Category Archives: Life

Top 25 90’s Songs – Hip Hop

Last week, I debuted my “Top 25 90’s Songs – Rock” list and it stirred up a little discussion about some things that were left off. This week is my Hip Hop edition and this was probably the hardest of the Top 25’s lists that I’ve made (R&B coming soon!).

These songs are snapshots of what was going on in hip hop during the 90’s (commonly known as the “Golden Age”). In order to get a good representation, I decided to only take one song from each person/group. There are a couple cross-overs, but that is because it’s part of a duet or a guest-spot on someone else’s song.

Again, these songs are in no particular order, just as I thought of them. If you think I left one off that should be on there, let me know in the comments.

1. “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs
2. “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” – Dr. Dre f. Snoop Dogg
3. “California Love” – 2pac f. Dr. Dre
4. “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” – Diddy f. Mase
5. “Regulate” – Warren G f. Nate Dogg
6. “Triumph” – Wu-Tang Clan
7. “Can I Get A…” – Jay Z f. JaRule
8. “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” – Busta Rhymes
9. “Sabotage” – Beastie Boys
10. “If I Ruled the World” – Nas f. Lauryn Hill
11. “All I Need” – Method Man f. Mary J. Blige
12. “Rosa Parks” – Outkast
13. “Bow Down” – Westside Connection
14. “Gangstas Paradise” – Coolio
15. “Get At Me Dog” – DMX
16. “My Name Is” – Eminem
17. “Ready Or Not” – Fugees
18. “Jump Around” – House of Pain
19. “What They Do” – The Roots
20. “What’s My Name” – Snoop Dogg
21. “Hip Hop Hooray” – Naughty By Nature
22. “Ghetto Superstar” – Pras f. Mya and ODB
23. “Richter Scale” – EPMD
24. “I Wish” – Skee-Lo
25. “Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G.

***I purposely left off Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” because while it’s cultural impact and overall greatness cannot be ignored, I never really listened to Public Enemy.

Alright, what songs are on YOUR  list?



Filed under Life, Music, Observations

Shows that I Wished I Was On While I Was Growing Up

1. All That – Out of all the shows on this list, this is the one that I would have done anything to be on. I was already a smart-allecky 12 year-old who was constantly on stage wherever I went (at least I was in my head). I’m not sure how good I would have been at creating characters, but I was very good at imitating characters like “Ed” (Good Burger), “Super Dude”, and “Ishbuu.” They also had one of the best theme songs (performed by TLC) and had cool musical guests like, Da Brat, Soul 4 Real, Immature, and Craig Mack. Oh, and you know Kenan Thompson from SNL? This is where he got his start (see the video below).

– Nick Arcade – So, you’re telling me that I come on your show, and you’re going to have me play video games and answer questions about video games, and you’re going to give me prizes and cash? Where do I sign up?

– Salute Your Shorts – I grew up going to camp every summer, and no matter how much fun my camp experience was, I always imagined it being 10 times better at Camp Anawana. I wanted to play ball with Pinsky and Telly, pull a prank on Ug with Budnick, or just hang out at the lodge with everybody. It didn’t matter to me that their food (when they showed it) was atrocious and their activities were pretty dismal. I just wanted to be there.

**I couldn’t find a usable clip of the opening credits, so I just found a clip from the show. It starts in the middle of an episode where there are hunting for treasure using a fake map that Budnick sold to them.

– GUTS – I was an athlete. I’ll humbly say ‘was’, because I’m not exactly doing line-drills in the gym for hours like I used to. And this was the ultimate athlete game show. Kicking, jumping, running, throwing, climbing, this show had it all, and I just knew that if I was on that show, I would totally dominate. The challenges were sweet along with the host (Mike O’Malley) and of course, Mo, the British lady who would have to explain the challenges to the audience (and probably to Mike as well.) Top it off with climbing a fake mountain and taking home ‘a piece of the crag’ if you won, meant this show was everything I wanted in a show that liked to watch instead of being active myself.

– Double Dare – One of the original Nickelodeon game shows, this paved the way for many other shows on this list. I always wanted to lean into the microphone and say, “Physical challenge.” Also, with the dynamic duo of Marc Summers and announcer Harvey, everything seemed twice as exciting as it actually was. And then there was the final challenge, slipping and sliding all over the place, grabbing and stuffing flags and loading up on prizes with each completed challenge.

