Monday, January 31, 2005

What a weekend!

Two gigs! A missing bass player. Lots of snow. A little comfort. M$B turned out to be a good movie, very unexpected twist. What else can I say? Go see it for yourself.

I don't feel real.

Finally gave the much talked about L-Word a chance. Totally disappointed. This is a far cry from Sex and the City. The dialogue is shallow, pretentious and hardly audible (due to bad recording). I can't imagine lesbians actually talk like that (don't they often say they're just like everybody else?). And why are they all attractive? Aren't lesbians supposed to be everyday women who we see at supermarkets and post offices? Above all, the acting! Never seen such bad acting in my life. Can somebody tell me what's the big deal about this show? For well-written lesbian dialogue, watch Kissing Jessica Stein. That's a much more superior film than this L piece of crap.

I won't watch another episode of the L-Word.


Thursday, January 27, 2005


I stumpled upon this cute article where Jim Heid, an authority on Apple computer, talks about his two brothers, Bill and George. It's not an exaggeration that Jim considers Bill "among the top jazz organists in the world." This is not far away from the truth. I'm priveleged to be gigging with this cat!

I'll be appearing at the newly re-opened Cafe Toulouse this Saturday will Bill. Come on by and check us out. It will be nothing but soulful.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Oscar nominations are in

I got 27 out of 30 in the big six categories. Not bad, huh? No lap dance, but donuts and bagels are welcome. Starbucks card is great too. Check out the entire list here. I think Greg and I are going to have another Oscar party at our house on Feb 27. Close friends only; stay tuned for details.

The worst humiliation in life is when you meet a girl on Friendster whose profile says, "Single, but not looking" and you go out on a date with her and don't really hit it off and she keeps stressing she's not looking, and then two weeks later, her profile becomes "In a relationship."


Monday, January 24, 2005

Just wondering... CNN downplaying the protestors on Inauguration day, or have the anti-Bush sentiments begun to die down? When Bush won the elections, everybody said they would stir up some stuff. Is it true that nobody gives a shit now? I'm guilty of it too because I only protested in my mind on Thursday.

The snow is coming again. My car looks so dirty.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The snow comes a bit late...

...just in time to join me in boycotting the Inauguration. Frankly, no one gives a damn. Besides federal workers and a few people who work on the hill, most folks have work tomorrow. BBC just announced that 82% of the world thinks the world is becoming less safe because of Bush's second term. Ironically, Condelezza Rice confirms that she'll do everything within her power to assist Bush in conquering the globe. Mel Gibson also says his wife will not be "saved" since she's not Catholic. I don't think Beyonce will be saved either but I still she's a hottie. Did you all watch "American Midgets" last night?

In midst of usual DC neurosis, a comforting thought from Krawdaddee popped up on his blog, beginning with our brief encounter at U-Topia with the comment "Bill Heid's rapid fire non-PC sarcasm deserves a whole blog entry to do it justice" and ending with "Henry's blue harp playing is the real deal." Very comforting indeed because Mr. Cross also thinks Mark Hummel is the real deal. Also comforting because this is coming from someone who appreciates this music. Same guy who observes "Buddy Guy never finishes a song at his concerts." A true and accurate statement.

I felt relieved. Justice comes in a piecemeal fashion.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The year of Ray Charles

I can't believe I could fit all those things in a 3-day weekend: bikram yoga, the Golden Globes, Leftbank, a satisfactory blues gig, several "Real Ghostbusters" episodes, lots of sleep, etc. Bikram yoga is kicking my ass, but it makes me feel good afterwards and brings more clarity in my head. It's delightful to re-watch some old "Real Ghostbusters" episodes. It reinforces my belief that cartoons back in my childhood days remain the coolest!! Its sarcastic humor beats any Pokemon or strangely deformed mutant cartoon characters these days.

The Golden Globes were also very nice. I generally liked the results. It was good to see people like Emmy Rossum (she has no ego whatsoever), Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp (with a nice new look, a la The Ninth Gate), etc. Good to see Natalie Portman and Clive Owen garner those acting awards for Closer (a flawed movie with lots of good performances). Jamie Foxx gave the most charismatic and touching speech of the evening, thanking his Grandma. If he doesn't win the Oscar, I'll jump off the Nile. Prince (wacky as usual) was right, Jamie Foxx did not just portray Ray Charles; he WAS Ray Charles. Hilary Swank gave an equally compelling speech, thanking Clint Eastwood. It will be an interesting year at the Oscars. It's a three-way race between Sideways, Million Dollar Baby, and The Aviator. Speaking of which, I still haven't seen the two latter films. Does anyone want to see them with me?

I recently re-watched the music video for "We Are The World." What a lineup! How often do you get to have that lineup? And Ray Charles sounded so good! This is not a year of the blues, it is the year of Ray Charles.


Friday, January 14, 2005

I hate to do this...

