Go Celtics!

If you're one of the three people that read this blog then you know that I am an avid Laker fan. But this year, I'm going for the Celtics!

So let me explain.

For the last couple of years, I've been betting on the Lakers to win the NBA Championship. Seems like a decent bet right now but trust me, for the last couple of years, it's been a sucker's bet. I usually place my bet at Caesars Palace in Vegas and the first year I did it, right after the Shaquille O'Neal to Miami trade, the guy at the window looked at me and said, You know they traded Shaq, right?

Yes, I knew, but as the saying goes, I'm a fan of the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back. And you know, the odds weren't that bad that first year. Lakers had an 8-to-1 shot to win, which is pretty good. I guess because the Lakers were still the Western Conference champs, even if Shaq was no longer on the team.

Anyway, I might as well have just burned my cash the last couple of years since the Lakers had no chance at the title. Which didn't really bug me because, like I said, I'm a Laker fan.

Well, fast forward to this past summer. I went to Vegas in June but when I went to Caesars, they didn't let me make my bet since the 2007 Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers were still underway. Ok, no big deal, I was going to Vegas again two months later in August. I'd make my bet then.

So August rolls around and guess what, I forget to make the bet. Totally slips my mind. I didn't realize what I had done until we were on the road, halfway back to Los Angeles. Oh well, no big deal, I thought. Since the Lakers had no real shot at the title, right? I'll make my bet again next summer and this year, I guess I'll just save my $50 bucks. And since at the time, there was a very good chance that Kobe Bryant was going to get traded, I was beginning to feel like my blunder was a stroke of luck.

Well, the joke was on me because the season starts three months later and guess what... Kobe was still on the team and the Lakers were looking pretty good. Then they go and trade for Pau Fucking Gasol and the Lakers were suddenly contenders for the Finals.

Fucking great.

I make a bet every year and one year I don't, they've actually got a shot to win it all. Back in August, when I should've made the bet, the odds on the Lakers winning were 20-to-1. My cheap $50 bet would earn me $1,000 if the Lakers win it all. Which they very well could! Dammit!

So yeah, even though I really, really hate the Celtics, part of me is hoping they win. Only because as much as I love the Lakers, I can't help but think about the $1,000 I'm missing out on. Anyway, even if the Lakers lose in the Finals (which I don't really want them to do), they'll have a shot next year when Andrew Bynum returns. Too bad the odds on them winning the Finals will back to, like, 8-to-1. Which is still decent I guess, but if you compare it to the 20-to-1 odds I could've had, 8-to-1 seems a little crappy.

And real quick: Fuck the Celtics. They have no right to be in the NBA Finals. Last year, 90% of the Celtics' fans quit on the team and actually cheered when they lost. Only because at the time, each loss potentially increased Boston's chances of landing Greg "Where Da White Women At?" Oden or Kevin Durant in the draft. But since there is some justice in the sports world, tanking (which is exactly what the Celtics did) never works and they miss out on both those guys. But then, out of the fucking blue, the ghost of Red Auerbach rises from the blackest pits of Hell and somehow forces Minnesota Timberwolves general manager (and former Celtic!) Kevin McHale to trade Kevin Garnett to the Celtics for a song. Which, overnight, makes the Celtics Finals contender as well. Say what you want about Lakers fans being bandwagoners but the fans never quit on the team to the point where they would cheer each loss. My point, Boston shouldn't get rewarded for quitting on their team.


The Ruler's Back?

If you happen to be a listener of my podcast, the many moods of larrydigital, then you know that I'm a fan of rap music, particularly "old school" rap. Now, the phrase "old school" can be a little tricky as it could mean a number of different things in relation to rap music. Mostly because rap music, like all music really, is an evolving entity and as the genre progresses, more and more acts become "old school" as more and more rap listeners grow older. Just like how to my dad, "classic rock" meant Chuck Berry and Little Richard, to me "classic rock" means Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd and to my newborn son, "classic rock" might mean Foo Fighters and The Killers. Make sense?

