THE BLOG BOOK THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 1
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journalism career wasn’t rooted in publication, prizes, or even in paychecks – It was about the people I interacted with through blogging. There’s an undeniable sense of freedom that comes from expressing yourself naturally without any forced initiation or outside interference – With blogs, you essentially say whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. Once I recognized that the sincerity within the blogging community could be applied to newspapers, The Blog Book was born. We’re not just another lifeless paper on the rack… We’re you. I never wanted to be a newspaper publisher – Quite frankly, I didn’t see the point. There was never a reason to pick up a paper – CNN was my front page, ESPN was my sports page, the local news was my local page, and the internet was my “everything-else” page. So basically, the only reason I’d ever need physical pages from an actual newspaper would be if my new puppy wasn’t housebroken.
In addition to containing a collage of cutting-edge sections, every edition of The Blog Book will have your thoughts, your experiences, and your life, all in your own words, as told by your most passionate blogs. And by the way, the entries we publish aren’t necessarily meant to endorse a particular point of view – They are simply meant to be a voice for the unheralded blogger, while forcing the reader to feel something in the process.
I grew up here in Houston as an 80’s baby/90’s teen and graduated from Jersey Village High School, but I never considered writing as a profession until I won 1st Place in an essay contest at Houston Community College. Soon afterwards, I started writing for a local magazine and saw my work published for the first time. Even though I was working for free, seeing my words actually printed under my name in a magazine made me feel like I’d won all over again.
Expect the unexpected...
Since then, I’ve worked for multiple publications around Houston under nearly every journalistic job title including record reviewer, freelance writer, staff writer, editor, reporter and even a brief stint as a newspaper delivery driver (LSS: They weren’t hiring writers, only drivers – So I applied to be their driver hoping they’d eventually let me write. Genius, I know). But after almost a decade in the business, being a publisher never really appealed to me. While I genuinely enjoyed having my opinion/editorial pieces published, I mainly viewed newspapers through an overly structured lens – I was disillusioned by the stale reporting process of deadline based, sanitized articles that were assigned & criticized by an Editor.
Sincerely, Chase Swayze Publisher/Editor-in-Chief P.S. Join the on-going conversation through our Community Forum at TheBlogBook.org.
Letter from the Publisher........................................................1 BLOG: Aye Girl, Lemme Holla At You.................................2 BLOG: Tips for Writing a Ransom Note...............................6 Post Cards from the Edge.…................…..................…….....8 Lost Love Letter......................................................................11 Blog Book “Beauty of the Month”.....................................12 Notes From The Ninety-Nine.................................................13 Apartment Ratings From Hell...............................................21 True Confessions......................................................................23
Simply put, newspapers are out-of-touch and boring.
BLOG: Gotta Love America…............................................25
I eventually realized that the most fulfilling part my
HOUSTON HISTORY: The Legendary Bill Hicks...............29 February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 1
Ithatdon’t like talking to strange women in public I don’t know. And by “strange” women I mean, women I find attractive that I would possibly like to make adult noises with. *deep breath* You see, contrary to the popular belief of anybody that knows me but doesn’t KNOW me, I have no game. Well… that’s stretching it. I know how to talk to women. That I already know. Women I DON’T know…let’s just say I have trouble finding the right words to say. Doesn’t have anything to do with self-esteem or anything like that. I’m just, for lack of a better word… Scared. Fearful. Terrified. I be bitching up. It’s actually embarrassing. Well…not really embarrassing. For a long time, most of the women I’ve had anything to do with came on to me first. It’s safer that way. She came to me, so that means she’s already feeling me.
All I have to do is not ruin it by saying something wayward. Which usually comes after a level of comfort has been established…after 2-5 minutes or so. I can’t even say I rightfully fear rejection, since I used to get rejected all 2 • The Blog Book • February 2013
the time. But that’s the thing…I USED to get rejected all the time. I’ve been on quite the winning streak the last 3 years or so. Feeling like the Lakers and shit…. In any event, walking up to an attractive woman and talking to her puts me at a considerable disadvantage. 1) She already has the upper hand since I approached her 2) the chances of her not feeling me is possible. It’s not high, but it’s still present and 3) I could be approaching a rude bitch and this can all go south VERY quickly. It takes a monumental effort for me to talk to a woman, and when I say monumental, I mean it takes a MON-UMEN-TAL effort. Let me lay it out for you…Substitute the place and type of woman anywhere, this almost always plays out exactly the same way. I’m at the grocery store (lounge, club, whatever), I see a cute chick. She’s dressed pretty decent. Smooth skin. Nice haircut. Full lips with lip gloss searching for some veggies in the frozen foods section. Most niggas will just go up to her and say “hi” right? Not me. Allow me to walk you through what happens when I see cute women.
