March 18, 2009

The Best

I'm an obsessive bastard, as if anyone didn't know. I lock in on things and focus on them until the bitter and often brutal end. I'm very much similar to a pit bull in that if you have earned some degree of spite with me, chances are good I still haven't forgiven you for it. I hold on to a great many things, including expectations.

In particular are those expectations I have on myself. I've never done anything that I couldn't have looked back later on and said to myself, "That was the best I could do." Now, that doesn't mean I haven't made mistakes, because I have. Many of them in fact. But most of my mistakes have stemmed from either misinterpretation or miscommunication. Almost never have I screwed up because I didn't give it my all, and rest assured if I have, I'm still kicking myself for it.

I toss the phrase, "The Best" around a lot. It sort of my gold standard, if you will. The mark that makes me the stellar and fabulous person I am. In my greatest of daydreams, people always say "Well, he's the best," when referring to me. That I have established a reputation in the world of someone who delivers every fucking time he's put into the mix. It's what I always wanted for myself, and what I strived for in every thing I did. I made the best damn BGO tunes, wrote the best stories and blogs, and performed my day gigs to the best of my ability, every damn time. And I did so knowing that sooner or later that reputation I have been craving would eventually fall on my lap.

Foolish stuff, right?

The unargueable truth is that I haven't proven myself the best at anything yet. And at the end of the day, I am not the flawed individual who delivers great things day in and day out as I envisioned myself out to be. Well, the flawed part is still pretty accurate, but I digress....

This isn't a pity post or anything. I'm not expecting the loyal masses to come out of woodwork screaming, "Oh no man, you're the best. Your music changed my life and your writing really made me think about the human condition! You're aces buddy!" I'm not looking for pats on the back or anything, mostly it's me expressing the realization that I am not what I thought I was. And having to run that through all the cogs of my obsessive and anal nature. Which has not been an easy task people, hence me tossing out all my garbage for everyone to see.

I think what's kicking my ass is the fact that I'm now leaning towards a profession that not only expects the best, but expects it consistently and repeatedly.

Food services people, you go out into the world and sit at your favorite diner or cafe, you expect one of the best damn meals of your day. That's all there is too it. And the last thing you want is to have a burnt, charred piece of meat while the next person has something on their plate that looks like it belongs in a book. If you're the person behind the grill that day, all those pieces of meat had better look and taste equally amazing.

This is a scary prospect for someone who gets agitated when someone tells him he put too much salt on his fish. And in the profession of culinary arts, I will openly admit that I am not "The Best." In fact, if I somehow get out there and manage to hold my own, I'll be thorougly impressed.

For years, I have said that music was one of the hardest forms of expression out there. With music, you only have one shot to make your statement. One chance, within the scope of five minutes, to make an impression on someone that can last a lifetime. And if your singing is off, or you picked a chorus that took you out of the moment, that's it. It's over, and you may never get that chance again.

I said that for years, and I'm now willing to admit it's wrong. Delivering a song is nothing. I can whip out a song within two hours and have it published online. And if it fails, well people just press SKIP and check out something else. No harm, no foul. But food? People pay money for that sort of thing, and they expect quality as a result. You've got fifteen minutes, if that, to put something in front of them that is good, and what comes after that? Probably doing it again....and again, and again, and again. If you're successful, the same dishes you're making now will have to be made that same way repeatedly. And if you drop the ball? Well those folks may just not come back, which is a bit of a problem since the industry of food is based entirely on return customers. Oh sure, getting fascinating people come from around the country to sample your goods sounds real nice on paper, but it won't pay the bills. Music is a one time thing, you buy the tunes once and savor them for the rest of your days. Not so with food, nope, you gotta have a group of locals saying to themselves, "That was good, I think I'll come back here again."

So, I spend nights staring at the ceiling looking at this two ways: either this is the profession that will fit me, being the anal and obsessive type, like a glove. Or, this is the position that is going to drop me on my ass, then kick me repeatedly in the gut while I whimper in the fetal position.

Either way, it's confusing people. Damned confusing.

March 13, 2009

Rafael: The Dancing Missles

I found this on Gizmodo, and just had to say something about it.

For the wise amongst you who take a look at the screenshot and say "There's no way in hell I'm watching that, just sum it up for me Boogie," here's what's going on. it's a commercial, done in the style of a Bollywood musical, produced by a company that is known for manufacturing missiles.

