Friday, September 23, 2005


I got a copy of Dangermouse's Grey Album the other day. The Grey Album is the lyrics from Jay Z's a cappela Black Album, mixed with the tunes from the Beatles' White Album. When I was a kid, my parents were hippies. I am pretty confident that I have heard every Beatles song written. In fact, I learned them and some others (Jethro Tull, Jefferson Airplane, etc.) like other kids learned "The Wheels of the Bus." I did not get into hip-hop until I got to college.

Thus, the Grey Album is an alternating flash back scene for me between my childhood, and my college years. They are both strangely hazey...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Apparently the Washington Nationals' aptly named outfielder Ryan Church was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that he understood from the team chaplain that non-Christians were "doomed." The direct quote was apparently:

"I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed?" Church said. "Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

The Nationals indicated that they did not intend to suspend Ryan Church. Sayeth team president Tony Tavares "I asked him if he really believed that if you grew up in either a Jewish or Muslim family that you are [doomed] just because you aren't Christian, and his answer was no."

Uh, good for Ryan and tolerance, but that is not the reason not to suspend young Mr. Church. He is free to believe what he wants. The reason not to suspend him is that he was merely relating advice that he had been given by the TEAM chaplain. Why shoot the kid when the TEAM hired the chaplain? No reason. Thus, no suspension.

Good grief.

Hurricane Rita is now threatening the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm. Obviously this is not helpful for that region still trying to sort things out from Katrina. I won't ask what happened to L, M, N, O, P, and Q in the naming list, and how I missed that many storms. Instead, I'll note the following from a news report:

The storm is expected to remain a Category 4 storm until it makes landfall, meteorologist Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. That's now predicted for Saturday somewhere between northern Mexico and western Louisiana, most likely in Texas.

Somewhere between northern Mexico and western Louisiana? Well, yes. A quick glance at the map does seem to indicate that the area between northern Mexico and western Louisiana would, "most likely," be Texas. In fact, it'd be very hard pressed to be anywhere else.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I am a Cubs fan. I have always been a Cubs fan. It is a little hard for me to imagine not being a Cubs fan. Therefore, I feel it behooves me to post my feelings on the 2005 White Sox now, while they are still 2.5 games up on the Indians in the Central. It may be too late later.

I do not hate the White Sox. I never have. Hate is reserved for special rivals, like the Cardinals, the Astros, the Packers (to mix sports), and Iowa (to mix levels of competition and sports). I have never hated the Sox because the two teams did not play until recently. I still don't because in all honesty, six games a year does not a rivalry make.

In light of that, I am not delighted that the Sox appear to be in free fall after their best year in a decade. It will not warm my heart to see them tank a season that seemed like magic to their fans. Instead, I would just remind all of those "true" baseball fans who root for the Sox that great pitching with crap for offense (sold to the Sox faithful as "small ball") is the same recipe that got my Cubs exactly no appearances in the World Series in the Zambrano/Prior/Wood era. Hard to believe that for all their endless babbling about being "real" fans, Sox fans did not see this similarity.

I am reading a book called Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr. It is a collection of three detective stories. The first two are set in Berlin in 1936 and 1938, respectively. So far I like it. However, that is not the point of this post. The main character gets sent to Dachau in 1936. A very, very unappealing development for him. However, from the "glass is half full" archives he talks about another prisoner he met, saying:

I met a convict who was a Jew. He was also a homosexual. And if that weren't enough, he was also a Communist. That made three triangles. His luck hadn't so much run out as jumped on a fucking motorcycle.

Now that is bad luck.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


This morning I got on the el and took a seat in front of a high school kid with a modified mohawk. I did not have my mp3 player on. I sat down and realized I could hear his mp3 player, as well as the two high school girls across the aisle arguing about the vibrate feature on their cell phones. As I am opening my bag to get my mp3 player out, I realize that I can actually hear the song mohawk kid is listening to. I realize that I know the song, and that it is actually on my mp3 player too.

So now I'm wondering, am I as cool as 14 year old with a mohawk, or is that kid as cool as a mid-30s attorney in the Loop? Either way there is something very, very wrong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


It never really crossed my mind that anyone would post comments to the waylafoto page. I just never thought about it.

