Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is the soul of hip-hop in slam poetry?

Music Poem from Saul Williams's journal from 2000 --- From "The Dead Emcee Scrolls" pg. 152

Can music change the world?
Are these simply songs to be heard
And forgotten?
When JB said, "Say it loud..."
Did that affect a shift in conciousness?
Can the music of a society
Help mold its mental state?
Can a great song affect more than the way
A musician approaches his next song?
How about the way they approach their children.
Their loved ones? Their lives?

I believe I am
A man molded by music
And my intent is to mold
To shape
These are the ways
Of a carpenter.


"The Dead Emcee Scrolls" is a challenging book by Saul Williams.

It's about where hip hop had a chance to be, and may not be reaching right now.

I am getting more into the slam poetry scene all of the time.  It speaks to me.  Language is powerful, words are powerful.

Hip-hop had a poetry to it, some does, some is misogynistic and glorifies capitalism and money.

I think some of the best of early hip-hop has become part of the slam poetry scene.  Some of it is rapped, most just spoke, a lot inbetween.

It's about the words, it's about talking about lives.

It's about talking about pain, family, redemption, gladness and sadness.

I am very proud of the Portland, Maine poetry scene.

May it continue to prosper.

Edmund (aka Ed2D2)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

We live in insane times.

So insane that someone live say Nancy Smith who works $10/hour in a McJob pays a higher combined income tax and payroll tax rate then someone who lives off interest income and is worth $100 Million Dollars.

I think current payroll taxes are around 10% for the employee; matched by 10% for the employer (this is not a perfect # just an estimate) .. Even if someone pays no income tax or very little, which is likely since 10x40hours/week = $400/week and times 52 weeks a year equals $20,800.

And many Americans make less then this all around the country.  So let's just say this person makes approximately $21,000 and pays 20% payroll taxes and no income taxes.  Of course, they only see the $2,100 in payroll taxes that are shown by their paystubs.

Let's say this person is also lucky enough to have health insurance at their job which by no means is a given in a low-wage job.

And let's say for her family it costs $100/week, which sadly is a low estimate for the cost of health insurance for a family of 4 in a low wage job.

This means that she in making $300/week.  And she is having another $40/week in payroll taxes, giving her $260/week.

Let's say beyond this she went to college for 4 semesters and didn't graduate and has $100/month in student load debt.

This is $1,200/year which is much less then most students who went to college recently pay.

So this person makes $260/week*52 weeks = $13,520 year - $1,200 for student loan debt, this person is down to $12,320 year .. or $1,026.67 a month for all expenses.

This person would require assistance just to get by with 2 kids and a husband even if he made another $1,000 a month.

And the Republican party says that simple help like food stamps for $200/month is welfare and causes dependency.


Meanwhile, Huxley Rockefeller has a $100 Million Dollar trust fund.

His trust fund is invested through a conservative hedge fund and makes 8% a year.

This gives him $8 Million a year in interest income.

This interest income I believe is taxed at 15% for capital gains equaling 1.2 Million in taxes.  But leaving $6.8 Million in income.

Mr. Rockefeller can afford excellent insurance for his family of four that costs $2,000/month which is a neglible bill that he autopays.

He also gives money to a lobbyist that keeps the capital gains tax % low and has petitioned for 0% Capital Gains Tax.

His basic expenses and overhead like rent and utilities are negligible and he spend approximately $1 Million/year for excellent meals, a Central Park South Apartment, and private school for his children.

This leaves him $5.8 Million dollars in interest income that can accumulate the next year.


Insanely, Mr. Rockefeller pays less of a percentage in total taxes then Ms. Smith.

Mr. Rockefeller earns over $5 Million Dollars a year to his net worth.  Ms. Smith is likely to have to take on debt to just get by and say gains $5,000 debt/year.

The sad thing is this isn't really theoretical.

We are the 99%


Thursday, October 13, 2011

10 of my favorite albums (or really 13)

Don't want to call it my top 10 albums but here are some of my favorites.

Nirvana - Nevermind .. from the great rush of Smells Like Teen Spirit to the awesomeness of Lithium "I'm so happy because today I've found my friends there in my head" .. Come as you Are, Breed ... One of my favorite albums from high school years. (1991)

U2 - The Joshua Tree -- I can't live with or without you, I still haven't found what I am looking for .. Where the Streets Have No Name, Running to Stand Still .. Still U2's best album almost 25 years later (amazing to say that) (1987)

Radiohead - OK Computer -- Rare to have an album for me that only 2 songs are 3 stars .. almost all 4 stars including 5 for Karma Police.  Atmospheric, beautiful, contemplative.  Other bands wish they could reach these heights.  Just stunning. (1997)

Bob Dylan .. One of my 3 favorite performers of all time (Cash, Dylan, Charles) .. 3 albums come to mind for him .. Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited and Time Out of Mind ... Putting 2 on my top 10 for now. Love Time Out of Mind, but not up to the first two.

