Thursday, January 31, 2008


Most of the poets I've seen in the last few years got their start by holding a cigarette behind their head and yelling "OH!" Before that, I was disillusioned by being the best poet in the allegedly "Advanced" poetry class at Dickinson College, where laureates like Leslie York made me discuss the merits of poems that started with a different, less funny "Oh," like, "O' in that place free of time and space/ I gave my love to your face..." I think this might start a long Tweener tradition of calling people out by name. How's that virginity thing working out for you, Leslie? (These faggots can't track us down on the computer can they? Probably too busy with their dicks in their asses you know what I'm saying?? OH!!)

But last night, spurred by the promise of free shots and other drinks, we went to the Bubble House in West Phallujah to see our friend and New York barkeep Shafer Hall say a few words that rhyme but in a symbolic kind of way. Shafer was good and got better with more shots. These other two poets really sucked but I don't want to get into it or they'll call me a homophobe. Don't we need some new terminology for that stuff? Whether you're afraid of gays or just really not afraid of making fun of them, you all get lumped into the same homophobe camp. Doesn't make sense to me. I bet they drink a lot in the homophobe camp but listen to shit music. College, we'll call it. Dickinson College.

Then, all of a sudden, a curveball entered the proceedings. A dude with a guitar and he's gonna play it! I was kind of pissed, mostly because I was on the inside half of a booth and couldn't get up to leave. This wasn't no open mic. You know where there's an open mic? In your mom's garage. What's worse, this guy had the nerve to play a shitty acoustic open mic song... with no lyrics. That and some other song that ended, "Bluebird.... bluebird.... bluebird...." If I knew this guy's name, I'd call him out, too. Practice, motherfucker. BY YOURSELF.

Anyway, then we rocketed across the South Street bridge belting out Village Green Preservation Society and got piss drunk at Dirty Frank's. I think people might have been playing trivia or some shit? I woke up at 6 AM with a plate with two pieces of pizza on my chest that I think must have been fished from the trash. All in all, poetry is all right with me.

EDIT: The Tweener has been advised that calling people out by name is punishable by Carl's Jr. sized fines in Pennsylvania, so fuck it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You thought the D and the C stood for District and Columbia?: A Southern Bureau Sexperiment


I don’t know what office life is like in Philadelphia, but here in DC, we work "hard."

Nine DC employees were recently fired for looking at porn on the job, on average, 200 times a day. Apparently, 19000 j-off moments a year will get you fired, 2000 times a year only results in a letter sent home. For those of you reading this from your cubicle, sneaking quick peeks at Facebook or Slate, let me ask you: have you seen any naked t and/or a today? Not a single facial? Ha--welcome to D.C., suckers.

TWO HUNDRED TIMES A DAY. That's 25 clicks an hour. Quite a challenge, yes. But as a healthy, undersexed lady, I figured I was up for it. Video and images are fair game. No animals or children. 8 hours…200 porn site clicks…GO:

Hour 1: I’ve luckily learned a lot from ex-boyfriends: I’m undeserving of love (Ha. Ha. Sigh.) and where to find the best porn on the www. Youporn, EasyNews and TheHun are all quality sites for the best in homemade, professional, fetish, classic, nu-wave, girl on girl, girl on guy, Victorian, scatty, pissy, etc. Bookmark them, dear reader, you will thank me later. I can easily watch 25 videos of my choosing. This is much more fun than making copies or drinking superfluous cups of coffee.

Hour 2: Watching porn is one thing, but getting off to porn is quite another. Were these discarded D.C. employees just viewing? Did anybody check the bathroom stalls? Is it getting hot in here?

Hour 3: Hmmmmm..uhh. mmmmmm. oh. Oh. Oh. *privacy demand*

Hour 4: These dicks are starting to look alike. Vaginas come in various shapes and sizes, and they are all pretty ugly.

Hour 5: Email. Actual work. Email. Facebook. Newspapers. MP3 downloading.

Hour 6: The switch from videos to static images. Booooooooooring. Warning: do not indulge hippie porn. The lure of “all natural” women is not worth the nauseating, bushy, lesbian orgy.

Hour 7: Switch back to videos. Hm. Meh. Email. Actual work.

Hour 8: The end of the day…most government supervisors have already left. A little bit of Hour 3, but mostly, I just want to get home in time to catch TMZ.

In sum, I found it impossible to click on 100 porn sites in one day, let alone 200. And that was just the average for these now-unemployed pervs. Or should I say underemployed…I think my little experiment should be a wake-up call to the mayor: employees who can check out porn 200 times in a work day show superhuman tenacity, determination, courage under fire, etc. I love this town.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Twin monster movies: Cloverfield and London

Much hype has been bestowed on the two NYC monster movies that have come out in the previous year and a half: Cloverfield and London. At first, these movies appear very much alike. They both feature a scruffy male lead who is kind of insufferable, and they begin with the male lead attending a going away party at a swanky loft apartment in the Lower East Side. Both guys are going to the party to pursue an extremely attractive, model-like woman who they were romantically involved with months ago, but had not spoken to in months. The party represents one last shot to get the girl. Finally, both movies contain numerous flashbacks to times when their respective male and female leads were happily together.

Forget what you heard, however, because the similarities end there.

