Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Outsider

I spent President's Day running errands, exercising and visiting my alma mater. I think everyone should visit their college campus regularly after graduating. As a student, you constantly stress about papers to write and exams to take, that sometimes you don't get a chance to sit on a bench and absorb how beautiful the campus is. Today I got a chance to do that.

I believe that to experience Temple in it's full glory, the best time to visit is the beginning of fall semester. Regardless, I still had a good time. Many things were familiar (trucks, office workers, buildings) and many were new (there is a 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts now, I don't know any of the students, and the biggest surprise, my old college paper!)

When I walked into the SAC I noticed all the sororities were selling baked goods downstairs. Like a soldier returning home, I traced my old footsteps to notice that much has changed. The SAC renovation is now complete. Now it is more commuter friendly. When I was a student I remember students sleeping EVERYWHERE (including class) but today I did not see one single sleeping student anywhere.

Finally, I saw a familiar face, but it wasn't an old friend ....... it was this mysterious Asian woman sitting upstairs at a desk on the same floor as TN. I have seen this woman for years, yet have never spoken to her. Have you ever seen her? She has long black hair and would always carry many bags and mysteriously show up to events where there would be free food. She looks like she could be around 40. I was never sure if she was a student or an .... "outsider." But how could one be an outsider for so long?

Temple is not like other schools. At Penn, outsiders stick out like a sore thumb (even if you are another student from another school.) But Temple is diverse, with students of all different ages. It is safe to be an outsider there, because it is so easy to blend in. Most outsiders come to college campuses for a purpose. It may be to promote a political cause (I found out after a few semesters that the leaders of the International Socialists Organization were Bryn Mawr students or not students at all), a religious one (remember Pastor Steve?) or to ...... sell Discover cards or some crap. Usually the outsiders would be loud and charismatic.

But the mysterious Asian woman was quiet and never did anything to attract attention. I've never seen her speak to anyone. My eyes never met hers. She walked fast with her head lowered. She read all the kiosks. I've observed her many times, but don't even know her name. I've never had a class with her or known anyone who has. I wonder what a woman like her would major in, I wonder where she lived, I wonder if she has a family. All these questions could have been answered if I just said "hello" and struck up a conversation. But I didn't. I don't know why.

I finally found the TN, which resembles a real newspaper office now. It looked cleaner and more organized. The students appeared well rested (maybe that's because it was a Monday.) Even the paper looks great. They changed some of the names of the sections (Features is now "Temple Living", Entertainment is "Out and About", and Sports is .... still Sports.) Instead of the "slave room" and individual offices for all the editors, it has a central area where all the cubicles are now. So there is better room for communication and less room for sex scandals. Speaking of sex scandals...

I saw nekkid pictures of Debbie Gibson, or rather, Deborah Gibson as she calls herself now. I am so disturbed. She was so clean-cut and pure. When I think of her, I think of 2nd grade innocence. Although dehydration expert thinks the pictures are fake, I think they are real. I shouldn't be that shocked I guess. She was just following the footsteps of Kimberly (from A Different Strokes), Tiffany (the singer), and Jesse (from Saved by the Bell.) Is Ms. Gibson doing this to avoid being the outsider?

Which former teen idol do you think will get nekkid next?
a) The Olsen Twins,
b) Zack and Slater,
c) Raven Simone
d) Kimmy Gibler,
e) Rudy Huxtable (the Chingy video doesn't count) or
f) Other

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The New Yo' Momma Joke

So we all heard our share of yo' momma jokes from childhood.

Example: Yo' momma so stupid she saw a sign that said "Wet Floor" so she peed on it.

My classmates and I would come up with endless, ridiculous and creative come backs. Usually it was lighthearted but sometimes (if it came too close to the truth) feelings would get hurt and fists would fly into faces. I think I was 10-years-old when I heard my first "yo' momma" joke when I would sneak and watch late-night comedy that my parents disapproved of.

At school, I realized most of the kids pirated their momma jokes from stand-up comics and would alter them slightly to target the mother of the chosen classmate. But since I didn't have cable, I was stuck with coming up with my own.

Well, times they have changed.

