I never would have thought that they would have been able to stretch that first movie into another two. However, those first two didn't disappoint and I have a feeling this one is going to follow suit...
I was thinking about starting this random category called "Whatever Happened To Wednesday" out on Twitter. Maybe even having it carry over to here. It's where I would basically mention that one celebrity from the past that fell off the map. Even if I was among the few that wondered what happened to them, it was enough for them to get mentioned. Ultimately I decided I had enough categories so I wouldn't make it a regular thing at all.
However, the question about Nate Dogg came to being based off a comment someone made. They said Drake was basically this generation's Nate Dogg. Of course it couldn't be further from the truth. They have entirely different skillsets. Yes, Drake does often sing hooks which is what made Nate famous, but Drake also has an above average flow. Nate never dropped rhymes in one song. Ever. Dude even put out a double cd without one lyrical flow on it.
I think what they were trying to get at was in his prime, you would be hard pressed to hear a song on the radio without hearing Nate Dogg in it somewhere. Even that was a stretch though. He never did have crossover appeal that Drake had. Nate was more known to us hip hop heads that bobbed our heads to that G Funk sound. That was good enough to make him a treasure in hip hop circles though.
It first dawned on me that Nate was missing in action when VH1 did one of their Hip Hop Honors shows and one of the performances was Warren G doing "Regulate". But Trey Songz was singing the hooks instead of Nate. Say what? How do you NOT get Nate back for that?? Trey's weak attempt was nothing but a reminder of how potent Nate was at those hooks. Even if he only sang but three different notes, he would ROCK those three notes.
According to news reports, Nate Dogg suffered a mild stroke back in 2008 and was paralyzed on the left side of his body. As recent as April of this year, he still doesn't have the ability to use his hands or feet and it's reported that he can't speak either. I'm not sure how true the latter is, but if it is, it's a tragic shame. Dude was a gifted artist that I always felt could have had a great career with the right production. Prayers go out to Nate Dogg for a full recovery. Until then, we will always have his Death Row classics to remind us what a talent he was.
This idiot just started parking like this in our parking lot recently. No clue who it is. I just know it's nobody in our office. These kind of people do realize that parking obnoxiously like that to avoid door dings is precisely what gets their ride keyed, don't they?
I can't believe I left this one off the list of restaurants that I visited during my trip to DC last week. Actually, I do a little bit. It does say much about how much of impression that place left on me. I could have went back and edited my "Eateries" entry to include this one in there. However, there were many storylines and/or topics to discuss with this one to limit it to one paragraph.
It all started with a conversation that took place between myself and a couple of sorors. Both of them had just mentioned how much they LOVED them some Waffle House. But the thing is, I had been hearing that often from several people. All of them from the south where you can find a Waffle House on about every corner. It was something I could never buy into. I had been there once before and was not impressed one iota. Of course that was quite some years ago so maybe I just had a bad experience? Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I said I would give them another chance.
It turns out that the second part of the Delta Airlines Saga landed me at a hotel just a couple of blocks away from a Waffle House. But again, that wasn't hard to do given their location frequency. Anyway, I made up my mind that I would have that for breakfast Wednesday morning. That was in spite of the fact that the hotel had a VERY nice breakfast menu to order from which included my favorite: french toast.
Soror Andrea advised that I had to get hashbrowns scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, diced and capped. I thought that was the actual name of the side dish on the menu. Each name pertains to an extra topping to the hashbrowns: smothered=sauteed onions, covered=melted cheese, chunked=grilled hickory smoked ham, diced=grilled tomatoes and capped=grilled button mushrooms.
The extras actually didn't sound too bad. With the exception of the onions and mushrooms part. But stupid me just assumed that "smothered" meant cheese so I mistakenly had them make it with onions. That wouldn't have been so bad if they truly were sauteed. Instead, it was as if they just grilled them in the pan for a little bit along with the other ingredients. And the cheese looked like it was one slice of kraft cheese that they melted on top of a portion of the hashbrowns. It tasted just as unappetizing as it looked.
Well what about the waffles for which they are supposed to be known for? They tasted like normal, everyday waffles. There was nothing outstanding about them at all. It's rather difficult to screw up a waffle so they get no credit for that. And even a waffle at its greatest is no match for the best breakfast food of all: french toast. But wouldn't you know it that the very limited menu of that establishment doesn't even offer you that option.
