Thursday, December 30, 2010

favorite songs of 2010

Alright, my last blog of 2010! I'll do what I do every year at this time, and name off my favorite tunes. Some of these are not ranked in any order.

1. 'Dynomite'-Taio Cruz. A song good for any occasion. And I still don't know what ay-oh means! No matter, this song is uplifting for anyone.
2. 'OMG'-Usher. I hate the artist, Usher, the producer,, and I definitely hate Auto-tune, but somehow this song still grabs me. Maybe its the crowd cheer or the beat, I dunno....
3. 'The Cave'-Mumford and Sons. My favorite group to break through this year. The Brits, or the Irish, are coming!
4. 'Stylo-Gorillaz. Great album, and who else would include soul legend Bobby Womack?
5. 'The Resistance'-Muse
6. 'How Low'-Ludacris
7. 'Animal'-Neon Trees
8. 'Internet Killed the Video Star'-The Limousines
9. 'Dominoes'-The Big Pink
10. 'Holiday'-Vampire Weekend

As always, I like to critique about how the music industry as well as what radio people are playing nowadays. I'm no fan of Gaga and Katy Perry, because its all about looks and appearance. I still have yet to see their talent, despite of what everyone else says. I have taken a liking for Ke$ha, as she is definitely about the music. I'm also glad that rock radio has finally turned its back on 'corporate rock' bands, and playing more indie. Maybe I'm naive, but its starting to sound like 'alternative' music again. Rap still sucks as long as 'auto-tune' is in. I don't like Glee, so that's why you never saw anything from the 'Glee Cast' on that list.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

good times lay ahead

So.....I thought I'd put a positive-themed title for my latest blog. Just the other day I was thinking about my close friends and peers around me and what they went through this year, both positive and negative changes that happened to them in 2010. Was it a good year for some? Probably not, but maybe it was all for the best.

I'm a bit self-conscious about my image to all people, and some people may get the feeling 'I don't want to change' about me. Mostly because I've been working in the same place since high school, and its like I never went to college (despite of the fact I wasted 7 years of my life there). Hey, I keep an open mind, and I practice what I preach, and look towards my options. Everyone is uncomfortable with change. I hope to make a huge step in 2011, so look out.

And speaking of high school, since the last blog I attended my 10th high school reunion. After being reluctant about going for the longest time, I was actually talked into going from a couple of my peers, and I never thought I'd say this, but....I'm actually glad I attended. From what I remember, there was a little over 525 people that graduated out of my class. I would say at least a quarter of those people attended the get-together, with several of them bringing their spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. But it was good times, and I got to catch up with just about everyone. The music, the weird 'fish-eye' photobooth, and the alcohol made it really fun too. I would hate to include alcohol in the mix, but it was the only way to get everyone loosened up! Some people have really changed, while there was the 'other half' that haven't. Some of those people I have not seen or talked to in, well...10 years. Just think, where did the time go? In the end, we all agreed that we shouldn't have to wait another ten years for our next reunion.

Getting back on facing challenges (sorry, I got too carried away with the whole h.s. thing!), I do find myself extremely lucky to be employed. I don't want to talk about the depressing economy, but it has had an effect on just about everyone. You pretty much have to be Amish not to be affected by it. Some of my friends were recently laid off from their jobs. Of course, they were disappointed, not discouraged. The lesson here is to hold on to what you got, until its gone. And of course, have a backup plan. Unfortunately, I was raised more about security over freedom. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

So, 2010 wasn't that bad for me, fortunately. I admit, I have slacked off on writing blogs. Blogging was more fun when more friends were involved. Now for some reason people are into 'microblogging' or simply statuses on Facebook. As for 2011, on the other hand, will meet tougher, if not greater, challenges. Just remove the 'lle' from that last word, and what do you get?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

catching up!

I say this all the time but I'm wayyyyy overdue to write something on here. What I need to do is set a time where I can write exclusively on here. There's so much I would like to write about, its not even funny. Like always, I have been very busy. I mean, extremely busy. I'll explain in the next paragraph.

Most of you know how political of a guy I can be (lol), and thankfully the long-anticipated mid-term elections are over. I spent a lot of time in October volunteering on my days off as well as filling in shifts on my days off from work. What did I do? I was pretty much your worst enemy. I'll put it this way: if you don't like political calls coming to your house, then yeah that's what I'm talking about. My family always hated those calls, especially the recorded ones. But I actually talked to the people asking them: 'Hi this is Jason of the Illinois Victory Center and I was wondering if you can support the Republican team of Bill Brady (GOP Governor candidate for IL), Mark Kirk (GOP IL US Senate) and (local GOP candidate inserted here, mostly John Shimkus and Dwight Kay)?'. What was it like? I had a lot of fun, believe it or not. I wasn't crazy about it at first, because I saw it the same way as telemarketing or selling over the phone, something I never wanted to do. But all I did was ask for support (and their vote!), and it wasn't a problem at all. As for the negative feedback, I got used to it. And believe it or not, I actually came across some conversational people while helping campaigning.

And now the results: I was actually satisfied 70% with most of the outcome for the elections. I always figure: Hey, you can't win 'em all. The only two that disappointed me was the IL Governors race and the NV Senate race. I'll start with the IL Governors race. Most of us already know, because of the highly publicized matter, about the whole Rod Blagojevich thing. I still can't believe we're still waiting for the trial to happen. I just hope this guy gets what he deserves. His #2 guy, Pat Quinn, took over as Governor in Jan. of '09, and by that time the state of IL has plunged into billions of debt, as well as several job losses. These are just a couple of issues that tried to be played in the election. Earlier this year, Bill Brady won the GOP primary and one of my friends Jason Plummer (from Edwardsville) won the Lieutenant Governor race. It was quite a busy year for both of them, as they traveled around Illinois campaigning tirelessly, as well as knocking Quinn. I honestly thought Brady/Plummer would have won. And they almost did, by not even 50,000 votes. It turns out that Pat Quinn only won a large handful of Cook County and Brady won just about every county in IL. It makes a lot of people sick hearing about it, that Chicagoans make some of the decisions for downstate Illinoisans.

I will hand it to IL voters on one thing: replacing a Republican in President Obama's old Senate seat. The national media considered it an 'embarrassment' for our Prez, but to me, just because he had an 'R' next to his name does not necessarily mean he's entirely conservative. I did help campaign for Kirk, but there were a few things that he agreed with Obama on, such as cap-and-trade. But I do hope he does his duty well. As for Quinn, I of course was very disappointed. I was even embarrassed when I heard a national talk radio pundit say 'Illinois didn't want change'. I actually debated with a few people about it too. Many people thought Plummer to be a 'silver spoon', but if anyone can name anything positive that came out of Quinn while he was Governor, be my guest. (lol) I was amazed that Nevada didn't want change either as they re-elected Harry Reid. I don't know much about Nevada, nor have I ever been there, but from what I hear the state has been in financial trouble as well as its flagship Las Vegas.

Well, getting off politics, not much has been new with me. I only attended one show since my last post and that was Vampire Weekend. Great show, and easy to say my favorite band to have come out within the last few years. It was just announced that U2 will be at Busch Stadium in July, and Girl Talk will be in January. I'm very excited, that's all I can say. I almost attended the Suicidal Tendencies show last week, but it was the same night as election night.

I'm also in the process of buying a new car! A girl I work with may sell me her Mustang. I'm very excited about that too. There's a lot of things I'm still eagerly awaiting, but there are still challenges to meet before 2010 is over. I'll be again working Thanksgiving, which I'm not happy about. I'm very likely to spend it with my maternal side of the family like last year, and perhaps taking in Black Friday. Last year was the first time I worked on such day, and it was different watching hoards of people get in line for the big sale. The only thing I'm splurging myself on this year is an electronic reader. I'm definitely torn between the Kindle and the Sony E-Reader. Both have their pros and cons, not even outweighing each other. I definitely can't wait to buy something I can finally take with me everywhere I go, book-wise! On Thanksgiving weekend is my 10th high school reunion. For the longest time I didn't want to go, but a few people encouraged me to go, so I just thought 'Oh, what the hell....'. Truth be told, I'm very nervous about it.

