Monday, January 27, 2003

Superbowl Musings 1.27.03

Now that ass clown Simeon Rice can call himself a champion. I don’t know if that pisses me off or if I’m elated that the Raiders (who have come to make a sport out of beating the hope out of the Jets) lost. Echh. At least the game was boring enough that I could laugh at Keanu Reeves in the movie Hardball... for the second time...
Friday 1.27.03

Oh yeah, throw your neighborhood in the air. If you don’t care.” -Ice Cube

--stop one--

Stephanie, and almost Silver, I thank you for karaoke. So silly. So much bad singing. So fun. Gully sang Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and a rousing rendition of Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe”; Silver sang Elvis’ “In the Ghetto” (which we missed) and I forget the first song. I sang Madonna’s “Cherish,” Bon Jovi’s “Born to Be My Baby,” and Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better.” I think I sounded best on Cherish. Hard to pretend to be some kind of tough guy singing that song… ah, well, no one would have believed it anyway. So we took our leave, fleet of feet, to the upper east side, then to catch a cab going west to the party party over by the Natural History Museum.

--stop two--

Dear Shevi: I have met your elusive friend Ronit. I thought, perhaps, she didn’t exist. She was all smiles and chattiness. Good times. We were surrounded by a lot of hip guys. Or European guys, I think someone said. But no one had any sort of accent. There were just a lot of… guys. And some fellas with dreds. Gully and I sat in the corner, got our drink on. The Rice-a-Homie rolled up and had a few. Then we bolted to the car; the streets on the Upper West of course were quiet and curling up to sleep, and we were off to the jam in Queens.

--stop three--

Bumping EPMD’s Business as Usual, with Rampage, featuring LL Cool J and some emphatic rhymes from Parrish Smith. Also featuring the young afro-wearing Redman. We had our swagger all set, tight beats reverberating in our heads.

But the jam in Queens was dying down. So was Gully. Propped up on a chair or hoisted on the couch, he was getting his nap on. But I found that little Tulip is just the right size to use as a guitar-- meaning she’s about the same size as a tennis racket. I never would have guessed if I didn’t lift her one-handed. I haven’t seen her in many months. Maybe even a year? But that can’t be right. Ian, who I haven’t seen in probably a year, lost his Jeff Kent porn star moustache, Molly spun more hip hop like a little Queenie, and the remnants of the party danced. The Rice-a-Homie, of course, got his hands on the record Soulflower (Pharcyde); good times.

We dropped our sleeping partner home, I got a ride home, and there was a whole lot of sleeping done after that…

Friday, January 24, 2003

Friday. 1.24.03

"I don't wanna cause pain in your life or anything" -quote from the singer outside of Gulshan's room.

We're about to go out and party hop and a-tear it up. Details to come.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Grr. 1.22.03

I could launch a tirade about eyes-high on those shady mofo's at AOL online services, but that might also reveal the dank level of ineptidude that I've recently sunk to. And that is a place that might be perhaps a little too wide open, too dirty, too pus filled, too revelatory. If you want some revelations, go to...

I can't give you nowhere good, I got classes to attend. More to come.
Effing January 1.22.03

Though I have stepped out in the past week to do such things like drink with Gully’s rock friends; and drink again until I was face-over E-Sox’ porcelain toilet, the thing that sticks out most is how little I have done.

Pico’s seen a lot of movies. Watched a lot of Blind Date. Watched a lot of basketball. Gotten skinner. And it’s been fucking cold out. Cold like January is supposed to be. But without the snow and ice that supposed to come and create that wintry ambiance that makes January look like it’s supposed to. So mostly, this months sucks a knot.

I know Holiday agrees. This is the second worst month of the year. For me, it’s the worst. After New Year’s, I can sit and think about what I should do this year; I’ve lost any of the momentum gained in the last weeks of January. It’s simply depressing.

There was a piece on Kurt Warner I was going to write. A piece more in depth about the porcelain prayer, a note about how hot Carrot Top is.

None of it got done. I’ve spent a lot of time staying up late, watching television. Sitting on my ass. I’ll straight out admit it. Time to step it up. Go to class. Do some writing. Figure out what the friggin’ date is.