Since I'm an older guy, old school rap to me means anything prior to "The Bridge" by MC Shan, which is about 1985. And as I mentioned in Episode 1: Fever in the Funkhouse of the many moods of larrydigital, one of my favorite old school rappers is Slick Rick. I must be a fan since I included in his song "Hey Young World" in my debut episode, right?

Now, Slick Rick (born Ricky Walters) is a good ol' fashioned hip-hop legend. As a semi-member of Doug E. Fresh's Get Fresh Crew, Rick scored two massive hits right out the gate with the 1984 single "The Show" and its b-side "La Di Da Di". The hits kept on coming up through 1988 when Rick released his debut album, "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick".

All was well and good until Rick managed to fuck everything up just two years later in 1990. He was arrested for two counts of attempted murder when he shot his cousin and an innocent bystander. His cousin, mind you, later admitted to trying to murder Rick so really, Rick's attempt at murder was some jackass version of revenge. Which is fucking mind-boggling to me. Here's a tip Rick: Call the fucking cops.

Anyway, Rick goes to jail and is eventually released in 1998 after serving 6 years of his 10 year sentence.

Now here's where it gets even more convoluted...

While Rick managed to stay out of trouble after his release from prison, in 2002 he is hired to perform on a cruise ship and is promptly arrested when the ship returns to port. Turns out that Rick was actually born in England and moved to the U.S. when he was 11. After the September 11th attacks in 2001, a law was passed that actually deports all non-U.S. citizens convicted of violent felonies. So while no one minded that he was still in the country after his conviction, officials had serious problems with his attempt to re-enter the country. He ends up serving another 17 months in prison while the Immigration and Naturalization Service tries to have him deported. Never mind the fact that Rick has no ties in his "home" country as he no longer has famiy there and he's lived in the Bronx with his wife and children (all U.S. citizens) since the mid-80s. Rick, of course, fights the case. The whole thing gets dropped in 2003 when the INS essentially gives up and Rick is released from prison. Again. All was well and good again until 2006 when out of the blue, the Department of Homeland Security begins yet another attempt at deporting Rick.

But then, word broke yesterday that New York state's latest governor David A. Paterson has issued a full and complete pardon of Slick Rick for his attempted murder conviction. Reports say that the pardon was issued in attempt to assist Rick in fighting his latest deportation case. There's not even a guarantee that the pardon would help Rick stay in the country, there's just the possibility that it might.

To me, this whole situation is all kinds of honked up. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a fan. I saw Slick Rick perform live back in 1998 when he performed at the House of Blues on Sunset. He was scheduled to come on at 9:00pm but he didn't actually take the stage until 1:30am. Not the most professional guy around obviously, but damn it, he was worth the wait.

What I don't think he's worth is all the man hours our government is spending trying to "get" him. I mean, yes, Slick Rick is definitely a bonehead. No one is denying that. After all, he did try to kill someone. But he also served his time and by doing so, he's paid his debt to society, hasn't he? So why the hell would so many people spend so much time and effort to deal with a man who's reported had no legal trouble (of his own creation, I mean) since his conviction over 17 years ago? Apparently, he's remained on the straight and narrow so why would the INS and the Department of Homeland Security target this rapper? It's not he's Juelz Santana or anything, who plainly professed his admiration for 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Ata's courage.

In this day and age, when our government clearly has more pressing matters to deal with, why all the fuss for a musician that most people over the age of 30 don't even remember? Why the hell would someone like the governor of New York bother weighing in on the matter? Doesn't he of all people have more important things to do as well? The answer: yes. While some may see Paterson's involvement as an abuse of power, I just see it as your government at work. Bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake. And, as a government employee myself, I know what I'm talking about. Sure, I've got a million other useless things to do but I can always find something new and equally useless but with a little more publicity to occupy my time.

Clearly, it must be one of two reasons, either he really loves "Children's Story" or he's after that oh-so-coveted hip-hop voting bloc when it comes time for his re-election.


the many moods of larrydigital, pt. 8

To download podcast: Click here.

Since I originally intended for this podcast to be my special Cinco de Mayo episode, the plan was to have it available on May 5th. But as I mention in the actual podcast, no matter how many times I mixed and remixed it, I just wasn't satisfied the end result so I missed by deadline.

