Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Formulation

I have been trying to formulate my emotions regarding the death/murder/assassination/whatever you want to call it of Osama Bin Laden on Sunday night. I know I am not alone in this quest. I do not think I am there yet in terms of my formulation, but I still want to get a crack at writing through this.

I remember 9/11/2001 very well. I remember that I woke up at around 9:30 in order to eat my croissant with butter and jelly while watching TV and preparing for my first class of the day senior year, my 3rd period AP Econ class that I always arrived late to until the 3rd to last class of the year (!?) when the teacher said to me, "You always going to arrive late?"

I turned on and the TV immediately went to NY1, per usual. I saw smoke coming out of the towers. Something about a plane hitting it. I immediately though it was a small plane and some drunk dude doing it. Turned to channel 2, 4, 5 then 7. All over the news there. I guess it's a big deal. I got ready for school and drove over with my learner's permit in my Solid Gold 1995 Toyota Camry LE.

I walk in, late, and the first thing someone says is the towers have fallen. I disagree and state that I was just watching on TV and in no way did it look like they would fall. I was so wrong.

What followed that day was a blur of activity. Classes canceled. Worrying about my parents being in the UN. Cellphones being jammed. Watching more TV. Eventually getting through to my mom, passing the phone to a teacher so that they could get the permission to release me home.

What followed in the weeks and months ahead was a mixture of shock, sadness, anger, but also, in hindsight, not a full emotional understanding of the moment. That came later, much later as I grew from boy to man.

Through it all it was very clear to me that there was someone responsible for these vicious attacks and that someone was Osama Bin Laden. I just assumed that he would be caught and brought to "justice" (whatever that is) relatively soon. But as time went on and on and he wasn't caught, I began to grow very frustrated as did many others. Why the fuck were we going into Iraq in March of 2003 when Osama was not there? Why the hell was Bush connecting 9/11 to Saddam when everybody and their dog knew that Osama planned the attacks? My exasperation with the lack of progress on the OBL front was entangled with my very blatant acknowledgement of the vast incompetency that was present in the Bush administration, starting squarely with Dubya.

Make no mistake about it, Obama succeeded where Bush failed. But I digress...

So now the "job" has been done. A competent leader has come in and achieved a very clear and ambitious goal. "Justice" has been served.

Or has it?

I found out around 10:30PM on Sunday night thanks to the ping from my AP Mobile app. 3,520 days after that croissant morning. End of high school, all of college, all of my educational career. So many things have happened in the last 9.6 years, all under the specter of the bastardization of 9/11.

My first emotion was a bit of exhilaration. Relief. "It's-about-time"-ism. It has been way too long, he should not have escaped for close to a decade. I wanted to be back down in DC chanting U-S-A with the rest of the ecstatic crowd. I watched CNN until close to 1 that night. I was constantly updating my FB and my Twitter and looking for updates from my friends. I was yearning to SHARE this moment just as i SHARED the tragedy 9+ years ago. The act on 9/11 was not one for an individual, and thus this consequence is not either.

Next I was just happy. I love Obama and I loved the fact that he made this moment happen. It just proved to me once again what a capable and competent leader could accomplish. I loved his short speech and felt proud to be a (naturalized) American. I was happy because this proved that if you fuck with us we will, in due time, make you pay.

My next emotion was a weird one. I started to doubt my reaction. Why am I celebrating death? Am I sinking down to the level of OBL? Aren't we all? Why wasn't he captured alive and given due process? We are supposed to be America, the country that is the moral compass for the world. And yet we had just engaged in the same tactics that we were so appalled at 9+ years ago?

As these last few days passed I have read some articles, talked to some friends, but the formulation of my final emotion is not coming any easier. And perhaps, it never will. As an atheist who tries to live by the Golden Rule, I put myself in the shoes of someone who lost a loved one that day. What would I feel now if any of my parents had died on 9/11? Probably a lot of happy relief that "justice" was done. Who am I to tell them that their celebrations are "inappropriate."

In many ways 9/11 was possible due to the mindsets of several extreme Islamists. Why did they hate America so much, I always wondered? Are any of their points valid? Is that old adage "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter" true?

Of course it is. America has done some whack ass shit in the last century. We have killed innocents for no real reason, we have started wars for no just cause. When will the perpetuation of all of this violence end? Certainly not with the gruesome murder of one individual.

