Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tail Report: Ashley Sky

This is Ashley. What does Ashley do? Ashley looks incredible in lingerie and bikinis. Good enough for you? Yup, it's good enough for me, too.


All Grown Up

Ellie Kemper...mmm mmmMM mmm MMMM. In just a few short years, she's gone from geeky internet-skit girl... quirky TV character actress... Hollywood siren...

Yes, please. As one of DERRICK Comedy's early fans—pretty much the only people who even know who DERRICK Comedy is—I feel a sense of pride in seeing Ellie's growing success. Almost like an older know, like fifth or sixth removed. A "cousin" you can still do stuff to without it being weird...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tail Report: Jennifer Lopez (Oscar Night Edition)

I thought about doing the standard "all the hot gals of the Oscars red carpet" post, but...I don't know. There were a few surprising showings (Ellie Kemper, who I'll get to in a later post, and Viola Davis' tasty treats are the first two to come to my bourbon-saddled mind), as well as some comical ones (I mean, Angelina...I wouldn't say "No" to her, but anymore she's the Peyton Manning of hot women: A big name with a Hall-of-Fame career, who at this point is damaged goods and a bit past her prime; she can still win a few games, but there's no way you'd stake your future on her—sorry Brad). But, on the whole, there just wasn't much for (straight) male eyes to enjoy. The one woman who did bring the "bang", though? Our favorite chica from the block. Both on the red carpet:

...and at the after-party:

Yes, that's a bang. Twice. Te amo, mami.

Grown Little Man

Kev Hart watched the end of the NBA All-Star Celebrity game from the bench. But if you've gotta go, go with style.

Video: Profound & Ejoox -- "No Church in the Wild Remix"

My dude Pro and his boy do the damn thing over Ye and Jay's "Church in the Wild" beat.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Auto Eroticism: Fisker Karma

For once, buying a $100,000+ car may be fiscally responsible.

In addition to being American-made, the long-awaited Karma separates itself from its Italian, German, and British peers in the six-figure, "golddigger-radar-lock" category of automobiles by running on electricity (though it can also run on gas, depending how you toggle the settings in the cockpit). At 5300 lbs and only 400 bhp, the Karma is more tourer than sportscar (a bit of semantics that might help you justify spending $100K on a car that needs six seconds to go from 0-60 mph), but its modest performance is made much more tolerable knowing you're getting 30 to 40 miles per gallon.

From Tamara Warren and Life + Times:
The substantial 22-inch wheels seem to fit snugly to the big body. Side by side with a Maserati Quattroporte, it looked as if the Karma could have swallowed the Italian sports car. The Karma specs confirm my observations, weighing in at a hefty 5300 pounds. The 403 horsepower and 959 pound feet of torque make for respectable, if not fast and furious performance. The Karma climbs from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds in electric mode, and just under six seconds using the gasoline engine. It’s much more exciting to drive a Karma than, say a plug-in counterpart like the Nissan Leaf. But what this means is that the fuel economy is actually somewhere in the 30 to 40 mpg range for regular driving, 50 mpg on a mindful day of all electric driving. I had fun clicking a leaver between Stealth (all-electric) and Sport (gasoline power). Electric cars are by nature silent, but Fisker added in whirring sound effects that add drama to the drive experience.
The Karma is definitely pretty; but, to be honest, if this price range is realistic for me, I'd probably go with an M3 and spend the difference on gas. Though it does strike me as a perfectly good "wifey car". Maybe if Hiromi is extra good to me, I'll cop her one on her birthday. [It may also help her chances if she actually knew I existed. *cough*]

Monday Kickstart: They Shoulda Never Gave that Nucca Money

[NOTE: This week's kickstart is coming a little later in the day than normal. That's partially due to some family matters of my own that took place last week. Hopefully I'll get caught up again soon.]

Strike 1 — WNBA jersey.
Strike 2 — Skinny jean cut-offs.
Strike 3 — Tube socks with canvas sneakers.
Strike 4 — Louis Vuitton cell phone case.

Key & Peele's series of Lil Wayne skits hit the nail on the head (with one small caveat: they really didn't address the fact that 95% of this rhymes are straight garbage); unfortunately, however, Comedy Central hasn't made any of those videos available for me to post. But no one walking around in a WNBA jersey and party socks (yeah, I brought that term back) should be claiming gangsta. You don't have to wear baggy jeans with big chains hanging from your neck to be tough, but you damn sure can't be dressed like a lesbian hipster and still pretend that you're thugged out.

As a sidenote, though, it's hilarious how it appears that everyone in the photo is doing their best not to stare at Wayne.