Kids are losing their innocence faster. Their mothers and fathers are younger. Many of them are raised by their grandmoms. In a chapter called "The Black Inner-City Grandmother in Transition" Penn sociology professor Elijah Anderson wrote in his book "Code of the Street",
"In a literal sense, they fight to preserve their neighborhood and especially the lives of its children. This social context is important to an understanding of the grandmother's role, which, as we noted, has a long tradition but has at times been diminished. If it is resurgent now, that is largely because the social context – the dearth of able male breadwinners, the rise of crack-addicted daughters and male predators, and the general encroachment of the street culture into the fabric of the community – demands it. In her traditional role, the grandmother may really be viewed, romantically at least, as a selfless savior of the community. Her role may be compared to a lifeboat. If she is pressed into service, it is because the ship is sinking."

Maybe that explains why momma/pop jokes are so watered down these days. They aren't as potent or offensive because many of these inner-city kids don't respect their "parents" anyway.

I have a child..... I'll call her "Fresh T." Well, Fresh T was acting up all day so I finally told her that I was going to call her dad and tell him to pick her up. In a challengable and cool tone, T said "Go 'head. Call him. He ain't gonna pick me up. He drunk right now anyway." (Keep in mind that Fresh T is 6).

I always knew that Fresh T was intelligent. Smart and cynical at six. She knows that "yo' momma" jokes are passé. She knows that to really hurt someone, you gotta go straight for the one person they really love and respect. Their grandmom.

Totally unprovoked, she told another child (I'll call him 'Big Cheeks') "Yo' grandma so old, when she talk she look like a turtle with no teeth." Then she proceeded to do an imitation of Big Cheeks' grandmom, by sliding her lips over her teeth and speaking in a muffled grandma voice. I was shocked and amused. Shocked at how mean kids could be, even when they aren't provoked. Amused because I have met Big Cheeks' grandmom, and Fresh T's impersonation of her was cleverly on point. If I saw the scene before my eyes in a movie, I would have laughed hysterically, but since it was real I couldn't.

So as an escape from the politically correct, G-rated image I must portray daily, I am asking for your help, dear reader....

What is the best yo' momma, poppa, grandmom joke YOU have ever heard? You can even make up your own. Be creative. I am gonna make a collection and post them on a later blog.

Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Highlights/Lowlights of Valentine's Day

Many years ago, some genius came up with the idea of capitalizing on love. He (I assume) marked a day, and decided to give certain businesses a way to boost their profits at that particular time of year. The businesses that profit the most are restaurants, along with jewellery, flower, sex-toy, lingerie and card shops. The usual outcome for the next day would be for women to have higher blood-sugar levels and men to have less disposable income.

That cynical stuff said, I have to admit that this Valentine's Day was my best ever since I was a kid. I get really uncomfortable when people spend money on me, especially my kids, many who don't have fathers or clean clothes. So when they showered us with gifts, I was almost moved to tears. One mom walked in with heart-shaped balloons and teddy bears (things that I usually think is cheesy) but it was so sincere and sweet. I gave her a big hug and noticed that her coat was wet with rain drops, it almost made me cry. "They don't have cars or money, they shouldn't be walking around in the rain or spending their money on me" I thought. But I was moved that they thought of me. We threw a party in our class and served cupcakes with pink icing, pretzels, cheese curls and candy. Then we sent the kids home to their parents in their hyper state. I forgot how it felt to consume massive amounts of "food" with zero nutritional value. As a kid, I would always look forward to sugar rushes and thought it was the best thing. But now, I feel nauseous if I don't eat healthy at least two meals out of the day. The weirdest gift I got from a student was strawberry-scented socks...

Only girls showed up for newspaper club after school. We laughed and bonded as we drew comic strips. This one 6th grader drew a comic about a "Christmas Crackhead."

Tsunami guy and I went to get Thai food after work as we chatted about "Bride and Prejudice." He brought up an interesting point: Does Gurinder Chadha have a white man fetish? Did you notice how in both of her movies it shows a pretty Indian girl falling into the arms of a white man? Indian men are portrayed as either controlling or gay. So Tsunami guy stated that he would be boycotting her movies. Now I wouldn't go that far. Let's see if the same thing happens in her third movie. Then it will be a pattern.

Oh, I am changing my blog style. After having a talk with dehydration expert, I realized that using real names and pictures can later bite us in the ass. So from now on, I will give everyone code names or describe them with an adjective. That way, friends will be able to figure out what I am talking about but total strangers will not.