In Cloverfield, the main character, Rob, faces in an obstacle in his path to the pursuit of love: A 1,000,000 ton invincible monster of unexplainable origin. This monster is destroying skyscrapers, eating people, releasing dog-sized parasites on the street to infect humans, and literally standing between Rob and the woman he's trying to win back. No one said love would be easy.

In London, the scriptwriters took a more subtle and innovative approach to the monster. London's main character, Syd, is addicted to snorting a white powdery substance, cocaine, that he believes will cure his internal fear. He soon finds out, however, that this substance is merely a psychological virus that has infected him with paranoia, as well as a propensity for babbling incoherently about the meaning of love. The internal monster causes him to lock himself up in an upstairs bathroom with an equally infected Brit (Jason Statham) for hours on end. They continue to snort the monster, but before they turn completely into zombies, they consume enough alcohol to diminish the beast within them. This alcohol overpowers them with the desire to confront their fears directly. As a consequence, Syd finally storms into the party and gets the girl he always wanted.

The ending of Cloverfield is less optimistic, however. Although Rob sneaks past the beast, reunites with the girl, and has a climactic kiss with her, they are both killed by the terrifying invulnerable monster shortly thereafter.

What can be learned from these films? Ultimately, an internal demon is much easier to vanquish than a 500 foot tall demon that can crush tanks.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Massive guitars and gargantuan monsters

Well, this past weekend had it all. Live jazz, live guitar bands, filet mignon, NYC destroying monsters, diners, breasts, Omar jumping off a 4-story balcony (lol spoiler), and the always confusing FA cup.

There were two things that stood out, however:

1.) Not seeing Six Organs of Admittance at the Khyber this Saturday:

I went to the Khyber this Saturday to see freak folk maestro Six Organs of Admittance. I didn't see him. The last opening act was some guy and an acoustic guitar, playing in the exact same tunings and singing in the same voice as Six Organs of Admittance, so I assumed it was him and left, underwhelmed.

Not seeing Six Organs of Admittance wasn't the only highlight of the night, however. Indeed, the first two opening acts more than made up for it:

1. The first band, Creeping Weeds, committed the same exact indie rock crimes that I outlined after I saw Audible . Just substitute the female bass player with a female guitarist, which is even worse, because you can easily hide a superfluous guitar in the mix. I don't just pull these theories out of thin air, people.

Let's put gender aside for a second, though, and get to this point: I can tell the difference between a musician and a marketing ploy.

2. The second band, the horribly named Intergalactic Incense Burners, were damned impressive. They had this crazy guitarist who was looked like a 45-year old homeless biker. He did some taboo things with his guitar, like improvise, play squalling riffs in the high register, Use all sorts of fx pedals, and generally carry the ebb and flow of each song. Granted, the rhythm section was tight, but I've never heard individual guitar playing like that in a long time

That type of playing got me to thinking: While me and my friend were watching, mouths agape, at this display, I wondered if the crowd were impressed, or rather, were they thinking "what a wanker! Doesn't he know that solos killed JFK"? The funny thing is, the early indie bands had plenty of solos/improvisation: Husker Du, The Minutemen, Galaxy 500 etc. Even in the 90s, Malkmus was known to let loose, and all the brit bands (Blur, The Verve, Suede) featured pretty distinctive guitar players.

Today is a different story, however: When is the last time you left a mainstream indie concert saying "wow! such and such band member was incredible"? I know that songs are more important, but does every band have to sound like its musicians graduated from some basic competency factory? I'd rather the musicians all be shiite and create something through pure novice experimentation than accept this numbing "serve the 3 and a half minute pop song" route that all the guitar bands are taking.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have sit around and wait until my opinion becomes fashionable again, because it's sure as hell not right now. And yes; I'm projecting based on my own style of guitar playing.

Tomorrow: The Tweener takes on Cloverfield.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No offense, but...

I don’t mean to be disrespectful or anything, but your essay writing skills need a little work.

I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but could you move your car a couple of feet forward so I can get out?

Sorry; I hate to be rude, but I don’t like your fake tan.

Not to ruffle feathers or anything, but please never sing again.

I don’t mean to be a dick, but can you get the fuck out of my party, faggot?

I’m sorry if I’m coming across as a smidgeon disrespectful, but the bombs will land on your capital in 24 hours.

No offense, but I only smashed your glasses because I thought you were ripping us off of our coke.

I don’t mean to rock the boat here, but this coke is actually crack. That’s not exactly what we were looking for.

I’m not trying to offend anyone here, but I’ve always believed that I was secretly better than all of you.

I don’t mean to undermine the general consensus of American tastemakers, but Little Miss Sunshine was a weak ass movie.

I don’t mean to crush your hopes or anything, but you’re gonna lose this election...Guaranteed.

Sorry if I hurt you when I cut off all communications with you for no reason at all. I guess if I were in your shoes, I would be a little upset...I guess.

I don’t mean to piss on Dylan Thomas’ grave or anything, but here I am, urinating.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Recession Related Activities in Philadelphia Pt. 2

1. Visit Chris’s Jazz CafĂ© and Ortlieb’s.

What does jazz music have to do with a recession? Let me explain: In the period between 1945-1960, jazz clubs flourished throughout Philadelphia. On Columbia Avenue in North Philly (now Cecil B. Moore), there was a club on every block between 2nd and 33rd street. In fact, the stretch was once called ‘Black Broadway’ (DC residents might recognize that nickname; it belonged to U Street as well). There were also jazz clubs throughout South Street and Bainbridge, as well as West Philly.

