30 December 2008

2008 In Review: The King Is Dead! Long Live The King!

2008 will be remembered like the Washington Redskins' season, off to a good start but stumbling miserably toward the end.

It started on a mixed note ... counting down the ending of 2007 at TOWN with someone I love very much, and finishing with me insanely intoxicated and crying incessantly in the drunk tank. (Looking back with that 20/20 vision of hindsight, it really should have been an omen I should have noted for future reference.)

CHANGES: In February, I took over the hosting duties at Cobalt's Sunday Night Karaoke. I had been a patron there for many years. I knew all of the employees and a vast majority of the other patron's. I have a personality that people seem to enjoy and a desire to just have a good time. For those reasons, I was asked by Cobalt management to become the next Karaoke Jockey. And I accepted. It has been a great ride so far and I'm looking forward to growing the evening as we move to Wednesdays in 2009.

April saw the end of my contract at DHS and thus the end of my employment with MicroSys. I landed another job with SecureForce, thanks to a good friend who works there. It's been up and down due to contracts and so forth. Am I glad I'm here? Absolutely. A better group of people one would be hard pressed to find. The owner values his employees and makes that very evident. Here's to growth, both individually and as a company, in 2009.

ALL THE YOUNG DUDES: 2008 introduced some new friends and built on the foundations of friendships begun in 2007. First Brain, Second Brain, The Dunbar Crew, The Shady Thicket Crew, The PA Crew, Cobalt Staff, TOWN Staff, and anyone else who doesn't fall under a nickname ... thank you for being in my life. I'm a much better person for it.

FAME: In July, I won the first ever "This TOWN Has TALENT" talent contest. I sang "Walking In Memphis" by Marc Cohn. It was an absolute blast to do and awoke in me the long-dormant desire to be a recording artist. I created a MySpace Music page where I have already posted two original songs. I plan on pursuing this further in 2009. SHINE ON, YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!

DANCING IN THE STREETS: I spent more time in bars and clubs in 2008 than I can remember having spent in any single year before. While this is all great fun and I have good friends to keep me lubricated, I think I need to curb this a bit in 2009.

ASHES TO ASHES: I was unfortunate to witness firsthand the slow self-destruction of someone dear to me. It has been difficult to watch but I am honestly unable to alter any course other than my own. I know it's not too late. But the reins are firmly in your hands, my friend.

2008 saw the end of the only romantic relationship I've known the past ten years. Is this a permanent thing? I don't know. Like most things in life, this is not completely in my control. We'll see what happens.

"HEROES": All in all, I'll be glad to see 2008 die the death it deserves. Still, with all the ill-will I have towards this past year, I have seen glimpses of light. And so I move forward to 2009 hopeful that all is not lost, that I am not a complete mess, and that some measure of peace will be found.

GOLDEN YEARS: In ending, take my most heart-felt wishes that your new year is better than your old year. And that you remain a part of my life for many more new years to come.

Love, peace, and chicken grease!

25 December 2008

The Christmas Toys

COBRA H.I.S.S., Darth Vader, and DESTRO?! Helz yeah!

This Christmas

I've been home from my family's for a couple hours now. This has been, by far, the most difficult Christmas I've ever had. See, it's been about 14 hours since "the kick in the gut". I went down there around 3p with my brave face and everything started out well enough. I stayed strong and no one was really the wiser. That is until my sister Tammye put on a video of Christmas 2004 ... the Christmas that you, your sister, and your nieces attended. It took all the willpower I could muster to not lose it right there in the living room, seeing you, seeing me, seeing us all having a wonderful time. It was obvious to more than a couple of my siblings that something was wrong. But you know me; I said nothing.

I can't say that I am anywhere close to understanding what happened between when I left last night and when you posted your blog and sent me your email this morning. I wish I could hate you. I wish I could cut you off completely from my life. It would certainly make thing so much easier to be cold-hearted right now.

But I can't. See, everything I've said to you is true and will remain so until I can learn to see a new path to travel.

This is not something I ever wanted for myself. I never saw us as reliving the past. I could only see my future with you. It is a vision that will be incredibly difficult and immensely painful to let go.

I dread doing it.

This is not quite the Christmas present I asked Santa for.

23 December 2008

Christmas Video: The "Wizards Of Winter" House

Simply because it's amazing, even after countless viewings. Enjoy!

A Christmas (Really, A Year-Round) Thought: Helping The Homeless

WTOP posted a short story about how to handle panhandlers. They point you to a couple websites that offer ideas of how you can help. But they left out one important, and easy, way that you can help the homeless ... specifically those homeless who are doing something about lifting themselves from the dire straits in which they find themselves.

So do yourself and them a favor by patronizing one of those yellow-vested people, even if you've already purchased a copy (or ten).

18 December 2008

Random Music: "Emanuel" by The Consort

Are you sick of Christmas music yet? No? Great! Because I have another song for you.

The song I'm offering today is an original composition and, thus far, has only been performed by The Charles County Consort. The lyrics were written by Yours Truly and the music was composed by Lyn Schramm. This is the only performance (of which I am aware) that was captured on "tape". This is a live performance at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Lexington Park, MD during The Sanford Concert Series Christmas Concert 2006.

Enjoy!


Emanuel - The Consort

08 December 2008

Democrats: The Best Form Of Torture

Who knew that the way to get terrorists to crack was to elect a Democratic President?
The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four co-defendants told a military judge Monday they want to immediately confess at their war-crimes tribunal, setting up likely guilty pleas and their possible executions.

The five said they decided on Nov. 4, the day President-elect Barack Obama was elected to the White House, to abandon all defenses against the capital charges.

Wow! Maybe change is good!

Christmas Stuff

I have been listening to the radio (WASH-FM to be specific) the past few days and have been enjoying the Christmas tunes they've been playing. For the most part. It reminded me of some posts I wrote last year that I thought I'd share with you again this year.

My Least Favorite Christmas Songs:
My Most Favorite Christmas Songs:
What are yours? Please let me know in the comments.

03 December 2008

The Aftermath

I used to be a confident man, one who was very sure of his place in the universe and the place of all those around him. I used to be a man who knew what he wanted, why he wanted it, and that he could have it. I used to be a man who never doubted.

I'm not that man anymore. It turns out that everything I thought I knew, everything I was so sure about, everything I thought I wanted and could have ... everything was an illusion.

I don't want that to be the case; I don't want what I see now to be my reality. Yet it is.

It was a fool's dream to think that I could have it all; I don't deserve it. I had it once and it was taken away. The universe always corrects its mistakes.
Catch The Wind
Donovan

In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty, I want to be
In the warm hold of your loving mind,

To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand along the sand.
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky,
I want to hide a while behind your smile;
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing; 'twould make me sing.
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Dee, dee, dee ...

