4.01.2009

movin' on up

Well, I'm back. But I'm back just to tell you that I'm packing up the Indoob and moving to warmer climates.

Don't get me wrong, the Blogger isn't cold. They have been nice to me and I've enjoyed my stay. But I'm curious about what's going on over at WordPress, so this is me exploring and I'm inviting you along for the ride. I'm not going to delete this account, so it'll always be here for me to return whenever I feel like it. It's also been a year since the Indoob kicked off, so this is the blog-iversary present. New home, new look, and now I won't kill people's eyes with dark print on dark background. I apologize... it's a style I like.

Yet I'm sure there are some Indoobians still wondering why I've been so quiet (even though I said it before in previous posts that I've been busy). I've been busy. Some of my busy business was setting up my new digs at WordPress. I was working on getting a dot com, but I was only half way there. Feel free to click or type http://indoob.com and you'll see what I mean. At least I can say I own a domain (which I've been able to say for a couple years since I built and run my church's site). It's an ongoing project. You're welcome to watch.

I halted everything last month so I could focus on my actual job. However, I continued Twitter since it doesn't take as much time as blogging does. But things at work are looking good and mostly back to normal. So now I can't wait to get back in my writer's chair to continue blogging, poetry, scripts, and anything else I was doing before my little hiatus. I have indoob missed the writing community. I just hope I can better manage my time this time around. I'm sure I will since I have big things planned this year. Wanna know what they are? Then come with me to indoob.wordpress.com to find out more! Tell your friends.

To those that left me comments that I did not reply to on Blogger, I will reply at WordPress.

3.16.2009

have i been missed?

I'd honestly still like to say I'm remaining on M.I.A. status, which explain why I haven't yet returned any of my "calls" (comments). It also would explain why I still haven't commented on other blogs like I usually do. Well, maybe in spurts... but I'm still not getting around like I used to.

If the truth is told (and you know I'm the most honest liar around--excuse me, I don't lie, I tell stories), a good majority of my posts are written while I'm at work. Hence the subtitle of the Indoob name: The Workforce Blog. Now it's also a reference to writing about all work I'm working on. Just in case you didn't know.

Originally, the blog was about my actual 9-5 paycheck office job, but I expanded it to everything and anything that I could possibly relate to making a living. But, at this point, my paycheck job remains a priority if I want to finance my dreams, and keep eating everyday. And it's not like the job is difficult, it just requires me to meet my quota every week, and for the past couple of months I had been slacking. So my creator's/writer's life was unbalanced with my worker's life. Surely they can both be blended, but there was a specific balanced that I didn't keep maintained. So I needed to write a little less, and work a little more, and my blog has been hit with a writing recession.

Besides that, life was calling. On the line there was an ill friend, a depressed friend, a birthday friend, computer issues from friends and non-friends that I'll charge next time they call, family calls pretty much every day, planning for my road trip, my church duties and such other things that don't have categories. Surprisingly, I watched more movies (and TV shows on DVD) than I can shake a stick at. And I shook the stick at a lot of movies the past few weeks. So much so, I haven't even been reviewing them on my MySpace blog because I don't have time. But I have been able to keep up with people on Twitter (which is linked to my Facebook which is making people think I'm actually on Facebook* all the time).

But I don't want anyone to worry. I'm still very much devoted to my beloved blog and will return shortly. I'm hoping by April I will have everything back to normal, if not better. April should be a big time for the Indoob. I need to prepare by going to IHOP or creating some breakfast foods. I rather not say why, but to give you a hint: my Twitter avatar has unknowingly become the precursor to my plans.

Funny thing about planning. That's what I hear that makes God laugh. Sometimes, I'd rather make Him laugh. I forgot the point I was making.

Anyway, I'll post when I can, but like I said, hopefully I'll get it all together by April. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter to see what I'm up to or thinking about.



*If that link doesn't work, just look me up. It's the only other social-networking site that doesn't have a direct link on this blog. Yet.

3.06.2009

fripodding and watching: the watchmen experience-reviews and stuff

I wouldn't dare miss the opportunity to job on the ol' Watchmen band wagon the day of it's premiere. And yes, I was there at the midnight showing after there was some brief doubt I'd make it there at all. (My local favorite theaters apparently weren't having midnight showings like they usually do.)

Regardless, I was there and made it in good time with pretty decent seats. Close to the back and next to the stairs (ya know, in case of emergency and/or if needed, I could be one of the first few to make it to the exit and out safely). I did smell a few illegal substances around me. And when I mean illegal, I mean that it's not allowed in the theater. Like alcohol. And weed-which isn't really legal outside of the theater either but that's another story.

But let's talk about the move. First the book, and you guys know I read it a few months ago and more or less became a fanboy in the span of the 3-4 nights it took me to read it. I still would recommend people who love storytelling in general, to check this one out. Let me make this clear: this is not a story for children. You can let them read it if you want to, but that's your parental discretion. I know when I was wee, I wouldn't have been interested or ready to see/read/understand such things. Granted, I was just born and in my ultra-wee stages when the comics were being published, but still. And there are only 12 comics, grouped together to make one graphic novel. It might take you less time to read it than me, or more... who knows. I was on vacation at the time, so that gave me an opportunity to take my time and really get into the characters and story being told.

But these days in this fast paced world, we need everything here and now. And everyone is looking for audio books and whatnot, but iTunes came out with Watchmen animated comics! This is today's friPod iPick that iSaac greatly enjoys having in his memory drive. I also couldn't wait to get each chapter downloaded every other week to re-enjoy this story. Sure, you gotta give up some money (I want to say $20 altogether) but I think it's worth it if you don't think you can find time to read it. And it's worth it if you're a fan. I still recommend reading it. But at least this way, you know when you'll be done because each chapter is about 30 minutes long.

You won't find Alan Moore's name anywhere except the actual graphic novel itself, and there's a whole story on that I won't get into right now. Nor will you find his name in the movie's credits (at least I don't think it's anywhere in there... I didn't stay until the very end like I normally do). But what I loved about the movie is how faithful, how accurate, how detailed it was compared to the comic. Sure some things were changed here and there and you might not notice (except for the climatic ending), but the messages still rang true. I honestly prefer the comic's ending and would've loved to see that on the screen. Read it... hint hint. Nevertheless, while I struggle to find words to describe how I enjoyed the movie... I'd recommend comic fans, movie fans, violence fans to go enjoy. Not everyone because it's definitely not a movie everyone would love. The hype was deserved, very much like The Dark Knight. Is it better? Hard to say. For me, anyway. It's more violent but somewhat less action. Don't go in expecting lots of explosions and chaos. Again, this is why I suggest reading it first so you know what you're getting into.

I know there are some out there that will appreciate it without reading anything. And that's fine. It's definitely a "guy movie." If you enjoy Znyder's 300, then you'd get a kick out of blood and violence here. There's also a sex scene... so... there's that. Hey, it's in the comic too and it was very well done. Oh, and the movie's time? I didn't notice it sometimes. Yeah it was long, but if you're engrossed in the story, you almost forget.

