Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm Gonna Get You Sucka - Like Damon Wayans

On the shuttle late tonight. Headed back from an evening of bbq and drinks with Allan and Lu and some other people who I work with regularly so are less notable, oh and one of Kunan's friends who reminded me a lot of Kunan - meaning he was cool.
Anyway, full on bbq ribs and all dem fixins and hurtling towards the city with absolutely no traffic. Tomorrow is the company picnic and it should be fun but it has been making me think that today is Friday, its not.
Spent the majority of the commute home watching Def Squad videos and thinking that I should throw some more of my vast Redman music collection on my ipod - that junk is sick.

OK this video is bonkers. I haven't seen it since I was in high school and its still completely insanely awesome.

Come on - Erick Sermon dressed as the Klumps. That's just brilliant.

Another classic video featuring Red and Meth.

Only Method Man can get away with dancing like that in a video without looking like Puff Daddy. Oh and the Asian dude in the orange vest halfway through was busting me up.

Last one. Loved this beat back in the day - ooooweee.

OK, hopping the shuttle. Night.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still Wil' Out, Kick It Like Cobra Kai Dojo

Man o man o man o man. Full tilt this week. Today was one of those days where for some reason people asked me repeatedly for my opinion on relatively controversial work things. For future reference, this is a very quick way for you to sink half an hour if you don't have anything better to do. Anyway, I got to say what I thought - which was good for me, and probably marginally useful for other people. I am a big proponent of discussion which I think in most companies is seen as wasted time. I should have been on the debate team.
Watched Hellboy II over the weekend and it was pretty much exactly as I expected. Which is to say it was good, but not great. The monsters were pretty rad though and this was my greatest hope for the movie. A lot of people quipped that the monsters in this movie looked a lot like the monsters from the Pan's Labyrinth movie and honestly they kind of did, but uh, hello, those monsters were pretty bad ass and one of my major criticisms of Pan's Labyrinth was that they pumped the monsters in the previews and under-delivered in the actual movie. Anyway, I liked this Hellboy better than the first one.
Speaking of movies, Kia and I finally watched There Will Be Blood last night. Kia wasn't a big fan and I have to admit, I got pretty bored. Daniel Day-Lewis was bad ass in the role (no more so than most of his roles though - the dude is an awesome actor) but the plot was kind of slow at times and never really turned in a way that I found really engaging. Kia thought it was depressing, it was. Dougherty said that he thought it was better than No Country For Old Men, its not - friendo.
Early start tomorrow and I managed to let a coworker talk me into giving a presentation at sort of the last minute. Talked me into it? Please, I didn't even give the meekest of resistance. Get comfortable with saying no and make yourself redundant - those are my professional development areas for the day.
About to hop off the shuttle. Stay up on your business.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jumpin' Out of Cabs, Grabbin' Money Bags

"They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime but I tried to make it at home, there is more to it than that. 'Want some more homemade Sprite?' 'Not until you figure out what the fuck else is in it!'" - Mitch Hedberg
I can thank Google Reader for allowing me to aggregate my coworker blogs and stumble across this gem. Pure hilarity and it also featured the mlewis/Tibetan Hulk picture that I referenced in an earlier post. I should be sleeping on the shuttle right now like everyone else on Monday morning but the magic of the internet is keeping me up.
About to get into work. Lots going on this week not the least of which is the company picnic on Friday which is going to be quite the spectacle. Kia is going to get to come down (hopefully) for it this year for the first time in the four years I have been here.
Finished the fourth season of The Wire over the weekend and I have to say, it was one of my favorite seasons. I said this to Beah (she begged for that link) the other day but I think the way they portrayed the middle school that was featured in the season was pretty damned realistic. Yeah, fine, I didn't go to middle school in Baltimore, or in San Francisco, but I spent a year in one as a college student (no, not for remedial classes) and and its clear that the writers for The Wire did some research.
OK, hopping off the shuttle. Grind hard.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weak In The Knees Like Pat Ewing