And now, for your workweek motivation, I'm going to turn the mic over to Ms. Francesca Frigo:

Couldn't have said it better myself, Francesca. Let's get it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Redemption Song

As the 2012 Grammy Awards pressed on, what would normally be a fairly innocuous situation—a famous R&B singer appearing onstage to perform one of his songs—quietly grew into something much more unsettling. While, at first, I gave no eclipsing thought to Chris Brown being a part of the ceremony, I slowly began feeling sick to my stomach. The realization of what I was seeing, of what it all meant, was disheartening, and shook my faith in humanity.

I wasn’t actually watching the Grammy Awards, though. [Seriously, if you’re not between the ages of 6 and 18, don’t actually know the artists themselves, and aren’t in the industry, then why the hell do you care about the Grammys? They haven’t been relevant in 30 years.] No, I was casting a casual eye towards Twitter, as it suddenly roared with a fervent, anti-Brown outcry.

Really, people? This is what lights your souls (and “send” fingers) on fire?

Let me clarify now [Don’t you just love that anytime someone casts a dissenting opinion these days, they have to simultaneously shield themselves from a witch hunt?] that I am in no way condoning violence against women. One more time: I AM NOT CONDONING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. I was raised by a single mother, who I love and cherish for everything she has done for me. She instilled in me every value I hold true, and taught me to employ the powers of reason, constructive thinking, and forgiveness. What happened between Chris Brown and Rihanna was a violent crime, and one for which Brown was rightfully convicted (though I feel the punishment doled out by the court was lenient; when you attack someone—man or woman—as brutally as he did Rihanna, jail time is warranted). I have two sisters, female cousins I love like sisters, a niece, several very close female friends…if someone ever did to them what Brown did, vengeance via that person’s slow, painful death may be all that I could accept in return.

…At first.

See, to sit here and contemplate such a terrible fate befalling one of my loved ones is only going to bring about the emotions that I would feel in that moment in which I learn of the attack. What would I feel three years later? Being a rational human being, I have to believe there would still be anger, but that it would be muted by understanding and empathy. This, in addition to opposable thumbs, is what millions of years of evolution has bestowed upon us: The ability to see things from more than one angle, to understand why the guilty did that for which they’re accountable; and the ability to understand that redemption may still be possible for him or her, despite the horrifying wrongs he or she has inflicted. The compassion it takes to accept that a flawed person needs time and support to overcome the demons that caused him to hurt others is an ancient concept in today’s world, thanks largely to Facebook and Twitter giving people a platform to express their unfiltered, in-the-moment thoughts before reflection and logic can refine them.

Just as putrid is the mob mentality that builds via Twitter. When someone with a modicum of fame—and 100K or more followers—expresses disgust towards a person or thing (Brown, in this case), it incites the masses to jump on the bully’s side of the line in the dirt. So rarely is this due to the followers having the same misgivings about the target of the hatred; more often than not they just want to earn a spot at the cool table by identifying this target as something they share with the bully. “I hate him too! I’m just like you! Accept me!” After all, if the cool kids are doing it, then you should be doing it too, right? And if multiple bullies attack the outcast, it only snowballs. It’s much easier to join the crowd in jeering Chris Brown, and to castigate him for one reprehensible episode, than it is to set down the torch and pitchfork and allow him space to try to rehabilitate the mental or emotional illness that caused that episode.

Perhaps this is the chunk of the whole “Chris Brown at the Grammys” mess that has provoked the most irritation for me. So much of the aggressive and derisive sentiment isn’t being spoken truly because the people behind the iPhones and keyboards hate Chris Brown. They may hate his attack on Rihanna (as do I); they may hate the sexist, misogynistic overtones of such attacks (as do I); they may hate that his fame likely shielded him from a much harsher punishment following his conviction (as do I). But aside from those pieces, he’s really just a news story to them. He’s a talking point, an edgy joke to be shared with others in the hope that one might fit in with the same society of which Brown himself was once a prominent figure. That so many comedians and B-list actors are participating in this public game of H.O.R.S.E. on a six-foot-high hoop is more telling of their need for attention than it is of the severity of Brown’s act. What percentage of these pseudo-celebs and Twitter-demagogues are contributing their time and excessive (for non-Hollywood standards) earnings to women’s shelters, domestic abuse awareness programs, and other relevant charities? Which is more sensible as a sentient member of modern society: Catty jokes on Twitter, or taking tangible action to help the millions of victims of the same abuse that you’re using to fuel your aspirations of being Twitter’s prom kings and queens? When did chastising the guilty become a more pertinent piece of the puzzle than aiding the innocent? And when did working to prevent future crimes against humanity take a backseat to being the cleverest “Mean Girl”?