Lastly, I want to mention the soundtrack. I think I'll get this one. The songs featured in the movie (I don't know about all of them) are references to the comic. At the end of each chapter is a line or a phrase, sometimes from a song, sometimes from somebody famous. So if you watch this movie and wonder what's up with the soundtrack, that's part of your answer. The sex scene I mentioned before had an odd choice of music, I thought anyway. It made it a bit humorous. Which brings up why I love midnight premieres: that full audience gives you a real feel of how others are viewing this movie. You might hear someone else chuckle, and you start to laugh too realizing the humor of it. Or, you hear the whole crowd go "ew!" when someone breaks a leg (and that happened). It's an awesome experience and that's why I go.

***THIS JUST IN***
http://www.theworldofwatchmen.com/
You can get the animated graphic novel on DVD now. I forgot that was happening. More than likely, I'll be back to revisit more Watchmen related things. It might just be my movie of the year. I think.

3.02.2009

m.i.a. continues

Another Monday, another list of things to do. I'm still not exactly back on top of my game just yet, but rest assured, I'm working on it. I'm still officially on the M.I.A. side of life, but give me a few more days and I'll be back and maybe even better than ever.

Just a few updates:
I think I did better last week with my overall monthly quota.

I'm considering talking to someone at the office to write for their new newsletter... but what would I write about? Hmmm...

I've grown to be more in love with Tina Fey now that I have 30 Rock season 2 on DVD.

I also have Myrna Loy & William Powell movie collection on DVD with a bunch of movies I've never heard of, but are pretty good. (It took almost 2 full weeks for Amazon to deliver this and the above disc set to arrive... new longest wait record for me.)

I now know what I need to get a computer I'm rebuilding to a great condition, or at least something that can really benefit me, maybe the Indoob, or 3S:FX. We'll call this "Operation: Fixputer."

There's a freak snow storm keeping me from leaving the house today. We'll call this "Snowed in."

And I'm seriously hating these stupid viruses/malware in my dad's computer.

I started my second session of Spanish classes and I've already forgotten half of the first session.

Oh yeah, and I'm no longer behind in loan payments and stuck in debt which means I can go back to Middlesex this fall and maybe get approved for some credit cards I'll never use to help build a better credit score! Yay!

In the meantime, I have less than $50 to my name until Friday around 2am, which I plan to be in a movie theater watching Watchmen with my Midnight Premiere Crew. More on that later...

2.27.2009

fripodding and succeeding: bobby womack - across 110th street

As I stated earlier this week, I've been rather busy attempting to get back on top of my numbers at work. Ya know, my "A Game." Last week was my D game. This week might've been a B+ game. Even though I had several meetings I could write off to subtract from my numberly goal, I still wanted to surpass my own expectations. But hey, I did what I had to do.

But enough about that. Let's get on to today's iPick for the friPod.

Once again I thought I'd pick something relevant to Black History month... but again I lied. It's not that I couldn't pick such a song, but usually it's what iSaac and I are feeling at the moment when the pick is chosen. Today, we picked Bobby Womack's Across 110th Street.

Thanks to Quentin Tarantino, my ears have been opened to this gritty, real-life account to the hardships of the ghetto. Not that I haven't heard songs like that before (specifically from the 70's) because I can name a few artists that would tell you like it is: Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield to name a few. But it's just something about this song. Maybe it's how he chant "Across 110th street" as the instruments flare up. I think it's the instruments that have a lot to do with it, really. But I also just like the lyrics as well.

And movie buffs may have heard this song in other movies too. I was just informed this song is also featured on such a movie called Across 110th Street. Imagine that. Actually the song, and several others, was sung by Womack himself. That's how Black cinema was done back then. Again, check Curtis Mayfield and Super Fly. Another movie this song is featured in is American Gangster. But there's another song from that movie I liked a lot I'll save for another day. But let's take a look at the scene from QT's Jackie Brown that sent me to iTunes in the first place.



The scene itself isn't all that thrilling, but it's nicely done. Tarantino has a thing for long one shots. He also likes to pay homages to heroes, like blaxploitation movies, such as this one and using that era's sex symbol Pam Grier. The movie itself was pretty good. Classic Tarantino, even though it's not truly his since he didn't write it. But I'll forgive him. But extra kudos to him for picking this song to start the movie. It's also a great song to drive to... or wait in traffic... or walking down 109th Street.

2.24.2009

m.i.a. = missing indoobian actions

This particular M.I.A. does not stand for "missing in action" or refer to the lady singer famous for the song Paper Planes which I don't particularly care for, but was surprised to see performing at the Grammys a few weeks ago. That's another story entirely.

Some may have noticed decreased activity of my presence in the blogospshere. Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on who is stalking me I suppose. Or who I've been stalking. I haven't really been reading most of my favorite blogs recently. Much less comments. I haven't even responded to comments here, yet! But no worries. I'll be back, sooner or later. I've just been really busy. And this week is no exception.

Especially this week, actually. I have about 2-3 meetings this week, some of which are on the same day! Not only that, but my weekly 55 file quota I had to add an extra 20 to make up for lost files last week. That's my own fault. All that slacking had caught up with me. So consider this doing time for the crime. I progressed in my digression (from work). I slacked early and often a little too much, then crammed as much work as I could in the last 2, sometimes 3 days. Which meant I had to work on a Friday!

[Gasps are heard world-wide, shock and awe on their faces. Even dogs look up confused. Birds stop chirping. Planes are grounded. Construction halted. Even the Sun (which no one knew had a mouth) has mouth agape.]

Yes, indeed, the master slacker had to practically work an extra full day to try to catch up. I can use the word "try" because I gave it my best attempt, but didn't make my 55. I failed.

[Everyone has sighs of sadness.]

But never fear, I'm on a mission! I've changed my ways! Yesterday, a good start for a Monday, I was up 20, which makes up for last week (since in reality, they count the files for an entire month) and today I already spent an hour and a half letting my computer update/upgrade security measures (which counts towards off-production, and would've taken up my time some time this week whether I manually started it or not). Plus the meetings will also count and maybe save me a whole 5 files or more! Who knows? What I do know is that I will strive to achieve my 55, or even 65 and shine through with dazzling but humble colors that I expect myself to do. I have a reputation to keep. It's okay to slack as long as I have the work to back it up first. And now it's time to back that thing up. I'm sorry, bad joke. This isn't 1999 anymore. Forgive me.

Speaking of music, friDay may be the next time you'll hear from me on here. I want to give 1000 apologies for missing last weeks and not doing anything Black-History-Month-related like I might've said I would sometime this months... which is almost over. But as I always believed, Black history should be celebrated all the time. So maybe I'll purposefully do what I was going to do in March. Or April. Or August. Nothing ever happens in August. We'll see. But as for now, back to basics. It's time to attack! I've got iSaac here, fully charged and ready to go. I had my eggs (no bacon today, maybe tomorrow) and a pretty good cup of coffee. Not feeling the caffeine yet... Oh wait... HA HA! ....yeah, there it is! Okay now... attack! [Takes a short nap.]

