Wednesday, January 27, 2010
While I wasn't thrilled by this 'artistic' display, these are the drawings I did at said session.
I will just say that there was a lot of wasted time, the whole 'musical performance' was lost on me ( i just don't care for that shit), and I found the themes (naughty librarian, naughty opera fan, & Eve with snake and apple) to be, not only cliche, but lame as well. I found the lighting in the place to be too dark for drawing and from the only available tables I had a terrible view, leading me to make up a lot of the features on my own, which I can easily do from home. That is why I am mainly unhappy with 80% of these sketches & some seem very cartoony. You will also notice that since there was a lot of time between performances I sketched a dude that was across the room from me.
I recognize that everyone else, including Brian & Lezley, seemed to really enjoy this show. I also recognize that I am being a 'Negative Nancy'.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
For 9 years I was a member of Premier Fitness (yes, I am not afraid to name names). I joined Premier in 2001, when all of my close friends worked out there and I really liked the facilities and its atmosphere. I noticed after a few years that the management seemed to change often and I suppose that is why the employees never really seemed to know who was in charge and would give me the run-around if I had a problem or just a simple question. I also noticed that for all the great equipment that the gym had a lot of machines would have an 'out of order' sign and would take weeks, sometimes months to fix, and in some cases never be fixed at all.
In 2005 I moved and the gym wasn't as geographically convenient as it used to be, so I checked out other gyms. All the other gyms seemed to be almost double the price and I heard that they were renovating and expanding my Premier location so I stuck around. They did complete the reno and almost doubled the size of the gym floor with all kinds of new equipment so I was happy again.
Slowly, as management continued to change, Premier did not maintain the facility and I was once again tempted to go elsewhere but never did because I had a really good monthly deal.
For the last 2 years I remained a member but was very reluctant use the gym and for that, I have let myself get really out of shape. It is pretty frustrating to get the time to hit the gym and the machines you want to use don't work or feel unsafe and your gym has about 20 treadmills and 2 maybe 3 work, and you have to wait to use one and then feel pressured to get off.
I barely went to the gym in the last 6 months and in November I decided I had to fix this problem.
I have to mention that Premier never seemed to care about their members once they got them joined up and never seemed top offer anything to loyal members unless it involved doing their job and getting others to sign up, so I found it quite amusing that the day I went in to quit it was 'Member Appreciation Day', where it looked like they were giving out free food, supplements and prizes. That's irony isn't it?
2 weeks ago I joined Fitness Connection. I could not be happier. I have remembered how fun and rewarding a great workout can make you feel. The hours are great at Fitness Connection, there is a real lack of juiced-up ego freaks, the equipment all works (all of it), the equipment is better quality with better machines and rubber coated plates, and best of all, it is literally 2 minutes from my house.
I was stuck in a rut for a long while and I am so happy that I made this choice. I have been working out hard these past 2 weeks and I am sore but it the GOOD soreness that makes you feel alive. I realized that it had been almost a year since I ran, worked out my legs, or did a deadlift. Oh deadlifts, I forgot how awesome you are.
For anyone else out there that is having trouble motivating yourself to hit the gym or get in shape, go join a new gym, or go for a run, make a bad ass playlist. Try something new. It's easy to forget how good exercise can make you feel.
