Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 random, 'cool' things about me

This has been going around on Facebook. About a week ago, I saw that many people were being tagged on this note, and then it spread like a disease in Africa. (BTW, thanx Darrin for tagging me). I was going to repost this on FB, but I didn't know what 25 people I would tag. So why not post it on here? At least you don't have to tag anyone. But I would like to get to know you more if you do the same. So sit back, read, and learn more about me (as if you haven't already!...)

1. My phobias include lightning and toilet seats.
2. I was almost named 'Justin' at the hospital. Justin was a popular name, as well as Jason, back in '81.
3. I was put in 'special classes' in my early schooling years bc many people thought I was autistic and non-sociable.
4. I collect Presidential books and collectibles.
5. Genealogy is one of my lifelong hobbies, which I sometimes do with my sister (Laurie).
6. Since my last 2 years of college, I have found reading to be an ultimate thing.
7. I still don't know what to consider myself as either a country boy or city boy. I'm definitely not all suburban
8. For stupid things, I always have to find answers (sometimes the bad way). Ex.: I always have to know why someone doesn't like me or why they turned me down.
8 1/2. In other words, I take things rather personal. (Hey, it takes a real man to say such thing....heh heh)
9. And you probably already know (just by looking at the last part of the previous sentence), that I like to pat myself on the back too much (hey, that's what helps us live)
10. My college years were five times funner than my high school years.
11. My first 'real' concert was James Taylor.
12. I've been doing the 80s show (WLC80s) for over 7 years now (hey, it's all about doing what you love, whether its for free or pay)
13. As part of my show, sometimes I like to interview 80s groups that come into town (like the casinos and smaller venues and such).
14. When it comes to choosing women, I am very picky. Maybe not shallow, but I do have to make sure she's very level headed.
15. I am very ticklish. I guess its because I'm too paranoid or unaware of things coming at me.
16. I used to collect antique tin signs.
17. I'm currently trying to give away some of my cds, as well as donating to a library. List coming soon...
18. I have a huge, huge vinyl collection (45s and Lps)
19. I hate beer (although Bud Light with Lime is alright).
20. It takes me a heck of a long time to get over certain women.
21. Even though I have my expensive hobbies, I think video games are a complete waste of time and money.
22. I've been wondering the last two years why everyone loves 'The Big Lebowski', and for that matter, dresses up like 'The Dude'.
23. Cats and dogs freak me out. If I go to your house and your dog is unfriendly or overly-friendly, I will either a) leave or b) ask that the thing be locked in a room.
24. I'm allergic to a lot of foods, including most dairy products.
25. My sleep schedule is currently weird.

and exclusively, I'll go ahead and post 5 more random things about me (sounding too narcissistic I guess, lol):
26. One of my lifelong goals is to visit all 50 states, as well as all Presidential museums.
27. I hope to go on a long roadtrip this summer.
28. I've been working at Steak 'n Shake for 10 1/2 years, and hope to be out of there shortly after my 11th anniversary.
29. I hardly watch any television. If I do, its mostly the news.
30. I'm currently rediscovering older country music.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

'people you may know' feature is ANNOYING

I've been watching closely the last couple years about how Myspace and Facebook have been competing with each other. At first, it was Facebook that was copying all of Myspace's features, now it seems its the other way around. As far as I know Myspace still rules as the social networking champ, but Facebook is creeping on (ah) up to be No. 1. It just seems that many people I know are on there more than here (Myspace). I'm on both sites bc I know people that still use this site regularly and not Facebook.

But getting on to what I'm about to talk about: I believe it was almost a year ago when fb introduced the 'people you may know' tool, and Myspace soon followed. I must say I thought it was cool at first, but it gets very annoying. Its just that I'd rather call it 'People Who I Don't Want To Know' or 'People I Forgot To Add But I Should Anyway...'. I know I'm sounding blunt, but some of these people who show up on the list are those that I didn't add for a reason. These are people who are either high school/college classmates I didn't care too much for (some didn't give me the time of day), or radio students that I never added as well as former co-workers or just random people I don't know but 3 or more of my 'friends' know. Even if I click on the 'Don't show this again' or 'X' button, they usually come back. Even 2 people who have deleted me from their lists show up. Sometimes I don't like to be reminded of these people. But then again, you sometimes can't help on seeing how they're doing (although 80% of the time their profile's on private!).

But I do understand that fb and myspace are trying to be helpful. I'm comfortable with having 200 friends, and for now that's enough for me. I used to treat it as a poplularity contest, but not any more as I see people who claim to know 600 people. I'd rather keep tabs on people who I want to keep tabs on. Thanks for viewing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


As I write this, a few hours from now Barack Obama will be called 'Mr. President'. If you haven't heard already (just about every news outlet has blatantly pointed this out...), this will be a great day in history. Millions will witness it, and some of those people who were one of Dr. Martin Luther King's audience members over 40 years ago will be part of Obama's inauguration audience.

