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Thread: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

  1. #571
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    Invitation to Music Upstairs at Cabs

    Yesterday, I received this email message from David Kinney, who often sets up music acts at my brother's restaurant, Cabs Wine Bar Bistro in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

    They will be starting a new program, Upstairs at Cabs. Check it out!

    Greetings.. You are on this list because you are either a performer, music lover or simply like to drink.. Regardless,I am sending you this invite before we send this out to the masses this week. CABS is finally launching its UPSTAIRS@CABS acoustic/songwrtiers venue and you will recieve that calendar and for the musicians in thegroup ..invitation to participate..

    This will start in Feb and to get the word out..we are having a great musical event downstairs on Feb. 6th..There will be musicians from Chicago..who we will call Friend of CABS..blues muscians.. and that nightthere will be several guests..who will make for great night... Give me a call if you available to sit in...and if you plan to attend ..please call for reservations for this one.
    The last month we have been finalizing the sound, room arrangement..making contacts for performers..andthis UPSTAIRS@CABS will be modeled after the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. with some slight changes.The line up of music is remarkably good.. so Phil, James, Dugan, Mike Jim, Warren.. this series of showsbegins on the Thursdays and we will be hosting two shows..with a cover charge going to the performers.

    Very cool venue for trying out orignal music.

    Rock and Roll...Hope you can make it on Feb. 6th.. All STAR LINE-UP and should be great fun.

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    Cabs Band Starting Up This Friday Night!

    Hey,

    I just received this email invite to the appearance of the official Cabs band at my brother's restaurant this Friday night. Granted, there's some typos (I'm thinking Dave Kinney wrote this up), but the intent is clear.



    I'm planning on stopping by and shooting some photos. If you get a chance, stop on by and say hello!

    Cheers,



    Juan

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

    As part of the "Man Panel" for this singles section of Christianity Today's online site, I just had a response published online on the issue of being misunderstood as a Christian single man. Funny thing is, though, Camerin Courtney listed my age at 49, and not 48, which I'll turn in March. Other than that, I'm thrilled about having it up now.


    Misunderstood Single Men
    Our Man Panel shares how they feel misunderstood by our culture, their church, and single women
    January 14, 2009



    Silly Stereotypes

    I feel misunderstood as a single adult male when people I meet assume all single males are alike. As is often the case, this comes out most clearly in the way they joke with me. One person at my church makes a "bachelor" joke every time we see each other. Sometimes it's a comment about the way I dress, other times it's about what I must be eating since I don't have a mother or wife to cook for me. Some comments make me out to be shallow and self-absorbed, as if all young single males are just extending adolescence until a girl comes along to "domesticate" us.

    This is really unfortunate, because it only perpetuates the myth that singles have no place in society or are somehow harder to interact with because we're in a life situation that isolates us. The truth is, the single male experience is a rich cornucopia that varies not only from man to man, but also within each individual man. I believe I have a lot to offer if the people I interact with will take me seriously.

    I look forward to the day when I meet a woman I can share this "cornucopic" experience with. But in the meantime, my life isn't on hold. I attend church, sing in the choir, go to movies and plays with my roommates or by myself, enjoy eating and yes, cooking good food—all the while having great, long conversations because I don't have a family making demands on my time, and deepening my relationship with the Lord. Those who pigeonhole me according to their predetermined assumptions about single males rob themselves and me of some potentially great friendships.
    -Jonathan, 24, never married

    Not-So-Great Expectations

    To me, this issue is really more about expectations than misunderstandings. I wish churches had higher expectations for single guys and would get more involved in mentoring, coaching, and challenging us to grow and serve. Unfortunately, expectations for older single guys are far lower than they should be; we're getting a free pass and grow quickly in selfishness and bachelor crustiness. Even younger single men can avoid maturing altogether, prolonging a college-like free-floating-ness into their 30s.

    It would be very helpful if pastors and elders, even other guys in our men's groups, fixed the spotlight of accountability on this demographic in order to motivate us toward responsibility and maturity. This would promote mature leadership and provide our Christian sisters with many potential and qualified "marital candidates."
    -Steve, 50, never married

    In Good Company

    As a single Christian man, I feel misunderstood in three main ways by three groups. First, I feel misunderstood by single women who frequently mistake my friendly interactions with them as a desire to pursue romantic intentions. This leads to them either becoming aloof if they aren't interested in me romantically, or clingy if they are and I'm not. Second, I feel misunderstood by most members of our society (and, unfortunately, even some in the church) who cannot fathom a single man in his 30s who isn't interested in partying and has a desire to remain chaste. Finally, I feel misunderstood by the church, who frequently views single men as somehow "defective" or suspect, and unable to fully contribute to the church body until they're married.

