Friday, October 29, 2004

Minorities: Vote November 3!

This cracks me up.

But seriously, if Bush gets re-elected, it's gonna make a lot of people sad, including Janine. She writes: "I am planning to be in the company of friends next Tuesday night to help me with my emotional breakdown if Bush gets reelected. I know tears are a definite; there may be some screaming and there will definitely be insomnia. Religion is the opium of the masses, but at this point all we can do is pray that the election is not rigged. I believe Kerry will win if the election is fairly conducted. Ralph Nader's head is so far up his own ass that it might get stuck there. He is clearly full of grandeur and delusions. A typical manic depressive."

Guys, let's make it right this time!


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Best game to play... anticipation of the election. Entitled Give Bush a Brain. Beats X-Box. Sure would put a smile on your face.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

My onion breath is killing me!

I had Jerry's for lunch. It's always a dilemma because you know you're gotta get the best cheesesteak in the world, but your afternoon breath is gonna suck. Not just Jerry's a dilemma; many things are. Should I go to this Halloween party and dress up as a Chinese man, or should I screw all the Halloween festivities and go swing dancing instead? Well, since I'm not invited to any Halloween parties this year, the former doesn't apply.

Why is it that Jewish women become more Jewish as they grow older? When they're younger, they'd go out with Gentiles primarily to rebel against their parents and sneakily eat non-kosher hot dogs and cheeseburgers. When they grow older, they start going to the temple and reclaim their lost Jewish faith. And after they have had their perfect Jewish marriages, they forbid their sons and daughters to date other Gentiles. Why? This doesn't happen to, say, Catholic women. I think the "Jewish Woman Blues" is beginning to make sense. It may be reality after all.

I thought I was an expert at reading body languages. But lately, trapezoids give me their attitude. DC nurtures moody, ungrateful trapezoids. They think because they have a good job on the hill and they get hit on by random strangers on due to their obsolete high school prom photos, they are hot shit. I'm sorry, but I'm a stickler for old-fashioned manners and courtesy. Let's all try to be polite.

Lately, I've been fascinated by people who do yoga, tai chi, tarot cards, and some form of modern dances. Interesting to know many of them used to be (or still are) potheads and tree huggers and now they talk about energy flow and being one in the environment. Usually these people have a tattoo on their arms or a bellybutton ring or wear a headband. Chances are, they'll show up at Phish and Gov't Mule concerts. You gotta love these people. They are the reason why there's still PEACE in the world.


My weekly anti-Bush rant

Only 7 days to election day. This guy gets it right. People who live in Ohio, Wisconsim and Florida, it's your decision that counts! Let's make it right this time.

You know what? My Space is really not all that. It's got everything that Friendster's got, plus it's much harder to navigate. So I think I'm gonna stick with Friendster for now.

Sasha Stone has an interesting blog on the Oscar buzz. Gives you something to read during lunch.

Who's the Ashlee Simpson girl? Why has pop culture become so mundane and formulaic these days? Where's the edginess? Even Sesame Street and Mister Rogers were a lot hipper back in those days! Mainstream TV has produced such garbage these days. I was at Borders yesterday looking for good musical DVDs and there were only a couple worth buying. I think we can only find quality television on HBO, BBC and WETA Kids. What a sad world we live in.


Monday, October 25, 2004

I've got a cold feeling just like ice around my heart

I've got a dry spell surrounding my world these days. I've yet to be inspired again. I haven't been to movies in ages. Maybe I ought to see Ray or Sideways this weekend to get some inspiration. Well, I know for sure Ray Charles' life story will move me profoundly because he's one of my all-time heroes.

Everybody talks about the changing of seasons and colors; I don't seem to notice anything. The weather is not particularly cooler, and I'm not wearing that many extra clothes. Someone I know wrote: "i want a kiss to feel like a slap in the face. maybe i'm just tired of being so dominant i don't let anyone touch me i touch them. i'm selfish and know how to get away with it. someone please break my heart. i'm begging you." It's just plain powerful!