The whole problem with Waffle House is it really is nothing more than a greasy spoon. That's okay in certain instances if you're in the mood for a quick bite with no expectations. Not when you want some good tasting food and you're hungry. The very appearance of the dingy Waffle House alone turns you off from accomplishing that goal.
So why do so many people sing the place's praises? The one common theme I keep hearing is it is some good food late, late at night. Usually after a night of drinking. Well I don't drink so what good is going to a place where the food tastes good when you're drunk going to do me? People used the same argument with White Castle which is another place that I feel is HIGHLY overrated and EXTREMELY nasty. Doesn't just about anything taste good when you're drunk anyway?
I basically reasserted what I had already known about Waffle House. It may have been several years ago when I had it, but I was right then about my assessment of the joint. It's too bad that I had to prove myself right at the expense of missing out on what would have undoubtedly been a great Hilton breakfast. I should request my sorors reimburse me the $6 I wasted on that Waffle House mess.
The way this one came to be this week's Vault Pick was extremely random. I was noticing that some folks were getting a little put off by comments made on Twitter which made me think of something: folks do realize that it's only a social network, right? There's no reason to take it so serious. There's no reason to get offended by someone's different viewpoint. Unless of course it's racist, but why would you be following someone racist on Twitter?
That prompted me to put together a quick blurb where I referenced a "Midsummer Night's Dream" by mentioning "if us spirits have offended". The only problem was I never saw that Shakespeare play. Never read it in high school either. My recollection of it stemmed solely from a scene near the end of "Dead Poets Society" where the character Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard, looking an awful lot like Josh Hartnett before we even knew who Josh Hartnett was) quotes it in his performance. Then it occurred to me that this
juggernaut of a film needed to be showcased here.
What makes this flick so outstanding is the very simple premise which it represents: that overwhelming impactive teacher we all wish we had.
Or maybe I just speak for myself in that regards. See, I have had a couple of different teachers that have been influential. Mrs. Ward and Mr. Patton come to mind. Some of you may even remember me referencing Mr. Patton in my previous Vault Pick "Mr. Holland's Opus". But when I say "influential" I mean they helped me to channel my inner creativity by encouraging it thru their teaching styles. They were a positive influence in that regards.
An impactive teacher is one who's very presence as well as their teaching style inspire the students to do better for themselves. It's taking being influential to the next level. Because of the lessons they instill in the students, the students want to do better for not only themselves but also for that teacher. That teacher is not only helping the student channel their inner self but also enlightening them to how that can make a difference in the world around them. That's precisely what Robin Williams' character John Keating did.
This had to be by far one of Williams' best performances ever. Up tot this point, we had seen glimpses of how he could make a dramatic turn or two given the right circumstances. "The World According to Garp" immediately comes to mind (yet another I need to get out here). But this role seemed to be where he completed turned the corner to prove that he could do more than the outrageous comedy he had been known for.
"Dead Poets Society" was more than just about Williams and his performance though. It was about the bond that his Keating character developed with the students at the Walton Academy for Boys. Although all of them already have the fire inside, they just weren't exactly sure how to use it. They had grown up having it suppressed due to the conservative backgrounds they all came from. Keating was that beacon they all needed. He showed the boys (including a young Ethan Hawke) how to emerge from their shells and to seize the day. We got a chance to see all of these young mean realize their potential, or at least how to cultivate it thanks to their relationship with the "rogue" teacher.
This film should be mandatory viewing for all young folks of high school age. It's the perfect example of how they have the responsibility of relishing the joy of life and everything that it has to offer. That when you do that, chasing your dreams becomes so much easier and the obstacles that prevent you from succeeding are just mere speed bumps on your road to greatness. That life can be extraordinary when you appreciate the little things like the friendships that are cultivated at that age. That you can rebel without being lawless and doing so will not only make them a better person but also make the world a better place in the process.
I almost forgot to mention my escapades in dining while I was on my DC trip. Normally, I would do a separate entry on each individual restaurant that I visited, but that would take too long. Not to mention that overall they were too eventful to have that much material. Therefore, one entry for all of them was enough to sum them up. Even if one of them wasn't quite the east coast...