I hope this gives you an idea about my current life. Catch ya all later!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

birth days and online social networking

I wrote a similar blog like this on Myspace about oh, 3 years ago, but here's a revised edition. Today is my birthday (I'm IXXX, I think, in Roman numerals, lol). And if you're reading this, thanks in advance (laughs).

But I came on here to relate this special day to online sites like Facebook and Myspace among others. Actually, Myspace is pretty much dead so Facebook we'll stick with. For everyone, birthdays come once in every 365 (or 366) days. Seems like a long time, until we find out how fast we're getting old!!! Everyone has their own birthdays traditions and celebrations. But one thing that always sticks out in my head (and apparently everyone elses) is how many birthday wishes they will get on their Facebook wall. Every year its gets better for me, but every year I also tell myself enjoy it while I can while its still popular. More and more people go on Facebook every day, at least that's what I believe.

I personally don't like to wish people happy birthday on the Internet. If I do, I will make sure they know in person or through text, if I was really good friends with them. There's always that feeling in me that if someone wishes me a happy bday on Facebook, I feel that I have to return the favor and then I have to check the birthday listings day-by-day on Facebook. I know this makes me sound like a snob or bad person, but I hope you get kind of an idea where I'm coming from. I just like being fair and treating people the same way back. There's many different groups of friends on Facebook (family, close friends, people you never talk to, people you never met, etc) and sometimes I divide it that way. I believe we're all guilty of that :). The wrong way of thinking is 'who your real friends are' are the ones who actually wishing you a happy birthday. Some girl at work told me this recently. I can understand that most people are like me, they shouldn't feel the urge to wish someone a 'Happy bday'. I get that way too, all the time.

I'm not saying you shouldn't wish me one, but I will definitely try to do it when your special day comes, that's what I'm saying. Well, what's my plans for today? Maybe catch up on sleep, thinking about City Museum, Lumiere Place and definitely a big dinner! Or organize my music catalog on my computer....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall is here....

September has already gone by quick, which I guess is a good thing? Well, closer to summer 2011, lol! I definitely can't wait for Halloween to be overwith. Thanksgiving and Christmas will definitely fly by quick, unless there's a snowstorm. That would be the one thing I never look forward to, weather-wise. But for now, its always about the change of temperature and atmosphere. Usually around my birthday (which is in 9 days) I start catching a real cold, but luckily the last two years it hasn't happened. Maybe I just learn from my mistakes, I don't know :).

I haven't even taken my jacket out of the closet yet. I just don't wanna do it. If it hasn't been mid-September yet, I would definitely say its too early. It has been chilly late at night as well as early-morning here in the StL area. We still usually get great weather during the day. In fact, yesterday it was 82 degrees. Every now and then I do catch allergies, but it don't irritate me that much.

There's plenty of things for me to look forward to this Fall. Last week, was my night with Seether (blog post coming soon!), and I'm going to KSHE 95's Pig Roast Festival this Saturday. Vampire Weekend will be in October, and I'm considering going to see Suicidal Tendencies and Papa Roach. Nothing's written in stone about either one, but they're both a month ahead from now. I also received an invitation to go to Chuck Berry's statue dedication ceremony, but the date is TBA. I also like to watch the Cards play in the last stages of the season, that is if they make it to the post-season. Unfortunately, its not looking good for them :(. And for current events, the first week of November will bring the long-awaited mid-term elections to see if certain Congress people will get kicked out of office. It will also be a thrilling time to witness the battle for Illinois: Bill Brady vs. incumbent Pat Quinn. (Edwardsville-an lumber heir Jason Plummer is running on the Brady ticket for Lt. Governor)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

top 80s one-hit wonders

Tonight I'm playing one solid hour of 80s one-hit wonders. As most of us music enthusiasts know, the term 'one-hit wonder' is often controversial. See the wikipedia article about 'one-hit wonder' if you wanna know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions, and boy did they come up with some! Here's a sample of the playlist I put together for tonight:

Nena-99 Red Balloons (English language version of her German-language US hit. It's less confusing than you think!)
Benny Mardones-Into The Night
Baltimora-Tarzan Boy (passed away in '94)
After The Fire-Der Kommissar (an English language version of Falco's overseas hit song)
Danny Wilson-Mary's Prayer
Kajagoogoo-Too Shy
T'Pau-Heart And Soul (group named Star Trek character)
Taco-Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin penned tune)
David & David-Welcome To The Boomtown (I had a guy call me up while I played this song and he says he still listens to his David & David cassette tape! I love hearing memories, especially when they're not mine....)
JoBoxers-Just Got Lucky (one of my Facebook friends posted this song on her newsfeed and said she owned this on 45! Hey, gotta love randomness)
Plimsouls-A Million Miles Away
The Style Council-My Ever Changing Moods
Boys Don't Cry-I Wanna Be A Cowboy

Honorable mentions (but did not play):
Frank Stallone-Far From Over
Stars on 45
Jules Shear-Steady (wrote 2 of Cyndi Lauper's hit songs as well)
Re-Flex-Politics of Dancing
Musical Youth-Pass The Dutchie
Gary Numan-Cars (to many, he's a one-hit wonder, but I like his other song that was a hit overseas, which was 'Are Friends Electric?')
Jan Hammer-Miami Vice Theme
The Blow Monkeys-Digging Your Scene (don't ask about the name! lol. Also contributed a song to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack)
Device-Hanging on a Heart Attack
Opus-Live Is Life
Frida-I Know There's Something Going On (its fair to call her a one-hit wonder, should her previous career with Abba be disqualified)
Toni Basil-Mickey (how could I leave her out? Basil is also well known for her chorerography career as well as playing a prostitute in Easy Rider)
Tracey Ullman-They Don't Know
Living In A Box-Living In a Box
When In Rome-The Promise (most people now know this song as 'that song at the end of Napoleon Dynamite')

....I know there's several to mention but these just come to mind :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

book ideas

Your ideas/comments/suggestions are welcome on this one. I've been wanting to write a blog-type book for the longest time. I've got 2 major ideas.

1. I've always been interested in black history in America. All my life I've always wanted to hear a full perspective from several black people about what it is like living in modern America today. Back in college three years ago, I had to do a project where I interviewed 2 older African-Americans about life in America during the pre-Civil Rights era. Of course, I learned a lot. But I also want to get opinions from several A-A's of all generations, focusing on what their favorite stereotypical views from the majorities are, and what they expect from people in society. I want to interview famous black people as well as lower-class African-Americans. There are several areas to choose from.

2. Another area of interest is the music industry. I've written a lot of blogs about it, and now I want to put it in book form. Everyone has their opinions (mostly negative) about how the music industry is going. I keep up well as a matter of fact. I always like to read blogs from professionals, especially the Lefsetz Letter. But I like hearing it from the artists and bands themselves. I've talked to a few musicians about it and their views were very mixed. I'd like to put all of them in one place.

So there you have it. Let me know what you think!

Friday, August 27, 2010


Yesterday I added my 400th movie to my 'My Movies' list on For those that don't know what I'm talking about, I can explain. I like to keep track of every movie I've seen (within last 15 years) by adding it to 'My Movies'. My Movies is one of imdb's cool features for members. It can be used for anything. In fact, I know one gal who organizes what she thinks are her top movies and worst movies she's ever seen. All you need is an account with imdb, which is free. It happened on the same day Cardinals 1st baseman Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run. Coincidence maybe, but I was watching 'Intolerance' when it happened.