Blonde on Blonde -- Bob Dylan -- 1966 .. One of the iconic Dylan albums .. Rainy Day Women (ie lets gets stoned) .. the wonderful craziness of Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat; the beauty of Just Like a Woman; and those gorgeous Visions of Johanna

Highway 61 Revisited --- Bob Dylan -- 1965 -- Didn't realize it came so close to Blonde on Blonde, knew both 60s albums but wow .. The iconic Like a Rolling Stone, the wonderful Ballad of a Thin Man -- Mr. Jones .. Desolation Row, It Takes a Lot to Laugh ... Amazing album from top to finish.

Johnny Cash -- The Legend of Johnny Cash -- 2005 -- my pick for best album of the 2000s and I guess the 21st Century so far.  Ironic for one of the 20th Century's great music icons.  Rick Rubin helped make this amazing late career Johnny Cash resurgence.  So many times better then Slate's best pick of the last 10 years -- The Strokes -- "Is This It?" ...

One of the best ways to get into Johnny Cash .. Get Rhythm when you get the blues, Hey Porter that you are getting close to home; My name is Sue .. how do you do .. now you gonna die.  Highwayman, Delia's Gone, one more round Delia's gone .. and of course the knockout that is "Hurt" .. the cover of NIN that went so, so far above Trent Reznor.

Love Ray Charles don't have 1 album that belongs on this list.

The Beatles -- Anthology 2 (Disc 2) -- I am sure some people may not like this came far after the Beatles were together.  Love the multiple versions of Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day in the Life, Mr. Kite, I Am the Walrus, Fool on the Hill.  The fact that many of these versions were alternate takes provides a sparer and awesome power all of its own. -- 1996

Fugees - The Score --- Really sad that they broke after this insanely great album --- so many highs on this album.  Killing Me Softly, Ready or Not; No Woman, No Cry (will admit to prefering it to Bob Marley's version); ... Amazing album, amazing group, huge egos.  Would love a reunion .. I thought I heard a rumor of one. -- 1996

Simon and Garfunkel -- The Essential Simon and Garfunkel (2 CDs) -- My mother's favorite band easily, so I grew up with this music .. So many favorites -- The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, I Am a Rock, Bridge Over Troubled Water; Scarborough Fair; The Only Living Boy in New York; Cecilia; If I Could ... Just love these harmonies --- 1964-1970

The Simpsons -- Songs in the Key of Springfield --- A must for anyone who loves the show. It's easy to forget how amazing the music on this show is.  Go Simpsonic with the Simpsons is also excellent.  So much fun here -- The Stonecutter's Song (We Do); Your Wife Don't Understand You; Oh Streetcar; 2 Dozen and One Greyhounds ... If you don't have this it's amazing get it.  The Simpsons: Testify is skippable.  1990-1996

Kind of Blue - Miles Davis -- One of the iconic jazz sessions of all time.  Amazing music.  So What, All Blues, Freedie Freeloader.  One of those must own LPs. - 1959

The Aristocrat of the Blues - Muddy Waters, et al (2 CDs) --- I think of this as primarily a Muddy Waters album but insanely great blues from the Aristocrat label.  If you are a blues fan at all, you need to have this, just simply amazing. -- 1947-1950

The Best of the Songbooks (Disc 1) -- Ella Fitzgerald -- Literally got married to this music.  Gorgeous stuff. My favorite Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Miss Otis Regrets; 's Wonderful; Love is Here to Stay; Can't Take That Away from Me.  One of the great voices of all time.  Released 1993 -- Music mainly from the 50s I think.

So there you go .. and of course ended up with 13 albums.  All amazing all different.

Try them out and please give your feedback and personal favorites.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Market Fundamentalism

Interesting thing about the Washington Consensus and market fundamentalism is that only on economist would see the world that way. Anyone who looks an the world from the view of a political scientist, sociologist, historian, journalist, etc. knows the markets are messy.

A good example of this was the mess of the post-soviet breakup of state companies. The insiders knew how to game the system and became billionaires. The people were pretty much screwed, and the economy completely screwed up to the point of hyper-inflation and ruble devaluation (ruble went from around 6 to the US Dollar to the low 20s).

So market fundamentalism not so much.

Still reading "Globalization and its Discontents" by Joseph Stiglitz, but its interesting how international instituations have used dogma to screw up economies. Will come back to this topic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

15 Top Rated songs

So I am changing this up again and making it all 4 or 5 star songs on my ITunes so getting some good stuff that fits my musical taste.

And I want to hear the stuff you actually like -- so pick a favorite playlist -- most recently played would work too -- best would be the most played or your top rated. Or something like a shuffle that is edited.

