Saturday, January 10, 2009

How I like my beats

Harder than two-day old shit.

Continue Reading »

"The Secret" is a lifesaver

How is it that I've never heard of this book, "The Secret"? Consider me mildly embarrassed.

When I finally get around to thumbing through it, I can only hope that I'm touched in the way that this particular reader was:

It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.

The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.

Gracias to Gordon Keith. Continue Reading »

Friday, January 9, 2009

Heckuva job

Eleven days to go:

Bush says he looks forward to vanishing from the daily headlines.

"The ex-president needs to get off the stage," he insisted. "You've had your time in the klieg light ... The less I'm on TV, the better."

At least he's moving to Dallas and not Houston. Continue Reading »

What's playing in my deck

... nothing but those old-school H-Town tunes, of course. As always, it's good to be home. And if you stick around long enough, below is brief story about my very first brush with Destiny's Child.

Anyhow, because I got to sleep in for the first time in a long time, I'm doubling up on the playlist:

1. Wegonefunkwichamind by Big Mello.

2. Clean Up Man by Willie D.

3. Tell Me Something Good by UGK - No, Pimp C and Bun B weren't really from Houston but from nearby Port Arthur. But their careers were launched in Houston with this single, which I remember playing over and over again on The Box (97.9 FM on your dial) in 1992.

4. Keeping My Composure by H-Town.

5. Gota Let Your Nuts Hang by The Geto Boys - I used this phrase the other day, and the First Lady was completely taken aback. She'd never heard this before. I'm wondering if this was because she never played football or if it was truly a local expression.

6. Hooker Hooker by A.J., Kiotti, Nuwine.

7. 25 Lighters by DJ DMD featuring Lil Keke and Fat Pat.

8. Size Ain't Shit by The Geto Boys - Years later, I began to think of Bushwick Bill as Houston's answer to Ol' Dirty Bastard. As a hip-hop character, Bushwick was really one-of-a-kind. You couldn't invent the dude, even if you were trying.

9. Aggravated Monkeys by Blac Monks.

10. Second Nature by Destiny's Child - the first song on their first album. More than 10 years ago. Wow.

True story: I went to church my senior year with Beyonce and the girls. One of my best friends had told me about this group at his church, see. They were really good. They had signed a recording deal and everything. And I just rolled my eyes. Everyone has someone at their church who can sang.

Then I saw them - Beyonce has looked much the same since she was 14 years old. If I hadn't heard them sing a word, I would have been sold on their future. Looks like you've got a helluva future behind you, girl. Holla holla.

But then ... well, you know how it goes. We're talking about the world's best-selling female group of all time. Those girls could sang. I didn't even know they could dance until about three years later. Truly a double, no, a triple threat.

From H-Town, ch'eah.
Continue Reading »

Shots in the dark

If not for good fortune and a relatively unassuming 1987 Honda Civic CRX that I tooled around in during my high school days, perhaps I might have been Robbie Tolan.

You see, for years I have frequented the area where Tolan was shot by a police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Eve. I went to elementary school in the affluent, mostly white suburb of Bellaire. I spent my freshman year at Bellaire High School. And my regular joyrides around town often took me through the surrounding upscale neighborhoods.

Thus, I had plenty of opportunities to be mistaken for a car thief and have a cop pump a bullet into my liver.

My parents, my friends, my elders always warned me about the dangers of DWB through Bellaire, spinning yarns about late-night stops for missing tail lights or phantom illegal lane changes or even neighborhood watch gone wrong. "Where you headed, son?"

You know the deal. Or at the least you've heard about it on tee-vee.

Chalk it up to the foolishness of youth or a serious teenage stubborn streak, but I rarely heeded their advice. I'd just as soon zip through Bellaire - maybe even a few ticks above the speed limit - as I would through the familiar (safer) streets near my home. I guess you could say I survived.

All of us aren't so lucky. Not Tolan. Not Sean Bell. Not Baron Pikes. Certainly not Oscar Grant. But of course, everyone can't own a shitty Civic.

But let's see what happens from here, in this allegedly post-racial America. TNC, who's done some work on this sort of stuff in the past, is pessimistic about what's to come in the case of Grant:

I expect we'll soon be hearing explanations like "the gun summoned itself to the officers waist, unholstered itself and discharged."

Maybe. If anything, many of us have learned to be cynical about the nature of cops and internal affairs investigations and the limitations of our (their?) legal system. We don't really expect much, no?