This is me, talking to myself….. G Thought #1: Is she single? Where’s her man? She here solo? Can she cook? I wonder if shegoes to school here? Damn she cute. I should go holla. But I’ll just keep staring. G Thought #2: No, for real. Go talk to her. GT#1: Nah nigga. Chill out. GT#2: For real. Go talk to her. Fuck it man. What’s the worst that can happen? She can say no. Why would she say no? You that nigga B. GT #1: I know I’m that nigga, but she grocery shopping my nigga. Would you want a 6 foot tall woman randomly walking up on you while you shopping for veggies nigga? GT#2: I’d be happy if a cute midget walked up on me while I was shopping for chainsaws. The fuck difference does it make? Stop being a bitch. GT#1: Who you calling a bitch? GT#2: You. Queen Latfiah U-N-I-T-Y face ass nigga. GT#1: Aight. I’m going. February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 3
GT#2: Aye man, don’t fuck this up. So after all of that happens in about 10 seconds of thought time, I start walking over there…with sweaty palms and an increased heart rate. She looks up and she sees me walking toward her. Hopefully she looks like this ^_^ instead of this ( -_-). Me: Hi. Her: Hi. *Awkward moment* GT#2: Aww man. This nigga already fucking up. GT#1: Told you we shouldn’t have walked over here. Me: “I seen you from over there looking at veggies…you looked real confused.” Her: “Yeah. Trying to decide if I should get broccoli or the mixed ones.” GT #1: This isn’t going too bad. Me: Depends on what you like. Variety is the spice of life though… GT #2: Nigga…are you serious right now? GT #1: This was a bad idea… Her: *laughs* So you’re suggesting I get the mixed veggies. You work here? Me: *looks at her and looks at self* Hell nah! GT#1: Too strong. GT#2: Nigga relax, you can’t talk to her like that yet! Her: I’m saying you over here recommending vegetables and whatnot. Me: Just trying to help YOU out. GT#1: Aight…she seem pleasant. GT#2: You wasting time. Ask her if she got a man. Me: So…you here by yourself? Her: Yeah. GT#2: ASK. HER. IF. SHE. GOT. A. MAN. Me: I’m saying, you got enough food to cook for a small village. GT#2: This nigga hardheaded. Her: Can a sister get her cook on? Me: You can do what you like. I’m sure your man appreciates the food. GT#2: Passive aggressive face ass nigga. Her: He would if I had one. Is that your way of asking me if I have a boyfriend? 4 • The Blog Book • February 2013
Me: Only if the answer to the question is no. If it’s yes, let’s just finish the conversation and I’ll let you go on about your business. GT#1: This nigga think he smooth. GT#2: That was some pimp shit though. Her: *laughs* Oh. Ok. Well I don’t have one. GT #1 and #2: YES! We winning! Me: CHEA!…urr… Her: What? Me: Nothing…so…I’m not trying to keep you or anything but… GT#1: He going for the… GT#2: …KILL! Me: I think you’re cute and if it’s cool with you, I’d like to give you a call later. Just to ask you how my executive decision about your veggies came out. GT #1: Nigga tying back to earlier jokes and shit. Her: *laughs* GT #2: She laughing nigga. You got her! *Dougies* Her: That’s cool. Here. Me: Aight. Well, I’m usually in school most of the day, but I’ll give you a call either tom or the day after. GT#2: That’s right my nigga. Build her expectations. Her: Look forward to hearing from you. GT#1: Uh oh… GT#2: She might wanna fuck something! Me: Looking forward to calling. Peace. Her: Later =) GT#2: See nigga was it really that hard? GT#1: You was doing all that goddamn fretting for nothing. Scary ass nigga. And that’s pretty much how this works out for the most part. I’m usually successful, but I’m always nervous. So ladies, the next time a dude tries to holla, if he deserves it, be nice to his effort. You never know what prep work that nigga had to do to gather the courage to talk to you... Especially me. You see me coming, just start smiling, it’ll help ease my nerves… ;-) RealGoesRight is a writer living in VA who just finished up his first E-Book, “The Soundtrack to My Life” a hiphop based memoir covering some of his major life events. He also writes about sports, relationships, video games (and more) for a variety of different publications. You can check out his work at RealGoesRight.Com February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 5
By Matthew Ryan Gezewich
o you’ve captured somebody’s beloved pet, a lost (and probably wounded) child, or some chump’s wife (Perhaps even all three).