(1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.

(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.


1. Express Yourself - Madonna -- **** -- much more appropriate start -- been a not so closet Madonna fan for a long time.

2. We Welcome You to Munchkin Land - The Wizard of Oz -- ADORE the munchkin suite from the Wizard of Oz.

3. Chelsea Hotel No. 2 - Leonard Cohen -- **** -- and now for something completely different -- but another glorious song

4. Smells Like Nirvana -- "Weird Al" Yankovic -- **** -- been a huge Weird Al fan since 12 or so -- adored the Dare to be Stupid album -- feel silly that didn't see him at the "Alapalooza" at the Orange County Fair in 2002 when he played every day and lived 20 mins away

5. Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup -- **** -- Nat King Cole -- gorgeous song from one of the great jazz singers of all time.

6. Symphony 9 in D Minor: Op 125 "Choral" -- **** -- Big Beethoven Classical from the London Symphony Orchestra -- Ode to Joy-tastical

7. Oh Pretty Woman -- Roy Orbison -- **** Just a great, classic rock song

8. Fu-Gee-La -- The Fugees -- **** -- Amazing album

9. Someone to Watch Over Me -- Ella Fitzgerald -- Gorgeous -- ****

10. Monster Mash -- Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- **** -- One of the most successful novelty songs of all time

11. Shoot -- George Carlin -- **** -- Shoot is just shit with 2 os

12. The Jazz Cat, Minnie the Moocher -- 3 Mo Tenors -- **** -- seriously great album -- glad I got for 2 bucks when I subbing as a fundraiser for New Orleans -- fun, fun, fun

13. Alpha Surfari -- Man or Astroman? -- **** -- One of the best shows I saw was these guys at the Pomona College student union -- very loud, very fun -- think geekier Dick Dale

14. Kyle's Mom's a B**ch -- South Park Soundtrack -- **** -- Yep this is really the kind of stuff I like.

15. The Score -- The Fugees -- **** -- Another fugees song --

And a bonus

16. Walk Away Renee -- The Four Tops -- ****

ok one more came up

17. I'm Super -- South Park -- **** - seems appropriate after election day.

So all four stars -- none of the 5 star on there -- but that is definitely my music -- yesterday's wasn't


Sunday, October 03, 2010

A prayer for my cat

Went to the pet ER on Friday for my cat.

Was worried he had a UTI.

News was worse.

A heart murmur and fluid in his body.

I hope he will be ok but worried he will not.

You are a great cat, Hunter "Socks" Thompson. We love you.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Top 11 favorite dishes -- Portland-land

These are not in any particular order and would love to hear your suggestions.

1)Curried Crab Soup -- Pepperclub, Middle Street, Portland, ME -- delicious, one of the most memorable things I have had here. Would be one of my regulars if lived closer.

2)Poutine, Frog and Turtle, Bridge Street, Westbrook, ME -- I have had better or worse nights with this but one of the best things I have had in Maine. This is also the first poutine I have had --- mmm cheese curds, fries and gravy

3) Pho, Thanh Thanh 2, Forest Avenue, Portland -- My favorite pho in town so far, although I prefer the rest of the food and the service at Saigon across the street. Much better broth and more meat then at Saigon.

4) Fresh Donuts, The French Press, Main Street, Westbrook -- they also serve these at the Frog and Turtle for Sunday brunch -- the 3 I always get are Maple-Bacon, Elvis (banana, chocolate and peanut butter) and the Cinnamon Sugar. I also love getting coffee and sandwiches, breakfast here.

5) Ham and Anchovy Small Pizza, Angelone's, Main St, Westbrook -- Across the street from where I live. Very fresh tasting, call this my salt-lick pizza. Also has location on Washington Avenue (off peninsula) in Portland -- haven't tried it there.

6) Seafood Vietnamese Noodle, Saigon, Forest Avenue, Portland, --- Absolutely delicious from one of my great discoveries recently. Love the service here, this is my favorite dish so far, satisfying, spicy, delicious

7) Chicago Dog Meal Deal, Chicago Dogs, Route 1, Scarborough, -- Love the relish and snap of this dog, with excellent fries and draft Eli's Root Beer -- really delicious, nice atmosphere -- wish was still at Clark's Pond -- just south of Route 1 and 114

8) Meat Papusa, Tu Casa, Washington Ave, Portland, ME -- another one of my great finds recently. One of the most cravable things in Portland -- even better on the deck on a nice day. Its a filled masa cake with meat, some swear by the cheese papusas. Really good. Odd that a Salvadoran place is my favorite Mexican place in Portland. Reminds me of Mexican places in LA, family owned, speak Spanish, fresh, simple, delicious. Other Mexican places in Portland area, good for chips, salsa and beer.

