Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Sharing - Hiding Harry

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The New Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie Poster
I'm a Harry Potter fan. Actually I'm a superfan, but just shy of wearing the costumes (yes, adults wear that crap) and going to an actual Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling convention. I own all the novels and movies and I usually go to the movies the first day they are released because, why not? (I can't wait until Nov. 21st)

Recently, to prepare for the upcoming Half-Blood Prince movie (they just released the trailer - I'm so excited, you can see it above!), I am re-reading the entire book series to get re-acquainted with my Hogwarts friends. Yes, I know by admitting that I just revealed how big of a geek, nerd, loser (whatever you may wish to call me) I am.


Now the problem comes when I am reading the books on the train or anywhere in public (i.e. the photo above). I am extremely embarrassed to be seen reading a Harry Potter novel. I'm almost 30 years old! It's bad enough my older sister caught me having an in-depth conversation with her 12 and 13 year old kids about the the books and then got annoyed they did not love it as much as I did! So, to avoid detection, I go out of my way to cover the book title, but that doesn't always work because there are nosy people on the train. I know - because I'm one of them. I always check out the book titles of the other passengers (usually romance or mystery novels). So now, I'm considering cutting open a paper bag to make a book cover (remember when we use to do that in elementary and high school) to block the book title from view.

Am I pathetic or what?

PS. For all those haters out there, HP (yes, that's short for Harry Potter - how we superfans refer to the series) is NOT only for children. Those damn books contain some of the best story telling I've ever read! Seriously! Read them (it really gets good at the end of book 4 The Goblet of Fire) and we can have endless discussions about the books!

Note: This will be a recurring series, called Just Sharing, where I will share silly things about myself that usually don't matter to anyone but me.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Everybody say Ahmadinejad! (if you can)

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So I’m watching the biography of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the history channel. Thus far, my only perspective of this dude is from U.S. news, which like most Americans is that he is a crazy Muslim extremist who hates Jewish people and the United States. Which I’m sure is right, I mean, would the media make stuff up?

Now, he always looks like an interesting character to me. I mean, look at him - he’s short, has a lot of facial hair, never wears a tie, and looks kind of funny. Actually I think he has a kind face, he’s always smiling! So how can this character be so bad? Well, from watching the biography, I believe the following are his main problems:

Nuclear Power - So the nuclear power stuff. He claims Iran only wants nuclear power for peaceful means and no one should tell them what to do. But it’s like, dude, really? Are we really supposed to believe that? It’s like the meth dealers guy saying, “I only want to set up this lab in my kitchen to do experiments. You see, I’m a scientist and I want to experiment with stuff and no one should limit my RIGHT to science!” Rigggghhhttt.

Now, the optimist in me, says “you are right, why do we have the right to say what other sovereign countries can and can not do?” But on the other hand, I don’t want a meth dealer experimenting in the house next to me, he might effin’ blow it up!

The Rhetoric - This is what gets him in the most trouble. He has this grandiose way of saying things, mixed with religious expression and the translation to English from Farsi always end up sounding like “I hate you.” He has mentioned wiping Israel off the map, questions the holocaust, belittles the U.S., and that the world is picking on Persia.

My question is, doesn’t he have a press secretary or PR person who reviews his speeches first? He needs someone to say, “Mahmoud, my friend, you know the part where you discuss eternal damnation and burning fires to the west, well… why don’t we replace that with it is unfortunate the west does not agree with us?”

After watching the biography I didn’t come away with a new outlook on this man. He seems like a religious zealot to me – plain and simple. But unfortunately, religious zealots with power usually cause the most damage, even if the rest of the country doesn’t believe what he believes.

Random cartoon I found on the inter-web, funny, huh?

For your pleasure here is a short background in Mahmoud, that I gathered from the TV show (condensed version) - He was born 1956, the son of a blacksmith. He liked soccer as a child. Has a good singing voice. Good in mathematics. Majored in civil engineering in college. Had beef with the Shah for being too extravagant while many Iranians were poor. Supporter of the Islamic Revolution (bringing Iran to a more pious country – Ayatollah Khomeini gains power). Much is not known (rather confirmed) about his 20’s – early 30’s. Held government positions but eventually was ousted when the reformer President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami got in office. He eventually became the mayor of Tehran (during his term, he closed fast food restaurants and banned posters of soccer star David Beckham). Won presidency of Iran by being the “man of the people”, his frugal and simple lifestyle appealed to the masses.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

They like U.S… again! UPDATED

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200,000 Germans strong - Ja können wir!

I was blog surfing and one of my favorite blogs, The Black Snob just posted her feelings about Obama in Germany. She put it a lot more eloquently than I did:
“I want him to go everywhere there are brown people who've been told they're not good enough or are dysfunctional. I want him to be a giant walking, talking weapon of mass inspiration to black people throughout the diaspora.”
I love that “a giant walking, talking weapon of mass inspiration”! She also mentions that they are reporting 200,000 Germans showed up for the event. Hot damn! I’m about to faint with joy!

For photos, video and full transcript of the speech, check out the huff.

