December has arrived. Now I can be safe with people having their trees up, lights on the houses, the Christmas songs jamming, and all of the hype. I'm into it for sure for the rest of the month, but we had to celebrate Thanksgiving first. I know I had a good one, the usual happenings, you know how it goes. How can you go wrong with some good home cooked meals? On top of that, most of this blog will be on yet another road trip, this one to Charlotte, North Carolina. These are easy to write, take a while to put together, but I seem to get the most responses from the road trips than I do on just about any other type of blog I ramble about.
The road trip began on Friday morning around 9:00. I drove this one, with Spank riding along for the roughly 6-hour trek to the Dirty Dirty. It's not deep dirty as the Atlanta trips are, but still it's south enough to me that I feel away from home and you can do your thing. As I usually say on these trips, overall, the people down south are much more kind than the punks up north. That's just what I see anyways, the southern hospitality is true, at least from the little action I've seen on the small travels. Other people may disagree, hard to tell. That's one of my favorite things about going south is that people don't mess around down there as far as making you feel at home. Imagine people with manners, it's like it doesn't even exist in most places. But down south, it's like you're living in the 1950s and to me it reminds someone of old time TV show families.
We hop in the car and get with it. Gas on Friday morning was $1.99 in my town when we rolled out. The lowest we saw it on the trip was in NC at $1.55, that's getting to be pretty nice. For the ride down, our "breakfast" was some pepperoni rolls from Abruzzino's Bakery in scenic Gypsy, West Virginia. If you don't know of pepperoni rolls, you're not from WV obviously. And if you don't know about them, you're missing out like no other, I won't even begin to argue that. Hot Abruzzino's was pretty good indeed. They may have some of the best bread around, but pepperoni wise they lack. Still good, don't get me wrong. The best in the area to me would be D'Annunzio's in North View or Country Club Bakery in Fairmont. On the ride down, we either had Hip Hop Nation or Shade 45 (both rap stations, what else?) cranking on Sirius, sports radio, and also Guns N Roses' new CD, which will be reviewed in full, towards the bottom. Road trips with Spank are always easy since we're both rap guys, not many in our crew are into that.
If you're on I-77, hit up Exit 49. There you'll find Carolina Bar-B-Q. When we go on trips, we don't want your normal chain restaurants you can find anywhere. What's the fun in that? You want something dirty, greasy, and things you can't find at home. We saw this place on the exit sign. The logo on the exit was so plain and generic that we knew it was our stop. We get there and outside was a mechanical pig. I've seen mechanical horses and little cars for kids outside of places for kids, but a pig? That's new one, so I knew I had to get a pic on that bad boy. Inside, top notch service. The old waitress was pumped to do her thing and the food, amazing. I got a chopped BBQ sandwich, coleslaw, hush puppies, and fries. The hush puppies were literally as big as my fist and it'd be tough to beat the taste. The prices were also awesome and mix that in with some true southern sweet tea, yum. Then they had this model train above our heads going around the place while we ate. You can't get that at your average bum place. The moral here? Don't go chain when you're away from home. You can get chain at home anyday.
We get there and stay at my buddy ScottyB's pimp shack in Charlotte for two days. Again, it's the southern hospitality, they made us feel at home the entire time. I've wrote about the same trip a year ago in the blog if you're bored, but I'm a big fan of Scott's setup there. We probably had everyone there sick to death that we played so much Call of Duty 5 on 360 though in the living room. For those who know me, I guess you wouldn't be too surprised that I couldn't go there without my laptop since it's a huge addiction. Yeah, sad that I can't go a few days without internet, but it's just the truth. The fact that I took COD5 with me too? Even worse. I felt like a bum not doing much for myself there, but they wouldn't let us have it any other way. Judy, Scott's wife, she's up for nomination for Wife of the Year. You know how we did Dad of the Year last season? We might have a new addition. I felt like I didn't leave my house in WV, with Judy being nonstop cooking, cleaning, taking care of the baby, while having to deal with us. And not to get fired up at all? That's good stuff. Great cooking too Judy, you guys went way out of your way, much appreciated.
