12th Oct2008

How’s Usher Gonna Get Off That Damn Mountain? And Other Reality TV Stuff…

by Will

“You want White Castle, need White Castle, long as you got me it won’t be no hassle.”

– I’m usually not the biggest Weird Al fan, but his cover of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” had me laughing for about 30 minutes. Absolutely priceless!

– I really wanna work for the company in Britney’s new “Womanizer” video. I mean, I never knew the fauxhawk to be “corporate”, but it seems to fly at that organization. Let’s hope this really is her comeback this time. Not the biggest fan of the song, but the video helps to sell it. MUCH better than that anime shit for “Break the Ice”…hey, didn’t that video end with “to be continued”? Let’s hope they don’t make good on that promise. Anyway, Brit’s looking pretty damn hot, so I guess we could all use a dose of crazy, if it does a body that good.

– Speaking of “to be continued” videos, Usher just released the video for “Trading Places”, but it’s just a random-ass R&B video. Last I remember, Mr. Raymond was stuck up on that mountain. How the Hell did he get off that damn mountain?!

– I’ve gone from a state of loving everything on MTV to hating everything on MTV. I guess I finally caught up with the rest of the real world (no pun intended). I was looking forward to Exiled, but realized I’d never watched enough My Super Sweet 16 to really care enough about those girls. I’m SO over The Hills, as well as the fact that Audrina and Whit have spin-offs coming. Don’t care about The Island, ’cause I really wanted a C.T./Dunbar ‘roid rage face-off, but that wasn’t in the cards.

Who the Hell thought Man & Wife deserved to be ripped off the web? It’s like the old Loveline, but nowhere near as informative. If anything, it actually makes me a bit uncomfortable. It’s like an interactive version of those shitty, traveling Black stage shows. You know, they always have names like, Seeing Jesus on the Downlow, and star hasbeens from Good Times & What’s Happening!!.

Sex…with Mom & Dad? Really? Dr. Drew, is this the best you could come up with? Do you miss your boy, Adam? Was he the brains of the operation? Now, this show does NOTHING for me. In the past, MTV sex shows were edgy, like the afore-mentioned Loveline. That was pretty groundbreaking for TV, but this is like Drew needed something to hold him over between Celebrity Rehab sessions. I don’t really think the show accomplishes much other than making the teens, the parents, and the viewers EXTREMELY uncomfortable. If anything, you end up learning the mom used to be a whore, and doesn’t want the daughter to be a whore. But the daughter’s only gonna react with the whole “Let me live my life and be a whore if I want to” response. In some ways, I kinda agree with that, but they could’ve had that “breakthrough” off camera.

The only shows I can still stomach are Making the Band 4 (I TOTALLY called the Danity Kane break-up before the season started!) and Parental Control. Plus, True Life and Made are always good entertainment.

-If you love “meta” humor, you’ll love this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HE9OQ4FnkQ . It’s A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, only it’s been remixed to tell you exactly what’s going on in the video. Watch it and you’ll understand. It’s one of those things where I wish I’d thought of it first.

-I’ve been wondering this for a while, but HD Radio – why? So, you mean to tell me there are secret stations, hidden between the stations I know, playing a bunch of different songs? If these songs are so great, then why hasn’t Clear Channel already shoved them down my throat? They know exactly what I like! No, these songs are being hidden, like ugly children and incontinent pets. They try to sell the fact that it’s near-CD quality sound, but if I wanted that, I’d buy the CD. When it’s free, I can deal with a degredation of sound quality. After all, you get what you pay for, and free radio is workin’ out just fine. Nice try, HD Radio, but you’re gonna have to try harder than that!

So, last night J. Christ. (no, not Jesus – He’s got more important things to do than read this blog; He’s too busy hanging out with all those rappers) told me that I don’t nearly keep up this site enough. I’ve gotta say that she’s right. I mean, in my neglect, I forgot to acknowledge my 5-year blogiversary back in July. I’m a big fan of streaks, and I know I’m always citing the anniversary of when I started blogging, or the anniversary of when I bought the williambrucewest.com domain name, or the anniversary of when I started actually using that domain name – plainly put, I like milestones. Anyway, I started rambling a little over five years ago, and man have I done nothing since then. I find that whenever I do these milestone posts, it forces me to look back in a pseudo-pessimistic tone. Well, I’m gonna try not to do that this time around. But, man, what I’ wouldn’t give to go back to being 13, when all I really looked forward to was a new episode of California Dreams every Saturday, and the promise of a positive, yet unknown future. Well, we can only go up from here, right? In the words of (probably unknown to most of you) Swedish pop star, Bosson, “we live, we die, and we learn to find the things we live and die for.” Guess I’m still learning to find those things. Here’s to 5 more years of the journey.

05th Oct2008

Nick & Nora’s Knight Rider Remake On SNL

by Will

“It’s just not the same when they don’t turn to dust”

So, I saw Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist tonight and loved it. It’s always good to see Michael Cera do his George Michael Bluth character for the umpteenth time. Don’t get me wrong; I love the guy, but I wonder if that shtick will hold up once he’s over the age of thirty. Is he gonna start taking those Zach Braff roles? Now that it’s official he’s gonna be Scott Pilgrim, I’m really curious to see how he handles that role. Scott’s a slacker, but he’s not as cautious as the roles that Michael’s played in the past.

Saw The Descent the other day, and I can’t say it was that scary. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a horror flick about a band of adventurous women who end up experiencing a spleunking expedition gone wrong. You see, I only tend to be frightened by uncontrollable shit that could happen: zombies, superflu, nuclear war, etc. For all I know, there are monsters deep in caves, but you know what? I stay the fuck out of caves! If I venture into a cave, I’m on their turf, and I pretty much deserve whatever happens to me. If a cave monster gets out and kills me in my house, then that’s a pretty fucked up tragedy. However, if I’m somewhere I’ve got NO business, other than some kind of “manifest destiny” bullshit, I deserve a pickaxe through my throat.