400 sounds like a big number to some, but I actually know people who have more than 400 dvds in their collection! I'm not sure if I'll ever have a collection that huge, but it would take me a lot of time, that's for sure! I've said in an earlier blog that I believe that the average person has seen an average 200 movies in their lifetime. And I know everyone has their personal favorite (mine? 'Almost Famous') and/or their personal Top 10. It was almost a year ago that I got to the '300' mark and in the last 12 months I had seen 100 films. There are a lot of contributing factors to this. I have been making trips to redbox a lot. Also, I've been watching a lot of movies for free online, such as I don't recommend it, as the site has a lot of unpredictables like viruses on there. I really like as there are several historical, if not legendary, films on there. And the least thing to worry about are the legal rights since everything in public domain is on that site. You can even download the movies for free off of there. If you're not really a movie historian or know much about movies from 75 years ago, the site may not be for you. Or you can probably learn something new! I have always been interested in learning about the lives of 1920s and 1910s figures like D.W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin. Even the film that is revered as the 'first real motion picture' Birth of a Nation is listed on that site, as it is in public domain. By the way, if you're wondering what public domain means, that indicates that no company or individual person owns the rights to the work.

I wrote a blog over a month ago about how I feel about people wasting their time watching television. I don't compare it well to watching movies. I feel that watching movies is a better use of time more than watching a show along with commercials. I'd rather spend a good 2-3 hours of my time relaxing with a movie than try to keep up on a tv series. There's many other different ways I can explain that, but I'll keep it right there.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Halloween? really?

It's mid-August, and as we all know, its back-to-school season. Or so we think? Apparently now retailers are rushing Halloween crap on the shelves and putting up pumpkin decorations all over the place. I can remember a time when they didn't do this in August. More like mid-September. I'm not sure what the people behind the curtain are thinking, but why jump the gun more than two months before the holiday?

Those that know me very well know that I hate Halloween. It's not the Pagan, or religious part of it. It's pretty much a holiday where everyone is dying for attention, and its not a holiday where people can be themselves. I don't mind the eye candy where the ladies where risque costumes, but it gets old quick! Like the kid from Hocus Pocus said, 'Halloween was created by the candy companies...'. Truer words have never been spoken. Its a day I never look forward to of all 365 days of the year. And November 1 is probably my favorite day because its all over. There's definitely more I hate about Halloween but its hard to put down in print.

As for the back-to-school part, its never a good thing to look forward to. Yeah, the positive thing is seeing people you've always like to see. But when the 'back-to-school' theme hits stores in mid-July, it always strikes a nerve. I'm not in school, but it always reminds me of those times when we would start those horrifying 9 months over again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

summer concert shows journal; and what's next!

I tried making this my second year in a row for my concert-attending. Nothing was really stopping me; it was pretty much the fact that there were not many shows I was interested in! I mean, sure I wanted to see Tom Petty and the Eagles, but I had to sacrifice them. I was more 'into' seeing acts I've never seen before. Not very many came by my way (St. Louis area), but I managed to see a couple. My only regret was not seeing the Eagles. I always tell myself that every time a legendary act tours that this will be 'their last one'. The Eagles have been around for a long, long time and keeping them together is known to be a challenge. They were at Busch Stadium in June with the Dixie Chicks. I don't care very much for the country trio. I got to see Dave Matthews Band back in mid-June, but it didn't do well for me. I like some of Dave Matthews' radio songs, but I learned quickly while attending the concert that there are two kinds of DMB fans: the die-hard and the ultra die-hard. This is because 85 percent of what Dave played were all album cuts that only true fans know. One of the very few songs I was familiar with that he played was his latest hit 'You and Me'. Dave and the band put on a great energetic show, but that doesn't mean I'll be back at one of their shows anytime SOON!

Last month (July) I got to see Hole and the B-52's for the first time. I got to catch the B-52's on the 4th of July at Fair St. Louis, underneath the arch. It was awesome, although the crowd and the humidity was a tough challenge. The one thing that surprised me was how Kate Pierson has aged bigtime. I'm not saying its a bad thing (lol); but I saw close-up shots of her on the monitor and I couldn't help but notice how she became wrinkled. I also didn't realize she was 62! I thought she was ten years younger, but its easy to forget she had a career as a Playboy bunny before she joined the B-52's. I got to hear their lost 80s hits (Private Idaho, Mesopotamia as well as Rock Lobster) live and to me it was quite a thrill.

I also got to catch Weird Al Yankovic and Hole last month. It was the second time to see 'the king of parody', as I got to go with my sister and her twins. My 7-year old nephews love him, and it was great to see them so excited about seeing Al in person. He did most of his hits as well as all of the songs off his most recent EP 'Internet Leaks'. He put in so much energy into his show and I feel he gave everyone their money's worth. On the other hand, Hole didn't. Lucky for me and my friend Laura, we went for free since I work at my college radio station. A ticket would have cost close to $40 to see Courtney Love and her new band members perform for 50 minutes. Most of us know about Courtney's wild history, from being Kurt Cobain's widow to her offstage behavior and image. She also has had quite a respectable acting career, most notably for 'The People vs. Larry Flynt'. I wasn't much of a fan of Hole, but I do love their classic 1994 album Live Through This. Many rock historians know it as a landmark in her career. I thought this would be my opportunity to see her in person, live. Laura saw them at the old Mississippi Nights back in '94 (or '95?), and according to her it was better back then! When we were there, we literally had to wait an hour before the band hit the stage, which of course ticked off a lot of people. But when she hit the stage, she totally rocked the house performing all of her signature songs. As mentioned earlier the show didn't last an hour as Courtney said the band 'was tired and didn't wanna play anymore'. A lot of people, not surprisingly, were shocked but they went on and took in that they were done.

So what's next? I'm still deciding what to do. I just read that Blondie will be at the Illinois State Fair in a couple weeks. Rush will also be coming back to St. L as well, and they will be performing their Moving Pictures album live in its entirety. I saw them 3 years ago with a group of people, and it was one of the best shows I've been to. I already bought my ticket to KSHE's Pig Roast for September, as it will be on the weekend before my birthday. There will be a lot of 80s hair bands as well as a few current bands on the bill. But it will be a great time as it will probably my last time at Verizon for the year. I also might catch Seether either in Du Quoin or in St. Louis. It's still in question.

Got a concert story for the summer? Let's hear it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

sure, its depressing....

Its been 2 1/2 years now since I've been out of college, and believe me...I still have nightmares about it (lol)! I miss all the people and activities from SIUE, but I surely don't miss the tests, exams, and long papers. For those who don't know, I graduated with a degree in Mass Communications in December of '07. Since then, I have not succeeded to get 'a real job' in my field.

Not very many people know but the last two years I was there I wanted to quit. I wanted to 'try to get rich' by finding some place to make a passive income. I'll get to that part later on. I got really bored with college and I was fed up with the way I thought SIUE was greedy. My parents would always say 'Quit knocking SIUE....they're giving you an education and you'll get your real job'. Well, in reality that hasn't happened. The good/bad part was they made me stay and finish what I started. I'm glad I went to SIUE while at the same time I still have my regrets for wasting 4 1/2 years there. But I still stay on as an Alumni Association member just to keep up with how things are going.

Its now safe to say that the down economy has effected more than 95% of everyone. Including yours truly. One of my best friends, Josh (who sometimes I refer to as the 'black sheep' for not keeping a job), has been unemployed for quite a while and he recently shared some statistics. He pointed out that the 'average person' usually finds a job in 33 weeks or 246 days, something like that. He said he's applied everywhere. I know people who are simply collecting unemployment, have jobs what they hate doing, and I even know people who have succeeded getting jobs they went to school for. At my workplace, there have been a lot of removals, resulting in people getting promoted.

