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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Favorite holiday songs


I'm not partial to day-specific songs, because they tend to lose relevancy as time progresses. But the holidays seem to give the musicality they create a staying power, to let them be enjoyable over & over again. Here's my top five holiday songs:

1. John Lennon's Merry Christmas (War is Over)



2. All I Want for Christmas (Love Actually version)



3. The Hanukkah Song, by Adam Sandler



4. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, by Brenda Lee



5. Little Saint Nick, by The Beach Boys



If you're ever feeling the holiday spirit, crank up your iPods to these mad-lam-jammers.

Cheers

Christmahanukwanzika




Merry Christmahanukwanzika everyone... and a happy new year.

Woo. Hoo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The pictures, they move? Moving pictures? Whaaa!?


Welcome to a first from the cultural zeitgeist I call Saboteur Academia.

VIDEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Yes, I will now be sifting through the internet's webjunk for amazing pieces o' cinematic glory. "Informatative entertainment" is the buzzphrase for what I will be posting. As I acclimate myself to the business of trolling the world wide web there should be a definite rise in the originality of the things I post. In other words - expect some good shit.

For starter's I give you a classic video favorite of mine: Battle at the Kruger. A lion pride attacks a poor baby buffalo, which is then nearly stolen by a crocodile before the rest of the buffalo herd comes to the rescue. Big cats are flipped. Claws and jaws and horns go toe to toe in the African wilderness. At the end, you'll be surprised to see that lil' baby buffalo is still alive! This video has always been one of my favorites.



Enjoy the flicks, kids. And I'll see you soon with more from my lil' zeitgeisty hidey-hole of saboteur academics.

Cheers

Monday, December 22, 2008

Projects of the, from the, underground





1. Distorted Orange and the Hidden County

A poetic manifesto of my experiences in Southern California, from women to nature to materialism. It is above all a reaction against the media's (MTV and VH1 especially) depictions of Orange County as some sort of super-rich, super-suburban playground for spoiled teenagers and desperate housewives. This book shows a different perspective, that is perhaps nearer the truth for the flaws and undiscovered aspects it holds.



2. Cityscape

The compilation of all my experiences in major cities across the world, told through the eyes of a cast of characters - bums, social workers, valets, gas station attendants, and other random people - that will illuminate the various ways of seeing a city. There's more than just buildings and bodies; there's a connection created through being forced so close together. Each piece in the book will give a different mood, or scene, or subject, until, taken holistically, you feel like you have actually visited the city yourself.



3. HK series

An experiment in form on the same subject, but with different emotions. Each essay will shift the presentation so that the main character's "love" can be seen for the complex situation that it is. There will be lots of anecdotes and break-ups. My goal is to describe a relationship that is more beautiful for its unconventional foundation.



4. Horror stories from the Outlands

An homage to classic pulp fiction stories. It will be a collection of short stories featuring the superstitions of a myriad of things: batmen, highway spectres, lost camel herds, forgotten cities, squatter-villes, melon-heads, conclaves of albinos & midgets. Think R.L. Stein meets H.P. Lovecraft at a bar where Nathaniel Hawthorne hangs out and then they get drunk with Robert Aickman before the after-party at Alvin Schwartz's house.



5. One-liners of the city

A short collection of one-liners that captures the essence of major cities around the world, from New York to Baghdad to Prague. The goal is to distill each city down to that single line which really portrays the place, while still being faithful to its other nuances.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another traveler, troubadour I am





Going home is always an experience. Maybe it's just the awkwardness of reunions, or my own feelings of being suddenly a stranger in a strange land. There was a time when I could claim a native's arrogance as my own. It was nice, in a way, to be so well-connected. But home isn't home anymore - it's just the place I grew up. And I'm not trying to be glib or dismissive; I'm just honestly realizing. I'm a year+ past and this distance has become more than just time. This distance has formed a part of the shape of my self... and I kind of like who I am.

The drive is going to be very interesting. Being alone in the car has a way of bringing out the madness inside. You've got miles & miles of road with no one but yourself. I've had some REALLY intense conversations with me; and I've come to notice that you're never lonely with a split-personality. Also, the music, listening to my ENTIRE playlists, instead of just the songs I really like. In a way, having nothing to do but drive makes you really listen to the music. You hear songs you've listened to a thousand times in totally new ways. And artists who I always felt were lackluster suddenly come off fantastic. It's the strangest thing. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I'd understand things better if I only took more time to reflect... but I'm no good at that. I've gotta be forced to pause, because when people call me "impulsive" it's just a nice way of saying I don't think much before I speak or act. Other suitable synonyms would be: rash, reckless, thoughtless, and impetuous.

As for me, I've always liked adventurous.