Gotta say that I have a newfound appreciation for Blair Butler. I’ve only got basic cable, so I didn’t really know who she was. To me, G4 was just a G5 (Gulfstream V) for not-as-rich people. Who knew it was a network? Anyway, I usually hate “the girl who covers comics” because they tend to be attractive, but not well-versed in the industry. Well, the most recent issue of Comic Foundry has an interview with Blair that shows she knows her shit. I mean, how many women name-drop “X-Cutioner’s Song”? How many fanboys name-drop “X-Cutioner’s Song”?! Still don’t have the G4, but I’ll be searching online for as many of her Attack of the Show segments as I can find.

Is it just me, or is Saturday Night Live featured player, Casey Wilson, the second coming of former cast member Julia Sweeney? For those who don’t remember, Julia’s from the early 90s era where the cast was oh, so promising, yet most of them ended up going nowhere. Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey (Sure, many of you are gonna argue with that one, but other than Wayne’s World & Master of Disguise, there’s no Church Lady Trilogy to rival the success of the Austin Powers franchise…), etc. Anyway, Julia’s only notable character was Pat, the androgynous character whose sexuality was always the punchline of the skit. Ha ha, how funny. In fact, there’s even a shitty movie based on it, which might be the worst SNL movie ever made (and that includes Stuart Saves His Family, A Night at the Roxbury AND Superstar). Anyway, kinda like Jan Hooks & Cheri Oteri, Julia lost most of her funny when she left SNL. Turns out, she fought cancer and pulled a “reverse-Kirk Cameron” by created a one-woman show detailing how she renounced God during her struggle. But I digress…Not trying to harsh on her, as she’s a local girl, but Casey seems to get these stiff characters that don’t really stand out, just like Julia. They wouldn’t even give Julia the “fat girl” parts, ’cause they knew they could just throw a wig on Farley and it would yield a funnier result. Kristen Wiig runs that show, as far as the women are concerned, but maybe Casey will get a better shot once Amy Poehler leaves in November.

I have been having a Hell of a hard time with electronics lately. From my laptop to my BlackBerry, they’re all going haywire. In the past, I dated a girl who swore that she and her family were cursed when it came to electronics. I’m beginning to fear that the curse rubbed off on me. Why couldn’t she have given me something that could just be cured with penicillin?

Knight Rider, Knight Rider, Knight Rider…I don’t know what’s harder to believe: the fact that this show is back, or the fact that I’ve never watched a single episode of the revival. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It ain’t gonna last past January, so I don’t wanna get my heart broken. It will, however, make a pretty nice 13-episode boxed set, as Knight Rider: The Complete Series. It always sucks when a show is cancelled early enough that the DVD collection is labeled “The Complete Series”, but they sure do make nice, finite gifts.

Gonna wrap this one up with a plug. My good pal, Marcus “King Kong” Dowling, has officially left the MySpace Blog slum and entered the real blogosphere. Half the shit he talks about is indy wrestling, so my eyes tend to glaze over as he’s going on about some Wal-Mart cashier in Dundalk who’s destined to be the Next, Big Thing. That said, he does have some pretty funny stuff to say about the world in general, so you should check him out over at www.TGRIOnline.com. And this better get me a link on his site, or I’m gonna have to choke him out.

12th Aug2008

Saved By The Bell Sick Day & Lil Wayne’s Virgin Fest Failure

by Will

“All of my friends have a ring on their finger, they have someone”

It’s been awhile, and I don’t even know where to begin. I’m actually sick right now, and had a kickass day off work. Well, that is, if “kickass” translates into “felt like I was going to boot for a 24-hr period”. Plus, I’m guessing the abundance of Clyde’s rum & cokes last night didn’t help matters, either.

Anyway, it was a GREAT day for daytime television. First off, I got to watch 2 of my favorite Saved By The Bell sagas, back-to-back. Things started off with the 2-parter where Jessie’s old-ass dad was gonna marry the aerobics instructor and Jessie wasn’t havin’ it! You know, there weren’t a lot of episodes focusing on Ms. Spano, but whenever she got center stage, it was always a doozy. She was a diabolical beeyotch in those episodes. Plus, if her dad owns that resort, she must be LOADED – which, btw, conflicts with the story we were told back in season 1, about her parents being hippy protestors. I mean, her dad is clearly suckling on the big, sweet teat of capitalism now. That was followed up by the “Sorry You’re Homeless at Christmas” saga. Yes, the show does establish Zack as quite the poonhound, but I will never see what he saw in that homeless girl. Sure, she was sweet, but wasn’t that the point? “Homeless girl with the heart of gold”? Zack’s never cared about golden hearts unless he could sell them. The older I get, the more smarmy Zack’s tactics appear. I’ve said it before, but I think if The College Years had made it to a second season, we might’ve seen a very special episode with a date rape charge.

Next, I watched an all-day marathon of the short lived UPN show, Jake 2.0. Damn, was that a good show! Long story short, it’s The Six Million Dollar Man meets Chuck. Anyway, thanks to the show, my new celebrity crush is Keegan Connor Tracy. Go ahead and Google her, I’ll wait.

Then, I watched an entertaining episode of Gunsmoke, complete with William Katt playing a criminal, and a young Nick Nolte as a dead sheriff’s deputy. Say what you will about modern entertainment, but TV was awfully violent back then.

Then, I was surprised to stumble across Love, Actually, which is one of my favorite movies of all time (I love you, Martine McCutcheon!). Plus, this was followed up by A Goofy Movie, another of my favorite movies of all time (I love you, voice of Jenna Von Oy, attached to the sweet ass of Jenna Von Oy!). All this was capped off by a fresh episode of Ben 10: Alien Force, and my regularly scheduled Tuesday night onslaught of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? If not for the fact that I felt like shit, it would’ve been a great day.