Here's my current playlist for anyone who cares. (NOTE: I like angry gangsta rap when I workout)
Ghostface Killah - the Champ
Wu Tang Clan - Pinky Ring
Mark Ronson feat. Ghostface and Nate Dogg - Ooh Wee
RZA - We Pop
Kid Cudi feat. Kanye and Common - I Poke Her Face
Tupac and Eazy E - Real Thugs
Dr Dre feat. Snoop, Xzibit, and Eminem - Bitch Please 2
Tupac feat. Ice Cube and Ice T - Last Wordz
Bone Thugs & Harmony - Bodyrott
Snoop Dogg feat. Kurupt, Daz and RBX - Serial Killa
Dangermouse - Allure (Jay Z/Beatles from the Grey Album)
Tupac - Fake Ass Bitches
Ludacris - How Low
Ludacris - Southern Hospitality
Bone Thugs and Harmony feat. The Game - Streets
DMX - Lord Give Me a Sign (NOTE: I am not religious at all but this is a bad ass, very fun song)
T.I. _We Do This
Roots feat Dave Chappelle - In Love With the Mic (bonus track off the Tipping Point album)
Three 6 Mafia feat. Chamillionaire - Doe Boy Fresh
Lil Wyte - Fucked Up
Tupac feat. Trick Daddy - Still Ballin'
Trick Daddy - Boy
Outkast feat. Killer Mike and Jay Z - Flip Flop Rock
Fat Joe feat. Nelly - Get It Poppin
Ice Cube - Stomping In My Big Black Boots
Scarface - Recognize
T.I. - Top Back
K-OS - Electrik Heat (the Seekwill)
Joe Budden feat. the Game - the Future
T.I. - Bring 'em out
Three 6 Mafia - It's a fight
Kurupt - On Onsite
Bone Thugs & Harmony - Wasteland Warriors
Tupac/Krayziebone/Swizz Beatz - Untouchables
Bone Thugs & Harmony - That's that Bone
Kurupt feat. Roscoe, Nate Dogg - Girls all Pause
Dr Dre feat. Ice Cube - Natural Born Killa
Friday, January 15, 2010
I'm bringing it a little different than previous years, simply because of my change in tastes. You may notice that this years awards will be less comic heavy, I've scrapped the whole music category and I've added some MMA categories.
Let's do this!
Best Ongoing Comic - Walking Dead
Best Artist - Frank Quitely
Best Writer - Robert Kirkman
Best New Series - Sweet Tooth
Best Mini Series - Age of Reptiles: The Journey
Best Single Issue - Jonah Hex #50 with art by Darwyn Cooke - This issue absolutely blew my mind. I wish Darwyn would draw like this all the time with a lot of heavy detail. just brilliant. go get this if you don't already have it.
Best OGN - Scott Pilgrim 5 (Bryan Lee O'Malley), Funny Misshapen Body (Jeffrey Brown), Mini Sulk 2 (Jeffrey Brown)
Biggest Disapointment - Marvel -I stopped reading DC a few years back and now after Secret Invasion I can't seem to follow or care about my former favorite super hero universe.
Biggest Surprise - Planetary #27, I was not surprised that this book was amazing, every issue of Planetary is amazing, but I was surprised because I hadn't read Planetary since, I cant even remember when #26 came out, & I wasn't ever sure that I would see a #27. When I walked into my comic shop and there it was waiting for me, i had a grin from ear to ear. love it. love it.
Best Convention - Fan Expo -I have to give it up to one of the only shows I attended this year (both from Hobbystar). Best con goes to the one where I was accosted by Iron Sheik & the Honky Tonk Man.
Best Web Comic - Peeling Onions by Lezley Davidson - I've been a fan of Peeling Onions since the beginning but this year Lezley kicked it up and every strip is visually better than the last. Peeling Onions is wonderfully honest and it has become the only web comic that I have to read.
Best Blog - Crooked Little World by Jason Truong - Last years award went to Jason's bro Danny because Danny wanted it so much more. This year the award goes to Crooked Little World. CRW is the only blog I make sure to check in with weekly, it's just that good.
Jason, you did it!!! You're in the big leagues now. There is no going back.
Best Podcast - Stop Podcasting Yourself & the Jordan Breen Show -SPY remains the funniest podcast that I have ever heard & Jordan Breen fills my brain with MMA goodness twice a week.
Best New Podcast - Adam Carolla Podcast -This show has some great, no bullshit stories from some of Hollywoods finest.
TV & MOVIES & Other Media
Best TV Show - 30 Rock (season 4)/ It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (season 5) / Curb Your Enthusiasm (season 7) - We have a three way tie. I honestly believe that these are the best shows on television and all 3 had there best seasons this year.
Best New Series - Bored to Death & Eastbound and Down - Another tie. While I like my TV shows to be stupidly hilarious (see above) neither of these two are, but they certainly do grow on you once you give them a chance. I eagerly await the new seasons of each.
Best Movie - Hangover - Hands down, the Hangover is one of the best written/produced comedies in a long time. Honorable mentions go to Up, District 9, & Gran Torino.
Worst Movie - Year One - I like Jack Black, I like Michael Cera, I did not like Year One. It wasn't even so bad that it was awesome.
Biggest Disapointment - Choke - I loved the book, but the movie was pretty 'bleh'.
Biggest Surprise - Never Surrender - I shouldn't like this movie so I dont know why I have seen it 5 times.
