Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Very Short Lesson

short lesson

I came across this very short lesson in psychology and it got me thinking, how valid is psychology? Should we believe everything we read about it? Are we, ourselves, our worst enemies?

When a person laughs excessively at little, dumb things, that person is sad inside. This may be true. Over laughing can be masking something deeper. The smile can be hiding the tears. Who are we to judge if an extremely laughable person is actually struggling inside though?

When a person sleeps a lot, that person is actually lonely. This I can believe. Depressed people tend to sleep more than the hours needed to be productive. So instead of sleeping for 16 hours, wake up after eight, and go for a run. I promise that jog will clear your head and you’ll feel great afterwards.

When a person talks less and fast, he is keeping a secret. So what? Maybe we don’t want everyone to know every little thought crossing our minds. Who ever said that was a crime?

When a person can’t cry, that person is weak. This is the one I found the hardest time believing. Usually people who rarely cry are perceived as strong. It got me thinking, maybe people who rarely cry are weak. The strength behind crying is letting it out. Letting go of what is built up. That takes strength. Holding it in is cowardice.

When a person eats abnormally, tension is built up. Something is going on that that person wishes not to speak about. Food is the therapy. My opinion? Exercise can do the same justice.

When a person cries over little things, that person is softhearted. If you cry at a sad part in a movie, people will call you a softie. When your dog dies and you cry, you’re soft. If you’re a guy who cries when someone dies in a movie, you’re weak. I like this version. Rather than saying someone who cries over small things is weak or mentally unstable, calling him softhearted is reassuring and more accurate.

When someone asks about you even though he is busy, he really loves you. Remember it. Take that away from this. It is the darn truth. Don’t question it. Just let it happen.


Test: Code

How We Started
From its mid 1990’s start as a SUNY Albany student’s project to establish a central internet listing of local band web sites, CRUMBS (Capital Region Unofficial Musicians & Band Site) has evolved into the major resource for all capital area musicians and bands. CRUMBS is arguably the longest running independent capital region music industry and scene resource. Through the years, CRUMBS has been guided by less than a handful of dedicated owners whose core mission has been to promote and advocate the areas varied music scene.

The current owner of CRUMBS is Mike Guzzo, a bassist and recording engineer in Watervliet, NY. In 2006, Guzzo acquired then dormant CRUMBS as a graduate project while earning a masters at the College of Saint Rose, and completely overhauled the website.

Radio Show
The new website ushered in a new medium to the launch of the CRUMBS Cafe radio show and podcast. CRUMBS Cafe is the website’s flagship of platform featuring local bands and artists performing (mostly) acoustic versions of their songs. To revive a local tradition, CRUMBS recently put together a varied collection of 12 songs taken from the CRUMBS Cafe radio show, and issued the recordings as “Live From CRUMBS Cafe, Volume 1”. In addition, Guzzo and partner Bill Bucher reintroduced CRUMBS Nite Out, which in its original format was as a monthly open jam session with a featured band. CRUMBS Nite Out became the area’s foremost networking opportunity for local musicians to further their music career.

Media Partners
To broaden the awareness and interest of the local music scene into the area and beyond, Guzzo has also sought to partner CRUMBS with a number of local media entities such as the Albany Times Union newspaper and weblog, public radio stations WAMC 90.3 and WEXT 97.7, performance venues such as WAMC’s performance art studio The Linda and the Robb Alley space along Schenectady’s Proctor’s Theater, and even Apple’s media powerhouse iTunes.

Local Music Blog
Powered by music under the category Arts/Culture, the CRUMBS: Local Music Blog was introduced in September 2007 as a forum for commentary and discussion of the many aspects of the Capital Region music scene. Readers are encouraged to leave comments. Each blog is written from a different perspective on the local music scene. Entries are not edited by the Times Union; the blog authors are solely responsible for content. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some include photographs (photoblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting).

Places I Have Attended School

Here is a map of all of the schools I have studied at and that have helped improve my brain power. Enjoy!


This image is from the Virgin Mobile FreeFest concert that occurred in Columbus, Maryland October 6, 2012.