As a gift, Mr. Short thought it would be nice to surprise me by sending nekkid pics of a Suicide Girl. Awww, how thoughtful...... now why would a guy send his ex a picture of a completely nekkid girl with candy hearts strategically placed all over her body on Valentine's Day? Just as the crazy one says "I will never understand women" I have to agree, "I will never understand men." In case you were wondering, the SG had a "butter" face. Everything was alright, but her face.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

What's religion got to do with pujas?

If you look it up in an encyclopedia it will say "Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print." Thats the verb puja. The noun is "the event where people show reverence to the divine."

But according to my experiences from last night's Saraswati Puja and the pujas from years before, a puja is "an event where members of the Kolkata elite come to gossip, flaunt the clothes and jewellery they got from their last trip to India, brag about their kid's college acceptances and where young people from the community gather to later go out to the city and get wasted."

Every year, I complain and try to convince my mom why I don't want to go. "But I don't FEEL any spiritual connection there, why do I have to go? Why can't we just pray at home?" Then she will give me a lecture about the "importance of community" and how if I gave it a shot it could be fun. I'll come back with "don't I give it a chance EVERY YEAR?" And then she proceeds to give me a guilt trip. This happens every year. "What's religion got to do with pujas?" I ask her.

Does my mom have alterior motives? Maybe. Maybe she wants me to "meet someone" although she will never admit it because than I won't go. I guess it happens in every religion though. Do people really dress up for church to make God happy? Or are they there to meet a special someone with the same values? What does anything have to do with anything?

When I was in student union in high school, I just assumed that everyone was there because they cared about the budget cut that Philly schools were getting and they wanted to organize and make a change. I was wrong about that too. Meat chasers are not just at bars and parties, they exist everywhere, even places where you think the purpose is pure. I'm not calling meeting people unpure, but I just think you always have to be aware. Oh, so at student union one Saturday afternoon we were talking about recruiting new members so someone said "well, what made YOU want to come to student union meetings?" I was surprised to hear that not one, but SEVERAL people said "I decided to join to meet girls/guys." And did you ever notice how at so many art openings very few people are there to actually look at the art? I mean, half the time the art sucks, but people stick around.

So next time you go to that book club meeting, or Democratic Party gathering, don't be surprised when some old, hairy literary critic from the Inky asks you to get dinner with him afterwards.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ash on Letterman

She walked on stage waving, smiling and looking pretty in Western casual wear. But as soon as she sat down her defenses went up. Is it just me or did Aishwarya Rai come off as a complete snob on Letterman? Maybe she isn't used to the night talk show style here, where interviews are more fun and conversational and less Q & A. She seemed shocked to meet someone who has never heard of her and isn't familiar with her films. Dave made funny uncomfortable faces and loosened his tie as Ash gave serious one-word answers and laughed at her own jokes. Sure, Ash was never known for her wittiness, and I normally wouldn't give her much importance, but now that she is breaking into the "Western" market she is being thrust into the position of being a representative of India. If she wants to make it here, I think she should do her homework and loosen up a bit. All over South Asia and parts of the Middle East, she has the "sweetheart" image, sort of like how Julia Roberts does here. But less girl-next-door. To the American public, with her appearances on 60 Minutes and Letterman (along with that horrible clip for Bride and Prejudice on Letterman) she is coming off like a complete bitch, the total opposite of her image abroad. I know many Bollywood actors and actresses dream of doing American films, but I hope that in her case this move doesn't hurt her career or take her a step down. Not to sound like an asshole guy, but this girl is hot until she opens her mouth.....

Other things on my mind...

1. The death of Ossie Davis- I haven't seen many of his movies but the reason why I feel a personal connection with this man is because my first photography assignment ever was shooting Ossie and Ruby's press conference promoting their book "Our Life Together." That was years ago, I think I was a freshman or sophomore in college. My world was small. I was youth-culture obsessed. The things important to me at that time were taking photos, going to raves, school, hip hop and wandering the city. Oh, and fighting for Mumia. So there I was, at the Philadelphia Convention Center in the same room with this old couple who I thought I had nothing in common with. Sonia Sanchez did the introduction. In person, Ossie seemed more like a loving grandfather who slowly told stories and smiled while he reflected on his life.... not the Hollywood-type at all. His wife was the same. Ageless, beautiful, loving life and it's simple pleasures. I remember him saying something about struggle, and how struggle made one's life richer and happier. Then someone asked him what he wished for the future to which he replied "I wish Mumia Abu-Jamal would be free." Sonia Sanchez immediately burst out with a high-pitched "li-li-li-li-li-li-li-li." O-KAY. I don't know what that was, but I think that was the Afrocentric version of "right on." That's my memory of Ossie Davis. R.I.P. Ossie.