Certainly Brown has done little in the way of handling the criticism and snarky jokes very well. His juvenile responses to his critics—especially on Twitter—have only added rocket fuel to the fire. When I was young and had trouble with bullies, my mom suggested I ignore them. It always seemed like something that was easier said than done. I felt as though I was handcuffing myself while my enemies took shots at me, and that my silence was having little effect in response. I would always get to a point where I felt that, whether I retaliated or not, my attacker was going to keep saying and doing what he felt like to me and my pride. Sometimes the higher road just seems like a dead end. Brown has been a poster child for this frustration. And as the high and mighty have stood around him shoving away, he’s given into the temptation to shove back—which, in the realm of public opinion and media spin, is never going to garner you anything other than more of what you’re already getting.

Here’s the fun part, though: I’m just as guilty as the other bullies and hero worshippers. I’ve taken pot shots at Chris on this page on several occasions, and even sent off a random tweet at the outset of Sunday’s shitstorm. As I watched the stakes escalate, though…well, I’ve already gone into that. But looking back at it all now, I honestly feel ashamed. I wonder: Will the Twitter bullies ever stop to acknowledge that same embarrassment?

Again, I say all of this with no intention of defending Chris Brown’s crime. And, for the record, he doesn’t seem very interested in defending it either. In all that I (or any of the bullies) have been given on which to base opinion, he’s actually showed remorse. He understands that he has a penance to pay for what he’s done. And if he was afforded time to focus on his personal betterment and his career—because, after all, music and performing are his career, and doing such at the Grammys is therefore quite natural—he might be fine. Working means being able to take your mind off of your demons and past mistakes for brief periods of time, and that can do wonders when one is attempting to find salvation. Rihanna herself has forgiven Brown, and is even currently working on a song with him. In other words, the only other person with a truly righteous understanding of the very event that has millions of strangers playing god with Chris Brown’s character and psyche is saying, “Let’s move on. Prove to me you can be better, Chris.”

But who cares what she thinks?

Monday Kickstart: #WhyILoveTwitter

Stay in your lane, Roseanne.

And, for this week's reason to care, I give you Miss Jessica Red (from T.I.T.S. Blog):

I usually don't care for girls with a lot of tattoos, but...I could make an exception. Let's get it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tail Report: Claudia Sampedro

I'm a little late on the news (as usual), but Reggie Bush is/was all up in this like a play action fake. Nucca's my hero. I might draft him in the first round of my fantasy drafts this September, just because.

Ah, the perks of playing professional football in Miami. New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts teams might get the championship rings, but Florida teams get delicious Cuban mamis. I'd call that a serious "push".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Get it Twisted

Kim Kardashian is vapid at best, outright conniving and ruthless in the quest of her own self-promotion at worst. She used a special needs boy by the name of Kris Humphries, extracting his pride from him through contrived "reality" programming (actually, "programmed reality" is the best and most succinct way of describing her E! show), all for ratings and expensive wedding gifts, and then 72 days later tossed away the empty shell of his public persona like a Carl's Jr. cup out the window of a Mercedes doing 80 on the PCH.

She sought pop stardom, despite the fact that she wouldn't make it past an American Idol tryout without help from her name and/or her mama's machinations. And when it became vividly evident—via a music video that would make Rebecca Black cringe—this pursuit was destined to end in failure, she attempted to bury the body as far away from the media's eye as possible.

Her character has become the caged cart at a driving range, with a line of comedians and Twitter hacks teeing off every time she passes. While Kim’s “storybook” marriage was ending amid a storm of bad press and floundering public opinion, Reggie Bush—the more miserable party at the onset of their breakup years ago—was experiencing a rejuvenation of his career in Miami, enjoying an autumn of entirely positive press for the first time since coming to the NFL. Not surprisingly, shortly thereafter it “leaked” from sources “close to Kim” that she still longed for the two to reunite. And, not surprisingly, Bush was publicly silent in regards to these rumors, keeping himself far away from the publicity vampire before she could feed off of him once again (this time in the thick night air of South Beach).

And yet, despite all of this…

Yup, I’d still hit. I may even wife it, for like…a weekend. Maybe two. Scream at me.

German Chocolate

Personally, I tear up a plate of beets every time I go to the Hofbrauhaus.

Key and Peele

F.O.H.: Ultimate Tazer Ball

TJ with the assist.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Auto Eroticism: BMW M6

The latest generation of BMW's premiere muscle car is (almost) here.

