Monday, September 29, 2008

acapella at it's best

As you may or may not know, I'm a music freak. And I mean freak. I've been known to listen to everything from Frank Zappa to Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin to Fiona Apple, Keith Sweat to Slick Rick. The reason I bring this up: I miss music. Anyone see where she went? Remember the days when bands and artists started on the street corners, singing and playing for anyone who would listen? Remember when selling tapes out of your trunk was the only form of marketing? Since when does going on tv, having someone else do your hair and make up and singing someone else's songs make you an artist?! Since when does making a few words rhyme over someone else's beat make you an MC?! I can't understand this. I'm looking around at Da Band, Danity Kane, Taylor what-in-the-hell-were-they-thinking Hicks, Yung Berg, Lil Mama... I just do not understand!! I remember when battling was a way to show your love of the culture, community, the art of Hip Hop. Now it's the breeding ground for violence and aggression. Why? I think the main problem here in the confusion between Hip Hop and Rap. Many don't know the difference, or that there even is a difference. But rest assured, there is. I understand Rap's mentality of wanting money and/or fame, the aggression that comes with the Rap lifestyle and background. However, Hip Hop - true Hip Hop - is not Rap. I feel that all great Hip Hop artists can also be rappers. But rappers aren't necessarily Hip Hop. Pardon me for saying, but being a great Hip Hop artist takes a good deal of knowledge, education, lyrical genious, wit, humor, love, acceptance, understanding, fun and hardwork, among other things. Seems like nowadays, if you can catch the beat and know two words that rhyme, you've got a record deal. If you've got the look that people have mistakenly identified with being associated with the Hip Hop culture, then you've got a record. I'm sick of it, quite honestly. I'm tired of having to defend "Rap" music because people don't know the difference between the two. Sure, I enjoy my deal of Rap music as well. I like the bland lyrics and watered down beats that all the sound the same, but get the people dancing. I like cruising in my car listening to the radio just as much as the next guy, but.... I guess I just miss real artistry. I miss the 80's and 90's, when music took real talent. I miss stuff like this.... - Stop, Look, Listen by MC Lyte who is seriously one of the greatest lyricists in the Hip Hop game, and one of my personal favorites. One of, if not the, queens of Hip Hop in the 80's - MC Lyte brought a raw and uncut style of rhyming to the stage. Still making hits today, she is a true pioneer of the art of MCing. - If I Ever Fall In Love Again (Acapella) by Shai is one of the best 'boy band' songs of the 90's. Along side Soul 4 Real, Boyz II Men, Jodeci and many others, Shai showed real talent. Although they aren't together anymore, songs like this remind me of the 'good old days'. - The Show by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, which included Ricky D - who later changed his name to Slick Rick - and DJs Barry B and Chill Will. This song is the epitome of Hip Hop. It's fun, witty, and the talent it takes for Doug E. Fresh, the Human Beat Boxer, to create the sounds he does with his mouth is absolutely incredible. If you don't agree this is amazing, then check your pulse, 'cause you must be dead!! - Cinderfella by Dana Dane is the perfect Old Skool Hip Hop song. It's all about telling a story, and in this case, it's Dana Dane's version of the classic tale. His flow, style and character are nothing short of brilliant. This is definitely one of those songs that can always put me in a good mood!

well ya, it has bangs!

Are animated animals the devil? I vote yes. I went to The Rainforest Cafe this weekend, and I gotta say, it even scared me. The Rainforest Cafe is a restaurant that features animated elephants, snakes, alligators, gorillas, and other random rainforest animals in addition to huge fish tanks spread around the restaurant. Not only are these animals are so jerky and fake looking that you'd have to be 4 to believe they were cool, it made me wonder who in the world sits around a conference table and makes up a restaurant like this (which could be a really cool idea) and decides to hire the guy that makes gorilla suits out of Gladiator chests and and black horse hair? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I'm paying someone to create the one thing in my restaurant that makes it what it is, I'm going to damn well make sure that the glue holding the hair on isn't showing. Needless to say, I think I saw about 3 children cry at the creepy gorillas, especially the baby one hanging from the ceiling. However, there was one truly great thing about them. The only thing that indicated whether they were male or female were their boobs. If they were tight and muscular, they were male. If they were deflated and saggy, they were female. Rude, right? Who said all girly gorillas have to have saggy boobs? Anyway, I'm sitting there staring at a particularly creepy male gorilla whose long hair is hanging over its face and his gigantic arms are grabbing two trees in front of him, which he shakes like he's having a spasm when he 'comes alive'. With that being said, before I had noticed the boob differences, I say to Nathaniel, "I think this one's a girl." He doesn't even blink, he simply states in his gayest, "Well yea. It has bangs." I told him to stop because I was going to pee. I swear, my gay is the funniest ever....It has bangs....
Here are some pictures of the creepy gorillas. Notice the boob difference. Sick.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