    In spite of these misunderstandings, I'm content knowing I'm complete in Christ, and that he too endured similar misunderstandings when he walked on the earth.
    -Kent, 37, never married

    Odd One Out

    In thinking through this question, I'm reminded of Matthew 11:17, where Jesus spoke of that generation's take on him, saying they were like children in the marketplace calling to one another, "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.'" Clearly, Jesus could identify with the plight of being misunderstood.

    I take comfort in that.

    I attend a suburban, non-denominational church with strong Evangelical ties, and our congregation is made up of lots of married couples with kids. Sure, there are some singles as well, but most are decades younger than me. The head pastor has five kids and the assistant has eight … and counting! As such, there's a strong emotional undercurrent—like a subliminal message on an endless loop—that suggests this is God's end-all plan for good Christians. Add to that the pressure of peers marrying off and having kids, and the tension builds. Implicit in that tension is the question: Why on earth are you still single? Or, more pointedly, what's wrong with you?

    I find myself periodically answering questions as to why this or that relationship didn't work out. After all, to outsiders, we seemed so happy. Fact is, we were, but that doesn't mean we were meant for the altar. You cannot force what's not there. And so we part ways and move on.

    Prevailing wisdom says to find contentment in our singleness and walks with God and, when we least expect it, we'll meet the right one. Easier said than done.

    And so, I bumble along, developing my talents, gifts, and interests. The rub is that some of my interests fall outside the realm of typical Evangelical fare. Coffee shops, Bible studies, and other typical Christian singles activities only go so far. I tend to enjoy my entertainment more raw and unfiltered. For example, I enjoy watching fine-art films and gritty movies (some even broaching the PG-13 barrier!) and taking in a boxing match from ringside. I drink. I like cigars now and again. I keep friends from all walks of life.

    That's not to say that I'm a reprobate or liberal. I believe in the inerrant Word of God. I try to walk the Christian walk.

    Several friends have suggested I'd be better off being involved in an urban fellowship, as they tend to be more diverse and open in terms of interests and activities. But I like living where I do, and I love my men's group, even though most of the men in the group are married. I'll stay where I am.

    As the Word says, I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. If some people—and more specifically, some girls—don't get me, that's fine. God does. And so I'll do my best to flesh out my faith, live authentically, reach out to others, and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.
    -Juan, 49, divorced

    No Regrets

    People often seem to think I couldn't be happy and fulfilled without having a wife. I sometimes get questions that seem to assume I sit at home alone feeling sorry for myself. While I want to be married, I also won't live my life in a state of regret. And I'm trying to learn that if being married never happens, I need to continue trusting and honoring God with my life.
    -Cory, 30, never married

    Still Pro-Marriage

    Being a friendly person creates opportunities for a single Christian man to be misunderstood. I recently passed a woman in the hallway at church on my way to Sunday school class. I simply smiled, greeted her, and continued to class without skipping a beat. After church, I learned she'd told her friends that I'd shown an interest in her and that she hoped I'd soon ask her out.

    After a midweek service, I was having a fun conversation with a female friend of mine who's happily married. It caught the interest of a man, who physically stepped in between us and interrupted our conversation. I later learned he believes divorced men are unable to have healthy friendships with women, and so he took it upon himself to "save" my friend's marriage by bringing our conversation to an end.

    Two friends of mine got engaged to each other, and I couldn't wait to have a new joint friendship with them. I was shocked when the husband-to-be shared firm words with me that my friendship with his intended was to end in order to avoid any temptation for an affair. Needles to say, I ended my friendship with him that day as well.

    It's frustrating to be misunderstood because a person chooses to believe a stereotype over making an effort to get to know me. Those who do know me, especially in my capacity as a DivorceCare ministry co-leader, know I have great respect for marriage and have even been used by God to help save a couple marriages from divorce.

