Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Take me HOME FROM this ballgame...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Get Me OUT OF the crowd!!! I dont want peanuts, crackerjacks, or even BEER!!! I just want a quiet weekend at home with the Golden Girls and a puzzle book. Maybe throw in the pups and a snack, but that's it! So as you saw earlier: 3 games. 3 days. 3 too many for my taste, to be honest. We all know, though, that sometimes what makes someone else happy is more important than our own happiness for a bit (yeah, who's the idiot that came up with that!). Sooooo, Donia has been a doll and bought us tickets for 10 games this season at Safeco field between the A's and the Mariners. Isnt she sweet? (Fun Fact: Those 20 tickets all together were as much as our two Kanye tickets. But hey, who's countin, right?) Ill just give you a brief synopsis of my 2008 baseball season thus far. The fans here are pussies. Plain and simple. Im basing this on my past experiences with baseball games at both Yankee stadium and Fenway park. Now I know its the oldest rivalry in sports, the Yanks and the Sox, but those games were violent! Brutal! All out madness! These games were, Im guessing, geared more toward the beseball lover that also holds a deep love for kittens, saving the planet, and all things Elton (John, that is. You know, the fantastic, fabulous, and all-time favorite flamer of the gays and showtune-lovin straighties alike.) No one talked shit! No one said anyhting about our A's hats or Donia's A's t-shirt or jersey! I was ready with quick comebacks about how Oakland was way tougher than Seattle and that they'd never get out alive if they went to see the Mariners play on our turf (then again, neither would I...), but I didnt have to use any of it! People were nice. Children played and sang. No one threw beer or fists or broken shards of glass. The worst that got thrown was-GASP!-toilet paper! Oooh, not soft and snuggly toilet paper! Jeez, I was so disappointed. I wanted action, excitement, a real purpose for being there! All I got was baseball...

Anyway, the atmosphere of a game, any live professional sport for that matter, is always cool. I people watched most of the time, but thats what made me happy. Donia was pleased just with my presence (set their expectations low, its easier that way), and she enjoyed every second of actual play. The good thing is that I dont have to go back til August. The bad thing is I have 7 games left to sit through. Hey, who knows, maybe Ill start a drunken riot and youll see me on ESPN. It may be the only way we ever see any action at, conveniently named, SAFEco Field...

Here are my personal baseball stats for the season so far:

Number of games attended: 3

Number of hot dogs consumed: 3

Number of children dragged to the game by their parents, sitting around us, not watching the game: at least 30

Number of people eating delicious-smelling "Garlic Rally Fries" in front of us while we envied them but maintained self control: 15

Number of miles walked to get to the stadium and home 3 days in a row: at least 7

Number of free energy drinks received: 4

Number of drunks crossing the street while the walk sign said Dont Walk, subsequently almost losing their lives: 3 *would have been wayyyy more in Boston*

Number of arrests of drunks: 0 *see above comment*

Number of disgusting men standing next to us chewing sunflower seeds and spitting them out in front of us onto the ground: 1

Number of times I participated in songs, dances, stretches, and "Moose" activities brought on by the mascot: 0

Number of babies changed right next to me on the bleacher, its dirty diaper carelessly tossed by the mom under the seat in front of us: 1

Number of times Donia screamed, "DIDYOUSEETHAT!?", where I lied and said, "Yeah! Cool/awesome/great!": I lost count

Number of days til Donia forgets I went with her to make her happy: it better never happen!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I didnt write this...

Friday, April 18, 2008

...but it must live on.

In pure comic-book adventure, the Seattle show is big on heroics.
By Ann Powers, Times Pop Music Critic
April 18, 2008
SEATTLE -- KANYE WEST has always fancied himself a hero; now he has staged his "Götterdämmerung." The hip-hop star may or may not have been thinking about Richard Wagner's epic Ring cycle when he decided to turn his Glow in the Dark tour into an apocalyptic space opera. The show, which premiered Wednesday at this city's Key Arena, had more obvious reference points: Japanese anime, Will Smith in "I Am Legend" and any Imax shows about the planets that West might have seen as a kid.