Let me just say that I don’t give a flying shit about professional sports, but I have loved every minute of the Brett Favre saga. You see, ever since There’s Something About Mary, Brett has belonged to pop culture. I don’t think I’d ever visited ESPN.com in my life, but it was a regular fixture on the BlackBerry over the past month. It might be worth me actually paying attention to football this season, just to see how this all plays out on the field.

So, I also went to Virgin Mobile Fest again over the weekend. Not as action-packed as last year. Foo Fighters were clearly the best act of Saturday, while I think Kanye took the title on Sunday. Kanye’s still dealing with the death of his mom, so he just starts freestyling and going on these rants, but you know they’re coming from someplace deep inside. You wonder if he’s having a breakdown right in front of you, but it’s a powerful form of “group therapy”. I LOVED Chromeo, and everyone should buy their album, Fancy Footwork. That’s right, I said BUY. Can’t get “Momma’s Boy” out of my head. The most… interesting performance, however, had to have been Lil’ Wayne.

So, Weezy F. Baby comes out on stage 45 mins late. By this point, the majority of the crowd has already begun to boo the stage. His posse comes out for about 10 mins, and they just strut around to a pre-recorded track. When he finally comes out, Weezy decides to get religious on us. He tells us that, first, he believes in God. He then, for some reason, asks the crowd if they do, as well, which is met with a pretty resounding “no”. Not sure if it was because they’re pissed at him, or if the Virgin Mobile Fest is simply the largest atheist music festival since John Lincoln’s “Jesus Ain’t In My Guitar” Tour of 1987. * Anyway, he goes into all his hits, plus he runs through all the guest verses he’d done on other people’s albums, which was a bit weird. You’d hear the music start for “Put On”, Weezy’d sing his verse, and then he’d move on to the next song. Then, he really kicks us in the collective balls: he surprises us with Kanye coming out (5 hrs before his own set) so they can do the Lollipop Rmx. Kanye gets through his verse, and when it’s Weezy’s turn, he gets 3 words into it, stops, and says, “Aw, man. I don’t even know that verse noway!” And he’s done. He doesn’t start back up. He doesn’t try to finish up by switching to the album version. No, he’s done. He proceeded to tell us hw much he loved us, which kicked off Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You”, and he ran around the stage. Then, they covered him in a red, terrycloth robe and he left the stage. I shit you not…

Energy levels fading fast. Well, that’s all I’ve got until next time. Oh, and I hate the New Facebook. Just sayin’…

*Don’t Google it – I made that shit up.

16th Jun2008

Apple Bottom Kids & My Problems With Dawson McAllister

by Will

“Good job, Tila. So you can deep throat a pickle. Then again, you probably have 3 mouths, coming from the planet Orbitron or wherever…”

Kinda scatterbrained right now, so no real cohesive thoughts. Just a bunch of random stuff I need to get out:

Dear Management of Union Jacks:
When did you convert your bar into a weekly Bat Mitzvah? I’m not complaining, as I’m kinda going through a Semitic phase right now. I just wish I’d known, as I could’ve brought a gift or something….

– I wonder how The Turtles feel, knowing there’s an entire generation that only knows their seminal hit as “The Golden Grahams Song”.

– I’ve got a friend who’s dabbling in dating sites, and he’s been keeping me abreast of the things he’s encountered. Apparently, there are a lot of fat women on there who state, outright, that they’re not interested in Black guys. Really? But that’s your biggest demographic! That’s like if I had a rice sale, but said “No Asians”…

-Speaking of “fat”, has anyone seen Kimora lately? She’s getting those front neck rolls, like Florida Evans on Good Times.

-Am I the only one who thinks the chick in the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos commercial looks like a Ferengi?

-I just saw a 7-year-old wearing an Apple Bottoms t-shirt. First of all, how do I know she was 7? She told me – kids in a toy store tend to be quite talkative. Now, first, I was thinking it was pretty fucked up for Nelly to make an Apple Bottoms KiDs! line. Maybe he should’ve been on trial instead of R. Kelly. After some web research, though, I find there is no such clothing line. So, this unfortunate wardrobe choice was the result of some real shitty parenting on someone’s part.

-Speaking of R. Kelly, it’s amazing how many people on the street were transformed into top gun legal analysts as a result of that trial. From the nightclub to the check-cashing/carryout joint, everyone was spouting phrases like “habeus corpus” and “circumstantial evidence”. It was incredible! People who’ve never given a shit about anything judicial in their lives – we’re talking about people who didn’t even go to their own daddies’ trials! I was mega surprised when Jeff took an intense interest in it. Shit, I wouldn’t be surprised if he told me he’d signed up for the LSAT!

-Lately, I’ve come to realize the concept of “stealing a kiss” is nowhere near as cute and romantic as people like to believe. In fact, it’s pretty sad…

The Average American Male has the most depressing ending I’ve read in years. And I think every man should read it.

-I want to kick Dawson McAllister in the balls. If you’re unfamiliar with the man, he runs a pseudo-Christian radio call-in show for teens (HOT 99.5, after midnight, locally). Think of Frasier Crane’s radio show, but instead hosted by his dad – his crotchety, old retired cop of a dad. This guy is SO out of touch with his audience that I have no idea how he’s been doing this since ’91. The shit that comes out of his mouth… One girl called up, and was telling him how much she loved her boyfriend, but she was scared of getting hurt. Dawson replied, “Yeah, there’s no condom for the heart, huh?” Really?!

