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My Uncle Jim passed away on Friday.  The mass turned out to be lung cancer.  He was allowed to leave the nursing home so he could spend his last days at home.  A lot of his family came down to spend time with him.  I've been feeling kind of.... since I found out. 
Last night I went to go see an advanced screening of My Sister's Keeper. Despite some awkward cuts in the beginning to to not let things get too somber, it was still one of the saddest movies I think I've ever seen. There were some parts, especially towards the end, where you could hear the whole audience weeping. I don't know if I felt particularly touched because the movie was truly sad or because I'm a girl whose hormones are going crazy right now, because of stress involving work, or if it's just because I've been sad lately.

My turtle just died. It hit me crazy because ever since the other one died after while my friend was taking care of him (and how he hid it from me for months and I had to find out from my friend who knew his friend) I've been really trying hard to make sure my other turtle was healthy and happy. I made sure he got enough UV rays, his food had extra calcium, and to keep him happy, I let him walk around the room every so often, put him in the window, and put flowers in his home. Then I come home after going to the store from work one day and he's half in the water and doesn't move.

My Uncle Jim is also in the hospital. This scares me because he's old and when older people are in the hospital, it's never good news. He has pneumonia and while he was there they discovered a mass in his lungs. He also fell. This really freaks me out because when his wife fell, it seemed to age her almost 30 years. She went from vibrant and active to sedentary and with fewer lucid thoughts. Her eyes seemed to cloud over, and not much later, she passed on. Right now, my grandma tells me Uncle Jim is in good spirits, and he's left the hospital and is in the nursing home. The mass is still a big question mark because they can't do a biopsy because there's still some fluid in his lungs.

Also saw The Last International Playboy with Morris. It was a really good movie.
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 00:40:26 -0400 [12:40:26 AM EDT]
From: Kevin
To: reuse@mit.edu
Subject: [Reuse] queen ant (possibly)
Headers: Show All Headers
Hello,

I have captured a very large ant that I think may be a queen. Does
anyone need one?

They go on eBay for $40 dead and framed. Dunno how much they're worth
alive. You can have this one for free.

Kevin

Tags:

KISS 108 Concert Review

Black Eyed Peas
 
One of the best performances of the night.  They had lots of energy and sweet costumes.  Think silver skinny drop crotch pants.  They had a nice crew of backup dancers.  They actually didn't dance very well nor were they every precise or together, but they did have hot outfits.  The first costume was bright pink unitards from head to toe.  No faces showing or even imprints where the faces should be.  They also had wigs done in the 50s flip.  They were plastic like but looked like real hair.  Also interesting, some of the dancers seemed like men so I guess the boobs were built into the costume as well.  The next set of costumes were even better.  The unitard was a swirled pattern so you couldn't see the zipper and it appeared to be a second skin.  
 
So the Black Eyed Peas did some of their songs, including "Let's Get Retarded" and not "Let's Get It Started."  Then Fergie performed a couple of her solo hits and they finished off together doing some more songs.  Fergie was a really good live performer.  Her singing voice isn't too far off from what you hear on the CD.  Also before they left they did the Boston shout outs and Will.I.Am made sure to give his MIT shout out.  I think I was the only one screaming when he did that.  :)

Ciara

OMG, how terrible, how embarrassing, I would not want to be Ciara.  I don't know what's up with her these days or if someone said something to her or if she just went through some shit, but this was not right on so many levels.  First off, Ciara has officially decided that she will make up for her lack of talent, not by practicing or training to get better, but by being sexier.  She was probably on the floor for about 1/3 of the performance.  I was in shock.  I mean, parts of this performance by her and her ho crew back up dancers reminded me of the music videos that people always complain about because the male rappers are objectifying women.  Ciara also had an interesting outfit choice.  It was basically all black and some tight leggings for pants with a belt that looked like the things belly dances and pirates wear with all the coin looking bangles on it.  She had her hair in long cornrows.  Corey thought it looked bad, but to me it looked hot.  Like Jada Pinkett back in the day.  The back up dancers looked a lil busted (appearing to rock the old and/or crooked weave) which made it hard no to think that she chose them because she wanted to make sure she was the best looking girl on stage.  :(

Umm, no one in the audience cared at all.  I mean, I didn't care about Ciara myself, but I also am not a big fan of most of the people who came.  And Ciara used to be really big so I figured she still was and had headliner status.  I was not alone.  Ciara was trying hard to get the audience involved and it just wasn't working.  She tried the "all the sexy ladies" bit and nothin.  She did the "I love Boston" bit and got a dull roar.  She did some Celtics love and it was slightly better.  But people were really hype during the Black Eyed Peas and now people were leaving.  Few people even bothered to stand up.  She even did the one two step song to get people to get up and dance.  A few people did get up to dance but no one did the one two step.  But to be fair, Ciara and her body dancers didn't really do it either until the end.  I didn't get that.  I mean is the song really so old that no one remembers the dance?  Because the dance itself isn't that complicated...