While down there, I got to check out the iPhone. Shawna's Mom has one too and I've been impressed since seeing hers. They added the Shazam app. Upon seeing it, it kind of blew my mind. You load up this app and hold the phone up while a song is playing. It'll recognize the song in no time, then come back and give you the song name, who sings it, what album, and everything short of their social security number. Pretty wild stuff. Then I got to see a basketball app where to play it, you actually do the shooting form using your phone. We laughed at how funny that'd be to be sitting around a bunch of strangers and out of nowhere you're shooting hoops with your phone. That'd be worth it just to see people look at you like you're an idiot. I'm 20 years behind the times with cell phones it seems. I'm up on everything else technology, but I need to get with it on the phone deal, they're getting crazy.
The topping to the trip was of course the Celtics game. This far into the blog and I haven't even mentioned it? For shame. Again, props to Scott for hooking us up with some way nice seats. I like getting to games super early and staying till the buzzer goes off, might as well get your money's worth. We're on the lower level and our seats are directly in line with midcourt. We had time to kill, so we walked up to the luxury boxes. As we walk up, an usher says that Michael Jordan is up there and we may be lucky for an autograph or something. We get up top and we're the only people there. We look to the box next to us and there stands Jordan. This was one of those half-enclosed boxes, so Spank sticks his head into Jordan's box and starts yelling at him to get attention. Spank asks if he can get a picture, but MJ says he's not allowed to do that (I'd assume because a zillion people would be wanting one), but asked Spank if he could shake his hand instead. By that time, we had to roll out of there, but we were near one of the greatest, some would argue the greatest, basketball player of all time. We all wondered what he was worth just with his clothes. He had on an insane leather jacket with who knows what material, snake skin boots, and bling that you could see shining from a far distance. He was in his box for the first half and then moves to the courtside seats during the second. At that time, he has 6 or 7 cops around him at all moments. A brush with greatness.
Now we go back to our seats. The celebrity meetings aren't over yet. Walking up our section was none other than Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell, 1981 NBA Finals MVP whose jersey is retired in Boston. He's also a current radio broadcaster for the Celtics. I doubt a lot of people would know him in person unless they were big NBA fans, even though he was a real good player. Still, I'm constantly bitter than it's few and far between to find some true hardcore NBA fans. As I see Max walking up, I don't have anything to lose, I'll ask if he has time to take a quick picture. He's very nice in person and seemed to be pumped to take the pic. He stands 6'8" and is a huge dude. The comments I've been getting on my pics on MySpace and Facebook have people getting a kick of how tall these guys are next to me. I'm not tiny in height, but not what I'd call tall either. Just an average guy at 5'10". If you thought Max was tall, then we move to..
I look over and see a giant of a man sit down in the next section over from us, almost directly to our side. He's by himself and I do a double take and look over to Spank. I tell him that's NBA Hall of Famer, "The Chief" Robert Parish. As a member of the Big Three featuring Kevin McHale and The Basketball Jesus himself (Larry Bird of course, get with it people!), I had to seize another opportunity to get a picture. I've never been an autograph guy at all. I'd much rather shake a guy's hand or get a picture than the signature. I feel like asking for an autograph is more begging than asking for a pic, even though most celebs don't want people asking for either, but that's the territory with being famous. We see people gathering up around him and I go down there with Spank. He's always been low key and kept to himself, even when being in the limelight of the 1980s Celtics teams. The 1986 Celtics, I'll argue forever, is the best NBA team ever. We get to The Chief and I kindly ask if he'd be willing to take a pic. He didn't mind at all. A chick was in front of me and asked me to take her pic with him. I said ok if she'd take one with us for the return favor, so a deal was made. On the pic you see, Chief and Spank are on the same level and I'm up one step. I've been having people wonder that when they see the pic. Chief is 7'1" and Spank stands about the same height as me or an inch taller, so that'll give you an idea how much of a beast Parish is. All of this was before the game even started and I was pumped like no other. Usually I don't get way excited when seeing a celebrity, but we had to admit that at nearly 30 years old, we were like little kids out there that night. That makes my meetings with the Celtics Big Three left to only meeting McHale one day. It might not be much to non-basketball fans, but Celtics are my passion, to a weird obsession level.