Then, his million dollar answer to every question is the “wait a year” response. Your dad hates your Black boyfriend? Here’s Dawson’s response: “You see, this is about respect. You love your dad, but you love your boyfriend. I say you go to your dad, and say, ‘Dad, I love and respect you. I’ll wait a year, and not see Tyquan, out of respect for you. However, in a year, I hope you’ll have thought it over, and will feel differently.'” Wanna go to Iraq and fight for your country, yet your parents don’t condone it? Here’s the Dawson response: “You see, this is about respect…” Yup, he tells him to wait a year. That’s when he even has a response. Half the time, he responds, “Man, I don’t know what to tell ya” or “What do you want from me?” How about some advice, asshole! And don’t get me started on his insensitive playlist. It’s the only place where you can hear a 15-year-old cry over her unwanted pregnancy, followed up by “Buttons” by the Pussycat Dolls…

-And now, for the part of the post that probably only Marcus and Jeff will understand: When it comes to relationships, I think I’m ready for my title shot. I’ve jobbed my entire life. I jobbed with Barry Horowitz. I jobbed with Al Snow. I even jobbed with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. I think I’ve paid my dues, though. I deserve my title shot. It’s my time to step into the ring with Triple H. It doesn’t mean I’ll win. Hell, I don’t expect to win, but I’ve earned my shot. I’m not even talking about a title shot at Wrestlemania or even The Royal Rumble. Shit, I’ll take No Way Out or even Backlash. When it’s all said and done, though, I don’t want to be a jobber anymore. I want my title shot, and that’s the bottom line….

And with that, folks, I leave you. Hopefully, the next post will make more sense to the casual visitor!

30th Dec2007

2007 Year In Review

by Will

“I just want a moustache, man!”

So, last night, I found myself in the weirdest party environment. This dude got really drunk and then started apologizing to me for slavery. Keep in mind, I’d never met this guy before last night. He claimed he argued my case for his entire Christmas dinner because his family is backwards. I asked why they had such heavy Christmas dinner conversation. I think the worst part was when he said, “Dude, you’re black! I’m so sorry.” Yeah…

I feel like I should do some kind of year-end, best of 2007 post, but I also feel like I said all I needed to in my San Diego Saga. I mean, that was pretty much the highlight of my year, as far as adventures go. Anyway, I think I’ve got a few more things to say about 07, so here goes:

Top Albums of 2007:
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Lily Allen – Alright Still
Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad
Timbaland – Shock Therapy
The Pipettes –We Are the Pipettes (US Version)
Fall Out Boy – Infinity on High
Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long
Leona Lewis – Spirit

Honorable Mention
Britney Spears – Blackout
OneRepublic – Dreaming Out Loud
Mark Ronson – Version

Recent Books Read:
Love Monkey, by Scott Mebus: One of the first lad lit books, I was really disappointed by this one. The main character isn’t very endearing, and the story meanders. 9/11 is thrown in for an emotional beat, and it lacks a fulfilling ending.

Don’t Hassel The Hoff, by David Hasselhoff: If you love The Hoff, you’ll love this book. The problem is that the ghostwriter clearly does most of the work, as British terms and spelling seem to trickle in a LOT. At times, it’s hard to believe that Hasselhoff has such a lofty view of himself, but it’s not cocky – he clearly means well, but it isn’t conveyed as innocently as he would have liked.

Phone Sex, by Miranda Austin: Simply put, it’s the autobiography of a phone sex operator. Not as entertaining as one might think. Interspliced are how-to tips for the aspiring phone sex caller (not operator!). It pretty much outlines the process for beginner/first-time phone sex customers. The book wasn’t that juicy, nor did it have an ending. Plus, Austin’s focus on the fact that she wasn’t exactly attractive or anything like her persona kind of chipped away at the mystique. She pretty much confirmed the stereotype of phone sex operators as overweight and unattractive. It’s like David Copperfield coming out and saying, “Hey, magic’s fake!” Why shoot yourself and industry in the foot like that?

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater, by Marc Acito: Very good read. I try to stay away from fiction because I just don’t really care for that in my books, but this one caught my eye by the cover alone. It didn’t turn out like I thought it would, and I found myself wanting to shelve it early on. What I thought would be a cool, modern lad lit tale turned out to be about a mid-eighties story of a bisexual drama student as he struggles to raise his Juilliard tuition. I’ve got to say that I’m glad I stuck with it, as it’s a pretty funny read. Like I said, not what I thought it’d be, but I’m not disappointed.

I just watched two of the most jingoistic movies of the past 30 years: Rocky IV and Starship Troopers. Rocky IV just screams “U! S ! A!”, as it’s steeped right in the middle of the Cold War. I always felt Apollo deserved to die , solely based on his bombastic James Brown-fueled ring entrance. No good could come from such an audacious start. Meanwhile Starship Troopers touts the difference between a citizen and a civilian. It’s all about how your civic duty is to fight, and while the kids are all from Rio De Janeiro, that’s an afterthought considering they all look like Abercrombie gringos. They should really sell these at Best Buy as a “God Bless America” two-pack.

Best New Shows:

Chuck (NBC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Favorite Movies of the Year:

Superbad
300
Grindhouse (only the Death Proof half)
Stardust
The Bourne Ultimatum
Black Snake Moan
Live Free or Die Hard
We Own the Night
Spider-Man 3
I Am Legend

You know, people look at me funny when I say this, but if you take out the whole “things come out at night to kill you” aspect, Will Smith’s life in I Am Legend really ain’t all that bad. I think what would drive you mad would be the possibility of survivors. If you notice, he was fine until all this “safe zone” talk. If you thought there was a chance there were others out there, you’d agonize over what might’ve been. But if you decide that you’re the only one left, yet you might be able to cure the converted, that’s a different frame of mind entirely. I already talk to myself, so adding mannequins to the mix wouldn’t really change much. I’ve also wanted to speed through Time Square and use an aircraft carrier as a driving range. It all seemed so tranquil and peaceful. Sure, the rest of y’all would be dead, but “…spilled milk”.

