns pt.3 (Roadtrip edition)

It shouldn't hurt to blog.

How could it all go wrong? On a recent road trip my friend Dave and I went in search of Dinosaur Kingdom. If you are unaware of Dinosaur Kingdom, you should follow this link and then be very upset that you have lived as long as you have without knowing that a place like this exists.

You'll notice near the bottom the website states that the roadside directional signs can be improved. And how! Though we were within 3 miles of Dinosaur Kingdom, we only found the headquarters for the creator of the attraction: Enchanted Castle Studios. This is where the creator of Dinosaur Kingdom keeps a lot of his old work. I'm going to break format with this running post this one time. Usually I take pictures of things I take...errr. want to take from yards I deliver pizzas to. However, when you stumble upon a graveyard full of fiberglass corpses and foam grab your camera and get to work. Though we did not reach our destination we had a good time hanging out illegally at the Enchanted Castle Studios (You forfeit your "NO TRESPASSING" sign when you leave your gate open). Also in regards to Dinosaur Kingdom let me assure you that this isn't over...I'll get there come hell or high water.

The entire time we were in this wasteland it felt like we were in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the orginal not dumb version). There were 3 run-down barns full of stuff and an office trailer. We could have sworn that cow's mooing in the distance was getting closer and closer.

And then you turn the corner and run into this. I think I saw this guy once in a Slayer video in the late 80' I just see him when I close my eyes. know those parts in horror movies where the next victim comes upon the body of someone he or she knew/just had sex with and you know within the next 15 seconds they were going to die as well? It doesn't get much more eerie than this, it's like they knew I was coming.

Some of this stuff was still in pretty good shape. The dinosaur I mean, not the crate. Although most of it is too big to take with you.

Of all the things in the world I could take from someone...this creature is high on the list. This will be in my front yard at some point in my life.

And at some points in our visit we were just asking for trouble.

Moral of the Story: When life denies you dinosaurs; trespass on someone else's property and then go to the zoo.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

So what to write about? Graduation? Nah. Vacation? Maybe later. Something more important. Something epic. Something I had to wait 3 months for on Netflix. Something...

Heavy Metal Parking Lot is about a sixteen minute documentary filmed entirely in the parking lot of a Judas Priest show in Largo, Maryland in 1986. Have you ever gone people watching/mocking with a group of friends? Well if you haven't you's an inexpensive way of boosting your self-esteem. I recommend going to the mall during Christmas and observe others shopping. You can learn a lot about people when they don't know you are watching (send all restraining orders to my P.O Box). If you don't have the time or believe that you are above such activities then this documentary is a good substitute.

Others will often label you according to the music you like. "Oh you like Phish? You are high right now aren't you?" or "So you are into Indie Rock? Would you care to join me in a pretentious conversation about the new Arcade Fire CD? I had the opportunity to break one of these stereotypes recently. While playing Guitar Hero 2, rather well I might add, A Shadow Falls song came on and I made a comment about how many metal songs made the game. A guy in the room then asked "You like metal? But you seem like such a nice guy." Ha, another mind blown by my hands. Until then he thought only jerks and the weird kids in high school liked metal. Not so.

I am a fan of metal. Not a Judas Priest fan, but a Metalhead nonetheless. It keeps me balanced I think. Though metal can be very angry and violent, it's a release. I don't get pissed off when I listen to Black Dahlia Murder or Black Sabbath, (can't say the same for Dave Matthew's Band or Young Jeezy) but when the song is over I feel like I just rid myself of a ton of burden. Listening to metal has been some of the best therapy I've ever received.

On the flipside of that argument: Stereotyping may be morally wrong, but sometimes it's accurate, saving you time and effort. I believe the images the creators of Heavy Metal Parking Lot bring to us are exactly what most people see when they think of hardcore heavy metal fans.
I could not be happier. There have to be a few people who fall in line to make a stereotype work and these folks were more than up for the task. The hair, the clothes, the language the attitude, all bring you back to the decade when metal was dominant. It may be the drugs or it may be the alcohol (maybe both?) but whatever it is, these people are ecstatic about their music and couldn't give a shit what you think about them. On second thought, you can learn a lot about people when they KNOW you are watching. A very educational documentary, worthy of The History Channel or college-level sociology classes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Things I want to steal from people's lawns pt.2

I've been holding off on this post for awhile now. Just to recap this running theme; I deliver pizzas to pay for my rent, bills and my ever growing Pog collection. "Remember Alf Bart? He's Pog form"-Milhouse. Many of the houses I deliver to have interesting or at least funny knick-knacks in the yard. Now petty theft has it's time and place. The time is not when I'm looking to start a career, the place is not Hanover, V.A. aka Copland. So instead of using my five-finger discount, I decided to start taking pictures of some of the items I would like to make mine without purchase or barter.