9) Moo Shu Pork, China Villa, Main Street, Westbrook -- this resteraunt has some tables but you mainly go to get take out and delivery. One of the places me and Lanna go to the most. Very good, huge, huge portions. Party tip -- flour tortillas work well if don't get enough Chinese "pancakes"

10) Small plates, Nosh, Congress Street, Portland --- did have my first hiccup with the meatloaf sandwich as Nosh, but have been very, very happy with small plates including: egg, couscous, beets, poutine, onion strings, tuna ceviche, oysters. Love that this is available in downtown and open late.

11) Hot Pastrami Special, Full Belly Deli, Brighton Ave, Portland -- delicious hot pastrami the best I can remember, grew up in New Jersey. Salty, flavorful, delicious. Also love the potato salad, and cole slaw with the special.

So those are my 11 -- do you have any favorites I need to try?


Monday, January 25, 2010

First ten songs on IPod - Or make it 13

So still have all my songs from my ITunes but lost all the ratings when I got the new Gateway.

So I thought I would try the first 10 songs on my IPod after hearing a Dead Air Podcast with 3 songs from his IPod

So here goes:

1) "Lover Come Back" by Ella Fitzgerald - off 25 Jazz Greats, Disc 2 -- quick jazz number by Ella -- not my favorite from her -- very uptempo ***

2) "I Feel Fine" by the Beatles off "1" album -- **** Good early Beatles

3) "The Stripper" by Joe Loss & His Orchestra -- off "Full Monty" soundtrack -- great silly fun song ... makes me want to dance and be silly and stuff

4) "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" by U2 - off "Achtung Baby" album -- **** -- great line "Because a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"

5) "Why Add A Worship Service" by the Unitarian Universalist Association - off "Lay leader drive time essays 1" -- Very interesting 4 minute post about why 2 services is a good or bad idea for growing congregations. Has worked well as Allen Avenue UU in Portland and happy that we are a growing congregation. Good piece. ***

6) "Guess Things Happen That Way" by Johnny Cash from the absolutely excellent "2005-The Legend of Johnny Cash" album that was engineered by Rick Rubin and also includes "Hurt" -- ****

7) "99 Ways to Die" by Megadeth from The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience album -- for me its just OK -- *** -- for Beavis and Butthead it would be "heh heh -- cool"

8) "There It Is" by Barry White from the "Icon is Love" album -- one man with a voice deeper then mine -- just a little bit different -- pure make out song -- ****

9) "I'm Sticking With You" by the Velvet Underground from the "Juno" soundtrack -- *** - not my favorite Velvet song -- next

10 "Favorite Thing" by Shift Music from album "Get In" -- pretty awful -- probably from a grab bag CD at Bull Moose - **

11) Bonus track since one of my songs wasn't a song at all "Prelude and Maine Title March" by the London Symphony Orchestra -- From the "Superman: The Movie:" soundtrack --- this is just some John Williams awesomeness -- *****

12) "Glass Onion" the Beatles - Love album -- has a remix-y quality --- kinda fun ***

13) "Luke and Leia" by John Williams off the "Star Wars Trilogy" album -- **** -- pretty John Williams tastic ****

14) "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2 off "The Joshua Tree" album -- arguably the best U2 song, off without question U2's best album *****

I personally really enjoy time-wasters like this -- interesting the the Beatles, U2 and John Williams showed up twice -- Edmund

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Me weekly

Made a tweet that their should be a ME weekly .. starring ME (was a riff on US weekly) ... Not sure how to do the RSS feed thing.

But here would be the me weekly from twitter.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Another IPod Challenge .. whee!/There Goes My Baby

I love these silly challenges .. trying to decide if want to leave the house and get coffee or keep watching stuff on DVR and burn CDs (got 5 CD grab bags @ Bull Moose (10 CDs each) for .99c/each) .. Yay!

Good stuff ... Guns N Roses-Appetite for Destruction, Sinead O'Connor - I do not want what I haven't got; U2-October; Tina Turner-Greatest Hits ..

Heres the facebook thing (from Kayt Sukel - super mom and writer) ...

Welcome to this week's viral tagging notes madness! But kinda fun if you have an iPod and eclectic taste in the music. (Out of 5569 songs shuffled on IPod/ Is actually a total of 11,882 songs on ITunes (and I want to figure out to get my vinyl digitized too)... Yep I'm a freak

1. put your music player on shuffle
2. for each question press the 'next' button to get your answer

1. If someone says 'is that ok' you say?
New River Train - The Monroe Brothers -- **** .. nice song by the bluegrass pioneers (only had album for 2 weeks) from Bluegrass Vintage Vaults (4 CD set @ Wal-Mart) .. good stuff .. love compliation CDs that are cheap (was $14.99 I think) - finished song

2. What would best describe your personality?
Silly Game - Prince ... title is way, way too appropriate for my silly self who l oves games (Magic, Fluxx, Simpsons Uno, Trivial Pursuit, etc.) .. ***

3. What do you like in a guy or girl?
(This Song's Just) Six Words Long -- Weird Al Yankovic -- *** -- I guess the ability to make a song out of nothing -- do this all the time .. probably should get more into filking at cons

4. How do you feel today?
Dead Puppies - Ogden Edsi ... **** (from 3) ... The lyrics are so hilarious that the delivery doesn't matter ... Because "Dead Puppies aren't much fun" -- Dr. Demento album was a really great gift for the wife. One of the reasons I love her. I am in a time-wasting mood on this day off. A truly ridiculous song.