time writing a ransom note, you’re probably a bit intimidated by the situation, unsure of where to start, what type of language to use, etc. Fear not, for I am here to help.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be basking in Ahead of you is the ardu- sunlight, cool breezes and ous task of constructing a your own satisfaction on a letter, so you can get what beach in South America in you deserve: Money. Lots no time: of money. More than the person who’ll be posting 1.) Don’t physically write the ransom can even af- the letter yourself. DO ford. If this is your first NOT handle the letter at 6 • The Blog Book • February 2013
any point. I cannot stress this enough. Not with your gloves or forceps, anything! No preventative measure can guarantee your anonymity other than not touching the letter at all. Even if you use gloves or something, part of your uncovered skin might flake off; a loose hair follicle could fall onto the paper, etc. Convince a stupid and expendable friend or relative to handle the note, or if possible (e.g. if you’ve kidnapped a person that isn’t a baby),
force the “kidnapee” to write the letter.. Trust me, you’re likely to get a lot more money a lot sooner if the parents receive your letter and notice it was written by their missing 10-year-old. 2.) Don’t type the letter on a computer, typewriter, etc. Nothing cries “I’m a pussy!” like margins and 12-pt Times New Roman. Upon seeing such a note, any recipient will notice you’re a sissy who uses spell-check, and decide
what you have and what you want. If you’d like to scare them with promises of torturing their loved one, I commend you, but get the business and hard facts out of the way first. Your first sentence or two has to get the point across. What if the dude whose wife you’ve kidnapped has narcolepsy? He’ll read a couple sentences, then probably fall asleep. When he wakes up, he needs to know what’s up and be 3.) Use nonspecific lan- afraid. guage that isn’t indicative of demographics. If 5.) Include a photo. A your opening sentence photo. Just one. Several goes like, “i have yall’s Here’s an example photo, fuckn son,” the recipient is one I included with a rangonna know you’re black som note I sent out a couple (or at least pretending to days ago: be). If you open along the lines of, “To Whom It May Concern: In my possession is your son, and if, as I expect, desire for his safe return is indeed present…,” you’ve specified yourself even further, and cops are gonna know to look for a balding white male in his photos could indicate 40’s that probably drives a you’re just mindlessly crossover vehicle. Keep it taunting and have no acsimple, folks: “I have your tual agenda. Furthermore, son.” This sentence indi- taking all kinds of pictures of different poses and cates no race, age group, sex or anything else. It’s situations conveys to the simple, just like you like it. recipient of the ransom And speaking of opening note that you have time to waste, and then they’ll sentences…. try to stall. A photo is not 4.) Get your point across expendable, but only send within the first 1-2 sen- one. Two is too many; tences. It should take no three is too many. And more than 25 seconds make sure the photo does for the reader of your not portray anything that note to become aware of is specific to a unique (or that their loved one isn’t in any real danger. They will send no money, under the impression that you’ll give in if they just wait it out. Be creative. Use letters cut out of magazines, a chisel and slate, or even some crayons (refer to previous tip on having the child you kidnapped write the letter). This is probably one of the most unique pieces of writing you’ll ever be a part of, so have fun with it.
almost unique) location. Like, don’t take a picture of the kidnapee in front of your house, with your address showing. You’ll probably get caught then. 6.) Don’t write the note in secret code. The person who gets your note might be really bad at puzzles. 7.) If you’ve kidnapped an orphan, you’ll be writing more of a ransom ‘flyer.’ First of all, if you’ve kidnapped an orphan, you’re a dumbass. You’ve kidnapped a child that nobody loves and wants to pay money for. There are no parents to send threats to. But if you happen to be in a situation in which you’ve carelessly kidnapped an orphan, maybe because you didn’t find out they were an orphan until after the fact (e.g. you don’t know how to read, and thus couldn’t make sense of the word ‘orphanage’ on the building) don’t just throw the orphan in the trash! In your situation, you’ll be hosting a sort of child auction. Create many copies of your note and hang them all over town. Highest bidder pays ransom. Thank me later.