Maybe, starting today, we should. Or at least I should. I've returned to Houston and I'd like to take a spin around town. Maybe a few spins.

I'm not driving a Civic this time around, and I need some assurances that I'll be more than lucky. Continue Reading »

I'm a better person ...

... just for living in the same state with Tim Tebow.

That is all. Continue Reading »

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Drive-by blogging

My time is limited today because I'm due to catch a flight to Houston later this afternoon. Up next: a friend's wedding, some time with the fam, a brief swing through Louisiana and all that jazz over the course of a week or so.

I hate to shovel a shitload of links upon you, my faithful readers, but under the circumstances I don't have much choice. I really don't have much time to elaborate on some of the things that are gnawing at me today.

Maybe later. No, actually, certainly later. But here's some stuff:

- Maybe you haven't heard but there's some sort of important football game between a college from Oklahoma and another from Florida this evening. I won't bother referring to it as a national championship. Over the past few days, my indignation with the system has swelled as it becomes more and more apparent that Utah - the nation's only undefeated team - won't be given serious consideration for the top spot. (And yes, Esquire. I'm right there with you.)

So here's my suggestion: all non-BCS schools should drop down a level to the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) or form their own competitive division. Look, I know this is unlikely but that doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. If not for the spirit of competition, then colleges and universities should do it because they'd be better off spending those tens of millions of dollars on their academic offerings.

On the flip side, a longtime friend of mine has created a new site - - that promotes a reasonable playoff arrangement. (I really can not believe that domain was available). Because my friend is smart and ambitious, I like his chances of getting heard on this issue. Really. Someday, he might be president.

- Another smart guy, Bill James, calls for fellow statistical analysts to boycott the BCS.

- The Bush Legacy. Epic Fail.

- Von at Obsidian Wings draws attention to something much more disturbing about Roland Burris than his nomination by the embattled Blago. Thus far, I've been insistent that Burris has been legally appointed and should be seated. That hasn't changed. But this gives me pause.

- More lies, clown-like antics from Ann Coulter. Why do MSM outlets continue to give her a platform?

- Mississippi surges past Texas and New Mexico to become the nation's leader in teen birth rate. I'm just glad the First Lady got out of there before she became another statistic (I kid because I love).

- I loved "Sicko." I love Michael Moore. I can't help myself. Thus, Paul Krugman raises a legitimate objection to Obama's consideration of Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General. Overall, I still think it's an out-of-the-box, thoughtful reimagining of the position.

- Do you think people understand that Larry Flynt and Joe Francis are just attention-seeking hucksters? Or do CNN and MSNBC need an excuse to run a few blurry clips of drunken college-aged girls jiggling around on their news shows?

- Nobody could have ever predicted: that Harry Reid would fold. And why is he supporting convicted felon Ted Stevens? Does he truly have no clue?

- As always, TNC breathes new life into a discussion about why there are no black senators. "I chafe because it traffics in a dangerous illusion that our only way in, is through the side door. Roland Burris will--and by law should--be seated. But there will be no side doors to save him 2010. And in all likelihood, we'll be right here, having this same discussion again." Word.

- The End of White America. This looks interesting. I'm going to print it out and read this on the flight. You should, too. There'll be a quiz on this later.

- Video of "W" stars Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright getting arrested during a break in filming in Shreveport. Good stuff. I miss Stray Cats.

- Is this not a war crime? And if you don't think it is, why not?

- The reason I was less than interested in getting to D.C. for the inauguration. Maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy but waiting in line for hours is not my idea of a good time.

- For some reason, this kid's death really touched me. "... many of the funny stories, pictures, etc. that we all pass from inbox to inbox often have REAL people behind them." I do think people sometimes forget this.

- Also, a moving post about the true toll of war. R.I.P. Andy Olmsted.

- A.T. drops the knowledge about EPMD. I always loved "Crossover." I'm also going to come with my top 10 from Common in a few days.

- "Conversate" is a word after all. In fact, lots of words are words. Few people are more distasteful to me than word and language snobs. At my PWI, I damn near developed a hangup about my pronunciation of the word "ask."

- UBM is a crazy, crazy genius. I'd love to probe his mind for a few hours.

- I love that D.J. Augustin, a New Orleans native and brief resident of my beloved Mo City, called out the Celtics on their phony tough-guy act. Sgwhite calls them "studio gangstas." I'm inclined to agree.

- I truly hope I have a much better travel experience than Knockout Ed. Goodness knows, I've had my fair share of airport mishaps.