    It's sad when I'm misunderstood because someone judged me by a label or stereotype instead of investing time in getting to know me. Someday I hope they'll learn that my divorce and newfound singleness birthed significant compassion in my heart, which God uses to bring encouragement to others. I'm not the man the divorced label insinuates.
    -CJ, 50, divorced

    We welcome your feedback and brainstorms at: SinglesNewsletter@ChristianityToday.com

    Sign up for the weekly Singles Newsletter!

    Copyright © 2009 ChristianityToday.com
    Link to Site

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    Photo from SuperBowl Party



    That's me on the far right seated at a table (photo taken by a photographer using a "fisheye" lens)

    I attended a terrific SuperBowl party on Sunday night thrown by Tom Glunz, a friend and sometime photographer for the CBZ. Tom had about 60 people there from a church singles group. With people in various rooms of his huge house, it never really felt crowded. What a fun evening!

    I was pulling for the Cardinals, so even though it was a fantastic game, I was a little disappointed with the end result.

    Good times!

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    Photos from Cabs

    This Friday night at Cabs was a great time. The band was good, the mood festive, and -- as usual -- the food exquisite!



    Here's a link to photos I shot and posted up:

    Link to Cabs 2-6-09 Photos

    Cheers,



    Juan

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    Chicagoland- So. Cal Text Exchange



    I sent the above photo to an old friend I reconnected with on Facebook.com last night and sent this photo of a view from my back deck about a month ago.

    Today, she sent me the following response:



    COOL view My front 'yard'...today
    Wow. What can I say?
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-12-2009 at 04:28 PM.

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    Writing Tips

    Joe Rein sent me this wonderfully thoughtful link on writing, which I'll share with you below:

    Get Messy With Your First Draft
    February 10, 2009
    by Elizabeth Sims

    Rough up your first draft to get to the good stuff.

    As Ernest Hemingway famously said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” For years, I didn’t understand. When I started writing fiction seriously, I kept trying to get it right the first time.

    Every night after clocking out from my job in a bookstore, I’d sit at my favorite coffee shop with a yellow pad and the pens I collected from publishers’ reps, and carefully work on my first novel. I’d write my minimum 300-word requirement, staying inside the lines and squeezing out every word with great thought and deliberation. Grant me, at least, that I was disciplined: I counted my words, and if I got to 299, I wouldn’t go back and add “very” to a sentence—I had to at least begin the next one.

    By that method, I managed to produce quite a lot of pages. But guess what? My prose didn’t consistently swing, sizzle or startle. It took me a long time to figure out Hemingway’s hidden meaning, and longer still to apply it. Over time, as I got rougher with my first drafts, my finished work got better and better.

    BE HONEST

    Why does a coherent first draft give birth to a stilted finished product? Because it means you haven’t let it flow. You haven’t given yourself permission to make mistakes because you haven’t forgiven yourself for past ones. Admit it: Unless your throttle’s wide open, you’re not giving it everything you’ve got.

    One day I realized that creativity in writing isn’t a linear process, even though we read in a linear fashion and the words must go on the page one after the other; even though we must put our thoughts and words in order so the reader can make sense of them.

    Writing, in fact, is the only art that is literally one-dimensional. If you can be gut-level honest with yourself, you’ve really got a shot at your readers. And the only way to find that honesty is to not overthink it.

    For your writing to come alive—to be multi-dimensional—you must barter away some control. The rewards are worth it.

    LEARN TO LOVE ANARCHY

    Ignore sequence while writing your first draft. Beginning writers will often say, “I’ve got the basic story figured out, but I don’t know how to present it so it hangs together. I’m never sure what should come next.”

    Nothing is as freeing as writing what comes to mind next, not necessarily what must come next. Transitions are unimportant. Hey, don’t take my word for it—trust John Dos Passos, Patricia Highsmith, Mark Twain and William Shakespeare. Exposition is always less important than you think it is. Just focus on what happens next.

    Hemingway didn’t mean, though, that if you begin with crap, dung or merde, you’ll end up with something far better without much effort. He also didn’t mean that it’s OK to start with a weak premise.

    He meant that the first execution of your ideas must be as unfettered as possible. Which will result in—yes!—some crap: false starts, pretentiousness, clunky images and clichés. Fine. Get them out now. They’ll contaminate the good stuff only until you get around to your second draft.