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near to kill my fears,
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

Standin' in your heart
Is where I want to be and long to be.
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Catch The Wind - Donovan

26 November 2008

Personal Musings

It's been a while since I've posted anything personal on here. That was by design. But I have something on my mind and heart that I think would be healthier shared. Not even I can keep everything bottled up.

All too often my heart and my soul are shuttered off to the world. I tend to be clueless, sometimes bordering oblivious. I spend far too much time concerned for others to the point that I cause damage in my own life. I have high highs and low lows and there is rarely ground between them. I love deeply and fiercely, but I rarely ever show it to those I love. When I fall, I fall hard and it takes a long time to get back up. I am almost always alone yet I have great difficulties with being alone. I do incredibly stupid things at the most inopportune moments (*coughlastnightcough*)

Why are you sharing this?, you may be wondering.

For many years up until now, my definition of myself included someone else. I knew who I was when I had him, when I was with him. I was happy. Unfortunately, recent events have me thinking that I may not have him anymore. So all I have is me. I don't like this person I see. He's unhappy with his life, scared of unknowns, insecure of himself, unsure of what direction to go and what moves to make. He's everything I don't want to be yet am.

How can I give you what you want, how can I get what I want, being this person that I am? How do I change things that are so entrenched in my personality? How do I become a better me, a me that you want above all others?

I don't have these answers and I don't know where to start to find them.

25 November 2008

Random Video Of The Week (EXPLICIT)

You Get What You Vote For

It's a good thing our City Council has fixed the myriad of issues that has plagued our fair city for oh-so-many decades and can now focus on trivial matters.

I used to be a strong proponent of District voting rights. I used to be right up there toward the front of the pack yelling for an equal voice in Congress. But I don't yell anymore. In fact, most days I pull down the brim of my hat, turn my head, and cough into my hand.

Why should our city have any say in our Federal government? Have you seen the way we run ourselves? Have you seen the hucksters we've voted into our city government? Lord knows I don't want any more snake oil salesmen in the halls of the United States Capitol Building. And if there's one thing I can count on the residents of the District to do it is voting snake oil salesmen into public office.

You want a voice in Congress? You want to have folk up there who aren't going to embarrass the people who elected them? Let's start with getting our own city government in check. Address the issues that need to be addressing. Stop stupid political stunts like this street name change.

13 November 2008

More Wisdom From Sinfest (And Friends)

Hey, I'm sorry but I friggin' love this comic. And here is yet another reason why - a little commentary on you straight folk and your fear of same-sex marriage. Enjoy.


UPDATE: Here is more reading on this ongoing inequality. Do you think you know where the problem lies? Think again.

UPDATE: More on Proposition 8, and other laws of its kind, from Keith Olbermann. Now, I'm no fan of Olbermann's but what he says here is powerful. You can find the text of his commentary here.



UPDATE: There will be a protest this Saturday, 15 November 2008, at 1:30 PM EST at the United States Capital Reflecting Pool. Details here.

08 November 2008

News Flash!

The Washington Post admits that it was in the tank for Barack Obama. This is shocking not in that they wrote more favorably about the now President-Elect but that they outright admit it. I hope that the lesson they learned in this past election cycle is that they should cover all candidates equally and fairly.

And that, my faithful readers, is the last you will hear from me about this finally over Presidential election. Now, let's move on.

07 November 2008

A Parable On Proposition 8

Once upon a time, an old black woman boarded a bus and sat in the front row. All of the white people around her glared. The bus driver turned to the old black woman and gruffly said, "You can't sit there."

The old black woman looked down at the floor, "But I'm tired."

"And you're black! Now get to the back of the bus!" the driver snapped back.

The old black woman feebly replied, "You're right. I'm sorry. I should just be glad that you let me on the bus in the first place." Then she picked up her belongings and moved to the back of the bus.

Oh, Diarist, now that's taking it way too far! You've crossed a line!

Good. Because advancements in civil rights don't happen on their own. People have to cross lines. If it wasn't for Rosa Parks, there would be no Barack Obama. So get over your fragile senibilities.

Same-sex marriage is the civil rights issue of our generation. And although perhaps it isn't that important to some same-sex couples out there ... just like riding up with the white folk wasn't important to some black folk back then ... doesn't discount it's importance. This is about our families and the families like ours to follow.

Get some real pride. Get some real anger. And fight for what is guaranteed to us by our country's core principles.

06 November 2008

It's Over! (Oh, Really?)

Remember this commercial?



Well ... hmm ... fascinating that.

There you go, you over 64 million Americans who voted for "Change". Seems like the only change you got what short.

Good luck with that.

Will This Election Bridge The Race Divide? (EXPLICIT!)

I was in the Dupont Circle Chipotle on Monday, 03 November, where I also used the bathroom. It was a clean bathroom.

I was in the Dupont Circle Chipotle today, 05 November, where I used the bathroom again. And this is what I saw.

First is an outgoing message to our current President, "Good Bye George W. Bush!!! and take your Damn Mexican Slaves with you!"


Next is presumably another outgoing message to our current President, "Go Back To Texas Bitch!!!"


Next is a shiny bit of patriotism, "This is U.S.A.!!!"


And finally is my favorite, written on the door, "Fuck yall white Mothafucka's!"


One day after the election. Several months after Barack Obama's famous speech on race. Now I'm not naïve. It's been forty years since the civil rights movement and black and white still can't seem to get along very well. But if this country has bought the ideas of "hope" and "change", well dammit ... get over it, move on, and grow up. Because, if this election has proven anything it's that race is no longer a barrier.

Get over it. Move on. Grow up.

23 October 2008

14 October 2008

Inching Away From Freedom

Well, they've gone and done it now, America!

Congratulations! We're all proud part-owners of nine of our leading, independent, non-struggling banks!

Yep. Our government pretty much strong-armed them into selling "non-voting" shares to itself. The Bush Administration is trying to ease the minds of people like me who think that this continued government intrusion into the private sector's business is deeply troubling by telling us that its latest moves are "not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it".

Uh huh. Right.

When healthy banks have to be "pressured" by our government to participate in order to remove "any stigma that might be associated with banks getting bailouts" ... kids, that ain't a good thing.

Additionally, I challenge one of my faithful readers to name something that our government has taken from us only to later return it back to us.

Yeah. Me neither.

Ronald Reagan once famously said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" I tend to agree with him.

13 October 2008

A Third Bush Term? Perhaps, But Not From Who You Think!

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Barack Obama has made it a centerpiece of his campaign to define a John McCain presidency as a "third Bush term". It's a point that tends to stick, well, because McCain would continue some of Bush's policies, such as the war on terrorism. No one, it seems, has looked into Obama's proposed policies and compared them to Bush's current policies.