Starting in the mid-1950s, middle-class black and white families moved out to the suburbs. Real estate speculators cut the houses into sections to accommodate lower income residents. As a result, less property taxes were paid, which meant worse schools, less businesses, and more poorly maintained neighborhoods. Crime increased, which was met with a corresponding police presence. A riot occurred in 1964 on Columbia Ave due to racial tensions between black residents and the police. As a result of this riot, as well as most riots that occurred throughout major cities in the 60s, urban neighborhoods went into steep decline (the riots of course were the end, not the means). Neighborhood jazz music as we knew it ceased to exist.

Possibly a better explanation for all of this is that jazz music was hard as shit to play, and new styles of music weren’t. The sub-genres of be-bop, hard bop and modal were intellectual genres (the previous swing era wasn’t), and required a lot of dexterity. Conversely at the time, R&B and Rock ‘n’ Roll required less skill.

Jazz is known as folk music, which I don’t argue with, but it’s got be the most ridiculously difficult folk music in history. You don’t see fifty year old white fathers playing jazz at some reunion barbeque, like you would with blues music. As a result, jazz is deadest of dead American folk genres. It is no longer playable or economically viable. It has receded into memory due to a combination of urban decline and public indifference.

Some hippie might want to chime in and yell “but Scott! Soulive! The Bad Plus!” Soulive is funk wrapped up in bullshit, and nobody cares about the Bad Plus. In fact, I’m probably just objecting to myself here.

So, go ahead and see live jazz at one of the two venues left in Philly. You will find out that instrumental soloing isn’t the worst thing in history, which you’ve been brought up to believe. Than again, I can’t blame you, because if you had to listen to the same jam bands I was subjected to growing up, you too would want to install a 3-5 year minimum sentence for playing out of pocket.

2. Visit South Jersey

All the families who moved out of Philadelphia because the schools sucked, but couldn’t afford Doylestown, moved here. I’ve never really stepped foot in South Jersey except to buy weed in a strip mall parking lot, but people have told me that it’s completely irredeemable. South Jersey has the highest percentage of sub-prime lenders in the Philadelphia area. Combine that with rising fuel prices, and that area is going to resemble Road Warrior in a couple of years, just like many exurban neighborhoods across the country. The endless strip malls are going to be abandoned, and perhaps replaced with open air drug bazaars (you see my usage of ‘bazaar’? Why is it always ‘market’ and never ‘bazaar’? We wouldn’t need to fight the War on Drugs if we just called every drug corner a ‘bazaar’ and North Philly ‘little Istanbul’).

3. Atlantic City

The Tom Coughlin Giants have never covered at home against a team with a .500 record or above. Bet your remaining money on that.

4. Stetson Hat Company and Schmidts Brewing Company in Fishtown

Whole city communities used to be supported by manufacturing jobs. Both of these factories re-located to some useless Texas town years ago, probably to enjoy lower taxes. As a result, the surrounding neighborhoods went into decline. As we know, things go in cycles; it will eventually cost an arm and a leg to transport products across the country, and at that point these companies will wish they never re-located from the city.

Ultimately, this is the optimistic note I want to leave you all on. Our recession will hopefully move people back into a system self-sustaining cities with their own manufacturing bases. Our generation has already shown that they are sick of the suburbs and respect city life. The rest of the country will follow suit, and we’ll be living in a utopia of flying hydrogen cars, Facebook thought police, and forty-foot wide lazer-beam shooting big sunglasses. Hurrah!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Recession Related Activities in Philly Pt. 1

In case you haven’t noticed or anything, America is an a little bit of an economic pickle. With the subprime crisis, market crashes, inflation and the release of the latest gimmicky Magnetic Fields bore-fest (disclaimer: Never listened to em’), America will never be the same after 1/22.

It’s a shame that our long period of prosperity will end. Yes; that long stretch of prosperity that lasted a whole three years, sandwiched in-between the post-9/11 tech bubble recession from 2001-2004 and the one we have now. In fact, amazingly enough, if you look at economic periods over the course of United States history, you will see a constantly revolving motion, or ‘cycle’ if you will, of upturns and downturns! Wow! With this historical evidence, how could anyone see this current crash happening?

Unfortunately, many pundits are saying that this crash could be the big one. In fact, it’s going to be like that movie ‘Perfect Storm’: Terrible. Whether this crash will be bigger than 1907, 1929, or 1987, nobody knows as of yet.

Left-wing pundits are saying that this crash will reveal some ugly truths that our establishment won’t want to face: Namely, that the economic downturn, combined with high oil prices and diminishing fossil fuels, will end suburban life as we know it.
This sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, whether or not the U.S. recovers without total collapse, like post 9/11, or whether we are headed for depression-like conditions, it is worth it to compile a list of activities to engage in Philadelphia that are recession related. We are talking about ‘recession’ in the barest sense of the word; literally a part of American culture that has ‘receded’ to the dustbin of history. Because if we are to believe that suburban life is to be altered forever, then why not look at aspects of Philadelphia life and culture that have disappeared due to extenuating economic factors, and combine this with what we think will disappear in the coming decades? This list won’t be pessimistic at all!

Our compilation will be available for you tomorrow, whether you, I, or any of our friends are laid off or not.