– Wild and Crazy Kids – This felt like the one that I was closest to actually getting on. Not that I ever did anything to get on it, but since it wasn’t acting and it wasn’t in a studio, it felt like if I just went down to the local ball field or pool that I would see them filming and I would grab a shirt and compete. Donny Jeffcoat, Omar Gooding (Cuba Gooding Jr.’s little brother) and two different girls shared hosting duties and occaionally jumped into the games. All the games seemed to be things that I could have done in my backyard and this was the other one that I felt like I could have dominated had I ever found that park where they were filming.

*Bonus for having Ashley Johnson from Growing Pains!

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College Football Weekly- Week 4

EPISODE 4 – Topics Include: who we think is college football’s top coach; best match-up to see in-person; best game-day atmosphere; and pick winners from the following games: Cal/Arizona; Stanford/Notre Dame; West Virginia/LSU; South Carolina/Auburn, Oregon State/Boise State, and Alabama/Arkansas.

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I’ve been compiling a list of open letters to certain common nouns that I feel once they are written, sent, read, and put into IMMEDIATE action, everyone’s lives (especially mine) will be a little more bearable.


…Giant Face-Tattoo Guy – Please don’t act offended when I stare at your giant tattoo on your face; you have a giant tattoo on your FACE!

Radio Shack – Just because you sort of changed your name to the seemingly much hipper and cooler “The Shack”, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still America’s #1 supplier of 3rd rate electronics.

…Lady At Wendy’s Who Shakes Her Salad for Adequate Dressing Coverage – I think 53 seconds of solid shaking should just about do it.

…Guy Picking His Nose in His Car – I can see you, please stop.

…Starbucks – McDonalds, Applebees, and Payless (will soon) have free wifi and yet I have to pay for it at your place. Stop acting like you invented both the double mocha latte AND wireless internet.

…Jason Derulo – You really don’t have to say your name at the beginning of all your songs. I can tell its your song because of the over-processed vocals, trite lyrics, and overall lack of creativity.

…Rest of the American Idol Judges – Hate to say it, but nobody cares what you think or say. Simon is the show and when he leaves, there will be no show. Start proofing your resumes.

Creflo Dollar – I’m really not trying to judge you or anything, I’m just saying that it’s kind of hard to take you seriously as a pastor when your last name is “Dollar.”

…Guy Who Follows Me In A 15 Passenger Van So Closely That I Can’t Even See Your Bumper – You just bought yourself another 5 miles per hour under the speed limit.

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Filed under Dear, Life, Observations


Knowing full-well that I am not the most frequent updater of my blog (which I really do enjoy writing), I’m letting you know that I will be taking a break ON PURPOSE for the next month or so. I’m hoping to just breathe some fresh air into my life and frankly, on the list of ways to spend my time, blogging isn’t the highest priority. So, I’ll be back with more lists, observations, and whatever else I write about on here. But for now, enjoy the blogs to the right of this and have a GREAT October!

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Great 8


I’ve been to a lot of concerts. Dave Matthews Band (Leroi R.I.P.), Coldplay, U2, The Eagles, MuteMath, EBE Crew. But no matter where you go, who you go with, or who you go to see, there are always those people that you see and you know that if you’re going to enjoy this concert, you need to be as far away from them as possible. I’ve seen ’em all, but here are my Great 8.

1. The Guy Who Tapes the Entire Show – While it used to be just a tape recorder and something small that fits in a shirt pocket, today this guy has upgraded to a video camera. Always hoping for that classic YouTube moment like the dude from Nickelback getting hit in the head with a bottle or Bono falling off stage, he holds his camera high and with pride. And out of all of the “guys” on this list, he’s the most tolerable…until the light on his camera distracts you and all of Section E during the song you’ve been waiting all night to hear.

2. The Karaoke Superstar – This person knows every song. And when I say “knows” I mean sort of recognizes the tune a little bit if you give them a second to think about it. But just like with bad karaoke (is there good karaoke?) the person chooses to belt out songs that he doesn’t even know and really only gets about every third word, maybe. Each song is usually preceded by a “Oh, I LOVE this song…” and then it turns into something like, “Lights wi-…………….YOU home. And indi-…………phone. I……….FIX YOU! Woo!”