I don't want to dabble in the ideal. I don't want to sit here and complain that you don't fight violence with violence, that you don't go after someone and try and kill them if they brutally slaughtered your family. I refuse to climb on a pedestal that high. But all of these thoughts do have some sort of fundamental basis. The celebration of death is weird and disgusting if a crowd of extreme Muslims is doing it just as if a crowd of young Americans is doing it as well.

"Young" is the key word in that last sentence. Most of the kids who were out in front of the White House on Sunday night must have been 8, 9, 10 when 9/11 happened. But even if the range was from 8 to 18, 9/11 has cast a huge impenetrable shadow over our generation. Perhaps all of the celebration and exhilaration was not for the death of OBL, but for the hope that the shadow can finally be lifted. That we as a country do not have to live anymore under the stranglehold of that one day.

There will be many more emotions regarding 5/1 just as there have been re: 9/11.

Back? I'll try...

My blog game blows big bricks. I'm so alliterate..

So, I have not posted in over a month. I guess I just need inspiration minus procrastination to post anything. So what got me out from under my 'net rock?

My next post...

Friday, February 11, 2011

iPhone Apps I Love: Part III


This is an interesting app. First off, it is a complete time waster. Basically, you indicate what you're interested in - movies, science, history, etc. Then, you start "stumbling," which means the app takes you to completely random websites based on your indicates interests. Some of the sites are great, and you will never encounter them otherwise. You are able to "favorite" sites as well, and have "friends" whose favorite sites you could check out.


Pretty simple: free video calls over the 3G network. No WiFi required.

360 Panorama

Really awesome photography app where you are able to take panoramic photos of your surroundings. You are able to view the panoramic photo's in 3D if you have the app, but you can also save them to your images. Not free, but worth it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Top 5 Ludacris Guest Spots Of All Time

One of my fav songs right now is the "Fucking You" song by Enrique. Ludacris has a pretty good guest spot on it, which got me thinking to his past guest spots. In many ways, he may be the best guest verse rapper ever. Here's my list.

5. Damn(Remix) - Youngbloodz feat. Lil Jon, Bone Crusher & Ludacris

"And please don't get it twisted I ain't Hollywood yet
I just jumped in that movie to get a big ass check"


4. Hot and Wet (Remix) - 112 feat. Ludacris

"Lets mountain climb 'til we reach the peak
The technique will make you sweat
But don't sweat the technique"


3. Made You Look (Remix) - Nas feat. Jadakiss & Ludacris

"I was the victim of society, it's 'Cris the menace
With mo' shit out on the streets than evicted tenants"


2. One Minute Man - Missy Eliot feat. Trina & Ludacris

"You one minute FOOLS, you wonder why y'all missin
On the back of milk cartons and there's no reward
No regards, close but it's no cigar"


1. Yeah - Usher feat. Lil John & Ludacris

"So gimme the rhythm and it'll be off wit their clothes
Then "bend over to the front! and touch your toes!!"


Thoughts on Super Bowl XLV

-Christina Aguilera is a really huge idiot for fucking up the national anthem. Like she's on another level now. There is absolutely no excuse. Watch at :58:

-This year's batch of commercials were one of the worst in a very, very long time. From the start every single one sucked so much! And the only reason any of them were decent was because you started to compare them to the other horrible ones! This one is probably my favorite:

-The actual game was alright, I guess. No one play really stands out to me, maybe the INT return for the TD. Roethlisberger really fucked up, which is always great. I guess both teams just have a very boring personality, which lent to it being a pretty boring-seeming game. Definitely NOT a classic, like everyone was predicting it to be, not even close.

-Joe Buck is the worst announcer/analyst ever. And he will be with us for years and years to come. Can we like, just... vote him out or something??

-For me last night's SB was one of those where you don't really eat a dinner, you just munch on apps the whole night. This really messes up the routine of your digestive tract.

-The Black Eyed Peas could have done a much better job. Only thing that saved them for me from absolute failure was Slash and them singing their Dirty Bit song.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The New Year's Prediction Post, Part II

Well here we go, on this, the 36th day of the 2012th year after the birth of our lord an savior, I will transform into NostraDATmus for this post and give you my 100% correct predictions for the 2011 year. Today also marks a most important date, that being my 26.3rd birthday. No presents necessary.