    GET LOOSE

    Relax, physically and mentally. If, as I do, you write your first drafts longhand, consider your pen a paintbrush. Hold it relaxed in your hand and move it from your shoulder, instead of with your fingers. Your whole arm will move freely, and you’ll pour out the words, as well as banish carpal tunnel syndrome all to hell.

    Legibility is overrated. Remember that.

    The common wisdom in writing workshops is that you shouldn’t stop to revise. But let’s be honest: That’s unrealistic because sometimes you really do see another possibility right away, and you should be free to pursue it. I recommend over-writing as you go.

    If, in a single moment, you think of two different ways of saying something, just write both, one after the other. Later you’ll be able to decide which is better.

    Write a box around a phrase; stack two competing adjectives atop each other; make notes in the margin. I use the margins for research notes such as, “what’s position of Sirius over L.A./August?”

    Fresh sheets aren’t just for motels. Use paper! I’m a big believer in using exactly the amount of natural resources you need, and no less. If you want to go off on a new tangent that’s longer than a sentence, rip off your current page and start a fresh one. Never crowd a new thought into a crevice of the page you’re on.

    And for the love of God, don’t wait for the new thought to fully form before you put it down. More often than not, as soon as you write the first shard of that new thought, it’ll work itself to fullness as you write. And that’s the magic we all live for, isn’t it?

    If you want to add a word or a block of text, don’t stop at using carats to show an insert. Circle stuff, draw arrows, loop one piece of text into the middle of another. And keep going. If it’s instantly obvious that one version of a word, sentence or graph is better, strike out the bad one and go on without looking back.

    If you compose on a keyboard, make the “return” button your best friend: Set off a new idea by hitting two carriage returns. Let your fingers splash on the keyboard. Let typos stand. Don’t use the cut and paste functions while creating a first draft.

    Note that I’m not telling you to write as fast as you possibly can, as in speed for speed’s sake. No. Take time to pause and reflect. Then take whatever comes without judging it too much.

    Why’s it so important to suspend judgment when writing? Because that freedom opens you to the surprising stuff you never saw coming; stuff that makes you smile as you sit there in the coffee shop, your mug of joe cooling because you’ve forgotten to take a sip in 15 solid minutes.

    When beginning a writing session, new authors often feel that they must jump off to an excellent start, when all they really need is to start. In this, there’s no difference between me and you.

    Often I have to slog through crap to produce decent writing, especially if I’ve laid off from it while doing revisions. But I never despair, having learned that if I just keep going, I’ll get to someplace worthwhile.

    FACE YOUR SECOND DRAFT

    If you’ve practiced slovenliness with a liberal hand, you’ll be delighted at how much fun your second draft will be. After I’ve got a chapter or two roughed out, I go from my handwritten pages to my PC, where I edit and rewrite as I go, adding new text and omitting what—I can now clearly see—doesn’t work.

    Thus I establish the rough rhythm that works for me: a couple of days writing longhand, then a day at the old PC. Some authors work through their entire manuscript in longhand before sitting down to type, and that’s dandy, too. Most beginning writers cling to every word they’ve written. But if you practice looseness and receptivity when writing your first draft, the day will come during revisions when you realize you have a surplus of good writing to sort through. You’ll know joy.

    I just took a spin through a couple of my old Writers at Work volumes (The Paris Review Interviews). Along with George Plimpton’s interview of each famous author, the Review reproduces pages from their drafts.

    I studied some of these:

    CYNTHIA OZICK: Her handwritten draft page is a beautiful mess, containing almost more strike-outs than unscathed text.

    RALPH ELLISON: He used a typewriter, then marked up his pages with a ruthless hand.

    ERNEST HEMINGWAY: His handwritten page from “The Battler” shows only one cross-out. However, between that and the published story, the passage shows subtle but significant differences.

    During the course of writing six novels, I realized that the days when the truth shone brightest were the days my pen flowed the freest and messiest across the pages. And I was rewarded with longer and longer satisfactory passages.