I Hate… Steven Seagal

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I hate Steven Seagal. Seriously, I hate him. While I write this, my brow is wrinkling and hands are all tense. It is something about this man that brings out the worst in me.

Just the other day, I was channel surfing and I stumbled across a Steven Seagal and DMX movie horribly entitled Exit Wounds (actually, I’m not even sure if I believe Exit Wounds is a horrible movie title, it’s just that Seagal is associated with it, so I assume it is the worst movie title ever – you see everything he touches is ruined to me). I almost threw the remote control at the TV. This dude makes me want to destroy stuff!

Now, I don’t know where and why this hatred of Seagal came from, all I know is that it is here to stay. To illustrate my hatred even more, I’ll let you in on a secret - I’m a huge Matrix fan. Seriously, I effin’ love this movie, it can do no wrong (I watched it over 20 times – all three of ‘em). Now, let’s just imagine I’ve never heard of or seen the Matrix and someone was describing the plot of this super-cool new sci-fi movie to me and of course, I would be extremely excited, but then they say, “oh yeah, Steven Seagal has a cameo as a guy in the street, he’s on the screen for like 2 seconds”, I would probably NOT watch the movie.

Do you understand how much I do not like this guy?

Is it his boyish good looks? His superb martial art skills? His expertise as a masterful thespian? His beautiful ponytail? And yes, I’m being facetious.

Actually, I know this post is a "cop-out" because I don't have any actually reasons for hating him. My hatred comes from a feeling, from my gut - that's the only way I can really describe it. So, sorry Seagal fans and enthusiast, this guy just sucks to me. To be fair, I'll even post a nice pic of him.

Oh Lord, I just found out he has a singing career (below)!! I can’t take this!




Note: This will be a recurring topic (I hate…) and I have a long list.

They like U.S… again!

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Crowd at Obama Berlin Speech

Today, Senator Obama gave a speech at the Victory Column in Berlin, Germany. The crowd was immense and some even had American flags! Now, I’m assuming those carrying the flag weren’t American, but true-blue German citizens. That made me feel really good.

We all know the majority of the world has hated the U.S. for a long time (and I’m not just talking about the Middle East). Many have either disagreed with our policies or believe our leaders are ridiculous. Now, many Americans feel the same way, but it’s just not cool if someone else (non-American) says it. 

I have been overseas a couple times, and the conversation occasionally turns to the U.S. and I always find myself swelling with pride and vehemently defending America (I effin’ bleed blue and white!!). Afterwards I’m like “wait, I didn’t even believe all that BS I just said, why did I do that?” 

But deep down, I know why. It’s because I hate foreigners ragging on the great ol’ US of A. It really bothers me and I take it personal if someone who is not an American starts criticizing my country. Now, keep in mind, if I’m in the states and other Americans are like “dude, America sucks!” I will second that and give a hearty “hells yeah!” But if a foreigner (is that a bad word), says the same thing, I’ll go into my spiel about how at least we have a Bill of Rights, have you read our Constitution?, Oprah could not happen in any other country, at least I know I'm free…, yadda, yadda yadda.


Obama speaking in Berlin

This is all to say, I love that Obama spoke in Germany today and I loved that the German people were so respective and welcoming of him. The entire world generally have a favorable view of Obama and that only means good news for us. Now just imagine when he addresses the world as President Barack Obama! 


The Black Nerd

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Who doesn’t love the black nerd? Okay, many people, because like most stereotypical characters on television, they are annoying know-it-all characters, but the black nerd usually has a little nuance with it because they are black, hence they are not like your typical nerd (usually).

I’m not sure if I’m a nerd or not. Actually after going to dictionary.com and checking on the definition of the word: 1. a stupid, irritation, ineffectual, or unattractive person. 2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd, I’m pretty sure I’m not, at least by their definition.

Now in the streets, or rather in the general sense of the word, yes, I have some nerdish tendencies. I have a strong affection towards science fiction, particularly Star Trek, I studied computers in college, I’ve re-read the Harry Potter series twice (and own all the movies released thus far), at times I am socially awkward (but I have the ability to fake it most times), I subscribe to at least ten podcast, was the president of my high school chess club, have a blog, wear glasses, I enjoy science (Neil deGrasse is the man!), suffer from slight (and I mean SLIGHT) obsessive-compulsive disorder (will discuss in a future post), understand and fully utilize news-groups (if you don’t know what I’m talking about – forget it) and for the life of me can’t figure out why more people don’t share my interest (idiots!).

But conversely, I am disgusted by some standard nerd things, such as playing video games (I will kick you if you invite me to play any role playing games), I gave up comic books in 6th grade, and I HATE hyper-geeks/nerds (you know who you are, actually you probably don’t).

But nerds and geeks have suddenly become cool. Nerdy clothes are now cool, but in magazines they call it the “retro” or hipster look. Thick rimmed oversized glasses are in (thanks Kanye West, Erykah Badu, and RUN DMC fans) and Tom Cruise made braces the new A crowd accessories (I never had braces, luckily).

Below I have complied a list of black nerds as seen on TV for your viewing pleasure.