...but it seems like the right time and I'm kinda bored. Here's my prediction of this year's Oscar nominations in the major categories:

Best Picture:
Million Dollar Baby
The Aviator
Finding Neverland

Best Director:
Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby)
Martin Scorsese (The Aviator)
Alexander Payne (Sideways)
Taylor Hackford (Ray)
Mike Nichols (Closer)

Best Actor:
Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator)
Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda)
Johnny Depp (Finding Neverland)

Best Actress:
Annette Bening (Being Julia)
Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake)
Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)

Best Supporting Actor:
Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)
Jamie Foxx (Collateral)
Clive Owen (Closer)
David Carradine (Kill Bill Vol. 2)

Best Supporting Actress:
Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Cate Blanchett (The Aviator)
Laura Linney (Kinsey)
Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda)
Natalie Portman (Closer)

If I win a 100%, someone has to buy me a meal or give me a lap dance. However, I suspect I'll only get 80%.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The tail has been pinched

What a delight to meet the legendary Krawdaddee at last. It's crucial to meet someone who digs the blues as much as I do who is also in the mutual funds business. Now I have a new contact in SF and a mutual funds buddy. It's funny how internet connects people these days. A search of a Donald Rumsfeld portrait can lead to a united discussion on music, religion, and politics. A click to information may result in some useful connections. The world is indeed small.

One question Krawdaddee did post was, "Where's Heather McDonald in the blogsphere?" I honestly cannot answer that question, but Heather, if you're reading this, please tell us where you are. You have fans all over the United States, perhaps across the Atlantic Ocean too.

Who says writing and reading blogs are a waste of time?


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Personal magnetism

Interesting article on personal magnetism, though it seems like circumlocution at times.

I guess that coupled with Bikram yoga, one becomes irresistible.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

10 hippest phenomena in 2004/2005

It's the time of the year to review my ultimate "cool" list:

1. Ray Charles - Undoubtedly the most celebrated deceased celebrity this year, aided by Jamie Foxx's spectacular performance in the biopic Ray, his bestselling duet CD "Genius Loves Company," and his multi-Grammy nominations. What a life! And he sang the blues with heart.

2. Wong Kar Wai's 2046 & Eros - Time Europe has rated these films the best films of the year. The wkw concept of love is widely known - cannot go back in time and the mood of the instance. Wong's next film is The Lady from Shanghai starring Nicole Kidman.

3. Sideways - Not only has the film helped Alexander Payne achieved his auteur status, but it also sparks the interests of wine-tasting. Now wine-tasting has become a somewhat trendy fashion, thanks to the comparison of a pinot noir and human tendencies eloquently spoken by Paul Giamatti.

4. Vince Guaraldi - What can I say? His "Christmastime is Here" brings back both wanted and unwanted memories and makes each Christmas more romantic than the last (which also bolsters the Chet Baker Mood). Kudos to the white men's jazz.

5. Key to geekdom - In addition to Payne, Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic and Jared Hess's Napoleon Dynamite have elevated nerdhood to an even more respected level. We used to laugh at nerds, now we laugh with them. Better yet, they laugh at us.

6. Kung Fu Cinema - Zhang Yimou's Hero and House of Flying Daggers have dazzled audience, so have Kill Bill Vol. 2. The eye-popping fun with continue will Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle and Chen Kaige's The Promise. Stay tuned.

7. Ali G and The Office - Resurgence of British crude and rude comedy. This time around, it has surpassed all the foundations they have laid. Yes, it is some of the funniest shit I have ever seen.

8. Big Joe Maher & Jump Blues - He's so hip on the drums with his brushes while screaming blues vocals a la Big Joe Turner and Joe Williams, ensuring that jump blues is alive and well. With a 2004 Handy Award nomination to his credit, he's the hippest blues cat in town.

9. Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole - The biggest entertainer in Hawaii until his tragic death in 1997 due to his balloon weight problem (at one point he was 750 pounds). However, his angelic vocals, sweet interpretation of songs and melancholic lyrics have earned him a legendary status, helped by Adam Sandler's selection of his songs in 50 First Dates.

10. Upright bass - Still the hippest instrument to boost good jazz, blues, rockabilly and R&B. Hats off to Ron Carter, Christian McBride, Rufus Reid, Steve Novosel, and G. Love's bass player.

Honorable mention: love.


Monday, January 03, 2005

First thing first

Click on this link to support UNICEF's actions to aiding the tsunami victims in South Asia. This is no doubt the BIGGEST disaster in my lifetime and I urge every effort to help these people. Comparatively, what's my suffering to these people? Everything seems so trivial now. Yet I still complain a lot, shame on me.

There are still things to say about my Cali/Vegas trip, such as the bloodbath on the basketball court amongst cousins and playing a gig at the Pig with Ed to pretty much apathetic Hollywood people. It all seems so distant now. And with the tsunami being the center of the attention, my bleeding toe seems like a blessing in disguise.

NYE weekend was nice, despite Willie & Reed's terrible gesture to cheat us out of our money. Well, compared to the tsunami victims, it's nothing. But still a stingy thing. Applied to a couple of new jobs and heard about an unfortunate layoff of a friend. Heading to NYC this weekend to take a test. Wish me luck. Any NY people want to hang out with me?

I wish I had better things to say or made a more meaningful conclusion. Well, I still like most people out there and dislike those who dislike me for no reason. I hate people who elevate themselves by pushing other people down. I hate people who are jealous of my success out of spite. I despise people who talk on cell phones outside of Starbucks because they are bored and just want to talk to someone. I like fake Californians because at least they make the effort to be fake. People who are full of themselves can go to hell.

But I like most people. You might be one of them.


Finally someone spoke the truth

So finally there's a pretty accurate article about the movie Sideways in the New York Times. This is closer to the truth on this issue than any other things I've seen. Just wanna share w'cha.


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