Anyhoo, I'll enjoy the drive, because I enjoy driving. I get caught up in it. Something to do with headlights, brakelights, regular intervals and roadside diners. Give me music and gas and some X on the map and I'll get there or die trying. (No jynx please!) The best part of going from one place to another is to see what's in-between. Forget the old adage that Life is about the journey, not the destination blah-blah-blah... Life is about the things that happen while we're busy making other plans. And there's nothing more true about that than when you're trying to get somewhere, and find yourself someplace else. We can arrive where we started, where we couldn't get to before, and sometimes, even where we never expected to find ourselves. Long drives have a way of proving this. Long drives have a way of taking you out like the waves of the ocean. You start perfectly secure in your position, and before you know it, you're drifting in some stretch of space that you don't recognize and can't figure out how you even ended up there in the first place. Traveling has a way of kidnapping us - but that's a good thing.



Okay... right now it's late. I have to get up early so I can beat traffic. I'll enjoy this last sleep in my adopted city, fogged-up and silly as she is. And here's looking at you Orange County. I'll be seeing ya soon.

(But only for a little while.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Random things I overhear


I am a devoted follower of humanity's eccentricities, namely: subcultural studies, people-watching, fast-food philosophy, and suburban/ubran exploration. I like to think of it as a modern-day form of aesthetic entertainment.

Anyhoo, so I was in McDonald's today and while I'm waiting in line there was this black woman who was having some trouble with her order. I guess the cashier (who was Asian) and her weren't communicating very well. She wanted a refund and the lady was trying to explain to her why she couldn't do that. Here's how the exchange went down:

"So please sign here for your refund."
"Okay."
"Write there for the reason."
"For what?"
"Write there. The reason you want the refund."
"Okay."
"Write right there."
"I am."
"No, no, no. This line for the reason. The reason."
"Yeah, yeah I am."
"No, you must sign this line and then THIS line for the reason."
"YES, I understand you. I speak english; it is my FIRST language." [said with all the attitude and uneducated drawl that she could muster.]



Everybody in the place just stood shocked. I myself let out a big "Ooooooh!" (it was by accident though). I mean, shit, she just called that woman out. Obviously the cashier didn't say or do anything, since she was working, but whooo, it was one of those moments where you got to be thinking to yourself: "I don't get paid enough for this shit."

Oh well... way to be McEeedees, way to be.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things to shout out during sex if you live in a red state


"OH, OH, OH! OHMYGOD


YEAH, OH YEAH, FUCK ME LIKE AL QAEDA!!!!111!111!!1!!!!!"

- courtesy of Californication, season 2, episode 5.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An old classic makes a comeback


I was walking around the Westfield mall today, people-watching, and there's this store called West Coast Leather. Well, as I passed by there was this STUNNINGLY beautiful woman dressed in a slutty dress with hooker heels beckoning me over. Naturally, I stop out of sheer disbelief. This gorgeous creature is calling to me? "Hey..." Why yes, yes she is! I head over, jaw still dropped and she hands me a card. "Please enjoy our holiday sale. All items 10-80% off."



Great...I just fell for the classic honey trap. People still do this nowadays? Really? And that I totally got caught is even sadder. But I should've known - when do hot chicks smile and call out to guys like me?

Still, it was a nice half-second to think that someone desireable was desiring me.

***BONUS DOUBLE POST***

Yes, I am giving you two posts for the price of one.

Maybe it's because of my job at the music studio, but recently I've found a sudden resurgence in my passion for R&B/Soul/Funk music. Honestly, today's music depresses me because it is SO overproduced. Not only that but the melodies are stupidly simple, made so that even (or especially) tone-deaf unrhythmic idiots will buy it.



Anyhoo, I'm getting off point. Here's a list of my favorite all-time tracks for this R&B style, soul infused, funkadelic music that EVERYONE should check out. Sure, they're oldies, but they're also fucking amazing.

1. In the Stone, by Earth, Wind & Fire
2. At Last, by Etta James
3. I Want You Back, by the Jackson 5
4. Sound Your Funky Horn, by KC & The Sunshine Band
5. Ain't No Mountain High Enough, by Marvin Gaye (and Tammi Terrell)
6. Feeling Good, by Nina Simone
7. Be My Baby, by The Ronettes
8. Hold On! I'm Comin', by Sam & Dave
9. Superstition, by Stevie Wonder
10. My Girl, by The Temptations

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Something that wasn't begun on a digital page





I keep a blackbook. It's standard for us writer-types. The point is to have a blank page to fill with your ideas... a completely free space. For creativity this is great. For organization this is not. I have trouble keeping track of my blackbooks - and sometimes the shit I write in them is really good! But because you can't itemize those sorts of things, they tend to become disheveled and forgotten.

