Friday, November 30, 2007


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I Deserve A Beef Today

A day, just like any other... no, I haven't done anything special today... but I deserve a beef. I deserve a damn hot beef.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Marc's Midweek 'In the Closet' Beef Haiku

A walk-in closet
is just no place for a beef.
Beef longs to be free!

(Thanks to MenAtPlay for the hot beef!)

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

America Calls, Hollywood Answers.

Last night I went with Alex to see Enchanted. An enjoyable Disney flick. Aside from confirming that there are no straight animators and talking about Patrick Dempsey with a Prince Albert, the previews served the real excitement of the evening...

Ask yourself, "What is your heart's true desire?" No, it isn't "true love's kiss," its a sequel to National Treasure. Fear not because Hollywood is making your dream come true.

I admit, I went to see the original National Treasure when it came out. While the original was just a mediocre knockoff of The Da Vinci Code, it wasn't too bad -- the cute Justin Bartha made it watchable. They laid the groundwork for a sequel in the first film, though I had no clue that the first did well enough to justify a second film.

So the first film wasn't THAT bad, what's my beef with the sequel? Two words: Nicholas Cage. As I've written before, I've never been a big Nicholas Cage fan and having also watched Ghost Rider with Alex I know that Nicholas Cage is looking AWFUL these days. If they made a remake of John Carpenter's classic They Live, Cage would be a shoo-in for one of the aliens... I thought that was the reason they cast him in Ghost Rider -- they could just light his fake hair on fire and save money on special effects.

That said, I'll probably end up catching this one on NetFlix just so I can watch Justin Bartha. Thank you, Hollywood.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dia del Pavo

While I jokingly refer to today as Dia del Pavo, or Turkey Day, even though its been a challenging I really do have a lot to be thankful for. A few special mentions from the Blogging world:

Adam: the one who nudged me into starting this whole blogging thing and who has managed to become one of my closest friends. Thanks for sharing sumptuous Indian food with me as well as engaging in interesting existential discussions.

Alex: another blogger turned good friend. Aside from always being interested in my life and wellbeing, as well as always finding interesting beeves that are worthy of my attention, I never have to get worked up about the state of the world or politics because he's there to do it for me.

The Daily Slab: for providing prime beef for my viewing pleasure.

Donnie: for his always entertaining Mug Shot Mondays.

And to all my readers, especially those of you who take the time to comment: you make this whole exercise much more interesting.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Marc's Midweek Thanksgiving Beef Haiku

On Thanksgiving Day,
though I'll eat lots of turkey,
Beef is for dessert!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

WoW Meets Politics

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned seeing this Toyota commercial to Adam:

While I've never actually played WoW, instead playing DDO and then moving on to Vanguard, I thought it was rather interesting because its an acknowledgment of just how extensive the reach of gaming has been. Overall, I gave the commercial a thumbs up and the big honking truck a thumbs down because I'm a MINI kind of guy, ya know?

Yesterday I encountered Mike Huckabee's new video:

On one hand, its somewhat refreshing to see a little humor in this incredibly overgrown political season. On the other hand, this is just very, very sad... its not as if Huckabee has any chance to secure the nomination but when lame Chuck Norris jokes start forming the basis of your appeal, you know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. I know politics has increasingly turned toward the sound bite and bumper sticker slogans but this has to be the low point in the history of the Republic.

That said, if you're going to go for a WoW themed commercial, leave it to Coke and the Chinese to do it right:

Its Chinese Girl Power, baby!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Memories of Mormons Past

Earlier this morning Alex sent me the link to the good people at Bent, who are featuring a plethora of pics of the scrumptious Michael Churchill. I was especially struck by this shot, as it reminds of one of my best friends in Junior High. There were actually two of them -- identical twins, although one was hotter than the other. Good little Mormon boys, they were. It was funny, though, while most of my friends' parents loved me, I always got the sense that these guys' parents didn't care for me... Anyway, this is what I imagine they'd look like if they couldn't pray the gay away and decided to beef up. Them Mormons breed some damn fine sons.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I recently ran across this article about how researchers have determined that consumerism and low self esteem are linked. The big shocker is that there's a causal link between the two -- low self esteem leads to consumerism... and consumerism also feeds back into low self esteem. Just brilliant. I think somebody better write a book about that because America needs to know.

Oh boy, I missed my calling. Some people have the gift of stating the obvious and turning it into a book, article, TV career or some such. I just don't get it... how the hell do you get the idea to turn the obvious and mundane into a product?

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Marc's Midweek Sean Cody Veal Haiku

Ignore what you see...
Really, I swear I'm not gay.
Its just for the cash!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm an Uncle... again.

