Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hip Hop Critic: My Calling in Life?

Today I met an aspiring Hip-Hop artist in the Wal Mart Parking lot. This is nothing out of the ordinary. I have a feeling that the West Phoenix "Mercado de Walmart" is host to much of Hip-Hop's aspiring talent. However, this morning as I was unloading my grocery bags into the car, a tricked out jeep pulled up into the parking slot next to me, unashamedly blasting something I can only assume would be played in a Miami night club. The bass was pumped up so high I'm pretty sure the pavement was shaking a little bit. Now, maybe this is just me, but whenever a car's windows are rolled up, I don't feel the need to acknowledge the person inside. It's almost like the person and car are one anonymous being you can ignore. But this car's windows were rolled down, making it a whole different story. I felt compelled to glance up and smile at the driver. It would have been awkward not to- unless I were completely deaf, it was obvious that I knew he was there. He got really excited and flashed a gap toothed (but very white) smile back at me.

Then he beckoned me over to the jeep. What did I do? Scampered right over, of course. Who am I to disobey someone who's music choice featured the lyrics "imma blow dis club up o'er 'errbody" or something like that.

He introduced himself as "Jus' Arion", one of the valley's rising Hip-Hop stars. He asked if I liked Hip Hop and I responded with "as much, if not more, as any white girl around here..."

He laughed and asked me to listen to his new song and give some honest feedback. "Okay..", I agreed. "But I mean, I don't know how much help I'll be. I don't really have high standards when it comes to music..."

He laughed and began playing (well, blasting- his speakers only seemed to have one volume- very loud) his new (future) hit single. As it played, I wasn't quite sure what to do. Should I sort of bob my head in time to the beat? Should I sort of close my eyes, sway my head and throw up gang signs? Attempt to crip walk? I settled with the first option, and subtly nodded my head with a serious look on my face, trying to look as "hood" possible, despite the fact that I was wearing Yellowstone sweats and holding a bag of Goldfish Crackers.

When it was done, he asked me for my honest opinion.

I told him I really liked it. (Actually, I really did.) I told him that if the song were to come on the radio, I definitely wouldn't change it. Then he asked me if there were any parts I didn't like. I told him to maybe take out the part where he rhymes "pubix" with "rubix". I don't even know what a "pubix" is, but it doesn't sound nice. He laughed and told me he was thinking the same thing.

Soooo... if by some chance "Jus Arion" somehow rises to the top of Hip-Hop fame, I will be able to say that I met him in the West Phoenix Wal Mart Parking lot and provided him some constructive criticism. Let's just hope he takes my advice to heart, because if I'm listening to the radio someday and hear the word "pubix", I'm gonna be really upset.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Think It's Been a Good Day...

Why has today been particularly enjoyable?

1. I woke up and ran 4 miles. On the treadmill. Honestly, I'm pretty sure that without decreasing the speed, I could have walked the entire thing and not fallen off the back. And yes, falling off the back of the treadmill is definitely a possibility; it has happened. More than once. But much worse is when the treadmill speed decreases suddenly without your knowledge, sending you careening into the front of the machine at breakneck speed. Or, in my case, a breezy 6 miles an hour.

Engaging in this particular form of exercise is a huge deal for me.

Unfortunately, so is my butt these days.

Which leads me to accomplishment 2.

2. I received a box of Kirkland Signature brand chocolates from my boss as a gift yesterday. (I later found out that they were left over from Christmas '10- still, chocolates don't go bad do they?) They sat perched atop our coffee table all of last night, tempting me with their plaid ribbon adorned decadence. Today? After eating one, I repeat ONE chocolate piece, I threw the entire box away. Into the big garbage. (I've been known to lose willpower and dig things out of the trash before.) For most people this act would be considered wasteful and foolish instead of a victory. But sometimes pre-commitment is necessary and I just don't trust myself to treat the box like a normal person and enjoy one chocolate a day for a few months. Those babies would have ended up slapped onto my hips by tonight. And I'm sorry, but it would take many an hour on the treadmill to undo that damage. 40 minutes today is plenty for me.

3. I finally got my hair did. I will post pictures later, but I've had a really hard time doing the arm stretch self portrait technique today. I tried to send Brock a picture of my hair at work and I ended up somehow looking like an angry pedophile. My pet peeve about hair salons is this: they are always so vague about prices. You look online and a partial weave is listed as starting at $70. Okay, I can live with that. I assumed that if the price was going to be higher, due to extra product usage, they would let me know first right? Wrong. When all the foil folding, washing and trimming was done, I was presented with a whopping $130 bill! What the...? How did that happen? Don't you think the stylist should have warned me that when she mixed an extra bowl of bleach the cost was gonna double? And due to the 4 years I spent in the restaurant industry, I pride myself on my generosity when it comes to tips. You know, karma and all. So after a 20% tip, I was out the door $160 poorer. But... I refuse to let this get me down. I really like how my hair turned out, and I have definitely learned my lesson. Any place that gives you a hand massage during your conditioning treatment and applies lip gloss to your lips post blow dry (so awkward) is gonna be pricey.

4. My parents are coming to visit on Wednesday!!! Sorry to get so cheesy- 3 exclamation marks in a row? But really, I am thrilled to have visitors. If moving away has made me realize one thing, it's how much I love and miss my family. We are trying to think of some fun things to do while they're here, but we'll probably just end up doing a lot of relaxing. Which sounds perfect to me. While I'm on the note of family, I also had lunch with my cute cousin Rachel who is attending ASU. She told me all about her college life adventures and I told her all about... well, I didn't have much to contribute. If this blog's content is any indicator, nothing too exciting is happening to me these days. Ha.

5. Luckily the weather is finally starting to cool down. I can't believe I consider a high of 83 degrees as "cool". But I think we've got some really nice months ahead of us. I drove all the way to my hair appointment with the car windows down, blasting my music enjoying the morning sun and freeway induced breeze. For the first time, I actually felt glad to be in Arizona, weather wise. I still miss my hoodies though. Maybe in January....