2.23.2009

about last night... at the oscars... and the bets...

I practically lifted the very list from my an earlier post just to expand on it. Whatever is listed first after naming the category, is what was predicted by Entertainment Weekly. If I agreed, I left it alone. If I had other opinions, it's in bold parentheses... although on some I sort've agreed anyway to what the predictions were. Those that are underlined are the winners.

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Director, Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Actor: Sean Penn, Milk (the Comeback Kid Mickey Rourke or the Underdog Richard Jenkins)

Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader (too close for me to call, haven't seen any of these but if not Winslet, then Streep or Hathaway.)

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (I'd like to see a surprised Taraji Henson)

Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk (I <3 Wall-E, honorable mention for In Bruges)

Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

Animated Film: Wall-E

Foreign-Language Film: The Class -LOST- Departures (Japan)

Documentary: Man On Wire

Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire (The Dark Knight just for kicks)

Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Costume Design: The Duchess (Do period pieces from this era always seem to win... or am I wrong?)

Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Score: Slumdog Millionaire (I want to give this to Wall-E, but it's the only movie I've seen)

Song: "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire

Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (I want to mention The Dark Knight for Two-Face, since most of the action on screen was barely CGI, according to the director. But I equally visually enjoy every special effect in Iron Man so this is a tough call for me)

Sound: The Dark Knight (Wall-E)

Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight (Wall-E... I mean c'mon... the sounds and the dude behind them?) -LOST- Slumdog Millionaire

Short: Spielzugland (Toyland)

Animated Short: Presto -LOST- La Maison en Petits Cubes

Documentary Short: The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 -LOST- Smile Pinki

Overall, if I were to actually bet money, I would've lost 4 categories. Regardless, it's fun. And if you watched the telecast, you were either entertained, confounded or bored. Award shows aren't for everyone, but I thought it was different and enjoyed most of it except the length. I haven't figured out how to get my live-Tweetings to post on here... but I wouldn't torture you like that. I think I might've posted close to 100. Maybe. Instead, it's much more fun, and funnier, to watch professionals do it. I recommend to look around EW's Oscar page for more fun and recaps, especially if you are into that kinda thing and you want to know more of what happened last night.

2.21.2009

missing fripods and found links

First of all, allow me to apologize for my absence this past friDay. I didn't have a song, or video or anything ready to talk about. It's been quite a week for me, but a good week over all. Well, except for at the office, but I'll make up for that on Monday. I will work on getting a double iPick for this coming friPod's edition.

Besides not doing my office work for the week, I was busy planning my road trip to Minnesota. It's still awkward for to say I'm going there, especially out loud to other people because their response is always "Minnesota? What the stank is in Minnesota?" Actually, quite a lot. But specifically, the Mall of America. But I'll post more on that when I actually get closer to going.

Tomorrow is the Oscars! Woot woot!

And besides the work I wasn't doing and the early road trip planning, I came across a few websites. One of which I hinted at last week: Christian Children's Fund. That's right, I'm sponsoring a little Bolivian boy! I don't want to get in trouble with them or for exploiting children or anything like that... so I'll hold off on his name until him and I start writing each other and I give him a proper nickname. I'm excited about this and can't wait to befriend him as well as help him and watch him grow. I've been blessed and I want to bless someone else. Anyway, I did my research, the CCF has been around for many years and they (and other sources) prove the money is going towards the children's benefit. Soon I will talk to my dad and see if he's interested in having our church sponsor another child. I'll let them pick, but I'll be more than happy to set it up and write letters as well.

Another interest I've taken on is back to my old school computering days. I have a knack for knowing how to get around computer software and some hardware. I'd like to get better at the hardware side. What better way other than to do what I did before: teach myself. It's mostly free and whenever I get around to some light schooling on it, I will come in with some background knowledge already which will make it easier to learn. So I'm going back to basics now that I have a junked computer to "play" with, and possibly some extra funds to invest in it. If not now, then maybe in a few months. I still need to do my writing ya know. But I enjoy taking apart and rebuilding computers. Like mechanics to cars or something.

Kitten and I discuss our dreams rather frequently. We also discuss less deep things like the contents of poop, but we already discovered a book to enlighten us on such facts. Anyway, since our dreams are another topic of discussion, we wanted to learn more about them and I stumbled across this website that talks about lucid dreaming. There's more than likely tons of books, articles and websites on this, but you have to start somewhere. This seemed like a good place to start. I haven't finished reading all of it yet, but it's something I think is highly interesting. Plus, dreaming is a storyteller's best inspiration and origin for great tales. And sometimes I really need to know how to escape out of a nightmare. I will continue my studies of dreams by looking into dream interpretations.

FML is (I think) a fairly new site. Almost like a blog, reminds me of Twitter, with everyone contributing to it. If I tell you that "ML" stands for "My Life," you can figure out what the "F" is. A friend sent it to me asking me if I thought it was funny. To be honest, it was like a painful laugh. You're able to separate the entries by groups like love, money, sex, work, etc... and then you can also see how others respond to someone's entry. Do you agree that they got it bad and you feel their pain? Or did they deserve what happened to them? It's really self explanatory when you check it out. In a way, it might make a depressed person feel a little bit better knowing that they aren't the only one having a hard time, or someone might be going through something a bit worse. Another site that maybe helpful in that weird way is WhichIsWorse.com.

Last, is my favorite one and I had to laugh when I caught it on CNN's website... or was it Time? Doesn't matter. Another friend sent this to me before I even read about it later. The URL is simple and tells you exactly what you are about to see. ThisIsWhyYoureFat.com. And then, it will show you exactly why you are fat. Not only that, but several ways to cause death. Death by heart attack probably, if you ever eat any of these things that's shown. This also has a blog format and I think a new picture adds everyday. The first time I went there, I couldn't go more than 5 pages in one sitting. I actually began to feel sick. And I'm mostly certain that all the pictured items are indeed real. Have they actually been eaten? I can't say. I hope not. But I know some people have a serious love for bacon and this site is proof of that. I love bacon too, but it has it's time, place and proper portions.

2.18.2009

dreams of anti-fame

I was reading about the dreams of aspiring screenwriters who want to make it big in Hollywood... as well as some money figures of what some screenplays sell for - even the ones that's don't get made. And to be completely honest, those figures I saw, even the so-called "modest" amounts, looked quite alright with me. But between that and reading an article about a soon-to-be-watched documentary called Dreams on Spec, I read some line about struggling to be "the next big thing." And I thought that line... and it got me thinking-I don't necessarily want to be the next big thing. I just want to be something. I indeed, want to be successful and content, but I don't want the glitz and glam. I'm still going to shop at The Mart and eat at IHOP. But, perhaps, I think it all depends on your definition of success. Anyway, I was stuck on the phrase "next best thing" and jotted some lines down as I thought about it.

I don't want to be the next big thing.
I just want to be something.
Not just anything, but a mix of everything.
They'll say "He's doin' his thing."