No one until now.

This, my faithful readers, is why you should be an informed voter. This is why you should make voting decisions based on more than one policy position. This is why, in this election, there is no lesser of two evils.

Because ... trust ... your man isn't any better than the other party's man.

09 October 2008

This Year's Election

I have lost my faith in the ability of the American people to make sound decisions. If they had the capability, we would not be left with John McCain, Barack Obama, Bob Barr, and Ralph Nader as our choices for Presidential candidates. While Barr and Nader weren't voted into their positions (they more or less anointed themselves due to a lack of interest from anyone else in their respective parties), McCain and Obama were. And shame on you Republicans and Democrats. You had far better choices in your primaries than these two posers. But you were all too swept away by "change" and "experience" to notice the other better choices.

Aw well. We're in the shitter now, so it really doesn't matter who we elect. They won't have the power to right the Good Ship America in the span of four years anyway. Even if they had the gumption (and they don't), they have a strongly liberal Congress with whom to contend. Don't get too excited there, Democrats; remember that Bill Clinton didn't do too well when you all had both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Hell, even George W. Bush knows that one-party rule doesn't equate policy success. So it's looking like either we'll become a bankrupt capitalist nation or we'll become a financially solvent socialist nation. Either way, I fear that America as we know her is gone.

Our government has no business owning anything in the private sector. It shouldn't be in insurance. It shouldn't be in mortgage lending. It shouldn't be in health care. It shouldn't be in real estate. And it shouldn't be in banking.

But that's where it is and that's where it's going. Less freedom and choice for you, more power and control for Big Government.

I fear for the direction in which our country could head, regardless of who you people elect President.

...

Oh, all that and my Ward is going to re-elect Marion Barry.

Stupid Americans.

Yet Another Reason Why I Love Craig Ferguson

He has Tim Gunn hosting a regular spot on his show (sixth link down).

Friggin' awesome!

19 September 2008

18 September 2008

So Friggin' Excited

Oh my god, Diarist! It's 03:40! Why aren't you in bed?!

Something amazing happened this afternoon. During a break from writing the Document With No End, I picked up my guitar and strummed a few chords. They were simple chords and I've played them so many times I've lost count. But something about them being played in a bit of an off-rhythm and in a key I don't normally play turned on a little bulb in my head. And I was reminded of something that a friend gave me a few months ago.

My friend E. Darryl Johnson, whom you may remember from a certain post from a few months back, told me about some lyrics he had written and asked me if I could put them to music. I told him that my style of music is a bit different from his and that I couldn't promise anything, but I would try. So he emailed them to me the following day. I read them over. They had promise but the structure was odd and some of the words didn't really work as song lyrics. So I saved the file. I looked them over from time to time, waiting for inspiration to strike, but the well was dry.

Until today, when I strummed those chords. I powered up my PowerBook and opened GarageBand. I figured I could create a backing track to the chords I was working. Two hours into the process, I realized that I could do the whole thing on the laptop; if I wanted to strum along on the six-string, I could. But it certainly wouldn't be necessary.

Kids, I haven't even attempted to write a song in nine years. I just haven't had the heart for it. But that July thing happened and I found myself being pushed back into music again.

It took almost eight hours, but I laid down a pretty good demo.

Oh. You want to hear it? I'll see what I can do about that. I think I should talk to the co-writer first before putting this on the net. I'm sure he won't have a problem with it. And if he doesn't, I think I know what Tuesday's Random Music selection will be.

For now, I have been too hyped up in my rekindled love of music to get any sleep. I can't wait to get started on the next track!

16 September 2008

Random Music: "Supper's Ready" by Genesis

Genesis had three incarnations: The Peter Gabriel Era (a.k.a The Prog Years), The Phil Collins Era (a.k.a. We Are Everywhere), and The Ray Wilson Experiment. If you don't remember the final studio album with Ray Wilson, don't feel bad. Most people don't. It's not that it was a bad album because it wasn't. It was actually a fairly passable album. Trust me, I've heard, and owned, much worse.

But this post isn't supposed to be a history lesson on the Genesis library. No, we want to focus on one song. What I've chosen today is by far the longest song ever recorded by the band, clocking in at 22 minutes 58 seconds on the album version. We're listening to the live version, taken from their album Seconds Out, in which Phil Collins is at the vocal helm. I prefer this version more because the band is tighter and Collins' vocals are just a bit stronger and more sure than Gabriel's.

Supper's Ready is an epic song about the Apocalypse written in seven parts.
  1. Lover's Leap
  2. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man
  3. Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men
  4. How Dare I Be So Beautiful?
  5. Willow Farm
  6. Apocalypse In 9/8 (Co-starring The Delicious Talents Of Gabble Ratchet)
  7. As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)

Each part is a chapter of the whole suite. What does it all mean? Hell if I know. This site has as good an explanation as any, I guess. They also provide the lyrics, after their interpretation, so you can read and decide on your own.

My only objective in this post, and every other Random Music post, is to expose you to something you may have never listened to before. Perhaps you'll enjoy it and discover other such music. Perhaps you won't enjoy it and wait for me to post something other than music and pirate jokes. (And I will.)

But this song deserves a chance. It's bold. It's complex. It's bloody good fun. And it might just open your eyes to other ways of looking at music. So pack a lunch, get all good and comfortable, and give this tune a go.


Suppers Ready - Genesis

12 September 2008

Pirate Joke Of The Week

Q: What do you call a pirate with two eyes, two hands, and two legs?

A: Rookie!

11 September 2008

September 11, 2001 - A Remembrance

I was working in Chantilly, VA on that fateful day. I remember going in to work early ... 0800 ... because I had to install a server patch before the software testers came in at 0900. One tester was already in by the time I arrived. I started my install when one of my system administrators walked in. He and I made some small talk and discussed the work ahead of us that day. A few people started to trickle in shortly after 0830. By 0845, six of twenty-four of us were at our desks in our cramped room.

Shortly before 0900, someone ... maybe one of the developers ... popped his head in and said a plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

We were all a bit shocked but didn't think much of it. We discussed it and our consensus was that there had been some sort of technical malfunction in the plane. I mean, people don't fly planes into buildings on purpose.

And just as we reached that conclusion, another blur of a face popped into and out of our room stating, "They just hit the other tower!"

They? Who they?! And with what? What is going on?!?!

But we couldn't find out immediately the answers to our questions. The internet suddenly crawled to a stop. We had no televisions or radios in our room. A couple people scrambled back out to their cars to find out what happened. Within thirty minutes they came back, pale.