2. Girl Scout cookies- Yup, it's that time again. I'm like a crackhead for Samoas and Thin Mints. I thought I would have easy access, working at a school and all. But the neighborhood I teach in is pretty suspicious of people selling anything door to door. Even little girls. Imagine the drug dealers fighting little girls about stealing their corner. Actually, if there was a smart girl scout, she would learn to work WITH the dealers and capitalize on people's munchies........ I was sad to recently find out that the girls do not actually make the cookies, they just market them. I feel like a kid finding out that Santa Claus doesn't exist.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Get-to-know-you stuff

What you are supposed to do is copy and paste it onto a new e-mail/blog entry that you'll send/post.

Change all the answers so they apply to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your
friends, if you did not know them already.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30 a.m.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Neither

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I'm embarassed to admit this, but I saw "The Boogeyman" last Friday with three underaged kids. They really wanted to see it and no adult would take them.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Wife Swap. Tomorrow will be the first Swap with a lesbian family.

5. What did you have for breakfast? Oatmeal and Honey Smacks with hot vanilla soy milk

6. What is your middle name? Don't have one

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Thai.... I love how the coconut milk neutralizes all the spices and the smell of lemon grass is refreshing

8. What foods do you dislike? "Mystery" meat from school

9. What is your favorite chip flavor? Cool Ranch Doritos

10.What is your favorite CD at the moment? Tricky: A Ruff Guide

11. What type of car do you drive? N/A

12. Favorite sandwich? The Delhi from LeBus

13. What characteristic do you despise? Too many to list

14. Favorite item of clothing? Hoodie

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Crete

16. What color is your bathroom? White (when it's clean)

17. Favorite brand of clothing? Huh? What is a brand?

18. Where would you retire to? Portland or India. Any place that old folks get respect and the chance to relax.

19. Favorite time of the day? Laying in bed at 6 a.m. listening to NPR and wishing that I didn't have to get up and go to work.

20.What was your most memorable birthday? Memorable in the good way- 25th at Dave and Busters. Memorable in a bad way- 22nd, the first birthday without my dad.

21. Where were you born? At the Wawa by Jefferson Hospital in Philly.

22. Favorite sport to watch? Football and basketball, although I would rather play than be a spectator

23. Coke or Pepsi? I stopped drinking carbonated beverages in 2002

24. Are you a morning person or a night owl? I go back and forth depending on jobs.

25. Do you have any pets? No, but my students sometimes act like monkeys.

26. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with your family or friends? A few weeks ago, I got invited to the Power 99 offices to speak to the head of the Clear Channel stations in the region about Star & Buc. It went ok, but the woman tried to convince me to do a Public Service Announcement! And then she had the nerve to ask if I knew of any South Asian events that Power 99 could co-sponsor. Please..... I'm not gonna be a piece of cold steak on Power 99's bruise from their public relations hit.

27. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut, for many years actually

Monday, February 07, 2005

Things Overheard/ The Cell Phone Poem

As a service to my friends, who need a distraction at work, I decided to update my blog. Do you like the new layout and colors? I thought I was cool, until I went to Mush's site and realized that he used the exact same template!

Best things I overheard this week:

GHETTO GIRL BEAUTY ADVICE- At 40th and Lancaster, two teenage girls were walking down the street and recounting the details of a brawl.
Girl 1: "And then she bashed my face in."
Girl 2: "Use cocoa butter."

SATURDAY WITH MEATHEAD- Ok, this isn't technically "overheard" because he was talking to me while I was on the treadmill.
Trainer guy with no neck: "Some guys come in and think they can do half an hour of cardio and some bench presses and look like ME! (Laughs) I mean, you have to get ECCENTRIC with your workouts. It takes a lot of effort to look like this."
(The whole time I couldn't help but think how MUCH he sounded like Dolly Parton talking to Daryl Hannah in Steel Magnolias. I think Dolly said the exact same thing.)

