Today I Realized I am a Rap Master

I just finished watching the first episode of the new Netflix Series “The Get Down” at  It is a story about the beginnings of hip-hop in New York in 1977.

It wasn’t quite as good as Empire on Fox TV.  Hakim is one of the characters on the show, played by an amazing rapper named Yazz, or Yazz The Greatest.  My extensive rap experience tells me that he is going to be huge.  He already has over a million Twitter followers, so I guess he already is huge.

It got me to thinking.  How would I react if given the microphone at one of these so called “Hip Hop” events?  Would I have the right stuff?  Would I be able to berate my rap-opponent at a level sufficient to keep the crowd from beating me to a pulp?

I can almost picture it.  The crowd parts as I make my way to the Rapping Area.  I take the mike, and begin my rap, all the while staring at my opponent with steely nerve.

The clothes you wear
Are from a Sci-Fi Show
And you grow body hair
Where it shouldn’t grow

I’ve seen better faces
on boxes of soap
Your teeth need constant flossing
And you have to use rope

You are bumpy where you shouldn’t be
And wrinkly where you should
You show people what they shouldn’t see
And that ain’t never good

You have the heartbreak of psoriasis
From your toe to your head
On Tuesdays you have dialysis
And then go back to bed

When your mama looks at you
She feels like fainting
Your high school photo
Was a Picasso Painting

Ice Ice Baby

Hello Everyone. I wanted to share a recent plumbing experience I had with you.  No, I didn’t have a plumbing experience with you (we both would have remembered that, wouldn’t we?) Let me re-phrase that.  I want to share, with you, a plumbing experience I recently had.

My shower drain was plugged up, so I did what everyone does.  I poured boiling water down the drain.  That usually does the trick.  But 24 hours later it still wouldn’t drain, even after the whole coat hanger down the drain trick!  In a burst of inspiration, I decided to open and close the drain.  When I did that, I loosened whatever had been almost obliterated by the above-mentioned scalding H2O.  I am pleased to report that I am no longer ankle-deep in water after my mandatory daily shower.

With that, I am releasing my latest rap one week ahead of it’s ITunes Debut, Number 2 last week on the Billboard Top 100.

Hello Players
My Name’s Ice-John
I like to sleep
And I sometimes yawn

My shirt’s too tight
and my pants too long
And it’s been 37 years
Since I’ve Played Ping Pong

Sometimes I’ll Laugh
Sometimes I’ll Cry
Sometimes I’ll eat
Half a Pizza Pie

I don’t eat meat
Cause I love all life
I have big feet
You can ask my wife

I’m younger than the Pope
But older than Matt Damon
I was born the same year
As Everyone Loves Raymond

So now I’ll split
And I’ll end this rap
It’s a sure-fire hit
But it’s time to nap

What is the First Thing a Shoe Shine Person Says in the Morning?

Rise and Shine!

Do you want to hear something ironic?  Internet Explorer keeps sending me pop-ups that say “Internet Explorer Just Blocked a Pop-Up.”  That’s great, Internet Explorer!  But aren’t you kind of defeating the purpose here?

I was watching “The Haunting Hour” on Netflix earlier tonight.  There was an episode that had someone who was the “Master of the Insects.”  He used his power for evil and was in the end smothered by cockroaches.  Kind of like my bachelor party.  I learned that there are quite a few insects in the world.  At any time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive.  Divide that number by 7 billion and you get around 1.4 billion insects PER PERSON in the world!  How am I supposed to sleep now?  For more insect info check out:

Next week’s topic:  Amphibians

And finally:

Take a ride on the Coal Train.  John Coltrane that is.  This is a link to a video that shows every note John Coltrane plays on the song Giant Steps, as he is playing them!  It is fascinating.  If you like that sort of thing.





I Avoid The Following

Here is a partial list of the 1,000 things that make me uneasy (listed in no particular order):

  • Mail Delivery People
  • Bag People
  • Silent Films
  • Graduate Students
  • Art Gallery Administrative Personnel (excluding Receptionists)
  • Parking Lots
  • Car Washes (unless they are drive-through)
  • Dirt Clods
  • Rock Candy
  • Cotton Candy
  • Excessive Coupons at the Checkout Line
  • Unintelligible Music Buzzing From Speakers at Fast Food Restaurants
  • Inoperative Bathroom Facilities at Restaurants
  • Nick Nolte Films (but strangely enough, not Nick Nolte)
  • “Air Quotes”
  • Single Paranthesescotton candy

Hello Again

Like I said up there.  Hello again!  It has been kind of a rough year, hasn’t it?  Or is it just me.  I have been curled up in a ball on my bed for the past six weeks, today I emerged to write something for the first time all year.  You think I am kidding, don’t you?  Enough questions already?

  • I was recently listening to Franz Schubert’s “Fantasy in C Major” while reading along with the sheet music.  The total time for all four movements is 21:12, and there are a total of 720 measures in all four movements.  The works out to roughly 34 measures per minute.  So if you went to the song at the halfway point, at 10 minutes and 36 seconds, you should be at measure 360, right?  WRONG!   As most people know, the first movement is Allegro, or fast.  The second movement is Andante, or slow. And the other two measures are a mix of each also, with everything in between.  I have to say that Schubert is on my Liszt of favorite composers.
  • Here is everything you ever wanted to know about Franz Schubert:
  • He only lived 31 years, but was quite prolific during that short time.
  • And here he is again, performing for his neighbors:


  • The song on the CD I purchased was performed by Lili Kraus some time before 1986. She was a piano prodigy who was born over 100 years ago in Hungary.  I knew nothing about her before buying the “Big Shubert Box” which has 130 Schubert songs.  I wonder if her family gets a cut of the profits?  I’m thinking no.
  • Here is her biography:
  • And here is a guy named Evgeny Kissin doing the entire song (he can do all 720 measures flawlessly, I have 24 down, 696 to go):
  • I was in Target the other day, and while I was strolling down the aisle I overheard a conversation by two elderly women (can I say “elderly” or is that offensive?  I don’t know anymore!)”She will drive clear across town to save 15 cents on a can of soup!”
    “Well, there is nothing wrong with saving money.”
    “But what about the extra gas?”
    “Soup doesn’t give me gas.”
    “No, I mean gas for the car.”
  • I also overheard a fellow student say the following after we took our Musicianship Final Exams:  “I don’t want to go through that ever again.
  • We had some pretty good rain a few weeks ago.  I love looking at the online weather map as the storm approaches.  During that storm, the map said we were going to be covered with a giant mass of yellow and orange, but as far as I could  tell it was just dark and grey.  Thank goodness, I had just washed my car.
  • The other day I ran over my own bare foot while vacuuming.  And that isn’t the first time I have done it.  I have done that three times in the past year. You would think that after being alive for this long I would remember that heavy things with wheels are to be kept at least 3 feet from your feet at all times!

And Finally:

  • John’s Musical Theorem #27:  Modes of the Major Scale which have a root which is a perfect fourth or fifth apart differ in shape by only one note.  For example, Dorian is similar to Mixolydian and Aeolian.  Ionian is similar to Mixolydian and Lydian. The only place that doesn’t apply is between the fourth and seventh modes, Lydian and Locrian.  The reason is obvious:  There is a tritone separating the roots of each mode.  Duh!