Sunday, September 16, 2007


"She gotta light skinned friend look like Michael Jackson/
Gotta dark skinned friend look like Michael Jackson..." - KW

Posting about Britney and the VMAs made me think back to other memorable VMA performances, but for the right reason. In my mind, this performace in 1995 by the G.O.A.T., Michael Jackson, is the best. The. Best. Ever.

I need you to watch it now, in it's entirety. Go ahead. Please, click play and enjoy. And when you're done with the top vid, here is the rest of the performance.

OK, now back to the post. As you just saw he is amazing. Specifically though, I love how Slash comes on, does his thing, then doesn't leave. Ha! You see how pissed MJ was? And then, Slash started riffing to "Billie Jean." Amazing.

Speaking of "Billie Jean," how sick was it when Michael restarted the song by flipping the fedora back on his head. Kind of how Chris Brown did it in his tribute to him here: (Pardon for the Rihanna part, it was the shortest clip I could find that showed what I wanted).

And then at the end of BJ, MJ just rips it with his freestyle robot dancing. 12 years from then he is still the best.

Funny thing that Brit is criticized by lip synching. Michael lip "sunch" through his whole performance, but he was just so good. And the group dancing to "Dangerous" at the end of his VMA performance? Also amazing.

Say what you want to say about MJ being a freak or what not, but no one out there can deny that he is a musical genius. He has single-handedly shaped the RnB and Pop fields for the next generation, molding the likes of Usher, Justin and the aforementioned Chris Brown. He is like Michael Jordan but more timeless. Every new RnB or Pop singer will always be compared to Michael first. His music and dance moves will live on forever. I just wish he makes one more comeback.


"It's Britney, bitch..." - BS

We have all heard the public coronation of Britney Spear's performance on the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards as "career ending," "horrible" and "disgusting."

Well, you know what, I kind of liked it.

Obviously not at first. And probably not the second time. But during about the third or fourth time I watched it on YouTube, it began to eerily grow on me. Like a lot.

Maybe it's the song. It is pretty catchy. Produced by Danjahandz (more commonly known as Danja) who is actually Timbaland's protege. Hes helped Timbo with such hits as Justin's
"Sexy Back," "My Love," and "What Goes Around...", Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous," and Timbo's own "Give It To Me," and "The Way I Are." He has also solely produced DJ Khalid's "We Takin Over."

Anyway, the point is Danja is really good, as is this song. But it is more than that for why I like Brit's performance.

Maybe it's the way she so averagely walks around the stage. No real movement except for dance steps circa middle school prepubescent Bar Mitsvah moves. There is something there I like (no pedorass). I just don't think its that bad. It really fits the song.

And Britney's not fat. She's not thin but she's not that fat. I mean I would've worn something else, but for the most part, she's ok. She just reminds me of girls I have hooked up with and that is not something Britney Spears is supposed to do.

Anyway, as much of a trainwreck that this performance is supposed to be, I can't give it that title. Sorry.


"Black on the card, iPhone charged/ Queens is in the buildin, paper is involved." - TS

Last Thursday my father got me the iPhone for my birthday as an early present. Thoughts:

1) It's amazing and beautiful. Sometimes I catch myself just staring.

2) It makes me feel good knowing that it cost 200 dollars less than what Andrew Patterson paid for it.

3) It basically renders my laptop useless since I just check my email and the internet on it.

4) It will change my life. I already am working on thinking differently about things. For instance, before, when I had an idea about something, I would think about and say to myself "Man, this is good, I need to remember this!" Naturally, I would then forget and get frustrated. Now, I need to immediately pull out my iPhone when I think of something good and put it down in my Notes. This will take time.

5) It doesn't have any games. It needs games.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Best Remixes Ever, Part III

"On that Diamonds remix, i swore i'd spaz,
Then my big brother came through and kicked my ass!" - KW

Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix) - Kanye West ft. Jay-Z [2005]

I remember listening to this song for the first time when I was abroad in Australia and just thinking, "Wow." Aside from the unbelievable beat, the lyrics by 'Ye are superb and the cameo from Jigga is one of his best, point blank.