Don't bother to reread that last line, you read it correctly: Missiles. Those things you mount on airplanes and battleships to make shit go boom.

Now, here's a list of reasons you should play it smart and not watch this video.

.The song is infectious. Ridiculously infectious. And not in a good way either. You'll be contemplating blowing your brains out while humming this to sleep tonight. I know I sure will.

. The lyrics are corny for a love song, and unsettling as a business proposition. Except for the verse "dinga dinga dee" which I can't even begin to comprehend. A problem, since it's in the song..... a lot.

. All the dancers dancing around missiles has this really twisted phallic element going on. I'm not sure how to feel about it.

. The main singer looks like David Hasselhoff.

There, plenty of good reasons to move past this post, and read something far better for you on this blog. But, if you're brave, stupid, or both, here's the vid:

March 12, 2009

Britney Spears: If U Seek Amy

Britney Spears has just made headlines being as a sexy housewife.

Not for real of course, but definitely in music video form, as the video for "If U Seek Amy" was uploaded today on Britney's website (which I am not linking to because I have standards damnit!)

To summarize, Britney spends half of the video looking like a sleazy drug addled fiend, and then spends the other half looking like June Cleaver. The purpose of course being, to express through dance and skin how difficult it is to cope with the high expectations placed upon her by the media. Sounds deep you say? Well she also wrote the words, "Ha ha hee hee ha ha ho" as a verse of lyrics in the song, so do keep things in perspective.

Have people already forgotten that this snowballing pack of depressing and misguided uber-flesh is actually a mother? And according to the judgment of our modern legal system, a piss poor one at that? Of course the paparazzi is going to be interested in you if you don't show up to your court dates! Why not just hold up a liquor store with lit sparklers sticking out of your ass while you're at it.

So the idea of her portraying herself as the victimized housewife irks me, because nothing is further from the truth. She sucked as a mom, and I'm willing to believe she still does. And I don't think my standards are to high to expect things like car seats for the baby and a little sobriety.

Hell, even the video still kind of portrays her as unfit to procreate. When she's in front of the camera, she does the whole apple pie and sharp looking husband routine, but in the house? Apparently, it's multiple partners wearing scantily clad clothing, and either suffering from drug addiction or seizures. And what of the children? One of them appears to be wearing the exact same outfit and appearance as Britney in her first video "Hit Me Baby One More Time." Because nothing says good parenting like dressing them up to look like jailbait.

And perhaps, I'm not looking deep enough into this. Perhaps I'm just having a bad day and letting loose my venom on Britney without thinking this through. Maybe the video is satire? Maybe the whole thing is tounge-in-cheek, a big gag that I haven't taken the time to think through.

Fair enough, but it seems to me that making a gag about being an unfit mother, while being an unfit mother, just doesn't ring of much comedy. I mean, if you want to defend yourself, wouldn't it be easier to do one of those sappy music videos with slow music and pictures of you huging your children lovingly and making them laugh? Artists do that shit all the time, in fact I'm pretty sure it's a video like that which managed to keep Kid Rock being a viable artist in the modern age. So why not do something like that? Oh sure, I'd roll my eyes the whole time I was watching it, but at least it would inspire some kind of hope. I'd at least go to bed tonight not worrying that in 30 years time, I'd be hearing about the new Britney Spears video, portraying her as a sexy geriatric in a rest home filled with sluts.

And I'm sure, you would sleep better too.

March 10, 2009

Ashley Simpson And Melrose Place

Here's a good example of how far modern televised entertainment has fallen in the past few years.

Apparently Ashley Simpson has just been offered a role in the reboot of the iconic (their words, not mine) series Melrose Place. Word has it she'll be playing an innocent, yet deceptively scheming small town character, similar either to Sydney (whoever that is,) or Sandy, who's character was removed fairly early in the original series.

So to sum it all up, a singer who's demonstrated she can't sing and happens to be related to another singer who's already demonstrated she can't act, is about to be cast in a show that should never have been resurrected, to play a character that nobody wanted in the first place.

And people honestly wonder why I spend so much time in front of the computer.

March 9, 2009

The Old Man

As of the beginning of the month of March in this, our year of the lord 2009, I officially became an old man.