Most of you know that I've worked the same job since high school. (Note: I don't want to mention it because of our media/internet policy) It's not that I like it, but I've been blindly taught that security is better than freedom. And unfortunately for most people, that's how they're taught. But I will change that some day :). Yes, I do feel glad to still have a job, but I am getting sick of being asked the same awkward questions. 'Why do you still work at (my employer)?' 'Why don't you want to be a manager?' 'Is (my employer) going to be your career?' A lot of people would be taken aback when asked such a personal question. But I do think the people who ask me these things don't have a clue what's going on in reality and they think that someone will step in and save them. I'll go ahead and make it clear once again: I've made somewhat of a pact that I will not spend the rest of my life at (my employer). The restaurant business is always stressful, and I do plan on working in a more, relaxed environment, whether it is working for myself or for someone else. If I wanted to make (my employer) a career out of it, then I would have left school way earlier. This time its just to pay the bills. I have been doing other things like my weekly radio show plus writing stuff online in my rare free-time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

why I don't regularly watch television

Its pretty simple; I don't have time. Period. It sounds like an excuse. But seriously, who needs an excuse to watch tv in the first place? What the average person does to make their time useful is their business, of course. I'm just not one of those people.

Most of the television shows that came out after 2000 (reality, drama, dramedy, comedy, adventure, etc) are very hard to keep up with. I have never seen a single episode of Heroes, Lost, Glee, or Bones. In fact, I've said it before: if televisions biggest shows have one-word titles, that tells me that tv is running out of ideas! People have thought this ever since reality television came along. The last show that I tried to keep up with was Survivor. I actually watched the fast-paced, fun reality series until after the All-Stars. After that, it wasn't the same. In other words it jumped the shark (lol)! If I were to turn on Survivor today I would totally be lost. I'm not talking about the ever-changing cast. There's so many lame rules and such they have added since I stopped watching. But more power to Survivor for still staying on the air! I'll be open for any reunions in the future though.

People think I'm crazy for not even watching Family Guy or South Park. One, I tell people 'Do I look psychotic enough to watch South Park?'. Yes, I know its a show thats supposed to poke fun at pop culture. Two, I think Family Guy is a complete Simpsons ripoff that isnt funny. I watched a few episodes trying to get into it but I failed. It didn't grab me or win me over. Its been dubbed as 'stoner humor', and I'm proud to say I'm not one of those people. I even have a stereotype for those people: guys who are overweight, long hair, wannabe geeks/rockstars who get carryout fast food late at night, with their bongs and watch Adult Swim all night. There's only a couple shows I like on Adult Swim: Robot Chicken and Morel Orel, simply because they're funny.

I don't even have Tivo, DVR, VCR plus or whatever its called today. The only time I turn on the TV is if I'm watching a movie, or watching political commentary shows like Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, etc. There's even some great reruns from the 80s that I still enjoy. Its too bad they're not the same as they were. Since a lot of people are anti-family, its hard to get a true sitcom on the air now. I'll still break out my Full House, Roseanne and Seinfeld DVDs when I get sick in the winter time. Otherwise, count me out. I've already joined the web revolution

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

whats up summer?! rockfest/lazerfest tales

I say this all the time, but there's times where I have little time to write on here. Work, sleep, you name it. The last two months as well as the next two months are busy, busy, busy. I'm just trying to make the most out of summer.

On my rare nights off I usually take in a concert or just chill or whatever. My summer started in mid-May when I went on a short roadtrip with my friend Anthony to Kansas City and Des Moines for two rock festivals. Rockfest was in Kansas City (at their Liberty Memorial park), and it is a day-long festival they have every year and its sponsored by 98.9 The Rock. Note: in St. Louis, we call it Pointfest, but similar lineup :). Anthony has been wanting me to go for two years and so this year I finally gave in to see what its like. This was Anthony's 4th year in a row, and this was his party event of the year. He described it like a mini-Woodstock, and a hot weather Mardi Gras, combined with friend-making and good music. Welllllllll that day it rained and it was muggy and wet the whole time. It wasn't Anthony's fault, but had the weather cooperated it would have been more fun. It was fun that I got to walk around, hang out with groups, eat, even meet wandering band members. While we were there, we interviewed an up-and-coming group, Airbourne.

We also checked out the Kansas City scene the night before. Downtown KC was awesome, in my opinion. Its nothing like St. Louis. Sure, you have old buildings and all, but no broken windows or graffiti. In fact, I read the following day that KC spent millions rehabbing their downtown scene and needless to say they did a wonderful job. We hung out at a piano bar that was 5x better than The Big Bang in St. Louis, and we also had a few drinks at Kelly's Pub. Kelly's claims to be the oldest establishment in KC. For an old timer, they're doing quite well. They even had a pizza place open til 3am in the back. Where in StL can I find something like this?!

The day after Rockfest we headed straight to Des Moines for Lazerfest, which was very similar to Rockfest's lineup but with Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie thrown in. It took us forever to find a parking spot as we were listening to Lazer 103's instructions on how-to-park close to the field. By the way, the concert was in a balloon field, out in the middle of nowhere. But it was cool though, and the weather was still cold and windy for May. I hung in there though. I got to see bands like Seether, 5 Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace and Papa Roach again. And Godsmack now holds the record for 'the band that I've seen in 3 different cities'. I also went backstage briefly with Anthony, although it wasn't much of a trip. The next day we were looking for something to do in Des Moines before we headed home. I wanted to look at museums (after all, it is the capital of Iowa) but of all things, Anthony wanted to shop. So I gave in. They have a very nice mall, Jordan Pines, which I'd say is twice the size of St. Louis Mills.

And that was all a month ago. Since then, adjusting to reality was difficult but I'm there now. I saw Dave Matthews Band a couple weeks ago but it wasn't anything I expected. I tried organizing a 'radio reunion' but it was unfortunately it was unsuccessful. I'll talk about it in a later blog. Summer's now officially a third over, but there's still plenty of good times ahead.

By the end of the summer, I'm buying my first car. Yeah, I know. I'm 28 and I've been driving mommy and daddy's all this time. So sue me. But its a great change as I drift away out of my parents house soon (I hope!). Me and my co-worker Becca are talking about a Los Angeles roadtrip in August, which I'm skeptical about but I do want something to happen. I'm still weighing the pros and cons. I've already been to Six Flags this year and I might go back again, who knows. Tomorrow I'm going with my sis and my nephews to Raging Rivers. I don't want to go, but I went last year and my nephs made sure their Uncle Jason was along for old times sake.

See ya soon

Thursday, June 3, 2010

just browsing, not posting

I haven't neglected this blog or anything. I just haven't posted since its tough to find readers (or what they call 'followers') but I've been getting bored with Facebook and Twitter. I've noticed some more things are changing and rapidly evolving as we see trends come and go. I've also found some great blogs from this site (blogger, blogspot?) so it should keep me busy.

As mentioned before, I believe Facebook has seen its peak. I would hate to go to a new website and start over and add friends and old acquaintances again. I've heard people already say that Google Wave will be the next 'in-thing'. The thought of a 'google wave' sounds pretty scary. (If you've ever seen the Afterschool Special called 'The Wave' then you'll know what I'm talking about. You can watch it here: But so many adults I know are on Facebook and I don't really see them doing the same thing I don't want to do, which is again, starting over. Lately, I've been getting friend requests from people I don't even know, and in most cases, I turn them down. Don't get me wrong, I feel bad everytime I do such thing. But if I don't know them, or if they have no mutual friends, or if they have very few friends, its obviously just spam. I would hate to compare Facebook to Myspace, but whats going on here? I've also been getting bored with posting statuses, as I feel that I'm running low on ideas. Usually something poking fun at culture or the news, or a quote here and there. I guess I just feel that I've turned my back on the world, or Facebook society has turned its back on me, I don't know. I still read the newsfeed, so I can easily keep up on my 'friends'. It's always that feeling that by the end of the day, you feel like you missed out on their important moment of the day (lol).

