Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Motor City

Apologies for taking yet another few days off but I had to take a little trip to Detroit to take care of some bidness. This was actually my first time in the Motor City and I gotta say I'm sure it's nice but we spent all of our time inside the Fortress of GM-itude, aka the Renaissance Center downtown that's plunked alongside the convention center and Joe Louis Arena.

We did manage to find time to do some gambling at the ever-classy Greektown Casino (enjoy the $25 fellas!) and I had one of the worst steaks of my life at a place called Fishbones which happened to be across the street from the casino.. And down the street from the homeless guys who were sleeping on the sidewalks in order to get some warmth from the steam exhaust. The steak was prolly a bad call on my part.

But I took a couple of pictures!

Here's Canada across the river from my hotel room:

Here's Canada from the lobby:

Here's just regular Canada:

And here's some pictures of the inside of the "Ren Cen" which to me seemed like a freakin' awesome place for a game of after hours hide and seek. It's like the Deathstar! But only it's like "Carstar." But you still fully expected to pass a storm trooper or see little droids scurrying about:



A couple other notes:

• I love that Aimee Mann's new album coming out in June is called "@#x%x*! Smilers." Not sure why I do.

•  That David Eunuchaleta boy on the Idol shouldn't be allowed to sing love songs. It's like if a fish sang a song about a campfire. You'd have to think that wasn't coming from a very, shall we say, "personal" place.

And a very happy birthday to my brother Martin today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From this morning's New York Times:

"Mrs. Clinton’s victory was propelled by her strong performance among older voters and less affluent and less educated voters."

Just the kind of people we need making decisions for us in this modern age.

And then this, also from the NY Times, regarding last night's Pennsylvania primary:

"John Peterman, 85, a former Navy engineer, said he supported Mrs. Clinton because “the world is not ready for a black president.” His wife, Mary, 81, agreed with him."

The future apparently is not in Pennsylvania.

Glow in the Dark


Whitney and I caught the big Kanye West Glow in the Dark show last night at the Nokia Theater downtown. It's one of those big corporate-sponsored (obviously) theaters that's all shiny, sells ten dollar beers, and counts the Eagles umpteenth reunion show last year as their big classic. I just think those places are a lot like David Archuleta—technically perfect but lacking in some soul. No ornamentation or flourishes, just light-absorbing black everywhere and rigging hanging from the ceiling. More like a new multiplex theater than a concert venue. But on to the massive show...

Lupe Fiasco: even in the unenviable first-of-four spot he brought the heat. I like that kid a lot. A killer mc with a unique style that might just be better in my opinion than the other solo hip-hop act on the bill.

N.E.R.D: A little too aggro for my tastes last night. I've liked a few of their songs (the more beat-centric and cool/groovy ones) but last night they seemed downright pi-issed. All shoutin' and angry like. Not a lot of fun. Took a drink break toward the end of that one.

Rihanna: A bit like being at a Six Flags concert at the end of the summer with a bunch of teenage girls all arm-in-arm singing "Umbrella" before they go back to school and don't see each other as much. Entertaining for sure if a little like being at TRL. Maybe I'm just gettin' old.

Kanye: He put on the big boy pants with this one for sure but he might just need to have them taken in a bit. A conceptual hour and a half solo on stage as a crashed space traveler who has to rap his way back home throughout various plot movements is tough for any man to pull off. Sometimes at shows I like to watch the drummer or see a DJ throw in some breaks or sumthin'. I'm just sayin'. The stage set itself was quite impressive but some curtains on the side might have helped keep me in "crashed spaceship on some crazy planet" world rather than "I wish I couldn't see all that scaffoliding and the underside of the planet where those guys are wearing shorts" world. Fascinating to see what all the fuss was about but the Daft Punk of hip-hop I'd hoped for it was not, however.

That we just saw Jay Z come into town and rock the Bowl's pants off the old-fashioned way and to do it with fireworks prolly didn't help.

And, Hillary, Just cause you win the Pro Bowl doesn't mean you then have a hope of winning last week's Super Bowl, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fizzireworks

Someone was kind enough to shoot some video of them fireworks at the Bowl the other night:

If you want, skip ahead to like 4:00 in where the stage starts to look like a cake for someone who just turned a bazillion years old.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Huge Pimpin'

I read something recently about the loudmouthed Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame saying Jay Z shouldn’t be headlining Glastonbury this summer because the headliner should be more “guitar based.” I think it’s safe to say that if he was anywhere near the Hollywood Bowl last night he’d prolly change his mind.