"Another plane just crashed into the Pentagon," was what we were told in a dead voice by one of our testers.

Everyone picked up phones and attempted to call loved ones to make sure everyone was okay and to see what was happening where they were. Initially, we were able to reach people. I was able to reach Tuffie, who was working near the Capitol Building. He told me that all the buildings were being evacuated and there were people and cars everywhere and no one was moving; he wasn't sure he would be able to get home. I told him to go to a friend's house in Dupont Circle and to call me when he got there.

But I never got his call. The phone systems were crippled by the weight of cellular traffic. Everyone was worried and all but two of us left for home. I knew that traffic would be a nightmare. And since I didn't know anything else about what was happening, I decided my best option was to stay where I was. So I did. And I worked. Because it was all I could do to keep my mind off of what might be going on.

Later in the afternoon, I received a call from Tuffie on my office phone. He made it to our friend's safely. To say I was relieved would have been a massive understatement. I told him I would meet him at JRs.

Around 1600, I started on my way home. I didn't know what to expect. Would the streets still be choked with cars? Would roads be closed off? Would emergency vehicles be moving about all over the area? It was enough to cause a panic attack.

What I did encounter was so eerie, so movie-like, and so fantastic that it will stay with me forever.

During my drive from my office abutting Dulles International Airport to JRs on 17th and Church Streets, NW, I saw one ... one ... car. But that, my faithful readers, wasn't the most terrible thing. No. Although I could see the smoke from as far away as Landmark Mall, it was my approach to DC from I-395 N, rounding the corner at Ridge Road that I saw the image that is eternally emblazoned on my memory.

The fire was still raging at the Pentagon. The bulk of the jet still lay broken on the ground. Emergency vehicles and equipment littered the west parking lot. A thick column of black smoke lay across the highway like a toppled colossus.

I slowed the car to just over 40 MPH in order to take it all in. A chill crawled across the back of my neck. A tear raised in my eye. I said a silent prayer. Once through the smoke, I resumed to normal speed and joined Tuffie at JRs. After holding him for what felt like a lifetime, we shared stories and drinks.

Every 9/11, I remember. I remember the lives lost. I remember the fear. I remember the fire. I remember the smoke. I remember the relief. I remember the love.

The love for my Tuffie. The love for my friends. The love for my family. And the love for my country.

09 September 2008

Random Music: "Never Alone" by Luke Brindley

Luke Brindley is a busy man. Not only does he write, record, and sing as a solo artist but he does the same with his brother Daniel as the Brindley Brothers and the brothers own and operate Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA. Throw in the fact that Luke is a local act (via Jersey) and this song was a shoo-in for this week.

What grabbed me first about this song was the horns. (Love horns!) Upon subsequent listenings, Luke's raspy, soulful voice stood out. Finally, the song's simplicity impressed me. This is the type of music I want to do, I thought to myself.


Take a listen, and I think (those who know me) you'll agree.

Never Alone - Luke Brindley

Back

I apologize for the ten-day silence but when you've issues you must address them. I seem to have righted my ship, as best I could, and cruising along much better now. Thank you for your patience during the past several days.

29 August 2008

Pirate Joke Of The Week

Two pirates were adrift in a lifeboat following a dramatic escape from a valiant battle. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, the pirates stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a Genie would appear, the first pirate rubbed the lamp vigorously. To the amazement of the castaways, a Genie came forth. This particular Genie, however, stated that he could only deliver one wish, not the standard three. Without giving any thought to the matter the first pirate blurted out,

"Make the entire ocean into rum!"

The Genie clapped his hands with a deafening crash, and immediately the entire sea turned into the finest rum ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the Genie vanished. Only the gentle lapping of rum on the hull broke the stillness as the two considered their circumstances. The second pirate looked disgustedly at the first pirate and after a tension-filled moment spoke:

"Ye've done it this time, mate-e! Now we're goon to have to pee in the boat!"

28 August 2008

He Said What?!

It's bad enough when someone else puts words in your mouth, but it's another thing completely when you do it to yourself.


You know, I am a believer in … in knowing what you’re doing when you apply for a job. Uh, and I think that … if I were seriously to consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the Senate. Now there may be some people who are comfortable doing that, but I am not one of those people. — Barack Obama, 2004

Oh snap!

27 August 2008

Learning

I'm trying to learn. The basic idea really isn't that hard to grasp, but the actual lesson ...

... I'm not sure that I can learn it.

This class is so difficult.

Why couldn't I get into woodcraft?

26 August 2008

Random Music: "Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" by Digable Planets

In a nod to a musical post by my brother, this song reflects a period in hip-hop when artists were looking to their funkier, jazzier, groovier heritage. This period happened during the middle 1990s when acts like Us3, Lucas Secon, and P.M. Dawn were all trying to make their mark. Unfortunately, gansta rap held on to hip-hop with a violent stranglehold and the world is a far worse place for it.

But enough editorializing.

Not so much drawing directly from old school jazz as being heavily influenced by it, Digable Planets weaved smokey rhythms with hypnotic rhymes to make a very unique product. The song I've chosen was one of the more popular songs of 1993 and spawned one of the most endearing catch-phrases ever put to voice.

Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat) - Digable Planets

23 August 2008

Change We Can Belie*

So, it's official. Barack Obama has selected his running mate. And whom did The Agent Of Change choose? Not Jim Webb. Not Kathleen Sebelius. Not Chet Edwards. No. The Man Who Would Save Us From Washington Politics chose ...

Joseph Biden.

Did you Democrats wake up this morning with a hangover, like someone slipped you a mickie last night?

For someone who has campaigned on the promise of changing the partisan and business-as-usual politics of Washington to choose the sixth-longest serving member in the current Senate (and who has voted primarily down party lines) is a bit shocking, wouldn't you agree?

If you wanted to keep the Republicans in the White House, this is most certainly the way to do it.

Unless of course ...

... no ... I can't say it ... it ...

... it's simply too scandalous!

Okay, I will.

I think, Democratic Party, that your only salvation is to nominate Hillary Clinton at your little party later this month. She was your best hope during the primaries and you blew it because you were so enamored by the young, handsome, charismatic, silver-tongued Senator from Illinois. I'm betting that you're starting to see who he really is now. And I'm hoping that you're feeling a little regret at your decision. Because Senator Obama is not the savior of the Democratic Party. He is not the one who will usher in a new era in Washington. He is not the one who will win you back the White House.

I'm not saying that Senator Clinton is, either. But I'll tell you what I do know. I know who she is as a politician. I know where she stands on issues. I know she is not her husband. And I have far more faith in her ability to defeat all other challengers in the general election.

But she didn't deliver in the primaries, now did she?