1. The Green Bay Packers will prevail in tomorrow's Super Bowl, 34-24, thereby giving yours truly a $2000 win in a SB boxes pool that I am participating in. Aaron Rodgers will be named MVP, going 15-23 with 2TDs passing, 1INT and 1TD rushing. In a rage, Ben Roethlisberger will get black out drunk at a Dallas bar afterwards and will once again force himself on an insecure diva in the bathroom. Unfortunately for him, that someone will be Jerry Jones.

2. The New York Knicks will not get Carmelo by the February 24th deadline. But they will make the playoffs nonetheless as a 6 seed, only to be knocked out by the Magic. Thankfully though, Melo will sign a max deal in the offseason giving the 2011-2012 version a starting line-up of Amar'e, Felton, Melo, Fields and Galo (Chandler will leave).

3. The NFL will be locked out until late July. The new CBA will NOT include an 18 game schedule, but WILL include at 17 game schedule.

4. The race for the presidency in 2012 will heat up for the Republicans. The field will include Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and... Sarah Palin!

5. The 2011 New York Yankees will display a starting rotation of CC, AJ, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and.... Joba Chamberlain! They will finish 1st in the AL and will tare through the playoffs to win their 28th World Championship! Derek Jeter will silence critics as he finishes the year with a .301 BA, 16HRs and another Gold Glove. A-Rod will finish with a .310 BA, 38 HRs and 121 RBIs. CC will win 20 games again, finishing 22-4 with a 3.11 ERA. He will finally win the Cy Young this year. Phil will have an OK year, finishing 15-9 with a 3.50 ERA. AJ will bounce back and finish with a 18-8 record and a 3.89 ERA.

6. Politics will be interesting. Obama's approval rating will continue to rise as the economic situation improves across the country. The unemployment rate will go down to 8.2% by the end of the year. While expectations will be high for the amount that will be done in Congress, not much substantial legislation will be able to achieve compromise among both parties.

7. Dr. Dre's Detox will finally come out!

8. The much anticipated Arrested Development movie will finally begin shooting.

9. The iPhone 5 will be released in June, but with not that many changes. It will be on a 4G network, have extended battery life and a better camera. The iPhone 4 on Verizon will fuck up its network and there will be a lot of complaints.

10. A new social networking venture will erupt and challenge Facebook and Twitter.

11. Osama Bin Laden will finally be caught.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yearly Tradition: The New Year's Prediction Post, Part I

Whatup whatup.

Happy New Year (3 weeks ago). Per usual I would like to take some time now to look back on 2010 and what I predicted for last year, and then immediately in the near future serve up some incredibly accurate predictions for this year, the two-thousand eleventh after the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. So, without further Freddy Adu, here we go.

First the 2010 predictions :

The unemployment rate will hover around 10 for a couple of months then will slowly begin to creep down. It will end the year at 8.6%

Well.. let's just take a look at the data:

It did float around 10 almost the whole year, but finished the year at 9.8, not 8.6 like I predicted. Wishful thinking??

Verdict: True AND False

The Democrats will lose their Super 60 majority in the Senate, but will retain control of both chambers.

YES, the Democrats DID lose their Super 60 majority!!! Wow, how did I ever anticipate this?? And yet, NostraDATmus wasn't fully correct yet again because they did NOT retain control of the House. Sigh.

Verdict: True AND False

The Superbowl will be played between the Ravens and the Saints and the Saints will win 35 - 21!

The Superbowl was actually played between the Colts and Saints and the Saints won 31-17. I was off by 4 points on each score! I am too good!

Verdict: True AND False

The Knicks will finally make the playoffs!... but will get swept in the first round.

Yea that did not happen.

Verdict: False

LeBron will sign to the Knicks!!!

No fucking comment

Verdict: False

The NY Yankees will once again be on top. A-Rod will come through big this year - .310 with 40HRs and 120 RBIs. CC will be huge again reaching 20 wins (finally) and posting a 3.05 ERA. AJ finally breaks 16 wins. Unfortunately, Yanks finish 2nd in the AL, BUT... will win the WS for their 2nd in a row!