I'm completely aware that being a screenwriter isn't a profession that would make me an instant multi-millionaire (unless I'm directing, starring, etc.), but I just want to get by. Not only that, I just want to be really good at it too. So I continue my learning and studying. I haven't been aggressive in this passion the past few days due to some other concerns (like vacation planning), but rest assured, my dream won't be deterred. Oooh! Another hot line! [Scribbles in notebook.]

2.16.2009

"push" film review

My sister thought this movie was a spin-off of Jumper or some kind of remake or movie version of Heroes or another kind of X-Men. And who could blame her? I only heard about this movie a month before it was released. Even then I wasn't so sure about it.

While it may not have cracked the top 5 in the box office, it was still a decent movie to see. The special effects were definitely fun and it kept you entertained... mostly. I counted a few dry spots that could've been cut or shortened or something. Most of the time it was giving the audience information... but it felt like the scenes went on too long and we needed to see more action and special effects!

It's a eye-candy movie like Wanted or The Matrix. It's not ground-breaking special effects, it's just fun to watch when it happens. The fight scenes in particular.

The title comes from what a certain kind of psychic can do, called pushers, who push thoughts and ideas into someone's mind. There are movers, who obviously move things with their mind. Watchers who can see the future. Sniffers who sniff things to see the past (of that object and those who have touched it). Shifter who change things into whatever they want. And bleeders who scream so loud, they make anything in ear shot bleed to death probably because their brains explode. It's kinda violent. There are a few others too but it's worth watching to check out this world they live in.

Overall, besides the dry parts, I'd watch it again when it hits DVDs. I wouldn't rush to the theater, though. And Dakota Fanning needs more clothes. I understand she was probably going for a certain look in this film... but I didn't like it. That's just me. Anyway, not a bad film. It does make you wonder which power you'd like to have.

I gave it *** and a half *.

life update 2.16.08

Hello fellow Indoobians. I wanted to turn some of my recent adventures into little short stories, but these events are piling up faster than I have time to sit down and write them. And I didn't want to neglect or forget to document them. Such things are a bit too much to let Twitter handle on it's own.

But let's journey briefly and chronologically, shall we?

February the 12th, I helped my friend, Unique, make cupcakes for the first time in her life. Actually, it was the second. Before I showed up, she burnt her first batch by breaking the first rule of baking that isn't listed on any recipes but apparently needs to be: don't leave the house. While they baked, we watched a movie about another kind of baking: Pineapple Express. Unfortunately, I had to given to my severe dislike of watching a bootleg (I don't care of the quality is top notch, it's still stealing and illegal). Fortunately, it's a movie I've already seen legally, so I'm not too bothered by it. By the time the movie ended, the cupcakes were done and were a success. I didn't help with the frosting, she handled that on her own without worry.

February the 13th, the so-called Unlucky Day, was actually a pretty decent and enjoyable day. Kitten and I went to see my best friend, or more appropriately, brother-from-another-mother whom I shall call Mr. Phoenix (for the time being, and with no relation to the actors) and his band Taken From Ashes (formerly known as The Final Approach) perform at a local pub. So local, I didn't even know it was there despite my driving past it several times in any given month. An hour long set was played with about 9 or 10 songs including an awesome metallic/rockish cover of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise. This was an event I should've brought a camera for, so I could really show how things went down. It was undoubtedly fun, and TFA sounded great. Better than the Toad's performance.

February the 14th, Kitten and I reclaimed it as Friendship Celebration Day. Sure it's a corny title for those singles who don't have anything better to do, but to those who would've followed our exploits that day would think we were a couple anyway. We ventured to the mall and found a belated birthday gift for my brother-in-law, went to the movies to catch Push (which I still haven't written a review for), and later went out for pizza at a quiet pizzeria. Word to the wise for the future, local family-run places might not be as busy during such times compared to the commercial restaurants. Okay, that might not be a fact, but I was right in picking a not-so-busy place to hang out... even if that is our usual weekly not-so-busy hang out spot anyway.

Friendship Celebration Day continued as I ventured to Mr. Phoenix's new place. He and his girlfriend (who has a sense of humor painfully similar to my own, but I won't destroy her because of this since she's on my good side, Mr. Phoenix's better half and seriously enjoys cheese) treated me with nachos and chili dip as we caught up on life, talked about the performance from the night before, and watched Pan's Labyrinth. 'Twas a good time. For his birthday this weekend, he gets a free month of Netflix on me. Enjoy it. Now.

February the 15th, I was asked to fix a friend's computer. He got excited that I was coming and called his friend to come over so I could fix his too. So I stopped by his house and got one computer running, but not the other. I don't consider myself a computer expert, but I've been known to get by. This loss was discouraging, so I took it to the "Nerd Patrol," as I usually do when a problem is beyond my capabilities. I don't normally speak negative things about people, whether I know them or not... and I won't start now. Let's just say I don't like the character who "helped" me very much and I must now be alert of who's working at the desk the next time I return. Pompous pretentiousness isn't a very good customer service trait. Actually, it's not a good trait at all unless you are an evil villain. Hmm... looks like I met some inspiration.

It would seem like an incredibly random act for me to do this, but I signed up to sponsor a child with the Christian's Children Fund. It's something I actually thought about doing for a few years, but was never in a financially stable place to do so. But things are going good and I've since taken care or gotten rid of useless bills, so why not spend that money on something worth it? It's legit, I checked. My passion is still charity for the arts (in schools), and Lord knows America has it's own major problems. But the Indoob is global-people from around the world stop by. So this is me reaching back out to the world. And maybe someday I can go visit the little guy. More on this later.

I'm planning a road trip that I'm seriously (hopefully) going to take this summer. To where? The Mall of America! There was talk and plans of making plans to go last year with a few friends... but that fell through in a few different ways that's not necessary to discuss, and needless to say, I never left. But this year, I'm making plans with whom I'd call a "doer" and not just a "talker." I love my friends, but I need more doer friends than talkers, because I don't want to keeping talking about it. I need to do it. And I'll be sure to bring a camera or two to show it.

My dad (who is a doer) suggested I start writing letters to some famous doers asking for "not a hand out, but a hand up." People like Tyler Perry, who is definitely a success story if I ever heard one, from living in his car to owning several cars (I assume). Perhaps he'd like to lend a helping hand to someone like me. I know I definitely wouldn't mind working for him at his company. My dad also suggested contacting Will Smith's people. Both of which have their own successful production companies. My aunt suggested Oprah. Also worth a try, and we share a birthday... that's gotta get me some points, no? Whether I get in contact with any of them or not, this is my season for progression. And I refuse to lose my dream of doing and being something great.

So yeah... that was my weekend. I also ordered the second season of 30 Rock (shame on me for buying out of order, but it was cheaper and I still love you Tina Fey) and the Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection (more on that later). So please excuse me in a week or so whilst I laugh myself to creative, comedic and witty enlightenment with these awesome stories, actors and writers. But I'll be sure to pre-post some posts about stuff. Maybe. Somebody hasn't been sleeping much which affects his work during the day because he's too busy writing... so something's gotta give. And yes, I liked that movie.