The actual game was just a bonus. It turned out that the Bobcats played another close game. Last year's game I saw was the version where Ray Allen busted a trey at the buzzer to win and you've all seen highlights of that one. I won't ramble on with basketball details, as much as I'd like to though. I know you're wondering, how did the dirties stack up on this trip compared to other recent ones? Remember how awful the "Buffalo Jills" were at the Bills game? Or the Pittsburgh trips over the summer? Flip that to the opposite for the Charlotte dancers. They didn't put on 10 pounds of makeup for one, so that's always a plus in my book. They also looked great and had some hot bodies. That should be expected, but I guess Buffalo never got that memo. Most of these chicks had abs that were jacked like no other, yet didn't look manly overall. I was talking to Spank and we could only think of one girl in our town with legit abs. Give me that combo with something up top for sure (these dancers were lacking in that department for the most part, boo) and down low and I'm fine. That combo hardly exists though, but I'm probably too picky anyways.
Ok, last paragraph for the road trip. I've lost some readers through all of that, but as usual, I hope most stuck around for the action because we're not finished yet. Not even close. The weather down there was pretty nice for the most part. We get there on Friday and it's 65 degrees. What?? Saturday it starts to cool off though, but not like it has been at home. Spank and I (that sounds so cheezy, but I'll use it for once) had to get in a run while we were down there to take advantage of the weather. On Saturday, it was 46 degrees when we ran around noon. That was a heatwave for me with what I've been running in. As a comparison, yesterday it was 30 degrees when I ran outside with wind blasting me in the face. We ended up getting a near 4-mile run in as there was so much more space to run down there. It was then time on Sunday morning to head home. They say (who is they, I dunno) that the Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of, if not the most crowded day of traffic. For probably two hours of our drive back, we were going no more than 40 miles per hour, but usually around 20 or so. That was brutal. On that time though, we can thank Sirius. We listened to all of the Bills game and of course some more rap. It's a good thing we didn't have to look at the Jills, the benefit of radio.
A few new CDs to mention, let's get to it..
Guns N Roses: Chinese Democracy. The wait is finally over. It's been talked about being released for what seems like ages, but Axl Rose is back in action. I know, most of the stuff I listen to is rap, but I can switch it up when need be. How can you not like Axl anyways, no matter what kind of music you're into? I might be biased, but I'm a big Guns N Roses guy, even if the group isn't the same crew it was years ago. Either way, Axl still has his voice and you can't go wrong. Pick up this CD because it'll deliver. Even if you've had questions wondering if Axl can still do it, this will answer that for you. Songs I recommend are Better, If The World, Chinese Democracy, and Scraped.
LL Cool J: Exit 13. 40 years old and still doing his thing. He's a bit more club rap than he used to be, which I'm not a big fan of at all, but he still has talent. I haven't listened to this one yet actually, so I won't give much of a review outside of recommending a few songs. Go download, or buy if you choose, the following songs: Cry, Like A Radio, Ur Only A Customer, and Dear Hip Hop.
Bird's Dirty Thug Ho of the Week: We're going to hit up West Palm Beach, Florida for this. http://www.myspace.com/sublimedharma
Bird's Video Moment of the Week: A quick one for this week's edition. 14 seconds and one that has me watching it a few times over. Again, maybe it's just me..
3 Quick Thangs:
1. How about a quick movie review? I watched The Great Debaters the other day at work. I've it at the house for a few months, but never got around to watching it. Another teacher brought it in this week and it's a movie you have to see. I know I'm biased towards a lot of Denzel Washington movies, but here's another that is worthy. I'm going to give it a high score of 8.4 out of 10, one of the better movies I've seen in a while. I was surprised that even the kids were so into it. Jurnee Smollett in this movie, I think she looks pretty good.
2. Here's a quick story to show how old school the parents are. They came back with a coffee. The cup had one of those wraps on it so you can hold it without burning yourself. They both said they've never seen that before. What? Those have been around for ages. Good story though, gotta love it.
3. Today's fact? A crocodile can't stick out its tongue. Another fact? A woodpecker can peck 20 times per second.