Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hip-Hop Stars and Their NFL Doppelgangers Pt. 2

Hip-Hop Stars and Their NFL Doppelgangers Pt. 2

Finals are done which means I can get back on my blogging grind, so enjoy!

Here's my next batch of hip-hop stars and their NFL doppelgangers:

LMFAO = Rob Gronkowski

LMFAO just recently broke up which is heartbreaking, but their legacy of party-rocking lives on. Similarly, Rob Gronkowski just broke his forearm, but his legacy of being the best damn tight end in the NFL and also one of the league's hardest partiers remains.

These guys are all good at what they do, but more importantly they're even better at having fun. LMFAO's song “Get Crazy” is the theme to Jersey Shore, they made a series of sick music videos all spoofing horror movies which I totally dig, and their songs “I'm Sexy and I Know It” and “Shots” will be heard in bars and nightclubs for decades to come.

What about Rob Gronkowski? Dude absolutely kills it week after week. He had a record-setting season last year, got into all kinds of controversy by lending his jersey to a porn star for a quick photo op, and supposedly got tangled up with some jailbait while out raging.

No one parties harder than the Gronk, though I'd put some money down that LMFAO could give him a run for his money.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Page of Giving

Another prompt from my fiction workshop. This time we were given the subject "Page of Giving" and told to run with it. Alas, I was not inspired by the holidays, but still managed to pull something off. Ch-ch-check it out. 

Page of Giving
Fifteen percent used to be kosher but you can never tell anymore and Frankie says he's a regular so maybe I should probably leave a little bit more like twenty percent would probably do it, but the bill isn't huge. What we used to do is we used to tip by the drink. At the bar at least. Bartender hands you a drink, beer, cocktail, whatever, it's a dollar tip. No question. Okay. And this is just drinks, but twenty percent doesn't even amount to a dollar tip per drink which means I'm either being stingy or ignorant or just what? I don't know. How much is Frankie leaving? Look at him, look at him. Schmoozing it up with the waitress like they're such good friends like they're gonna make plans and get together some time and she's only doing her job. She's talking you up for the cash, bro. Look at him go. He's oblivious. Well, not me. No way, buckeroo. I won't be caught off-guard. How'm I doing? Huh? How were my drinks? Don't you worry about me, hon, I'm busy right now. I got a lot on my mind, see? While you're busy doing your job, here I am trying to have a nice day, a couple drinks with my man, and it should be relaxing, but no. No, it isn't. 'Cause you got me doing math on my nice, relaxing day. Twenty percent? Hah! After all this brain power, after all this energy, aren't I due some small commission? Aren't I due a fraction of that back? Yeah, you'll be lucky to see fifteen. I'll leave fifteen all right, but not a cent more. How much is that? How much is he giving her? This is embarrassing. No, no, this is embarrassing. Does she have change for a twenty, Frankie? It's her job to have change for a freaking twenty! Come on, come on, give me a break. Seventeen point five. That's all she's getting. Yeah, yeah, honey, the drinks were fine. Nuh uh. They weren't twenty percent good, that's for sure. I can do seventeen point five. And that's being generous. Look at this dent where my wallet used to stick out. Look how generous I am. Frankie, stop talking now. Stop talking, it's time for us to go. Is she looking? She's looking and I can't pay while she's looking. Why do they always do this? Twenty percent, huh? You want the big two-oh? Yeah, uh huh. Keep staring. Keep gloating. The drinks were fine. They were fine. And next time, yeah, you better believe that next time I'm not leaving a freaking cent over fifteen. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

E-mail to/from Zadie Smith

Author Zadie Smith, whose new novel NW came out about two months ago, became a big deal back when her first novel White Teeth was released to critical acclaim in 2000. She was 25 at the time. In the literary community, the elite are termed "major writers" and Smith earned this status almost immediately with the publication of White Teeth.

I'd wanted to read the aforementioned book for some time now and finally got the chance to do so, however after reading one question remained. I e-mailed Smith and she responded (which is AWESOME). Our brief exchange can be found below. 

My e-mail: 

Hi Professor Smith, 

My name's Charlie Griggs (in case the e-mail address didn't tip you off) and I'm currently in my first year studying to receive my MFA in Fiction from San Diego State University. That being said, as part of the curriculum for a British literature course I'm taking (1950-present), I read your novel White Teeth. My professor advised that I e-mail you and attempt to pursue the following question after inquiring in class with little success: 

As the novel progresses, the Chalfens grow ever more irritable. However, I was plagued by the phonetics of their name from the very first mention of Joshua. The name "Chalfen" in and of itself, I find to be especially grating from the soft "A"-sound to the "-lf-" which strikes me as the type of guttural someone who's choking on food might make. Is the surname "Chalfen" meant to reflect the repugnance of the family in question or am I waaaaay off? 