Last Monday when I was in Georgetown I felt slighty out of place. I don't know anyone there anymore. The same applies to downtown DC. Spending a large chunk of time in Bethesda does not necessarily help me advance my social butterfly status. I think I'm just gonna walk more, exercise more, just like those days when I strolled the streets of Paris. Maybe I miss Paris, the CBM, Gershwin tunes, French films and actresses...where has that old feeling gone?

Maybe I'll catch Gov't Mule at 9:30 on Wednesday night. I don't need anyone to erase my memory; I just need someone to pour water on my head.


Friday, October 22, 2004

I'm the coolest cat in town....just so you know.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Blues Alley photos have arrived!

For those who missed the gig (and those who were there), here are the Blues Alley photos.

I also had a sneak preview of the master recording from the performance. I'm more than happy with the quality. It's music to my ears, literally! More on that later. Definitely the best gig we've had!


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Best gig of my life, Pt. 2

How could you not swing your ass off if your backing rhythm section is Big Joe Maher and Eric Harper with the impeccable Bill Heid playing the authentic blues piano? It was a gift for Clarence, though he had doubts before. His doubts were eradicted when we pulled off "Cleo's Mood." The rest of the night was just swinging and howling and playing the blues. Clarence was so at ease towards the end of the first set and he played some of his best guitar licks I've ever heard him play.

The audience was equally lovely and playful, responding to Clarence's invitation "Hey Hey, The Blues is Alright" and clapping profusely to every memorable solo. We had a live recording and I can't wait to hear it and publicize it.

The Blues Alley management told me that we were the best blues band the club has had in a very long time. Gigs like this don't come by very often. It's gotta be the right place at the right time. Blues Alley 10/18/04 was no doubt a stepping stone in my career, simply because I had so much fun.

Congratulations to Clarence Turner for making one of the Baltimore Blues Society IBS finalists. Next stop: Memphis, TN.


Best gig of my life

I just played the single best gig of my life!!!!! More to come tomorrow. Thanks to those who came to Blues Alley to support me and the band. You know who you're.


Monday, October 18, 2004

True friendship

Disclaimer: OK, all that talk about people continue to disappoint me is bullshit. Once in a while you get an e-mail like this, the sky opens up and Louis Armstrong starts singing "What a Wonderful World." The world is wonderful indeed. Thanks Simon.


I'm already wishing you the very best of luck for this evening. Fame, fortune and (most importantly) salivating groupies beckon from here. If you have too many of the latter, then you can always offload to your cornell paris buddies. We're prepared to help out whenever possible.

I only wish I could be in Washington to be there. Have an absolute blast,

Best regards,



Sunday, October 17, 2004

Let it go, dude!

I like people making music, even if it's bad music. Making music is like creating something quite unique that relieves you from tension and your surrounding everyday bullshit. When you're making music, you're in your own world free of encumbrances and worrisome thoughts. In that universe you're truly free.

These days I'm being attacked by a negative energy. The nothingness of it all makes my world quite limited in scope. Rachel's birthday party thankfully saved me from this awkward bonfire, which was making me uneasy. Since people continue to disappoint me, I may as well spend more time by myself. Maura came up with a good solution today: Instead of counting how many times people have wronged me, just forget it and move on. Or like how Bill would say, let it go! So from now on, I'm going to forgive those who don't say "hi" to me on the elevator. I'm going to forgive those who never return my phone calls or e-mail or never want to make plans or fail to show up at my gigs. I'm not going to record how many times someone initiates a chat with me online. I'm just gonna let it all go and make myself a happier person.

I've been thinking my life is kinda like the movies Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. The whole pool situation was like that, except it happened in a year rather than 9 years. Thank God. So I'm still hopeful because I know those I'm destined to meet again will eventually show up unexpectedly in my life.

So tomorrow is the big gig (or today if you're reading this on Monday). If you feel like coming, come and enjoy! Blues Alley, 8 & 10 sharp; be there or be square. And if you decide not to come, it's OK. I won't hold any grudges against you.

P.S. Picture of the day (warning: explicit content) [aka vacuuming in front of assholes.]