Friday, January 18, 2008

In honor MLK day, top five movies about black people told through the eyes of white men

1. Glory

The story of an all-black regiment in the civil war, BUT WHO WILL LEAD THEM AND TELL THEIR STORY?! Thankfully, the not-miscast-at-all Matthew Broderick bravely takes on the role of regimental CO. Broderick's character is a brilliant tactician, having effectively played dead in Antietam in the opening scene of the movie. Unfortunately, that type of behavior is frowned upon by military leaders as 'cowardice' (to quote David Brent: "Guilty! Get a new rule book! Alright.").

Ultimately, Broderick gets his shot at redemption by heroically leading the regiment into battle against a heavily fortified Confederate position, giving his life in the process. The last shot of the movie focuses on Broderick's lifeless corpse being rolled into a burial ditch by confederate soldiers; a symbolic representation of the ultimate sacrifice given for freedom and country.

Also starring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.

2. Glory Road

The story of the all-black starting five on the NCAA championship winning 1966 Texas Western Miners, BUT WHO WILL LEAD THEM?! Perfectly-quiff'ed whitey Don Haskins, that's who. Throughout the movie, Haskins faces many harrowing obstacles thrown upon him for coaching a predominantly black team: His wife gets invited to less cocktail parties. His children get teased at school. Other coaches probably think a little less of him, but there is no way for him to truly know because most of the comments are shamefully made behind his back.

Thankfully, Coach Haskins is able to overcome these obstacles and lead his team by spewing a bunch of typical sports movie BS about 'coming together' and 'taking that one shot'. These movie coaches need better speech writers.

3. Last King of Scotland

Idi Amin was a fascinating historical figure who led a life that could spawn a million tales. That said, WHO IS THE WHITE MAN THAT CAN TELL HIS STORY?! Thankfully, some skinny Scotsman, whose name I'm not even going to research, decides to go to Africa after getting his medical degree. Mr. genius Scotsman doesn't even bother to do his homework before going to Uganda, as he finds out there is a coup in progress after he lands in the country. Despite this basic dumbassery, however, he somehow finds his way into Amin's inner-circle. In the end , though, this blue-eyed beanpole is 'only one' to discover Amin's horrors. After realizing Amin's abuses, he does the brave thing and skips out of the country. No wonder Scotland has never won anything.

4. Round Midnight.

A movie about a jazz musician in Paris as told by a white Frenchman. I was the only one who saw this movie.

5. Dangerous Minds/Freedom Writers/The Substitute


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Vacation season is over...Thank god

In the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach, there is a scene in the end where a character says something along the lines of "paradise is a state of mind, not a place". I don't know any exact details of the scene, because I've never seen the movie. In fact, the only basis I have for thinking that line exists is through a review by a user named "utahamaroo" on the Okayplayer message board eight years ago. This particular user believed that a biological agent should be created to eliminate Caucasians, but nonetheless enjoyed The Beach.

If you ever once talked about that 'beautiful' Moby song when The Beach came out, you had never heard downtempo music before, and I wanted to kill you at the time.

"Solomon, I think I'm seriously going to quit smoking"

Anyway, that line about paradise has struck close to home recently. I've taken a lot of vacations lately: Baltimore for Christmas, New York for New Years, and the Bahamas last week. I've found out that I end up missing Philly each time. In fact, I would kill somebody if I had to take another fucking vacation within the next few months.

No offense to all of those who I visited or travelled with during these vacations, but I have no need to 'escape' Philly right now. There is absolutely nothing to escape from.

Let's look at the advantages:


-I live in an apartment that's relatively cheap, has abundant food options that are a five minute walk away in any direction, and is located right in center city.

-Grad is school is shaping up to be both a joke and informative.

-I have friends spread out in different social groups, which is perfect for right now: all of the fun, none of the reputation-crippling gossip.

-Without turning this into a live journal post, life with the womens is satisfactory.

With all of this said, I don't give a toss about visiting some beach and drinking pina coladas. In Philly, I'm in a paradisaical state of mind. Cold? I'll just drink more. Bored? I'll waive my moratorium on weed smoking, or perhaps go back to the gym (lol). Dumped? I'll drink more. Fired? Basically impossible even if I tried.

I feel arrogant about my situation in Philly, and I have every right to: It was my goddamned decision to move here on a whim. That whim was a night of blow with a couple of art school girls in August of 2005, which included overrated live indie bands, spin the bottle, a free jazz jam, and Ryan jumping into the Schykill river at 7 am. It's those kinds of experiences that cause people to say, "I want to move here!", not 'getting a new job' or some bullshit like that. What are you? Upper middle class??

On a more serious note, it feels good for once to not beleive the grass is greener on the other side. It's like catching lightning in a bottle in a sense, and can't be expected to last. Nonetheless, location plays an important part in the process. I've said before that Philly is a perfect tweener city, one where you can know all the angles but not play them, or play all the angles but not know them. It's a city of experiments, with little self-importance in play. How can anyone take themselves seriously here? No one cares about Philly! People from the outside talk about the place like it's shrouded in perpetual darkness, with maurading bands of mongoloid criminals and a decaying rocky statue on every corner. Did you know that Eagles fans once booed santa clause? Frankly, I hope the ignorance sustains itself.

So, I don't need a beach to let loose. You can also take your "big apple" and eat it. Wow! New York has a lot of bars and skyscrapers and stuff! You can't find that stuff anywhere else!