Best Novel - Artie Lange, Too Fat To Fish - To be honest, I don't read like I used to. I keep buying books but I can never seem to find time to read 'em. The one book I could not put down this year is Artie's autobiography. He is truly a said character that I hope one day finds peace with himself.
Best Fight - Josh Thompson vs Gilbert Melendez 2 (Strikeforce) - The popular opinion is that Ben Henderson vs Donald Cerrone (WEC) was the fight of the year but in my opinion Thompson/Melendez 2 takes it. While Henderson/Cerrone was a great fight I thought rounds 2 & 3 were quite one sided as Cerrone seemed content to stay in guard and get punched in the head over & over again.
Melendez/Thompson, I thought Gilbert won 4 rounds to 1, but every round was very close and competitive. I wanna see Melendez vs Thompson 3, and so do a lot of people.
Best Fighter - Jose Aldo - This 23 year old came out of relative obscurity to win 4 challenging fights in 2009 and capture the 145 lb WEC title. At such a young age, Jose will only get better. wow.
Honorable mentions go to Fedor Emelianenko & Gegard Mousasi.
Best Newcomer - Dan Hornbuckle / Marius Zaromskis / Jon Jones / Joe Warren - All 4 of these guys are destined for MMA stardom.
Hornbuckle , while not really a newcomer at 19 -2, had a breakout year in Japan and will be a favorite to win Bellator's season 2 Welterweight tournament.
Zaromskis had similar success to Hornbuckle in Japan, winning the Dream's Welterweight Grand Prix and will be headlining the next Strikeforce show versus Nick Diaz.
Jones was definitely on the map when he tossed TUF 1 Finalist all over the octagon at UFC 94. 'Bones' Jones got another win over former heavyweight Jake O'Brien at UFC 100 and dismantled the tough Matt Hammill at the TUF 10 Finale, before being DQ'd for an illegal elbow. Jones will be headlining UFC's first show on the Versus network against Brandon Vera.
World class wrestler, Joe Warren made the MMA transition very smoothly getting a win over former Bantamweight champ Chase Beebe in Dream's Featerweight Grand Prix opening round. Warren then had to face a stiffer test in Japan's favorite son 'Kid' Yammamoto and took a close decision. Joe showed that he still has a lot to learn when he got armbarred in the semi finals by BJJ ace Bibiano Fernandez. That is still 3 very tough tests in his first 3 fights. With determination and confidence like no other & a monster chin look for Joe Warren to do big things in 2010. Best Knockout - Nathan Marquardt KO's Demian Maia (UFC 102) - Nate showed Maia that he needs to work on his stand up game with a first punch KO that sent Maia airborn.
Best Submission - Toby Imaeda defeats Jorge Masvidal with an inverted triangle choke. I'd never seen that before. It was pretty sweet. look it up.
Best Single Round - Randy Couture vs Antonio 'Minotauro' Nogueira, Round 1 (UFC 102) - For me it was between this & Round 1 of Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida (TUF 9 Finale) but I picked Couture vs Nog not just because both men are legends in the sport but because it was a great back & forth battle that answered our questions about Big Nog's chin, showed that Randy can still throw down at the age of 46 and had a deep submission attempt that was defended with both fighters showing great technique. Sanchez & Guida was fun & sloppy but Sanchez dominated with what I thought was a 10-8 round. Best Fight Card - UFC 100 - This is a no-brainer. While we were treated to a ton of great MMA in 2009, UFC 100 had got people together like the SuperBowl 7 everyone was talking about it. 100 did record numbers for the UFC & I thought it lived up to the hype.
Biggest Douche - Most people wold put Brock Lesnar in this category after his UFC 100 antics but after watching the K-1 New Years Dynamite show I have to give it to Dream poster boy, Shinya Aoki.
Aoki finished a solid takedown on Mizuto Hirota and quickly put him in a policemen grip arm hold where, after peppering Hirota with some punches, he changed positions and intentionally snapped Hirota's arm. Aoki then did his best Stone Cold Steve Austin impression giving Hirota a face full of middle finger, flipped off the crowd and then ran up the ramp to backstage in his rainbow colored tights.
This was a huge dickhead move but I do have to say that it was also really bad ass and Aoki is still one of my favorite fighters. You can't really just watch Aoki without hating him. I love to hate this guy. I am super excited for Aoki to come stateside and fight in Strikeforce.