5. What’s your purpose in life?
Solitude - Duke Ellington .. **** .. One needs to be comfortable with himself no matter what (had a church service on topic recently of Solitude) and of course Duke Ellington is the greatest American composer of the 20th century.

6. What’s your motto?
Sewing Machine - Manhattan Projects -- **** - A "Cannonball" Adderly cover --- swings a lot .. fun son ..

7. What do your friends think of you?
Hung Up On You- Fountains of Wayne - *** .. weird to hear them do a country-ish song .. no idea what this mean ...

8. What do you think of often?
Sleep in Heavenly Peace (Silent Night) - Barbara Streisand - **** - lovely song -- Barbara Streisand was an amazing young perfomer ... Still is a force of nature. Adore "Silent Night" probably my favorite Christmas hymn.

9. What do you think of your best friend?
House upon the Hill .. The Secret Garden soundtrack (Musical) .. *** .. not a great musical ...

10. What do you think of the person you like?
Echoes of the Jungle - Duke Elllington .. **** .. love Duke Ellington ..nice to get some time with my music ...

11. What is your life story?
Can't Cry Anymore - Sheryl Crow - *** .. Songs aren't playing with questions today

12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Surf Beat - Dick Dale & His Del-Tones -- **** .. love the king of the surf guitar .. that would be a cool skill to master ...

13. What do you think when you see the person you like?
All the Girls Love Alice - Elton John ... *** (was not rated - got from previous group of CD grabbag) ..

14. What do(es) your parent(s) think of you?
Ebony & Ivory - Steve Wonder - *** - IPod definitely on random today

15. How will you feel at your funeral?
"Quimby" Campaign Commercial - The Simpsons -- **** -- Love "The Simpsons" although it isn't what it was..

16. What will they play at your wedding?
I Don't Wanna (With Black Thought) - Carol Riddick - *** - Soulful song but the wedding was all about Ella.

17. What is your hobby or interest?
Crying Just For Show - French Kicks ** - Would have changed to alternate playlist by now. - that might belong on the deletion list.

18. What is your biggest fear?
Steve Berman (Skit) - Eminem -- *** - I don't take criticism well.

19. What is your biggest secret?
Isfahan - Joe Henderson - **** - That I love jazz and a great beat isn't a great secret..

20. What do you think of your friends?
Cyclone (Extended Version) - Wizard of Oz soundtrack -- **** - Amazingly great soundtrack .. just a blast from the Munchkin Suite to "Over the Rainbow" ....

Beautiful - Marie Christine Soundtrack - *** - Another meh soundtrack -- This is one of the better tracks on it.

22. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Boom Selection - Genius Cru -- *** -- I guess 2 + 2 is a beat ..

23. What will you repost this as?
There Goes My Baby - 50 Soul Hits --- Don't know artist -- But definitely classic 50s-60s early rock (probably 50s) .. ***

Didn't get as cool a group of songs this time ... Best one is Silly Game .. think going to do some gaming.


p.s Really looking forward to Boskone this week in Boston. Yay!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

30 Songs -- Question Answer from IPod on Shuffle Songs

Sounds like a good timewaster (although) that makes less sense at 12:39am when already watching Southpark... Will do this on random from my IPod (ie Shuffle Songs)... Got it from Lori Ellison.

Also don't want to wake up wife from the ITunes since she is sleeping and has to get up at 6 am (me more like 9:50am) .. Will include star rating too and a note on some of them . just because I am like that ... FYI out of 5520 songs (which is only part of my ITunes Library)

1. What's my mood like right now?
Farther Up The Road - Bobby "Blue" Bland ... First date with my wife to be in January, 2003 with Cody ChesnuTT who I got to know in LA .. very cool .. love the wife! .. **** .. Going to finish this song ... a good one.