Map: Concerts I have attended

Test: Jay-z slideshow

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Test: Jay-z Profile

A note to the readers: As an assignment for class, we are to look at and post a profile story about a person of our interest. We are to make this story more of a Web story by adding video and/or picture.

Credit for this story goes to


Born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, Jay-Z grew up in Brooklyn’s drug-infested Marcy Projects. He used rap as an escape, and appeared on Yo! MTV Raps in 1989. After selling millions of records with his own Roc-A-Fella label, Jay-Z then created his own clothing line.

Early Life

Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. “He was the last of my four children,” Jay-Z’s mother later recalled, “the only one who didn’t give me any pain when I gave birth to him, and that’s how I knew he was a special child.” Jay-Z’s father, Adnes Reeves, left the family when Jay-Z was only 11 years old. The young rapper was raised by his mother, Gloria Carter, in Brooklyn’s drug-infested Marcy Projects.

During a rough adolescence, detailed in many of his autobiographical songs, Shawn Carter dealt drugs and flirted with gun violence. He attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, where he was a classmate of the soon-to-be-martyred rap legend Notorious B.I.G. As Jay-Z later remembered his childhood in one of his songs (“December 4th”), “I went to school, got good grades, could behave when I wanted/ But I had demons deep inside that would raise when confronted.”

Rise to Hop-Hop Fame

Carter turned to rap at a very young age as an escape from the drugs, violence and poverty that surrounded him in the Marcy Projects. In 1989, he joined the rapper Jaz-O—an older performer who served as a kind of mentor—to record a song called “The Originators,” which won the pair an appearance on an episode of Yo! MTV Raps. It was at this point that Shawn Carter embraced the nickname Jay-Z, which was simultaneously an homage to Jaz-O, a play on Carter’s childhood nickname of “Jazzy,” and a reference to the J/Z subway station near his Brooklyn home. But even though he had a stage name, Jay-Z remained relatively anonymous until he and two friends, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke, founded their own record label, Roc-A-Fella Records, in 1996. In June of that year, Jay-Z released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt. Although the record only reached No. 23 on the Billboard charts, it is now considered a classic hip-hop album, featuring songs such as “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” featuring Mary J. Blige, and “Brooklyn’s Finest,” a collaboration with Notorious B.I.G. Reasonable Doubt established Jay-Z as an emerging star in hip-hop.

Two years later, Jay-Z achieved even broader success with the 1998 album Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life. The title track, which famously sampled its chorus from the Broadway musical Annie, became Jay-Z’s most popular single to date and won him his first Grammy nomination. “Hard Knock Life” marked the beginning of a fruitful period in which Jay-Z would become the biggest name in hip-hop. Over the span of those years, the rapper released a slew of No. 1 albums and hit singles. His most popular songs from this period include “Can I Get A …”, “Big Pimpin'”, “I Just Wanna Love U”, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and “03 Bonnie & Clyde”, a duet with future bride Beyoncé Knowles. Jay-Z’s most acclaimed album of this period was The Blueprint (2001), which would later land on many music critics’ lists of the best albums of the decade.

Expanding Empire

In 2003, Jay-Z shocked the hip-hop world by releasing The Black Album and announcing that it would be his last solo record before retirement. Asked to explain his sudden exit from rap, Jay-Z said that he once derived inspiration from trying to outshine other great MCs, but had simply gotten bored due to a lack of competition. “The game ain’t hot,” he said. “I love when someone makes a hot album and then you’ve got to make a hot album. I love that. But it ain’t hot.”

During his hiatus from rapping, Jay-Z turned his attention to the business side of music, becoming president of Def Jam Recordings. As president of Def Jam, Jay-Z signed such popular acts as Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Young Jeezy and helped effect Kanye West’s transition from producer to bestselling recording artist. But his reign at the venerable hip-hop label wasn’t all smooth sailing; Jay-Z resigned as Def Jam’s president in 2007, complaining about the company’s resistance to change from ineffectual business models. “You have record executives who’ve been sitting in their office for 20 years because of one act,” he lamented.