Twitter, on the other hand, I feel I can go crazy on there all the time. My brother-in-law Kyle stated that he's 'totally addicted' to it because that's where he gets his main news from. And I can see that. I do have a few close friends on there, but I wish there were more people I know on Twitter. Some people just don't feel that their lives are important enough, I guess. I do like getting the personal side to some of my favorite famous people (such as authors, politicians, etc).

Well, I have plenty of things to share with you. Mainly, what's been going on the last 3 weeks! And today is my 12th anniversary at my employer's. I was hired here on 6/3/1998 after I finished my soph year in high school. (note: my employer's media policy includes not blogging or sharing certain information about it on socialnet sites.) But I shall wait....

Sunday, May 2, 2010


In the last week or two, what's been flooding the news is Arizona's new law on illegal immigrants. However, also clogging up the headlines now is the big oil spill that happened on the Gulf Coast. I enjoyed listening to conservatives expressing how they felt about what America stands for and what this means to our freedoms. Which brings me to think that this oil spill happened purposely. Think about it, this immigration law is a pretty awkward subject and the news (or lamestream media) doesn't want to shove it down our throats. So now all they talk about is the 130-mile oil spill. Yes, I think its devastating, especially unsafe and wasting so much that could be used on something else. As one pundit remarked, 'Oil spills will probably happen every 20 years or so, (the last major one happened near Alaska in '89).

The illegal immigrants issue has been drawn to my attention for over 3 years ever since then-President Bush gave his speech against it. I've heard views from Arizonans, as well as people who lived in Houston, who have dealt with illegals. There are plenty of ways to solve this problem. One may think that the best way to deal with it is amnesty. But who are we kidding here? Yes, I understand why Mexicans want to cross our border and thats simply because they want freedom, and they want to feed their families. But there's a high cost involved. People pay taxes, and they should too. They need to go by our laws. Other words, its our way or the highway. Its all about fairness.

So far, so many left-wing groups have attacked those who have tried to help prevent this, whether it be policemen or Arizona/Southern politicians. Racist? Okay, that is one thing they will always make an issue. These are the same people who think diversity is more important than anything. I don't care what color, race, religion, or what language you speak. If you don't have citizenship status and you're living here, I hope you get sent home where you belong until you learn responsibility.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I should be saying the same about weddings, but prom comes the closest of all! I won't make this blog sound like someone who was an anti-social geek without a date in high school. I'm totally way beyond those times. After all, it was ten years ago the last time I went to prom anyway.

I guess because last night Edwardsville High School (my alma mater) had theirs last night (which I consider it to be very early.....its usually in early-mid May). Believe me, I suffered last night when so many people brought their dates in to my workplace as well as come in late after the after-prom party at 4 in the morning. I only attended my senior year, but it was on a scale from 1 to 10, a 4. I remember going stag, and I hung around a certain group for a while, until I connected with another small social group luckily. Later, I went to someone's house and watched 'Dumb and Dumber'. Woohoo. But it could have been a lot worse. And no, I'm not trying to gain anyone's sympathy here.

The reason I say it is overrated is because, in my opinion, so many people (mostly girls) look forward to this one night. I know what its like being young, but there's plenty of things to enjoy while a teenager, and I think prom is not just one of them. Every January I start seeing prom-themed magazines. You know, the ones that tell girls with 'how-to' instructions of setting the stage of their perfect night. There's also the part where your dress has to be perfect, as well as your car, your man, his tuxedo, list goes on and on. Nobody knows the true definition of love, and if there was one, then maybe there would be a true-defined perfect prom night.

To make myself less grouchy on this one, I think prom should just be another social gathering where everyone is meant to have fun. Dress code? Sure. Anyone who threatens to spoil the fun or any person should be ejected immediately. It's not a place for politics or social cliques, but just a joyous time to catch up with everyone you haven't seen in your class. Gosh, this is starting to sound like a class reunion. But I hope I proved a point here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

high school memories, volume 1 (?)

It doesn't make me feel old that I've almost been out of high school for 10 years, but it DOES make me feel weird knowing I'm almost thirrrrrrrty. Sometimes I don't feel bad because we live in different times than ten and/or twenty years ago. More people are getting married and having children in their late 20s and 30s. Sometimes people get their 'big break' or 'the one thing they've been asking for in a long time' while they're in their 30s. But like I said, its a different America now thanks to a different economy.

Probably my biggest highlight in high school came when I was in the Theatre Arts play where I made the whole school laugh. It made me feel popular for a short time, but that was it. I took a Theatre class with Mrs. Motley, hoping I get at least more for my credit and get a little experience. It was fun as me and my classmates wrote plays, organized them and acted in them. We put on a performance for our families, and in front of every class period at the school. One of my favorite teachers, Todd Minichello, even made the comment that I should go into acting one of these days. I still can't believe it was 10 years ago next month that this all happened. Sometimes I wonder where did these years go. I also wonder what stopped me from acting?

Those that know me well know that I went into radio that same year at Lewis & Clark college. To me, that was a 'substitute'. By the time I made it into SIUE 3 years later, I took a written Theatre class, and from then (mostly thanks to the professor) I totally hated it. But I later changed my mind and took an acting class, which was fun. If acting never worked out for me, I could always go into writing of any sort. I've been drumming up ideas for a screenplay I thought of since August. It's a chick-flick that even guys will praise. The reason I say that is it points out stereotypes and moods of some of today's modern young women: they want to get married because they feel life is too short, among other things. More coming soon!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

rockin' in the StL!

Last night I got to see music legend Chuck Berry perform at the Pageant! It was my second time seeing him live. He's a legend and rock forefather in his own right, but I was a bit disappointed with what I saw last night. It was only $30 to see him, but it seemed that he wasn't on stage that long (almost an hour) and he didn't even say goodbye. He left the stage, but his son had to stall for him as we thought he was coming back for one more song. Yeah I know, he's in his 80s. But he still played guitar 'like a ring in a bell' and amazingly, he sang a song that he is known not to play live: 'My Ding-a-Ling', which was a possible tribute to our 'black president' (it was Chuck's only #1 Pop hit). He sang most of his well-known hits, surprisingly not his first hit song, 'Maybellene'. Yeah, I know, he's probably performed it 1000s of times, but still. I'm planning on donating money to the upcoming statue that is erected of Mr. Berry, which will be put somewhere on the Delmar loop.

I hope you can stand another Chuck Berry story: the rock legend is known to frequent local St. Louis casinos (not just performing at them, but gambling at them too). On Presidents Day my parents and my grandma took the day off to go to 'the boat'. My dad spotted Mr. Berry in the restroom but of course, minded his own biz. Later on, Chuck was gambling about 25 ft. away from my g-ma and my mom, as my mom whispered 'That's Chuck Berry...'. My grandma actually wanted to go over and talk to him, but my mom rejected, saying he should be left alone and it might cause embarrassment. A few minutes later, my mom gets up for a drink, and the next thing you know, my grandma is chatting with Chuck Berry. I wasn't there, so I'm not sure how the conversation went. From what I hear, he was glad to hear from an older fan whose 'kids and grandkids had all of his records'. My mom was in the state of red-faced embarrassment, but my grandma later quipped, 'He's probably used to it...'. lol

Last week, I got to meet 2 members of the 60s/70s musical group The 5th Dimension. Who are they? The group, whose music is known as 'mixed champagne soul', had dozens of hits on the Pop chart in the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Their most famous songs include 'Wedding Bell Blues', 'Stoned Soul Picnic' and the theme from the musical Hair, 'Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In'. Three out of five of the groups members were originally from St. Louis. For that reason, they were honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Ron Townson (deceased), Billy Davis Jr. and Lamont McLemore got their musical start in the St.L before moving to California and joining forces with Marilyn McCoo and Florence LaRue. Davis married McCoo and had a very successful singing partnership afterwards in their career. When I was little, my mom used to play the 5th Dimension's Greatest Hits lp around the house while she was cleaning and I knew all of their hits. So it was quite a thrill to be at the induction ceremony and on top of that, meeting Davis and McLemore. Sadly, hardly anyone in my generation has heard of the 5th Dimension, or probably knowing maybe just one of their songs. I blame it on fazing out oldies radio formats. Pictures of the event are here.

