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May 2009

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Lately I’ve been trying to do things in my life to make me more healthy. I’ve been drinking less soda and have switched to water and juices. I’ve been eating better, making sure to include plenty of fruit and salads when normally I would have eaten more junk food. I’ve also started to make sure I work out every night, which I wasn’t doing before. I’ve also started taking vitamins, because of my lack of vegetables at dinner time.

It is a lot easier to eat healthier at breakfast and lunch. I can buy healthy things to eat at those meals. My problem is with dinner. Some nights I teach at sylvan and don’t get home until 8:30, which makes cooking a meal that late and close to when I go to bed is undesirable. On nights when I can cook, I don’t. I’m not a cook. At all. While I have tried various recipes, it just isn’t something I like to do. I wish I’d like it. I have a friend who is a chef and I wish I had his passion for cooking. My sister is also an excellent cook, but I don’t think she’d come over every night to cook for me.

I need to find simple, yet healthy, recipes for dinners. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on where to find some?

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I’m guilty of sweating the small stuff.  I don’t know why or when this started, but I notice that in certain situations I find myself stressing and over-thinking to the point of exhaustion. I’ll give you some examples of my weirdness.

Whenever I have to go somewhere I’ve never been I stress about it non-stop. What time do I need to leave? How do I get there? Do I take this exit or the next? I could have the whole route memorized and still stress about it. I don’t know why. I’ve never gotten lost and I generally have a great sense of direction. In fact, I used to deliver pizzas and found myself to have a great sense of direction and never stressed about going on a delivery to a place I didn’t know. I don’t know what makes me stress out now, but I do.

Whenever I’m going to a place where there is a set of procedures that I’ve never preformed before, I stress, going over every possible scenario in my head over and over. This could be anything from a trip to the doctor’s office to a trip to the DMV. If I’ve never been there, I stress. Do I have everything I’m supposed to have? What do I do next? Are other people judging my actions because I don’t know what I’m doing?

At the end of all the stressing, when whatever action I wanted to complete has been completed, I always relax. I think to myself, that wasn’t bad, why was I stressing? I know I’m weird and I have really no reason to stress, but I do. I sweat the small stuff, but I’m trying to change that.

blackout-210 years ago two of the best rappers in the game joined together to finally release an album. The result is one of the better albums from the late 90’s. I’m talking about Method Man and Redman’s Blackout! album. Meth and Red have an undeniable chemistry, on and off the mic. They have been called hip hop’s Cheech and Chong, and their contrasting styles makes makes them the perfect fit for each other.  Method Man is more laid back on the mic, whereas Redman is more aggressive.  10 years have passed without another collaboration album between the two hip hop heavyweights. Today, we see the release Blackout! 2.

I’ve been looking forward to this album for a long time. It’s a reminder of a time when rappers could actually flow and have word play. While some of the lyrics on this album are a bit dated (references to the movies Old School and Tango and Cash), it is one the adults can definitely love while the youngins are listening to the shitty sounds Soulja Boy and Flo Rida.

Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t amazing or groundbreaking, it’s just more of that Meth and Red that we have all come to love.  Hearing them trade verses again after a 10 year silence is literally music to my ears.  This album has several radio friendly hits, such as A-yo and Mrs. International. It is definitely something you will be able to bump in your car all summer long.  I was excited for this album to drop and I have not been disappointed.  If you are a fan of real hip hop, make sure you buy this album from Amazon or iTunes.

America loves Gottis, America loves bodies
Pacino counting C-Notes for shooting up club lobbies
While Eddie Nash controls bankrolls in Wonderland
Tony Soprano hits channels and holds down On-Demand
CunninLynguistsAmerica Loves Gangsters

I never watched The Sopranos when it originally aired on HBO, but I have always been a fan of mob-themed movies. I don’t know when this fascination started, but I can’t get enough of movies like The Godfather pts I and II, Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale, Donnie Brasco, etc. Well, recently I started watching The Sopranos and throughout the series Tony Soprano does some disgusting things that repulse you, but then there are other times where you realize you start admiring the man for the good things he does for his family, and his “family.” He’s a hypocrite, just like the rest of us, maybe that’s what makes his character so intriguing. One minute he’s friendly with the parents of the friends of his kids, the next he’s taking their business due to gambling debts, and enjoying it. It’s compelling television.

What is it with America’s fascination with gangsters? Do we like the violence and power or do we like the deep characters? Some of the most widely acclaimed movies involve some of the most violent characters. Think Scarface. I don’t think I’ve seen an episode of Cribs where either the movie isn’t playing in the background or there’s a giant poster on the wall. In Godfather, Michael Corleone rules in a more calm manner, but the amount of violence and destruction he can inflict with one command is amazing. So do we love the violence and power or do we love well-written characters that happen to be violent? I don’t know what the answer to that, but I do know there’s more to the characters than violence. You see Michael Coreleone’s frustrations when he wants to make the family business legitimate, but struggles along the way. “C” finally realizes how bad the gangster life is after his hero falls in A Bronx Tale, but you also feel sad because Sonny dies. And I can’t wait to see the cat and mouse game between Christian Bale and Johnny Depp in the Dillinger movie, Public Enemies. So why do we love them? I don’t know, but Hollywood knows we do and as long as there are gangsters, Hollywood will be making movies about them.

The facial hair “contest” ended on Friday (though voting stayed open up through today). I’ve tallied all the votes (from here and twitter) and have come up with a winner. It appears as if the voters wanted me to have a Van Dyke. The thing is, that’s pretty much what I have now, the only difference is I keep mine trimmed shorter than what a Van Dyke apparently is. I shall maintain my current style, though I was kind of hoping the Fu Manchu or The Zappa would win. Maybe next time.