Van Damme, week over. It was a good week all said. Busy, had more than a couple times where I cursed under my breath, a couple where it was audible, maybe one or two which echoed across the office. Had some interesting conversations with folks and put in some good work. That said, glad its over.
Played the first game of the basketball league playoffs today at work. I have to say, while he didn't score the most points, MVP of this game is going to Dougherty. All hustle. Scrappy as all get out. And, by God, one of the single most entertaining steal/fast-break/lay-up attempts of all time. He left bodies in his wake. We played against a team which we beat earlier in the season 21-10 but they were much improved this time and we held on at the end to a 21-17 victory. I finally scored my first two points of the season in true Robert Horry fashion, though not quite as clutch.
Took Jason's (my coworker Jason, not my brother Jason) advice and pulled together all the coworker blogs in Reader. It certainly organizes them well, but it also makes it much easier to ignore all of them instead of reading one or two that pop into my head randomly. Meh.
The bus driver mistakenly took the 101 branch of the freeway into the city. I can see the 280 branch from here and its clear. We are stop and go. Daaaaamn. Usually he makes an announcement on the overhead and asks people to look up the traffic for him. He didn't do it today. Sometimes he likes to spend the last 5-10 minutes as he drives through the city sharing his perspective on random things. How lovely the day was, a public hearing coming up about how to use park land in the Presidio, whatever is on the top of his mind. Gotta admit, its kind of weird, but I have to respect that the guy is willing to subject a bus load of what I am willing to blanket classify as fairly self-absorbed professionals to his own random musings. If I had a PA system I would probably subject them to my music. I would probably get fired. Unless it was Mos Def, you know, because white people like him. Sean Price hasn't made that list yet.
"Eminem nice but Eminem white" - Sean P.
Check out this short one from Killah Priest's new album. Yikes, just plain yikes.

If you aren't hip to Killah Priest, get familiar. He was with Sunz of Man - which is all you should need to know, but later release 3 or 4 solo albums. His first is, in my opinion, one of the all time best Wu albums of all time - Heavy Mental. His interview with Kelefa Sannah from Transition magazine was basically one of the most awesome pieces of journalism of all time. I think Harpers picked up the article and my dad made me read it in highschool. I remember him saying something to the effect of, this guy is basically nuts. And my response being something to the effect of yup, he is and his album blew my mind. Tried to dig out a copy for you guys but they want me to subscribe. Uh, no thanks.
Gooooo weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Moms Kicked Me Out The House While I Was Flipping I'm The Man

Cranking this week out. Its been moving fairly quickly to be honest but it always does when I am trying to catch up on stuff. Feeling good about my productivity for the first time in a while at this point and taking some cues from my former professional coach (yes, for a short period I had an executive coach) in saying to myself, shit sometimes there's only so much you can do. She phrased this more effectively. During a group training session she brought in a guy who exemplified some of the good behaviors that she was trying to emphasize to talk to our group. She mentioned (perhaps jokingly) that she tried hard to recruit this guy to work with her company. I remember thinking to myself, this guy - please, why isn't she trying to recruit me? How's that for an insight into my psyche. God, I am nuts.
Restarted that Quicksilver book (no, Hiro, its not about the clothing company, well at least so far), I was only about 25 pages into it anyway, and the second time around its making a bit more sense. At this rate I will finish the series of three books by the time I am 43. One of the reasons I was probably struggling reading the book was the fact that it weighs about 8 pounds and holding it above my head in bed was posing a serious risk of injury.
Was listening to this album for the first time today and was floored by the beats on some of this stuff. Premo son.

Alright, about to get dropped off in the city.
Uh bye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Word To My Nanna

Hump day. Shuttling south at this point. Work has been relatively ape and I have been sinking a lot of my commute time into catching up on work as opposed to blogging. I've also had to spend an increased amount of time trying to follow the now numerous blogs generated by my coworkers. I must say its become increasingly difficult and if anyone is interested in creating a meta-blog which would aggregate and summarize the content I would be willing to subscribe for a couple bucks a month.
I've been trying to get into this Neil Stephenson series Quicksilver but I am struggling with the first 20 pages. This is not a good sign. I guess I need to stop reading in bed but, you know, when I'm not in bed there are things like PS3s which are more likely to snatch my attention. Maybe I should grow up. Meh.
Another product of my new favorite youtube query "red band trailer" is the trailer for Burn After Reading from the Cohen brothers.

Uh, this looks awesome. Brad Pitt's haircut/ipod armband combination is enough of a reason for me to go to this movie.
About at work. Stay grizzled.