Especially an a amazing song after listening to the original, the Diamonds remix starts off with a longer Shirley Bassey intro, an eerie array of twilight zonish sounds. Once Kanye comes in, everything sounds right:

"Good Morning, this ain't Vietnam still
People lose hands, legs, arms for real
Little was known of Sierra Leone
And how it connect to the diamonds we own"

I think it's safe to say most people, most rap fans, were ignorant of the situation in Sierra Leone before this song. I certainly was. For this reason I applaud Kanye for attempting to raise some sort of awareness, while at the same time admitting to a personal conflict:

"And here's the conflict
It's in a black person's soul to rock that gold
Spend ya whole life tryna get that ice
On a polo rugby it look so nice
How could somethin' so wrong make me feel so right, right?"

The next verse is amazing. What I loved was how he took part of his original verse to introduce Jay (you gotta love his adlibbing in the back while Kanye is rapping. Remember, this was when he was "retired" so having any new material from him was a rap fans orgasm. No homo):

"People askin' me is I'm gon' give my chain back (uh)
That'll be the same day I give the game back (uh)
You know the next question dog 'yo, where Dame at?'(uh)
This track the Indian dance to bring our reign back (whoo!)
'wassup wit you a Jay man, are ya'll okay man?'"

"Yep, I got it from here 'Ye, damn!"

You have to admit that this next verse from Jay is one of his best ever. Best. Ever. I was blown away when I heard it.

ow could you falter when you're the Rock of Gibraltar
I had to get of the boat so I could walk on water
This ain't no tall order, this is nothin to me
Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week"

What rapper references the Rock of Gibraltar?? The next line is probably one of his most quoted.

"I do this in my sleep,
I sold Kilos of coke, (so?) I'm guessin' I can sell CD's
I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man
Let me handle my business, damn!"

Plus, what he says about Memphis Bleek is hilarious. He basically calls him his son.

"Bleek could be one hit away his whole career
As long as I'm alive, he's a millionaire
And even if I die, he's in my will somewhere
So he can just kick back and chill somewhere, oh yeah
He don't even have to write rhymes"

And just when you think the verse should be over, he ends on a high:

"Shirley Bassey's in the rear sayin exactly
What I been sayin practically me whole carreer
The diamond is forever, I been minin' this forever
Now the Louis Vuitton Don's timin' couldn't be better
People lined up to see the Titanic sinkin'
Instead we rose from the ash like a phoenix
If you waitin' for the end of the dynasty sign
It would seem like forever is a mighty long time"

What rapper nowadays nows whose voice is being sampled? Now, although Jay's verse is not as conscious as 'Ye's, it is still sick.

Just like the song as a whole.

Crank That Soulja Boy

"Soulja Boy Off In This Hoe/Watch Me Crank It/ Watch Me Roll/Watch Me Crank Dat Soulja Boy/
Then Superman Dat Hoe..." - DW

There is a new chicken noodle soup brewing (ha!) and it is a new song by Soulja Boy. I love this dance, actually takes more skill than the aforementioned appetizer or the newer Aunt Jackie. Wanna learn? Here you go...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day Oranges

"Like my daddy and grandaddy on both shoulders steady chilling/ So you got to keep on living like each day is the beginning/
It's yo birthday even on your worst day/Live it like the first day..." -

I'm just aiming for an opposite for "First Day Blues" so don't read into the title (I googled "opposite of blue," it's the best I got)...

Today was the first day of my second year of teaching. See post below for background.

In all, it went pretty well. Not awesome, not bad, definitely room for improvement. In the morning assembly as each teacher was going down the line and introducing themselves and what subject they taught in the mic, I got a little cheer from the kids, so that felt good :)

I'll be honest, I had a lot of butterflies leading up to today. Still kind of do, but just the regulars. Coming off a year like last, I am almost crazy to keep doing this. But I am happy I am. It's not always you can learn from your mistakes and, for at least 20 of my kids from last year (the ones from last year in my classes this year), makeup for your mistakes. The major reason I was so depressed for much of last year was because I thought I was messing up the math education of my students. This year is my chance to enhance their math education.