She did do some of her old songs where she proved she did not have the endurance to sing and dance at the same time.  Justin Timberlake makes it look mad easy, but it's not.  So Ciara, pull a cue from Chris Brown and reserve a section of the song to devote solely to dance and you won't have the problem of breaking notes to gasp for air.  
 
Her new track was "Never Ever."  I liked it okay.  It was slow but for some reason, she wasn't really singing most of it - despite the fact that she wasn't dancing either.  But she did make sure that she played the entire audio for the song so sometimes she'd sing along and then she would just stop singing but we could hear her pre recorded voice just fine.

I think the end was the worst.  She decided to introduce the hoe squad who had been bumpin, grindin, and poppin behind her during the performance.  One woman kicked her leg up in the air by her head and then fell into the split a la Chardonnay in For the Love of Ray J.  And it was just as disturbing as when Chardonnay did it.  Only this chick took it up a level when she stayed in the split and started poppin the floor and bouned right off the stage...  Finally Ciara had her turn.  She squatted down and started poppin her booty.  OMG.  I didn't know Ciara could do that.  It was like in Missy Elliot's Lose Control video except it wasn't computer genereated it was real!  And now I know she chose the belt to emphasize the speed that she shook it.  And also why she wore more spandexy type leggings instead of leather - you could see the indentations of her butt as it jiggled and shook.  It was crazy and I was in shock.  Sam, I wish you could have seen it because I didn't know what to make of this.  I guess now she's going to be one of those pop stars who relies more on dancing and what her body looks like and it makes up for lack of singing ability.

I'm not sure what everyone else in the audience thought of it as I was too in shock to pay attention.  But when she did say her good-byes, the crowd was only slightly more into it than before.

Sean Kingston

We missed about half of Sean Kingston's performance because we were still in the VIP BBQ just chilling.  Had we know what was to come, we would have rushed out sooner.  One of the first things we realized about Sean Kingston was he's a lot smaller than we thought he was.  The second was that he's a much better performer than we gave him credit for.  So it was hype.  He had some songs I loved that I hadn't heard before, so now Sean Kingston is no longer on my dismiss list.  In fact, I added a Sean Kingston song or 2 to my iPod this week and I'll be on iTunes later to look for more.


Akon

Now I'm not a fan of Akon and I wasn't quite looking forward to his performance, but I have to say, he would be in the top 3 performances I saw that day.  (And I don't mean that in a, everyone was bad except 1 person type of way.)  And also he helped me remember that he had some oooold songs that I actually did like a lot. 

Akon was crazy good at getting the crowd hype from the beginning and establishing himself as cool and badass by demanding all the people in the back ignore the security and run into the aisles in the very front so that there were no gaps.  People were running from every direction.  It was like cockroaches in the kitchen when the lights come on (only more organized.)  He ripped off his clothes, he touched the hands of the people in the front (and not many performers did that), he had the best hype man in the world, he crowd surfed like 3 times, and I think he might have been the act that threw money into the crowd too (but I'm not sure about that.)

Akon's hype man had the faux hawk, and a plaid outfit that reminded me of a school girl uniform.  And not like something from porn or a slutty Halloween costume, but the legit, skirt down to the calf and bib overall looking top matching plaid piece.  He sang, he danced around, he DJ'd, he left the turntables and jumped on 3 speakers stacked on top of each other and danced.  He's setting new standards here.

I think the best thing Akon did was not sing his songs all the way through (with the exception of 2 or 3.)  Instead he just performed a ton of songs and just did pieces from them.  It also solved the "all the Akon songs we love are all other people's track with an Akon part but those other people aint here so what's Akon gonna do during the 75% of the song he's not singing in?" problem.  And it worked very well because Akon has hot parts and he doesn't just sing the chorus.

LMFAO

The first in a continuous line of disappointing performances.  If I could go back and do it again, I probably would have stayed for the first half of this and then tried to convince Corey we should just go home and make sure to catch all of game 7.  (Next year Celtics.)

They had everything going against them from the moment they stepped out onto the stage.  The pervy, annoying man from the radio station came out to introduce him.  He started out by saying that these people were complete nobodies but not to be too upset because, lo and behold, they do sound half decent.  I hadn't heard of them before, but Corey said their songs are popular in the club and I did see a bunch of kids wearing LMFAO t-shirts.

So they come on.  It's two happy hipstery mixed looking dudes with long curly hair decked out in things that could easily be sold in AA.  One's got the cute soft afro and the other looks like weird Al.  They have a groupie on stage standing around who we later realize is a dancer/silent hype man. 

