Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Couple Random Homework Songs

Here's a a sample, a specimen, a smattering, a smorgasbord (if you will) of the music I listen to while reading or chillin like Matt Dillon on Penicillin:

DJ Cam

Quiet Village

Nightmares on Wax

Jaylib The Red instrumental (words distract me)

What do you think?

What do you listen to???

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reilly, Obama

Rick Reilly wrote a column for ESPN The Magazine this week about picking a fantasy team with Barack Obama. Funny stuff, really, although even Obama couldn't overshadow Reilly's writing about what always seems most important to him: himself.

It's always a dubious project when sportswriters take on politics, I know. So maybe my expectations were a bit too high. But look:

It took us 30 minutes to pick nine slots. The man was into it. I said I'd need to talk to him the following week about how we did.

"Cool," he said. "How's Tuesday?"

"Sorry," I said. "Getting married Tuesday."

He looked stunned. "Who'd marry you?"

Wise guy. Check.

I mean, Reilly just HAS to insert that he got married, even though it has nothing to do with the column. And then he gives us his own witty characterization of Obama. Please, man. Save it.

And just when you thought he couldn't destroy a fascinating column subject any more, he ends with--what else--more about himself:

He e-mailed to say he wished he had followed my advice on Berrian (who smoked Marshall), but he was "pumped up" about our numbers. And he congratulated the newlyweds.

I e-mailed back and said that if he wins this election, the ambassadorship to Tahiti would make a nice wedding present.

I don't really care what the column says about Obama. Coming away from the article, in fact, I don't have a clear idea of what Reilly wants us to think about the democratic nominee anyway. He's obviously joking when he says "Doesn't work well with others" because Obama demanded they take Clinton Portis instead of Adrian Peterson, but it falls short of interesting because of Reilly's selfish editorialization.

Whatever. I (a) wouldn't want to receive that information from a sports columnist (and one who consistently rants against Tiger Woods's competitiveness, no less), and (b) assume that Obama was fully prepped for his time with Reilly well in advance.

But still, Rick. Horrible. You used to be my writing hero. What happened?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gay Marriage

My girlfriend got married the other day:

As an example of guerrilla theater, the proposal (as well as other ones occurring on Stanford's campus this week) was meant to raise awareness for Prop 8. If you dig that kind of activism, check out STAMP, the student group that set it up.

If proposition 8 is passed in California on election day, it will change the California constitution to prohibit gay marriage. In other words, we at JJ vote NO ON PROP 8. My argument is simple: Choosing who you want to marry is a fundamental human right. Denying gay marriage is therefore violating a personal liberty.

There is still time to register to vote in Cali, so if you live there please register and educate yourself on the issues. Besides prop 8 and the general election, there's also prop 4, which would require parental notifications for abortions.

Obama likes to say that this election is the most important since 1932. I don't know about that, exactly, but I do know that this is a critical election in American and global history. We have the chance not only to reform the political system in Washington and regain America's esteem abroad, but we can also preserve fundamental human rights in states like California.

In other words, it's go time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

some thoughts

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

While reading Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives, the following question hit me:

Just how appropriate is it to call followers of Judaism "Jews"?

I am neither a Jewish intellectual nor Jewish (though I have been asked on many occasions if I was going to Temple on Rosh Hoshannah and Yom Kippur), but the question has bugged me since reading Number the Stars in sixth grade. I asked my teacher, but she did not have an answer--it's not her fault, considering we were in Hawaii, and I knew exactly one Jewish person until I got to college (and after bringing in her dreidle at Hannukah and having her mom talk to the class about Judaism and why they didn't celebrate Christmas, she left the school).

Riis' account of life in tenement addled New York City is interesting, but it is also racist. He not only plays on stereotypes of Italians and Eastern Europeans, but he also builds on said stereotypes. He saves his most venemous remarks for followers of Judaism, saying that "their God is thrift" (among many worse things).

A chapter is titled "The Sweaters of Jewtown". I know we have many Chinatowns in US cities (as well as in Japan), but even this seems vaguely racist to me. For some reason, though, "Jewtown" seems downright offensive, especially in print.

I understand the term is used quite liberally today, but it is an abbreviation of a word describing people. Similarly, the term "Jap" (for the Japanese) is highly offensive and has all but disappeared from the English language.



And while listening to Jens Lekman's "Sipping on the Sweet Nectar", I had the realization that playing a guitar on stage can make anyone desirable. Anyone. Mr. Lekman is up there, singing about how he's never been kissed (and he's admitted it's all very biographical), and only now girls are saying how "hot" he is. Do these girls listen to the lyrics that these bands are singing? Do they hear the self-loathing and the insecurity?

Though my band was not in the same universe as being famous, it always struck me as odd when a girl would say "I really liked your song". I just wanted to ask "Did you really listen to it, or do you just say that to every live band you hear?"

Well then.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Someone Find Me Some Kicks

Dear JJ readers,

Find me some kicks.