I don't know what the hell this is, but it's awesome. It reminds me of that box from the Hellraiser movies. (Check it) The sculpture is about 3ft. high and sits in the middle of the lawn. If anyone knows what this is let me now. Until then I'll continue to believe that this is the most sophisticated yard orb ever.

I've seen funnier more elaborate mail box decoration, but if you are going to be tacky you might as well be cute. When did I get so bitchy? Whenever I own a house of my own and become a mailbox worthy member of society, I want to install a transportation tube system like they use at a bank drive-through to collect my mail. I imagine the neighborhood children will think it humorous to fill my tube with cans, small animals and Molotov cocktails. Kids will be kids I reckon.

Alas, we have frogs. The most common things I see in yards are ceramic/metal angels, turtles, dogs, cats and rabbits. I enjoy a good frog every once in awhile. I also enjoy feeding the frogs that hang out outside the door at Domino's. I've delivered a few late pizzas recently because I was trying to catch a moth or some other small insect to feed Gudger (the new Domino's frog). Damn I'm a dork. Oh well, I'll let Tracey and Rafael take us home.
Bunny ears on a ironic.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"Some kinda love....Some kinda hate"

This is the first video I've submitted to You Tube. Make sure you see the movie "Do the Right Thing". Probably my favorite Spike Lee joint. I've got a killer right cross.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who likes free music?

My friend Matt was the first person I heard insert snippets from The Simpsons on a mix. I thought it was a great way to add humor to a mixtape, therefore I bit his style and bit it hard. However, recently I've been using snippets from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and short segments of Chris Rock and David Cross stand-up routines. I've always wanted to make a mix that had a cool theme to it though. Before I made this compilation I knew I wanted to use a bunch of quotes from one movie and try to portray a story in about 5 or 6 tracks. I chose the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk" not only because it's a hilarious film, but I think Navin 's story is on some level familiar and the scenes I selected to pull for the mix correspond to recent events in my life, or things that have been on my mind. I would really like to give this mix to a lot of people and see what feedback I get on it. Therefore, if you want a copy drop me comment or tell me in person and I'll cook one up for you. Here is the track list with some comments.

The Songs:

"The Guidelines"-Aceyalone: This is not only Acey's theme music, but also probably one of the dopest tracks he ever touched and that's saying a lot.

"Pedestal"- Portishead: Beth's voice and the trip-hop instrumental makes this one of my favorite songs from this very missed group.

"Hand of Doom" - Black Sabbath: I was trying to figure out how to get metal on this mix. The solution was easy. Take my favorite song from my favorite metal band and there you have it. "You're having a good time baby, but that won't last....Your mind is full of're living too fast. Go out and enjoy yourself...Don't bottle it in. You need someone to help you...push the needle in."

"Smoke and Mirrors"- RJD2: I think a lot of people forgot about this song on Deadringer. That's too bad.

"Bradley Smith"- At The Drive-in: One of the most underrated punk bands of all time. Too bad Sparta and Mars Volta don't bake my beans the way ATDI did.

"Super Bad"- James Brown: "The way I like the way it is. I got mine...don't worry about his." Thanks for all the good work James.

"Blue Skies"- Ella Fitzgerald: Please Ella, don't hurt em.

"Blue Flowers (Prince Paul Remix)" - Dr. Octagon: Before there was Madvillian there was Kool Keith aka Dr. Octagon aka Black Elvis. If you are not going to make sense in your lyrics you might as well have a good beat.

"Spanish Bombs" - The Clash: I can't believe I never put this song on any other mixes. You should be well aware of the The Clash. If not, listen and regret your years of ignorance.

"Today"- Tom Scott: Pete Rock made it a hot sample, Tom Scott made it a hot song.