From Top Gear:
It's the second M car to get the very highly pumped 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine - first seen on the rather smashing new M5 - and therefore boasts 552bhp and 502lb ft of torque. That's more power than the Jaguar XKR-S. Power, naturally, goes to the rear wheels via a seven-speed M double clutch gearbox with launch control.

As such, BMW quotes a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe, and 4.3 seconds for the Convertible, 0-124mph in 12.6 seconds (13.1s for the drop-top) and the option of a 189mph top speed with the ‘M Driver's Package'.

Despite this herculean power and acceleration, BMW still reckons the Coupe will return 28.5mpg, though we suspect anyone achieving this hasn't really got the point of a twin-turbo V8. There's a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof for the coup', start-stop, and other Efficient Dynamics stuff, which brings CO2 emissions to 232g/km (239g/km for the convertible).

...Inside, there's lots of M badging, some leather, carbon fibre strips, illuminated sills and some digital assistants including lane departure warning, surround view, night vision with pedestrian recognition (do you really need a computer to tell you what a human looks like?) and Internet access. You might like to think of it as a 1,850kg, 552bhp Facebook app. Update your status to "BMW M6 is sideways".
The most interesting part of the numbers above is the 28.5 mpg estimation. That's roughly 16 mpg more than the previous M6 pulled. If that's anywhere near being accurate, I'd consider that one hell of an achievement by BMW's engineers.

The cost of all of this fantasticness? Approximately $150,000. There but by the grace of PowerBall go I.

My boy Armo with the heads-up.

Vehicle for Expression

If you're looking to add a few touches to the walls of your place, Movie Car can help you out with some serious wall swag. Not just restricted to movies (or cars), they've taken your favorite vehicles from both the big and small screens and artistically silhouetted them against themed backdrops. The resulting posters are both fun and impressively artistic...and maybe a tad hipsterish, but that stink should wear off relatively quickly. Then you just have a cool decoration that shines in your pimped-out room.

A few of my personal favorites:

The A-Team


Top Gun

TJ with the assist.

Tail Report: 2012 Grammy Awards

My cousin was actually at the ceremony in L.A. last night, which means I'm extremely jealous of him. Not so much about going to the show itself—that just seems like a big waste of time. But the afterparties...damn. O.C., we're going to have some words next time you're in Pittsburgh, Cuzzo.

Katy Perry
She somehow manages to look reserved here (even with the aquamarine hair), but that rackage just refuses to go silently into the night. Damn.

Chrissy Teigen
I really, really, really, really, really, really, really want to hate on John Legend right now. But I can't. The brother's a pimp.

Alicia Keys
...I CAN, however, hate on Swizz. Damn Alicia looks thicker these days. Maybe she's still carrying some of the baby weight, but...she's damn sure carrying it well. (Fuck you, Swizz.)

Taraji P. Henson
MILFalicious (chocolate edition)...

Kate Beckinsale
MILFalicious (vanilla edition)...

Flo-Rida's Date
The press apparently didn't bother to get her name. They were probably too busy staring at her, uhh...accessories. I'm sure that's also why no one asked why Flo-Rida was worthy of red carpet photogs.

Including a picture of Ri-Ri almost feels mandatory anymore. Not that it isn't still totally worth it. Damn girl.

Video: Childish Gambino -- "Heartbeat"

Here's something to power you through the start to your workweek: The latest single from Gambino's Camp. Once again, Donald Glover's artistic mind draws out a more abstract, cinematic view of the theme behind the song, and not so much on the song itself.

As for the song, though, I can say this: When I first heard it, it didn't really win me over. It seemed like just a cool little track about a girl, nothing that I would've put in the top half when ranking the tracks on Camp. But one night, on about the 10th or 11th rotation of the CD over my car's stereo, I suddenly caught on to the composition of the beat, and the complexity he achieved by weaving it in so tightly with both the momentum of his flow and the context of his lyrics in each verse. Now I think it may be his most polished track on the album.

Monday Kickstart: Coolest Grandpas on the Block

Don't you kind of wish you were in on this conversation? Rackt suggested Arnold was teaching Sly how to work your way up to a shocker. I find that unbelievable—you can't tell me Sly never pulled out the old shocker on Brigitte Nielsen's Amazonian ass back in the day. Whatever they were talking about, I can guarantee you this: Even in this state, they each still could've beat the ever-loving-shit out of you if you had dared to interrupt.

And now for the inspirational portion of our weekly show, we give you Miss Jessica Burciaga (#schoolboycrush):

Te amo, mami. Let's get it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tail Report: Janina Gavankar

Apparently she's on True Blood? I don't know. All I do know, is that I'd let her suck my

—What's that, Kev? What? Nah, nah, nah, I was going to say "blood", man. Damn.