So you're roaming around Queen Anne, looking for a great spot to kick back and enjoy a burger and shake with friends? Look no further than Flame. Walk inside, and you'll see plenty of small tables with the usual condiments on each one. Soda machine is to the right and the ordering counter is just beyond that. Nothing too drastic - until you realize the walls are covered in drawings depicting Flame. Every piece of artwork is different, as they are mostly original drawings - not the "color in the lines and put your name one it" artwork they put up at Shari's. In addition to being unique, each piece of art is just as good as the food. I ordered a Chicken Teriyaki burger with a vanilla shake. I was worried because sometimes when you order chicken burgers, you never really know what you're getting. Especially teriyaki burgers. Will the meat be marinated in teriyaki? Will there just be a big glob of teriyaki sauce on the bun? Will it come on the side? Alas, my meal came and I couldn't have been more pleased. The restaurant's name says it all, as the meat is cooked on a grill above a nice flame. The chicken was tender, flavorful and came in such a large cut that I couldn't even eat it all. All burgers come seperate from fries, so I ordered a small side of fries. They were good - nothing too out of the ordinary. The shake was good too - I like mine thick, and it measured up. I wouldn't say it was anything mind blowing, but I'd get one again. All in all, I'd definitely go back. The staff was friendly and patient as I looked through the menu. The location is great, and I had a blast trying to check out each carefully illustrated crayon drawing they had posted on the walls. Final grade: Thumbs up!

i love that...

Tacoma is so far away. I went to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium with Nathaniel today, and I must say - there is a reason I usually stay in Seattle. As we were driving to the zoo, I can't tell you how many businesses we drove by that made my jaw drop. Whether it was the Point Defiance Bar and Casino (that looked like a 1970's Hooker Hotel), the Zippy's $700 Payday Advance (that was literally a trailor on the side of the road), or the Bargain World offering $1 Chinese Food (talk about your killer case of bubble gut)... I just couldn't stop my eyes from popping out of my head. Do people really shop in these places? Obviously...but I mean, come on!!
Fast forward to the zoo - which is literally swarming with know, I propose an Adults Only day at the zoo. Nothing nasty, but seriously...what if I don't want to hear little Tommy screaming because his parents can't find the tiger in the brush? What if I don't want rude kids running in front of me and stepping on my brand new white tennis shoes? I love the animals just as much as the next guy, but parents, teach them some manners, eh? :)
Okay, so the zoo was actually very nice. It seems they have updated quite a bit since I'd been there last. It's got everything from elephants to monkeys, tigers, meerkats, walruses, polar bears, beluga whales, and an enormous aquarium section with a huge, and I mean HUGE tank for a billion types of fish, anemones, and sharks. They basically have everything the Woodland Park Zoo doesn't have, but don't have nearly as many animals as WPZ - no nocturnal or reptile house, no butterflies, no lions, no zebras, no giraffes, ect.... But it was nice, all the animals were out, I don't think there were any that we couldn't find. All in all, it was a good day at the zoo. Then, out of no where, I almost peed my pants. Nathaniel and I are standing there looking at a Barn Owl. It's behind plexiglass, sitting in a makeshift barn attick thing. Up walks a couple in their mid to late 40's. In one swift movement, the woman walks up, leans over the railing and slams her face directly into the plexiglass. She pulls her head back, and continues to talk to her husband about the owl. No comments about the face plant, the husband does not ask if she is ok, nothing that even resembles acknowledgement that this event just happened. Nathaniel and I continue to pretend to look at the owl until the couple walks off, when we burst into laughter. How in the world do you literally slam your face into plexiglass without saying anything after? It was loud enough that it caught me off guard a bit, and this woman acts as if she ignores it, no one will know it happened. All I can say is... I wish this kind of thing would happen more often. It was the highlight of my day - besides the Baaaaaby Beluuuuuugas.