"Can't Wait" - Redman: Outside of Public Enemy, Redman was one of the first hip-hop artist I followed. Yes 95% of his subject matter is about marijuana, but at least he'll pass on the glass.

"Djobi Djoba" - The Gypsy Kings: First heard this song on an old ZERO skate video. Also heard it 1000 times when I was studying in Spain.

"Hoofprints in the Sand" - Sage Francis: Bar none the best emcee out there today. Three lps, each one better than the last. "Seriously I know that you pray when the chips are down. But act different when there's atheist around." Too close for comfort there Sage.

"God's Bathroom Floor"- Atmosphere: Old Slug = Good Slug.

"If you want me to stay" - Sly and the Family Stone: After last night, this song makes so much more sense. Leave it to life to teach you the lesson and music to tutor.

"Bad Dreams" - Lyrics Born: The blues can be very therapeutic. Lyrics Born is one of the most versatile emcees/musicians I have ever come across. Please check out the albums Laytrx and Later That Day.

"Wicked and Weird" - Buck 65: Baseball player turned Dj, turned emcee, turned producer, turned country artist. He may not be that exciting but he does all the aforementioned jobs extremely well.

"Pass the Plugs" - De La Soul: Couldn't think of a better way to end the mix. Take em back to a time when hip-hop was being done better than it is now. "Excuse me yall, while I fill my potholes."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Being desensitized was cooler when I was 12.

The movies that made me love horror as a kid...

The video game that damn near ruined it all. Seriously what the hell were they thinking?

Back when the only two sections of the video rental store I would go to were the video game and horror sections, I built up what I believed to be a noteworthy degree of tolerance for violence and death. However, nowadays I believe my past regiment of slasher films and super violent video games is serving to my detriment. Not in a Tipper Gore/ Dr. Phil video games are ruining our kids way, but in a "I'm too old to not care way". I became concerned when I started to glance over the daily death tolls in Iraq and I noticed that I would forget the number by the end of the day. Maybe because it's easier not to think about an atrocity across the globe, or maybe it's because I've been reading death tolls for the last year or so.

I was in the VCU Commons when I read about the mayhem that went down 3 hours away on the Virginia Tech campus. I was shocked to see the numbers (casualties and rounds fired), but I was even more shocked by the lack of impact. Perhaps scared is a better word than shock in this case. I've recently realized how desensitized I've become, which has been a real kick in the jaw. I don't want to wear my emotions on my sleeves by any means, but I'm coming dangerously close to shutting down a part of my brain that I might want to keep around. What is even more concerning is that I don't believe this ship can be turned around. The ability of not easily being shaken by violence or tragedy that I prided myself on earlier in life has nested and grown. Being numb is a double-edged sword. The good news is you can't feel anything. The bad news can't feel anything.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"He's up in heaven now..."

If you read Timequake you should get the title of this post.

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 1922 -2007

As I talked on the phone this morning I fell down a set of stairs. Falling down stairs is one of my biggest daily fears, I usually take my time going up and down steps as to avoid looking like the town fool as I tumble, gathering bruises and lessons on the way down. When I realized that I wasn't seriously injured I just started to giggle to myself. Was is the fact that I had discovered the perfect way to end a phone call? Was it the fact that I screamed "Holy Shit Fuck!" when I began to fall? I have no idea, but my first reaction was to laugh.

I've laughed when I've screwed up.

I've laughed when someone has tried to fight me.

I laugh by myself in a car on a lonely road trip.

I've laughed at my misfortune, but more often at the expense of others.

Hell I've even laughed out loud at a funeral.

I've never laughed at Carrot Top or Carlos Mencia, but thats a different post all together.

Vonnegut was the first person who ever made me laugh out loud through use of the printed word. The more of his work I read the more I understood how humor is a not only a decent defense mechanism, but also a very versatile tool. A tool capable of tackling everyday issues like relationships and family as well as issues of war and religion. It has been my weapon of choice for some time now and will be until I turn into fertilizer. I smile and laugh a lot and I love to make others do the same.

When Elizabeth called to tell me Kurt Vonnegut had died last night, I involuntarily smiled. It sucks to lose an idol when you have so few, but there is nothing to cry about. All I can do is say "Thanks Mr. Vonnegut" or maybe "Ting-a-ling" would be more appropriate.