Middle school is tough. One of the other teachers in the 8th grade, she teaches the English and Language Arts class, cried after school today during our grade team meeting. Her kids were just being assholes - walking around, constantly talking, being disrespectful, throwing papers - basically my last year. I feel bad for her. It'll be rough, these kids are not easy to win over.

But it's an amazing feeling when you do :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

New York City Public School Teacher

"I'm just trying to say the way school needs teachers..." - KW

I am a New York City public school teacher.

I am a mother fucking New York City public school teacher.

Sometimes I just have to stop and think about that because it is amazing. School starts tomorrow. 8th grade math. Year two for me with Teach For America. Last year was the hardest year of my life, full of struggle, pain, depression, glimpses of light and eventually, a good balance. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious or nervous. But I am also excited. I fucking loved my kids by the end of last year; like take-a-bullet love. I have some of the same ones this year, but mostly new kids (about 60 %). I still know all by face and I've talked to all of them at one point last year, so I am at some advantage with that fact.

But damn, I am a New York City public school teacher. In the South Bronx. In middle school. Teaching math. This has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world and I chose to do it straight out of college, straight out of the safe, easy haven that private school education was. I meet rando's all the time at bars or whatever and tell them I teach and they go off on how noble it is, how much their finance jobs suck, how they wish their job was as rewarding as mine.

Well damn straight! You are on wall street. You sold your soul; you CHOSE to sell your soul. Don't' complain now! And damn straight what I do is 10 times harder, 10 times nobler, 10 times more dedicated than any echelon you can potentially rise to in the financial field.

I'm proud. I should be. This year will be incredible.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

NYC Subway Memoirs

"Down the subway stairs straight through the turnstyle
No smile but I'm waitin in the station for the 7 to turn it wild..." - NW

When I'm not taking the West Side High or the F-Doctor down into the real city, I am taking the subway. And let me tell you something, I love it. I love all the diversity on the trains, I love that no one really gives a shit about anyone else and I love the fast service. Here are some of the things I am accustomed to doing/thinking about on trains.

1) Sometimes I go to the end of the platform and when I see the train pulling in I raise a hitchhikers thumb to the conductor. They always pick me up!

2) I have been prone to fall asleep on train very late in the night on weekends on my way home. The worst was one time I got on the N at Spring Street going up town at about 2 am and was meant to transfer to the C uptown at 34th. Next thing I know I wake up and I am in Astoria, Queens. I take the N back downtown; next thing I know I am waking up on 25th street... in Brooklyn! No lie! It's about 4:30 am now, so I end up getting out and taking a 45 dollar cab up to Wash. Heights. Great times.

3) One of my girl friends from high school had a bum take out his Johnson and hold it in front of her on the train. 2 different bums did this at two different times. Awesome. For some reason, they're prude with me. Go figure.

4) I hate the "LEARN ENGLISH" signs. Mainly because "LEARN ENGLISH" is the main, visible component of the sign. Doesn't anyone realize that if you don't know English you won't be able to actually read the sign??? FUCK!

5) There is a marketing campaign that says, "Last year, 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something." That got me thinking about the numbers. In 2005, there was a ridership of 1.45 billion. Wooooow. So what you're telling me is that last year, 0.000001 percent of those people riding in the system "saw something and said something." Should you really be marketing that awesomely low percentage?

6) I once was returning home drunk and had to wait like an hour for an uptown 1 train. I ended getting out on 181st and puking on the platform. Then I had to wait another hour.

7) I had to really go to the bathroom once so, while waiting for a downtown train, I ended up peeing into an empty Corona bottle at the end of the platform. Some guy kept trying to look and figure out what I was doing. Pervert.