You Democrats were far more interested in showing "party unity" (whatever the hell that is) in order to show America that we all can get along and that you were the people who could make that happen. Senator Clinton was simply keeping in step, like the good Democrat she is. That was her major miscalculation. If she had come out swinging, as she should have, she would be your presumptive nominee and she'd probably have a hefty lead in the polls ahead of Senator McCain.

So, talk amongst yourselves. Figure this out and quick. Because you're right -- this is a very important election. It would be a shame if you couldn't win the one election that started out as a bow-wrapped gift.

*Click title for more

22 August 2008

Pirate Joke Of The Week

Long ago, when sailing ships ruled the waves, a Captain and his crew were in danger of being boarded by a pirate ship. As the crew became frantic, the Captain bellowed to his First Mate,

"Bring me my red shirt!"

The First Mate quickly retrieved the Captain's red shirt, which the Captain put on and lead the crew to battle the pirate boarding party. Although some casualties occurred among the crew, the pirates were repelled.

Later that day, the lookout screamed that there were two pirate vessels sending boarding parties. The crew cowered in fear, but the Captain, calm as ever, bellowed,

"Bring me my red shirt!"

The battle was on, and once again the Captain and his crew repelled both boarding parties, although this time more casualties occurred.

Weary from the battles, the men sat around on deck that night recounting the day's occurrences when an Ensign looked to the Captain and asked,

"Sir, why did you call for your red shirt before the battle?"

The Captain, giving the Ensign a look that only a Captain can give, exhorted,

"If I am wounded in battle, the red shirt does not show the wound and thus, you men will continue to fight unafraid"

The men sat in silence marveling at the courage of such a man.

As dawn came the next morning, the Lookout screamed that there were pirate ships, ten of them, all with boarding parties on their way. The men became silent and looked to their Captain for his usual command. The Captain, calm as ever, bellowed,

"Bring me my brown pants!"

Happy Birthday ...

... Ben's Chili Bowl!!!

Read yesterday's article in The Washington Post for a brief history, a few notable fans, and what direction the Washington, D.C. establishment will be heading.

Then go get yourself a Bill Cosby’s Original Chili Half-Smoke.

Heart attacks never tasted so good!

21 August 2008

A Little Self-Promotion

Get thee a Metro Weekly (or get thee someone to get thee one) and turn to Page 42.

Who's a celebrity?

That's right, biotch.

20 August 2008

Today's Top Story

Ding Dong The Bigfoot's Dead!



What's that? WHAT?!

The deuce you say!

Not Bigfoot?

Well, yes, I suppose it could either be that or this or ...

... wait for it ...

... THIS!

19 August 2008

Random Music: "Happiness Runs" by Donovan

Originally titled "Pebble And The Man" and recorded on his album "Donovan In Concert", Donovan reworked the song a bit, retitled it "Happiness Runs", and made it part of 1969's "Barabajagal". Although I can't find it confirmed anywhere online, I understand that this song was a product of his visit with The Beatles to the Maharashi in 1968.

It's a song that speaks to me, sometimes pulling me out of my blues and sometimes fueling the fire.

First see this post and then I'll continue my thought on this.

I strive every day to be happy. I try to balance this desire against my respect for other people. Let me tell you that they tend to be opposing schools of thought and action. If I wished to be truly happy, I would do as I please and damn the consequences. But I believe in the truth that every action has a reaction. And so I restrain myself quite often.

This means that I don't always say the words I wish to say, I don't always take actions I wish to take, I don't always follow the paths of my heart that I wish to follow.

And so I'm not always happy.

But things do come around; life is a circle. Where I was happy once, I will be happy again. It's only a matter of time.


Happiness Runs - Donovan

A Question To Ponder

How would things be different?

16 August 2008

Pirate Joke Of The Week

A pirate walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. What happened? You look terrible!"

"What do you mean?" the pirate replies. "I'm fine."

The bartender says, "But what about that wooden leg? You didn't have that before."

"Well," says the pirate, "We were in a battle at sea and a cannon ball hit my leg but the surgeon fixed me up, and I'm fine, really."

"Yeah," says the bartender, "But what about that hook? Last time I saw you, you had both hands."

"Well," says the pirate, "We were in another battle and we boarded the enemy ship. I was in a sword fight and my hand was cut off but the surgeon fixed me up with this hook, and I feel great, really."

"Oh," says the bartender, "What about that eye patch? Last time you were in here you had both eyes."

"Well," says the pirate, "One day when we were at sea, some birds were flying over the ship. I looked up, and one of them shat in my eye."

"So," replied the bartender, "what happened? You couldn't have lost an eye just from some bird shit!"

"Well," says the pirate, "I really wasn't used to the hook yet."

15 August 2008

XXIX Olympiad

Am I the only one who loves that the Bulgarian Volleyball team has a player named Gaydarski?

Happiness Runs

According to a certain singer/songwriter who was quite successful in the 1960's, happiness is a track and field star who apparently loves canons. And on most days, I'm apt to agree with him. But on other days, like the days I've been having recently, happiness seems more like the depiction of a certain legendary leader when facing a certain Leporidae in a certain movie by a certain comedy troupe.

Happiness runs, alright.

I know that this is what is at the core of my most recent funk.

How has happiness become such a focal point for me of late? What has caused such a drastic shift of perspective of my personal happiness?

It all started a little over a month ago and has slowly boiled, with unknowing stirs of the pot by friends and acquaintances. (That post pretty much sums up everything I've been told over the past month by people.)

What stings about it all is that they're right. I am most happy ... truly not-a-care-in-the-world happy ... only when on a stage with a microphone in my hand. I feel the change; it's transforming; I'm a different person for those brief moments. My first real taste was when my best friend in high school, Steven Benton, and I performed our first original song, Higher Ground at our high school baccalaureate in front of our graduating class, friends, and families. It gets renewed every time someone asks me if I'm a professional singer.

I'm not. And therein lies the issue.

Well, do something about it, moron.

Okay. What?

Start with a demo CD.

With what money? Do you know how long a demo CD is? About five songs long. Each song recording, at the bare-bones minimum, will run about two hours apiece. Do you know much that will cost? Twelve years ago, it was about $300 an hour. Adjust for inflation and do the math.

It's only been a problem lately because of what happened in July. And because I have no boyfriend or spouse to fret over. And because I haven't felt a fulfillment of any sort in a few years, until that fateful night in July.

That night on that stage in front of those people, I felt something. It was intoxicating. It was right.

Um ... yeah. Did you miss the point about you being a moron?

I know. And I'm a self-defeatist. I think it runs in my family. Good things just don't happen to me; instead, life likes to empty its bowels on my head.