    It’s paradoxical that giving up control rewards you with what you seek most: concise, insightful work.
    Link to Online Article

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    He Said, She Said: Texting with My So. Cal Friend

    Today, I sent this photo as an attachment to my friend in So. Cal, along with the words, "A look out my office window Today" (sic)




    Her response was the following:



    My office view TODAY Thx 4 sharin yours, Juan
    Once again: Wow.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

    Just saw this at the Chicago Reader online:


    Rod Blagojevich Superstar!
    When: Open run: Tue-Wed 8:30 PM,
    Phone: 312-337-3992
    Price: $14

    After ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich called the president-elect a motherfucker, skipped his impeachment trial to appear on The View, and griped on talk radio that legislators who booted him from office are alcoholic adulterers, you'd think any attempt to satirize him would be redundant. But this musical by Ed Furman (book) and T.J. Shanoff (music and lyrics) achieves preposterous grandiosity even by Blago standards, amplifying the already well-known highlights of his doomed career--the scrappy-son-of-immigrants backstory, the betrayal of mentor and father-in-law Dick Mell, the potty-mouthed wife, the revered hair brush--and setting them to a schmaltzy faux-Andrew Lloyd Webber score. Under Matt Hovde's snappy direction this inspired mix of wit, vulgarity, sophistication, and cheese is mean, biting, and hilarious. --Justin Hayford
    Second City E.T.C.
    Old Town Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells
    312-337-3992
    Sounds like fun!

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    Online Recipe Source

    Hey,

    I just stumbled upon this exhaustive link on recipes at my brother's online site. Check it out:

    recipesource.com

    Cheers,



    Juan

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

    Thanks Juan. I bookmarked the site and will probably spend a few hours going thru some of these. canoli pizza?

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    You're Welcome, Phillyfan!

    Hey Phillyfan,

    You're very welcome. I was futzing around on my brother's site to see if he'd added some recent photos I'd shot at his restaurant when I stumbled upon this cool link. Personally, I wanted it readily available, as I want to experiment more with cooking this year.

    That said, I don't know about the canole pizza. Sounds strange!

    Cheers,


    Juan

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    Changes in American Lifestyle Permanent?

    I just happened to spy this on Yahoo and wondered if this was accurate or not in the long run. If you ask me, the American consumptive lifestyle was due to a correction, but I'd be more inclined to think that all that will go out the window when the economy eventually swings the other way.

    For example, I'm reminded of the big influx of compact cars in the late 70s with the recession and gas shortages. When the 80s and the big boom hit, we became very extravagant and eventually super-sized SUVs became the rage.

    Guess we'll see. Anyways, check it out:

    "Worst Is Yet to Come:" Americans' Standard of Living Permanently Changed

    There's no question the American consumer is hurting in the face of a burst housing bubble, financial market meltdown and rising unemployment.

    But "the worst is yet to come," according to Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, who believes American's standard of living is undergoing a "permanent change" - and not for the better as a result of:

    An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values.
    A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets.
    A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid "exploding unemployment", leading to "exploding bankruptcies."

    "The average American used to be able to borrow to buy a home, send their kids to a good school [and] buy a car," Davidowitz says. "A lot of that is gone."

    Going forward, the veteran retail industry consultant foresees higher savings rate and people trading down in both the goods and services they buy - as well as their aspirations.

    The end of rampant consumerism is ultimately a good thing, he says, but the unraveling of an economy built on debt-fueled spending will be painful for years to come.

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    'Happy Back to Work' Greeting



    My SoCal friend took a couple days off to watch her neice compete in a college golf tournament and so I thought it was only fitting to send her a back to work greeting today. So, I googled a "happy back to work" image and came up with the image above, only with the caption, "Happy Thanksgiving." With the aid of the "Paint" software program, I made the necessary adjustments.

    With the grind of corporate pressures and deadlines, somehow, I think it's just fitting!

    Cheers,



    Juan

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    Upcoming Wine and Food Match at Cabs!



    I just got this in my email today. Wow! They're featuring Trefethen wines at Cabs Wine Bar Bistro. Oh, man! I need to be there.

    If you've never been to one of my brother Luis' wine and food matches, it's amazing. He was trained in Paris, France's La Varenne Cullinary School and has been a chef for years.

    At these wine and food matches, he makes these sumptuous courses that complement the wine being served. I believe there's four courses, as I recall.

    Try and make it if you get the chance!

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    A Cotton Candy Sunset



    Here's a photo my SoCal friend sent me this morning of last night's sunset. She aptly dubbed it a "cotton candy sunset."

    Must be nice!

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    A Gallery I want to Check Out when I'm in California



    This is one gallery I'd really like to check out when I'm in California next. Apparently, it features work by the sculptor Richard McDonald, whose work I've seen at stores in Schaumburg, Illinois and Beverly Hills, California.

