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.