Oh, I forgot: Lou Reed. He inspired a generation of rock critics. Congrats, NYC.

If only you could follow my example, you would set free*

*I hope you are heavily subsidized by your parents.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Upon Further Reflection: Three Days in Columbus

There's a time when Columbus would have been in the running for a chapter in The Tweener's Guide to Cities You'd Never Want to Visit, and it probably still would be, except that now I have a friend living there - what up L-town! - who can parse the charming hicks from the regular hicks. (There are people in Ohio named Horn, btw.) This probably would have been a more exciting recap if I'd written it Friday morning when I was still drunk from Ladies' 80s, but I'll see what I can do. For the time being, just add a "/I was super drunk." on to the end of every sentence, clause, word. You can mix it up for preference or effect however you'd like i.e. the girls were extra slutty/I was pished.

Anyway, on Thursdays we went to a party at a bar called Scully's that looks small from the outside. Ladies 80s is really a fantastic idea that all cities and towns should adopt. They play all the hits from the 80s that you won't remember in the morning and girls get in free whether they're trashy or classy! (I assume the latter.) They have a dance floor, then another raised dance floor, and that dance floor has a ledge you can lean on once you realize it was a bad idea - KEY. Bonus, as soon as you enter some guy buys you two big old red bull vodkas and even throws in a little flattery to boot. Needless to say, I was riding high on Ohio around 1 AM Friday morning. Well, maybe not me, but a little guy I like to call my autopilot, or superconscious - although that term is wholly inaccurate. On the way home I trashed a gyro and yelled in some Brits window who live downstairs. The next day they said they were heavy sleepers but I think they just didn't want to mess with Texas. Can't blame 'em since I've been telling people that I'm working out again.

Friday, someone had a room at a Hilton where we swindled a bigger room, put a bunch of beers in a bathtub, blew a ton of adderall, smoked a hog's rod of cigarettes, corrupted some poor kid security guard, and took two hours to decide not to go swimming. It seems stupid now, but it feels pretty amazing to roll up on a confused Shiva store clerk and say "Three packs Marlboro Red, three packs Parliament, three packs Camel."

Saturday, we hurt like a combination of Pedro Romero after Robert Cohn beat his ass and Jake Barnes after he lost his cock in the war, so we smoked some trees and watched fifteen episodes of the X-Files.

So, in conclusion:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The boss is out of town....time for a clip show

Scott sent us an email last week, declaring:


What a fucking bastard. But seriously, I must admit that he's done a fairly decent job keeping me entertained for about 1.5 minutes/day with his little tweener (that's what she said lololol). My favorite moments:

1. Dealers where R U?
This isn't even one of Scott's posts, but whatever. This entry meant a lot to me for two reasons. First, the notion of stooping to the lowest lows for a dimebag is one all of us scumbags in the world can relate to. And second, the mention of "Watch Out For the Big Girl," which is one of the greatest Baltimore club hits of all time and always makes me want to go out and gain 100 pounds.

2. Marijuana Bust: Ways of Combating the Anxiety High
I found it really helpful to print this post, laminate it and carry it in my wallet at all times. So whenever I find myself "too high" I can whip out this easy reference and determine my next course of action. I'll go ahead and add "making out" and "public transportation" to the list of activities to avoid.

3. The Tweener takes on the "news"
I think I liked this one so much because it made me feel much better about myself. Sort of like watching Intervention or reading Dear Abby. So what if I'm "blowing a 47 year old" for a "bowlpack"? (see #1) At least I'm not a liar and a fraud. Edit: At least I'm not a fraud.

4. This roach infestation kind of reminds me of GangStarr, Pt. 2
Wtf?! was my first thought, but he really managed to pull it all together by the end there. I imagine Scott found himself amusing with the As for Guru, his solo career reminds me of the roaches in my room. Sure, they can survive on food crumbs and jazzamatazz albums, but as soon as my cat runs into the room (Rakim anyone?), they scatter away OUT OF RESPECT final thought.

5. Out of nowhere, a dating advice post
I'll be honest, I didn't even finish reading this one. As soon as I got to "dick-flavored ice cream" I immediately got in the car and raced to 7-11.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Out of nowhere, a dating advice post

For any of you who have ever had a hotmail account, you are probably aware of the various dating advice lists that MSN posts on its homepage seemingly everyday: "10 first date no-nos", "14 pitfalls in bed", "8 signs she's cheating on you with a short guy". These lists are about as useful as dick-flavored ice cream. They're filled obvious pointers such as "don't punch her in the face when you say hello", as well as empty platitudes like "just be confident". Even worse, they insult your common sense by bringing some "expert" psychologist to tell why talking incessantly about your ex-girlfriend on the first date is a bad thing...No really??

What a guy needs is a practical set of guidelines with strict steps to follow. Based on recent experience, I've made a set of ironclad rules that will help you in very specific situation:

How to order drinks on a drink date.

Let's get this out the way: The majority of women will tell that they want men to act like men. this means decisiveness. In this first drink date, you must display unwavering decisiveness, and it starts with how you order your drinks. Master this process, and you are on the road to a long and wonderful relationship where all of your decisions will eventually be undercut.