But West, the chart-topper most determined to burn his likeness into the walls of pop's Valhalla, cares deeply about what it means to be a hero. Wednesday, he didn't take a spear to the gut the way Wagner's Siegfried did, but he did confront terror, doubt and filial grief in a show that carried his braggadocio into the realm of myth itself.

Performing a set of favorites from throughout his repertoire, West moved like a dancer in a Gene Kelly movie on a slanted stage made to look like a distant moon.

Screens big and small showed scenes of whirling galaxies and cataclysmic weather; sometimes these images escaped their boundaries and saturated the stage floor. Announcing himself as an astronaut on a mission to bring creativity back to Earth, West used songs like "Through the Wire," "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and "Stronger" to narrate his journey from spaceship crash to alien encounter to self-realization and escape.

This was pure comic-book adventure, obvious at times. But the real message came through those unstoppable images. Glow in the Dark raises the bar for arena tours as no show has since U2's 1992 Zoo TV breakthrough. It's that innovative and galvanizing.

Unlike most highly staged concerts since U2's meditation on rock in the media age, West's show isn't literary at heart. It's imagistic. West is a conceptual artist who works in visuals as well as sound, and his inspiration comes from fine artists such as Takashi Murakami and haute couture designers like Hedi Slimane. In this show, he's imagining not so much how a hero's story unfolds but what a hero might say if he were to rap -- and how he might appear onstage.

Performing alone is one of West's key choices. Negotiating vast stages without the aid of a crew, last night he rapped over backing tracks, asserting his independence and uniqueness and presenting a new way to be a hip-hop star, separate from a protective community.

The spectacular backdrops of the Glow in the Dark tour solve a problem his previous solo performances have posed: They provide excitement beyond what West could generate through his own voice and movements, and give him an environment (and a few characters, like that alien -- a chesty, anime-style plastic doll that descended from the ceiling) to play against.

The concert's screen images also reinforced West's isolation; he sometimes seemed small, caught up in their storm. The hero's quest is a source of romantic power for West; as he explores the role more, he seems more interested in its painful aspects too. Roaming the slanted proscenium under violent skies heavy with asteroids and whirling clouds, West played the grim son of destiny, unable to break through and connect with others.

Against this backdrop, West rapped for more than an hour without a break, only slowing down for "Hey Mama," the ballad he wrote for his recently deceased mother. That song caused a rare moment of real vulnerability as West held his head in his hands for a moment, near tears. Otherwise he projected focused intensity, driving home hits such as "Jesus Walks" and "Touch the Sky" without ever flirting with the audience or even really taking a break to breathe.

His lyrics are often clever and light in tone, but pacing across his self-constructed lonely planet, West couldn't have been more serious. After all, he has a world to reinspire -- and even when he states that goal in terms of comic-book fantasy, he means it.

The other artists on this carefully built bill share West's forward-thinking attitude about hip-hop, as well as his showiness. The rapper Lupe Fiasco opened the evening with a smooth set that featured red-clad backup singers and several suave turns by singer Michael Santos. The young, very racially mixed crowd yelled "Lupe!" as the Chicago rapper spun out his hipster tales.

N.E.R.D. made a sensual racket during its mood-lit set. The band, which features Neptunes producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo and their longtime friend, vocalist Shay Haley, plays hip-hop-infused rock with cutting lyrics and menacing beats. With two drummers pushing the groove forward, N.E.R.D. proved musically charismatic. Williams is the band's star, though he's a rather delicate vocalist; like many rockers before him, he cashes in on charisma.

Rihanna, the last of the three openers, can really sing, but she hadn't found her footing Wednesday, struggling to stay in tune and project in the huge arena. It didn't help that the bass was so distorted during her set that it shook the floor; Rihanna's talent is for impressing without ever pushing herself, but when your own band's amps are tuned to "assault," you have to fight back.

The noise distracted from her troupe's cute dance moves and shiny retro-new wave costumes, but that's the kind of kink a touring artist works out in a few dates.

In pure comic-book adventure, the Seattle show is big on heroics.