her a bitch isn’t effective; that’s her literal title. Also, dogs can’t read.) The puppy’s owner will think, since you’re not afraid to curse, you’re probably not afraid to saw their puppy’s face off if your demands aren’t met. However, if you swear too much, the owner will think you’re a complete lunatic and will consequently call the police, which could’ve potentially been otherwise avoided. 9.) Don’t write the letter in Hebrew. Similar to not writing the note in secret code; It will cost a lot of money to get a professional translation, and there goes some of your would-be ransom. (Note: Even if you kidnap a Jewish child, don’t write the note in Hebrew; assuming that their Jewish parents know Hebrew is a racist stereotype.) 10.) Don’t hand-deliver your note. If you happen to be a mailman, take that day off. The above writing, of course, is entirely satirical.
And if, as you should, you feel like a terrible person for laughing at or even simply having read it, you can recollect your integrity 8.) Swear, but not too by making a donation to much. Say you kidnap a the…Ummm… St. Jude puppy and send the own- Children’s Research Hoser, “I have your puppy, pital (or something). bitch!” Nicely done. (Note: Much love, Sending the puppy’s mom Matthew Ryan Gezewich a ransom note that calls February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 7
PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project where people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard.
8 • The Blog Book • February 2013
February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 9
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LOST LOVE LETTER (Found balled-up inside of a desk at a university)
February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 11
INTRODUCING THE FIRST “BLOG BOOK BEAUTY OF THE MONTH”
MISS FEBRUARY: CHUDNEY RAE RIDEAUX
Age: 21 City: From Fort Worth, TX (Raised in Beaumont, TX) College: Stephen F. Austin State University Major: General Business Minor: Technology Applications
Please visit The “Blog Book Beauty of the Month” section on TheBlogBook.org for more of Chudney. 12 • The Blog Book • February 2013
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APARTMENT RATINGS FROM
Mansions of Shadowbriar
12200 Overbrook Lane, Houston, TX 77077
Living in Satan’s Domain! Pure Hell! From: Anonymous Date posted: 12/29/2011 Years at this apartment: 2009/01/01 - 2011/01/01
We lived in the Mansions of Shadowbriar for two years. When we originally moved into the facility it was underneath a different management. A year later they put new people in the office and these people are constantly breaking the law. They put a lock on your door on the third day when rent is late on the fourth. They altered our original lease without our consent. They go into your home when you are not there and take your things. I was coming home one night from work and saw somebody by our bedroom window and when I pulled up they took off running. You would not believe what they were doing....Taking a shit. Yes, a SHIT! Where do they do that at?!? And when I told them about it they laughed like the shit was funny and it was never cleaned! Maintenance is Horrible. They are random people who know nothing about fixing anything and it takes them FOREVER to come and fix whatever your problem is. Your vehicle is vandalized and tampered with. Security??? What Security??? Where was Security when a girl was found burned alive in her vehicle right across from where so-called “security” was supposed to be? If you move here you are beyond crazy. They
window the apartments tried to play it off like it happened outside the apartments when in actuality the man was sprawled out in front of my window. Management even ripped up the guys family reward letters they put on the residents cars for the capture of the guys murderers. They even tried to refuse the family to put up a small memorial in the spot he died in! And the guy was one of their faithful residents! They must don’t understand how hard it is to see a man take his last breath in Shadow Creek 7500 Pinemont Drive, Houston, TX 77040 front of your eyes. And not feeling safe Almost shot! to just walk to your mailbox or take From: Anonymous out the trash or coming home from Date posted: 9/12/2007 work afraid to get out your car to walk Years at this apartment: to your front door. I’ll be glad when 2007/01/01 - 2007/01/01 the day comes when my lease is up I came home from work to a war! Gun- because I can’t take this crap any lonshots @ 1am about 15-20 shots fired! ger. By far the worst apartments ever Damn! People looking at you crazy hands down. as if I was a crook, my son almost got jacked! You really have to bring your Creekwood Apartments guns with you everywhere here! Vest 11911 Northwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77092 and all! I say burn this MF DOWN! Horrible
make it sound all good when they trying to get you to move in, OOOHHH but as soon as you sign that lease, you just signed your life away. Please do not sign your life away to this mess. People are coming up dead, cars are being stolen, drug dealers dealing, prostitutes in the parking lot having sex...No manners. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT LIVE HERE. YOU WILL REGRET IT!