First of all, there is an unspoken rule about drink dates that both parties are required to follow: A two-round minimum. Two rounds of drinks on a normal pace will last about an hour to an hour and a half. If you meet up on a drink date and are disgusted by your date within the first half-hour, you are still obligated to go for two rounds. I guarantee there aren't two human beings in this universe who can't spend at least one hour together, no matter how unpleasant it may be. If you break this social contract, therefore, you are breaking the laws of civility. Unless of course, you are getting punched in the face by your date.

Second, as a guy, there's the issue of what drinks to order for yourself. No girly drinks (a given), but also no liquor on the rocks, because you don't want to give the impression that (1) you're an alcoholic, or (B) you're an old man. The exception is if you're an expert on scotch or vodka or something, but even that's pushing it. Reveal the eccentricity later.

Order hum-drum beers, or MAYBE mixed drinks. Again, you want your body language and your conversational skills to be judged on your early date, not your drink decisions to be endlessly nit-picked in her head.

Now to the difficult part:

Ordering past the two-drink minimum

Based on conversations with guys, here is the basic problem: When the server comes around and asks if you want another round, if you order and she declines, you end up nursing a beer for another half-hour while she watches. That's no fun. On the other hand, if you wait to see what decision she makes, or defer to her, you're going to be seen as indecisive and weak.

It's harsh to have your masculinity judged on such a minuscule decision, but it's a reality. Hell, a female co-worker of mine complained about this very thing a few hours ago.

Some girls might tell you, or you might be inclined to think yourself, that a cut-off at two drinks by the female is a sign of disinterest. From personal experience, I find that it's not true. There are myriad reasons for ending at two drinks, not the least of which is that drink dates aren't supposed to be marathon experiences anyway. Sometimes a girl is already attracted to you, and just wants a quick confirmation that you aren't an asshole (or some in cases, are) before she gets down. No need to sit around in a bar needlessly talking when both of you are ready to go.

No more digressions, however. Here is the rule:

If things are going well, always order the third drink

Don't wait for approval; just do it. Chances are she'll go along if she thinks are going as well as you do. If she doesn't order a drink, it may not make for ideal balance, but it's still better than looking indecisive.

NEVER, EVER, LOOK HER IN THE EYE FOR APPROVAL. Look, I'm pretty liberal, but I understand that on early dates, you should throw your PC conceptions of 21st century gender politics out the window. Almost 90% of women will throw out the "men should act like men" line out for the courting process. It's only later that concepts of balance come into play.

This decisiveness should be applied across all areas. Choosing restaurants, making physical moves, smoking a bowl even if she declines (god help you), and paying the bill. If you just go ahead and pay the bill on the first couple of dates, any decent girl will return the favor down the line. If she doesn't, you live in DC, and you should be planning on moving out.

For the next rule:

In general, do not bother past the third drink

Drinks should be no longer that two hours. Your standard answer when the server asks if you want a fourth round will be "check please", unless the girl jumps in and orders one before you do, though instances like that will be rare.

If drinks go longer than two hours, you risk stretching for conversational topics. You might end up telling some unflattering story about how you were addicted to adderal that one year you lived in Hyattsville, MD. Although girls sometimes are intrigued by guys with checkered pasts, you should follow the old creative writing adage: Show, not tell.

Even if the conversation is going extremely well, you should either call it a night, or move things to different location.

Since my advice in this post is confined to ordering drinks, and that's all the advice I will ever give because I really don't know shit, you are on your own after this point. I suggest finding a gimmick for getting her to your place. Perhaps you play guitar, or possess some black-and -white photos of Arizona? Do what you will, but to quote Roosh V, "if you don't make out on the first date, you have failed".

Columbus > Philadelphia

Ladies' 80s. More on that later. Have fun on the East Coast; you're more Dillard than Clark anyway.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hey journalists: Shut the fuck up about The Wire's media storyline

Disclaimer: If you don't watch The Wire, we'll continue our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Last week, I made a tongue in cheek reference to the journalistic reaction to season 5 of The Wire in the "stuff to look forward to in 08" post. Since then, more reviews have come in examining the media storyline for season five. In addition to the Atlantic and the Baltimore Sun, both Slate and Philebrity have joined the discourse concerning the portrayal of the media. The overall gist of their assessments can be summarized as follows:

"Did you know that we're journalists, and some our friends our journalists too?"

We don't care. You want to say that you worked in a newsroom, and the style of dress was accurate? Great, because after watching season 2, the first thing I wanted to do was call a longshoreman and determine whether Horseface was wearing the right colored trousers. Again, we don't care.

You worked with such-and-such editor who once worked with Simon, and such-and-such Wire character obviously resembles him, which affects your enjoyment of the show? Well, guess what: I never fucking worked with that guy, and neither did the millions or so other viewers who watch the show. Save your personal anecdotes for your fellow journalists...We don't care.

You're a tv critic. Your job is tell the reader whether the season is good on its own terms. You are not to tell us whether the dialogue in the newsroom is bad because it's heavy on cliched newspeak based on your personal experiences; you are tell us it bad because it is poorly written dialogue, period. For example, I hated the line, "at the Baltimore Sun, god still resides in the details" for the same reasons I hated "American's are stupid people in general, we'll believe anything were told" line at the beginning of the episode: They are blunt statements intending to be profound in a show that accomplishes most of its goals by being subtle.

You also don't help your case by not quoting any actual lines to demonstrate how the newsroom dialogue is heavy-handed. That's just pure dismissive arrogance on your part and demeaning to your readers. "The dialogue is generic news dialogue, because I once worked in a newsroom and know how journalists speak". Fuck you.