Whitney and I hit the big Mary J. Blige and Jay Z show at the Bowl last night and it was crazy good. Oh yeah, and it ended with the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen that, from what I’ve read this morning, put the LA Philharmonic’s 4th of July show to shame. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

MJB came on first and Jigga joined her to lay down a little “Can’t knock the hustle” together before leaving her to do her thing for an hour and half of a lot of hits but sadly a few too many new tunes. Whitney’s done a good job of educating me on the back catalog but I don’t really know them new tunes. Seemed like a lot of people didn’t judging from folks sittin’ down. But damn if she ain’t the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.

Rather than take a legit break after Mary's set, his HOVA-ness just hit the stage and proceeded to lay down the law with brute force. He dropped bomb after bomb, all blasting from one of the most amazing stage sets I’ve seen since Daft Punk: “Izzo (HOVA)”, “Jigga what, Jigga who”, “Dirt off your shoulder”, “Can I get a…”, “99 problems”, “Big Pimpin’”, “Encore”—you name it.

There were shout-outs to Tupac and Biggie, some Bush hating, and even an Obama lovefest that made you wonder how the guy could possibly lose. Curiously, he brushed his shoulder off today too, if you caught that. I’ve never seen the Bowl so full of people: the aisles, the walkways, the side parts, the parking lot, the street, pretty much everywhere there were people they were livin’ it up. That guy’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s no wonder he’s an empire.

Oh, did I mention there were fireworks during the final song when MJB came back out to close it down with Jay Z? ‘Cause there were.

Now, when I say these were fireworks I’m not just talking about some chintzy county fair lobbers. I’m talking designer fireworks. The type that don’t necessarily blossom so much as they defy your expectations of what fireworks can do. It was like the entire band shell was on fire. It was like daytime out there I tell ya. And just when you thought they were over they unleashed more. And then still more.

From what I’ve read, they apparently pulled out all the stops as this was the first time either of them had played the Bowl. Boy did they. That and fire season hasn’t started yet.

We’ll see if the Kanye "Glow in the Dark" fest on Monday can top it. Could be a tight race from what I hear.

Quote of the night from guy sitting next to us: "Man, this is some venue." Perhaps he'd not heard of the Hollywood Bowl before. Who knows.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The truth hits everyone

I love how the guy who married into the beer fortune and the woman who was a former first lady are taking shots at Obama for being “out of touch” and "elitist." Oh right. I totally forgot that they still fly coach, pump their own $4 gas and drive an hour and a half back and forth to the house they were able to afford out in BFE. They’re so just like us it’s scary!

Now with regards to what Obama said, correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure you can’t pay your mortgage with mandatory school prayer. Same way you can’t send your kids to college with a ban on gay marriage or buy prescription drugs with a border wall or hope to get a new job at the new anti-flag burning amendment factory.

So what's so terribly wrong with pointing that out? Could it just be that the truth hurts? Could it be those shiny republicans who came by every four years really didn't believe in Jesus as much as they told you they did?

Perhaps.

Say, what's that first step in the recovery process again? Could be a good place to start.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It could be worse...


Things that are probably worse than having to listen to the world's worst yippee little dog that recently came to live at the house in front of my guest house who pretty much barks nonstop day and night at anything that moves and many things that don’t:

• Waterboarding

• Paying $300 more a month for the privilege like the poor bastard who ends up renting the place after I leave it in May. They are in for one hell of a shock. Poor bastards.

(editor's note: I frikkin' love dogs but this particular model is broken. Like really broken. And quite possibly retarded.)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dreams do come true

Kelly posted a little something and has been promptly bumped back into the hallowed halls of the "posters." See, not so painful. And then there were two....

With regard to blogs not getting comments, join the club. I've written stuff I thought was killer only to have it met with like one comment unrelated to what the post was even about. I think my high-water mark is like 10 comments and like the last seven of them were people catching up with each other via my comments section. It happens. I'll admit to not being the best at commenting but I'm always reading. Perhaps I'll try harder in the future to say something. Anything. I apologize to everyone who gets a little analytics blip from LA every day but no comments.

In other news, my Macbook has fallen on hard times it looks like and is stopping at the start-up screen with the Apple logo and a little spinning ticker which is for lack of a better word is awesome. I can't wait to brave the Santa Monica promenade to see if the geniuses can fix it. If not, well, we'll jump off that bridge when we come to it.

Pretty good start to the week, huh?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fair and kind of balanced

In the last week, I've been called out twice in my comments section for:

A. Not recommending that new "She and Him" album fast enough

B. Trotting out my "bad teeth/bad eyes" theory again

Dear readers, I have done you a disservice and for these crimes I am sorry.