2.13.2009

fripodding and valentines: "happy valentine's day" andré 3000

I think, if such an argument exists, it can be argued that there may not be definite "Valentine carols," if you will. I contend that there are, at least, a few. What would bring such a discussion? The countless love songs that one could dedicate to another on such a special day of love. Or... The countless anti-love songs one could dedicate to another on such a sappy day of love. Depends on your mood and "romancism" at the time.

Such a song, I believe, captures both moods. Honestly, I think it leans more towards the "happier" side of the Valentine theme, but the song I'm talking about is Happy Valentine's Day by one of my idols, the great Andre 3000 of OutKast. This song is found on The Love Below side of the multi-platinum, Grammy winning, double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. It is meant to be jammed to very loudly all day on the 14th of February, even though the song states everyday is the 14th.

In this song, Andre voices a character named Cupid Valentino, who is an updated version of the classic Cupid we all know and love (or hate). Instead of wielding a bow and arrow, this Cupid brandishes a gun. And based on the album picture, it's a shiny pink metallic looking pistol.


On a side note, this song and image inspired me to write an updated version of Cupid based on this representation. I also did some homework on the Cupid character, the stories, the family background, personality traits, so forth and so on... Then I thought of a few storylines to throw him in, coming up with a trilogy that has separate stories that work on their own, but together would be considered the Chronicles of Cupid. I've only completed the outline to the first story, the second would be a reincarnation of a favorite film Love, Actually, and the third would be a modernized retelling of the story of Psyche. This is one of my first independent screenwriting projects I started once I decided screenwriting would be something I'd pursue professionally. But I stopped working on these projects so I could focus on smaller projects, eventually working my way up to feature length. Unfortunately, I keep seeing other modern Cupids popping up on TV and I pray none of them have guns. (Strange prayer, I know.)

Anyway, this song has both Andre singing and rapping, which he does all over this album. The album is based on the concept of love, and this particular song deals with Cupid hunting down people running away from love, and Cupid's revenge since he doesn't get the respect he deserves. Well, that's my interpretation of it. At the end, the chorus chants "[expletive] that Valentine's Day!" as if to say "bump this stupid holiday." Again, my interpretation. And those that dislike this holiday would appreciate the sentiments.

Whenever I begin making music videos, this is one I'd love to tackle. I'll admit, my version might seem a bit violent since I'd take the lyrics literally and incorporate Cupid shooting that pink gun at people, but don't fret, there won't be blood. Just lots of love. Or reluctant love. But it'll be fun! And yes, this video would be a taste of what I have in mind for how this character acts in my stories. It'd be awesome if Andre could be involved and star as Cupid Valentino himself in both the video and movie(s). But after some careful YouTubing, I found these two gems, with the first being super close to what I had in mind. They get so much props from me, it hurts.



And lastly, another version brought to you buy somebody who knows how to play Sims 2 very well. Actually, I don't know, I stopped at the first one... but still, check this version out too.



Happy/[Expletive] Valentine's Day, Indoobians!

2.12.2009

placing my bets: oscars '09

Okay so I lied... this post has nothing to do with Valentine's Day whatsoever when I said every post this week would be Valentine-themed. But it's time-critical, so I felt the need to post this immediately instead of waiting until next week. Oscar business is big business.

I know I'm perfectly capable of making my own Oscar predictions, but being an Entertainment Weekly subscriber for the past five years has shown me that these guys really can pick 'em. At least the Academy Awards. I'm not saying they are right 100% of the time, and to be honest I don't remember if they were or not... but most of the time they are mostly right. At least for the major categories. So below are EW's Dave Karger's predictions. My own wishes and desires and hopefuls I put in parentheses. They might not win, but it'd be nice if they did. I know you can only pick one, but this is my blog, post your own predictions! (Or vote on the side bar, or leave me a comment.)

For the record, any category WALL-E is nominated in, I'm probably inclined to root for due to it's awesomeness and the sad fact it's one of the few Oscar nominated movies I've seen, and has been snubbed by some larger categories like Best Picture. Oh well. The big winners looks to be between Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button due to the nods they have, but the list below shows the final sweep by the underdog Slumdog. Based on their winning streak, I think I might be foolish to disagree even if I haven't seen that movie, or most of the movies nominated. Next year I'll get it together.

Check out this little Oscar Cheat Sheet I found! This was posted prior to the Globes, but you get the idea.

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Director, Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Actor: Sean Penn, Milk (the Comeback Kid Mickey Rourke or the Underdog Richard Jenkins)

Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader (too close for me to call, haven't seen any of these but if not Winslet, then Streep or Hathaway.)

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (I'd like to see a surprised Taraji Henson)

Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk (I <3 Wall-E, honorable mention for In Bruges)

Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

Animated Film: Wall-E Foreign-Language Film: The Class

Documentary: Man On Wire

Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire (The Dark Knight just for kicks)

Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Costume Design: The Duchess (Do period pieces from this era always seem to win... or am I wrong?)

Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Score: Slumdog Millionaire (I want to give this to Wall-E, but it's the only movie I've seen)

Song: "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire

Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (I want to mention The Dark Knight for Two-Face, since most of the action on screen was barely CGI, according to the director. But I equally visually enjoy every special effect in Iron Man so this is a tough call for me)

Sound: The Dark Knight (Wall-E)

Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight (Wall-E... I mean c'mon... the sounds and the dude behind them?)

Short: Spielzugland (Toyland)

Animated Short: Presto

Documentary Short: The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306

So if you don't have plans Sunday, February 22nd, watch the Oscars with me. I'll (hopefully) be Twittering while I watch.

2.11.2009

black history blogging here and there

Being a Black American, I didn't forget that this is Black History Month. How can I? My own personal feelings might be a bit conflicting, since I believe Black history should be celebrated all year round because it's made all year round. November 4th, 2008 and January 20th, 2009 anyone? But at the same time, it's nice that we get an entire month to reflect and appreciate great achievements of our African American heroes, legends and events--past and present. And I'm talking about the legends that don't get mentioned as much as MLK, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas and President Barack Obama. Legends like Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, Frederick Gregory or... dare I say it... Sam Cooke. And events like the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Power Movement or the Greensboro Sit-In (which is typically grouped with the Civil Rights Movement, but still significantly important in Black history as well as being immensely interesting and not as widely discussed).

I wrote some commentaries about some great Black idols of my own. Specifically the screenwriter/director/actor idols. It wasn't an easy list to make, but talking about why I chose them and think they are great or deserve some attention was easy to do. Melvin Van Peebles was first on that list, even though I think most of this generation might be more familiar seeing his son, Mario.

Anyway, a friendly screenwriting teacher known as Jaden is the one that provoked my written opinions about the subject, and offered me to be a guest contributor this month on her blog! My first thoughts were... "Me? Just a mere blogger and novice movie guru? On your resourceful site with tons of readers?" It is indoob humbling. Despite my few years of writing and performing for an audience, it's a feeling I don't think I'll ever get used to. I accepted the offer and picked four African American auteurs in cinema. There are more, and it's a list I'm striving to be on someday. But for the time being, these are some people that I aspire to be like.