    And, by the way, I'm also a fan of Chuck Close, whose work also appears at the afformentioned gallery.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

    I just got the coolest link from Joe Rein yesterday. When you go there, you click on the boxes, which subdivide into four new boxes when you click on them. It's simple, yet fascinating!

    Originally intended for kids. They won't be able to get it away from you:

    Link

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    A Tune Playing in My Head This Afternoon

    Today, I'm fighting a cold at work and have been feeling a little blue. As I rounded the midway point of my day, this tune came into my head from the move, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

    Like many, I've found this to be a more stressful year than most, what with the recession and changes at work.

    I think this song conjures up a certain innocence associated with childhood that I sometimes miss.

    I miss those relatively carefree days of Mini-Tanks, GI Joes, and simpler times.

    Of course, they weren't always so carefree and innocent. I grew up in a troubled home. Yet, there was also that longing for brighter times.

    Even though my life has come a long way, there's still a longing for simpler, more magical times.

    And, so I present you the lyrics.

    ARTIST: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    TITLE: Pure Imagination


    Come with me and you'll be
    In a world of pure imagination
    Take a look and you'll see
    Into your imagination

    We'll begin with a spin
    Trav'ling in the world of my creation
    What we'll see will defy
    Explanation

    {Refrain}
    If you want to view paradise
    Simply look around and view it
    Anything you want to, do it
    Want to change the world, there's nothing to it

    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination
    Living there, you'll be free
    If you truly wish to be

    {Refrain}

    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination
    Living there, you'll be free
    If you truly wish to be

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    Frank Baltazar's Website

    Check it out! Longtime CBZ Message Board contributor Frank Baltazar has a website. You can locate it by clicking on the link below:

    Link to Frank Baltazar's Website, "West Coast Boxers of Years Gone By"


    Enjoy!

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    Server Problems with CBZ Newswire Page!

    I want to wish everyone a happy Spring day.

    Whew! We've been having problems with the Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire page since Sunday. I have not been able to post anything up.

    Mike DeLisa is working on fixing the problems, which are rather confusing.

    In the interim, I'm filing several pieces with Eastsideboxing.com. However, when things return to normal, I'll be back serving as News Editor at the CBZ Newswire page.

    Here's a link to an interview with "Macho" Miguel Hernandez (who fights Luciano Perez this Friday) that I filed with East Side Boxing:

    Link to Interview with Miguel Hernandez

    Cheers,



    Juan

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

    I hope everyone is having a good Tuesday. It's overcast and drizzly here and, to top it off, I'm on spring break! What gives with THAT?

    Anyways, as our CBZ Newswire page is still problematic (I can't post ANYTHING up for the life of me and we're looking at changing the people who take care of our server), I've submitted my fight report from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago to Eastsideboxing.com.

    You can see this story by clicking on the link below:

    Eastside Boxing Story Link

    By the way, there's a little glitch in one of my sentences that escaped me before I submitted it, but caught when I read it at the site. Nuts, I need to pay more attention to that sort of thing before posting something up! That, and I think I included too much of the post-fight interview with Miguel. Oh well...

    Although I've also posted the link in my report, you can access my extensive collection of photos from this bout at the link below:

    Facebook Link to My Photos

    Enjoy,



    Juan

  23. #593
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    Selling Out: The Next Level

    I just spotted this at the Chicago Reader:


    Selling Out: The Next Level

    Advertisers go from licensing songs to releasing them.

    By Miles Raymer

    April 9, 2009
    idz in the Hall’s new single—a synthy, effervescent reinvention of Special Ed’s 1989 semi-hit “I Got It Made”—earned the Chicago hip-hop duo a bit of buzz when it hit the Internet in mid-March, thanks in part to the recent crossover success of their second full-length, The In Crowd (Duck Down). If you’re listening closely to Naledge’s rhymes, you might catch references to “Pumps” and “Dee Browns,” and in the video—a professional-looking piece of work for a group that’s still mostly a blog darling, but not suspiciously slick—you might notice that the camera occasionally lingers for a split second on somebody’s Reeboks. But sneaker fetishism is so endemic in hip-hop that you could be forgiven for thinking little of it here.