Black Nerd List

Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) – Family Matters (TV)

Lamar Latrell (Larry B. Scott) – Revenge of the Nerds (Movie)

Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) – Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV)

Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro) – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (TV)

Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison) – A Different World (TV)

Braxton P. Hartnabrig (Christopher B. Duncan) – The Jamie Foxx Show (TV)

Roger “Raj” Thomas (Ernest Thomas) – What’s Happening!! (TV) (in the glasses)

Honorable Mention
Ron (Dave Chappelle) – Getting In (Movie)
Jordan “The Boy” Thomkins (Jeremy Suarez) – The Bernie Mac Show (TV)
Joan Carol Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross) – Girlfriends (TV)
William Jerrome Dent (Reggie Hayes) – Girlfriends (TV)
Alexandria DeWitt (Countess Vaughn) – 227 (TV)
T.J. Henderson (Tahj Mowry) – Smart Guy (TV)

If you know of any other black nerds I may have omitted, please send me an email so I can add them to the list!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

RIP Sophia

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Estelle Getty died this morning in her home. It is sad. Unfortunately, I didn't know she was still alive, but that didn't mean I don't feel bad now.

I am a huge fan of Golden Girls! I have literally watched each episode 3 times. Of course, I was not a fan of the show when it was actually on the air, I mean, come on, when it premiered in 1985, I was only 5 years old. But I did fall in love with the show during college, when the reruns began airing on the lifetime channel. Damnit this show is effin' hilarious!

We got whorey ass Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) who sadly reminds me of my Aunt. You also have sarcastic no-date having Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) who at times, reminds me of myself. Adorable Rose Nylund (Betty White) from St. Olaf, what if there really was a town where everyone was an idoit! And last but not least, quick witted Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty).

If you have never seen an episode, where have you been for the last 20 years? They repeat on lifetime at least four times a day.  Oh! Oh! The theme song. How could I forget the theme song, Thank you for Being a Friend (you can watch it below). 



ipod rotation

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Here are the songs that stay on repeat on my ipod. Yeah, I know most of the songs are madd old, but I love da oldies (if you can call something a couple years ago an oldie?). It’s an eclectic group, straight rap and alternative music! FYI - I own an ipod (red) nano 4 GB.

  • My Own Worst Enemy – Lit (This song always brings a smile to my face and I can not resist singing along! How can you?)
  • Hang Me Up to Dry – Cold War Kids (The lyrics are great, his voice his great, and the beat… oh the beat!)
  • Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand (Apparently, from my internet research this song is big on guitar hero, which I have never played. The beat is fun and funky and the lyrics are playful “I say don’t you know, you say you don’t know/I say… take me out”)
  • Flava in Ya Ear Remix – Craig Mack Feat. Notorious B.I.G., L.L. Cool K, Busta Rhymes, Rampage (I was debating if I preferred the original or the remix, but Biggie’s rap made it clear)
  • The Way I Am – Eminem (I love angry Eminem! He makes his point clear – seriously, leave him alone, this dude is crazy, even if it’s only in his mind/imagination)
  • Lose Yourself – Eminem (I’ve said it before, but the beat!… doesn’t it get you hype! Don’t you want to have a towel over your head and walk into a boxing ring, bobbing your head to this song? “Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity” - I love that!)
  • One Mic – Nas (the beat is great! The way his voice/beat rises and lowers throughout the song creates the mood. Not to mention the lyrics – “There’s nothing in our way - they bust, we bust, they RUSH, we RUSH” - I effin’ love that part)
  • Ether – Nas (Rap battle – Nas won, sorry Jay-Z. The lyrics “I… will… not… lose” says it all!)
  • Hip Hop is Dead – Nas (What! You can’t go wrong with this beat from In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly)
Note: This will be a recurring topic (ipod rotation).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Irony

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The definition of irony is ‘the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.”

I was surfing the internet and half watching the biography of the Astor family on the biography channel. I heard the narrator say something like, “Mrs. Astor is quoted as saying ‘if you have it, flaunt it’’. At that moment, I looked around my humble living room, which contains no less than 6 glasses and 3 plates which need to be taken to the kitchen, a basket of clean laundry that should have been folded or at least taken to the bedroom four days ago, a full ashtray, and endless books and magazines placed randomly on random pieces of furniture and thought, “God, I hate the rich!”

I’ve played around with the idea of starting a blog for a while. I’ve even gone as far as wrote a couple posting for my future blog and stored them in a word filed entitled Future Blog. But I was hesitant to start one because I couldn’t think of a title or what topic I should concentrate on.

Then I heard “if you got it, flaunt it” and fell in love. Think of all those people out there who have it and actually flaunt it - celebrities, rappers, rich suburban kids, downtown society folks, and wannabe rich folks. Well, I am the opposite of them! I am a regular person, who lives in a regular house, who has regular thoughts, and participates in regular activities. Now I know, “regular” is a subjective term (you can make your own judgment if I am actually regular as I make more blog postings), but compared to people who actually make statements and live by “if you got it, flaunt it” I believe I am regular.

So…

I decided to call my blog “if you got it, flaunt it” and discuss regular things that are of interest to me.

Are you bored yet?

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