Introducing Olivia. Personally, I wanted to name her Ibiza.

While that suggestion got shot down, at least my sister in law had the courtesy to wait until the day after my birthday to pop.


Sunday, November 11, 2007


America needs this man to become President.


My Little Pony

Michael Bojangles 007So yesterday was my birthday... thanks everyone for the comments! The highlight of my day was having dinner with Adam, Dyanna, Kacy & the Greg at Flavors of India in Phoenix. We hadn't gotten together since July, so it was a happy reunion. We tend to be a bit of a rowdy bunch when we get together -- at Dyanna's last birthday we had an older couple ask to be moved away from our table when we started talking about sex toys and a similar experience with Kacy's birthday. This evening was no different.

To make this day just a little more special, Adam & Dyanna gave me a purple unicorn we dubbed "Michael Bojangles," after Michael from Texas, who was not physically present, but with us in spirit. This sassy unicorn got his own place at the table, which did seem to puzzle our waitress, but no more so than Dyanna trying to explain that she was trying to order food without any onions... that said, our waitress seemed to be puzzled easily, as the Greg tried to order a 7 & 7, to no avail.

Michael Bojangles 006After dinner I headed over to Burn for their 1st year anniversary party that my friend Noah had put together. It had a superhero theme (hence the X-Men T-Shirt I was wearing) and brought in DJ Alexander from LA. I usually enjoy guest DJs and I hadn't heard Alexander before, so it was great to hear someone new. Turnout was great and a couple friends of mine had just moved back to town from San Diego and I was glad to be able to spend the evening with them.

Anyway, in the past I'd not really looked forward to my birthday and this went a long way to help me change my attitude on birthdays. Here's hoping that I have even more to celebrate next year.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


Its mah birfday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bodybuilding is SO Gay! (Part 3)

(Via HomoMojo.)

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Marc's Midweek Pre-Birthday Beef Haiku

For a birthday treat,
nothing beats the gift of beef:
Sexy, smart and sweet.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Intro to Club Music - Part 3

I've gone through a quick, bare bones history of dance music and some of the basic characteristics that sets it apart from other forms. One of the essential elements I've left until now is perhaps the most important -- the DJ.

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At a basic level, DJing is deceptively simple -- you're playing a bunch of songs, one after another. For some, a DJ is like a human jukebox, or an extension of the radio: judged by whether he or she plays the song you want at the time you want to hear it. There's a place for that, I suppose. No disrespect intended, but this is the type of DJ I'd hire for a wedding or a bar mitzvahs, its not what I want in a club.

As I explained earlier, dance music is designed to fit together like the pieces of a puzzle... or like LEGOs. Taking that analogy a step further, that raises three basic questions: 1) How well do the pieces fit together; 2) How good is the person at putting together the pieces; and 3) what have you made when you put it all together?

Track Selection
So the first issue is what makes a good track? My rule #1 is that a good track must be interesting. That can mean a lot of things and part of it is a matter of taste. For some, "interesting" can mean that its the dance version of the latest pop hit or a something new from a particular artist (or remixer). The downside is that a trendy song can be like bell bottoms -- they were in style once, but when you look at them now you wonder why the hell you ever wore them. There are tracks that were overplayed SO badly that the mention of them make my ears bleed.

The easiest way for me to explain why I find a track interesting is to have you listen to one and I can explain what I like about it.

G Minor (Original Mix) by Exhibit A

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This is a relatively simple track with a very strong disco feel. So my tastes come into the equation from the start -- I like disco. You start out with a catchy bass hook, slowly layers on a great string part and build until you get to the first breakdown. The first two elements slowly fade back in with the vocals added. You've got a couple of buildups and breakdowns in the song.

So what do I love about this track? The pieces fit together well, I like the style, its a generally pretty track, but besides that, what really sparks my interest? I'll be clear about my biases up front -- my relationship with songs is usually emotional. This song evokes a clear feeling for me, a definite sense of melancholy, starting with the bass line like a drumming at the bass of your stomach and building to a peak before being squelched. It comes back with the vocals added, building relatively quickly until it finally makes its way to the front of your consciousness... There's beauty and pain wrapped up together, along with some remembrance. Ah, the double edged sword of nostalgia.

In the end, this track ends up being much more than the sum of its parts for me. Just a relatively simple track that I'm able to connect with on a very basic level, and that's what makes a track worth listening to in my book.