However, in honor of my recently rediscovered blackbooks (and all the great stuff that was in them) I shall post up a few short bits that reminds me of all the great ideas I had/used to have.

"massive gathering of derelicts, rejects, and the morbidly fascinated audience who laughs and agrees but doesn't know what's actually happening. someone blares on a mic, ambiguous lyrics or a message? and someone tells us, 'fuck conformity!' -- artists like this give art no name."

"juxtaposition: everything next to each other. call it closeness."

"sexual needs deep hot too heat flows bones made soft and sinew cartilidge hard everything in-going makes it. now i need to too."

"what was the point? to be alive. what was the point? to be free. what was the point? to say i love you. what was the point? to hold someone close. what was the point? to kiss. what was the point? to tell you. what was the point? to feel less alone. what was the point? something intangible. what was the point? something unexpected. what was the point? i don't know."

"teach kicks licks to make lessons. nobody won't laugh."

"from the highest hilltop to the deepest pits, God hasn't cursed me, but i certainly don't feel blessed. this is more like posthumous purgatory."

"not the living but the wasted, the left behind, the bereft think of all the days unlived - tomorrow & tomorrow."

"the connection is implied between you & me."

"hello! welcome to this draft. i'm auditioning characters for my story."

"mad scientist smiles because of all this progress. but is it? or is it one-step forward to go two back?"

"torn = texture."

"where does a story end and a lie begin? is it the start or at the finish? because the middle's all the same...except for which direction you're going in. the middle is where everything comes together, then seperate so you can understand it."

"writing about writing is like...redundant."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Happysad Archives





I am in LOVE with this webcomic. I started reading it a few days ago while randomly looking for stuff on the web. Normally, I don't really get into webjunk so much anymore, now that I'm not into the gaming scene like I used to be. But, on occasion I like to browse the net and see if what's changed, what's stayed the same, and what's come out of the gaps that used to be there.

This comic is basically awesome. Amazing. Every "nice guy" should read it; study the teachings contained within its ironic melancholy. I've never seen anything so true, so generic, and so artistic while being two lines shy of stick-figures.

Give it a look-thru. Browse around.





Monday, December 1, 2008

Choose your disability


Classic example of moral-physical dilemma: would you rather be blind or deaf?





To answer this question fully, I must first describe the types people who exist based on their response to this. First, we have the visual-types who can't help but need to see EVERYTHING. Then, we've got your audible-peeps, who're listening so hard it's a surprise they didn't go deaf already, but gawdforbid because they've GOT to have background soundtrack sound. There are the overly confused people who can't decide one way or the other - because they're fucking indecisive. And don't forget the ever-independent, "I'll take E) none of the above" who miss the question entirely.

Those are your basic caricatures. Now, here's my overly-complex answer...

*I says* I am a writer, a musician, an explorer, philosopher, and general rennaisance man. To see is to experience for me. Without sight, I cannot people-watch, or observe the great events of my time. But, to hear is to breath for me. Without sound, I couldn't feed my soul to grow, never building past my foundation. You get it? I'm indecisive because either choice leaves me stifled as half the person I am.

*Devil's Advocate says* I know, I know - no fucking shit Sherlock! Of course losing one of your primary senses will take something off of you.

*I says* And thank-you captain obvious...but for me it's a bit different. (And I'm not just saying that.) See, I'm dependent on being able to experience and grow. It's part of my daily routine, and how I do my work. Without sight or sound I'm basically broken - because I'd be broke. My existence is precariously balanced on maximizing my eyes&ears capabilities.



*Devil's Advocate says* But seriously! How do you choose between two bad choices? Lots of people try to make a third one, only to completely fuck-up the equation. Most people simply can't decide, and will forever be too busy wondering what they'd do if such&such happened.

How do you choose between two bad choices? You don't. If something terrible has to happen, then you let it happen, and accept the random outcome. Choosing to kill or be killed, to lie or cheat, to be blind or be deaf; it's all shitty no matter how you slice it. So why pick one? When you can let circumstances thrust their will upon you.

*I says* Well, I'll tell you why! "Fate must be defied many times in order for a person to actually be called alive. This is because only a fool clings to Fate instead of living their own lives." — Tsunami Silver Dragon.

*Devil's Advocate says* Too easy using a quote. Fate isn't any different than if you just called it something else, like saying, "shit happens."



*I says* No. Fate is purposeful. Shit happening is random. Me falling into an open sewer and dying right before I meet the love of my life is shit happens. You getting hit by a toilet seat jettisoned off an old Russian space-station is Fate. ...If I absolutely had to choose between being blind or deaf, then I'd choose to be deaf. I already know what the woman I love sounds like, but never seeing her would be pretty much hell.

So, I guess, if pressed, we can all come up with something.

**BONUS***

My new favorite webcomic.



I really like webcomics.