A woman at the gym: "Guess what I am giving up for Lent? Stress."

And as per request, here is the cell phone poem for anyone who didn't get the email. Luckily I was able to keep my number and get a new one from Verizon for free!

"Twas the week of Christmas
And I lost my cell
I knew trying to find it
Was gonna be hell.

I realized how I depended
On this little piece of metal
Then I remembered something else
And grew unsettled.

The bigger problem appeared
As I was coming out of slumber
Did I really do it?
Did I lose all my friend's numbers?

Oh yes its true!
I don't have it copied anywhere!
It isn't in any of my notebooks
Or organizing software!

Then I imagined some naughty punk
grinning from end to end
Ringing up my phone bill, or worse...
Prank calling all my friends!

So if you got a weird phone call
And I showed up on caller I.D.
Disregard it, please
Really, it wasn't me!

I am sorry for being abrupt
And I know this email is mass
But if I didn't disconnect soon
Verizon would charge up the a**

So if you tried to call me
And wondered what's the matter?
Now you know the reason why
I couldn't chit-chatter.

Why I decided to stop illegal downloading

It's not because of Garret the cartoon Ferret, who thinks file-sharing is "uncool."

I used to illegally download music but after reading about all the economic effects to the recording industry, and hefty fines the Recording Industry Association of America has been issuing, I have decided to stop. I still plan to download music, but from now on I will do it legally, since there are alternatives. I think the courts have made the right choice by cracking down on individual downloaders and not the file-sharing sites that simply provide the software. Legally, it is wrong to download music from such sites, but ethically I still have to convince myself so. But first, let me explain my reasons for downloading in the first place.

One of my reasons for downloading the music I wanted was out of anger. I was and still am angry at all the big media conglomerates like Clear Channel, who are raping the music industry as a whole. Clear Channel is buying practically every venue and radio station so the mainstream mass is hearing the same songs on the radio every hour, every day. Because of this, it was difficult to hear new music. The industries were getting so big and powerful, that they decided what the public would listen to. Downloading music was my way of protesting. I wanted to hurt the big labels and media conglomerates, not the artists because I am a musician myself and have friends who are also.

My other reason for downloading music is because as an environmentalist, I saw sharing MP3s as a way to eliminate unnecessary labor, plastic and paper, and save some of the earth’s natural resources. Downloading music does not require shipping costs (like the cardboard and plastic each compact disc is wrapped in when you order it from an online site), and it eliminates the need for gas and money for the buyer and distributor. The cost of buying and operating a CD-producing machine is also eliminated.

I liked the fact that I could download just a few songs from an artist without having to buy a whole CD. Usually I only repeatedly listen to 30% of songs on a compact disc while others I skip over. Downloading music felt liberating to me and as a musician, I know that I have distributed a lot of my own music for free because it was more important to me to have others listen to my music than making money. I know that other small, independent artists feel the same way.

And lastly, I downloaded music because it was easy and I knew I was getting away with it. Technology was moving faster than the law, but finally the courts are catching up. Next month, the Supreme Court is to hear MGM (the copyright holders) vs. Grokster (the makers of file-sharing software). As soon as one service would get sued, another service would find some loophole and start something else. In the last few years, things have changed for individual users. It was easier to get away with downloading music before because the first legal actions were not taken against individual users, but rather manufacturers of MP3 players, and Web Sites like Napster, which contained a bank of pirated music on a central repository.

On peer-to-peer file sharing sites, you would also search by song or artist title, but another user who has the song on their hard drive would also have to be online and logged onto the system. Services like Kazaa and Grokster did not contain a central server with the songs on it. I didn’t see what was illegal about that because it is like making a copy of your friends’ music and making mix tapes for them. Musicians who distribute their music this way, are saving themselves promotional, marketing, manufacturing and shipping costs. When the Chicago-Sun Times asked recording executives where they saw the music industry in five years, Ken Waagner, Internet music consultant said “What I really see is that more and more you will see artists being less dependent on the record company as a whole.” (Chicago-Sun Times, 2003)

In 2003, a California judge ruled that file sharing software to manufacturers of copy machines and VCRs in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd. Although they can aid individuals to violate copyright laws, they are not liable because the user is breaking the law and the manufacturer is not. (Hopkins, 163)

Illegally downloading music is copyright infringement and I have realized that I can not get away with it anymore because I am primarily liable. Internet service providers, universities with fast connections, and file-swapping software manufacturers are given “safe harbor” because Congress has protected them from secondary liability under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, so the pressure to be law-abiding is all on me.The RIAA has started to sue individuals with a “substantial” collection on their hard drives (“substantial” means around 1,000 songs, according the The Economist), and some labels have included “white noise” to illegal copyrighted material that has been download, so when the user starts listening to a song, in the middle they will hear annoying white noise which the music industry hopes will deter users from illegally downloading.