All the dunks I have are old and smelly. I need some new ones. Jhuff recommended some Air Maxes, and since he is JJ's resident shoe expurt I started listening, but I can't find any I really really love. Help me pleeeeease!

My specifications are simple:

  • Not too flashy
  • I want to be able to wear 'em out and wear 'em to work/class
Here are a couple sites to page through.

Jhuff recommended these:


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stupid Vote = Cubs Fans

More on the serious implications of this in the upcoming week...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quickly, Then

Should have put this up last week, obviously, but there was a debate last night that was loosely connected to the Vice-Presidential debate last week so I can justify my belated shortcomings.

And I thought Obama did quite well last night, didn't you? The way I see it, he's up 2-0 and there's 30 minutes left. If he lets McCain steal a goal in the last half hour, he could lose all the momentum and find himself tied before he knows it, and faced with insurmountable inertia. Let's hope Obama doesn't just pack it in and defend, let's hope he keeps the ball as much as possible and keeps going forward. If he can grab another one and go up 3-0, the game is all but over.

Monday, October 6, 2008

can't take my eyes off of you.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

I've never realized how great Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' song "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" was until very recently...after this Entourage clip (not because of this commercial):

Man. What a tune. How it starts off so minor and sparse and builds up so incredibly.

The "I LOVE YOU BABBBBBYYY" line is such a great one for karaoke.

Yeah, there was this cover, but it pales in comparison

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cubs Might Blow It

Soooooo. About last night...

Cue awkward silence.

Ok, Ok.

Time for us all to get a hold of ourselves. Time to let go of the choking tension. Goosfraba. Goooooosfraba. There.

Ryan Dempster is mostly to blame for the Cubs loss last night, and what makes it most upsetting is that he obviously choked: he pitched in a wild manner completely unlike anything we've seen from him this year. But that's Ok. We're only down one. I think that Dempster will get another shot at pitching in these playoffs, and I think he'll make up for last night's atrocity. I really do believe that. Time to move forward. Onwards!

Three things to be super happy about after last night's game (yay! staying positive!!):

  1. Kosuke Fukudome. Although he went 0-4, he did not once swing and miss at that low-inside pitch that teams learned in July he couldn't hit. In fact, he made solid contact with 0-2 counts on two of those pitches. Plus he made a great catch while stumbling over the Dodgers' bullpen. I'm backing him to be MVP of game two.
  2. Game 1 is over. I hope the sheer fact that the playoffs are underway will calm the Cubs down a bit. They can look around themselves, check out the field and the clubhouse--they'll no doubt realize that it's still baseball, they're still the best team in the NL, and they've come back from worse crap this season.
  3. We were right there. The Cubs had opportunities to win the game last night, even after the Dodgers hit that garbage bull-ish grand slam to go up 4-2. Point is, the Cubs did not get dominated last night, they choked. If they cash in their opportunities the rest of the series, they will come out on top.
Now, then. Let's get some runs!

Addendum: What the eff was wrong with the fans at Wrigley last night??? I mean, I know it was tense. I could hardly breathe all the way in DC. But you go to a game to cheer on your team. You don't go to add to the tension by refusing to cheer at important moments. Leave your goddamn fatalistic attitude back at home. We needed the crowd to get behind the team, like an Uncle at his nephew's little league game, not heap on more pressure by staying seated and shaking heads. Yeesh.

And if I hear one boo tonight directed at the Cubs players tonight, I'm going to use my DVR to pinpoint one of the booers, find him/her on facebook, and be really agitating via the internet. (Instead, boo the umps who gave Derek Lowe a strike zone wide enough to reach halfway down the first base line. Boo them all you want.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cubs Cubs Cubs

The Cubbies start their run at the World Series, and ending their 100 year drought, tonight against the LA Dodgers.

Because sitting through an entire baseball game on TV can be trying at times, I was planning on DVR-ing the game so that I could skip through the commercials.

Ok. No.

This game is not the most important game of my consciously sports-loving life. But it's in the top five. Here's why: The Cubs have the best record in the NL. On paper, they should make it to the Series. The problem is that the Dodgers are hot, and we all know how dangerous hot teams can be in baseball playoffs (see St. Louis Cards, 2006). If the Cubs win tonight at Wrigley (where they've been amazing, tonight's starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is 14-3 there), the entire world will be talking them up. If they lose, the entire world will say the Cubs are about to blow it again, and there will be an enormous amount of pressure on game two starter Carlos Zambrano, who is notoriously unable to control his emotions.

These five game series are weird. If you lose the first one, you're in trouble.

So big day today everyone. I'll definitely be watching live: 6:37 pm on TBS. Let's go.

THE TOP FIVE SPORTS EVENTS I'VE WITNESSED (not in order, and not definitive):

(1) 1998 NBA Finals, Game 6

(2) 2006 Champions League Semi-Final, Game 2

(3) 2008 US Open Championship

(4)Arsenal going all of 2003/2004 unbeaten

(5) TONIGHT!!!