Celebrity of the Year: Britney Spears
Say what you will, no one got more headlines than this crazy chica, and it was a batshit crazy year! Anna Nicole died. OJ returned to his criminal ways. It took 3 months for them to do something with James Brown’s rotting corpse. Lohan spent most of the year in rehab. Imus and the Nappy Headed Ho’s. The Sopranos screwed us over with its “non-ending”. Owen Wilson suicide attempt. Gay Political Airport trysts. A Negro headed for the Democratic nomination. Paris is probably going to lose most of her inheritance. But all of that was trumped by Britney. Anything the world could do, Britney could do trashier. No end in sight for a troop pullout? Who cares? Britney shaved her head! US dollar losing steam on the international landscape? Who cares? Britney’s gonna lose her kids! Global warming’s gonna kill all the polar bears? Who cares? Britney got fat and phoned in her VMA performance! It was a modern-day “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, and Britney was the chorus every time. If someone’s keeping a scrapbook of her escapades, I’m sure they made MANY trips to the Walmart this year to stock up on photo albums!

Award of the Year: Myspace
It’s been a big year for Myspace. They were purchased by Fox, gaining a new lease on life as an inexpensive form of movie publicity. Next, they threw their hat into the Presidential Debate ring. On a more personal note, however, Myspace was *very* good to me and mine this year. I know my boy, K-Bone would agree, as well as several others. In all honesty, I don’t know where my social life or general entertainment would have come from without it. Now, to some people, that might sound sad, but to me, it simply demonstrates the awesome power of the internet. I know that for me and my friends, we salute you, Myspace.

2007 is also the year I started paying attention to song lyrics, so I leave you with this:

So take a bow,
’cause you’ve taken everything else
You played the part,
like a star you played it so well

I will have no problem leaving 2007 behind. Look for a new Will in the coming year. That’s not a resolution; it’s a promise.

See ya in ’08…

14th Dec2007

Dirty Pokemon, Black Snake Eyes, New Knight Rider, and Tribute To Ike Turner

by Will

“I thought you made love like an ugly woman. So present, so grateful.”

Dear TNT,
There are other shows in the world than Charmed and Law & Order. I appreciate what you’re trying to do. You’re going for a whole theme thing. But, really? There’s a whole world of syndicated shows out there, just waiting to be mined. I don’t think anyone’s airing The Fall Guy right now. Or how about that old show, The Wizard, with the midget who made toys that helped him “MacGuyver” out of bad situations? Just a thought…

So, I’ve been losing my mind lately, as Toys “R” Us is now open until midnight for the whole holiday rush. For those of you new to these parts, I work evenings and weekends at Toys “R”Us, or as I like to call it, “my student loan job”. Staying open til midnight can be trying considering that’s just the time at which we start turning away customers. Actually leaving the store is a whole different matter. This past Wednesday, we didn’t get out until 2 AM. Keep in mind that the employees are high school students, mothers, and people with other jobs. It makes no sense to me, seeing as how we have a capable night crew, staffed with baby mama’s and ex convicts. Can’t they clean the store?! But I digress…

During this season, our minds start to wander, and the subject matter of our conversations isn’t exactly suited for our environment. For example, a few weeks back, one of my coworkers remarked that he’s both vulgar and nice. I told him that his Pokemon name would be “Vulgice”. Then, his evolutions would either be Vul-Va or VulGina. Yeah…

Recently, though, we’ve been having a lot of discussions/arguments regarding the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. The guys were remarking that, regardless of how Hollywood decides to fuck it up, the movie won’t be complete without Snake Eyes. Now, this is when one of the guys decided to say that there was a time when everyone thought Snake Eyes was Black, and how disappointed he was when he turned out to be some White guy. Now, first of all, this is a common Black thing to say, as we’re always trying to claim someone in the media. Mariah Carey? She’s ours. The Rock? Yeah, he’s ours, too. O.J.? He’s ours as long as he’s acquitted. Anyway, it was weird to hear this, though, as the assertion was now coming from a White guy.

So, I had to search long and hard and think if there was ever any indication that Snake Eyes was a Black guy. As far as G.I. Joe goes, all Black members have to carry a big ass gun. And rhyme. See: Roadblock; Cross-reference: Heavy Duty. Snake Eyes didn’t rhyme and he carried swords. Not a compelling case.

Then, there’s the fact that Snake Eyes dates Scarlett. Sure, in the cartoon, she was with Duke, but in every other form of media, he’s knockin’ those redheaded boots. Now, have you ever seen a Black guy with a redhead? Have you? For real? If you have, can you find out his secret for me?

Next, there’s the fact that he’s a ninja. I’ll admit that I was surprised he was just a blond cornhusker, myself, as he was a master ninja…who’d fought in Vietnam. This is the real clincher, as I realized there could never be a black ninja. Sure, a ninja might wear Black, but he could never be Black? Why? Because ninjas have to be quiet. There, I said it. You know you were thinking it, too!

A Black ninja would be flossin’ and shit, and would never pull off the element of surprise:
“I’m a ninja, son! Look at this big-ass sword, woadie! I’m ’bout to cut you, fool! You betta check yo self ’cause I’m ’bout to ninja. yo. ass!”

But, knowing Hollywood, if they want to be hip and edgy, movie Snake Eyes will probably be Black. And played by Chris Tucker. Thanks, assholes.

Speaking of Hollywood ruining cool, black concepts, I leave you with this: The other day, I was stalking a friend on facebook, and one of his friends is a page at NBC/Universal. Her status mentioned that she was watching the new K.I.T.T. models roll of the truck. For the uninformed, NBC’s filming a new Knight Rider movie which, if successful, will lead to a new series focusing on Michael Knight’s son. Well, when I saw this message, I almost wet myself. I wanted to send her a message. After all, this woman was like an angel to me; my link to my savior: a talking, condescending car. Just looking at my site, you’ve *got* to see the Knight Rider influence. Anyway, I held off, and decided to find more info on the project myself. And here’s what shattered my childhood memories:

HOW THE HELL CAN YOU CALL THIS K.I.T.T.?!!