Uh, take a shower. I’m’a gonna go and do that now.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Off-Season Postcards: Marty Mornhinweg 1.17.02

These days, I am sitting in my house, thanking God that no one has fired me yet. Or set fire to my house. These Detroit winters are really something, nothing like California and good old San Francisco. I mean, I’ve seen snow before but, wow.

But there are no pickets in front of my window. There are no effigies of me, stuffed with toilet paper and hung off of a streetlamp.

That’s great! Now I have another off season to finish my book, “Coaching for Dummies” and then, then, the world will see I know what I’m doing! Yeah. That’s what I’m going to do!

Hey, is my wife making cheeseburgers? Mmm, I love cheeseburgers! This reading can wait. Honey? You have that root beer I like??
Johnny On the Spot 1.17.03

This is the St. John’s men’s basketball offense, as coached by Mike Jarvis.

Elijah Ingram brings the ball over half-court. Passes it to Marcus Hatten. Hatten dribbles. Looks at defenders. Dribbles some more. Dribbles some more. Perhaps passes it into the post if he’s feeling like a philanthropist. Perhaps receives a screen. With 7 seconds left, Hatten drives down the middle, whether he has received a favorable screen, gotten his defender off-balance, et cetera. Or he passes it to Glover who uses on of his low post moves (always in slow, fat, Clarence Weatherspoon/ undersized + fat center motion) and the team throws up a brick from some distance. Then they get offensive rebounds and can’t find the hole from one foot out.

All of this is just fine in a rec league game where short mortgage brokers repeat the story about the one time they played a guy on their high school basketball team and scored all over him. But in Division I, Big East College basketball? This is becoming a little questionable.

Not as questionable, of course, as Greasy Steve Lavin out on the west coast. As the coach of UCLA, one is held to a high standard. And Steve Lavin’s teams consistently enter the season playing at a low level. That way, of course, when they get a gift invote to the NCAA tournament, people can act surprised when they actually play (such as the time the Baron Davis/ Jaron Rush team rolled over Maryland in 1998, by a score of 105- did you show up).

This year, they have found a new bottom. They have lost to St. John’s, on their home court, in a nationally televised Saturday game. It was a bricklaying stinker, a booty bowl, an effort by both teams not to win. But St. John’s using their abilities to trip over loose balls and occasionally hit one of the many three-pointers they take, managed to squeeze a victory out.

Meanwhile, out in sunny California, Jason Kapono, star forward of UCLA talks about how the team just comes out without intensity.

A few days later, Mike Jarvis tells the media, “free throws and layups can be the most difficult part of the game. It’s the psychological side to them. So much is riding on them and this game is 90% mental.”


Well, knowing the importance of the mental side, and knowing that you can’t teach a guy to run much faster, get up much higher, or shoot straighter (that’s what training and steroids are for), then it stands to reason that the coach should handle the teaching of the mental aspect of the game. That he should keep his team prepared, mentally ready, and aggressive.


The world is already on the Steve Lavin watch. But Mr. Jarvis, I ain’t saying nothing, but… how’s your resume look?

Friday, January 10, 2003

from the NY Newsday 1.10.03

Plan: Tap Iraq's Oil
U.S. considers seizing revenues to pay for occupation, source says
By Knut Royce

January 10, 2003, 9:55 AM EST

Washington - Bush administration officials are seriously considering proposals that the United States tap Iraq's oil to help pay the cost of a military occupation, a move that likely would prove highly inflammatory in an Arab world already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq.

Officially, the White House agrees that oil revenue would play an important role during an occupation period, but only for the benefit of Iraqis, according to a National Security Council spokesman.

Yet there are strong advocates inside the administration, including in the White House, for appropriating the oil funds as "spoils of war," according to a source who has been briefed by participants in the dialogue.

"There are people in the White House who take the position that it's all the spoils of war," said the source, who asked not to be further identified. "We [the United States] take all the oil money until there is a new democratic government [in Iraq]."

The source said the Justice Department has urged caution. "The Justice Department has doubts," he said. He said department lawyers are unsure "whether any of it [Iraqi oil funds] can be used or has to all be held in trust for the people of Iraq."

Another source who has worked closely with the office of Vice President Dick Cheney said that a number of officials there too are urging that Iraq's oil funds be used to defray the cost of occupation.

Jennifer Millerwise, a Cheney spokeswoman, declined to talk about "internal policy discussions."