So what do I think about Obama? Well, I still have to learn how to be one of his supporters or cult members (sorry, that's too harsh...). I'm sorry, it's just I know its a historical moment, but I'm sick of seeing people looking at him as 'the Saviour' and people trying to make money off him. But, as an American, I gotta support my President and his decisions. I see him as a guy I would watch baseball with, and have an intellectual conversation with. Of course, I disagree with some of his views. But everyone in the big cities cast their vote and 'change' was voted in. If you're curious about what I just said, I'll give you a link to show you what I'm talking about. Anyway, I'll give Obama a chance. He may have the right answers. I know it will take half his term to clean up the economic mess, if he were to do so. Let's all 'hope'. The one thing that has crossed conservative minds is that homeland security may be a threat again.

I remember the day after Obama won the election, I was getting off work at 6 in the morning and I asked one of my African-American friends/co-workers how he felt about Obama. He started cheering and clapping in the empty restaurant. But then he said, "It's awesome. But if Obama f***s it all up, then he's going to make us all look bad. What I mean by that is all black people...". I totally disagree. I already see him winning in 2012. But if something were to happen, it may all change. His administration members may not know how to handle stuff like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, and I would see his points go down. Then again, he may still have support from the American people. I'll put it this way, the media will be on his side (at least CNN and PMSNBC).

Overall, I'm proud to witness the first African-American achieve its way to the highest office. During my time at SIUE, I took two Black American History classes. I took those classes, not because they were for my minor, but I wanted to learn how to relate and talk to black people and learn from their backgrounds. I ended up learning twice as much as I did when I was in high school. Did you know that several Presidents after Andrew Johnson had at least one black person in their cabinet? One of those that didn't was Woodrow Wilson, who was arguably known as the 20th century's most racist president. Did you also know that half of the men that founded the NAACP were white people? As required reading, we read 'Warriors Don't Cry' by Melba Beals (who was one of the Little Rock Nine). It's hard to imagine that over five decades ago, it was very difficult for African-Americans to get an education. It all comes down to this day that we have now judged by character, not by color, as according to MLK's dream.

So, good luck to Obama, and he shall not let us down!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bush's legacy

So how do I explain Bush's 8-year term? Courage. There are other words to define it, but I believe he has done his best to make the hardest decisions. I do believe that every U.S. President always has something big that they have swept under the rug. It's looking like Bush will give the economy mess to Obama. But what Bush tried to fix was the growing of anti-US groups in the Middle East wanting to kill us and our dream. 9/11/2001 will definitely define his presidency. He showed how to reorganize the FBI and our military, and that he restored faith in the country and its government. Like his father's presidency, foreign policy defined it mostly.

But what about Osama Bin Laden and the Iraq war? I really can't comment about the whole Bin Laden thing, since I'm not in the military nor am I someone who works for the government. I have heard that he's hiding in a cave, with no electriciy.....I do, on the other hand, supported what we did in Iraq back in '03. There is a part of me that believes Saddam Hussein played a role in 9/11. And let's face it: Saddam had been on our enemies list for a long time, and even Clinton wanted him removed. What Saddam did to his own people was even a disgrace, even though there are worse dictators than him (Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong Il). The whole 'weapons thing' is still in question as this is cited as the main reason we went to Iraq. I prefer to look at it this way: Back in the mid-to-late 90s, UN weapons inspectors were beginning to not be allowed in certain parts of Iraq. This went on until Saddam was toppled. These are just a few reasons why I think Bush did the right thing. But will his dream of a democratized country that he built come true? We'll know in 15 years.

I will say that Hurricane Katrina did drive a nail in his coffin. Some believed it was a test to the President: care about what's going on in Iraq or my own country? I'm actually still torn on the whole Katrina issue. The government can't always be there at the right place, right time. This moment made us (or, at least me) believe that too many people rely on the government for help. I do believe that people should have made their own decisions when it came to taking care of themselves to safety. If I lived in a city by the Gulf of Mexico, and that I knew the city was below ground, and if I knew a hurricane was coming, I would definitely flee. In other words, I think the Bush administration took more than a beating during the aftermath of Katrina.

And then, the economy. It should not be blamed solely by Bush, or his administration. Several things have led to this crisis, and this would go back to 1971, when Nixon took our dollar off the gold standard. I think that many people became very financially irresponsible this decade. But also, however, I do think Bush's guys should have kept a close eye on the Wall Street greed. We all hate criminals.

So will history be kind to Bush? We shall see. One of my all-time favorite presidents, Harry Truman, was not the most popular upon leaving his term. Today, most of his decisions were granted the most challenging as they have worked out for the best.