Monday, September 22, 2008

things that make me smile

what to do with a million dollars

I saw a movie once in which the main character had lost his passion for just about everything. His friend tries to help him out by explaining that once, a counselor in school said, "To find out what you should do for your career...Imagine you had a million dollars - what would you do with it? That's what you should do for a career." The main character calls bull and says something to the effect of, "That can't be true. No one would clean toilets when they had a million dollars in the bank." I've been pondering this for quite some time now. I've been bored for a while, and I keep asking myself what I'd do with a million dollars....All I can think of is travel. So, according to disinterested friend's theory, I should do some sort of traveling for a career?
Well, I also was asked a question once, "If you knew you COULD NOT fail, what would you do?" I thought Culinary School.
I've though about being a teacher, a vet, a musician, a photographer, a cop. I've thought about studying psychology, anthropology, archeology, the arts, world history, music...and basically - all I can come up with is that I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I've got this weird feeling of the devil and the angel on my shoulders. One telling me "You're 23. You got time." While the other one says, "You should have gone to college. Now look what you've done." I know I'm young. I do have time. But I also should have gone to college. I'm stuck in this dilemma and it sucks. All my life I've been told I'm a strong girl, I'm persistent, I always pull through, and I know I will. I'll go to school. In my heart, I know I will - it just sucks right now.
Alright. That's all for tonight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

my new favorite thing

Not sure if you've ever heard of this website before, but it's hilarious. I could spend all day looking at it and cracking up. Nothing special, just a bunch of very funny - and some not so funny - comparisons between people and other people and things. Anyway - just check it out: Check out some of my favorites....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

kickboxing kicks ass

So, I've started kickboxing again, and all I can ask myself is, "Why in God's name did you ever stop?" Of course it's not offical kickboxing. It's a class offered at my gym, so it's like aerobics, but our instructor is a real kickboxer, so she teaches us both Japanese and Thai moves, and incorporates them into our aerobic moves. It's great. Started training again, too, which helps. My schedule is packed again with workouts and trainings, and friends and family who are supportive. Too bad all the really great classes are at the stuck up Bellevue club where people are more worried about how their makeup looks than how their workout is going. And yes, I mean the men too. You know they're all metro. I mean honestly, why not just set up mini treadmills for girls to walk their accessory dogs on?? And why not put mirrors in front of the dudes that just want to watch themselves anyway? I walked in that place, and I swear it was as if more people were looking for dates than looking to get healthy. Are you kidding me?! No wonder I hate Bellevue....

Monday, September 15, 2008

with a little more clarity

So here's the scoop. I started a previous blog initially intended for my hobby of food critiquing. As I started writing, I realized that I want to talk about than just that. I am interested in a plethora of things, and why should I limit myself to just one creative outlet? So I've recreated my blog. And I'll just talk about what makes me tick that day. Maybe it's a critique. Maybe it's that I'm getting more and more involved in politics and loving it. Maybe I'll write about my latest favorite song, or my next travel destination. Who knows. But I've always been a journal keeper, and needless to say - this is way more fun than just hand writing in a book....

it's about damn time

Through creating this blog, I've realized that I thoroughly enjoy not capitalizing titles. If my Nana hadn't been such a grammar freak, and instilled it so deeply in me, I might not capitalize anything.
That being said, it's 2 am and I'm still up. I'm obsessed with this whole blog thing. What is it for? Is it a diary? When do you write in it? What do you talk about? Who reads it? Out of town relatives and friends? Locals? Random strangers? Who cares. I've come to the conclusion that I don't have the answer to any of these questions. However, I do know that it's been fun for the hour or so I've been trying to set this thing up. And with all the effort I put in, I better damn well get to writing something good...
word on the street is...