    If you try to buy a copy of “I Got It Made,” though, the pieces fall into place: Record stores don’t stock it. Neither do digital retailers like iTunes. If you want to get the song legally, you have to go to Foot Locker, buy a pair of nouveau-vintage shoes from Reebok’s Classic Remix collection, and use the code that comes with them to download it from footlockerunlocked.com. On the site Naledge and Double-0 are rocking SK 7000s that cost $70. The song’s exclusive to this campaign, as are new tracks by Kid Sister and up-and-coming Atlanta MC B.o.B.

    About two years ago I wrote a column headlined “In Praise of Selling Out,” where I argued that the poor health of the music business makes it excusable, if not necessary, for indie bands to license their music or accept sponsorships. It’s a way to get corporations working for them, to get the kind of exposure that normally takes a major-label promotional push without major-label creative interference: companies that license music just pick from songs that already exist.

    Since then, the synergy of marketing and indie music has evolved so swiftly that selling a tune for use in a commercial or video game seems almost quaint. Marketers aren’t just horning in on the territory of record labels’ promo departments—they’re starting to act like labels.

    Because “I Got It Made” was commissioned by Reebok and Kidz in the Hall appear on the Classic Remix site, their personality, image, and credibility are a part of the marketing scheme to a much greater extent than if they’d just licensed a song. And Reebok isn’t the only company doing this. Mountain Dew was one of the first brands to take the idea seriously, debuting its Green Label Sound last August with an exclusive Cool Kids song, “Delivery Man,” accompanied by an MTV-worthy video, a remix by respected producer 9th Wonder, and publicity push befitting a viable major-label single.

    The Cool Kids being the Cool Kids, the Internet lit up when “Delivery Man” dropped, and though some of the talk was about the novelty of Mountain Dew releasing a hip-hop single, most bloggers treated the song like any regular release. The unspoken consensus seemed to be that artists are entitled to do whatever it takes to make a living now that the industry that’s supposed to pay their bills is collapsing.

    Every Green Label Sound release—its hipster-bait roster also includes Matt & Kim, Kuroma, and Flosstradamus—is available to stream or download free from the GLS site. Users don’t have to give up any personal info, submit to an end-user license agreement, or even endure much advertising—Mountain Dew’s only conspicuous presence is a logo at the top of the page.

    Because ventures like Green Label Sound and Reebok’s Classic Remix project don’t have to profit directly from the music they release, they could change the game. Numbers for these deals aren’t public, and neither Mountain Dew nor Reebok had responded to inquiries by press time. But even assuming they paid on the high side of what halfway-famous indie artists usually get for a license in a commercial or video game—let’s say $40,000—these deals would still cost a small fraction of the price of a typical national TV commercial. The Cool Kids and Kidz in the Hall are way cheaper than Kanye, and their fan bases, which the companies are very much buying access to, consider themselves too savvy to be swayed by conventional mass marketing—they’re the prized “tastemaker demographic.” Mountain Dew would apparently rather be associated with the Cool Kids than with basement-dwelling Halo addicts.

    Kidz in the Hall, "I Got It Made 09"


    The Cool Kids, "Delivery Man"

    There are benefits for the artists as well. Exclusive original material is more valuable than permission to use an existing song, and they know it. If by selling that exclusivity they’re able to get a chunk of the ad budget for a successful brand, it can mean more money than foundering traditional labels can promise to anybody but the biggest stars these days. Companies like Reebok and Mountain Dew enjoy a great deal of freedom when it comes to deciding which of the expenses and reponsibilities of a record label to take on: Green Label Sound had a South by Southwest showcase, for instance, but neither has to deal with tour support, manufacturing, distribution, or even selling music—their sole responsibility is to get their artists exposure, and they can do it however they want. A well-funded boutique operation like GLS can devote its full attention to each release like a small indie label but wield the promotional heft of a major. Given that there hasn’t been a single platinum album so far in 2009, it’s not hard to imagine business getting so bad for real record labels that GLS could represent actual competition.

    Anyone even slightly familiar with capitalism knows that companies getting into indie music this way expect a return on their investment. Reebok doesn’t think you’ll buy those SK 7000s because you want “I Got It Made,” which takes about two seconds of Googling to find hosted elsewhere. It thinks you’ll buy them because you associate them with Kidz in the Hall. Mountain Dew is happy to give you a Cool Kids song, provided it reminds you of Mountain Dew when it comes up in your iTunes. They want to buy everything your favorite artists stand for in your mind. For people who take music seriously, that’s a painful prospect—but anyone who wants the artists he loves to turn down “dirty” money first ought to delete any illegally downloaded music on his hard drive.