However, for the record, I recommended that "She and Him" album the frikkin' day after it hit iTunes and that "bad teeth/bad eyes" thing only came up at the end of an original piece of dialogue I wrote without any help from The Onion, YouTube or other outside sources...if you catch my drift.

So, in response, we're making some changes over here at the ol' Fascination Streak. You'll notice there on the right that the link to your blog is either under the heading "Posters" or "Posers." You don't post, then you pose. Don't like where you stand? Post something and I'll bump you back up. It'll be fun! I'm not asking for Pulitzer-winners here, just something posted more than once every few months.

I can't be sending my dear readers to sites that haven't been updated since Fred Thompson was "in the hunt" or Eli was Peyton's "under-performing brother."

It's a disservice to the countless millions who trust me as their source for all the news that shapes our world.

I hope you all understand.

Good night. And good luck.

Go back to bed, old people!

What is it with the old folks and 3AM? Is this some magical hour for them? Is the thought of the phone ringing at that hour just unbelievable? I like to think that when you're running a country of 300 million people the phone's gonna be ringing at all hours of the day and night. And you're gonna have a whole staff of people helping you answer it. I know it's a metaphor but it's a little tired. Already.

But for whatever reason, it has really become a fascination for our over-60 set.

First, Hillary tries to terror-frighten Texas into voting for her. Now she's trying to economically frighten Pennsylvania into voting for her with pretty much a retread of the same ad. (editor's note: they do know Pennsylvania has the internet and may very well have seen this before, right?)

Thankfully, she's not alone. Because look who else is up! Old man McCain is already up, dressed and probably watching himself some Matlock while diving into a bowl of Wilford Brimley-endorsed Quaker Oatmeal! Guess that explains why yesterday he releases an ad that's, uh, kinda sorta similar.

Check it out:

Hillary's version:



McCain's version:


(editor's note 2: Are people really up stressing over their bills and stuff at that hour while they're kids are asleep? That looks like zero fun.)

We know you're awake!!! Now go back to sleep, old people. Everything's fine.

Besides, modern phones have voicemail. What emergency can't wait another hour or so until you wake up?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Half lucky

A scene from my visit this morning to the new LA dentist for a little teeth cleaning (I know, I've been here a year and I'm just now going to get them cleaned. I guess I got busy and it wasn't like my old dentist was calling to remind me. Last time, I promise).

Let's do this!

OPEN ON ME LAYING IN THE DENTIST'S OFFICE CHAIR AS THE DENTAL HYGIENIST SCRAPES ABOUT MY MOUTH.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: Hmm, you know you've got a little recession on a few of your gums here.

ME: Yeah, I'm doing everything I can about that. I'm flossin' like crazy and I even got a new super-duper power brush for my birthday. I'm also prayin'.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: It could be your gums are receding because you grind your teeth a bit when you sleep. Have you heard that?

ME: I have. But I suppose I tend not to notice on account of, you know, being asleep and all.

PRETTY SURE THERE WAS SOME LAUGHTER HERE.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: You know you're missing a tooth here on the lower left.

ME: Yeah, I had a nasty childhood bike wreck. Broke my jaw, the whole nine yards.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: Looks like the braces you wore might have pulled the gap a little closer though.

ME: Yeah, I remember going in for a few "tightenings." There was also something we called a "headgear." That gap didn't stand a chance.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: It looks like you might have a cavity on your back molar here. Or it could be a scuff or an indention from the removal of your wisdom teeth.

ME: Yeah, it's probably that second scenario because mine were the kind they call "impacted." There was a mallet involved.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: Well OK, I'm all done here so I'm gonna have the doctor come over and catalog your fillings.

ME: Catalog, huh? You make it sound like a project. They told me when I was a kid, right before they applied a sealant to my teeth, that the reason I had like 13 cavities was that I had really deep grooves in my teeth. Unlucky break I guess. But what can you do?

A 30-45 SECOND SILENCE PASSES AS I LAY THERE, RECLINED IN THAT BIG VINYL SPACESHIP CHAIR JUST IMAGINING THE LITTLE HANDS IN HER HEAD AS THEY SLOWLY PUT THE PIECES OF MY DENTAL HISTORY TOGETHER, THE LOOK ON HER FACE EVENTUALLY LETTING ME KNOW THEY WERE FINISHED.

ME: My eyes are damn near perfect though. Like 20/20.

And scene.