Anyhow, for the sake of diplomacy I should note that I hold nothing against the Chalfens and, despite my distaste for them as people, they remain successful as characters. Additionally, if you find the last name "Chalfen" appealing and my comments w/r/t guttural choking noises have caused you any offense, I sincerely apologize. 

Hope to hear back from you! 

- Charlie Griggs

Her response: 

Hi Charlie,

I guess I never thought of the name as terrible. it was just the last name of someone i knew at the time and i stole it - most of my names come that way. either people, or books on my desk. literally when i need to name a character i look up from my lap top and choose two names often at random from whatever books or leaflets or posters are within my sight range.

i remember liking chalfen especially though because it lends it self to adjectival forms 'chalfenesque' 'chalfenish', and so on. not all names do that so well.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Stereotypical Horror Movie Victims' Halloween 2012 Hit-List

I spent a while thinking about how I wanted to structure this blog post. Originally it was going to be called "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" and I was going to spotlight a classic horror movie, a recent one, a remake, and whatever the hell "Something Blue" would entail. I still don't know what I would've done with that last criteria, so it's a relief that I didn't use the above idea.

Next I thought about taking the names of the seven dwarves from Snow White and selecting a horror movie to correspond with each one of them. For instance, Doc = a movie about an evil doctor/dentist, Dopey = a crappy movie, Sleepy = ???. As you can see, this was an awful idea and one whose origin I'm still unable to trace, but troubled by nonetheless.

Anyway, here we are and I think I've found the perfect structural device to give this blog post the panache it needs to really stand out. So, without further ado, I present to you:

The Stereotypical Horror Movie Victims' Halloween 2012 Hit-List

Odds are that you're familiar with the usual cast of characters in a horror movie: the virginal heroine and her foil the whore, the noble male protagonist and his foil the party animal, and then whatever other two-bit character(s) the film's creators decide to throw in the mix to up the body count. Well, I'm going to shamelessly structure my list of Halloween horror movie recommendations off of those aforementioned stereotypes, so bear with me. (I've avoided plot details for the most part, so as to keep spoilers to a minimum.)

The Virginal Heroine
This is the character who usually survives (until the sequel). She's chaste and honorable and, despite the idiotic decisions her friends make, she manages to outsmart her competition. Reminds me of a little film called Don't Look Now (1973) in which a grieving couple visits Italy where a series of murders are occurring at the time. This movie may not be flashy, but it remains true to its story and its characters and, in doing so, manages to outsmart most of the modern horror films out there today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hip-Hop Stars and Their NFL Doppelgangers Pt. I

Hip-Hop Stars and Their NFL Doppelgangers Pt. I

"Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous,
'cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us."
- Drake, "Thank Me Now," Thank Me Later 

No one says it quite like Drake. But no one says it quite like me either, so here's a brief preamble before we get into the meat and potatoes of this post:

While actors spend most of their time pretending to be someone else and writers spend most of their time holed up by themselves typing, athletes and musicians fall into that same category of celebrity which forces them into the limelight without giving them any roles or desks to hide behind. Whether it occurs at a nationally televised game or a sold-out concert, whether they're wearing team colors or representing their record label, athletes and musicians are forced into the forefront of public consciousness with only their skillset and the faith they have in that skillset to engage their spectators. It's the most raw form of exposure and it's likely because of this that so many involved with either profession are accused of possessing an "ego." If you perform well, you'll be idolized and if you screw up, the punishment is just as damning. Few other occupations face such overwhelming public scrutiny.

It's no wonder that Drake draws this comparison between those in his own field and those who take the field. For those of you familiar with the song, you may be aware that the preceding line of "Thank Me Now" references Jordan and Iverson. However, I'm inclined to believe that football parallels music, especially hip-hop more closely than basketball and for that reason I've created the following list of hip-hop stars and their NFL doppelgangers. Enjoy.

Drake = Arian Foster 

Both young, both at the top of their respective games, I've been haunted by this comparison since Foster first blew up in 2010. Imagine a virtually unknown player breaking onto the scene with 1,600+ rushing yards, 16 touchdowns, and no multi-million dollar deal to speak of. Compare that with Drake's sudden emergence: So Far Gone dropped in 2009 without a label backing him and all of a sudden his music began receiving radio play and led to a deal with Young Money.

Now that both athlete and artist have become sensations, they continue to dominate with a certain swagger their peers struggle to match. However, it isn't without an air of sincerity and depth that they do so. Foster is known to often engage interviewers in conversations relating to eastern philosophy thus upending the stupid football player stereotype whereas Drake has no qualms about bearing his emotions in his music and relating to his listeners on a personal level thus displaying layers of character otherwise unheard of in the modern hip-hop scene.