Hey guys! You know what? I knew Naeem, aka MC Spank Rock, in High School! We hung out a bunch of times and talked music. Did you know he liked Brand Nubian and the Native Tongues collective? When listening to his music, I can't help but feel he's purposely abandoning the bohemian style he liked as a teenager, and as such, I can't enjoy his stuff as much as I should.

Did you find that last opinion enlightening? No??

Now you know how we feel.

You're a TV critic evaluating the quality of the show. If you're going to use your experience as a journalist to evaluate Season 5, how about we get cops to retroactively review season 1? Maybe let's get every pregnant-by-a-one-night-stand couple to review Knocked up? Or, better yet, how about we get retards to review the next re-release of Dogma on DVD?

Stick to the quality of the show on its own terms. Did the newsroom storyline detract from the overall plot? Well, I believe one of you said it did, but I honestly can't remember, because it was probably drowned out in the previous eight paragraphs about how you once had a beer with editor Bill Marrimow. Did you know one of my friends met him once?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

This roach infestation kind of reminds me of GangStarr Pt. 2

Where we left off yesterday, I was talking indirectly about how GangStarr had survived the Hip-Hop game by remaining underground: Chopping their samples to avoid getting sued, gaining enough of a cult following to stay afloat financially, and being admired by other respected hip-hop artists.

Like DJ premier said, this existence is kind of like that of a roach. Most roaches stay behind the walls, out of public view in a protected position. They seem to survive no matter what you throw at them, but they tend to scatter away when you shine the spotlight at them.

The problem with this hypothesis is that both DJ Premier and the roaches in my kitchen are full of shit. GangStarr has produced three gold records. They may not be super mainstream, but they are sure as hell aren't Aceyalone. Furthermore, DJ Premier doesn't stray from the spotlight, as he's produced beats for Jay-Z, Biggie and Common. So; appropriately enough, as I turn on the light in my kitchen, those fucking roaches aren't moving, but basking in the light. They are joyously gnawing on the leftovers of my Portuguese chicken like Premier producing an inconsequential remix for Janet Jackson. What a bunch of hypocrites: It's so cool to be underground until someone who matters throws you a (chicken) bone, isn't it?

So, I'm gonna treat these roaches like contemporary hip-hop artists treat Premier: Well-respected has-beens, with no food scraps (ie b-sides or filler tracks) being thrown at them whatsoever. That way, the roaches can go ahead and make their own album, but if it's as tedious as the Ownerz, they might as well retire and live in the memory of Kanye West shoutouts.

As for Guru, his solo career reminds me of the roaches in my room. Sure, they can survive on food crumbs and jazzamatazz albums, but as soon as my cat runs into the room (Rakim anyone?), they scatter away OUT OF RESPECT.

Monday, January 7, 2008

This roach infestation kind of reminds me of GangStarr Pt. 1

Recently, Roaches have invaded and multiplied in both our kitchen and my bedroom. I was planning on fighting a multiple front battle, complete with traps, cleaning, and assorted poisons, much like the Great Fly Elimination Campaign of Summer 2007, but suddenly I recalled the raspy, confrontational words of a self-appointed roach master, DJ Premier of GangStarr, and reached a moment of clarity.

I can hear you freaking out now: "WHAT?!? When did DJ Premier compare himself to a roach?" or perhaps more accurately, "who's DJ Premier?". Patience, my friends, as these answers reveal themselves through the chopped samples, monotone rhymes, and most importantly, self-righteous skits of Gang Starr. Let's have a look:

The backdrop: Ten years into the game, GangStarr releases their fourth album, 1998's "Moment of Truth". GangStarr is composed of two people: Guru, an MC from Boston, and DJ Premier, a producer from Texas. The group started their career in New York City, and they have constantly pretended as if they were actually from there. Up until the release of "Moment of Truth", they had achieved great critical acclaim and "street cred", but little commercial success. The "street cred" part is key, because during the 1990s, about 847 different rap groups achieved critical acclaim without sales, and 821 of these critically acclaimed groups were actually terrible, but were acclaimed nonetheless because they rapped about 'conscious' issues such as Malcolm X, Malcolm X's lieutenants, Marcus Garvey, Marcus Garvey's lieutenants, and having "mind sex".

The Song: The fourth song on "Moment of Truth" is the single, "Royalty". Instead of describing the song myself, I will theorize as to what one of my music theory professors would've done if they heard this song: After about fifteen seconds, they would start rambling incoherently about the "Spice'd Girls", then disappear from public consciousness. By the way, that's all classical music theory professors do: Compare their music with the Spice Girls, no matter what year it is. It's really kind of sad. they are trying so hard to connect their obsolete craft with young people, but they reveal their hand so blatantly by not being able to recall one single artist of the last twenty years except the most obviously fad-based and fraudulent. Way to take a stand with your art by picking on the easiest of targets. You know what would've hooked me? Showing up in class the first day and shitting on Loveless for fifty straight minutes. I'd be playing fucking Schumann recitals on piano right now.

Oh shit!? You what would've been even better, if my professor showed up the first day and was like "wah wha look at me, I'm an indie rock musician, I don't need that faggy theory" and started playing two chords and singing really horribly, than proceeded to spit on everyone. This would've only amused me, though, as everyone in that intro class was a culturally deficient idiot trying to get their math requirement out of the way. I, however, was THE ONE STUDENT WHO COULD BE SAVED.