P.P.S. I didn't take it.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Right-wing conspiracy

I have never vehemently said this before, but let's vote that man out of office in November! The debates only bolstered my conviction that the President is an inarticulate, clueless, arrogant, giggly son-of-a-bitch! He chooses taking naps over studying the real issues the American people and the world are facing.

This was his worst debate of all three. Never answered the questions that Bob Schieffer asked. When asked about jobs, he switched to education. When asked about whether he would overturn Roe v. Wade, he said, "Do you mean a litmus test for the Justices?" When confronted by opponent Kerry about ever making the statement, "I'm not concered about bin Laden, (which he clearly said on TV)" Bush replied, "It sounds like one of those exaggerations." Oh, and he just heard of "Pell grants" for the first time that night, so he said "Our administration increased Pell grants." Like it's a pissing contest.

When asked about healthcare, education, unemployment (i.e. subjects that Bush had no command of), he either stuttered or looked at his cheat sheets or drank water. It was beyond embarassing. He was nervous throughout the debate, giggling at inappropriate times, and made really shallow jokes ("Listened to them. Stoodup to them but not scowl") about dealing with strong women.

On the contrary, Kerry was respectful, articulate, lawyerly. He presented his plans as clearly as possible. I had not one question about his plans because I understood them. So it's presumptuous for Bush to say "A plan is not a litany of complaints." It isn't, and Kerry did not characterize it as such.

The only truthful thing that Bush said all night was that his wife Laura speaks better English than he does. But we all know that.

However, CBS and ABC had the guts to say immediately after the debate that it was a close call (or a tie). CNN's headline today was "Domestic issues dominate debate" with only a tiny subheader "Early survey gives Kerry the edge." Washington Post's headline was "Final debate shows domestic divide." These are mainstream media, and they don't even stand up for the truth. When you take a look at Washington Times' headline today ("Energized Bush rips Kerry"), you'll understand what I mean by right-wing conspiracy.

I think any prudent, educated person who was watching debate would conclude that Kerry kicked some major league ass out of Bush. It was a fact! But the news media would want us to believe that Bush performed just as strong. The soundbites are by no means favorable to Kerry either. His strongest points didn't get put on a loop; his mediocre points were the focus. The media is single-handedly handing Bush the re-election.

George W. makes the world a more dangerous place to live and his actions mobilize terrorists to gather together to become more vigilant. So please, VOTE HIM OUT! VOTE HIM OUT!


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My ranting days

I rant a lot these days, and when I do, I bother not only my most patient co-workers and roommate, I start annoying myself. Time and again, I've neglected the most perfect place to display my angry thoughts - my blog. But then when I sit down in front of my computer (aside from reading threads of uninteresting events or playing "Hit the Penguin" game), I forget what I was ranting about earlier.

Well, let's start with my weekend. Despite the rapid change in weather (and sudden drop in temperature), my weekend was actually a quite good one. Saw some of the debates on Friday, went to Kennedy Center on Saturday night and gave up on Local 16 because of the crowd (and missed a party for that matter), hung out with brother Roger on Sunday at a barbeque/karaoke gathering. Thank God for Columbus Day (not really!) so I chilled and went to bed early. So really I have nothing to bitch about!

So there are two things coming up: The Bonfire/Hayride and Rachel's house party all on the same day. Joan asked me to sell her the rights to fictionalize my poignant love life. Well, I don't mind doing that except the book will contain three pages. I started reading Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" (I always wanted to say "Da da Vinci Code) and am getting hooked because I've been to all those places described in the book. I still have a couple more books to finish, but my attention has been diverting to seemingly meaningless matters.

I've also started to re-pay my e-mail debt and savor on some wisdom people sent me. Janine writes, "dont linger in love with someone for months on end with no confession. confess, and if you get rejected, get the fuck out of there asap."

But most of all, Ed also writes something that is worth reading again, "you are building your art and your social world and you life in a unique way."

That's really I want to hear at the end of the day, even if it's only half of the truth.