I am 30 years old, the triple deca. Something I've been trying to tell myself is no real kind of number to be afraid of. I've heard many a time from many a person that 30 is technically the start of your life, where you start to become a fully realized person. I'm not sure how much stock I put into that. All I know is, 30 hurts.

It’s taken more than a week for me to come to grips with this. Despite the reality that I felt no different on the day of my birth than I did 24 hours before when I was still technically 29, and despite the fact that I actually feel younger and stronger as a 30 year old man than I did when I was 25, it was still too much for my wee-little brain.

You see, I had tossed around this notion that 30 was supposed to be my downhill. The easy road, paved with wine and roses. I had figured, and probably foolishly so, that all of the difficult work that comes with living would have been accomplished in my 20’s, and by this time in my life I would be living in a lap of moderate luxury, secure in the knowledge that all the decisions I had made in my short existence had been fruitful.

Clearly that hasn’t been the case.

In the last couple years, I’ve been floating in the foggy purgatory of existence, bouncing between agonizingly stupid jobs that offer limited security, and painful infuriating ones that offer none. My tolerance for stupidity has dwindled, and yet I’m bombarded by twice as much of it. But despite the amount of living experience I've attained, or having that overpriced college degree collect cobwebs on my wall, the good life has yet to make itself known to me.

As for the music? Well, for a guy who only two years ago was bragging about the wealth of material sitting on his hard drive, I've begun to wonder if I'm lucky enough to have maybe one or two good albums left in me. I spent two hours recording some bass tracks the other day, which is more than I spent in the last three months combined. I went form envisioning myself as the defender of true music, to abandoning my post completely. It's been made abundantly clear to me that being able to survive off of my art is just not going to happen. Not in this lifetime anyway. I built up some very dedicated and loyals fans, which I am very very pleased with, but as a means of survival, music clearly isn't it.

And now here I am at age 30, trying desperately to figure out what I can do next.

I spend ridiculous amounts of hours in front of the laptop, reading learning, and ocassionally writing. I'm roughly five chapters into what is shaping up to be a strange and twisted book. And then there is the whole "school thing," Which has me pretty shaken up.

At an age that people normally consider "mature" and "over the hill," I'm going back to school. A place known for youthful optimism and energetic stamina. And not just any school mind you, not a business degree or a tacked on science minor. Oh no, that would've been too easy. Instead, I decide to enroll in culinary school. A discipline involving great amounts of stamina and fortitude. Things that this old guy isn't completely sure he has in great amounts. Hell, I'm at an age where most pro cooks are already turning into chefs and getting their own resteraunts, and here I am playing with the young folk, trying to convince the world that I'm still young enough to hack it in a big boy kitchen. It's got me very freaked out, and wondering if I'm just making yet another big mistake.

I've lost a lot of sleep lately. I'm just not sure what the end result is supposed to be, but I find myself running head first into many an interest, trying to get good at it and make up for all that lost time I spent writing and creating music. I worry constantly that I've lost tons of time and don't have much left to get good and successful at something. And all the while, I keep staring out the window and wondering when the good life is supposed to start.

I'm not trying to make this post into a bitch-fest, I promise. I fully acknowledge that life has been pretty decent to me, and that there are a lot of poor souls out there who have it a hell of a lot worse than I do. In a time where folks are losing their jobs and homes at a snowballing rate, me not becoming a rock star is pretty small potatoes. I think I can survive that little injustice.

And I'm learning some new trades, which is never a bad thing. It can only benefit me to go from the guy who could only talk about music, and music related topics, to a person who can actually sound moderately well-rounded. These are all very valuable things.

So, I admit, a lot of what I considered my 30th year to look like was pure delusion. And, there was no way any of it could have come to pass. But it’s hard when you believe in those things to such a degree, that when it doesn’t come to pass you feel withered and wasted. Lying awake at night, thinking over and over again, “Ye gods, what did I do wrong?” becomes almost second nature. It’s unhealthy, but unavoidable as well.

In the end, I suppose it's all about keeping the good things you got going for you in clear sight. My life didn't turn out to look like what I wanted when I hit 30, but all in all, it isn't bad either. I'm not rolling in success like a drunk pig, but I'm doing alright. And I got plenty to keep me a happy dreamer. And being a happy dreamer was one of those things I was hoping I'd be when I hit my third decade, so all is not lost. In fact, it very well may be the start of something good.

At least until the white hairs hit, then I fear someone may die.