Except, for one night, a good thing did happen. And it gave me a spark of hope that more similar good things can also happen. And it also gave me a deep, unshakeable sadness that maybe ... perhaps ... I have wasted the last nineteen years of my life in the daily grind of simply getting by.

13 August 2008

Good For You But Not For Me No Longer

I like to believe that I am a good friend. I'm good to people I love. I'm even good to people I don't like that much. It's how I was raised ... do unto others as you would have done unto you. Building positive karma.

Except that all of this positive energy has been outward facing, I've been neglecting myself, and I am officially depleted.

I can't do for any of you for a while. I need some me time. That's going to include quiet nights at home. It's going to include getting laid more than once a year. It's going to include telling people to leave me alone and fix your own mess. It's going to include giving no explanations for my protracted silences or solitary activities.

In short, I'm going to be a selfish ass for a bit.

I hope you're all cool with that.

12 August 2008

Random Music: "Black Beatles" by Loo & Placido

This song is just straight up party, brought to you by the DJ team of Loo & Placido. They are one of the first to legally sample from The Beatles' discography. Loo & Placido are masters of the mashup.

This one mashup samples The Beatles' "Girl" and "Run For Your Life", The Black Eyed Peas' "Let's Get Retarded", Ludacris & Pharell's "Fatty Girl", Kelis' "Caught Out There", and The Clipse's "Grindin' (Remix)". It doesn't sound like a combination like this should work. But it does!

Black Beatles - The Beatles Vs Black Eyed Peas Vs Ludacris & Pharell Vs Kelis Vs The Clipse

09 August 2008

Happy Birthday

My day of birth is wrapping up and it has been one of the best I have had. Two of the people closest to my heart co-conspired to throw me an intimate party. Those whom I love dearly were present. We drank. We ate. We drank. We played games on the Wii. And we drank some more. (Patron is mother's milk, I don't care what you say.)

To you guys: I can't express enough in word or action how much you mean to me. I don't know what I did in my previous lives to deserve your presence but I am so very grateful that you are all here.

To those who were there in spirit: See above.

And to those who sent me messages (including a certain recording artist), thank you so very much. Getting older isn't easy but you certainly help the transition be less painful.

I hope that each and every one of you continue to be an active presence in my life for the rest of my life. I can honestly say that I am more enriched because of you.

P.S. - To Cameron and Mitchell ... I love you both. That's really all I think I need to say. You understand the rest.

08 August 2008

D.C. Loves Ugly; Church ... Not So Much

The District's Historic Preservation Review Board decided back in December to make one of the many churches in our fair city an history landmark. The congregation that worships in that building (The Third Church of Christ, Scientist) didn't much like this decision and, in turn, is suing the city to have the status removed because, they say, "it is difficult and expensive to maintain a 400-seat sanctuary that usually draws 40 to 60 people on Sunday".

I'm all for preserving those structures that most and best reflect the beauty of our city. And I do understand that sometimes it is necessary to take such measures to save structures that aren't ... how to say ... aesthetically pleasing to everyone.

But this is a church. A house of worship. A living, breathing building. So in this disagreement, I side with the church. This building is not only hideous but it is unwelcoming and, as anyone who has seen the J. Edgar Hoover Building would agree, it is extremely difficult and expensive to maintain. It does place undue monetary restrictions on how the church can serve the city because the church has to sink so much into the maintenance of the building.

What? You haven't seen the building? Well then, here it is:

Pirate Joke Of The Week

A pirate walks into a bar, swaggers up to the barkeep, and demands ...

"A pint o' rum or yer life, ye landlubbing dog!"

The bartender, being a reasonable man who happens to like his life (thank you very much), grabs a large glass, a bottle of fine dark rum, and begins to pour. And while he's waiting for the glass to fill he sizes up the pirate, having never seen a real honest-to-God pirate before.

This pirate is in full pirate gear -- gold earrings, patch over the eye, a big filthy white blouse covering his swarthy chest, tattoos everywhere ... the whole seven seas. But protruding from his breeches is the unmistakable form of a steering wheel.

The bartender sees that the glass of rum is just about topped off, so he passes the glass across the bar to the pirate, who nods curtly and takes a huge swig of the rum. Pleased to have his belly warmed by the libation, the pirate slapped a doubloon on the bar-top and turned to walk away. But the bartender, whose curiosity was piqued, called out to him ...

"Wait! One second please. I see there is a wheel in your breeches. Isn't that uncomfortable?"

And the pirate turns back, fixes him with a beady glare from his lone eye, and replies ...

"Arrr, it's drivin' me nuts!"

05 August 2008

If I Were God ...

... I so totally would!


Random Music: "Ubi Caritas" by The Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Indianapolis and "Ave Maria" by The Trinity Choir, Boston

I sang in a formal choir of one flavor or another pretty much non-stop from my sophomore year of high school in 1987 until I left The Consort (formerly The Charles County Community Consort) in 2005. In those eighteen years, I have performed a countless number of choral pieces. I do have my favorites. The two that I'm showcasing today are my most favorite. They are both sacred choral arrangements and both are performed a cappella. Call me a choral snob, but that's just the way I prefer my choral music.

The first is a four-part composition for SATB choir titled Ubi Caritas by Maurice Duruflé. This is the first song for which I look when I am feeling troubled to my soul. The words are as follows:
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus et ameamus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Amen.
And the translation is as follows:
Where there is charity and love, God is there.
Love brings us together in one Christ.
We therefore rejoice in it.
Let us fear and love the living God.
And from the heart let us devote ourselves with sincerity.
Where there is charity and love, God is there. Amen.

Ubi Caritas - The Christ Church Cathedral Choir


The second is a seven-part composition for SAATTBB choir, bass voice solo and tenor voice solo, titled Ave Maria by Franz Biebl. The song begins with the bass solo, followed by the choir which sings as two separate choirs - the male voices begin the chorus and the female voices reply. Two tenor solos act as the verses of the song. The song hits its crescendo in the final "chorus", with the first tenors and the first sopranos vocally reaching toward the heavens, carrying the prayer to the Blessed Virgin.

The words to this piece are among the most sacred in the Catholic faith. In The Consort, we always referred to singing this piece as "reading from the holy Biebl". Yes, it is that powerfully written that I just performed blasphemy. Yes, it should bring a tear to your eye. And, yes, this is my favorite of favorites of all the choral music I have ever performed. The words are as follows:
Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
Et concepit de Spiritu sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.

Maria dixit: Ecce ancilla Domini.
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.

Et Verbum caro factum est
Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Amen.
And the translation is as follows:
The angel of God visited Maria
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Maria said: See the servant of the Lord.
May it happen to me according to your word.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

And the Word became flesh
And lived among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
Holy Mary, pray for us now and in the hour of our death.
Amen.