They have, and it's spam. That means that my spam experiment with B. Spears is incomplete. Evidently there is more to this than key words and links. I will continue my research in the name of science.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Did you know that when you run the blogger spell check on your blog, the word "blog" is flagged for correction to "bloc"? That is too funny.

Anyway, one of my favorite blogs is going into a strange new realm. Rob at Clublife just announced he got a book deal. He will write a book from the bouncer's perpsective on, presumably, club life in New York. Rob's blog was very good, and I enjoyed it very much. However, as I posted recently, he had sort of seemed to lose his fastball. Now it is clear why. By the way, it appears to me that Rob's blog was added to the list of read blogs on Waiter Rant, leading that blog's tremendous readership (and a few first timers like me) to click over and like what they saw. Crazy.

My buddy K just turned me on to the Anonymous Lawyer. I read some of this guy's posts and thought they were funny in that "nastiest lawyer stories you've ever read" sort of way. His post for Monday (he's in LA) was

"You may have heard we had a brief power outage this afternoon. I used the time to delete from my Blackberry the e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers of all of the associates who have left the firm since I last updated my Blackberry. Who needs their contact information? They're dead to me.

I can't understand the e-mails that are streaming in from associates asking for extensions on some assignments they're supposed to turn in by the end of the day. The power was only out for an hour. They could have found a generator.

I called Anonymous Wife when the power came back on here to see if anything had happened to the house while the power was out. I wanted to make sure there were no looters or anything like that. There weren't."

That's funny. That's the lawyer every lawyer (I hope) prays not to be. However, I sent this on to M at work, who promptly informed me that the guy was not anonymous anymore, and . . . had a book deal.

I used to read a blog alleged to be written by a prostitute (ahem, escort) in London. It was often very interesting because of the perspective she brought and the funny stories that she had. She went off the air when she got . . . wait for it . . . not yet . . . a book deal.

So here is my question. Is it good for the creative/reading world that people with writing talent and interesting stories are getting scooped up and provided with professional guidance to be even more entertaining for profit? In the alternative, is it a net loss for all of us when these authentic, no holds barred (especially with that hooker, er escort) people with interesting niche experiences stop sharing their creativity with the Internet-accessible world and instead write books that are unlikely to sell well, or be much remembered? I'm not sure.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I was surprised to see my CD review got spam comments. Now my in memoriam post for spam comments. I think I am on to something here. In one, I mentioned the most popular rapper in America today. In the other, a beloved TV star. No other posts have been spammed. As a test, this post will mention Britney Spears with a link to her page (what is that opening Brit?). Let's see if the popular nature of the topics is what is getting me spammed. If so, get used to boring commentary without celebrities...

Bob "Gilligan" Denver passed away on September 2. He will be remembered for his acting career. However, he should also be known for his web page.

Rest his soul.

The Chicago Tribune reports that former first lady Barbara Bush had the following to say after touring the Astrodome with her husband and Bill Clinton:

"'What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality,' she said during a radio interview with the American Public Media program 'Marketplace.' 'And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.'"

I am hoping and praying that this was all taken out of context, although the Tribune is pretty Republican. First, why is it scary that the people in the Astrodome want to stay in Texas? Hmmm. Second, did she really just say that life as a refugee was cool for people if they were poor anyway? Barbara Bush? She was the GOOD one in that clan. Maybe it was all taken out of context. I hope. Please.

ADDENDUM: I have now heard the audio and since there is still no context (i.e. the paragraph before or after what she said) I still hold out hope that it was misunderstood. The audio is here if you want to listen for yourself.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Reuters is carrying an article that theorizes that Katrina may cause many of the refugees from the Gulf Coast and New Orleans to stay away from the region forever. In effect, this could be a second Great Migration.

L and I were actually talking about this last night. We were thinking that the wealthy could probably afford to wait for rebuilding, and would have insurance, and the welfare dependent would still have access to their funds and so could wait it out. The people who probably are in the worst position to wait it out are the working and middle class. They may have had some insurance, but they will not have the means to not work while they wait for infrastructure etc. to be rebuilt. If, for instance, you worked in a casino in Biloxi, you probably do not have much in savings, and those casinos will probably not be up and running again soon. You cannot afford to stay.