    The patronage model does offer listeners some benefits too. In late 2006 Nike released 45:33, a long-form composition by LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy, marketing it as a workout soundtrack to accompany the new Nike + iPod Sport Kit; it turned out to be good enough for cynical indie bloggers to review. Nike didn’t even give the song away—it was sold for $9.99 through iTunes—and the company has continued the series with works by A-Trak, Aesop Rock, and the Crystal Method. If subsidizing respected artists (and the Crystal Method) to make sprawling, occasionally challenging works that look completely unmarketable on paper isn’t the best way for Nike to spend its money, it’s near the top of the list.

    Soda companies and sportswear makers are still a small part of the music picture—but journalists aren’t writing story after story about the death of the soda and sportswear industries. Musicians who don’t want to go the DIY route may start to see being part of a corporate marketing campaign as a palatable alternative to dealing with whatever remains of the record business. Don’t be surprised if one of these days you discover a favorite new band through Adidas.
    Link to Article
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 04-14-2009 at 04:21 PM.

  24. #594
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    Recent Fight Reports

    Here are some links to recent fight reports I've had published at Eastsideboxing.com while we work out our CBZ Newswire page server issues:

    Escalante vs. Stark Report Link

    Mary McGee vs. Kristy Follmar Fight Report Link

    Enjoy,



    Juan

  25. #595
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    Rare Photo of the Swine Flu Virus

    Wow! Thanks to the wonders of modern science, I have a rare photo of the Swine Flu Virus. Just click on the link below to view it:

    Link to Photo of Swine Flu Virus

    Cheers,


    Juan

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd, Pt. 2

    Hahahahahaa!!!!!!!!!

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    Pics from the Allan Holdsworth Trio featuring Chad Wackerman

    I just saw guitar phenom and legend, Allan Holdsworth, with his trio at Durty Nellies in Palatine, Illinois earlier this evening. For those of you unaware of Holdsworth, he was consistently rated the number one guitar synth player by Guitar Player magazine and has been a huge influence and favorite guitar player by such guitarists as Eddie Van Halen.

    Talk about a hot trio! The drummer, Chad Wackerman, was a super hot L.A. studio drummer back in the 90s and the bass player was pretty impressive, too!

    Here's a link to pics I posted up at my Facebook account:

    Link to Pics from Allan Holdsworth Trio Show at Durty Nellies

    Cheers,


    Juan
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 05-15-2009 at 08:05 AM.

  28. #598
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    Photos from Joe Desperado show at Cabs Last Night



    I was at Cabs Wine Bar Bistro in Glen Ellyn, Illinois last night to see my brother, have dinner and listen to a guitar player and vocalist that goes by the name of Joe Desperado. His band plays retro rock, blues, and swing. They were good and put out a lively show.

    Here's a link to some photos I posted up at my Facebook account:

    Link to pics of Joe Desperado Show

    Speaking of which, there's supposed to be another, really good band playing there tonight. Unfortunately, I've got plans for a birthday party, too. Perhaps, I'll put in an appearance at the party and then go by Cabs to catch the act.

    Cheers,


    Juan

  29. #599
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    Re: Pics from the Allan Holdsworth Trio featuring Chad Wackerman

    I just had to slap this one up...



    Quote Originally Posted by Juan C Ayllon
    I just saw guitar phenom and legend, Allan Holdsworth, with his trio at Durty Nellies in Palatine, Illinois earlier this evening. For those of you unaware of Holdsworth, he was consistently rated the number one guitar synth player by Guitar Player magazine and has been a huge influence and favorite guitar player by such guitarists as Eddie Van Halen.

    Talk about a hot trio! The drummer, Chad Wackerman, was a super hot L.A. studio drummer back in the 90s and the bass player was pretty impressive, too!

    Here's a link to pics I posted up at my Facebook account:

    Link to Pics from Allan Holdsworth Trio Show at Durty Nellies

    Cheers,


    Juan

  30. #600
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    Spina vs. Smith??



    Now, is it just me, or does the photo above seem to depict boxer Joey Spina knocking the stuffings out of actor Will Smith?

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