Me and Billy Davis Jr.Me and Lamont McLemore

health care March

Wow, I used to normally blog on a great basis but not these days. I'd like to, don't get me wrong; and I haven't lost interest. I just have a weird schedule when it comes to sleep and work and being on the web.

Some things have been going on around here. A week ago today, a somewhat 'historic' health-care bill was passed in Congress. It was both praised and damned, depending on what side of the spectrum you're on. I was on the opposing side, as I thought that none of the 435 Reps ever took the time to read it, as they were bullied into voting for it. I'm actually shocked that it was a very divided vote, with the most at 219. I'm glad my Congressman, John Shimkus, voted against it, but I don't like the fact that the other Southern Illinoisan congressman, Jerry Costello, was for it, then was against it, and then it was rumored that he was bribed into supporting it. I don't know the whole story, but either way he was FOR IT. I could go on and on about why I don't support Obama-care (as it is called), but I'll put it short and sweet: its mostly because there will be some freedoms taken away, and it will pretty much be a threat to small businesses who won't be able to afford this. I also believe that 40% of this nation's greatest doctors will quit and most of today's aspiring young doctors will jump ship and choose another profession. I doubt if I can name one person (besides Pelosi) who has actually read all 2000 pages of the bill. Regretfully, I haven't done my part in participating in any tea parties. But I know there's still time in the future. Like many others, I will do what I can to make sure all the Dems that actually voted for this bill will get kicked out of Congress in November. And on a side note, I plan to volunteer for my friend Jason Plummer, who is running for Lieutenant Governor in Illinois (R).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

has it really been 5 years?!

A few years ago, or on this very day (March 3, 2005), I was introduced to something that would change my life from then to today. What was it? Facebook. I'd like to say this was the first time I've really been involved in online social networking. I can't remember how long its been since I was on, even though I was hardly involved at all on there.

Facebook started in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and a few others at Harvard. The craze rapidly spread, thanks to word of mouth. Most so-called major universities were plugged into Facebook, and on March 1 of 2005, SIUE (Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville) became one of the latest schools put on Facebook. I had never heard of it until two days later. I guess I was hiding under a rock, I don't know (lol). I remember being in a computer lab that day, bored outta my mind and this one girl in my drawing class sits next to me and shows me this cool website. At first, I thought she was trying to tell me she was on a dating site. I saw her photo and she put her personal information on the page. Yeah, definitely trying to hook up with someone, right? But she explained she already had a boyfriend, and she wasn't trying to look for any guys. She just wanted to meet more people, and catch up to people. She gave me a quick tour of Facebook, and minutes later, I used my SIUE webmail account and got a profile on there. I still do have one on there.

As mentioned earlier, this opened up a new world for me. I was convinced that this was a true stalkers' paradise. Now instead of asking a girl if she was single, I could easily look at her profile. I could also see who she knows that I know. Simple, right? Too good to be true. Nope. The writing was now on the wall. Like many others, I became addicted to Facebook and I started 'friending' people in my classes. I enjoyed getting to know them better, as time went on. Times have really changed since 5 years ago. I remember when I first friended some of my classmates, they were looking for 'random play' and 'relationships'. Now most of these people are married. I still haven't found a success story about a couple I know that has married from being met on Facebook.

A 'friend' was redefined. It could now be someone you never met in person. I currently have 295 Facebook friends. About a dozen of those people I have never talked to in person. But I still think they're aight (lol). I'm pretty comfortable with 295, although I would like to meet more people. I would be lying to you if I told you I knew over, say, 700 people. I know a lot of people who have super-full friends lists. And I have no clue how or why. I don't 'friend' any of my co-workers anymore, unless they strike first. Both of my 'bosses' are on here, but I choose not to be friends with them just because.

I like to keep my profile short and sweet, and I don't put hardly any personal information, unless someone wants to know. We all do stupid things, but I don't advertise them here on social networking sites. After all, no one really needs to know what I do anyway. I'm shocked that people put beer parties on there as well as lingerie fashion shows of themselves (hey, not that I'm complaining (hee hee)...), but still, if they were looking for a better career or become an elected official....yeah, that would hurt. I do have a picture of myself getting arrested by the police, but I noted that the picture was staged, as I was doing an acting job. (I used video editing software to create a photo still)

I was hooked on myspace for a while, as I joined that site a few months later. Remember, Facebook wasn't open to EVERYONE at one time. It was good timing for the socialnet site and it deservedly became the #1 online social networking site today. I'm a bit disappointed that I saw Myspace fall before my eyes, but I could be saying the same thing about Facebook someday.

Friday, February 26, 2010

my take on 'We Are the World 2009"

You probably know by now that the makers of the original 'We Are the World' put together a remake of the classic in order to contribute to Haitian earthquake victims. In 1985, three of the most powerful people in music (at that time): Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie and the late Michael Jackson collaborated a charity single to benefit the victims of African famine. Most people say that it was the US responding to the UK's Band Aid's 'Do They Know Its Christmas?'. It's also a legend that this was started by the late Harry Chapin, who was killed in a car crash in '81. Anyhoo, the single 'We Are the World' went on to win several awards, became #1 in different formats, and helped raise over $100 million to Africa. Like Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon', just about 4 in 10 people owned the copy of the 45 (like me!).

Fast forward 25 years later. We've seen total devastations and events around the world, including the civil war of Yugoslavia, 9/11, hurricanes, and tsunamis. In what people call 'good timing' was the earthquake of Haiti. According to wikipedia, Richie and Jones weren't too serious about the idea when they were approached to do a 25th anniversary version of the single last year. I personally think because of Wyclef Jean, they chose to do it. And who can blame him? I just listened to the song on Youtube and I wasn't really quite moved. Don't get me wrong: I was amazed that people like Streisand and Dion contributed their powerful vocals to the song. But Justin Beiber? A trashy man like Lil' Wayne? And a rap verse, too? I also wasn't taken with the 'Autotune', which I consider cheating. That's why you'll always find me degrading people like Faith Hill, Florida, Lil Wayne and of course, the king of Autotune, T-Pain. I also think that they should have recruited more heavier rock musicians like Tom Morello, Eddie Vedder, etc. Why not put a few more country or more alternative acts on there? I know they did the best they could to get as many people to 'leave their egos at the door', but I guess it wasn't too bad. They even should have asked St. Louis's favorite son, Sammy Hagar, who openly stated in an interview that he was hurt for not being asked to appear on the 1985 version.

I'm glad that this is going for a good cause, but what can I say? Let's hope this one makes a real difference.

Friday, February 19, 2010

checking in....again!

I've totally slacked on blogging more than ever! Maybe I'm just lazy, although I've had a lot of things go on the last 3 weeks. Starting with the death of my great aunt Phyllis. After a long battle with lung cancer, she succumbed on February 2nd. Me and my folks took a trek to Hutchinson, Kansas, and it was one of the biggest celebrations of life I've ever been to. Or I can say it was the most emotional funeral I've ever attended. My Aunt Phyllis was always a helpful person who was always there for people. How she raised four children and took care of 30 foster children (from time to time) is way beyond me. I've heard people say so many good things about her, and her husband even said a few emotional words. Phyllis was diagnosed with lung cancer in Summer of '08 and fought quite a battle. And no, she never smoked a cigarette in her life.