Legally, I know it is wrong to download music, but I never felt bad downloading music because I knew that the people who were profiting from it were the big major labels, who exploit artists and change their image to market music and make money. In earlier and more glorious times, music actually meant something. If you were a musician, you would make music and people would listen to you. If you played at a lounge, pub or hall, the proprietors would take some of the profit. Years later, when record players and recording devices were invented, the musician shared their profits with engineers, producers, distributors and record manufacturers. More sophisticated forms of recording and marketing were developed throughout the years and now the music industry is predominantly business and a little bit of music. I do think that the music industry is evolving and instead of complaining about change, the RIAA needs to realize that musicians will depend less on big labels, and produce music and distribute it directly to the listeners. Like in the movie “High Fidelity” music snobs will continue to brag about having the original pressing of an album on vinyl or whatever medium, and mp3s are not as impressive to these folks. Maybe the RIAA needs to target this type of consumer.

The media portrays musicians as being the victims of Internet music downloading. Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica, is an advocate for musicians against Napster and has been used as a poster boy for the RIAA. But, according to the Chicago-Sun Times, the real victims of peer-to-peer file sharing are not the musicians, but the music business. Metallica, along with some record labels have started sending out Web crawlers called NetPD, which target individual users and send them and/or their employer an email saying that they are caught and are guilty of copyright infringement. Metallica later claimed that after months of using NetPD, copyright infringement was reduced. (Hopkins, 163)

The music industry has sought to persuade listeners that without profits, it will not be able to invest in finding and promoting the bands of the future. File sharing sites allow users to download the work of artists whose music they enjoy, rather than what is force-fed to them on the radio or MTV. Musicians are marketed more for their appearance and gimmick and less for their music. Tera Siwicki of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences told the Chicago-Sun Times in an article last year, “As things get more electronic, the industry is going to have to come up with much more creative ways to market a product besides cover art and liner notes… and maybe the image of the artist won’t be as important as the music itself. If a song is floating around on iTunes, you’re not necessarily looking at the person, you’re looking for music. If there isn’t a focus on the image, then maybe people will focus on the craft.”

My personal opinion is that legal music downloading will not kill the music industry, just change it. Continuing to download illegal, copyrighted material is not only wrong, but economically disastrous. The music industry needs to evolve with technology just like it always has.

The curse of Billy Penn

Originally uploaded by devalina.
I knew the chances of winning were not good, but all I wanted was to go down with a fight. Tonight I realized that "Eagles=All or nothing"

The game started off strong and spirits were high. The Eagles and Patriots were neck and neck. I made sure to wear green and have the same thing for breakfast that I had the day of the NFC (oatmeal & Honey Smacks with hot vanilla soy milk). We even made history (a tie by the end of the third quarter)...... and then at the end, history (the curse of William Penn) repeated itself.

We were doing so well! What happened? What happened to the "game faces" in the fourth quarter? To me, it looked like McNabb stopped trying. You could see the fear and lost determination on his face.

I hate the all-or-nothing attitude that sometimes plagues residents of this city. Is it a fear of success? Are we proud of being the underdogs? Or as my kids would say "under-dawgs?"

I like to make the comparison of tonight's Super Bowl game to the Aesop's Fable "Grapes are Sour." The fox sees this juicy vine of grapes on a high branch and starts to jump for them. He keeps jumping and jumping and after several unsuccessful attempts, he shrugs and says "grapes are sour." What the fox should have done is changed his strategy. It could have climbed the tree or bribed a squirrel to throw some grapes down. But see, the grapes bruised his ego. That's why he gave up.

If the Eagles lost by 3 measly points playing the last quarter half-ass, imagine what they could have done if they actually put their heart into it.

But don't worry people. Tomorrow will be a brighter day. Keep reaching for the grapes....