Bobby Jindal = GOP's next hope?

This is the first of a series of 3 political-type blogs I hope to put in before Obama gets sworn in. I also hope to write one about Bush's future legacy and what I hope to expect from Obama.

So I write this because the last couple years, the Republican party has taken a big swipe, or however way you want to put it. The Democrats seem to be in full control of the government, so right now most right-wingers are in hiding. But look at it this way, everything runs its course, and the dems felt this way five years ago. It takes a big event or something to change people's minds and opinions. I'm def. not the first to admit that no one can trust the mainstream media now. I do believe that every news organization can be biased. But I also believe everyone has the right to know what's going on, and that's what will always make things controversial.

I partly agree with a lot of people that Sarah Palin was totally hit hard from the press. But I also look at it this way: six months ago, no one from outside of Alaska knew who she was. And maybe because she was a seemingly overnight sensation, the news media dug up so much about her. I do believe everyone has the right to know her positives and negatives. I liked her because she was very different from a lot of people in the GOP. No, not because she's a woman, but she brought a young generation look, and she spoke about the traditional conservative values. She wasn't afraid to speak out about guns and our troops. Sure, she had some weird quotes (hockey mom, anyone?), but she was a very inspirational figure for both men and women.

But despite of all this, I have my doubts that she will be President in 2012. I do believe she alienated a lot of people, including those in the GOP, for different reasons. I've heard just about every right-wing pundit say she will probably be on the Republican ticket next election. The first words that came out of Rush Limbaugh's mouth when asked by Barbara Walters who will be the next hope for the Republican party were 'Sarah Palin'.

I think there are quite a few that are keeping a low profile, but the one candidate that sticks out in my mind is Bobby Jindal. He is currently the governor of Louisiana. He is arguably one of the most-respected in his party, and the older GOP office-holders are begging him to run. Jindal has openly stated that he is currently not interested in running for the White House, but maybe in the future. So why do I like him? It's not because of his race (he is Indian-American), but he is definitely one of the brightest people I've heard speak. He's already been interviewed on Fox News many times. And did I mention he's only 37? But this man definitely has a clear picture of what's going on in this country and the man sounds prepared.

So, I thought I'd share what I think the GOP should get done while the Dems are shaping our path. It's never too early for Palin to brush up on her experience as well as foreign policy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 will be remembered as 'the year of change'

Everyone's probably sick of hearing the 'c word' (I know I am, especially after the long presidential campaign), but many people will look back at '08 as a time when things rapidly changed before our eyes. Change can mean good and/or bad things. It was a term used by Hitler, and much later, Hugo Chavez. But I hope Obama's idea of 'change' is for the best of the country. Especially since the big story of last year was not the big election, but our spiraling-down economy. But I'll go ahead and flash back to one year ago.

One year ago today, Anheuser Busch was an independently-owned company. The big 3 auto companies, as well as a lot of (I guess) mortgage companies were not being government-run. There's a lot of other things I forgot but I'll remember later on, but these stick in my mind. It's kind of depressing because I believe these are threats to our democracy. There's no description in our Constitution that says that the government can come to the rescue, or that they will take care of us.

I'll start with Anheuser Busch (now with InBev at the end). I'll finally give my two cents about the whole buyout thing. Without question, it depressed a lot of St. Louisans that a foreign company buys one of the biggest, respectable corporations in America. Look, I understand that InBev means the bigger, the better, and they may think the world is too small. The reason I say 'respectable' is not a lot of people outside St. Louis know that they have more than given back to their community as well as donate to several charities. It is a long-time American institution, having survived Prohibition and the Great Depression. Then InBev comes along, refusing to take no for an answer. A month ago, the new company laid off thousands right before Christmas. I do believe, however, that even if they weren't bought out, they still would have laid off many due to our struggling economy.

We also saw many companies like Freddie and Fannie crumble as well as the Lehman Brothers. And of course, the auto industry as Detroit's 'Big 3' saw themeselves about to go bankrupt. If you read newspapers everyday like me, you've probably seen full-page ads from these auto companies stating what would happen if they go to the pot. They're also, of course, asking us to support Congress' decision for oversight and passing the bailout bill. Yes, I do see all the negatives that would happen if General Motors goes bankrupt. But the one thing that bothers me is this: they don't admit their mistakes. I've always believed if you're going to ask someone for forgiveness, please....admit your freakin' mistakes. Whether if its using a 1940s business model or not keeping up with the times like the Japanese brands do, I think they should definitely rethink their strategy.

The long-suffering print newspaper industry also saw their own '9/11' as the Chicago Tribune reported big losses.