Monday, July 21, 2008

In the PJs Like I'm Ready For Bedtime

Gray Monday. Didn't sleep well last night. Its either because I am stressed about being behind at work or because I took an hour long nap in the early evening yesterday. Either way, I woke up every hour or so last night and it sucked.
Weekend was legitimate. Didn't really get a ton done but I managed to kick whatever remained of my cold.
Watched The Dark Night on Friday with the team. It was pretty much awesome. Better than the first (first of the new ones that is) but I think that is owed to the fact that the villain characters in this one are just better characters. Even walking out of the movie Friday people were talking about Heath Ledger doing a better job at playing the Joker than Jack Nicholson. I even heard people saying that his role was perhaps one of the best all time movie villains. I don't know about that, but the kid played the hell out of the Joker. I will also say that Ledger's portrayal of the Joker has to be considered a tribute to Nicholson's portrayal. Mannerisms, speech and even the scenes they put him in (lone, walking down the street towards an oncoming Batman, gun in hand) were very much built on Nicholson's Joker. Anyway, the movie was sick.
The brougham was in town last week. He and Kia came down to Mountain View on Wednesday and I showed them around the office. Paraded them through like they were show dogs is probably more accurate. My team was well-behaved for the most part and even the Wysz did his best not to make it awkward. I took Thursday off to hang out with Jason and we spent the majority of his time in San Francisco eating foods that aren't likely available in Alaska. We hit up Bar Tartine for Kia's birthday which was almost as good as the first time I went there (kudos to Beah for the recommendation/gift certificate). Went to this dirty little dim sum spot on Balboa st. and it was pretty tasty, and cheap as hell. Hit up Green Chile Kitchen and this froofy dessert spot which was damn tasty, if not a little snooty.
At work now. Stay on your grind.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm Just So Ricky Ricardo - Ridiculous

So I am on the shuttle, shuttling between shuttle stops on the work campus and we managed to get stuck in traffic between buildings. Traffic between buildings? - you ask - I know, come on, this company isn't THAT big yet, but its not Google employees. Its concert traffic. My informal visual survey of the people in traffic around me included spoiled brats and their parents in gigantic SUVs, cars full of teenage girls, and lonely looking single middle-aged women. Who could be playing at the Shoreline Amphitheatre which would draw such a crowd? Josh Grobin? - nope, not enough old ladies. Alanis Morrisette? - nah, crowd is too young. Carrie Underwood? - don't think so, the rodeo contingency was too low. I decided to look it up. It turns out it is the Jonas Brothers. Who the hell are the Jonas Brothers? - you ask. Clearly you don't read Tiger Beat, Bop or US Weekly (Tiger Beat for adults). The Jonas Brothers are the latest iteration of the Partridge Family/Nelson(the music group, not the person)/Hanson musical family Disney sponsored crap-fest. And they just cost me 5 minutes of my life - and about 30 seconds of yours (depending on how fast you read).
So my dad made some comments last week I think about hip hop, some were fair, some were dumb.

"there will be hip-hop aficionados ten years from now, but the fact is: it's over. All that is left of American culture can be summed up in the interchangeable cover of the latest DVDs: foreshortened glinting pistols (preferably automatic). If we weren't reliving the same, tired, rage-against-the-establishment posturing, I could be persuaded that things were different. But there isn't even any self-awareness of the fact that they've been co-opted by the military/industrial/entertainment complex. The Notorious B.I.G.: coming soon to a theater near you. (A Division of SONY)"

Now, let me start by stating that I am by no means impartial in my view of hip hop. I'm a fan/fiend/geek. That said, hip hop isn't over, its not even close to being over. Its reaching its stride, hitting middle age and churning out some of the best music I have ever heard in my life. The raw creativity of the early 90s has made way for more polished and smart music that is being put out now. If hip-hop was an infant/toddler in the 80s, it was a rebellious teenager in the 90s. Maturity is a good thing in many ways. I will also admit that I am a painfully nostalgic person so my perception of things that happened in the past (music, people, movies, things I have said, things I did) is always elevated to some kind of star status like Shinobi. The legitimate criticisms in my mind that my dad makes are these: hip hop is commercialized, it glorifies violence and it presents itself as anti-establishment when it isn't. Hip hop is guilty on all charges, and fuck it, so am I. Hip hop and I are a complicated couple, get over it. Do those things make it dead? Shit no, those are issues that have always been associated with hip hop and always will be.
OK, getting off my soap box and going to throw some fire atcha.
Some RA The Rugged Man:
RA hands out some free lessons on these ones. His verse is second on this track. Also, shout out to Masta Killa and Killah Priest, two of the illest Wu-Tang MCs. Take notes.