2. How's tomorrow going to be for me?
Penny Lane - The Beatles .. a good omen I think .. ****

3. What kind of person am I?
Leaving Just to Leave - Jake La Botz ... **** .. Got this CD at a laundromat he was playing in at the Sunset Strip (true story)... I am a bit of a wanderer although been in Maine a while

4. Am I loved?
Walkin' My Baby Back Home - Nat King Cole .. **** ... Love Nat King Cole .. just lovely ...i

5. How can I achieve my highest potential?
I Don't Go for That - Quincy Jones .. *** ... From the Grammy award winning for Best Album - Back on the Block .. great album .. and Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones is like the Forrest Gump of Music (**** for the book) .. ****1/2 for the album ... Even saw him at the great LA Festival of Books .. amazing book festival for a very, very materialist town (wondering if should have done this when it was earlier)

6. What should I do with my life?
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder - *** ... sweet sentiment

7. Is everything really going to be alright in the end?
Robbins Nest - Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis ... honestly got the album because its jazz and my namesake .. fun album .. nice artist ... Had no rating .. gave it ***

8. What is my best quality?
Three Little Words - Duke Ellington .. *** ... lovely song ... words are "I love you"

9. How does my social life look?
Before You Fell Out of Love With Me ... Hank Williams, Jr .. had no rating .. will give *** ... sounds inauspicious

10. What's the meaning of life?
Misirlou - Dick Dale & His Del-Tones .. better known as the Pulp Fiction opening song .. **** ... not as good a version as that one ... I think that you have to surf with life as stated by King of the Surf Guitar ... Not a bad meaning of life. .. finished song

11. What do people think of me?
A Life So Changed - James Horner - Titanic Soundtrack .. not sure what to think of this .. its one of the sad songs in the movie .. instrumental ... has an Enya quality to it .. does it mean I am effermal .. not rated before **** .... Is a thought provoking song which is always a good thing. ..finished song

12. Would I make a good lover?
Backwards Masking - Christal Methodists --- *** .. Not sure what to think of this one .. its an album of prank calling Christian radio ... bizarre, bizarre, if fascinating album ... Lets let this one go .. the title is fun at least ... finshed the short track

13. How crazy am I?
It's Wonderful - Ella Fitzgerald .. .**** .. The main artist in our wedding and one of my wife's favorites .. thanks for the DJ equipment John .. that a lovely thought ... like it better for question 14

14. Will I have a good life in general?
Wappin - Darrell Hammond ... *** ... Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary album ... has Elmer Fudd Wappin ... I am very, very silly

15. Can Lanna Lee ever really love me?.
Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones ... **** .. .yep she can .. most definitely

16. Can me and Lanna Lee ever be more than friends?
Long, Long Summer - Dizzy Gillespie .. *** ... love the wife

17. What's going to happen to me this week?
Shy - Prince ... **** ... Definitely a recipe for fun ...

18. Where will I be a year from now?
Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman ... **** .. love Tracy Chapman .. one of the best debut albums of all time ... great job for this former busker on the T in Boston

19. What is my fondest wish?
There Something on Your Mind -- BB King & Etta James ... **** ... Again a very nice thought

20. What is the love of my life doing at this very moment?
Dead Cats Dead Rats -- The Doors ... **** ... This would be a very odd dream for the sleeping wife ... Fun crazy song

21. How did my parents meet?
I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow - The Soggy Bottom Boys - O Brother Where Art There Soundtrack - **** ... Makes it sound like country dancing ... But really it was over bridge and friends at UC Riverside

22. How will I die?
Diga, Diga Doo - The Mills Brothers ... **** .. The Mills Brothers are John Wooden's favorite band I found out ... Honestly makes me think of a New Orleans Jazz Wake .. which is an awesome tradition

23. What song will be played at my funeral?
A Big Hunk O' Love - Elvis Presley .. *** ... This would defintely be more of a party then a somber occasion if your playing this upbeat song

24. What will happen after I die?
Recorda Me - Joe Henderson - **** .. lush jazz symphonic record also has good portents

25. What will I dream about tonight?
We'll Meet Again Sweetheart - JD Crowe & The Kentucky Mountain Boys ... not rated .. will give *** (I give 3 a lot) ... That will meet your sweetheart again .. For me it would be about friends long lost and seen again ... Yep my collection is eclectic. ...Finished song .. .Lovely thought

26. What should I be working on right now?
Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash .. *** ... Really good guitar licks on a New Wave Record? .. Would like to develop some more music ability.

27. What's my roommate up to currently?
Future Love Paradise ... Seal .. *** ... Hopefully it means the wife is sleeping well ...

28. What did I do last weekend?
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most - Barbara Streisand . .. **** ... I know its hard to believe but in 2 months its April ... honest answer is lots and lots of Magic: The Gathering with the Conflux pre-release

29. Describe me?
The Last Kuwaiti Women Held Hostage - Harry Shearer .. *** ... Silly .. the word would be silly .. and a big Simpsons fan ...

30. What does my music player think of me?
California Sun -- The Ramones ... **** ... That I enjoy myself and love to rock out on my breaks .. my IPod is definitely my friend @ work ... That I am out there having fun in the wicked cold Maine sun ...