Ave Maria - The Trinity Choir, Boston

04 August 2008

On Intimacy

According to Dictionary.com:
in·ti·ma·cy [in-tuh-muh-see]
noun, plural -cies.
  1. the state of being intimate.
  2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
  3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.: an intimacy with Japan.
  4. an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like: to allow the intimacy of using first names.
  5. an amorously familiar act; liberty.
  6. sexual intercourse.
  7. the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar: the intimacy of the room.
  8. privacy, esp. as suitable to the telling of a secret: in the intimacy of his studio.
I am a fiercely private person. Getting close to people or allowing people to get close is difficult for me. There are a few people, due to the length of time we've known each other and the histories of our relationships, who have a level of knowledge and understanding that could be considered intimate. But to say that we are intimate friends would not be entirely correct.

As with the last post, the idea of intimacy has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I think that it's due in part to recently working with my ex on repairing some of the things that we broke. I think that it's also due in part to finding two people with whom I share a brain. (There will be no explanation for that.) These two things have lead me to muse on how much of myself I am currently willing to show, how much of people I care to know, and to what ends this all will lead.

One person in particular gets and understands me more than any other person ever has. We connect on a level that transcends description. Whole conversations are had with one single look. We know when something is wrong with the other, even if there is no physical evidence of it. We seem to be the most comfortable and most at ease when we're around each other. It's the type of relationship that would drive a boyfriend into a jealous rage. Yet even with this one particular person I hold back and guard those parts of me that I deem most fragile.

One voice in my head (you know who you are) would tell me that I should drop the walls, learn to trust, and allow at least one person to know me completely. My history, however, has taught me differently - that everybody will betray the trust that is granted them.

Speaking generally, of course.

But that voice would be right. I should let go of my issues. I should send away the ghosts that haunt me. Yet history is a very large specter and will not be exorcised so easily.

02 August 2008

On Aging

Riddle me this, my faithful readers ... what is the lifespan of a human being? For my mom's parents, it was less than 70 years. For my dad's parents, it was past 80 years (I think). If you believe that life begins at inception, then I have three siblings who never even made it out of the womb.

My oldest brother is standing on the threshold of "Life After Forty". My baby sister will be entering her mid-twenties. I, myself, will be crossing into my late thirties this year.

My grandpa was dead before I knew him. My grandma died of Alzheimer's. My grandfather was ravaged by cancer. My grandmother suffered a fatal heart attack. My parents both are diabetics with high blood pressure; my dad has already survived one heart attack.

All of these things have been swirling in my mind as of late. To use that tired cliché, I'm not getting any younger. I have no spouse. I have no children. My parents, like my grandparents before them, have these built-in support systems on which to rely as they take that slow unyielding march into their twilight years. What will I have when I hit retirement and then life after?

I grant you that all of this mental handwringing I've been doing is quite pointless. I may not make it through today, much less the next 50 years. So why expend the energy on such thoughts?

Because there is always a chance that I will live into triple digits. Because there is always a chance that I will succumb to a debilitating disease. Because there is always a chance that I will need to be taken care of as I grow older.

And you all well know that I can't help but to plan for all outcomes.

But there is no plan for this. There are no children. There may not be a spouse. Yes, there are friends, but let’s be honest ... y'all ain't gettin' no younger neither.

As I have stated before, I hadn't thought much about getting older. These thoughts have been an unwelcome and unpleasant intrusion into my quiet, calm mentality; and I'm having a little difficulty processing them.

There really is no point to this post other than to put to "paper" the fears that keep me awake at night. Perhaps this will allow me the ability to work through this moment.

30 July 2008

Political Debates

I ran several blogs before starting The District Diaries. Each of them was very political in nature and covered my opinions about, well, everything political. I shut each of them down and erased all traces of their existence for the same reason every time ... I hate debating politics. It is a frustrating exercise in futility. It stresses me out. It exhausts the hell out of me. And I won't do it anymore.

See, politics to people is on that same personal plane as religion. People hold on to what they want to believe and who they want to embody what they want to believe very strongly. And trying to sway someone's mind on a politician or on a political position, for the most part, is akin to trying to sway their hearts on religious matters. You'd do better to punch a bull in the nuts.

I will continue to post my opinions about politics and politicians. But I will not have a debate over any of it. You are free to post your own thoughts on your own blog. And, as always, the Comments is available to you to voice your opinion, so long as those opinions do not directly attack me or any of my readers.

But if you try to drag me into a fight my only responses will be " ... " or "okay".

That is all.

29 July 2008

Random Music: "Murder In The City" by The Avett Brothers

I've been doing a lot of introspective analysis the past week-ish, evaluating my place in life, where I've come, what I've still to face ... typical "getting older" stuff. This has all been sparked by my impending birthday in the not-too-distant future.

Those who know me well know that I enjoy my age and I look forward to getting older. I've never thought much on what it actually means to get older, what it actually is to be old. So it came as quite an unpleasant surprise when the reality of age hit me hard recently. With each passing second we each draw closer to the end of our life and it is that fact of mortality that inspired my song selection this week.

I'll have a post up sometime tomorrow or Thursday that will delve into the last paragraph in a bit more thoughtful detail. For now, enjoy this song by The Avett Brothers.

Murder In The City - The Avett Brothers

25 July 2008

Personal Randomness

I've been asked more than once this week if something is wrong with me. One who knows me well noted the other day that I am "off". I didn't and won't deny it. I've been fairly unfocused and I haven't been sleeping well as of late.

The problem is that I don't know what it is about me that is "off", only that something is not quite right in my world. This will have a negligible effect on any of you; in fact, the only thing you might notice is that I might be "quieter than normal" (whatever that means exactly). Just know that I am fine (truly) and that I’m allowing my brain time to process whatever it is it's processing. Once the puzzle is solved, I'll fill you in.

Until then, thank you for your support and concerns and respect for my privacy.

24 July 2008

Next Weekend's Musical Affairs - A Few Promotions

Next weekend, the first weekend of August, will prove to be a very musicalicious time to be had by all participating.

First, if you recall, Friday 01 August is TOWN's talent contest. $1000 will be awarded to the winner of this monthly competition. Don't you have a talent you've been dying to show the world? Don't you want $1000 dollars? Then contact TOWN (info@towndc.com) and get in on this.

Second, I spoke more than once about an artist who hails from the New York City area. Mario's music is emotional and moving (in many senses of the word) and just plain fantastic. And on Sunday 03 August at 1800 (that would be 6 PM), he will be performing a FREE show at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage. This, I believe, will be his first-ever performance in Washington, D.C.! And we don't want it to be his last. So all you fans out there really need to come and show him some love ... and bring a few friends as well. You and they will not be disappointed.