Anyway, I ended up scrapping half the podcast and mixed in new(ish) music. So what you'll hear is this weird amalgamation of latin influenced music and just plain ol' soul music. You know, the usual. I think it works though and I'm much more satisfied with the final piece.

And since it seems to be the biggest complaint about my podcasts, the three of you that actually listen to the many moods of larrydigital will be happy to know that I seem to have solved the problem of my own vocals sounding far too low. Let me know if they still need work.

Real quick, I'd like to take a moment to plead for your assistance. Now, I'm grateful for those who actually download to the many moods of larrydigital but I'm really looking for some feedback from actual listeners. I do get e-mails which is cool but I'm hoping to get something a little.... more. Specifically, I'm looking for reviews. Not to be posted here but on my iTunes page. So if you've got a spare minute, please click this link and type out a review of the many moods of larrydigital. It doesn't need to favorable, although I'd be grateful if it was, I'd just like something there. You know, just so I know what my listeners (all 3 of you) think.

Episode 8: All Celebrity Voices Are Impersonated Tracklist

1. larry's intro
2. "Spill the Wine" by War
3. "Tell Her She's Lovely" by El Chicano
4. "It's Now Or Never" by El Vez
5. larry's interlude #1
6. "Something's Changed" by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
7. "Can't Turn Me Away" by Sylvia Striplin
8. larry's interlude #2
9. "Too Hot To Stop" by The Bar-Kays
10. "Get Up and Get Down" by The Dramatics
11. larry's interlude #3
12. "Love the One You're With" by The Isley Brothers
13. "One Look Over My Shoulder" by Average White Band
14. larry's interlude #4
15. "Surgery" by World Class Wreckin' Cru
16. "Everlasting Bass" by Rodney O & Joe Cooley
17. "When I Hear Music" by Debbie Deb
18. larry's interlude #5/outro
19. "La Misma CanciĆ³n" by Ozomatli

This month's theme song is "Peanuts" by Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass.


Meet the New Boss...

...same as the old boss.

Yesterday, my son Jacob Evan decided that he had spent enough time incubating so he showed up a little early. Two weeks early, to be exact. He was close to term which means that he was a decent size (6 pounds, 8 ounces) and a pretty good sized length (20 and a half inches).

The interesting thing about him was that he was pretty furry. I mean, he has a full head of hair and all but more than that, he has these wispy baby hairs all along his ears, arms, legs and shoulders. So he's not quite a wolf baby or anything like that but I have to admit, I really wasn't expecting him to be so... fuzzy.

Luckily, I took a parenting class a few weeks back where they informed us that this condition wasn't uncommon. It's called "lanugo" and all it does is protect the baby while he's in the womb. The hairs are no big deal as they usually disappear a few weeks after birth. So it's nothing out of the ordinary and it happens to a lot of babies. Good thing I knew that prior to his birth because I'd never heard of lanugo before and had I not known about it, my wife definitely would have had some 'splaining to do.


The Love Rises Again!

Ahh, Spring.

One of my favorite times of the year. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming. And love... love is definitely in the air. Hot Mexican Love, that is.

As I've mentioned before, I'm one of the co-creators of Hot Mexican Love Comics, the sexiest independent comic book on the market today. As I type this, the latest issue is congealing into our latest comedy bonanza. I just wanted to take a moment to make sure that you, my readers (aka Jim), are aware of the upcoming release so you can head on down to your local comic store (click here if you don't know where that is) and ask your retailer, nay, demand that your retailer order enough copies of Hot Mexican Love Comics 2008 (aka Da Dirty Ocho) for you and all your friends. Actually, now that I think about it, you might want to pick up multiple copies. You know, just in case.

Be sure to check out the lucha libre espectacular "Encuentro de la Semana" featuring the work of yours truly and the lovely and talented Mr. Ethan Spaulding. You won't be disappointed... but if by some chance you are, I suppose it wouldn't really matter because you'd have already paid for the book. Sorry.

The book is available for pre-order at finer comic book establishments now and should be in stores by mid-July.