(formerly Concord at Del Rio)
3560 Dixie Drive, Houston, TX 77021
Worst apartments ever!!!!!! From: Liloloves Date posted: 1/9/2012 Years at this apartment: 2011/01/01 - 2012/01/01
These are by far the worst apartments I’ve ever lived in! They look nice on the outside but on the inside it’s a whole different ball game. They charge you out the ass for everything. Everytime I get my bill for rent they have threw in some random fee for this or that. Then on top of all that the crime that goes on in these apartments is shocking. People’s doors are always getting kicked in left and right, women getting raped and chased around the complex, people getting murdered and harassed, and the management or no one seems to care. The only thing they do is try and cover it up the best to their abilities. Just like this guy who was shot and killed outside my
From: Anonymous Date posted: 12/21/2011 Years at this apartment: 2010/01/01 - 2011/01/01
The apartments are cheap, but falling apart. The water stains everything brown and it’s super noisy especially during the day. They have a guy who walks the grounds all day honking a bicycle horn and yelling “PIZZA!!!! PIZZA DELIVERY!!” who makes $1 pizzas in his kitchen and then walks around the apartments with them trying to sell them for $10. He must be married to an apartment manager because they let him stay all day everyday. The washing machines will just fill with water and leave your clothes in a nasty soup, the dryers won’t dry your clothes. There is not one resident there who speaks english. The place is filthy and huge groups of little 4 year old mexican kids run around unsupervised, screaming and littering all day long. DO NOT LIVE HERE IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY. It doesn’t get much worse without the city condemning a place. February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 21
22 • The Blog Book • February 2013
(A dozen secrets from anonymous confession websites…..)
We agreed on having 100 wedding guests. He announced that he will be inviting 80 people, and I can invite 20. Ok, so I agreed to 150 people. He says he will invite 120 people and I can invite 30. He has a big family and doesn’t want to upset any of them. I see a pattern. The wedding is off. It does hurt to be alone. God I miss her. I’m in my 30’s now. We could have been such amazing friends. I would cut off a finger to hold her again. Damn my young pride. You can’t hold pride in a warm bed.... I try to make myself feel better about being single for a long time by thinking, “At least you aren’t settling into a bad relationship”. But it’s getting hard and I’m beginning to think there is something wrong with me. My friends are all getting married and having babies. Soon all the good ones will be taken and I’ll be left with nothing. I better settle as best as I can. I wish my friends were more concerned with getting college degrees & actually putting them to use then gaining a M R S. degree. What happened to the smart, funny ladies that were going to conquer the world? Now a lot of them are planning to conquer play dates & laundry. If the intention was just to remain home after having kids, why did they go to college in the first place? They’re not utilizing the degree. No friend--I can’t stay friends with you. I’ve lost all respect for you. I think he took the phrasing “eat me out” too literally. Tongue: good. Teeth: not so much. Ouch. I’m a stay-at-home-mother that has been pregnant back to back for the last 4 years. My children are 1, 2 and 3. My birth control failed me and I just found out I’m pregnant again. I did not want another baby. My husband and kids exhaust me already to the point of not wanting to come home. I have told him that I want an abortion, he does not believe me. I have been crying everyday. I’m so distraught. My husband hasn’t worked in 2 years. He has a job interview today. I know he won’t get the job. Coworkers are planning their spring “girl trips”. I am so secretly jealous. I don’t have any close female or lifelong friends - or a sister. I was a sheltered and shy child. I just never was good at making friends. I would rather chew glass than go back to working in an office. Anytime I face rejection or someone presses commitment, I find a different guy to screw. I don’t deal with my feelings, I screw them away. This is no way to live. What he did to me wasn’t “jail worthy.” But still, he punched me hard enough to leave a bruise, and grabbed me, and threw me up against a wall. And I laughed. Because that was all I needed to know we were done. And I knew that I had the conviction to do whatever it took to disentangle myself from him. The divorce was finalized this year. Took a while, but I did it. This feeling of true freedom from him was worth the wait. Today, during my first day as a medical intern in a new ward, I was performing a rectal exam. My supervisor thought it would be funny to burst into the room and scream, “Who are you?! You don’t even work here, you pervert!” February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 23
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Gotta Love America By Bill W.
“I’m about to get fucked up, but hopefully it won’t be too bad where I can’t see my son on Friday.”