We'll probably see some great corporate empires come to an end, but some for the right reasons. We shall see. Sorry I'm being too negative here, but I thought I'd share my thoughts :) And lastly, cheers to Michael Phelps for being a new role model for kids (including my great nephews). 'Bout time we had someone who seems to have a clean image.

best and worsts of 2008

I guess you can call this an 'annual' thing. Since I did this the last 2 years, I figure oh what the hey. But I thought I'd share my thoughts about this ever-"change"ing year. I plan on writing about how much has changed during this calendar year, so stay tuned. Before I get ahead of myself, here's my favorite tunes of '08:

"Handlebars"-Flobots *-The song sounds like the melody was written by a 10-year old, but this one sticks with you for a long time. I don't know what it is, maybe the humor. My favorite lyric: "I can lead this nation with a microphone..."
"Mercy"-Duffy *-The next Amy Winehouse? I think so.
"Disturbia"-Rihanna. *-I never thought I would ever like any of this gal's music, but since she's unstoppingly putting out songs, I've gotta admit this is a cool bar/club song.
"So What"-Pink *-From someone who redefined what a female popstar is supposed to be (about the music cough cough). Great message too.
"Violet Hill"-Coldplay
"Stop and Stare"-OneRepublic *-Yeah, I know. I've said I'm not a fan of adult alternative/river music, but I really dig OneRepublic.
"Paper Planes"-M.I.A.
"American Boy"-Estelle & Kanye West *-Disco comeback! And of course, Kanye, musically.
"No Air"-Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown *-Not a fan of Chris Brown's (he's not a popstar, people!), but I do love the song and if it wasn't Jordin Sparks, this song would not be on the list. It's a good song to stay in your head throughout your workshift.

And my worst songs of '08. Believe me, this list would be longer, but to be safe I narrowed it to five:
"I Kissed a Girl"-Katy Perry *-I still don't know why people thought of this as the 'ultimate summer tune'. I was very offended by the song, even if she was just kidding. Look, I understand that for most men, female bisexuality is the new fantasy, but come on now. Sheesh.
"Whatever You Like"-T.I.
"Leavin'"-Jessie McCartney
"Bleeding Love"-Leona Lewis *-I haven't heard all of Leona's album, but I think maybe this was a wrong single choice. I do think she has a great voice, but I'd rather hear a better tune out of her.
"Sorry"-Buckcherry *-The ultimate fake band.

I'm still having mixed feelings over Kid Rock's summer jam, "All Summer Long". I really dug the story about how the summer of '89 was also fun for him, and it had a great country-rap beat to it. But I understand that a lot of people don't like that he borrowed 'Sweet Home Alabama' and 'Werewolves of London'. I'm a fence-sitter on this issue.

I've also discovered some great bands this year, besides the Flobots and Kings of Leon, but also Vampire Weekend and Be Your Own Pet (although they're now disbanded).

Now, onto the movies:
My movie going experience is still slim, but I am back to renting them. Honestly, I don't have a favorite movie that came out this year (although Beer For My Horses was good). The Dark Knight, I thought was overhyped, and too violent for young aspiring Batman fans. Good story, though. Wall-E was a bit too critically acclaimed, but again, good story.

My favorite moments:
-Well, not a particular one, but I was introduced to a great opportunity. I hope to share it with you guys soon...! First, I gotta make it happen!
-Probably since I had less challenges than ever before (since it was my first non-academic full calendar year), my life got a little less exciting. But I am in the process of turning that around.
-But I have a new laptop, and it'll def. keep me busy! I know there's good times ahead. There were some great concerts that came into place. Not too long ago, I got to hang out with Rev Theory and posed with Hinder (Thanks again, Anthony!).

But my worst moment of 2008 happened on my decade anniversary at S'n S. I know I've brought this up before, but this does sometimes still haunt me. I don't have any regrets about what I did, but it taught me there is a difference between speaking my mind and speaking it at the wrong place, wrong time. Other than that, life is okay for me at work.

So, here's to a great 2009!!!!

My blog is now available here too!

While 2008 was the year of 'change' for so many people, 2009 will be the year of change for me. I'll have plenty of time to explain what I'm talking about! Like most people, I like to start the new year with new dreams, goals, and ways I can make new friends and connections.

And, more importantly for blog readers, I want to expand and be more redundant! I'll go ahead and explain myself. The last 3 years I have been regularly writing a journal/blog on my Myspace page. Now almost ten thousand views later, I thought about jumping on the 'blogger bandwagon'. I don't know a lot of people who are on this site, but why not go stag, right? Myspace has been my home for writing my cool and interesting thoughts down, but now that I've lost some interest in the legendary social networking site I thought it would be time to expand. Myspace is where I have my regular readers (only a few, but better than nothing!), but I hope to gain quite as much and more on here.

So there you have it. I will start putting my journal entries on here and Myspace simultaneously. Hell, I'll even start with my last two blogs in my next entry. Enjoy, my friend......