Using Iraqi oil to fund an occupation would reinforce a prevalent belief in the Mideast that the conflict is all about control of oil, not rooting out weapons of mass destruction, according to Halim Barakat, a recently retired professor of Arab studies at Georgetown University.

"It would mean that the real ... objective of the war is not the democratization of Iraq, not getting rid of Saddam, not to liberate the Iraqi people, but a return to colonialism," he said. "That is how they [Mideast nations] would perceive it."

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of an occupation would range from $12 billion to $48 billion a year, and officials believe an occupation could last 1 1/2 years or more.

And Iraq has a lot of oil. Its proven oil reserves are second in the world only to Saudi Arabia's. But how much revenue could be generated is an open question. The budget office estimates Iraq now is producing nearly 2.8 million barrels a day, with 80 percent of the revenues going for the United Nations Oil for Food Program or domestic consumption. The remaining 20 percent, worth about $3 billion a year, is generated by oil smuggling and much of it goes to support Saddam Hussein's military. In theory that is the money that could be used for reconstruction or to help defer occupation costs.

Yet with fresh drilling and new equipment Iraq could produce much more. By some estimates, however, it would take 10 years to fully restore Iraq's oil industry. Conversely, if Hussein torches the fields, as he did in Kuwait in 1991, it would take a year or more to resume even a modest flow. And, of course, it is impossible to predict the price of oil.

Laurence Meyer, a former Federal Reserve Board governor who chaired a Center for Strategic and International Studies conference in November on the economic consequences of a war with Iraq, said that conference participants deliberately avoided the question of whether Iraq should help pay occupation or other costs. "It's a very politically sensitive issue," he said. "... We're in a situation where we're going to be very sensitive to how our actions are perceived in the Arab world."

Meyer said officials who believe Iraq's oil could defer some of the occupation costs may be "too optimistic about how much you could increase [oil production] and how long it would take to reinvest in the infrastructure and reinvest in additional oil."

An administration source said that most of the proposals for the conduct of the war and implementation of plans for a subsequent occupation are being drafted by the Pentagon. Last month a respected Washington think tank prepared a classified briefing commissioned by Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon's influential director of Net Assessment, on the future role of U.S. Special Forces in the global war against terrorism, among other issues. Part of the presentation recommended that oil funds be used to defray the costs of a military occupation in Iraq, according to a source who helped prepare the report.

He said that the study, undertaken by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, concluded that "the cost of the occupation, the cost for the military administration and providing for a provisional [civilian] administration, all of that would come out of Iraqi oil." He said the briefing was delivered to the office of Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of Defense and one of the administration's strongest advocates for an invasion of Iraq, on Dec. 13.

Steven Kosiak, the center's director of budget studies, said he could not remember whether such a recommendation was made, but if it was it would only have been "a passing reference to something we did."

Asked whether the Pentagon was now advocating the use of Iraqi oil to pay for the cost of a military occupation, Army Lt. Col. Gary Keck, a spokesman, said, "We don't have any official comment on that."

NSC spokesman Mike Anton said that in the event of war and a military occupation the oil revenues would be used "not so much to fund the operation and maintaining American forces but for humanitarian aid, refugees, possibly for infrastructure rebuilding, that kind of thing."

But the source who contributed to the Marshall report said that its conclusions reflect the opinion of many senior administration officials. "It [the oil] is going to fund the U.S. military presence there," he said. "... They're not just going to take the Iraqi oil and use it for Iraq's purpose. They will charge the Iraqis for the U.S. cost of operating in Iraq. I don't think they're planning as far as I know to use Iraqi oil to pay for the invasion, but they are going to use it to pay for the occupation."

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Glock Hop 1.8.03

My poor little laptop. My laptop is in need of space, room, open air, fewer downloads. Funny enough, though, when I think of MP3's to erase, and I look through my downloaded files, I think of my little brother, the fledgeling rap artist, Agua Dulce. I think of him because every time I think I know exactly what's on my computer, he makes me realize that the world is a much more random place where every permutation of 50 Cent's instrumentals, or Wu-Tang's instrumentals can find their way into my files.

Even more interesting is how people simply have lost the art of spelling. Freestyle. The variations of 50 Cent and Biggie. The addition of the letter Z to make things hard.