"If you protest. If you think that death is a terrible thing, then you have not understood what I have said. You see, it's time for you to go home... to your wives and children. It's time for me to be dead for a little while... and then live again." - Billy Pilgrim from the novel Slaughterhouse Five.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Though I maintain my unbridled contempt for Richmond, there are a few things I'm going to miss when this city loosens its grip. I'll miss swiping "free samples" from Elwood Thompson's health food store. I'll miss the odd wandering smell of raw sewage and stagnation the city emits. The state of absolute worthlessness that a trip to Panda Veg (Panda Garden) delivers will be sorely missed. Finally I will miss the annual event known as Cycle Slaughterama. On a weekend that had something for everyone. The mass public had the Monument 10k, The artsy crowd had the French Film Festival. VCU had Strut and to a lesser extent...much lesser extent MoonPie Madness. There had to be an event for those kids with one pant leg up. To put it briefly Slaughterama is a convention of sorts. Except this convention is filled with the several Richmond area bike gangs, cycle enthusiast, innocent bystanders, beer, dirt, filth and the occasional aroma of the Dre Day. This is more than a youthful hootinanny of drunken debachery...okay maybe not. But you can't deny Slaughterama's attention to creativity. From the Mad Max outfits, to the custom bikes to the events themselves. This is an orgy of fun, imagination and sheer apathy for one's well being that can only be rivaled by Atlanta's Freaknik (If you don't get that one, check Wikipedia).

In an attempt to introduce the three of you that read my blog to Slaughterrama, here is a quick pictorial of the hour or so I was able to attend.

Opening Ceremony: Music and Beer, a tried and true method to getting a party stared. PBR might as well be the unofficial sponsor of Slaughterama. I enjoy the Pabst, but that boombox bike makes me laugh every time I see it. RIP Radio Raheem.

The Horde: Slaughterama is held at the concrete pavilion on Belle Isle. The rocks, nails and glass and other opportunities for tetanus make it a perfect venue for an event where open wounds are encouraged.

I Had That When I Was Seven: Brad D. aka Coolhand Zoidberg gets somewhat wicked on a tri-scooter. Though impractical in all other situations, this contraption is essential if you want to tear an ACL.

Orange County can't hold a candle to Richmond: The level of creativity goes up year to year. Last year it seemed to be more about the Double-Highs, this year I saw a lot more fork extensions. Even saw a surfboard bike which made me understand just how this all isn't a fad in the city. You may say their talent is being wasted, but I'd say "Dude...we're all wasted...(hiccup)".

Flatland Tailwhip: Seeing more and more BMX in the city. If I could go as fast as I could on a track/road bike I would have one.

Going for 2: It took awhile but, someone finally go two complete flips on the BMX roller bike. Last year the first thing I saw was a girl get thrown from the bike during the Chariot Races and open up her head something serious. This year I saw a guy on this bike roll directly into a crowd of people. Though bewildered, I'll never be disappointed with this event.

Six-Pack Tandem Race: This was the first official event of the gala, and unfortunately the only one I saw this year (Damn you MoonPie Madness!). Though the game is designed to have participants on tandem bikes (one bike, two people) trying to down the most six-packs in 5 minutes, it quickly turned into a riot of bikes and beer. The referees weren't paid off, they simply didn't exist.

Friendly Faces: I ended up going by myself, which isn't a problem. All it took was one quick circle around the outer loop of spectators to find a familiar face. Even saw James River himself coming while I was going. I'm still not sure if Ben or I have the world's biggest head, but he has the biggest knee trophy for certain.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fuck Winter Forever.

Spring is back, and over the last couple of weeks I've really been noticing nature and the habits of the wildlife around me.

This species of Whitefolk (Countrious Bumpkinuous) ward off potential rivals by tossing "Ringaahhhhs!!".(photo taken by Joybot).

There is something up with the trees, can't put my finger on it.

The frogs are making their return. This one is obviously unimpressed with this trailer park.

This group of Asianuans seem to have resorted to cannibalism,

This one seems happy enough. (I remember when Joy was really afraid of white vans when the Beltway Sniper drama was going on. BEHIND YOU!!)

A large gathering of Whitefolk.

Finally, the gigantic corpses seem to be blooming early this year.