A lot of whirlwinds have been going on at the workplace, too, and weather-wise! It seems that over here in the StL area that it snows every weekend. I missed my radio show the last two times: one because of the weather and the other because I was getting back from Kansas. There has been alot of drama going at work, but luckily I wasn't involved. There's just been a lot of terminations and for me, numerous schedule changes. Sometimes I just wish I didn't make bad choices in the beginning. But I'm ready to turn my career back around. You just wait and see.

Last Saturday, me and Anthony went to Mardi Gras on Soulard. It was the very first time I actually went down and celebrated. It's no wonder St. Louis is the second Mardi Gras capital. Yes, I had an excellent time! I definitely can't wait for next year. It was quite a day filled with booze, beads, (another b-word inserted here hee hee), and pretty much just everyone having a good time. No complaining, and everyone was there enjoying themselves. It was a happy atmosphere, with a few 'crazies' here and there.

I have been kind of shying away from social networking sites lately. It's just that I've been getting bored with Myspace (finally) and Twitter. I was at one point addicted to Twitter last summer, but for some reason I've become a hermit on there. Facebook is still the place to be for me, so I guess I'll enjoy it while I can. I've also been trying to drum up ideas for eHow. I've also been following the news and politics. Just 9 months away until a possible table turn in Congress. Congratulations to my friend Jason Plummer for winning the Republican candidacy for Illinois Lieutenant Governor! I'm still surprised that he won a 7-way race, and most of those people were twice his age, guessed it....they were from Chicago! I hope people in Southern IL band together and kick those corrupt Chicagoans out and teach 'em a lesson.

Catch you all later!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Am I supposed to care about Leno or Conan?

The most dominating entertainment topic in the last 3 weeks (besides Tiger Woods) is the heated rivalry between two late-night talk giants. I'll try to be short, sweet, fair, etc. In short, I was never really a fan of late-night talk. Letterman's okay, but his recent behavior the last two years has not really made me like him anymore. The two NBC guys, Leno and Conan (or as Facebook fans call him 'Coco' for some weird reason) are men who I don't really find that funny. Nothing personal-wise, but just their ways with humor. Leno is just predictable and without the band he's nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I think Leno and Conan are hard-working showbiz men. They both paid their dues to make their dreams possible in tv comedy. In fact, just recently I watched an old rerun of 'Laverne and Shirley' and a then-unknown Leno was a guest star on that show. Conan on the other hand has written for a lot of shows, most notably SNL and the Simpsons.

Overall I don't waste a lot of time with television. I spend so much time here on the web to get my info. I do watch TV when I want to see what movies are playing or any good show I watched when I was little. I also like to get my news and political commentary reports on Fox News. Sometimes I turn on PMSNBC to see what people on the other side of the political spectrum are saying. Hell, I even watch RFD-TV just because its more relaxing. Otherwise, I don't have time to devote catching up on all the current series. (Although I do like watching Degrassi sometimes...) Is it just me, or is television running out of ideas putting out one-word shows like House, Heroes, Lost, and Bones? Just wondering.

Oh, and cheers to Conan O'Brien for actually making a surprise appearance in my hometown of Edwardsville when he made an appearance at the local Dairy Queen. He apparently was filming a promo spot for 'The Tonight Show' in St. Louis that day and what he was doing in The Ville was beyond me

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama: 1 year later

{This is actually going to be a 2-part blog. One will talk about Obama's first year in the White House, while the other part will deal with yesterday's Republican win in Massachusetts}

It's amazing what a year brings and how fast it is. It seems like only yesterday where you feel like you and many others have witnessed history. We all know what we were doing one year ago today. The United States swore in their first African-American president, and many were happy to see it. So where am I going here? Well, I plan to give you straight-up commentary. First off, I'm definitely going to try to be fair and balanced on this one. By no means am I going to make him look bad or good. These are just views from a conservative American citizen who is just looking at how he is running the country, along with his allies in Washington. It's also a look at how I think we are looked at internationally.

And yes, I'm also aware that being the Commander-in-Chief is not an easy position. I am aware that Barack Hussein Obama did inherit quite an economic mess that has been built up through the years, even before Bush 43. He also inherited the position where he is leading the country through two unpopular wars. At the same time, I understand he is trying to please the American people. He's made hundreds of promises, but can it really be possible to keep them? Come on now, it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Coming in to the Presidency, we all knew he was arguably the most liberal-minded person in the Senate. He attended a church with an anti-American preacher for 20 years. He had ideas what his critics considered 'radical' and maybe 'socialist'. He also had to shake off his 'celebrity image' which I believed he eventually did. Americans voted him in mostly because they felt that he could fix the economy. So we gave him a chance.

I respect the guy and in the beginning, I thought that as long as he surrounded himself with some smart and great people who will work with him, he could slowly but surely get the job done. Unfortunately, he's allying himself with the Fed and Wall Street bozos that got us into this mess in the first place. I'm no expert, but I have read alot of financial articles from the experts that believe Obama has so far made wrong decisions in his administration. Heck, even the writers of Rolling Stone magazine (who I consider his cheerleaders), wrote him a huge article of criticism about 'selling out to Wall Street'. There is one thing that I will cut Obama slack on: and that's his honesty at times. Before he was sworn in, he did say that more than one million jobs will be lost, alone in the year of 2009. We all saw it coming (or at least I did), and indeed it happened. On top of that, unemployment rose to 10% by the end of '09.

Obama's part in trying to help occurred just a month after he was named 'President Obama' when a mega-stimulus package was passed. The message behind this was creating jobs. By summer, people were already complaining about it, saying 'Where are these jobs that he promised?'. I quietly thought that it would take more than 5 months for it to happen. I knew as time would tell, this package could create something. Even Nancy Pelosi said in a Rolling Stone interview last March, 'that if nothing happens with job creation, we will apologize and admit we were wrong....'. Of course, I don't see that happening, but Satan's sister from San Fransicko should start getting her speech ready if she hasn't already. This was a debt that unfortunately our children as well as our grandchildren will be paying for, for generations. I do think that Senators and Congressmen and women should have taken the time to know what was in the bill. While watching Fox News, I have heard reports that the money from the package went to unnecessary things. Examples include a railroad station (that has been shut down for 30 years) and 3 villages in New Mexico with no zip codes that exist. So there. Some people believe that this 'stimulus package' will be the mark of Obama's presidency.

All right, health-care. I wasn't a big fan of the health-care bill that he was trying to rapidly pass. Okay, I'll be fair: it was mostly the wacko Harry Reid and his friends, er, senators that were quickly trying to make it happen. For one, I don't think the government has any right to get into our medical system and free enterprise. I don't want this nation to be present-day Venezuela or any socialist country. I've read people's opinions about 'Socialism is around us in America'. Yes, I know the govt. has control of our roads, law enforcement, garbage, postal service, etc.... But health-care is a different area. I don't want to be told what to do or when to die. No, I don't claim to be an expert in this either. I, along with several members of Congress (who passed this bill), have not read the 2,000 page Nancy Pelosi script. Luckily, my local Congressman, John Shimkus, did not support it. Yes, I do believe our hospitals need fixing, and I know health-related material is the #1 cause of personal debt for the people. There is a reason why people from England and Canada come all the way over here to get treated, and we should not ruin that. I could go on about this, but I'll move on to the next issue....