Dunkin Donuts This should give you an indication of how my visit got started as far as food is concerned. The airport offered a voucher of $6 for food anywhere in the airport because of the luggage snafu upon arrival in DC. The only place that was close to the terminal that fit that budget was Dunkin Donuts. It's too bad it wasn't like the Houston airport where they had all of the Papa joints (Papadeaux and the such) in there. That wold have definitely been worth it. Instead, I had to settle for Dunkin Donuts' version of a panini sammich which
was grilled cheese and ham on flimsy bread
Fogo de Chao Before I even got there, I was really looking forward to this spot that
Dad told me about. He didn't know the name of it but said I could find
it by googling Brazilian food in DC. Then all I would have to do is
find the description that he gave me. All the delicious meat you could
eat and it was all succulent and juicy?? Oh HECK yeah I was game for
that. Their website had
my mouth watering just reading the menu descriptions. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to
be. After all of the airport/luggage debacles, I didn't get settled at
the hotel until late and was too tired to venture out. Something close by would have to do instead
Marshall's Bar & Grill The "Bar & Grill" label turned me off right away. I didn't really want to be out of town and have my restaurant experience be a bar and grill. But it was late and my options were limited. The front desk guy recommended them so I checked out their menu. Shrimp stuffed with crab meat?? That was enough to hook me. I just wish I would have known that their serving of shrimp was going to be so minuscule. It was limited to four jumbo shrimp with two sides that dwarfed the main course. Granted, they were amazing, but I just expected more. I wonder if the shrimp serving would have been increased if it wasn't for this whole BP oil spill thing
Continental breakfast That dreaded excuse for morning sustenance that every hotel has. I would have thought that a place in downtown DC that cost that much would have had a normal menu to choose from also. Not so much. And that was one of the rare times when it would have paid off for me too. I could have had a great breakfast and then worked it all off with the 2+ miles that I walked around the city sightseeing that morning. Instead, I had to settle for a croissant and some orange juice. I'll know better next time to do a better job checking a hotel's features
Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue This could probably be considered the highlight of my trip food-wise. That's pretty sad given the fact that it happened in an airport. It was my layover in Memphis. I went to their food court area where the smell of barbecue began infiltrating my nostrils. That's when I suddenly remembered that Memphis was just as famous for that BBQ as my beloved Kansas City. I certainly hope that wasn't the best Memphis had to offer. It was a little bland for my tastes. The meat was definitely tender enough, but the sauce didn't have much kick to it. It wasn't too bad for airport food though.
Having to plan my trip at the last minute probably contributed to me getting out of whack with my planning. I would normally plot my dining selections better. The best thing I can say is that at least nothing I ate put me out of commission like that Whataburger. But there's always the next trip...
I told myself I wasn't going to watch the BET Awards this year. Then again, I tell myself that every year and yet I end up watching anyway. Plus, I had to see what would happen with their Prince tribute so I tuned in again...
I'm scared to see how BET could possibly mess up "The Game" coming there with new episodes. Shows usually don't fare well when they move to different networks. Remember what happened to "Different Strokes" when they went to ABC? And this is BET we're talking about. The same channel that brought us "Tiny and Toya". So yes...I'm very afraid
Whatever happened to Will Smith's oldest kid, Trey? How come we see all his kids but him now?
Kanye and Usher both had some HOT stage shows. And I don't care what anybody says, Kanye never left. He was just taking a break as he sat back and enjoyed all those Taylor Swift royalties
I saw this thing on MTV about Drake where he said he writes all his rhymes on his Blackberry. That would explain why the stanzas are always so short. But it would seem like that would get frustrating after a while looking at that tiny screen for too long
The Nia Long and Larenz Tate "Love Jones" reunion was the TRUTH. That remains the best romance/love story movie EVER
All of the hip-hop and/or rap out there and B.O.B. was a nominee for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist? Really, BET??
So Queen Latifah either officially came out of the closet or was just messing around depending on who you ask. I'm going to go with the latter because she knows if she fully commits to playing for the other team it will make her less believable in roles like "Just Wright"
Yes, that little girl who sang Alicia Key's "Fallin'" could sang, but I don' want to see a little preteen girl singing about falling in and out of love. Act your age, lil girl
I don't know why folks clown Eminem so much and hate on him. The boy can STILL flow after all these years
We could have really done without all the camera shots of Tiny's no-talent having behind.