Depending on where people are coming from and where they are going, the demographics of a number of regions could be changed. Chicago is a traditional Great Migration end point, and a prosperous city, so there may be people from the Gulf Coast who end up there. Lots of people are already in Houston, so that would be a natural place to stay. Memphis, St. Louis, and other cities along the river could also be possible migration points. Finally, for the experienced casino workers (who were an important part of Mississippi's economy), Vegas and Indian Country may beckon.

ADDENDUM: L and I were just watching CNN. They were talking to people in Houston who apparently intended to remain in Houston. They said that Wal-Mart, a company open to vast criticism in the past, has guaranteed employment to all of its employees displaced by the hurricane. CNN then spoke to a woman working in a Houston Wal-Mart who FOUR days ago was sleeping on an overpass in New Orleans. First, she is a real trooper. Second, kudos to Wal-Mart for really stepping up to the plate there.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Now that Chief Justice Rehnquist has passed away, the press is trying to figure out who the next chief justice will be. They have been asking "experts" and had the following quote in this article, "'Renominating Roberts (as chief justice) is among the most likeliest scenarios,' said Brad Berenson, a White House lawyer during Bush's first term and a former Supreme Court clerk."

I guess "most likeliest" is a double superlative, as opposed to a double negative. Here's hoping he was misquoted.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


OK, I have never reviewed a CD here before, but first time for everything. Last Thursday I bought Kanye West's new CD, Late Registration on iTunes. I bought it because I read an article in which Kanye talked about trying to introduce new material to open rap and hip-hop up to broader musical influences.

All I can say is whether you like the tunes or not, Kanye has an album that nobody else would or could issue right now. Lots of people have heard Diamonds from Sierra Leone with Jay Z and its hook with the Bond theme Diamonds are Forever. Arguably this is plenty original, as compared to standard hip hop today. However, Kanye has groovy keyboard work (think bad lounge) on Late, and it works. Other highlights include:

Gold Digger (with Jamie Foxx featuring the rhyme "I ain't say she a gold digger, but she ain't messin' with no broke niggas," as well as the story of paternity suits "you can see him on any givin' Sunday, win da Superbowl drive off in a Hyundai");

Roses (for the line about the state of medical delivery in the United States "You know the best medicine go to people who paid. Magic Johnson got a cure for AIDS, all them broke muthafuckas passed away");

Gone (with Consequence and Cam'ron for the use of the string section in the last three minutes or so);

My Way Home (with Common); and

Bring Me Down (with Brandy with the lines "I have to say, since Pac passed away, most of you rappers don't even deserve a track from me" and "girl don't like me, how long has she been gay?")

In short, for $9.99 on iTunes, it is worth just buying the whole 21 track album.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


This weekend will mark my second anniversary with this blog. In that time the content has morphed from my own takes on the news to my own stupid thoughts, to a combination of the two. The important thing is, I have resisted the urge to lose my fastball because of the pressure from my legions of loyal readers. For an example of what I am talking about, look at Clublife. This was a quite little blog where a guy wrote about his day at work--as a bouncer in NYC. Good stuff. Then a much more popular blog referenced him. Suddenly Rob the Bouncer was a minor celebrity. Now he is talking book deal, and his posts are all "deep." Still OK, but they have lost the free-spirited, nobody's looking feel of the writing before Rob the Bouncer became a flavor of the month.

I hereby solemnly swear to not do that to either of my readers.

I don't have much to say. Katrina has sort of burned herself into my consciousness, destroying so many lives, maybe wiping out an entire decade's worth of economic development and jobs for poor and low-skilled people on the Gulf, and forcing L's parents down from Boogie to Vicksburg, Mississippi to help "unwater" NOLA. It sort of feels like a few days after 9/11, when the coverage of the disaster was still in full swing, and we had all sort of wrapped our minds around it, so that it started to just seem like a fact of life.

Suffice it to say that I was only in NOLA once, for Mardi Gras. Les bon temps did roulette, that's for sure. However, it was a scary, half crazed environment in which it was never possible to feel very safe. The city was an edgy city. The cops were edgy, the locals were edgy, the cab drivers were edgy. Even the 6'3" trannie K and I ran into trying to avoid a fight was edgy. I can only imagine the level of lawlessness now. God save NOLA. They're going to need it.