By the time she and her tour mates hit the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, they should be on point and ready to push toward the ridiculous, beautiful heights of West's heroics.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Night Of My Life

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So, as you were aware/anticipating , I saw my boy Kanye last night at Key Arena. He brought some of his homies, Lupe, Pharrell,, and RiRi (oh yeah, you know her as Rihanna). Anyway, there we were, chillin before the show at the hotel (sorry, its gotta be an undisclosed location), having some Dom, poppin some pills (only me--PPH--and Lupe, of course) while the rest of the crew puffed on a blunt rolled by none other than me, Wig. (Short for 'wigga', their nickname for me. I think its cute, Im the only white girl anyway...). Were enjoying ourselves, kickin it, getting pumped for their debut US show of the Glow-in-theDark tour, when, whhhaaa? Snoop? Come on man, you gotta be kiddin me! He calls me up on my blackberry (only my posse has that number) and says hes in town and wants to chill. No way, dude, youre always 1, you know that, but K is here for one night only and, you know how I roll. Gotta spread myself out (ew, not like that! Yes, I had to keep him from making the obvious joke). He was upset, but we rescheduled for Starbucks and a movie next weekend. I would have invited him to chill with us, but security for the hotel was all tied up outside, and sneaking him in after the fact would have been impossible. Plus, Kanye likes to have his thunder, you know. Dont need no other cats steppin on toes or nothin. I hang up with Snoop and we have like 15 minutes til Lupe's gotta do his thang. Hes pumped, he does his pre-gig ritual (it involves a bathtub and a gallon jug, s'all I can say), and we wish him well after a quick prayer circle and an Amen powerful enough to shake the ground beneath us (we all bein one with our faith and shit).

N.E.R.D. was next, so we had to round up all those roady bitches and get em back out to the Arena. Too many groupies in one room is hazardous to the health of the performers (in more ways than 1, lemme tell you!). Im always on Pharrell, when I see him, saying that those dirty bitches will ruin his life one way or another, and if not that, just ruin his manhood. He always insists theyd be 'gone til November' if Id just commit myself to him, but alas, he knows Im involved. I hate having to tell him that all the time, though, his poor lil heart...

Right before RiRi went on, I did her nails hot pink (its the new black) and fixed her makeup...a bit had smudged when Lupe gave her a shotgun gone wrong (that cat is wild!). She then had me call her "secret" bf---youve seen the tabloids, but you know I cant confirm--just to say shed meet up with him the next day for dinner before the Sacramento show. God we were on the phone forever laughing and catching up, when I realized Kanye was giving me his puppy dog eyes---I wasnt paying him enough preshow attention! Fine, I said, come here...and we did our normal pep talk, "Mr. West, listen up. YOu are strong and powerful and the best performer on Earth. Everyone will like you and what you do tonight. Whatever you do, dont sing any Bob Dylan impromptu (he loves to break into 70's rock hits without rehearsing first) and keep yo head up and your shoulders squared (the boy cant quit the slouch!). I had him put on another undershirt (that dry ice is cold) and he was off with a kiss on the forehead and a Go Team pat on the bum! Boy was I proud of him.

Well, everyone killed it, especially K. He was so worried "Do you think they liked it? Was I good?" and I assured him it was the best Id ever seen. The best anyone would ever see...

After the party is the after party and...well, you know how they say we aint leaving til 6 in the morn...? Lets just say Im runnin on empty after a night of body shots and rubbin elbows with my crew, exchanging stories of back in the day, when old skool was actually old and hip hop meant somethin. Being part of a hip-hop entourage is hard, but you know, I wouldnt give up those friendships for the world. Donia was weirded out when I rolled in just in time for breakfast, but shes chill. She knows me and my life, and that my posse isnt goin nowhere...

Good luck to everyone tonight in Cali. Call me on the weekend when youve got time off. Ill see you on the road when I make a trip out to accompany you to the BET Awards show in June...

Oh, and if youre around, Diddy's white party in the Hamptons in July should be off tha hook! Im going down with Em, but you know where to meet up...

one love

Friday, April 11, 2008

Peace Be With You...