Dang skippy Denice Williams gets a bigger ovation for the original version of "Silly". I've said all along that it's a much better song. She was a little rusty and out of practice, but that's STILL the cut. It would have been interesting to see how Monica would have done with that song if she just remade it with the original lyrics
I swear DJ Ism reminds me of Rick Ross. For those who aren't familiar with the DMI scene, check out the picture I included. If you put shades on Ism, they could pass for brothers.
I am not a fan of that "Hello Good Morning" song at all. The fact that Diddy's "Last Train to Paris" cd keeps getting pushed further and further back is not a good sign either for how the rest of the cd will be
Note to Jermaine Jackson: They weren't showing love to YOU over the past year for Michael's passing. You don't have the same endearment that Janet does. You need to just say out the public eye until you get your hair situation under control
I have to give it to Ike Jr. He did his thing with that MJ tribute. Complete with the tears and all. However, I hope he understands that he still has to release some hot music of his own before he can better separate himself from the infamous "Ike Jr." label though
Call me L7 if you want but I have never been a Young Jeezy fan. Tonite's performance did nothing to change that at all.
Note to Whitney Houston: Please record El DeBarge's performance and study. THAT is how you come back from drugs and STILL have the pipes.
It was awesome to see El out there singing again. He actually looked very healthy after his little jail stint, not to mention that he showed up several of these young bucks out here. These kids don't know nothing about that real music.
How do they do a "tribute" to the legends we lost over the past year and Lena Horne only gets 5 seconds, if that?? Don't get me wrong, Tyrese was a good choice to honor Teddy Pendegrass but NOTHING for Lena Horne?? I can't even express how much of a fail that is.
I had no idea John Legend was such a humanitarian. Yet another reason to dig him now. He was already one of the few new school cats that I like. I just wish he would invest some of his money in a better barber
Ciara and Trey Songz' mama need to be on more award shows. OFTEN
One of my Facebook friends pointed out that MJ never received a BET Life Achievement Award. Did some quick research and she's right. How in the world is that possible? Whitney Houston even got one before MJ. I know they probably don't like doing it posthumously, but they should really consider it in this case. Just make sure that Jermaine is not the one representing the family.
Prince's tribute left MUCH to be desired. Why in the world was Alicia crawling on top of the piano with her pregnant behind?? Somebody should have church-pinched her! Even Patti LaBelle was disappointing which was shocking. She's usually always on. She definitely picked the wrong time to bring her B-game
The best tribute to Prince would have been to just let him do his own greatest hits medley. No one else comes close to doing him justice. I'm sure he had to be feeling like this while watching the tribute...
Then not even minutes after Prince gave praise for the future of music looking bright, they bring out T-Pain and them to end the show. Leave it up to BET.
Didn't we all have that one boss that we could not stand for one reason for another? When you get to be this age, you have probably had more than your share. Unfortunately, I may have have even been that boss for a couple or more folks when I was in the supervisor role. Regardless of how much you don't get along and/or don't like that boss, there is one thing that you do not do: bad mouth him to folks that you KNOW will get it
back to him. At least not if you want to keep you job.
Somebody must have forgotten to relay that unwritten rule to General Stanley (and wouldn't it just figure that he would have to have that name) McChrystal. He went on the record giving an interview to Rolling Stone magazine openly blasting President Obama's administration. As soon as the news became public, it was a matter of hours before the idiot found himself replaced as Commander of Afghanistan Forces.
I could understand if dude had a conversation amongst his peers about his dissatisfaction with his boss and his boss's direction. As I mentioned before, we all do that. The key thing is that you have to know your audience when talking like that. You certainly wouldn't want to talk like that in front of a co-workers who's a snitch. Or in this case, you probably would want to avoid talking to a media outlet in an interview to relay such information. Unless, of course, you are trying to get fired.
Mickey had some nerve because he was already skating on thin ice. Does anyone else remember that he was also part of that Pat Tillman cover up? You know the one....the one where revered NFL star Pat Tillman was shot and killed by his own men-- oh, excuse me..."friendly fire" --and the military tried for the longest to pass it off like the enemy did that. Yeah...Mickey had his hand in that one too. So maybe he just got tired of having to work under probation and decided to do something that he knew would get him canned.
Even after that incident, he kept his job. That's the type of extra time that a few extra stars on the shoulder will earn you. Not to mention the fact that Bush was in office then so Mickey had that working for him. Georgie was accustomed to having screw-ups around him because he was the biggest one himself. President Obama doesn't play that. Mickey got a little too comfortable and forgot who he was dealing with.