- And finally, for no reason at all: Rex Kwon Do. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What's playing in my deck...

2009 edition. I need a soundtrack for the new year. This ain't gonna be it but it's a decent start:

1. My First Love by Avant with Keke Wyatt

2. Come and Talk to Me by Jodeci

3. (I Want Those) Flashing Lights by Colin Munroe

4. Nature of the Threat by Ras Kass

5. Punch Out by Big Shug

The last joint is bananas. Got me to thinking about Glass Joe and Bald Bull and making it through the first 50 seconds with Iron Mike's avatar.

Sigh. I wish I had never been convinced to sell my Nintendo at a garage sale. Continue Reading »

A brief exercise in inequality

“The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple" - Stanley Gudder.

Al Franken > Norm Coleman

Katt Williams > Steve Harvey

USC > Everyone else

Coloring books > "Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America."

Dianne Feinstein > Harry Reid

Serenading convicted felon Ted Stevens < Seating Roland Burris

LeBron > Kobe (overlooking the crab dribble)

808s and Heartbreak < The Love Below

Cuomo > Kennedy

Planning a baby < planning a wedding (seems like it would be easier, right?)

LaDainian Tomlinson < Darren Sproles

America with a Bush in public office < America without a Bush in public office

Oklahoma > Florida

And to think, I used to be pretty awful at math. More later. Continue Reading »

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Breakin' and Poppin'

The safe way. Because it feels right.

Continue Reading »


Over the past few days, I've felt like reading a lot more than writing. That has meant a relative dropoff in production on this blog, true.

But like my elders have always told me, you can learn a hell of a lot more by listening than talking.

And at the moment, I just feel the need to learn. I'll be back with more soon.

UPDATE: I should mention, however, that Texas can make no serious claim to a share of the national championship after last night's pillow fight with Ohio State. Mack Brown has some balls to even suggest such a thing. Continue Reading »

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Goldfarb reemerges from his hole

Lots of people are linking to Glenn Greenwald's latest missive on the Israeli march into Gaza. I might as well join in the fun.

But here's an especially important point:

Those who giddily support not just civilian deaths in Gaza but every actual and proposed attack on Arab/Muslim countries -- from the war in Iraq to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon to the proposed attacks on Iran and Syria and even continued escalation in Afghanistan -- are able to do so because they don't really see the Muslims they want to kill as being fully human. For obvious reasons, one typically finds this full-scale version of sociopathic indifference -- this perception of brutal war as a blood-pumping and exciting instrument for feeling vicarious sensations of power and strength from a safe distance -- in the society's weakest, most frightened, and most insecure individuals.

An example of that sort of sociopath might be The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb, who we last saw getting mashed by Rick Sanchez in the death-rattle days of the McCain campaign. Yglesias says of Goldfarb: "It’s really too bad John McCain lost the election so we don’t get to see this character in federal office."

But what do we make of people who make a case for wiping out innocent women and children in the name of strategery? Especially when they're Arabs?

Words can't adequately describe the level of disdain I have for that sort of person. But I do have a suggestion for him and people of his ilk, since they can appreciate a good fight and all. Continue Reading »

Greenspan and Great Men

Digby makes an important point about Alan Greenspan and his Epic Fail:

He is one of the reasons I no longer have any trust at all in the great man theory. I know that people need heroes, but in our celebrity worshiping culture we take it to such ridiculous extremes that it turns dissent and questions into heresy. I no longer find it particularly useful to think in those terms much at all.

Greenspan may be one who stands out considering the horrifying ramifications, but there are many of these elders whose "reputations" have led us straight into disaster. (Colin Powell comes to mind.) Maybe it's time America gives the hero/wise man/guru concept a rest.

With about two more weeks until Barack Obama is sworn in as No. 44, I think we should remember those words.

As someone who makes a (meager) living in the media, I've learned that people are more competent and principled when they know critics and skeptics are waiting to hold them accountable.

Thus, hero-worship of Obama will do little to advance our country. Instead, it'd be nice if we could balance support with skepticism of Obama and his policies. If we can manage that, we're much more likely to get the sort of results we want.

Continue Reading »

Another reason to love USC

UPDATE: I still think USC is No. 1. No matter what sgwhite says.

Rey-Rey's best moves might have came before the Rose Bowl. Sometimes I really miss college football.

Ok, so Rey knows all about Erin Andrews. But does he know Joe Biden? Continue Reading »