June 6, 2003

The Last Dance

On Tuesday Luther Vandross’ record label released his latest album. On April 16th he had a stroke from which he has yet to regain full conciousness. I bring this up because I just heard the song “Dance With My Father”, the title track off his new album and I think it’s absolutely amazing. Being a singer doesn’t make Luther Vandross any more important than you or I, but when someone creates something that touches you in such a powerful way it makes you want to give something back. Consider this me sending out my prayers to Luther Vandross, his family, and anyone else who has a loved one fighting for their life.

June 5, 2003

Cellular

So even though I’m not technically “in the market” for a new cell phone because of unexpected scheduling of my first paycheck, I spent quite a bit of time researching what’s out there so I’ll be prepared to spend my money when it finally comes in. From reading “user” reviews I discovered that all cell phones suck, they all drop calls, they all have poor menu systems and the technical support is nowhere near adequate – at least in comparison to the “user’s” previous cell phone. That sounds like convincing evidence to just stay with what I’ve got, but really I find it means that a) people hate change, but love complaining and b) people will gripe about the stupidest, most mundane things.

But my research didn’t stop with user reviews. After reading official product reviews I found that the best new phones only work on GSM, a standard popular in Europe and elsewhere, but one that hasn’t quite caught on here yet. So basically that means you can have a really cool phone, but you’ll never get a signal, and if you do you’ll have to pay out the wazoo for it.

So will any of this stop me from buying a new cell phone? I don’t know, I still think it’s time for something new but after reading some of the stuff I read tonight, it might just be better to stick with what I’ve got. Then again, how could I deny myself the opportunity to joint he masses of unhappy people?

(For the first time ever, you now have the opportunity to “vote off” one of my posts. If you think this post is stupid, boring, senseless, any or all of the above just give me a “vote of no confidence” in hollaback and I’ll erase it from these pages.)

June 4, 2003

Corked

Well, Sammy Sosa was caught playing with a corked bat and the sports world has been turned upside down. Well, that small part of the sports world that still watches and gives a hoot about baseball. Sammy says he picked up the bat mistakenly and that it was a bat he uses in practice to “put on a show for the fans”. I’ve always liked Sammy, so I don’t want my remarks to be too scathing, but we have to look at this with some scrutiny.

First of all, those fans are entertained because they think you’re hitting the ball out of the park, not a champagne bottle stopper. There’s a reason no one lines up to watch me hit home runs with a wiffle ball and bat, because every average joe can do that. Secondly, Sammy, you were in a 2-15 slump since coming back from injury and I’m sure that little “mistake” could’ve been just what you needed to get your confidence back. Hey, I don’t blame you and I applaud that you’re not hiding from your “mistake”, but don’t play us all for fools.

I would like to point out that corked bat or no corked bat you still have to make contact with the ball and that’s something I’d never be able to do. So while I am a little disappointed in Sammy, I still acknowledge his talent and I hope he uses this as a springboard to come back stronger than ever.

Speaking of baseball, I was wondering if anyone knew why BallPark Franks are the best hot dogs out there? (I know the answer, I’m wondering if you do)

June 2, 2003

The Snackster

You know what they say … “Every Snackster has its day”

And by the looks of things lately, this Snackster’s days are numbered.

June 1, 2003

J. Cusack

3234Q with special guest former roommate BJ has been immersed in a John Cusack movie marathon the last couple of days. The fun isn’t quite over, but so far we’ve watched
Say Anything and High Fidelity

May 31, 2003

The General

General Tso’s chicken for the third meal in a row tonight. Why? Because I can.

And because it’s so tasty.

Gamers

How could this be … video games that are good for you? But I thought the only ways to enhance your body and mind were to read books and do jumping jacks or to have open ended debates and run marathons. Could it be that modern technology might actually provide some benefits? No way. That’s impossible!

Video games destroy the mind and so does TV – they make us lazy. Movies are just mindless entertainment crafted around the human obsession over sexuality, violence and potty mouths. But wait a minute. Yeah, books stimulate our minds and our imaginations but fundamentally they only stimulate one of our five physical senses. What about video games, TV, and movies which can stimulate two or three senses at a time? Is that worth absolutely nothing?

There aren’t any great artists in the world anymore. DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa and made it look like her eyes follow you around the room. Video game companies create realistic looking people that do follow you around the room. The difference: a video game programmer’s paint brush is a mouse rather than a stick with a brush at the end. “But computers make everything so easy.” I’ll buy you a copy of Photoshop and challenge you to “paint” me a sphere.

Books are an excellent resource for storytelling, but so was oratory. Weren’t books just “lazy” ways of telling stories that were previously always spoken or acted out? Isn’t the printing press essentially the same thing as a video camera – a way to record a story? Don’t books actually destroy some of the benefits of “storytelling”?

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy reading and I think it has its benefits. But I also don’t want to be fed some line about how Showgirls is an example of how movies degrade our intellect because for every Showgirls there’s a dozen Danielle Steele books. I don’t think that watching Friends will teach me how to be a better friend, but it could possibly help me enjoy life better and that will make me a better friend. Humor in a book and humor on a television show is humor all the same and one is not better than the other.

All I’m saying is that books don’t automatically make you smarter and TV, movies and video games don’t necessarily make you stupid. There are benefits from all of these activities, it’s just a matter of getting a healthy blend of all and not immersing yourself in just one. Well, in my opinion anyway.

May 29, 2003

Driven

If you ever happen to be flipping through the channels and you notice that VH1’s Driven episode featuring Nelly is on, keep it tuned in for a while. Be on the lookout for the guy who looks like some sort of superhero pimp. I’m not lyin, from the quick glimpse I caught of this guy he was approximately in his 40’s or 50’s, had a goatee, a ski cap with fuzzy ball on top, a few gold chains, and what appeared to be a cape. I think it goes without saying that seeing that was the highlight of my afteroon.

Tri-Sport

Today I participated in three different sports activities, all of them, as one casual observer noted, “preppy sports”: soccer, tennis, and golf. I kicked the soccer ball around with T-Racy, Mikki and new acquaintance Evan, watched Andre Agassi come back from being down 2 sets to none and played some “T-ball” with BJ, then travelled over to the range with Dan and hit some golf balls with T-Rav. All in all, a very productive day for me, I’d like to say.

Well not so much productive, but definitely a lot of fun. This is what summer is all about, especially for me since I’ve decided I haven’t had enough of standardized education and consequently have my summers “off” for another 2-3 years. I do have work to do, though, so tomorrow I will treat myself to a lovely day in Park Shops. I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer, and let me give a HUGE shout out to my boy Benjamin who has entered the working world full force. I hope you’re havin fun, man.