I swear, every night when I say my prayers, I pray that someone would bring back Team Knight Rider. Or at least release it on DVD. On the bright side, at least these producers got The Hoff to agree to come back, which is something TKR never pulled off.

This post is dedicated to the late, great Ike Turner. I believe there are two sides to every story, and poor Ike never got his fair shake. So, I hope he’s in Heaven, slapping and beating up angels…

17th Sep2007

Strippers In Wedding Rings, Soul Train, Amanda Peet’s Breasts, Date Lab

by Will

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

One of these days, I’m going to sit down an have something intelligent/entertaining to say. For now, I just have a few random bits floating around in my head. Maybe I’ll expand some of these into full length posts should the spirit move me. Anyway, here’s what we’ve got:

-There’s nothing quite like sitting in church, looking down at your pants, and realizing they’re the same one you wore to Scores a few nights ago.

-On that note, strippers, don’t wear wedding rings at work. You’re just killing the illusion. Even if it’s a “fake-out” ring, that “Til Death Do Us Part” tattoo across your lower back is also a buzzkill. Just sayin’.

– Lately, Soul Train has been playing The Best of Soul Train, showing all the good ’80s episodes with Don Cornelius. Man, do I miss that era of Soul Train! Last week, their big musical guest was former Soul Train dancer, Jermaine Stewart, with his big hit, “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.” Most of you young ‘uns know this as “that Gym Class Heroes song”, which is so misguided of you. Anyway, this was the Soul Train era where people really danced. They were innovative and they were electrifying. Soul Train isn’t like that anymore. Now, the only standout dude is that guy with the cane who just nods at girls’ asses…

-The most dynamic performance of the VMAs, hands down, was Chris Brown.

-I have never met a Prius driver that I liked.

-I never planned to like Rock of Love as much as I do. The same could be said for Life in the Fab Lane with Kimora.

-Considering she has, probably, the worst breasts in Hollywood, Amanda Peet sure does go around flashing the girls a lot. For reference, see Saving Silverman or The Whole Nine Yards.

-My life right now is pretty much the same as it was 4 yrs ago, only now I can drive and I’ve swapped out TNBC for the Disney Channel.

-OK, these engagement announcements have to stop.

-I think the Washington Post Magazine should end their Date Lab column if they can’t come up with any success stories.

-I wish my dreams would catch up to the real world.

-I’m still surprised by how few people use the “we hooked up” friend detail on Facebook. With a few of my recent high school additions, I’m dismayed at how many have opted for the standard “we went to high school together” or “we worked together”. Was that all it was, baby? Was it that bad? Hell, why list anything at all? I usually just skip that step…

10th Aug2007

Virgin Fest Part 2: Meeting Richard Branson

by Will

“You gotta have a ticket if you wanna ride the ride.”

Man, why didn’t anyone tell me that Date My Mom still came on? The things you discover at this time of night…

So, where were we? Oh, right:

Virgin Fest Pt 2: The Meeting

So, at this point, with this being my Star Fucker Summer (the SD post will better explain that), I was determined to meet Sir Richard Branson. That’s when one of my coworkers, Tim, answered my prayers. You see, we had 2-day passes, but none of us really wanted to go on Sunday. The bands were lame (except for the Pumpkins), and we’d really had enough from Saturday. But the owner of my company had requested a meeting with Branson on Sunday, and Tim needed help arranging the meet. This was going to be like a meeting of titans: the most powerful man in comics meeting the most powerful man in modern media? When they shook hands, I imagined that every window in a 1-mile radius would simply shatter. I *had* to witness this, so I offered to help my work bud with the meet.

Sunday, we meet up at the Metro and head on over. On Sunday, the fest was dead. D-E-A-D. Why? Because all the acts sucked except for the Pumpkins, who weren’t scheduled to go on until 8:30. It was now noon. Dead. There were about 12 people in the guest area, when there had been a good 200 at its most crowded point on Saturday. Actually, let me throw in one correction. I did get to see Regina Spektor, and she was adorable. I really only know that once song from VH-1, “Fidelity”., but she’s Russian – it’s my kryptonite. Plus, I’m a sucker for the piano-songstress. After all, there’s still a special place in my heart for Sarah Mclachlan and Nellie McKay. Anyway, back on topic.

Anyway, we get into position. Tim is going to meet Branson and his people, while I was waiting for our guy. Well, I wait and wait and wait. Yeah, he never shows. Now, I’m pissed because I’m determined to meet Branson. Something had to justify that day. I only have one day a week that I don’t work (even though I had blown of the PT gig the day before; it didn’t matter); I was wasting my Sunday, and something needed to make that worthwhile. We went into strategy mode, and texted Branson’s assistant. We told her the big guy was a no-show, but we still wanted to meet Branson. Before we know it, he comes through the guest area again. Finally, we got our chance. I don’t really remember much of it. A bunch of douchebags kept cutting in front of us because they worked for Virgin. We finally got up to him, but Tim did most of the talking. Shot the shit about the comics line, and quickly got pictures. Emphasis on quickly. I took Tim’s first, and it’s a great, well-planned shot. When it was my turn, Branson was clearly trying to move along, so mine didn’t come out as rosy. I’m not posting it here because, frankly, it’s ugly. If you’re on facebook, you’ve seen it. But they can’t take away my dignity!

Apparently, as we were leaving the guest area, Darryl Hannah walked by. Whatever. Billionaires have the weirdest friends. Sure, she’s a actress and all, but she’s always going to be weird to me because of her Kennedy connection. She dated JFK Jr. That makes her part of the Kennedy Curse. The same thing with Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s amazing how much Sex and the City made people forget about her past. If you go back to Square Pegs and Honeymoon in Vegas, you’ll get a hint of the weird. You better believe I think there’s a Kennedy Curse, so I don’t want that bad mojo on me. “No, thanks, man. I don’t want you fucking up my life, too.”