This was really fun .. at least I don't type a lot on this kind of stuff.


Bonus Song -- I'll Walk Alone - Charlie Parker .. **** .. Although I can be social I like my space.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Conflux Sunday

So today is super bowl sunday ... Honestly this year .. meh ... Yep the Cardinals are a great cinderella story, but my fearless prediction is this is the WORST rated Super Bowl ever ... 31-17 Steelers.

And of course would care far more if the Eagles were playing . .but what I really care about today is Conflux.

What is Conflux you may ask .. its the 2nd part of the Shards of Alara block and going to a prerelease today ... I play Magic: The Gathering and have been interested in it since last Spring (although I did buy some Ice Age packs and decks early on.) ...

So I am getting 2 tournament decks one of Shards and one of Conflux (equivalent of 3 boosters each) ... But mainly today is all about geeking out.

Speaking of my geekiness .. I reread something on the last 3 days which I haven't read since I was a kid - 8-12? maybe ... "Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne ... **** ... Just a pure joy of a book, forgot how much pure joy and fun was in the book. The quiet, whist-loving Fogg, the crazy servant, the lovely Indian woman and the crazy detective Fix .. Don't forget that you gain a day going east around the world.

Had a good reading week actually finishing 3 books on the Kindle... Also read "God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America" by Hanna Roisn and "In Defense of Food" by Micheal Pollan .. both are non-fiction and fascinating...

I also had read both of these books for some time ... Enjoy both of them quite a bit and both are really, really different.

In Defense of Food ... is Michael Pollan's follow-up to Omnivore's Dilemma (which I haven't finished yet) ... basically against imitation foods and what he labels "nutritionism" that nutritionists keep looking for one thing for health. Interesting book against corn syrup, and strange ingredients and in favor of whole foods. Part of his argument is that you should eat whole foods, and that food cultures(ie Italy, France, Greece, India, China, etc.) ie the foods of mom provide far better health then the Western diet .. Interesting and a good read ***

God's Harvard was completely fascinating to me. Especially as I am on the opposite end of the spectrum from homeschooled fundamentalists as a Unitarian Universalist. This school is designed to make "god's warriors" to change America to a more "Christian" place. Many of the students who go here go onto work in DC and are true believers for GW Bush and many of the members of the Christian right in politics. It also amazes me how restrictive the school is the 2000s, high level of in-local parentis. Glad I have a liberal religious experience and the freedom to choose and believe. Most fascinating if come from an opposite experience .. ***1/2.

Cheers and happy February.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Sundays are always a great day for me.

Its the day I can unwind and just take time for myself and nest.

I often call it my "drool" day .. where the most important thing I do all day is drool while watching TV and having a beer.

But that is not really true.

Today is a day to recharge.

Especially on a snowy January in Maine where it looks like 4-6 inches of snow have fallen already.

There is something great at waking up at noon... Having a shower ... making yourself some eggs (also the salsa in the scramble today just ended up messy) .. listening to some Prairie Home Companion .. and today blogging.

Looking forward to the game of the birds .. two teams with mediocre regular season records the Cardinals and the Eagles ... and even a third bird team in the Ravens in the AFC .. I guess a good chance for birds to go south (to the Super Bowl) ... The Eagles were a 5-5-1 team that won 4 of their last 5 in the regular season .. and needed the Bucs to collapse from 9-4 to 9-7 and either the Bears or Vikings to lose before the destroyed the Cowboys.

The Cardinals clinched the NFC West early and drifted down to 8-8 with some ugly losses to the Eagles and Patriots among others.

Of course, I am an Eagles fan and looking forward to this game greatly .. honestly hoping the Eagles can win it all this year . but too superstitious to pick the Eagles this week (picked the Vikings, and Giants in playoffs already -- Seems like picking against the Eagles has worked).

Then you have the Steelers and Ravens. I think this will be a game of defense and turnovers .. team that makes the least mistakes wins ... Strangely I think that is the Ravens say 21-17

As far as the Eagles-Cards game ... I think the 1st quarter will be very important if Warner, Fitzgerald and Bolden get hot early, it could be a day for Arizona. If Philly's defense makes some big stops and interceptions looks good for Eagles. Since picking against the Eagles has worked well so far picking Cardinals 24-21.

Also really happy to see the end of the Bush era in almost exactly 48 hours from now. Obama is entering a difficult recession and a time of dwindling employment. We desperately need national health care in this country, and need once again to be respected on the world stage.

Have a great Sunday.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

25 Things About Me

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

Saw this from Kayt Sukel's note on facebook.