But enough of my babbling, head on over to Screenwriting For Hollywood and appreciate my aspirations with me. I didn't "advertise" my posting over there partly because I forgot, so I'm doing it now. But thanks again to Jaden for furthering me and the Indoob brand out into the blogosphere and Internet world. Make sure you stick around her blog past February, she has a lot of wisdom and knowledge to dispense whether you are screenwriting for Hollywood or not.

cnn is anti-valentine?

I came across this article on CNN.com that was just too good not to share. I'm an admitted news junkie, and my news source of choice is the Cable News Network. I think they might lean towards the left a little, but it's usually pretty centered even if I tend to be liberal minded. Plus it's the most watched and trusted news source! And I know most of the anchors, reporters and contributors by name. Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, John King, the lovely Soledad O'Brien or Betty Nguyen (I'd like to be their Valentines). I think I've shown too much of my news-junkiness. Nevertheless, the African-American male liberal political contributor Ronald Martin is a trusted source of knowledge and intellect. I had to be specific, because there's (who I consider) a female copy of him--Donna Brazile (I don't see her on CNN's payroll, although she's on CNN all the time).

Anyway, Ronald wrote a poignant piece about boycotting Valentine's Day that totally agreed with my opinions. That's right. Whether your single, married, engaged, embattled--boycott it! And he states his reasons, which I've heard before, but they weren't typed or linked to my blog... so I'm doing it now. Plus I spent all my research time for this post searching for Donna Brazile's name. I strongly agree with Ronald: love and relationships should be celebrated everyday, not just once a year. And he says retailers are to blame. I just mentioned card companies specifically--I totally forgot about the jewelers! And the fact that men don't get much attention other than they are expected to give. Except, maybe for some, they get theirs later that night. And platonic friends shouldn't expect more than a card or sweets. That's just the way of the world unless you live in a movie or some brand of fiction. Harsh reality we live in.

But let's be real and keep it sterling. In this tough economy with people losing their jobs and houses, who can really afford jewelry, fancy dinners, expensive flowers or even a $3 Valentine card when we are trying to scrimp and save to put some morsels of food on the table for the family, let alone one significant other?

Then again, why not make it a day she'll (or he'll) never forget? Bump the kids (if any apply). Despite the circumstances, you still came through and made it magical with a shoe string budget thanks to some DIY website you read on Yahoo's homepage titled "Inexpensive Date Ideas That Impress." I don't have a link for that (ran out of research time, remember?) but type those words into Yahoo or Google and I'm sure you'll get some desired results.

(But did you see what I did there? I like to think of it as being a two-faced devil's advocate. Either way, it's fence sitting, but this particular post is definitely leaning towards anti-Valentine.)

I'm still on the fence, like I stated at the beginning of the week. The past few days I've been waking up late and weary, so I'm considering sleeping in all day on Saturday. This means I won't be on the fence, nor will I be on anyone's side or anyone's yard. Honestly, I will probably treat that day like any other and enjoy some pizza with a friend or two. That alone would be making a point of non-romantic celebrations. But that's me. Let's check out what a rational cynic (if I can call him that) Mr. Martin has to say and you can come up with your own conclusions, if you haven't already.

2.09.2009

bring on the bitter romance, baby!

Valentine's Day is upon us. I remember way back in my youth reading in a Highlights magazine that St. Valentine had nothing to do with love or romance whatsoever. I don't feel like Wikipedia-ing right now to find out his story... but perhaps this was one of the first holidays that people say was created by greeting card companies. And, my oh my, do they make a killing. Not that anyone doubts this, but the proof is seen at stores like Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, Hallmark... any store that houses these cards. What will you find? Crowds of last-minute-men scrambling to find the perfect card--or any card--for their special lady friend.

The florists and chocolatist get this treatment too. And it's not just V-Day, but Mother's Day I see this happen too. But we'll wait until May to talk about that.

This holiday's mascot is probably officially Cupid of Roman mythology. I've done my homework on this dude since he became the focus of a trilogy screenplay I had been working on, but I since took a break for other creative interests. But I've been thinking about creating a character to counter Cupid. A Grinch or Scrooge to Valentine's Santa, if you will. Naturally, at the end of his story, this cynical, malice-filled caricature would probably discover the true meaning of Valentine's Day by the night's end... or maybe the night before... and change his ways thanks to a caring woman who made his heart grow three sizes that day. Or maybe Cupid will stab him with a magical pitch fork.

I could totally take it to an adult themed story line and tie in Victoria's Secret marketing. Out anti-hero will discover a different ending that night. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

But on a personal level, I'm feeling rather apathetic this year. Most of my friends already have someone they'd call a Valentine. And the ones that don't... Well, wouldn't it be nice to get all these bitter singles together to just hate on love and say how overrated romance is? Some hooking up might happen in the process, but they'd be promptly kicked out.

This year, I could go either way. I can look at the lovey-dovey side, or the "this holiday sucks" side. I don't care. And yes that means that at the time being, I am Valentine-less. But no weepy tears for me. It's not that big of a deal. Besides, the day hasn't yet arrived so anything can happen.

I have my favorite past Valentine memories to reflect on though. The double Valentines at Purchase. The Casablanca viewing Valentine. Heh-heh... yeah... Sorry. Okay, so those are only two memories... but they were great and I will plead the fifth as to why and what happened. Good times, indoob.

Anyway, be sure to stay tuned this week as I do the best I can to keep my posts holiday themed. I have had a reputation of being a romantic, so I can't let those people down. Yet, at the same time, I find the thought of being the anti-romantic intriguing. Maybe we'll call this alter ego Syd the Cynic. So join in on the bittersweet holiday that so many people love to hate, or hate because they get no love. Or both.

2.06.2009

fripodding and immigranting: wyclef jean - carnival, vol. ii

I done forgot what I was supposed to be friPodding this friDay. Oh well, let's talk about the newest album I bought that iSaac and I can't stop pumping through every speaker I can plug him up to.


Wyclef Jean's Carnival, Volume II: Memoirs of an Immigrant.

I find it interesting, almost ironic, how I haven't bought a Wyclef album since The Carnival, which I loved so much that I "borrowed" it from my sister for the past... I don't know... 10 years? Well, I accidentally stepped on her original copy while I was making a mad dash through a messy room trying to shut off an alarm, so I had to buy another one. She does not know this because that happened maybe 5 years ago. I swore I bought that album a couple times due to similar accidents... but that's all beside the point.

What I like about this album is how similar it is to the first. Guest list galore, and each song seems to come from a different location, or has an influence from a different culture. The original album has that same flare too. However, there are no interludes, which made the first album seem like a movie or something. But that being the first solo album after The Fugees' The Score, I think it made sense. 'Twas the time of the interludes. Nowadays, we get our music online or even by the song. Interludes are a thing of the past. So sad. I wanted to be on some interludes.