Actual 2010 statistics:
ARod: .270, 30 HR, 125 RBIs
CC: 21-7, 3.18ERA
AJ: 10-15
Yankees: 2nd place in AL, lost in ALCS

Hmm, well this is a mixed bag of prediction goodies. Way off on ARod's average, but close on the RBIs. CC did break 20 wins and I was close with the ERA. AJ blew the big one, Yanks finished 2nd but did not come close to that 2nd WS in a row.

Verdict: True AND False

Avatar will still be in theatres in December (and will break Titanic's record).

Avatar exited theaters August 8th, 2010

Verdict: False

The iPhone 4G will be released.

Um, does the iPhone 4 count??

Verdict: True AND False

Foursquare will fail.

Well, judging by this article, I am dead wrong.

Verdict: False

We will catch Osama Bin Laden.

This also did not happen.

Verdict: False

OVERALL RESULT: 2.5 out of 10. Yuck.

Stay tuned for the 2011 predictions

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Up Late

I am up late right now, doing the regular procrastinating sleep thing. I guess that's what you call concrastinating, huh?

My last post was pretty depressing. Sorry about that.

I keep meaning to get to my New Year's post. That will happen soon, I promise.

I love this song:

Swizz Beatz is so good. And in many ways underrated. All of his shit is good. Also, he changes it up a good amount.

Furthermore, Diddy-Dirty Money is borderline genius. You gotta admire Puff for keeping it fresh. Who would have thought in '97 that 13 years later he would be the lead singer of a female band?? I can't hate, I love the songs they have. Not enough to purchase, but just enough to download.

Also love this song:

Please excuse the lame unofficial vid. But the song is tight. Good for the mole-less Enrique. Not to mention Luda is only spectacular on guest verses. This song got me thinking of which songs with the work "Fuck" in the chorus are the best ever. I gotta go with:

1. I'm Fucking You Tonight - Notorious B.I.G. ft. R. Kelly

2. Fuck You - Cee-Lo

3. Fucking You - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris

Can you think of any others?

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Well a Happy New Year to all. I was going to begin the new year the way I always do on this blog, with a recap of my 2010 Predictions and an unveiling of my 2011 version. But today does not warrant that.

A very much troubling thing has happened in Arizona this afternoon. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, along with 11 other people were shot by a gunman at a grocery store townhall event.

Many things are going to happen in the next few days and weeks. Many people are going to have an opinion and many people are going to spin this in whichever way they want. But my feeling, based on my experience, is that most people in power will preach unity and standing together.

We cannot overlook the conditions that allowed this to occur.

In many unfortunate ways, didn't you see something like this coming? You remember this little innocent piece of art:

Recognize any names? Yes, the Congresswoman shot today is in that "harmless" list of Sarah's. Almost all liberals denounced this list and I did not hear many conservatives take a stand.

Well here we are. People have died and a government official has been wounded. Of course, conservatives on the defensive will in no way see a connection between this shooting and the harsh language that preceded it in our national conversation with the Tea Party. The shooter will be labeled as a "nut" who is not exemplative of the general conservative population. But let me tell you what, this "nut" is someone who, like all of us, gets swayed by emotions; is someone who obviously is unstable; is someone who is not helped when people who have a platform are literally calling people to arms because of what our government is doing.

This is horrible! For years the Republican party has tended to use Fear to drive home their points. From 9/11 until now every talking point went through the lens of Fear. From the War on Terror to now the War on Obamacare. And guess what... people are actually afraid! And this is what happens when Fear is mixed with ignorance! And our government officials have to hold responsibility for this! When you lead by the example of grouping a certain group of people and holding all of them responsible, maybe not blatantly, but definitely through your words, people will follow your lead. And yes, I am talking about the conservative war on Muslims. And what the Republicans and Tea Partiers have recently been doing is holding Democrats in total responsible for this new onslaught of "socialism" and "Marxism" and and overall responsibility for the state that everyone is in right now. And unfortunately, Ms. Giffords has been grouped into this group that has been the cause of the Fear that the conservatives propagate.

People will call on "toning down the Washington rhetoric." All officials, both Democrats and Republicans, will be participating in the conversation. But this is not a liberal issue! This is a conservative problem!

When 58% of the GOP doubts or are unsure about the fact that Obama was actually born here, this is not a liberal issue!

When 63% of the GOP truly believe that Obama is a socialist, this is not a liberal issue!

For the last couple of years many conservatives have been towing the line of heated rhetoric versus a call to violence. Today is a product of that. It needs to stop.