There are apparently many unheard and unreleased and rare radio tracks, tracks of these cats "in da club," audio of who disses who, tracks on so and so versus so and so.

All of this on my laptop and I never even knew it. Rap artists are battling while I go to sleep. Facing each other down while I get the paper. Practicing their "freesties" when I'm in the city. I wonder what sound they'll make when I kill them.

FROM MY LAPTOP. I don't want none of those rappers thinking I got beef. They might come to my desktop with that mess and start rhyming about how I drop pop hits and start claiming they robbed me at the Source Awards.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

The Giants a/k/a Big Blue It 1.7.02

I love the Daily News. Great coverage, still, of the Giants’ debacle by the bay, where they lost 39-38 in truly appalling fashion. And the News pointed out all the things we knew. The holder could have called a time out. The team should have sat Matt Allen (the holder) down and told him exactly what his options were. The team should have gotten a couple more experienced guys to do the kicking chores. Shaun Williams could have saved the Giants 30 yards in penalties by not listening to Terrell Owens talk shit on the field-- he would have drawn two yellow-hanky unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

And the 49ers couldn’t give a rat’s ass.

And the Giants still gave up the game.

And they gave up the game almost in the same way they gave up the playoff game in the 1997-8 playoff season, Jim Fassel’s first year as a head coach. Nice if he had some pow-wows with all the important people, the kicking team; the defense as they were being shredded, some kind of reminder to keep their heads.

Instead, we have great articles, a reminder that something is genrally wrong with the football operation in Giant-land, and a chance for Tiki Barber to watch his twin beat on the team that stole a game from his team. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Family? Once you forget the energy and passion the players and especially the fans put in; once you forget about the hopes of people who live with the ins and outs of Big Blue, it all comes down to family, right?

I’m trying to convince myself of that. Of something besides “that game sucked ass.”

On a side note, there is also a note that the Mets’ Roger Cedeno will be in better shape, and may be playing center field next to Cliff Floyd (overrated) and Jeromy Burnitz (who taught him that swing?). I wonder what Timo Perez did to ask for this kind of screwing. What, a centerfielder who can actually field, throw, run a little (though not steal bases) and get on base shouldn’t play? Over a guy who doesn’t hit for power, isn’t the base stealer that he once was, gets on base less, and has no idea where the ball is when he’s in the field? Hm.
…On Boston Public 1.7.03

This show has reached levels of ridiculous previously reserved for the cast of FAME and the current composition of the New York Knicks. The shit is hot. Kids come in and they’re in gangs, every semester someone else is pregnant, good looking teachers bone each other, and the fellow who looks like Arroz gets some from a rather cute I-banker. Now if only they made fun of themselves more often…

I thought my high school had some drama. If it was anything like that, I would never want to graduate! I’d just stay and chronicle the whole happening.

It would be more active (better?) than simply going to places and watching television, wouldn’t it?
…On The New Year 1.07.2003 [--the first time the new year has been written--]

I wish I could sit here, as snow blows over suburban Queens streets and sticks as it did not in Manhattan, and offer you some insights about the turning of a new leaf and the coming of a new year; or some humor about what sociopolitical hijacks are to come; or some hope that the coming year is going to be more fun and more pain-free (esp for myself, for Gully, and for the unofficial Ms. Idaho). I wish I could offer political commentary on the Republican National Convention, now scheduled for New York, August, 2004. It would be off the chain if I could delve into the depths of the US’ hospital ship, specially equipped to deal with victims of chemical warfare, now on its way across the ocean to the Persian Gulf.

Instead you get this--

Man, I have been sleeping a g-ddamned lot recently.

I’m nearly a narcoleptic. Admittedly, it is because I have spent a lot of time flouncing around the city, seeing people I haven’t seen since I started school. Upper West Side. Cobble Hill. Lower East Side. Chelsea. SoHo. That’s the best part about New Year's; this time of year brings people together in bunches, pulls them out of work and into the bottle where they belong. And when I don’t pass out in front of them (face-in-lap or face-at-ceiling), or lose the power of speech, or suddenly become too shy to drop my… guard, they are a blast to be around.

New Year’s was pretty damned good. And that’s ALL I’m saying.

Yaaaaaawwwwwnnnn. Good luck in the naughty 2-K-Tré.