OK, shout out to Dan on this one. I read about this track on Wikipedia but hadn't heard it until he sent me the track. According to Wikipedia RA's verse tells the story of his dad's experience in Vietnam.

Monday, July 14, 2008

From AK to Gray Day

Headed south. This morning was made more excruciating by the fact that I managed to pick up a chest cold this weekend. I almost turned around about four times on my way out to the Muni bus to head back into bed chug some Robitussin. The people sitting across from me on the shuttle are wishing that I had as I keep coughing all over them. My cube-mates are going to be thrilled.
Spent the majority of the weekend nursing the cold. Did some cleaning of the apartment in preparation for my brother's arrival on Wednesday. Played some Forza Motorsports: 2 on Sunday while Kia was at work. The game is pretty much identical to Gran Turismo except that Microsoft apparently realized that the career mode in Gran Turismo is kind of a pain in the ass to make any money at and subsequently hard to upgrade your cars. That said, Microsoft made it unprofitable to sell the cars you area awarded for winning races (100 credits for a 1970 Porsche 914, wtf?) which is kind of annoying.
I have to say, I am glad that I ended up not going camping this weekend if only because It would have sucked being stuck in the middle of the woods with this cold.
Maybe I will try to bounce early today.
Finished the third season of The Wire on Saturday. It was a good season. I am interested to see how they carve out a couple more seasons of the show. A lot of the plot lines appear to be tidied up at this point.

Friday, July 11, 2008

VIP Baby, These Days D-I Prescreens Baby, Let Me See ID

Booyakah, back like a comet.
Been tied up this week. My dad expressed some concern around my lack of blogging but I feel that this has more to do with the fact that his blog comments are beginning to account for the majority of his social life rather than any genuine concern for my wellbeing. Oh, and I haven't forgotten about your little "hip hop is dead" comment pops. I'll be right back with a couple things to say on that.
Spent the last couple days wearing grown up clothes, being diplomatic and enjoying a 20 minute commute. The conference was solid.
Man trip got canceled for this weekend. This is a minor tragedy in my book. I was looking forward to it.
A weekend in the city may be just what the doc ordered. I am definitely trying to watch Hell Boy II. Guillermo del Toro is a creative genius (I'm a huge fan of the Spy Kids franchise) and it looks like they finally let him go nuts with creating some crazy-ass monsters.
My brother is apparently coming to town next week, actually arriving on Kia's birthday. He has a training thing in San Diego and is going to come by SF for a day or two. I asked him what he wanted to do, he mostly said eat, I can make that happen. Was going to see if I can scoop up some baseball tickets for Wednesday or Thursday but the first Giants game next week is Friday because of the All-Star week.
Van Damme.
Lincecum apparently isn't getting the start at the All-Star game. He should. Here is why:

3.27 13-4 106 1.17

2.66 10-2 126 1.27

Less wins, but he plays for the frickin' Giants. Dude is a beast.
Just caught wind of this Dilla track. Its awesome. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

You Ain't American Dreamin On Me Is You? Well Is You? Fool You Better Come On In

Short week? Says who?
Bounced a little early from work today. Got a haircut from "the van" at my work and the frighteningly bad barber was there. I luckily avoided having her near my head this time around.
There is a group of three guys on the bus talking about one of the guy's trip to Alaska recently. He described a moose as "like the biggest elk thing". One of my indirect coworkers is headed to Alaska soon. Keep your eyes peeled for bears, even in Anchorage - some poor girl got chomped the other day.
4th of July tomorrow. Not sure how I will celebrate. Probably eating unhealthy food of some kind and drinking a brew or two.
Pulled together a few classic videos mostly in defiance of my father's recent comment about hip hop being a lost cause. Lets put it on the table. Hip hop makes old people mad. Its rude and loud, except when it isn't.
Here are some classics:

Busta Rhymes in one of my all time favorite videos. This is pre-LL Cool J hulking up for Busta and back when he was mostly wacked out of his mind. Genius.

One of my favorite Tribe songs. Hadn't seen this video before but its pretty legit.

Pretty classic De La track. This song and album were kind of a departure from their first two albums. I don't think they could have kept up with the hippy rap forever and I am glad they didn't.

Here is a Roots classic video that the YouTube poster disabled embedding on - jerk.
Whatever, here is the link. If you haven't seen this one, you are missing out.
Enjoy the holiday but don't go American dreaming on me.