After we accomplished our mission (without the help of a banner-laden aircraft carrier, I might add), we took off. It was all in a day’s work. Kind of an anticlimactic finish, but it’s part of my whole “I wanted something and went after it” attitude that I’m trying to cultivate lately. Sure, he sort of came to us, but that was after we worked pretty hard to make ourselves known. After our dude was a no-show, I don’t think that crew gave 2 shits about us. We could have left, but stuck it out. Anyway, I needed to get that story out of the way for the good stuff. Next up, San Diego Dreaming: A Williambrucewest.com Event Told in (At Least) 5 Parts.

10th Aug2007

Virgin Fest Part 1: Amy Winehouse and Cheap Trick

by Will

“Nah, I spent 2 years in the Cub Scouts & realized its potential to make me queer.”

OK, so we’re working backwards here. Virgin Festival, and then I’ll get to the SD adventures.

First off, there are just some movies that shouldn’t air on non-paid television. Friday, for example. It’s just not worth it. The thing makes almost no sense, considering how drastically MTV/VH-1 edited it. Another one? Showgirls. Don’t believe me? Stay up late one night, and check out your local MyNetworkTv channel. It’s on there, and it’s even worse than the uncut version. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

Recently, the job has really cranked the perks up to 11. Sure, I may not be able to pay rent anymore, but I’ll never go naked as they seem to hand out polo shirts weekly. To amp that up, though, the vendors have started getting in on the action. One of our newest and biggest accounts is Virgin Comics. A subsidiary of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire, the Virgin Comics line primarily conveys classic, Indian stories and mythologies to a Western audience. OK, that’s enough of a plug. So, I met their new head of marketing in San Diego, and he was awesome. In fact, he was going to line up a meeting that you’ll learn about in the SD post. In any case, when we got back to the home office, Virgin had provided us with tickets to the Virgin Festival (with guest area access), being held at Pimlico where Preakness takes place.

Now, I’ve never been a concert guy. Whenever these kinds of music fests come to town, they sound cool to me, but my fear of crowds takes over, and I talk myself out of the idea. Well, here was a free ticket. And I hadn’t really paid much attention to the guest list, but one name caught my eye. Yes, the name of a strung-out goddess: Amy Winehouse.

Anyone following my recent posts and myspace/facebook activity knows that I love this girl. Not necessarily in a sexual way, as she’s a cross between Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge Simpson, who actually looks more like Aunt Selma) and that dude from Dead of Alive (they sang the “You spin me right round, baby” song). Not exactly an erection-inspiring equation. It’s not about the sexy, though; it’s about the tunes, man. Her album changed my life. OK, I won’t go that far. If anything, I think it was the timing of her album.

For the uninformed, Back to Black is an album that Amy recorded during a break in her tumultuous relationship with now-husband, Blake Civil-Fielder. She’s said that she wasn’t exactly inspired, but rather *had* to write those songs. If she didn’t get them out, she simply would have died. Dramatic, non? Sure, everyone knows her because of “Rehab”. Haha, she’s singing about how her label wants her to go to rehab. It’s not exactly funny. She was so depressed, and had abused enough substances to get to that point. Sure, it’s a cool, rebellious track, but it’s also a cry for help (especially if you’ve read an entertainment blog in the past 48 hrs). My point is that her main single is almost a joke track to some, while the real meat of the album is what follows. “You Know I’m No Good” is about her warning that she was going to fuck up her relationship, but still forcing her lover and herself to learn, the hard way, that she was right all along. “Love is a Losing Game” is about her regretting taking a chance on love, as it’s a gamble where the house always wins. Now, I’ve never been a lyrics person, so those were just a bonus. This woman could sing me the phone book, and I’d be putty. She just hit me at the right time. I was like a 15 yr old girl who’d just gotten her first Dashboard Confessional CD after being burned by her first bf at theatre camp (it’s OK, honey. He was gay!).

Anyway, seeing Amy on the card was enough for me to go. Screw the Smashing Pumpkins, or 311, or even the Police. I love all of those guys, but they melted away when I realized I might have the chance to sing “No, no, no!” in the presence of my beehived queen.

People were wondering if she’d actually show up. She’s been blowing off gigs left and right due to “exhaustion” and whatnot. But she came. And she performed. And I’m left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, she was magnificent. She really sang those songs, sometimes better than the CD. On the other hand, performance was phoned in at times, due to the fact that a racetrack was not an ideal venue for her. You need to see her in the small jazz club, where the acoustics take over. She is *not* a stadium performer. So, I think it might have been the deadest part of the Saturday bill, but I still loved every minute of it. I saw Amy! Right before she went into rehab! Lord knows what she’s gonna be like if it takes…

But wait, there are more acts! If you had ever told me that I’d get to see Cheap Trick perform “The Flame” live, I’d have kicked you in the balls. Well, now I would also owe you an apology and an ice pack. That was one of my 80s dreams come true. If they had driven out in K.I.T.T., with Catherine Bach in the passenger seat, I might’ve had a stroke.

I saw Ben Harper, but he was pretty boring, really. And while people might kill me for this, I have to say the same thing about the Beastie Boys. Sorry, dudes. That Jamaican waiter from the old MTV commercials would be glad to know that hip-hop is no longer ruled by “Tree Jewish White boyeez”. Also probably blasphemy? The Police bored me. I’m the fool who likes the Sting solo stuff better than the group stuff. He’s not one of those artists like Peter Cetera or Phil Collins, where it’s next to impossible to tell if it’s a group or solo song. No, the Police stuff is drastically different from “When We Dance” or “Fields of Gold”. Sorry, but a brotha loves his soft rock.