But back to II. This album is actually 2 years old, it came out in 2007. But if I haven't heard it, it's new to me, right? And I liked coming into this album not being aware of the singles or what was a big hit. I already know, thanks to iTunes, that the song most popular was Sweetest Girl and it is indoob a good song. I also highly enjoy King & Queen with the Colombian goddess Shakira. I'm thinking about getting a few of her songs because I'm digging her voice these days. Next up is Fast Car with Paul Simon. I liked this song based on the preview alone without even knowing what the song is about. Kinda on the serious and sad side, but still, I love it. Next is What About the Baby with Mary J. Last I saw them together was with 911. I think this is like a continuation of that song, and maybe a hint of Gone Til November. Just me.

I won't talk about every song. There are a few others on here I really liked. And I like the messages in some of these songs... which are about immigrants and/or society. Not really shocking, is it? But honestly, I didn't love every song. But the most interesting is the last one called Touch Your Button Carnival Jam which has a long guest list. It has to. It's 13 minutes long! It's really 3 songs in 1, and feels like a party that's winding down, but still jamming. I have to imagine that this is what a carnival party is really like.

Either way, this album fits nicely with my other Wyclef tracks. I would've loved some cameos from the other Fugees members, Pras and Lauryn. Who wouldn't?

2.04.2009

ready to read about writing right: "how to write a movie in 21 days"

The truth about me is pretty sad: I'm practically an anti-reader. It's true for a lot of people I know, they have a hard time picking up a book. I don't have a hard time picking one up, I just have difficulties opening it. Then, the chances that I do open it, it's finishing it. That's why I think it was such a big deal that I finished reading Watchmen. But I can hear critics saying now that that isn't considered a real book. Well, I beg to differ. It made it on the top 100 novels and it's the only graphic novel on there. Sure, it's mostly pictures, but you really can't figure out what's going on without reading it.

Anyway, you know you are a sad reader when your friends have to mail you books to read. Peopel can suggest books to you all day, but when it's hand delivered to you by your local postman, then perhaps it's time to read the words cover to cover.

Granted, I still haven't finished Our Uncle Sam by Erik Greene... but I say that's a wee bit different. I started reading that because our cable went out before I decided to pop in a DVD. Again, I know... I'm a sad reader. I've been tryin' to told ya!

So my friend, whom I dub as my "cinematic soul mate" (and I could write an entire post about, but I'm not going to but will thank her for this book and a birthday card she stuck in it), sent me Viki King's How to Write a Movie in 21 Days. Hopefully I can read it in at least 7. If I'm not mistaken, I think she wants this book back, so I will get my reading on so I can ship it back to her ASAP whilst I look into buying my own copy. Or buy her a brand new one since I'm too lazy to ship anything myself that can't fit into a envelope. I have no shame.

By receiving this book, I think it means it's time for me to head back to the "studio" to start penning a script. February just began. In my dream world, perhaps I'll wriet a script every month. Hey, I'm a firm believer in making my dreams come true, so if I could write a script every month... Good googamooga! Of course I'd come back to them a month later to tweak and tweak until I see no more need for tweaking until others say so. I haven't forgotten my mentors Mrs. Rogers and Jaden, plus countless tips I pick up from various trusted sources.

But first, I must read. That's one piece of advice I haven't followed that even my idol, Sam Cooke, said to do: read as much as you can. I seriously doubt I can count Wikipedia.

a [pot] lucky day

Today is crunch day, like most Wednesdays, once again. The difference between this Wednesday and the Wednesdays of the past few weeks is this: I'm in (mostly) full health [coughs], my day is just starting (I woke up at 8:45 instead of 5:45), I have a full water bottle (I don't mind tap and recycling is good for Earth), and iSaac is fully charged and ready to keep me entertained whilst I break down the system (and thanks to my past friPod countdowns, you have an idea of what I'm jamming out to).

Today in particular is a big meeting day at the office. The company would like everyone to be there, by everyone, they mean those who work at home, like me. Will I be there? No. I'm saving on gas and my personal loss of body heat. Which reminds me, I need to make some phone calls to see how much it'll cost Sam to get some heat in his system even though I'm pretending winter will be over next week.

Anyway, there's a meeting I won't be attending--not in person anyway. I'll listen over the phone and eventually get back to work attacking my files while everyone at the office enjoys what's called a pot luck. I'm fully aware of the joys a pot luck lunch brings, I just wish it had a different name. It makes me think of leprechauns with black pots of gold. Not that a name like that will keep me from eating. Hmm... now I want me Lucky Charms. But does it seem odd I'm passing up free food? Maybe to some. But the catch is we are supposed to bring food with us, so the others will be like "I'm sure lucky I came" or "They are lucky they got here to get some of my three-alarm rice!" My mother is grudgingly bringing meatballs. I'd like to go a little crazy on them if I made them, slathering them in BBQ sauce or something. Had I done that, none of my co-workers would get one. Tough luck, no pot luck.

The other great thing about today, I know exactly how many more files I need so I could "slack off" tomorrow. That is, I need to destroy as many files as I can today: at least 20 to make my 55 quota. And hey! If I do more I can count it as overtime! And Lord knows I need some OT pay. Sammy needs a new heating system... among other things.

2.02.2009

a poem: "tour de force"

I captured you against your own will.
You want to resist but can't sit still.
I'm shooting my shotgun at your feet.
Your head bobs trying to dodge the beat.
There's no lacking the cracking of whips.
There's no faking the shaking of hips.
Work you off the wall to the floor by force.
You're my slave and that's my tour de force.

1.30.2009

fripodding and heavy rotating: the best of the best

So I didn't think I'd make it in time to do the final countdown in the Heavy Rotation series. But here it is, the best of the best, and it wasn't easy because I feel down deep in my stick recuperating bones that I've slighted somebody. Once again, I'm judging these albums based on listenability--listening to an album from beginning to end without skipping songs.

Through this journey, I sadly had to leave out some albums. I have to set some limits for myself ya know. I actually let myself go last week and stretched a supposed top 10 list to a top 15 with special exceptions. In this case, it will be a straight top 15 and a few notes about the album. Before I begin, let me name a few artists who did not make the list, or any lists I've made so far but I do have complete albums and truly enjoy: Gavin DeGraw, The Fugees, Sara Barellis, Talib Kweli, Will Smith, matchbox 20 and Gnarles Barkley. Perhaps in friPod posts to come, I'll shine some light on what I like about these artists and/or particular albums.

I'd consider those to be honorable mentions, but I didn't name their respective albums. I think it's safe to say that those artists are also on my trust list, that if they came out with an album tomorrow, I would buy it knowing I'd enjoy. It's always tough making these lists because I really have to consider what I really love about each album. Some of it is lyrical. Some of it is composition. Some is beats and production. Performance. Length. And of course, all of these together, it makes it difficult. But without further procrastination, here's my final list, last edited about 37 minutes ago according to my feelings towards them.


15. John Mayer--Continuum - I was never really a fan of this guy, but some struck a chord between his voice and lyrics and I became a follower. Plus he's from Connecticut so I gotta support.


14. Deitrick Haddon--Crossroads - It'd be criminal of me not to include at least one gospel album, and I almost went with Kirk Franklin. But over the years, I've come to listen to this guy a bit more also because of his voice, storytelling lyrics which are sometimes straight out of the Bible.