1. I am a dork and a geek ... Used to worry about this but embrace it now.

2. I love Philly sports .. especially the Eagles and Phillies .. have since I moved to NJ.

3. I was born in Madison, Wisconsin but only lived there for 2 years .. Visited once about 10 years ago looks like a great town.

4. Lived in Montgomery Township, near Princeton from 7 to in my 20s ... Have many thoughts about the place but definitely think it has grown for too much with country clubbers .. HS class was 106 in 1992 and in the 400s now .. Did love the hills there though.

5. Started college at the University of Chicago .. was there for 2 years .. .found it to be the school where 19 year olds acted like Ph.D. students .. which I don't think is healthy ... Although I have never seen a place where people were so wanting to answer questions and get in the debate.

6. Finished my schooling (undergrad) at Rutgers University. I really enjoyed my time on the banks although like at Chicago I had way too many incompletes .. my advice to future college students .. .just write the damn paper even if its total crap.

7. I really wish I took so time off between HS and college ... Montgomery was a very sheltered place and I think I could have used some time abroad.

8. I considered joining the military many times. My dad wanted me to join the NJ National Guard. I think I would have made a very good officer in the Air Force. I also thought very early on that Iraq was a new Yugoslavia. You have a strongman dictator (Tito and Hussein) who kept a country together by fear where the people hate each other.

9. I have considered getting a Ph.D. many times ... The absolutely dreadful market for professors in the Humanities and Social Science have dissuaded me about this.

10. I have an MBA. Although I enjoy the studies at Claremont/Drucker-Ito School .. I think it was generally far too easy and gave me far, far too much student loan debt. Although I really enjoyed the strategy management portion of my degree.

11. I have declared bankruptcy before the law changed. I was underemployed for a long time and got far too much credit card debt. I just wish the student loan debt was dischargeable. I also think we need too make it easier for people to declare bankruptcy. Especially how many people get into it for medical reasons.

12. I really think we need to divorce health care/insurance and employment. I think this would increase the velocity of employment (how long people are unemployed between jobs) and would allow people not to worry about getting sick.

13. I am really, really happy my parents had great insurance when my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer (GBM) this summer. He was in neuro ICU for almost 4 weeks, and his bills were close to a million dollars. I am happy they were able to remove the golf size tumor and that is was reachable in the front of the brain. My dad is doing very well now and it makes me very greatful.

14. I am really happy to be married to my silly, crazy, awesome wife Lanna. We love to laugh and love together and its just awesome.

15. I have found that I have felt more grounded, at peace and grateful then I have for a very long time. My dad is doing well after his cancer (taking chemotherapy drugs and no recurrence yet), I have a wonderful wife and I am employed.

16. I have tried a very, very long time to be more patient. I think patience is a hard thing to learn but extremely important.

17. Favorite films all time: Brazil, Ran, Intolerance, Empire Strikes Back, Apocalypse Now(which I can never spell right), Rear Window, Vertigo, Citizen Kane, GoodFellas, Dr. Strangelove, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

18. I root for Rutgers athletics hard. I wish more people would go to see C. Vivian Stringer coach the always intense Rutgers women's basketball team, and am really happy to see Greg Schiano turn the football program around.

19. I really enjoy campy things .. Marilyn Monroe (both music and movies), Judy Garland, Madonna (for a long time), old musicals, etc.

20. I play Magic the Gathering .. .Its a fun game but I wish it was more contained sometimes .. you can spend an unlimited amount on it.

21. I live in Southern Maine now ... I enjoy it here but it feels very anglo after living in Hyde Park (Chicago), Claremont, CA (S. Calif), Washington Heights, NYC, etc. ...

22. I really miss good Mexican food .. the local food in Pomona, CA (which is more then half mexican) was just awesome. And usually the less you paid, the better the food was .. ie little taquiras with all spanish on the menu wiht a $1 taco would be awesome .. the anglo sit down restaurants kinda sucked.

23. I feel really grateful and lucky for all the support my parents have given me over the years.

24. I would like to travel more .. although I have lived in NYC, Chicago, NJ, Maine, LA, etc. would love to live overseas.

25. I think airline security (the 3 oz bottles and removing shoes) is a total farce ... There are so many better ways.

26. I was a republican until September 11, 2001 ... When GW Bush started trampling on the 1st Amendment and the Bill of Rights I was gone.

27. I am really hopeful of the Obama presidency will be peacemakers and increase the size of diplomacy and the State Department and decrease the spending on military and fancy toys. I think the US spends more on defense then the rest of the world combined.

28. I like ellipses (...)

29. The internet saved my dating life (always shy asking women out and fearful of rejection) .. its where I met most of the women I have dated and my wonderful wife).

30. I love my DVR and the ability to pause and record TV. I also have pretty severe ADHD /clicking around when watching TV shows and have for a long time. I think I may be ADHD spectrum as well.

31. I reveal too much when I do these and never stop at 25.