The wars. Just recently, Obama announced at West Point that we would be given a timetable to stay for a limited time overseas fighting terrorism. Excuse me? Stay until the job GETS DONE! He might as well have told the world that he is not committed to winning in Afghanistan. I also forgot this was a guy who has bowed to Saudi's leader and wants terrorists put on trial in NYC. For those reasons, he gets a very low grade on foreign policy.

So while the health-care is still on the mend to getting it together, we witnessed a strange thing yesterday, which happened just on the eve of Obama's year anniversary. A Republican winning Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in the state of Massachusetts! Why the exclamation point, you ask? It's considered a miracle in the first place for a Republican to win in a very liberal state. I don't like to call myself a Republican, but I do consider myself happy to know that Americans like the voters yesterday wanted to turn the tide on the people of Washington. They're already sick of the present-day Congress spending big everyday, and they simply don't want the health-care bill go into passing. It isn't just my opinion, but pretty much all the pundits spoke for the people of Massachusetts. And no, I won't take away the fact that a guy like Scott Brown ran a great campaign. Martha Coakley's people were very slow to responding to things. And we won't forget that she knew that Curt Schilling was a 'Yankee'! That of course did not help, as it offended many Red Sox fans in the state.

Overall, this should have been a 'great awakening' for all powerful Democrats right now, especially the 'big 3 (Obama, Reid, Pelosi)'. If it wasn't, then there's no telling what will motivate them to slow their own. If this big spending behavior continues to happen, its everyone's prediction that the Democrats will suffer major (I mean, major) humiliation in November.

And lastly, my grade for Obama for 1st year: C-

Monday, January 18, 2010

forgiving McGwire

It's been awhile since I wrote about how I felt about 'the steroid era' of professional baseball. Hell, its bad enough these players are getting overpaid! But that's a different ballgame (lol). Mark McGwire is now back in the spotlight since it was announced back in October that he will be a hitting coach for the St. L Cardinals. Yesterday, at the annual Winter Warm-Up, he was greeted with a standing ovation. That proved the public wanted to put his past behind him and the team, and hopefully for this bad era.

What do I think? Well, it's true. I've trashed Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez and many others who I felt have 'cheated' and 'terrorized' a great American sport. Baseball has changed over the decades. Controversy has always been a part of baseball even during the days before artificial turf and back when the average baseball player was paid $20,000 (I learned that this morning while watching Tom Brokaw's 1968 History Channel documentary). Today, we live in an era where baseball players make it look easy to break major records. And of course, we know the sad truth behind it. But the way I look at it is this: I'm almost sure, while it is not known, that the roster for baseball players who have used some sort of 'enhancement' drug is very, very long. I've listened to sports commentators on the radio and they've already believed most players who have played the last 25 years have used some sort of thing that has increased their performance.

I recently listened to a radio interview with Joe Buck, and he was asked what would his father Jack think about McGwire today. He said that Jack would convince people to move forward and forget about all the troubles that McGwire and other players have caused, and start a new day. Just last week, McGwire admitted to using drugs during the 1988-89 season (while he was with the A's). Nothing had been said about other seasons. But whether or not he used any kind of illegal enhancement formulas, he deserves to be given another chance and be a team player.

And speaking of Jack Buck, today I drove on the new 64/40 (which is now named the Jack Buck Memorial Highway), and it felt so smooth and everything, and I was impressed with it of course.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the Elvis blog

Today, Elvis Presley would have been 75 today. I know what you're thinking, 'would have been'? But I saw him at a gas station this morning or I saw him in Greenland chillin' out with Tupac and Jim Morrison!

It's a great celebration of his life. I've been a huge fan of Elvis since my grade-school days. I used to collect his merchandise, but I stopped, knowing it would be very difficult to pack a room with things with Elvis's name on it. I'd rather give that hobby for someone more-obsessed, if you know what I mean. I went to Graceland my freshman year of high school ('96), and I would love to go back. While there, I'd also love to check out many hotspots that relate to Elvis in Memphis, as well as go to that restaurant that makes peanut butter and banana sandwiches the same way Elvis liked them. I'd also love to go to Tupelo (his birthplace), where they have dozens of places devoted to him, including an Elvis-themed McDonalds. He still ranks atop my list as the only man I'd want to meet and conversate with, dead or alive.

Can I picture Elvis still being alive today? Absolutely not. My mom even made the weird comment that 'I just can't picture Elvis being alive', saying 'it would just be creepy'. She's probably used to him being dead. If he were alive today, what would he look like? I could picture him being chubby, but not too overweight as he was at his death. I can also picture him having salt-and-pepper-like hair, while between occasions, he would color his hair to make him look young. He wouldn't have wrinkles, except on his arms, hands and legs. Do I picture him still wearing his jumpsuit? No. People are meant to change their wardrobes, I believe. He would wear something hip for the 'Viagra crowd'. Could he still sing his hits like 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Suspicious Minds'? Maybe. Would he still put out new music? Probably not. He would probably be so disgusted with gangsta rap and rap-metal as well as emo. He would probably, however, take a liking with creative hip-hop and more adult-sounding music.

I think its awesome that Elvis's legacy will continue to go on for generations. Don't believe me? Elvis has been ranked in most years in the past as the richest dead entertainer (including last year, though Michael Jackson might surpass him this year). Millions continue to go to Graceland. His music still sells big. Some of his baby-boomer worshippers/admirers may die, but a new generation might take over. And even if Elvis's superstar fades, they can't take away the fact that he was the first beloved and most-collected dead celebrity (up there with Marilyn Monroe). I think the reason a lot of people respect and admire him is he is the classic Hollywood success story. Everybody loves a great rags-to-riches story, and Elvis is a great example. There are so many different rumors and legends about him, but whether or not they are true, he still holds a place in everyone.

first blog of the decade, and 2010!

Its been one chilling (literally) week so far in 2010. I would have gotten this blog out sooner but I've been sick since the day after Christmas. Sorry, this cold, frigid weather has gotten the best of me so far. In the last ten days, I don't think it has ever gotten higher than 15 degrees. Yesterday we had snow, and its always my least favorite time of the year because, well, I have to drive on it. Of course, it could be a lot worse as it could have been ice galore! I'm just sick of standing outside in 12-degree weather and my throat is just burning. For at least a year, I would like to live in a place where its sunny weather all year long with no cooler change in the weather. I recently read in Sarah Palin's autobio that during her early Alaskan days, she would go jogging leisurely in -10 degree weather. With shorts. Okay, 'nuff ranting!

2010 will definitely be a great big change for me. I know, I say that about every year. If I were to make a New Years Resolution, I would not start right at January 1st. Instead, I will sort out a plan and start it on some random day. Last year, my resolution was to attend as many shows as I could. And boy did I! I'm keeping that resolution this year, too. I've already thought up some goals, and what I would do pros and cons-wise. I'll let you know soon what it is.

On a side note, I'm happy to say my 'other' writing career has finally taken off. Back in October, one of my best friends Josh introduced me to a site called eHow. Its basically a website (obviously) on where people submit How-to articles. Sometimes they get paid for them. I haven't really made much, but I'm glad that people are starting to regularly look at my articles. For those that subscribe (or the word I hate the most, 'follow') to my tweets or statuses, you probably noticed that 'Jason Voigt has published the article.....'. So yes, that means everytime I update or post an article, its there. I hope someday, or by the end of the year (as part of my goal), I would like to make great passive income from that site. If you would like me to tell you more about that site, I would gladly love to show you. I will not make a penny for recommending you, so its not one of those, multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme things. Pretty much I'm at the point right now where me and other members are helping each other out with publicity.

So, there you have it. My first blog of the decade. By the way, when I celebrated the ball dropping for 2010, I was at the same place where I heard the ball drop for the new millennium. Point is, if I'm still at work celebrating the beginning of 2020, I want all of you to bring your guns and blow me to bits. Happy decade and happy 2010, yall!