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I know there are many out there who are on the Hillary Clinton bandwagon. Yes she has the Clinton name and the big lead in the polls and if she wins the Democratic nomination, I guess I'd vote for her. That said, I can't stand her. She's got all of the political calculation of her husband without the charm and charisma to pull it off. John Edwards has a great video on YouTube that really demonstrates one of my biggest complaints about Hillary.

I understand the political strategy -- she's trying to keep from being pinned down by her opponents, whether its the other Democratic contenders or whoever she'll face in the General election. Personally, I believe that's precisely what this country doesn't need. Winning at all costs isn't the answer -- isn't that the biggest problem we're facing in Iraq, in our relationship with other countries, with our problems at home? I'm tired of so-called leaders who are content to tell us what we want to hear or manipulate us into believing what they want us to believe. Stand for something, explain yourself... maybe I'll agree, maybe not, but at the end of the day, I can respect you and sometimes that's more important than agreeing with you.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Monday, Monday...

Just a little something to make facing Monday at the office a little easier. Lord knows I'd be much more enthusiastic about work if I knew I'd be seeing beef like this when I got there.

Thanks to the good people at MenAtPlay who produce such wonderful stuff. (NSFW!)

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Intro to Club Music - Part 2

The Basics
So let's take another look at part of Adam's comment: "It all sounds the same to me, pots and pans clanging..."

Adam has identified one of the essential elements of modern dance music. By and large, its much more bass or rhythm driven instead of melody driven. The beat, the groove, the funk -- dance music's essential quality is that its meant to inspire you to dance.

That's not to say that melody isn't important but it usually takes a backseat in dance music. There are some styles (usually tribal) where melody is all but absent and unless its done VERY well, IMO, that can get real old real fast.

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The other part of Adam's comment - "It all sounds the same to me..." Repetition. Yes, there's a lot more repetition in dance music. Part of that goes back to its purpose -- you need a recognizable, somewhat repetitive rhythm in order to be able to dance. Beyond the basic logistics of it, I feel like the repetition helps you get out of your head. Dance music is meant to be felt, to be experienced. The rhythm and repetition give you that somewhat hypnotic effect that help you move beyond your head and into your body and heart, which is where the magic is. Good dance music is intended to surround you, to move through you.

Another part of that is also the general format of house music -- unlike other styles where you finish one song, stop and then start another, house music is designed to flow from one song to another without stopping, much like interlocking pieces of a puzzle. In order to do that, each song has the same 4/4 meter that allows a DJ to mix them together.

Finally, Adam mentions club music featuring "some unintelligible Diva voice." House music has a range of styles, some with vocals, some without. You can trace the origin of the Diva phenomenon back to house's disco roots - think Donna Summer or Thelma Houston... part of that comes from disco's gospel, blues and soul roots. Part of it is also a quirk of one of house music's core audiences: gay men. The diva has played a big part in the culture of gay men, whether its iconic screen actresses to opera to torch song idols. Its no surprise that the diva figures prominently in house music. I think you'll find less of the diva style when you listen to house music aimed at a straight audience.

That covers the things Adam mentioned in his original comment. In the next entry I'll start talking about what drew me to dance music, what I look for in good dance tracks and what makes a good set.

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Intro to Club Music - Part 1

Last night Adam from This Boy Elroy left this comment on Twitter:
"I'm fascinated by people who are into club music. It all sounds the same to me, pots and pans clanging and some unintelligible Diva voice."

Of course, my first reaction was that I really can't expect too much out of Adam -- after all, he went to U of A, so he's just not that bright. And while that's true (I kid, I kid), I suppose that answer is the easy way out. My impression is that there are a lot of people out there who haven't had the opportunity to hear great club music and just don't get what its about. Add on top of it the reality that just like anything else, there's a range of quality when it comes to DJs and club music... kind of like food. There's fast food, gourmet cuisine and everything in between, as well as countless different styles. And so it is with club music.

The Beginning

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Obviously, music has been around for ages and people have been dancing to it for just as long. Modern dance music traces its roots back to the 70s, New York and disco... but not the sort of stuff you'll find on a cheap "Disco Hits" compilation. Disco fused a number of influences -- latin, soul, funk, gospel, blues -- and at its core was gay and underground. Disco collapsed after the major record labels got ahold of it and turned it into a parody of itself, much like they've done with hip hop. Despite its collapse, disco was essentially reborn in Chicago in the 80s as "house" music, which forms the core of most mainstream dance music. House spawned a number of other styles and sub-genres: techno, trance, and progressive being the most well known. Most modern club music (with the exception of hip hop) is some variation of house.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

She Just Wants His C.O.B.R.A.

Who knew DESTRO was such a pimp?


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