3. The Little Kid Who Has No Idea Where He Is or Who He’s Listening To – This is the kid you always wanted to be, but now that you’re out of college and had to save for 3 years to go to this show, you secretly hate him. He walks around in the $45 shirt and the $28 hat that his dad bought him, but you know full well the kid doesn’t even know one band member’s name, let alone all the words to every song they ever wrote (like you, of course.) And no matter how hard you try to avoid this kid, he always seems to be in front of you, ordering a bigger pop or a cooler keychain, and even though you hate him, you still kind of wish you were him.

4. The Loud Talker – This person is probably the most oblivious person in the entire place. He is almost always talking about something unrelated to the concert and it’s at the absolute WORST time. The band has gone off stage and the lead singer has come out by himself for an acoustic encore. You’re trying to guess what it will be and as soon as the first note is played, you hear behind you something like, “Hey, have you seen The Fugitive? I know it came out awhile ago, but I just saw it and liked it a lot! That Tommy Lee Jones…” You’re torn because you want to hear the song, but you also want to punch this dude in the face.

5. The Aisle Dancer – This guy is pretty desperate for attention. Apparently his mom never looked when he shouted for her before he jumped off the swings, so now he wants to make sure no one will ever ignore him again, ever. He never really dances with any rhythm, or connection to the music, it’s mostly just a back and forth motion. The dead giveaway that you’ve spotted one of these guys is that about every 2 minutes, he slowly looks around to see if anyone is watching him. Sorry dude, but the only person watching you is me, and I’m laughing on the inside.

6. The Know-it-All – This guy isn’t a stranger. Sadly, he probably came with you. On the ride up, he told you about all his albums and how long he’s liked the band. He’s rattled off all of these obscure (which is code for “terrible”) songs that only he would know and then acts smugly surprised when you say, “I’ve never heard of that song.” He shows tendancies of the “Loud Talker” as he tells you all the random facts about the song you’re straining to listen to or the song you just heard and then complains because “…they’re not going to do anything off of their first album, which is by FAR the best. My favorite song is ________, but they probably won’t play it. It’s pretty obscure.”

7. The Wanderer – This guy is hard to spot. He’s usually slow, and is in no particular hurry to go anywhere. You may even see him and think nothing of it. But as soon as you realize that he’s just wandering for wandering’s sake, he’s a distraction. He more than likely came by himself, so he’s not tethered to any particular area or seat, so he is everywhere, because he can be. And no matter where you are or where he is, you can see him. And even though it’s you’re favorite song and you paid $210 just to hear it, all you can do is follow this guy up and down the aisle.

8. The Constant Stander(**Does not apply if it’s an SRO event) He’s probably trying to show that he’s a true fan. I mean, a true fan stands up for every song, right? Not necessarily. You can spot this guy because he’s not singing, he’s not clapping, he’s not even swaying a little bit. He’s standing there, arms folded, like he’s listening to a lecture on grout removal. He’s trying way too hard to compensate for the fact that he’s really not a fan at all. And then after staring at the back of his head all night, you realize that he’s really a fan of ticking off the actual fans.

Did I miss any? Who have you seen at concerts that you should avoid?


Filed under Great 8, Life, Music, Observations

CE Leadership Summit

This past Monday and Tuesday, a group of 25 or so youth pastors got together at CE National’s headquarters in Winona Lake, Indiana for a leadership summit. I’m not sure what a “leadership summit” means except for it was a bunch of leaders getting together and talking about what’s working and what’s not in our respective youth ministries. Below are notes taken or random thoughts on the two day excursion.

– Challenged by Tim Eldred to try and increase student ownership versus student participation. 

– Challenged by Jim Brown to increase my vision for students. 

– Good chat time with Ben Framstad, our high school ministries intern who went out to “The Lake” with me.

– Great conversation with other youth guys who are “in it” and was encouraged by what’s working (especially in Middle School Ministry)

– Got to connect with friends Corey Drake and Luke Humberd, former band-mates from my darkroom days before I bolted to hang out with 7th and 8th graders. It was good to see them again.

– Good trip. Thanks CE for all your preparation and work to make the summit a success!

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