13. Daft Punk--Discovery - A musical journey through remixes, guitar riffs and computerized beats... and if you've seen the movie version, then you can see the music and it's brilliance. Is it safe to say they have a style all their own? And that I love it? I'll say it. I love it.


12. Panic! at the Disco--A Fever You Can't Sweat Out - I'll be honest, when I first heard this album, all the songs sounded the same. But after really listening, I was entranced by the lyrics and their energy. I still couldn't tell you the titles of the songs, but I know the song when I hear it.


11. The Roots--Rising Down - I started following The Roots a few years ago, and I still haven't heard everything they have done. I know they don't seem very high on my list, but I couldn't leave them out, and I really love this album for their hard hitting, painfully honest piece of work. Again, much love to production by ?uestlove and the genius rhymes of Black Thought (and friends).


10. Fall Out Boy--Infinity On High - I've recently been a converted fan, but these guys do play some great music. I may not understand what all the songs mean, but if it means having a good time, doesn't it really matter? Truly enjoyable music to listen to at high volume and on repeat.


9. Prince--Purple Rain - I mention Prince before, suggesting I'd be better off with a "best of" album but I don't have one that includes all my favorites, and this is the only album that seems to have most of them at once. Perhaps one day I'll list all my favorite Prince hits, but so far, this is one of the top albums and top musical movies... even if it wasn't that good of a movie.


8. Mos Def--Black on Both Sides - I really wanted to get Mos Def on this list, especially this album which I love listening to. Another dude with great wordplay and bringing on social awareness. What this album is, I wish so many more albums were like: full.


7. Raphael Saadiq--The Way I See It - Yeah, you already know. I won't repost the link again, but just know that this guy is also musically genius and this album has such an awesome retro style that it hurts. I mean that in a good way. Like when your face starts frowning up because it feels so good. Yeah, that's how I felt.


6. Joss Stone--Introducing... - One of my favorite soul singers on the planet. And both beautiful physically and vocally. Saadiq helped make this album as awesome as it is, but Joss brought it with her voice and lyrics. This also has a retro feel that I love. And Joss beat Saadiq because she's a girl and I like girls.


5. John Legend--Get Lifted - I love all John's albums, but I guess sometimes it's best to start with the first. I remember when I first heard this album, it gave me comfort that there were some people who actually still sang from the heart and had some real soul in their voice. Everyone sounded the same to me, then the Legend hit the radio waves and I'd like to think that things haven't been the same since.


4. Kanye West--Graduation - Just like John Legend, I enjoyed his previous albums. As much as I enjoyed the first album, I'd have to go with this one (which I explained in the last list).


3. OutKast--Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - More geniuses here. I had yet another hard time picking which album to list, so I applied the "island" rule: if you could only listen to one album forever on an album, which would it be? Well here is a double album. Overall, the best of both worlds and something different the world wasn't ready for.


2. Lauryn Hill--The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - I knew without a doubt that she needed to be on this list. It just made sense that she be #2, but besides the number, she is just awesome. Both a singer and a rapper, with great messages in her songs and some really great wordplay, I just hope she takes the world by storm again soon. Only she can followup greatness with more greatness.


1. Sam Cooke--One Night Stand! - Who else did you think would get my #1 spot?

1.29.2009

how i spent my 23rd

Thanks to a heavy dose of my favorite alcoholic beverage, NyQuil, I arose bright and early and well rested at exactly 5:50 AM. Not by my own sheer will, of course. This is due to my cell phone's Monday thru Friday alarm set that remarkable sounds different each time I hit snooze. I think there's a conspiracy behind that.

Compared to the past 48 hours up to that point, I have no choice but to agree that I was feeling 90% better. Now the only health issues I had no choice but to deal with was the remnants of either a cold or what might have been the flu, or [shudders] a fever. I don't even know what the symptoms of a fever are, but all the while as I rested in bed, I began to ponder if I was supposed to sweat out the flu or feed a cold. Then I considered how some of those old time remedies have since been disproved. Example, candy and sweets won't necessarily make your children more overactive than they already are. I'd cite the source... but I assume we are all connected to the Internet one way or another.

I make my way down to my desk to start what hopefully turns out to be a full and productive day, despite it being a day most people take off from work to celebrate by doing who knows what. Technically, I'm behind a day and half. But I think all will be worked out. In my half the day the night before, I would equate my productivity to that of a Grand Slam... twice... with the Denny's meal afterwards. It certainly wasn't my intention to be ill. Who ever wants to be? Oh wait! I know! Test subjects who get paid at universities to take on bacterias and viruses for the sake of science and hopefully a decent check. I'd almost ask to sign me up. But I've never enjoyed feeling extremely frigid body chills, then feeling extreme heat all over sweating in places I never knew possible, a blazing flaming throat, a non-stop leaky nose, delusional and completely weirded out dreams (while sometimes still awake), no interest in food (with my stomach later agreed with the disinterested by violently repelling soon after), and of course... just all around miserableness. That was mostly Tuesday, and I didn't want to give in to too many graphic details, but it just wasn't pleasant.

My guess is I may have caught whatever yuckiness my parents (specifically my mother) had, or someone I gave a ride home from church. Or [gasp] both!

Whatever the case, I think my body is now immune to whatever it was that attacked me. It still hurts when I sneeze, but it's much better than before. During my lunch, I journey out of the house for the first time since Sunday to greet my best friend. All I desired was hot lemon tea. I took a trip to the Mart to pick up some much needed supplies. Tissues and toilet tissues. I guess there's a first time to be out of all of that stuff at once, right? I'm not a fan of public bathrooms either, so it was a dire need and couldn't wait to get home to clear out my system and all it's ailments.

Considering the quarantine had been lifted from the house, some family members stopped by to give gifts. I was allowed to miss choir rehearsal even though I would've went. There was talk of cancelling due to weather problems. The weather wreaked havoc yesterday and the city has remained a skating rink. Unfortunately, skating isn't one of my many talents, so this gives me another reason to stay indoors, especially at night. When it's disgustingly colder. At least it's not as bad as the week before, or whenever it hit "BONE CHILLING" on the thermometer.

Anyway, there are plans to probably go out to dinner at a nice eatery like IHOP or Red Lobster or Custy's or IHOP. Bowling has also been discussed. A past time I do indoob enjoy. I also enjoy mini golf, but it's winter and 95% of the places I know are currently closed. There is an indoor mini golf, but I don't feel like making the drive or remembering how to get there. Shame on me for denying myself a good time.

Overall, I can't complain. It's been fun. I'm horrendously behind on many other blog posts I love reading, but I'll catch up soon enough. It's not a landmark year, but I'm hoping one of these days, Oprah and I can party together.

1.26.2009

a poem: "heartbreak hangover"

No, I'm not fine,
I am not okay.
There's nothing you can do or say.
But thanks for asking anyway.

They don't make pills for this kind of pain.
My heart can't stay dry from this kind of rain.
Only time heals a heartbreak hangover.
And my heart won't truly get over
knowing it won't be the same.

Unless you were her
and came back to stay,
there's not much else you can do today.
But thank you for trying anyway.
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