Friday, April 11, 2008

...and also with you. Thats one of the few things Ive retained from attending 3 Catholic masses in my life. The others being that the organ is such an annoying and depressing instrument, and I often wondered what was worn under those robes. Theyre old men, was it slippers and v-neck t's like my Pappy used to wear? On second thought, nevermind. I dont ever wanna know...

So, speaking of religion...well, um, I am embarassed to admit that I am not too current on world events at the moment. Or ever. History was a bad subject in my family--no, not that we didnt like to talk about it. We didnt like to pass History classes! Every damn one of us kids did poorly, whether blood sibling or step, so it had nothing to do wit the genes. But I, my point was (surprisingly, youll see) that the Dalai Lama is in Seattle this weekend (told ya I got sidetracked). He is participating in something called Seeds of Compassion, a seminar teaching about, well, yeah, seeds of compassion. Anyway Im not sure how much it was to go see him, but I dont have tickets. I have to say I didnt wanna go cuz I know nothing about the Dalai Lama. Oprah loves him; I know hes all about peace and nonviolence; he's old and wears a red cape/sari/cloak/toga everywhere he goes (back to the "whats under there question...ew, again, nevermind). I probably should read up on him and keep up on world news more than I keep up on how many nights in a row Britney has gone to The Villa for dinner. I would be more fulfilled, Im sure. So, Im not seeing him, and this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opp. The thing Im really bummed about is that Dave Matthews, (who lives here btw and Im gonna stalk one of these days when I get around to it), is performing with him. No, I dont think the Dalai will sing backup on one of his tracks or play Boyd's mini violin, I think Dave will talk and sing and Dalai will nod his head and smile and enjoy the magic Dave brings to the ears of his fans. Its just as well I dont go; the Lama's all about nonviolence, and let me tell you when i catch sight of Dave, despite what I promised to myself and you a while back, I will pounce. It wont be violence, but it will sure look like it...

So these days TV is not a big part of my life, a goal I am achieving smashingly. L Word is over til Jan of 09, Lost has all these little mini hiatuses we have come to know and love (or hate), and A.I. is so last year for me--just not cutting it this season. I am forced to borrow TV show DVDs from the library and catch up on some gems that aired a while ago that I never caught (you could NOT commit to a show as a server, it was impossible. Unless you were Kerri and you were friends with the girl who did the schedule and you drank together and ate TB together and therefore that schedule girl gave you every Thursday night off for your obsession with Must See TV, circa 2004). I have now scene Seasons 1-3 and 5 of Sex and the City and let me say IM HOOKED! I never believed it was so good before! I think I half like it cuz its a good qualoty show and half like it cuz Carrie reminds me of Jess back home. I miss her so much that Ill take a SJP imitation of her over nothing. I also saw Season 7 of Will and Grace (I love Vince, but hate Leo), as well as repeated the other 6 seasons, which Donia had very little appreciation for. Now, whats my current nostalgic sitcom, you ask? The Golden Girls! Thats right--Bea, Betty, Rue and Estelle when I want them, anytime. Someday Ill tell you tales of how i long to dress as Dorothy when I grow older...but dont worry! I mean like in my 30s...

Its funny that i could talk all about my job when I had no work, but now that I have things to do and stories to tell, confidentiality rears its ugly head and says "Stop! You may not regale your readers with stories of your exciting, fulfilling and interesting job! You signed a waiver!". So, I guess thats the extent of the paragrah about my job: I still have one.

Im watching the news and I just saw a girl from the side that looked exactly like me when I was 13--awkward, lanky, frizzy bright red hair, and flat chested. Its only right I send her a pic of me now so shes not so devastated when she learns that the only thing that changes is they do get bigger, but at the price of weight gain.

I will end this with a story of nightclubbing at the age of 27 and 3/4: I dont wanna do it anymore. Im done. Im not a spring chicken, and i cant hang. The dancing, the sweating, the making out, the humping, the drinking and the next morning---too much for this old bag. I need to quit now before Im turned away at the door for my Golden Girlesque fashions and my complaints to the doorman about how the music is 'just too loud'...