Anyway, "Royalty" ends with a monologue by DJ Premier.

The monologue: DJ premier is all fired up or something. Apparently, some "break record" cats have been taking the songs GangStarr samples and pressing them into records to play at clubs. DJ Premier is incensed that these DJs then list GangStarr as the original sampler of the song on the sleeves of these records.

Are you confused? Let's break it down: GangStarr samples songs to make beats, but the beat can't obviously sound like the original song, or else the group will be liable to a lawsuit by the publisher of the original song (a note on this: The original songwriter usually doesn't give a fuck about the sample, just the shithead publishers). DJ Premier employs a technique to subvert these sampling laws: He "chops" or "stabs" the orginal song into an unrecognizable stew. Usually, these "chops" are mere seconds of the original song looped to infinity.

After chopping these songs, GangStarr puts out an album. Meanwhile, the hip-hop world is filled with DJs who are constantly looking for the original songs that groups like GangStarr sample to add to their collection. Why, you ask? Because DJs have to play sets where they need to keep the crowd dancing for a long time, AND have good transition material. Hip-hop artists tend to sample beats from songs that contain long instrumental breaks, so it is in the best interest for the DJ to discover these original samples as a way to add strength to the variety of his/her collection and have long instrumental beats to keep people dancing and aid transitions.

What these DJs do, however, is list GangStarr as the original sampler of the song on these instrumental break records they put out. This is essentially violating a code of honor, as now GangStarr have been "outed" for sampling a song that was previously unrecognizable to the average listener. DJ Premier rants against this violation, then drops this line:

"We'll continue to stay in the underground. We're like roaches: Never dying, always living"

Tomorrow, we reveal the conclusion of the roaches/GangStarr analogy and how it relates infestation at The Tweener head office.

Friday, January 4, 2008

CNN's Guide to Covering the Iowa Caucuseses

Point of Emphasis 1: Analysts

All of em; as many as you can find of varied pigment concentration and jaw strength. Four for every anchor, including but not limited to one bow-tie, one wheelchair/palsy case, two nappy headed hos, Taylor Nichols and three Harvard boys (can we get M.I.A?). Arranged in sets of three or four around tables conveniently arranged so Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper can navigate among them asking the same questions. Two out of three should be young and/or dim-witted making the esteemed third seem wise in comparison. Bill Bennett is not to be cut off.

Point of Emphasis 2: Pie Charts

Specifically, computer-generated 3-D pie charts that spring awkwardly from a card-board contraption that Anderson Cooper can try to hold in a way that doesn't obscure the important analysts and still say, "Soloman Flores," - a woman - "your opinions?" and ignore the answer. It's important that the 3-D pie chart doesn't have more information than the regular pie chart because people might get confused. When the 3-D chart is unavailable, resort to two dimensions or one (via coaxial cable/stormtroopers).

Point of Emphasis 3: Explain the Explanations

When people think of caucuses, they think of bugs. Break it down for them. If a candidate doesn't receive 15% of the original caucus vote, those voters have to pick another candidate to give their vote to. NOT EASY ENOUGH. Think of the votes as chips, or "quarter-widgets", in a pool from which qualified Americans can cast or allocate their vote to said chosen candidate as long as they oscillate above the threshold of eligibility whereupon if they fall short, our gambling Democrats or Republicans, depending, must re-up in the direction of an eligible Trung Canidate, whose promise for the Saint Louis Rams in the 2002 campaign was never realized in further pursuits but whose Madden rating can be boosted if enough "Superstar points" are allocated forthwith.

Point of Emphasis 4: Call the Under-dog Candidates "Insurgents"

Keeps everyone on their toes.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Stuff to look forward to in 2008

Yeah, here's the stuff:

Michael Nutter: New Mayor of Philadelphia

Michael Nutter: "No- centuries-old tradition of corruption and abuse perpetuated by thousands of individuals-you're out of line!!!"

Michael Nutter promises to be a reformist mayor who will end decades of Philadelphia machine politics and corruption. If I've learned anything from watching The Wire, however, it's that individuals cannot rise above the crippling limitations imposed on them by our beaucratic institutions. Since Mayor Nutter happens to be an individual, he will surely be a failure.

The Wire, Season 5

The most critically acclaimed TV show on...TV, has returned for its final season. From what I've seen, they're going to focus on the media and how it affects the social and politcal landscape of Baltimore.

As this critic and that critic have pointed out, Wire creator David Simon's years of experience at the Baltimore Sun may have negatively affected season 5. Indeed, Simon commited the cardinal sin of creative writing: Writing about what you know. Simon's extensive knowledge about how newspapers work will ultimately destroy the media storyline of season 5, ensuring the season's failure.

Gentrification in the Hawthorne Neighborhood

We live right at the border of the Bella Vista neighborhood in Hawthorne. Being that gentrification is an endless train that keeps on rolling, I'm sure a brunch place will open west of our apartment. This brunch place will probably serve some kind of crabs benedict, or a hybrid florentine-benedict dish with baby scallop grits. This dish will most likely contain some uneccesary spinach. I will still order it; I've got a benedict addiction. It will most likely be mediocre. Since I can't man-up and order pancakes, I'm a failure.