Ever since Obama won the election, white people in general have acted a little differently towards me. For the first week after the election, strangers would come up to me and congratulate me. My response: “Congratulate him and his staff. I just voted, they did all the hard work.” A few of my “friends” would make comments like “I bet now you think you can do whatever you want to, now that Obama is in office.” My response: “I did what I wanted to do when Bush was in office, what’s your point?!” I typically brush that shit off, but last night I got caught up in a situation that indirectly related to Obama that I can’t just shake off - At least not at this point. Last night, as I was finishing up with a client she asks me if she could pay in cash because her checkbook is at home. I told her she could pay me in pennies for all I care... it spends the same. She gives me $980 in 20’s. Of course I’m not going to have that kind of cash lying around, so I was going to stop at the bank on my way home. I get in my car. It starts, no problem. I drive 2 minutes to Chuck E. Cheese to get some change. It’s a little after 8PM, so the banks are closed and Chuck E. Cheese was the closest thing to me. I get the change. No problem. I get in my car and it won’t start. The battery is completely dead. I’m like, WTF. My car isn’t old. I know I bought a battery last year and it just started fine a few minutes ago. I put the money in a pocket behind the passenger seat while I went back inside to ask for a jump. I get a jump, no problem. February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 25
I forget about the money and as I’m driving home I’m behind a police officer creeping driving like a turtle in the right hand lane. I go to the left and pass the cop. He looks at me, I look at him. No issues. There’s another car in the left lane. (Why do people think that just because a cop is nearby, you have to drive as slow as the cop even if his ass is doing 15 in a 35? It makes no sense.) Why do people think that just because a cop is nearby you have to drive as slow as the copeven if his ass is doing 15 in a 35? It makes no sense. I pull up behind the car, obviously not bumper to bumper (after all the cop was next to me). The cop slows down even more, and gets behind me, another cop pulls up on the right, and hits me with his lights. I laugh. “Damn, this is just my night.” I turn down the street and pull over. (I hate when mofos stop their car in the middle of the road just because they got pulled over). I know the drill. I put my hands on the steering wheel. I got ready to call Ma Dukes (I always have someone on speaker whenever I’ve been pulled over, especially at night) but I didn’t get a chance to. The cop runs up on me with that bright ass light in my face. I go to roll the window down, and then realized I have no power, so I open the door. Cop: “License, registration, and insurance…..” Me: “What’s the problem, officer?” Cop: “Boy, I said license, registration, and insurance”. Me: “What did I do?” He grabbed me by the back of the neck, threw me to the ground, put his knee in my back and cuffed me. “You niggas think you can do whatever you want to since Obama won, but he can’t save you.”
26 • The Blog Book • February 2013
He picks me up, throws me against my car, and punches me in my stomach. “Fuck Obama! Say it.” I say nothing......... (Not because I’m being defiant, but I’m like is this shit for real?) He punches me in the stomach again and his partner puts his gun in my face. “Boy, didn’t you hear what the fuck my partner told you to do”? Now say it bitch, fuck Obama.” It wasn’t the first time I had a gun drawn on me, but you never get used to that shit. The only thing that came to mind was my mom is going to have to bury another son.
“Fuck Obama,” I say through clenched teeth. “That’s a good boy, now get your ass in the car.” They throw me in the back seat of their car while they go through mine. A few things kept going through my mind... I’m about to get fucked up, but hopefully it won’t be too bad where I can’t see my son on Friday. I remember Ma Dukes cell, but if they don’t let me make a call until tomorrow then I don’t know her house number. Damn, gotta stop using speed dial. Recite my debit card number, so I can bail myself out. Damn, I’m really about to get fucked up.