It's the year anniversary of the passing of an iconic legend. Did you really think I was going to let that go by without acknowledging it in some way, form or fashion? Come on now. Not gonna happen. I could have done any number of things, but I thought I would revisit his one and only feature film to commemorate the day. You could technically count "The Wiz", but he was really a co-star in that one. "This Is It" was all about Michael.
There are some movies that I go into having already given them a
grade. It's really up to the movie from that point as to how that grade
can be altered. If I have already pre-determined it's going to get a
high mark, that movie holds its own fate. If I've already determined I
probably won't like it, it has some work to do. It may not be fair, but
it is what it is. Real talk. "This is It" was one of those where an
"A" was already in its future. I mean, come on...it's Michael Jackson.
I had heard some
knocks early on that it wasn't a true documentary and folks were
disappointed that it didn't provide any
interviews with Mike. I looked at it differently. It wasn't intended to
be a documentary. Mike had already done a concert movie back in the
day. The one that came on HBO. So now we get the chance to see what
goes into the making of such a production. Some of it very polished and
some still rough, but that's what made it all the better to watch.
It would have
been nice to see Mike update his dance repertoire just a little bit.
There were moments where he looked like he was going to integrate a more
recent move or two, but it was fleeting. That leads me to believe that
maybe he was saving more of the flash for the actual show. You got that feeling throughout much of the film. Having said that, it was
still pleasingly surreal to watch him perform his classic moves.
What really stood
out in this movie is how Mike STILL had the pipes. There were a couple of
times when he sings a capella and you can't help but be amazed that he is as vocally sound as he ever was in his prime. Probably even
better. Most notably at the end of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
where he and back-up singer Judith Hill playfully exchange riffs. It
will give you chills listening to how effective Mike was. He wanted to
hold back to conserve his voice for the concert, but he got caught up in
the moment. We ended up reaping the benefit.
The best part of
the film was the new intros they had filmed for "Smooth Criminal" and
"Thriller". Especially the "Smooth Criminal" one. That one was FONKY!
You can tell it was going to be amazing how they would have seamlessly
integrated the mini-movie with the live concert. Furthermore, it leads
me to believe that the bigger vision was to eventually have footage from
the live concert and even rehearsals be turned into a theatrical
release concert movie. That would have been the one thing missing from
MJ's resume. It's really too bad that would never happen.
difficult to criticize any of the moments of the film that may have been
lacking. Can you really talk about the fact that MJ didn't sing all of
the lyrics to some of the songs as he did the dance moves? Or how
there were moments where the pace of the music didn't follow the
vocals? No, because that was the intent of the rehearsals in the first
place: to flesh out those details and get it right for the final
"This Is It" is
without question a must-see for any and all Michael Jackson fans. It
gives you a glimpse into the dedication, perseverance and determination
that goes into one of his amazing shows. We get a chance to see a
perfectionist and a visionary construct yet another concert that would
have given his fans their money's worth and then some. At 50, MJ had
more drive and passion than most of these fly-by-night MTV generation
artists possess. There was no exploitation here at all. The film was a fitting tribute for the man who truly was the king of pop.
I have seen this video a couple of different times on a couple of different sites lately to refresh my memory on it. It just keeps getting better each time I see it. Even if I don't remember the song when it first came out. But who could ever forget the Whispers? They are one of those groups that reminds you of when grown folks music WAS grown folks music. They sounded the part as well as definitely looked it.
The video cracks me up for a couple of different reasons. The first is the Scott twins Scotty and Walter. Even back when mustaches were in, those two were WAY too serious with theirs. They know those joints were too big. It always killed me that as the years progressed and fashions changed, they still stuck with the 'staches. When you watch this notice how every now and then they'll forget they're supposed to be lip synching the words. They're so busy getting their groove on that they it must have slipped their minds.
My favorite part about the video though is Barry White's younger brother. I have no idea what his real name is, but you will know immediately who I'm talking about. He makes sure he does everything possible to stand out in the video. Right down to his wardrobe. He was like the Bobby Brown of the group. At least in the video.
Still, there's no denying that the song is a classic. Over 20 some years later and it's remains better than about 90% of what you hear on the radio today. Go on, Whispers!