P.S. News of the day: France tops sex league


Rest in peace, Christopher Reeve

You'll always be Superman in our hearts.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Free eye candy

Ed sent me this Academy Award-nominated short film called More that is pretty promising. Enjoy!


Friday, October 08, 2004

Congratulations to Band of Blue..

...for winning the 3rd runner-up of the Fortune Magazine Battle of the Bands at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Also, kudos to the band for winning the best original tunes and Shane McLaughlin for winning Best Vocalist.

Didn't I always tell you that you guys are awesome!


Get the facts straight

On Tuesday, Dick Cheney misquoted the website as Well, automatically takes you to George Soros' website, which is a leading Bush-bashing site second to and Well, think about it, even George Soros, a billionaire investor who seldom takes part in the politics says that we must not re-elect Bush. The message is then clear: A lot of people hates this administration.

I think the Vice President intended to direct viewers to, which also bashes Cheney. The website states, "Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong."

Mr. Cheney, please stop misleading the public and get your facts straight.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Dick Cheney has no neck...

...and the American media really favors him because Edwards clearly kicked Cheney's butt but the polls indicated it was "toe-to-toe." I don't think telling people that Edwards missed many meetings in Congress was an appropriate response to Edwards' Halliburton question. Cheney is Dr. Evil and there's no question about it. My question is how could people like Cheney sleep soundly at night knowing many U.S. soliders and Iraqi civilians are killed daily due to his command?

Autumn is here. The CBM hasn't hit yet. I'm exercising a lot these days and also go to bed early. I feel healthier. It seems like everything comes to a hault when school and work start. Men and women both have PMS. Moody people, like ants, are everywhere. No more elevator etiquette, social etiquette for that matter. Everyone is selfish trying to beat everyone else to the elevator or the social ladder. Talipups jumping and diving in the pool. One Talipup bringing in six other Talipups to jump and dive with only one pool pass. You don't see people smiling at you anymore.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Dream come true

I'm so happy today because Mike Lipman gave me a call and said there's an opening at Blues Alley on October 18 and asked me whether I wanted to take it. I said "Hell yeah." He says I haven't heard of Clarence but if you can secure both Bill Heid AND Big Joe Maher, you'll get the gig. I say they'll do it in a heartbeat. Damn, I also got Michael Bowie, bassist extraordinaire for The Manhattan Transfers, Michel Camilo, and Abbey Lincoln. I must say I'm privileged to be working with these world-class musicians.

Moreover, it's a big step up for Clarence. He always talks about making it big. This will be a great opportunity for Clarence to showcase his real talent and break it in the blues industry since he'll be leading this fine band. I hope he'll appreciate this gig as much as I do.

For me, this is a musician's wetdream! It's sad that we can't add any horns because the money is kind of tight. But playing at Blues Alley has always been my dream, ever since I first came to DC. Even though I've played at venues like the Kennedy Center and Carton Barron, Blues Alley remains a sacred sanctuary to me (kinda like playing at the Village Vanguard or Blue Note for some people). I told myself I'd only play it when I know it's the right show (meaning that I'd turn it down if midgets like Sherwood hired me). This is the right show and this will be the highlight of my musical career.

So if you love me, please, pleeeeeease come to this gig! I implore you! This is DA GIG of my life! It's kinda funny, because when other aspects of my life suck, my music takes off. It's a peculiar balance.


This puts a smile on my face

Ali G's 2004 Harvard commencement speech

Louis Prima's "When You're Smiling" in the background....


Sunday, October 03, 2004

New declarations

I'm done with moody people.

My days of elevator etiquette are gone. My rule of thumb is: If I say "hi" to someone on the elevator and if she doesn't respond, next time I'm not saying "hi" to this person unless she initiates "hi" to me.

I'll walk out on the 3rd or 4th song during a pretentious musician's set. I don't care if I paid $30 cover for it. I have no patience for sham artists or band leaders searching for the 9/11 report during a bass solo.

Same goes for movies. Plays. Operas. People.

Life is short; let's go for something real and tangible.


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