February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 27
One comes back with my “pill bag”. I keep a sandwich bag in my laptop bag, with a few vitamins and Tylenol. After I tell him the same thing in a different way a few different times that they’re pills I don’t need a prescription for, he leaves it alone. After they see that my car is clean the cop comes back and says, “I’m writing you a citation for driving on a suspended license.....” Me: “My license is suspended? Why?” Cop: “An unpaid ticket from Feb 14.” Me: “For what?” Cop: “I don’t know and I don’t care. Be glad. I’m not going to tow your car. You can drive home, just go to court.” I say nothing. They let me out the car, mush my head on the hood while they uncuff me. I get in the car, and guess what? It started with no problem. I guess it was some crazy ass glitch. I’m driving home and one of the cops is following me. What the fuck does he want now? Maybe he picked up on my hesitation when he asked for my address and the one I gave him isn’t where I live. I’ll make sure I won’t go home until he’s gone. I’ll stop by the ATM and deposit this cash. I reach behind the seat.......................Muthafucka! That’s why they let me go and didn’t tow my car. They took my money. So I get my ass whipped, had a gun in my face, got a ticket, and lost $980. I guess those 7 hours I worked yesterday were volunteer hours for the police department. Gotta love America…
28 • The Blog Book • February 2013
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1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008 National Crime Report http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/june/ucr_stats060109 2. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/contentpub/press/vdhbpr.cfm 3. FBI, 2008 National Crime Report http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/june/ucr_stats060109 4. http://www.beyondidentitytheft.com/home-security-statistics.html
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HOUSTON HISTORY: The Legendary Bill Hicks
“I loved Bill Hicks. I found him to be an inspired and inspiring truth teller, dangerous and brave and scary all at once – An original and there will never be another like him. He left us too young.” ~Richard Pryor
George Orwell once said that dur-
ing times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. While most Americans remain comfortably numb; completely oblivious of the rose-colored glasses blurring their perception of reality, Bill Hicks was a revolutionary who used his talent as a comedian to not only entertain, but to awaken the minds of men by consistently challenging mainstream beliefs and stomping the status-quo into oblivion. William Melvin Hicks was born December 16th, 1961
in Valdosta, Georgia and later moved to Houston (in the Memorial area) with his family when he was seven. Raised as a Southern Baptist, Bill first performances were in front of other children in Sunday school. This would later prove to be ironic as he would later say in adulthood: “The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe OR DIE!!! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for ALL those options…” He would later ponder the proverbial question: “A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a f*cking CROSS? That’s kind of like going up to JFK’s widow with a rifle pendant on…” “Controversial” topics weren’t always Bill’s forte – He began performing less
30 • The Blog Book • February 2013
abrasive routines at The Comedy Workshop and The Comic Annex in Houston while he was still a teenager (He snuck out of his bedroom window at night and hitched a ride with his friend) attending Stratford High School. It wasn’t until he met an “Anything Goes” ex-preacher turned comedian named Sam Kinison that Hicks would get in touch with his own “politically incorrect” side. Bill was extremely impressed and influenced by Kinison’s ability to say whatever he wanted, however he wanted, without giving a damn about the consequences. Armed with a newfound sense of enlightenment, Hicks would eventually elevate his comedy from the conventional to the confrontational hoping to blatantly expose the absurdities of traditional thinking. In the process, he comforted the afflicted, afflicted the comfortable, and sometimes even afflicted the afflicted.
pet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!" "Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons.” RELIGION: “I was over in Australia during Easter, which was really interesting. You know, they celebrate Easter the exact same way we do – By commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children that a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night.” CHILDREN: “You wanna know how I know kids are smarter than adults? Because I don’t know one kid with a full time job and kids…” WAR: “I'm just so sick of this whole deal. We arm the world, we arm these little countries and then we send
No topic was off limits. DRUGS: “Why don’t we ever hear a positive news story on drugs? Just for once? (In a newscaster voice) Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather.” POLITICS: “I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the pup-
troops over to blow the shit out of 'em. We're like the bullies of the world right now, do you know that? We're like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing the pistol at the sheep herder's feet. "Pick it up." "I don't wanna pick it up, mister. You'll shoot me."
"Pick up the gun." "Look, mister. I don't want no trouble...” "Pick up the gun. (3 gunshots) You all saw him. He had a gun.” While most traditional comedy is based on distracting the public from their problems, Hicks thought the comedian should be the antithesis of the mob mentality – The guy who says “Wait a minute” as the consensus forms. But unfortunately, some Americans were not ready for his comedic brand of cynical humanism. Aside from occasionally being heckled and having audience members walk out during his performances, two disgruntled Vietnam veterans once broke Bill’s leg after taking his anti-war stance a little too personally – During another gig, a heckler actually pulled a gun on him. “Comedy in the States has been totally gutted. It’s commercialized. They don’t have people on TV who have points of view, because that defies the status quo, and we can’t have that in the totalitarian mind-control government that runs the f*ckin’ airwaves. I can’t get a shot there.” Once place that did give Hicks a shot was “The David Letterman Show” – He appeared a dozen times, but often argued with the “CBS Office of Standards & Practices” over what jokes were “appropriate” for their “mainstream” audience. Bill believed the best comedy made people laugh at things they’ve never laughed at before, but he felt it was difficult to be himself while being repressed
by businessmen who were only concerned about not hurting the network’s income by potentially “offending” someone. Regardless of corporate censorship or armed hecklers, Bill did nearly 300 shows a year
Festival in England, starting working on a high-concept talk show for British TV called “Counts of the Netherworld”, and was later declared the “Hot Stand-Up Comic” of the year by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1993.
for 5 years straight making him one of hardest working comedians in the country. However, his refusal to water-down his “intellectual anarchy” for the sake of reaching wider audiences may have tainted his potential for fame.