Jay-Z’s other, ongoing business ventures include the popular urban clothing line Rocawear and Roc-A-Fella films. He also owns the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar with locations in New York and Atlantic City, and is a part owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball franchise. As Jay-Z once rapped about his business empire, “I’m not a businessman/ I’m a business, man.”

In 2006, Jay-Z ended his retirement from making music, releasing the new album Kingdom Come. He soon released two more albums: American Gangster in 2007 and Blueprint 3 in 2010. This trio of later albums marked a significant departure from Jay-Z’s earlier sound, incorporating stronger rock and soul influences in their production and offering lyrics tackling such mature subjects as the response to Hurricane Katrina; Barack Obama’s 2008 election; and the perils of fame and fortune. Jay-Z says he’s trying to adapt his music to befit his own middle age. “There’s not a lot of people who have come of age in rap because it’s only 30 years old,” he says. “As more people come of age, hopefully the topics get broader and then the audience will stay around longer.”

In 2008, Jay-Z signed a $150 million contract with the concert promotion company Live Nation. This super deal created a joint venture called Roc Nation, an entertainment company that handles nearly all aspects of its artists’ careers. In addition to Jay-Z himself, Roc Nation manages Willow Smith and J. Cole among others.

More recently, Jay-Z proved that he had both commercial and critical staying power. He teamed up with another famous member of rap royalty, Kanye West, for 2011’s Watch the Throne. The album proved to be a triple hit, topping the rap, R&B and pop charts that August. The song “Otis,” which samples the late R&B singer Otis Redding, snagged several Grammy Award nominations and the recording was also nominated for Best Rap Album. As he sang one of the tracks, “I guess I got my swagger back.”

Personal Life

Very protective of his private life, Jay-Z did not publicly discuss his relationship with longtime girlfriend, the popular singer Beyoncé Knowles, for years. The couple even managed to keep the press away from their small wedding on April 4, 2008, in New York City. Only about 40 people attended the celebration at Jay-Z’s penthouse apartment, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow and former Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

Since tying the knot, Jay-Z and Beyoncé became the subject of countless pregnancy rumors. They welcomed their first child, a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, on January 7, 2012. Concerned about their privacy and safety, Jay-Z and Beyoncé rented part of New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital and hired extra guards.

Shortly after the birth of his daughter, Jay-Z released a song in her honor on his website. On “Glory,” he expressed his joy of becoming a father and revealed that Beyoncé had previously suffered a miscarriage. Jay-Z and Beyoncé also posted a message along with the song, saying “we are in heaven” and Blue’s birth “was the best experience of both of our lives.”

Why Blog?

Blogging is the quickest form of news that can either be significantly positive or significantly negative. The risk of error is higher than that of a published newspaper. If you’re like me though, blogging is a bit of a thrill. It is so spur of the moment and timely, that it almost gives you an adrenaline rush. When you sit down to write a blog, you almost always want to finish it right then and there. Going back is a nuisance. These short little blurbs are at their best when written and published in one sitting.

In Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog” he says, “For bloggers, the deadline is always now.” This is true. This writing out loud version of journalism that emerged a little over a decade ago is the most alive it will get when it comes to writing. It exposes the author in a way that most other forms of journalism do not. People either love what you have to say or hate it, and almost always have something to say about it. That’s what comes with freedom though. There will be a price for whatever you say. The more freedom a person is given, the more he or she has to lose or gain.

When blogging, someone will always know more than you. Comments make for conversation though. The more absurd and more out there something is that you blog about, the more traffic you will draw. People don’t like mediocre things. They always have something to say about the blogs where people stepped outside the box of normalcy. After all, normal is boring. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

The strongest emotions often make for the best writing. Think about it this way: every successful rapper or music artist wrote songs in times of tragedy. The greatest artists usually come from the most f*cked up backgrounds. Struggles are what people can relate to and they are what is REAL. Keeping that in mind, I will work to deliver entertaining and unique information that the world can relate to.