Third, after the Mario concert ... since you're in the area ... you should come join me at Cobalt's Sunday Night Karaoke. It's the perfect venue to relax a bit, kick back a few drinks, jaw with the friends, listen to some more awesome singing, and (if you've had enough liquid courage) sing a number or two yourself. We have a brand new shiny bar space and a brand new shiny karaoke system ... but the same old dull hosts. The door opens at 2030 (that would be 8:30 PM) and the show starts at 2100 (that would be 9 PM), if all is well. Am I laying it on a bit thick? I certainly hope so. We've worked hard to make a safe, fun, laid-back environment and we want you to enjoy it. So do come.

What are you waiting for? Break out those dayplanners (or smartphones or granite tablets) and put these events on your calendars!

That is all.

22 July 2008

Random Music: "Take A Chance On Me" by ABBA

I've chosen this week's song in honor of the release of a certain movie based on a certain play based on the music of a certain pop group from a few decades ago.

My earliest memory of this song is not from radio play, since my parents were staunchly against popular music at the time. Instead (and ironically) it was through the Muppets that I was introduced to this tune (as well as other Pop, Rock, Jazz, or any other music that wasn't Christian or Classical). Have a look at my twisted childhood.



You can see how this would have a lasting impression on an impressionable youth. It wasn't until years later, when my parents' zeal waned a bit and I was old enough to make my own decisions that I finally heard the original recording. And now, my faithful readers, you too may have a listen.

Take A Chance On Me - ABBA

18 July 2008

Yet Another Reason Why I Do Not Support Barack Obama

I understand that Charles Krauthammer is a right-wing pundit. This post in no way supports him or his positions, in general, because I generally don't. But, in my opinion, he is spot on in his Op-Ed column today about Senator Obama.

I have yet to know for what Senator Obama stands and for what he will fight ... other than his own hubris and his own rise to the highest office in the land.

The Election Season In Under Five Minutes

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Why I'm Starting To Not Hate why.i.hate.dc

Remember this post from February about a certain website? No? Then read it really quickly.

Done? Okay, I'll wait.

Alrighty then.

It seems "Rusty" has left D.C. to move on to the greener pastures in Columbus, OH. (Stop that snickering!) Like "James F." before him, "Rusty" held a contest to pick the next Hater Of DC. That Hater has turned out to be "Liz". "Liz", it turns out, is an excellent hater. Don't believe me? Compare this final post by "Rusty" with this post by "Liz" on her third day in the Big Chair. Note the difference in language. Note the harsh, abrasive, manic tone of "Rusty" compared to the soft, subtle, almost tender tone of "Liz". (I say "almost tender" because she is, after all, a hater.)

I enjoyed "James F." and even "Rusty" from time to time. I can't say that either of them totally wowed me or won me over with their hate. But "Liz" ... she's a wiley one. She might just make me a fan of why.i.hate.dc yet. (Damn you!)

17 July 2008

Indigo Girls And Healing

I'm sitting here at Wolf Trap with Second Brain, Tuffie, Sam, and friends listening to the Indigo Girls concert. (And I say listening because where we're sitting, we can't see them.) They are pheonominal, as always. Yet I find myself a bit meloncoly. This show has been difficult at times. The Girls have been a musical part of my life for the past 14 years-ish. I cannot help but think about the things I've gained and the things I've lost and the things I've gained and the things I've regained. It's funny how "the circle of life" is not a cliché statement.

All in all, this has been a great night.

The Power Of Suggestion

Have you ever seen a bug crawling around all over someone else? Did you notice that they were completely unaware of what was transpiring? Then have you brushed, scratched, or jumped at every tiniest sensation?

Yeah, me neither.

16 July 2008

This TOWN Truly Has TALENT Part 3

Do you think you can compete against a couple dozen other talented contestants to win $1000? Then bring it!

From TOWN's webmail:
Friday, August 1st
THIS TOWN HAS TALENT (EPSIODE 2)
Anyone can compete...you can do anything on stage (basically anything) and the audience decides who wins - GRAND PRIZE IS $1000
Contest starts at 10pm.
To sign up for the contest - email us at info@towndc.com

What are you waiting for? Email TOWN to sign up already!

Sony Wega Trinitron 32" Flat Glass-Screen TV - $300

I recently purchased a new television, which means the old television must go. If you're interested in buying the aforementioned old television, see my ad on Craigslist and contact me via email (found on my Blogger profile).

15 July 2008

For My Lame Friend



Read about the story behind this picture on Second Brain's site. (Yes, you are lame but don't worry, G. I go'cher back.)

Random Music: "Disco Friends" by Just Jack

I was introduced to the music of my latest subject by Peanut First Brain. Jack Allsopp, a.k.a. Just Jack, is a British performer who doesn't quite fit into a particular musical genre. At times he's very Hip-Hop. At other times, he's old school Groove. Take another listen, and he's straight Pop.

Today, we're focusing on a song from his sophomore album Overtones. A read through the lyrics should make the meaning fairly clear, but in case you're having some trouble understanding, you can get it straight from the horse's mouth at SongFacts.

I know a few people like this ... the ones who are pushing forty yet still dress and behave as if it's 1994, they are still twenty-three, and raves are thriving. Sad cases trying desperately to hold onto their youth in the most embarrassing ways possible.

The song, however, is no sad case. It starts a bit tragic, just like the subject. But it has a funky, low-key groove. And the synthesized vocal in the chorus is pretty sweet (although I have absolutely no idea what it's saying).

See if you can't help but sway in your seat as you check out this tune.

Disco Friends - Just Jack

11 July 2008

Dear Apple,

I love your products. Honestly. I boast of your goodness to anyone who will listen. You're almost a religion to me. Which is why it hurt me in my soul that you let me down today.

See, I have the original iPhone. (Which I love. Did I mention that I love your products?) Yesterday I upgraded iTunes to Version 7.7 in anticipation of the new iPhone software. Today you released iPhone 2.0 software. Color me tickled pink! (Okay ... don't. Pink isn't a good color on me.) Like a good lemming, I upgraded. (All good lemmings should upgrade.)

Oh, wait.

All good lemmings did upgrade! Which is why my iPhone was a brick for FOUR HOURS until it could connect to your iTunes Store!!!

Guys. Seriously. I understand that everyone wants your stuff. But maybe, perhaps, if you can find it in your collective heart ... next time you do something as massive as release new hardware and software ON THE SAME DAY ... maybe, perhaps, you can ensure that you have the capacity to handle the crush of cyber-people who will be trying to get the latest-and-greatest.

I don't like having my faith shaken.

Your Blind Follower,
The Diarist