It seemed as if Bill’s career was finally about to take off, but what appeared to be the end of the beginning would sadly turn out to be the beginning of the end.
“Don't get me wrong, I've loved every moment of my sixteen years of total anonymity. Every delayed flight. Every Econo-Lodge. Every broken relationship. I loved it all. Playing the Comedy Pouch in Possum Ridge, Arkansas. It's been my treat… I’ve been on what I call my Flying Saucer Tour, which means, like flying saucers, I too have been appearing in small Southern towns in front of handfuls of hillbillies lately and, uh, been doubting my own existence.”
In the summer of 1993, Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that ultimately spread to his liver. He knew his time was limited, so he wanted leave a lasting legacy that would reach as many people as possible. Even though he started receiving weekly chemotherapy treatments, he still toured relentlessly, recorded his comedy album (Arizona Bay), filmed a pilot episode for Counts of the Netherworld, and in October of the same year, Hicks appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman for a twelfth time.
Fortunately, Bill was enthusiastically embraced overseas where he felt foreign audiences had more respect for the performer. Hicks, a man once described as “the most dangerous comedian in the world” won The Critics Award at the Edinburgh
Bill’s performance on Letterman went so well that Robert Morton (Executive Producer of the Letterman Show) told him that he “killed out there” – But amazingly, Morton also said that his entire performance was removed from
the final broadcast because the CBS office of standards and practices felt that “almost all” of the material was unsuitable to be aired on television. It was the only time in the show’s history that a comedian's entire routine was cut after taping. John Lahr of The New Yorker Magazine later wrote: “Bill Hicks became the first comedy act to be censored at CBS’s Ed Sullivan Theatre, where Elvis Presley was famously censored in 1956. Presley was not allowed to be shown from the waist down – Hicks was not allowed to be shown at all. It’s not what’s in Hicks’ pants, but what’s in his head that scared CBS.” Five months later on February 26th 1994, William Melvin Hicks died of cancer – He was only 32.
“I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.” ~Bill Hicks
February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 31
U.S. CREDIT CARD DEBT PER HOUSEHOLD ($) $10,000 $9,000 $8,000 $7,000 $6,000 $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 85 87 89 91 93 95 97 99 01 03 05 07 09
(Data Source: U.S. Federal Reserve)
Every three minutes another person falls behind on credit card debt. It’s no wonder, since every major credit card company has nearly doubled the minimum monthly payment on consumers’ bills. Federal Regulators forced the change because of their concern about the growing mountain of consumer debt, which stands at $2.17 trillion. Many consumers can only pay the minimum payment, which can take up to 30 years to pay off. Now, relief is in sight for millions of Americans. CreditGUARD of America, a non-profit licensed debt management service provider, is making a new program available to lower debt payments and become free of all credit card debt in only three to five years. Consumers need only $2,000 or more in total credit card debt and behind on any account, to cut their payment by 35% to 50%, and reduce or eliminate interest charges altogether. Over 200,000 families, located throughout the U.S. have regained financial independence with CreditGUARD’s licensed, bonded and insured service. CreditGUARD of America has received high marks in consumer surveys showing high consumer satisfaction and confidence. The CreditGUARD debt management program can actually turn a person’s life around. One such case is Sandra L. who proclaimed “CreditGUARD cut my monthly payment by $656 and saved me over $29,206.53 in interest. They saved my way of life and gave me back my piece of mind! Now I can see myself on my way to becoming debt free.” or Jeffery C. who said “CreditGUARD of America helped me consolidate 3 of my credit cards into one affordable payment. They are now saving me nearly $200 a month. Now I will be debt free in 2 years or less” Certified Credit Counselors at CreditGUARD of America provide Debt Relief Consultations at no charge, when you call: 32 • The Blog Book • February 2013
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February 2013 • TheBlogBook.org • 33
34 • The Blog Book • February 2013