You know who rocked the house? Felix da Housecat! My dance phase was about 8 years ago, but he brought it back in full force. On Saturday, the main party was in the dance tent. It felt weird experiencing that scene with sunlight beaming in, but that didn’t stop the club kids. They were tweaking out all over the place. There was one chick who just sat near the door, pinching air. If you were close enough, and the fates allowed, she managed to pinch you ass. Otherwise, she was just pinching, at nothing particular. E is a helluva drug! Felix was awesome, though. I know he has this huge club rep, but to actually be there, and experience it…

Anyway, the overall festival was cool. It was hot as balls, but every tattooed, under-30, local music enthusiast seemed to be in the house. I just couldn’t believe that Sir Richard actually attended the thing. I was minding my own, in the guest tent, when he just kind of walks by. There he was, like a blonde-haired Jesus, swaddled in PacSun robes. Too quick for a picture, but slow enough for a memory. Man, I should be a friggin’ poet…

To Be Continued…

11th Jul2007

Four Year Blogiversary – A Look Back

by Will

“‘Cause you said forever, and ever. Who knew?”

Ahh…a cute White girl, eating watermelon. Be still my Negro heart!

Anyway, four years ago today, this blog was created. Yeah, I know I celebrate a *lot* of anniversaries on this thing, but this is the real deal. Williambrucewest.com has only existed since 2004, when I bought the URL. However, the blog portion, “The World According to a Russian Exchange Student”, was created on July 11th, 2003. It used to be found at waynemanor.blogpsot.com, which somehow belongs to someone else now…

So, 4 years of rambling. The odd part is that I feel my life has come full circle. I’m almost right back where I started. There’s not a lot of progression found in these posts. Sure, there are broad character arcs, from the Natalie saga (“I’m so in love with this lesbian who doesn’t love me back”) to the H&M rants (“I can’t stand this place and I’m too good to be here.”). God, I can be such a drama queen! But have I really grown as a person? Is there any evidence of that? I don’t know about that.

In 4 yrs, I’ve documented 4 full-time jobs, 2 part-time jobs, 2 girlfriends (in “real-time”), 1 car, and 3 moves. I look back at my first week of posts, and I still feel the same way about much of that stuff. Not much personal growth there.

I’ve watched this site change from “the thing I do when I get bored at work”, to the “please read my blog because I’m funny and I really depend on attention from others” phase, and now the “hey, I’m gonna write this shit because it’s funny to me, and at least Tarek, Marcus and James (and possibly Austin) are reading it” phase.

I’ve gone back and forth between the “I’m only going to riff on pop culture, but not talk about myself too much” stage to the “I’m gonna wear my heart on my sleeve” phase (see aforementioned lesbian and the “Alouise” saga). Contrary to popular belief, I’m actually a pretty private person. I love getting in everyone else’s business, but I don’t like them in mine. That’s why I’ll write about observations, and crazy situations in which I’ve found myself, but you’re not likely to find me in a discussion regarding how I “feel”. That’s why I think I like the pop culture stuff more. Going forward, I think we’re going to gravitate more in that direction.

I don’t really know what I set out to do when I started this. I mean, blogs were somewhat cutting edge back then. They were seen as “the next big thing”, and while Blogger existed to help you along, blogs weren’t standard with each Facebook, Friendster, and Myspace profile like they are now. In fact, Facebook didn’t even exist back then, while Myspace was still just for high school drop-outs. My, how times have changed!

Anyway, I think I just created this thing as a vanity project. I thought I was funny and I wanted attention. Every now and then, I’d have a great post (in my mind, anyway), and I’d aspire to greatness. I’d think that my site would become a destination website, where people would come for the funny. I thought I could be an everyman version of Wonkette. Why do you think my URL is my name? It was pretty much a way for me to maximize the attention I got, but maximizing exposure.

Here we are, 4 yrs later. Wonkette’s pretty much a shell of its old self. I go to sites like elephantlarry.com, and think, “Now, that’s funny!” Me? I’m kind of a hack. I think that’s become more apparent in my recent humor, as I’ve devolved into BET “Man, aren’t White people crazy?!” humor, and my liberal use of “Negro” and “Nigga”. That’s the easy way out. That’s the Comicview approach, but it’s not going to cut it in most situations. Especially seeing as how only 1.5 Black people even read this site.

Don’t misunderstand me; this isn’t a pity party, but more of a bit of introspection. So, where do we go from here? Why do I even keep this site going? Well, it’s all I’ve got. I’m at a point in my life where this is the one thing that’s truly mine, and it’s the one thing I’ve got control over. It’s my canvas to do with as I please, and it’s my vehicle for expressing myself. I don’t do this for anyone but myself. There are no more “why haven’t you posted in awhile” or “when are you going to continue such and such story?” comment posts. No, I’m more about, “I feel like talking about dating shows today, and that’s how it’s gonna be.” Sure, I get the occasional “Anonymous” comment (even if you don’t have a Blogger account, you could still write your name), but it’s not really an exercise in audience participation anymore. And I think I’m fine with that. I’m cool in my little cyber shell. I think it’s the Model of Blog Identitiy Development. Jenn went through the same thing as she dealt with the transition from personal blogger to feminist blogger to Asian American Activist destination site. The cycle ebbs and flows, but if you get too wrapped up in it, you start pandering to an audience. My audience thinks like me. If I get the occasional straggler from another site, I welcome the company, but we’re not going to have a discourse. Up until now, I didn’t even respond to comments. I think I’m going to change that going forward. But I’m not here to change lives. I’m just here to live mine, and sometimes take you along for the ride. If that sounds like something you might like, take your shoes off and sit a spell, ’cause I’m sure I’ve got a story to entertain you. In any case, I think I’ll break character and *not* end this post with an ellipsis. Thanks for putting up with me all these years!