The venue did these people dirty.  They gave them half the stage for their performance and the messed up sound equipment.  You could hear them fine but the volume on the music was too low and you also couldn't hear the background singers on the track.  They did do things to save their performance and get them cheers when they realized things were going downhill:  running into the audience, throwing light up trinkets into the audience, playing remixes of popular songs that didn't seem to contain much, if any, of their own musical influence, and finally pulling about 50 people on stage to dance with them while they sang.  I'm not gonna lie, if I had been right next to the stage I probably would have made sure they pulled me up too.  I mean really pulling up the people.  Kudos to the silent hype girl for helping out those with no arm strength and really using all her muscles to pull up people by their shirts.  I would say this group wasn't good, but I did go on YouTube to listen to a few of their songs and I did like them.

Ashley Tisdale

Dear Ashley,

Before experiencing you perform live, I never would have thought I would look forward to hearing Soulja Boy perform. 

plz stop,
J

Her Lindsay Lohan bad girl look (black leather leggings, loose low tank, and messy long auburn hair) and sexy bad girl attitude didn't quite match her bubble gum Barbie, Valley girl voice.  I think her talking was one of the worst parts of this.  Have a friend do his or her best Valley girl impression and Ashley still has the person beat by a lot.  I mean, I saw 2 of the HSM movies and it was nowhere near this bad.  I miss her Sharpay voice and her Suite Life voice aka her normal voice.

The singing was also terrible.  I was surprised that most of the audience seemed to not be into it either.  I thought the Jonas Brothers and Vanessa Hudgens paved the way for Disney channel stars to be popular outside of the Disney tween fan crowd.  I guess not.  At the mature age of 23, I was one of the oldest people there without a tween/teen son or daughter.  Some of the songs were bad for reasons that probably weren't in her control.  Like the microphone volume was up all the way and the music was lowered a ton.  I don't remember the names of the songs, but in one of them she was screaming a lot.  Eventually she quit singing and by this time the concert venue people decided to jack the music all the way up and I was deafened even though she wasn't singing.  She made sure to thank her un appreciative audience and tell us all how much she loved us before she left the stage.

Soulja Boy

Never fails to disappoint.  First off, he came alone.  I was expecting to see him roll up with a whole entourage of random dudes he knows.  I expected them to be on stage hyping up the crowd and doing all the dances.  I actually also expected a full stage for him to do all the dancing.  For some reason the venue seemed to give some acts the full stage and other the half stage.  Anyways, Soulja Boy, I guess Soulja Boy Tell'em now due to copyright issues, only appeared with a big bodyguard type character to hold his jewelry.  I mean, how can he "Pass it to Arab" if Arab aint even there?

The first song he did was Crank Dat.  I was excited.  I was hype to do the dance and then he stopped.  He said he was really gonna make it hot for Boston.  Cue loud rock music???  Yeah.  Maybe it's because I was one of the 10 black people there and not one of the thousands of white people in high school there, but I was not feeling it.  I didn't do the dance, Soulja Boy didn't do the dance, and no one in the audience did the dance.  After this, I don't remember much.  I just kind of stayed at the level of disappointment.  I can't really say what songs he did because they all sound so similar, but he didn't do very many and Yahhh wasn't one of them.  Also after every song he'd stop and then talk shit about how he was going to find his number one fan in the audience and take a picture with one lucky girl and give away his shirt.  Umm, yeah.  No fan, no picture, no one on stage, but he did carelessly toss the shirt into the audience with an air of, "I'm too rich to worry about washing this shit." 

There was one thing I did like.  For the Kiss Me Through the Phone song, he had everyone in the audience take out their cells and leave the backlight on and wave them in the air.  The venue lights dimmed over the audience and the effect looked really hot.


The VIP BBQ
 
 
The VIP BBQ tent was nice but at the same time, I couldn't help but feel there were a ton of VIPs at the concert.  There was a long line and we had to walk around for quite some time to find a place to sit.  That being said, it was still great.  Free sodas and water (though sadly they were Pepsi products) and a free BBQ buffet.  Now this was one of the best BBQs I've been to in Boston.  And by best, I mean most Southern.  It was just hot dogs and hamburgers.  They had pasta salad, BBQ chicken and... pulled pork/chicken sandwiches!  They also had the sweet potato rolls for the BBQ sandwiches.  (And thank goodness the BBQ was NOT catered by Redbones.)  On top of all this, they had seemingly unlimited free beer and wine available.  So all and all, can't top that.
I should bring more grad announcements to work.  It seems to be the only place I actually get them done.

GO TOWN!!!!

My girls are 2nd in the nation!!!



GO TOWN!
He picked me up and kissed as though that would make everything all right. And for a minute, it was.

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